Monday, January 25, 2016

Tartan and Tweed: A Tribute to Rabbie Burns

Wha Hae, it's time to celebrate oor ain Rabbie Burns.  Across the country, Scots (and those that have adopted this wonderful country) will be tucking-in to a supper of haggis, neeps and tatties. Poetry will be recited, songs sung and a few wee drams toasted! It's been 220 years since the Scottish national bard died but his legacy and contribution to the culture is still celebrated annually on his birthday (today!).

Not only do I live in this beautiful city of Edinburgh but Scotland is also such a strong inspiration in my sewing (and even in the vintage 1940 McCall patterns).  Here's a recap of all my Scottish inspired vintage sewing projects with a wee bit of Rabbie's poetry:

Address to Edinburgh
by Robert Burns

Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail they palaces and tow'rs,
Where once beneath a Monarch's feet,
Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs!
From marking wildly-scatt'red flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,
I shelter in thy honour'd shade.

 McCall 3574 and 741: A 'Scottish Christmas' dress and hat

Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,
As busy Trade his labour plies;
There Architecture's noble pride
Bids elegance and splendour rise:
Here Justice, from her native skies,
High wields her balance and her rod;
There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
Seeks Science in her coy abode.

University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity with statue of John Knox

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind
With open arms the stranger hail;
Their views enlarg'd, their lib'ral mind,
Above the narrow, rural vale:
Or modest Merit's silent claim;
And never may their sources fail!
And never envy blot their name!

Thy daughters bright they walks adorn, 
Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
Dear as the raptur'd thrill of joy!
Fair Burnet strikes th'adoring eye,
Heav'n's beauties on my fancy shine;
I see the Sire of Love on high, 
And own His work indeed divine!

There, watching high the least alarms,
Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;
Like some bold vet'ran, grey in arms,
And mark'd with many a seamy scar:
They pond'rous wall and massy bar, 
Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock,
Have oft withstood assailing war,
And oft repell'd th' Invader's shock.

St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
I view that noble, stately Dome,
Where Scotia's kings of other years, 
Fam'd heroes! had their royal home:
Alas, how chang'd the times to come!
Their royal name low in the dust!
Their hapless race wild-wand'ring roam!
Tho' rigid Law cries out 'twas just!

My Alexander McQueen 'Tribute' skirt

Wild-beats my heart to trace your steps,
Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps
Old Scotia's bloody lion bore:
Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,
Haply my Sires have left their shed,
And fac'd grim Danger's loudest roar,
Bold- following where your fathers led!

McCall 3641: the 'Rabbie Burns' dress

Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
Where once, beneath a Monarch's feat,
Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs:
From marking wildly-scattered flow'rs,
As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours, 
I shelter in thy honor'd shad.

Happy Burns Night!

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