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The Ordination

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation



For sense, they little owe to frugal Heav'n:
To please the mob they hide the little giv'n.
1.
Kilmarnock wabsters, fidge an' claw,
An' pour your creeshie nations;
An' ye wha leather rax an' draw,
Of a' denominations;
Swith! to the Laigh Kirk, ane an' a',
An' there tak up your stations;
Then aff to Begbie's in a raw,
An' pour divine libations
For joy this day.
2.
Curst Common-sense, that imp o' hell,
Cam in wi' Maggie Lauder:
But Oliphant aft made her yell,
An' Russel sair misca'd her:
This day Mackinlay taks the flail,
An' he's the boy will blaud her!
He'll clap a shangan on her tail,
An' set the bairns to daud her
Wi' dirt this day.
3.
Mak haste an' turn King David owre,
An' lilt wi' holy clanger;
O' double verse come gie us four,
An' skirl up the Bangor:
This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure:
Nae mair the knaves shall wrang her,
For Heresy is in her pow'r,
And gloriously she'll whang her
Wi' pith this day.
4.
Come, let a proper text be read,
An' touch it aff wi' vigour,
How graceless Ham leugh at his dad,
Which made Canaan a nigger;
Or Phineas drove the murdering blade
Wi' whore-abhorring rigour;
Or Zipporah, the scauldin jad,
Was like a bluidy tiger
I' th' inn that day.
5.
There, try his mettle on the Creed,
And bind him down wi' caution, --
That stipend is a carnal weed
He taks but for the fashion -
And gie him o'er the flock to feed,
And punish each transgression;
Especial, rams that cross the breed,
Gie them sufficient threshin:
Spare them nae day.
6.
Now auld Kilmarnock, cock thy tail,
An' toss thy horns fu' canty;
Nae mair thou'lt rowte out-owre the dale,
Because thy pasture's scanty;
For lapfu's large o' gospel kail
Shall fill thy crib in plenty,
An' runts o' grace, the pick an' wale,
No gien by way o' dainty,
But ilka day.
7.
Nae mair by Babel's streams we'll weep
To think upon our Zion;
And hing our fiddles up to sleep,
Like baby-clouts a-dryin!
Come, screw the pegs wi' tunefu' cheep,
And o'er the thairms be tryin;
O, rare to see our elbucks wheep,
And a' like lamb-tails flyin
Fu' fast this day!
8.
Lang, Patronage, wi' rod o' airn,
Has shor'd the Kirk's undoin;
As lately Fenwick, sair forfairn,
Has proven to its ruin:
Our patron, honest man! Glencairn,
He saw mischief was brewin;
An' like a godly, elect bairn,
He's waled us out a true ane,
And sound this day.
9.
Now Robertson harangue nae mair,
But steek your gab for ever;
Or try the wicked town of Ayr,
For there they'll think you clever;
Or, nae reflection on your lear,
Ye may commence a shaver;
Or to the Netherton repair,
An' turn a carpet-weaver
Aff-hand this day.
10.
Mu'trie and you were just a match,
We never had sic twa drones:
Auld Hornie did the Laigh Kirk watch,
Just like a winkin baudrons,
And ay he catch'd the tither wretch,
To fry them in his caudrons;
But now his Honor maun detach,
Wi' a' his brimstone squadrons,
Fast, fast this day.
11.
See, see auld Orthodoxy's faes
She's swingein thro' the city!
Hark, how the nine-tail'd cat she plays!
I vow it's unco pretty:
There, Learning, with his Greekish face,
Grunts out some Latin ditty;
And Common-Sense is gaun, she says,
To mak to Jamie Beattie
Her plaint this day.
12.
But there's Morality himsel,
Embracing all opinions;
Hear, how he gies the tither yell
Between his twa companions!
See, how she peels the skin an' fell,
As ane were peelin onions!
Now there, they're packed aff to hell,
An' banish'd our dominions,
Henceforth this day.
13.
O happy day! rejoice, rejoice!
Come bouse about the porter!
Morality's demure decoys
Shall here nae mair find quarter:
Mackinlay, Russell, are the boys
That Heresy can torture;
They'll gie her on a rape a hoyse,
And cowe her measure shorter
By th' head some day.
14.
Come, bring the tither mutchkin in,
And here's - for a conclusion -
To ev'ry New Light mother's son,
From this time forth, confusion!
If mair they deave us wi' their din
Or patronage intrusion,
We'll light a spunk, and every skin
We'll run them aff in fusion,
Like oil some day.



For sense, they little owe to frugal Heaven:
To please the mob they hide the little given.

Kilmarnock weavers, fidget and scratch,
And pour your greasy nations;
And you who leather stretch and draw,
Of all denominations;
Haste! to the Low Church, one and all,
And there take up your stations;
Then off to Begbie's in a row,
And pour divine libations
For joy this day.

Cursed Common-sense, that imp of hell,
Came in with Maggie Lauder:
But Oliphant often made her yell,
And Russel sore miscalled her:
This day Mackinlay takes the flail,
And he is the boy (who) will slap her!
He will clap a cleft stick on her tail,
And set the children to pelt her
With dirt this day.

Make haste and turn King David over,
And lilt with holy clangour;
Of double verse come give us four,
And skirl up (with the bagpipes) the Bangor:
This day the Church kicks up a dust:
No more the knaves shall wrong her,
For Heresy is in her power,
And gloriously she will flog her
With pith this day.

Come, let a proper text be read,
And touch it off with vigour,
How graceless Ham laughed at his dad,
Which made Canaan a negro;
Or Phineas drove the murdering blade
With whore-abhorring rigour;
Or Zipporah, the scolding old woman,
Was like a bloody tiger
In the inn that day.

There, try his mettle on the Creed,
And bind him down with caution,--
That stipend is a carnal weed
He takes but for the fashion -
And give him over the flock to feed,
And punish each transgression;
Especial, rams that cross the breed,
Give them sufficient threshing:
Spare them no day.

Now old Kilmarnock, cock your tail,
And toss your horns full joyfully;
No more you will low out-over the dale,
Because your pasture is scanty;
For lap full is large of gospel broth
Shall fill your crib in plenty,
And stalks of grace, the pick and choice,
Not given by way of dainty,
But every day.

No more by Babel's streams we will weep
To think upon our Zion;
And hang our fiddles up to sleep,
Like baby-cloths a-drying!
Come, screw the pegs with tuneful cheep,
And over the strings be trying;
O, rare to see our elbows jerk,
And all like lamb-tails flying
Full fast this day!

Lang, Patronage, with rod of iron,
Has threatened the Church's undoing;
As lately Fenwick, sore forlorn,
Has proven to its ruin:
Our patron, honest man! Glencairn,
He saw mischief was brewing;
And like a godly, elect child,
He has chosen us out a true one,
And sound this day.

Now Robertson harangue no more,
Now stitch (shut) your mouth for ever;
Or try the wicked town of Ayr,
For there they will think you clever;
Or, no reflection on your learning,
You may commence as a barber;
Or to the Netherton repair,
And turn a carpet-weaver
Off-hand this day.

Mu'trie and you were just a match,
We never had such two drones:
Old Horny (the Devil) did the Low Church watch,
Just like a winking cat,
And always he caught the other wretch,
To fry them in his cauldrons;
But now his Honor must detach,
With all his brimstone squadrons,
Fast, fast this day.

See, see old Orthodoxy's foes
She is fogging through the city!
Hark, how the nine-tailed cat she plays!
I vow it is mighty pretty:
There, Learning, with his Greekish face,
Grunts out some Latin ditty;
And Common-Sense is gone, she says,
To make to Jamie Beattie
Her plaint this day.

But there is Morality himself,
Embracing all opinions;
Hear, how he gives the other yell
Between his two companions!
See, how she peels the skin and flesh under the skin,
As one were peeling onions!
Now there, they are packed off to hell,
And banished our dominions,
Henceforth this day.

O happy day! rejoice, rejoice!
Come drink deeply about the porter!
Morality's demure decoys
Shall here no more find quarter:
Mackinlay, Russell, are the boys
That Heresy can torture;
They will give her on a rope a hoist,
And crop her measure shorter
By the head some day.

Come, bring the other pint in,
And here is - for a conclusion -
To every New Light mother's son,
From this time forth, confusion!
If more they deafen us with their din
Or patronage intrusion,
We will light a match, and every skin
We will run them off in fusion,
Like oil some day.

 

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