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Translation
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To Gavin Hamilton, Esq., Mauchline

RECOMMENDING A BOY

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

I hold it, Sir, my bounden duty
To warn you how that Master Tootie,
Alias Laird M'Gaun,
Was here to hire yon lad away
'Bout whom ye spak the tither day,
An' wad hae done't aff han';
But lest he learn the callan tricks -
As faith! I muckle doubt him -
Like scrapin out auld Crummie's nicks,
An' telling lies about them,
As lieve then, I'd have then
Your clerkship he should sair,
If sae be ye may be
Not fitted otherwhere.

Altho' I say't, he's gleg enough,
An' bout a house that's rude an' rough
The boy might learn to swear;
But then wi' you he'll be sae taught,
An' get sic fair example straught,
I hae nae onie fear:
Ye'll catechise him every quirk,
An' shore him weel wi' 'Hell';
An' gar him follow to the Kirk -
Ay when ye gang yoursel!
If ye, then, maun be then
Frae hame this comin Friday,
Then please, Sir, to lea'e, Sir,
The orders wi' your lady.

My word of honour I hae gien,
In Paisley John's that night at e'en

(Note:- Paisley John's was an inn or pub
correctly named 'The Whitefoord Arms'.)

To meet the 'warld's worm,'
To try to get the twa to gree,
An' name the airles an' the fee
In legal mode an' form:
I ken he weel a snick can draw,
When simple bodies let him;
An' if a Devil be at a',
In faith he's sure to get him.
To phrase you an' praise you,
Ye ken, your Laureat scorns:
The pray'r still you share still
Of grateful Minstrel Burns.

 

 

I hold it, Sir, my bounden duty
To warn you how that Master Tootie,
Alias Laird (Lord) M'Gaun,
Was here to hire yon lad away
About whom you spoke the other day,
And would have done it off hand;
But lest he learn the youngster tricks -
As faith! I much doubt him -
Like scraping out old Crummie's (horned cow's) cuts,
And telling lies about them,
As leave then, I would have then
Your attorney-ship he should serve,
If so be you may be
Not fitted other where.

Although I say it, he is sharp enough,
And about a house that is rude and rough
The boy might learn to swear;
But then with you he will be so taught,
And get such fair example straight,
I have not any fear:
You will catechise him every quirk,
And menace him well with 'Hell';
And make him follow to the Church -
Always when you go yourself!
If you, then, must be then
From home this coming Friday,
Then please, Sir, to leave, Sir,
The orders with your lady.

My word of honour I have given,
In Paisley John's that night at evening




To meet the 'world's worm,' (miserly reptile)
To try to get the two to agree,
And name the handsel and the fee
In legal mode and form:
I know he well a (door) latch can dray,
When simple bodies let him;
And if a Devil be at all,
In faith he is sure to get him.
To phrase you and praise you,
You know, your Laureat scorns:
The prayer still you share still
Of grateful Minstrel Burns.

 

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