1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Bruce

Alexander Campbell, in Introduction to the History of Poetry in Scotland (1798) 286-87.



His father, Alexander Bruce, was by trade a weaver. His mother, Ann Bruce, who is, so far as I know, still alive, and if so, in the eighty-ninth year of her age, was the daughter of a humble peasant; but, though poor in means, nature had blessed her with what constitutes the basis of wealth, and the best support of a state, a numerous and industrious family. Our poet was the fifth born of eight children. This event, which at one time promised to be in so small degree propitious, took place at Kenniswood, an obscure hamlet in Kinrosshire, 27th March, 1746. But, alas! a weak habit of body from infancy, was but too susceptible of the effects of a rigorous course of study necessarily imposed on persevering indigence. He attended the university of Edinburgh for four years, preparatory to his entering into the church; but his views were put an end to by his death, which took place on the 6th July, 1767, in the twenty-first year of his age. For a farther account of this amiable young man, I refer my reader to that short account subjoined to the edition of his poems above mentioned, to No. 36 of the Mirror, and Anderson's life of Bruce.