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AMONG the "ingenious young gentlemen" who assisted Ramsay in his compilation of the Tea-Table Miscellany, were two poets of the same name who are yet often confounded. One was William Hamilton of Bangour, author of "The Braes of Yarrow," and the other William Hamilton of Gilbertfield.
This latter poet was the son of Hamilton of Ladylands, and was born about 1665. In early life he was a soldier, but retired with the rank of Lieutenant, by which title he was afterwards known. In 1722, he published a modernized version of Blind Harry's "Wallace," in the heroic couplet then so fashionable from the success of Pope's translation of the "Iliad." Hamilton's work, though a faint echo of his celebrated prototype's style, was the only version of the Minstrel's lay known to Burns and most of his contemporaries. He carried on a poetical correspondence with Ramsay, which is published along | with that poet's works. His best known piece is "Willie was a Wanton Wag," which probably suggested to Burns the refrain "Robin was a Ranting Boy;" but his most characteristic Scotch piece is the less known "Last and Dying Words of Bonny Heck," in the stanza said to have been invented by Robert Semple of Beltrees, in his famous Epitaph on Habbie Simson, piper of Kilbarchan. During his latter years Hamilton resided at Letterick, in Lanarkshire, and here he died in 1751,