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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
518. Ballad on Mr. Heron’s Election—No. 1
 
 
Ballads on Mr. Heron’s Election, 1795.
 
 
WHOM will you send to London town,
  To Parliament and a’ that?
Or wha in a’ the country round
  The best deserves to fa’ that?
    For a’ that, and a’ that,        5
    Thro’ Galloway and a’ that,
  Where is the Laird or belted Knight
    The best deserves to fa’ that?
 
Wha sees Kerroughtree’s open yett,
  (And wha is’t never saw that?)        10
Wha ever wi’ Kerroughtree met,
  And has a doubt of a’ that?
    For a’ that, and a’ that,
    Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
  The independent patriot,        15
    The honest man, and a’ that.
 
Tho’ wit and worth, in either sex,
  Saint Mary’s Isle can shaw that,
Wi’ Dukes and Lords let Selkirk mix,
  And weel does Selkirk fa’ that.        20
    For a’ that, and a’ that,
    Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
  The independent commoner
    Shall be the man for a’ that.
 
But why should we to Nobles jouk,        25
  And is’t against the law, that?
For why, a Lord may be a gowk,
  Wi’ ribband, star and a’ that,
    For a’ that, and a’ that,
    Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!        30
  A Lord may be a lousy loun,
    Wi’ ribband, star and a’ that.
 
A beardless boy comes o’er the hills,
  Wi’ uncle’s purse and a’ that;
But we’ll hae ane frae mang oursels,        35
  A man we ken, and a’ that.
    For a’ that, and a’ that,
    Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
  For we’re not to be bought and sold,
    Like naigs, and nowt, and a’ that.        40
 
Then let us drink—The Stewartry,
  Kerroughtree’s laird, and a’ that,
Our representative to be,
  For weel he’s worthy a’ that.
    For a’ that, and a’ that,        45
    Here’s Heron yet for a’ that!
A House of Commons such as he,
  They wad be blest that saw that.
 

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