Happy Burns Night!

A Man’s A Man For A’ That


robert burnsIs there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that.
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an’ 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, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that:
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that;
The pith o’ sense, an’ 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,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.

Robert Burns 1759-1796

* * * * * * *

While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
The fate of Empires and the fall of Kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.

The Rights of Woman 1792


26 thoughts on “Happy Burns Night!

  1. I’ve just come in from a Burn’s Supper – I gave the reply to the Toast to the Lasses. Hope you had a good night. That’s the 26th time I’ve spoken at a Burn’s Supper – got a bottle of Laphroaig for my trouble.


  2. Oh am SO sorry I missed wishing you a Happy Burns night and didn’t look at my Reader over the weekend. So, please let me the very first to wish you a very happy Burns night for next year.

    I have remarkably fond memories of a Burns night in Stoke-on-Trent (just a leetle bit South of the border) many moons ago, where various of us had to read some poetry. The highlight of the evening was the appearance, in a small house, of a massive kilted man, with an even more massive set of bagpipes, the lights dimmed for his entry (memory says it happened by candlelight but i might be inventing that) as he piped in the Haggis. It quite set this female heart a-flutter (keep your Darcy), the Highland Man in full regalia and the unearthly bagpipes, even if they were a little weird in a small house and the neighbours, had they not been invited, would no doubt have called the pollis.

    PS There must have been vegetarian haggis for the wibbly. I’m sure i wouldn’t have remembered it so fondly if neeps, tatties and good whisky were all that I had to sustain me.

    Is it wrong, 2 days late, to wish reeking lums upon ye, possibly out of season?


    • Thank ye, ma dearie!

      I’m a great believer that the bagpipes should only ever be heard outdoors and from a (great) distance. Though I agree there’s something elemental about the screeching of the pipes and the swirling of the sporran…


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