1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hector Macneill

Alexander Thomson, in The British Parnassus, at the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1801) 79-80.



At the time you refer to, no SCOTIAN Bard
To sing in his own native language was heard;
For Indigence toiling, with sweat on his brow,
And Ignorance then, made that Nation to bow,
But the case, I believe, is quite different now;
And though She her Ploughman of AYRSHIRE has lost,
The gay Muse of SCOTLAND may still have her boast;
MACNEILL is the darling of that Rustic Queen,
whose talents for Poetry richly were seen
In his popular Story of WILL and his JEAN;
Not to mention its Sequel, the Sorrows of WAR,
Which some Critics think not so pleasing by far;
Besides which, to him the rare talent belongs,
Of constructing both tender and humorous Songs.