CANADIAN PAST-TIMES ( and a great recipe!)
THE MAIL AND
VOTARIES IN CANADA.
Poet Held in Greater Affection
afternoon at 3.30 there will be unveiled in the Allan Gardens a bronze statue
of Robert Burns. The statue, which is of heroic size, is by D.W. Stevenson,
A.R.S.A., Edinburgh, Scotland, and the pedestal and panels by the McIntosh
and Granite Company, of Toronto. The monument will be unveiled by Mrs. David
Walker, wife of the president of the Burns Monument Committee, and addresses
will be made by Mr. James L. Morrison, Prof. Wm. Clark, and Mr. David Walker.
The Male Chorus of the 48th Highlanders' Band will sing several of Burns'
lyrics, and selections will be played from the music to which his songs
have been set.
The two chief panels represent scenes from a couple of the most noted of Burns' poems, one the crossing of the brig or bridge by Tam O Shanter and the other the artist's conception of "John Anderson, My Jo" - the old couple sitting by the fireside renewing their courtship. All Scotsmen and most Englishmen know the tale of Tam o'Shanter, a rollicking fellow, who never left market sober. One night, coming home late, he escaped by the narrowest shaves from the witches at the brig of Doon. The poem begins -
|In spite of all fears of consequences Tam stays until late, and finally starts for home near midnight, in the midst of a raging storm. He splashes on till he comes to Alloway kirk, which is the scene of a midnight revel of wizards and witches. Tam breaks the spell by shouting to the dancers, who rush out to assail him. His horse, Meg, gallops away, and Tam hopes to get across the bridge before the witches catch him, since no witch can cross running water. The poem describes how the leader of the witches,|
upon noble Maggie prest
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle,
But little wist she Maggie's mettle -
Ae spring brings off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail.
The artist vivaciously represents Tam in bas relief on the centre of the bridge with the demons in full pursuit. The other panel represents the old couple sitting before the fireplace and the wife saying: -
Anderson, my Jo, John,
When we were first acquent
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonnie brow was bright;
But now your brow is beld, John,
Your locks are like the snow,
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my Jo.
While Tam O Shanter's
adventure will be accepted by all lovers of Burns as typical of his genius,
a good many will claim that something more suitable might have been selected
than John Anderson, but this is simply because of the wealth of striking
pictures which Burns drew of the life of his country. No other country
in the world is or has ever been as fully represented by one poet as Scotland
is by Robert Burns, and nowhere perhaps can he count more votaries outside
Scotland than in the Province of Ontario.
THE MAIL AND EMPIRE, TUESDAY, JULY 22, 1902. (p. 7)
THE SPIRIT OF
appropriate ceremonies and with a more than appropriate "Scotch mist"
hanging over the scene, the monument to Robert Burns was unveiled in the
Horticultural Gardens, near the corner of Carlton and Sherbourne Streets,
Prof. Clark's Address.
The Song was the
E'en then a
wish , I mind its power -
There was another reason besides patriotism which animated Burns. As the French say, he had the defects of his qualities. We bear with his defects, because he had such qualities. We bear with his faults better than we can those of the censors, who are often not fit to black his boots, because we remember what the man was. His second great influence - he would not hesitate to say it was his love for women. In patriotic strains no man had uttered more glorious words than Burns. Some had said his "Scots, Wha' Hae" was the noblest war song in all literature. But the glory of Burns was his songs, and the glory of his songs, love songs. If anyone didn't like them, they need not read them, but he was inclined to think that those who professed not to like them, read them in secret. (Laughter.) The most delicate compliment ever paid to woman was contained in the last verse of "Green Grow the Rushes."
Green grow the
The song, "My
Nannie, O," was as near perfection as anything could come.
To catch Dame
Fortune's golden smile,
Lastly, in "A Man's a Man for a' that," Burns opened up a glorious prophecy: -
Then let us
pray that come it may -
think," said Prof. Clark, in conclusion, "Burns does not owe
us much whatever we may do for him. Alas, it is little we can do for him
now, and those who could did nothing. As Carlyle says: 'Nature gave them
this nobleman and they had nothing better for him to do than gauge beer
barrels.' We can follow him with love, our gratitude, and our tears."
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