Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poem for Thursday, Robbie Burns, Botanic Garden

A Bard's Epitaph
Robert Burns

Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause-and, thro' the starting tear,
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain'd his name!

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom's root.


I have eaten far too much because of the man who wrote that poem, whose 253rd birthday was Wednesday. Paul decided that we should have Vegetarian Haggis (made mostly of lentils, nuts, and veggies, and so vastly better than I imagine actual haggis is though I've never tried it and I never will). Since he was on a roll, he also made Tatties & Neeps (I am not an enormous turnip fan but they were pretty good with all the spices) and just to finish things correctly he made Tipsy Laird with pound cake, vanilla cream pie filling, lots of raspberries, and more Drambuie than I suspect was strictly necessary. So I am as blobby as my cat at the moment.

Otherwise my day involved a bunch of writing, a bunch of laundry, a bunch of e-mails exchanged with my sister since the Facebook alumni group for our elementary school has suddenly exploded with stuff from people we grew up with, discussing colleges with Adam who is being inundated with e-mail and brochures from schools now that he has PSAT scores to get their attention, and watching the Maryland-Duke game which the Terps basketball team has just tragically blown -- or not tragically, as the university sent out messages to students ordering them not to riot joyfully should Maryland win. Here are some photos from the US Botanic Garden's new Plants in Culture exhibit:

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