Scottish Poetry Selection
- Contented Wi' Little and Cantie Wi' Mair

Although the people in Scotland were often poor, many had a reputation for being contented with what little they had (though many also were discontended and emigrated for a better life). Here is a poem written by Robert Burns in 1794, which he regarded as a kind of "self portarait". So much so, that he had an idea of linking it to his portrait which was painted a year later.

Contented Wi' Little and Cantie Wi' Mair

Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair,
Whene'er I foregather wi' Sorrow and Care,
I gie them a skelp as they're creepin' alang,
Wi' a cog o' guid swats, and an auld Scottish sang.

I whyles claw the elbow o' troublesome Thought;
But man is a sodger, and life is a faught:
My mirth and gude humour are coin in my pouch,
And my Freedom's my lairdship nae monarch daur touch.

A towmond o' trouble, should that be my fa',
A night o' gude fellowship sowthers it a':
When at the blythe end o' our journey at last,
Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past!

Blind Chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way;
Be't to me, be't frae me, e'en let the jade gae:
Come Ease, or come Travail, come Pleasure or Pain,
My warst word is:- "Welcome, and welcome again!"

Meaning of unusual words:
cog o' gude swats= pot of good new ale
sowthers=puts to rights
snapper and stoyte=stumble and stagger

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