Address to the haggis, by Robert Burns 

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

haggis dishEvery year on January 25, Burns Night is celebrated throughout Scotland – and some parts of the globe – to remember the success and achievements of their national poet, Robert Burns (1759–1796). 

The night originated in 1796 after Robert's death on July 21 by his close friends and relatives, but was later changed to his birthday some years later. 

All sorts of traditions are honoured on this day, from bag pipes and speeches to offerings of haggis, neeps and tatties served with a dram of whisky. But no Burns Night would be complete without Robert's famous poem about his appreciation of haggis.

Address to the 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 ye 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;

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 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’ 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 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

(First published in The Caledonian Mercury, 1786)

 

Fieldsports uses cookies. If you continue we assume you are happy to receive cookies. Cookie policy.