Traditional Scottish Songs
- Truth and Honour



Francis Bennoch (1812-1890), the author of this song, was a son of a farmer on the estates of the Duke of Buccleuch in Dumfries. He became a successful merchant in London but retained his links with the Scottish Borders by writing a good number of songs which were influenced by his love of his homeland and his upbringing.


      Truth and Honour

If wealth thou art wooing, or title, or fame,
There is that in the doing brings honour or shame;
There is something in running life's perilous race,
Will stamp thee as worthy, or brand thee as base.
      Oh, then, be a man and, whatever betide,
      Keep truth thy companion, and honour thy guide.

If a king be thy kingship right royally shewn,
And trust to thy subjects to shelter thy throne;
Rely not on weapons or armies of might,
But on that which endureth, laws, loving and right.
      Though a king, be a man and, whatever betide,
      Keep truth thy companion, and honour thy guide.

If a noble remember, though ancient thy blood,
The heart truly noble is that which is good;
Should a stain of dishonour encrimson thy brow,
Thou art slave to the peasant that sweats at the plough.
      Be noble as man and, whatever betide,
      Keep truth thy companion, and honour thy guide.

If lover or husband be faithful and kind,
For doubting is death to the sensitive mind;
Love's exquisite passion a breath may destroy;
The sower in faith, reapeth harvests of joy.
      Love dignifies man and, whatever betide,
      Keep truth thy companion, and honour thy guide.

If a father be firm, yet forgiving, and prove
How the child honours him who rebuketh with love.
If rich, or if poor, or whate'er thou may'st be,
Remember the truthful alone are the free.
      Erect in thy manhood, whatever betide,
      Keep truth thy companion, and honour thy guide.

Then, though sickness may come, or misfortunes may fall,
There is that in thy bosom surviveth them all;
Truth, honour, love, friendship, no tempests can pale,
They are beacons of light in adversity's gale.
      Oh, the manlike is godlike no ill shall betide
      While truth's thy companion, and honour thy guide.

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs




Where else would you like to go in Scotland?








Separator line