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Holy Willie's Prayer (original) Holy Willie's Prayer (translation)

O Thou, that in the heavens does dwell, O Thou, who in the heavens does dwell,
As it pleases best Thysel', [And] As it pleases best Thyself,
Sends ane to Heaven an' ten to Hell, Sends one to Heaven and ten to Hell,
For Thy glory, All for Thy glory,
And no for onie guid or ill And not for any good or bad
They've done afore Thee! They've done during their lifetime!

I bless and praise Thy matchless might, I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
When thousands Thou hast left in night, When thousands Thou has left in night
That I am here afore Thy sight, That I am here before Thy sight,
For gifts an' grace For gifts and grace
A burning and a shining light A burning and a shining light
To a' this place. To all this place.

What was I, or my generation, Why should I, or my very birth,


That I should get sic exaltation? Receive such exaltation?
I wha deserv'd most just damnation I who deserved most just damnation
For broken laws, For broken laws,
Six thousand years 'ere my creation, Six thousand years before my birth,
Thro' Adam's cause. All on account of Adam’s Original sin.

When from my mither's womb I fell, When from my mother's womb I fell,
Thou might hae plung'd me deep in hell, Thou might have plunged me deep in hell,
To gnash my gums, and weep and wail, To gnash my gums, and weep and wail,
In burnin lakes, In burning lakes,
Where damned devils roar and yell, Where damned devils roar and yell,
Chain'd to their stakes. Chained to their stakes.

Yet I am here a chosen sample, Yet I am here a chosen sample,


To show thy grace is great and ample; To show [that] thy grace is great and ample;
I'm here a pillar o' Thy temple, I'm here a pillar of Thy temple,
Strong as a rock, Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, and example, A guide, a shield, and an example,
To a' Thy flock. To all Thy flock.

O Lord, Thou kens what zeal I bear, O Lord, Thou knows what zeal I have,
When drinkers drink, an' swearers swear, When drinkers drink, and swearers swear,
An' singing here, an' dancin there, Singing here, and dancing there,
Wi' great and sma'; As do all the social classes;
For I am keepit by Thy fear For I am kept, through fear of Thee,
Free frae them a'. Free from all these sins.

But yet, O Lord! confess I must, But yet, O Lord, confess I must,
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust: At times I feel the lust of the flesh:
An' sometimes, too, in worldly trust, And sometimes, too, since I am only human,
Vile self gets in; Vile self gets in;
But Thou remembers we are dust, But Thou remembers we are dust,
Defil'd wi' sin. Defiled with sin.

O Lord! yestreen, Thou kens, wi' Meg O Lord! Yesterday evening, Thou knows, [I layed] with Meg
Thy pardon I sincerely beg; Thy pardon I sincerely beg;
O may't ne'er be a livin' plague O may it never be a living plague
To my dishonour, To my dishonour,
An' I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg And I'll never lift a lawless leg - Again upon her.
Again upon her.
Besides, I must also declare,
Besides, I farther maun avow, I had Lizzie’s daughter three times,
Wi' Leezie's lass, three times I trow - But Lord, that Friday I was drunk,
But Lord, that Friday I was fou, When I came near her;
When I cam near her;
Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true Or else, Thou knows, Thy servant true
Wad never steer her. Would never have taken her.

Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn Perhaps Thou lets this fleshly thorn
Buffet Thy servant e'en and morn, Torment Thy servant evening and morning
Lest he owre proud and high shou'd turn, So he doesn't get too high and mighty,
That he's sae gifted: About being so gifted:
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne, If so, Thy hand must always be borne
Until Thou lift it. Until Thou lifts it.

Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place, Lord, bless Thy chosen ones in this place,
For here Thou has a chosen race! For here Thou has a chosen race!
But God confound there stubborn face, But God confound their stubborn face,
An' blast their name, And blast the name,
Wha brings Thy elders to disgrace Of those who bring Thy elders to disgrace,
An' open shame. And open shame.

Lord, mind Gaw'n Hamilton's deserts; Lord, ensure Gavin Hamilton gets his just deserts;
He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at cartes, He drinks, and swears, and plays cards,
Yet has sae mony takin arts, Yet has so much influence
Wi' great an' sma', Among all the social classes
Frae God's ain priest the people's hearts From God's own priest, the people's hearts
He steals awa'. He steals away.

And when we chasten'd him therefore, And when we tried to make him change his ways,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore, Thou knows how he raised such a merriment,
And set the world in a roar And set the world in a roar
O' laughing at us; Of laughing at us;
Curse Thou his basket and his store, Curse Thou his livelihood and his possessions,
Kail an' potatoes. Kail and potatoes

Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r, Lord, hear my earnest cry and prayer,
Against that Presbyt'ry o' Ayr; Against that Presbytery of Ayr;
Thy strong right hand, Lord mak it bare [With] Thy strong right hand, Lord, smite them
Upo' their heads; Upon their heads;
Lord visit them, an' dinna spare, Lord visit them, and do not spare them,
For their misdeeds. For their misdeeds.

O Lord my God! that glib-tongu'd Aitken, O Lord my God! that glib-tongued Aitken,
My vera heart an' flesh are quakin, My very heart and body are quaking,
To think how we stood sweatin, shakin, To think how we stood sweating, shaking,
An' pish'd wi' dread, Wetting ourselves with dread,
While he, wi' hingin lip an' snakin, While he, the smooth talking snake,
Held up his head. Was able to win his case.

Lord, in Thy day o' vengeance try him, Lord, in Thy day of vengeance try him,
Lord, visit them wha did employ him, Lord, visit them who did employ him,
And pass not in Thy mercy by them, And pass not in Thy mercy by them,
Nor hear their pray'r, Nor hear their prayer,
But for Thy people's sake destroy them, But for Thy people's sake destroy them,
An' dinna spare. Do not spare them.

But, Lord, remember me an' mine But, Lord, remember me and mine,
Wi' mercies temporal and divine, With mercies temporal and divine,
That I for grace an' gear may shine, So that I for grace and wealth may shine,
Excell'd by nane, Excelled by none,
And a' the glory shall be Thine, And all the glory shall be Thine
Amen, Amen! Amen, Amen!