January 25 is the birthday of the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire (a.k.a. Rabbie Burns, Ploughman Poet, etc.) Scots around the world celebrate Burns Night every January 25 with suppers in the poet’s honor. A traditional Burns Supper is a gastro-literary event. It begins with the Selkirk Grace, then a reading of Burns’ “Address to a Haggis“, culminating with the haggis being cut open and served*. Supper closes with the guests singing “Auld Lang Syne”.
So, in honor of Burns Night 2017, I’m going to present this spoon to you in Scots, the language Burns used often in his writing.
Here’s a spoon frae Glasgee, jist north ay Burns’ birthplace ay Ayrshire. It has th’ crest ay Glasgee wi’ th’ words “lit Glasgee floorish”. It’s a hoddin spoon, (i’m nae e’en sure it’s silverplate).
Here’s a bottle and an honest man –
What would ye wish for mair, man.
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man.
So catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man.
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.
– Robert Burns, A Bottle And Friend (1787)
*It’s worth noting that haggis has been banned in the United States since 1971.