Analects of the Core: Burns on honesty and poverty

Is there, for honest poverty,
That hangs his head, and a’ that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, and a’ that,
Our toils obscure, and a’ that;
The rank is but the guinea-stamp,
The man ‘s the gowd for a’ that!

What tho’ on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, 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!

- from “Is There for Honest Poverty” by Robert Burns, whose poetry among others’ will be considered by Prof. Christopher Ricks in a lecture next Tuesday for the students of CC202

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