Dorothy Wordsworth, sister of the more famous William (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Wordsworth) visited Dumbarton in 1803 (see her account here: http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/…/wordsworth-…/09.html) and again in 1822. On a tour of our churchyard she commented on the grave of William McAlla, a young soldier who died falling off the the top of the eastern part of Dumbarton Rock, then a garrison. The inscription on the gravestone contains a verse:
“In memory of William McAlla, Light Company, Ayrshire Militia, who was cut off in the flower of his youth by a fall from the East Rock of Dumbarton Castle, 26th June 1812, in the 24th year of his age.
No more the shrill reveille shall convey
Unto his breathless corpse the dawn of day,
No evening drum will beat
To him the tidings of the sun’s retreat;
No more he’ll breathe the sweet salubrious gale,
Nor listen more to love’s unwearied tale,
Nor tune the pipe to nature’s charming choir,
Nor yield again to youth’s ecstatic fire.
This stone was erected in his memory by his brother officers.”
Dorothy was not impressed with the quality of this verse, commenting that she considered it rather poor.