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Tragic Fragment

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

All villain as I am - a damned wretch,
A hardened, stubborn, unrepenting sinner -
Still my heart melts at human wretchedness,
And with sincere, tho' unavailing, sighs
I view the helpless children of distress.
With tears indignant I behold the oppressor
Rejoicing in the honest man's destruction,
Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime.
Ev'n you, ye hapless crew! I pity you;
Ye, whom the seeming good think sin to pity:
Ye poor, despised, abandoned vagabonds,
Whom Vice, as usual, has turn'd o'er to ruin.
Oh! but for friends and interposing Heaven,
I had been driven forth, like you forlorn,
The most detested, worthless wretch among you!
O injured God! Thy goodness has endow'd me
With talents passing most of my compeers,
Which I in just proportion have abused,
As far surpassing other common villains
As Thou in natural parts has given me more.

 

All villain as I am - a damned wretch,
A hardened, stubborn, unrepenting sinner -
Still my heart melts at human wretchedness,
And with sincere, though unavailing, sighs
I view the helpless children of distress.
With tears indignant I behold the oppressor
Rejoicing in the honest man's destruction,
Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime.
Even you, you hapless crew! I pity you;
You, whom the seeming good think sin to pity:
You poor, despised, abandoned vagabonds,
Whom Vice, as usual, has turned over to ruin.
Oh! but for friends and interposing Heaven,
I had been driven forth, like you forlorn,
The most detested, worthless wretch among you!
O injured God! Your goodness has endowed me
With talents passing most of my compeers,
Which I in just proportion have abused,
As far surpassing other common villains
As You in natural parts has given me more.

 

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