Thare jist three things in life that maks me fain,|
Three things o whilk Iíll never get eneuch:
Itís lassies, howffs an dice; an thaim alane
Can set my lichtsome hert tae reel an heuch.
But seenil can I gang an hae a rant,
For tuim an lichtís my purse: I whiles maun lee
Saeís nane sall kenít an lichtlie aa my want:
Wi feint the siller, feint the ploys for me.
An syne I say, "Deil prog him wi a lance!" -
My moolie Faither, sen he keeps me yaup,
An sae ill-aff I bude crowl hame frae France.
As suin yeíd wile a bodle frae his grup,
Tho it war Yuil, when cadgers get their chance,
As see an aigle dung doun by a whaup.
There are only three things in life that please me,|
Three things of which Iíll never have enough:
They are girls, taverns and dice: and only those
Can set my cheerful heart to dance and whoop.
But seldom can I go and have a carry-on,
For empty and light is my purse: I sometimes have to lie
So that nobody will know it and mock all my poverty:
With devil the money, devil the fun for me.
And then I say, "The devil stab him with a lance!" -
My miserly Father, since he keeps me hungry
And so impoverished that I had to crawl home from France.
You could as soon coax a farthing from his grip,
Even if it were Christmas, when beggars get their hand-out,
As see an eagle beaten down by a curlew.
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Trans. Copyright © J.D.McClure 2005