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Adam Armour's Prayer

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
Gude pity me, because I'm little!
For though I am an elf o' mettle,
And can like onie wabster's shuttle
Jink there or here,
Yet, scarce as lang's a guid kail-whittle,
I'm unco queer.
2.
An' now Thou kens our woefu'case:
For Geordie's jurr we're in disgrace,
Because we strang'd her through the place,
And hurt her spleuchan;
For whilk we daurna show our face
Within the clachan.
3.
An' now we're dern'd in dens and hollows,
And hunted, as was William Wallace,
Wi' constables - thae blackguard fallows -
And sodgers baith;
But Gude preserve us frae the gallows,
That shamefu' death!
4.
Auld, grim, black-bearded Geordie's sel' -
O, shake him owre the mouth o' Hell!
There let him hing, an' roar, an' yell
Wi' hideous din,
And if he offers to rebel,
Then heave him in!
5.
When Death comes in wi' glimmerin blink,
An' tips auld drucken Nanse the wink,
May Sautan gie her doup a clink
Within his yett,
An' fill her up wi' brimstone drink
Red-reekin het.
6.
Though Jock an' hav'rel Jean are merry,
Some devil seize them in a hurry,
An' waft them in th' infernal wherry
Straught through the lake,
An' gie their hides a noble curry
Wi' oil of aik!
7.
As for the jurr - poor worthless body! -
She's got mischief enough already;
Wi' stranget hips and buttocks bluidy
She's suffer'd sair;
But may she wintle in a woody
If she whore mair!

(Note: - stranget may refer to 'riding the stang', usually applied to a man who beat his wife, or was an impotent bridegroom was set astride a long pole and carried shoulder-high through the town by his fellows as a mark of infamy. This may have applied to this lady the reason being whoring ? It seems that the man should be equally guilty.)


God pity me, because I am little!
For though I am an elf of mettle,
And can like any weaver's shuttle
Dodge there or here,
Yet, scarce as long as a good cabbage-knife,
I am uncommon funny.

And now You knows our woeful case:
For George's servant wench we are in disgrace,
Because we beat her through the place,
And hurt her spleuchan (tobacco pouch ?);
For which we dare not show our face
Within the village.

And now we are hid in dens and hollows,
And hunted, as was William Wallace,
With constables - those blackguard fellows -
And soldiers both;
But God preserve us from the gallows,
That shameful death!

Old, grim, black-bearded George's self -
O, shake him over the mouth of Hell!
There let him hang, and roar, and yell
With hideous din,
And if he offers to rebel,
Then heave him in!

When Death comes in with glimmering glance,
And tips old drunken Nanse the wink,
May Satan give her backside a jingle
Within his gate,
And fill her up with brimstone drink
Red-smoking hot.

Though Jock and half-witted Jean are merry,
Some devil seize them in a hurry,
And waft them in the infernal wherry (fast boat)
Straight through the lake,
And give their hides a noble curry (rub and dress a horse)
With oil of oak!

As for the servant wench - poor worthless body! -
She has got mischief enough already;
With stranget hips and buttocks bloody
She has suffered sore;
But may she wiggle in a rope
If she whore more!

 

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