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Extempore In The Court Of Session

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

Lord Advocate
He clench'd his pamphlets in his fist,
He quoted and he hinted,
Till in a declamation-mist
His argument, he tint it:
He gaped for't, he graped for't,
He fand it was awa, man;
But what his common sense came short,
He eked out wi' the law, man.
Mr. Erskine
Collected, Harry stood awee,
Then open'd out his arm, man;
His Lordship sat wi' ruefu' e'e,
And ey'd the gathering storm, man;
Like wind-driv'n hail it did assail,
Or torrents owre a linn, man;
The Bench sae wise lift up their eyes,
Hauf-wauken'd wi' the din, man.


He clenched his pamphlets in his fist,
He quoted and he hinted,
Till in a declamation-mist
His argument, he lost it:
He gaped for it, he groped for it,
He found it was away, man;
But what his common sense came short,
He eked out with the law, man.

Collected, Harry stood a moment,
Then opened out his arm, man;
His Lordship sat with rueful eye,
And eyed the gathering storm, man;
Like wind-driven hail it did assail,
Or torrents over a waterfall, man;
The Bench so wise lift up their eyes,
Half awakened with the din, man.

 

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