"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 25 January 2010

Robert Burns 1759

No Scottish blogger or lover of Burns could allow the birthday of the Bard to go unnoticed so the following is my contribution to his memory. My grandparents were keen readers of Burns and gave us a life-long interest in his works. This poem always intrigued me as a child perhaps because, out of boredom, I too used to pass the time looking up the text of the sermon.

Epigram to Miss Ainslie in Church who was looking up the text during the sermon.

Fair maid, you need not take the hint,
Nor idle texts pursue:
'Twas guilty sinner that he meant,
Not Angels such as you.

One of my favourite Scottish singers and a favourite Burns song.


  1. Original Text

    John Anderson, my jo, John,
    I wonder what ye mean,
    To lie sae lang i' the mornin',
    And sit sae late at e'en?
    Ye'll bleer a' your een', John,
    And why do ye so?
    Come sooner to your bed at e'en,
    John Anderson, my jo.

    John Anderson, my jo, John,
    When first that ye began,
    Ye had as good a tail?trees,
    As ony ither man;
    But now its waxen wan', John,
    And wrinkles to and fro;
    I've twa gae?ups for ae gae?down,
    John Anderson, my jo.

    I'm backit' like a salmon,
    I'm breastit like a swan;
    My wameit is a down?cod
    My middle ye may span:
    Frae my tap?knot'° to my tae, John,
    I'm like the new-fa'n snow;
    And it's a' for your convenience,
    John Anderson, my jo.

    O it is a fine thing
    To keep out o'er the dyke ;
    But it's a meikle finer thing,
    To see your hurdies fyke;
    To see your hurdies fyke, John,
    And hit the rising blow;
    It's then I like your chanter-pipe,
    John Anderson, my jo.

    When ye come on before, John,
    See that ye do your best;
    When ye begin to haud me,
    See that ye grip me fast;
    See that ye grip me fast, John,
    Until that I cry `Oh!'
    Your back shall crack or I do that,
    John Anderson, my jo.

    John Anderson, my jo, John,
    Ye're welcome when ye please;
    It's either in the warm bed
    Or else aboon the claes:
    Or ye shall hae the horns, John,
    Upon your head to grow;
    An' that's the cuckold's malison,
    John Anderson, my jo.

  2. Lovely Poem and Tune, Subrosa.

  3. Thanks you scunnert. Aye we're a patriotic bunch Bunni. I'm still full of haggis and neeps and too much wine.


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