Stanza 17: A final request for God’s blessing

After his outburst of invective and cursing, Willie undergoes an instant transformation. It is now time to ask for something for himself.

Burns uses a series of pairings and balances in this stanza, which emphasise Willie’s main interest, himself: me and mine. He asks for mercies temporal and divine, Biblical terms which sound pious, but which, by including temporal- worldly- as well as divine, equates the rewards on earth with those in Heaven. This is followed by grace and gear- grace meaning the blessings of God, but gear meaning wealth and possessions.

In the final two lines of the poem, Willie has the arrogance to suggest that God will benefit from generosity to Wille: And a’ the glory shall be Thine/ Amen! Amen! This complacent final short line of a double Amen shows Willie congratulating himself on a job well done.