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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/23/2009 6:14 PM (#13366)
Subject: Burnsnight



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25th January is celebrated by some, mainly Scots and poets, as the commemoration of the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert (Rabbie) Burns (in 1791, I think).

Was he a metaphysician and is he thus worthy of a mention in these hallowed pages ? Well he could be argued to be so. One of his most famous works is of course, Auld Lang Syne, which is sung every New Year around the world; his poem, My love is like a red, red rose, is one of the loveliest yet simplest love songs; such poems as his, Ode to a dormouse, show is love of nature. He also wrote a poem to the Devil, whilst one of his most famous, long poems was Tam O'Shanter, written in the Scots vernacular. It tells of how Tam, after spending too long in an inn, imbibing the spirit of the wine, on his dark night horse ride home, comes across a witches coven in full celebration .... one of them catches his eye, and he cannot resist a shout of appreciation, whereupon he is forced to flee as they give chase ...

Burnsnight, 25th January, is celebrated by such joys as reciting his poems, eating haggis, and drinking whisky, 'usquebah' - the water of life !

I wish all fellow Board trekkers and surf-colleagues a blessed Burnsnight and many joyous days and years ahead

Blessings
Paul

Edited by Paul Joseph 1/23/2009 6:15 PM
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cause
Posted 1/23/2009 6:50 PM (#13369 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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Interesting I am currently reading "faust," Goethe's version. I cannot help but think that the translation of Goethe work is seldom adequate. he is compare to Shakespeare in the beauty of his use of language. The translation seems not quite to convey this. I think this is undoubtedly true of Shakespeare when translated into most other languages. some subtleties are undoubtedly lost.

I will look up this poet on the web.

cause
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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/24/2009 4:45 AM (#13372 - in reply to #13369)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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Thanks for response, Cause; he had an interesting life; do let me know if you cannot find him there, though he is (I almost posted the whole of his Tam O'Shanter, but it is very long, and being in the Scots vernacular, needs some translating, but am happy to do that if friends would like !
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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/24/2009 5:51 AM (#13374 - in reply to #13372)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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Whilst I would highly commend al Burns' poems, and his Tam O'Shanter is a marvellous combination of humour, social and spiritual commentary, given Cause's nice interest, i could not resist tracking down and posting Burns' Address to the Devil .... i can just picture him standing before that Entity, and giving it his all ....


Address to the Devil
1 O thou! whatever title suit thee,--
2 Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie!
3 Wha in yon cavern, grim an' sootie,
4 Clos'd under hatches,
5 Spairges about the brunstane cootie
6 To scaud poor wretches!

7 Hear me, Auld Hangie, for a wee,
8 An' let poor damned bodies be;
9 I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,
10 E'en to a deil,
11 To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me,
12 An' hear us squeel!

13 Great is thy pow'r, an' great thy fame;
14 Far ken'd an' noted is thy name;
15 An' tho' yon lowin heugh's thy hame,
16 Thou travels far;
17 An' faith! thou's neither lag nor lame,
18 Nor blate nor scaur.

19 Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion,
20 For prey a' holes an' corners tryin;
21 Whyles, on the strong-wing'd tempest flyin,
22 Tirlin' the kirks;
23 Whyles, in the human bosom pryin,
24 Unseen thou lurks.

25 I've heard my rev'rend graunie say,
26 In lanely glens ye like to stray;
27 Or whare auld ruin'd castles gray
28 Nod to the moon,
29 Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way
30 Wi' eldritch croon.

31 When twilight did my graunie summon
32 To say her pray'rs, douce honest woman!
33 Aft yont the dike she's heard you bummin,
34 Wi' eerie drone;
35 Or, rustlin thro' the boortrees comin,
36 Wi' heavy groan.

37 Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
38 The stars shot down wi' sklentin light,
39 Wi' you mysel I gat a fright,
40 Ayont the lough;
41 Ye like a rash-buss stood in sight,
42 Wi' waving sugh.

43 The cudgel in my nieve did shake,
44 Each bristl'd hair stood like a stake,
45 When wi' an eldritch, stoor 'Quaick, quaick,'
46 Amang the springs,
47 Awa ye squatter'd like a drake,
48 On whistling wings.

49 Let warlocks grim an' wither'd hags
50 Tell how wi' you on ragweed nags
51 They skim the muirs an' dizzy crags
52 Wi' wicked speed;
53 And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,
54 Owre howket dead.

55 Thence, countra wives wi' toil an' pain
56 May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain;
57 For oh! the yellow treasure's taen
58 By witchin skill;
59 An' dawtet, twal-pint hawkie's gaen
60 As yell's the bill.

61 Thence, mystic knots mak great abuse,
62 On young guidmen, fond, keen, an' croose;
63 When the best wark-lume i' the house,
64 By cantraip wit,
65 Is instant made no worth a louse,
66 Just at the bit.

67 When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord,
68 An' float the jinglin icy-boord,
69 Then water-kelpies haunt the foord
70 By your direction,
71 An' nighted trav'lers are allur'd
72 To their destruction.

73 And aft your moss-traversing spunkies
74 Decoy the wight that late an drunk is:
75 The bleezin, curst, mischievous monkeys
76 Delude his eyes,
77 Till in some miry slough he sunk is,
78 Ne'er mair to rise.

79 When Masons' mystic word an grip
80 In storms an' tempests raise you up,
81 Some cock or cat your rage maun stop,
82 Or, strange to tell!
83 The youngest brither ye wad whip
84 Aff straught to hell!

85 Lang syne, in Eden'd bonie yard,
86 When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd,
87 An all the soul of love they shar'd,
88 The raptur'd hour,
89 Sweet on the fragrant flow'ry swaird,
90 In shady bow'r;

91 Then you, ye auld snick-drawin dog!
92 Ye cam to Paradise incog,
93 And play'd on man a cursed brogue,
94 (Black be your fa'!)
95 An gied the infant warld a shog,
96 Maist ruin'd a'.

97 D'ye mind that day, when in a bizz,
98 Wi' reeket duds an reestet gizz,
99 Ye did present your smoutie phiz
100 Mang better folk,
101 An' sklented on the man of Uz
102 Your spitefu' joke?

103 An' how ye gat him i' your thrall,
104 An' brak him out o' house and hal',
105 While scabs and blotches did him gall,
106 Wi' bitter claw,
107 An' lows'd his ill-tongued, wicked scaul,
108 Was warst ava?

109 But a' your doings to rehearse,
110 Your wily snares an' fechtin fierce,
111 Sin' that day Michael did you pierce,
112 Down to this time,
113 Wad ding a Lallan tongue, or Erse,
114 In prose or rhyme.

115 An' now, Auld Cloots, I ken ye're thinkin,
116 A certain Bardie's rantin, drinkin,
117 Some luckless hour will send him linkin,
118 To your black pit;
119 But faith! he'll turn a corner jinkin,
120 An' cheat you yet.

121 But fare you weel, Auld Nickie-ben!
122 O wad ye tak a thought an' men'!
123 Ye aiblins might--I dinna ken--
124 Still hae a stake:
125 I'm wae to think upo' yon den,
126 Ev'n for your sake!

Robert Burns

http://www.poemhunter.com/

More information about the poem Address to the Devil
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Aquarius
Posted 1/24/2009 7:16 AM (#13375 - in reply to #13369)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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You were saying, dear friend: I am currently reading "faust," Goethe's version.

Do you mean to say that someone else has also written a 'Faust'? It's the first time I have come across that notion. As far as tranlations of famous poets are concerned, Goethe is of similar importance to the German speaking world as Shakespeare is to the English one. An entry in the Stratford Registry shows Shakespeare's date of birth as the 26th April 1564, hence he was a Sun Taurus; not a sign that is noted for having brought forth famous writers. In any case, as far as I have heard, to this day, it isn’t altogether clear whether he really lived or whether his plays came into being through a whole team of writers.
 
Be that as it may, I have always found that Shakespeare doesn’t do anything at all for me. The only time I ever enjoyed reading some of his work was many years ago on holiday with my sister in Germany. She had a book of Shakespeare’s plays that had been translated into German by two very famous poets in their own right; I cannot recall their names. On the left hand page was the English text and on the right hand one the German translations. Lo and behold! They were much more beautiful than the original texts. Being a linguist myself, I am aware of what a good translation can do to enhance one that is already good and how much a bad translation is capable of destroying the reading pleasure altogether.

With love - Aquarius
 



Edited by Aquarius 1/24/2009 7:16 AM
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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/24/2009 6:41 PM (#13378 - in reply to #13375)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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Aquarius - Cause mentioned Goethe, not I, but I am familiar with Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.

Burns' had a rather different approach - challenging, rather than making deals with, an Adversary - yet also in his way of mockery.

As for the well-worn academic debate of who might have written old Will S' plays if he had not, I have a few comments, namely:

1. Notice the internal symmetry and style of the plays, and sonnets, by Shakespeare: is there not a common thread, indeed, criss-crossing threads of mortality, love, tragedy, comedy and beautiful poetry ?

2. Have you ever tried to write even a single piece of A4 paper by committee ? How then much more difficult to write 37 odd plays and more sonnets, dealing with the most profound themes of human existence ?

3. Simply because Shakespeare had, according to his contemporary, 'little Latin and less Greek', is that any reason to dismiss the capacity of the Muse to inspire, and the humble soul to hear ? There has been more reference than one in the posts and pages of this estimable Board to how little credence should be given to formal 'book learning' - odd then that a (in my humble opinion) genuine experience of divine inspiration and literary guidance should be regarded as dishonest and stolen (as indeed it must be, if we deny that William Shakespeare was the author of the works attributed to him, as I firmly believe he was)

4. They were bloody times (eg, Marlowe was murdered in a pub brawl); how would it be proposed that he (WS) would have gotten away with claiming work that was his, if it was not - as indeed he did in his lifetime ? I know there are stories of catholic and protestant plots, etc, but again, the plays transcended sides and divisions, in ways that integrated them and can still speak to us today.

Blessed Be

Edited by Paul Joseph 1/24/2009 6:44 PM
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cause
Posted 1/25/2009 9:51 AM (#13386 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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I liked the poem. middle english gives me trouble especially in a dialect that I am not familiar with. But, this was thourlly readable.

Marlowe's Faust did spiring quickly to mind when I mentioned that there were others, but Faust was also an old german folk-tale. As old as the brothers grim and perhaps older. It is/was acted out in shadow plays and other plays of the age. The simple morality play becoming more complex as years went on. . .
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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/25/2009 4:26 PM (#13393 - in reply to #13386)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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To quote

dear auld Rabbie,

'a man's a man for a' that'

glad you liked the poem
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Aquarius
Posted 1/26/2009 2:45 PM (#13404 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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Never having looked into the background of the 'Faust' myth, I was unaware of Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. It's not something I have ever been that much interested in. But, thank you for putting me in the picture.

With love - Aquarius  

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mruppert
Posted 1/27/2009 8:54 PM (#13416 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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Hello all:
     There still is an illegal haggis in someones' freezer! Americals cannot bring them into the country from the UK due to prions or scabies or hoof n' mouth disease or some other such concerns.   
     I made due with my own haggis accompanied by North Carolina turnips and Idaho potatoes.
     The Halls Haggis, a la Broxburn, EH52 5AW, sits in what will be a perpetual frozen state as there was a lapse in due haste from its departure till its arrival in the Newnited States, rendering it a bit questionable with regard to salmonella and botulism; and therefore not entirely safe for consumption, notwithstanding my country's warning against "mad cow" disease which comes from sheep...which is why we call it "mad cow" disease, so that we can thoroughly confuse the average American and make each of us feel better about buying Argie beef like Murray's and Omaha Steaks does.
     Ewe-Tube provided the recitation of "Ode to The Haggis" (one dude from the US was really good) and I sliced mine open with my ceremonial sword.
     Of course, there was a wee dram o'whiskey to wash that haggis down....nay.....a wee wee more than a dram.
     A good time was had by all, Rabbie included! He must know that we do this in memory of him.

Peace and Loch Lomond,
Marty and Cats, Luckylee MacTavish, Poppyhead MacIntosh, and Sissygirl MacGregor, hoot man

P.S. You can't bring a Haggis into the country but no one balks at a Spotted Dick. Mmmmm..that Spotted Dick sure was good....popped that bad boy in the microwave....then sucked it down!
PJay....I hope you are having a good laugh...I imagine I have caused some to faint!!!!!

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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/28/2009 6:33 AM (#13421 - in reply to #13416)
Subject: RE: Burnsnight



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'Lang may yer lum reek', Marty - and all (that, for those who might not know, is a Scots blessing) !

I wonder what Old Nick (Satan) made of Rabbie standing before him in poetic defiance ?!
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Paul Joseph
Posted 1/25/2018 8:06 AM (#28604 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: Re: Burnsnight



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Another year another Burns Night .... wishing everyone a reeking lum .... and remember -

'A man's a man [or woman a woman] for all that'

Be careful when crossing the burn tonight

Paul
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Ophiucus
Posted 1/25/2018 11:00 AM (#28605 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: Re: Burnsnight



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Always intriguing to be reminded of dear auld Rabbie, and his fascinating enduring influence ... in case anyone wondering, the second line above is drawn from one of his poems that seemed in many ways to prefigure the rise of citizens' rights and is well worth remembering in Burns' honour - here it is in full:

A Man's a Man for a' That
Poem

Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that,
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A Prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that!
But an honest man's aboon his might –
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities, an' a' that,
The pith o' Sense an' pride o' Worth
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a' that,
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth
Shall bear the gree an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that,
That Man to Man the warld o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that.

Robert Burns

from The Canongate Burns: the complete poems and songs of Robert Burns (Canongate, 2001)
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Supernatural3
Posted 1/27/2018 4:34 PM (#28608 - in reply to #13366)
Subject: Re: Burnsnight



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Beautifully written. ... thanks for sharing
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