The following ode was delivered by the author at the Centennial Anniversary
of Burns, Ingersoll, in presence of a large assembly in the year 1859:
This night shall never be forgot,
For humble life none now despise,
Since Barns was born in lowly cot,
Whose muse's wing soared to the skies.
'Round Scotia's brow he wove a wreath
And raised her name in classic story,
A deathless fame he did bequeath,
His country's pride, his country's glory.
He sang her hills, he sang her dales,
Of Bonnie Doon and Banks of Ayr,
Of death and Hornbrook, and such tales
As Tam O'Shanter and his mare.
He bravely taught that manly worth
More precious is than finest gold ;
He reckoned not on noble birth,
But noble deeds alone extolled.
Where will we find behind the plow
Or in the harvest field at toil
Another youth, sweet bard like thou
Could draw the tear or raise the smile.
We do not think 'twas Burns fault,
For there were no teetotalers then,
That Willie brewed a peck of malt,
And Robbin preed like other men.
'Tis true he loved the lasses dear,
But who for this would loudly blame,
For Scotia's maids his heart did cheer,
And love is a true heavenly flame.
So here we've met in distant land
Poor honest Robin to extoll,
Though oft we've differed,
Let us stand united now in Ingersoll.
Burns sang so sweet behind the plow,
Daisies well wreath around his brow,
Musing, on thee, what visions throng
Of floods you poured of Scottish song
Scott, he did write romancing rhymes
Of chivalry of ancient times.
For tender feeling none can cope
With Campbell, the sweet Bard of hope.
Eye, with sympathetic tear in
We'll shed it for exile of Erin,
And Tannahil, while at his loom,
Wove flowers of song will ever bloom.
Hogg, Ettrick shepherd, did gain fame
By singing when the Kie comes hame,
With good time coming Bard McKay
Still merrily doth cheer the way.
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