I will start of with something safe (relatively) and seasonal -- given that Burns' Night is coming up January 25th. Perhaps I ought not have said "coming up" in connection with "the noble Haggis," but there I've gone and said it. Cheers!
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 worthy 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 through your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic labour dight,
And cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like ony ditch;
And then, oh, what a glorious sight,
Then horn for horn they stretch and strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragoût
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricasse wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic' a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as wither'd rash,
His spindle-shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
Oh, 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;
And legs, and arms, and heads will sned,
like taps o' thrissle.
Ye powers 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!
The haggis poem (cough, cough) below was most kindly forwarded to me by Andy Fraser, currently of New Hampshire, formerly of Kyle of Lochalsh in the west highlands of Scotland. It is something he picked up hunter-gathering somewhere on the Net and he disclaims any accusations of authorship.
I have been informed by a number of reader's with hardy stomach linings themselves, that this is from a Monty Python songbook. I will try to verify this myself sometime--but I believe these noble browsers to be adequate authority for now.
I read the poem to my brother over the phone--letting him know it had been "procured" by a fellow clan member. His only comment: "breeding will out."
Much to his Mum and Dad's dismay
Horace ate himself one day.
He didn't stop to say his grace,
He just sat down and ate his face.
"We can't have this!" his Dad declared,
"If that lad's ate, he should have shared."
But even as he spoke they saw
Horace eating more and more:
First his legs and then his thighs,
His arms, his nose, his hair, his eyes...
"Stop him someone!" Mother cried
"Those eyeballs would be better fried!"
But all too late, for they were gone,
And he had started on his dong...
"Oh! Foolish child!" the father mourns
"You could have deep-fried that with prawns,
Some parsley and some tartar sauce..."
But H. was on his second course:
His liver and his lights and lung,
His ears, his neck, his chin, his tongue;
"To think I raised him from the cot
And now he's going to scoff the lot!"
His Mother cried: "What shall we do?
What's left won't even make a stew..."
And as she wept, her son was seen
To eat his head, his heart, his spleen.
And there he lay: a boy no more,
Just a stomach, on the floor...
None the less, since it was his
They ate it -- that's what haggis is.
This page first perpetrated on the public: January 9, 1996 and left unscathed until September 22, 1998
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