Excerpt from The Burns Centenary Poems: A Collection of Fifty of the Best Out of Many Hundreds Written on Occasion of the Centenary Celebration, Including the Six Recommended for Publication by the Judges at the Crystal Palace Competition, Many of the Highly Commended, and Several Pri... ze Poems
Richly endowed with the gift of song, he became through that the bosom friend and teacher of the people, and did much to purify and refine the literature of his age. Prior to his day the ballads recited and sung in cottage and hall were of the most objectionable kind, but the coarse old words soon died out before the purer sentiments to which he for ever wedded the plaintive music of his native land. Beneath his inspiration the rude Doric assumed new forms of beauty, and with a purer morality, acquired all the tenderness and grace of a classic tongue.
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