Robert Burns

Lines on Stirling

written in 1787

[A] Written by Somebody in the window of an inn at Stirling on seeing the Royal Palace in ruins. Here Stewarts once in triumph reign'd, And laws for Scotland's weal ordain'd; But now unroof'd their Palace stands, Their sceptre's fall'n to other hands; Fallen indeed, and to the earth, Whence grovelling reptiles take their birth. The injur'd STEWART-line are gone, A Race outlandish fill their throne; An idiot race, to honor lost; Who know them best despise them most. [B] These imprudent lines were answered, very petulantly, by somebody, I believe a Revd Mr Hamilton.-In a M.S.S. where I met with the answer, I wrote below- With Esop's lion, Burns says, sore I feel Each other blow, but damn that ass's heel! [C] The Reproof Rash mortal, and slanderous Poet, thy name Shall no longer appear in the records of fame; Dost not know that old Mansfield, who writes like the Bible, Says the more 'tis a truth, Sir, the more 'tis a libel?

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