1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Ramsay

Anna Seward to Walter Scott, 10 July 1802; in Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 6:35-36.



Allan Ramsay's poetry caught my youthful attention, and, by glossary assistance, I resolved to understand it. From that time the ancient Scotch dialect appeared to me to possess, in the hands of a true poet, what I think it is you have so well defined, "a certain Doric delicacy." To my ear it is not less pleasing than the English of Spenser, and far more agreeable than the phraseology of Chaucer, and his contemporaries. I hope it will not be lost amongst you; that your men of genius, yet unborn, will have the patriotism to preserve it by frequently making it the vehicle of their inspirations.