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Index


Look Up And See!

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
Noo, Davie Sillar, that's the plan,
Quo I, last night, when in my han
I gaed your latest screed a scan
Rebukin me
About your model name-sake man -
Look up and see!
2.
Altho it may be unexpectit,
An' few the facts hae yet detectit,
My Bible hasna been negleckit
Sin I was wee,
And nae sma lore I hae colleckit, --
Look up and see!
3.
Bad as I am, or hae been ca'd
By jauds that lang hae at me jaw'd
And priests that fain my pash had claw'd,
I winna lee,
King David's life ye less can laud, --
Look up and see!
4.
Gin I had but a Gowdie's airt
At treating him to his desert,
This saintship after God's ain he'rt,
As said to be,
I'd prove a villain maist expert -
Look up and see!
5.
Ay, though that Jesus styled Divine
Is shown to be o' David's line
Thro mair than ae poor concubine,
The pedigree
Has plaguit ither heids than mine, --
Look up and see!
6.
I'm sure, my frien, ye never heard
That I, although like him a Bard,
Wi' daft, unseemly dancin garr'd
My shanks to flee,
Till a' the decencies were jarr'd -
Look up and see!
7.
His wife, at least ane o' the lot,
Since by the score he had them got,
For thinkin him a filthy snot -
Saul's dochter she -
A cruel curse at her he shot -
Look up and see!
8.
And neist his tricks wi' Abigail:
Her man or lang begood to ail
And was as ye may read the tale
Alloo'd to dee;
Syne David did the widow nail -
Look up and see!

('David did the widow nail',
a euphemism for taking her to bed!)

9.
And wha his conduct could defen
When like a coward, as we ken,
He sacrificed sae mony men
Upon the plea
God bann'd the Census Takkers pen? -
Look up and see!
10.
He was a cruel Man o' War
And for his plunder traivell'd far
Defenceless fowk to mash and mar
And spill their bree
In bluidy streams among the glaur -
Look up and see!
11.
And some for unco little cause
He cut wi' harrows and wi' saws:
Wha likes for that may shout huzzahs,
I'll never gie
Sic fiendish deeins my applause -
Look up and see!
12.
None spared he in his anger wild;
Not age itself, nor yet the child,
Although upon the sword it smiled
Or crow'd in glee -
How can the texts be reconciled? -
Look up and see!
13.
For David, as the scriptures say,
As black a rascal in his day
As ony Tyrant noo we hae
Or e'er may dree
Was God's especial protégé -
Look up and see!
14.
Can parsons, think ye, close the lid
And keep the awfu' story hid
On hoo the rascal - God forbid
We e'er sud pree
What he to puir Uriah did -
Look up and see!
15.
And since the Psalmist, as we learn,
Gat stown Bath-Sheba twice wi' bairn
He must hae had a hert o' airn
To shut his e'e
To Nathan's reprimandin stern -
Look up and see!
16.
Fine stock they were we maun alloo!
Himsel - we ken wha he cam through -
And Solomon they'd gar us true
Bore Wisdom's Key,
But here's my best advice to you -
Look up and see!
17.
Foul-mouth'd auld Davie also was
And mony proofs your Bible has
O' his inspired profaneness as
Ye maun agree
If 'tis as in my copy 'twas -
Look up and see!
18.
E'en lyin on the bed o' Death
The scoundrel, bent on spreadin scaith,
Kept up his cursin tongue, in faith
Ne'er stoppit he
Till Cloutie chokit aff his breath -
Look up and see!
19.
And yet in face o' a' his record,
His lang career sae vilely checker'd,
And hoo his licht sae aften flicker'd,
In Heaven hie
Nae angel's seat in better siccar'd -
Look up and see!
20.
I've read my Bible, Davie man,
And that's the reason hoo I stan
Opposed to a' the pious ban
That bow the knee
To saints o' royal David's clan -
Look up and see!
21.
Should a' be true the prophets tell,
If I the lines am fit to spell,
King David mair o' dirt should smell
Than Deity,
And gin there's sic a place as Hell -
Look up and see!


Now, Davie Sillar, that is the plan,
Said I, last night, when in my hand
I gave your latest screed a scan
Rebuking me
About your model name-sake man -
Look up and see!

Although it may be unexpected,
And few the facts have yet detected,
My Bible has not been neglected
Since I was little,
And no small lore I have collected, --
Look up and see!

Bad as I am, or have been called
By women that long have at me jawed
And priests that fondly my pash had clawed,
I would not lie,
King David's life you less can laud, --
Look up and see!

If I had but a Gowdie's art
At treating him to his desert,
This saintship after God's own heart,
As said to be,
I would prove a villain most expert -
Look up and see!

Yes, though that Jesus styled Divine
Is shown to be of David's line
Through more than one poor concubine,
The pedigree
Has plagued other heads than mine, --
Look up and see!

I am sure, my friend, you never heard
That I, although like him a Bard,
With daft, unseemly dancing compelled
My shanks (legs) to fly,
Till all the decencies were jarred -
Look up and see!

His wife, at least one of the lot,
Since by the score he had them got,
For thinking him a filthy snot -
Saul's daughter she -
A cruel curse at her he shot -
Look up and see!

And next his tricks with Abigail:
Her man or long began to ail
And was as you may read the tale
Allowed to die;
Then David did the widow nail -
Look up and see!





And who his conduct could defend
When like a coward, as we know,
He sacrificed so many men
Upon the plea
God banned the Census Takers pen? -
Look up and see!

He was a cruel Man of War
And for his plunder traveled far
Defenseless folk to mash and mar
And spill their blood
In bloody streams among the muck -
Look up and see!

And some for uncommon little cause
He cut with harrows and with saws:
Who likes for that may shout huzzahs,
I will never give
Such fiendish doings my applause -
Look up and see!

None spared he in his anger wild;
Not age itself, nor yet the child,
Although upon the sword it smiled
Or crowed in glee -
How can the texts be reconciled? -
Look up and see!

For David, as the scriptures say,
As black a rascal in his day
As any Tyrant now we have
Or ever may dread
Was God's especial protégé -
Look up and see!

Can parsons, think you, close the lid
And keep the awful story hid
On how the rascal - God forbid
We ever should praise
What he to poor Uriah did -
Look up and see!

And since the Psalmist, as we learn,
Got stolen Bath-Sheba twice with child
He must have had a heart of iron
To shut his eye
To Nathan's reprimanding stern -
Look up and see!

Fine stock they were we must allow!
Himself - we know who he came through -
And Solomon they would make us true
Bore Wisdom's Key,
But here is my best advice to you -
Look up and see!

Foul-mouthed old Davie also was
And many proofs your Bible has
Of his inspired profaneness as
You must agree
If it is as in my copy it was -
Look up and see!

Even lying on the bed of Death
The scoundrel, bent on spreading trouble,
Kept up his cursing tongue, in faith
Never stopped did he
Till the Devil choked off his breath -
Look up and see!

And yet in face of all his record,
His long career so vilely checkered,
And how his light so often flickered,
In Heaven high
No angel's seat in better secured -
Look up and see!

I have read my Bible, Davie man,
And that is the reason how I stand
Opposed to all the pious band
That bow the knee
To saints of royal David's clan -
Look up and see!

Should all be true the prophets tell,
If I the lines am fit to spell,
King David more of dirt should smell
Than Deity,
And if there is such a place as Hell -
Look up and see!

 

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