Fair fa’ your honest, pebbled face,
Great chieftain o’ the dog food race!
Aboon a’ treats ye tak your place.
In nourishing sustenance ye dinna fail.
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my tail.
My groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your heaped up nuggets like a golden hill,
You warm my belly against the chill
In time o’ need.
While thro’ your pores aromas fill
My nose and heid.
I bend my heid an’ tak a bite
And chomp ye up wi’ ready slight
Chewing your crumbly entrails bright,
My nose thrust deep to trench a ditch;
O ye are such a glorious sight
Then, paw for paw, 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 guid doggie, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his mishmash stew,
Or withered bone he canna chew,
Or tasteless mush wad mak him spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Bedevilled mutt! See him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash
His sma’ paw a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the doggie, kibble fed,
The trenbling earth resounds his tread,
His waggly tail waves like a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ mane, an fur, an’ ears will sned
Like taps o’ thrissle.
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak canines your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
The doggie world wants nae skinking ware,
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish a gratefu’ prayer,
Gie us oor kibble!
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland.
A pioneer of the Romantic movement, he became an important source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. A cultural icon in Scotland and among Scots who have relocated to other parts of the world (the Scottish Diaspora), celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries.
His themes included republicanism (he lived during the French Revolutionary period) and Radicalism which he expressed covertly in Scots Wha Hae, Scottish patriotism, anticlericalism, class inequalities, gender roles, commentary on the Scottish Kirk of his time, Scottish cultural identity, poverty, sexuality, and the beneficial aspects of popular socialising (carousing, Scotch whisky, folk songs, and so forth).
Burns and his works were a source of inspiration to the pioneers of liberalism, socialism and the campaign for Scottish self-government, and he is still widely respected by political activists today, ironically even by conservatives and establishment figures because after his death Burns became drawn into the very fabric of Scotland’s national identity.
Read Robert Burns’ “Address to a Haggis” and its English translation. Haggis recipe, history and cultural significance included.
Read “The Complete Works of Robert Burns” at Project Gutenberg