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Once more Joan Braman returns to Der Vinkl with her translation of English classics into Yiddish. Except this time, the English poet is really a Scot named Robert Burns (1759-1796).

One of seven children born to a hard-working and very intelligent farmer and his wife, Burns was truly a people’s poet. He never hesitated to poke fun at the elitist snobs,and he found truly noble qualities in the common folk who lived by their labor, as we see in the following excerpt from one of his poems.

For A’ That and A’ That

Is there for honest poverty

That hings his head an’ a’ that?

The coward-slave we pass him by,

We dare be poor for a’ that!

For a’ that an’ a’ that

Our toil’s obscure, and a’ that;

The rank is but the guinea’s stamp;

The man’s the gowd for a’ that!

What tho’ on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hoddin’ grey, an’ a’ that

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,

A man’s a man for a’ that.

For a’ that an a’ that

Their tinsel show an’ a’ that

The honest man, tho e’er sae poor,

Is king o’ men for a’ that…

Then let us pray that come it may,

As come it will for a’ that;

That sense and worth, o’er a’ the earth

May bear the gree, an’ a’ that,

For a’ that and a’ that

It’s coming yet, for a’ that,

That man to man the warld o’er

Shall brothers be for a’ that.

Un Dos Iz Dos, Un Dos Iz Alts

Hura! A loyb tsu oremkayt,

Vos shemt zikh nit, un halt zikh shtolts!

Der padkhen-shklaf farmaydn zolst,

Tsu orem zayn iz nit kayn zind!

Un dos iz ats, un dos iz alts

Tsu horeven, yo dos iz alts;

Tsi arbetsman, tsi balebos,

Der mentsch iz goldn, un dos iz alts.

Tsi arbetsman, tsi balebos

Der mentsch iz goldn, un dos iz alts.

A raykher man me darf nit zayn

Oysgefaynt un oysgeputst;

Nit neytik zaydns oder vayn.

Der mentsch iz vert zayn mentshlekhkayt

Un dos iz dos, nit mer vi dos.

Far naronim iz der maskerarad;

An erlekher man, khotsh oreman,

A keynig iz, un dos iz alts.

Lomir hofn az s’vet kumen a tsayt,

Un kumen vet, un dos iz alts,

Ven khokhme un vert iber al der erd,

Veln hershen shoyn, un dos iz alts.

Un dos iz alts, un dos iz alts

Kumen vet, un kumen bald,

Ven mentsch mit mentsch der velt arum

Veln brider zayn, un dos iz alts.




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