Today is the 216th anniversary of the death of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Bard and, perhaps, most loved figure.
It is clearly a moment for contemplation rather than celebration.
So we simply include some words from Oor Rabbie, who believed that all men were created equal:
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.
bear the gree = come to the fore
But he was also a romantic:
Ye banks and braes o’ bonnie Doon
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chaunt, ye little birds,
And I sae weary, fu’ o’ care.
Ye’ll break my heart, ye warbling birds
That wanton through the flowery thorn,
Ye mind me o’ departed joys,
Departed, never to return.
and even in English:
But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white–then melts for ever;