Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy St. Andrew's Day!

St. Andrew's Cross

Today, November 30, is the Feast Day of St. Andrew. Before the frenzied rush of pre-Christmas activity that is so antithetical to the spirit of the Advent season reaches its full pace, why not pause and enjoy the moment?

St. Andrew, of course, is the patron saint of Scotland (as well as the namesake of a certain institution in the heart of Dixie familiar to a few denizens of the UU blogosphere). Accordingly, the traditional morsel on which to feast today is that famous, if not necessarily beloved, Scottish national delicacy, the haggis!

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 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 ye 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 strech 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 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!

--Robert Burns, Address to a Haggis

Get your tasty haggis recipes here.


At December 4, 2006 at 3:35:00 PM EST, Blogger PeaceBang said...

Who you calling Sonsie Face? What does that *mean?*

The mere idea of haggis makes me barf.

At December 4, 2006 at 7:00:00 PM EST, Blogger fausto said...

Try it with some treacle.


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