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Priceless Treasures of Memory


Robert Burns (1759–1796). Poems and Songs.
Vol. 6, pp. 317, 417, 442, 511 of The Harvard Classics

"A man's a man for a' that." "Should auld acquaintance be for­got." "To see her is to love her and love but her forever." "Flow gently, sweet Afton." Every stanza of Burns is treasured. How many have you stored up?


Song—Auld Lang Syne

SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
  And auld lang syne!


Chorus.—For auld lang syne, my dear,
  For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
  For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
  And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet,
  For auld lang syne.
        For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
  And pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
  Sin’ auld lang syne.
        For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
  Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
  Sin’ auld lang syne.
        For auld, &c.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!
  And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie waught,
  For auld lang syne.
        For auld, &c.


Song—My Bonie Bell

THE SMILING Spring comes in rejoicing,
  And surly Winter grimly flies;
Now crystal clear are the falling waters,
  And bonie blue are the sunny skies.
Fresh o’er the mountains breaks forth the morning,
  The ev’ning gilds the ocean’s swell;
All creatures joy in the sun’s returning,
  And I rejoice in my bonie Bell.

The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,
  The yellow Autumn presses near;
Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,
  Till smiling Spring again appear:
Thus seasons dancing, life advancing,
  Old Time and Nature their changes tell;
But never ranging, still unchanging,
  I adore my bonie Bell.


Song—Fragment—Love for love

ITHERS seek they ken na what,
Features, carriage, and a’ that;
Gie me love in her I court,
Love to love maks a’ the sport.
Let love sparkle in her e’e;
Let her lo’e nae man but me;
That’s the tocher-gude I prize,
There the luver’s treasure lies.


Song—A Man’s a Man for a’ that

Tune—“For a’ that.”

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.
  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:
For a’ that, and a’ that,
  Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
  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:
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,
  A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that;
But an honest man’s abon his might,
  Gude faith, he maunna 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 coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
  Shall brothers be for a’ that.


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