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A Scottish Vyce
By Peter D Wright

Lyke Scots, the warld owre, we tryst at hame ilka Janwar fir ti mynd o a chiel wha haes liggit i the mools fir owre twa hunner yeir. A chiel wha tyauvit aw his days as a fairmer sinsyne as a gauger - hard darg then as nou. Gin he haed bin nocht bit a fairmer or a gauger, aiblins evin his ain kin twa hunner yeir oan wad hae kent nocht about him. Sum o thaim micht hae redd up thair forefowk an fun names, dates, whaur thai bade an aiblins thair daillie darg, gaun back to a chiel cryed Robert Burns.

We aw hae forefowk wha hae liggit fir owre twa hunner yeir i the mools. A ken frae ane o ma faither's kizzens at his faimilie fir the hinmaist twa hunner yeir flittit atween the Glens o Founland, Huntlie toun and Inverurie. Bit apairt frae the fack at thare war a wheen o thaim cawed Peter, A ken nocht about thaim. Aiblins thai luikit lyke ma faither an his aunties, bit A dinna ken.

Bit o the chiel we honor ilka Janwar we ken juist about athin warth kennan. We ken hou he luikit, we ken his forefowk, we ken whaur he bade, we ken o his daillie darg, we ken o his mairrage, o his lou trysts, o his bairns, an we ken his thochts an ideals frae his monie skreeds, poems an sangs.Fir we ar spikkan o a chiel wha wis a genius. A cheil wha still spiks ti Scotland an the warld the day. Scotland an the warld still sing his sangs an reads his poetrie.

We hae aw drank wi him, lauchit wi him, grat wi him - we aw think at we ken him. The umquhile Orkney makkar George Mackay Brown skrievit at his faither an his billies spikkan  o Burns as gin he wis still alieve an amang thaim. Weill throu his poetrie, sangs an skreeds, at is vera mukkil the case. Whan ye lig yir haun oan his wark, ye feel gin ye touch the chiel hislane. Burns ligs i the herts an mynds o Scots the day juist as he did twa hunner yeir sinsyne.

Our auld fier Dr Robert D McIntyre tuik mukkil delicht in tellin a tale o his graunnie wha as a yung quean kent an auld chiel wha kent Burns' kithend. 'What did thai think o him?' she spiert at him ae day. His repone says it aw - 'Thai revered him.'

In onie poll o gryt Scots o the past, Robert Burns maun staun heid an shouders owre aw ithers. He myndit his ain kithend at thai war Scots whan Mither Scotland cuid hae bin lost i the incorporatin Union. He mynds us o that fack the day. Throu Allan Ramsay an Robert Fergusson, in particklar, he fun his poetic vyce i his Mither Tung. The fack at Burns skrievit i the Scots Leid haes keppit it ti the fore i the face o the encroachin Suddren. He gied us our National Anthem, 'Scots Wha Hae', an the warld an International Anthem, 'A Man's A Man', alsweill as the International pairtin sang, 'Auld Lang Syne.' (Aiblins fir neist Hogmanay BBC Scotland wull tell thair sangsters at is 'Auld' no 'Old' Lang Syne!).

As Scots we awe our makkars a mukkil debt, fir thai hae owre the centuries taen Scotland's side, frae John Barbour ti Hugh MacDiarmid, bit nane mair sae nor our National Bard, Robert Burns. Gin the day evir daws whan Scots dinna revere an haud Robert Burns i the heichmaist staunan, then Scotland wullna be warth a docken. A Toast ti Burns is a Toast ti our auld respeckit mither - Scotland - fir Burns an Scotland gaun thegither.

Notandum : Taen frae 'Immortal Memory' ti Peebles Burns Club 25 Janwar 2003

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