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On A Scotch Bard

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

On A Scotch Bard
Gone to the West Indies
1.
A' ye wha live by sowps o' drink,
A' ye wha live by crambo-clink,
A' ye wha live and never think,
Come, mourn wi' me!
Our billie 's gien us a' a jink,
An' owre the sea!
2.
Lament him a' ye rantin core,
Wha dearly like a random-splore;
Nae mair he'll join the merry roar
In social key;
For now he's taen anither shore,
An' owre the sea!
3.
The bonie lasses weel may wiss him,
And in their dear petitions place him:
The widows, wives, an' a' may bless him
Wi' tearfu' e'e,
For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him
That's owre the sea!
4.
O Fortune, they hae room to grumble!
Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummie,
Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble,
'Twad been nae plea;
But he was gleg as onie wumble,
That's owre the sea!
5.
Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear,
An' stain them wi' the saut, saut tear:
'Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,
In flinders flee:
He was her Laureat monie a year,
That's owre the sea!
6.
He saw Misfortune's cauld nor-west
Lang-mustering up a bitter blast:
A jillet brak his heart at last,
Ill may she be!
So, took a birth afore the mast,
An' owre the sea.
7.
To tremble under Fortune's cummock,
On scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock,
Wi' his proud, independent stomach,
Could ill agree;
So, row't his hurdies in a hammock,
An' owre the sea.
8.
He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in;
Wi' him it ne'er was under hiding,
He dealt it free:
The Muse was a' that he took pride in,
That's owre the sea.
9.
Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
An' hap him in a cozie biel:
Ye'll find him ay a dainty chiel,
An' fou o' glee:
He wad na wrang'd the vera Deil,
That's owre the sea.
10.
Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie!
Your native soil was right ill-willie;
But may ye flourish like a lily,
Now bonilie!
I'll toast you in my hindmost gillie,
Tho' owre the sea!

 

On A Scottish Poet
Gone to the West Indies

All you who live by sups of drink,
All you who live by rhyme,
All you who live and never think,
Come, mourn with me!
Our comrade has given us all the slip,
And over the sea!

Lament him all you jovial core (set),
Who dearly like a random frolic;
No more he will join the merry roar
In social key;
For now he has taken another shore,
And over the sea!

The lovely girls well may wish him,
And in their dear petitions place him:
The widows, wives, and all may bless him
With tearful eye,
For well I wot (know) they will sorely miss him
That is over the sea!

O Fortune, they have room to grumble!
Had you taken off some drowsy drone,
Who can do nothing but fuss and fumble,
It would been no plea;
But he was nimble as any wimble,
That is over the sea!

Old, cheerful Kyle may weepers wear,
And stain them with the salt, salt tear:
It will make her poor old heart, I fear,
In splinters flee:
He was her Laureate many a year,
That is over the sea!

He saw Misfortune's cold north-west (wind)
Long-mustering up a bitter blast:
A jilt broke his heart at last,
Ill may she be!
So, took a berth before the mast (as a sailor),
And over the sea.

To tremble under Fortune's rod,
On scarce a bellyful of oatmeal and water,
With his proud, independent stomach,
Could ill agree;
So, rolled his buttocks in a hammock,
And over the sea.

He never was given to great misguiding,
Yet money his pockets would not stay in;
With him it never was under hiding,
He dealt it free:
The Muse was all that he took pride in,
That's over the sea.

Jamaica bodies, use him well,
And shelter him in a cozy place:
You will find him always a dainty young fellow,
And full of glee:
He would not have wronged the very Devil,
That is over the sea.

Farewell, my rhyme-composing comrade!
Your native soil was right unkind;
But may you flourish like a lily,
Now lovely (well)!
I will toast you in my last gill,
Although over the sea!

 

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