Afton Water

- 1759-1796
Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

Thou stock-dove whose echo resounds through the glen,
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear,
I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair.

How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighboring hills,
Far marked with the courses of clear winding rills;
There daily I wander as noon rises high,
My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow;
There oft as mild evening weeps over the lea,
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
As gathering sweet flowerets she stems thy clear wave.

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dreams.

More by Robert Burns

Anna, Thy Charms

Anna, thy charms my bosom fire,  
  And waste my soul with care;  
But ah! how bootless to admire,  
  When fated to despair!  
  
Yet in thy presence, lovely Fair,
  To hope may be forgiven;  
For sure 'twere impious to despair  
  So much in sight of heaven. 

[O were my love yon Lilac fair]

O were my love yon Lilac fair,  
  Wi' purple blossoms to the Spring,
And I, a bird to shelter there,  
  When wearied on my little wing!
How I wad mourn when it was torn         
  By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing,  
  When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd. 
O gin my love were yon red rose,  
  That grows upon the castle wa';    
And I myself a drap o' dew,  
  Into her bonie breast to fa'!
O there, beyond expression blest,  
  I'd feast on beauty a' the night;
Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
  Till fley'd awa by Phoebus' light!

A Man's A Man For A' That

Is 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.