Sunday, 13 January 2013

Roberts Burns - An unexpected admirer

Local hero Thomas Telford
We will soon be celebrating the birth of Robert Burns on 25th Jan 1759. One of our local heroes, the engineering genius Thomas Telford (nickname 'the Colossus of Roads') was born in Langholm in  1757 and was therefore an almost exact contemporary of Burns. Telford was not only Scotland's greatest engineer, with a building, now sadly derelict, and other achievements - bridges etc -  near Moffat, Telford was also a poet. He wrote the following on the early death of Burns, aged only 37, in July 1796:
CLAD in the sable weeds of woe,
The Scottish genius mourns,
As o'er your tomb her sorrows flow,
The "narrow house" of Burns.
Each laurel round his humble urn,
She strews with pious care,
And by soft airs to distance borne,
These accents strike the ear.
Farewell my lov'd, my favourite child,
A mother's pride farewell!
The muses on thy cradled smiled,
Ah! now they ring thy knell.
---- ten verses and then ----
And round the tomb the plough shall pass,
And yellow autumn smile ;
And village maids shall seek the place,
To crown thy hallowed pile.
While yearly comes the opening spring,
While autumn wan returns ;
Each rural voice shall grateful sing,
And SCOTLAND boasts of BURNS.
(with acknowledgement and thanks to Wikipedia)

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