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.