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On John Rankine

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation

 

Ae day, as Death, that gruesome carl,
Was driving to the tither warl'
A mixtie-maxtie, motley squad
And monie a guilt-bespotted lad:
Black gowns of each denomination,



And thieves of every rank and station,
From him that wears the star and garter
To him that wintles in a halter:
Asham'd himself to see the wretches,
He mutters, glow'ring at the bitches: -
'By God I'll not be seen behint them.
Nor 'mang the sp'ritual core present them,
Without at least ae honest man
To grace this damn'd infernal clan!'
By Adamhill a glance he threw,
'Lord God!' quoth he, 'I have it now,
There's just the man I want, i' faith!'
And quickly stoppit Rankine's breath.

 

One day, as Death, that gruesome fellow,
Was driving to the other world
A miscellaneous, motley squad
And many a guilt spotted lad:
Black gowns of each denomination,

(preachers and lawyers)

And thieves of every rank and station,
From him that wears the star and garter
To him that swings in a halter:
Ashamed himself to see the wretches,
He mutters, glowering at the bitches: -
'By God I will not be seen behind them.
Nor among the spiritual core present them,
Without at least one honest man
To grace this damned infernal clan!'
By Adamhill a glance he threw,
'Lord God!' said he, 'I have it now,
There is just the man I want, in faith!'
And quickly stopped Rankine's breath.

 

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