“No future age shall see his name expire”—Inscription on the tombstone of William Nicholson.
Brother Will, to school’s routine you were ill-fitted,
they said you could carry the pack instead.
Not suited to farm with your short sight,
loaded up with combs, thimbles, gown fabric,
you set off with your bagpipes at twenty,
wondered what would printing a book do for you.
Before long your poem songs got you known,
to Edinburgh city next you were gone.
But down in London you fell on hard times,
preaching religion instead of your rhymes.
Drink made you prey to malevolent types.
Near drowned in canals, robbed of your pipes.
You’ll be remembered alongside Burns and Hogg,
for your Brownie o Bladnoch written at Borgue.