By David Jefferies Esq.


The poems and songs listed below are included in “1801” and can be found in James Burke’s Book – “Poems and Songs of Robert Burns”



“ Lass of Ballochmyle


“Lines on Marriage”


“To Robert Aitken”


“Of a’ the airts”


“Epitaph to Captain Grose”


“On Captain Grose”


“Ae fond kiss”


“To Willie Stewart”


“On Holy Willie”


“Green grow the rashes o’ 


“Willie brew’d a peck o’ maut


“A Bard’s epitaph”


“A man’s a man”


“Auld Lang Syne



The characters portrayed in the sketch :


Rev’d Hamilton Paul (minister)

Patrick Douglas (Doctor)

William Crawford (Farmer)

John Ballantyne (Farmer)

David Scott (Banker)

Hugh Ferguson (Barrack Master, Ayr)

Robert Aitken (Lawyer)

Tom Jackson (Rector, Ayr Academy)

Primrose Kennedy (Farmer)

The scene is set in the “auld clay biggin” on a cold January night. The cottage is now an ale-house and the landlord can be seen cleaning his mugs and tankards.



Guid evening Rev. Paul. “guid evening Dr Douglas”

H Paul

P Douglas

Guid evening landlord”

“It’s grand tae get in ‘oot the cauld


“It’s a while since ah’ve seen yer guid selves here. What wey is the wind blawin’ the night? What brings ye here?”

H Paul

“What brings us here? Man dae ye no ken what day this is?”


“No. What’s sae particular aboot the day?”

H Paul

“Well for your information, this is the 29th o’ January. Does that no ring a bell?”


“No. Should it?”


H Paul

“Man, this is the Bard’s birthday!”

P Douglas

An ye’ll ken when we say the Bard, we’re referrintae Scotland’s ain Rabbie Burns. So a few o’ his auld freen’s are meeting here the night in the cley biggin to drin a wee – or maybe a big – toast tae him. So we’ll hae a seat, if you’ll fill up a couple o’ jugs o’ yer best ale”



“Aye, it’ll be a pleasure tae fill them up for such a special occasion. Ah’ve been reading some o’ his songs and poems. Man, they’re the best ah’ve ever read”


H Paul

“Aye, there’s hundreds o’ folk wid’ agree wi’ ye oan that, an’ did ye ken there’s a Dr James Currie has just recently published Burns’ biography?”


“Aye, ah’ve heard that but ah’ve no been fortunate enough tae come by a copy yet”


(Enter William Crawford and John Ballantyne)

P Douglas

“Oh, here’s Willie Crawford an’ John Ballantyne. Take a seat lads. Landlord, two mair jugs o’ yer ale for oor freends here. If ah ken this pair they’ll be dying o’ thirst. Although, John here looks like he’s had a few already!”


J Ballantyne

“Aye, you’re a fine yin’ tae talk doctor. Are ye still drinking mair o’ yer medicinal spirit than ye gie tae yer patients?

W Crawford

“An’ your no much better Hamilton Paul. There’s never any wine left in yer kirk for communion!”


(Enter Davie Scott)

P Douglas

“Look lads, the right man’s in noo, it’s Scott the banker. Come on Davie- yer on the bell!”

D Scott

A’richt, a’richt. Fill them up landlord. But what brings you randy gangrel bodies here the nicht?”

H Paul

“Well Davie, this is the Bard’s birthday so a few o’ his friends decided that we’ll meet an’ hae a bit drink in his memory an’ we’re a’ pleased ye’ve dropped in tae join us”

D Scott

“Here, wait a meenit. This is the 29th o’ January should ye no’ hae been here on the 25th?”

H Paul

“The 25th? No ah think yer wrong there Davie. Ah’ve been reading Currie’s biography o’ Burns and he has it doon as the 29th o’ January. Surely he would get it right?”

D Scott

“Well let’s see hoo strong yer faith is Reverend. Ah’ll wager a guinea that Rabbie was born on the 25th. Will ye take me on?”

H Paul

“Oh ministers like masel dinnae hae the money that you bankers hae, but ah’m willing tae bet ye half a guinea Davie”

D Scott

“Right yer on. Lads – you’re a’ witnesses tae the bet”

W Crawford

Hammy, ah’m sure ye’ll win that bet an’ maybe ye’ll be able tae afford the best brandy at next communion”

J Ballantyne

Ah’m no sae sure Willie. The banker’s aye been tight wi’ his money, he only bets on sure things”

P Douglas

“Come on now lads, we’re here tae honour Rabbie no tae argue owere him. Let’s appoint a Chairman an hae a wee sing-song”

W Crawford

“Well they say ministers are aye guid at talking. What aboot Hamilton Paul for Chairman?”

H Paul

“Fair enough Willie. Ah’ maybe talk on a bit but ah ken that you are a grand singer. What aboot you for the first song?”

W Crawford

“Well ah asked for that, but aye I’ll gie ye a song although ah usually like a few mair drinks tae wet ma’ throat”


Song – Lass o’ Ballochmyle


‘Twas even: the dewy fields were green

On every blade the pearls hang.

The zephyr wanton’d round the bean

And bore it fragrant sweets alang.

In every glen the mavis sang

All Nature list’ning seem’d the while

Except where greenwood echoes rang.

Amang the braes o’ Ballochmyle



The bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle

The bonnie lass

The bonnie, bonnie lass

The bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle


With careless step I onward stray’d

My heart rejoiced in Nature’s joy.

When, musing in a lonely glen

A maiden fair I chanc’d to spy.

Her look was like the morning’s eye,

Her air like Nature’s vernal smile.

Perfection whisper’d passing by –

“Behold the lass o’ Ballochmyle




Fair is the morn in flow’ry May

And sweet is night in autumn mild.

When roving thro’ the garden gay

Or wand’ring in the lonely wild;

But Woman, Nature’s darling child-

There all her charms she does compile;

Even there her other works are foil’d

By the bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle



O’ had she been a country maid

And I the happy country swain.

Thoshelter’d in the lowest shed

That ever rose on Scotia’s plain.

Thro’ weary winter’s wind and rain,

With joy, with rapture, I would toil;

And nightly to my bosom strain

The bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle




Then pride might climb the slipp’ry steep

Where fame and honours lofty shine;

And thirst of gold might tempt the deep

Or downward seek the Indian mine!

Give me the cot below the pine

To tend the flocks or till the soil,

And ev’ry day have joys divine

With the bonnie lass o’ Ballochmyle.





(After song, enter Robert Aiken and Hugh Ferguson)

H Paul

“Well if it’s no Bob Aiken and Hughie Ferguson. Come on in an’ join the company. Get yersels a drink”

R Aiken

“That was a braw song ye were singing Willie. Ah ken whae wrote that yin. That wis yin o’ Rabbies best”


Reverend, Bob here’s the very man tae settle that bet. Will ye no baith abide by his decision?”

D Scott

“Aye, ah will if you will Hammy”

H Paul

“Right, ah feel the money’s as guid as mine”


Well Bob, the Reverend here and the banker are having a dispute as tae the date o’ Rabbie’s birth. Ah’m sure you can tell us whae’s right”

R Aiken

That’s nae bother. Rabbie wis born on the 25th o’ January 1759”

D Scott

“There ye are. What did ah tell ye? That’s half a guinea you owe me Hammy”

H Paul

“Are ye sure aboot that Bob? As ah said before ye came in, Dr Currie has it in his book as the 29th?”

R Aiken

“Aye, but I believe that Curries is in the process o’ re-writing the biography tae correct some o’ his mistakes – an ah can assure ye that wis yin o’ them. And besides, Rabbie tells us himself in his song -




Oor Monarch’s hindmost year but yin

Was five and twenty days begun

T’was then a blast o’ Januar’ wind

Blew hansel in on Robin”


Chorus sung by the company

H Ferguson

“Aye Bob here’s the man tae ken for he kent Rab better than ony o’ us here”

H Paul

“OK Davie, ah concede. There’s yer half guinea – but seeing as you’ve nae shortage o’ money ye’ll no mind if we use this tae buy another drink”

D Scott

“Fair enough – Landlord, fill them up an’ hae yin yersel’”


Enter Tom Jackson and Primrose Kennedy

W Crawford

“Look, here’s Jackson and Kennedy. A never thought ye’d make it Prim. That wife o’ yours must have let ye off the lead the nicht

P Kennedy

“Oh, so ye think ah’m like a collie dug since ah got married. Maybe rer’ no far wrong richt enough, it’s no the same as being single”

P Douglas

Her Prim, Rabbie wrote some words appropriate tae your marital situation”

P Kennedy

“Well, let’s hear them then”

P Douglas

(“Lines on Marriage”)


“That hackney’d judge of human life

The Preacher and the King

Observes:- “the man that gets a wife

He gets a noble thing”

But how capricious are Mankind

Now loathing, now desirous!

We married men, how oft we find

The best of things will tire us!”

T Jackson

“C’mon lads,never mind Kennedy’s grumpy wife, what aboot a drink for two thirsty men?”

H Paul

“Right lads, you’ve got a bit catching up tae dae – fill them up landlord”

J Ballantyne

“Aye Kennedy, according tae Bob Aiken here, we’re four days late in starting oor celebrations. It seems Rab wiz born on the 25th o’ January”

P Kennedy

Jingsdinnae tell me we’ve missed oot on four days drinking?”

T Jackson

“Well, you were a particular freend o’ the Bard Bob so you must ken. In fact did he no dedicate The Cottars Saturday Night tae you?”

R Aiken

“Aye Tam, ah’m pleased tae say that he did”

P Kennedy

“He did mair than that, he wrote a poem – “To Robert Aiken” – especially for Bob here”

H Paul

Dae ye ken that yin Prim?”

P Kennedy

“Aye, ah ken it fine!”

H Paul

“Well up yer feet man an’ let everybody hear it”

P Kennedy

“To Robert Aiken”


Assist me, Coila, while I sing
The virtues o' a crony
That in the blessings friendships bring
Has ne'er been match'd by mony.
And wha's the man sic land to gain?
There can be nae mistakin',
As if there could be mair than ane --
Step forrat Robert Aiken!

When I had neither poun' nor plack
To rub on ane anither;
When hope's horizon seemed as black
As midnicht a'-the-gither:
When chased and challenged by the law
My he'rt was after quakin',
Wha stude my steady fiere for a'? --
O, wha but Robert Aiken!

When he and she baith young and auld
Were bent on my undoin',
And tried by lees and scandals bauld
To drive me clean to ruin:
Wha never aince withdrew his smile,
Or listened to the claiken'? --
Ah, he's a frien' that's worth the while,
A man like Robert Aiken!

When first I tried my rustic pen
In little bits o' rhyme'
Wha introduced me but and ben
And helped me in my climbin'?
Wha advertised abroad my name,
'A minstrel in the makin','
Wha fairly read me into fame,
But Lawyer Robert Aiken!

And when wi' muckle qualms I socht
To get my poems printed,
While mony 'frien's' nae copies bocht
And some, their orders stinted:
Wha by the dizzen and the score
The names to me was rakin'? --
The king o' a' the buyin' corps
Was surely Robert Aiken!

The time will come when I'll be deemed
A poet grander, greater,
Than ever prophesied or dreamed
The loodest, proodest prater,
Then let this fact be published too
That at the bard's awakin'
The truest, kindest friend he knew
Was honest Robert Aiken!


(At this point, John Ballantyne who is becoming drunk, tries to sing the bawdy version of Green Grow the Rashes  - he is shouted down)

H Paul

“Come on noo gentlemen – a wee bit order. An’ John, you jist wait yer turn”

R Aiken

“Aye, Rab loved his freends weel enough but he loved the lassies tae an’ the yin he loved best wis bonnie Jean”

D Scott

“He must have when he wrote “Of a’ the Airts” tae her”

H Paul

“Come on the Davie, we’ll no jist let you buy a’ the drink, ye can sing us a song tae. Up on yir feet man for “O’ a’ the Airts”

D Scott

Of  a’ the Airts”


“Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw

I dearly love the west

For there the bonnie lassie lives

The lass I love the best

There wild woods grow and rivers row

And mony a hill between

Both day and night my fancy’s flight

Is ever with my Jean


Blaw you westlin’ winds, blaw saft

Amang the leafy trees

I hear he voice in ilka bird

Bring hame the laden bees

And bring the lassie back to me

The mountain, shaw or green

Ae blink o’ her wad banish care

Sae lovely is my Jean


What sighs and vows among yon knows

Hae past atween us twa

Sae fain tae meet, I wad tae pairt

The day she gang awa

The powers above can only know

To whom my heart has seen

Bring the lassie back to me

My sweet and lovely Jean



(After the song Ballantyne again gets up and is again shouted down)

H Paul

“C’mon lads, gie some order. Hughie, you’re sitting there awfy quiet. Can you no gie us a turn?”

H Ferguson

Dae ye mind o’ yon fat fodgel wight Captain Grose, who died aboot ten years ago?”

T Jackson

“Oh aye Hughie, ah mind him well. The Bard wrote his epitaph an’ as he usually did, he wrote afore the man died! Ah think it went -




Epitaph to Captain Grose


The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dying
So whip! at the summons, old Satan came flying;
But when he approached where poor Francis lay moaning,
saw each bed-post with its burthen a-groaning,
Astonish'd, confounded, cries Satan-"By God,
I'll want him,
ere I take such a damnable load!"


T Jackson

“Sorry Hughie, what were ye aboot tae say?”

H Ferguson

“Aye, Grose wis a well educated man. He wrote “The Antiquities of England and Wales”. Then he came up here to write “The Antiquities of Scotland”. And of course it was him who suggested to Rabbie that he should write about the witches and the like - of course that turned out as “Tam o’ Shanter”. But here is what Rab had to say aboot him -


On Captain Grose


Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots,

Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's;-

If there's a hole in a' your coats,

I rede you tent it:

A chield's amang you takin notes,

And, faith, he'll prent it:


If in your bounds ye chance to light

Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight,

O' stature short, but genius bright,

That's he, mark weel;

And wow! he has an unco sleight

O' cauk and keel.


By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin,

Or kirk deserted by its riggin,

It's ten to ane ye'll find him snug in

Some eldritch part,

Wi' deils, they say, Lord save's! colleaguin

At some black art.


Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chaumer,

Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,

And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar,

Warlocks and witches,

Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer,

Ye midnight bitches.


It's tauld he was a sodger bred,

And ane wad rather fa'n than fled;

But now he's quat the spurtle-blade,

And dog-skin wallet,

And taen the-Antiquarian trade,

I think they call it.


He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets:

Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets,

Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets,

A towmont gude;

And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets,

Before the Flood.


Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;

Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fender;

That which distinguished the gender

O' Balaam's ass:

A broomstick o' the witch of Endor,

Weel shod wi' brass.


Forbye, he'll shape you aff fu' gleg

The cut of Adam's philibeg;

The knife that nickit Abel's craig

He'll prove you fully,

It was a faulding jocteleg,

Or lang-kail gullie.


But wad ye see him in his glee,

For meikle glee and fun has he,

Then set him down, and twa or three

Gude fellows wi' him:

And port, O port! shine thou a wee,

And Then ye'll see him!


Now, by the Pow'rs o' verse and prose!

Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose!-

Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose,

They sair misca' thee;

I'd take the rascal by the nose,

Wad say, "Shame fa' thee!"


(Ballantyne starts singing again and is told to shut up)

H Paul

“C’mon John, ye’ll get yer turn. Landlord, gie him nae mair drink- he’s had enough”

D Scott

“See Ballantyne there, he wis ane o’ the men that persuaded Burns tae go tae Edinburgh an get a second edition published”

R Aiken

“Aye, when Rabbie wis in Edinburgh he mixed wi’ a few intellectuals there. An’ he could aye haud his ain wi’them

D Scott

Aye Bob an’ when he wis there, he hel his ain wi’ a few o’ the lassies as weel. That wis where he had the fling wi’ Mrs McElhose


“We can thank that affair wi’ Clarinda for ane o’ the most beautiful love songs ever written”

H Paul

“Landlord, your doing very weel for yersel’ selling o’ this frink. Ah think it’s time ye gave us something in return – let’s hear Ae Fond Kiss”


Ae Find Kiss


Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;

Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,

Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,

While the star of hope she leaves him?

Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;

Dark despair around benights me.


I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,

Naething could resist my Nancy:

But to see her was to love her;

Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never lov'd sae kindly,

Had we never lov'd sae blindly,

Never met-or never parted,

We had ne'er been broken-hearted.


Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!

Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!

Thine be ilka joy and treasure,

Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!

Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!

Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,

Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

P Douglas

“Ye made a grand job o’ that landlord – did ye ken that Rabbie wrote a poem aboot a landlords son by the name of Willie Stewart?”


“No, ah dinnae ken that. Can ye quote it?”`

P Douglas

“Aye, ah think I can mind the words”

P Douglas

To Willie Stewart


In honest Bacon's ingle-neuk

Here maun I sit and think,

Sick o' the warld and warld's folk,

An' sick, damn'd sick, o' drink!


I see, I see there is nae help,

But still doun I maun sink,

Till some day laigh enough I yelp: --

'Wae worth that cursed drink!'


Yestreen, alas! I was sae fu'

I could but yisk and wink;

And now this day, sair, sair I rue

The weary, weary drink.


Satan, I fear thy sooty claws,

I hate thy brunstane stink,

And ay I curse the luckless cause,

The wicked soup o' drink.


In vain I would forget my woes

In idle rhyming clink,

For, past redemption damn'd in Prose,

I can do nought but drink.


To you my trusty, well try'd friend,

May heaven still on you blink,

And may your life flow to the end,

Sweet as a dry man's drink!


(Ballantyne on his feet again and is once more stopped from singing)

H Paul

“Order lads, order. Is thee any other man here can dae a turn afore this man gets his shot? Because ah’ reckon when he starts, we’ll never get him stopped”

T Jackson

“Well Mr Chairman, other than chairing this wee gathering, ye’ve done nothing yersel’ an’ ah thought wi’ you being a man o’ the cloth, ye’d be interested in some o’ Rabbie’s religious satires. “Holy Willie’s Prayer” for example. Can ye recite something along thae lines?”

H Paul

“Aye, well ah particularly liked his satire on Willie Fisher, so I’ll be like yersel’ an’ let ye hear his epitaph on Holy Willie  - an’ this wis another yin he wrote before the man wis deid


“Epitaph On Holy Willie”


Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay

Taks up its last abode;

His saul has ta'en some other way,

I fear, the left-hand road.


Stop! there he is, as sure's a gun,

Poor, silly body, see him;

Nae wonder he's as black's the grun,

Observe wha's standing wi' him.


Your brunstane devilship, I see,

Has got him there before ye;

But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,

Till ance you've heard my story.


Your pity I will not implore,

For pity ye have nane;

Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,

And mercy's day is gane.


But hear me, Sir, deil as ye are,

Look something to your credit;

A coof like him wad stain your name,

If it were kent ye did it.



W Crawford

“Aye Mr Chairman, after persecuting the Bard and many others, Fisher took tae the demon drink himsel’. An’ while I’m on ma feet Mr Chairman, are we no’ forgetting what we are here for? Tae drink a toast tae Rabbie!”

P Douglas

“An’ we’re no’ toasting him wi’ ale either


“Wi’ tippeny, we fear nae evil

Wi usquabae, we’ll face the devil”


So bring on the hard stuff landlord for we’ll need it tae face the devil when we get hame the night.

And the banker will pay for it”


H Paul (stands)

“Well gentlemen, tae oor dear departed friend and Scotland’s greatest son. I ask you to be upstanding an’ join me in a toast tae Scotland’s Bard Rabbie Burns”


(Company responds – “Rabbie Burns”)



(Ballantyne stands up again after the toast trying to sing – Kennedy interrupts)

P Kennedy

Mr Chairman, will ye no’ let this man sing an’ get it over wi’?”

H Paul

“Right-o John, if you’re gointae sing, we’re no’ wanting the bawdy version – this is no the Bachelor’s Club”

J Ballantyne

“Green Grow the Rashes O’”


Chorus. - Green grow the rashes, O;

Green grow the rashes, O;

The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,

Are spent amang the lasses, O.


There's nought but care on ev'ry han',

In ev'ry hour that passes, O:

What signifies the life o' man,

An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.



The war'ly race may riches chase,

An' riches still may fly them, O;

An' tho' at last they catch them fast,

Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.



But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,

My arms about my dearie, O;

An' war'ly cares, an' war'ly men,

May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!



For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;

Ye're nought but senseless asses, O:

The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,

He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.



Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears

Her noblest work she classes, O:

Her prentice han' she try'd on man,

An' then she made the lasses, O.



(After the song he is cheered and asked to give another one. He invites W Crawford and P Kennedy to join him)




“Willie Brewed a Peck O’ Maut


O Willie brew'd a peck o' maut,

 And Rob and Allen cam to see;

 Three blyther hearts, that lee-lang night,

 Ye wadna found in Christendie.


 Chorus.-We are na fou, we're nae that fou,

But just a drappie in our ee;

 The cock may craw, the day may daw

 And aye we'll taste the barley bree.


 Here are we met, three merry boys,

 Three merry boys I trow are we;

 And mony a night we've merry been,

 And mony mae we hope to be!



 It is the moon, I ken her horn,

 That's blinkin' in the lift sae hie;

 She shines sae bright to wyle us hame,

 But, by my sooth, she'll wait a wee!



 Wha first shall rise to gang awa,

 A cuckold, coward loun is he!

Wha first beside his chair shall fa',

 He is the King amang us three.




“OK then lads. Willie micht have brewed a peck o’ maut but you’ve drunk it. So come on, it’s time ye were a’ hame an’ in yer beds. Ah’ve nae doot yer wives will hae them well warmed by now. So finish yer drinks an’ on yer way”

T Jackson

“Aye nae bother landlord, we’re just about ready, but before we go ah’d like tae dae a turn – wi’ the Chairman’s permission of course. We’ve heard epitaphs the night aboot other men but ah’d like ye tae hear the epitaph that Rab wrote aboot himsel’. An’ this wis another yin he wrote before he wis deid!”

T Jackson

“A Bard’s Epitaph”


Is there a whim-inspired fool,

Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,

Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,

Let him draw near;

And owre this grassy heap sing dool,

And drap a tear.


Is there a bard of rustic song,

Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,

That weekly this area throng,

O, pass not by!

But, with a frater-feeling strong,

Here, heave a sigh.


Is there a man, whose judgment clear

Can others teach the course to steer,

Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,

Wild as the wave,

Here pause-and, thro' the starting tear,

Survey this grave.


The poor inhabitant below

Was quick to learn the wise to know,

And keenly felt the friendly glow,

And softer flame;

But thoughtless follies laid him low,

And stain'd his name!


Reader, attend! whether thy soul

Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,

Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,

In low pursuit:

Know, prudent, cautious, self-control

Is wisdom's root.


H Paul

“Aye there’s nae doot Tam that oor Rab’s a sorry miss but even tho’ he’s no’ wi’ us here the night tae celebrate his birth, we’ll meet again next year – but on the right day – the 25th o’ January. Sure we’ll a’ enjoy reciting his poems and singing his songs, aye. An’ who knows  - maybe we’ve started something”



(The company, quite fu’ by this time, start to sing “Is there for honesty poverty”


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.


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.



(The company then takes their leave and break into “Auld Lang Syne)


(Once the alehouse is empty, the landlord counting his money says –


“Ah only wish that Rabbie had a birthday every week”