Aird, Thomas

(1802-1876)
   Scottish poet, editor of the Edinburgh Weekly Journal and the Dumfriesshire and Galloway Herald, a post he held for twenty-eight years. His philosophy was "Christian Universalism": the belief that everything in heaven and on earth ultimately will be reconciled back to the Creator through the work of Jesus Christ, his Son. In plain language, no one is going to be endlessly tortured as was commonly taught. He was born in Bowden in the house now known as "Aird's Cottage." While at the local parish school of Bowden, Roxburghshire, Aird showed such promise that he gained a place Edinburgh University. Resisting pressure to enter the Church of Scotland, Aird devoted himself at Edinburgh to literature. He was a prolific writer; many of his poems relate to Scottish life and ways, others have a definite religious theme, and still others relate to nature. His book Old Bachelor in the Scottish Village, a prose description of Scottish character with descriptive sketches of the seasons, gained great popularity in Scotland and reached a second edition in 1857. His book Songs of the Season consists of twelve songs, all of which relate to nature. He published fifteen books of poems covering a broad range of themes. One of his most tender poems is "My Mother's Grave," in which he longs to be able to turn the clock back.
   Sources: Bowden, the Village. The Scottish Borders (www.bowden.bordernet.co.uk). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Oldpoetry (www.oldpoetry.com). A Victorian Antholog y, 1837-1895. Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1895. English Poetry Bibliography: Thomas Aird. The University of Chicago (www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/EngPo/ENGPO.bib.html).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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