Our Scottish Poems

Our Competition Poem this year is:

Address to the Toothache by Rabbie Burns

My curse upon your venom’d stang,

That shoots my tortur’d gums alang,

An’ thro’ my lug  gies mony a twang,

Wi’ gnawing vengeance,

Tearing my nerves wi’ bitter pang,

Like racking engines!

 When fevers burn, or agues freezes,

Rheumatics gnaw, or colics squeezes,

Our neibor’s sympathy can ease us,

Wi’ pitying moan;

But thee – thou hell o’ a’ diseases –

Aye mocks our groan.

 A down my beard the slavers trickle

I throw the wee stools o’er the mickle,

While round the fire the giglets keckle,

To see me loup,

While, raving mad, I wish a heckle

Were in their doup!

In a’ the numerous human dools,

Ill hairsts, daft bargains, cutty stools,

Or worthy frien’s rak’d i’ the mools, –

Sad sight to see!

The tricks o’ knaves, or fash o’fools,

Thou bear’st the gree!

 Where’er that place be priests ca’ hell,

Where a’ the tones o’ misery yell,

An’ ranked plagues their numbers tell,

In dreadfu’ raw,

Thou, Toothache, surely bear’st the bell,

Amang them a’!

 O thou grim, mischief-making chiel,

That gars the notes o’ discord squeel,

Till daft mankind aft dance a reel

In gore, a shoe-thick,

Gie a’ the faes o’ Scotland’s weal

A townmond’s toothache!

Some children have chosen to learn

Scots Wha Hae


Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;

Welcome to your gory bed,

Or to victory!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;

See the front o’ battle lour;

See approach proud Edward’s power—

Chains and slavery!

Wha will be a traitor knave?

Wha can fill a coward’s grave!

Wha sae base as be a slave?

Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland’s king and law

Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,

Freeman stand, or freeman fa’,

Let him follow me!

By oppression’s woes and pains!

By your sons in servile chains!

We will drain our dearest veins,

But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!

Tyrants fall in every foe!

Liberty’s in every blow!—

Let us do or die!






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