1856 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Wilson

Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck, in Cyclopedia of American Literature (1856) 1:545.



In 1792, his poem of Watty and Meg was published anonymously. It met with very great success — one hundred thousand copies being sold within a few weeks — and received the high honor of being attributed to Burns. This was a great gratification to the author, who entertained a high regard for the great poet, and had previously made his acquaintance by a letter which he wrote to Burns on the first publication of his poems, in which he objected to some on the score of immorality. Burns replied that he was so used to such communications that he usually paid no attention to them; but that as Wilson showed himself to be a good poet, he would, in this instance, vindicate himself. Wilson afterwards visited Burns in Ayrshire.