Address to a Haggis (Robert Burns)
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!
Aboon them a’ yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’a grace
As lang’s me 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 sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
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,
Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ blody 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’ trissle.
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind yer 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!
Ode to a Sassenach Haggis (Holly Jahangiri)
A stranger in a stranger land,
Formed by an inexpert hand,
Ale in whiskey, oats toasted sand;
Beef heart, fresh ground lamb – never canned –
Slowly simmer, e’er expanding
Savory, spicy scent’s outstanding!
Unassuming, ne’er demanding
But then – you burst!
Glistening innards, outwards landing
Och! Naughty wurst.
White chappit tatties, golden neeps
Grace the platter in steaming heaps –
(“Rutabaga?!” My dad, he weeps.)
Pepper, sea salt!
Warm, coursing through my veins, there seeps –
A single malt.
Thus fortified, I stab the thing!
Bagpipes? Poems? Imagining,
What will this foreign Burns Night bring?
A taste, a smile –
Dish fit for hunter, bard, or king.
In all seriousness, it turned out imminently edible. For my Texas and Louisiana friends, think “Scottish Boudin,” and substitute oats for rice. I posted a hint, earlier, on Instagram of what I was up to, and forgot that the image was of a bottle of good Scottish ale.
When my friends Allen and Zerrick at Brown Bag BBQ asked me to bring them some, I assumed they meant the haggis!
How could I refuse? I wrapped some up in foil (the haggis, not the ale – since the ale was already in the haggis!) and drove it around the corner, where I traded it in for some brisket for J.J. so he could enjoy a hearty dinner with me. My husband and I have a pre-nup: neither of us will ever cook liver and expect the other to eat it or a meal! He did try it, I’ll give him that – he’d even eat it, willingly, if he were hungry. That’s as high as the praise will go, for anything with offal in it!