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 o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
So runs the first (of many!) verses of Robert Burns poem traditionally recited over a groaning trencher of haggis at every Burns Supper.
This weekend, tens of thousands of people of many nationalities all over the world will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's bard, Robert Burns.
Now while I would be the first to agree that a Burns Supper is a good excuse for dancing a reel and drinking whisky, it's also apparent that Burns' enduring popularity is as much to do with the eloquent way his poetry and songs have spoken to us through the long years.
His moving and powerful poem, A man's a man for a' that, is just as relevant today as it was in the 18th century and seems particularly poignant when the USA is welcoming it's first black President. 'And man to man the world over, shall brothers be, for all that.' And the theme of fellowship is well-know to everyone who sings Auld Lang Syne on the eve of a new year and at other important celebrations.
Burns was renowned, too, for his flirtatious ways with the ladies of southern Scotland, many of whom fell prey to his charms. But just look at those eyes - who could resist?
I've indulged in a bit of a tartan display in my Etsy gallery - see some of the plaid items which are on sale in UK Etsy shops.