Inscription For The Headstone Of Fergusson The Poet[1]

     No sculptured marble here, nor pompous lay,
     "No storied urn nor animated bust;"
     This simple stone directs pale Scotia's way,
     To pour her sorrows o'er the Poet's dust.

Additional Stanzas

     She mourns, sweet tuneful youth, thy hapless fate;
     Tho' all the powers of song thy fancy fired,
     Yet Luxury and Wealth lay by in state,
     And, thankless, starv'd what they so much admired.

     This tribute, with a tear, now gives
     A brother Bard—he can no more bestow:
     But dear to fame thy Song immortal lives,
     A nobler monument than Art can shew.

Inscribed Under Fergusson's Portrait

     Curse on ungrateful man, that can be pleased,
     And yet can starve the author of the pleasure.
     O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
     By far my elder brother in the Muses,
     With tears I pity thy unhappy fate!
     Why is the Bard unpitied by the world,
     Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?

The stone was erected at Burns' expenses in February—March, 1789.