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Epitaph On Holy Willie

October 25, 2019


Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/epitaph-on-holy-willie


I was looking over some past recordings and noticed this from a few years back. Burns had a famous blast at William Fisher, elder of the parish, in his wonderful satire ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’. He had a further shot at the same target in this mocking poem.


"Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay

Taks up its last abode;

His saul has ta'en some other way,

I fear, the left-hand road.


Stop! there he is, as sure's a gun,

Poor, silly body, see him;

Nae wonder he's as black's the grun,

Observe wha's standing wi' him.


Your brunstane devilship, I see,

Has got him there before ye;

But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,

Till ance you've heard my story.


Your pity I will not implore,

For pity ye have nane;

Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,

And mercy's day is gane.


But hear me, Sir, deil as ye are,

Look something to your credit;

A coof like him wad stain your name,

If it were kent ye did it."


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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray