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Translation
Index

To A Mountain Daisy.
On Turning One Down With The Plough. In April 1786.

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation



1.
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,
Thou bonie gem.
2.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
Wi' spreckl'd breast!
When upward-springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling east.
3.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth
Thy tender form.
4.
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield
O' clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Unseen, alane.
5.
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
6.
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
By loves simplicity betray'd,
And guileless trust;
Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid
Low i' the dust.
7.
Such is the fate of simple Bard,
On Life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er'.
8.
Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
By human pride or cunning driv'n
To mis'rys brink;
Till, wretch'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
He, ruin'd, sink!
9.
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine - no distant date;
Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight
Shall be thy doom!



1.
Small, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
You have met me in an evil hour;
For I must crush among the dust
Your slender stem:
To spare you now is past my power,
You lovely gem.
2.
Alas it is not your neighbour sweet,
The bonny lark, companion meet,
Bending you among the dewy wet,
With speckled breast!
When upward springing, blithe, to greet
The purpling east.
3.
Cold blew the bitter-biting north
Upon your early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully you sparkled forth
Amid the storm,
Scarce reared above the parent-earth
Your tender form.
4.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods and walls must shield;
But you, beneath the random shelter
Of clod or stone,
Adorns the bare stubble field,
Unseen, alone.
5.
There, in your scanty mantle clad,
Your snowy bosom sun-ward spread,
You lift your unassuming head
In humble guise;
But now the plough-share tears up your bed,
And low you lie!
6.
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
By loves simplicity betrayed,
And guileless trust;
Until she, like you, all soiled, is laid
Low in the dust.
7.
Such is the fate of simple Bard,
On Life's rough ocean luckless starred!
Unskilled he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him over'.
8.
Such fate to suffering Worth is given,
Who long with wants and woes has striven,
By human pride or cunning driven
To miseries brink;
Till, wretched of every stay but Heaven,
He, ruined, sink!
9.
Even you who mourns the Daisy's fate,
That fate is yours - no distant date;
Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elate,
Full on your bloom,
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight
Shall be your doom!

 

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