Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
A Man’s a Man for a’ That

By Robert Burns

(Scotland’s most popular poet, 1759–1796)
IS there, for honest poverty,
  That hangs his head, and a’ that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,
  We daur be puir, for a’ that!
      For a’ that, and a’ that,        5
  Our toils obscure and 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 and 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 and a’ that,
The honest man, though e’er sae puir,        15
  Is king o’ men for a’ that.
Ye see yon birkie, ca’ed a lord,
  Wha struta, and stares, and a’ that;
Though hundreds worship at his word,
  He’s but a coof for a’ that:        20
      For a’ that, and a’ that,
  His riband, star, and a’ that;
The man of independent mind,
  He looks and laughs at a’ that.
A king can make a belted knight,        25
  A marquis, duke, and a’ that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
  Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
      For a’ that, and a’ that,
  Their dignities and a’ that,        30
The pith o’ sense and 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
  May bear the gree and a’ that.
      For a’ that, and a’ that—
  It’s coming yet, for a’ that,
When man to man, the warld o’er,
  Shall brithers be for a’ that.        40

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