Joseph Johnston Lee

The Haggis

 Next Poem          

To Mrs M___, to whom we were indebted for a haggis,
whose amplitude was in somewise commensurate with the largeness of her heart

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding race!

A Haggis; a Haggis,
An honest Scottish Haggis!
Let Frenchmen make a loud to-do
About the length of their menu—
New-fangled fricassee, ragout,
And sic like dishes—
Auld Scotia's simple brag is
Her ancient Haggis!

To me arrives a Haggis;
A Haggis? — A HAGGIS!
A healthy, wholesome Haggis
As ever ye did see,
And writ upon the tag is:
"To Sergeant Joseph Lee—
Just boil it for a wee!"
Ah! well kenn'd I wha made it—
Frae the foundation laid it—
Wha packed it up, and prayed it
Wad in condition be—
As tho' hersel' had said it—
It brought me memorie
O' the land sae dear to me—
Land where the rock and crag is,
Land where the rill and quag is,
Land where the leaping stag is—
Did this Scotch Haggis.

"Go out into the highways,
Go out into the byways,"
Quo' I in muckle glee,
"Go into ilka billet—
The fatted calf is kille't—
And say that so we will it—
Compel them come and pree
The big and buirdly Haggis
That's been sent out to me!"
"Losh, but I'll sound the slogan!"
Cried souple Stevie Logan,
And off at aince set he.

The Haggis; THE Haggis,
Yes, let us to the Haggis—
Pegasus, my nag is
Inclined to need the spur—
We passed it for inspection,
Then in the pot
Till it was hot—
O, glorious resurrection!

The Haggis, the Haggis;
Wull Wright an unco' wag is,
And he cried out wi' passion
"The smell itsel'
Might very well
Serve for a sodger's ration!"

Now quick the Cook arrays it,
And in the Piper plays it;
Ye never heard siccan a din
The billet roof comes tumblin' in.
(I dinna ken wha pays it—
That's quite anither story.)
Dan gi'es us "Scotland's Glory";
His ruddy cheeks are outward blawn,
His neb is cocked, his neck is thrawn,
He blaws until his bag is
As big's our muckle Haggis!

Behind him, Billy Milne, elate,
Bears the great chieftain on a plate,
Advancing and retiring—
Like the Haggis' sel' perspiring—
Wi' many a step frae many a dance
Unknown in the salons o' France.
Now, round and round the room they go
For it is seemly even so;
At last amidst the babel
The Haggis takes the table!

The guests await, the Grace is said,
Then the proud host outdraws his blade:
"A British bayonet's jag is
The best for Hun or Haggis!"
Wi' that he straightway falls on it
And gi'es the Haggis sic a slit;
The whereupon, entrancing sight,
The hidden glories come to light—
"Advance, attack, each valiant wight,
And make good play wi' fork and spoon,
The Devil take the hindmost done—
The first to fail or flag is
No' worthy o' a Haggis!"

No need to force a Scotsman go
To find a friend or fight a foe,
And swiftly at that given word
They fall on it with one accord,
Wi' spoon and gully-knife and fork
They make the shortest o' short work—
There's ne'er been sic a stabbin'
Since our boys took the Schwaben!
They hack and hew that Haggis
Till a' that's left a rag is!
And when they've worked their will o't,
And when they've ate their fill o't,
Mair nor ae chield can scarcely drag his
Sel' frae that feast o' Haggis!

A Haggis, a Haggis,
An honest, homely Haggis!—
Land where the riven crag is,
Land where the leaping stag is,
Thy proudest boast and brag is
Thy ancient Haggis!

Next Poem 

 Back to
Joseph Johnston Lee