Charles Spence (bard)

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This article is about a Scottish poet, for English psychologist with the same name, see Charles Spence.

Charles Spence (1779-1869) was a Scottish poet, stonemason and footman.

Spence the Burgh Bard
The Bard of Gowrie; the Poet of the Carse.

Spence was born in the parish of Kinfauns, spent most of his life in Rait and died in Manchester.

Linn-ma-Gray I long to see
Thy heathy heights and broomy lea;
Whaur linnets lilt and leverets play
Around the roar of Linn-Ma-Gray.
Linn-ma-Gray when to the street
Crowds follow crowds, in crowds to meet,
I wend my solitary way,
An' climb the cliffs of Linn-ma-Gray.
Linn-ma-Gray, each mounting spring,
From age to age doth tribute bring,
And rushing onwards to the Tay,
Augment the stream of Linn-ma-Gray.
Linn-ma-Gray round Baron hill,
I've aften gane wi' richt gude will,
An' sat and seen the dashing spray
Lash the dark rocks of Linn-ma-Gray.
Linn-ma-Gray, when in yon ha'
The merry wassailers gather a'
In vain their waeel trained bands essay
The minstrelsy of Linn-ma-Gray.

Another favourite Spence poem was entitled: 'My love's window'.


  • Robert Chambers, The Threiplands of Fingask, 1880.
  • Rev. James M'Turk Strachan, BD, FRSA (Scot), From the Braes of the Carse, Charles Spence's Poems and Songs, 1898.
(Strachan was 48 years minister at Kilspindie & died in 1936).
  • Lawrence Melville, The Fair Land of Gowrie, William Culross & Son, Coupar Angus, 1939 (reprinted 1975).