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On James. Grieve, Laird of Boghead, Tarbolton

Here lies Boghead amang the dead, In hopes to get salvation; But if such as he, in Heav'n may be, Then welcome, hail! damnation.


Eddi Reader

About this work

This is an epitaph by Robert Burns. It was written in 1784 and is read here by Eddi Reader.

Themes for this epitaph

humour religion supernatural

Locations for this epitaph


Selected for 09 August

On the 11th of this month, lovers of poetry will mark the birthdate of Hugh MacDiarmid, perhaps the most important figure in twentieth century Scottish culture. The real name of that great poet and agitator was C.M. Grieve. Our selection today was inspired not by the birth but rather the death of an earlier Grieve. A grateful nation thinks more highly of the Langholm writer than Burns did of the Tarbolton laird! In fact, as with many of the Bard's epitaphs, this was wishful thinking, a poetic pin stuck in a voodoo doll vituperation. James Grieve, whose estate bordered the land Burns farmed at Lochlea, was very much alive.

Donny O'Rourke

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