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Thursday, 10 January 2008

John Syme and Robert Burns

John Syme wrote of his friend Robert Burns: "The poet's expression varied perpetually, according to the idea that predominated in his mind: and it was beautiful to mark how well the play of his lips indicated the sentiment he was about to utter. His eyes and lips, the first remarkable for fire, and the second for flexibility, formed at all times an index to his mind, and as sunshine or shade predominated, you might have told, a priori, whether the company was to be favoured with a scintillation of wit, or a sentiment of benevolence, or a burst of fiery indignation. I cordially concur with what Sir Walter Scott says of the poet's eyes. In his animated moments, and particularly when his anger was aroused by instances of meanness, or tyranny, they were actually like coals of living fire."

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