Friday, January 25, 2008

Burns NIght Poems

To A Mouse.

Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,O, what a panic's in thy breastie!Thou need na start awa sae hasty,Wi bickering brattle!I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,Wi murdering pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominionHas broken Nature's social union,An justifies that ill opinion,Which makes thee startleAt me, thy poor, earth-born companion.An fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve:What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!A daimen icker in a thrave'S a sma request;I'll get a blessin wi the lave,An never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!An naething, now, to big a new ane,O foggage green!An bleak December's win's ensuin.Baith snell an keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an waste,An weary winter comin fast.An cozie here, beneath the blast,Thou thought to dwell,Till crash! the cruel coulter pastOut thro thy cell.

That wee bit heap o leaves an stibble,Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble.But house or hald,To thole the winter's sleety dribble,An cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,In proving foresight may be vain:The best-laid schemes o mice an menGang aft agley,An lea'e us nought but grief an pain,For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi me!The present only toucheth thee:But och! I backward cast my e'e,On prospects drear!An forward, tho I canna see,I guess an fear!

Address to a 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 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!