Holy Willie’s Prayer—-

And send the Godly in a pet to pray
POPE.

O THOU that in the heavens does dwell!
Wha, as it pleases best thysel,
Sends ane to heaven and ten to hell,
A' for thy glory!
And no for ony gude or ill
They 've done before thee.---

I bless and praise thy matchless might,
When thousands thou has left in night,
That I am here before thy sight,
For gifts and grace
A burning and a shining light
To a' this place.----

What was I, or my generation,
That I should get such exaltation?
I, wha deserv'd most just damnation,
For broken laws
Sax thousand years ere my creation,
Thro' Adam's cause!

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

Yet I am here, a chosen sample,
To shew thy grace is great and ample:
I'm here, a pillar o' thy temple
Strong as a rock,
A guide, a ruler and example
To a' thy flock.----

[O Lord thou kens what zeal I bear,
Whe drinkers drink, and swearers wear,
And singin’ there, and dancin’ here,
Wi’ great an’ sma’;
For I am keepit by thy fear,
Free frae them a’.------]

But yet------O Lord------confess I must
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust;
And sometimes too, in warldly trust
Vile Self gets in;
But thou remembers we are dust,
Defiled wi' sin.------

O Lord------yestreen------thou kens------wi' Meg
Thy pardon I sincerely beg!
O, may 't ne'er be a living plague,
To my dishonor!
And I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg
Again upon her.----

Besides, I farther maun avow,
Wi' Leezie's lass, three times I trow
But Lord, that friday I was fou
When I cam near her;
Or else, thou kens, thy servant true
Wad never steer her.----

Maybe thou lets this fleshly thorn
Buffet thy servant e'en and morn,
Lest he o’er proud and high should turn,
That he 's sae gifted;
If sae, thy hand maun e'en be borne
Until thou lift it.----

Lord bless thy Chosen in this place,
For here thou has a chosen race:
But God, confound their stubborn face,
And blast their name,
Wha bring thy rulers to disgrace
And open shame.----

Lord mind Gaun Hamilton's deserts!
He drinks, and swears, and plays at cartes,
Yet has sae monie takin arts
Wi' Great and Sma',
Frae God's ain priest the people’s hearts
He steals awa.----

And when we chasten'd him therefore,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,
And set the warld in a roar
O' laughin at us:
Curse thou his basket and his store,
Kail and potatoes.----

Lord hear my earnest cry and prayer
Against that Presbytry of Ayr!
Thy strong right hand, Lord, make it bare
Upon their heads!
Lord, visit them, and dinna spare,
For their misdeeds!

O Lord my God, that glib-tongu'd Aiken!
My very heart and flesh are quaking
To think how I sat, sweating, shaking,
And piss’d wi' dread,
While Auld wi' hingin lip gaed sneaking
And hid his head!

Lord, in thy day o' vengeance try him!
Lord visit him that did employ him!
And pass not in thy mercy by them,
Nor hear their prayer;
But for thy people's sake destroy them,
And dinna spare!

But Lord, remember me and mine
Wi' mercies temporal and divine!
That I for grace and gear may shine
Excell'd by nane!
And a' the glory shall be thine --
AMEN! AMEN!