Address to the Deil
O thou! whatever title suit thee,
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie,
Wha in yon cavern grim an’ sootie,
Clos’d under hatches,
Spairges about the brunstane cootie,
To scaud poor wretches!
Hear me, auld Hangie, for a wee,
An’ let poor damnèd bodies be;
I’m sure sma’ pleasure it can gie,
Ev’n to a deil,
To skelp an’ scaud poor dogs like me,
An’ hear us squeal!
Lang syne, in Eden’s bonnie yard,
When youthfu’ lovers first were pair’d,
And all the soul of love they shar’d,
The raptur’d hour,
Sweet on the fragrant flow’ry swaird,
In shady bow’r;
Then you, ye auld snick-drawing dog!
Ye cam to Paradise incog.
An’ play’d on man a cursed brogue,
(Black be you fa!)
An’ gied the infant warld a shog,
’Maist run’d a’.
D’ye mind that day, when in a bizz,
Wi’ reekit duds, an’ reestit gizz,
Ye did present your smoutie phiz
’Mang better folk,
An’ sklented on the man of Uz
Your spitefu’ joke?
An’ how ye gat him i’ your thrall,
An’ brak him out o’ house an’ hal’,
While scabs an’ blotches did him gall
Wi’ bitter claw,
An’ lows’d his ill-tongu’d wicked scawl,
Was warst ava?
But a’ your doings to rehearse,
Your wily snares an’ fechtin’ fierce,
Sin’ that day Michael did you pierce,
Down to this time,
Wad ding a’ Lallan tongue, or Erse,
In prose or rhyme.
An’ now, auld Cloots, I ken ye’re thinkin’,
A certain Bardie’s rantin’, drinkin’,
Some luckless hour will send him linkin’,
To your black pit;
But faith! he’ll turn a corner jinkin’,
An’ cheat you yet.
But fare you weel, auld Nickie-ben!
O wad ye tak a thought an’ men’!
Ye aiblins might—I dinna ken—
Still hae a stake:
I’m wae to think upo’ yon den,
Ev’n for your sake!
This poem is in the public domain.
About this Poem
This poem was published in The Poetical Works of Robert Burns (Oxford University Press, 1904).
Born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759, Robert Burns was the author of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786) and Tam O' Shanter (1795).
Date Published: 2018-09-20
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/address-deil