ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
, "Prologue to the Gentle Shepherd" Columbian Herald or, the New Daily Advertiser [Charleston] (11 March 1796).
1719: William Hamilton of Gilbertfield
1720: C. T.
1722: David Mallet
1725: William Hamilton of Bangour
1728 ca.: William Somervile
1729: Joseph Mitchell
1753: Rev. John Werge
1758: Rev. James Grainger
1761: William Shenstone
1762: Robert Lloyd
1770 ca.: Adam Smith
1772: Dr. John Aikin
1773: Samuel Johnson
1774: William Richardson
1774: T. V.
1776: James Beattie
1778: J. H.
1778: J. O.
1780 ca.: Alexander Fraser Tytler
1783: Rev. Hugh Blair
1786: John Pinkerton
1787: Robert Burns
1790 ca.: Rev. Alexander Geddes
1791: John Learmont
1791: Robert Cumming
1791: Alexander Wilson
1791: Ebenezer Picken
1794: Joseph Ritson
1794: Robert Alves
1796: Gavin Turnbull
1797: George Dyer
1800 ca.: George Chalmers
1802: Anna Seward
1806: Charles Brockden Brown
1809: J. M'D.
1816: George Colman the Younger
1817: Leigh Hunt
1819: Thomas Campbell
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825: Allan Cunningham
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1832: John Wilson
1851: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1860: George Gilfillan
1880: William Minto
1882: Epes Sargent
1882: Edmund Gosse
1788: Robert Burns
1796: Robert Fergusson
1796: Allan Ramsay
Sirs, I'm a Ghaist! — but dinna fear me,
I'm Ramsay's Ghaist! — ay, now, ye'l bear me;—
Frae sweet Elysium's bonny bow'rs,
Where poets pass their blissfu' hours,
I come, and dinna scorn to tell,
Only to justify myself'.
When death, that camsheugh carl, had fell'd me,
And first Elysian fouk beheld me,
My auld blue bonnet on my head,
And hamely Caledonian weed;
They cry'd, "Preserve's! what's yon droll body,
That gangs just like a niddy noddy?
'Tis some bit poor auld Scottish herd:"
"Na faith!" quo' Hermes, "he's a bard,
Sic as the deel a' mae ye'll find,
And ane of the dramatic kind."
Syne he pronounc'd aloud my name,
A current passport for my fame.
Then I shook hands wi' Johny Dryden,
And twa-three mae, wham much we pride in;
As Irish Ben, and Warwick Willy,
Wha's, by my saul, a matchless Billy;
And poor Tam Oatway, wha' could blaw
The sweetest whistle of them a'!
And a' that had a spunk of grace
Gied me kind welcome to the place;
But ane, wha look'd as if I stunk,
The chiel was either daft or drunk,
And though he had but little gumption,
'Twas mair than balanc'd by presumption;
Said, in a kind of leering way,
"Friend! sure ye never read a play;
Or if he had, 'tis plain enough,
Ye ne'er could fancy sic damn'd stuff
As Scottish shepherds' uncouth rhymes,
Could grace the stage and please the times."
Guidman, quoth I, whate'er's you name
I dinna ken, but never blame
Things as far past your comprehension,
As is the vera Piece ye mention;
And though he may think little on't,
I'll wager you a sterling groat,
Or, what a Poet values mair,
This wreath that I hae round my hair,
Against that wither'd twig of thine,
I'll get applause for ilka line!
Now, sirs, I sweat wi' very fright,
Lest ye should hiss my play this night;
For actors are grown sae refin'd,
They never speak it to my mind;
Sae if the piece its beauty tine,
Ye canna say the wyte was mine;
Yet, O! be sparing for my sake,
For if ye hiss, I lose my stake!