The advance in craftsmanship and command over the materiel of verse shown since the volume of 1830 is absolutely astounding.
In literary craftsmanship, at once versatile and accomplished, he has no superior and scarcely a rival.
His restlessness leads us at times to a comparison with Skelton, not in respect of any parallelism of idea or literary craftsmanship, but in his experimental zeal in turning the diction and tuning the rhythms of the chaotic English which only Chaucer's genius had reduced to order.
We are attracted to Beltrees and his kinsmen less by their craftsmanship than by the fact that they supplied the leaders of the vernacular revival of the 18th century with many subjects and versemodels, and that by their treatment of these subjects and models, based on the practice of an earlier day, they complete the evidence of the continuity of the domestic popular type of Scots verse.
Archaeologists are acquainted with objects of early art and craftsmanship, rude clay pipkins and stone weapons, which can only be classed as " human," and which do not bear much impress of any one national taste and skill.