A statue to the poet and ornithologist Alexander Wilson stands in the grounds of Paisley Abbey, and a memorial sits on the banks of the River Cart at the Hammills waterfall. It is inscribed "Remember Alexander Wilson 1766-1813. Here was his boyhood playground."




In his boyhood playground by the Cart

A quill and plover in his hands

The Abbey bells ring in his ears

As Alexander Wilson stands

And contemplates a life enriched

By Auld Nature’s splendid wonder

His muse, the Hammills’ gentle falls

To Niagara’s roaring thunder


He spurned the shuttle for the pen

To peddle rhymes to our nation

But fate took him across the Pond

And he found his true vocation

In backwoods and the wilderness

Using ink and oil to speak

His words and drawings in vivid form

Brought life to wing and beak


Back home, his subjects Watty and Meg

Soak up the joys of nature

Under the gaze of another scribe

Who loved every living creature

And as they stray their gladsome way

And meander arm in arm

Our Rabbie ponders beside his plough

On the Fountain Gardens’ charm


No water flows through its rusted pipes

And its heron and walrus go thirsty

But soon its font is to overflow

And hydrate nature’s beauty

Both Burns and Wilson will delight

When life springs through its features

And the Hammills, Cart and fountain

Help quench all Paisley’s creatures


This Burns night, if we sit quiet

We will hear the waters slide

Past Seedhill and the Watermill

Tae swell the mighty Clyde

In this year of Natural Scotland

Let’s embrace the sounds and sights

Of Mother Nature’s ebb and flow

Through those who treasure her delights