Standard Habbie Notes

About the Jez of It

The Standard Habbie, or Burn’s Stanza, consists of 6 rhyming lines, lines 1, 2, 3 and 5 being iambic tetrameter or eight syllables, and lines 4 and 6 being iambic dimeter or four syllables.

The thyme scheme is aaabab, cccdcd, eeefef and so on.

Example

Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then…

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