Weekly Interlinear Poem





This is the poem
for the week of October 5.
A new interlinear poem
is available each Monday.

Send me e-mail - robert15115@gmail.com
Robert Jackson

Address to the Unco Good, Or the Rigidly Righteous

-Robert Burns



My son, these maxims make a rule
And lump them all together:
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
The Rigid Wise another.
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight
dight=sifted
May have some piles of chaff in,
So ne'er a fellow creature slight
For random fits of daffin.
daffin=making merry
(Ecclesiastes 7:16)

O you, who are so good yoursel,
So pious and so holy,
You've nought to do but mark and tell
Your neighbors' faults and folly,
Whose life is like a weel-gaun mill,
whose=neighbors'
weel-gaun=well going

Supplied with store of water,
The heapet happer's ebbing still,
heapet happer=heaped hopper of a mill
ebbing=fading away

And still the clap plays clatter!
clap=clapper of a mill (a piece of timber that strikes the hopper)
plays clatter=makes a clatter
(the neighbors' life is noisy and ebbing)


Hear me, you venerable core,
venerable=impressive because of age or dignity
core=group/company of people

As counsel for poor mortals
(the poet is counsel for the thoughtless and careless)
That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door
frequent=frequently
pass=pass by
douce=sedate

For glaikit Folly's portals:
glaikit=thoughtless
I for their thoughtless, careless sakes
Would here propone defenses -
propone=propose/present before a jury or judge
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
donsie=unfortunate
Their failings and mischances.

You see your state with theirs compared
theirs=the state of the thoughtless and careless
And shudder at the niffer,
the niffer=trading places
But cast a moment's fair regard,
What makes the mighty differ?
differ=different
Discount what scant occasion gave,
scant occasion=luck
That purity you pride in,
And (what's oft more than all the lave)
lave=rest
Your better art of hidin.
hidin=hiding

Think, when your castigated pulse
castigated pulse=pangs from being accused
Gives now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,
his veins=veins of the thoughtless and careless
That still eternal gallop!
With wind and tide fair in your tail,
Right on you scud your seaway,
But in the teeth of both to sail,
in the teeth of both=facing wind and tide
It makes an unco leeway.
unco leeway=uncomfortable flexibility

See Social Life and Glee sit down
All joyous and unthinking,
Till, quite transmogrified, they're grown
transmogrified=transformed
Debauchery and Drinking.
(Social Life and Glee turn into Debauchery and Drinking)
O, would they stay to calculate
Th' eternal consequences
Or - your more dreaded hell to state -
Damnation of expenses!
damnation of expenses=damnation caused by expenses

You high, exalted, virtuous dames,
Tied up in godly laces,
Before you give poor Frailty names,
Suppose a change of cases:
A dear-lov'd lad, convenience snug,
A treacherous inclination -
But, let me whisper in your lug,
lug=ear
You're aiblins no temptation.
aiblins=perhaps

Then gently scan your brother man,
Still gentler sister woman.
Though they may gang a kennin wrang,
gang a kennin wrang=go a little wrong
To step aside is human.
One point must still be greatly dark,
The moving why they do it,
moving=motivation
And just as lamely can you mark
lamely=poorly/weakly
How far perhaps they rue it.

Who made the heart, 'tis He alone
Decidedly can try us.
try=judge at a trial
He knows each chord, its various tone,
Each spring, its various bias.
(some musical instruments have springs)
bias=inclinations

Then at the balance let's be mute,
balance=final judgment
We never can adjust it.
What's done we partly may compute
compute=figure out
But know not what's resisted.
resisted=been struggled with

My son, these maxims make a rule
And lump them all together:
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
The Rigid Wise another.
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight
May have some piles of chaff in,
So ne'er a fellow creature slight
For random fits of daffin.
(Ecclesiastes 7:16)

O you, who are so good yoursel,
So pious and so holy,
You've nought to do but mark and tell
Your neighbors' faults and folly,
Whose life is like a well-gaun mill,
Supplied with store of water,
The heapet happer's ebbing still,
And still the clap plays clatter!

Hear me, you venerable core,
As counsel for poor mortals
That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door
For glaikit Folly's portals:
I for their thoughtless, careless sakes
Would here propone defenses -
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
Their failings and mischances.

You see your state with theirs compared
And shudder at the niffer,
But cast a moment's fair regard,
What makes the mighty differ?
Discount what scant occasion gave,
That purity you pride in,
And (what's oft more than all the lave)
Your better art of hidin.

Think, when your castigated pulse
Gives now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,
That still eternal gallop!
With wind and tide fair in your tail,
Right on you scud your seaway,
But in the teeth of both to sail,
It makes an unco leeway.

See Social-life and Glee sit down
All joyous and unthinking,
Till, quite transmogrify'd, they're grown
Debauchery and Drinking.
O, would they stay to calculate
Th' eternal consequences
Or - your more dreaded hell to state -
Damnation of expenses!

You high, exalted, virtuous dames,
Tied up in godly laces,
Before you give poor Frailty names,
Suppose a change of cases:
A dear-lov'd lad, convenience snug,
A treach'rous inclination -
But, let me whisper in your lug,
You're aiblins no temptation.

Then gently scan your brother man,
Still gentler sister woman.
Though they may gang a kennin wrang,
To step aside is human.
One point must still be greatly dark,
The moving why they do it,
And just as lamely can you mark
How far perhaps they rue it.

Who made the heart, 'tis He alone
Decidedly can try us.
He knows each chord, its various tone,
Each spring, its various bias.
Then at the balance let's be mute,
We never can adjust it.
What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.