( 1759-1796. Original in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh)

Some hae meat an' canna eat
An' some wad eat that want it.
But we hae meat an' we can eat
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Haggis is served on Robert Burns'
Day, January 25, and on St.Andrew's Day, November 30,
carried alofton a silver tray by a highlander
in full Highland dress, preceded by a piper playing a national air.

air 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,
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;
The 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 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!

O Thou that in the Heavens does dwell,
Wha, as it pleases best Thysel,
Sends ane to Heaven, an ten to Hell,
A' for Thy glory,
And no for onie guid or ill
They've done before Thee!

I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
When thousands Thou has left in night,
That I am here before Thy sight,
For gifts an grace
A burning and a shining light
To a' this place.

What was I, or my generation,
That I should get sic exaltation?
I, wha deserv'd most just damnation
For broken laws,
Sax thousand years ere my creation,
Thro Adam's cause!

When from my mither's womb I fell,
Thou might hae plung'd me deep in Hell,
To gnash my gooms, and weep and wail,
In burning lakes,
Whare damned devils roar and yell,
Chain'd to their stakes.

Yet I am here a chosen sample,
To show Thy grace is great and ample:
I'm here a pillar o Thy temple,
Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, and example,
To a' Thy flock!

But yet, O Lord! confess I must,
At times I'm fash'd wi fleshy lust;
An sometimes, too, in warldly trust,
Vile self gets in;
But Thou remembers we are dust,
Defil'd wi sin.

O Lord! yestreen, Thou kens, wi Meg -
Thy pardon I sincerely beg -
O, may't ne'er be a livin plague
To my dishonour!
An I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg
Again upon her.

Besides, I farther maun avow,
Wi Leezie's lass, three times I trow -
But, Lord, that Friday I was fou,
When I cam near her,
Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true
Wad never steer her.

Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn
Buffet Thy servant e'en and morn,
Lest he owre proud and high should turn,
That he's sae gifted:
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne,
Until Thou lift it.

Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
For here Thou has a chosen race!
But God confound their stubborn face,
An blast their name,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
An open shame.
Lord, mind Gau'n Hamilton's deserts:
He drinks, an swears, an plays at cartes,
Yet has sae monie takin arts,
Wi great and sma',
Frae God's ain Priest the people's hearts
He steals awa.

And when we chasten'd him therefore,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,
And set the warld in a roar
O laughin at us;
Curse Thou his basket and his store,
Kail an potatoes!

Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r,
Against that Presbyt'ry o Ayr!
Thy strong right hand, Lord, mak it bare
Upo' their heads!
Lord, visit them, an dinna spare,
For their misdeeds!

O Lord, my God! that glib-tongu'd Aiken,
My vera heart and flesh are quakin,
To think how we stood sweatin, shakin,
An pish'd wi dread,
While he, wi hingin lip, an snakin,
Held up his head.

Lord, in Thy day o vengeance try him!
Lord, visit them wha did employ him!
And pass not in Thy mercy by them,
Nor hear their pray'r,
But for Thy people's sake destroy them,
An dinna spare.

But, Lord, remember me and mine
Wi mercies temporal and divine,
That I for grace an gear may shine,
Excell'd by nane,
And a' the glory shall be Thine -
Amen, Amen!

Epitaph on Holy Willie

Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay
Taks up its last abode;
His soul has ta'en some other way -
I fear, the left-hand road.

Stop! there he is as sure's a gun
! Poor, silly body, see him!
Nae wonder he's as black's the grun -
Observe wha's standing wi him!

Your brunstane Devilship, I see
Has got him there before ye!
But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,
Till ance you've heard my story.

Your pity I will not implore,
For pity ye have nane,
Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,
And mercy's day is gane.

But hear me, Sir, Deil as ye are,
Look something to your credit:
A cuif like him wad stain your name,
If it were kent ye did it!

Cock-a-Leekie Soup

1 boiling fowl 1-1.5 Kg (2-3lb)
1 onion, quartered
400-800g (1-2lb) leeks, cut into inch long (2-3cm) pieces, white and
green kept separate
Stock from boiling fowl
1 bay leaf, some parsley
6-12 prunes, soaked overnight (optional)
salt and pepper

Put the bird in a large pot and nearly cover with water, add herbs and
salt and slowly bring to the boil. Skim, cover and simmer until tender,
approximately 2 hours. Remove the bird, and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile add the green part of the leeks to the stock and and add the
prunes and continue to simmer. Cut the meat from the chicken into
smallish pieces and return them to the soup, with the white part of the
leeks. Simmer for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve.
Soup is generally better the next day, so if you have time, try and
prepare it in advance.

* To make a Vegetable Soup, omit the boiling fowl and the stock and
substitute with a vegetable stock.

My Other Holiday Pages

Christmas New Years Valentines
St. Patrick day Easter Mothers day
Thanksgiving Halloween Bobby Burns day

Facts and history of the Canadian 10 Provinces
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