Poor Mailie

For Robert Burns’ anniversary, an Unco Mournfu’ Tale, or (if you will) a Scottish Catullus of sorts.

The text can be found at http://www.robertburns.org/works/28.shtml

‘The Death And Dying Words Of Poor Mailie, The Author’s Only Pet Yowe, an Unco Mournfu’ Tale.’ A Scottish Catullus, of sorts.

“This tale is partly true; the poet’s pet ewe got entangled in her tether, and tumbled into a ditch; the face of ludicrous and awkward sorrow with which this was related by Hughoc, the herd-boy, amused Burns so much, who was on his way to the plough, that he immediately composed the poem, and repeated it to his brother Gilbert when they met in the evening; the field where the poet held the plough, and the ditch into which poor Mailie fell, are still pointed out.” – Allan Cunningham, “The Complete Works of Robert Burns”, 1871.

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