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Sir Robert Ayton

Ayton, Sir Robert (1570–1638). Poet, son of A. of Kinaldie in Fife. After graduating at St. Andrews, he studied law at Paris, became ambassador to the Emperor, and held other court offices. He appears to have been well-known to his literary contemporaries in England. He wrote poems in Latin, Greek, and English, and was one of the first Scotsmen to write in the last. His chief poem is Diophantus and Charidora; Inconstancy Upbraided is perhaps the best of his short poems. He is credited with a little poem, Old Long Syne, which probably suggested Burns’s famous Auld Lang Syne.

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