In replying to this toast, we have no hesitation in saying that Burns stands pre-eminently
in the first rank. His mind was so sensitive to the beauties of nature that he regretted
plowing a daisy under, as evinced in the following tender lines :-
' Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour,
For I maun crush among the stour
Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonnie gem.'
He was well aware that he was but little indebted to education, and he finely expresses it
in the following :-
'Gie me a spark o' nature's fire,
'Tis a' the learning I desire ;
Then though I trudge through dub and mire,
At plow or cart,
My muse, though hamely in attire,
May touch the heart.'
He has encouraged many a poor man who was depressed and in despair with the ill assorted way
in which this world's goods are distributed with his grand song.
'The rank is but the guinea stamp;
The man's the goud for a' that.'
Thomas Campbell had a warm feeling for depressed nationalities, and warmly expressed it on the
fall of the Polish Patriot Kosciusko :-
' Hope for a season bade the world farewell,
And freedom shrieked when Kosciusko fell.'
He had a deep sympathy for Ireland, down-trodden as it was eighty years ago, when he visited it,
and gives vent to his feelings in the touching lament of the Exile of Erin:
'O where is my cabin stood by the wild wood?
Mother and sister did you weep for its fall?
And where is the sire watched over my childhood?
And where is my bosom friend dearer than all?'
Tanahill composed while at the loom. His best known, sweetest and most tender song is :
'Jessie, the Flower of Dunblane.'
Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, composed while tending his flock. One of his finest and most
tender pieces is:
'Meeting a Bonnie Lassie when the Kye comes Hame. '
Charles McKay, the greatest living Scottish Poet, is most favourably known by his splendid manly song :
' The pen shall supercede the sword,
Right, not might, shall be the Lord;
There's a good time coming-wait a little longer.'
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"Response To Sentiment of Scottish Poets" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 10 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/20405/response-to-sentiment-of-scottish-poets>.