Toast to the Lassies

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was tremendously honoured to be invited by Lady Eva Bellambi to give the Toast to the Lassies at this year's Burns Supper and Ceilidh in Winterfell Anodyne. Lady Bellambi holds this virtual event in honour of Scotland's "National Poet".

Burns Suppers are held all over the world. A chance to gather and share in the life and writing of Robert Burns. For more on Robert Burns, visit

I am pleased to share with you my toast from last night...

Ladies and Gentlemen it is with great honour that I stand before you today to offer a toast to the lassies on the auspicious occasion of Robert Burns Night. To be asked by our charming hostess, the Lady of Skye, to not only attend this dinner, but to have the opportunity to toast those of the fairer sex is a very special privilege.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lady Eva Bellambi for organizing and hosting this wonderful evening in honour of Robert Burns. Thank you for welcoming us into your beautiful home. Thanks also to Miss Rowan Derryth for her work helping to organize this event and for what I am sure will be a charming and delightful response to my toast.

It is wonderful to see everyone here, and in particular, all of you divine lassies...although around this intriguing virtual world, one always has to wonder if in fact the lassies you see are in fact lassies at all.

Robert Burns. Rabbie Burns. The Ploughman Poet. Robden of Solway Firth. The Bard of Ayrshire. Scotland's favourite son. The Bard. Widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and perhaps Scotland’s Minister of Population Development.

He of course had a legendary eye and obviously a little more (or perhaps a lot more) for the ladies. With a total of twelve children by four women, one can surmise that if he were in our virtual world today, he would hold a customer rewards card for the local prim baby store. Imagine the talking tummies following in his wake...and whether you would be able to understand a word they uttered in open chat. Certainly not the traditional stuffed stomach...

In our virtual world, I am certainly privileged to know so many talented, professional, educated, intelligent, creative and caring women. Women who make both the virtual AND the physical worlds a much better place.

In honour of these most important women to myself and to all of us, I thought it appropriate to share with you the lyrics of a song written by Robert Burns in honour of a woman particularly dear to him...Agnes McLehose. I give to you, 'Ae Fond Kiss'.

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, and then for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met-or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Please join me in raising your glasses to the women who play such an important role in our lives…to the lassies!

Miss Rowan Derryth came back with a fabulous toast to the lads!

For more about this event in Second Life, visit Eva's blog at