Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by
DAVID HILL RADCLIFFE

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities


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Literary Chronicle
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Halkett and Laing
Scottish Notes & Queries

Part I. (Volume I.)
Front-matter
James the First
Thomas the Rhymer
John Barbour
Andrew Wyntoun
Gavin Douglas
Allan Ramsay
William Meston
John Home
James Beattie
Robert Burns

Part II. (Volume I.)
Front-matter
James the Fifth
William Dunbar
Sir James Inglis
Henry the Minstrel
Sir David Lyndsay
Alexander Barclay
Alexander Montgomerie
William Alexander
William Drummond
James Thomson
John Oswald

Part III. (Volume II.)
Front-matter
James the Sixth
Sir Richard Maitland
Arthur Johnston
Hamilton of Bangour
Hamilton of Gilbertfield
Samuel Colvil
Alexander Ross
John Armstrong
John Ogilvie
James Macpherson
Charles Salmon

Part IV. (Volume II.)
Front-matter
Alexander Hume
John Bellenden
Mark Alexander Boyd
Ninian Paterson
William Wilkie
Robert Fergusson
William Julius Mickle
Alexander Geddes
James Grahame

Part V. (Volume III.)
Front-matter
Robert Henryson
Alexander Scott
Walter Kennedy
John Ogilby
Alexander Pennecuik
Alexander Cunningham
David Mallet
William Falconer
Francis Garden
Robert Blair
James Moor
James Graeme
Caleb Whitefoord
James Grainger
Hector Macneill
John Wilson

Part VI. (Volume III.)
Front-matter
Robert Kerr
Richard Lord Maitland
Thomas Hamilton
Charles Hamilton
Michael Bruce
Thomas Blacklock
John Logan
Andrew Macdonald
James Mercer

Appendix. (Volume III.)
James I
Allan Ramsay
John Home
Robert Burns
William Drummond
Robert Fergusson
Alexander Scott
John Wilson
Index
Corrections

Part  VI:
Appendix

LIFE OF ROBERT FERGUSSON.
Part IV. p. 83.
1

Extract from the Records of the managers of the Kirk and Kirk Yard funds of Canongate, relative to the erection, by Robert Burns, of a Headstone in memory of Robert Fergusson.

2

“Session House within the Kirk of Canongate, the 22nd of February, 1787.

3

“Sederunt of the Managers of the Kirk and Kirk Yard Funds of Canongate.

4

“Which day, the treasurer to the said funds produced a letter from Mr. Robert Burns, of date the sixth current, which was read and appointed to be engrossed in their sederunt book, and of which letter the tenor follows:

POETS — APPENDIX.85
To the honorable Baillies of Canongate, Edinburgh.

5

“Gentlemen,
“I am sorry to be told, that the remains of Robert Fergusson, the so justly celebrated poet, a man whose talents for ages to come will do honor to our Caledonian name, lie in your churchyard among the ignoble dead, unnoticed and unknown.

6

“Some memorial to direct the steps of the lovers of Scottish song, when they shed a tear over the “narrow house” of the bard who is no more, is a tribute due to Fergusson's memory; a tribute I wish to have the honor of paying.

7

“I petition you then, gentlemen, to permit me to lay a simple stone over his revered ashes, to remain an unalienable property to his deathless fame. I have the honor to be,

Gentlemen,
Your very humble servant,
Robert Burns.
8

“Thereafter the said managers, in consideration of the laudable and disinterested motion of Mr. Burns, and the propriety of his request, did and hereby do unanimously grant power and liberty to the said Robert Burns, to erect a headstone at the grave of the said Robert Fergusson, and to keep up and preserve the same to his memory in all time coming.

9

“Extracted forth of the records of the managers, by

William Sprott, Clerk.”
86LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.
Extract from the Elogia Sepulchralia Edinburgena.
10

“From inattention in the mason employed to this monument, the foundation soon gave way, act it was in danger of falling. When this was observed, Burns, as well as Fergusson, was then also numbered with the dead. Some members of the Esculapian club, animated by that pious zeal for departed merit, which had before led them to prevent some other sepulchral monuments from going to ruin, applied for liberty to repair this tribute from one poet to the memory of another; and permission being granted, they took that opportunity of affixing to it an additional inscription, commemorating the genius of Burns. The poetical part of it is taken, almost verbatim, from the Elegy written by Burns himself on Captain Matthew Henderson.

Dignum laude verum musa vetat mori.
“Lo! Genius, proudly, while to Fame she turns,
Twines Currie's
[note] laurels with the wreath of Burns.
Roscoe. [note]
“To the Memory of
Robert Burns, the Ayershire Bard:
who was born at Doonside
on the 25th of January, 1759;
and died at Dumfries
on the 22nd of July, 1796.
O Robert Burns! the man! the brother!
And art thou gone,—and gone for ever!
And hast thou cross'd that unknown river,
Life's dreary bound!
Like thee where shall we find another
The world around!
POETS — APPENDIX.87
“Go to your sculptured tombs, ye great,
In a' the tinsel trash o' state
But by the honest turf I'll wait,
Thou man of worth!
And weep the sweetest poet's fate
E'er liv'd on earth.”

11

Of the affection which Fergusson's friends entertained for him, Mr. A. Campbell [note] gives the following pleasing proof:

12

“I have often witnessed the tribute of a tear when his cause has been mentioned by those who knew him. I remember in the year 1780, six years after his decease, Tenducci, [note] with whom I was then a pupil, talking of poor Fergusson, burst into a flood of tears, and repeated his name with the tenderest emotion; indeed, he never mentioned him but with the liveliest regret.”