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Highland Hospitality

Unto his housemaid spoke the Laird:
"Tonight the Bishop is our guest;
The spare room must be warmed and aired:
To please him we will do our best.
A worthy haggis you must make,
And serve a bowl of barley bree;
We must be hearty for the sake
Of Highland Hospitality.

The feast was set, the candles lit,
The Bishop came with modest mien,
And (one surmised) was glad to sit
And sup in this ancestral scene.
A noble haggis graced the board;
The Laird proposed a toast or two,
And ever and anon he poured
His guest a glass of Mountain Dew.

Then to his maid the Laird gave tongue:
"My sonsie Jean, my friend is old.
Comparatively you are young,
And not so sensitive to cold.
Poor chiel! His blood austerely beats,
Though it be sped by barley bree . . .
Slip half an hour between the sheets,
Brave lass, and warm his bed a wee.

Said she: "I'll do the best I can
So that his couch may cosy be,
And as a human warming pan
Prove Highland Hospitality."
So hearing sounds of mild carouse,
As in the down she pillowed deep:
"In half an hour I will arouse,"
She vowed, then soundly went to sleep.

So when the morn was amber-orbed
The Bishop from a dream awoke,
And as his parritch he absorbed,
Unto his host he slyly spoke:
"Your haggis, Laird, was nobly bred,
And braw your brew of barley bree -
But oh your thought to warm the bed!
That's Highland Hospitality.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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    "Highland Hospitality" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Mar. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32168/highland-hospitality>.

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