ROBERT BURNS, Scottish poet, born near Ayr in 1759; died 1796. Although his boyhood was a hard struggle with poverty, he managed, by reading as he went to and from his work, and following the plow, to become fairly well educated in the literature of the day, especially of his own country. His poems cover a wide range, those dealing with the peasant life of his country, and his simple ballads, being the best. It is useless to compare him to Scott, as is so often done, as they worked in different fields, each the best of its kind.


Is there for honest poverty
I 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.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that.


VE banks and braes o' bonie Doon,

1 How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair? How can ye chant, ye little birds,

And I sae weary fu' o' care! Thou 'll break my heart, thou warbling bird,

That wantons thro' the flowering thorn! Thou minds me o departed joys, Departed never to return.

[ocr errors][merged small]

COTS, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led, Welcome to your gory bed

Or to victorie!

[ocr errors]

Now 's the day, and now 's the hour:
See the front o' battle lour,
See approach proud Edward's power-
Chains and slaverie!


Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?-

Let him turn, and flee!

Wha for Scotland's King and Law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand or freeman fa',

Let him follow me!

By Oppression's woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains,
We will drain our dearest veins

But they shall be free!


Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty 's in every blow!

Let us do, or die!


She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a lo’esome wee thing,

This sweet wee wife o' mine!

I NEVER saw a fairer,
I I never lo'ed a dearer,
And neist my heart I 'll wear her,
For fear my jewel tine.

The warld's wrack, we share o't;
The warstle and the care o't,
Wi' her I'll blythely bear it,

And think my lot divine.

She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a lo’esome wee thing,

This sweet wee wife o' mine!


Green grow the rashes, 0;

Green grow the rashes, 0;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,

Are spent among the lasses, 0.

MHERE'S nought but care on ev'ry han,

1 In every hour that passes, O: What signifies the life o' man,

An' 't were nae for the lasses, O.

The war’ly race may riches chase,

An' riches still may fly them, 0);
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,

Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, a

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »