Robert Burns wrote several blessings for use before and after dining.


Selkirk Grace

This is the blessing traditionally delivered at Burns suppers. It is also known as Burns Grace at Kirkcudbright. It is attributed to Burns in 1787 but Burns may have adapted this from a pre-existing piece called the Galloway Grace which dated from the 1600's.


Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.


A Grace Before Dinner 1

It is reported that this grace was created and delivered by the poet extempore at a dinner in Dumfries


O thou who kindly dost provide
For ev'ry creature's want!
We bless the God of Nature wide,
For all Thy goodness lent.

And if it please Thee, heavenly Guide,
May never worse be sent;
But, whether granted or denied,
Lord, bless us with content.


A Grace Before Dinner 2


O Thou, in whom we live and move,
Who made the sea and shore,
Thou goodness constantly we prove,
And, grateful, would adore.

And, if it please Thee, Power above!
Still grant us with such store
The friend we trust, the fair we love,
And we desire no more.


A Grace Before and After Dinner

Written by Burns for the landlord of the Globe, William Hyslop and his wife, in return for the meal. According to a notation in the Complete Works of Robert Burns, Burns and some companions had arrived unannounced at the tavern and there was nothing prepared to feed them. Mrs. Hyslop offered the meal originally cooked for the family, a ram's (tup) head and feet. Meg and Jock are believed to be the servers.


O Lord, when hunger pinches sore,
Do thou stand us in stead,
And send us, from thy bounteous store,
A tup or wether head! Amen.


O Lord, since we have feasted thus,
Which we so little merit,
Let Meg now take away the flesh,
And Jock bring in the spirit!