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KIRK AND STATE EXCISEMEN

Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/kirk-and-state-excisemen

It is probable that Robert Burns composed this in 1789, after being appointed to the Excise service. The role of Exciseman, collecting duties, was not a popular one but Burns points out that they were not the only ones after your money.

“Ye men of wit and wealth, why all this sneering

'Gainst poor Excisemen? Give the cause a hearing:

What are your Landlord's rent-rolls? Taxing ledgers!

What Premiers? What ev'n Monarchs? Mighty Gaugers!

Nay, what are Priests? (those seeming godly wise-men,)

What are they, pray, but Spiritual Excisemen!”

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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray