The Kirk's Alarm; A Satire. (First Version.)

A poem by Robert Burns

Orthodox, orthodox,
Wha believe in John Knox,
Let me sound an alarm to your conscience:
There's a heretic blast
Has been blawn in the wast,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

Dr. Mac,[2] Dr. Mac,
You should stretch on a rack,
To strike evil doers wi' terror;
To join faith and sense
Upon ony pretence,
Is heretic, damnable error.

Town of Ayr, town of Ayr,
It was mad, I declare,
To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing;
Provost John[78] is still deaf
To the church's relief,
And orator Bob[3] is its ruin.

D'rymple mild,[4] D'rymple mild,
Thro' your heart's like a child,
And your life like the new driven snaw,
Yet that winna save ye,
Auld Satan must hav ye,
For preaching that three's ane an' twa.

Rumble John,[5] Rumble John,
Mount the steps wi' a groan,
Cry the book is wi' heresy cramm'd;
Then lug out your ladle,
Deal brimstone like adle,
And roar every note of the danm'd.

Simper James,[6] 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.

Singet Sawney,[7] Singet Sawney,
Are ye herding the penny,
Unconscious what evil await?
Wi' a jump, yell, and howl,
Alarm every soul,
For the foul thief is just at your gate.

Daddy Auld,[8] Daddy Auld,
There's a tod in the fauld,
A tod meikle waur than the clerk;
Though yo can do little skaith,
Ye'll be in at the death,
And gif ye canna bite, ye may bark.

Davie Bluster,[9] Davie Bluster,
If for a saint ye do muster,
The corps is no nice of recruits;
Yet to worth let's be just,
Royal blood ye might boast,
If the ass was the king of the brutes.

Jamy Goose,[10] Jamy Goose,
Ye ha'e made but toom roose,
In hunting the wicked lieutenant;
But the Doctor's your mark,
For the L--d's haly ark;
He has cooper'd and cawd a wrang pin in't.

Poet Willie,[11] Poet Willie,
Fie the Doctor a volley,
Wi' your liberty's chain and your wit;
O'er Pegasus' side
Ye ne'er laid astride,
Ye but smelt, man, the place where he ----.

Andro Gouk,[12], Andro Gouk,
Ye may slander the book,
And the book not the waur, let me tell ye;
Ye are rich and look big,
But lay by hat and wig,
And ye'll ha'e a calf's head o' sma' value.

Barr Steenie,[13] Barr Steenie,
What mean ye, what mean ye?
If ye'll meddle nae mair wi' the matter,
Ye may ha'e some pretence
To havins and sense,
Wi' people wha ken ye nae better.

Irvine side,[14] Irvine side,
Wi' your turkey-cock pride,
Of manhood but sum' is your share,
Ye've the figure 'tis true,
Even your faes will allow,
And your friends they dae grunt you nae mair.

Muirland Jock,[15] Muirland Jock,
When the L--d makes a rock
To crush Common sense for her sins,
If ill manners were wit,
There's no mortal so fit
To confound the poor Doctor at ance.

Holy Will,[16] Holy Will,
There was wit i' your skull,
When ye pilfer'd the alms o' the poor;
The timmer is scant,
When ye're ta'en for a saunt,
Wha should swing in a rape for an hour.

Calvin's sons, Calvin's sons,
Seize your spir'tual guns,
Ammunition you never can need;
Your hearts are the stuff,
Will be powther enough,
And your skulls are storehouses o' lead.


Poet Burns, Poet Burns,
Wi' your priest-skelping turns,
Why desert ye your auld native shire?
Your muse is a gipsie,
E'en tho' she were tipsie,
She could ca' us nae waur than we are.

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