Robert Fergusson

(1750—1774) poet

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published his first poems in Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine (1771), in imitation of English models, and his first Scots poem, ‘The Daft Days’, appeared in 1772. A volume appeared in 1773 which was to have a profound influence on Burns, who found himself inspired to ‘emulating vigour’. Fergusson's ‘The Farmer's Ingle’, a vernacular description of homely rustic life, is a clear foreshadowing of Burns's ‘The Cotter's Saturday Night’. Fergusson vividly evokes the street life, taverns, and amusements of Edinburgh, and mocks the established literary world in satirical attacks on Dr Johnson and Mackenzie (‘The Sow of Feeling’).

Subjects: Literature.

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