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John Campbell Scotland Epitaph

Many Scottish poets have made an attempt at the epitaph, with varying degrees of success. One little-known poet who tried was John Campbell.  John Campbell, of Bonnington Cottage, near Edinburgh, was a character. Among his other gifts was a turn for poetry, which he exercised greatly to his own enjoyment. Eighteen years before his death, he composed his funeral letter in verse. A few days before his demise he called for it and ordered it to be printed, and after inscribing several copies with his own hand, he caused them to be sent to those who were to carry him to the grave. The singular document read as follows:

Wi' me
Life's weary battle's ower at last,
The verge o' time I've fairly past
My ransomed spirit now at rest
  Frae worldly harm;
To you my only last request,
  In humblest form
Presents, that ye wad condescend,
As auld acquaintance and a friend
My funeral party to attend —
  My parting scene.
And see my earthy part consigned
  To its earth again.
To rest till the redemption come,
Shall raise the body from the tomb,
And lead the blood-washed sinner home
  To Heavenly place,
To spend eternity to come
  I' joy and peace.
The period fixed when it's intendit,
That men's concern wi' me be endit,
My son on the neist page has penn'd it,
  Baith time and place;
Now hoping that you will attend it,
I wish you peace.

When John Campbell was asked why he had taken such a notion, his characteristic reply was: 'I'm like the piper o' Falkland, wha tuned his pipes before he de'ed, to let folk ken wha he was.'

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