[Page 55]


O Prince, O chief of many throned pow'rs,
That led th'embattl'd Seraphim to war
1 O Thou, whatever title suit thee!
2 Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie,
3 Wha in yon cavern grim an' sootie,
4 Clos'd under hatches,
5 Spairges about the brunstane cootie,
6 To scaud poor wretches!
[Page 56]
7 Hear me, auld Hangie, for a wee,
8 An' let poor, damned bodies bee;
9 I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,
10 Ev'n to a deil,
11 To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me,
12 An' hear us squeel!
13 Great is thy pow'r, an' great thy fame;
14 Far kend an' noted is thy name;
15 An' tho' yon lowan heugh's thy hame,
16 Thou travels far;
17 An' faith! thou's neither lag nor lame,
18 Nor blate nor scaur.
19 Whyles, ranging like a roaran lion,
20 For prey, a' holes an' corners tryin;
21 Whyles, on the strong-wing'd Tempest flyin
22 Tirlan the kirks;
23 Whyles, in the human bosom pryin,
24 Unseen thou lurks.
25 I've heard my rev'rend Graunie say,
26 In lanely glens ye like to stray;
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27 Or where auld, ruin'd castles, gray,
28 Nod to the moon,
29 Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way,
30 Wi' eldritch croon.
31 When twilight did my Graunie summon,
32 To say her pray'rs, douse, honest woman!
33 Aft' yont the dyke she's heard you bumman,
34 Wi' eerie drone;
35 Or, rustling, thro' the boortries coman,
36 Wi' heavy groan.
37 Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
38 The stars shot down wi' sklentan light,
39 Wi' you, mysel, I gat a fright,
40 Ayont the lough;
41 Ye, like a rash-buss, stood in sight,
42 Wi' waving sugh.
43 The cudgel in my nieve did shake,
44 Each bristl'd hair stood like a stake,
45 When wi' an eldritch, stoor quaick, quaick
46 Amang the springs,
[Page 58]
47 Awa ye squatter'd like a drake,
48 On whistling wings,
49 Let Warlocks grim, an' wither'd Hags,
50 Tell how wi' you on ragweed nags,
51 They skim the muirs an' dizzy crags,
52 Wi' wicked speed;
53 And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,
54 Owre howcket dead.
55 Thence, countra wives, wi' toil an' pain,
56 May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain;
57 For Oh! the yellow treasure's taen.
58 By witching skill;
59 An' dawtet, twal-pint Hawkie's gane
60 As yell's the Bill.
61 Thence, mystic knots mak great abuse,
62 On Young-Guidmen, fond, keen an' croose;
63 When the best wark-lume i' the house,
64 By cantraip wit,
65 Is instant made no worth a louse,
66 Just at the bit.
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67 When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord,
68 An' float the jinglan icy boord,
69 Then, Water-kelpies haunt the foord,
70 By your direction,
71 An' nighted Trav'llers are allur'd
72 To their destruction.
73 An' aft your moss-traversing Spunkies
74 Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is:
75 The bleezan, curst, mischievous monkies
76 Delude his eyes,
77 Till in some miry slough he sunk is,
78 Ne'er mair to rise.
79 When MASONS' mystic word an' grip,
80 In storms an' tempests raise you up,
81 Some cock or cat, your rage maun stop,
82 Or, strange to tell!
83 The youngest Brother ye wad whip
84 Aff straught to H ll.
85 Lang syne in EDEN'S bonie yard,
86 When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd,
[Page 60]
87 An' all the Soul of Love they shar'd,
88 The raptur'd hour,
89 Sweet on the fragrant, flow'ry swaird,
90 In shady bow'r.
91 Then you, ye auld, snick-drawing dog!
92 Ye cam to Paradise incog,
93 An' play'd on man a cursed brogue,
94 (Black be your fa' !)
95 An' gied the infant warld a shog,
96 'Maist ruin'd a'.
97 D'ye mind that day, when in a bizz,
98 Wi' reeket duds, an' reestet gizz,
99 Ye did present your smoutie phiz,
100 'Mang better folk,
101 An' sklented on the man of Uzz,
102 Your spitefu' joke?
103 An how ye gat him i' your thrall,
104 An' brak him out o' house an' hal',
105 While scabs an' botches did him gall,
106 Wi' bitter claw,
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107 An' lows'd his ill-tongu'd, wicked Scawl
108 Was warst ava?
109 But a' your doings to rehearse,
110 Your wily snares an' fechtin fierce,
111 Sin' that day
* Vide Milton, Book 6th.
MICHAEL did you pierce,
112 Down to this time,
113 Wad ding a' Lallan tongue, or Erse,
114 In Prose or Rhyme.
115 An' now, auld Cloots, I ken ye're thinkan,
116 A certain Bardie's rantin, drinkin,
117 Some luckless hour will send him linkan,
118 To your black pit;
119 But faith! he'll turn a corner jinkan,
120 An' cheat you yet.
121 But fare-you-weel, auld Nickie-ben!
122 O wad ye tak a thought an' men'!
123 Ye aiblins might I dinna ken
124 Still hae a stake
125 I'm wae to think upo' yon den,
126 Ev'n for your sake!


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Title (in Source Edition): ADDRESS TO THE DEIL.
Author: Robert Burns
Genres: address

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Burns, Robert, 1759-1796. POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, BY ROBERT BURNS. Kilmarnock: printed by John Wilson, M,DCC,LXXXVI., 1786, pp. 55-61. 240p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T91548) (Page images digitized by National Library of Scotland.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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