Lines on Meeting with Lord Daer


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 sprackl'd up the brae, I dinner'd wi' a Lord. I've been at drucken writers' feasts, Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests- Wi' rev'rence be it spoken!- I've even join'd the honour'd 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. But O for Hogarth's magic pow'r! To show Sir Bardie's willyart glow'r, An' how he star'd and stammer'd, When, goavin, as if led wi' branks, An' stumpin on his ploughman shanks, He in the parlour hammer'd. I sidying shelter'd in a nook, An' at his Lordship steal't a look, Like some portentous omen; Except good sense and social glee, An' (what surpris'd me) modesty, I marked nought uncommon. I watch'd the symptoms o' the Great, The gentle pride, the lordly state, The arrogant assuming; The fient 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 weel's another; Nae honest, worthy man need care To meet with noble youthful Daer, For he but meets a brother.

Listen

Brian Cox
Gerry Mulgrew

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1786 and is read here by Brian Cox.

More about this poem

Basil William Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Daer (1763-1794) was the son of the Earl of Selkirk. When Burns met him, he was a student at Edinburgh staying with Professor Dugald Stewart.

Daer was an admirer of the French revolution, and an advocate for parliamentary reform. Burns was impressed by his democratic attitude and behaviour towards him.

Ralph Richard McLean

Themes for this poem

class equality brotherhood

Locations for this poem

Irvine

Selected for 25 October

In today's poem Burns, who loved noms de plume and noms de guerre, is self consciously playing with the idea of an alias in this assertion of equality between lord and labourer.

Donny O'Rourke

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