1830 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Henry Francis Cary, 1830 ca.; Memoir of the Rev. Henry Francis Cary (1847) 2:296-97.



Humour, wit, pathos, a certain wild music in his numbers, and a hearty love of nature, such as might be expected in a poet whose life was past in the fields, are the ingredients that make up the genius of Burns. In most of his pieces these are imperfectly conveyed to the ear and understanding of an English reader, by his national dialect. Even when he used unmixed English, his pronunciation differing so widely from ours must have made the effect different to his own ear. In this respect he is a foreigner.