To a haggis
  • It is authoratatively recorded that this traditional Burns Night speciality was produced almost ex tempore at a dinner at the house
  • of a Mr Andrew Bruce, merchant, Castlehill, Edinburgh.
  • FAIR fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
  • Great Chieftan 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,
  • 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 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 you wish her gratefu’ pray’r,
  • Gie her a Haggis!
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  • Notes

  • sonsie: lucky, jolly
  • painch, tripe or thairm: pertaining to its preparation associated with a
  • ruminant's stomach
  • trencher: plate, platter
  • hurdies: hips, thighs
  • Trenching: cutting
  • reekin: smoking
  • dight: wipe, clean corn from chaff as in rustic-labour
  • swall'd: swollen
  • kytes: bellies
  • belyve: by and by
  • rive: tear apart, burst
  • bethankit: the grace after meat
  • ragout, olio: highly spiced meat stews
  • staw: feed to excess
  • sconner: loathing
  • nieve: fist
  • nit: nut
  • walie: ample
  • taps: tops
  • sned: lop off
  • thrissle: thistle
  • skinking: liquid offering
  • jaups: a jerk of water
  • luggies: small wooden dishes with a handles