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of Scotia's Bard emphasised that fact. For the superior of that deliverance in appreciation, literary excellence, sober judgment, and all-absorbing sympathy, the record of Burns literature will be searched in vain. Only one other, and he a Scotsman also, has done Burns an equal measure of justice, leavened with the charity that thinketh no evil. The speech of Lord Rosebery, as a present-day essay on Burns characterised by originality, boldness, and sanity of thought, richly merits the most attentive study by all who desire to see Burns as he is, and not as the narrow-souled have represented him.



ROBERT BURNS, 21st JULY, 1896,






OT thine, beloved Minstrel! foremost, best
Of all whom Love holds captive at her feet,

Nor ours, the doleful mood, when thee we meet
Where once thy mortal woes were laid to rest ;—
With smiles we greet thee, a perennial guest

In pure Affection's most familiar seat, Mellifluent Burns! Nor yet too sweetly sweet, Not over-coy thy Muse, nor over-dress'd ;With smiles, with evermore transcendent mfirth, Thee, happy Bard! most fortunate of men! On this proud day that hail'd thy better birth, Unnumber'd souls whom thou hast charm'd since then, And all those hundred years, a choral throng, Sing whilst they share thy heritage of song!


I who, long since, and in my native air,

While yet a child, thy witching wood-notes found; Whose sires beside thee toil'd and till'd the ground, And children to their children would declare What bursts of human joy when Burns was there,

As at the evening hearth we gathered round, Or where the loom shot forth its clickering sound,No breast so cold but would the rapture share,—

I knew thou would'st not scorn the little rill

With moist kiss making glad the moorland heath; Nor would " wee modest flower" with crimson frill, Thought I, be absent from thy floral wreath;

So this poor reed its tribute too would raise
While great ones yield their trumpet-blasts of praise!


None else but thee could win the world's great heart;
Not Homer, nor the polished Mantuan swain ;
Nor he who tuned his lyre to endless pain;
Nor high surmounting Shakespeare far apart;
Nor mighty organ-peal of Milton's art;

Nor those Lake-showers of soul-refreshing rain,
Sir Galahad, and all the silken train

Of lady-lords in college, kirk, and mart,
Thee have they crowned the worthiest of men
To draw all hearts as tho' they were but one,-
Like some frank maid in dewy hawthorn glen

So shall the world, while countless ages run,
Clasp thee with fonder arms-not asking why—
With ever-smiling cheek and tearful eye.


Thy song a Benediction breathed on men

Who dare do right, and dare not but be free,— That man to human-kind might human be; Might spare the "timorous beastie's" lowly den, And strike with truth-anointed sword or pen

Tyrant and rogue of mean or high degree, And crook-knee'd hypocrite; oh! but for thee, Thou fearless Voice, we soon had drooped again Where only Flood might quench or fire consume; Well might False Faith revile thee, whilst the True Thou summoned like a dead saint from the tomb, In light and love to walk the earth anew, Nor vainly cast, where'er her altars rise, Fresh incense on the pure heart's sacrifice!


Thine was the martyr-soul, enrobed with flame
As Hebrew Psalmist was, that fervid King

On Ruin's verge who sat or could not sing,—
In depths of woe the ecstatic vision came,
While passion rent the heart and ruled the frame ;
Whose lyre, like thine, a sweeter note would bring
When Pain compelled and Sorrow swept the string;
Thy kindred cross will ever link thy name
With his, who both beside the sheepfold grew ;—
Take, then, the pledge a thankful world bestows,
The cup of "auld acquaintance" ever new,

The same in Shepherd-Psalm that "overflows;"
Long as thy laurels live, with his entwined,
Will Hope's great "haggis" reek for all mankind!


Lone shepherds far away in southern seas
Enraptured are by Mailie's plaintive moan;
By light of whaler's fire in frigid zone

Rides "Tam o' Shanter" madly through the breeze;
Behold, our "Holy Willie" on his knees

In Syrian tent; by sweet-voiced Mendelssohn Wherever wind may blow is "cauld blast" blown; The "Jolly Beggars" in hilarious ease

Join "Holy Fair" beneath the Sphinx's nose;
The " ae fond kiss" renewed on every shore ;
More wide than Amazon "sweet Afton" flows;

The "banks and braes" are fresh for evermore; And strange new tongues the world has not yet heard Shall sing thee "Auld Lang Syne," Immortal Bard!




HE Exhibition in the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in commemoration of the Centenary of the death of Burns was formally opened on 15th July, 1896, at noon, by Mr. Andrew J. Kirkpatrick, president of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and chairman of the Executive of the Exhibition. On the platform were Sir John Watson of Earnock, Mr. Robert Burns Begg (grand-nephew of the Poet), Mr. William Wallace, Councillors Primrose, Graham, and Sorley; Messrs. David Sneddon and W. Craibe Angus, honorary secretaries of the Exhibition; Mr. Robert Philps, honorary treasurer; Provost Mackay, Councillor Campbell, and Deacon Hunter, Kilmarnock; Dr. Hunter Selkirk; Mr. George Gray, Glasgow; Mr. Andrew Gibson, Belfast; Mr. W. A. Scott Mackirdy of Birkwood; Mr. Patrick S. Dunn, vice-chairman of the Executive; Mr. James Deas, C.E., Mr. Robert Brodie, Mr. Paul Rottenburg, Mr. James Deas, jun., Mr. Barrett, of the Mitchell Library; Mr. Gemmill, Mr. Henry Johnston, Mr. W. Freeland, Mr. Hyppolite Blanc, R.S.A. (Edinburgh); Mr. A. K. Brown, A.R.S.A., Mr. Wm. Young, R.S.W., Mr. Skirving, I.A., Mr. Hamilton Maxwell, I.A., Mr. Bonnar (Edinburgh), Mr. William Grimmond, Mr. Robert Walker, acting secretary, etc.

The CHAIRMAN explained that the Lord Provost, who had agreed to perform the ceremony of opening the Exhibition, had been unexpectedly called away from the city. Proceeding, the Chairman said-In 1859 the centenary of the birth of Robert Burns was celebrated all over the world by enthusiastic meetings. This year, 1896, the centenary of his death will be commemorated. There will be gatherings again all over the world, wherever the people of these islands meet, to hold in remembrance the great National Poet of the world.

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