Saturday, June 13, 2009

From “Song—For a’ that and a’ that—“

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, and a’ that;
but an honest man’s aboon his might,
Gude faith he mauna fa’ that!
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Their dignities, and a’ that,
The pith o’ Sense, and pride o’ Worth,
Are higher rank that 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, and a’ that.
For a’ that, and a’ that,
It’s comin yet, for a’ that,
That Man to Man the warld o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.–
—Robert Burns

Robbie Burns was a Scottish poet known for the use of dialect and humor, and is one of my favorites. I must admit however, that this poem was hard to read. After having read it half a dozen times, I'm still not sure what it all means but I love how it sounds. Don’t try to understand it, just read it a couple of times and try to capture the poet’s meter. See if it doesn’t put a smile on your face.

P.S. The spelling is the author’s. If anybody can figure out what “mauna” means, please let me know. “Gree” means superiority, preeminence.

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