Elegy on the Year 1788. A Sketch (Poem by Robert Burns)

Old Poem



Elegy
On the Year 1788
A Sketch
By Robert Burns


For Lords or Kings I dinna mourn,
E’en let them die — for that they’re born,
But oh! prodigious to reflec’!
A Towmont, Sirs, is gane to wreck!
O Eighty-eight, in thy sma’ space
What dire events ha’e taken place!
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us!
In what a pickle thou hast left us!

The Spanish empire’s tint a-head,
An’ my auld toothless Bawtie’s dead;
The tulzie’s sair ’tween Pitt and Fox,
And our guid wife’s wee birdie cocks;
The tane is game, a bluidie devil,
But to the hen-birds unco civil:
The tither’s something dour o’ treadin’,
But better stuff ne’er claw’d a midden — 
Ye ministers, come mount the pu’pit,
An’ cry till ye be hearse an’ roupet,
For Eighty-eight he wish’d you weel,
An’ gied you a’ baith gear an’ meal;
E’en mony a plack, and mony a peck,
Ye ken yoursels, for little feck!

Ye bonnie lasses, dight your e’en,
For some o’ you ha’e tint a frien’;
In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was ta’en,
What ye’ll ne’er ha’e to gie again.

Observe the very nowt an’ sheep,
How dowf and dowie now they creep;
Nay, even the yirth itsel’ does cry,
For Embro’ wells are grutten dry.
O Eighty-nine, thou’s but a bairn,
An’ no owre auld, I hope, to learn!
Thou beardless boy, I pray tak’ care,
Thou now has got thy daddy’s chair,
Nae hand-cuff’d, mizl’d, hap-shackl’d Regent,
But, like himsel’ a full free agent.
Be sure ye follow out the plan
Nae waur than he did, honest man!
As muckle better as ye can.

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