Epitaph on a Wag in Mauchline

Lament 'im Mauchline husbands a', He aften did assist ye; For had ye staid whole weeks awa' Your wives they ne're had miss'd ye. Ye Mauchline bairns as on ye pass, To school in bands thegither, O tread ye lightly on his grass, Perhaps he was your father.


Blythe Duff
Crawford Logan
John Bett

About this work

This is an epitaph by Robert Burns. It was written in 1785 and is read here by Blythe Duff.

More about this epitaph

The wag in question still remains somewhat of a mystery.

Allan Cunningham identified the subject as James Smith (1765-1823). However, James Kinsley has argued that if the title in the Court of Equity is original, then the person identified is one ‘Clockie Brown’.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this epitaph

death cuckoldry

Locations for this epitaph


Selected for 29 March

Today's witty little poem was written almost exactly a decade before the piece highlighted on 28th March. By 1785, Burns had some personal experience of its subject matter. And there was plenty more to come!

Donny O'Rourke

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