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 tho' on hamely fare we
Wear hoddin-gray, an' a' that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an' 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 riband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind,
He looks and laughs at a' that.
A prince can mak a belted
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith he mauna 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
As come it will for a' that,
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet, for a' that,
That man to man, the warld o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that.
On Holy Willie
Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay
Taks up its last abode;
His saul has ta'en some other way,
I fear, the left-hand road.
Stop! there he is, as sure's a gun,
Poor, silly body, see him;
Nae wonder he's as black's the grun,
Observe wha's standing wi' him.
Your brunstane devilship, I see,
Has got him there before ye;
But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,
Till ance you've heard my story.
Your pity I will not implore,
For pity ye have nane;
Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,
And mercy's day is gane.
But hear me, Sir, deil as ye are,
Look something to your credit;
A coof like him wad stain your name,
If it were kent ye did it.
Gie him strong drink until he
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief an' care:
There let him bowse, and deep carouse,
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more.
(Solomon's Proverbs, xxxi, 6,7.)
Let other poets raise a fracas
Bout vines, an' wines, an' drucken Bacchus,
An crabbit names an' stories wrack us,
An' grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or jug.
O thou, my Muse! Guid auld
Whether thro' wimplin worms thou jink,
Or richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp an' wink,
To sing thy name!
Let husky wheat the haughs
An' aits set up their awnie horn,
An' pease an' beans, at e'en or morn,
Perfume the plain:
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,
Thou King o' grain!
On thee aft Scotland chows her
In souple scones, the wale o'food!
Or tumbling in the boiling flood
Wi' kail an' beef;
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood,
There thou shines chief.
Food fills the wame, an' keeps
Tho' life s gift no worth receivin,
When heavy-dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin;
But oil'd by thee,
The wheels o' life gae down-hill, scrievin,
Wi' rattlin glee.
Thou clears the head o' doited
Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care;
Thou strings the nerves o' Labor sair,
At's weary toil;
Thou ev'n brightens dark Despair
Wi' gloomy smile.
Aft, clad in massy siller
Wi' gentles thou erects thy head;
Yet, humbly kind in time o' need,
The poor man's wine:
His wee drap parritch, or his bread,
Thou kitchens fine.
Thou art the life o' public
But thee, what were our fairs and rants?
Ev'n godly meetings o' the saints,
By thee inspir'd,
When, gaping, they besiege the tents,
Are doubly fir'd.
That merry night we get the
O sweetly, then, thou reams the horn in!
Or reeken on a New-Year mornin
In cog or bicker,
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in,
An' gusty sucker!
When Vulcan gies his bellows
An' ploughman gather wi' their graith,
O rare! to see thee fizz an' freath
I' th' lugget caup!
Then Burnewin comes on like death
At ev'ry chaup.
New mercy, then, for airn or
The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel,
Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,
The strong forehammer,
Till block an' studdie ring an' reel
Wi' dinsome clammour.
When skirlin weanies see the
Thou maks the gossips clatter bright,
How fumbling cuifs their dearies slight;
Wae worth the name!
Nae howdie gets a social night,
Or plack frae them.
When neebors anger at a plea,
An' just as wud as wud can be,
How easy can the barley-brie
Cement the quarrel!
It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee,
To taste the barrel.
Alake! that e'er my Muse has
To wyte her countrymen wi' treason!
But monie daily weet their weason
Wi' liquors nice,
An' hardly, in a winter season,
E'er spier her price.
Wae worth that brandy, burnin
Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash!
Twins monie a poor, doylt, drucken hash,
O' half his days;
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash
To her warst faes.
Ye Scots, wha wish auld
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
Poor, plackless devils like mysel!
It sets you ill,
Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell,
Or foreign gill.
May gravels round his blather
An' gouts torment him, inch by inch,
Wha twists his gruntle wi' a glunch
O' sour disdain,
Out owre a glass o' whisky-punch
Wi' honest men!
O Whisky! soul o' plays an'
Accept a Bardie's gratefu' thanks!
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks
Are my poor verses!
Thou comes--they rattle i' their ranks
At ither's arses!
Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost!
Scotland lament frae coast to coast!
Now colic grips, an' barkin hoast
May kill us a';
For loyal Forbes' chartered boast
Is taen awa!
Thae curst horse-leeces o' th'
Wha mak the whisky stells their prize!
Haud up thy han', Deil! ance, twice, thrice!
There, seize the blinkers!
An' bake them up in brunstane pies
For poor damn'd drinkers.
Fortune! if thou 'll but gie
Hale breeks, a scone, an' whisky gill,
An' rowth o' rhyme to rave at will,
Tak a' the rest,
An' deal 't about as they blind skill
Directs thee best.
No Churchman am
No Churchman am I for to rail
and to write,
No Statesman nor Soldier to plot or to fight,
No sly Man of business contriving a snare,
For a big-belly'd bottle's the whole of my care.
The Peer I don't envy, I give
him his bow;
I scorn not the Peasant, tho' ever so low;
But a club of good fellows, like those that are here,
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care.
Here passes the Squire on his
There Centum per Centum, the Cit with his purse;
But see you the Crown how it waves in the air,
There a big-belly'd bottle still eases my care.
The wife of my bossom, alas!
She did die;
For sweet consolation to church I did fly;
I found that old Solomon proved it fair,
That a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care.
I once was persuaded a venture
A letter inform'd me that all was to wreck;
But the pursy old landlord just waddl'd up stairs,
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares.
cares they are comforts' --a maxim laid down
By the Bard, what d'ya call, that wore the black gown;
And faith I agree with th' old prig to a hair;
For a big-belly'd bottle's a heaven of care.
Jock Tamson was a merry auld carl
Wha dwelt a'side the Dee
He was a laird baith rich and sweer
And mony's a fairm had he
And mony a servant man and maid
Wha he met twice a year
And at the heid o' the table he sat
While they sang wi' richt good cheer
Oh we're a' Jock Tamson's Bairns
We're a' Jock Tamson's Bairns
There'll never be peace in the world again
Till a'body's singin wi' micht and wi' main
We're a' Jock Tamson's Bairns.
Since Adam fell frae Eden's bower
And set things sair agee
There's aye some weakness tae look ower
And folly tae forgie
And Jock would sit and sing and lauch,
And just afore he'd gang
He'd gie advice and blessings glaed,
While roof and rafters rang.
Then here's to you and here's to masel
Lang life, stout hearts and glee
And if ye be well as I wish ye a'
Guid faith, ye'll happy be
Then let us do what good we can
Though the best are whiles tae blame
Though in spite o' riches, rank or land,
Losh man, we're a' the same.
Cotter's Saturday Night
My lov'd, my honour'd, much respected friend!
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise:
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene,
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways,
What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
Ah! tho' his worth unknown, far happier there I ween!
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;
The short'ning winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes, -
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher through
To meet their dead, wi' flichterin noise and glee.
His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonilie,
His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile,
The lisping infant, prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary kiaugh and care beguile,
And makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.
Belyve, the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun';
Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin
A cannie errand to a neibor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman-grown,
In youthfu' bloom-love sparkling in her e'e-
Comes hame, perhaps to shew a braw new gown,
Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
With joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,
And each for other's weelfare kindly speirs:
The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet:
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears.
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view;
The mother, wi' her needle and her shears,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their master's and their mistress' command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
And mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,
And ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jauk or play;
"And O! be sure to fear the Lord alway,
And mind your duty, duly, morn and night;
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore His counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright."
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neibor lad came o'er the moor,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
The wily mother sees the conscious flame
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
With heart-struck anxious care, enquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;
Weel-pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, worthless rake.
Wi' kindly welcome, Jenny brings him ben;
A strappin youth, he takes the mother's eye;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye.
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy,
But blate an' laithfu', scarce can weel behave;
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy
What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave,
Weel-pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.
O happy love! where love like this is found:
O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare!
I've paced much this weary, mortal round,
And sage experience bids me this declare, -
"If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare-
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair
In other'sarms, breathe out the tender tale,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale."
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart,
A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth!
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Curse on his perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth!
Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil'd?
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child?
Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild?
But now the supper crowns their simple board,
The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia's food;
The sowp their only hawkie does afford,
That, 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood:
The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,
To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell;
And aft he's prest, and aft he ca's it guid:
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell
How t'was a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell.
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They, round the ingle, form a circle wide;
The sire turns o'er, with patriarchal grace,
The big ha'bible, ance his father's pride:
His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
He wales a portion with judicious care;
And "Let us worship God!" he says with solemn air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise,
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim;
Perhaps Dundee's wild-warbling measures rise;
Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name;
Or noble Elgin beets the heaven-ward flame;
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:
Compar'd with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickl'd ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high;
Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
How He, who bore in Heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head:
How His first followers and servants sped;
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
How he, who lone in Patmos banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand,
And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounc'd by Heaven's command.
Then, kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays:
Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,"
That thus they all shall meet in future days,
There, ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear;
While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere
Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art;
When men display to congregations wide
Devotion's ev'ry grace, except the heart!
The Power, incens'd, the pageant will desert,
The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole;
But haply, in some cottage far apart,
May hear, well-pleas'd, the language of the soul;
And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.
Then homeward all take off their sev'ral way;
The youngling cottagers retire to rest:
The parent-pair their secret homage pay,
And proffer up to Heaven the warm request,
That he who stills the raven's clam'rous nest,
And decks the lily fair in flow'ry pride,
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,
For them and for their little ones provide;
But chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside.
From scenes like these, old Scotia's grandeur springs,
That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad:
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings,
"An honest man's the noblest work of God;"
And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,
The cottage leaves the palace far behind;
What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load,
Disguising oft the wretch of human kind,
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refin'd!
O Scotia! my dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent,
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content!
And O! may Heaven their simple lives prevent
From luxury's contagion, weak and vile!
Then howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,
A virtuous populace may rise the while,
And stand a wall of fire around their much-lov'd isle.
O Thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide,
That stream'd thro' Wallace's undaunted heart,
Who dar'd to nobly stem tyrannic pride,
Or nobly die, the second glorious part:
(The patriot's God peculiarly thou art,
His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!)
O never, never Scotia's realm desert;
But still the patriot, and the patriot-bard
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!
Grow The Rashes
Chorus Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses, O.
There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In ev'ry hour that passes, O;
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.
The warly race may riches
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.
But gie me a canny hour at e'en,
My arms about my Dearie, O;
An' warly cares an' warly men,
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!
For you sae douse, ye sneer at this,
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O;
The wisest Man the warl' saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.
Auld Nature swears, the lovely Dears
Her noblest work she classes, O;
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Wee, modest crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,
Thou bonie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neibor sweet,
The bonie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
Wi' spreckl'd breast!
When upward-springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield
O' clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble field,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betray'd,
And guileless trust;
Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
By human pride or cunning driv'n
To mis'ry's brink;
Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,
He, ruin'd, sink!
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-no distant date;
Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom!
My Son, these maxims make a
An lump them ay thegither:
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
The Rigid Wise anither;
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight
May hae some pyles o caff in;
So ne'er a fellow-creature slight
For random fits o daffin.
O ye, wha are sae guid
Sae pious and sae holy,
Ye've nought to do but mark and tell
Your neebours' fauts and folly!
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,
Supplied wi store o water;
The heapet happer's ebbing still,
An still the clap plays clatter!
Hear me, ye venerable core,
As counsel for poor mortals
That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door
For glaikit Folly's portals:
I for their thoughtless, careless sakes,
Would here propone defences -
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
Their failings and mischances.
Ye see your state wi theirs
And shudder at the niffer;
But cast a moment's fair regard,
What makes the mighty differ?
Discount what scant occasion gave;
That purity ye pride in;
And (what's aft mair than a' the lave)
Your better art o hidin.
Think, when your castigated
Gies now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,
That still eternal gallop!
Wi wind and tide fair i your tail,
Right on ye scud your sea-way;
But in the teeth o baith to sail,
It makes an unco lee-way
See Social Life and Glee sit
All joyous and unthinking,
Till, quite transmugrify'd, they're grown
Debauchery and Drinking:
O, would they stay to calculate
Th' eternal consequences,
Or your more dreaded hell to state -
Damnation of expenses!
Ye high, exalted, virtuous
Tied up in godly laces,
Before ye gie poor Frailty names,
Suppose a change o cases:
A dear-lov'd lad, convenience snug,
A treach'rous inclination -
But, let me whisper in your lug,
Ye're aiblins nae temptation.
Then gently scan your brother
Still gentler sister woman;
Tho they may gang a kennin wrang,
To step aside is human:
sifted - chaff - larking -
well-going - hopper - clapper of a mill - crowd - sober - silly -
restive - unlucky in sexual adventures - exchange -rest - uncommon -
ear - perhaps
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