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The Humble Petition Of Bruar Water
To the noble Duke of Athole

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation


1.
My lord, I know, your noble ear
Woe ne'er assails in vain;
Embolden'd thus, I beg you'll hear
Your humble slave complain,
How saucy Phoebus' scorching beams,
In flaming summer-pride,
Dry-withering, waste my foamy streams,
And drink my crystal tide.

(Note: - Phoebus is Apollo god of the sun.)

2.
The lightly-jumping, glowrin trouts,
That thro' my waters play,
If, in their random, wanton spouts,
They near the margin stray;
If, hapless chance! they linger lang,
I'm scorching up so shallow,
They're left the whitening stanes amang
In grasping death to wallow.
3.
Last day I grat wi' spite and teen,
As Poet Burns came by,
That, to a Bard, I should be seen
Wi' half my channel dry;
A panegyric rhyme, I ween,
Ev'n as I was, he shor'd me;
But had I in my glory been,
He, kneeling, wad ador'd me.
4.
Here, foaming down the skelvy rocks,
In twisting strength I rin;
There high my boiling torrent smokes,
Wild-roaring o'er a linn:
Enjoying large each spring and well,
As Nature gave them me,
I am, altho' I say't mysel,
Worth gaun a mile to see.
5.
Would, then, my noble master please
To grant my highest wishes,
He'll shade my banks wi' tow'ring trees
And bonie spreading bushes.
Delighted doubly then, my lord,
You'll wander on my banks,
And listen monie a grateful bird
Return you tuneful thanks.
6.
The sober laverock, warbling wild,
Shall to the skies aspire;
The gowdspink, Music's gayest child,
Shall sweetly join the choir;
The blackbird strong, the lintwhite clear,
The mavis mild and mellow,
The robin, pensive Autumn cheer
In all her locks of yellow.
7.
This, too, a covert shall ensure
To shield them from the storm;
And coward maukin sleep secure,
Low in her grassy form:
Here shall the shepherd make his seat
To weave his crown of flow'rs;
Or find a shelt'ring, safe retreat
From prone-descending show'rs.
8.
And here, by sweet, endearing stealth,
Shall meet the loving pair,
Despising worlds with all their wealth,
As empty idle care:
The flow'rs shall vie, in all their charms,
The hour of heav'n to grace;
And birks extend their fragrant arms
To screen the dear embrace.
9.
Here haply too, at vernal dawn,
Some musing Bard may stray,
And eye the smoking, dewy lawn
And misty mountain grey;
Or, by the reaper's nightly beam,
Mild-chequering thro' the trees,
Rave to my darkly dashing stream,
Hoarse-swelling on the breeze.
10.
Let lofty firs and ashes cool
My lowly banks o'erspread,
And view, deep-bending in the pool,
Their shadows' wat'ry bed:
Let fragrant birks, in woodbines drest,
My craggy cliffs adorn,
And, for the little songster's nest,
The close embow'ring thorn!
11.
So may, old Scotia's darling hope,
Your little angel band
Spring, like their fathers, up to prop
Their honour'd native land!
So may, thro' Albion's farthest ken,
To social-flowing glasses,
The grace be: 'Athole's honest men
And Athole's bonie lasses!'

(Albion is the Celtic reference to the
British Isles, England of Scotland.)



My lord, I know, your noble ear
Woe never assails in vain;
Emboldened thus, I beg you will hear
Your humble slave complain,
How saucy Phoebus' scorching beams,
In flaming summer-pride,
Dry-withering, waste my foamy streams,
And drink my crystal tide.




The lightly-jumping, staring trout,
That through my waters play,
If, in their random, playful spouts,
They near the margin stray;
If, by unlucky chance! they linger long,
I am scorching up so shallow,
They are left the whitening stones among
In grasping death to wallow.

Last day I wept with spite and vexation,
As Poet Burns came by,
That, to a Bard, I should be seen
With half my channel dry;
A panegyric rhyme, I think,
Even as I was, he offered me;
But had I in my glory been,
He, kneeling, would adored me.

Here, foaming down the shelving rocks,
In twisting strength I run;
There high my boiling torrent smokes,
Wild-roaring over a water-fall:
Enjoying large each spring and well,
As Nature gave them to me,
I am, although I say it myself,
Worth going a mile to see.

Would, then, my noble master please
To grant my highest wishes,
He will shade my banks with towering trees
And lovely spreading bushes.
Delighted doubly then, my lord,
You will wander on my banks,
And listen to many a grateful bird
Return you tuneful thanks.

The sober lark, warbling wild,
Shall to the skies aspire;
The goldfinch, Music's gayest child,
Shall sweetly join the choir;
The blackbird strong, the linnet clear,
The mavis (song thrush) mild and mellow,
The robin, pensive Autumn cheer
In all her locks of yellow.

This, too, a covert shall ensure
To shield them from the storm;
And coward hare sleep secure,
Low in her grassy form:
Here shall the shepherd make his seat
To weave his crown of flowers;
Or find a sheltering, safe retreat
From prone-descending showers.

And here, by sweet, endearing stealth,
Shall meet the loving pair,
Despising worlds with all their wealth,
As empty idle care:
The flowers shall vie, in all their charms,
The hour of heaven to grace;
And birches extend their fragrant arms
To screen the dear embrace.

Here by chance too, at vernal dawn,
Some musing Bard may stray,
And eye the smoking, dewy lawn
And misty mountain grey;
Or, by the reaper's nightly beam,
Mild-chequering through the trees,
Rave to my darkly dashing stream,
Hoarse-swelling on the breeze.

Let lofty firs and ashes cool
My lowly banks overspread,
And view, deep-bending in the pool,
Their shadows' watery bed:
Let fragrant birches, in woodbines dressed,
My craggy cliffs adorn,
And, for the little songster's nest,
The close embowering thorn!

So may, old Scotia's darling hope,
Your little angel band
Spring, like their fathers, up to prop
Their honoured native land!
So may, through Albion's farthest range of sight,
To social-flowing glasses,
The grace be: 'Athole's honest men
And Athole's lovely girls!'


 

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