Northern Exposure

By Northern

Would the real Mr Burns please stand forward....

I grew up in a household full of Burns. The poet, not the yellow guy. I absorbed his work without realising it. Don't get me wrong, I can't recite anything more than odd bits and pieces, but it's there in the back of my head. And as I grow older I am rediscovering the wealth of his work.

I have become intrigued by the man as well as his work. I think he is someone I would invite to supper and be entertained by his presence. Although I do think he is someone who is safe enough in the past that it's possible to imagine him as you wish. Be he charmer or rogue, scholar or exciseman, poet or farmer. If he was alive today would he be a radical singer songwriter or pop idol? An impoverished poet or a top ten best seller? Would he drink a single malt or tequila?

One thing I'm sure of is that Rabbie would have loved the Simpsons. I reckon he would have been delighted with the wit and irreverence. The other Mr Burns however would be unlikely to appreciate this one of Rabbie's....

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.

Robert Burns, A Man's a man for a' that (1795)



I've just realised what else would Robert would be doing if he was around today... BLIPPING!

  • 0
  • 0