An article from

'The Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland'

Published by A.Fullarton and Co. - 1848


MOSSGIEL, a small farm-hamlet, about half-a-mile to the north of the town of Mauchline in Ayrshire, on the left side of the road to Kilmarnock, celebrated as having been for several years the residence of the poet Burns. It is utterly destitute of landscape beauty; but the poet's fame has clothed it with a beauty and interest of a higher order.

Hither romantic pilgrims shall betake

Themselves from distant lands. When we are still

In centuries of sleep, his fame will wake,

And his great memory with deep feelings fill

These scenes that he has trod, and hallow every hill.

Our readers would scarcely excuse our omitting Wordsworth's fine sonnet on this bleak but consecrated spot:

" 'There!' said a stripling, pointing with much pride

Towards a low roof with green trees half-concealed,

'Is Mossgiel Farm, and that's the very field

Where Burns ploughed up the Daisy.' Far and wide

A plain below stretched seaward, while, descried

Above sea-clouds, the Peaks of Arran rose;

And, by that simple notice, the repose

Of earth, sky, sea. and air, was vivified.

Beneath 'the random bield of clod or stone,

Myriads of daisies have shone forth in flower

Near the lark's nest, and in their natural hour

Have passed away: less happy than the one

That, by the unwilling ploughshare, died to prove

The tender charm of poetry and love."

The farm-steading, a very plain low house, with one small room and a kitchen, may still be seen, shaded by a few trees, on the west side of the Glasgow and Dumfries turnpike. The house continues nearly in the same state as when Burns occupied it, and was tenanted by his brother Gilbert till the year 1800. While residing here, he published, by the advice of his superior and patron, Mr. Hamilton, the first edition of his poems.  





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