January 25 is celebrated as Burns Night – on which people may be invited to A Burns Supper which will include toasts to the Lassies and Laddies, and to the Haggis, washed down with a small dram of whiskey as Burns’ life is celebrated. Burns as the national Bard of Scotland lived 25 January 1759 -21 July 1796! Above, is his birthplace, the cottage built by his father in Alloway, Ayr, Scotland, and next to that is the haggis, “the great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!” Now Burns was a prolific poet and writer of songs. Today I wish to indulge you with several poems, only one of which might be familiar to you. Take a moment and enjoy Burns and take some time to search out some of his more popular poems. The most popular of my pick of three is the Selkirk Grace, so named as Burns first offered it in the presence of the Earl of Selkirk. The second, Verses to Clarinda, which was supposedly sent to her with a pair of wine glasses and is dated Edinburgh 1788. The third is believed to be his first sonnet and its a sonnet about a sonnet! I hope you can see the reason and the connection of the numbers, 37, 25, and 14. Have fun.
The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
Verses to Clarinda Fair Empress of the Poet's soul, And Queen of Poetesses; Clarinda, take this little boon, This humble pair of Glasses: And fill them up with generous juice, As generous as your mind; And pledge me in the generous toast, "The whole of human kind!" "To those who love us!" second fill; But not to those whom we love; Lest we love those who love not us A third - "To thee and me, Love!" A Sonnet upon Sonnets Fourteen, a sonneteer thy praises sings; What magic myst’ries in that number lie! Your hen hath fourteen eggs beneath her wings That fourteen chickens to the roost may fly. Fourteen full pounds the jockey’s stone must be; His age fourteen – a horse’s prime is past. Fourteen long hours too oft the Bard must fast; Fourteen bright bumpers – bliss he ne’er must see! Before fourteen, a dozen yields the strife; Before fourteen – e’en thirteen’s strength is vain. Fourteen good years – a woman gives us life; Fourteen good men – we lose that life again. What lucubrations can be more upon it? Fourteen good measur’d verses make a sonnet. Prayer: Gracious God, we have been taught to pray "give us this day our daily bread". Remind us often of what is enough when often we think only of more. Forgive us our insatiable appetite for all things extra. Remind us O Lord of the beauty of life and the joys of creation. Remind us O Lord by poet and musician of the wonder of language and the universal language of music. For the joy of life and the mystery of each and every breath we thank you O Creator Lord. Amen.