The Merry Muses of Caledonia/For a' that an' a' that


This version did not appear in the original Crochallan edition. It appeared in a very early edition of the spurious "Merry Muses," and we print it in italics because it is much in the vein of "The Patriarch."

The boniest lass that ye meet neist,
Gie her a kiss an' a' that,
In spite o' ilka parish priest,
Repentin' stool, an' a' that.
For a' that an' a' that.
Their mim-mou'd sangs an' a' that,
In time and place convenient.
They'll do't themselves for a' that.
Your patriarchs, in days o' yore.
Had their handmaids an' a' that;
O' bastard gets, some had a score.
An' some had mair than a' that.
For a' that an' a' that,
Your langsyne saunts, an' a' that,
Were fonder o' a bonie lass,
Than you or I, for a' that.

King Davie, when he waxed auld,
An's bluid ran thin an' a' that,
An' fand his c—s were growin' cauld,
Could not refrain, for a' that.
For a' that an' a' that,
To keep him warm, an' a' that.
The daughters o' Jerusalem
Were waled for him, an' a' that.

Wha wadna pity thae sweet dames
He fumbled at, an' a' that,
An' raised their bluid up into flames,
He couldna drown, for a' that.
For a' that an' a' that,
He wanted pith, an' a' that;
For, as to what we shall not name,
What could he do, but claw that.

King Solomon, prince o' divines,
Wha proverbs made, an' a' that,
Baith mistresses an' concubines.
In hunders had, for a' that.
For a' that an' a' that,
Tho' a preacher wise, an' a' that,
The smuttiest sang that e'er was sung,
His "Sang o' Sangs" is a' that.
Then still I swear, a clever chiel
Should kiss a lass, an' a' that,
Tho' priests consign him to the deil,
As reprobate, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that.
Their canting stuff, an' a' that.
They ken nae mair wha's reprobate,
Than you or I, for a' that.

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