Poet And Peer

They asked the Bard of Ayr to dine;
The banquet hall was fit and fine,
With gracing it a Lord;
The poet came; his face was grim
To find the place reserved for him
Was at the butler's board.

So when the gentry called him in,
He entered with a knavish grin
And sipped a glass of wine;
But when they asked would he recite
Something of late he'd chanced to write
He ettled to decline.

Then with a sly, sardonic look
He opened up a little book
Containing many a gem;
And as they sat in raiment fine,
So smug and soused with rosy wine,
This verse he read to them.

'You see yon birkie caw'ed a Lord,
Who struts and stares an' a' that,
Though hundreds worship at his word
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that and a' that,
A man's a man for a' that.

He pointed at that portly Grace
Who glared with apoplectic face,
While others stared with gloom;
Then having paid them all he owed,
Burns, Bard of Homespun, smiled and strode
Superbly from the room.

by Robert William Service

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