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Translation
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To Collector Mitchell

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

1.
Friend of the Poet tried and leal,
Wha wanting thee might beg or steal;
Alake, alake, the meikle Deil
Wi' a' his witches
Are at it, skelpin jig an' reel
In my poor pouches!
2.
I modestly fu' fain wad hint it,
That One-pound-one, I sairly want it;
If wi' the hizzie down ye sent it,
It would be kind;
And while my heart wi' life-blood dunted,
I'd bear't in mind!

(Note: - One-pound-one refers to one pound
and one shilling, or 21 shillings equal to one
guinea in money value.)

3.
So may the Auld Year gang out moanin
To see the New come laden, groanin
Wi' double plenty o'er the loanin
To thee and thin:
Domestic peace and comforts crownin
The hale design!

Postscript
4.
Ye've heard this while how I've been licket,
And by fell Death was nearly nicket:
Grim loon! He got me by the fecket,
And sair me sheuk;
But by guid luck I lap a wicket,
And turn'd a neuk.
5.
But by that health, I've got a share o't,
And by that life, I'm promis'd mair o't,
My hale and weel, I'll tak a care o't
A tentier way;
Then farewell Folly, hide and hair o't,
For ance and ay!

 

 


Friend of the Poet tried and true,
Who wanting you might beg or steal;
Alas, alas, the big Devil
With all his witches
Are at it, dancing jig and reel
In my poor pochets!

I modestly fully desirous would hint it,
That One-pound-one, I sorely want it;
If with the maid down you sent it,
It would be kind;
And while my heart with life-blood throbbed,
I would bear it in mind (remember it)!






So may the Old Year go out moaning
To see the New come laden, groaning
With double plenty down the road
To you and yours:
Domestic peace and comforts crowning
The whole design!



You have heard recently how I have been beaten,
And by cruel Death was nearly nailed:
Grim rascal! He got me by the sleeve-waist-coat,
And sore my shook;
But by good luck I leaped a wicket,
And turned a corner.

But by that health, I have got a share of it,
And by that life, I am promised more of it,
My health and wellfare, I will take a care of it
A more watchful way,
Then farewell Folly, hide and hair of it,
For once and always!

 

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