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Address of Beelzebub.

To the Right Honorable the Earl of Breadalbane, President of the Right Honorable the Highland Society, which met on the 23rd of May last, at the Shakespeare, Covent Garden, to concert ways and means to frustrate the designs of five hundred Highlanders who, as the Society were informed by Mr. M'Kenzie of Applecross, were so audacious as to attempt an escape from their lawful lords and masters whose property they were, by emigrating from the lands of Mr. MacDonald of Glengary to the wilds of Canada, in search of that fantastic thing - Liberty.

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Long life, my lord, an' health be yours,
Unskaith'd by hunger'd Highland boors!
Lord grant nae duddie, desperate beggar,
Wi' dirk, claymore, or rusty trigger,
May twin auld Scotland o' a life
She likes - as lambkins like a knife!
-----
Faith! you and Applecross were right
To keep the Highland hounds in sight!
I doubt na! they wad bid nae better
Than let them ance out owre the water!
Then up amang thae lakes and seas,
They'll mak what rules and laws they please:
Some daring Hancock, or a Franklin,
May set their Highland bluid a-ranklin;
Some Washington again may head them,
Or some Montgomerie, fearless, lead them;
Till (God knows what may be effected
When by such heads and hearts directed)
Poor dunghill sons of dirt an' mire
May to Patrician rights aspire!
Nae sage North now, nor sager Sackville,
To watch and premier owre the pack vile!
An' whare will ye get Howes and Clintons
To bring them to a right repentance?
To cowe the rebel generation,
An' save the honor o' the nation?
They, an' be damn'd! what right hae they
To meat or sleep or light o' day,
Far less to riches, pow'r, or freedom,
But what your lordship likes to gie them?
-----
But hear, my Lord! Glengary, hear!
Your hand's owre light on them, I fear:
Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bailies,
I canna say but they do gaylies:
They lay aside a' tender mercies,
An' tirl the hullions to the birses.
Yet while they're only poind and herriet,
They'll keep their stubborn Highland spirit.
But smash them! crush them a' to spails,
An' rot the dyvors i' the jails!
The young dogs, swinge them to the labour:
Let wark an' hunger mak them sober!
The hizzies, if they're aughtlins fawsont,
Let them in Drury Lane be lesson'd!
An' if the wives an' dirty brats
Come thiggin at your doors an' yetts,
Flaffin wi' duds an' grey wi beas',
Frightin awa your deuks an' geese,
Get out a horsewhip or a jowler,
The langest thong, the fiercest growler,
An' gar the tatter'd gypsies pack
Wi' a' their bastards on their back!
-----
Go on, my Lord! I lang to meet you,
An' in my 'house at hame' to greet you.
Wi' common lords ye shanna mingle:
The benmost neuk beside the ingle,
At my right han' assigned your seat
'Tween Herod's hip an' Polycrate,
Or (if you on your station tarrow)
Between Almagro and Pizarro,
A seat, I'm sure ye're weel deservin't;
An' till ye come - your humble servant,
Beelzebub (The Devil).
Hell,
1st June, Anno Mundi 5790.


Long life, my lord, and health be yours,
Unharmed by hungered Highland boors!
Lord grant no ragged, desperate beggar,
With dirk, claymore (sword), or rusty trigger (gun),
May rob old Scotland of a life
She likes - as lambkins like a knife!

Faith! you and Applecross were right
To keep the Highland hounds in sight!
I doubt not! they would offer no better
Than let them once out over the water!
Then up among these lakes and seas,
They will make what rules and laws they please:
Some daring Hancock, or a Franklin,
May set their Highland blood to rankle;
Some Washington again may head them,
Or some Montgomerie, fearless, lead them;
Till (God knows what may be effected
When by such heads and hearts directed)
Poor dunghill sons of dirt and mire
May to Patrician rights aspire!
No sage North now, nor sager Sackville,
To watch and premier over the pack vile!
And where will you get Howes and Clintons
To bring them to a right repentance?
To cower the rebel generation,
And save the honor of the nation?
They, and be damned! what right have they
To meat or sleep or light of day,
Far less to riches, power, or freedom,
But what your lordship likes to give them?

But hear, my Lord! Glengary, hear!
Your hand's too light on them, I fear:
Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bailiffs,
I can not say but they do gaily:
They lay aside all tender mercies,
And strip the slovens to the bristles.
Yet while they are only distrained and robbed,
They will keep their stubborn Highland spirit.
But smash them! crush them all to chips,
And rot the bankrupts in the jails!
The young dogs, chastise them to the labour:
Let work and hunger make them sober!
The young girls, if they are at all good looking,
Let them in Drury Lane be lessoned!
And if the wives and dirty brats (children)
Come begging at your doors and gates,
Flapping with rags and grey with vermin,
Frightening away your ducks and geese,
Get out a horsewhip or a bull dog,
The longest thong, the fiercest growler,
And make the tattered gypsies pack (leave)
With all their bastards on their back!

Go on, my Lord! I long to meet you,
And in my 'house at home' to greet you.
With common lords you shall not mingle:
The inmost corner beside the fireside,
At my right hand assigned your seat
Between Herod's hip and Polycrate,
Or (if you on your station weary)
Between Almagro and Pizarro,
A seat, I am sure you are well deserving of it;
And until you come - your humble servant,
Beelzebub (The Devil).
Hell,
1st June, Anno Mundi 5790.

 

 

 

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