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Translation
Index


Nature's Law

Humbly Inscribed To Gavin Hamilton, Esquire.

Great Nature spoke, observant man obeyed.
Pope

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

1.
Let other heroes boast their scars,
The marks o' sturt and strife,
But other poets sing of wars,
The plagues o' human life!
Shame fa' the fun: wi' sword and gun
To slap mankind like lumber!
I sing his name and nobler fame
Wha multiplies our number.
2.
Great Nature spoke, with air benign: -
'Go on, ye human race;
This lower world I you resign;
Be fruitful and increase.
The liquid fire of strong desire,
I've poured it in each bosom;
Here on this hand does Mankind stand,
And there, is Beauty's blossom!'
3.
The Hero of these artless strains,
A lowly Bard was he,
Who sung his rhymes in Coila's plains
With meikle mirth and glee:
Kind Nature's care had given his share
Large of the flaming current;
And, all devout, he never sought
To stem the sacred torrent.
4.
He felt the powerful, high behest
Thrill vital thro' and thro';
And sought a correspondent breast
To give obedience due.
Propitious Powers screen'd the young flow'rs
From mildews of abortion;
And lo! the Bard - a great reward --
Has got a double portion!
5.
Auld cantie Coil may count the day,
As annual it returns,
The third of Libra's equal sway,
That gave another Burns,
With future rhymes an' other times
To emulate his sire,
To sing auld Coil in nobler style
With more poetic fire!
6.
Ye Powers of peace and peaceful song,
Look down with gracious eyes,
And bless auld Coila large and long
With multiplying joys!
Lang may she stand to prop the land,
The flow'r of ancient nations,
And Burnses spring her fame to sing
To endless generations!


Let other heroes boast their scars,
The marks of struggle and strife,
But other poets sing of wars,
The plagues of human life!
Shame befall the fun: with sword and gun
To slap mankind like lumber!
I sing his name and nobler fame
Who multiplies our number.

Great Nature spoke, with air benign: -
'Go on, you human race;
This lower world I you resign;
Be fruitful and increase.
The liquid fire of strong desire,
I have poured it in each bosom;
Here on this hand does Mankind stand,
And there, is Beauty's blossom!'

The Hero of these artless strains,
A lowly Bard was he,
Who sung his rhymes in Coila's plains
With much mirth and glee:
Kind Nature's care had given his share
Large of the flaming current;
And, all devout, he never sought
To stem the sacred torrent.

He felt the powerful, high behest (command)
Thrill vital through and through;
And sought a correspondent breast
To give obedience due.
Propitious Powers screened the young flowers
From mildews of abortion;
And lo! the Bard - a great reward --
Has got a double portion!

Old jolly Coil may count the day,
As annual it returns,
The third of Libra's (September's) equal sway,
That gave another Burns,
With future rhymes and other times
To emulate his sire,
To sing old Coil in nobler style
With more poetic fire!

You Powers of peace and peaceful song,
Look down with gracious eyes,
And bless old Coila large and long
With multiplying joys!
Long may she stand to prop the land,
The flower of ancient nations,
And Burnses spring her fame to sing
To endless generations!

 

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