(Burns enclosed On the death of Lord President Dundas) with this letter)
Monday morn: 24th December 1787
the inclosed Poem was in consequence of your suggestion, last time I had the pleasure of seeing you.
– It cost me an hour or two of next morning’s sleep, but did not please me; so it lay by, an ill-digested effort, till the other day that I gave it a Critic brush.-These kind of subjects are much hackneyed; and besides, the wailings of the rhyming tribe over the ashes of the Great, are damnably suspicious, and out of all character for sincerity.
– These ideas damp’d my Muse’s fire; however, I have done the best I could; and at all events, it gives me an opportunity of declaring that I have the honor to be,
Sir, your oblidged humble servant Robt Burns