1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Ramsay

John Wilson, in Blackwood's Magazine 31 (June 1832) 985.



There now arises before us such a Brotherhood of Bards as could have been born and bred — nay, frown not, fair or gallant Southron — only in Scotland. The Bards belonging by divine right to the People — the household Bards of hut and shieling, dear to the dwellers on the hill and river sides, and to those who, like the cushats, have their nests in the woods. Allan Ramsay, Michael Bruce, Robert Fergusson, ROBERT BURNS, James Hogg, and though last, not least, Allan Cunningham — the Barber, the Schoolmaster, the Sherrif's Clerk Engrosser, the Ploughman, the Shepherd, the Stone-Mason! And has not Scotland reason to be proud of her wigs, her taws, her very charges of horning, her plough-coulters, and the teeth of her harrows, her gimmers and her 'tarry woo,' her side walls and her gable-ends — seeing that the same minds that were busied with such matters, for sake of a scanty and precarious subsistence, have been among the brightest on the long roll which Fame, standing on the mountains, unfolds to the sunshine and the winds, inscribed with the names of some of the wide world's most prevailing Poets?