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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 23

A Dinner at the House of Dugal Stewart

By Robert Burns (1759–1796)

  • This little poem of Burns’ is the outcome of his dining on Oct. 23, 1786, with his friend Robert Ferguson, and there meeting unexpectedly Lord ———. The occasion seems to have been a pleasant one.

  • THIS wot ye all whom it concerns,

    I Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,

    October twenty-third,

    A ne’er to be forgotten day,

    Sae far I sprackled up the brae,

    I dinnered wi’ a Lord.

    I’ve been at drunken writer’s feasts,

    Nay, been bitch-fou ’mang godly priests,

    Wi’ reverence be it spoken;

    I’ve even joined the honoured jorum,

    When mighty Squireships of the quorum,

    Their hydra drouth did sloken.

    But wi’ a Lord—stand out my shin,

    A Lord—a Peer—an Earl’s son,

    Up higher yet my bonnet;

    An sic a Lord—lang Scotch ells twa,

    Our Peerage he o’erlooks them a’

    As I look o’er my sonnet.


    I watched the symptoms o’ the Great,

    The gentle pride, the lordly state,

    The arrogant assuming;

    The feint a pride, nae pride had he,

    Nor sauce, nor state that I could see,

    Mair than an honest ploughman.

    Then from his Lordship I shall learn,

    Henceforth to meet with unconcern,

    One rank as well’s another;

    Nae honest worthy man need care,

    To meet with noble youthful Daer,

    For he but meets a brother.