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Birthday Ode For 31ST December 1787

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Afar the illustrious Exile roams,
Whom kingdoms on this day should hail,
An inmate in the casual shed,
On transient pity's bounty fed,
Haunted by busy Memory's bitter tale!
Beasts of the forest have their savage homes,
But He, who should imperial purple wear,
Owns not the lap or earth where rests his royal head:
His wretched refuge dark despair,
While ravening wrongs and woes pursue,
And distant far the faithful few
Who would his sorrows share!

False flatterer, Hope, away,
Nor think to lure us as in days of yore!
We solemnize this sorrowing natal day,
To prove our loyal truth - we can no more -
And, owning Heaven's mysterious sway,
Submissive, low, adore.
Ye honor'd, mighty Dead,
Who nobly perish'd in the glorious cause,
Your King, your Country, and her laws:
From great Dundee, who smiling Victory led
And fell a Martyr in her arms
(What breast of northern ice but warms!),
To bold Balmerino's undying name,
Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heaven's high flame,
Deserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim!

Not unrevenged your fate shall lie,
It only lags, the fatal hour:
Your blood shall with incessant cry
Awake at last th' unsparing Power.
As from the cliff, with thundering course,
The snowy ruin smokes along
With doubling speed and gathering force,
Till deep it, crushing, whelms the cottage in the vale,
So Vengeance' arm, ensanguin'd, strong,
Shall with resistless might assail,
Usurping Brunswick's pride shall lay,
And Stewart's wrongs and yours with tenfold weight repay.

Perdition, baleful child of night,
Rise and revenge the injured right
Of Stewart's royal race!
Lead on the unmuzzled hounds of Hell,
Till all the frightened echoes tell
The blood-notes of the chase!
Full on the quarry point their view,
Full on the base usurping crew,
The tools of faction and the nation's curse!
Hark how the cry grows on the wind;
They leave the lagging gale behind;
Their savage fury, pityless, they pour;
With murdering eyes already they devour!
See Brunswick spent, a wretched prey,
His life one poor despairing day,
Where each avenging hour still ushers in a worse!
Such Havoc, howling all abroad,
Their utter ruin bring,
The base apostates to their God
Or rebels to their King!

Afar the illustrious Exile roams,
Whom kingdoms on this day should hail,
An inmate in the casual shed,
On transient pity's bounty fed,
Haunted by busy Memory's bitter tale!
Beasts of the forest have their savage homes,
But He, who should imperial purple wear,
Owns not the lap or earth where rests his royal head:
His wretched refuge dark despair,
While ravening wrongs and woes pursue,
And distant far the faithful few
Who would his sorrows share!

False flatterer, Hope, away,
Nor think to lure us as in days of yore (time long past)!
We solemnize this sorrowing natal (natal) day,
To prove our loyal truth - we can no more -
And, owning Heaven's mysterious sway,
Submissive, low, adore.
You honoured mighty Dead,
Who nobly perished in the glorious cause,
Your King, your Country, and her laws:
From great Dundee, who smiling Victory led
And fell a Martyr in her arms
(What breast of northern ice but warms!),
To bold Balmerino's undying name,
Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heaven's high flame,
Deserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim!

Not un-revenged your fate shall lie,
It only lags, the fatal hour:
Your blood shall with incessant cry
Awake at last the unsparing Power.
As from the cliff, with thundering course,
The snowy ruin smokes along
With doubling speed and gathering force,
Till deep it, crushing, whelms the cottage in the vale,
So Vengeance' arm, ensanguined, strong,
Shall with resistless might assail,
Usurping Brunswick's pride shall lay,
And Stewart's wrongs and yours with tenfold weight repay.

Perdition, baleful child of night,
Rise and revenge the injured right
Of Stewart's royal race!
Lead on the un-muzzled hounds of Hell,
Till all the frightened echoes tell
The blood-notes of the chase!
Full on the quarry point their view,
Full on the base usurping crew,
The tools of faction and the nation's curse!
Hark how the cry grows on the wind;
They leave the lagging gale behind;
Their savage fury, pitiless, they pour;
With murdering eyes already they devour!
See Brunswick spent, a wretched prey,
His life one poor despairing day,
Where each avenging hour still ushers in a worse!
Such Havoc, howling all abroad,
Their utter ruin bring,
The base apostates to their God
Or rebels to their King!

 

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