Robert Burns (1759-1796)

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A Sonnet upon Sonnets

Fourteen, a sonneteer thy praises sings;
What magic myst'ries in that number lie!
Your hen hath fourteen eggs beneath her wings
That fourteen chickens to the roost may fly.
Fourteen full pounds the jockey's stone must be;
His age fourteen--a horse's prime is past.
Fourteen long hours too oft the Bard must fast;
Fourteen bright bumpers--bliss he ne'er must see!
Before fourteen, a dozen yields the strife;
Before fourteen--e'en thirteen's strength is vain.
Fourteen good years--a woman gives us life;
Fourteen good men--we lose that life again.
What lucubrations can be more upon it?
Fourteen good measur'd verses make a sonnet.