Happy Birthday, Robert Burns


Frontpiece, Volume Two
Etching of Ayr, Scotland
Birthplace of my grandfather

In honor of Robert Burns birthday, today, January 25, 1759:

The Book-Worms
1787

Through and through th’ inspir’d leaves,
Ye maggots, make your windings;
But O respect his lordship’s taste,
And spare his golden bindings.

Beneath the poem (or epigram as stated in the book):?
“(On visiting a nobleman in Edinburgh (it is said), Burns was shewn into the library, where stood a Shakespeare splendidly bound, but time-worn, and unaired by occasional use. He found the leaves sadly worm-eaten, and wrote the about epigram on the ample margin of its pages. Long after our poet’s death, some one happened to oppent the book and found the lines in the unmistakeable handwriting of Burns.)”

This is from my grandfather’s set of The Complete Works of Robert Burns. It was published in 1886. He must have bought the set in the states as the publisher was Gebbie and Publishers Company and Philadelphia is listed as the publishing city. I have volumes two through six. I don’t know what happened to volume one. But I have yet to see any “book-worms”.

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4 Responses to Happy Birthday, Robert Burns

  1. Inland Empire Girl says:

    I love to collect old books. Theses are a treasure.

  2. Jone says:

    I am at school. Will photo the books and add to the post later. They are fragile.

  3. Kelly Fineman says:

    Thanks for that one, Jone. Burns had a sharp wit!

  4. TadMack says:

    Ooh, Happy Burns Day! Lucky you having your Granddad’s actual BOOKS! I had to look up my less familiar poems from Project Gutenberg!

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