ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, "Epistle I. To Allan Ramsay" 1719; Ramsay, Poems (1720) 173-76.
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
William Hamilton of Gilbertfield:
1719: Allan Ramsay
Gilbertfield June 26th, 1719.
O fam'd and celebrated ALLAN!
Renowned RAMSAY, canty Callan,
There's nowther Highlandman nor Lawlan,
But may as soon ding down Tamtallan
As match wi' thee.
For ten Times ten, and that's a hunder,
I ha'e been made to gaze and wonder,
When frae Parnassus thou didst thunder,
Wi' Wit and Skill,
Wherefore I'll soberly knock under,
And quat my Quill.
Of POETRY the hail Quintessence
Thou hast suck'd up, left nae Excrescence
To petty Poets, or sic Messens,
Tho round thy Stool,
They may pick Crumbs, and lear some Lessons
At RAMSAY'S School.
Tho BEN and DRYDEN of renown
Were yet alive, in London Town,
Like Kings contending for a Crown;
'Twad be a Pingle,
Whilk o' you three wad gar Words sound
And best to gingle.
Transform'd may I be to a Rat,
Wer't in my Pow'r but I'd create
Thee upo' sight the Laureat
Of this our Age,
Since thou may'st fairly claim to that
As thy just Wage.
Let modern POETS bear the Blame
Gin they respect not RAMSAY'S Name,
Wha soon can gar them greet for Shame,
To their great Loss;
And send them a' right sneaking hame
Wha bourds wi' thee had need be warry,
And lear wi' Skill thy Thrust to parry,
When thou consults thy Dictionary
Of ancient Words,
Which come from thy Poetick Quarry,
As sharp as Swords.
Now tho I should baith reel and rottle,
And be as light as ARISTOTLE,
At Ed'nburgh we sall ha'e a Bottle
Of reaming Claret,
Gin that my haff-pay Siller Shottle
Can safely spare it.
At Crambo then we'll rack our Brain,
Drown ilk dull Care and aiking Pain,
Whilk aften does our Spirits drain
Of true Content;
Wow, Wow! but we's be wonder fain,
When thus acquaint.
Wi' Wine we'll gargarize our Craig,
Then enter in a lasting League,
Free of Ill Aspect or Intrigue,
And gin you please it,
Like Princes when met at the Hague,
We'll solemnize it.
Accept of this and look upon it
With Favour, tho poor I have done it;
Sae I conclude and end my Sonnet,
Who am most fully,
While I do wear a Hat or Bonnet,
Yours — wanton WILLY.
By this my Postscript I incline
To let you ken my hail Design
Of sic a lang imperfect Line,
Lyes in this Sentence,
To cultivate my dull Ingine
By your Acquaintance.
Your Answer therefore I expect,
And to your Friend you may direct,
At Gilbertfield do not neglect
When ye have Leisure,
Which I'll embrace with great Respect
And perfect Pleasure.