Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy # 247, Mr. Burns!

Here we have arrived again at that grandest of days, the one set aside for a worldwide celebration of the poetry and verse of Rabbie Burns.

Last year was a madly chaotic one in Oxford town. Though this time out I will likely not find myself at the end of a bottle of Famous Grouse and the center of Rangers v. Celtic debates, tonight's festivities will be my first proper Burns dinner at Stayner's Wharf. Quite looking forward to the promised "Parade of the Haggis, Address to the Haggis, Toast to the Haggis, pipers and players".

Plenty of suitable poetry to tickle your wit and fancy over in the archives at Robert Burns Country. If you require a wee bit o' guidance - be sure to read some of the MacDuff favorites, including "No Churchman Am I", "Tam O'Shanter", "Here's A Health To Them That's Awa", and "She Says She Loes Me Best Of A' ".

But one of the true joys of Burns' Day is perusing aimlessly through the collected works for a new verse to mark the occasion and send along to friends, near and away. The appropriate choice for this year is a simple one, for all our country's newly elected Members of Parliament from coast to coast:
From The Author's Earnest Cry And Prayer (To the Right Honourable and
Honourable Scotch Representatives in the House of Commons - 1786):

In gath'rin votes you were na slack;
Now stand as tightly by your tack:
Ne'er claw your lug, an' fidge your back,
An' hum an' haw;
But raise your arm, an' tell your crack
Before them a'.

Do raise a glass of auld Scotland's finest to the old master. Oh Caledonia, let me tell you that I love you, and that I think about you all the time.


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