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Poem by Robert Burns

The Ordination

KTLMARNOCK wabsters, fidge and claw,
  An pour your creeshie nations;
An ye wha leather rax an draw,
  Of a denominations;
Swith to the Laigh Kirk, ane an a,
  An there tak up your stations;
Then aff to Begbies in a raw,
  An pour divine libations
        For joy this day.

Curst Common-sense, that imp o hell,
  Cam in wi Maggie Lauder;
But Oliphant aft made her yell,
  An Russel sair miscad her;
This day Mackinlay takes the flail,
  An hes the boy will blaud her!
Hell clap a shangan on her tail,
  An set the bairns to daud her
        Wi dirt this day.

Mak haste an turn king David owre,
  An lilt wi holy clangor;
O double verse come gie us four,
  An skirl up the Bangor:
This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure,
  Nae mair the knaves shall wrang her,
For Heresy is in her powr,
  And gloriously shell whang her
        Wi pith this day.

Come, let a proper text be read,
  An touch it aff wi vigour,
How graceless Ham leugh at his dad,
  Which, made Canaan a nigger;
Or Phineas drove the murdering blade,
  Wi whore-abhorring rigour;
Or Zipporah, the scauldin jad,
  Was like a bluidy tiger
        I th inn that day.

There try his mettle on the creed,
  And bind him down, wi caution
That stipend is a carnal weed
  He takes but for the fashion;
An gie him oer the flock,-to feed,
  And punish each transgression;
Especial, rams that cross the breed-
  Gie them sufficient threshin,
        Spare them nae day.

Now, auld Kilmarnock, cock thy tail,
  An toss thy horns fu canty;
Nae mair thoult rowte out-owre the dale,
  Because thy pastures scanty;
For lapfus large o gospel kail
  Shall fill thy crib in plenty,
An runts o grace the pick an wale,
  No gien by way o dainty,
        But ilka day.

Nae mair by Babel streams well weep,
  To think upon our Zion;
And hing our fiddles up to sleep,
  Like baby-clouts a-dryin:
Come, screw the pegs wi tunefu cheep,
  And oer the thairms be tryin;
O rare! to see our elbucks wheep,
  And a like lamb-tails flyin
        Fu fast this day!

Lang patronage, wi rod o airn,
  Has shord the Kirks undoin,
As lately Fenwick, sair forfairn,
  Has proven to its ruin:
Our patron, honest man!  Glencairn,
  He saw mischief was brewin:
An like a godly elect bairn,
  Hes wald us out a true ane,
        And sound this day.

Now Robertson, harangue nae mair,
  But steek your gab for ever;
Or try the wicked town of Ayr,
  For there theyll think you clever;
Or, nae reflection on your lear,
  Ye may commence a shaver;
Or to the Netherton repair,
  And turn a carpet-weaver
        Aff-hand this day.

Mutrie and you were just a match,
  We never had sic twa drones;
Auld Hornie did the Laigh Kirk watch,
  Just like a winkin baudrons;
And aye he catchd the tither wretch,
  To fry them in his caudrons;
But now his Honour maun detach,
  Wi a his brimstone squadrons,
        Fast, fast this day.

See, see auld Orthodoxys faes
  Shes swingein thro the city;
Hark how the nine-taild cat she plays!
  I vow its unco pretty!
There Learning, with his Greekish face,
  Grunts out some Latin ditty;
And Common-sense is pun, she says,
  To mak to Jamie Beattie
        Her plaint this day.

But theres Morality himsel,
  Embracing all opinions;
Hear how he gies the tither yell,
  Between his twa companions;
See how she peels the skin an fell,
  As ane were peelin onions!
Now there, theyre packed aff to hell,
  And banishd our dominions
        Henceforth this day.

O happy day! rejoice, rejoice!
  Come bouse about the porter!
Moralitys demure decoys
  Shall here nae mair find quarter:
Mackinlay, Russel, are the boys
  That heresy can torture;
Theyll gie her on a rape a hoyse,
  And cowe her measure shorter
        By th head some day.

Come, bring the tither mutchkin in,
  And heres, for a conclusion,
To every New Light mothers son
  From this time forth, Confusion!
If mair they deave us wi their din,
  Or patronage intrusion,
Well light a spunk, and, evry skin,
  Well rin them aff in fusion
        Like oil, some day.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. Epitaph on Wee Johnny
  2. The Cairds Second Song
  3. The Sailors Song
  4. Prologue, Spoken at the Theatre, Dumfries, on New Years Day Evening [1790]
  5. To Dr. Maxwell, on Miss Jessy Staigs Recovery

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