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ROBERT BURNS
The Address to the Haggis
Auld Lang Syne
The Bonny Wee Thing
Epistle to Dr. Blacklock
Farewell
Invitation to a Medical Gentleman
Is There for Honest Poverty
The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata
Masonic Song
The Master’s Apron
Miscellanea
Oh, were I on Parnassus' Hill
A Red Red Rose
Scots Wha Hae With Wallace Bled
Such a Parcel of Rogues
To a Mouse
Three Graces for dinner
The Tree of Liberty
The verse of Robert Burns
[Robbie
Detail from an unsigned, undated oil painting owned by Ancient Light Lodge No.88 in Delta, British Columbia. You can also download a grayscale version or silhouette.
Is There for Honest Poverty
TUNE--"For a' that and a' that."

Of the following song--one of the most striking and characteristic effusions of his Muse--he says, evidently in a strain of affected depreciation :--"A great critic on songs says that love and wine are the exclusive themes for song-writing. The following is on neithersubject, and is consequently no song ; but will be allowed, I think, to be two or three pretty good prose thoughts inverted into rhyme."
IS there, for honest poverty,
That hangs his head, and a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toils obscure, and a' that;
The rank is but the guinea-stamp,
The man’s the gowd for a' that!
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden-gray, and a' that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man’s a man for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that!
Ye see yon birkie,* ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof 1 for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
His riband, star, and a' that,
The man of independent mind,
He looks and laughs at a' that!
A king can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
Guid faith he maunna 2 fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Their dignities, and a' that,
The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may--
As come it will for a' that--
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that,
Its comin' yet, for a' that,
That man to man the warld o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

1 Fool.^
2 "He maunna fa' that"=he must not try that.^
* Primarily the word signifies a lively, mettlesome young fellow ; but here the poet’s meaning would be better rendered by the words--a proud, affected person.^
Transcribed from The Complete Works of Robert Burns. William P. Nimmo, Edinburgh: 1867. p. 178. Footnotes renumbered.


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