Scottish Poetry Selection
- Selkirk Grace

Although the "Selkirk Grace" is attributed to Robert Burns, a version of this stanza was known in the 17th century as the Galloway Grace or the Covenanters' Grace and was said in Lallans (the Lowland Scots dialect). It is this version (version (1) below) which is usually used at Burns Suppers. Traditionally, Burns is said to have delivered an extempore version in Standard English at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk (version (2) below).

Burns also composed other graces and two of these are shown below.

   Selkirk Grace (1)

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.

The last line is often varied to read-
And sae the Lord be thankit

   Selkirk Grace (2)

Some have meat and cannot eat,
   Some cannot eat that want it;
But we have meat and we can eat,
   So let the Lord be thankit.

   A Grace Before Dinner

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 After Dinner

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.

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line