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To John Kennedy, Dumfries House


Burns Original

Standard English Translation


Now, Kennedy, if foot or horse
E'er bring you in by Mauchlin Corss
(Lord, man, there's lasses there wad force
A hermit's fancy;
And down the gate in faith! they're worse
An' mair unchancy):
But as I'm sayin, please step to Dow's,
An' taste sic gear as Johnie brews,
Till some bit callan bring me news
That ye are there;
An' if we dinna hae a bowse,
I'se ne'er drink mair.
It's no I like to sit an' swallow,
Then like a swine to puke an' wallow;
But gie me just a true guid fallow
Wi' right ingine,
And spunkie ance to mak us mellow,
An' then we'll shine!
Now if ye're ane o' warl's folk,
Wha rate the wearer by the cloak,
An' sklent on poverty their joke
Wi' bitter sneer,
Wi' you nae friendship I will troke,
Nor cheap nor dear.
But if, as I'm informed weel,
Ye hate as ill's the vera Deil
The flinty heart that canna feel -
Come, sir, here's tae you!
Hae, there's my han', I wiss you weel,
An' Gude be wi' you!


Now, Kennedy, if foot or horse
Ever bring you in by Mauchlin Cross
(Lord, man, there are lasses there would force
A hermit's fancy;
And down the way in faith! they are worse
And more dangerous):

But as I am saying, please step to Dow's,
And taste such stuff (ale) as Johnie brews,
Until some small boy bring me news
That you are there;
And if we do not have a booze (drink),
I will never drink no more.

It is not that I like to sit and swallow (drink),
Then like a swine to puke (be sick) and wallow;
But give me just a true good fellow
With right wit,
And liquor enough to make us mellow,
And then we will shine!

Now if you are one of the worlds folk,
Who rate the wearer by the cloak,
And squint on poverty their joke
With bitter sneer,
With you no friendship I will barter,
Nor cheap nor dear.

But if, as I am informed well,
You hate as ill as the very Devil
The flinty heart that can not feel -
Come, sir, here is to you!
Here, there is my hand, I wish you well,
And God be with you!


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