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On The Late Captain Grose's
Peregrinations Thro' Scotland

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

On The Late Captain Grose's
Peregrinations Thro' Scotland

COLLECTING THE ANTIQUITIES OF THAT KINGDOM
1.
Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's,

(Note:- This refers to the most southern and northern locals in Scotland.)

If there's a hole in a' your coats,
I rede you tent it:
A chield's amang you takin notes,
And faith he'll prent it:
2.
If in your bounds ye chance to light
Upon a fine, fat, fodgel wight,
O' stature short but genius bright,
That's he, mark weel:
And wow! he has an unco sleight
O' cauk and keel.
3.
By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin,
Or kirk deserted by its riggin,
It's ten to ane ye'll find him snug in
Some eldritch part,
Wi' deils, they say, Lord safe's! colleaguin
At some black art.
4.
Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chamer,
Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,
And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar,
Warlocks and witches:
Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer,
Ye midnight bitches!
5.
It's tauld he was a sodger bred,
And ane wad rather fa'n than fled;
But now he's quat the spurtle-blade
And dog-skin wallet,
And taen the - Antiquarian trade,
I think they call it.
6.
He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets:
Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets
Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets
A towmont guid;
And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets
Before the flood.
7.
Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;
Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fender;
That which distinguished the gender
O' Balaam's ass;
A broomstick o' the witch of Endor,
Weel shod wi' brass.
8.
Forbye, he'll shape you aff fu' gleg
The cut of Adam's philibeg;
The knife that nicket Abel's craig
He'll prove you fully,
It was a faulding jocteleg,
Or lang-kail gullie.
9.
But wad ye see him in his glee -
For meikle glee and fun has he -
Then set him down, and twa or three
Guid fellows wi' him;
And port, O port! shine thou a wee,
And then ye'll see him!
10.
Now, by the Pow'rs o' verse and prose!
Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose! -
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose,
They sair misca' thee;
I'd take the rascal by the nose,
Wad say, 'Shame fa' thee.'

 

 

On The Late Captain Grose's
Peregrinations Through Scotland



Hear, Land of Cakes, and brother Scots
From Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's,




If there is a hole in all your coats,
I advise you care for it:
A fellow is among you taking notes,
And faith he will print it:

If in your bounds you chance to light
Upon a fine, fat, dumpy person,
Of stature short but genius bright,
That is he, mark well:
And wow! he has an uncommon skill
In chalk and ruddle (red ochre).

By some old, owl-haunted dwelling,
Or church deserted by its roof,
It is ten to one you will find him snug in
Some unearthly part,
With devils, they say, Lord save us! Colleaguin
At some black art.

Each ghost that haunts old hall or chamber,
You gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,
And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar,
Warlocks (male witches) and witches:
You will quake at his conjuring hammer,
You midnight bitches!

It is told he was a soldier bred,
And one would have rather fallen than fled;
But now he is quit the pot-stick-blade (sword)
And dog-skin wallet (sword sheath),
And taken the - Antiquarian trade,
I think they call it.

He has an abundance or old nick-nacks;
Rusty iron caps and jingling jackets
Would hold the Lothians three (horse team) in shoe nails
A twelve-month good;
And porridge pots and old salt boxes
Before the flood.

Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;
Old Tubalcain's fire-shovel and fender;
That which distinguished the gender
Of Balaam's ass;
A broomstick of the witch of Endor,
Well shod with brass.

Besides, he will shape you off full smartly
The cut of Adam's kilt;
The knife that slit Abel's throat
He will prove you fully,
It was a folding Jacques de Liege (a clasp knife),
Or long cabbage knife.

But would you see him in his glee -
For much glee and fun has he -
Then set him down, and two or three
Good fellows with him;
And port, O port! shine you a little,
And then you will see him!

Now, by the Powers of verse and prose!
You are a dainty person, O Grose! -
Who ever of you shall ill suppose,
They sore miscall you;
I would take the rascal by the nose,
Would say, Shame befall you.'

 

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