HOGG states that this spirited extravaganza was ‘written in the house of Mr. Andrew Bruce, Castlehill, Edinburgh, where a haggis one day made part of the dinner’; but it is unlikely that Burns set to work on it there and then. Chamber’s story, that the germ was the last stanza (as first printed) extemporised as grace at a friend’s house, is seemingly a variation of the same legend. The Address – (‘never before published’) – appeared in The Caledonian Mercury on 19th December 1786, and in The Scots Magazine for January 1787.
STANZA I. LINE 5. ‘Weel are ye wordy o’‘ grace,’ Caledonian Mercury and 1787 (2).
STANZA VI. LINE 2. ‘As feckless as a‘ wither’d rash,’ 1787 (2).
STANZA VIII. LINE 3. ‘Auld Scotland wants nae stinking ware,’ 1787 (2):- See ante, Bibliographical, p. 313.
STANZA VIII. LINE 3. as printed in The Caledonian Mercury and The Scots Magazine, reads thus:-