Occupy Poetry

Elegy on the Year 1788

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 hae taken place!
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us!
In what a pickle thou has left us!

The Spanish empire’s tint a head,
And my auld teethless, Bawtie’s dead:
The tulyie’s teugh ’tween Pitt and Fox,
And ’tween our Maggie’s twa wee cocks;
The tane is game, a bluidy devil,
But to the hen-birds unco civil;
The tither’s something dour o’ treadin,
But better stuff ne’er claw’d a middin.

Ye ministers, come mount the poupit,
An’ cry till ye be hearse an’ roupit,
For Eighty-eight, he wished you weel,
An’ gied ye a’ baith gear an’ meal;
E’en monc a plack, and mony a peck,
Ye ken yoursels, for little feck!

Ye bonie lasses, dight your e’en,
For some o’ you hae tint a frien’;
In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was taen,
What ye’ll ne’er hae to gie again.
Observe the very nowt an’ sheep,
How dowff an’ daviely they creep;
Nay, even the yirth itsel’ does cry,
For E’nburgh 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 hast got thy Daddy’s chair;
Nae handcuff’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 you can.January, 1, 1789.



Help us build the most popular collection of engaged poetry online. ubscribe to Occupy Poetry & Stay tuned!

Back to Top