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Poem by Robert Burns 'Extempore - on some commemorations of Thomson'

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Poem by Robert Burns: 'Extempore - on some commemorations of Thomson' (page 1 of 1)

Introduction:
Poem written by Burns in the aftermath of the farcical unveiling of a memorial to Thomson by Lord Buchan. Burns appears to have copied it to Mrs Graham of Fintry as this version is on the same sheet of paper as his letter (no 531) to her dated 5th Jan 1793. (poem no 332)
Image Rights Holder:
National Trust for Scotland
Ref:
BMT173.24C
Project:
618:The Burns Manuscripts at Alloway
What:
Poem by Robert Burns 'Extempore - on some commemorations of Thomson'
Subject:
James Thomson the poet died in 1748 and in 1791 Lord Buchan had a bust cast to erect on a memorial on the hill of Ednam where the poet was born. Burns had been commissioned to write and ode for the occasion which he did. (poem no 331) The bust got broken before the ceremony making the event something of a farce.
Who:
Robert Burns (1759-1796) (author)
David Stewart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan (1742-1829) (correspondent of Burns)
James Thomson (1700-1748) (poet)
When:
Autumn 1791 (when written)
Where:
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, South Ayrshire
Background:
James Thomson the poet died in 1748 and in 1791 Lord Buchan had a bust cast to erect on a memorial on the hill of Ednam where the poet was born. Burns had been commissioned to write and ode for the occasion which he did. (poem no 331) The bust got broken before the ceremony making the event something of a farce.
Description:
Robert Burns starts off his poem by addressing Thomson's spirit, asking if he has a wry smile. He alludes to the fuss made of him now he is dead but did not receive any help during his life. He finishes with a dig at the rich and the despair of the poor.