Robert Burns

January 25, 2012

Robert Burns also known as  Rabbie Burns –  the Ploughman Poet -Scotland’s favorite son – and Poet of the People was a farmer, tax collector, folk hero, and a Poet  who wrote lyrics in the Scottish dialect. The National poet ofScotlandwas born on January 25, 1759 in Alloway,Ayrshire,Scotlandand died on July 21, 1796 at the early age of 37 inDumfries,Scotland.

Robert was the eldest of seven children born to William Burnes and Agnes Broun.   They were a very close knit family exposed to hard times and poverty. 

 

William Burnes (d 1784) realized education was paramount.  His wife, Agnes was illiterate but she knew many songs which she often sang to her children.

 

Robert Burns famous for his rebellion against traditional religion and morality had many loves in his life but he married only one, Jean Armour.  Jean bore him many children even after her father had the marriage annulled.

 

Robert Burns wrote ‘To A Haggis’ elevating the poor mans dish to great heights.

 

To a Haggis

 

 

All hail your honest rounded face,

Great chieftain of the pudding race;

Above them all you take your place,

Beef, tripe, or lamb:

You’re worthy of a grace

As long as my arm.

 

The groaning trencher there you fill,

Your sides are like a distant hill

Your pin would help to mend a mill,

In time of need,

While through your pores the dews distil,

Like amber bead.

 

His knife the rustic goodman wipes,

To cut you through with all his might,

Revealing your gushing entrails bright,

Like any ditch;

And then, what a glorious sight,

Warm, welcome, rich.

 

Then plate for plate they stretch and strive,

Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,

Till all the bloated stomachs by and by,

Are tight as drums.

The rustic goodman with a sigh,

His thanks he hums.

 

Let them that o’er his French ragout,

Or hotchpotch fit only for a sow,

Or fricassee that’ll make you spew,

And with no wonder;

Look down with sneering scornful view,

On such a dinner.

 

Poor devil, see him eat his trash,

As feckless as a withered rush,

His spindly legs and good whip-lash,

His little feet

Through floods or over fields to dash,

O how unfit.

 

But, mark the rustic, haggis-fed;

The trembling earth resounds his tread,

Grasp in his ample hands a flail

He’ll make it whistle,

Stout legs and arms that never fail,

Proud as the thistle.

 

You powers that make mankind your care,

And dish them out their bill of fare.

OldScotlandwants no stinking ware,

That slops in dishes;

But if you grant her grateful prayer,

Give her a haggis.

 

 

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