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,
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,
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!
Robert Burns, poet and songwriter, was born in Scotland on January 25, 1759, and died of rheumatic fever on July 21, 1796. He was 37.
To my Muse, December 29, 1725
Come Gentle Muse, and once more lend thine aid,
O bring thy Succour to a humble Maid!
How often dost thou liberally dispense
To our dull Breast thy quick’ning Influence!
By thee inspir’d, I’ll chearful tune my Voice,
And Love and sacred Friendship make my Choice.
In my pleas’d Bosom you can freely pour,
A greater Treasure than Joves Golden Shower.
Come now, fair Muse, and fill my empty Mind,
With rich Idea’s, great and unconfin’d.
Instruct me in those secret Arts that lie
Unseen to all but to a Poet’s Eye.
O let me burn with Sappho’s noble Fire,
But not like her for faithless man expire.
And let me rival great Orinda’s Fame,
Or like sweet Philomela’s be my Name.
Go lead the way, my Muse, nor must you stop,
‘Till we have gain’d Parnassus shady Top:
‘Till I have view’d those fragrant soft Retreats,
Those Fields of Bliss, the Muses sacred Seats.
I’ll then devote thee to fair virtues Fame,
And so be worthy of a Poet’s name.
Book – American Poetry: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Copyright 2007. p. 454.