Happy Robbie Burns Day all. January 25th is a beloved holiday for all who have (or wish they had; afterall who wouldn’t) a connection to Scotland- the real home of the Brave. Tonight we toast the 18th century bard; a prolific writer (and prolific manwhore if we’re being honest) and manifestation of 18th century Scotland. He’s often raunchy, crude, obscene (or “bawdy” as they called him). But Burns still holds a special place in the heart of every Scot. In spite of the fact many works attributed to him are the 18th century equivalent of a dirty limerick on a bathroom stall, his romance poems have won the hearts of many a’ lassie, and his nationalistic ballads echo forever in the hearts, and bring tears to the eyes of every haggis bashin’ oatmeal savage. It was Burns’ poems that helped my gruff and unsophisticated Pop-Pop woo my prim and proper Oxford born-and-bred Grandmother. And for that I am eternally grateful to the Ayrshire Bard (or simply “the Bard”). So, tonight, lift a dram of Scotch, enjoy your haggis with neeps and tatties, and bless to crude but lovable scamp Rabbie Burns
Address to a Haggis, Robert Burns (1759-1796)
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 hudies 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 ye up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
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;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
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;
Tho’ bluidy 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 whistle;
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 gratfu’ prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!