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112. A Dream

Written by: Robert Burns | Biography
 | Quotes (31) |
 GUID-MORNIN’ to our Majesty!
 May Heaven augment your blisses
On ev’ry new birth-day ye see,
 A humble poet wishes.
My bardship here, at your Levee
 On sic a day as this is,
Is sure an uncouth sight to see,
 Amang thae birth-day dresses
 Sae fine this day.


I see ye’re complimented thrang,
 By mony a lord an’ lady;
“God save the King” ’s a cuckoo sang
 That’s unco easy said aye:
The poets, too, a venal gang,
 Wi’ rhymes weel-turn’d an’ ready,
Wad gar you trow ye ne’er do wrang,
 But aye unerring steady,
 On sic a day.


For me! before a monarch’s face
 Ev’n there I winna flatter;
For neither pension, post, nor place,
 Am I your humble debtor:
So, nae reflection on your Grace,
 Your Kingship to bespatter;
There’s mony waur been o’ the race,
 And aiblins ane been better
 Than you this day.

’Tis very true, my sovereign King,
 My skill may weel be doubted;
But facts are chiels that winna ding,
 An’ downa be disputed:
Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
 Is e’en right reft and clouted,
And now the third part o’ the string,
 An’ less, will gang aboot it
 Than did ae day. 1


Far be’t frae me that I aspire
 To blame your legislation,
Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire,
 To rule this mighty nation:
But faith! I muckle doubt, my sire,
 Ye’ve trusted ministration
To chaps wha in barn or byre
 Wad better fill’d their station
 Than courts yon day.


And now ye’ve gien auld Britain peace,
 Her broken shins to plaister,
Your sair taxation does her fleece,
 Till she has scarce a tester:
For me, thank God, my life’s a lease,
 Nae bargain wearin’ faster,
Or, faith! I fear, that, wi’ the geese,
 I shortly boost to pasture
 I’ the craft some day.


I’m no mistrusting Willie Pitt,
 When taxes he enlarges,
(An’ Will’s a true guid fallow’s get,
 A name not envy spairges),
That he intends to pay your debt,
 An’ lessen a’ your charges;
But, God-sake! let nae saving fit
 Abridge your bonie barges
 An’boats this day.


Adieu, my Liege; may freedom geck
 Beneath your high protection;
An’ may ye rax Corruption’s neck,
 And gie her for dissection!
But since I’m here, I’ll no neglect,
 In loyal, true affection,
To pay your Queen, wi’ due respect,
 May fealty an’ subjection
 This great birth-day.


Hail, Majesty most Excellent!
 While nobles strive to please ye,
Will ye accept a compliment,
 A simple poet gies ye?
Thae bonie bairntime, Heav’n has lent,
 Still higher may they heeze ye
In bliss, till fate some day is sent
 For ever to release ye
 Frae care that day.


For you, young Potentate o’Wales,
 I tell your highness fairly,
Down Pleasure’s stream, wi’ swelling sails,
 I’m tauld ye’re driving rarely;
But some day ye may gnaw your nails,
 An’ curse your folly sairly,
That e’er ye brak Diana’s pales,
 Or rattl’d dice wi’ Charlie
 By night or day.


Yet aft a ragged cowt’s been known,
 To mak a noble aiver;
So, ye may doucely fill the throne,
 For a’their clish-ma-claver:
There, him 2 at Agincourt wha shone,
 Few better were or braver:
And yet, wi’ funny, queer Sir John, 3
 He was an unco shaver
 For mony a day.


For you, right rev’rend Osnaburg,
 Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter,
Altho’ a ribbon at your lug
 Wad been a dress completer:
As ye disown yon paughty dog,
 That bears the keys of Peter,
Then swith! an’ get a wife to hug,
 Or trowth, ye’ll stain the mitre
 Some luckless day!


Young, royal Tarry-breeks, I learn,
 Ye’ve lately come athwart her—
A glorious galley, 4 stem and stern,
 Weel rigg’d for Venus’ barter;
But first hang out, that she’ll discern,
 Your hymeneal charter;
Then heave aboard your grapple airn,
 An’ large upon her quarter,
 Come full that day.


Ye, lastly, bonie blossoms a’,
 Ye royal lasses dainty,
Heav’n mak you guid as well as braw,
 An’ gie you lads a-plenty!
But sneer na British boys awa!
 For kings are unco scant aye,
An’ German gentles are but sma’,
 They’re better just than want aye
 On ony day.


Gad bless you a’! consider now,
 Ye’re unco muckle dautit;
But ere the course o’ life be through,
 It may be bitter sautit:
An’ I hae seen their coggie fou,
 That yet hae tarrow’t at it.
But or the day was done, I trow,
 The laggen they hae clautit
 Fu’ clean that day.


 Note 1. The American colonies had recently been lost. [back]
Note 2. King Henry V.—R. B. [back]
Note 3. Sir John Falstaff, vid. Shakespeare.—R. B. [back]
Note 4. Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain Royal sailor’s amour.—R. B. This was Prince William Henry, third son of George III, afterward King William IV. [back]



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