Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Burns' Night

ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

Tomorrow night, 25th January, is Burns' Night, - the night when Scotland celebrate its most famous bard. There is a lot of tradition bound up with this night and the entire story (and complete works) can be found here, - including the menu for a proper Burns supper. If nothing else, raise a glass to someone who loved life and reflected life so well and died so young.

THE SELKIRK GRACE

Some hae meat an' canna eat
And some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat an' we can eat
And sae the Lord be thankit.

And if it please thee heavenly guide
May never worse be sent
But granted or denied
Lord bless us with content.

Amen

By Robert Burns

8 comments:

Jay said...

I like Burns, but I think I'll pass on the haggis. You've been tagged!

MissWorld said...

I'll happily drink a McEwans...but no haggis for me.

Actually, I remember reading last year that a distributer in Chicago (of all places) was thinking about marketing Vegetarian Haggis. Uhhhh, wonder what ever happened to that brilliant idea. :)

Barb said...

Is that English? :D

Jackie said...

Hey missworld, i tried vegetarian haggis. Delicious, honestly. Cheers to Robbie!! Thanks for reminding us Mark.

Mark said...

Barb; No it's not english, I'm not even sure the Scots would understand it, but it does sound mighty impressive when recited with full dignity at a proper Burns' Supper, with the piper having just finished, the candles flickering around a large oaken table, and the sweet/spice aroma from the haggis wafting around an dark wood panelled room full of grandly dressed Scots ladies and gentlemen.

sandegaye said...

Loved that last line.. "Lord bless us with content".
Something to attain to.

Great post!

Barb said...

Well, since you put it that way... :) I just finished reading a book in which most of the events take place in Scotland--"Payment in Blood" by Elizabeth George. It's one of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. I love the show, too!

Anonymous said...

lol well this scot understands it mark . and yes its old scots tongue :)