Beginners
Experts
Burns Supper
Top Features
Discussion Forum
Newsletter
Poems & Songs
The Letters
Federation
E- Membership
Schools
Contributions
Links
Search the Site
Scottish History
The Burns Shop

Translation
Index

A Sonnet Upon Sonnets

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Fourteen, a sonneteer thy praises sings;
What magic myst'ries in that number lie!
Your hen hath fourteen eggs beneath her wings
That fourteen chickens to the roost may fly.
Fourteen full pounds the jockey's stone must be;
His age fourteen - a horse's prime is past.
Fourteen long hours too oft the Bard must fast;
Fourteen bright bumpers - bliss he ne'er must see!
Before fourteen, a dozen yields the strife;
Before fourteen - e'en thirteen's strength is vain.
Fourteen good years - a woman gives us life;
Fourteen good men - we lose that life again.
What lucubrations can be more upon it?
Fourteen good measur'd verses make a sonnet.


Notes: -
a. - Line 5 refers to the old measure of weight in Britain. 14 pounds equaled 1 stone, 8 stone equaled 1
hundredweight, 112 pounds; 20 stone equaled 1 ton, 2240 pounds.
b. - Line 8 the word bumpers refers to a cup or glass filled to the brim.
c. - Line 13 the word lucubrations refers to the product of protracted study or thought.

Fourteen, a sonneteer your praises sings;
What magic mysteries in that number lie!
Your hen has fourteen eggs beneath her wings
That fourteen chickens to the roost may fly.
Fourteen full pounds the jockey's stone must be;
His age fourteen - a horse's prime is past.
Fourteen long hours too often the Bard must fast;
Fourteen bright bumpers - bliss he ne'er must see!
Before fourteen, a dozen yields the strife;
Before fourteen - even thirteen's strength is vain.
Fourteen good years - a woman gives us life;
Fourteen good men - we lose that life again.
What lucubrations can be more upon it?
Fourteen good measur'd verses make a sonnet.

 

2004 WBC. Under no circumstances can any  of the contents of this site be copied, reproduced,  or represented without prior written consent.