Extempore reply to an invitation

Sir, Yours this moment I unseal, And faith I'm gay and hearty! To tell the truth and shame the deil, I am as fou as Bartie: But Foorsday, sir, my promise leal, Expect me o' your partie, If on a beastie I can speel Or hurl in a cartie. Yours, Robert Burns Machlin, Monday Night, 10 o'clock


Tam Dean Burn

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1786 and is read here by Tam Dean Burn.

More about this poem

It is still unknown precisely when the date of this composition was, or indeed the nature of the composition itself. James Kinsley reckoned that it was probably written in 1785 or 1786.

The reference to ‘Bartie’ is usually taken as an allusion to the Devil by editors of Burns’s poems, because of his appearance in the previous line.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this poem

drink religion humour

Locations for this poem


Selected for 20 February

Should you be fortunate enough tonight, to receive a belated invitation to a Burns celebration, do as the bard himself did in response to an enticing summons to conviviality on another Monday evening long ago, and, even if you have NOT been drinking, just say... 'YES!'.

Donny O'Rourke

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