Mudcat Café message #3060536 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134391   Message #3060536
Posted By: Jim McLean
24-Dec-10 - 05:10 AM
Thread Name: Burns lyric query - 'And All That"
Subject: RE: Burns lyric query
ABCD, the quote is from Alexander Pope's Essay on Man:

Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with strings,
That thou mayst be by kings, or whores of kings,
Boast the pure blood of an illustrious race,
In quiet flow from Lucrece to Lucrece:
But by your fathers' worth if yours you rate,
Count me those only who were good and great.
Go! if your ancient but ignoble blood
Has crept thro' scroundrels ever since the flood,
Go! and pretend your family is young,
Nor own your fathers have been fools so long.
What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards.


The whole Essay is worth reading and probably indicates inspiration for Burns' song (being discussed).