Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
A Man’s a Man for a’ That
By Robert Burns (1759–1796)
 
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.        5
  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;        10
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, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,        15
  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:        20
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,        25
  A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
  Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
  Their dignities an’ a’ that;        30
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,        35
  Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
  It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
  Shall brothers be for a’ that.        40
 
 
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