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Address to a Haggis
By Robert Burns
(Translation into standard English)
Fair is your honest, happy face
Great chieftain of the pudding race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe or guts:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.
The groaning platter there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your skewer would help to repair a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the juices emerge
Like amber beads.
His knife having seen hard labour wipes,
And cuts you up with great skill,
Digging into your gushing insides bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, oh what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!
Then spoon for spoon,
They stretch and strive,
Devil take the last man, on they drive,
Until all their well swollen bellies
Are bent like drums;
Then the old gent, most likely to rift (burp),
'Be thanked!', mumbles.
Is there that over his French Ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a pig,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with a sneering, scornful opinion
On such a dinner?
Poor devil, see him over his trash,
As weak as a withered rush (reed),
His spindle-shank a good whiplash,
His clenched fist…the size of a nut;
Through a bloody flood and battle field to dash,
Oh how unfit.
But take note of the strong haggis-fed Scot,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clasped in his large fist a blade,
He'll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads he will cut off
Like the tops of thistles.
You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their meals,
Old Scotland wants no watery food,
That splashes in dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her a haggis!