1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Ramsay

Robert Cumming, in Essay, delivered in the Pantheon, on Thursday, April 14. 1791 (1791) 5-6.



The other's wit so sprightly lives a while;
Then with the trivial subject dies away:
But RAMSAY'S sense, deep fix'd in Nature's laws,
Must live immortal as his matchless song.
His language, too, which to the Scottish muse
Gives ev'ry grace, must claim our due regard.
So chaste, so easy, does it flow along,
From forc'd and foreign idioms still so free,
Which oft in FERGUSSON offend the eye.
O happy genius! which could so describe
The human passions, so devoid of art,
Whose ev'ry stroke still moves their finest springs;
Whose ev'ry word and look is Nature's self.