Happy Burns Day.


Not that Burns, sillies. This one:

i.e. Scotland’s celebrated 18th-century bard, whose birthday the people commemorate annually on January 25th by reciting poetry and eating haggis.

Criminally, I have no scotch in the house, so it’ll have to be a martini with a sleepytime tea chaser for me. But I do have Haggis—my stuffed Scottie dog whom I liberated from that bastion of imperial spending power, Harrod’s, pictured here with his mostly companion, Cecil B. DePig.

And on our boards, that king o’ food, A gude Scotch Haggis!

Here’s some poetry; grab the sheep innards and the whiskey, and let the party begin.

Address To A Haggis (1786)

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ yet 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 was 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 feckles as wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ blody 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’ hands will sned,
Like taps o’ trissle.

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!

2 thoughts on “Happy Burns Day.

  1. I’m saving my single malt and haggis for the weekend, as I’ve found from experience that whisky doesn’t make getting up at 6:30 any easier, even good whisky.

    I think the year doesn’t have enough excuses for haggis, whisky and poetry (admittedly, whisky and poetry don’t need excuses, but haggis is a bit scarce for most of the year where I live). Anyone up for McGonagall night?

  2. Dammit, I missed haggis day…

    (but then, the haggis I was given as a Christmas present is on backorder, so I don’t have any right now anyway. There will be a belated celebration however, when it arrives…)

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