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Embro Hie Kirk
by [?]

The Lord Himsel’ in former days
Waled out the proper tunes for praise
An’ named the proper kind o’ claes
For folk to preach in:
Preceese and in the chief o’ ways
Important teachin’.

He ordered a’ things late and air’;
He ordered folk to stand at prayer,
(Although I cannae just mind where
He gave the warnin’,)
An’ pit pomatum on their hair
On Sabbath mornin’.

The hale o’ life by His commands
Was ordered to a body’s hands;
But see! this CORPUS JURIS stands
By a’ forgotten;
An’ God’s religion in a’ lands
Is deid an’ rotten.

While thus the lave o’ mankind’s lost,
O’ Scotland still God maks His boast –
Puir Scotland, on whase barren coast
A score or twa
Auld wives wi’ mutches an’ a hoast
Still keep His law.

In Scotland, a wheen canty, plain,
Douce, kintry-leevin’ folk retain
The Truth – or did so aince – alane
Of a’ men leevin’;
An’ noo just twa o’ them remain –
Just Begg an’ Niven.

For noo, unfaithfu’, to the Lord
Auld Scotland joins the rebel horde;
Her human hymn-books on the board
She noo displays:
An’ Embro Hie Kirk’s been restored
In popish ways.

To a’ o’ the reformin’ faction,
If yet, by ony act or paction,
Thocht, word, or sermon,
This dark an’ damnable transaction
Micht yet determine!

For see – as Doctor Begg explains –
Hoo easy ‘t’s dune! a pickle weans,
Wha in the Hie Street gaither stanes
By his instruction,
The uncovenantit, pentit panes
Ding to destruction.

Up, Niven, or ower late – an’ dash
Laigh in the glaur that carnal hash;
Let spires and pews wi’ gran’ stramash
Thegether fa’;
The rumlin’ kist o’ whustles smash
In pieces sma’.

Noo choose ye out a walie hammer;
About the knottit buttress clam’er;
Alang the steep roof stoyt an’ stammer,
A gate mis-chancy;
On the aul’ spire, the bells’ hie cha’mer,
Dance your bit dancie.

Ding, devel, dunt, destroy, an’ ruin,
Wi’ carnal stanes the square bestrewin’,
Till your loud chaps frae Kyle to Fruin,
Frae Hell to Heeven,
Tell the guid wark that baith are doin’ –
Baith Begg an’ Niven.


ae }
ae } = open A as in rare.

a’ }
au } = AW as in law
aw }

ea = open E as in mere, but this with exceptions, as
heather = heather, wean=wain, lear=lair.

ee }
ei } = open E as in mere.
ie }

oa = open O as in more.
ou = doubled O as in poor.
ow = OW as in bower.
u = doubled O as in poor.
ui or u-umlaut before R = (say roughly) open A as in
ui or u-umlaut before any other consonant = (say roughly)
close I as in grin.
y = open I as in kite.
i = pretty nearly what you please, much as in English,
Heaven guide the reader through that labyrinth! But in Scots
it dodges usually from the short I, as in grin, to the open E,
as in mere. Find the blind, I may remark, are prounced to
rhyme with the preterite of grin.