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Translation
Index


To A Gentleman

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

Who had sent a newspaper, and
offered to continue it free of expense.

Kind Sir, I've read your paper through,
And faith, to me 'twas really new!
How guessed ye, Sir, what maist I wanted?
This monie a day I've grain'd and gaunted,
To ken what French mischief was brewin;
Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin;
That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph,
If Venus yet had got his nose off;
Or how the collieshangie works
Atween the Russians and the Turks;
Or if the Swede, before the halt,
Would play anither Charles the Twalt;
If Denmark, any body spak o't;
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't;
How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin;
How libbet Italy was singin;
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss
Were sayin or takin aught amiss;
Or how our merry lads at hame
In Britain's court kept up the game:
How royal George - the Lord leuk o'er him! --
Was managing St. Stephen's quorum;
If sleekit Chatham Will was livin,
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in;
How Daddie Burke the plea was cookin;
If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin;
How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd,
Or if bare arses yet were tax'd;
The news o' princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls;
If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales,
Was threshin still at hizzies' tails;
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser,
And no a perfect kintra cooser:
A' this and mair I never heard of,
And, but for you, I might despair'd of.
So, gratefu', back your news I send you,
And pray a' guid things may attend you!

 

 




Kind Sir, I've read your paper through,
And faith, to me it was really new!
How guessed you, Sir, what most I wanted?
This many a day I have groaned and gaped,
To know what French mischief was brewing;
Or what the muddy Dutch were doing;
That vile bottom smacker, Emperor Joseph,
If Venus yet had got his nose off;
Or how the squabble works
Between the Russians and the Turks;
Or if the Swedish, before the halt,
Would play another Charles the Twelfth;
If Denmark, any body spoke of it;
Or Poland, who had now the possession of it;
How cut-throat Prussian blades were hanging;
How castrated Italy was singing;
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss
Were saying or taking anything amiss;
Or how our merry lads at home
In Britain's court kept up the game:
How royal George - the Lord look over him! -
Was managing St. Stephen's quorum (assembly);
If crafty Chatham Will was living,
Or giddy Charlie got his fist in;
How Daddie Burke the plea was cooking;
If Warren Hastings' neck was itching;
ow assessments,dues in kind, and fees were exten
Or if bare arses (buttocks) yet were taxed;
The news of princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, swindlers, bawds, and opera-girls;
If that mad young person, Geordie Wales,
Was threshing still at wenches' tails;
Or if he was grown anything sedater,
And not a perfect country stallion:
All this and more I never heard of,
And, but for you, I might despaired of.
So, grateful, back your news I send you,
And pray all good things may attend you!

 

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