A Scottish Grace, The
was the fashionable grace-before-meat at the tables of the Scottish
nobility in the reign of Queen Mary. This legend was carved
over many doorways in old
hae meat that canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
have meat that cannot eat
And some would eat that want for it
But we have meat, and we can eat
So let the Lord be thanked for it.
lines, repeated by Burns when he dined with the Earl of Selkirk,
and generally considered his own, were, according to Robert
Chambers, current in the south-west of Scotland before the poet’s
time, and were known as the Covenanter’s grace.