English translation immediately below
What gars ye sing sae, birdie,
As gien ye war lord o' the lift?
On breid ye're an unco sma' lairdie,
But in hicht ye've a kingly gift!
A' ye hae to coont yersel rich in
'S a wee mawn o' glory-motes!
The whilk to the throne ye're aye hitchin
Wi a lang tow o' sapphire notes!
Ay, yer sang's the sang o' an angel
For a sinfu' thrapple no meet,
Like the pipes til a heavenly braingel
Whaur they dance their herts intil their feet!
But though ye canna behaud, birdie,
Ye needna gar a'thing wheesht!
I'm noucht but a hirplin herdie,
But I hae a sang i' my breist!
Len' me yer throat to sing throu,
Len' me yer wings to gang hie,
And I'll sing ye a sang a laverock to cow,
And for bliss to gar him dee!
I Know Something
What makes you sing so, birdie,
As though you were lord of the sky?
By breadth you're a very small laird,
But in height you've a kingly gift!
All you have to count yourself rich in
Is a small basket of glory-motes!
Which to the throne you're always hitching
With a long tow of sapphire notes!
Yes, your song's the song of an angel
For a sinful throat not meet,
Like the pipes to a heavenly revel
Where they dance their hearts into their feet!
But though you can't hold back, birdie,
You needn't make everything hush!
I'm naught but a hobbling herdsman,
But i have a song in my breast!
Lend me your throat to sing through,
Lend me your wings to go high,
And i'll sing you a song a skylark to cow,
And for bliss to make him die!