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To Willie Chalmers' Sweetheart

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

1.
Wi' braw new branks in mickle pride,
And eke a braw new brechan,
My Pegasus I'm got astride,
And up Parnassus pechin:
Whyles owre a bush wi' downward crush
The doited beastie stammers;
Then up he gets and off he sets
For sake o' Willie Chalmers.
2.
I doubt na, lass, that weel kend name
May cost a pair o' blushes:
I am nae stranger to your fame,
Nor his warm-urged wishes:
Your bonie face, sae mild and sweet,
His honest heart enamours;
And faith! ye'll no be lost a whit,
Tho' wair'd on Willie Chalmers.
3.
Auld Truth hersel might swear ye're fair,
And Honor safely back her;
And Modesty assume your air,
And ne'er a ane mistak her;
And sic twa love-inspiring een
Might fire even holy palmers:
Nae wonder then they've fatal been
To honest Willie Chalmers!
4.
I doubt na Fortune may you shore
Some mim-mou'd, pouther'd priestie,
Fu' lifted up wi' Hebrew lore
And band upon his breastie;
But O, what signifies to you
His lexicons and grammars?
The feeling heart's the royal blue,
And that's wi' Willie Chalmers.
5.
Some gapin, glowrin counta laird
May warsle for your favour:
May claw his lug, and straik his beard,
And hoast up some palaver.
My bonie maid, before ye wed
Sic clumsy-witted hammers,
Seek Heaven for help, and barefit skelp
Awa wi' Willie Chalmers.
6.
Forgive the Bard! My fond regard
For ane that shares my bosom
Inspires my Muse to gie'm his dues,
For deil a hair I roose him.
May Powers aboon unite you soon,
And fructify your amours,
And every year come in mair dear
To you and Willie Chalmers!

 


With fine new bridle and much pride,
And also a fine new collar,
My Pegasus I am got astride,
And up Parnassus panting:
Sometimes over a bush with downward crush
The stupid beast stammers;
Then up he gets and off he sets
For sake of Willie Chalmers

.I doubt not, lass, that well known name
May cost a pair of blushes:
I am no stranger to your fame,
Nor his warm-urged wishes:
Your lovely face, so mild and sweet,
His honest heart enamours;
And faith! you will not be lost a whit,
Though bestowed on Willie Chalmers.

Old Truth herself might swear you are fair,
And Honour safely back her;
And Modesty assume your air,
And never a one mistook her;
And such two love-inspiring eyes
Might fire even holy palmers:
No wonder then they have fatal been
To honest Willie Chalmers!

I doubt not Fortune may you offer
Some prim-lipped, powdered priest,
Full lifted up with Hebrew lore
And band upon his breast;
But O, what signifies to you
His lexicons and grammars?
The feeling heart is the royal blue,
And that is with Willie Chalmers.

Some gaping, glowering country laird (lord)
May struggle for your favour:
May scratch his ear, and stroke his beard,
And cough up some palaver.
My lovely maid, before you wed
Such clumsy-witted dunces,
Seek Heaven for help, and barefooted spank
Away with Willie Chalmers.

Forgive the Bard! My fond regard
For one that shares my bosom
Inspires my Muse to give him his dues,
For devil a bit I flatter him.
May Powers above unite you soon,
And fructify your amours,
And every year come in more dear
To you and Willie Chalmers!

 

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