Steamer Robert Burns

A celebration of the steamer including some details of its decoration and fittings.

Lines Written on Board the New Steamer Robert Burns(1) 1838 [Note 599.1]

O! WHY has Scotia's darling Child of Song
Neglected been, by Scotia's sons so long,
That not, till now, has vessel borne his name,
Though standing foremost on the roll of Fame ?
Whilst Byron, Scott¹, James Watt¹, and Henry Bell,
Bruce¹, Wallace, Washington, and William Tell(1),
With many more, whose deeds most proudly shone,
Leaving a glory after they were gone,
Have often, to perpetuate their fame,
Had ships and monuments stamp'd with their name.

But truce with sad repining o'er the past,
The tardy tribute has been paid at last,
And to I the eye with gratulation turns
Upon the stately steamer, " Robert Burns."
The man, whose name is Scotland's boast and pride,
Has found at last a namesake on the Clyde ;

The rustic Bard, whose hands once held the plough,
His statue decks at last the vessel's prow,
While Catty-sark, and Shanter's mare so fleet,
Are seen swift flying at the Poet's feet.
Survey this splendid steamer round and round,
Her match on water scarcely will be found,
So tightly built, so tidy and so trim,
The "Robert Burns!" she's worthy, sure, of him ;
For as among the Bards, the first was he,
Among the Steamers, she the first will be.

[Note 599.2]


Go to her cabin-view the scenery there,  
So well depicted by the " Bard of Ayr;"
Go, view the "Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon,"
"Kirk Alloway," "Auld Ayr," the distant Troon,
"Barskimming," and the "Catrine Woods sae Green,"
The fairy-haunted grounds around "Colzean ;"
"The Castle o' Montgomerie," near whose towers
Burns and his " Mary" spent such "golden hours."
The "toil worn Cottar." at his snug fire-side,
His wife and bairns, his comfort, joy and pride ;

And honest auld "John Anderson, my jo,"
Wi' " lyart haffets" white as driven snow,
Listening wi' rapture to his kind gudewife,
Singing the joys o' their past blameless life.
The new'rday morning, and the hallowe'en,
The weel rang'd luggies-empty, foul and clean ;
The gripping factor, wi' his saucy "snash,"
Railing at "tenant bodies scant o' cash."
The noble Bruce, on Bannock's bloody plain,
Resolved his Country's freedom to regain :
Full in the front, with battle-axe in hand,
Cheering to victory his gallant band.
These scenes, and many more as graphic still,
Which show the Poet's and the Painter's skill,
Around the cabin gracefully are placed,
Proving to all the Owner's classic taste.

Success then to the namesake of our Bard
Long may she merit each true Scot's regards
May he "who stills the winds and waves" still keep
His arm around her on the stormy deep.
And may each trip she takes yield good returns
To all connected with the "Robert Burns".

Notes on the Songs and its Historical Background: