Some Few Lines Made Upon

written by William Cleland

Some Few Lines Made Upon

— William Cleland

To die obscure must be a dismal Fate,
Since Mortals purchase Fame at such a rate;
As burning Cities, razing Regal seats.
Destroying Temples; overturning States.
But meaner sp'rits whom Destiny contracts,
Not to aspire unto such Glorious Acts;
Yet Phaetons in conceit, will be content
E're Fame be wanting to be Fools in Print.

About the poet


William Cleland

William Cleland (ca. 1661 – 21 August 1689) was a Scottish poet and soldier. William was the son of Thomas Cleland, gamekeeper to the Marquess of Douglas, chief of the House of Douglas. He was probably brought up on the Douglas estate, centred at Douglas Castle, Lanarkshire, and was educated at St Andrew's University. Immediately on leaving college he joined the army of the Covenanters, and was present at the Battle of Drumclog, where, says Robert Wodrow, some attributed to Cleland the manoeuvre which led to the victory. He also fought at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge. He and his brother James were described in a royal proclamation of 16 June 1679, among the leaders of the insurgents. He escaped to Holland, but in 1685 was again...

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