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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?
[1]

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