Friday, 24 January 2014

Address to a Haggis

by Robert Burns and Samuil Marshak

My first encounter with haggis happened exactly 19 years ago, in the canteen of the University of Leeds. I was told that this is the dish to eat on Burns Night (and, by extension, on Burns Day). As far as I remember, I quite liked it. I can’t say the same about neeps and tatties.

To my surprise, I’ve just learned from the (last year’s, but still, better later than never) Russian TV programme Москва в твоей тарелке (Moscow on your plate) that now you can order haggis, or something looking like it, in one of two Scottish restaurants in Moscow. The programme is presented by Russian poet, gourmand and my old friend Yuli Gugolev. At least, I hope he still is my friend. I last saw him, let’s see, about 30 years ago.

Where were we? Oh, aye. As I was saying, I don’t mind haggis at all. I don’t miss it either. What I do miss though is a Burns Night as it used to be organised by my former employer (typically a week or two after the actual Burns Night): dancing, whisky sampling, food, more dancing, more food and drink, piping of the haggis... actually, skip that, I can’t stand bagpipes... and of course, Address to a Haggis (followed by more food, drink and dancing).

Robert Burns
Address to a Haggis
Роберт Бёрнс, перевод С.Я. Маршака
Ода шотландскому пудингу «Хаггис»
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An cut you up wi ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like onie ditch;
And then, Oh what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that ower his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
Oh how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if Ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
В тебе я славлю командира
Всех пудингов горячих мира, —
Могучий Хаггис, полный жира
И требухи.
Строчу, пока мне служит лира,
Тебе стихи.

Дородный, плотный, крутобокий,
Ты высишься, как холм далекий,
А под тобой поднос широкий
Чуть не трещит.
Но как твои ласкают соки
Наш аппетит!

С полей вернувшись, землеробы,
Сойдясь вокруг твоей особы,
Тебя проворно режут, чтобы
Весь жар и пыл
Твоей дымящейся утробы
На миг не стыл.

Теперь доносится до слуха
Стук ложек, звякающих глухо.
Когда ж плотнее станет брюхо,
Чем барабан,
Старик, молясь, гудит, как муха,
От пищи пьян.

Кто обожает стол французский —
Рагу и всякие закуски
(Хотя от этакой нагрузки
И свиньям вред),
С презреньем щурит глаз свой узкий
На наш обед.

Но — бедный шут! — от пищи жалкой
Его нога не толще палки,
А вместо мускулов — мочалки,
Кулак — орех.
В бою, в горячей перепалке
Он сзади всех.

А тот, кому ты служишь пищей,
Согнет подкову в кулачище.
Когда ж в такой руке засвищет
Стальной клинок, —
Врага уносят на кладбище
Без рук, без ног.

Молю я Промысел небесный:
И в будний день, и в день воскресный
Нам не давай похлебки пресной,
Яви нам благость
И ниспошли родной, чудесный,
Горячий Хаггис!

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