“By the Fireside ” by George Smith 1858
A Fireside Read
William Mulready, RA 1786-1863
It is Burns’ Night. That seems like a strange way to introduce this blog post. But it is January 25. Robert Burns was born this night 256 years ago. I forgot about it being Burns’ birthday for most of the day. I had the feeling there was something about January 25th and then I remembered. I usually make a somewhat Scottish meal on this night and then I read some Burns poetry and listen to his music. I am neither of Scottish heritage nor interested in the usual drink I drink tea but I do enjoy his poetry and music. I like poetry and music-period.
I happen to have a pork loin roasting in the oven with apples, that just happens to be what I made for dinner tonight. I think with some mashed potatoes and green beans it will serve the purpose nicely; and of course a good pot of tea and a recording of some Burns tunes. The Burns connection that really challenges me as I have chocolate chip cookies. I made them yesterday and they’re quite nice today and yet I feel like I should make some oatmeal cookies that seems more Scottish. For all those eating haggis and downing a wee dram with his Burns all I can say is to each his own.
We are in the middle of a two-pronged snowstorm? Yesterday we were lavished and thick white snow. This afternoon it rained. Now it is merely gray. But that seems suitably Scottish.
Burns is by no means my favorite poet. That honor belongs to John Keats. But Burns was born on January 25 and that is the perfect time to have some sort of celebration with all the Christmas festivities being done and over and there being nothing in sight but gray clouds. And Burns did write some lovely little pieces. A rosebud by my early walk comes first to my mind, as my Rose Bud is curled up companionably on my lap. Oh yes, that’s why I celebrate Burns night. A cold night outside being counteracted by the aroma of the roast and a soft cat to curl up beside you while you wait on dinner -that is my idea of a good January evening. Add in a little poetry, music and tea and you have a comforting evening of peace.
A Rose-bud by my early walk,
Adown a corn-enclosed bawk,
Sae gently bent its thorny stalk,
All on a dewy morning.
Ere twice the shades o’ dawn are fled,
In a’ its crimson glory spread,
And drooping rich the dewy head,
It scents the early morning.
Within the bush her covert nest
A little linnet fondly prest;
The dew sat chilly on her breast,
Sae early in the morning.
She soon shall see her tender brood,
The pride, the pleasure o’ the wood,
Amang the fresh green leaves bedew’d,
Awake the early morning.
So thou, dear bird, young Jeany fair,
On trembling string or vocal air,
Shall sweetly pay the tender care
That tents thy early morning.
So thou, sweet Rose-bud, young and gay,
Shalt beauteous blaze upon the day,
And bless the parent’s evening ray
That watch’d thy early morning.