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    To a Haggis

    by Robert Burns
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    [The vehement nationality of this poem is but a small part of its
    merit. The haggis of the north is the minced pie of the south; both
    are characteristic of the people: the ingredients which compose the
    former are all of Scottish growth, including the bag which contains
    them; the ingredients of the latter are gathered chiefly from the four
    quarters of the globe: the haggis is the triumph of poverty, the
    minced pie the triumph of wealth.]

    Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
    Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye wordy o' 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;
    Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
    Bethankit hums.

    Is there that o'er 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 mak 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 stinking ware
    That jaups in luggies;
    But, if ye wish her gratefu' pray'r,
    Gie her a Haggis!
    If you're writing a To a Haggis essay and need some advice, post your Robert Burns essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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