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Friday poem: 'Address to a Haggis'

Friday poem: 'Address to a Haggis'

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

By Robert Burns

 
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy o'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 sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony 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;
Then 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 make 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 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 mak 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!
 

Every January 25th Burns Night suppers are held to celebrate the birthday of Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns.

It’s traditional for these celebrations of Scottish food, drink and verse to begin with a rendition of 'Address to a Haggis', which ends with the reader raising the haggis in triumph during the final line 'Gie her a haggis!'

In celebration of Scotland’s literary heritage we’ve compiled a list of our favourite modern poets from North of the border. Read all about them here.

 

Sign up to the Picador Friday poem email to receive a handpicked poem straight to your inbox each week. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 by Sophie.Painter with 0 comments
Filed under: Burns, Burn's, Haggis, literature, Night, poetry, poets, Robert, Scotland, Scottish


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