A Man's A Man For A' That

- 1759-1796
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.

Afton Water

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.

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!

Related Poems

Oh, Why Should the Spirit of Mortal be Proud?

                                  I.
Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeing meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the Lightning, a break of the wave,
Man passes from life to his rest in the grave.

                                  II.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around and together be laid;
And the young and the old, and the low and the high,
Shall molder to dust and together shall lie.

                                  III.
The infant, a mother attended and ,loved,
The mother, that infant’s affection who proved,
The husband, that mother and infant who blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

                                  IV.
The maid, on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure––her triumphs are by;
And the memories of those who have loved her and praised
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

                                  V.
The hand of the king that the scepter hath borne,
The brow of the priest that the miter hath worn,
The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depth of the grave.

                                  VI.
The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap,
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep,
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

                                  VII.
The saint, who enjoyed the communion of Heaven,
The sinner, who dared to remain unforgiven,
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

                                  VIII.
So the multitude goes, like the flower or the weed,
That withers away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes, even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that has often been told.

                                  IX.
For we are the same that our fathers have been;
We see the same sights that our fathers have seen;
We drink the same stream, and we view the same sun,
And run the same course that our fathers have fun.

                                  X.
The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think;
From the death that we shrink from, our fathers would shrink;
To the life that we cling to, they also would cling;
But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing.

                                  XI.
They loved, but the story we can not unfold;
They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold:
They grieved, but no wail from their slumbers will come;
They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

                                  XII.
They died––ah ! they died––and we things that are now,
Who walk on the turl that lies over their brow,
Who make in their dwelling a transient abode,
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage-road.

                                  XIII.
Yea ! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
We mingle together in sunshine and rain;
And the smiles and the tears, the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other like surge upon surge.

                                  XIV.
’Tis the wink of an eye, ’tis the draught of a breach,
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud:
Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?