Sunday, 20 December 2015

Robert Burns - and his influence over the Blue Beyond with Scottish Immigrants in NZ

Robert  Burns  1759 - 1796

With courtesy from In The Life of Robert Burns by Rev. George Gilfillan, August 1886


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, 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 cuif 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 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 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 comin yet for a' that,
That man to man the world oe'r
Shall brithers be for a' that.
Robbie Burns
This Burns song, proclaiming the equality of man, was sung at the opening of the first Scottish Parliament for nearly 300 years, on 1 July, 1999. The poetry works of Robert Burns were a favourite   of James Stewart, evidenced in his involvement with the Auckland Burns Club. 
 
Stewart loved this poem -   A man's a man for a' that. - in fact the Works of Burns was a treasured book.