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On The Death Of Lord President Dundas

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Lone on the bleaky hills, the straying flocks
Shun the fierce storms among the sheltering rocks;
Down foam the rivulets, red with dashing rains;
The gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains;
Beneath the blast the leafless forests groan;
The hollow caves return a hollow moan.
Ye hills, ye plains, ye forests, and ye caves,
Ye howling winds, and wintry swelling waves,
Unheard, unseen, by human ear or eye,
Sad to your sympathetic glooms I fly,
Where to the whistling blast and water's roar
Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore!
O heavy loss, thy country ill could bear!
A loss these evil days can ne'er repair!
Justice, the high vicegerent of her God,
Her doubtful balance eyed, and sway'd her rod;
Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow,
She sank, abandon'd to the wildest woe.
Wrongs, injuries, from many a darksome den,
Now gay in hope explore the paths of men.
See from his cavern grim Oppression rise,
And throw on Poverty his cruel eyes!
Keen on the helpless victim let him fly,
And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting cry!
Mark Ruffian Violence, distained with crimes,
Rousing elate in these degenerate times!
View unsuspecting Innocence a prey,
As guileful Fraud points out the erring way;
While subtile Litigation's pliant tongue
The life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong!
Hark, injur'd Want recounts th' unlisten'd tale,
And much-wrong'd Mis'ry pours the unpitied wail!

Ye dark, waste hills, ye brown, unsightly plains,
Congenial scenes, ye soothe my mournful strains.
Ye tempests, rage! Ye turbid torrents, roll!
Ye suit the joyless tenor of my sole.
Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign;
Be nameless wilds and lonely wanderings mine,
To mourn the woes my country must endure:
That wound degenerate ages cannot cure.

 

Lone on the bleak hills, the straying flocks
Shun the fierce storms among the sheltering rocks;
Down foam the rivulets, red with dashing rains;
The gathering floods burst over the distant plains;
Beneath the blast the leafless forests groan;
The hollow caves return a hollow moan.
You hills, you plains, you forests, and you caves,
You howling winds, and wintry swelling waves,
Unheard, unseen, by human ear or eye,
Sad to your sympathetic gloom's I fly,
Where to the whistling blast and water's roar
Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore!
O heavy loss, your country ill could bear!
A loss these evil days can never repair!
Justice, the high vicegerent of her God,
Her doubtful balance eyed, and swayed her rod;
Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow,
She sank, abandoned to the wildest woe.
Wrongs, injuries, from many a darkest den,
Now gay in hope explore the paths of men.
See from his cavern grim Oppression rise,
And throw on Poverty his cruel eyes!
Keen on the helpless victim let him fly,
And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting cry!
Mark Ruffian Violence, disdained with crimes,
Rousing elate in these degenerate times!
View unsuspecting Innocence a prey,
As guileful Fraud points out the erring way;
While subtle Litigation's pliant tongue
The life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong!
Hark, injured Want recounts the unlistened tale,
And much-wronged Misery pours the unpitied wail!

You dark, waste hills, you brown, unsightly plains,
Congenial scenes, you soothe my mournful strains.
You tempests, rage! You turbid torrents, roll!
You suit the joyless tenor of my sole.
Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign;
Be nameless wilds and lonely wanderings mine,
To mourn the woes my country must endure:
That wound degenerate ages cannot cure.

 

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