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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Burns Night 2006

I'm printing the below poem by Robert Burns in celebration of Burns Night 2006

Is there for honest poverty

Is there for honest povery
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, an' 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 cuif 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 aboon his might -
Guid faith, he mauna 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 comin yet for a' that
That man to man the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that

And I cannot resist putting this poem in as well

On hearing a thrush sing in a morning walk in January

Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough,
Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain:
See aged Winter, 'mid his surly reign,
At thy blythe carol clears his furrowed brow.
So in lone Poverty's dominion drear
Sits meek Content with light, unanxious heart,
Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part,
Nor asks if they bring ought to hope or fear.
I thank Thee, Author of this opening day,
Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies!
Riches denied, Thy boon was purer joys:
What wealth could never give nor take away!
Yet come, thou child of Poverty and Care,
The mite high Heav'n bestowed, that mite with thee I'll share.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 11:26


If you want a lesser known Burns poem, how's this, a (rumoured, but apparently genuine) extempore when he was caught by the police vomiting off Leith docks after a drinking session: "My name is Robert Burns I stand on the docks at Leith Because my arse is blocked I'm sh*ting through my teeth." This is poetry by the National Bard and therefore can not possibly be offensive!

Sunny from Arran

Now we like our haggis, neeps and timorous beasties as much as the next bloggers, but Chrissie Mary and I fancied a change this year. We’ll be raising a glass of cheeky green Dounreay claret to Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons. Seemingly Mr Burns has Dell connections and will be touring Ness next summer scrounging free afternoon teas. Then we’ll be right up to the minute seeing that Peat Burns on Celebrity(?) Big Brother at 9.00 – provided the electric stays on. We’ll be having haggis en croute, guga Wellington and neeps gratin if I can get the Raeburn hot enough.

Annie B from Lone Sheiling

I wonder if what Rabbie would have thought of my attempt at ryme in the present day? New Labour O wid some Benefactor gie us Some money that wid maybe free us Fae oot this life o’ debt and pain And let us lift oor heid again Don’t get me wrong, I thought I’d mention We’re grateful for oor wee bit pension It keeps us gaun wae breid and butter But aye oor nose is in the gutter We struggle by as best we’re able Wae crumbs that’s fae oor maisters table We’re better off than some puir folk We dinnie drink, we dinnie smoke But surely life’s no worth a damn If ye can’t afford a wee bit dram Ma Faither was a Labour man and voted a’ his days But then their Socialistic plans were worthy o’ his praise But since New Labour’s taken ower yer feared tae open yer mooth You’ll maybe get flung in tae the Jile for shoutin’ oot the truth Before you vote for Tony Blair just think the risk yer takin’ If he gets away wae a’ his plans he’s Hitler in the making As fur his sidekick Gordon Broon a product o’ the Manse He’d be another Commissar if givin’ half a chance

stromhaggle from mainland Orkney

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