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A Man's A Man for A' That

"That man to man, the world o'er, shall brithers be for a' that!" theme of equality, treat everyone as if they were your brother, fraternity 

"The man o' independent mind, he looks and laughs at a' that." Burns asking readers to think for themselves, thinks these "lords" are ridiculous 

"The man's the gowd for a' that." a man's worth comes from what he is like as a person, rather than his material possessions

"Is there, honest poverty that hangs his head." acknowledgement of poverty and hardship, Burns believe these people in poverty have merit, he respects them (word choice of "honest")

"The pith o sense, and pride o' worth, are higher rank than a' that." importance of integrity, good faith/honest/etc are more important than medals or titles

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Address to the Deil

"Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick or Clootie." diminutives to reduce the devil's power, Burns is mocking him. comic portrayal of the devil. 

"Skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me." an acknowledgement of the speaker's sin, he is admitting to his wrongdoings 

"A certain bardie's rantin', drinkin', some luckless hour will send him linkin' to your black pit." Burns is talking about himself. He believes he is going to hell because of the type of life he leads

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Tam O' Shanter

"But pleasures are like poppies spead: you seize the flower, its bloom is shed." fleeting nature of human pleasure, the main theme behind the poem

"Nae man can tether time or tide." inevitability of fate, we are powerless to stop it

"Remember Tam O' Shanter's mare." Meg is the real hero of the story not Tam, theme of flawed everyman, Tam is constantly relying on advice from the women in his life 

"That night a child might understand, the Deil had businnes on his hand." comic portrayal of folklore 

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Holy Willie's Prayer

"Yet I am here, a chosen sample." "A guide, a buckler, and example, to a' Thy flock." Willie thinks he is an example to all other Christians, very narcisstic 

"But Thou remembers we are dust, defil'd wi' sin." Willie blaming God for his wrongdoings, saying that God made him the way he is

"Thou kens what zeal I bear, when drinkers drinks, and swearers swear." hypocritical because Willie is saying he disapproves of people who drink but later uses alcohol to justify his actions, "that Friday I was fou when I cam near her." 

"Thou might hae plung'd me deep in Hell to gnash my gums, to weep and wail in burnin' lakes, where damned devils roar and yell, chain'd to their strakes." vivid depiction of Hell 

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To a Mouse

"Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me. The present only toucheth thee." Burns brings the poem back round to him again, trying to make reader feel sympathy for him because he is troubled by things in his past and future but the mouse isn't 

"An' forward, tho' I canna see, I guess an' fear!" he is afraid of what might happen in the future Burns was struggling on the farm at this point in his life, hadn't made his big debut yet, cruel reality of fate

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley." things don't always work out the way you plan them too, both for him and the mouse 

"I'm truly sorry man's dominion has broken nature's social union." destructive nature of mankind, Burns feels genuinely sorry for what he has done to the mouse, it wouldn't cause him any harm by taking a bit of his crops but he destroyed its house 

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A Poet's Welcome to his Love-Begotten Daughter

"Your comin' I hae fought for, baith kirk and queir." Burns' conflict with the Church, he had to go against his religion in order to keep his daughter who was born out of wedlock

"By my faith, ye're no unwrought for." Burns is telling his daughter that she isn't unwanted just because her birth was unplanned

"Thy poor, worthless daddy's spirit, without his failins." sympathy for speaker, he thinks of himself and "worthless" and doesn't want his daughter to be like him, wants her to be like her mother 

"Be a loving father to thee and brag the name o't." despite everything, he loves his daughter and is proud of her

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