A Toast to Rabbie

If a Scot be ripe for toastin’,

If a Scot be fit for praise,

If a Scot stands high above the rest

For the way he spent his days,

Let’s raise a cup now, all about,

And celebrate the cheer

That Rabbie Burns has brought to the world

Now for two hundred, fifty years.

Nay, no poet was ’ere as fecund or fine

To be borne out of dear Scotland’s womb.

Dear Rabbie Burns, fervent, fiery and fair,

Was plucked in the prime of his bloom.

’Tis Rabbie who wrote of the “red, red rose,”

And told of Tam ’o Shanter’s fierce ride

’Tis Rabbie who still sings us the new year in,

And strolls with us through the rye.

’Tis Rabbie who says that a man is a man,

That a witch can run faster than fast,

’Tis Rabbie who pities the mouse in the field

And scolds the louse on the bonnet of a lass.

Yes, Rabbie’s eye looked both high and low

For details in life’s daily endeavors

Sure, Rabbie’s wit could capture an instant’s joy

To make it endure forever.

He wrote poems on paper, on shingles and walls

On windows and hearthstones and trees

Wher ’ere his eager heart found a free spot

He’d jot verses with the ease of a breeze.

Yes,’Tis Rabbie brings the tongue of the Scot

Into parlance beyond Scotland’s shores

And as we Scotts wander the wide world ’oer

’Tis our Rabbie’s verse sparkles and soars.

(If during his life Rabbie shared of his loins

With a lassies in bowers or on lawns

Still, modern DNA tests prove beyond doubt

Rob’s a virgin, compared to Genghis Khan.)

Yes, he walked his path with insatiable yearning

To know what the Creator hath wrought

Showing in verse and song the beauty

With which Scotland and the world is fraught.

And always with eagerness, wonder and glee

At the marvelous gift we’re allowed.

Let us never forget the humility he showed

For what God’s nature has endowed.

So if a man be ripe for toastin’,

If a man be fit for praise,

If a man stands high above the rest

For the way he spent his days,

Let’s raise a cup now, all about,

And celebrate the cheer

That Rabbie Burns has brought to the world

Now for two hundred, fifty years.

— Gerry Yukevich