The Kirk's Alarm. - A Ballad. (Second Version.)

A poem by Robert Burns

I.

Orthodox, orthodox,
Who believe in John Knox,
Let me sound an alarm to your conscience,
There's a heretic blast,
Has been blawn i' the wast,
That what is not sense must be nonsense,
Orthodox,
That what is not sense must be nonsense.

II.

Doctor Mac, Doctor Mac,
Ye should stretch on a rack,
And strike evil doers wi' terror;
To join faith and sense,
Upon any pretence,
Was heretic damnable error,
Doctor Mac,
Was heretic damnable error.

III.

Town of Ayr, town of Ayr,
It was rash I declare,
To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing;
Provost John is still deaf,
To the church's relief,
And orator Bob is its ruin,
Town Of Ayr,
And orator Bob is its ruin.

IV.

D'rymple mild, D'rymple mild,
Tho' your heart's like a child,
And your life like the new-driven snaw,
Yet that winna save ye,
Old Satan must have ye
For preaching that three's are an' twa,
D'rymple mild,
For preaching that three's are an' twa.

V.

Calvin's sons, Calvin's sons,
Seize your spiritual guns,
Ammunition ye never can need;
Your hearts are the stuff,
Will be powder enough,
And your skulls are a storehouse of lead,
Calvin's sons,
And your skulls are a storehouse of lead.

VI.

Rumble John, Rumble John,
Mount the steps with a groan,
Cry the book is with heresy cramm'd;
Then lug out your ladle,
Deal brimstone like aidle,
And roar every note o' the damn'd,
Rumble John,
And roar every note o' the damn'd.

VII.

Simper James, Simper James,
Leave the fair Killie dames,
There's a holier chase in your view;
I'll lay on your head,
That the pack ye'll soon lead,
For puppies like you there's but few,
Simper James,
For puppies like you there's but few.

VIII.

Singet Sawnie, Singet Sawnie,
Are ye herding the penny,
Unconscious what danger awaits?
With a jump, yell, and howl,
Alarm every soul,
For Hannibal's just at your gates,
Singet Sawnie,
For Hannibal's just at your gates.

IX.

Andrew Gowk, Andrew Gowk,
Ye may slander the book,
And the book nought the waur, let me tell you;
Tho' ye're rich and look big,
Yet lay by hat and wig,
And ye'll hae a calf's-head o' sma' value,
Andrew Gowk,
And ye'll hae a calf's-head o' sma' value.

X.

Poet Willie, Poet Willie,
Gie the doctor a volley,
Wi' your "liberty's chain" and your wit;
O'er Pegasus' side,
Ye ne'er laid a stride
Ye only stood by when he ----,
Poet Willie,
Ye only stood by when he ----.

XI.

Barr Steenie, Barr Steenie,
What mean ye? what mean ye?
If ye'll meddle nae mair wi' the matter,
Ye may hae some pretence, man,
To havins and sense, man,
Wi' people that ken ye nae better,
Barr Steenie,
Wi' people that ken ye nae better.

XII.

Jamie Goose, Jamie Goose,
Ye hae made but toom roose,
O' hunting the wicked lieutenant;
But the doctor's your mark,
For the L--d's holy ark,
He has cooper'd and ca'd a wrong pin in't,
Jamie Goose,
He has cooper'd and ca'd a wrong pin in't.

XIII.

Davie Bluster, Davie Bluster,
For a saunt if ye muster,
It's a sign they're no nice o' recruits,
Yet to worth let's be just,
Royal blood ye might boast,
If the ass were the king o' the brutes,
Davie Bluster,
If the ass were the king o' the brutes.

XIV.

Muirland George, Muirland George,
Whom the Lord made a scourge,
To claw common sense for her sins;
If ill manners were wit,
There's no mortal so fit,
To confound the poor doctor at ance,
Muirland George,
To confound the poor doctor at ance.

XV.

Cessnockside, Cessnockside,
Wi' your turkey-cock pride,
O' manhood but sma' is your share;
Ye've the figure, it's true,
Even our faes maun allow,
And your friends daurna say ye hae mair,
Cessnockside,
And your friends daurna say ye hae mair.

XVI.

Daddie Auld, Daddie Auld,
There's a tod i' the fauld
A tod meikle waur than the clerk;[1]
Tho' ye downa do skaith,
Ye'll be in at the death,
And if ye canna bite ye can bark,
Daddie Auld,
And if ye canna bite ye can bark.

XVII.

Poet Burns, Poet Burns,
Wi' your priest-skelping turns,
Why desert ye your auld native shire?
Tho' your Muse is a gipsy,
Yet were she even tipsy,
She could ca' us nae waur than we are,
Poet Burns,
She could ca' us nae waur than we are.

* * * * *

Postscript.

Afton's Laird, Afton's Laird,
When your pen can be spar'd,
A copy o' this I bequeath,
On the same sicker score
I mentioned before,
To that trusty auld worthy Clackleith,
Afton's Laird,
To that trusty auld worthy Clackleith.

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