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A Bard's Epitaph, written in 1786, is so sincere a confession of Burns's own faults that it seems an impertinence to rebuke them further.

Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,

Let him draw near;
5 And owre this grassy heap sing dool,

And drap a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,

Oh, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,

Here heave a sigh.


Is there a man whose judgment clear

Can others teach the course to steer,
15 Yet runs himself life's mad career,

Wild as the wave;
Here pause — and, through the starting tear,

Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
20 Was quick to learn, and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,

And softer flame;
2. owre, over.
3. snool, submit tamely.
5. dool, sorrow.
6. drap, drop.

But thoughtless follies laid him low,

And stained his name!

25 Reader, attend — whether thy soul

Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,

In low pursuit;
Know, prudent, cautious self-control

Is wisdom's root.




Is there, for honest poverty,

That hangs his head, and a' that! The coward slave, we pass him by, We dare be


for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,

Our toils obscure, and 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 ħodden-gray, and 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, and a' that;
The honest man, though e'er sae poor,

Is king o' men for a’ that!


8. gowd, gold.
11. gie, give.


Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a’ that, and a' that,

His ribbon, star, and a' that;
The man of independent mind,

He looks and laughs at a' that.

25 A prince can mak a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, and a' that;
But an honest man's aboon his might,
Guid faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, and a' that,

Their dignities, and a' that;
The pith o’ sense, and pride o' worth,

Are higher rank than a' that.


Then let us pray

that come it may-
As come it will for a' that
35 That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,
May bear the gree, and a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,

It's coming yet, for a' that,
That man to man, the warld o’er,

Shall brothers be for a' that!


17. birkie, fellow.
20. coof, fool.
25. mak, make.
27. aboon, above.

28. he maunna fa' that, he must not think an honest man is not “aboon his might.”

36. gree, prize. 39. warld, world.


SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to min'? Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days o’ lang syne ?


For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet

For auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,

And pu'd the gowans fine; But we've wandered monie a weary foot,

Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’t i’ the burn,

Frae morning sun till dine ; 15 But seas between us braid hae roared,

Sin' auld lang syne.


And here's a hand, my trusty fiere,

And gie 's a hand o’thine ; And we'll tak a right guid willie-waught, For auld lang syne.

9. twa, two ; braes, hillsides. 10. gowans, daisies. 13. paidlt, paddled ; burn, stream. 14. dine, sunset. 15. braid, broad. 17. fiere, friend. 19. willie-waught, hearty draught.

And surely you'll be your pint-stoup,

And surely I 'll be mine ;
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet

For auld lang syne.


TUNE The Weaver and his Shuttle, 0.

My father was a farmer upon the Carrick border, O, And carefully he bred me in decency and order, 0; He bade me act a manly part, though I had ne'er

a farthing, O, For without an honest manly heart no man was

worth regarding, O.

5 Then out into the world my course I did deter

mine, 0; Though to be rich was not my wish, yet to be great

was charming, O: My talents they were not the worst, nor yet my

education, O; Resolved was I, at least to try, to mend my situa

tion, O.

In many a way, and vain essay, I courted fortune's

favor, O; 10 Some cause unseen still stept between, to frustrate

each endeavor, O. Sometimes by foes I was o'erpowered, sometimes by

friends forsaken, 0; And when my hope was at the top, I still was worst mistaken, O.

21. stoup, flagon.

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