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Translation
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To Mr. M'Adam Of Craigen-Gillan
IN ANSWER TO AN OBLIGING LETTER HE SENT
IN THE COMMENCEMENT OF MY POETIC CAREER

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

1.
Sir, o'er a gill I gat your card,
I trow it made me proud.
'See wha taks notice o' the Bard!'
I lap, and cry'd fu' loud.
2.
Now deil-ma-care about their jaw,
The senseless, gawky million!
I'll cock my nose aboon them a':
I'm roos'd by Craigen-Gillan!
3.
'Twas noble, Sir; 'twas like yoursel,
To grant your high protection:
A great man's smile, ye ken fu' well,
Is ay a blest infection.
4.
Tho', by his banes wha in a tub
Match'd Macedonian Sandy!
On my ain legs thro' dirt and dub
I independent stand ay;
5.
And when those legs to guid warm kail
Wi' welcome canna bear me,
A lee dyke-side, a sybow-tail,
An' barley-scone shall cheer me.
6.
Heaven spare you lang to kiss the breath
O' monie flow'ry simmers,
An' bless your bonie lasses baith
(I'm tauld they're loosome kimmers)!
7.
An' God bless young Dunaskin's Laird,
The blossom of our gentry,
An' may he wear an auld man's beard,
A credit to his country!

 


Sir, over a drink I got your card,
I believe it made me proud.
'See who takes notice of the Bard!'
I leaped, and cried full loud.

Now devil-ma-care (I do not care) about their talk,
The senseless, awkward million!
I will cock my nose above them all:
I am praised by Craigen-Gillan!

It was noble, Sir, it was like yourself,
To grant your high protection:
A great man's smile, you know full well,
Is always a blessed infection.

Though, by his bones who in a tub
Matched Diogenes Alexander Magnus!
On my own legs through dirt and puddle
I independent stand always;

And when those legs to good warm broth
With welcome can not bear me,
A lee stone-wall-side, a young onion tail,
And barley-scone shall cheer me.

Heaven spare you long to kiss the breath
Of many flowery summers,
And bless your lovely lasses both
(I am told they are lovable girls)!

And God bless young Dunaskin's Laird (Lord),
The blossom of our gentry,
And may he wear an old man's beard,
A credit to his country!

 

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