“Fair fa’ your
honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o the pudding race!”…….
his humorous extravaganza of a poem Burns honours the haggis as good wholesome
fare for maintaining bodily strength as compared to the fancy French dishes so
popular with the gentry of the day in Scotland.
( ragouts, olios and fricassees).
“ Is there that owre
his French ragout, or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak
her spew wi perfect scunner,
Looks doon wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view on sic a dinner?”
A diet which included a regular supply of haggis would make for stronger men who could hold their own on the battlefield, whereas the fancy French diet would only produce wimps!
Poor devil! See him
owre his trash,As feckless as a withered rash,
His spindle shank, a
guid whip-lash; his nieve a nit;
Thro blody flood or field to dash,O how unfit!
the poem was written in Edinburgh, in broad Scots, at a time when many of the
more douce like citizens of that fine City were striving to rid
themselves of their Scottish tongue.
“His knife see rustic
Labour dight, an’ cut ye up wi’ ready sleight,
gushing entrails bright, like ony ditch:
And then, O what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich!”
In honouring the haggis in this way he was reminding people of their heritage, and railing against the pretentiousness of the time.
Burns the great satirist!