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Impromptu On Mrs. Riddell's Birthday
4th November, 1793

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
Old Winter, with his frosty beard,
Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred:--
' What have I done of all the year,
To bear this hated doom severe?
My cheerless suns no pleasure know;
Night's horrid car drags dreary slow;
My dismal months no joy are crowning,
But spleeny, English hanging, drowning.
2.
Now Jove, for once be mighty civil:
To counterbalance all this evil
Give me, and I've no more to say,
Give me Maria's natal day!
That brilliant gift shall so enrich me,
Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me.'
' 'Tis done!' says Jove; so ends my story,
And Winter once rejoiced in glory.


Old Winter, with his frosty beard,
Thus once to Jove his prayer preferred:--
' What have I done of all the year,
To bear this hated doom severe?
My cheerless suns no pleasure know;
Night's horrid car drags dreary slow;
My dismal months no joy are crowning,
But spleeny, English hanging, drowning.

Now Jove, for once be mighty civil:
To counterbalance all this evil
Give me, and I have no more to say,
Give me Maria's natal day!
That brilliant gift shall so enrich me,
Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me.'
' It is done!' says Jove; so ends my story,
And Winter once rejoiced in glory.

 

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