Location: 66th Street, mid-Park
Artist/Designer: Sir John Steell
Materials: Bronze, granite, brick
At the south end of Central Park's Mall, this companion piece to the statue of Sir Walter Scott, done by the same sculptor, depicts the cherished poet in a contemplative mood. Burns is shown with a plough at his feet (a symbol of his farming past) and a poem to his lost love, Mary Campbell.
As a Scottish national hero, Burns' poetry captured the spirit of the nation. According to the Scottish Poetry Library, “the language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart.” We see this in the following poem:
Epitaph on my Own Friend
An honest man here lies at rest,
As e’er God with His image blest:
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
Click on the photo to enlarge