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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 



SCOTT THOMPSON 



THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE 

GLASGOW POETS 

Their Lives and Poems 



EDITED BY 

GEORGE EYRE-TODD 

Author of " The Skctch-Book of the North," " Byways of the Scottish Border, 
" Scotland Picturesque and Traditional," <fcc. 



GLASGOW AND EDINBURGH 

WILLIAM HODGE & COMPANY 
1903 




William Hodge &> Co., Printers, Glasgow and Edinburgh 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

THE GLASGOW POETS . . . . . J 

ZACHARY BOYD 9 

Joseph Tempted I2 

TOBIAS SMOLLETT . . ; 26 

The Tears of Scotland 29 

Ode to Leven Water 3* 

Ode to Independence . . . 3 2 

The Fatal Shafts 37 

DOUGAL GRAHAM 3& 

The Turnimspike . . . . 4 

John Highlandman's remarks on Glasgow ... 42 

ROBERT COUPER . 47 

Red gleams the sun 4^ 

Red, red is the path . . . . . 4$ 

TheSheiling 49 

MRS. GRANT OF LAGGAN 5 1 

O where, tell me where ? . . 53 

Could I find a bonnie glen 55 

Leave me not 5^ 

On a sprig of heath 57 

The Grampians 59 

JOHN DUNLOP 6 

The year that's awa' 61 

Dinna ask me 62 

Lady Frances Stewart ....... 62 

JOHN MAYNE 6 4 

The Siller Gun 66 

Glasgow ..... 73 

The Winter sat lang . 

Logan Braes 88 



viii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

JOANNA BAILLIE 9 

Good-night, good-night! 93 

Saw ye Johnnie comin'? 94 

It fell on a morning 95 

Poverty parts good company ...... 97 

Wooed and married and a' 99 

Tarn o' the Lin . 101 

Lines to Agnes Baillie on her birthday .... 103 

ROBERT LOCHORE Io8 

To the Rev. Thomas Bell no 

Marriage and the care o't 1 12 

A Young Kintra Laird's Courtship H3 

WILLIAM REID "6 

Cauld Kail in Aberdeen n8 

Fair Modest Flower. . . . . . .119 

Sweet lovely Jean . . . . .119 

John Anderson, my jo . . .120 

Kate o' Cowrie 121 

The Lea-rig 123 

JAMES GRAHAME 125 

The Sabbath 127 

The Merle 129 

JOHN STRUTHERS 132 

The Winter Day 134 

THOMAS CAMPBELL 141 

Hohenlinden ......... 146 

The Exile of Erin 147 

Ye Mariners of England 149 

Lochiel's Warning 150 

The Battle of the Baltic . . . . v . . .154 

The Last Man 157 

The Soldier's Dream 160 

To the Evening Star 161 

Lord Ullin's Daughter 161 

WALTER WATSON, 164 

Sae will we yet ........ 165 

The Widow 166 



CONTENTS ix 

PAGE 

JOHN FINLAY 168 

O come with me ........ 168 

Isabella 170 

ALEXANDER RODGER 172 

Robin Tamson's Smiddy 174 

Behave yoursel' before folk . . . . . .176 

The Answer . 178 

JOHN WILSON 181 

The Evening Cloud 183 

To a Wild Deer 184 

ANDREW CRAWFORD 187 

Conscience 188 

A glance ayont the grave . . . . . .189 

JOHN DONALD CARRICK 190 

The Harp and the Haggis. . . . . . .192 

WILLIAM GLEN ......... 195 

Wae's me for Prince Charlie 198 

The Highland Maid 200 

To the memory of John Graham of Claverhouse . . 201 

JOHN BRECKENRIDGE ........ 203 

The Humours of Gleska Fair ...... 204 

THOMAS LYLE 209 

Kelvingrove 211 

Dunoon .......... 212 

JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 214 

Captain Paton's Lament . . . . . . .216 

Bernardo and Alphonso . . . . . . .221 

JANET HAMILTON 224 

A Ballad of Memorie ....... 226 

Effie A Ballad 229 

WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 233 

Jeanie Morrison . 336 

The Cavalier's Song 240 

The Solemn Song of a Righteous Heart . . . 241 

'My held is like" to rend, Willie 244 



x CONTENTS 

PAGE 

WILLIAM MOTHERWELL continued 

The Mermaiden 247 

The Song of Harald . . . . . . .248 

ROBERT POLLOK 253 

Hail, holy love ! 255 

WILLIAM CAMERON 260 

Bothwell Castle . 260 

The Gowan Lea 262 

WILLIAM CROSS 263 

The Dainty Bit Plan 264 

GEORGE JACQUE 267 

Hark how Heaven is calling ...... 268 

GEORGE OUTRAM 270 

The Annuity . . 271 

DUGALD MOORE . . . 276 

To the Vitrified Fort in Glen Nevis . . . .278 

HENRY GLASSFORD BELL 281 

Mary Queen of Scots 283 

THOMAS BRYDSON 290 

All lovely and bright 290 

ANDREW PARK ......... 292 

Silent Love 293 

Hurrah for the Highlands 296 

JOHN STUART BLACKIE 297 

A Song of the Country 298 

Chinese Gordon ........ 300 

WILLIAM MILLER 301 

Willie Winkie 302 

John Frost 303 

The Sleepy Laddie 304 

ALEXANDER HUME 305 

The Scottish Emigrant's Farewell 306 

My ain dear Nell . . . . . . . 307 

NORMAN MACLEOD 309 

Dance, my children . . . . . . . ,310 

Trust in God , 311 



CONTENTS xi 

PAG& 

JAMES HEDDERWICK 3 J 3 

By the Sea-side 3 J 5 

JAMES NORVAL 3 J 8 

The March Win' - 3*9 

MARION PAUL AIRD 3 22 

Far, far away 3 2 3 

The Auld Kirkyard .324 

PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 3 2 ^ 

Scene from " Festus " 3 2 7 

HUGH MACDONALD .... ... 333 

The Bonnie Wee Well 335 

SIR W. STIRLING-MAXWELL, BART 337 

Rizpah -338 

In memory of H. A. S. . . . . . - 34O 

W. J. MACQUORN RANKINE 34 1 

The Engine-driver ........ 343 

THOMAS ELLIOTT 345 

Clyde Boat-Song 346 

Up with the dawn ........ 347 

JAMES LITTLE 349 

Scotia's Shore 349 

COLIN RAE-BROWN . . . . . . 35 1 

Secrets 35* 

Old Time 353 

JAMES NICHOLSON . . 354 

Imph-m . 356 

JOHN YOUNG 358 

My First Breeks -359 

JAMES P. CRAWFORD 361 

The Drunkard's Raggit Wean 362 

DAVID WINGATE 364 

My Little Wife 366 

ALEXANDER SMITH 369 

Glasgow 372 

JAMES MACFARLAN ........ 377 

The Lords of Labour 382 



xii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

JAMES MACFARLAN continued 

The Watcher 383 

The Ruined City 384 

JAMES H. STODDART 387 

The Blacksmith's Daughter 388 

JOHN NICHOL . . . 390 

Mare Mediterraneum ....... 392 

ALEXANDER FALCONER 394 

Wedded Love 396 

DAVID GRAY -398 

Why? 400 

If it must be ? . . . . . . . . . 400 

The Conception . 401 

His Epitaph 403 

WILLIAM BLACK . . .404 

Eylomel 406 

To Lily F . .406 

Adam o' Fintry 407 

ROBERT BUCHANAN 409 

The Ballad of Judas Iscariot . . . . . .412 

WALTER C. SPENS 418 

In the Chamber of Death 419 

ALEXANDER G. MURDOCH 422 

The Burns Monument, Kilmarnock . . . . . 423 

ROBERT WALKER 427 

Crillon the Brave 428 

JOHN GILKISON 430 

The Lament of Dougal Macgregor 431 



By the same Editor. 

The Book of Glasgow Cathedral. 

Ancient Scots Ballads, with their Traditional 
Airs. 

The Abbotsford Series of Scottish Poets. 
7 vols. 

Songs of Caledonia. Words and Music. 



The Glasgow Poets 

IT would be an interesting study to discover 
whether town or country is more congenial to 

the production of the "maker." The country 
indeed possesses all those appeals to the senses the 
sights, sounds, and scents of nature which are 
popularly supposed to offer the first themes for 
poetry. But there is room to question whether these 
sights, sounds, and scents are most keenly and 
consciously enjoyed by him who lives always among 
them. The senses, after all, are not our finest 
instruments of perception. Memory and imagination 
remain more subtle, and project infinitely rarer 
pictures on the mind. So it may be that the clerk 
in his city attic, with nothing in sight but the roof- 
tops and the sky, has visions of green lanes and 
laughing seas, meadows of blue forget-me-not and 
moors of yellow asphodel that are seen in no such 
perfection by the mere dweller in their midst. 

B 



2 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Whatever the reason, it is surprising to find how 
many poets are born, or at least discover their 
genius, in town. Of this fact the unwritten record of 
Glasgow affords substantial proof. The city indeed, 
within modern times, seems never to have been 
without makers of sweet or amusing song. 1 



i Glasgow itself has been a theme of poetic inspiration from a 
sufficiently early date. Before the year 597 St. Columba, the great 
missionary of the Hebrides, paid a visit to the aged St. Mungo at his 
cell on the bank of the Molendinar. In memory of their converse in 
that green and holy place, the two old men, it is said, exchanged their 
staves, and Columba composed a hymn. Of more recent date, but yet 
old enough, are the lines by John Barclay, minister of Cruden, printed 
in Skene's "Succinct Survey of Aberdeen" in 1685. They are 
interesting for the sake of comparison with descriptions of the city by 
such later poets as John Mayne, John Wilson, Alexander Smith, and 
Robert Buchanan. 

Glasgow, to thee thy neighb'ring towns give place. 
'Bove them thou lifts thine head with comely grace. 
Scarce in the spacious earth can any see 
A city that's more beautiful than thee. 
Towards the setting sun thou'rt built, and finds 
The temperate breathings of the western winds. 
To thee the winter colds not hurtful are, 
Nor scorching heats of the Canicular. 
More pure than amber is the river Clyde, 
Whose gentle streams do by thy borders glide. 
And here a thousand sail receive commands 
To traffic for thee unto foreign lands. 
A bridge of polished stone doth here vouchsafe 
To travellers o'er Clyde a passage safe. 
Thine orchards full of fragrant fruits and buds 
Come nothing short of the Corcyran woods, 



INTRODUCTION 3 

The roll of these makers opens with a picturesque 
figure. It was in the time of Charles I., and the 
poet was no less a personage than the minister of 
the Barony, the grim, perfervid, brave old Zachary 
Boyd. If proof were needed that the citizens of 
Glasgow have been by no means Gallios, caring for 
none of these things, it would be enough to recall the 
fact that the manuscript poems of "Mr. Zachary" 
have been carefully preserved in the University 
library for nigh two hundred and fifty years. 



And blushing roses grow into thy fields 

In no less plenty than sweet pasture yields. 

Thy pastures, flocks ; thy fertile ground, the corn ; 

Thy waters, fish ; thy fields the woods adorn. 

Thy buildings high and glorious are, yet be 

More fair within than they are outwardly. 

Thy houses by thy temples are outdone 

Thy glitt'ring temples of the fairest stone. 

And yet the stones of them, however fair, 

The workmanship exceeds, which is more rare. 

Not far from thee the place of Justice stands, 

Where senators do sit and give commands. 

In midst of thee Apollo's court is placed, 

With the resort of all the Muses graced 

To citizens in the Minerva arts 

Mars valour, Juno stable wealth, imparts. 

That Neptune and Apollo did, r tis said, 

Troy's famed walls rear, and their foundations laid ; 

But thee, O Glasgow ! we may justly deem 

That all the gods who have been in esteem, 

Which in the earth and air and ocean are, 

Have joined to build with a propitious star. 



4 THE GLASGOW POETS 

For a century after the time of Boyd there is no 
record of poetry in Glasgow. Doubtless, however, 
there were makers of song in the city to keep 
company with poets like Hamilton of Gilbertfield in 
the neighbourhood, and Allan Ramsay's nest of 
singing-birds in the capital. At any rate we know 
that the instinct for melody was by no means absent. 
Stenhouse, in his notes to Johnson's " Museum," puts 
it on- record that the lively air of " Duncan Gray " 
was composed by a carter or carman of that name 
in Glasgow about the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, and that the tune was taken down from 
his whistling it two or three times to a musician in 
the city. Towards the middle of the same century 
even the Glasgow bellman, Dougal Graham, had 
caught the poetic infection, and in his own rude 
fashion sang the city and its ways. And from that 
day to the present the record remains of an unbroken 
train of singers. 

The marvel is that for so long a time the claim 
of St. Mungo's city to be an alma mater of poets has 
not been fairly recognised. In this respect justice 
has hardly been done to the city by the trumpet of 
fame. In the many descriptions of Glasgow it seems 
to have been the last thing dreamt of to consider 
the town as a place of inspiration for poets. As a 
matter of fact, nevertheless, no town in Scotland, 



INTRODUCTION 5 

excepting perhaps Edinburgh itself, can boast so 
long and illustrious a roll of " makers." For a 
century and a half the Glasgow poets have poured 
forth a stream of minstrelsy, gay with humour, tender 
with pathos, fierce with invective, riotous with mirth 
as rich as it is varied, and as brilliant as it is full 
of character and is sincere. Each of the long train 
has given his share some song, at least, that cannot 
be forgotten to enrich the nation's treasury. The 
birthplace of Campbell and Motherwell and Henry 
Glassford Bell, and the home of John Mayne and 
James Grahame, Alexander Rodger and George 
Outram, William Miller, Alexander Smith, and David 
Gray, with some two -score other singers of note, 
Glasgow has no need to solicit respect for her tale 
of poetic achievement. 

Three collections of poetry, mostly native to the 
city, have been made in Glasgow. Between the 
years 1795 and 1798 the bookseller -poets, Brash & 
Reid, issued from their shop in Trongate, in a 
series of penny numbers, a collection entitled " Poetry, 
Original and Selected." Some of the pieces are 
signed, and the authorship of others is easily 
identified, but many, after every effort, remain 
anonymous. The collection, when completed, made 
four small volumes, which stand among the prizes of 
the book-collector. In 1832, again, was published 



6 THE GLASGOW POETS 

the first of four series of the delightful and enter- 
taining " Whistle-binkie." It was edited and partly 
contributed by John Donald Carrick, and was 
published by David Robertson from his shop at 
the foot of Glassford Street. The snuggery behind 
that shop was a literary howfF of much the same 
character as Allan Ramsay's in Edinburgh a century 
before ; and " Whistle-binkie " took shape there in 
much the same way as the " Tea-Table Miscellany " 
took shape in the Edinburgh resort. Its chief con- 
tributor and subsequent editor was Alexander Rodger, 
but it contained some of the best pieces of William 
Motherwell, William Miller, and other kindred spirits. 
The contributions were by no means exclusively 
drawn from Glasgow, but the work of the writers 
mentioned gave the characteristic tone to the pro- 
duction a ring of homely tenderness, shrewd 
wisdom, and pawky humour, which was as dis- 
tinct as it was irresistible. "Whistle-binkie" keeps 
its place as a quaint classic, and of itself, though it 
stood alone, would bespeak Glasgow a city of poetic 
memories. 

At half a century's later date came the volumes 
of the Glasgow Ballad Club. For a prototype to 
this club, if it had a prototype, it is necessary to go 
back to that Easy Club of the early years of the 
eighteenth century, at which the author of "The 



INTRODUCTION 7 

Gentle Shepherd " and the other " ingenious gentle- 
men " of his coterie recited their own verses, sang 
their own songs, and in other characteristic ways 
sped the jovial hours. 1 Founded in 1876 by Mr. 
William Freeland, the Ballad Club, during the 
twenty-five years of its existence, has counted among 
its members most of the men of poetic gift in the 
city and its neighbourhood. Of the compositions 
read before the club two volumes have been pub- 
lished, under the title of "Ballads and Poems," in 
1885 and 1898 respectively. The contents of these 
remain as various as the professions of their authors, 
but between the boards are poems satires, songs, 
and narrative pieces, light vers de socitt^ kindly 
conceits, and impressions of country and town 
enough to, at least, maintain the poetic tradition 
of the city. 

So, it will be seen, Glasgow has had her guilds 
of "makers" no less than of other crafts. The 
tale of her poetic production is both ancient and 



i Count is not taken here of the Anderston Social Club of Glasgow, 
which, in the years before Waterloo, had among its members such 
poets as William Glen and Alexander Macalpine, author of the once 
famous "Mail -Coach." This and other convivial coteries of that 
time, described in Dr. Strang's delightful book, "Glasgow and its 
Clubs," enjoyed, and even kept record of, the original lyrics sung by 
their members, but they were not literary clubs in the first sense 
of the term. 



8 THE GLASGOW POETS 

honourable. And of her sons of song, the long roll 
is not yet at an end. 1 



T As a pledge that the inspiration of St. Mungo's city has by no 
means become exhausted, it may be allowable to quote some lines 
of the very beautiful poem written by Mr. William Canton on 
occasion of the centenary of the Glasgoiv Herald 'vn. February, 1882: 

A hundred years ago ! As in a dream, 

All things have changed along the human stream. 

The thousand roaring wheels of traffic pass 

Where the maids spread the linen on the grass ; 

The mighty ocean liners outward bound 

Heave o'er the spot where windmill wheels went round. 

The haystacks of the Trongate, where are they ? 

Where the green meadows which produced the hay ? 

Who were the last vain lovers (who can tell ? ) 

That gazed beneath the alders at Arn's Well ? 

Oh ! quaint arcadian city which appears 

In the bright vista of a hundred years ! 

The ancient merchant in his scarlet cloak, 

Grey wig and silver buckles, if he woke 

From his archaic slumber, would he know 

Th' Havannah of a century ago ? 

In that brave year of seventeen eighty-two 

The stars looked out of smokeless heavens and knew 

The city by its nine dim lamps. At dawn 

The glimmering vapours from the bens were drawn, 

And Lomond with a cheery face looked down 

Through the clear morning on the thriving town. 



ZACHARY BOYD 



No name is better remembered in the annals of bygone Glasgow than 
that of Zachary Boyd. Traits of his character and tales of his deeds 
and sayings have been handed down by tradition, and, along with his 
manuscripts, the University has preserved his portrait and his bust. 
Though no longer a force in the world of letters, he was a force in the 
pulpit in his day. In spirit, no less than in appearance, he presented a 
striking likeness to John Knox, and of the strenuous Presbyterian 
ministers of his time the time of Charles I. and Cromwell he re- 
mains an outstanding type. 

Descended from the Boyds of Pinkill in Carrick, a branch of the 
noble house of Kilmarnock, he was born, probably at Kilmarnock, in 
1585. He studied at Glasgow University, took his degree at St. 
Andrews, and when twenty-two years of age passed to the University 
of Saumur in France. Of that University he was made a regent in 1611, 
and afterwards refused the principalship. For four years, also, he was 
minister of a French Protestant church. In 1623 he returned to Scot- 
land, and after a few months was appointed minister of the Barony, or 
landward parish of Glasgow, a charge in which he remained for thirty 
years. 

It was a troublous period in Church and State, and twice Boyd came 
into conspicuous contact with the rulers of his time. On I7th June, 
1633, the day after the Scottish coronation of Charles I., the minister 
of the Barony met the king in the porch of Holyrood, and addressed 
to him a Latin panegyric. Alas for that praise ! Charles before long 
was pushing prelacy on Scotland, and the name of his panegyrist was 
signed to the covenant of resistance. And later, in 1640, when the 
royal army was defeated at Newburn, Boyd wrote a curious poem on 
the subject, stigmatising as a "beastly fool" every one who drew a 
sword for the cause of the king. The second incident occurred in 1650, 



io THE GLASGOW POETS 

Cromwell had defeated Charles II. and the Presbyterian army at 
Dunbar, and on his progress through the country had come to Glasgow. 
On Sunday, I3th October, he attended the Cathedral instate. Zachary 
Boyd was the only one of the magistrates and ministers who had been 
brave enough to remain in town, and he took occasion in his sermon to 
rail fiercely against the " Malignants," as Cromwell and his Indepen- 
dents were called by the Presbyterian party. Secretary Thurlow, it is 
reported, more than once whispered to Cromwell for leave to " pistol 
the scoundrel." "No, no," was the General's answer, "we will 
manage him in another way." " He therefore asked the minister to dine 
with him, and concluded the entertainment with prayer, which lasted 
for three hours, even until three in the morning. " 

Boyd, nevertheless, seems to have taken no active part in the politics 
of the day. His life was almost entirely that of a preacher and writer. 
Probably it was during his residence in France that he produced his 
best poetical work, " Zion's Flowers," most of which remains still in 
manuscript. The popular tradition ran that this was a rendering of all 
the sacred scriptures into verse "Zachary Boyd's Bible." His work, 
however, was confined to a series of twenty-three episodes, such as 
" The Historic of Jonah " and " The Tyrannic of Pharaoh." Selections 
from the "Flowers" were edited by Gabriel Neil, and published in 
1831 and 1855. 

The other work on which the fabric of his fame must rest is written 
in prose. The strange occasion of the production of this work, ' ' The 
Last Battle of the Soul in Death," is told by Boyd himself. In 1626 
he had been sick to death of fever, and on his recovery found in his study, 
among his books, the winding-sheet which had been made ready for his 
corpse. This startling discovery set him to describe, for the good of 
others, the soul's struggle with its last enemies. The book was addressed, 
in English, Latin, and French, to Charles I. and his queen, and printed 
at Edinburgh in two parts by the heirs of Andro Hart in 1629. A new 
edition, edited by Gabriel Neil, was printed at Glasgow in 1831. Boyd's 
chief published works, besides these, were "The Battle of Newburn," 
reprinted in Laing's " Fugitive Scottish Poetry of the Seventeenth Cen- 
tury"; "Four Letters of Comforts on the Deaths of Lord Haddington and 
Lord Boyd," 1640, reprinted in 1878 ; " The Garden of Zion," a series 
of poems on Biblical subjects in 1644; and his metrical version of the 
Psalms, which reached a third edition in 1646. Glasgow University, 



ZACHARY BOYD n 

however, has 26,000 lines of his works in MS., a list of the contents of 
which was given by Gabriel Neil in an appendix in 1831. 

Not the least interesting feature of Boyd's life was his connection 
with Glasgow University. He was thrice elected Dean of Faculty, 
thrice Rector, and thrice on the Assembly's commissions of visitation. 
He was also Vice- Chancellor from about 1644 ; and at his death he left 
to the College a large sum of money, some ,20,000 Scots, with his 
books and MSS. His injunction to the University authorities, never- 
theless, to print his manuscripts, has never been carried out. 

He was married, first to Elizabeth Fleming, who died in 1636, and 
afterwards to Margaret Mure, a daughter of Mure of Glanderstone. 
From certain bitter remarks on women in his writings it has been 
supposed the latter union was unhappy. But his extant references to 
his "loving spouse" are kind and tender, and he provided for her 
generously in his will. She was, however, much younger than himself, 
and there is a story about her which may stand for what it is worth. When 
he was drawing up his "Last Testament," the tradition runs, she 
ventured to suggest that he should leave something to Mr. Durham, 
minister of the Inner High Church. Zachary's answer was character- 
istic : "I'll leave him naething," he said, "but what I canna 
keep frae him, and that's your bonnie sel'. " And, as if to corroborate 
his surmises, eight months after Boyd's death she married Mr. Durham. 

An early memoir of Zachary Boyd appeared in the " Christian 
Instructor," and full accounts of his career are furnished in the intro- 
ductions of his editor, Gabriel Neil. As a prose writer he was among 
the clearest and most forcible of his age in Scotland. He was one of 
the earliest Scottish authors to express himself in Southern English, yet 
his style would do no discredit to the best writers of the present day. 
The opening sentences in "The Last Battle" give a fair idea of that 
style : " My Bodie is sicke, my Soule is wounded. God's wrath is 
fearefull ; it burneth to the bottom of Hell. The heate thereof already 
maketh my Soule to sweate. I can find no Skrine or Sconce to set 
between mee and this fire." 

As a poet, on the other hand, it must be admitted that he is entitled 
to no very lofty place. His muse is apt to walk when it should soar. 
Some of his anachronisms, too, are not a little amusing ; as when he 
makes the daughter of Herodias dance a strathspey, and Joseph reason 
with Potiphar's wife in the words of the New Testament. Injustice, 



12 THE GLASGOW POETS 

however, has been done to his reputation by the quoting of nondescript 
burlesque verses of other derivation as "from Zachary Boyd's Bible." 
It is certain he did not succeed in his great object the object of all the 
Reformers from John Knox to his own time to substitute Biblical 
subjects for the popular "fables, love-songs, ballads, Heathen husks, 
youth's poyson," in the mouths of young men and maidens. Yet it is 
impossible not to respect the earnest spirit shining behind the verse ; 
and as a homely and didactic poet he is entitled to his place. By far 
his finest piece is "Joseph Tempted by Potiphar's Wife." The subject 
is a delicate one, but it is managed with no little skill and dramatic 
instinct, fine images and descriptions are scattered through its lines, and 
again and again the verse rises to a note of real passion. Though not 
to be compared with those other "Flowers of Zion" of Boyd's con- 
temporary, Drummond of Hawthornden, this piece, at least, of the 
Glasgow poet's composition cannot be passed by. 



JOSEPH TEMPTED 

(From "Zion's Flowers") 

Potiphar's Wife. 

My heart is like a spider who, confined 

In her web's centre, hurried with each wind, 

Moves in a trice if that a buzzing fly 

Stir but a string of her thin canopy. 

I cannot tell what thing is this I find 

Both night and day still stirring in my mind. 

This youth new come, he hath a lovely face, 
Whate'er he doth, it is adorned with grace. 
He ruddy lips hath, and a smiling eye, 
His comely cheeks are of a purer dye 
Than any rose, and, for mine eyes' delight, 
The other parts are like the lily, white. 



ZACHARY BOYD 13 

I see in him, which well affirm I can, 

The rarest beauties that adorn a man. 

Him more than all I inly do admire, 

And do him still behold with young desire. 

I do not know what after shall ensue. 

If I this passion shall of love pursue 

Or not, I doubt. I know not what infection 

The tinder kindleth if this hot affection 

Which fires my mind and wak'neth my desire, 

So that my lust me setteth all on fire. 

Desist I would, for fear of world's shame ; 

Persist I must, though I should lose my name. 

Than death love's stronger, as we may perceive ; 

I'll rather die than want what love would have. 

I jewels have that are both rich and rare ; 
I will them have thick dangling on my hair. 
Pearls, rubies, and the topaz shall me deck, 
With sapphires hanged about my snowy neck. 
My gowns, pasmented with the richest gold, 
And dangling ribbons pleasant to behold, 
Shall give me lustre. When he hath me seen 
Deck'd like a lady, rather, like a queen, 
His lust will kindle, and him quickly move 
With such a beauty to be sick of love. 

Now I will send my Nurse to him, that he 
May in some chamber see me quietly 
Without a witness, for a place alone 
Is fitting most for such temptation. 

Ho, Nurse, see that in haste ye ready be 
That Hebrew youth cause quickly come to me ; 



i 4 THE GLASGOW POETS 

For to my husband he must letters write, 
Some secret purpose which I shall indite. 
Tell ye him that I'm in the chamber here : 
Let no man know, but sound it in his ear. 

Nurse. 

I go, madam, according to your will ; 
What ye require I shall the same fulfil. 
While ye were young, I on my breasts you fed, 
, And by the sleeves I here and there you led. 
I you a babe did dandle on my knee : 
My heart is glad when I your glory see. 
I'll say no more. In haste I'll go away. 
As ye have spoke I'll to the Hebrew say. 

Potiphar's Wife. 

This my design requires great secrecy. 
My Nurse, I think, was fittest all to try. 
She trusty is, she no deceitful will 
Hath in her heart. She will not me beguile. 
I thought her fittest for to do this thing 
For me, her nursling, whom she up did bring. 
She is most faithful, diligent, and chary 
Her nursling's errands to and fro to carry. 

But what is this that in my breast I feel ? 
The thoughts of love still up and down do reel 
Within my heart. The pleasant comely face 
Of the Hebrew youth me grieves in every place. 
I'm sick of love. I have sure quaffed up 
The brim and bottom of some Stygian cup 



ZACHARY BOYD 15 

Wherein some philtre kindled hath this fire 
That makes my flesh burn with such hot desire ! 

Nurse. 

Sir, ye shall know, my mistress hath me sent 
To tell you that ye come incontinent 
To write some missives of great importance 
Unto her lord. She minds you to advance 
To higher honours, even to bear her cup. 
Some other things in heart she hoardeth up, 
As I perceive, which ye will better know 
When she herself will tell the same to you. 
She in her speeches still doth you commend. 
She is in grief if that your finger-end 
But ache a little. Thus ye clearly see 
How much to her ye now beholden be. 
Ye will be welcome when ye to her go : 
What needs me trumpet everything I know. 

Joseph. 

I gladly hear what ye the Nurse do say. 
I am a servant, and I must obey. 
Most willingly I'll strive to do her pleasure ; 
I of her love deserve not such a measure. 
Yet shall I strive that all the house may see 
That I am upright, and no guile's in me. 
I for my master and my mistress ever 
Shall still be loyal, but a pilferer never. 

Nurse, tell the mistress when I this have done 
That's in my hand, I'll to her come anon. 



16 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Nurse. 

I see indeed those things most needful be. 
When ye have done see that ye follow me. 

Madam, as ye me to the Hebrew sent, 
At your command I went incontinent. 
As I perceived, my words did much him move 
When I him told of your respect and love. 
When he hath done some things that needful be 
He then anon will follow after me. 

A gallant youth he seems, as I have seen. 
As I esteem, he of some lord hath been 
The darling son but beggars by the way 
Him far from doors have found and stolen away. 

PotiphaSs Wife. 

Your thought is mine. Since first I saw his face 
And civil carriage als in every place, 
So mild, so meek, so humble, free of scorn, 
I could not think that he was basely born. 
Sith Providence hath brought him us unto, 
He shall well know that he hath not to do 
With churlish merchants who, which is a vice, 
Have no respect to persons, but to price. 
I hope one day, when he nothing shall want, 
He'll say our house yet never breathed scant. 
Since I was lady of this house so fair 
I never yet a servant had so rare. 
What say I ? Servant ! Service to despatch ! 
To any lady he might be a match ! 
I see no man that hath so comely face. 
Whate'er he doth it is adorned with grace. 



ZACHARY BOYD 17 

Joseph. 

Madam, ye know I use not to be slow. 
What I have done ye will it well allow 
When ye it see. As soon as it was done 
I came unto your ladyship anon. 

In everything as I shall understand 
I mind to do as ye shall me command 
Only and truly. It becomes me so, 
As ye direct, either to come or go. 
It's not for servants to be dainty, nice, 
And slow in pace, but in a twinkling trice 
To go to work, and that in every way, 
Ere crowing heralds summon up the day. 

I hope, madam, that ye will not refuse 
What I have said for a most just excuse. 



Potiphar's Wife. 

While I him hear I wot not what a grace, 

What divine beam reflecteth on his face. 

If I no children had for to inherit, 

He might be heir of all I have by merit. 

If I were barren, as is many a one, 

He surely should be mine adopted son 

If Potiphar himself were in >his grave 

I surely should no other husband have, 

I may this think, but cannot speak the same ; 

It seemly is a wife be veiled in shame. 

Young man, to you my Nurse I quickly sent 
That you should come to me incontinent. 



i8 THE GLASGOW POETS 

I heard your reason, I will it allow : 
I by my Nurse each circumstance do know. 
Some secret things I must this day indite. 
Come to my cabin that ye may them write. 
I loved you aye, and yet I do not vary, 
Therefore I here you make my secretary. 
This place is quiet, far aback from din ; 
None will without hear what's here said within. 
This, this, and this my husband write unto ; 
As I indite you shall so write, and so. 



Joseph. 

All is well written as I do suppose. 
Is it your will that I the letters close ? 

PotiphaSs Wife. 

O that this youth did know my ladyship ! 

that in love's cup he would once but sip, 
And after that, carousing, by and by 
Would all quaff off, and leave the goblet dry. 
His rosy lips most gladly would I kiss, 

But woman's shame restraineth me from this. 

1 wonder, while such beauty here he sees, 
That I perceive not in his modest eyes 
Some sign of lust. If favour could him move 
He clearly sees great tokens of my love. 

If he would look and see me on each side, 
He would me see adorned like a bride. 



ZACHARY BOYD 19 

I farded have my face with fard most rare ; 
To fire his eye my lily breast is bare : 
Pearls, rubies, and the topaz do me deck, 
With sapphires hanged about my snowy neck. 
My gowns pasmented are with richest gold, 
And dangling ribbons, pleasant to behold, 
Do give me lustre. He me thus hath seen 
Deck'd like a lady, rather, like a queen. 

Yet for all this, as I behold his eye 
I no appearance of his lust can see. 
It may be so that all he sees without 
Not shew my mind, and therefore doth he doubt 
If inly I him such affection bear ; 
Therefore, except he from my mouth it hear, 
He dare not well such matters now propound, 
Lest that he guilty should at last be found, 
If to my husband I should shew the same, 
And by this means that he should come to shame. 

I fain would speak, and tell him all my mind, 
How in mine eyes that he doth favour find ; 
But oh ! again I blush, I cannot speak ; 
It seems the man should from the woman seek. 
That man is doltish, and hath little skill, 
That cannot soon signs of a woman's will 
Read in her face, her gestures, and her eye. 
What shall I say ? For love I'm like to die. 

Ho youth, the missives as I do perceive 
Ye orderly them all now written have 
As I desire, therefore I shall allow 
None to write missives \ I will have but you. 



20 THE GLASGOW POETS 

See that the morrow ye go not from home : 
At afternoon unto my cabin come. 

Joseph. 

I shall, madam, do as ye me command 

In everything that I do understand. 

What shall you please I mind it still to seek ; 

I wish I could do better than I speak. 

Now by your leave, madam, I must go hence 

T* o'ersee the servants, that with diligence 

They work ; for they need more a spur than bridle. 

It's sin and shame that servants should be idle. 

This woman's looks do lustful seem and vain. 
With such a one great danger's to remain. 
She's like a tinder-box to kindle fire, 
To waken lust and foolish youth's desire. 

It is my part at morn, and als at even, 
Yea at all times, to pray the God of Heaven 
Me to direct, that by her promises 
And beauty she gull not my simpleness. 
O Lord, thou know'st that I nothing can do 
But what thy Spirit enables me unto. 

And yet, while I such outward tokens find, 
It may be no such thing be in her mind. 
While we in cabin secret were together 
She not a word that wanton was did utter. 
Such is our nature and our frail condition 
That without ground we often have suspicion. 
They who in life are still most innocent 
Are least suspicious of an ill intent. 



ZACHARY BOYD 21 

Yet when men see the ivy-bush hang out 

They know the change-house. So at least we doubt 

If such be chaste whom we always do see 

So vain, so wanton, with a rolling eye. 



PotiphaSs Wife. 

I wot not what in me is come to pass 

In me this whilom, who most gladly was 

Set to o'ersee my maids in business, 

And now I lusk in sloth and laziness. 

Love's working I not able am to stanch ; 

The fire is kindled which I cannot quench. 

This youth I so do carry in my mind 

That I no rest within my heart can find. 

It sucketh sorrow, and doth on it feed ; 

I dizzy am, as fed with darnel seed. 

I yesterday had time, but could not use it ; 

I thought it precious, but I feared t' abuse it. 

A woman's heart a thousand doubts doth frame 

Whiles tossed with fear, and whiles als crossed with 

shame. 

So to attempt I durst not well be plain, 
But thought by pearls and smiles my point to gain. 

I see him coming as we left at last. 
The appointed hour it is not fully past. 
It gives me hope, sith that he keeps his hour, 
That yesternight of love he felt the power. 
A gallant lady with a smiling face, 
With speaking gestures in a secret place, 



22 THE GLASGOW POETS 

May kindle fire within the chastest breast 
Both of the greatest and als of the least. 



Joseph. 

I see yon woman in a rich attire ; 

To deck her thus her maid will surely tire. 

Whenas her lord did with her here remain 

She in apparel was not half so vain. 

I must go to her ; I it cannot shun. 

Lord me save, and, as thou hast begun, 
Continue with me, that, unto the last, 

1 both in heart and gestures may be chaste. 

PotiphaSs Wife. 

Ho ! youth, come hither that I may indite 
Important missives which ye now must write 
To send abroad. Men must not idle stand 
In hulk at sea, or in an house on land. 
Lest time be spent before our turns are done, 
Let us both go into my cabin soon. 

Now doors are closed, my husband is afield, 
Sweet youth, I wish that ye to me would yield 
My earn'st desire. I hardly can it tell, 
But by my gestures ye may know it well. 
The matter's such it not conceal I can. 
Even ye yourself are now the only man 
Who can me comfort, pining thus away 
With thoughts of you by night and als by day. 
Ye know my meaning ; I it blush to tell, 



ZACHARY BOYD 23 

But by my gestures ye may know it well. 
The doors are closed ; none's here but you and I ; 
Stol'ri water's sweet, as every one may try. 
Thousands of servants would this well approve 
That such a mistress would them dearly love. 

Joseph. 

God forbid ! God's eye, a shining taper, 

Sees all that's done. Your door's a sconce of paper, 
Will not us hide from his all-seeing eye. 
To him the darkness shineth like the sky. 

PotipUaSs Wife. 

What can this be ? I whiles am in a flame, 
And whiles as with an ague chilled I am. 
My heart is swol'n with sighs and sorrows great : 
Both day and night my soul within doth fret. 

1 wish, if I such follies could forbear, 
That I a dormouse were a thousand year, 
That I might sleep a sleep so uncontrolled, 
To shun the ill that waking I behold. 

What can this be ? The fire yet swiftly seeks 
To pass the paths and all the crooked creeks 
Within my heart. Love's passions are more eager, 
They on all sides this heart of mine beleaguer. 
Thoughts, as fell hornets from their drowsy nest, 
Come buzzing so within my troubled breast 
With risking train, that I must by and by, 
Stitch'd full of stings, with pain lie down and die 



24 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Yea, die for him whom I cannot attain, 
Who for my love still meets me with disdain. 

What ! Shall I die ? I him yet will assail, 
If that my card and compass do not fail. 

Now time is come. My heart it springs for haste, 
About his neck my milk-white arms to cast. 
I'll hold him, hug him, saying Welcome mine ! 
Dear mine thou art, and I am also thine ! 

Here's fair occasion ; why desire we thus 
To sport in love ? None is to hinder us. 
While we have time now let us do with speed. 
Lovers must dare, and for no dangers dread. 
Why burn we daylight ? We have time and place 
My dearest Heart, now let me thee embrace ! 

Joseph. 

Madam, madam ! now far misled ye are ! 
Think that ye are the wife of Potiphar. 
My noble lord, who doth us all command, 
He would not look to get this from your hand. 

Sith as ye hear the matter's so and so, 
Now loose your grips, and quickly let me go. 
If from you I this favour cannot find, 
I'll rather choose to leave my cloak behind. 

PotiphaSs Wife. 

dule, O dule ! Help, help ! O dule, O dule ! 

1 am abused by a slave a fool ! 

Is none here near to hear my shrillest cry ? 



ZACHARY BOYD 25 

I blush to tell what he hath done. Fy, fy ! 
Ho servants, hear ! come to my help anon. 
Or with a slave I'll surely be undone. 



Nurse. 

What now, madam ? What is't that ails you there ? 
What is't that hath dishevelled all your hair ? 



Potiphar's Wife. 

My nurse, my nurse ! this base and beggar loon 

Hath throttled me, and also cast me down. 

I'm shamed for aye, though no more were than this 

Ere even I wist, this slave my mouth did kiss. 

He crafty came to me in stealing way, 

When I was sleeping in the canopy. 

I blush for shame to tell it O the slave ! 

The Jew, the rascal, the base Hebrew knave, 

The vilest villain that hath ever been 

Within my doors ! Where hath the like been seen 

Or heard of ever ? that a basest slave 

Durst but a kiss of his own lady crave. 

This day I have received such disgrace 

That I for shame cannot lift up my face. 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 

1721-1771 

IN the latter half of the eighteenth century there was a well-known 
physician in Glasgow named Dr. Gordon. 1 When talk turned upon 
the latest quarrel engaged in by a certain novelist of the time, as it was 
apt to do in his company, he never failed to put in a fair word for the 
delinquent. With a smile of reminiscence, as he helped himself to a 
pinch of snuff, he would say " Gie me my ain bubbly-nosed callant, wi' 
a stane in his pouch." For Tobias George Smollett had once been an 
apprentice in the shop of Mr. John Gordon, surgeon and apothecary. 
One incident of the "callant's" early days in that surgeon's shop has 
been remembered. It was a winter morning, and a snow battle was 
going on among the boys outside, when the stout little surgeon came in. 
A certain prescription was not ready, and the shopman excused the 
delay by explaining that he had been hit by a snowball from the street, 
and had run after his assailant. "A likely story!" answered the 
surgeon. " I am sure I might stand here long enough before any boy 
would fling a ball at me." He had no sooner said the words, however, 
than a snowball from the door corner hit him straight in the face. The 
boy Smollett had been within earshot, and the psychological moment 
had proved too much for him. This was Smollett's failing throughout 
life. He could never resist the telling moment for attack, and in 
consequence, to his last day he was rarely without a quarrel on hand 
with one person or another. 

Son of a younger son of Sir James Smollett of Bonhill, the poet- 
novelist was born at Dalquhurn, near Renton, in what is still, notwith- 



1 In his later days Gordon assumed as a partner Dr. John Moore, author of the 
novel " Zeluco," and father of the future hero of Corunna. 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 27 

standing its smoky chimney-stacks, the beautiful Vale of Leven. 1 The 
mother, early left a widow, supported herself by farming, and the 
boy got his schooling in Dunbarton, a mile or two away. A little later 
he became the surgeon's apprentice in Glasgow, and attended the 
College there. But the example of Thomson and Mallet, Scotsmen 
who had lately found fame in London, had fired his fancy, and in 1738, 
throwing down pestle and spatula, he set off for the south. He did the 
journey partly on foot, partly on packhorse and carrier's waggon, and, 
like Samuel Johnson, who had reached the city in the previous year, he 
carried a tragedy in his pocket. Alas ! this tragedy, " The Regicide," 
on the assassination of James I. at Perth, failed to get a hearing, and 
its author was glad presently to sail as surgeon's mate on the " Cumber- 
land," 8o-gun ship of war. In this position he served for three years, 
and was present at the futile siege of Carthagena. Then, during some 
stay in Jamaica, he met a planter's daughter, Miss Anne Lascelles, who 
afterwards became his wife. 

In 1744 Smollett returned to London and set up as a doctor in Downing 
Street. But patients were few, and the Scotsman was not complaisant. 
" If you have time to play at being ill," he said to one invalid, " I have 
no leisure to play at curing you. " At the same time he had not for- 
gotten his poetic hopes. It was in 1746, when London was jubilant 
with the news of Culloden ; the tales of "Butcher" Cumberland's 
atrocities among the Highland glens stirred him to wrath, and he wrote 
" The Tears of Scotland." It is said that when he read the six original 
stanzas in a coffee-house, one of the company pointed out the danger 
the author ran of giving offence to the Government. By way of reply 
Smollett took his poem to a side table, and added a seventh stanza 
more biting in its invective than all the others together. 

Next year he married Miss Lascelles, and in 1748 published 



1 1 am indebted to Captain Telfer Smollett of Bonhill for the information that 
the exact spot of the poet's birth was a knoll at the back of the Volunteer Drill Hall 
in Renton, and exactly opposite Dalquhurn works gate. The house is shown in an 
oil painting preserved by the family. It has long been demolished, but some of its 
stones are built into the garden wall of the neighbouring Place of Bonhill. A local 
tradition declares that Smollett's mother was seized with the pains of labour while 
sitting at the foot of a tree which overhung the road at hand till last year. Some 
say the child was actually born out of doors, others that the mother had time to get 
into the house. 



28 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" Roderick Random," which at once gave him a place beside Richard- 
son and Fielding among the creators of the modern novel. Full of 
adventure, bustle, and broad humour, it detailed a good deal of his 
own experience, and included an account of the attempt on Carthagena. 
His next book, " Peregrine Pickle," included the notorious "Memoirs 
of a Lady of Quality," said to have been furnished him by their subject 
herself, the frail, beautiful Frances Hawes, Lady Vane. 

Smollett was now a great author, and the loss of most of his wife's 
fortune of ^"300 a year forced him to turn his reputation to account. 
Among other work for the booksellers he put his name to translations 
of " Gil Bias " and of " Don Quixote," a " Compendium of Voyages," 
and a "Universal History." He became editor of "The Critical 
Review," and supported Lord Bute with a weekly paper, "The 
Briton." At the same time, in his house at Chelsea he entertained 
lavishly on week-days most of the men of letters of the time, and on 
Sundays the less fortunate brothers of the pen for whom he found work 
at opportunity. 

In 1755 he paid a visit to Scotland. His mother was living with her 
son-in-law, Mr. Telfer of Scotstoun, in Peeblesshire, and the dignified, 
handsome visitor had himself introduced to her as "a gentleman from 
the West Indies." For a time, while he continued to frown, the 
deception succeeded ; but as Mrs. Smollett kept looking fixedly at him 
the attempt broke down, and in a moment his mother's arms were 
about his neck. "My son, my son!" she cried, "that auld kent 
smile o' yours has betrayed ye ! " At the same time he visited Glasgow 
and his birthplace in the Vale of Leven. 

Next year he undertook a complete "History of England," and 
finished it amid great eclat in fourteen months. And in 1757, Garrick, 
forgiving him his sarcasms, produced "The Reprisals, or the Tars of 
Old England," a play which remained a never-failing stock piece for a 
century. Meanwhile his quarrels had been growing more serious, and 
for a libel on Admiral Knowles, which he avowed in the " Critical 
Review," he was fined .100, and spent three months in prison. A 
worse blow, however, fell upon him in the death of his only daughter 
at the age of fifteen. From this shock Smollett never fully recovered. 
He went abroad, and as the fruit of two years' sojourn he wrote 
" Travels through France and Italy," for the petulance of which he was 
satirized as "Smelfungus" by Sterne in the "Sentimental Journey." 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 29 

But grief, the strain of constant toil, and the bitterness of controversy 
were wearing him down, and when he took his blue-eyed Creole wife to 
Scotland and Glasgow in 1766 he was a dying man. 

The old humour, nevertheless, was yet to flash forth its best. " The 
Adventures of Count Fathom " had appeared in 1752, and " Sir 
Lancelot Greaves," earliest of serial novels, in the " British Magazine," 
of which he was editor, in 1758. But it was in 1770, at the little 
village of Monte Nuova, near Leghorn, whither he had gone as a last 
resort, that the wearied man wrote his brightest and most racy book, 
"Humphrey Clinker." At Leghorn itself in the following year he 
died. 

It is as a novelist that Smollett is most remembered. His tales, for 
amusing delineation of the stronger humours and absurdities of 
character, occupy a place by themselves, and preserve a full-coloured 
picture of the manners and morals, or lack of them, in that hard-drink- 
ing time. His few poems, nevertheless, remain most notable 
achievements, and in them, and not in the novels, it is worthy of 
remark, the real character of Smollett proud, hot-hearted, and 
generous is to be found. His longest pieces, the satires " Advice " 
and " Reproof," are not his best. Fiercely scathing in their time, they 
are mostly pointless now, since their allusions are out of date. His few 
" songs," again, run mostly in the affected fashion of that day. His 
memory as a poet, therefore, depends on some three or four pieces. 



THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND 

Mourn, hapless Caledonia ! mourn 
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn ! 
Thy sons, for valour long renowned, 
Lie slaughtered on their native ground ; 
Thy hospitable roofs no more 
Invite the stranger to the door ; 
In smoky ruins sunk they lie, 
The monuments of cruelty. 



30 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The wretched owner sees afar 
His all become the prey of war ; 
Bethinks him of his babes and wife, 
Then smites his breast, and curses life. 
Thy swains are famished on the rocks 
Where once they fed their wanton flocks ; 
Thy ravished virgins shriek in vain ; 
Thy infants perish on the plain. 

What boots it then, in every clime, 
Through the wide-spreading waste of time, 
Thy martial glory, crowned with praise, 
Still shone with undiminished blaze ? 
Thy towering spirit now is broke, 
Thy neck is bended to the yoke. 
What foreign arms could never quell 
By civil rage and rancour fell. 

The rural pipe and merry lay 
No more shall cheer the happy day : 
No social scenes of gay delight 
Beguile the dreary winter night ; 
No strains but those of sorrow flow, 
And nought be heard but sounds of woe ; 
While the pale phantoms of the slain 
Glide nightly o'er the silent plain. 

Oh, baneful cause ! oh, fatal morn, 
Accursed to ages yet unborn ! 
The sons against their father stood, 
The parent shed his children's blood. 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 31 

Yet when the rage of battle ceased, 
The victor's soul was not appeased ; 
The naked and forlorn must feel 
Devouring flames and murdering steel ! 

The pious mother, doomed to death, 
Forsaken wanders o'er the heath ; 
The bleak wind whistles round her head ; 
Her helpless orphans cry for bread. 
Bereft of shelter, food, and friend, 
She views the shades of night descend, 
And, stretched beneath the inclement skies, 
Weeps o'er her tender babes, and dies. 

While the warm blood bedews my veins, 
And unimpaired remembrance reigns, 
Resentment of my country's fate 
Within my filial breast shall beat, 
And, spite of her insulting foe, 
My sympathising verse shall flow. 
Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn 
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn ! 



ODE TO LEVEN WATER 

On Leven's banks, while free to rove 
And tune the rural pipe to love, 
I envied not the happiest swain 
That ever trod the Arcadian plain. 

Pure stream, in whose transparent wave 



32 THE GLASGOW POETS 

My youthful limbs I wont to lave, 
No torrents stain thy limpid source, 
No rocks impede thy dimpling course, 
That warbles sweetly o'er its bed, 
With white, round, polished pebbles spread, 
While, lightly poised, the scaly brood 
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood 
The springing trout, in speckled pride, 
The salmon, monarch of the tide, 
The ruthless pike, intent on war, 
The silver eel and mottled par. 
Devolving from thy parent lake, 
A charming maze thy waters make , 
By bowers of birch and groves of pine 
And edges flowered with eglantine. 
Still on thy banks, so gaily green, 
May numerous herds and flocks be seen, 
And lasses, chanting o'er the pail, 
And shepherds, piping in the dale, 
And ancient faith, that knows no guile, 
And industry, embrowned with toil, 
And hearts resolved, and hands prepared 
The blessings they enjoy to guard ! 



ODE TO INDEPENDENCE 

Thy spirit, Independence ! let me share, 
Lord of the lion heart and eagle eye ! 

Thy steps I follow with my bosom bare, 

Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky. 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 33 

Deep in the frozen regions of the north 

A goddess violated brought thee forth, 

Immortal Liberty ! whose look sublime 

Hath bleached the tyrant's cheek in every varying clime. 

What time the iron-hearted Gaul, 
With frantic superstition for his guide, 

Armed with the dagger and the pall, 
The sons of Woden to the field defied, 
The ruthless hag, by Weser's flood 

In Heaven's name urged the infernal blow, 

And red the stream began to flow : 
The vanquished were baptised with blood. 1 

The Saxon prince in horror fled 

From altars stained with human gore, 
And Liberty his routed legions led 

In safety to the bleak Norwegian shore. 
There in a cave asleep she lay, 

Lulled by the hoarse resounding main, 
When a bold savage passed that way, 

Impelled by destiny, his name Disdain. 
Of ample front the portly chief appeared ; 

The hunted boar supplied a shaggy vest, 
The drifted snow hung on his yellow beard, 

And his broad shoulders braved the furious blast. 
He stopped, he gazed, his bosom glowed, 

And deeply felt the impression of her charms. 
He seized the advantage Fate allowed 

And straight compressed her in his vigorous arms. 



1 Charlemagne, having forced 4000 Saxon prisoners to undergo 
Christian baptism, ordered their throats to be cut. 
D 



34 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The curlew screamed, the Tritons blew 

Their shells to celebrate the ravished rite. 
Old Time exulted as he flew, 

And Independence saw the light. 
The light he saw in Albion's happy plains, 

Where, under cover of a flowering thorn, 
While Philomel renewed her warbled strains, 

The auspicious fruit of stolen embrace was born. 
The mountain Dryads seized with joy 

The smiling infant to their charge consigned ; 
The Doric Muse caressed the favourite boy ; 

The hermit, Wisdom, stored his opening mind. 
As rolling years matured his age 

He flourished bold and sinewy as his sire, 
While the mild passions in his breast assuage 

The fiercer flames of his maternal fire. 

Accomplished thus he winged his way, 

And zealous roved from pole to pole, 
The rolls of right eternal to display, 

And warm with patriot thoughts the aspiring soul. 
On desert isles 'twas he that raised 

Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave, 1 
Where tyranny beheld, amazed, 

Fair Freedom's temple where he marked her grave. 
He steeled the blunt Batavian's arms 

To burst the Iberian's double chain ; 
And cities reared, and planted farms 

Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain. 2 



Venice. 2 The Netherlands. 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 35 

He with the generous rustics sate 

On Uri's rocks in close divan, 
And winged that arrow, sure as fate, 

Which ascertained the sacred rights of man. 1 

Arabia's scorching sands he crossed, 

Where blasted Nature pants supine, 
Conductor of her tribes adust 

To Freedom's adamantine shrine. 
And many a Tartar horde forlorn, aghast, 

He snatched from under fell Oppression's wing, 
And taught, amidst the dreary waste, 

The all-cheering hymns of liberty to sing. 
He virtue finds, like precious ore, 

Diffused through every baser mould. 
Even now he stands on Calvi's rocky shore 

And turns the dross of Corsica to gold. 2 
He, guardian genius ! taught my youth 

Pomp's tinsel livery to despise 
My lips, by him chastised to truth, 

Ne'er paid that homage which my heart denies. 

Those sculptured halls my feet shall never tread 
Where varnished Vice and Vanity, combined 

To dazzle and seduce, their banners spread, 
And forge vile shackles for the free-born mind, 

While Insolence his wrinkled front uprears, 
And all the flowers of spurious Fancy blow, 



1 The arrow of William Tell. 

2 The reference is to the stand made by Paschal Paoli against the 
aggressions of the French. 



36 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And Title his ill-woven chaplet wears, 

Full often wreathed around the miscreant's brow ; 
Where ever-dimpling Falsehood, pert and vain, 

Presents her cup of stale Profession's froth, 
And pale Disease, with all his bloated train, 

Torments the sons of gluttony and sloth. 

In Fortune's car behold that minion ride, 

With either India's glittering spoils oppressed. 
So moves the sumpter-mule in harnessed pride, 

That bears the treasure which he cannot taste. 
For him let venal bards disgrace the bay, 

And hireling minstrels wake the tinkling string, 
Her sensual snares let faithless Pleasure lay, 

And jingling bells fantastic Folly ring. 
Disquiet, doubt, and dread shall intervene, 

And Nature, still to all her feelings just, 
In vengeance hang a damp on every scene, 

Shook from the baneful pinions of Disgust. 

Nature I'll court in her sequestered haunts 

By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell, 
Where the poised lark his evening ditty chaunts, 

And Health and Peace and Contemplation dwell. 
There Study shall with Solitude recline, 

And Friendship pledge me to his fellow swains, 
And Toil and Temperance sedately twine 

The slender cord that fluttering life sustains ; 
And fearless Poverty shall guard the door, 

And Taste unspoiled the frugal table spread, 
And Industry supply the humble store, 



TOBIAS SMOLLETT 37 

And Sleep unbribed his dews refreshing shed. 
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite ! 
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night, 
And Independence o'er the day preside 
Propitious Power ! my patron and my pride. 



THY FATAL SHAFTS 

Thy fatal shafts unerring move ; 
I bow before thine altar, Love ! 
I feel thy soft resistless flame 
Glide swift through all my vital frame. 

For while I gaze my bosom glows, 
My blood in tides impetuous flows ; 
Hope, fear, and joy alternate roll, 
And floods of transport whelm my soul. 

My faltering tongue attempts in vain 
In soothing murmurs to complain ; 
My tongue some secret magic ties 
My murmurs sink in broken sighs. 

Condemned to nurse eternal care, 
And ever drop the silent tear, 
Unheard I mourn, unknown I sigh, 
Unfriended live, unpitied die. 



DOUGAL GRAHAM 

1724-1779 

A COMPENDIUM of the Glasgow poets could not be considered complete 
without some mention at least of the famous Skellat Bellman. Born of 
humble parents in the village of Raploch, near Stirling, he was 
deformed in person, and of the scantiest education ; yet his native wit 
made him a marked figure in his day in Glasgow; he composed a 
metrical account of " the '45 " which, though not indeed to be ranked 
as fine poetry, possesses not a little of the merit of the early chronicles ; 
and his chapbooks remain among the most famous and entertaining of 
their class of literature. 

For a time Dougal was servant to a small farmer near Campsie ; but 
the wandering spirit was in his blood; like his own John Cheap he 
became a pedlar, and for some years plied his craft throughout the 
country. When the Rebellion of 1745 broke out, and the Jacobite 
army marched south, the pedlar seized his chance, joined the High- 
landers as they crossed the Fords of Frew, and followed the fortunes of 
the Chevalier till they finally broke at Culloden. The probability is 
that Graham was not a soldier but a sutler. Nevertheless he saw the 
whole campaign, and no sooner was it over than he proceeded with no 
little ingenuity to turn it to account. In five months he had written 
and published at Glasgow his rhymed "History of the Rebellion." 
The book was at once popular, and eight editions appeared before 1809. 
Settling in Glasgow Graham apparently became the rhyming chronicler 
of passing events, issuing his broadsides in rhyme and prose under the 
name of "John Faikirk," the "Scots Piper," and the like. At the 
same time he still carried on his business of pedlar, or ' ' merchant ; " 
is said by M'Ure to have become a printer and set up his own works 
as he composed them at the press; and latterly filled the post of 



DOUGAL GRAHAM 39 

bellman to the city. In this last character his ready wit was as con- 
spicuous as his rhyming faculty. At every corner where he rang his 
bell a crowd of boys gathered to hear his rhyming tags, and woe to the 
wight who tried to " take him off." " The story goes," says his editor, 
" that Dougal was on one occasion passing along the Gallowgate 
making some intimation or other. Several officers of the 42nd High- 
landers, then returned from the American War of Independence, where 
their regiment had been severely handled by the colonists, were dining 
in the Saracen's Head Inn. They knew Dougal of old, and they 
thought to have a joke at his expense. One of them put his head out 
of the window, and called to the bellman ' What's that you've got on 
your back, Dougal ? ' This was rather a personal reference, for Dougal 
had the misfortune to be ' humphie backit.' But he was not put out by 
the question, for he at once silenced his interrogator by answering 
' It's Bunker's Hill ; do you choose to mount ? ' " Such stories were 
once common tradition regarding him. 

Dr. Strang, in " Glasgow and its Clubs," thus describes Graham 
" Only fancy a little man, scarcely five feet in height, with a Punch-like 
nose, with a hump on his back, a protuberance on his chest, and a halt 
in his gait, donned in a long, scarlet coat nearly reaching the ground, 
blue breeches, white stockings, shoes with large buckles, and a cocked 
hat perched on his head, and you have before you the comic author, the 
witty bellman, the Rabelais of Scottish ploughmen, herds, and handi- 
craftsmen." Caldwell, his publisher, said "he could screed aff a bit 
penny history in less than nae time. A' his warks took weel they 
were level to the meanest capacity, and had plenty o' coarse jokes to 
season them." A just criticism of Graham's "History" is that of 
Robert Chambers in his "Illustrious Scotsmen" "The poetry is, of 
course, in some cases, a little grotesque, but the matter of the work is 
in many instances valuable. It contains, and in this consists the chief 
value of all such productions, many minute facts which a work of more 
pretension would not admit." Graham's other short pieces run in the 
same vein of humour. "John Highlandman's Remarks on Glasgow" 
furnish a curious picture of the city in the middle of the eighteenth 
century. "Tugal M 'Tagger" is a satire of no little shrewdness, and 
"Haud awa' frae me, Donald," attributed to Graham by Stenhouse in 
his " Lyric Poetry and Music of Scotland," remains a classic of its 
kind. Burns admired "The Turnimspike" on account of its local 



40 THE GLASGOW POETS 

humour, and Sir Walter Scott declared that piece alone enough to 
entitle its author to immortality. The collected writings of Dougal 
Graham, with a memoir and notes, were edited by Mr. George 
MacGregor and published at Glasgow in two volumes in 1883. 



THE TURNIMSPIKE 

HerseP pe Highland shentleman, 
Pe auld as Pothwell prig, man ; 

And mony alterations seen 

Amang the Lawland whig, man. 
Fal lal, etc. 

First when her to the Lowlands came, 
Nainsel was driving cows, man : 

There was nae laws about hims narse, 
About the breeks or trews, man. 
Fal lal, etc. 

Nainsel did wear the philapeg, 
The plaid prickt on her shouder ; 

The gude claymore hung pe her pelt, 
The pistol charged wi' pouder. 
Fal lal, etc. 

But for whereas these cursed preeks, 
Wherewith man's narse pe lockit, 

Ohon that ere she saw the day ! 
For a' her houghs pe prokit. 
Fal lal, etc. 



DOUGAL GRAHAM 41 

Everything in the Highlands now 

Pe turn't to alteration ; 
The sodjer dwall at our door cheek, 

And that's ta great vexation. 
Fal lal, etc. 



Scotland be turn't a Ningland now, 
And laws pring on the cadger : 

Nainsel wad durk him for her deeds, 
But oh ! she fears the sodger. 
Fal lal, etc. 

Another law came after that, 
Me never saw the like, man ; 

They mak' a lang road on the crund, 
And ca' him turnimspike, man. 
Fal lal, etc. 

And wow, she pe a ponnie road, 
Like Louden corn rigs, man ; 

Whare twa carts may gang on her, 
And no preak other's legs, man. 
Fal lal, etc. 

They sharge a penny for ilk horse, 
In troth they'll be nae sheaper 

For nought but gaen upo' the crund, 
And they gie me a paper. 
Fal lal, etc. 



42 THE GLASGOW POETS 

They tak' the horse then pe the head, 
And there they mak' them stand, man. 

I tell'd them that I seen the day 
They hadna sic command, man. 
Fal lal, etc. 

Nae doubts nainsel maun draw his purse, 
And pay them what hims like, man : 

I'll see a shudgement on his store, 
That filthy turnimspike, man. 
Fal lal, etc. 

But I'll awa' to the Highland hills, 
Where nane a ane sail turn her ; 

And no come near your turnimspike, 
Unless it pe tae purn her. 
Fal lal, etc. 



JOHN HIGHLANDMAN'S REMARKS ON 
GLASGOW 

Her nainsel into Glasgow went, 

An errand there to see't, 
And she never saw a bonnier town 

Standing on her feet. 

For a' the houses that be tere 

Was theekit wi' blue stanes, 
And a stane ladder to gang up, 

No fa' to break her banes. 



DOUGAL GRAHAM 43 

I gang upon a stany road, 

A street they do him ca' ; 
And when me seek the chapman's house, 

His name be on the wa'. 

I gang to buy a snish tamback, 

And standing at the Corse, 
And tere I see a dead man 

Was riding on his horse. 

And O ! he be a poor man, 

And no hae mony claes, 
Te brogues be worn aff his feet, 

And me see a' his taes. 1 

Te horse had up his muckle fit 

For to gie me a shap, 
And gaping wi' his great mouth 

To grip me by the tap. 

He had a staff into his hand 

To fight me an he could, 
But hersel be rin awa' frae him ; 

His horse be unco proud. 

But I be rin around about, 

And stand upon the guard, 2 
Where I see the deil chap the hours ; 3 

Tan me grew unco feared. 



* The statue of King William III., set up at Glasgow Cross, was 
cast in classic dress, including sandals. 

2 The Guardhouse, at foot of Candleriggs. 

3 A clockmaker had in his window a time-piece in which Satan was 
seen striking the hours. 



44 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Ohon ! ohon ! her nainsel said, 
And where will me go rin ? 

For yonder be the black man 
That burns the folk for sin. 

I'll no be stay nae langer tere, 

But fast me rin awa', 
And see the man thrawin te rapes 

Aside te Broomielaw. 1 

And O ! she pe a lang tedder, 
I spiert what they'll do wi't. 

He said to hang the Highlandmen 
For stealing o' their meat. 

Hout ! hersel's an honest shentleman ; 

I never yet did steal, 
But when I meet a muckle purse, 

I like it unco weel. 

Tan fare ye weel, ye saucy fellow ! 

I fain your skin wad pay ; 
I cam' to your toun the morn, but 

I'll gang out yesterday. 

Fan I gang to my quarter-house, 
The door was unco braw, 

For here they had a cow's husband 
Was pricked on the wa'. 2 



1 There were rope-works by the Broomielaw. 

2 The Black Bull Inn, at the head of Stockwell Street. 



DOUGAL GRAHAM 45 

tere me got a shapin ale, 
An' ten me got a supper 

A filthy choud o' chappit meat, 
Boiled amang a butter. 

It was a filthy dirt o' beef, 

His banes was like te horn ; 
She was a calf wanting the skin, 

Before that she was born. 

1 gang awa' into the kirk 

To hear a Lawland preach ; 
And mony a bonnie sang they sing, 
Teir books they did them teach. 

And tere I saw a bonnie matam 

Wi' feathers on her waim ; T 
I wonder an she be gaun to flie, 

Or what be in her min'. 

Another matams follow her 

Wha's . . . was round like cogs, 
And clitter clatter cries her feet 

She had on iron brogues. 2 

And tere I saw another matam 

Into a tarry seek, 
And twa mans pe carry her 

Wi' raoes about hims neck. 



A feather muff, then fashionable. 
Pattens. 



46 THE GLASGOW POETS 

She pe sae fu' o' vanity 

As no gang on the grim', 
But twa poor man's pe carry her 

In a barrow cover't abune. 1 

Some had a fish-tail to their mouth, 2 
And some pe had a ponnet ; 

But my Janet and Donald's wife 
Wad rather hae a bannock. 



1 A sedan chair. 

2 The bonnet tie then in vogue. 



ROBERT COUPER 

1750-1818 

SON of a Wigtownshire farmer, Robert Couper was born at Balsier, in 
the parish of Sorbie. He entered Glasgow University in 1769, and 
studied at first for the Church of Scotland. On the death of his 
parents, however, he was forced to go as tutor to a family in Virginia, 
and proposed to take orders in the Episcopal Church. This intention 
also was baulked. The outbreak of the American War of Independence 
in 1776 sent him back to Glasgow. Returning to the old University in 
High Street, he studied medicine, and qualified as a surgeon. For a 
time he practised at Newton- Stewart in his native county, but on the 
recommendation of Dr. Hamilton, professor of midwifery, was appointed 
physician to the Duke of Gordon, and settled at Fochabers in 1788. 
At the same time he took the degree of M.D. at Glasgow, "to prevent 
people, no wiser than himself, from dictating to him," and married 
Miss Stott, daughter of the minister of Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire. 
He left Fochabers in 1806, and died at Wigtown twelve years later. He 
was the author of two volumes of "Poetry, chiefly in the Scottish 
Language," published at Inverness in 1804. His best-known song, 
"Kinrara," or "Red gleams the sun," refers to Kinrara Lodge, the 
summer residence of the Duchess of Gordon. Another, "Red, red is 
the path to glory," was written in 1799 at the desire of Lady Georgiana 
Gordon (afterwards Duchess of Bedford), regarding her brother, the 
Marquis of Huntly, then with his regiment in Holland. A few days 
after the writing of it news arrived that the Marquis was wounded. The 
song was set to a beautiful air, "Stu mo run," picked up by Lady 
Georgiana in the Highlands. A manuscript Life of Dr. Couper existed, 
from which most of the above particulars were contributed to the 
"Additional Illustrations" for Johnson's "Scots Musical Museum." 



48 THE GLASGOW POETS 



RED GLEAMS THE SUN 

Red gleams the sun on yon hill-tap, 

The dew sits on the gowan, 
Deep murmurs through her glens the Spey, 

Around Kinrara rowin'. 
Where art thou, fairest, kindest lass ? 

Alas ! wert thou but near me, 
Thy gentle soul, thy melting eye 

Would ever, ever cheer me. 

The laverock sings amang the clouds ; 

The lambs they sport so cheery ; 
And I sit weeping by the birk 

O where art thou, my dearie ? 
Aft may I meet the morning dew, 

Lang greet till I be weary ; 
Thou canna, winna, gentle maid, 

Thou canna be my dearie. 



RED, RED IS THE PATH 

Red, red is the path to glory ! 

See yon banners floating high ; 
O, my Geordie, death's before ye ; 
Turn and hear my boding cry. 

Joy of my heart, Geordie, hear me ! 
Joy of my heart, Stu mo run ! x 



'"My own!" 



ROBERT COUPER 49 

Turn and see thy tartan plaidie 

Rising o'er my breaking heart ; 
O my bonnie Highland laddie, 

Wae was I wi' thee to part ! 
Joy of my heart, etc. 

But thou bleedst, O bleedst thou, beauty ? 

Swims thine eye in woe and pain ? 
Child of honour, child of duty, 

Shall we never meet again ? 
Joy of my heart, etc. 

Yes, my darling, on thy pillow 

Soon thy head shall easy lie ; 
Soon upon the bounding billow 

Shall thy war-worn standard fly. 
Joy of my heart, etc. 

Then again thy tartan plaidie 

Then my bosom, free from pain, 
Shall receive my Highland laddie : 

Never shall we part again. 
Joy of my heart, etc. 



THE SHEILING 

Oh ! grand bounds the deer o'er the mountain, 
And smooth skims the hare o'er the plain ; 

At noon the cool shade by the fountain 
Is sweet to the lass and her swain. 

E 



50 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The evening sits down dark and dreary ; 

Oh ! yon's the loud joys of the ha' ; 
The laird sings his dogs and his dearie, 

Oh ! he kens na his singing ava. 

But oh ! my dear lassie, when wi' thee, 

What's the deer and the maukin to me ? 
The storm soughin' wild drives me to thee, 

And the plaid shelters baith me and thee. 
The wild warld then may be reeling, 

Pride and riches may lift up their e'e 
My plaid haps us baith in the sheiling 

That's a' to my lassie and me. 



MRS. GRANT OF LAGGAN 
1755-1838 

IN the middle of the eighteenth century the Goosedubs of Glasgow was. 
a respectable quarter. There Anne M' Vicar was born. Her father was 
an officer in a Highland regiment, and on her mother's side she was 
descended from the Stewarts of Invernahyle. Soon after her birth her 
father's regiment was ordered across the Atlantic, and took part in the 
conquest of Canada. M' Vicar afterwards resigned his commission and 
settled in Vermont on his military grant of 2000 acres, which he added 
largely to by purchase of the grants of brother-officers. Misfortune, 
however, attended him. Forced by ill-health to return to Scotland in 
1768, in 1776, on the outbreak of the War of Independence, he was 
deprived of his property and reduced to a meagre subsistence as barrack - 
master at Fort Augustus in Glen More. There, in 1779, Anne mairied 
the Rev. James Grant, the military chaplain, who forthwith accepted 
the parish of Laggan close by. He was related to some of the best 
families in Badenoch, and there the pair led an uneventful life for 
twenty-two years. 

Something of the metal the minister's wife was made of can be 
guessed from the fact that, in order to fit herself for her duty in the 
parish, she studied and mastered the Gaelic tongue. She had already 
acquired Dutch for the sake of the Dutch friends with whom she stayed 
in America. Her courage and force of character, however, were to be 
put to a sterner proof. She had been the mother of twelve children, 
and eight survived to her when in 1801 her husband died. She then 
found herself not only without means, but considerably in debt. Her 
home, too, the manse, must be given up to her husband's successor. 
Many women would have sunk in despair, but the minister's widow was 
made of stronger stuff. She took a small farm in the neighbourhood, 
and set to work to retrieve the position. 



52 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The most brilliant part of her life was yet to come. From her earliest 
days she had shown an instinct for letters. In the American colonies 
the sergeant of the regiment who had taught her writing had given her 
a copy of Henry the Minstrel's "Wallace," and helped her to read it. 
"I conned it so diligently," she wrote in after days in her memoir, 
' ' that I not only understood the broad Scottish, but caught an admira- 
tion for heroism, and an enthusiasm for Scotland, that ever since has 
been like a principle of life." In her sixth year she had read the Old 
Testament, and pored with delight over "Paradise Lost." At nine 
years of age she had made imitations of Milton ; and at Glasgow, after 
the return from America, she had written several pieces of merit. Now, 
in 1803, at the urging of friends, she gathered her verses and published 
them. Three thousand copies were subscribed for, and she was able with 
the proceeds to pay all her debts. She moved then to Stirling ; and 
in 1806 her "Letters from the Mountains," a collection of charming 
epistles describing Highland lore and character, which she had written 
to friends from Laggan ; and in 1808 her " Memoirs of an American 
Lady " a Madame Schuyler, with whom she had lived for several years 
at Albany established her as an author. In 1810 she removed to 
Edinburgh, where her literary accomplishments and brilliant conversa- 
tion made her house the resort of men of letters like Lord Jeffrey, Henry 
Mackenzie, and Sir Walter Scott Her "Essays on the Superstitions 
of the Highlands," "Popular Models and Impressive Warnings," and 
other productions, were all successful books, and with the proceeds of 
them, with several legacies from friends, and with a pension of ;ioo 
a year granted her in 1825, she found a comfortable provision till her 
death at the age of 83. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1839, appeared a de- 
tailed account of her life and writings ; and a collection of her letters, 
with a memoir by her son, was published at London in 1844. She was 
styled Mrs. Grant of Laggan to distinguish her from that other Mrs. 
Grant " of Carron," author of " Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch. " The pre- 
servation of many interesting Highland traditions was owed to her. One 
of these, quoted by Hill Burton in his " Life of Lord Lovat," from a 
MS. of Mrs. Grant, gives an idea of her vivid style. It describes the 
last interview between Prince Charles and Lovat at the house of 
Gortuleg, near the Falls of Foyers, just after Culloden. "The Prince 
and a few of his followers came to the house ; Lovat expressed attach- 



MRS. GRANT 53 

ment to him, but at the same time reproached him with great asperity 
for declaring his intention to abandon the enterprise entirely. * Remem- 
ber,' said he fiercely, 'your great ancestor, Robert Bruce, who lost 
eleven battles, and won Scotland by the twelfth.'" So great was the 
repute of Mrs. Grant's knowledge of Highland character, custom, and 
legend, and her power of depicting them, that for a time she was 
thought to be the author of " Waverley " and " Rob Roy." 



O WHERE, TELL ME WHERE? 1 

"O where, tell me where, is your Highland laddie gone? 

O where, tell me where, is your Highland laddie gone ? " 
" He's gone with streaming banners, where noble deeds are 

done, 

And my sad heart will tremble till he comes safely home. 
He's gone with streaming banners, where noble deeds are 

done, 
And my sad heart will tremble till he comes safely home." 

" O where, tell me where, did your Highland laddie stay ? 

O where, tell me where, did your Highland laddie stay ? " 
" He dwelt beneath the holly trees, beside the rapid Spey, 

And many a blessing followed him the day he went away. 

He dwelt beneath the holly trees, beside the rapid Spey, 

And many a blessing followed him the day he went away." 



i This piece, like Robert Couper's "Red, red is the path," was written 
on the absence in Holland of the Marquis of Huntly with the forces 
under Sir Ralph Abercrombie in 1799. It was obviously suggested by 
"The blue bells of Scotland," sung by Mrs. Jordan, printed in the 
"Town and Country Songster for 1801," and reproduced in Johnson's 
"Scots Musical Museum," vol. vi., in 1803. 



54 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" O what, tell me what, does your Highland laddie wear ? 

O what, tell me what, does your Highland laddie wear ? " 
" A bonnet with a lofty plume, the gallant badge of war, 
And a plaid across the manly breast that yet shall wear a 

star. 

A bonnet with a lofty plume, the gallant badge of war, 
And a plaid across the manly breast that yet shall wear a 
star." 

" Suppose, ah ! suppose, that some cruel, cruel wound 
Should pierce your Highland laddie, and all your hopes 

confound ! " 
" The pipe would play a cheering march, the banners round 

him fly ; 

The spirit of a Highland chief would lighten in his eye. 
The pipe would play a cheering march, the banners round 

him fly ; 
And for his king and country dear with pleasure he would 

die. 

"But I will hope to see him yet in Scotland's bonnie 

bounds ! 
But I will hope to see him yet in Scotland's bonnie 

bounds ! 

His native land of liberty shall nurse his glorious wounds, 
While wide through all our Highland hills his warlike 

name resounds. 

His native land of liberty shall nurse his glorious wounds, 
While wide through all our Highland hills his warlike 

name resounds." 



MRS. GRANT 55 



COULD I FIND A BONNIE GLEN 

Could I find a bonnie glen, 

Warm and calm, warm and calm 
Could I find a bonnie glen, 

Warm and calm ; 
Free frae din and far frae men, 
There my wanton kids I'd pen, 
Where woodbines shade some den, 

Breathing balm, breathing balm 
Where woodbines shade some den, 

Breathing balm. 

Where the steep and woody hill 

Shields the deer, shields the deer 
Where the steep and woody hill 

Shields the deer ; 

Where the woodlark singing shrill, 
Guards his nest beside the rill, 
And the thrush, with tawny bill, 

Warbles clear, warbles clear 
And the thrush, with tawny bill, 

Warbles clear. 

Where the dashing waterfall 
Echoes round, echoes round 

Where the dashing waterfall 
Echoes round ; 

And the rustling aspen tall, 



5 6 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And the owl at evening's call, 
'Plaining from the ivied wall, 

Joins the sound, joins the sound 
'Plaining from the ivied wall, 

Joins the sound. 

There my only love I'd own, 

All unseen, all unseen 
There my only love I'd own, 

All unseen ; 

There I'd live for her alone, 
To the restless world unknown, 
And my heart should be the throne 

For my queen ! 



LEAVE ME NOT 

Oh, my love, leave me not ! 
Oh, my love, leave me not ! 
Oh, my love, leave me not 
Lonely and weary. 

Could you but stay a while, 
And my fond fears beguile, 
I yet once more could smile, 
Lightsome and cheery. 



MRS. GRANT 57 

Night, with her darkest shroud, 
Tempests that roar aloud, 
Thunders that burst the cloud, 
Why should I fear ye ? 

Till the sad hour we part 
Fear cannot make me start 
Grief cannot break my heart 
Whilst thou art near me. 

Should you forsake my sight 
Day would to me be night ; 
Sad, I would shun its light, 
Heartless and weary. 



ON A SPRIG OF HEATH 

Flower of the waste ! the heath-fowl shuns 
For thee the brake and tangled wood ; 

To thy protecting shade she runs ; 
Thy tender buds supply her food. 

Her young forsake their downy plumes 

To rest upon thy opening blooms. 

Flower of the desert though thou art, 

The deer that range the mountain free 

The graceful doe, the stately hart 
Their food and shelter seek from thee. 



58 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The bee thy earliest blossom greets, 
And draws from thee her choicest sweets. 



Gem of the heath, whose modest bloom 
Sheds beauty o'er the lonely moor ! 

Though thou dispense no rich perfume 
Nor yet with splendid tints allure, 

Both valour's crest and beauty's bower 

Oft hast thou decked, a favourite flower. 

Flower of the wild, whose purple glow 
Adorns the dusky mountain's side ! 

Not the gay hues of Iris' bow, 
Nor garden's artful varied pride, 

With all its wealth of sweets could cheer, 

Like thee, the hardy mountaineer. 

Flower of his heart, thy fragrance mild 
Of peace and freedom seems to breathe. 

To pluck thy blossoms in the wild, 
And deck his bonnet with the wreath, 

Where dwelt of old his rustic sires, 

Is all his simple wish requires. 

Flower of his dear-loved native land ! 

Alas ! when distant far more dear ! 
When he, from some cold foreign strand, 

Looks homeward through the blinding tear, 
How must his aching heart deplore 
That home and thee he sees no more. 



MRS. GRANT 59 



THE GRAMPIANS 1 

All hail, ye frowning terrors of my way, 

Rude Grampian mountains, crowned with lasting snow ! 
No flowery vales, or plains with verdure gay, 

Could bid my soul with purer joy o'erflow. 
Barriers of holy freedom ! your stern brow 

With guardian frown o'erlooks her last retreat ; 
When tyrant rapine roamed the plains below, 

Among your winding glens she found a seat. 
Beyond those dark defiles thy narrow vale, 

Green Laggan ! soon shall cheer my weary sight ; 
Young voices sounding on the mountain gale 

Shall fill this anxious bosom with delight ; 
While ruddy innocence with raptured smile 
Shall cling to this fond heart, by absence torn erewhile. 



1 This sonnet is included in a rhyming itinerary of the author's Jive 
days' journey from Glasgow to Laggan, the second longest piece in her 
first volume. 



JOHN DUNLOP 

1755-1820 

AMONG the poets of Glasgow have been counted all ranks of the 
citizens, from the humble skellat bellman to the stately Lord Provost 
himself. The memory of John Dunlop may be said to survive by reason 
of one, or at most two, short songs. Wherever Scotsmen gather to see 
the old year out and the new year in, " Here's to the year that's awa' " 
is as likely to be sung, almost, as " Auld Langsyne " itself. The author 
was a typical Glasgow citizen, social and hospitable, who took much 
pleasure in listening to Scottish songs, and could sing them himself to 
good effect. 

Born at his father's residence, Carmyle House, in the parish of Old 
Monkland, near Glasgow, he was a young man when the red-cloaked 
" tobacco lords " were strutting their proudest at the Tron; he saw the 
crisis of their downfall during the American War; and, as a successful 
merchant himself, when Glasgow was beginning to build its fortunes on 
new foundations, he was Lord Provost in 1796. He afterwards became 
Collector of Customs, first at Bo'ness, then at Port-Glasgow, where he 
died. 

During his life, in 1817 and 1819 respectively, Dunlop printed 
privately ten copies each of two volumes of his poetry, and he is said to 
have left four volumes in manuscript. His son, who was Sheriff of 
Renfrewshire, and author of a " History of Fiction," printed privately 
in 1836 fifty copies of a further small collection of Dunlop's pieces; 
and in "Dunlop of that Ilk," by Ex-Bailie Archibald Dunlop, pub- 
lished at Glasgow in 1898, the poems of John Dunlop were included, 
with a portrait of their author. Several of the poet's "Epitaphs" on 
deceased members of the Hodge- Podge Club, to which Dunlop 
belonged, were included in the club minutes, and are quoted in 



JOHN DUNLOP 61 

" Glasgow and its Clubs " by Dr. Strang, and two appear in the 
"Coltness Collections" printed by the Maitland Club. Two other 
of Dunlop's pieces were printed from his MSS. by Dr. Charles Rogers 
in the "Modern Scottish Minstrel." George Farquhar Graham, when 
including "The year that's awa'" in his collection, gave the following 
details : " Mr. Robert Donaldson, printer in Greenock, now in 
Glasgow, having been reading Dunlop's poems, thought the song so 
good as to be worthy of an air ; and calling upon Mr. W. H. Moore, 
then organist there, now in Glasgow, hummed over to him what he 
considered might be a melody suited for it. This Mr. Moore re- 
modelled considerably, and published, probably about the year 1820. 
It was afterwards taken up by some of the public singers, and became 
very popular." 



THE YEAR THAT'S AWA' 

Here's to the year that's awa' ! 

We will drink it in strong and in sma' ; 
And here's to ilk bonnie young lassie we lo'ed 

While swift flew the year that's awa'. 
And here's to ilk, etc. 

Here's to the sodger who bled, 

And the sailor who bravely did fa' ! 
Their fame is alive, though their spirits are fled 

On the wings of the year that's awa'. 
Their fame is alive, etc. 

Here's to the friends we can trust 

When the storms of adversity blaw ! 
May they live in our song and be nearest our hearts, 

Nor depart like the year that's awa' ! 
May they live, etc. 



62 THE GLASGOW POETS 



DINNA ASK ME 

Oh ! dinna ask me gin I lo'e thee ! 

Troth I dar'na tell : 
Dinna ask me gin I lo'e thee ! 

Ask it o' yoursel'. 

Oh ! dinna look sae sair at me, 
For weel ye ken me true : ' 

Oh ! gin ye look sae sair at me 
I dar'na look at you ! 

When ye gang to yon braw, braw toun, 

And bonnier lasses see, 
Oh, dinna, Jamie, look at them, 

Lest you should mind na me ! 

For I could never bide the lass 
That ye'd lo'e mair than me ; 

And oh, I'm sure my heart would break 
Gin ye'd prove false to me ! 



LADY FRANCES STEWART 

For beauty and for youth let others weep ! 
Laid by the hand of death in life's last sleep, 
Their fate lament, their merits blazon o'er, 
Lost to the world that ne'er shall see them more. 



JOHN DUNLOP 63 

Though neither youth nor beauty slumbers here, 
Yet age and virtue claim the parting tear 
A tear to grace the spot where wisdom lies, 
Wit without malice, truth without disguise. 
Here rests religion, void of vain pretence, 
Founded on reason and matured by sense, 
With every Christian attribute adorned, 
By all who knew, who felt its influence mourned. 
Blest be the heart that heaves the generous sigh 
Sacred the drop that springs from sorrow's eye ! 
Yet reason shall our selfish grief restrain, 
And check the tear that now must flow in vain. 
Far, far removed from sorrow's sighs and tears, 
Thy holy spirit dwells in heavenly spheres, 
Welcomed by angels to their high abode, 
Pure as themselves, and reconciled to God. 



JOHN MAYNE 
1759-1836 

AMONG the Scottish poets who were writing at the same time as Burns, 
John Mayne possesses a peculiar interest. His "Hallowe'en" obviously 
formed the model for the famous piece on the same subject by the 
Ayrshire bard, and not only the idea but the actual refrain of his " Logan 
Braes" was annexed by Burns for his "Logan Water." On his own 
merits, besides, Mayne is entitled to high consideration. His "Siller 
Gun," which describes a relic of ancient wapinschawing surviving in 
his day in Dumfries, remains one of the raciest and most humorous 
examples of a time-honoured vein of Scots poetry, the vein of James 
V's "Christ's Kirk on the Green" and Fergusson's " Leith Races." 
And his poem "Glasgow," besides affording an excellent picture of 
the city at the end of the eighteenth century, stands among the most 
readable of Scottish topographical pieces. 

Born and educated in Dumfries, the poet was employed for a time 
on the Dumfries Journal, but removed early to Glasgow, where he 
lived at the Greenhead, and served an apprenticeship of five years as a 
printer with the celebrated brothers Foulis. He settled in London in 
1787, and spent the remainder of his life in the metropolis as printer, 
editor, and part proprietor of the Star newspaper. A brief account of 
Mayne's somewhat uneventful career appeared in the Gentleman's 
Magazine for May, 1836, and in The Annual Obituary for 1837 ; and 
some supplementary dates were furnished by his son, an official in the 
India House, for Laing's Additional Notes to Johnson's " Museum." 

"The Siller Gun," Mayne's chief work, was the slow growth of fifty- 
nine years. Twelve stanzas were printed on a single quarto sheet at 
Dumfries in 1777 ; in 1779 it was published in two cantos ; it was three 
cantos when it appeared in Ruddimaris Magazine in 1780, four when 



JOHN MAYNE 65 

it was printed in London in 1808, and five when the author sent it out 
finally in 1836. In the same way the two first stanzas of " Logan 
Braes" were written and sung at Glasgow in 1781, and printed in the 
6Varnewspaper in 1789, but the final edition of the lyric, three stanzas 
long, was only printed in the preface to "The Siller Gun" in 1836. 
Stanzas which appeared in the Paisley Repository in 1806 and in the 
Pocket Encyclopedia of Songs at Glasgow in 1816, were probably not 
all Mayne's. The song was written to replace a somewhat indelicate 
old ditty, beginning 

" Ae simmer nicht on Logan Braes 
I helped a lassie on wi' her claes, 
First wi' her stockings," etc. 

" Glasgow " again, was printed first in outline in The Glasgow 
Magazine for 1783, and might have remained there, but Dr. Geddes 
having called the attention of the Society of Antiquaries to it in flattering 
terms in 1792, Mayne was induced to take it up again and extend it. 
The complete poem was published in 1803. 

" Hallowe'en " appeared first in Ruddimarfs Magazine for November, 
1780, and again in an edition of " The Siller Gun" in 1783, but Burns's 
" Hallowe'en " superseded it so completely that it does not seem to have 
been printed again till 1896, when it was included among Mayne's 
productions in the Abbotsford Series volume, "Scottish Poetry of the 
Eighteenth Century." Other of Mayne's pieces were printed in the 
columns of his own paper and the pages of Ruddiman's and the 
Gentlemarfs Magazine. 

Of Mayne's private character, Allan Cunningham, who knew him 
well, said "a better or warmer-hearted man never existed" ; and of his 
works, " 'The Siller Gun,' " Sir Walter Scott declared, "surpassed the 
best efforts of Fergusson, and came near to those of Burns." Mayne's 
" Logan Braes," again, matched on its own ground, fairly excelled the 
" Logan Water " of the Ayrshire poet. 



66 THE GLASGOW POETS 

THE SILLER GUN 
Opening description. 

For loyal feats and trophies won 
Dumfries shall live till time be done ! 
Ae simmer's morning, wi' the sun, 

The Seven Trades there 
Foregathered, for their Siller Gun x 

To shoot ance mair. 

To shoot ance mair in grand array, 
And celebrate the king's birthday, 
Crowds, happy in the gentle sway 

Of ane sae dear, 
Were proud their fealty to display, 

And marshal here. 

O George ! the wale o' kings and men ! 
For thee in daily prayer we bend. 
With ilka blessing Heaven can send 

May'st thou be crowned ! 
And may thy race our rights defend 

The world around ! 



i The "siller gun," a small silver tube like a pistol barrel, was 
presented by James VI. as a prize for the best marksman in Dumfries. 
The actual weaponshawing described by Mayne was that of 1777. 



JOHN MAYNE 67 

For weeks before this fete sae clever, 
The folk were in a perfect fever, 
Scouring gun-barrels in the river 

At marks practising 
Marching wi' drums and fifes for ever 

A' sodjerisin'. 

And turning coats and mending breeks, 
New seating where the sark tail keeks ; 
(Nae matter though the clout that ekes 

Be black or blue) ; 
And darning, with a thousand steeks, 

The hose anew. 

Between the last and this occasion 
Lang, unco lang, seemed the vacation 
To him wha wooes sweet recreation 

In Nature's prime, 
And him wha likes a day's potation 

At ony time. 

The lift was clear, the morn serene, 
The sun just glinting ower the scene, 
When James M'Noe began again 

To beat to arms, 
Rousing the heart o' man and wean 

Wi' war's alarms. 

Frae far and near the country lads, 
Their joes ahint them on their yads, 



68 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Flocked in to see the show in squads, 

And, what was dafter, 
Their pawkie mithers and their dads 

Cam' trotting after. 

And mony a beau and belle were there, 

Doited wi' dosing in a chair. 

For, lest they'd, sleeping, spoil their hair, 

Or miss the sight, 
The gowks, like bairns before a fair, 

Sat up a' night. 

Wi' hats as black as ony raven, 

Fresh as the rose, their beards new shaven, 

And a' their Sunday's deeding having 

Sae trim and gay, 
Forth cam' our Trades, some orra saving 

To ware that day. 

Fair fa' ilk canny cadgy carl ! 
Weel may he bruik his new apparel, 
And never dree the bitter snarl 

O' scowling wife ! 
But, blest in pantry, barn, and barrel, 

Be blithe through life ! 

Hech, sirs ! what crowds cam' into town 
To see them mustering up and down ! 
Lasses and lads, sunburnt and brown, 
Women and weans, 



JOHN MAYNE 69 

Gentle and simple, mingling, crown 
The gladsome scenes. 

At first forenent ilk deacon's hallan 
His ain brigade was made to fall in ; 
And while the muster-roll was calling, 

And joy-bells jowing, 
Het pints, weel spiced to keep the saul in, 

Around were flowing. 

Broiled kipper, cheese and bread, and ham, 
Laid the foundation for a dram 
O' whiskey, gin frae Rotterdam, 

Or cherry-brandy, 
Whilk after, a' was fish that cam' 

To Jock or Sandy. 

Oh, weel ken they wha lo'e their chapin, 
Drink mak's the auldest swak and strappin', 
Gars care forget the ills that happen, 

The blate look spruce, 
And even the thowless cock their tappin, 

And craw fu' crouse. 

The muster ower, the different bands 

File aff in parties to the sands, 

Where, 'mid loud laughs and clapping hands, 

Gley'd Geordie Smith 
Reviews them, and their line expands 

Alang the Nith. 



70 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But ne'er, for uniform or air, 

Was sic a group reviewed elsewhere : 

The short, the tall, fat folk, and spare, 

Syde coats and dockit, 
Wigs, queus, and clubs, and curly hair, 

Round hats and cockit. 

As to their guns thae fell ingines, 
Borrowed or begged, were of a' kinds, 
For bluidy war, or bad designs, 

Or shooting cushies 
Lang fowling-pieces, carabines, 

And blunderbusses. 

Maist feck, though oiled to mak' them glimmer, 
Hadna been shot for mony a simmer, 
And Fame, the story-telling kimmer, 

Jocosely hints 
That some o' them had bits o' timmer 

Instead o' flints. 

Some guns, she thrieps, within her ken, 
Were spiked, to let nae priming ben ; 
And as in twenty there were ten 

Worm-eaten stocks, 
Sae, here and there, a rosit-end 

Held on their locks. 

And then, to show what difference stands 
Atween the leaders and their bands, 



JOHN MAYNE 71 

Swords that, unsheathed since Prestonpans, 

Neglected lay, 
Were furbished up, to grace the hands 

O' chiefs, this day. 

" Ohon ! " says George, and gae a grane, 
" The age o' chivalry is gane ! " 
Syne, having ower and ower again 

The hale surveyed, 

Their route and a' things else made plain, 
He snuffed, and said : 

" Now, gentlemen ! now mind the motion, 
And dinna this time mak' a botion 
Shouther your arms ! Oh, haud them tosh on, 

And not athraw ! 
Wheel wi' your left hands to the ocean, 

And march awa'." 

Wi' that the dinlin' drums rebound ; 
Fifes, clarionets, and hautboys sound ; 
Through crowds on crowds, collected round, 

The corporations 
Trudge aff, while Echo's self is drowned 

In acclamations. 

Their steps to martial airs agreeing, 
And a' the Seven Trades' colours fleeing, 
Bent for the Craigs oh, weel worth seeing ! 
They hied awa' ; 



72 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Their bauld convener proud o' being 
The chief ower a'. 



Attended by his body-guard 

He stepped in gracefu'ness unpaired, 

Straught as the poplar on the swaird, 

And strang as Samson. 
Nae e'e could look without regard 

On Robin Tamson. 

His craft, the Hammermen fu' braw, 
Led the procession, twa and twa ; 
The leddies waved their napkins a', 

And boys huzzayed, 
As onward to the waponschaw 

They stately strade. 

Close to the Hammermen, behold, 

The Squaremen come, like chiefs of old ; 

The Weavers, syne, their flags unfold ; 

And after them 
The Tailors walk, erect and bold, 

Intent on fame. 

The Sutors, o' King Crispin vain, 
March next in turn to the campaign ; 
And, while the crowd applauds again, 

See, too, the Tanners 
Extending far the glittering train 

O' guns and banners. 



JOHN MAYNE 73 

The Fleshers, on this joyous day, 
Bring up the rearward in array ; 
Enarmed they mak' a grand display 

A' jolly chiels, 
Able, in ony desperate fray, 

To fecht like deils. 

The journeymen were a' sae gaucy, 
The apprentices sae kir and saucy, 
That, as they gaed alang the causey, 

Ahint them a' 
The applauding heart o' mony a lassie 

Was stown awa'. 



GLASGOW 

Hail, Glasgow ! famed for ilka thing 
That heart can wish or siller bring ! 
May Peace, wi' healing on her wing, 

Aye nestle here ; 
And Plenty gar thy childer sing 

The lee-lang year ! 

Within the tinkling o' thy bells 
How mony a happy body dwells ! 
Where they get bread they ken themsels 

But I'll declare 
They're aye bien-like, and, what precels, 

Hae fouth to spare. 



74 THE GLASGOW POETS 

If ye've a knacky son or twa, 

To Glasgow College send them a', 

Wi' whilk, for gospel, or for law, 

Or classic lair, 
Ye'll find few places hereawa' 

That can compare. 

There ane may be, for sma' propyne, 
Physician, lawyer, or divine. 
, The gem, lang buried i' the mine, 

Is polished here, 
Till a' its hidden beauties shine, 
And sparkle clear. 

Nor is it students, and nae mair, 

That climb in crowds our College stair. 

Thither the learned, far-famed, repair 

To clear their notions, 
And pay to Alma Mater there 

Their warm devotions. 

Led by a lustre sae divine, 
Ev'n Geddes visited this shrine. 
Geddes ! sweet favourite o' the Nine ! 

Shall live in story, 
And like yon constellation shine 

In rays o' glory. 

O ! Leechman, Hutcheson, and Wight ! 
Reid, fu' o' intellectual light ! 



JOHN MAYNE 75 

And Simpson, as the morning bright ! 

Your memories here, 
Though gane to regions o' delight, 

Will aye be dear ! 

'Mang ither names that consecrate, 
And stamp a country gude or great, 
We boast o' some that might compete, 

Or claim alliance 
Wi' a' that's grand in Kirk or State, 

In art or science. 



Here great Buchanan learnt to scan 
The verse that mak's him mair than man. 
Cullen and Hunter here began 

Their first probations, 
And Smith, frae Glasgow, formed his plan- 

" The Wealth o' Nations." 

In ilka house, frae man to boy, 
A' hands in Glasgow find employ ; 
Even little maids, wi' meikle joy, 

Flower lawn and gauze, 
Or clip wi' care the silken soy 

For ladies' braws. 

Their fathers weave, their mothers spin 
The muslin robe, so fine and thin 
That, frae the ankle to the chin, 
It aft discloses 



76 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The beauteous symmetry within 
Limbs, neck, and bosies. 

Look through the town ! The houses here 

Like noble palaces appear ; 

A' things the face o' gladness wear 

The market's thrang, 
Business is brisk, and a's asteer 

The streets alang. 

Clean-keepit streets ! so lang and braid, 
The distant objects seem to fade ; 
And then, for shelter or for shade 

Frae sun or shower, 
Piazzas lend their friendly aid 

At ony hour. 

O for the Muse o' Burns, so rare, 

To paint the groups that gather there ! 

The wives on We'n'sdays wi' their ware, 

The lads and lasses 
In ferlying crowds at Glasgow Fair, 

And a' that passes ! 

But oh ! his Muse, that warmed ilk clod, 
And raised up flowers where'er he trod, 
Will ne'er revisit this abode ; 

And mine, poor lassie ! 
In tears for him dow hardly plod 

Through Glasgow causey. 



JOHN MAYNE 77 

Wond'ring, we see new streets extending, 
New squares wi' public buildings blending, 
Brigs, stately brigs, in arches bending 

Across the Clyde, 
And turrets, kirks, and spires ascending 

In lofty pride. 

High ower the lave St. Mungo rears 
His sacred fane, the pride of years, 
And, stretching upward to the spheres, 

His spire afar 
To weary travellers appears 

A leading star. 

happy, happy were the hours 
When first, afar on Crawford moors 

1 hailed thee bright through sunny showers, 

As on I came 

Frae murmuring Nith's romantic bowers, 
My native hame ! 

Blythe days ! ower happy to remain : 

The sire wha led my steps is gane ! 

Yet wherefore should the Muse complain 

In dirge-like lines, 
When Heaven has only ta'en its ain 

For wise designs ? 

Still happy, happy be their hours 

Wha journey, Clydesdale, through thy bowers ! 



78 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And blest amang the angelic powers, 

Blest be the man 
Wha saved St. Mungo's hallowed towers 

Frae ruin's han' ! 

And O, eternal Truth, all hail ! 
May thy pure dictates aye prevail ! 
But ne'er sic times let Scotia wail, 

When Reformation, 
Mad wi' a kirk-destroying zeal, 

Spread devastation. 

The Muse, whom even the thought appals, 
Hies aff where Contemplation dwalls, 
And flichters round yon ivied walls, 

Where rooks are cawing, 
Round sacred Blantyre's roofless halls, 

To waste fast fa'ing. 

And thence to kindred ruins winging, 
Where a' the arts their heads are hinging, 
Bewails sad genius fondly clinging 

Around Melross. 
But hark ! the music-bells are ringing 

At Glasgow Cross. 

'Tween twa and three wi' daily care, 
The gentry to the Cross repair 
The politician, wi' grave air, 
Deliberating ; 



JOHN MAYNE 79 

Merchants and manufacturers there 
Negociating. 

It's not by slothfulness and ease 
That Glasgow's canty ingles bleeze ; 
To gi'e her inland trade a heeze 

As weel's her foreign, 
She's joined the east and western seas 

Together, roaring. 

Frae Forth, athort the land, to Clyde, 
Her barks a' winds and weathers glide, 
And on the bosom o' the tide, 

Wi' gentle motion, 
Her vessels like a forest ride 

And kiss auld Ocean. 

Nor only hers what trade imparts. 
She's great in arms as weel as arts ; 
Her gallant sons, wi' loyal hearts, 

A' tak' the field, 
Resolved, when knaves would scatter darts, 

Their king to shield. 

And yet, though armed they thus appear, 

They only arm while danger's near. 

When peace, blest peace ! to them maist dear, 

Dispels the gloom, 
They for the shuttle change the spear, 

And ply the loom, 



8o THE GLASGOW POETS 

Hail, Industry ! them richest gem 
That shines in Virtue's diadem ! 
While Indolence, wi' tattered hem 

Around her knee, 
Sits chittering like the withered stem 

O' some boss tree ; 

To thee we owe the flocks o' sheep 

That glad Ben Lomond's cloud-capped steep ; 

The pregnant mines that yield yon heap 

O' massy coals ; 
And a' the tenants o' the deep, 

Caught here in shoals ; 

And a' the villas round that gleam, 
Like spangles i' the sunny beam ; 
The bonnie haughs that laughing seem 

Wi' plenty growing ; 
And a' the bleachfields on ilk stream 

Through Clydesdale flowing. 

Hence Commerce spreads her sails to a' 
The Indies and America : 
Whatever mak's ae penny twa, 

By wind or tide 
Is wafted to the Broomielaw 

On bonnie Clyde. 

Yet, should the best exertions fail, 
And fickle fortune turn the scale, 



JOHN MAYNE 81 

Should a' be lost in some hard gale, 

Or wrecked on shore, 
The Merchants' House mak's a' things hale 

As heretofore. 

Wi' broken banes should Labour pine, 
Or Indigence grow sick and dwine, 
The Infirmary, wi' care divine 

Unfolds its treasure, 
And turns their wormwood cup to wine, 

Their pain to pleasure. 

Oh ! blessings on them and their gear, 
Wha thus the poor man's friends appear, 
While mony a waefu' heart they cheer, 

Revive and nourish ! 
Safe through life's quicksands may they steer ! 

Let Glasgow flourish ! 

Wow, sirs ! it's wonderfu' to trace 
How commerce has improved the place, 
Changing bare house-room's narrow space, 

And want o' money, 
To seats of elegance and grace, 

And milk and honey. 

But to the philosophic mind 

What's mair than wealth and grandeur joined 

Man now meets man, a' frank and kind 

Wi' ane another, 
G 



82 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And is what Providence designed 
His friend, his brother. 

On Saturdays, the afternoon 

When for the week their cares are done, 

They dine and set their hearts abune, 

And tak' their coggie, 
And fix another meeting soon 

They're a' so voggie. 

Oh ! while they're a' carousing there, 

Let me to Kelvinside repair, 

Or Bothwell banks that bloom so fair, 

Where Lady Anne 
Ower her sweet bairn lamented sair 

The wiles o' man. 

Or at Langside past scenes review, 
And round yon thorn my sighs renew, 
Where, when the vanquished squadrons flew 

That came to fend her, 
Lorn Mary bade a lang adieu 

To regal splendour. 

Aft Crookston, frae thy castle wa 
The bugle horn was heard to blaw ! 
Again she cast a look, and saw 

Thy stately towers 
Lang lingering, till the last huzza 

O' rebel powers. 



JOHN MAYNE 83 

Nae troops to guard her in her flight 
Nae friends that durst assert her right 
Nae bower-maids now, wi' fond delight, 

Their cares employ 
To cheer at morn or soothe at night 

Her great annoy. 

To where Dundrennan Abbey lay, 

Far in the wilds o' Galloway, 

Ower moss, ower moor, up bank, up brae 

The mourner goes, 
Nae mair, frae that disastrous day, 

To taste repose. 

Still at Langside, in hillocks green, 
The traces o' the camp are seen ; 
Still Fancy paints the conflict keen, 

And figures there 
The angel form o' Scotland's Queen 

In deep despair. 

But come, my Muse, oh, come wi' me, 

And drap a tear at Ellerslie, 

Where patriot Wallace, bauld and free, 

Begude to bloom . 
Where Freedom still, wi' weeping e'e, 

Laments his doom. 

O Scotia ! where was virtue then ? 
Say, was her influence a' withdrawn, 



84 THE GLASGOW POETS 

To let a twa-faced villain's han' 

Oh ! endless shame ! 
Betray the godlike, glorious man, 

And stain thy name ! 

It's late, ower late, to tak' a stride 
To Leven Water's bowery side, 
To scud across the Firth so wide, 

Where ships come in, 
Or paint Barncluith, the Falls o' Clyde, 

And Cora Linn. 

Oh could I, wi' the evening's beam, 
Hie aff where Lanark's turrets gleam, 
Through birks and wildflowers, frae her dream 

Awaken Flora, 
And woo the genius o' the stream, 

Romantic Cora ! 

Some other time, when birdies sing, 
And gowans deck the teeming Spring, 
The Muse shall spread her eager wing 

Their charms to see, 
And Clydesdale's banks and braes shall ring 

Wi' her and me. 

Whae'er has daunered out at e'en, 
And seen the sights that I hae seen, 
For strappin' lasses, tight and clean, 
May proudly tell 



JOHN MAYNE 85 

That, search the country, Glasgow Green 
Will bear the bell. 



There may ye find, in sweetness rare, 
The blooming rose, the lily fair, 
The winsome look, the gracefu' air, 

The taste refined, 
And a' that can the heart ensnare 

In womankind. 

Yet what avails't to you or me 
How bonnie, gude, or rich they be, 
If when a lad, wi' langing e'e, 

But mints to woo, 
They, scornfu', toss their head ajee, 

And crook their mou' ? 

Wae's me for him, in life's sweet morn, 
The youth by hopeless passion torn ! 
Toils, pains, and plagues are eithly borne, 

And seem but sma', 
Till Beauty tips the rankling thorn 

Wi' bitter ga'. 

Gin ony simple lover choose 
In humble verse his jo to roose, 
The eident porters ne'er refuse, 

For little siller, 
To bear the firstlings o' his muse 

Discreetly till her. 



86 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But when the youth, wi' meikle care, 
Has penned a sonnet on his fair, 
Oh, but it grieves his heart right sair, 

When she, grown vain, 
Flings his epistle gude kens where, 

In proud disdain. 

Hame, ere the grass is wet wi' dew, 
Hame, as our belles are flocking now ! 
Sair, sair the lazy chairmen rue 

Wi' heavy granes, 
That e'er our streets had ought to do 

Wi' braid planestanes. 

Nae lady wants a chair to hire : 

Nae skelping now through mud and mire 

Wi' coaties kiltit high and higher 

Mid-leg at least 
Eneugh to warm wi' young desire 

The aged breast. 

And, what relieves the poet's care, 

When wi' his jo he tak's the air, 

His lugs will now be deaved nae mair, 

When siller's done, 
By chairmen bawling, " Shuse a chair ! 

She'll file her shoon." 

Nae tongue can tell the taunts and rubs 
That he maun thole whom poortith snubs- 



JOHN MAYNE 87 

Afttimes frae rich, unfeeling scrubs 

Wha're meanly willing 
To trail their lasses through the dubs 

To hain a shilling. 

O Glasgow ! famed for ilka thing 
That heart can wish or siller bring ! 
May nowther care nor sorrow ding 

Thy childer dear, 
But peace and plenty gar them sing 

Frae year to year ! 



THE WINTER SAT LANG 

The winter sat lang on the spring o' the year, 
Our seedtime was late, and our mailin' was dear ; 
My mither tint her heart when she looked on us a', 
And we thought upon them that were far'est avva'. 
Oh were they but here that are far'est awa' ! 
Oh were they but here that are dear to us a' ! 
Our cares would seem light and our sorrows but sma', 
If they were but here that are far frae us a' ! 

Last week, when our hopes were o'erclouded wi' fear, 

And nae ane at hame the dull prospect to cheer, 

Our Johnnie has written frae far-awa' parts 

A letter that lightens and bauds up our hearts. 

He says, " My dear mither, though I be awa', 

In love and affection I'm still wi' ye a' ; 

While I ha'e a being ye'se aye ha'e a ha', 

Wi' plenty to keep out the frost and the snaw." 



88 THE GLASGOW POETS 

My mither, o'erjoyed at the change in her state 
By the bairn that she doted on early and late, 
Gies thanks, night and day, to the Giver of a', 
There's been naething unworthy o' him that's awa'. 
Then here is to them that are far frae us a' 
The friend that ne'er failed us though far'est awa' ! 
Health, peace, and prosperity wait on us a', 
And a blythe comin' hame to the friend that's awa' ! 



LOGAN BRAES 

By Logan's streams that rin sae deep 
Fu' aft, wi' glee, I've herded sheep 
I've herded sheep, or gathered slaes 
Wi' my dear lad on Logan Braes. 
But wae's my heart, thae days are gane, 
And fu' o' grief, I herd my lane, 
While my dear lad maun face his faes, 
Far, far frae me on Logan Braes. 

Nae mair, at Logan Kirk, will he, 
Atween the preachings, meet wi' me 
Meet wi' me, or when it's mirk, 
Convoy me hame frae Logan Kirk. 
I weel may sing, thae days are gane ! 
Frae kirk and fair I come alane, 
While my dear lad maun face his faes, 
Far, far frae me and Logan Braes. 



JOHN MAYNE 89 

At e'en, when hope amaist is gane, 
I dander dowie and forlane, 
Or sit beneath the trysting tree 
Where first he spak' o' love to me. 
Oh ! could I see thae days again, 
My lover skaithless and my ain, 
Revered by friends, and far frae faes, 
We'd live in bliss on Logan Braes. 



JOANNA BAILLIE 

1762-1851 

THOUGH she neither was born nor did she die in Glasgow, Joanna 
Baillie spent her girlhood in the city, and took from it probably the 
most enduring impressions of her life. Descended from the great 
Lanarkshire family which claims Sir William Wallace as its progenitor, 
she first saw light in the manse of Both well, where her father was 
minister. She was of premature birth, delicate in infancy, and 
backward in her early studies ; but, coming to school in Glasgow at the 
age of ten, she developed rapidly, and showed a special talent for 
acting and improvising dialogue. In 1769 her father, Dr. Baillie, had 
removed to the collegiate charge at Hamilton, and in 1776 he became 
Professor of Divinity in Glasgow University ; but he died two years 
later, and for five years his widow and family lived at Long-Calderwood 
in Lanarkshire. Joanna's mother was a sister of the famous brothers 
William and John Hunter, and when the latter died in 1783 he left his 
house and collections in London to Matthew Baillie, Joanna's brother. 
The family then removed to London, and there the poetess resided 
during the rest of her long life, first with her brother in Great Windmill 
Street, Piccadilly, and, after his marriage to Miss Demnan, sister of the 
Lord Chief Justice, at Red Lion Hill, and Bolton House, an old- 
fashioned building behind the Holly Bush Inn at Hampstead. For 
years the last-named residence was destined to be the meeting-place 
of many celebrated writers Crabbe, Rogers, Campbell, Washington 
Irving, and others. 

Her first publication was a small anonymous volume of "Fugitive 
Verses" in 1790, which showed promise and attracted considerable 
notice. But her genius only found its real measure eight years later. 



JOANNA BAILLIE 91 

"It was whilst imprisoned by the heat of a summer afternoon, and 
seated by her mother's side engaged in needlework, that the thought of 
essaying dramatic composition burst upon her." She forthwith began 
the production of those " Plays on the Passions" with which her name 
is chiefly associated. The opening volume, "A Series of Plays: in 
which it is attempted to delineate the Stronger Passions of the Mind," 
contained a tragedy and a comedy on Love, and a tragedy on Hatred. 
The publication was anonymous, but all the lettered world was soon 
discussing it. An amusing anecdote is told of a visit paid at the time by 
Joanna and her sister to Mrs. Barbauld. " The hostess," records her 
niece, Miss Aikin, " immediately introduced the topic of the anonymous 
tragedies, and gave utterance to her admiration with that generous 
delight in the manifestation of kindred genius, which always distinguished 
her. But not even the sudden delight of such praise, so given, would 
seduce our Scottish damsel into self-betrayal. The faithful sister 
rushed forward, as we afterwards recollected, to bear the brunt, while 
the unsuspected author of the ' Plays ' lay snugly wrapped up in the 
asylum of her taciturnity." One play in the volume, De Monfort, 
was produced at Drury Lane by John Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, and 
ran for eleven nights. But the best fruit of the book was an acquaint- 
ance with Sir Walter Scott which lasted for fifty years, and remains one 
of the most famous of literary friendships. The authoress issued further 
volumes of her plays at intervals down to 1836, some of them following 
out her plan of portraying single passions, while others were cast in a 
more popular form, in the hope that they might continue to be acted 
"even in our canvas theatres and barns." Perhaps the most successful 
of her plays from this point of view was Constantine Palceologus, 
taken from Gibbon's account of the siege of Constantinople by the 
Turks. It was produced as Constantine and Valeria to crowded 
houses in the three capitals and in Liverpool. Her Family Legend, 
also, embodying the tradition of a feud between the Macleans of 
Duart and Campbells of Lochow, was produced at the instance of Sir 
Walter Scott in Edinburgh, and proved a brilliant success. 

Besides her plays and a number of fine songs which she contributed 
to Thomson's and Cunningham's Collections, and John Struthers' Harp 
of Caledonia, Miss Baillie published in 1821 a volume of "Metrical 
Legends." Its chief contents had for their subjects exploits by Sir 
William Wallace and Lady Grizel Baillie, and there were some ballads 



92 THE GLASGOW POETS 

in the antique fashion. She also, in her seventieth year, produced "A 
View of the general Tenor of the New Testament regarding the Nature 
and Dignity of Jesus Christ," in which she upheld the Unitarian 
view. And when close on fourscore years of age, she issued a new 
collection of "Fugitive Verses." A poem on an Indian potentate, 
"Athalya Baee," was also published after her death. She died at 
the age of 88, in full possession of her faculties, and in the act of 
devotion. Her faithful sister survived her, and died ten years later 
at the age of 100. 

Joanna Baillie was described in middle life as of slender form and 
"under the middle size, but not diminutive, her countenance indicating 
high talent, worth, and decision. " Her plays, with their dignified and 
sonorous blank verse, remain, probably, "the best ever written by a 
woman," and must rank among English classics; but their construction 
unfits them for the stage. Perhaps she is destined to be best remembered 
by the songs which she contributed to her native minstrelsy, and by her 
long and admirable correspondence and friendship with Sir Walter 
Scott. The poetess was in Scotland when " Marmion " first appeared, 
and she was reading the introduction to the third canto to a circle 
of friends when she came suddenly upon the following passage 

" Or, if to touch such chord be thine, 
Restore the ancient tragic line, 
And emulate the notes that rung 
From the wild harp which silent hung 
By silver Avon's holy shore, 
Till twice an hundred years rolled o'er ; 
When she, the bold Enchantress, came, 
With fearless hand and heart on flame ! 
From the pale willow snatched the treasure, 
And swept it with a kindred measure, 
Till Avon's swans, while rung the grove 
With Monfort's hate and Basil's love, 
Awakening at the inspired strain, 
Deemed their own Shakespeare lived again." 

"Deeply as she must have felt," says her biographer, "she read the 
passage firmly to the end, and only displayed a want of self-command 
when the emotion of a friend who was present became uncontrollable." 



JOANNA BAILLIE 93 

What her feelings must have been at such a tribute can only be 
imagined. 

A second edition of Joanna Baillie's complete dramatic and poetical 
works, with a memoir, was issued in one volume in 1853. 



GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT 

The sun is sunk, the day is done, 

E'en stars are setting, one by one ; 

Nor torch nor taper longer may 

Eke out the pleasures of the day ; 

And since, in social glee's despite, 

It needs must be, Goodnight, goodnight ! 

The bride into her bower is sent ; 

The ribald rhyme and jesting spent ; 

The lover's whispered words and few 

Have bid the bashful maid adieu ; 

The dancing floor is silent quite, 

No foot bounds there, Goodnight, goodnight ! 

The lady in her curtained bed, 

The herdsman in his wattled shed, 

The clansmen in the heathered hall, 

Sweet sleep be with you, one and all ! 

We part in hope of days as bright 

As this now gone, Goodnight, goodnight ! 



94 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Sweet sleep be with us, one and all ; 

And if upon its stillness fall 

The visions of a busy brain, 

We'll have our pleasures o'er again 

To warm the heart and charm the sight ; 

Gay dreams to all ! Goodnight, goodnight ! 



SAW YE JOHNNIE COMIN'? 

" Saw ye Johnnie comin' ? " quo' she ; 

"Saw ye Johnnie comin', 
Wi' his blue bonnet on his head, 

And his doggie runnin' ? 
Yestreen, about the gloamin' time, 

I chanced to see him comin' 
Whistling merrily the tune 

That I am a' day hummin',' 5 quo' she ; 
" I am a' day hummin'. 

" Fee him, faither, fee him," quo' she ; 

" Fee him, faither, fee him : 
A' the wark about the house 

Gaes wi' me when I see him. 
A' the wark about the house, 

I gang sae lightly through it ; 
And though ye pay some merks o' gear, 
Hout ! ye winna rue it," quo' she ; 
" No, ye winna rue it." 



JOANNA BAILLIE 95 

" What wad I do wi' him, hizzy ? 

What wad I do wi' him ? 
He's ne'er a sark upon his back, 
And I ha'e nane to gi'e him." 
" I ha'e twa sarks into my kist, 

And ane o' them I'll gi'e him ; 
And for a merk o' mair fee, 

Oh, dinna stand wi' him ! " quo' she ; 
" Dinna stand wi' him. 

" Weel do I lo'e him," quo' she, 

" Weel do I lo'e him ! 
The brawest lads about the place 

Are a' but haverels to him. 
Oh, fee him, faither ! lang, I trow, 

We've dull and dowie been ; 
He'll haud the pleugh, thrash i' the barn, 
And crack wi' me at e'en," quo' she, 
" Crack wi' me at e'en ! " * 



IT FELL ON A MORNING 

It fell on a morning when we were thrang 
Our kirn was gaun, our cheese was making, 
And bannocks on the girdle baking 

That ane at the door chapped loud and lang. 



1 The ancient version of this song Burns declared to be unparalleled 
for genuine humour, and it, with its fine air, inspired him to write 
"Thou hast left me ever, Jamie." 



96 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But the auld gudewife and her mays sae tight, 
O' this stirring and din took sma' notice, I ween; 

For a chap at the door in braid daylight 
Is no like a chap when heard at e'en. 

Then the clocksie auld laird o' the Warlock Glen, 
Wha stood without, half cowed, half cheerie, 
And yearned for a sight of his winsome dearie, 
Raised up the latch, and cam' crousely ben. 
His coat was new, and his o'erlay was white, 

And his hose and his mittens were cosie and bien ; 
But a wooer that comes in braid daylight 
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. 

He greeted the carlin and lasses sae braw, 

And his bare lyart pow he smoothly straikit, 
And lookit about, like a body half glaikit, 
On bonnie sweet Nannie, the youngest of a 3 , 
" Ha ha ! " quo' the carlin, " and look ye that way ? 

Hout ! let na sic fancies bewilder ye clean ! 
An elderlin man, i' the noon o' the day, 

Should be wiser than youngsters that come at e'en. 

" Na, na, quo' the pawkie auld wife, " I trow 

You'll fash na your head wi' a youthfu' silly 
As wild and as skeigh as a muirland filly : 
Black Madge is far better and fitter for you." 
He hemm'd and he hawed, and he screwed in his mouth, 
And he squeezed his blue bonnet his twa hands between; 
For wooers that come when the sun's in the south 
Are mair awkward than wooers that come at e'en, 



JOANNA BAILLIE 97 

" Black Madge she is prudent." " What's that to me ? " 
" She is eident and sober, has sense in her noddle, 

Is douce and respeckit." " I carena a boddle : 
I'll balk na my love, and my fancy's free." 
Madge tossed back her head wi' a saucy slight, 
And Nannie ran laughing out to the green ; 
For wooers that come when the sun shines bright 
Are no like the wooers that come at e'en. 

Awa' flang the laird, and loud muttered he, 

"All the daughters of Eve, between Orkney and 

Tweed, O 
Black and fair, young and auld, dame, damsel, and 

widow, 

May gang, wi' their pride, to the wuddy for me ! " 
But the auld gudewife and her mays sae tight 

For a' his loud banning cared little, I ween ; 
For a wooer that comes in braid daylight 
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. 



POVERTY PARTS GOOD COMPANY 

When my o'erlay was white as the foam o' the linn, 
And siller was clinking my pouches within, 
When my lambkins were bleating on meadow and brae, 
As I went to my love in new deeding sae gay, 

Kind was she, and my friends were free ; 

But poverty parts good company. 
H 



98 THE GLASGOW POETS 

How swift passed the minutes and hours of delight, 
When piper played cheerily, and crusie burned bright, 
And linked in my hand was the maiden sae dear, 
As she footed the floor in her holiday gear ! 

Woe is me ! and can it then be 

That poverty parts sic company ? 

We met at the fair, and we met at the kirk : 

We met i' the sunshine, we met i' the mirk ; 

And the sound o' her voice and the blinks o' her een 

The cheering and life o' my bosom ha'e been. 

Leaves frae the tree at Martinmas flee, 

And poverty parts sweet company. 

At bridal and fair I've braced me wi' pride ; 

The bruse I ha'e won, and a kiss o' the bride ; 

And loud was the laughter, gay fellows among, 

As I uttered my banter, or chorussed my song. 
Dowie and dree are jestin' and glee 
When poverty spoils good company. 

Wherever I gaed kindly lasses looked sweet, 
And mithers and aunties were unco discreet ; 
While kebbuck and bicker were set on the board : 
But now they pass by me, and never a word. 

Sae let it be, for the worldly and slee 

Wi' poverty keep nae company. 

But the hope o' my love is a cure for its smart, 
And the spaewife has tald me to keep up my heart ; 
For wi' my last saxpence her loof I ha'e crossed, 



JOANNA BAILLIE 99 

And the bliss that is fated can never be lost ; 
Though cruelly we may ilka day see 
How poverty parts dear company. 



WOOED AND MARRIED AND A' 

The bride she is winsome and bonnie, 

Her hair it is snooded sae sleek, 
And faithfu' and kind is her Johnnie, 
Yet fast fa' the tears on her cheek. 
New pearlins are cause of her sorrow, 
New pearlins and plenishing too, 
" The bride that has a' to borrow 
Has e'en richt mickle ado ! " 
Wooed and married and a' ! 
Wooed and married and a' ! 
Is na she very weel aff 

To be wooed and married and a' ? 

Her mither then hastily spak' 
"The lassie is glaikit wi' pride ! 
In my pouch I had never a plack 
On the day when I was a bride. 
E'en tak' to your wheel and be clever, 

And draw out your thread in the sun : 
The gear that is gifted, it never 
Will last like the gear that is won. 
Wooed and married and a', 
Wi' havings and tocher sae sma' ! 
I think ye are very weel aff 

To be wooed and married and a' ! " 



ioo THE GLASGOW POETS 

" Toot, toot ! " quo' her grey-headed faither ; 
" She's less o' a bride than a bairn : 
She's ta'en like a cowt frae the heather, 

Wi' sense and discretion to learn. 
Half husband, I trow, and half daddy, 

As humour inconstantly leans, 
The chiel maun be patient and steady 
That yokes wi' a mate in her teens. 
A kerchief sae douce and sae neat 

O'er her locks that the winds used to 

blaw ! 

I'm baith like to laugh and to greet, 
When I think o' her married and a' ! " 

Then out spak' the wily bridegroom ; 

Weel waled were his wordies, I ween 
" I'm rich, though my coffer be loom, 

Wi J the blinks o' your bonnie blue een. 
I'm prouder o' thee by my side, 

Though thy ruffles or ribbons be few, 
Than if Kate o' the Craft were my bride, 
Wi' purples and pearlins enew. 
Dear, and dearest of ony ! 

Ye're wooed and bookit and a' : 
And do ye think scorn o' your Johnnie, 
And grieve to be married at a' ? " 

She turned, and she blushed, and she smiled, 
And she lookit sae bashfully down ; 

The pride o' her heart was beguiled, 

And she played wi' the sleeves o' her gown. 



JOANNA BAILLIE 101 

She twirled the tag o' her lace, 

And she nippit her boddice sae blue, 
Syne blinkit sae sweet in his face, 
And aff like a maukin she flew. 
Wooed and married and a' ! 

Wi' Johnnie to roose her, and a' ! 
She thinks herseP very weel aff 
To be wooed and married at a'. 



TAM O' THE LIN 

Tarn o' the Lin was fu' o' pride, 
And his weapon he girt to his valorous side 
A scabbard o' leather wi' deil-haet within : 
"Attack me wha daur ! " quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tarn o' the Lin he bought a mear, 
She cost him five shilling, she wasna dear ; 
Her back stuck up and her sides fell in : 
"A fiery yaud," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tarn o' the Lin he courted a may, 

She stared at him sourly, and said him nay ; 

But he stroked down his jerkin arid cocked up his 

chin; 
" She aims at the laird then," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tarn o' the Lin he gaed to the fair, 
Yet he looked wi' disdain on the chapman's ware, 
Then chucked out a saxpence the saxpence was tin 
"There's coin for the fiddlers," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 



102 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Tarn o' the Lin wad show his lare, 
And he scanned o'er the book wi' a wiselike stare. 
He muttered confusedly, but didna begin ; 
" This is dominie's business," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tarn o' the Lin had a cow wi' ae horn, 
That liket to feed on his neighbour's corn ; 
The stanes he threw at her fell short o' her skin : 
u She's a lucky auld reiver," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tarn o' the Lin he married a wife, 
And she was the torment, the plague o' his life ! 
''She lays sae about her, and maks sic a din, 
She frightens the baillie," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tarn o' the Lin grew dowie and douce, 

And he sat on a stane at the end o' his house ; 

"What ails thee, auld chield?" He looks haggard 
and thin : 

" I'm no vera cheery," quo' Tarn o' the Lin. 

Tam o' the Lin lay down to dee, 
And his friends whispered softly and woefully, 
" We'll buy you some masses to scour away sin," 
" And drink at my latewake," quo' Tam o' the Lin. 



JOANNA BAILLIE 103 



LINES TO AGNES BAILLIE 
ON HER BIRTHDAY 

Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy and dashed with tears, 

O'er us have glided almost sixty years 

Since we on Bothwell's bonnie braes were seen, 

By those whose eyes long closed in death have been 

Two tiny imps, who scarcely stooped to gather 

The slender harebell or the purple heather ; 

No taller than the foxglove's spikey stem, 

That dew of morning studs with silvery gem. 

Then every butterfly that crossed our view 

With joyful shout was greeted as it flew, 

And moth and lady-bird and beetle bright 

In sheeny gold were each a wondrous sight. 

Then, as we paddled barefoot, side by side, 

Among the sunny shallows of the Clyde, 

Minnows, or spotted par with twinkling fin, 

Swimming in mazy rings the pool within, 

A thrill of gladness through our bosoms sent, 

Seen in the power of early wonderment. 

A long perspective to my mind appears, 
Looking behind me to that line of years, 
And yet through every stage I still can trace 
Thy visioned form, from childhood's morning grace 
To woman's early bloom, changing how soon 
To the expressive glow of woman's noon, 



104 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And now to what thou art, in comely age 

Active and ardent. Let what will engage 

Thy present moment whether hopeful seeds 

In garden-plot thou sow, or noxious weeds 

From the fair flower remove, or ancient lore 

In chronicle or legend rare explore, 

Or on the parlour hearth with kitten play, 

Stroking its tabby sides, or take thy way 

To gain with hasty steps some cottage door 

On helpful errand to the neighbouring poor 

Active and ardent, to my fancy's eye 

Thou still art young, in spite of time gone by. 

Though oft of patience brief and temper keen, 

Well may it please me, in life's latter scene, 

To think what now thou art, and long to me hast been. 

'Twas thou who wooedst me first to look 
Upon the page of printed book, 
That thing by me abhorred, and with address 
Didst win me from my thoughtless idleness, 
When all too old become with bootless haste 
In fitful sports the precious time to waste. 
Thy love of tale and story was the stroke 
At which rny dormant fancy first awoke, 
And ghosts and witches in my busy brain 
Arose in sombre show, a motley train. 
The new-found path attempting, proud was I 
Lurking approval on thy face to spy, 
Or hear thee say, as grew thy roused attention, 
"What ! is this story all thine own invention ? " 



JOANNA BAILLIE 105 

Then, as advancing through this mortal span, 
Our intercourse with the mixed world began, 
Thy fairer face and sprightlier courtesy 
(A truth that from my youthful vanity 
Lay not concealed) did for the sisters twain, 
Where'er we went, the greater favour gain ; 
While, but for thee, vexed with its tossing tide, 
I from the busy world had shrunk aside. 
And now, in later years, with better grace 
Thou helpst me still to hold a welcome place 
With those whom nearer neighbourhood has made 
The friendly cheerers of our evening shade. 

With thee my humours, whether grave or gay, 
Or gracious or untoward, have their way. 
Silent if dull O precious privilege ! 
I sit by thee, or if, culled from the page 
Of some huge, ponderous tome which, but thyself, 
None e'er had taken from its dusty shelf, 
Thou read me curious passages, to speed 
The winter night, I take but little heed, 
And thankless say " I cannot listen now," 
'Tis no offence. Albeit, much do I owe 
To these, thy nightly offerings of affection, 
Drawn from thy ready talent of selection ; 
For still it seemed in thee a natural gift 
The lettered grain from lettered chaff to sift. 

By daily use and circumstance endeared, 
Things are of value now that once appeared 
Of no account, and without notice past, 



106 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Which o'er dull life a simple cheering cast. 

To hear thy morning steps the stair descending, 

Thy voice with other sounds domestic blending ; 

After each stated nightly absence met, 

To see thee by the morning table set, 

Pouring from smoky spout the amber stream, 

Which sends from saucered cup its fragrant steam ; 

To see thee cheerly on the threshold stand, 

On summer morn, with trowel in thy hand, 

For garden work prepared ; in winter's gloom 

From thy cold noonday walk to see thee come, 

In furry garment lapped, with spattered feet, 

And by the fire resume thy wonted seat ; 

Aye, e'en o'er things like these soothed age has thrown 

A sober charm they did not always own ; 

As winter hoarfrost makes minutest spray 

Of bush or hedge-weed sparkle to the day 

In magnitude and beauty, which, bereaved 

Of such investment, eye had ne'er perceived. 

The change of good and evil to abide, 

As partners linked, long have we side by side 

Our earthly journey held, and who can say 

How near the end of our united way, 

By nature's course not distant ? Sad and reft 

Will she remain, the lonely pilgrim left. 

If thou be taken first, who can to me 

Like sister, friend, and home companion be ? 

Or who, of wonted daily kindness shorn, 

Shall feel such loss, or mourn as I shall mourn ? 

And if I should be fated first to leave 



JOANNA BAILLIE 107 

This earthly house, though earthly friends may grieve, 

And he above them all, so truly proved 

A friend and brother, long and justly loved, 

There is no living wight of woman born 

Who then shall mourn for me as thou wilt mourn. 

Thou ardent, liberal spirit ! quickly feeling 
The touch of sympathy, and kindly dealing 
With sorrow or distress, for ever sharing 
The unhoarded mite, nor for to-morrow caring 
Accept, dear Agnes, on thy natal day, 
An unadorned, but not a careless lay. 
Nor think this tribute, to thy virtues paid, 
From tardy love proceeds, though long delayed. 
Words of affection, howsoe'er expressed, 
The latest spoken still are deemed the best. 
Few are the measured rhymes I now may write : 
These are perhaps the last I shall indite. 



ROBERT LOCHORE 

1762-1852 

IN the time of Burns there were at least two poets in Glasgow who 
could claim acquaintance with the Ayrshire bard. One of these was 
Robert Lochore. Born three years after his great contemporary, 
Lochore had spent many an evening with Burns and his "bonnie 
Jean," and with his own eyes had seen the author of " Holy Willie's 
Prayer" reproved on the cutty-stool at Mauchline by " Daddy" Auld. 

A native of Strathaven, the younger poet himself married an 
Ayrshire bride, Isobel Browning, at Paisley, in 1786, and when he 
died at last, in Glasgow, had survived Burns by more than half a 
century. He was well known in his time as a philanthropist, and 
was one of the founders, and indeed president of the Glasgow 
Annuity Society. No less was he in repute as a poet, his metrical 
tales, issued as brochures, finding a wide circulation in the west of 
Scotland. Many of his pieces are to be found in " Poetry, Original 
and Selected," published in penny numbers by the Glasgow poet- 
booksellers, Brash & Reid, in the years 1795-98. Several others, 
including "A Young Kintry Laird's Courtship," were issued, also 
in small penny numbers, by Cameron & Murdoch, booksellers, in 
Trongate. One piece appeared in the Kilmarnock Mirror > and another, 
" The Extravagant Wife, or the Henpecked Husband," in the Glasgow 
Magazine. In May, 1790, Lochore issued, through Brash & Reid, 
proposals for publishing by subscription a volume of " Scottish Poems 
on Various Subjects," and to the prospectus, by way of specimen, 
appended a "Shepherd's Ode." But the project seems to have come 
to nothing. In 1815 he collected a number of his poems, and issued 
them anonymously under the title of "Tales in Rhyme and Minor 
Pieces." And when he died he left a mass of unpublished manuscripts, 



ROBERT LOCHORE 109 

poems and memoirs, now in the hands of his grandsons, Mr. Robert 
Brodie, writer, and Mr. Maclean Brodie, C.A., Glasgow. It is to be 
hoped that they may yet be given to the public. The memoir, in particu- 
lar, contains hitherto unknown details at first hand of the relationship 
of Burns and Jean Armour, of romantic and quite exceptional interest. 
From the manuscripts one metrical tale, "Walter's Waddin','' was 
included in Wilson's "Poets and Poetry of Scotland" in 1884. After 
the poetic fashion of his time the example set half a century previous 
by Hamilton of Gilbertfield Lochore was in early life author of many 
rhyming epistles to friends, and in his eighty-eighth year he wrote a 
spirited "Last Speech of the Auld Brig of Glasgow on being con- 
demned to be taken down," which attracted no little attention. After 
appearing in the Reformers' Gazette it was hawked about the streets 
early in 1850. There are persons still living who remember hearing 
the cry of the vendors selling the Last Speech as "by an auld and 
respeckit citizen o' Glesca." A copy, taken from a manuscript in a 
family album, was communicated to the Glasgow Herald by Mr. Robert 
Brodie in August, 1892. Lochore's songs were a favourite entertain- 
ment at the Hodge Podge and other social clubs for which the city 
was famous in his day, and they are to be found yet in every song 
collection. The metrical tales, of which he was a prolific writer, 
remain racy with a shrewd knowledge of human nature, and a dry 
humour which is as amusing as it is sui generis. The verses here 
printed, "To the Reverend Thomas Bell," are given by kind per- 
mission of Mr. Robert Brodie, from a manuscript in the album above 
referred to. The notes appended are those of the poet himself. 

Lochore is remembered as an artless and unsuspecting old man 
simple, kindly, and sterlingly true. He loved young people, and to 
the end remained a boy himself in heart, taking pleasure even in going 
to see the shows at Fair time on Glasgow Green. So regular was he in 
his habits that the maids in South Portland Street, through which he 
passed between his house and place of business, took, it is said, the hour 
from him. In his latter days he spent a good deal of time at Drymen, 
where his son, Dr. Alexander Lochore, was parish minister for fifty- 
three years, and his daughter was married to Mr. William Brodie of 
Endrickbank. When father and son walked together they were fre- 
quently mistaken for each other, Dr. Lochore's hair having become 
white, while his father's remained thick and dark. 



no THE GLASGOW POETS 



TO THE REVEREND THOMAS BELL 

MINISTER OF THE DOVEHILL CHURCH, GLASGOW, ON 

HEARING HIM PREACH AT BELLSHILL IN THE 

MONTH OF JUNE, 1792. 

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway. GOLDSMITH. 

I'm blythe to see you, reverend Daddy ! 
Upo' your stool ye sit fu' steady : 1 
Wi' flirds an' airs ye're nae way gaudy ; 

An' though ye're frail, 
Yet crouse ye craw, an' ha'e aye ready 

Your knacky tale. 

Grave, gash, auldfarran, snack, an' snell, 
An' plainly ye your erran' tell ; 
On a' the points on whilk ye dwell 

Ye speak sae clear, 
That ilka body sees ye're fell 

An' fu' o' lear. 

I wat ye're neither blate nor lame 
When ye our fauts sae plainly name ; 
Ye mak' the best o's a' think shame, 

Ye sae describe us ; 
But, sonsy Sir, ye're no to blame 

Although ye jibe us. 



i He sat on a clerk's stool when he preached, for a weakness in his 
legs. 



ROBERT LOCHORE in 

The Pope an' a' his haughty crew 
Get mony a taunt an' jeer frae you ; 
Socinians also get their due 

In very deed j 2 
For ye expose their points to view, 

An' tear their creed. 

Your subjects are a' finely deckit 

Wi' bonnie words, weel waled an' pickit, 

An' a' into the heart direckit 

Wi' special care ; 
Which mak's ye be sae much respeckit 

Maist ilka where. 

Thrice favour't flock whare ye preside ! 
Wha're richly blessed wi' sic a guide ; 
To evangelic pastures wide 

Ye do them lead, 
Whare ye wad ha'e them to abide 

An' sweetly feed. 

Hail ! worthy orthodox divine ! 
Lang may ye water Scotia's vine, 



1 An attempt to convert the Pope. John Pirret, a fanatical Quaker, 
travelled to Rome about the year 1655 for the purpose of attempting to 
convert the Pope. His project was rendered abortive by the Holy 
Inquisition, but after many examinations, considered a madman, he 
was released, and on his return home published a book entitled 
"Battering Rams against Rome." 

2 Alluding to a volume of sermons by Bell against Popery, and a 
translation of a Dutch work by Peter Allinga, with notes of his own. 



ii2 THE GLASGOW POETS 

An' whan it is your Master's min' 

To seal your eyes, 
Then everblooming may ye shine 

Aboon the skies. 1 



MARRIAGE AND THE CARE OT 

Quoth Rob to Kate, " My sonsy dear, 
I've wooed ye mair than half a year, 
An' gif ye'd tak' me ne'er could speer, 

Wi' blateness an' the care o't. 
Now to the point sincere I'm wi't 
Will ye be my half marrow, sweet ? 
Shake hands, and say a bargain be't, 

An' think na on the care o't," 

" Na, na," quo' Kate, " I winna wed. 
O' sic a snare I'll aye be redd. 
How mony, thoughtless, are misled 

By marriage an' the care o't. 
A single life's a life o' glee ; 
A wife ne'er think to mak' o' me ; 
Frae toil an' sorrow I'se keep free, 
An' a' the dule an' care o't." 



He died on the I5th October, 1802, aged 69. 



ROBERT LOCHORE 113 

" Weel, weel," said Robin in reply, 
"Ye ne'er again shall me deny : 
Ye may a toothless maiden die 

For me ; I'll tak' nae care o't. 
Fareweel for ever ! Aff I hie." 
Sae took his leave without a sigh. 
" Oh, stop ! " quo' she, " I'm yours ; I'll try 
The married life an' care o't." 

Rab wheeled about, to Kate cam' back, 
An' gae her mou' a hearty smack, 
Syne lengthened out a loving crack 

'Bout marriage an* the care o't. 
Though as she thocht she didna speak, 
An' lookit unco mim an' meek, 
Yet blithe was she wi' Rab to cleek 

In marriage an' the care o't. 



A YOUNG KINTRY LAIRD'S COURTSHIP 

Now Jenny lass, my bonnie bird, 

My daddy's dead and a' that, 
He's snugly laid aneath the yird, 
An' I'm his heir and a' that. 
An' a' that, an' a' that, 
I'm now a laird an' a' that, 
His gear an' lan's at my comman', 
An' muckle mair than a' that. 



ii4 THE GLASGOW POETS 

He left me wi' his dyin' breath 
A dwellin'-house, an* a' that, 
A byre, a barn, an' wabs o' claith, 
A big peat stack, an' a' that. 
An' a' that, an' a' that, 
A mare, a foal, an' a' that ; 
Sax tidy kye, a calf forby, 
An' twa pet yowes, an' a' that. 

A yard, a meadow, lang braid leas, 

An' stacks o' corn, an' a' that, 
Enclosed weel wi' thorns an' trees, 
An' carts, an' cars, an' a' that. 
An' a' that, an' a* that, 
A pleugh, an' graith, an' a' that, 
Gude harrows twa, cock, hens, an' a', 
And far mae things than a' that. 

I've heaps o' claes for ilka days, 

An' Sundays too, an' a' that, 
I've bills an' bands on lairds o' lands, 
An' siller, gowd, an' a' that. 
An' a' that, an' a' that, 
What think ye, lass, o' a' that ? 
What want I now, my dainty dow, 
But just a wife to a' that ? 

Then Jenny dear, my erran' here 

Is to seek you to a' that, 
My breast's a' lovvin' while I speer 

Gif ye'll tak' me, an' a' that. 



ROBERT LOCHORE 115 

An' a' that, an' a' that 
Mysel' an' gear, an' a' that, 
Come gie's your loof to be a prool 
Ye'll be my wife an' a' that. 

Fair Jenny clashed her nieve in his, 

Said she'd tak' him an' a' that, 
While he gae her a sappy kiss, 
An' dautit her, an' a' that. 
An' a' that, an' a' that 
They set the day, an' a' that, 
When she'd gang hame to be his dame, 
An' hae a rant, an' a' that. 1 

i In Urbani's "Original Collection of Scottish Airs," II. 65, this 
song is wrongly attributed to Burns. 



WILLIAM REID 

1764-1831 

A PECULIAR kind of fame attends the memory of the bookseller-poet of 
Glasgow. His forte seemed to be, not so much the writing of original 
' songs, as the adding of an " eke " to the songs of others. Partly for 
this reason, perhaps, no collection of his poetry has been made, and his 
name has been passed over by the compilers of biography. Yet his was 
an interesting figure in the Glasgow of his time, his shop in Trongate 
was the earliest of those literary howffs of which there have been 
several later in the city. He was the compiler of the earliest collection 
of Glasgow poetry, and some of his own pieces remain among the most 
popular of Scottish songs. 

The few extant facts of his life were furnished by his partner, James 
Brash, at the request of David Laing, who printed them in his 
"Additional Illustrations" of Johnson's "Museum." The poet was 
born in Glasgow, his parents being Robert Reid, baker there, and 
Christian Wood, daughter of a farmer at Gartmore, near Aberfoyle. He 
received a good education, and after a time in Andrew Wilson's type- 
foundry, served an apprenticeship with a firm of booksellers, Dunlop & 
Wilson. In 1790 he left that employment, and began business for him- 
self, in partnership with James Brash. In their shop in Trongate, Brash 
& Reid for twenty-seven years carried on a highly respectable business, 
varying the ordinary routine of bookselling with an occasional publishing 
venture. One of their publications "Poetry, Original and Selected," 
appeared in penny numbers during the years 1795-1798, and forms 
four volumes. It was modelled evidently on Ramsay's "Tea-Table 
Miscellany," and includes a number of Reid's own compositions, as well 
as pieces by his contemporary, Robert Lochore. Reid died at Glasgow, 
November 29th, 1831, leaving a widow, Elizabeth, daughter of James 
Henderson, linen-printer, Newhall, and two sons and five daughters. 



WILLIAM REID 117 

The bookseller-poet was one of the "characters" of Glasgow in his 
day. He had certain rhymes with which he used to answer inquiries of 
customers in his shop. One of them ran 

" The yill trade, the gill trade, 
The signing of bills is an ill trade." 

He was bard, too, of the famous Duck Club which met and ate in the 
Bunhouse Tavern at Partick, and a number of his effusions owe their 
preservation to the club's minutes. Dr. Strang, in "Glasgow and its 
Clubs" (page 402) has preserved the following account of him. "To 
a peculiarly placid temper he united a strong smack of broad humour 
and an endless string of personal anecdotes, which he detailed with a 
gusto all his own. Of all things he loved a joke, and indulged in this 
vein even at the risk of causing the momentary displeasure either of an 
acquaintance or a customer. To laugh and grow fat was his constant 
motto, and he never troubled himself either about his own obesity or 
about that of any one else who might follow his laughing example." 
Several humorous stories regarding the poet were recounted by M'Vean, 
the bookseller of High Street, in his " Budget of Anecdote and Wit." 

Besides his poetry Reid wrote a life of M'Kean, the High Street 
shoemaker, executed at Glasgow Cross in 1797 for the murder of the 
Lanark carrier. He got the facts from the man himself lying under 
sentence in Glasgow prison, and "though neither remarkable for taste 
nor talent " the book had an immense sale. * 

Reid was an early friend of Robert Burns, and one of his best- 
known pieces is the addition of sixteen lines, given below, under the 
title of "Sweet lovely Jean," which he made to the love-song of the 
Ayrshire poet "Of a' the airts the wind can blaw." In this he only 
followed the example of Hamilton, the Edinburgh music-seller, whose 
sixteen lines are hardly inferior to the original sixteen of Burns 
himself. In "Poetry, Original and Selected," Reid also printed a 



X A full account of this murderer and his crime is given by "Senex" in 
"Glasgow Past and Present." M'Kean, with his outward respectability and secret 
crimes, seems to have been another Deacon Brodie. His skeleton is preserved in 
Glasgow University. The murder excited an intense interest in its time. Sir Walter 
Scott had the curiosity to attend the trial, and in his copy of the " Life" by Reid 
inserted a note detailing a visit he too had paid to the murderer under sentence of 
death. See Lockhart's " Life of Scott," chap. viii. 



n8 THE GLASGOW POETS 

version of "John Anderson, my jo" with the complacent adjective 
"improved," in which Burns's stanzas are placed last. And the three 
additional stanzas to John Mayne's " Logan Braes," printed in No. VI. 
of The Paisley Repository in 1806, were possibly his. He wrote, 
besides, new versions of "The Lass o' Cowrie," "The Lea-rig," 
" Cauld Kail in Aberdeen," and other songs. 

( 

CAULD KAIL IN ABERDEEN 

There's cauld kail in Aberdeen, 

And bannocks in Strathbogie, 
But naething drives away the spleen 

Sae weel's a social cogie. 

That mortal's life nae pleasure shares 

Wha broods o'er a' that's fogie, 
Whene'er I'm fashed wi' worldly cares 

I drown them in a cogie. 

Thus merrily my time I pass 

With spirits brisk and vogie, 
Bless'd wi' my buiks and my sweet lass, 

My cronies and my cogie. 

Then haste and gie's an auld Scots sang, 

Siclike as " Catherine Ogie"; 
A guid auld sang comes never wrang 

When o'er a social cogie. I 

i This version of the famous lyric is warranted by Dr Strang, in 
"Glasgow and its Clubs," to be "altogether from the pen of Mr. 
Reid." 



WILLIAM REID 119 

FAIR MODEST FLOWER 

Fair modest flower, of matchless worth ! 

Thou sweet, enticing, bonnie gem ! 
Bless'd is the soil that gave thee birth, 

And bless'd thine honoured parent stem. 
But doubly bless'd shall be the youth 

To whom thy heaving bosom warms, 
Possessed of beauty, love, and truthj 

He'll clasp an angel in his arms. 

Though storms of life were blowing snell, 

And on his brow sat brooding care, 
Thy seraph smile would quick dispel 

The darkest gloom of black despair. 
Sure Heaven hath granted thee to us, 

And chose thee from the dwellers there, 
And sent thee from celestial bliss 

To show what all the virtues are. 



SWEET LOVELY JEAN 

Upon the banks of flowing Clyde 

The lasses busk them braw ; 
But when their best they ha'e put on 

My Jeanie dings them a'. 
In namely weeds she far exceeds 

The fairest o' the town ; 
Baith sage and gay confess it sae, 

Though drest in russet gown. 



120 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The gamesome lamb, that sucks its dam, 

Mair harmless canna be ; 
She has nae fau't, if sic ye ca't, 

Except her love for me. 
The sparkling dew, o' clearest hue, 

Is like her shining een : 
In shape and air nane can compare 

Wi' my sweet lovely Jean. 



JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

I wonder what ye mean 
To rise so early in the morn 

And sit so late at e'en. 
Ye'll blear out a' your een, John, 

And why should you do so ? 
Gang sooner to your bed at e'en, 

John Anderson, my jo. 

John Anderson, my jo, John; 

When Nature first began 
To try her canny hand, John, 

Her masterpiece was man ; 
And you amang them a, John, 

So trig frae tap to toe, 
She proved to be nae journey-wark, 

John Anderson, my jo. 



WILLIAM REID 121 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

Ye were my first conceit ; 
And ye needna think it strange, John, 

That I ca' ye trim and neat. 
Though some folks say ye're auld, John, 

I never think ye so j 
But I think ye're aye the same to me, 

John Anderson, my jo. 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

We've seen our bairns' bairns, 
And yet, my dear John Anderson, 

I'm happy in your arms. 
And so are ye in mine, John 

I'm sure you'll ne'er say no ; 
Though the days are gane that we have seen, 

John Anderson, my jo. 1 



KATE O' GOWRIE 

When Katie was scarce out nineteen 
Oh ! but she had twa coal black een ! 
A bonnier lass ye wadna seen 
In a' the Carse o' Cowrie. 

1 A full account of the successive amplifications of this song, whose 
original hero is said to have been town piper of Kelso, will be found 
in Mr. Robert Ford's interesting book, "Song Histories" (Glasgow, 
1900). The fine old air to which it is sung appears to have been 
cathedral chant of pre- Reformation times. 



122 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Quite tired o' livin' a' his lane, 
Pate did to her his love explain, 
And swore he'd be, were she his ain, 
The happiest lad in Cowrie. 

Quo' she, " I winna marry thee 
For a' the gear that ye can gi'e ; 
Nor will I gang a step ajee 

For a' the gowd in Cowrie. 
My father will gi'e me twa kye, 
My mither's gaun some yarn to dye 
I'll get a gown just like the sky, 

Gif I'll no gang to Cowrie." 

" O my dear Katie, say na sae ! 
Ye little ken a heart that's wae. 
Hey, there's my hand ! hear me, I pray, 

Sin' thou'lt no gang to Cowrie. 
Since first I met thee at the shiel, 
My saul to thee's been true and leal ; 
The darkest night I fear nae deil, 

Warlock, or witch in Cowrie. 

" I fear nae want o' claes nor nocht ; 
Sic silly things my mind ne'er taught : 
I dream a' nicht, and start about 

And wish for thee in Cowrie. 
I lo'e thee better, Kate, my dear, 
Than a' my rigs and out-gaun gear, 
Sit down by me till ance I swear 

Thou'rt worth the Carse o' Cowrie." 



WILLIAM REID 123 

Syne on her mou' sweet kisses laid, 
Till blushes a' her cheeks o'erspread. 
She sighed, and in soft whispers said, 

" Oh, Pate, tak' me to Gowrie ! " 
Quo' he, " Let's to the auld folks gang ; 
Say what they like, I'll bide their bang, 
And bide a' nicht, though beds be thrang, 

But I'll ha'e thee to Gowrie." 

The auld folk syne baith gied consent ; 
The priest was ca'd ; a' were content ; 
And Katie never did repent 

That she gaed hame to Gowrie. 
For routh o' bonnie bairns had she 
Mair strappin' lads ye wadna see 
And her braw lasses bore the gree 

Frae a' the rest o' Gowrie. 



THE LEA-RIG 

At gloamin' if my lane I be, 

Oh, but I'm wondrous eerie, O ! 
And mony a heavy sigh I gi'e, 

When absent frae my dearie, O ! 
But seated 'neath the milk-white thorn, 

In evening fair and clearie, O ! 
Enraptured, a' my cares I scorn, 

When wi' my kind dearie, O 



i2 4 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Whare through the birks the burnie rows, 

Aft ha'e I sat fu' cheerie, O ! 
Upon the bonnie greensward howes, 

Wi' thee, my kind dearie, O ! 
I've courted till I heard the craw 

Of honest chanticleerie, O ! 
Yet never missed my sleep ava', 

When wi' my kind dearie, O ! 

For though the night were ne'er so dark, 

And I were ne'er so weary, O ! 
I'd meet thee on the lea-rig, 

My ain kind dearie, O ! 
While in this weary warld of wae 

This wilderness so dreary, O ! 
What makes me blythe, and keeps me sae ? 

Tis thee, my kind dearie, O ! 



JAMES GRAHAME 
1765-1811 

THE Cowper of Scotland, as he has been called, though he possessed 
neither the humour nor powers of satire of the English poet, was born 
in Glasgow, April 22, 1765. His father was a writer in the city, and 
destined his son for the same profession, while the choice of the young 
man himself was the Church. But though both of these schemes were 
in turn carried out, the effective issue of Grahame's life was decided for 
him by circumstances in quite another direction. At school he received 
a wanton blow on the back of the head which rendered him delicate 
throughout life, subjected him to frequent attacks of headache and 
stupor, and in the end caused his death. By this acquired delicacy a 
stimulus was given to the reflective side of his character, and at his 
father's summer cottage on the bosky banks of the Cart he gathered 
impressions of nature still and fair which were to flower and ripen later 
into poetry. 

Meanwhile he passed through the Grammar School and University of 
Glasgow, and, yielding to his father's wish, entered the law office of his 
cousin, Lawrence Hill, in Edinburgh. In 1791 he became a Writer to 
the Signet, but, his health suffering at the desk, he passed, two years 
afterwards, into the Faculty of Advocates. Three years later he 
married. 

It was during the following period that his poetry was given to the 
world. Already, while attending the University, he had issued a small 
book of verse. Part of this he now revised, and published anonymously 
as "The Rural Calendar" in the Kelso Mail in 1797 ; and four years 
later he produced " Mary Stuart, an Historical Drama." These con- 
tained passages of high promise, but attracted little notice. Accordingly, 



126 THE GLASGOW POETS 

in 1804, when he had another poem ready for publication, he determined 
to keep the authorship secret. Not even his own household knew of it, 
and he took the extreme precaution of meeting the printer at obscure 
coffee-houses to correct the proofs. The poem was " The Sabbath," 
and when the book was ready he took a copy home, and left it on a 
table. Returning a little later he found his wife absorbed in reading the 
new work. He said nothing, but paced the floor anxiously, waiting for 
her verdict, and his feelings can be understood when at last she burst 
out with, " Ah, James, if you could only write like this !" 

The book was severely handled by the Edinburgh Review, and 
afterwards by Lord Byron, but its fame was already secure, and a 
secpnd edition appeared in 1805. To this Grahame added "Sabbath 
Walks," and had the satisfaction to see three editions disposed of within 
twelve months. At Kirkhall, a sequestered spot on the banks of the 
Esk, where he spent two summers, he next wrote " The Birds o* 
Scotland." This work, describing in minute, loving detail the haunts 
and habits of these feathered creatures, appeared in 1806. And in 1809 
he published his "British Georgics." Regarding this last work the 
criticism of Lord Jeffrey was probably just. " No practical farmer," he 
wrote, "will ever submit to be schooled in blank verse, while the 
lovers of poetry must be very generally disgusted by the tediousness of 
those discourses on practical husbandry which break in, every now and 
then, so ungracefully, on the loftier strains of the poet." 

Grahame wrote no more. In the year in which the "British 
Georgics " appeared, he determined at last, his father having been long 
dead, to follow his early bent. Proceeding to London, he entered the 
English Episcopal Church, was ordained by the Bishop of Norwich, and 
in succession held the curacies of Shefton Mayne in Gloucestershire, of 
St. Margaret's, Durham, and of Sedgefield. In each place he proved 
an eloquent and successful preacher. His health, however, rapidly 
declined ; he returned north for change ; and at Whitehill, Glasgow, 
his brother's residence, expired, September 14, 1811. His death was 
the first subject to stir the poetic genius of his friend John Wilson, the 
future "Christopher North," who honoured his memory with a tribute 
no poet could despise. A detailed account of his life is furnished in 
Chambers's "Illustrious Scotsmen" (vol. II. p. 489), and a collected 
edition of his works, with a memoir by the Rev. George Gilfillan w 
published at Edinburgh in 1856. 



JAMES GRAHAME 127 

" The Sabbath " remains Grahame's finest work. It is characteristic, 
perhaps, of the spirit quickening the muse of Scotland that the same 
subject should afford the finest poetical performance of a more recent 
writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. 



THE SABBATH 

Opening Description 

How still the morning of the hallowed day ! 
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hushed 
The ploughboy's whistle and the milkmaid's song. 
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath 
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers 
That yestermorn bloomed waving in the breeze. 
Sounds the most faint attract the ear the hum 
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew, 
The distant bleating, midway up the hill. 
Calmness seems throned on yon unmoving cloud. 
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas 
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale, 
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark 
Warbles his heaven-tuned song ; the lulling brook 
Murmurs more gently down the deep-sunk glen ; 
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke 
O'er mounts the mist, is heard at intervals 
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise. 

With dovelike wings peace o'er yon village broods ; 
The dizzying millwheel rests ; the anvil's din 



128 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Hath ceased ; all, all around is quietness. 

Less fearful on this day, the limping hare 

Stops, and looks back, and stops, and looks on man, 

Her deadliest foe. The toil-worn horse, set free, 

Unheedful of the pasture, roams at large, 

And, as his stiff, unwieldy bulk he rolls, 

His iron-armed hoofs gleam in the morning ray. 

But chiefly man the day of rest enjoys. 
Hail, Sabbath ! thee I hail, the poor man's day ! 
On other days the man of toil is doomed 
To eat his joyless bread, lonely, the ground 
Both seat and board, screened from the winter's cold 
And summer's heat by neighbouring hedge or tree. 
But on this day, embosomed in his home, 
He shares the frugal meal with those he loves ; 
With those he loves he shares the heartfelt joy 
Of giving thanks to God not thanks of form, 
A word and a grimace, but reverently, 
With covered face and upward, earnest eye. 

Hail, Sabbath ! thee I hail, the poor man's day ! 
The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe 
The morning air pure from the city's smoke, 
While, wandering slowly up the riverside, 
He meditates on Him whose power he marks 
In each green tree that proudly spreads the bough, 
As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom 
Around the roots. And while he thus surveys 
With elevated joy each rural charm, 
He hopes, yet fears presumption in the hope, 
To reach those realms where Sabbath never ends. . 



JAMES GRAHAME 129 

It is not only in the sacred fane 
That homage should be paid to the Most High. 
There is a temple, one not made with hands, 
The vaulted firmament. Far in the woods, 
Almost beyond the sound of city chime, 
At intervals heard through the breezeless air ; 
When not the limberest leaf is seen to move, 
Save where the linnet lights upon the spray ; 
Where not a floweret bends its little stalk, 
Save when the bee alights upon the bloom ; 
There, wrapt in gratitude, in joy, and love, 
The man of God will pass the Sabbath noon, 
Silence his praise, his disembodied thoughts, 
Loosed from the load of words, will high ascend 
Beyond the empyreal. 



THE MERLE 
(From "The Birds of Scotland") 

When snowdrops die, and the green primrose leaves 
Announce the coming flower, the merle's note, 
Mellifluous, rich, deep-toned, fills all the vale, 
And charms the ravished ear. The hawthorn bush, 
New-budded, is his perch ; there the gray dawn 
He hails ; and there, with parting light, concludes 
His melody. There, when the buds begin 
To break, he lays the fibrous roots ; and see, 
His jetty breast embrowned; the rounded clay 
K 



130 THE GLASGOW POETS 

His jetty breast has soiled ; but now complete, 
His partner, and his helper in the work, 
Happy assumes possession of her home ; 
While he upon a neighbouring tree his lay, 
More richly full, melodiously renews. 

When twice seven days have run, the moment snatch. 
That she has flitted off her charge, to cool 
Her thirsty bill, dipped in the babbling brook, 
Then silently, on tiptoe raised, look in, 
Admire ! Five cupless acorns, darkly specked, 
Delight the eye, warm to the cautious touch. 
In seven days more expect the fledgeless young, 
Five gaping bills. With busy wing and eye, 
Quick darting, all alert, the parent pair 
Gather the sustenance which Heaven bestows. 
But music ceases, save at dewy fall 
Of eve, when, nestling o'er her brood, the dam 
Has stilled them all to rest ; or at the hour 
Of doubtful dawning gray. Then from his wing 
Her partner turns his yellow bill, and chants 
His solitary song of joyous praise. 

From day to day, as blow the hawthorn flowers 
That canopy this little home of love, 
The plumage of the younglings shoots and spreads, 
Filling with joy the fond parental eye. 

Alas! not long the parents' partial eye 
Shall view the fledgling wing ; ne'er shall they see 
The timorous pinion's first essay at flight. 
The truant schoolboy's eager, bleeding hand 
Their house, their all, tears from the bending bush 



JAMES GRAHAME 131 

A shower of blossoms mourns the ruthless deed. 
The piercing anguished note, the brushing wing, 
The spoiler heeds not. Triumphing, his way 
Smiling he wends. The ruined, hopeless pair 
O'er many a field follow his townward steps, 
Then back return, and, perching on the bush, 
Find nought of all they loved, but one small tuft 
Of moss and withered roots. Drooping they sit, 
Silent : afar at last they fly, o'er hill 
And lurid moor, to mourn in other groves, 
And soothe, in other grief, their hapless lot. 



JOHN STRUTHERS 

1776-1853 

THE author of "The Poor Man's Sabbath" is probably remembered 
now mainly by the fact that, at the instance of Joanna Baillie, 
Sir Walter Scott induced Constable to publish his poem. He was, 
however, of more than local note in his day, and his poetry is still 
well worth perusal. Bom at East Kilbride, July 18, 1776, he was 
indebted for much sympathy and instruction in childhood to Mrs. 
Baillie and her two daughters of whom the younger was still unknown 
to fame who then resided in the neighbourhood. Mrs. Baillie read 
with him, and the young ladies made music for him on the spinnet. 
In his grandfather's home, too, on the lonely Glassford Moor, where 
he spent three years as a boy, he found a store of histories and 
theological works of Reformation times which left a strong impression 
on his vein of thought. After serving an apprenticeship in Glasgow to 
his father's trade of shoemaking, and himself working at the same 
business in East Kilbride for some years, he married and moved into 
Glasgow as a working shoemaker. In 1804 he had his " Poor Man's 
Sabbath " printed, and sold a small edition to the local booksellers at 
sixpence a copy a few weeks before the appearance of Grahame's more 
famous poem, " The Sabbath." As a result Grahame was charged in a 
London periodical, The Dramatic Mirror, with plagiarism, the charge 
being founded on the fact that a MS. copy of Struthers' poem, confided 
to a friend some time before publication, had disappeared. Struthers 
himself, however, emphatically absolved Grahame. A second edition 
of "The Poor Man's Sabbath" was produced in 1806, and followed 
in the same year by a sequel, " The Peasant's Death." 

In 1808 the poet's early friend, Joanna Baillie, paid him a visit in 
Gorbals, and it was the third edition of his poem which, at her 



JOHN STRUTHERS 133 

instance, Sir Walter Scott induced Constable to publish. The 
references to Struthers, therefore, by Lockhart in his "Life of Scott" 
are not only incorrect, but unjust to the shoemaker-poet. The patronis- 
ing tone of these references, indeed, has done the memory of the poet 
much harm. Contrary to Lockhart's statements, Grahame's poem was 
not the earlier published, and Struthers was never either at Ashestiel or 
Abbotsford, though he had repeated invitations to both. However, in 
his own words, " till he ceased to have any occasion to be in Edin- 
burgh, he never was there without having an interview with Mr. Scott 
in his house in North Castle Street." The Edinburgh edition was 
very badly printed, but it brought its author 30. 

Struthers' next poem, "The Winter Day," was published in 1811, 
and in 1814 a collected edition of his pieces was produced in two 
volumes at Glasgow under the title of " Poems: Moral and Religious." 
In 1816, during the time of depression after Waterloo, he published an 
" Essay on the State of the Labouring Poor," deprecating the idea that 
all social ills are curable by Government. In the years 1817-1821 he 
edited "The Harp of Caledonia," a collection to which songs were 
contributed by Scott, Mrs. Hunter, and Joanna Baillie, and in 1819 he 
finally laid aside the shoemaker's lapstone for the position of printer's 
reader to the firm of Khull, Blackie, & Co. In their employment he 
assisted in editing Wodrow's "History" and other works. He also 
himself wrote a "History of Scotland from 1707 to 1827," which was 
published in the latter year. In 1833 he was appointed Keeper of 
Stirling's Library, a position which he held till the reconstruction of the 
library in 1848. Of his later writings the chief was the descriptive 
poem of " Dychmont," his longest piece, published in 1836, and an 
interesting autobiography prefixed to the complete edition of his poems 
in 1850. He died July 30, 1853. 

The poet's muse was apt to assume a grave religious cast (Struthers 
was himself, in church matters, an Old Light Anti-Burgher), but his 
happiest vein was that of natural description. His finest piece is not 
the somewhat didactic "Sabbath" with which his name is chiefly 
associated, but the more purely descriptive " Winter Day " with its 
delightful successive pictures of rural life. 



i 3 4 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE WINTER DAY 

EVENING 

HAIL ! Evening, hail ! thy fading ray, 

Thy pensive shades of sober grey, 

That bound the day's tumultuous span 

Fit emblem of the life of man ! 

How sweet, O Eve ! thy peaceful hour, 

What time the Spring puts forth her power, 

When from the fragrance-breathing grove 

Swells the bold note of rapturous love. 

How grateful, then, released from toil, 

On moss-grown bank to breathe awhile, 

Lone, by the purling stream, 
While, o'er the darkening vales below, 
The hills their giant shadows throw, 
As in the west the bright sun drops, 
And fiery red the green tree tops 

Flame in his setting beam. 

And sweet, when summer dews descend, 
In village gambol to unbend, 
Or in thy pensive, gleaming ray, 
Beneath the birken shade to stray, 
Where, through the silent gloom profound, 
The bat wheels slow her drowsy round, 
Or when the west winds balmy play, 
Their pinions laden with perfume, 



JOHN STRUTHERS 135 

O'er fields of clover, flowering gay, 

Or, waving dark, the breathing broom, 
Or, sweeter far than Banda's vales 
Or blest Arabia's spicy gales, 
All lovely o'er the cultured scene, 
Where blossoms rich the fragrant bean. 

And sweet, when pipes the autumnal breeze 

Chill o'er the heath-empurpled hill, 
Or, sighing through the rustling trees, 

Responsive to the tinkling rill, 
To see the lake's broad bosom heave 

And sparkle to the moon's cold beam 
To listen to the rippling wave, 

Heard faint, like distant mountain stream, 
Or, on the breezy upland, laid 
At ease beneath the broomy shade, 
To see the rising vapours sail, 
Blue-wreathing, up the distant vale. 

And though, less splendidly arrayed, 

The wintry landscape harsh appears, 
And, glinting o'er the lonely glade, 

Thy modest cheek is drenched in tears, 
The child of Nature still may gaze, 

And rapture heave his inmost soul, 
As groaning wide the tempest strays, 

Bends low the heaven with threatening scowl, 
Or, cloudless, fired with winter's glance, 
In lustre dread the immense expanse 

Burns vast from pole to pole. 



136 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But chief, O Eve ! in cottage warm 
Is now displayed thy sweetest charm, 
Where friends in social circle join, 
And peace and piety combine, 
When all are careful housed from harm, 

Each can a while his cares forego, 
The winds are heard without alarm, 

While through the breast warm transports glow, 

And beams content on every brow. 
With fuel high the hearth is heaped, 

And streams the strong reflected blaze 
From servers broad on shelf still kept, 

Relics of love and youthful days. 
Along the hearthstone, bending low 
Beneath the chimney's ruddy glow, 
Careless of either thieves or storm, 
Tray stretches out his hairy form, 
And on his back, with lofty grace, 
First stroking down her tabby face, 
Then sheathing soft her harpy claws, 
And licking smooth her gory jaws 

With tail laid up, and half-shut eyes, 
Mixed with the spinning-wheel's deep hum, 
At ease, her sleep-provoking thrum 

Grimalkin croodling plies. 

Around the ring in copious stream 

The tide of conversation flows ; 
Now laughter gilds the lively theme, 
Now grief a melancholy gleam 



JOHN STRUTHERS 137 

Upon the subject throws. 
For in the varied strain 

The note is pitched from grave to gay, 

And, scarcely shifted, melts away 
From gay to grave again. 

Meanwhile the children, warm, explore 

The exploits of giant-killing Jack ; 
Or wondering trace from door to door 

John Cheap the chapman with his pack ; 
Or of the sad sack-weaver, Slack, 
With twelve misfortunes on his back, 
Waking broad humour's deepest tones, 
They mark the strangely serious moans ; 
Or, while their bosoms gleeful swell, 
Buchanan's witty pranks they tell ; 
Or far amidst the merry green wood 

They list the bugle's tone, 
The signal good of bold Robin Hood 

And fearless Little John. 

But James the herd, in musings high, 
The warm tear glistening in his eye, 

That shuns the rude beholder's gaze, 
Careless what merriment they keep, 
The secret sigh is heaving deep, 

Lost in the view of other days ; 
For lonely far in yonder vale 

Her cot his widowed mother keeps, 
And solitary to the gale 

Her sad bereavement weeps. 



138 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And on the midnight pillow deep, 
When all his toils are lost in sleep, 
By vivid Fancy's wakeful power 
Returns the gloaming's grateful hour 
He sees a father sweetly smile, 
Returning from his daily toil ; 
He drops his play, he runs to clasp 
His honoured knees with eager grasp. 
There he can breathe his little plaints, 
His hopes, his joys, his woes, his wants. 
That soothing voice distinct he hears, 
That once could scatter all his fears, 
Expatiate warm on heavenly truth 
In the clear tones of health and youth, 
While marches Time with soundless tread, 
And all are silent as the dead. 

Awake, so strong he grasps the theme, 
That sleep seems life, and life a dream 
Even now he sees him lowly laid, 
Exhausted, on his dying bed. 
His feeble hand he seems to grasp, 
And feels its cold and icy clasp, 
Marks the last gleam that fired his eye, 
As, lifted up to God on high, 
His helpless offspring he consigned 
In faith and patience, meek resigned. 
The heavy groan of death he hears, 
And his last words burn in his ears. 



JOHN STRUTHERS 139 

Ceases their sport, the wheel's brisk hum, 
When in some worthy neighbours come, 
Who once a week make it their care 
To meet for social praise and prayer. 
Aside their plaids, their bonnets laid, 
And kind enquiries mutual made, 
The hearth is roused with ruddier blaze, 
While, closing round, the ring extends, 
And swelling high, to heaven ascends 
Warm from each heart the notes of praise. 



Compared with exercise like this, 

How poor the grovelling earth-worm's bliss- 

The idle tavern's wassail roar, 

Or wild the maudlin rout's uproar ! 

How poor in histrionic rage, 

Wide, gaping, to besiege the stage, 

Where poor Conceit, in tinselled pride, 

All comic, grins with hand on side, 

Or, Grandeur's fancied part assuming, 

With tragic slap and straddle fuming, 

While Frenzy rends her idiot jaws, 

And gloating Folly brays applause ! 

Hail ! Evening, hail ! thy fading ray, 
Thy pensive shades of sober grey, 
That bound the day's tumultuous span 
Fit emblem of the life of man ! 
Whether thou shak'st from balmy wing 



HO THE GLASGOW POETS 

The fragrance of the new-born Spring, 
Or Summer tinge thy glowing cheek, 
Or Autumn round thee whistle bleak, 
Or gloomy Winter o'er thee throw 
His mantle dark, his air of woe 
If still such simple scenes are mine, 
And such society divine. 

Or if by stream, or mountain rude, 
Thou lead'st me far in solitude, 
Bring with thee still, companions meet ! 
Contentment meditation sweet 
Devotion warm, with ardent eye, 
And hope, that can unveil the sky. 
So, while the darkening shadows sweep, 
And closes round thee silence deep, 
On wings of faith my soul may fly 
Where worlds of light in glory lie 
Where day still keeps his cloudless throne, 
And thy pale shades are all unknown. 






THOMAS CAMPBELL 

1777-1844 

IT has been the custom to speak of the Virginia Merchants of Glasgow 
of the 1 8th century, who in their red cloaks paced the plainstones daily 
at the Cross, as if they served no purposes but those of their own pride. 
The fact is forgotten that they were the founders of Glasgow's foreign 
trade, on which all the later prosperity of the city has been built. Nor 
did they pass away without leaving other marks on the history of the 
west. Among more mundane matters, not the least of the country's 
indebtedness to these old adventurers is for the poetry of the author of 
"The Pleasures of Hope." 

Thomas Campbell was the youngest of eleven children of a Glasgow 
Virginia Merchant, and was born in a house in High Street, at the corner 
of Nicholson Street, July 27, 1777. In the previous year the American 
war had broken out, and in common with all the others in the trade, 
his father had lost heavily. He was come of an ancient Argyleshire 
family, that of Campbell of Kirnan, and his most intimate friend was 
Dr. Thomas Reid, author of the famous "Enquiry into the Human 
Mind," after whom the future poet was named. Mrs. Campbell, too, 
was a woman of sound sense and refined taste. It was little wonder 
therefore that her son distinguished himself early. At Glasgow Univer- 
sity, whose black front gloomed upon High Street almost opposite the 
house where he was born, and which he entered at the age of twelve, 
he became famous, not only for wild pranks and mischief, but for a 
translation of the "Clouds" of Aristophanes, which was declared the 
best exercise ever given in by a student. Others of his Greek trans- 
lations also attracted notice; his " Poem on Description " took a prize, 
and clever fugitive pieces from his pen were frequently the talk of the 
quadrangle. On one occasion, when the class had been refused a 



142 THE GLASGOW POETS 

holiday, a petition in verse from Campbell so pleased the professor 
that he yielded to the request. 

Under the pressure of necessity, on the loss of a long Chancery suit 
by his aged father, the poel went as a tutor, first to Sunipol in Mull, 
and afterwards to Downie, on the shores of Loch Crinan. There, in 
old Earrha Gaidheal^ or Argyll, the early " Land of the Gael," over- 
looking the Sound of Jura, he gathered some of the impressions 
afterwards woven into his " Gertrude of Wyoming," as well as the 
traditions which formed the subjects of his poems, " Lochiel's Warning," 
" Lord Ullin's Daughter," and " Glenara"; and there, more important 
still, he received in the letter of a college friend the suggestion of his 
most famous work. The friend, Hamilton Paul, himself no mean poet, 
sent him twelve stanzas of his own on the *' Pleasures of Solitude," and 
with some humour wrote "We have now three pleasures by first-rate 
men of genius : the ' Pleasures of Imagination,' the ' Pleasures of 
Memory,' and the 'Pleasures of Solitude.' Let us cherish the 
' Pleasures of Hope ' that we may soon meet again in old Alma 
Mater. " This was a seed that was to bourgeon presently, i 

Giving up his original idea of entering the church, and trying and 
tiring of law, Campbell went to Edinburgh. "And now," he says, 
" I lived in the Scottish metropolis by instructing pupils in Greek and 
Latin. In this vocation I made a comfortable livelihood as long as I 
was industrious. But the ' Pleasures of Hope ' came over me. I took 
long walks about Arthur's Seat, conning over my own (as I thought 
them) magnificent lines, and as my ' Pleasures of Hope ' got on my 
pupils fell off." At last, however, the poem was finished, and for the 
first edition a publisher gave him 60. The work was hailed with a 
burst of applause, and at once the poet found himself a personage. He 
was the greatest poet of the day. Jeffrey, Brougham, and Dugald 
Stewart were his friends, and he was just twenty-one years of age. 
It was the year 1799; Wordsworth so far had published only his 



*An account of the life of Campbells college friend is given in "Ayrshire 
Contemporaries of Burns." Born at Bargany Mains in 1773, he was one of the 
earliest editors of Burns, and a noted humourist. On leaving Ayr to take up the 
ministry of Broughton he advertised a farewell sermon to ladies, and preached 
rom Acts xx. 37, "And they all wept sore, and fell upon Paul's neck and kissed 
him." At college a translation of Claudian's "Marriage of Honorius and Maria" 
was subject of competition, and he and Campbell divided the prize. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 143 

Lyrical Ballads, Scott had not yet begun to write, and Byron, a 
boy of twelve, had just left Aberdeen. 

For each new edition of his poem Campbell received ^50, and on 
the strength of his success he went abroad. There, from the monastery 
of St. James, he saw the French defeat the Austrians at Hohenlinden 
a sight which inspired one of his most famous poems. War against 
Britain, however, was imminent, and he found it prudent to return to 
Hamburg. There, on hearing that the British fleet had entered the 
Sound, he wrote "Ye Mariners of England," and shortly afterwards 
"The Exile of Erin." The latter piece was inspired by a friendship 
which he made at Altona with Anthony M'Cann, an Irish refugee 
accused of taking part in the Rebellion of 1798. 

This friendship was to give him trouble later. On sailing for Leith 
his vessel was chased by a Danish privateer and forced into Yarmouth. 
Thence the poet made a trip to London, and was lionised by society. 
By the time he reached Edinburgh rumour had outrun him. It was 
known that he had messed with the French officers at Ratisbon, had 
been introduced to General Moreau, and had been in close correspond- 
ence with an Irish rebel. On the passage north a lady informed him 
that the poet Campbell had been sent to the Tower for high treason 
and was likely to be executed ; and at Edinburgh he heard the same 
rumour in the streets. He called at once on the sheriff, and was 
astonished to discover that that officer held a warrant for his arrest. 
His papers, however, which had been seized at Leith, were found to 
contain nothing more treasonous than "Ye Mariners of England," and 
the whole incident ended in the opening of a bottle of wine. 

In 1803 the poet married his cousin, Margaret Sinclair, and settled 
in London to a life of letters. 

From the first, fortune smiled on him. A quarto edition of his 
" Pleasures of Hope" brought him 600, and in 1805 he was granted 
a pension of 200 per annum, half of which he settled on his sisters 
and his widowed mother. His "Annals of Great Britain," published 
in the following year, brought him 300, and in 1809, "Gertrude of 
Wyoming," considered at the time the finest of all his poems, was 
welcomed with immense enthusiasm. 

For the next five years he produced little of note, writing mainly for 
magazines and encyclopaedias. But a visit to Paris in 1814 quickened 
him again. He was introduced there to Wellington, Humboldt, and 



144 THE GLASGOW POETS 

other history makers, renewed a friendship with Madame de Stael, and 
records in his letters overwhelming pleasure in the works of art in the 
Louvre. 

On his return Sir Walter Scott made interest, though without success, 
to secure him a chair at Edinburgh University, and Campbell began a 
new chapter of his career. In 1819 he produced his " Specimens of the 
British Poets" which, with his introductory essay, remains a work of 
high value ; and in the following year his lectures on poetry, delivered 
first at the Royal Institution, and afterwards in the chief cities of the 
kingdom, confirmed his reputation as a critic, and brought him a 
handsome profit. In 1820 also he became editor of the New Monthly 
Magazine at a salary of ;6oo, a position he continued to hold with 
great success till 1831. 

These were his most strenuous years, bringing his greatest rewards 
and sorrows. In 1825, chiefly on his initiative, suggested by a visit to 
Germany, he saw the founding of London University; ' in 1826, against 
no less a competitor than the author of " Marmion," he was elected 
Lord Rector of his own University of Glasgow an honour which was 
twice renewed ; and about the same time he inherited from a relative a 
legacy of ^5000. On the other hand, in 1826 his wife died, and as his 
only surviving son had been long a lunatic, he had none to share his 
triumphs. And in 1831 an article of highly offensive character against 
his friend Dr. Glennie of Dulwich, which was printed without his 
knowledge in the columns of his magazine, led him to resign his editor- 
ship. It was therefore with a fellow-feeling for the griefs of others that 
he took up the championship of the crushed and bleeding nations of 
Greece and Poland. The downfall of Warsaw in 1831, with the 
horrors which accompanied it, moved him deeply, and with tongue, 
pen, and purse he devoted himself to succour the lost cause. It was by 

1 As attempts have been made to belittle Campbell's share in the foundation of 
London University, it may not be amiss to quote here an extract from a minute of 
the Company of Stationers of Glasgow, to which attention has kindly been directed 
by Mr. Robert Brodie, writer, clerk to the Incorporation. The minute is dated 
May 8, 1827, and is signed by James Brash, son of the senior partner of the firm of 
bookseller-poets, Brash & Reid, then President. The occasion was Campbell's visit 
to Glasgow as Lord Rector. The Company of Stationers resolved to make him an 
honorary member, and among their reasons for conferring the honour they include, 
"your being the first to suggest the idea of the London University, which, by the 
blessing of God, it is hoped will be an everlasting and widely diffused benefit to 
mankind." 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 145 

his efforts that a committee was established in London to relieve the 
thousands of Polish exiles who had nocked over, and that a sympathy 
with the fallen nation, of which the sentiment still survives, was 
awakened throughout the country. Campbell's efforts were wholly 
generous and disinterested, and when he was buried afterwards in the 
Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey the fact was recognised. A guard 
of Polish exiles escorted his remains, and a handful of earth from the 
tomb of Kosciusko was thrown into his grave. 

After 1831 his purely literary work added little to his fame. The 
Metropolitan Magazine^ in which he took a third share, soon passed 
into other hands. It had contained his " Letters from the South," 
the fruit of a visit to Algiers in 1832. Other works to which his 
name was put, a "Life of Mrs. Siddons" in 1834, a "Life of 
Petrarch" in 1841, and lives of Sir Thomas Lawrence and of Frederick 
the Great in 1843, were mostly the product of other pens. And his 
last considerable poem, "The Pilgrim of Glencoe," in 1842, showed 
no spark of his early fire. 

At length his health failed. In the summer of 1843 he sold his furni- 
ture, and retired with a favourite niece to Boulogne. And there on 
Tune 15 of the next year he died. The "Life and Letters" of the 
poet, by William Beattie, M.D., appeared in three volumes in 1849. 

The poet was small in person, scrupulously neat in attire, and 
though naturally indolent, extremely witty and entertaining in con- 
genial company. The late veteran Sidney Cooper says of him in 
his "Recollections," "Another most amusing man, full of jokes and 
anecdotes, and as bright and sharp as a needle, whom I met at 
Charles Knight's, was Thomas Campbell, the poet. He was a 
peculiar-looking man, with sharp blue eyes, a long and tapering nose 
that would go through a keyhole, of fresh colour, and, I think, 
marked with the smallpox. He was a man of keen observation, and 
always delightful company a man who impressed and singularly 
attracted me." Lord Lytton also has left a picture of the poet. 
"Campbell," he says, "asked me to come and sup with him 
tete-a-tete. I did so. I went at ten o'clock; I stayed till dawn, 
and all my recollections of the most sparkling talk I have ever 
heard in drawing-rooms afford nothing to equal the riotous affluence 
of wit, of humour, of fancy, of genius, that the great lyrist poured 
forth in his wondrous monologue." 
L 



146 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Campbell's poetry links the age of Cowper with that of Tennyson. 
Southey and Wordsworth were his continuous contemporaries, and 
during his time he saw blaze up and pass away the sun-splendour of 
Scott's genius and the brilliant constellation of Byron, Shelley, and 
Keats. Of his longer poems, "The Pleasures of Hope" remains by 
far the best, and many of its lines and happy epithets have passed into 
current coin of speech. But it is by his lyrics that his fame endures. 
These remain ' * among the finest in any language. " 



HOHENLINDEN 

On Linden, when the sun was low, 
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow, 
And dark as winter was the flow 
Of Iser, rolling rapidly. 

But Linden saw another sight 
When the drums beat at dead of night, 
Commanding fires of death to light 
The darkness of her scenery. 

By torch and trumpet fast arrayed, 
Each horseman drew his battle-blade, 
And furious every charger neighed 
To join the dreadful revelry. 

Then shook the hills with thunder riven ; 
Then rushed the steed to battle driven ; 
And louder than the bolts of heaven, 
Far flashed the red artillery. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 147 

But redder yet that light shall glow 
On Linden's hills of stained snow, 
And bloodier yet the torrent flow 
Of Iser, rolling rapidly. 

Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun 
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun, 
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun 

Shout in their sulphurous canopy. 

The combat deepens. On, ye brave, 
Who rush to glory, or the grave ! 
Wave, Munich ! all thy banners wave ! 

And charge with all thy chivalry ! 

Few, few shall part where many meet ! 
The snow shall be their winding-sheet, 
And every turf beneath their feet 

Shall be a soldier's sepulchre. ^ 



THE EXILE OF ERIN 

There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin, 

The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill : 
For his country he sighed when at twilight repairing 

To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill. 

But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion, 

For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean, 

Where once, in the fire of his youthful emotion, 

He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh. 



148 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Sad is my fate ! said the heart-broken stranger, 
The wild deer and wolf to a covert can flee ; 

But I have no refuge from famine and danger 
A home and a country remain not to me. 

Never again in the green sunny bowers, 

Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours, 

Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers, 
And strike to the numbers of Erin go bragh ! 

, Erin, my country ! though sad and forsaken, 
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore ; 

But alas ! in a far foreign land I awaken, 

And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more ! 

Oh cruel fate ! wilt thou never replace me 

In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me ? 

Never again shall my brothers embrace me ! 
They died to defend me, or live to deplore. 

Where is my cabin door fast by the wildwood ? 

Sisters and sire, did ye weep for its fall ? 
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood ? 

And where is the bosom-friend, dearer than all ? 
Oh, my sad heart ! long abandoned by pleasure, 
Why did it doat on a fast-fading treasure ? 
Tears like the raindrop may fall without measure, 

But rapture and beauty they cannot recall. 

Yet, all its sad recollection suppressing, 
One dying wish my lone bosom can draw : 

Erin ! an exile bequeaths thee his blessing ! 
Land of my forefathers, Erin go bragh ! 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 149 

Buried and cold when my heart stills her motion, 
Green be thy fields, sweetest isle of the ocean ! 
And thy harp-striking bards sing aloud with devotion 
Erin mavourneen ! Erin go bragh ! 



YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND 

Ye mariners of England, 

That guard our native seas, 

Whose flag has braved a thousand years 

The battle and the breeze ! 

Your glorious standard launch again 

To match another foe ! 

And sweep through the deep, 

While the stormy tempests blow 

While the battle rages loud and long, 

And the stormy tempests blow. 

The spirits of your fathers 
Shall start from every wave ; 
For the deck it was their field of fame, 
And ocean was their grave. 
Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell 
Your manly hearts shall glow, 
As ye sweep through the deep, 
While the stormy tempests blow- 
While the battle rages loud and long, 
And the stormy tempests blow. 



150 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Britannia needs no bulwark, 

No towers along the steep ; 

Her march is o'er the mountain-waves, 

Her home is on the deep. 

With thunders from her native oak 

She quells the floods below, 

As they roar on the shore 

When the stormy tempests blow 

When the battle rages loud and long, 

And the stormy tempests blow. 

The meteor flag of England 
Shall yet terrific burn, 
Till danger's troubled night depart 
And the star of peace return. 
Then, then, ye ocean warriors ! 
Our song and feast shall flow 
To the fame of your name 
When the storm has ceased to blow- 
When the fiery fight is heard no more, 
And the storm has ceased to blow. 



LOCHIEL'S WARNING 

Wizard. 

Lochiel, Lochiel ! beware of the day 
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array ! 
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight, 
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 151 

They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown : 
Woe, woe, to the riders that trample them down ! 
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain, 
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain. 
But hark ! through the fast-flashing lightning of war, 
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far ? 
'Tis thine, oh Glenullin ! whose bride shall await, 
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate. 
A steed comes at morning : no rider is there ; 
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair. 
Weep, Albyn ! to death and captivity led ! 
Oh, weep ! but thy tears cannot number the dead. 
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave 
Culloden ! that reeks with the blood of the brave. 



LochieL 

Go, preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer ! 
Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear, 
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight, 
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright. 

Wizard. 

Ha ! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn ? 

Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn ! 

Say, rushed the bold eagle exultantly forth 

From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the north ? 

Lo ! the death-shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode 

Companionless, bearing destruction abroad. 

But down let him stoop from his havoc on high ! 



152 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Ah ! home let him speed, for the spoiler is nigh. 
Why flames the far summit ? Why shoot to the blast 
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast ? 
'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven 
From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven. 
O crested Lochiel ! the peerless in might, 
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height, 
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn ; 
Return to thy dwelling ! all lonely return !; 
For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood, 
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood. 

Lochiel. 

False wizard, avaunt ! I have marshalled my clan. 
Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one. 
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath, 
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death. 
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock ! 
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock. 
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause, 
When Albyn her claymore indignantly draws ; 
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd, 
Clanranald the dauntless and Moray the proud, 
All plaided and plumed in their tartan array 

Wizard. 
Lochiel, Lochiel ! beware of the day ! 



For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal, 
But man cannot cover what God would reveal. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 153 

Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, 

And coming events cast their shadows before. 

I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring 

With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king. 

Lo ! anointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath, 

Behold where he flies on his desolate path ! 

Now in darkness and billows he sweeps from my sight : 

Rise, rise, ye wild tempests, and cover his flight ! 

'Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors 

Culloden is lost, and my country deplores. 

But where is the iron-bound prisoner ? Where ? 

For the red eye of battle is shut in despair. 

Say, mounts he the ocean wave, banished, forlorn, 

Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn ? 

Ah, no ! for a darker departure is near. 

The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier : 

His death-bell is tolling : oh ! mercy, dispel 

Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell ! 

Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs, 

And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims. 

Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet, 

Where his heart shall be thrown ere it ceases to beat, 

With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale 

Lochiel. 
Down, soothless insulter ! I trust not the tale. 



For never shall Albyn a destiny meet 

So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat. 

Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore, 

Like ocean-weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore, 



154 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains, 

While the kindling of life in his bosom remains, 

Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low, 

With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe ; 

And leaving in battle no blot on his name, 

Look proudly to heaven from the deathbed of fame. 



THE BATTLE OF THE BALTIC 

Of Nelson and the North 

Sing the glorious day's renown 

When to battle fierce came forth 

All the might of Denmark's crown, 

And her arms along the deep proudly shone ; 

By each gun the lighted brand 

In a bold, determined hand, 

And the Prince of all the land 

Led them on. 

Like leviathans afloat 

Lay their bulwarks on the brine, 

While the sign of battle flew 

On the lofty British line. 

It was ten of April morn by the chime. 

As they drifted on their path 

There was silence deep as death, 

And the boldest held his breath 

For a time. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 155 

But the might of England flushed 
To anticipate the scene ; 
And her van the fleeter rushed 
O'er the deadly space between. 
" Hearts of oak ! " our captains cried ; when 

each gun 

From its adamantine lips 
Spread a deathshade round the ships, 
Like the hurricane eclipse 
Of the sun. 

Again, again, again ! 

And the havoc did not slack, 

Till a feebler cheer the Dane 

To our cheering sent us back. 

Their shots along the deep slowly boom, 

Then cease, and all is wail, 

As they strike the shattered sail, 

Or in conflagration pale 

Light the gloom. 

Out spoke the victor then, 
As he hailed them o'er the wave ; 
" Ye are brothers ! ye are men ! 
And we conquer but to save. 
So peace instead of death let us bring. 
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet, 
With the crews, at England's feet, 
And make submission meet 
To our King." 



156 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Then Denmark blessed our chief, 

That he gave her wounds repose ; 

And the sounds of joy and grief 

From her people wildly rose, 

As death withdrew his shades from the day, 

While the sun looked smiling bright 

O'er a wide and woeful sight, 

Where the fires of funeral light 

Died away. 

Now joy, old England, raise 

For the tidings of thy might, 

By the festal cities' blaze, 

While the wine-cup shines in light. 

And yet, amidst that joy and uproar, 

Let us think of them that sleep, 

Full many a fathom deep, 

By thy wild and stormy steep, 

Elsinore ! 

Brave hearts ! to Britain's pride 

Once so faithful and so true, 

On the deck of fame that died 

With the gallant good Riou : 

Soft sigh the winds of heaven o'er their grave ! 

While the billow mournful rolls, 

And the mermaid's song condoles, 

Singing glory to the souls 

Of the brave. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 157 



THE LAST MAN 

All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom, 

The sun himself must die, 
Before this mortal shall assume 

Its immortality. 
I saw a vision in my sleep 
That gave my spirit strength to sweep 

Adown the gulf of time : 
I saw the last of human mould 
That shall creation's death behold, 

As Adam saw her prime. 

The sun's eye had a sickly glare, 

The earth with age was wan, 
The skeletons of nations were 

Around that lonely man. 
Some had expired in fight the brands 
Still rusted in their bony hands ; 

In plague and famine some. 
Earth's cities had no sound nor tread, 
And ships were drifting with the dead 

To shores where all was dumb. 

Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood, 
With dauntless words and high, 

That shook the sere leaves from the wood, 
As if a storm passed by, 

Saying, We're twins in death, proud sun ! 



158 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Thy face is cold, thy race is run, 

Tis mercy bids thee go ; 
For thou ten thousand thousand years 
Hast seen the tide of human tears 

That shall no longer flow. 

What though, beneath thee, man put forth 

His pomp, his pride, his skill, 
And arts that made fire, flood, and earth 

The vassals of his will ! 
Yet mourn I not thy parted sway, 
Thou dim, discrowned king of day ! 

For all these trophied arts 
And triumphs, that beneath thee sprang, 
Healed not a passion or a pang 

Entailed on human hearts. 

Go ! Let oblivion's curtain fall 

Upon the stage of men, 
Nor with thy rising beams recall 

Life's tragedy again. 
Its piteous pageants bring not back, 
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack 

Of pain anew to writhe- 
Stretched in disease's shapes abhorred, 
Or mown in battle by the sword, 

Like grass beneath the scythe. 

Even I am weary in yon skies 
To watch thy fading fire. 
Test of all sumless agonies, 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 159 

Behold not me expire ! 
My lips, that speak thy dirge of death, 
Their rounded gasp and gurgling breath 

To see thou shalt not boast. 
The eclipse of nature spreads my pall ; 
The majesty of darkness shall 

Receive my parting ghost. 

This spirit shall return to Him 

Who gave its heavenly spark ; 
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim 

When thou thyself art dark. 
No ! it shall live again, and shine 
In bliss unknown to beams of thine 

By Him recalled to breath, 
Who captive led captivity, 
Who robbed the grave of victory, 

And took the sting from death. 

Go, Sun ! while mercy holds me up 

On nature's awful waste, 
To drink this last and bitter cup 

Of grief that man shall taste. 
Go ! tell the night that hides thy face, 
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race, 

On earth's sepulchral clod, 
The darkening universe defy 
To quench his immortality, 

Or shake his trust in God ! 



160 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE SOLDIER'S DREAM 

Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lowered, 
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky ! 

And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered, 
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die. 

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw, 
By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain, 

At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw, 
And twice ere the morning I dreamt it again. 

Methought from the battlefield's dreadful array 
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track : 

'Twas autumn, and sunshine arose on the way 

To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back. 

I flew to the pleasant fields, traversed so oft 

In life's morning march, when my bosom was young ; 

I heard my own mountain goats bleating aloft, 

And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung. 

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore 
From my home and my weeping friends never to part ; 

My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er, 
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart. 

" Stay, stay with us ! rest ! thou art weary and worn ! " 

And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay ! 
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn, 
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 161 



TO THE EVENING STAR 

Star that bringest home the bee, 
And sett'st the weary labourer free ! 
If any star shed peace, 'tis thou, 

That send'st it from above, 
Appearing when heaven's breath and brow 

Are sweet as hers we love. 

Come to the luxuriant skies 
Whilst the landscape's odours rise, 
Whilst, far off, lowing herds are heard, 

And songs, when toil is done, 
From cottages whose smoke, unstirred, 

Curls yellow in the sun. 

Star of love's soft interviews ! 
Parted lovers on thee muse. 
Their remembrancer in heaven 

Of thrilling vows thou art 

Too delicious to be riven 

By absence from the heart. 



LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER 

A chieftain to the Highlands bound, 
Cries " Boatman, do not tarry ! 

And I'll give thee a silver pound 

To row us o'er the ferry." 
M 



i6a THE GLASGOW POETS 

" Now who be ye would cross Lochgyle 
This dark and stormy water ? " 

" Oh, I'm the chief of Ulva's isle, 
And this Lord Ullin's daughter. 

" And fast before her father's men 
Three days we've fled together, 
For, should he find us in the glen, 
My blood would stain the heather. 

" His horsemen hard behind us ride ; 

Should they our steps discover, 
Then who will cheer my bonnie bride, 
When they have slain her lover ? " 

Out spoke the hardy Highland wight, 
"I'll go, my chief; I'm ready. 

It is not for your silver bright, 
But for your winsome lady ! 

" And, by my word, the bonnie bird 

In danger shall not tarry ; 
So, though the waves are raging white, 
I'll row you o'er the ferry." 

By this the storm grew loud apace, 
The water-wraith was shrieking ; 

And in the scowl of heaven each face 
Grew dark as they were speaking. 

And still, as wilder blew the wind, 
And as the night grew drearer, 

Adown the glen rode armed men ; 
Their trampling sounded nearer. 



THOMAS CAMPBELL 163 

" O haste thee, haste ! " the lady cries, 

" Though tempests round us gather : 
I'll meet the raging of the skies, 
But not an angry father ! " 

The boat has left a stormy land, 

A stormy sea before her ; 
When, oh ! too strong for human hand, 

The tempest gathered o'er her. 

And still they rowed amidst the roar 

Of waters fast prevailing. 
Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore : 

His wrath was changed to wailing. 

For sore dismayed, through storm and shade, 

His child he did discover : 
One lovely hand she stretched for aid, 

And one was round her lover. 

" Come back ! come back ! " he cried in grief, 

" Across this stormy water ; 
And I'll forgive your Highland chief 
My daughter ! oh my daughter ! " 

'Twas vain ; the loud waves lashed the shore, 

Return or aid preventing : 
The waters wild went o'er his child, 

And he was left lamenting. 



WALTER WATSON 

1780-1854 

LIKE many another outlying village in the end of the eighteenth 
century, Chryston, a few miles to the north, derived its livelihood 
from the weaving of Glasgow muslins. Among its weavers was Walter 
Watson, "the Chryston Poet," author of " Sae will we yet," and 
other popular songs. Born of humble parents, and picking up a scant 
education as he could, he passed from herding kye to winding pirns, 
and at length to his father's trade of the loom. Of a restless turn of 
mind, he tried in turn farm labour and the well-paid work of a sawyer 
in Glasgow, and finally, at the age of nineteen, took the King's shilling 
from a recruiting sergeant at the Tontine. He served in the Scots 
Greys for three years with no more thrilling experience than a review 
by George III. at Weymouth, and was discharged at the Peace of 
Amiens in 1802. Returning then to his native village he resumed his 
early occupation at the loom, and seems to have fallen at once into the 
toils of poetry and love. Nothing stood in the way of his love affairs, 
and he married Margaret Wilson, a farmer's daughter of the neigh- 
bourhood, in 1803. But his instinct for rhythm and rhyme was sadly 
hampered by the fact, pointed out by the village schoolmaster, that he 
was totally ignorant of grammar. By means of an old school-book, 
however, and a spell of close study, the difficulty was overcome, and 
the poet had soon the satisfaction of seeing several of his songs, 
"Jockie's far awa'," "The Braes o' Bedlay," and others, become 
widely popular. 

An amusing story of his early days is told by his friend, Hugh Mac- 
donald. Watson wrote " The Braes o' Bedlay " in order to gain favour 
with the lord of the manor. He took it to the "big house" and 
handed it in person to the great man. To his astonishment, however, 
the laird took the lovers' ramble described in the song literally, and 
instead of praising the poetry, threatened its author with a prosecution 
for trespass. 



WALTER WATSON 165 

The success of his fugitive pieces induced Watson to publish a small 
collection of his poems in 1808. It brought him reputation, but no 
profit, and further volumes put forth in 1823 and 1843 respectively 
merely increased his fame without mending his fortunes. 

Meanwhile the poet's life was that of the struggling peasant. He 
was local secretary of the combination of weavers one of the earliest 
essays at trades-unionism which succeeded in raising the wages of the 
craft in the years 1808-11, but in the dull times that followed Waterloo 
he was forced from the loom to the saw-pit, and at one period even to 
stone-breaking for a livelihood. He had a family of eight sons and 
two daughters, and it was only when some of them were able to help 
him as weavers that he attained some small share of comfort. After 
many removals about the country in the wake of work, Watson spent 
the last four years of his life at Duntiblae, near Kirkintilloch, and there 
he died of cholera in 1854. 

A cheery old man, whose belief in life found expression in his own 
song, " We've aye been provided for, and sae will we yet," the poet 
made friends wherever he went. The village concerts with which he 
eked out a living in his last days were always crowded ; and he had 
the satisfaction in the year before he died of seeing a selection of his 
best pieces, with a memoir by Hugh Macdonald, published with great 
success. An obelisk was erected on the spot of his birth in 1875, and 
in 1877 a complete edition of his poems was published at Glasgow. 
Watson's most ambitious piece, " Chryston Fair," depicts with racy 
force the humours of a Scottish rural festival ; and his rhyming 
epistles are packed with shrewd wisdom and practical philosophy ; but 
he is remembered best by a few short pieces and happy lines. 



SAE WILL WE YET 

Come sit down, my cronie, and gie me your crack ; 
Let the win' tak' the cares o' this life on its back ; 
Our hearts to despondency we ne'er will submit, 
We've aye been provided for, and sae will we yet. 
And sae will we yet, etc. 



1 66 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Let's ca' for a tankard o' nappy brown ale, 
It will comfort our hearts and enliven our tale ; 
We'll aye be the merrier the langer that we sit, 
We've drank wi' ither mony a time, and sae will we yet. 
And sae will we yet, etc. 

Sae rax me your mull, and my nose I will prime ; 
Let mirth an' sweet innocence employ a' our time ; 
Nae quarrelling nor fighting we here will admit ; 
We've parted aye in unity, an' sae will we yet. 
And sae will we yet, etc. 

Let the glass keep its course, and gae merrily roun' ; 
The sun has to rise, though the moon should gae doun ; 
Till the house be rinnin' roun' about, 'tis time enough to 

flit; 

When we fell we aye wan up again, an' sae will we yet. 
And sae will we yet, etc. 



THE WIDOW 

Welcome, my Johnnie, buirdly and bonnie ! 

Ye're my conceit, though I'm courted by mony ; 

Come to the spence wi' me, my merry pleughman 

Mak' it your hame, ye'll be baith het and fu', man. 
Baith het and fu', man, baith het and fu' man, 
Mak' it your hame, ye'll be baith het and fu', man. 



WALTER WATSON 167 

Ye sail hae plenty gin ye be tenty ; 
Year after year I hae doublet the rent aye ; 
Byrefu's o' horse and kye, barnfu's o' grain, man, 
Beukfu's o' notes, and a farm o' your ain, man. 
Farm o' your ain, etc. 

Market or fair, man, ye may be there, man, 
Selling and buying, wi' plenty to ware, man, 
Clad like a laird in the brawest and warmest, 
On a gude beast will haud up wi' the foremost. 
Up wi' the foremost, etc. 

Tawpie young lasses, keekin' in glasses, 
Waste a' their siller on trinkets and dresses. 
Think wi' yoursel', Johnnie, tak' wha ye've need o' ; 
Ye may do waur that draw up wi' the widow. 
Up wi' the widow, etc. 



JOHN FINLAY 

1782-1810 

JOHN FINLAY is remembered rather as a collector and preserver of 
old Scottish folksongs than as a maker of original poetry. He was 
possessor, nevertheless, of a true poetic vein, and has left more than 
one addition to the ballad and lyric minstrelsy of Scotland. 

Born of parents in humble life at Glasgow, he entered the University 
at the age of fourteen, and distinguished himself there not only by 
proficiency, but by the elegance of his prose essays, and the spirit 
of his classical odes. While still at college, in 1802, he published 
"Wallace, or the Vale of Ellerslie, with other poems." Of this 
Professor Wilson, his class-fellow and friend, afterwards said, "It 
possesses both the merits and defects which we look for in the early 
compositions of true genius." A third edition was issued in 1817. 
Choosing a life of letters, Finlay went to London in 1807, and 
contributed to the press many articles on antiquarian subjects. Next 
year, having returned to Glasgow, he published his collection of "Scot- 
tish Historical and Romantic Ballads," which was highly praised by Sir 
Walter Scott. During his short life he also wrote a ' ' Life of Cervantes," 
and produced editions of Blair's "Grave" and Smith's "Wealth of 
Nations." He refused, on account of the risk, the generous offer of 
Professor Richardson, of Glasgow University to set him up as a printer, 
and, still hoping to establish himself as a man of letters, planned a 
continuation of Warton's "History of English Poetry." But in 1810, 
on his way to visit Wilson at Elleray, he was seized with apoplexy at 
Moffat, and died there on 8th December. A tribute to his memory, 
from Wilson's pen, appeared in BlackwoocTs Magazine on the publica- 
tion of the new edition of " Wallace " in 1817. 



JOHN FINLAY 169 



O COME WITH ME 

O come with me, for the queen of night 
Is throned on high in her beauty bright ; 
J Tis now the silent hour of even, 
When all is still in earth and heaven : 
The cold flowers which the valley strew 
Are sparkling bright with pearly dew, 
And hushed is e'en the bee's soft hum, 
Then come with me, sweet Mary, come ! 

The opening bluebell, Scotland's pride, 
In heaven's pure azure deeply dyed, 
The daisy meek from the dewy dale, 
The wild thyme, and the primrose pale, 
With the lily from the glassy lake 
Of these a fragrant wreath I'll make, 
And bind them 'mid the locks that flow 
In rich luxuriance from thy brow. 

O love ! without thee what were life ? 

A bustling scene of care and strife 

A waste where no green flowery glade 

Is found, for shelter or for shade. 

But, cheered by thee, the griefs we share 

We can with calm composure bear ; 

For the darkest night of care and toil 

Is bright when blessed with woman's smile. 



1 70 THE GLASGOW POETS 



ISABELLA 

I heard the evening linnet's voice the woodland tufts among, 
Yet sweeter were the tender notes of Isabella's song. 
So soft into the ear they steal, so soft into the soul, 
The deepening pain of love they soothe, and sorrows pang 
control. 

I looked upon the pure brook that murmured through the 

glade, 

And mingled in the melody that Isabella made ; 
Yet purer was the residence of Isabella's heart, 
Above the reach of pride and guile, above the reach of art. 

I looked upon the azure of the deep unclouded sky, 
Yet clearer was the blue serene of Isabella's eye. 
Ne'er softer fell the raindrop of the first relenting year 
Than falls from Isabella's eye the pity-melted tear. 

All this my fancy prompted ere a sigh of sorrow proved 
How hopelessly, yet faithfully and tenderly I loved. 
Yet, though bereft of hope, I love, still will I love the more, 
As distance binds the exile's heart to his dear native shore. 



ALEXANDER RODGER 

1784-1846 

WHEN the first series of " Whistle-binkie " was issued in 1832 from 
David Robertson's shop at the foot of Glassford Street, then the 
favourite literary howf of Glasgow, its best and most characteristic 
contributions were from the pens of William Motherwell and Alexander 
Rodger. It was the pawky humour of pieces like Rodger's " Robin 
Tamson's Smiddy" and "Behave yoursel' before folk," contrasting 
with the pathos of poems like Mother well's "Jeanie Morrison" and 
"My heid is like to rend, Willie," which struck the public taste so 
strongly, and made the curious poetic venture a success. Not less 
striking was the contrast between the characters, opinions, and careers 
of the two contributors. 

The "Radical Poet," as Rodger has been called, was born at East 
Calder, Midlothian, i6th July, 1784. His mother was in weak health, 
and for the first seven years of his life he was cared for by two maiden 
sisters named Lonie. His father, meanwhile, having given up the 
farm of Haggs, near Dalmahoy, of which he had been tenant, had 
become an innkeeper in Mid- Calder, and there the future poet was put 
to school. Five years later the family removed to Edinburgh, and the 
boy was set to learn the trade of silversmith with a Mr. Mathie. This 
apprenticeship, however, was cut short in twelve months by the 
financial collapse of his father, who fled to Hamburgh. The lad 
was then brought to Glasgow by his mother's friends, who had be- 
come strongly attached to him, and who apprenticed him to a weaver 
named Dunn, at the Drygate Toll, near the Cathedral. In 1803, seized 
with the prevailing fever of patriotism, he joined the Glasgow Highland 
Volunteers, in which regiment, and its successor, the Glasgow High- 
land Locals, he remained for nine years. Meanwhile, in 1806, being 
twenty-two years of age, he married Agnes Turner, and removed to 
what was then the village of Bridgeton, to the east of the city. There, 
to support a quickly -growing family, he added the profits of music-teach- 



THE GLASGOW POETS 

ing to those of weaving, and in his leisure hours solaced himself with 
the making of poetry. Perhaps his earliest effort was a poem, " Bolivar," 
written on seeing in the Glasgow Chronicle, in 1816, that that patriot 
had set free seventy thousand slaves in Venezuela. The peculiarities, 
also, of the Highland members of his volunteer regiment furnished him 
with subjects for several satirical pieces. 

This furor scribendi^ however, was presently to bring him to trouble. 
1816-1820 were the Radical years, when, amid the distress following 
Waterloo, political agitation rose to a dangerous pitch. In 1819 The 
Spirit of the Union, a strongly political paper, was started in Glasgow 
by Gilbert Macleod, and Rodger became sub-editor. But after the 
publication of the tenth number Macleod was arrested, tried, and 
sentenced to transportation for life, and Rodger became a suspect. In 
after days he used to tell how, when his house was searched for seditious 
publications, he placed his Family Bible in the officer's hands, that 
being, as he said, the only treasonable book in his possession, and he 
pointed to the chapter on kings in the second book of Samuel. Never- 
theless, on the appearance of the famous " treasonable address" on the 
walls of Glasgow, signed by a " Provisional Government," Rodger was 
actually arrested, and imprisoned for eleven days in Bridewell. There, 
in solitary confinement, he consoled himself, and aggravated his gaolers, 
by singing his own political compositions at the loudest of his lungs. 

In 1821 he obtained employment as inspector of cloths at Barrow- 
field Printworks, and during his eleven years in that situation he com- 
posed most of his best pieces. At the same time the poet's political 
sympathies were by no means hid under a bushel. When George IV. , 
in 1822, visited Edinburgh, an anonymous squib from Rodger's pen, 
"Sawney, now the King's Come," appeared in the London Examiner, 
creating much speculation in the mind of the public, and no little annoy- 
ance to Sir Walter Scott, whose loyal "Carle, now the King's Come," 
had appeared simultaneously. And when Ilarvie of West Thorn 
blocked up the footpath through his property by Clydeside with a wall, 
it was by Rodger's strenuous energy that the public movement was 
directed which vindicated the right of way. 

A friend started a pawnbroking business in Glasgow in 1832, and 
induced the poet (of all men) to become its manager. In a few months, 
as might have been expected, he threw up the position, and in a rhymed 
epistle to the managers of Barrowfield works declared his readiness 



ALEXANDER RODGER 173 

to do anything "fire their furnaces, or weigh their coals, wheel bar- 
rows, riddle ashes, mend up holes," rather than stay where he was 

"Obliged each day and hour to undergo 
The pain of hearing tales of want or woe." 

He found a place shortly, however, as reader and reporter on the 
Glasgow Chronicle; and a year later, on John Tait starting a Radical 
weekly, the Liberator, Rodger became his assistant. Tait died, and the 
paper came to grief, but in a few months the poet found a place in the 
office of the Reformer's Gazette, which he kept till his death. In 1836 
some two hundred of his fellow-citizens entertained him to dinner and 
presented him with a silver box full of sovereigns "a fruit not often 
found on the barren slopes of Parnassus. " He died 26th September, 
1846, and was buried near William Motherwell in Glasgow Necropolis, 
where a monument marks his resting-place. On hearing of his death 
the Scotsmen in Cincinnati collected and sent to David Robertson, the 
publisher, a sum of 12 as a gift to the poet's widow and children. 

Rodger's first avowed appearance as an author was in 1827, with a 
volume, " Peter Cornclips, a Tale of Real Life, and Other Poems and 
Songs." In 1838 he published another volume of " Poems and Songs, 
Humorous and Satirical " ; and in 1842 " Stray Leaves from the Port- 
folios of Alisander the Seer, Andrew Whaup, and Humphrey Hen- 
keckle" these being the nommes de plume above which the satirical 
contents had appeared in periodicals. Since then select editions of 
his poems have been edited by Mr. Robert Ford in 1896 and 1902. 
But the poet's name is chiefly associated with " Whistle-binkie," in 
which his best pieces appeared, and of which, after the death of Carrick 
in 1835, he became editor. 

The political heat of that time has passed away, and in consequence 
" Sandy " Rodger's satires have lost both point and sting, but his songs, 
touching slily and not unkindly the foibles of ordinary human nature, 
remain amusing as ever, and the hot-headed, tender-hearted, Radical 
poet is not likely to be forgotten. The late Crimean Simpson has 
recorded of him : " I was familiar with his round, short figure when he 
was connected with the Reformer's Gazette, Peter Mackenzie's paper. 
I used to see him regularly about Argyle Street, and I have often heard 
him sing his own songs at the Saturday Evening Concerts, which he 
did in a genial, pawky way." 



174 THE GLASGOW POETS 



ROBIN TAMSON'S SMIDDY 

My mither men't my auld breeks, 

And wow, but they were duddy ! 
And sent me to get Mally shod 

At Robin Tamson's smiddy. 
The smiddy stands beside the burn 

That wimples through the clachan ; 
I never yet gae by the door 

But aye I fa' a-lauchin'. 

For Robin was a walthy carle, 

And had ae bonnie dochter ; 
Yet ne'er wad let her tak' a man, 

Though mony lads had socht her. 
But what think ye o' my exploit ? 

The time our mare was shoein' 
I slippit up beside the lass, 

And briskly fell a-wooin'. 

And aye she e'ed my auld breeks, 

The time that we sat crackin' : 
Quo' I, " My lass, ne'er mind the clouts, 

I've new anes for the makin'. 
But gin ye'll just come hame wi' me, 

And lea' the carle, your faither, 
Ye'se get my breeks to keep in trim, 

MyseP and a' thegither," 



ALEXANDER RODGER 175 

"Deed, lad," quo' she, " your offer's fair; 

I really think I'll tak' it ; 
Sae gang awa', get out the mare, 

We'll baith slip on the back o't. 
For gin I wait my faither's time 

I'll wait till I be fifty ; 
But na, I'll marry in my prime, 

And mak' a wife fu' thrifty." 

Wow ! Robin was an angry man 

At tynin' o' his dochter. 
Through a' the kintra-side he ran, 

And far and near he socht her. 
But when he cam' to our fire-end, 

And fand us baith thegither, 
Quo' I, " Gudeman, I've ta'en your bairn, 

And ye can tak' my mither." 

Auld Robin girned, and shook his pow : 

" Gude sooth," quo' he, " you're merry, 
But I'll just tak' ye at your word, 

And end this hurry-burry." 
So Robin and our auld wife 

Agreed to creep thegither ; 
Now I hae Robin Tamson's pet, 

And Robin has my mither. 



176 THE GLASGOW POETS 



BEHAVE YOURSEL' BEFORE FOLK 

Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
And dinna be sae rude to me 
As kiss me sae before folk ! 

It wadna gie me meikle pain, 
Gin we were seen and heard by nane, 
- To tak' a kiss, or grant you ane ; 
But gudesake ! no before folk. 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Whate'er you do when out o' view, 
Be cautious aye before folk. 

Consider, lad , how folk will crack, 
And what a great affair they'll mak' 
O' naething but a simple smack 
That's gien or taen before folk. 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Nor gie the tongue o' auld or young 
Occasion to come o'er folk. 

It's no through hatred o' a kiss 
That I sae plainly tell you this ; 
But losh ! I tak it sair amiss 
To be sae teased afore folk. 



ALEXANDER RODGER 177 

Behave yourseF before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
When we're oor lane ye may tak' ane 
But fient a ane before folk. 

I'm sure wi' you I've been as free 
As ony modest lass should be ; 
But yet it doesna do to see 

Sic freedom used before folk. 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
I'll ne'er submit again to it 
So mind ye that before folk. 

Ye tell me that my face is fair ; 
It may be sae I dinna care ; 
But ne'er again gar't blush sae sair 
As ye hae done before folk. 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Nor heat my cheeks wi' your mad freaks ; 
But aye be douce before folk. 

Ye tell me that my lips are sweet : 
Sic tales I doubt are a' deceit ; 
At onyrate it's hardly meet 

To pree their sweets before folk. 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Gin that's the case, there's time and place, 

But surely no before folk. 
N 



i;8 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But gin ye really do insist 
That I should suffer to be kissed, 
Gae, get a licence frae the priest, 
And mak' me yours before folk. 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
Behave yoursel' before folk ! 
And when we're ane, bluid, flesh, and bane 
Ye may tak' ten before folk. 1 



THE ANSWER 

Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk, 
When, wily elf, your sleeky self 
Gars me gang gyte before folk ? 

In a' ye do, in a' ye say, 
Ye've sic a pawky, coaxing way, 
That my poor wits ye lead astray, 
And ding me doit before folk ! 



1 A description by an eye-witness of the occasion of the composition of 
this song was contributed to the Glasgow Weekly Herald for 1st March, 
1902, by the late James Dick, of gutta-percha fame. At a party at 
"Granny Muir's " in honour of a young journalist leaving for New 
York, the hero of the evening made several attempts to kiss his 
sweetheart, and she remonstrated with " Behave yourself before folk !" 
Rodger, who was one of the company, retired to another room for a 
little, and on returning read the song aloud, and handed it to the 
young man, by whom it was published first in America, 



ALEXANDER RODGER 179 

Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk 
While ye ensnare can I forbear 
A-kissing, though before folk ? 

Can I behold that dimpling cheek, 
Whare love 'mong sunny smiles might beek, 
Yet, howlet-like, my e'elids steek, 
And shun sic light, before folk ? 
Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk, 
When ilka smile becomes a wile, 
Enticing me before folk ? 

That lip like Eve's forbidden fruit, 
Sweet, plump, and ripe, sae tempts me to't, 
That I maun pree't, though I should rue't, 
Aye, twenty times before folk. 
Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk, 
When temptingly it offers me 
So rich a treat before folk ? 

That gowden hair sae sunny bright 
That shapely neck o' snawy white 
That tongue, even when it tries to flyte 
Provokes me till't before folk. 
Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk, 
When ilka charm, young, fresh, and warm, 
Cries " Kiss me now ! " before folk ? 



i8o THE GLASGOW POETS 

And oh ! that pawky, rowin' e'e, 
Sae roguishly it blinks on me, 
I canna, for my saul, let be 

Frae kissing you before folk ! 
Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk, 
When ilka glint conveys a hint 
To tak' a smack before folk? 

Ye own that, were we baith our lane, 
Ye wadna grudge to grant me ane ; 
Weel, gin there be nae harm in't then, 
What harm is in't before folk ? 
Can I behave, can I behave, 
Can I behave before folk ? 
Sly hypocrite ! an anchorite 
Could scarce desist before folk ! 

But after a' that has been said, 
Since ye are willing to be wed, 
We'll ha'e a blythesome bridal made, 
When ye'll be mine before folk. 
Then I'll behave, then I'll behave, 
Then I'll behave before folk ; 
For whereas then ye'll aft get ten, 
It winna be before folk. 



JOHN WILSON 

1785-1854 

THOUGH a native of Paisley, and associated in later life mostly with 
that Edinburgh which he helped so much to glorify as the Modem 
Athens, Professor Wilson was too closely associated with Glasgow in 
his most impressionable years to be omitted altogether from its roll 
of makers. His father was a prosperous gauze manufacturer in 
"St. Mirrens," and his mother, Margaret Sym, the daughter of a 
wealthy Glasgow family. After an early education at the manse 
of Mearns, he entered Glasgow University at the age of thirteen. 
There he was known chiefly by the facility with which he scribbled 
verses, and the ease with which he beat all competitors at the 
exhilarating exercise of hop, step, and jump. There also he received 
from Professors Young and Jardine the impulses which led him at a 
later day to adopt a life of letters. Afterwards, at Magdalene College, 
Oxford, he won the Newdigate Prize for a poem of fifty lines, and 
earned distinction in all athletic sports. At the age of twenty-three, 
by the death of his father, he was left his own master, and purchased 
the beautiful estate of Elleray, on Lake Windermere. Five years 
later he married Miss Jane Penny, daughter of a wealthy Liverpool 
merchant. 

Wordsworth, Southey, and De Quincey lived within easy reach, 
and Coleridge was a frequent visitor to the neighbourhood. Among 
these friends young Mr. Wilson of Elleray, with his fine fortune, 
his good looks, and his poetic taste, was the spoiled favourite. Again 
and again his romantic escapades were the talk of the little circle. 
At one time he attached himself to a company of strolling players, 
and again he became one of a gipsy company which visited the 
district. 



i8 2 THE GLASGOW POETS 

All such dilettante trifling, however, was brought to an end pre- 
sently by the sudden loss of his fortune. That loss acted upon 
him like a plunge into cold water upon one light-headed with wine. 
It sobered and steadied him ; he forgot his illusions, and found his 
real power. Hitherto he had been an amateur in poetry, and his 
elegy on the death of James Grahame, his " Isle of Palms," and 
his "City of the Plague," remain among other productions to attest 
his fine, if somewhat fanciful, powers in that direction. But now 
he went to Edinburgh, turned to prose, and produced his tales and 
sketches "Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life," "The Foresters," 
and "The Trials of Margaret Lindsay." He was called to the Scottish 
Bar in 1815, but seems never to have even tried to succeed in the 
law courts. On the establishment of Blackwoocf s Magazine, in 1817, 
he became, under the pseudonym of " Christopher North," its most 
original, constant, and charming contributor. From his pen came 
the greater part of the startling "Chaldee Manuscript," written between 
nine at night and five next morning. And, greatest and most enduring 
of all, to him were owed the successive papers of that rich original 
feast, the " Noctes Ambrosianse. " It is one of the chief disabilities 
of an Englishman that he cannot enjoy the felicities of these articles. 
The original of all modern causeries, they have never been equalled, 
never even approached, for any of the qualities which make a causerie 
worth reading. 

In 1820 Wilson became a candidate for the Chair of Moral 
Philosophy in Edinburgh University. He had the support of 
Sir Walter Scott, but was bitterly opposed by the Whigs, and when, 
somewhat to his own surprise, he was elected, a storm was looked 
for. At his opening lecture a crowd assembled to howl him down. 
An eye-witness has described the scene "The lecture room was 
crowded to the ceiling. Such a collection of hard-browed, scowling 
Scotsmen, muttering over their knobsticks, I never saw. The professor 
entered with a bold step, amid profound silence. Every one expected 
some deprecatory or propitiatory introduction of himself or his subject, 
upon which the mass was to decide against him, reason or no reason. 
But he began in a voice of thunder right into the matter of his lectures, 
kept up unflinchingly and unhesitatingly, without a pause, a flow of 
rhetoric such as his predecessors never delivered in the same place. 
Not a word, not a murmur, escaped his conquered audience, and at 



JOHN WILSON 183 

the end they gave him a right-down unanimous burst of applause." 
He held the chair for thirty years, and in 1851, on receiving a pension 
of jC3 from Government, resigned without a retiring allowance. 

His summers were spent at Elleray, where his splendid hospitality 
and regattas on Windermere won him the title of "Admiral of the 
Lake." In Edinburgh he was the recognised successor of Sir Walter 
Scott. For a generation his stalwart form and magnificent leonine head 
made the most noted figure in the assemblies and streets ; and when 
he expired there in 1854 it was felt that the last of the godlike race 
was dead in Modern Athens. Thousands followed his hearse to the 
Dean Cemetery, and in 1865 his statue was set up, not far from Scott's, 
in the beautiful Princes Street Gardens. 

His complete works were edited by his son-in-law, Professor Ferric, 
after his death, and a memoir by his daughter, Mrs. Gordon, appeared 
in 1862. 



THE EVENING CLOUD 

A cloud lay cradled near the setting sun, 

A gleam of crimson tinged its braided snow ; 
Long had I watched the glory moving on 

O'er the still radiance of the lake below. 

Tranquil its spirit seemed, and floated slow : 
Even in its very motion there was rest ; 

While every breath of eve that chanced to blow, 
Wafted the traveller to the beauteous west. 
Emblem, methought, of the departed soul, 

To whose white robe the gleam of bliss is given, 
And by the breath of mercy made to roll 

Right onwards to the golden gates of heaven, 
Where to the eye of faith it peaceful lies, 
And tells to man his glorious destinies. 



1 84 THE GLASGOW POETS 



TO A WILD DEER 

Magnificent creature ! so stately and bright ! 

In the pride of thy spirit pursuing thy flight. 

For what hath the child of the desert to dread, 

Wafting up his own mountains that far-beaming head, 

Or borne like a whirlwind down on the vale ? 

Hail ! king of the wild and the beautiful ! hail ! 

Hail ! idol divine ! whom nature hath borne 

O'er a hundred hilltops since the mists of the morn 

Whom the pilgrim lone wand'ring on mountain and moor, 

As the vision glides by him, may blameless adore, 

For the joy of the happy, the strength of the free, 

Are spread in a garment of glory o'er thee. 

Up, up to yon cliff ! like a king to his throne, 

O'er the black silent forest piled lofty and lone 

A throne which the eagle is glad to resign 

Unto footsteps so fleet and so fearless as thine. 

There the bright heather springs up in love of thy breast ; 

Lo ! the clouds in the depths of the sky are at rest, 

And the race of the wild winds is o'er on the hill ! 

In the hush of the mountains ye antlers lie still ! 

Though your branches now toss in the storm of delight, 

Like the arms of the pine on yon shelterless height, 

One moment, thou bright apparition, delay, 

Then melt o'er the crags like the sun from the day. 

His voyage is o'er ! as if struck by a spell, 



JOHN WILSON 185 

He motionless stands in the brush of the dell, 
Then softly and slowly sinks down on his breast, 
In the midst of his pastime enamoured of rest. 
A stream in a clear pool that endeth its race 
A dancing ray chained to one sunshiny place 
A cloud by the winds to calm solitude driven 
A hurricane dead in the silence of heaven, 
Fit couch of repose for a pilgrim like thee ; 

Magnificent prison enclosing the free ! 
With rock wall encircled, with precipice crowned, 
Which, awoke by the sun, thou canst clear at a bound. 
'Mid the fern and the heather kind nature doth keep 
One bright spot of green for her favourite's sleep ; 
And close to that covert, as clear as the skies, 
When their blue depths are cloudless, a little lake lies, 
Where the creature at rest can his image behold 
Looking up through the radiance as bright and as bold. 

Yes, fierce looks thy nature, even hushed in repose, 

In the depths of thy desert regardless of foes ; 

Thy bold antlers call on the hunter afar, 

With a haughty defiance, to come to the war. 

No outrage is war to a creature like thee ; 

The bugle-horn fills thy wild spirit with glee, 

As thou bearest thy neck on the wings of the wind, 

And the laggardly gazehound is toiling behind. 

In the beams of thy forehead, that glitter with death 

In feet that draw power from the touch of the heath 

In the wide raging torrent that lends thee its roar 



1 86 THE GLASGOW POETS 

In the cliff that, once trod, must be trodden no more 
Thy trust 'mid the dangers that threaten thy reign. 

But what if the stag on the mountain be slain ? 
On the brink of the rock, lo ! he standeth at bay, 
Like a victor that falls at the close of the day, 
While hunter and hound in their terror retreat 
From the death that is spurned from his furious feet, 
And his last cry of anger comes back from the skies 
As nature's fierce son in the wilderness dies. 



ANDREW CRAWFURD 

1786-1854 

COMPILER of an " Eik," consisting of three large MS. volumes, to 
Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, of a "Cairn of Lochwinnoch, Renfrew- 
shire, and West of Scotland Matters," in forty-six large quartos, and of 
a collection of newspaper cuttings thirty volumes in size, Dr. Andrew 
Crawfurd, the Johnshill poet, was, during the first half of the nineteenth 
century, a storehouse of information on things Scottish from which all 
the men of letters of the West of Scotland were fain to draw. The 
fortnightly "Attic Stories," published in Glasgow in 1817, were largely 
written by him. Motherwell's "Minstrelsy" in 1827, and " Paisley 
Magazine" in 1828, owed many of their best contents to his industry. 
He had a hand in the production of "The Laird of Logan" and 
" Whistle-binkie," when these collections were being put together in 
David Robertson's back shop in Glassford Street. And Ramsay's 
" Tannahill " and " Views in Renfrewshire," and Paterson's " Sempills 
of Beltrees," " History of Ayrshire," " Scottish Journal," and " Edin- 
burgh Traditional Magazine," all owed much to his industrious accumu- 
lations. 

It is pathetic to think that this busy toiler in the antiquities of letters 
and forgotten alleys of folklore was a speechless invalid, palsied in the 
whole right side, crippled by want of a leg, and forced not only to 
write, but to carry on all his collections, by means of his left hand 
alone. Second son of Andrew Crawfurd, portioner, and Jean Adam, a 
country heiress, he was born at Johnshill, Lochwinnoch, 5th November, 
1786. His father wished him to become a manufacturer, and he began 
life as a clerk in Paisley. But his own inclinations were of another 
kind, and after a course of eight years at Glasgow University, in which 
he distinguished himself by carrying off many college honours, he 



i88 THE GLASGOW POETS 

obtained the diploma of the Glasgow Faculty of Physicians and 
Surgeons in 1818, and began practice as a medical man at Rothesay. 
In December of the following year, however, he caught typhus fever, 
and lay long on the edge of death. When he did unexpectedly recover 
it was as the physical wreck, palsied, cripple, and speechless, already 
described. With a stout heart, nevertheless, he set himself to face the 
future, and with such success that in his quiet retirement at Johnshill he 
built up a unique reputation as a poet, writer, and literary antiquary. 
Though he could not speak, he was fond of company, and by means of 
an interjection, a shake of the head, or an occasional laugh, he 
managed to make interesting talk among others, and his house be- 
came a favourite resort. He died at Johnshill, 27th December, 1854. 
An account of his life is contained in Alexander G. Murdoch's " Recent 
and "Living Scottish Poets." 



CONSCIENCE 

Aye ! we may busk wi' rosy wreath 

The bitter cup o' care, 
And we may gar the drink aneath 

To skinkle bricht and fair. 

And we may busk the face wi' smiles 
To hide the wounded heart, 

And fleech on mirth wi' flatterin' wiles 
To pu' awa' the dart. 

And we may jilt the soothfast frien' 
That snibs us when we sin, 

And ilka hour in daffin' spen', 
To droun the voice within. 



ANDREW CRAWFURD 189 

But yet the flowers, wi' a' their pride, 

The drink they canna sweeten ; 
And yet the smirks, they canna hide 

The heart wi' canker eaten. 

And conscience, though we've held her lang, 

Hushed in a doverin' sleep, 
Will rise belyve, refreshed and strang, 

And gar us ruefu' weep. 



A GLANCE AYONT THE GRAVE 

My boyhood was a pleasant dream, 
And noo I wake to prove it sae ; 

My youdith bleezed wi' hope's fair gleam ; 
My manhood keps the thud o' wae. 

The sunny knowes that ance were dear, 

I taigle on, aye fain to view ; 
The spunk o' life that lowe't sae clear, 

Is crynit to an aizle noo. 

Is life a dulesome glamour a' ? 

The weary wraith o' daffin' past ? 
And are we bound by feydom's law 

To lair in mirk wanhope at last ? 

Na ! our fate speils the hin'most breath, 
And skinkles like the star of even, 

And lichts the eerie glen o' death, 
And airts us to our bield in Heaven, 



JOHN DONALD CARRICK 

1787-1837 

EDITOR of the first series of " Whistle-binkie," and projector of 
" The Laird of Logan," one of the most amusing and famous collections 
of Scottish humour, John Donald Carrick holds an assured place in the 
literary annals of Glasgow. For his contribution to the kindly gaiety 
of the nation indeed, in respect of these two creations alone, more is 
owed to him than is ever likely to be summed up. 

Born of humble parents at Glasgow in April, 1787, he had but a 
limited education, and while still very young was placed in the office 
of Mr. Nicholson, an architect of some note in the city. It does not 
appear that he was regularly apprenticed, and the uncertainty of his 
future seems to have determined him to seek fortune in a wider world. 
Of the four youthful Glasgow poets, Smollett, Gray, Buchanan, and 
himself, who have made the romantic pilgrimage to London, none did 
it in more hardy and independent fashion than the architect's boy. 
The four hundred miles he travelled on foot, living on the poorest fare, 
and sleeping sometimes in roadside taverns, but more often among 
the harvest sheaves under the kindly canopy of heaven. At Liverpool 
he met a recruiting party, gay with ribbons, and martial with fife and 
drum, and the temptation was strong to enlist. He threw up his stick, 
however, and as it fell pointing south, he continued his journey. When 
he did reach London it was with the last humble half-crown in his 
pocket. He was just twenty years of age, had left home without con- 
sulting any one, and had nothing but his own efforts to fall back upon. 

His ambition at that time was not towards letters, and after various 
essays he found a place in a Staffordshire pottery warehouse. In 1811 
he returned to Glasgow and set up a similar business on his own 
account, which he carried on for fourteen years. At last, however, he 
became involved with a relative in the foreign trade, and saw his hopes 
destroyed. He next tried the business of a travelling agent, but though 



JOHN DONALD CARRICK 191 

it enabled him to pick up many amusing traits of character about the 
country, it was otherwise unsuccessful, and he finally threw up mercan- 
tile attempts. 

Meanwhile, in 1825, Carrick, who had been studying ancient Scottish 
literature, had produced a " Life of Sir William Wallace," which was 
published as a volume of " Constable's Miscellany," and long continued 
popular. He now became sub-editor of a Glasgow journal, the Scots 
Times, and on the appearance of Dr. Strang's paper, The Day, in 
1832, contributed many admirable pieces to its columns. In the same 
year he edited the first series of " Whistle-binkie," to which he con- 
tributed a humorous introduction and several excellent songs and 
amusing poetical sketches. In 1833 and 1834 respectively he became 
editor of the Perth Advertiser and the Kilmarnock Journal. For the 
latter position he was strongly recommended by his friend William 
Motherwell, who at the same time declared his rooted hostility to the 
Liberal principles of both Carrick and the paper. 

Alas ! on each of these journals Carrick was subjected to the annoy- 
ance of supervision by a committee, which within a year in each case 
made the position intolerable. To add to his misery he had been 
attacked by paralysis of the mouth and by tic doloreux, perhaps the most 
excruciating of human ailments. On asking leave of absence from his 
post on the Kilmarnock Journal he was refused, and forced to resign. 
This, nevertheless, was the period of his best work, and in June, 
1835, the first edition of the "Laird of Logan" appeared. A sojourn 
at Rothesay so far revived him that he was able to contribute a series 
of papers rich in Scottish humour and traits "Nights at Kilcomrie 
Castle ; or, the Days of Queen Mary " to the Scottish Magazine. But 
his ailment again gradually overpowered him, and he died I7th August, 
1835. A sketch of his life was prefixed to the complete edition of 
"Whistle-binkie." 

Carrick's forte was his rich humour and happy vein of drollery. He 
had a shrewd knowledge of human nature, and a biting but not unkindly 
knack of satire. During the crisis of the passing of the Reform Bill he 
took active part, and his " New Election Song," otherwise " The Laird 
of Barloch," roared through the streets by a ballad singer, had a great 
effect as a political squib. Dr. Strang, in "Glasgow and its Clubs," 
quotes it in full. It is to be regretted that no publisher has yet pro- 
duced a collected edition of Carrick's works, 



192 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE HARP AND THE HAGGIS 

At that tide when the voice of the turtle is dumb, 
And Winter, wi' drap at his nose, doth come, 
A whistle to mak' o' the castle lum, 

To sowf his music sae sairly, O ! 
And the roast on the speat is sapless and sma', 
And meat is scant in chamber and ha', 
And the knights ha'e ceased their merry guffaw, 

For lack o' their warm canary, O ! 

Then the Harp and the Haggis began a dispute, 
'Bout whilk o' their charms were in highest repute. 
The Haggis at first as a haddie was mute, 

And the Harp went on wi' her vapourin', O ! 
And lofty and loud were the tones she assumed, 
And boasted how ladies and knights gaily plumed, 
Through rich gilded halls, all so sweetly perfumed, 

To the sound o' her strings went a-caperin', O ! 

" While the Haggis," she said, " was a beggarly slave, 

And never was seen 'mang the fair and the brave." 
" Fuff, fuff ! " quo' the Haggis, "thou vile, lying knave, 

Come tell us the use of thy twanging, O ! 
Can it fill a toom wame ? Can it help a man's pack ? 
A minstrel when out may come in for his snack, 
But when starving at hame will it keep him, alack! 
Frae trying his hand at the hanging, O ? " 



JOHN DONALD CARRICK 193 

The twa they grew wild as wud could be ; 

But a minstrel boy they chanced to see, 

Wha stood listening bye ; and to settle the plea 

They begged he would try his endeavour, O ! 
For the twa in their wrath had all reason forgot, 
And stood boiling with rage just like peas in a pot. 
But a haggis, ye ken, aye looks best when it's hot ; 

So his bowels were moved in its favour, O ! 

" Nocht pleasures the lug half so weel as a tune, 
And whare hings the lug wad be fed wi' a spoon ? " 
The Harp in a triumph cried, " Laddie, weel done ! " 

And her strings wi' delight fell a-tinkling, O ! 
" The Harp's a braw thing," continued the youth, 
" But what is the Harp to put in the mouth ? 
It fills na the wame, it slakes na the drouth ; 
At least, that is my way o' thinking, O ! 

" A tune's but an air, but a haggis is meat ; 
And wha plays the tune that a body can eat ? 
When a haggis is seen wi' a sheep's head and feet, 

My word, she has gallant attendance, O ! 
A man wi' sic fare may ne'er pree the tangs, 
But laugh at lank hunger, though sharp be her fangs ; 
But the bard that maun live by the wind o' his sangs, 
Wae's me, has a puir dependence, O ! 

11 How often we hear, wi' the tear in our eye, 
How the puir starving minstrel, exposed to the sky, 
Lays his head on his harp, and breathes out his last sigh, 

Without e'er a friend within hearing, O ! 

o 



194 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But wha ever heard of a minstrel so crost 
Lay his head on a haggis to gie up the ghost ? 
O never, since Time took his scythe frae the post, 
And truntled awa' to the shearing, O ! 

" Now I'll settle your plea in the crack o' a whup. 
Gie the haggis the lead, be't to dine or to sup : 
Till the bags are weel filled there can no drone get up, 

Is a saying I learned from my mither, O ! 
When the feasting is ower, let the harp loudly twang, 
And soothe ilka lug wi' the charms o' her sang, 
And the wish o' my heart is, wherever ye gang, 

Gude grant ye may be thegither, O ! " 



WILLIAM GLEN 

1789-1826 

ON one of the evenings when Queen Victoria was entertained at Tay- 
mouth Castle, in 1842, John Wilson, a famous Scottish singer of the 
day, was engaged to perform. The list of his songs was submitted 
beforehand to the Queen, and in place of one which he proposed, she 
asked that he should sing " Wae's me for Prince Charlie." That 
request was the first intimation that Jacobite songs would no longer be 
taboo at Court. 1 

Of all modern Jacobite lyrics there can be no doubt this of William 
Glen's remains the most popular. So constantly is it sung that it has 
completely appropriated the tune of the fine old Ayrshire ballad, 
"Johnnie Faa." Indeed, it has eclipsed even its author's other work 
so far that it has come to be looked on generally as his solitary produc- 
tion. Far from remaining so sterile, however, Glen was one of the 
most prolific of song writers. The pity is that more care was not taken 
to preserve his work to the world. 

The poet's life was unfortunate. Opening with the fairest promise, it 
was darkened early by one disaster after another, and if his conduct 
showed weakness in the later years he was not without excuse. Second 
son of a considerable West India merchant, and descended of a family 
which had some pride in its past, he was born in Queen Street, Glasgow, 
1 4th November, 1789, and received a good education in his native city. 
His mother's brother, James Burns, was Provost of Renfrew, and an 
enthusiast for the old historical tales of Scotland. With him the future 
poet spent his summers, and from his lips heard the stories of "Wallace 
wight," the royal Stewarts, and " Bonnie Prince Charlie," which were 
to give their own turn to his poetry. The first outcome of this influence 



J The incident is related by Alexander Whitelaw, editor of Messrs. Blackie's 
Book of Scottish Song." 



196 THE GLASGOW POETS 

was an ardent patriotism. When a corps of Glasgow Sharpshooters 
was raised in 1803, Glen joined as a lieutenant; and he afterwards 
became an enthusiastic member of the Renfrewshire Yeomanry. His 
father, to begin with, hoped to leave him independent means, but a 
disastrous fire in Trinidad reduced the family fortunes, and the poet 
became a business man. In this career he prospered highly for a time. 
After spending several years in the West Indies, he began business in 
Glasgow on his own account as a manufacturer and trader with these 
colonies, and in 1814 was elected a manager of the Merchants' House 
and a director of the Chamber of Commerce. 

At that date he made some figure in the life of the city. He was a 
member of the Coul Club and the Anderston Social Club, and at their 
weekly meetings produced many effusions, which were duly inscribed in 
the minutes. One of these, given on the i8th of April, 1814, after the 
abdication of Napoleon, was sung by Adam Grant, and is printed in 
"Glasgow and its Clubs"; and an earlier piece, "The Battle of 
Vittoria," was long popular in that exciting time. On being first sung 
at the Glasgow theatre, the latter was received with wild applause, and 
it was called for nightly during the season. 

But the crisis which overtook the country at the end of the Napoleonic 
wars proved disastrous, among many others in Glasgow, to the young 
merchant-poet. After Waterloo the Anderston Social Club, deprived 
of the patriotic motive which had been its chief reason for existence, 
presently ceased to meet, and its laureate, subjected to heavy business 
losses, found himself ruined. A broken man, enjoying indifferent 
health, he did not enter commercial life again. Instead, he turned 
for occupation to the publication of his collected compositions. "Poems 
Chiefly Lyrical" appeared in 1815, "The Lonely Isle, a South Sea 
Island Tale," in 1816, and "The Star of Brunswick," on the death of 
the Princess Charlotte of Wales, in 1818. In 1818, also, he married 
Catherine Macfarlane, daughter of a Glasgow merchant who rented a 
farm at Port of Menteith. His means of livelihood was a moderate 
allowance made him by his father and by an uncle in Russia, with such 
slight additions as he could compass by his pen. " In his latter days," 
says Dr. Strang, "he took severely to the bottle. He was extremely 
ready in his poetical compositions, and would throw off a number of 
verses in the course of a night, and sell them to a bookseller for a few 
shillings, to be printed as a broadsheet." 



WILLIAM GLEN 197 

At last his wife induced him to retire to her childhood's district. 
There, at Rainagour, near Aberfoyle, on the banks of the lovely Loch 
Ard, he composed many of his sweetest songs, and there in the end it 
seemed that he was to die. A few weeks before that end, however, 
he said to his wife, " Kate, I would like to go back to Glasgow." 
"Why, Willie," she asked, "are ye no as well here?" "It's no 
myself I'm thinking about," he answered. " It's of you, Kate, for I 
know well it's easier to take a living man there than a dead one." 
"So," says the writer who narrates the incident, 1 "the sorrowful 
woman with her dying husband departed from the place, and the warm 
Highland hearts missed and mourned for him, forgetting his faults, 
and remembering only his virtues." He died in Gorbals, Glasgow, 
of consumption, and was buried in the Ramshorn Churchyard, in 
December, 1826. 

Besides the pieces included in his own volumes, Glen was author of 
much occasional poetry. Several of his lyrics, as already remarked, 
were inscribed in the minutes of the Anderston Social Club. And 
later in his short life, while living at Aberfoyle, he contributed a 
number of pieces to the Literary Reporter, a Glasgow miscellany 
published in 1823. There is reason to believe, however, that he left 
a considerable mass of unpublished manuscript. Dr. Charles Rogers, 
in his "Century of Scottish Life," says, "In a solitary nook at 
Aberfoyle resided, a few years ago, two females, where they were 
discovered by a clerical friend, who, at my request, obligingly sought 
them out. These were the widow and daughter of William Glen. 
. . . Glen was unfortunate in business, and the depressed condition 
of his affairs led to the dispersion of his MSS., and nearly bereft him 
of posthumous fame. "2 When this was written one of the poet's 
manuscript volumes, inscribed Volume Third, was in the hands of 
Gabriel Neil, the editor of Zachary Boyd, and from it Rogers printed 



1 J. G. Wilson, editor of " Poets and Poetry of Scotland," whose father had been 
a personal acquaintance of Glen. 

2 The clerical friend here mentioned was probably the late Dean Stanley. At 
his instance a cottage home was built at Craigmuck, near Aberfoyle, and placed 
in charge of Mrs. Glen and her daughter. There for many years they tended a 
houseful of poor children from Glasgow. For this and several other facts the editor 
is indebted to William Anderson, Esq., F.S.A.Scot., himself a distant relative of 
Mrs. Glen, and an enthusiastic collector of the poetic ana of Scotland. 



198 THE GLASGOW POETS 

some pieces in his "Modern Scottish Minstrel." Rogers also published 
at Edinburgh in 1874 a collection of Glen's poems, with a portrait and 
memoir. In the memoir he gave a history of the family of Glen from 
the days of Bruce, and derived the name from The Glen in Peebles- 
shire, once their property. But the pieces included had nearly all 
appeared already in the poet's own volumes. The manuscripts in the 
hands of Gabriel Neil remained for the most part unpublished, and 
after the antiquary's death in 1862 his MS. volume seems to have gone 
amissing. Another has come into the knowledge of the present writer. 
When the collection of the late Alexander Macdonald, who was a 
native of Gartmore, in the neighbourhood of Aberfoyle, was sold in 
1897, this volume was acquired by Mr. D. Simpson, 23 Dunmore Street, 
South Side. It contains forty- three pieces, only two or three of which 
seem, to have been printed before, in Dr. Rogers' collected edition and 
in Glen's own volume of 1815. Many of the poems deal with the 
district of Aberfoyle and Menteith, and from internal evidence there 
can be little doubt that all of them are the work of William Glen. 
Probably it is one of the series of which Gabriel Neil's book 
was "Volume Third." Two of the pieces included below "The 
Highland Maid" and the verses "To the Memory of John Graham 
of Claverhouse " are taken from this volume by kind permission of 
Mr. Simpson. 



WAR'S ME FOR PRINCE CHARLIE 

A wee bird cam' to our ha' door, 

He warbled sweet and clearly, 
And aye the o'ercome o' his sang 

Was " Wae's me for Prince Charlie ! " 
Oh ! when I heard the bonnie soun' 

The tears cam' happin' rarely ; 
I took my bannet aff my head, 

For weel I lo'ed Prince Charlie ! 



WILLIAM GLEN 199 

Quoth I, "My bird, my bonnie, bonnie bird, 

Is that a sang ye borrow ? 
Are these some words ye've learnt by heart, 

Or a lilt o' dule and sorrow ? " 
" Oh ! no, no, no," the wee bird sang ; 
" I've flown sin' mornin' early, 
But sic a day o' wind and rain 
Oh ! wae's me for Prince Charlie ! 

" On hills that are by right his ain 

He roves a lanely stranger ; 
On every side he's pressed by want, 

On every side is danger. 
Yestreen I met him in a glen ; 

My heart 'maist burstit fairly, 
For sadly changed indeed was he 

Oh ! wae's me for Prince Charlie ! 

" Dark night cam' on, the tempest roared 

Loud o'er the hills and valleys, 
And whare was't that your Prince lay down, 

Whase hame should been a palace ? 
He rowed him in a Highland plaid, 

Which covered him but sparely, 
And slept beneath a bush o' broom 

Oh ! wae's me for Prince Charlie ! " 

But now the bird saw some red coats, 
And he shook his wings wi' anger : 
" Oh ! this is no a land for me, 
I'll tarry here nae langer ! " 



200 THE GLASGOW POETS 

He hovered on the wing a while, 

Ere he departed fairly, 
But weel I mind the farewell strain 

Was " Wae's me for Prince Charlie !" 



THE HIGHLAND MAID 

Whan summer's sun, wi' lovely smile 
Adorned the bents o' Aberfoyle, 
And roses sweet began to blaw 
On Castle Duchray's ruined wa', 
'Twas then, on Daliel's lovely glade 
I met my bonnie Highland Maid. 

Let nobles in the gorgeous ha' 

Woo ladies decked in jewels braw ; 

But unto me alone be given 

The heath couch 'neath the summer heaven, 

Close to a burn and hazel shade 

And in my arms my Highland Maid. 

Then, then let wealth tak' wings and flee ! 

It ne'er shall draw ae sigh frae me. 

Could I repine, or wish for more, 

Blest wi' the lassie I adore, 

In native innocence arrayed 

My bonnie, blooming Highland Maid ? 



WILLIAM GLEN 201 

Oh ! ne'er will I that day forget 
When on fair Duchray's banks we met, 
When lone Daliel's romantic groves 
Heard the warm whisper of our loves ; 
While the unconscious sigh betrayed 
The love throes of my Highland Maid. 

Shackled wi' poortith's iron bands, 
I soon may visit distant lands, 
But even in the arms o' death 
I'll muse upon the Land o' Heath, 
An' far frae love's woe-soothing aid, 
I'll weep for my sweet Highland Maid. 



TO THE MEMORY OF 

JOHN GRAHAM OF CLAVERHOUSE, 

LORD VISCOUNT DUNDEE 

He died not in bed, in the hour of age, 

Hand feeble and tresses hoary, 
No ! Dundee closed his warlike pilgrimage 

In the hour of meridian glory. 
No churchman came nigh to teach him to die, 

To point out the way, calm and coldly ; 
But the victory note from the trumpet throat, 

Sounded his requiem boldly. 



202 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Killiecrankie's wild pass saw the hero fall, 

'Mid the drum-beat and musket rattle ; 
'Twas enough the stoutest heart to appal, 

The shock of that furious battle. 
He died on the field as a soldier should die, 

Where the proudest of laurel wreaths crowned him, 
And instead of the mass, he was cheered with the cry 

Of victory shouting around him. 

Let Bigotry sleep his arm pulled it down : 

The Gordian knot he did sever ; x 
He fought for his prince, he defended the crown, 

And patriots will bless him for ever. 
Not a wavering doubt nor a shade of fear 

Can be traced through a page of his story ; 
No ! noble Dundee closed his gallant career 

In the fulness of mortal glory. 



1 It is difficult to understand the allusion here, if it refers to anything 
accomplished by the battle of Killiecrankie, in which Dundee fell. 



JOHN BRECKENRIDGE 

1790-1840 

ALL the available information regarding the life of the author of " The 
Humours o' Gleska Fair " is owed to the late Alexander G. Murdoch, 
who had an opportunity of procuring facts from surviving friends of the 
poet, and has preserved them in his valuable work, "Recent and 
Living Scottish Poets." John Breckenridge was born at Parkhead, and 
bred to the trade of a handloom weaver, but, joining the Lanarkshire 
militia, served a term of five years in Ireland. On his return he 
married, succeeded his mother in a small grocery business in his native 
place, and settled down to the life of a decent citizen. He was an 
excellent weaver, could write " like copperplate," made famous rhymes, 
and fiddles whose reputation brought high prices from London. Yet he 
neither wished riches for himself nor fame for his poetry, and when his 
end approached he made his wife bring the drawer in which his papers 
were kept, and throw them all into the fire. His " Gleska Fair " only 
escaped by an accident. A copy of the piece had come into possession 
of Livingstone, the Scottish vocalist, and he sang it into public 
knowledge. Only a few other scattered verses survive, but this poem, 
following the same vein as Mayne's "Siller Gun," and James V.'s 
" Christ's Kirk on the Green," gives Breckenridge a title to remem- 
brance. It is certainly not the finest vein of poetry, but it has all 
the merit and more than the humour of a Dutch picture, and in this 
case the manners of the people are pourtrayed by one of the people 
themselves. 

The poet is described as " small in stature and rotund in form, with a 
blythe expression of countenance, dark bright eyes, and a brow so 
ample that he was nick-named 'brooie' when a boy." He was "deil- 
fond o' fun, and whiles sae fu' o' mischief that there was nae fen 'in' \vi' 
him " ; and on his deathbed he told his wife she " wasna to be sair on 
the folks that were awn (owing) them, as she would maybe manage to 
fen' in a decent way without it." He died of a lingering internal 
disease. 



204 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE HUMOURS O' GLESKA FAIR 

The sun frae the eastward was peeping, 

And braid through the winnocks did stare, 
When Willie cried, " Tarn, are ye sleeping ? 

Mak' haste, man, and rise to the Fair ! 
For the lads and the lasses are thranging, 

And a' body's now in a steer, 
Fye, haste ye, and let us be ganging, 

Or, faith, we'll be langsome, I fear." 

Then Tarn he got up in a hurry, 

And wow but he made himsel' snod, 
And a pint o' milk brose he did worry, 

To mak' him mair teugh for the road. 
On his head his blue bannet he slippit, 

His whip o'er his shouther he flang, 
And a clumsy oak cudgel he grippit, 

On purpose the loons for to bang. 

Now Willock had trysted wi' Jenny, 

For she was a braw, canty quean ; 
Word gaed that she had a gey penny, 

For whilk Willie fondly did grien. 
Now Tarn he was blaming the liquor : 

Ae night he had got himsel' fu', 
And trysted glied Maggie Mac Vicar, 

And faith, he thocht shame for to rue. 



JOHN BRECKENRIDGE 205 

The carles, fu' cadgie, sat cocking 

Upon their white nags and their brown, 
Wi' snuffing and laughing and joking 

They soon cantered into the town. 
'Twas there was the funning and sporting ; 

Eh, lord ! what a swarm o' braw folk 
Rowly-powly, wild beasts, wheels o' fortune, 

Sweetie Stan's, Maister Punch, and Black Jock. 

Now Willock and Tarn, geyan bouzie, 

By this time had met wi' their joes ; 
Consented wi' Gibbie and Susie 

To gang awa' doun to the shows. 
'Twas there was the fiddling and drumming ; 

Sic a crowd they could scarcely get through 
Fiddles, trumpets, and organs a-bumming ; 

O sirs ! what a hully-baloo. 

Then hie to the tents at the paling, 

Weel theekit wi' blankets and mats, 
And deals seated round like a tap-room, 

Supported on stanes and on pats. 
The whisky like water they're selling, 

And porter as sma' as their yill, 
And aye as you're pouring they're telling, 

" Troth, dear, it's just sixpence a gill ! " 

Says Meg, " See yon beast wi' the claes on't, 
Wi ; the face o't as black as the soot ! 

Preserve's ! it has fingers and taes on't 
Eh, sirs ! it's an unco like brute ! " 



206 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" O woman, but ye are a gomeral 
To mak' sic a won'er at that ! 
D'ye na ken, ye daft gowk, that's a mongrel 
That's bred 'twixt a dog and a cat. 

" See yon souple jaud, how she's dancing, 

Wi' the white ruffled breeks and red shoon ! 
Frae the tap to the tae she's a' glancing 

Wi' gowd, and a feather abune. 
My troth, she's a braw decent kimmer 

As I have yet seen in the Fair ! " 
" Her decent ! " quo' Meg, " she's a limmer, 
Or, faith, she would never be there." 

Now Gibbie was wanting a toothfu' ; 

Says he, " I'm right tired o' the fun : 
D'ye think we'd be the waur o' a mouthfu' 

O' gude nappy yill and a bun ? " 
" Wi' a' my heart," Tarn says, " I'm willing 

'Tis best for to water the corn : 
By jing, I've a bonnie white shilling, 

And a saxpence that ne'er saw the morn." 

Before they got out o' the bustle 

Poor Tarn got his fairing, I trow, 
For a stick at the ginge' breid play'd whistle, 

And knockit him down like a cow. 
Says Tarn, " Wha did that? deil confound him ! 

Fair play, let me win at the loon ! " 
And he whirled his stick round and round him, 

And swore like a very dragoon. 



JOHN BRECKENRIDGE 207 

Then next for a house they gaed glowring, 

Whare they might get wetting their mou'. 
Says Meg, " Here's a house keeps a-pouring, 

Wi' the sign o' the muckle black cow." 
" A cow ! " quo' Jenny, " ye gawkie ! 

Preserve's, but ye've little skill ! 
Ca' ye that in rale earnest a hawkie ? 

Look again and ye'll see it's a bull." 

But just as they darkened the entry, 

Says Willie, " We're now far eneu' ; 
I see it's a house for the gentry 

Let's gang to the Sign o' the Pleugh." 
" Na, faith," then says Gibbie, " we'se raither 

Gae dauner to auld Luckie Gunn's, 
For there I'm to meet wi' my faither, 

And auld Uncle John o' the Whins." 

Now they a' snug in Luckie's had landed, 

Twa rounds at the bicker to try ; 
The whisky and yill round was handed, 

And baps in great bourocks did lie. 
Blind Alick, the fiddler, was trysted, 

And he was to handle the bow. 
On a big barrel-heid he was hoisted, 

To keep himsel' out o' the row. 

Ne'er saw ye sic din and guffawing ; 

Sic hooching and dancing was there ; 
Sic rugging, and riving, and drawing, 

Was ne'er seen before in a Fair. 



208 THE GLASGOW POETS 

For Tarn, he wi' Maggie was wheeling, 
And he gied sic a terrible jump, 

That his head cam' a rap on the ceiling, 
And clyte he fell doun on his rump. 

Now they ate and they drank till their bellies 

Were bent like the head o' a drum ; 
Syne they rase, and they capered like fillies, 

Whene'er that the fiddle played bum. 
Wi' dancing they now were grown weary, 

And scarcely were able to stan', 
So they took to the road a' fu' cheerie 

As day was beginning to dawn. 1 



1 A more detailed but less poetical piece with similar title, 
" Humours of Glasgow Fair," appeared in the Glasgow Literary 
Reporter of 26th July, 1823, above the signature " Observateur " ; 
and a third poem on "Glasgow Fair" is said to have been written 
by Alexander Macalpine, author of "The Mail Coach." 



THOMAS LYLE 

1792-1859 

OF all the songs celebrating natural beauties of the neighbourhood of 
Glasgow, " Kelvin Grove " justly remains the most popular. Its author, 
Dr. Thomas Lyle, depends almost entirely on that single song to keep 
his memory green. Moreover, the glory of having written it was the 
solitary gleam of sunshine in a somewhat obscure career. It is curious 
to think, therefore, that by an ironic turn of circumstance Lyle was 
nearly deprived of the honour of its authorship. Hugh Macdonald, in 
his " Rambles Round Glasgow," relates the episode. "The song," he 
says, "was first published in 1820 in the 'Harp of Renfrewshire,' a 
collection of poetical pieces to which an introductory essay on the 
poets of the district was contributed by William Motherwell. In the 
index to that work the name of John Sim is given as that of the author 
of ' Kelvin Grove.' Mr. Sim, who had contributed largely to the 
work, and for a time had even acted as its editor, left Paisley before its 
completion for the West Indies, where he shortly afterwards died. In 
the meantime the song became a general favourite, when Mr. Lyle laid 
claim to it as his own production, and brought forward evidence of the 
most convincing nature (including letters from Sim himself) to that 
effect. So clearly, indeed, did he establish the fact of his authorship 
that a musicseller in Edinburgh who had previously purchased the song 
from the executors of Mr. Sim, at once entered into a new arrange- 
ment with him for the copyright. Mr. Lyle, it seems, was in the habit 
of corresponding with Mr. Sim on literary matters, and on one 
occasion sent him ' Kelvin Grove ' with another song, to be published 
anonymously in the 'Harp of Renfrewshire.' In the meantime, Mr. 
Sim, who had transcribed both the pieces, was called abroad, and after his 
death his executors, finding the two songs among his papers and in his 
handwriting, naturally concluded that they were productions of his own 
genius, and published them accordingly." It is little wonder that to 
P 



210 THE GLASGOW POETS 

his last day, though his claim as author had been fully admitted, Lyle 
should still allude with some bitterness to the turn of fate which had all 
but deprived him of his fame. 

Born in Paisley, loth September, 1792, he studied at Glasgow 
University, and took his diploma as a surgeon in 1816. For the next 
ten years he practised in Glasgow. At that time the richly wooded 
banks of the Kelvin, to the north-west of the city, still remained a 
most romantic and sequestered region, and the Pear-tree Well, in 
particular, at the part known as North Woodside, was a favourite 
resort of lovers and other ramblers from the town on summer afternoons. 
Lyle was in the habit of making botanical excursions to the spot, and 
his song, written in 1819, was the result. 

In 1826 he removed to Airth, near Falkirk, and in the following 
year published a volume of "Ancient Ballads and Songs, chiefly from 
Tradition, Manuscripts, and Scarce Works ; with Biographical and 
Illustrative Notices." The work was the result of long and careful 
study. It contained, among others of Lyle's own poems, his song of 
' ' Kelvin Grove " with some alterations and an additional stanza. And 
it was notable for its publication of the miscellaneous poems of Mure of 
Rowallan. But it is doubtful if the work did its author any practical 
good. He got the reputation of a writer of poetry and gatherer of 
rare plants rather than of a skilful surgeon, and his practice was of 
small account. In 1853 he returned to Glasgow, and was employed 
by the city authorities during the prevalence of Asiatic cholera. Two 
years later Grant Wilson, editor of " The Poets and Poetry of Scot- 
land," says he found him there "living in obscurity with little practice, 
and apparently as much forgotten as the spot celebrated in his most 
popular song." In "The Old Ludgings of Glasgow," 1901, occurs a 
notice : " One of the houses recently cleared away on the west side of 
High Street, between George Street corner and the water-works, was the 
tenement No. 283, where Dr. Thomas Lyle, author of the charming 
song, ' Kelvin Grove,' was said to have resided during the last years of 
his life, about 1856, when holding the office of District Surgeon to the 
Barony Parochial Board. His drug store was in the next house north- 
wards, now part of the water-works yard." He died in Glasgow, 
I9th April, 1859. Rogers, in his "Century of Scottish Life," says of 
that event "As he had latterly lived in obscurity his departure was 
scarcely noticed in the newspapers." 



THOMAS LYLE 211 

KELVIN GROVE 

Let us haste to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie, O, 
Through its mazes let us rove, bonnie lassie, O, 

Where the rose in all her pride 

Paints the hollow dingle side, 
Where the midnight fairies glide, bonnie lassie, O. 

Let us wander by the mill, bonnie lassie, O, 
To the cove beside the rill, bonnie lassie, O, 

Where the glens rebound the call 

Of the roaring waters' fall 
Through the mountain's rocky hall, bonnie lassie, O. 

O ! Kelvin banks are fair, bonnie lassie, O, 
When in summer we are there, bonnie lassie, O, 

There the May-pink's crimson plume, 

Throws a soft but sweet perfume 
Round the yellow banks of broom, bonnie lassie, O. 

Though I dare not call thee mine, bonnie lassie, O, 
As the smile of fortune's thine, bonnie lassie, O, 

Yet, with fortune on my side, 

I could stay thy father's pride, 
And win thee for my bride, bonnie lassie, O ! 

But the frowns of fortune lower, bonnie lassie, O, 
On thy lover at this hour, bonnie lassie, O, 

Ere yon golden orb of day 

Wake the warblers on the spray 
From this land I must away, bonnie lassie, O ! 



212 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Then farewell to Kelvin Grove, bonnie lassie, O, 
And adieu to all I love, bonnie lassie, O, 

To the river winding clear, 

To the fragrant scented breir, 
E'en to thee of all most dear, bonnie lassie, O ! 

When upon a foreign shore, bonnie lassie, O, 
Should I fall midst battle's roar, bonnie lassie, O, 

Then, Helen, shouldst thou hear 

Of thy lover on his bier, 
' To his memory shed a tear, bonnie lassie, O ! 



DUNOON 

See, the glow-worm lits her fairy lamp 

From a beam of the rising moon, 
On the heathy shore, at evening fall, 

'Twixt Holy Loch and dark Dunoon. 
Her fairy lamp's pale silvery glare, 

From the dew-clad moorland flower, 
Invites my wandering footsteps there 

At the lonely twilight hour. 

When the distant beacon's revolving light 
Bids my lone step seek the shore, 

There the rush of the flow-tide's rippling wave 
Meets the dash of the fisher's oar, 



THOMAS LYLE 213 

And the dim-seen steamboat's hollow sound, 

As she seaward tracks her way. 
All else are asleep in the still, calm night, 

And robed in the misty grey. 

When the glow-worm lits her elfin lamp, 

And the night-breeze sweeps the hill, 
It's sweet, on thy rock-bound shores, Dunoon, 

To wander at fancy's will. 
Eliza ! with thee in this solitude 

Life's cares would pass away, 
Like the fleecy clouds over grey Kilmun 

At the wake of early day. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 

1794-1854 

WITH one exception, the " Life of Sir Walter Scott " remains the most 
famous biography in the English language; nevertheless its author, 
John Gibson Lockhart, had to wait forty-two years for his own 
biography to be written. Among the reasons for that long delay the 
chief, without doubt, arose from the character of Lockhart himself. 
Known in his own time, from the sting of his pen, as " the Scorpion," 
he made probably at least as many enemies as well-wishers, and it was 
only after the lapse of years that an audience was to be found impartial 
enough to read calmly his just praise and blame. Yet there can be no 
doubt he was a great man, one of the literary giants of those days, and 
in each of his characters, as poet, novelist, biographer, or Tory 
champion, material might have been found for an abundant and 
striking "Life." 

Descended from an ancient and honourable family, the Lockharts of 
Lee, near Lanark, hig father, Dr. John Lockhart, was for nearly fifty 
years minister of Blackfriars Church, Glasgow, and was noted for a 
strange combination of wit and absence of mind. The poet was 
Dr. Lockhart's second son, the eldest by a second marriage, and his 
mother was a daughter of Dr. Gibson, an Edinburgh minister. He 
was born at the manse of Cambusnethan, near Glasgow, I2th June, 1794. 
At Glasgow University he was a distinguished student, and among 
other honours earned a Snell exhibition which carried him to Baliol 
College, Oxford. There again he distinguished himself, graduating in 
his eighteenth year with first-class honours. He intended to follow the 
profession of law, and in 1816 was called to the Scottish Bar ; but here 
he suddenly found his career checked he could not make a speech. 

What seemed a misfortune at the time proved, however, the happy 
directing influence of his life. If he could not speak he could write. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 215 

In 1817 Black-wood's Magazine was established, and from the first he 
was, after John Wilson himself, the most brilliant of its contributors. 
Two years later his first book appeared " Peter's Letters to his 
Kinsfolk. " This was a series of sketches, by an imaginary Dr. Morris, 
of the most distinguished literary Scotsmen of the time. And in 1820 
he married Sophia, the elder daughter of Sir Walter Scott. 

By his own merits, no less than by his connection with " the Great 
Unknown," Lockhart was now one of the foremost of the northern 
men of letters. At Chiefswood, a cottage near Abbotsford, where he 
and his wife took up their summer abode, Scott, escaping from the 
throng of guests at his own house, wrote many a chapter of the 
Waverley novels, and Lockhart himself produced in rapid succession 
his striking romances "Valerius," perhaps the most classical tale of 
Roman life and manners in the language, "Adam Blair," a story of 
strong emotion and descriptive power, " Reginald Dalton," reminiscent 
of the author's own student life at Oxford, and " Matthew Wald." 
Then, in 1823, appeared his spirited translations of Spanish ballads, 
" to which," said Miss Mitford, " the art of the modern translator has 
given the charm of the vigorous old poets. " And these were closely 
followed by his "Life of Robert Burns" and "Life of Napoleon 
Bonaparte," both of which remain standard works to the present day. 

At the same time Lockhart had continued to contribute a profusion 
of articles, learned, eloquent, and witty, if too often biting and abusive, 
to the pages of Blackwood, and in 1825 he was appointed editor of the 
great Tory organ, the Quarterly Review. On leaving for London to 
take up this post he was entertained at a dinner in Edinburgh. On 
that occasion he tried to make a speech, failed as signally as he had 
done in the law courts, but atoned for his infirmity as he sat down by 
the witty remark, " Gentlemen, you know that if I could speak we 
should not have been here. " He remained editor of the Quarterly for 
twenty-seven years. 

Meanwhile, on the death of Sir Walter Scott in 1832, Lockhart 
became his literary executor, and fulfilled that great task by publishing, 
six years later, his Life of the great romancer. How well and with 
what jealous care and skill the work was done it is unnecessary to say 
here. The "Life of Scott" remains not only its author's greatest 
book, but a model of biography for all time. 

Before this task was finished the shadows had begun to fall on 



216 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Lockhart's own life. "Death," he wrote, in the final volume, "has 
laid a heavy hand upon that circle as happy a circle, I believe, as ever 
met. Bright eyes now closed in dust, gay voices for ever silenced, 
seem to haunt me as I write." His wife, that favourite daughter of 
Sir Walter, of whom so many tender and charming incidents are related 
in the Life, was dead. 

His own fate was to be strangely like that of his great father-in-law. 
Under the pressure of infirmity, he resigned the editorship of the 
Quarterly in 1853, and spent a winter in Italy. On his return, how- 
ever, his trouble renewed its force, and after residing for a time with 
his elder brother, Mr. Lockhart, M.P., at Milton of Lockhart, in 
Lanarkshire, he went to Abbotsford to die. There, his last hours 
soothed by his only surviving child, Mrs. Hope Scott, he passed away, 
25th November, 1854. He lies in quiet, amid the ruins of St. Mary's 
Aisle, at Dryburgh Abbey, at the feet of Sir Walter. His descendant 
is the owner of Abbotsford, and representative of the line of Sir Walter 
Scott at the present day. The Life of Lockhart, by Sir Andrew 
Lang, was published in 1896. 



CAPTAIN PATON'S LAMENT 

Touch once more a sober measure, 

And let punch and tears be shed 
For a prince of good old fellows 

That, alack-a-day ! is dead ; 
For a prince of worthy fellows, 

And a pretty man also, 
That has left the Saltmarket 

In sorrow, grief, and woe. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 217 

His waistcoat, coat, and breeches 

Were all cut off the same web, 
Of a beautiful snuff-colour, 

Or a modest, genty drab. 
The blue stripe in his stocking 

Round his neat slim leg did go, 
And his ruffles of the cambric fine, 

They were whiter than the snow. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 



His hair was curled in order, 

At the rising of the sun, 
In comely rows and buckles smart 

That about his ears did run ; 
And, before, there was a toupee 

That some inches up did grow, 
And behind there was a long queue, 

That did o'er his shoulders flow. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 

And whenever we foregathered 

He took off his wee " three-cockit," 
And he proffered you his snuff-box, 

Which he drew from his side-pocket ; 
And on Burdett or Bonaparte 

He would make a remark or so ; 
And then along the plainstones 

Like a provost he would go. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 



218 THE GLASGOW POETS 

In dirty days he picked well 

His footsteps with his rattan. 
Oh ! you ne'er could see the least speck 

On the shoes of Captain Paton. 
And on entering the coffee-room, 

About two, all men did know 
They would see him with his Courier 

In the middle of the row. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 

Now and then, upon a Sunday, 

He invited me to dine 
On a herring and a mutton chop 

Which his maid dressed very fine. 
There was also a little Malmsey, 

And a bottle of Bordeaux, 
Which between me and the Captain 

Passed nimbly to and fro. 
Oh ! I ne'er shall take pot-luck with Captain Paton no mo'e ! 

Or, if a bowl was mentioned, 

The Captain he would ring, 
And bid Nelly run to the West Port, 

And a stoup of water bring. 
Then would he mix the genuine stuff 

As they made it long ago, 
With limes that on his property 

In Trinidad did grow. 

Oh ! we ne'er shall taste the like of Captain Paton's punch 
no mo'e ! 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 219 

And then all the time he would discourse 

So sensible and courteous 
Perhaps talking of last sermon 

He had heard from Dr. Porteous ; 
Of some little bit of scandal 

About Mrs. So-and-So, 
Which he scarce could credit, having heard 

The con. but not the pro. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 



Or when the candles were brought forth, 

And the night was fairly setting in, 
He would tell some fine old stories 

About Minden field or Dettingen ; 
How he fought with a French major, 

And despatched him at a blow, 
While his blood ran out like water 

On the soft grass below. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall hear the like from Captain Paton no mo'e ! 

But at last the Captain sickened, 

And grew worse from day to day ; 
And all missed him in the coffee-room, 

From which now he stayed away. 
On Sabbaths, too, the Wynd Kirk 

Made a melancholy show, 
All for wanting of the presence 

Of our venerable beau. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 



220 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And, in spite of all that Cleghorn 

And Corkindale could do, 
It was plain from twenty symptoms 

That death was in his view. 
So the Captain made his test'ment, 

And submitted to his foe ; 
And we laid him by the Ramshorn Kirk : 

'Tis the way we all must go. 
Oh ! we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e ! 

Join all in chorus, jolly boys ! 

And let punch and tears be shed 
For this prince of good old fellows, 

That, alack-a-day ! is dead ; 
For this prince of worthy fellows, 

And a pretty man also, 
That has left the Saltmarket 

In sorrow, grief, and woe ! 
For we ne'er shall see the like of Captain Paton no mo'e. 1 



'This "Lament," inimitable for its hundred quaint, appropriate 
touches, was published first in BlackwoocTs Magazine for September, 
1819. Its subject, Captain Paton, dressed in precise, old-fashioned 
style, stepping along with his cane held in a fencing attitude before 
him, was a well-known figure on the plainstones at Glasgow Cross 
when Lockhart was a boy in the city. A full description of him is 
given, with a characteristic portrait, by "Senex" in "Glasgow Past 
and Present." He lived for many years with two maiden sisters in a 
tenement of his own, opposite the old Exchange, and died in 1807. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 221 

BERNARDO AND ALPHONSO 

(From the Spanish) 

With some ten of his chosen men Bernardo hath appeared, 
Before them all in the palace hall the lying king to beard ; 
With cap in hand and eye on ground he came in reverend 

guise, 
But ever and anon he frowned, and flame broke from his 

eyes. 

"A curse upon thee ! " cries the king, "who com'st unbid 

to me. 
But what from traitors' blood should spring save traitors 

like to thee ? 
His sire, lords, had a traitor's heart; perchance our champion 

brave 
May think it were a pious part to share Don Sancho's grave." 

* c Who ever told this tale, the king hath rashness to repeat," 
Cries Bernard. " Here my gage I fling before THE LIAR'S 

feet! 

No treason was in Sancho's blood, no stain in mine doth lie. 
Below the throne, what knight will own the coward calumny ? 

" The blood that I like water shed when Roland did advance, 
By secret traitors hired and led to make us slaves of France 
The life of King Alphonso, I saved at Roncesval 
Your words, lord king, are recompense abundant for it all, 



222 THE GLASGOW POETS 

"Your horse was down, your hope was flown, I saw the 

falchion shine 
That soon had drunk your royal blood had I not ventured 

mine. 

But memory soon of service done deserteth the ingrate, 
And ye've thanked the son for life and crown by the father's 

bloody fate. 

" Ye swore upon your kingly faith to set Don Sancho free ; 
But, curse upon your paltering breath! the light he ne'er 

did see. 
He died in dungeon cold and dim, by Alphonso's base 

decree, 
And visage blind and stiffened limb were all they gave to me. 

"The king that swerveth from his word hath stained his 

purple black ; 

No Spanish lord will draw the sword behind a liar's back. 
But noble vengeance shall be mine, an open hate I'll show 
The king hath injured Carpio's line, and Bernard is his foe." 

" Seize seize him ! " loud the king doth scream " There 

are a thousand here 
Let his foul blood this instant stream ! What ! caitiffs, do 

ye fear ? 
Seize seize the traitor!" But not one to move a finger 

dareth. 
Bernardo standeth by the throne, and calm his sword he 

bareth. 



JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART 223 

He drew the falchion from the sheath, and held it up on 

high, 
And all the hall was still as death : Cries Bernard, " Here 

am I, 
And here is the sword that owns no lord excepting Heaven 

and me : 
Fain would I know who dares its point king, Conde, or 

grandee ! " 

Then to his mouth the horn he drew : it hung beneath his 

cloak. 
His ten true men the signal knew, and through the ring 

they broke. 
With helm on head and blade in hand the knights the circle 

brake, 
And back the lordlings 'gan to stand, and the false king to 

quake. 

" Ha ! Bernard," quoth Alphonso, " what means this warlike 

guise ? 

Ye know full well I jested ; ye know your worth I prize ! " 
But Bernard turned upon his heel, and, smiling, passed 

away. 
Long rued Alphonso and his realm the jesting of that day. 



JANET HAMILTON 

1795-1873 

" ON a cold February morning in the year 1809 we started on foot 
early for Glasgow. We went to the house of an acquaintance of my 
husband, and told him we had come to be married. He sent his 
porter to the Rev. Dr. Lockhart, of College Church, the late county 
M.P.'s father, 1 who asked if we had any one to witness the marriage. 
Our answer was in the negative. The porter and Betty, the house- 
maid, were called in to witness the knot was tied which has never yet 
been loosed. I never saw the Doctor's face, and I can pass my word 
he never saw mine. We then returned to the friend's house, got some 
refreshment, took the road home again on foot, arrived after dark, got 
in unperceived by any of my girlish companions, had a cup of tea with 
a few of the old neighbours, and at the breakfast table next morning 
we took stock of our worldly gear. Our humble household plenishing 
was all paid, and my husband had a Spanish dollar, and on that and 
our two pair of hands we started, and though many battles and bustles 
have had to be encountered, with the help of a good and kind God, 
we have always been able to keep the wolf from the door." 

Such is the characteristic description, written by herself, of the 
marriage of Janet Hamilton, "the Langloan poetess," one of those 
remarkable women in humble life of whom Scotland has produced so 
strong a crop. The poetess was born at Carshill clachan, in the 
parish of Shotts, I2th October, 1795. Her maiden name was Janet 
Thomson, her father was a working shoemaker, and on her mother's 
side she was fifth in descent from John Whitelaw, executed as a 
Covenanter in 1683. While she was still a child her parents removed, 
first to Hamilton, then to Langloan, at that time a quiet weaving village, 



I Father also of J. G. Lockhart, son-in-law and biographer of Sir Walter Scott, 



JANET HAMILTON 225 

in the parish of Old Monkland, where Janet remained during the 
rest of her long life. For the first two years her parents wrought as 
labourers on Drumpellier home farm, and the seven-year-old girl, besides 
keeping house, spun as a daily task two hanks of sale yarn. When 
the mother gave up outdoor labour the child was taught tambouring, 
then a very remunerative employment, and so from her earliest years 
helped the household store. Her father also began shoemaking on his 
own account, and presently engaged a young man to assist him. It 
was to this young man that, at the early age of fourteen, Janet was 
married in the manner she has described. She had ten children by 
him, and her married life lasted for some sixty years. 

She had learned to read when a child, and by means of the village 
library had devoured such works as the Spectator , the Rambler, Rollin's 
"Ancient History," Plutarch's "Lives," and Pitscottie's "Scotland," 
besides the poems of Burns, Fergusson, and Allan Ramsay. As she 
nursed her children she kept a volume by her in a hole in the wall, 
and in this way read Shakespeare, Blackwood 's Magazine, and many 
noted authors. Before the age of nineteen she had produced a good 
deal of verse, all strictly religious. Then the cares of her family 
intervened, and she did not indite a line till about the age of fifty- 
four. She had still to acquire the art of handwriting, but she mastered 
the difficulty, inventing a peculiar caligraphy of her own, and began 
to contribute to Cassells' Working Marfs Friend. 

The remaining years of her life were prolific both of prose and 
verse. During the last eighteen of them she was blind ; but her 
husband and her daughter Marion read to her, and her son James was 
her amanuensis. The cause of temperance at home, and the cause of 
freedom in Poland, Spain, Italy, and Greece, found in her an unfailing 
and vigorous advocate. By reason of these interests, no less than of 
her general fame as a poet, she was visited in her humble " but and 
ben " by many people of note. Among them was a son of Garibaldi, 
and she told afterwards with pride how he had lifted her " in his 
great strong arms " from her seat by the kitchen fire to the " sanctum " 
beyond. The poetess was never more than twenty miles from that 
humble dwelling "up a back stair" at Langloan, and there she died, 
27th October, 1873. A fountain now stands as a memorial opposite 
the house where she lived and thought so long. 

Her earliest volume was " Poems and Songs," published in 1863. 

Q 



226 THE GLASGOW POETS 

It was followed by " Poems of Purpose and Sketches in Prose" in 
1865, "Poems and Ballads" in 1868, and "Poems, Essays, and 
Sketches " in 1870. Her son edited a memorial volume of her poems 
and prose works in 1880, to which were prefixed introductions by the 
Rev. George Gilfillan and Dr. Alexander Wallace. A second edition 
was issued in 1885. An appreciation by Professor Veitch appeared in 
Good Words for 1884. 

Janet Hamilton's social and moral essays, and sketches of peasant 
life and character, all bear the imprint of strong sense and natural 
powers of observation, while her temperance essays and poems remain 
among the most realistic and vivid of the pleadings produced in the 
white heat of that famous movement. Her descriptive poems are 
remarkable for their faithful pictures of the wild nature that she loved, 
and out of her very real sympathy with the struggling lives around her 
she wrought the true tenderness and pathos of her human song. 

The pieces included here are given by kind permission of Messrs. 
James MacLehose & Sons, Glasgow. 



A BALLAD OF MEMORIE 

Nae mair, alas ! nae mair I'll see 

Young mornin's gowden hair 
Spread ower the lift the dawnin' sheen 

O' simmer mornin' fair ! 
Nae mair the heathery knowe I'll speel, 

An' see the sunbeams glancin' 
Like fire-flauchts ower the loch's lane breast 

Ower whilk the breeze is dancin'. 

Nae mair I'll wan'er ower the braes, 

Or through the birken shaw, 
An' pu' the wild-weed flowers amang 

Thy lanely glens, Roseha' ! 



JANET HAMILTON 227 

How white the haw, how red the rose, 

How blue the hy'cinth bell, 
Whare fairy thim'les woo the bees 

In Tenach's breckan dell ! 

Nae mair, when hinnysuckle hings 

Her garlands on the trees, 
An' hinny breath o' heather bells 

Comes glaffin' on the breeze ; 
Nor whan the burstin' birken buds, 

An' sweetly scented breir, 
Gie oot their sweets, nae power they ha'e 

My dowie heart to cheer. 

Nae mair I'll hear the cushie-doo, 

Wi' voice o' tender wailin', 
Pour oot her plaint ; nor laverock's sang, 

Up 'mang the white clouds sailin'. 
The lappin' waves that kiss the shore, 

The music o' the streams, 
The roarin' o' the linn nae mair 

I'll hear but in my dreams. 

Whan a' the house are gane to sleep 

I sit my leefu' lane, 
An' muse till fancy streeks her wing, 

An' I am young again. 
Again I wan'er through the wuds, 

Again I seem to sing 
Some waefu' auld-warld ballant strain, 

Till a' the echoes ring. 



228 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Again the snaw-white houlet's wing 

Outower my heid is flaffin', 
Whan frae her nest 'mang Calder Craigs 

I fley't her wi' my daffin' ; 
An', keekin' in the mavis' nest, 

O' naked scuddies fu', 
I feed wi' moulins out my pouch 

Ilk gapin', hungry mou'. 

Again I wan'er ower the lea, 

" An' pu' the gowans fine " ; 
Again I " paidle in the burn," 

But oh ! it's lang sinsyne ! 
Again your faces blythe I see, 

Your gladsome voices hear 
Frien's o' my youth a' gane, a' gane ! 

An' I sit blinlins here. 

The star o' memory lichts the past ; 

But there's a licht abune, 
To cheer the darkness o' a life 

That maun be endit sune. 
An' aft I think the gowden morn, 

The purple gloamin' fa', 
Will shine as bricht, and fa' as saft 

Whan I ha'e gane awa'. 



JANET HAMILTON 229 

EFFIE A BALLAD 

She was wearin' awa' ! she was wearin' awa' ! 

Wi' the leaves in October we thocht she wad fa' ; 

For her cheek was ower red, and her e'e was owre bricht, 

Whare the saul leukit oot like an angel o' licht. 

She dwalt in the muirlan's amang the red bells 
O' the sweet hinny heather that blooms on the fells, 
Whare the peesweep and plover are aye on the wing, 
An' the lilt o' the laverock's first heard in the spring. 

As black as a craw, an' as saft as the silk 
Were the lang locks that fell on a neck like the milk ; 
She was lithesome an' lo'esome as lassie micht be, 
An' saft was the love-licht that danced in her e'e. 

Puir Effie had loved a' the hopes an' the fears, 
The plagues and the pleasures, the smiles an' the tears 
O' love she had kenned ; she had gane through them a' 
For fause Jamie Crichton oh, black be his fa' ! 

The auldest o' five, when a lassie o' ten 
She had baith the house an' the bairnies to fen' 
The mither had gane when she was but a bairn, 
Sae Effie had mony sad lessons to learn. 

At hame had ye seen her amang the young chips, 
The sweet law o' kindness was aye on her lips ; 
She kaimed oot their hair, washed their wee hackit feet 
Wi' sae tenty a haun that a bairn wadna greet. 



2 3 o THE GLASGOW POETS 

She was to her faither the licht o' his e'en ; 
He said she wad be what her mither had been, 
A fair an' sweet sample o' true womanhood, 
Sae carefu' an' clever, sae bonnie an' gude. 

The cot-house it stood on the lip o' the burn 
That wimplet an' jinkit wi' mony a turn 
Roun' the fit o' the heather-fringed gowany brae, 
Whare the ae cow was tethered, an' bairnies at play. 

Sweet Effte was just in the midst o' her teens 
Whan she gat the first inkling o' what wooing means 
Frae a chiel in the clachan, wha aften was seen 
Stealin' up the burnside to the cot-house at e'en. 

On a saft simmer gloamin' I saw them myseP 
On the bank o' the burnie, an' weel I could tell, 
By the hue on her cheek, an' the blink o' her e'e, 
That her young love was his, an' wad evermair be. 

Belyve to fair Effie cam' wooers galore, 

An' mony saft tirlin's at e'en on the door. 

She smiled on them a', but gied welcome to nane 

Her first love an' last was young Jamie's alane. 

An' Jamie, wha ne'er was a week frae her side, 

Had vowed ere a towmond to mak' her his bride ; 

Her troth she had gi'en him wi' blushes an tears : 

It was sweet oh, how sweet ! though whiles she had fears. 



JANET HAMILTON 

For a wee birdie sang, as roun 3 her it flew, 
Sweet lassie, tak' tent he's owre sweet to be true ; 
He's oot in the e'enin's whan ye dinna ken, 
An' they say he's been seen wi' Kate o' the Glen. 

But Effie wad lauch, an' wad say to hersel', 
" What lees an' what clashes thae bodies maun tell ! 
For my Jamie has sworn to be true to the death, 
An' nocht noo can part us as lang's we ha'e breath." 

Ae short winter Sabbath, just as it grew mirk, 
The faither cam' hame he had been at the kirk ; 
His cheek was sae white, an' his look was sae queer 
That Effie glowered at him in dreadour an' fear. 

Then he said " My ain Effie, puir mitherless lass ! 
Oh, wha wad ha'e thocht this wad e'er come to pass ? 
Thy Jamie this day in the kirk was proclaimed, 
An' Katie Maclean for his bride they ha'e named. 

" I was tauld on the road by ane that maun ken, 
Her grannie was ance the gudewife o' the Glen, 
An' she left to young Katie a hantle o' gear : 
It's gear Jamie wants, an' there's naething o't here." 

An' what said puir Effie ? She stood like a stane ; 
But faintin' or greetin' or cryin' was nane. 
Her sweet lips they quivered, the bluid frae her cheek 
Flew back to her heart, but nae word could she speak. 



232 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The faither sat down, laid her heid on his breast : 
" On God an' her faither my Effie maun rest ; 
They ne'er will deceive thee thy wrongs are richt sair : 
Gin Jamie had wed thee they micht ha'e been mair." 

Sune Effie gat up, gied her faither some meat, 
Put the bairnies to bed ; yet ne'er could she greet. 
Her young heart was stricken the fountains were dry 
That gush frae the een wi' a tearfu' supply. 

That nicht at the reading she joined in the psalm, 
Her cheek it was pale, but her brow it was calm j 
An' faither he prayed, as she knelt by his side, 
That God his dear lassie wad comfort and guide. 

The winter gaed by, an' the hale summer through 
She toshed up the house, fed and milkit the cow ; 
The cauld warld had nocht that she cared for ava, 
Her life it was silently meltin' awa'. 

Oh ! whare noo the love-licht that sparkled erewhile 
In her bonnie black e'e ? Oh, whare noo the smile 
That dimpled her cheek ? They were gane ! they were 

gane! 
Yet she ne'er shed a tear, an' ne'er made a maen. 

An' sae she was wearin', fast wearin' awa', 
Wi' the leaves in October sweet Effie did fa'. 
Her mournin' was ended, an blissfu' an' bricht 
The dear lassie dwells wi' the angels o' licht. 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 

1797-1835 

AMONG the poets who have drawn inspiration directly from the old 
romantic narrative ballads of Scotland, William Motherwell must rank 
close after Sir Walter Scott and the Ettrick Shepherd. His poetry, 
with that of Allan Cunningham, remains the latest and most luscious 
fruit of the great romantic movement begun half a century earlier by 
John Home's tragedy, "Douglas," itself founded on the ballad of 
"Gil Morice." Motherwell's own collection of the ancient ballads 
stands among the best, and with the comprehensive essay on the 
subject by which it is prefaced may be set beside the " Border 
Minstrelsy" of Scott himself. 

The house still stands in High Street, at the south corner of College 
Street, in which the poet was born, I3th October, 1797. He was 
third son of William Motherwell, an ironmonger, whose ancestors 
had been owners of the Muir Mill on the Carron for four hundred 
years. 1 His mother, Elizabeth Barnett, was daughter of a farmer at 
Auchterarder, who left her the sum of ^"2000. Early in the new 
century the family removed to Edinburgh, and there for three years 
Motherwell attended the school of William Lennie, author of the once- 
famous " Lennie's Grammar." At that school he met Jeanie Morrison, 
a pretty child of about the same age as himself, whom he has made 
immortal in his most famous poem. The object of his regard, the 



1 It may be of interest to note that Janet Motherwell, an aunt of the poet, married 
Henry Bannerman, whose daughter became the wife of Sir James Campbell of 
Stracathro, and mother of the present J. A. Campbell, Esq. of Stracathro, LL.D., 
M.P., and of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, leader of His Majesty's Opposition 
in the House of Commons. For this and several other details the present writer is 
indebted to Mr. Frank Miller, Annan, descendant of another aunt of the poet, and 
himself an enthusiastic and painstaking collector of Galloway poetry. 



234 THE GLASGOW POETS 

daughter of an Alloa brewer, returned home at the end of the session, 
wholly unconscious of the interest she had excited. She never met her 
youthful admirer again, married John Murdoch, a Glasgow commission 
merchant, in 1823, and not till several years after MotherwelPs song 
had been published became aware that she was its heroine. But the 
poetic instinct had been awakened, and before he was fourteen 
Motherwell had made the first draft of his fine lyric. 

Meanwhile, his father becoming embarrassed in business, the boy 
had been sent to an uncle, an ironfounder at Paisley. There, at the 
Grammar School, he finished his education, with the exception of a 
session later in life at the Greek and Latin classes in Glasgow 
University. At school, when he was supposed to be busy with his 
lessons, he was oftener entertaining his comrades with long yarns about 
castles, robbers, and strange, out-of-the-way adventures ; and in the 
Paisley Sheriff-Clerk's office, in which he was placed at the age of 
fifteen, he indulged his taste for mediaeval romance by the deciphering 
of antique documents, and the sketching of knights in armour and the 
like. One of these sketches, of the Sheriff himself, upon a blotter, 
attracted the notice of Sheriff Campbell one day in Court, and excited 
his interest in the lad. Motherwell in consequence was appointed 
Sheriff-Clerk Depute of Renfrewshire in 1819, and he held the post 
with credit for fully ten years. 

During those years he built up his literary reputation. In 1818 he 
had contributed to a small Greenock publication, the Visitor. In 1819 
he supervised an edition of the " Harp of Renfrewshire," contributing 
a valuable introduction and notes. In 1827 appeared his ballad collec- 
tion, " Minstrelsy Ancient and Modern." And in 1828 he established 
the Paisley Monthly Magazine, which, during its short career, earned 
a reputation as one of the best conducted periodicals of its day. At 
the same time he had been contributing frequent articles to the Paisley 
Advertiser, and in 1828 he became its editor. He was now fairly 
launched as a journalist, and in January, 1830, he removed to Glasgow 
as editor of the Courier there. 

In his boyish days Motherwell's politics had been of the extreme 
Liberal cast. His change of views was jocularly attributed by some of 
his friends to a severe handling which he received on one occasion, in 
performance of his duties as Sheriff-Clerk Depute, from a party of 
Paisley Radicals. It was during the "Radical War" in 1818. He 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 235 

was thrown down, trampled on, and on the point of being thrown over 
a bridge into the Cart by the infuriated mob, when he was rescued. 
But by instinct he was of the chivalric cavalier type, and by constitution 
no less than conviction he was an extreme Tory. At the time of his 
appointment to the Courier political feeling was at its fiercest in the 
country. It was the time of the Reform Bill agitation, and Motherwell, 
as editor of a Tory newspaper, acquitted himself in the thick of the 
fight. In the " Sma' Weftianse" of the Glasgow Sma' Weft Club, 
printed in the Scots J^imes in October, 1829, he is satirised good- 
naturedly as the " Baron o' Mearns," and the circumstance is alluded 
to of his heading a band of hired porters to prevent the Whigs from 
entering the Black Bull ballroom during a Conservative meeting against 
Reform. 

Such experiences were little conducive to the production of poetry, 
and they seem to have stopped the muse of Motherwell ; yet his reputa- 
tion as a poet was still to make. This, however, was shortly achieved. 
In 1832 several notable publications appeared in Glasgow, and to each 
of them Motherwell made contributions of the highest merit. To John 
Strang's paper, The Day, he gave " The Solemn Song of a Righteous 
Heart," "The Etin of Sillerwood," and other fine poems, besides the 
amusing prose "Memoirs of a Paisley Bailie." To J. D. Carrick's 
" Whistle -binkie " he contributed "Jeanie Morrison," "My heid is 
like to rend, Willie," and many more of its best contents. And to the 
"Scottish Proverbs" of Andrew Henderson, the portrait painter, he 
supplied an interesting preface. Lastly, towards the end of the year, 
he collected his scattered pieces into a small volume under the title of 
"Poems Narrative and Lyrical." On this book his fame as a poet 
rests. 

Three years later he was collecting material for a life of Tannahill, 
had a prose volume of Norse legends almost ready for the press, and 
was engaged with the Ettrick Shepherd on a joint edition of the works 
of Burns, when the end came. There was a movement on foot to 
suppress the Orange Society, and Motherwell, who had suffered himself 
to be enrolled a member, was summoned to London by a committee of 
the House of Commons. In his examination he showed great mental 
infirmity, and broke down. Two months later, after dining at a friend's 
house in the suburbs of Glasgow, he was struck with sudden apoplexy 
and died in a few hours, 1st November, 1835. His grave is in Glasgow 



236 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Necropolis, marked by a monument and life-like bust. The centenary 
of the poet's birth was celebrated by a large and influential gathering in 
Paisley, 

Short in stature and kindly in face, he was as warm in personal 
friendship as he was relentless in political warfare. Strangely enough, 
many of his keenest political enemies were his warmest personal friends. 
An instance of his attitude is the letter of strong commendation he 
wrote in favour of Carrick's appointment to the editorship of the 
Kilmarnock Journal. His most distinctive and perhaps strongest 
poetry is his versification of the Scandinavian folk-songs. In this field 
he rivalled Gray, and what Lockhart did for the Moorish ballads 
Motherwell in a less degree may be said to have done for those of the 
Norsemen. He was also strikingly successful in imitating the folk- 
, songs of his own country. But his most popular pieces are those in 
which he strikes the simplest and most tender chords of natural feeling. 
" My heid is like to rend, Willie," remains the most painfully pathetic 
thing in all Scottish poetry. This and his ' ' Jeanie Morrison " are the 
productions by which he will probably continue to be best remembered. 
The perfection of the latter was a result of the slow elaboration of 
more than twenty years. 

A memoir of the poet, by his friend and medical adviser, Dr. James 
M'Conechy, was prefixed to a new edition of his poems in 1847. The 
most complete editions are those of 1865 and 1881. Edgar Allan Poe 
paid a noble tribute to Mother well's genius in his " Essay on the 
Poetic Principle," and it does not seem too much to suppose that the 
American poet was influenced by some of the latter's weird effects. 
An able appreciation of Motherwell was included recently by Sir 
George Douglas, Bart., in his volume on Hogg and other poets in 
the "Famous Scots" series. 



JEANIE MORRISON 

I've wandered east, I've wandered west, 
Through mony a weary way, 

But never, never can forget 
The love o' life's young day. 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 237 

The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en 

May weel be black gin Yule, 
But blacker fa' awaits the heart 

Where first fond love grows cool. 

dear, dear Jeanie Morrison, 
The thochts o' bygane years 

Still fling their shadows ower my path, 

And blind my een wi' tears. 
They blind my een wi' saut, saut tears, 

And sair and sick I pine, 
As memory idly summons up 

The blythe blinks o' lang syne. 

'Twas then we loved ilk ither weel, 

'Twas then we twa did part, 
Sweet time sad time ! twa bairns at schule 

Twa bairns and but ae heart. 
'Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink, 

To leir ilk ither lear, 
And tones and looks and smiles were shed, 

Remembered evermair. 

1 wonder, Jeanie, aften yet, 

When sitting on that bink, 
Cheek touchin' cheek, loof locked in loof, 

What our wee heads could think ! 
When baith bent doun ower ae braid page, 

Wi' ae buik on our knee, 
Thy lips were on thy lesson, but 

My lesson was in thee. 



238 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Oh, mind ye how we hung our heads, 

How cheeks brent red wi' shame, 
Whene'er the schule-weans laughing said 

We cleeked thegither hame ? 
And mind ye o' the Saturdays 

The schule then skail't at noon 
When we ran aff to speel the braes, 

The broomy braes o' June ? 

My head rins round and round about, 

My heart flows like a sea, 
As ane by ane the thochts rush back 

O' schule-time and o' thee. 
Oh, mornin' life ! oh, mornin' love ! 

Oh, lichtsome days and lang, 
When hinnied hopes around our hearts 

Like simmer blossoms sprang ! 

Oh, mind ye, love, how aft we left 

The deavin', dinsome toun, 
To wander by the green burnside, 

And hear its waters croon ? 
The simmer leaves hung ower our heads, 

The flowers burst round our feet, 
And in the gloamin' o' the wood 

The throstle whusslit sweet. 

The throstle whusslit in the wood, 

The burn sang to the trees, 
And we, with Nature's heart in tune 

Concerted harmonies ; 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 239 

And on the knowe abune the burn 

For hours thegither sat 
In the silentness o' joy, till baith 

Wi' very gladness grat. 

Aye, aye, dear Jeanie Morrison, 

Tears trinkled down your cheek, 
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane 

Had ony power to speak ! 
That was a time, a blessed time, 

When hearts were fresh and young, 
When freely gushed all feelings forth, 

Unsyllabled, unsung. 

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison, 

Gin I ha'e been to thee 
As closely twined wi' earliest thochts 

As ye ha'e been to me. 
Oh ! tell me gin their music fills 

Thine ear as it does mine ! 
Oh ! say gin e'er your heart grows grit 

Wi' dreamings o' lang syne ! 

I've wandered east, I've wandered west, 

I've borne a weary lot ; 
But in my wanderings, far or near, 

Ye never were forgot. 
The fount that first burst frae this heart 

Still travels on its way, 
And channels deeper, as it rins, 

The love o' life's young day. 



2 4 o THE GLASGOW POETS 

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison, 

Since we were sindered young, 
I've never seen your face, nor heard 

The music o' your tongue ; 
But I could hug all wretchedness, 

And happy could I dee, 
Did I but ken your heart still dreamed 

O' bygane days and me ! 



THE CAVALIER'S SONG 

A steed, a steed of matchless speed ! 

A sword of metal keen ! 
All else to noble hearts is dross, 

All else on earth is mean. 
The neighing of the war-horse proud, 

The rolling of the drum, 
The clangour of the trumpet loud 

Be sounds from heaven that come. 
And O ! the thundering press of knights, 

When as their war-cries swell, 
May toll from heaven an angel bright, 

And rouse a fiend from hell. 

Then mount, then mount, brave gallants all, 

And don your helms amain ; 
Death's couriers, Fame and Honour, call 

Us to the field again. 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 241 

No shrewish tears shall fill our eye 

When the sword-hilt's in our hand : 
Heart-whole we'll part, and no whit sigh 

For the fairest of the land ! 
Let piping swain and craven wight 

Thus weep and puling cry ; 
Our business is like men to fight, 

And hero-like to die. 



THE SOLEMN SONG OF A RIGHTEOUS 
HEART 

There is a mighty noise of bells 

Rushing from the turret free. 
A solemn tale of truth it tells 

O'er land and sea 
How hearts be breaking fast, and then 

Wax whole again. 

Poor fluttering Soul ! why tremble so 

To quit life's fast decaying tree ? 

Time worms its core, and it must bow 
To fate's decree : 

Its last branch breaks, but thou must soar 
For evermore. 

No more thy wing shall touch gross earth : 

Far under shall its shadows flee, 
R 



242 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And all its sounds of woe or mirth 

Grow strange to thee. 
Thou wilt not mingle in its noise, 

Nor count its joys. 

Fond one ! why cling thus unto life, 

As if its sands were meet for thee ? 

Surely its folly, bloodshed, strife, 
Liked never thee ! 

This world grows madder each new day, 
Vice bears such sway. 

Couldst thou in slavish arts excel, 

And crawl upon the supple knee, 

Couldst thou each woe-worn wretch repel, 
This world's for thee. 

Not in this sphere man owns a brother : 
Then seek another. 

Couldst thou bewray thy birthright so 
As flatter guilt's prosperity, 

And laud oppression's iron blow, 
This world's for thee. 

Sithence to this thou wilt not bend, 
Life's at an end. 

Couldst thou spurn virtue meanly clad, 
As if 'twere spotted infamy, 

And praise as good what is most bad, 
This world's for thee. 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 243 

Sithence thou canst not will it so, 
Poor flatterer, go ! 



If head with heart could so accord 

In bond of perfect amity, 
That falsehood reigned in thought, deed, word, 

This world's for thee. 
But scorning guile, truth-plighted one, 

Thy race is run ! 

Couldst thou laugh loud when grieved hearts weep, 
And fiendlike probe their agony, 

Rich harvest here thou soon wouldst reap 
This world's for thee. 

But with the weeper thou must weep, 
And sad watch keep. 

Couldst thou smile sweet when wrong hath wrung 
The withers of the poor but proud, 

And by the roots pluck out the tongue 
That dare be loud 

In righteous cause, whate'er may be 
This world's for thee. 

This canst thou not ? Then, fluttering thing, 

Unstained in thy purity, 
Sweep towards heaven with tireless wing 

Meet home for thee. 
Fear not the crashing of life's tree 

God's love guides thee. 



244 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And thus it is : these solemn bells, 
Swinging in the turret free, 

And tolling forth their sad farewells 
O'er land and sea, 

Tell how hearts break full fast, and then, 
Grow whole again. 



MY HEID IS LIKE TO REND, WILLIE 

My heid is like to rend, Willie, 

My heart is like to break ; 
I'm wearin' aff my feet, Willie, 

I'm dying for your sake ! 
Oh, lay your cheek to mine, Willie, 

Your hand on my breist-bane 
Oh, say ye'll think on me, Willie, 

When I am deid and gane ! 

It's vain to comfort me, Willie, 

Sair grief maun ha'e its will ; 
But let me rest upon your briest 

To sab and greet my fill. 
Let me sit on your knee, Willie, 

Let me shed by your hair, 
And look into the face, Willie, 

I never shall see mair. 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 245 

I'm sitting on your knee, Willie, 

For the last time in my life 
A puir, heart-broken thing, Willie, 

A mither, yet nae wife. 
Aye, press your hand upon my heart, 

And press it mair and mair, 
Or it will burst the silken twine, 

Sae strang is its despair. 

Oh, wae's me for the hour, Willie, 

When we thegither met 
Oh, wae's me for the time, Willie, 

That our first tryste was set ! 
Oh, wae's me for the loanin' green 

Where we were wont to gae ! 
And wae's me for the destiny 

That gart me love thee sae ! 

Oh ! dinna mind my words, Willie ! 

I downa seek to blame: 
But oh ! it's hard to live, Willie, 

And dree a warld's shame ! 
Het tears are hailin' ower your cheek, 

And hailin' ower your chin ; 
Why weep ye sae for worthlessness, 

For sorrow, and for sin ? 

I'm weary o' this warld, Willie, 

And sick wi' a' I see ; 
I canna live as I ha'e lived, 

Or be as I should be. 



246 THE GLASGOW POETS 

But fauld unto your heart, Willie, 
The heart that still is thine, 

And kiss ance mair the white, white cheek 
Ye said was red lang syne. 

A stoun gaes through my heid, Willie 

A sair stoun through my heart ! 
Oh, haud me up, and let me kiss 

Thy brow ere we twa part. 
Anither, and anither yet ! 

How fast my life-strings break ! 
Fareweel ! fareweel ! through yon kirkyard 

Step lichtly for my sake ! 

The laverock in the lift, Willie, 

That lilts far ower our heid, 
Will sing the morn as merrily 

Abune the clay-cauld deid ; 
And this green turf we're sitting on, 

Wi' dewdraps' shimmerin' sheen, 
Will hap the heart that lovit thee 

As warld has seldom seen. 

But oh ! remember me, Willie, 

On land where'er ye be ; 
And oh ! think on the leal, leal heart 

That ne'er loved ane but thee ! 
And oh ! think on the cauld, cauld mouls 

That fyle my yellow hair 
That kiss the cheek and kiss the chin 

Ye never sail kiss mair. 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 247 



THE MERMAIDEN 

" The nicht is mirk, and the wind blaws schill, 

And the white faem weets my bree, 
And my mind misgi'es me, gay maiden, 
That the land we sail never see." 

Then up and spak' the mermaiden, 

And she spak' blythe and free : 
" I never said to my bonnie bridegroom 
That on land we should weddit be. 

" Oh, I never said that an earthly priest 

Our bridal blessing should gi'e ; 
And I never said that a landward bower 
Should hald my love and me." 

" And whare is that priest, my bonnie mayden, 

If an earthly wight is na he ? " 
" Oh, the wind will sough and the sea will rair 

When wedded we twa sail be." 

" And whare is that bower, my bonnie maiden, 

If on land it shouldna be ? " 
" Oh, my blythe bower is low," said the mermaiden, 

" In the bonnie green howes o' the sea. 

" My gay bower is biggit o' the gude ships' keels, 

And the banes o' the drowned at sea : 
The fish are the deer that fill my parks, 
And the water waste my dowrie. 



248 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" And my bower is slatit wi' the big blue waves, 

And paved wi' the yellow sand, 
And in my chalmers grow bonnie white flowers 
That never grew on land. 

" And have ye e'er seen, my bonnie bridegroom, 

A leman on earth that wad gi'e 
Acre for acre o' the red ploughed land 
As I'll gi'e to thee o' the sea? 

" The mune will rise in half an hour, 

And the wee bricht starns will shine, 
Then we'll sink to my bower 'neath the wan water 
Full fifty fathoms and nine." 

A wild, wild skreich gied the fey bridegroom, 
And a loud, loud laugh the bride ; 

For the mune rose up, and the twa sank down 
Under the silvered tide. 



THE SONG OF HARALD 

From " The Battle- Flag of Sigurd" 

" The ship-borne warriors of the north, 

The sons of Woden's race, 
To battle as to feast go forth, 

With stern and changeless face ; 
And I, the last of a great line, 

The Self-devoted, long 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 249 

To lift on high the Runic sign 

Which gives my name to song. 
In battle-field young Harald falls 

Amid a slaughtered foe, 
But backward never bears this flag, 

While streams to ocean flow. 
On, on above the crowded dead 

This Runic scroll shall flare, 
And round it shall the lightning spread 

From swords that never spare." 
So rush the hero-words from the death-doomed one, 
While skalds harp aloud the renown of his fathers. 

" Flag, from your folds ! and fiercely wake, 

War-music, on the wind ! 
Lest tenderest thoughts should rise to shake 

The sternness of my mind. 
Brynhilda, maiden meek and fair, 

Pale watcher by the sea, 
I hear thy wailings on the air, 

Thy heart's dirge sung for me. 
In vain thy milk-white hands are wrung 

Above the salt sea foam ; 
The wave that bears me from thy bower 

Shall never bear me home. 
Brynhilda ! seek another love, 

But ne'er wed one like me, 
Who, death-foredoomed from above, 

Joys in his destiny." 

Thus mourned young Harald as he thought on Brynhilda, 
While his eyes filled with tears which glittered, but fell not. 



250 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" On sweeps Sigurdir's battle-flag, 

The scourge of war, from shore 
It dashes through the seething foam, 

But I return no more ! 
Wedded unto a fatal bride 

Boun for a bloody bed, 
And battling for her side by side, 

Young Harald's doom is sped. 
In starkest fight, where kemp on kemp 

Reel headlong to the grave, 
There Harald's axe shall ponderous ring, 

There Sigurd's flag shall wave ! 
Yes, underneath this standard tall, 

Beside this fateful scroll, 
Down shall the tower-like prison fall 

Of Harald's haughty soul ! " 

So sings the Death-seeker, while nearer and nearer 
The fleet of the Northmen bears down to the shore. 

" Green lie those thickly timbered shores, 

Fair sloping to the sea ; 
They're cumbered with the harvest stores 

That wave but for the free. 
Our sickle is the gleaming sword, 

Our garner the broad shield : 
Let peasants sow, but still he's lord 

Who's master of the field. 
Let them come on, the bastard- born, 

Each soil-stained churl alack ! 
What gain they but a splitten skull, 

A sod for their base back ? 



WILLIAM MOTHERWELL 251 

They sow for us these goodly lands, 

We reap them in our might, 
Scorning all title but the brands 

That triumph in the fight ! " 

It was thus the land-winners of old gained their glory ; 
And grey stones voiced their praise in the bays of far isles. 

" The rivers of yon island low 

Glance redly in the sun ; 
But ruddier still they're doomed to glow, 

And deeper shall they run. 
The torrent of proud life shall swell 

Each river to the brim, 
And in that spate of blood how well 

The headless corpse shall swim ! 
The smoke of many a shepherd's cot 

Curls from each peopled glen, 
And hark ! the song of maidens mild, 

The shout of joyous men ! 
But one may hew the oaken tree 

The other shape the shroud, 
As the Landeyda o'er the sea 

Sweeps like a tempest cloud." 
So shouteth fierce Harald ; so echo the Northmen, 
As shoreward their ships like mad steeds are careering. 

" Sigurdir's battle-flag is spread 

Abroad to the blue sky ; 
And spectral visions of the dead 
Are trooping grimly by. 



252 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The spirit heralds rush before 

Harald's destroying brand ; 
They hover o'er yon fated shore 

And death-devoted band. 
Marshal, stout jarls, your battle fast ; 

And fire each beacon height ! 
Our galleys anchor in the sound, 

Our banner heaves in sight. 
And through the surge and arrowy shower 

That rains on this broad shield, 
Harald uplifts the sign of power 

Which rules the battle-field ! " 

So cries the Death-doomed on the red strand of slaughter, 
While the helmets of heroes like anvils are ringing. 1 



i The idea of this poem of a flag that brought victory to its side, but 
certain death to its bearer seems to have been a favourite among the 
Scandinavians. A similar legend has been handed down regarding the 
" Fairy Flag" of the Macleods, preserved at Dunvegan, and described 
by Sir Walter Scott in his too short autobiography. This flag had 
three virtues : it multiplied the forces of the Macleods in battle, it 
rendered the marriage bed fertile, and it brought herring into the loch. 
Twice already has its power been exercised on the battlefield. Should 
it be displayed a third time it will again ensure triumph to Macleod, 
but the flag and its bearer will together vanish from earth. 



ROBERT POLLOK 

1798-1827 

THERE is a striking difference between the 15 said to have been 
received by Milton for " Paradise Lost " and the ^2500 realised by 
Robert Pollok's "Course of Time." The astonishing success of the 
later production is accounted for, not so much by its merit, for in this, 
though notable enough, it falls far short of its great prototype, but by 
the fact that the poem appealed in a peculiar way to the religious spirit 
of Scotland. For the greater part of a century Pollok's "Course of 
Time " was to be found beside the Bible and Shorter Catechism on the 
shelf of well-nigh every farmhouse and cottage in the country. 

The facts of the poet's career were few and pathetic. Son of an 
upland farmer, he was born at the steading of North Moorhouse in the 
parish of Eaglesham, I9th October, 1798. The house has since been 
rebuilt, but when the poet was seven years old the family removed to 
Mid Moorhouse close by, and within its walls, standing roofless now, 
and on the grassy moors around, Pollok gathered the inspiration of his 
genius. Ballageich, the highest hill in Renfrewshire, rises a mile or 
two to the south. From its summit twelve counties can be seen from 
the blue seas flashing round Arran to the sunny Ochils and the silver 
Forth. It was the country of the Covenanters ; Pollok's own ancestors 
had been hunted and shot there in the "killing years"; every hollow 
of the moors had its memory of the persecuted people ; and the farm of 
Lochgoin at hand was the home of their historian, John Howie. Mid 
Moorhouse itself was a suggestive spot, its foundations dating, it was 
believed, from the times of Robert the Bruce. 

After seven years at the school of Mearns, and two years' labour on 
the farm, Pollok went to Barrhead to learn cabinet-making. After 
achieving four chairs, however, he returned home, convinced that the 



254 THE GLASGOW POETS 

making of furniture was not his calling. He and an elder brother, 
David, then set themselves to enter the ministry. At Glasgow Univer- 
sity the future poet distinguished himself in logic and moral philosophy, 
and in March, 1822, graduated Master of Arts. A long five years, 
however, had still to be spent at the Divinity Hall of the United 
Secession Church in Glasgow. Alas ! as has been the case with 
hundreds of other aspirants to "the ministry," the long struggle upon 
scanty means proved too much for the student, and the battle was won 
by a dying man. 

Three years before completing his divinity course, in straits for 
money, Pollok wrote and published anonymously a volume of "Tales 
of the Covenanters," and during the autumn of 1826, the year of 
the short corn, he wrought with feverish haste at the great poem by 
which he hoped to win a name. He wrote at the rate of a hundred 
lines a day, sometimes on the summit of Ballageich, but oftener in his 
own little room in the lonely farmhouse below. " Towards the end of 
the tenth book," he wrote to his brother, " for the whole consists of ten 
books where the subject was overwhelmingly great, and where I 
indeed seemed to write from immediate inspiration, I felt the body 
beginning to give way. But now that I have finished, though thin 
with the great heat and the unintermitted mental exercise, I am by no 
means languishing and feeble. Since the 1st of June, which was the 
day I began to write last, we have had a Grecian atmosphere, and I 
find the serenity of the heavens of incalculable benefit for mental 
pursuit." 

The work was published in March, 1827, and was hailed at once with 
great applause. It is said that when the manuscript was submitted by 
the publisher, Blackwood, to Professor Wilson, the latter had an engage- 
ment to dine with a friend, but became so absorbed in reading the 
poem that dinner and friend were together forgotten. 

Two months after the appearance of his poem, on 2nd May, 1827, 
Pollok received his licence as a probationer. Next day he preached in 
the pulpit of the Rev. Dr. Brown, at Edinburgh. In the congregation 
was Dr. Belfrage, the preacher-physician. He detected the death-sign 
in the countenance of the young probationer, and carried him off to his 
own manse at Slateford, near the Pentlands, where everything possible 
was done for him. As a last resource the invalid set out for Italy. 
Before going, he instructed his brother to burn his minor poems ; and 



ROBERT POLLOK 255 

he bade farewell, at the lovely Crook of the Lainsh, on the moors beyond 
Ballageich, to Mary Campbell, the girl whom he had hoped to make 
his wife. The parting was for ever. He got no further south than 
Southampton, and there, a month later, lyth September, 1827, he 
died. 

In 1843 a selection of Pollok's minor pieces, with a memoir by his 
brother, was published at Edinburgh. A volume of Life, Letters, and 
Literary Remains, edited by the Rev. James Scott, also appeared at 
New York. In 1898 Messrs. Blackwood published the thirty-first 
edition of "The Course of Time." Over Pollok's grave at Millbrook, 
near Southampton, his admirers set up a granite obelisk, and in 
September, 1900, by way of marking his centenary, another monument 
was erected near his birthplace on the Mearns Moor. 

Pollok's genius was most ambitious. His poem aimed at nothing 
less than a spiritual history of mankind. As might be expected, it is 
unequal in execution. Nevertheless, it contains passages which approach 
Milton, and which, as Professor Wilson said, "Heave and hurry and 
glow along in a divine enthusiasm." Orthodox in the strictest sense, 
it addressed itself warmly to the theological spirit of its time, and may 
be held to justify its author's title as the " laureate of Calvinism." 



HAIL, HOLY LOVE! 

From " The Course of Time " Book V. 

Hail, holy love ! thou word that sums all bliss, 
Gives and receives all bliss, fullest when most 
Thou givest ! spring-head of all felicity ! 
Deepest when most is drawn ! emblem of God ! 
O'erflowing most when greatest numbers drink 
Essence that binds the uncreated Three, 
Chain that unites creation to its Lord, 
Centre to which all being gravitates, 
Eternal, ever-growing, happy love ! 



256 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Enduring all, hoping, forgiving all ; 
Instead of law, fulfilling every law ; 
Entirely blest because thou seek'st no more, 
Hopest not, nor fear'st ; but on the present livest, 
And hold'st perfection smiling in thy arms. 
Mysterious, infinite, exhaustless love ! 
On earth mysterious, and mysterious still 
In heaven sweet chord that harmonises all 
The harps of Paradise ! the spring, the well, 
That fills the bowl and banquet of the sky ! 

But why should I to thee of love divine ? 
Who happy, and not eloquent of love ? 
Who holy, and, as thou art, pure, and not 
A temple where her glory ever dwells, 
Where burn her fires, and beams her perfect eye ? 

Kindred to this, part of this holy flame, 
Was youthful love the sweetest boon of earth. 
Hail, love ! first love ! thou word that sums all bliss ! 
The sparkling cream of all Time's blessedness, 
The silken down of happiness complete ! 
Discerner of the ripest grapes of joy, 
She gathered, and selected with her hand, 
All finest relishes, all fairest sights, 
All rarest odours, all divinest sounds, 
All thoughts, all feelings dearest to the soul ; 
And brought the holy mixture home, and filled 
The heart with all superlatives of bliss. 

But who would that expound which words transcends 
Must talk in vain. Behold a meeting scene 
Of early love, and thence infer its worth. 



ROBERT POLLOK 257 

It was an eve of Autumn's holiest mood ; 
The cornfields, bathed in Cynthia's silver light, 
Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand, 
And all the winds slept soundly. Nature seemed 
In silent contemplation to adore 
Its Maker. Now and then the aged leaf 
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground, 
And as it fell bade man think on his end. 
On vale and lake, on wood and mountain high, 
With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly Thought 
Conversing with itself. Vesper looked forth 
From out her western hermitage and smiled, 
And up the east unclouded rode the moon 
With all her stars, gazing on earth intense, 
As if she saw some wonder walking there. 

Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene, 
When by a hermit thorn that on the hill 
Had seen a hundred flowery ages pass, 
A damsel kneeled to offer up her prayer 
Her prayer nightly offered, nightly heard. 
This ancient thorn had been the meeting-place 
Of love before his country's voice had called 
The ardent youth to fields of honour far 
Beyond the wave, and hither now repaired 
Nightly the maid, by God's all-seeing eye 
Seen only, while she sought this boon alone 
Her lover's safety and his quick return. 
In holy, humble attitude she kneeled, 
And to her bosom, fair as moonbeam, pressed 
One hand, the other lifted up to heaven, 
s 



258 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Her eye upturned, bright as the star of morn, 

As violet meek, excessive ardour streamed, 

Wafting away her earnest heart to God. 

Her voice, scarce uttered, soft as zephyr sighs 

On morning's lily cheek, though soft and low, 

Yet heard in heaven, heard at the mercy-seat. 

A tear-drop wandered on her lovely face : 

It was a tear of faith and holy fear, 

Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-time 

On yonder willows by the stream of life. 

On her the moon looked steadfastly, the stars 

That circle nightly round the eternal throne 

Glanced down well-pleased, and everlasting Love 

Gave gracious audience to her prayer sincere. 

Oh, had her lover seen her thus alone, 
Thus holy, wrestling thus, and all for him ! 
Nor did he not, for ofttimes Providence 
With unexpected joy the fervent prayer 
Of faith surprised. Returned from long delay, 
With glory crowned of righteous actions won, 
The sacred thorn, to memory dear, first sought 
The youth, and found it at the happy hour, 
Just when the damsel kneeled herself to pray. 

She saw him not, heard not his foot approach. 
All holy images seemed too impure 
To emblem her he saw. A seraph kneeled, 
Beseeching for his ward before the Throne, 
Seemed fittest, pleased him best. Sweet was the thought, 
But sweeter still the kind remembrance came 
That she was flesh and blood, formed for himself 



ROBERT POLLOK 259 

The plighted partner of his future life. 

And as they met, embraced, and sat embowered 

In woody chambers of the starry night, 

Spirits of love about them ministered, 

And God, approving, blessed the holy joy. 



WILLIAM CAMERON 
1801-1877. 

SON of a prosperous woollen manufacturer, who owned mills at 
Slamannan, Blackburn, and Torphichen, William Cameron was born 
at Dunipace, Stirlingshire, 3rd December, 1801, and was destined at 
first for the ministry. His father's death, however, in 1819, changed his 
prospects, and he was glad to accept the position of schoolmaster at the 
village of Armadale, near Bathgate. Seventeen years later he resigned 
the post, moved into Glasgow, and began a successful business career. 
Poetry was his relaxation, but several of his songs quickly became 
popular, and have remained so. When the two series of " Lyric Gems 
of Scotland " were published in the city he was one of the chief living 
contributors, and all the songs by which he is known were included. 
Two of these songs" Morag's Fairy Glen " and " Will ye gang to the 
Baugieburn?" celebrate scenes near Dunoon, and "Gowan Lea" was 
the name of his own summer retreat in the same neighbourhood, while 
"Jessie o' the Dell" refers directly to his earlier residence at Arma- 
dale. The poet was presented with a purse of a hundred sovereigns by 
his friends and admirers in Glasgow in 1874, and he died in the city 
three years later. 



BOTHWELL CASTLE 

Old Bothwell Castle's ruined towers 
Stand lonely 'mang yon woody bowers, 
Where Clutha fondly winds around, 
As loth to leave the hallowed ground. 



WILLIAM CAMERON 261 

But where are now the martial throng, 
The festive board, the midnight song ? 
The ivy binds the mould'ring walls, 
And ruin reigns in Bothwell halls. 

Oh, deep and long have slumbered now 
The cares that knit the soldier's brow, 
The lovely grace, the manly power, 
In gilded hall, and lady's bower. 

Old Bothwell Castle ! ages gone 
Have left thee mould'ring and alone, 
While noble Douglas still retains 
Thy verdant groves and fair domains. 1 

No Saxon foe may storm thy walls 

Or riot in thy regal halls : 

Long, long hath slept brave Wallace' shade 

And broken now his battle blade. 

The tears that fell from beauty's eye, 
The broken heart, the bitter sigh, 2 
And deadly feuds, have passed away, 
Still thou art lovely in decay. 



1 James Stewart, 4th Baron Douglas, son of the winner of the great 
Douglas Cause, died at Bothwell, 6th April, 1857. The estates then 
passed, through his niece, to the Earl of Home. 

2 "Bothwell Bank" is a very old pathetic song, referred to in 
Verstegan's "Restitution of Decayed Intelligence" in 1605. An 
account of it is furnished in " Songs of Caledonia," Glasgow, page 50. 



262 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE GOWAN LEA 

Meet me on the gowan lea, 

Bonnie Mary, sweetest Mary ! 

Meet me on the gowan lea, 
My ain, my artless Mary ! 

Before the sun sinks in the west, 
And nature a' has gane to rest, 
There to my fond, my faithfu' breast 
Oh let me clasp my Mary. 
Meet me, &c. 

The gladsome lark o'er moor and fell, 
The lintie in the bosky dell, 
Nae blyther than your bonnie sel', 
My ain, my artless Mary ! 
Meet me, &c. 

We'll join our love-notes to the breeze 
That sighs in whispers through the trees 
And a' that twa fond hearts can please 
Will be our sang, dear Mary. 
Meet me, &c. 

There ye shall sing the sun to rest, 
While to my faithfu' bosom pressed. 
Then wha sae happy, wha sae blest 
As me and my dear Mary ? 
Meet me, &c. 



WILLIAM CROSS 

1804-1886 

BORN in Paisley, that town where the weaving of muslin and weaving 
of rhyme have so often gone together, William Cross many a time, as a 
bare-footed boy, carried his father's web to Glasgow. That father had 
been admitted a member of the Paisley Craft of Weavers in 1776, and 
to his last day the son preserved with pride his craft ticket, with the 
worthy weaver's specimen of fine lawn " seventeen hunder linen" 
attached. The poet was bred a designer of textiles, and became a 
shawl manufacturer when Paisley was the great seat of that trade. He 
had strong literary tastes, however, and as early as 1825 several of his 
pieces appeared in a Paisley periodical called The Gaberlunzie. He 
contributed "The Covenanter's Widow" and other pieces to Bennet's 
Glasgow Magazine in 1833. And when the third series of " Whistle- 
binkie " appeared, his " Dainty Bit Plan " and other humorous composi- 
tions were among its contents. For Alexander Colquhoun, a teacher 
of French in Paisley, he bought the Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle, and 
on Colquhoun's death in 1840, the shawl trade being greatly depressed, 
he took the editorship into his own hands. Before leaving Paisley on 
that occasion he was entertained at a large public supper in the Golden 
Lion Inn. 

It was the time of the great rending of th national Church, and in 
1844: Cross contributed a tale on the subject, " The Disruption," to the 
columns of his paper. The story became highly popular, was published 
in a separate volume in 1846, and in 1875 appeared in the columns of 
the Glasgow Weekly Mail. Nevertheless the Edinburgh Chronicle did 
not succeed, and Cross sold it in 1845. Fulton of Glenfield, and some 
other friends who knew his worth, then set him up in Glasgow. His 
first warehouse was in Glassford Street, and for forty years he carried 
on a highly successful business as a maker of tartan shawls. In 1882 he 
collected his best compositions into a volume, entitled " Songs and 
Miscellaneous Poems," which was published by Messrs. Kerr and 



264 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Richardson. His last production was a tale "The Craigs of Muir- 
side," illustrative of the witch prosecutions in Scotland, which appeared 
in the Glasgow Weekly Mail when he was over fourscore years of age. 

Cross was thrice married, and had a daughter each by his first and 
second wives. He died in Glasgow on 29th October, 1886, just as the 
" Guizers," in immemorial Scottish fashion, came to the door. He was 
buried in Paisley. An appreciative notice of his life appeared in the 
Glasgow Weekly Herald for 6th November, 1886, and his portrait 
remains in the hands of his only surviving daughter, Mrs. Millar, 
Helensburgh. By those who knew him his memory is cherished as 
that of a plain old Scotsman, quiet-living and charitable, who took 
pleasure to the last in speaking his native Doric. Dr. Hedderwick, 
in " Backward Glances," says of him, " He was one of my oldest 
cronies, and one whom I always held in the highest regard. Several of 
his 'comic songs are not surpassed by many things in the Scottish 
tongue, though his natural reserve and modesty gave little indication of 
the higher flights of which he was capable." Of his poetry the best 
pieces are "The Dainty Bit Plan," "The Canting Auld Kimmer," 
"The Kilbarchan Recruit," and " Charles First at Hampton Court." 
The first three touch a unique vein of humorous satire ; the fourth has 
a mournful dignity, expressing with power and effect the last tragic 
reflections of the martyr-king. 



THE DAINTY BIT PLAN 

Our May had an e'e to a man, 

Nae less than the newly-placed preacher ; 
Sae we plotted a dainty bit plan 
For trappin' our spiritual teacher. 
For oh ! we were sly, sly ; 

Oh ! we were sly and sleekit ; 
But ne'er say a herrin' is dry 

Until it's baith reisted and reekit. 



WILLIAM CROSS 265 

We flattered young Maister M'Gock, 

We plied him wi' tea and wi' toddy, 
And we praised every word that he spoke, 

Till we maist put him oot o' the body. 
For oh ! we were sly, sly, &c. 

Frae the kirk we were never awa', 

Unless when frae hame he was helpin'; 

When May, and the rest o' us a', 
Ran far and near after him skelpin'. 
For oh ! we were sly, sly, &c. 

But, to come to the heart o' the nit, 

The dainty bit plan that we plotted 
Was to get a subscription afit, 

And a watch to the minister voted. 
For oh ! we were sly, sly, &c. 

The young women-folk o' the kirk 

By turns took a hand at collectin' ; 
But May took the feck o' the wark, 

And the trouble the rest o' directin'. 
For oh ! she was sly, sly, &c. 

A gran' watch was gotten belyve, 

And May, wi' sma' priggin', consentit 

To be ane o' a party o' five 

To gang to the manse and present it. 
For oh ! she was sly, sly, &c. 



266 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Takin' present and speech baith in ban', 

She delivered a bonnie palaver, 
To let Maister M'Gock understan' 

How zealous she was in his favour. 
For oh ! she was sly, sly, &c. 

She said that " the gift was to prove 

That his female frien's valued him highly, 

But it couldna express half their love " 
And she glintit her e'e at him slily. 
For oh ! she was sly, sly, &c. 

He put the gold watch in his fab, 

And proudly, he said, he wad wear it ; 
Then, after some flatterin' gab, 

Tauld May he was gaun to be marriet ! 
Oh, we were sly, sly ; 

Oh, we were sly and sleekit ; 
But Maister M'Gock was nae gowk 
Wi' our dainty bit plan to be cleekit. 

May cam' hame wi' her heart in her mouth, 

And frae that day became a Dissenter ; 
And now she's renewin' her youth, 

Wi' some hopes o' the Burgher precentor. 
Oh ! but she's sly, sly ; 

Oh ! she is sly and sleekit ; 
And cleverly opens ae door 
As soon as anither is steekit. 



GEORGE JACQUE 

1804-1892 

SON of George Jack, a labourer, and Jean Veitch, of Border descent, 
this author of a well-known hymn was born at Douglas Castle, i8th 
January, 1804. As a child he was noted for his intimacy with the 
birds of his native strath, which he tamed, and could bring from the 
air to his feet at a call. After such schooling as Douglas could give, 
he was sent to Glasgow, and in Gallowgate there served for four years 
as a draper's apprentice. But his heart, as he said afterwards, was never 
in business, and at the age of twenty-one he found his way into Glasgow 
University. Moved by the prelections of a Baptist preacher, he left 
the Established Church, entered the Divinity Hall of the Relief Church 
at Paisley, and was licensed by the Presbytery of that denomination at 
Perth in 1835. He settled at Auchterarder, and ministered there with 
acceptance for the long period of fifty-seven years. 

For long his preaching powers were hampered by a nervous disability 
of the vocal chords, and, Demosthenes-like, he took to rehearsing his 
sermons to the browsing cattle on the hillsides. But after many years 
he got unexpected deliverance by means of an ulceration of the throat. 
His discourses, delivered without notes, were composed during his 
daily walk of seven or eight miles. In 1856 he married Catherine 
Wallace, and at a later day his brother, Captain Gavin, or Guy, as he 
called him, after half a century of absence and silence, returned to 
spend his last years at the manse fireside. Jacque's services were 
acknowledged in 1876 by the gift of a silver tea service valued at 80, 
and a work-table and chair for his wife. And at his jubilee in 1884 he 
was presented with a sum of 600 and other gifts. He died I5th 
February, 1892. 

The cleric-poet was an expert improviser on the violin, on which he 
composed airs to Byron's " Ocean," and many of his own poems and 



2 68 THE GLASGOW POETS 

hymns. Of literary performances, he wrote a biography whose publi- 
cation was stopped by interested parties, and a novel which remained 
unprinted. He was author of several booklets published in Glasgow, 
and of several contributions to the Christian Leader and other 
religious papers. His best piece remains the hymn " Hark how 
Heaven is Calling," written at request of the Rev. W. Thomson, 
Slateford, to suit the German tune "Arnsberg." It was sung at his 
own funeral. A brief memoir by the Rev. Dr. Blair, Dunblane, was 
printed, with three of his poems, at Auchterarder in 1892. The 
following piece is included here by Dr. Blair's kind permission: 



HARK HOW HEAVEN IS CALLING 

Hark how heaven is calling, 
In sweet echoes falling 

From angelic harps and voices ! 
Tis the wondrous story, 
Chiefest theme in glory 

Grace o'er man redeemed rejoices. 

This inspires all their lyres, 
And with harp and singing 
Heaven's dome is ringing. 

Saint unites with angel, 
Hymning the evangel 

Glory to the God of heaven ! 
Glory to the Spirit, 
And to Jesus' merit 

Let hosannas loud be given ! 
For He saves sinful slaves, 
Them from ruin raising 
In His love amazing. 



GEORGE JACQUE 269 

Does salvation's story 
Waken praise in glory 

To the Lamb who suffered for us ? 
And while heaven rejoices 
Shall not kindred voices 

Swell from earth to join the chorus ? 

Yes, the song, loud and strong, 
Shall to glory's portals 
Rise from saved immortals. 



GEORGE OUTRAM 

1805-1856 

OF English extraction, nephew of Benjamin Outram, the famous civil 
engineer, and cousin of Sir James Outram, one of the heroes of 
Lucknow, the author of " Legal Lyrics " was born at Clyde Ironworks, 
Glasgow, 25th March, 1805. His father was partner and manager of the 
ironworks at the time, but removed shortly afterwards to Leith, and the 
future poet was educated at the High School and University of Edin- 
burgh. In 1827 he was called to the Scottish Bar, but being of a retiring 
disposition confined himself mostly to the practice of a chamber counsel, 
a sphere in which he showed distinguished ability. 

Outram's experience in his profession was turned to account in a 
series of humorous and satirical pieces, in which he proved that a field 
previously considered barren contained ample material for poetry. His 
compositions were mostly written to be sung at festive gatherings. 
They were privately printed under the title of ' ' Legal Lyrics " in 
1851, and brought their author much repute among the legal and 
literary coteries of the capital. Regarding the most famous of the 
pieces an amusing incident is related. On the occasion of a dinner 
given by Dr. Robert Chambers to Outram and some other friends it 
was arranged that Peter Fraser should sing Outram's "Annuity." 
Immediately afterwards Mrs. Chambers, dressed to suit the character, 
sang "The Annuitant's Answer," a piece written for the purpose by 
her husband, with a spirit little less than that of the original. Pro- 
ceedings of this kind seem to have been in Outram's way. On another 
occasion, according to Dr. Hedderwick, who knew the poet, "his 
love of everything Scotch was shown in a famous dinner which he gave 
to a number of choice spirits, at which cockie-leekie, sheep's head, 
haggis, black pudding, and howtowdie abounded, the guests being all 
attired and made up to represent well-known Scottish characters. " 

Among the poet's closest friends were Lord Cockburn and "Chris- 
topher North." Outram shared the enthusiasm of the latter for angling, 
and collaborated with him in producing the Dies Boreaks, which 
followed the more famous Nodes Ambrosiana. 

In 1837 he married Frances M' Robbie, a lady from Jamaica, by 
whom he became the father of four sons and one daughter. In 1837 



GEORGE OUTRAM 271 

also he accepted the editorship of the Glasgow Herald, a position in 
which, with that of part proprietor, he remained till his death. He 
died at Rosemore, his summer residence on the Holy Loch, I5th 
September, 1856, and was buried in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh. 

Outram's poems were edited, with a biography, by his friend, Sheriff 
Glassford Bell, and published by Messrs. Blackwood under the title of 
" Lyrics Legal and Miscellaneous " in 1874. A new edition, containing 
further details and a number of additional poems, was supervised by Dr. 
Stoddart, one of Outram's successors in the Herald chair, in 1888. 

" The Annuity " is reproduced here by kind permission of the poet's 
nephew, Captain John D. Outram, who took part with his regiment in 
the recent South African War, and received a bullet through the knee 
in the action at Klipdrift. 



THE ANNUITY 

I gaed to spend a week in Fife 

An unco week it proved to me 
For there I met a waesome wife 

Lamentin' her viduity. 
Her grief brak' out sae fierce and fell, 
I thought her heart wad burst its shell, 
And I was sae left to mysel' 
I sell't her an annuity. 

The bargain lookit fair eneuch 

She just was turned o' saxty-three ; 
I couldna guessed she'd prove sae teuch 

By human ingenuity. 
But years ha'e come and years ha'e gane, 
And there she's yet as stieve's a stane 
The limmer's growin' young again 
Since she got her annuity. 



272 THE GLASGOW POETS 

She's crined awa' to bane and skin, 

But that, it seems, is nought to me- 
She's like to live although she's in 

The last stage of tenuity. 
She munches wi' her wizened gums, 
And stumps about on legs o' thrums, 
But comes as sure as Christmas comes 
To ca' for her annuity. 

I read the tables drawn wi' care 
For an insurance company ; 
Her chance o' life was stated there 

Wi' perfect perspicuity. 
But tables here, or tables there, 
She's lived ten years beyond her share, 
An's like to live a dozen mair, 
To ca' for her annuity. 

Last Yule she had a fearfu' hoast ; 

I thought a kink might set me free 
I led her out, 'mang snaw and frost, 

Wi' constant assiduity. 
But deil ma care ! the blast gaed by 
And missed the auld anatomy ; 
It just cost me a tooth, forbye 

Discharging her annuity. 

If there's a sough of cholera 

Or typhus, wha sae gleg as she ? 

She buys up baths an' drugs an' a' 
In siccan superfluity ! 



GEORGE OUTRAM 273 

She doesna need she's fever proof: 
The pest gaed ower her very roof. 
She tauld me sae, an' then her loof 
Held out for her annuity. 

Ae day she fell her arm she brak' 
A compound fracture as could be. 

Nae leech the cure wad undertak' 
Whate'er was the gratuity. 

It's cured ! She handles't like a flail : 

It does as weel in bits as hale : 

But I'm a broken man mysel' 
Wi' her an' her annuity. 

Her broozled flesh and broken banes 
Are weel as flesh an' banes can be ; 

She beats the taeds that live in stanes, 
An' fatten in vacuity. 

They die when they're exposed to air 

They canna thole the atmosphere ; 

But her ! expose her onywhere, 
She lives for her annuity. 

If mortal means could nick her thread 
Sma' crime it wad appear to me : 

Ca't murder or ca't homicide, 
I'd justify't an' do it tae. 

But how to fell a withered wife 

That's carved out o' the tree o' life ! 

The timmer limmer daurs the knife 

To settle her annuity. 
T 



274 THE GLASGOW POETS 

I'd try a shot ; but whare's the mark ? 

Her vital parts are hid frae me ; 
Her backbane wanders through her sark 

In an unkenned corkscrewity. 
She's palsified, an' shakes her heid 
Sae fast about ye scarce can see't ; 
It's past the power o' steel or leid 

To settle her annuity. 

She might be drowned ; but go she'll not 
Within a mile o' loch or sea ; 

Or hanged, if cord could grip a throat 
O' siccan exeguity. 

It's fitter far to hang the rope 

It draws out like a telescope : 

'Twad tak' a dreadfu' length o' drop 
To settle her annuity. 

Will pushion do't ? It has been tried. 

But, be't in hash or fricassee, 
That's just the dish she can't abide, 

Whatever kind o' gout it ha'e. 
It's needless to assail her doubts, 
She gangs by instinct, like the brutes, 
An' only eats and drinks what suits 

Hersel' an' her annuity. 

The Bible says the age o' man 

Three score and ten perchance may be. 
She's ninety-four. Let them wha can 

Explain the incongruity. 



GEORGE OUTRAM 275 

She should ha'e lived afore the flood ; 
She's come o' patriarchal blood ; 
She's some auld pagan mummified 
Alive for her annuity. 

She's been embalmed inside and out ; 

She's sauted to the last degree ; 
There's pickle in her very snout, 

Sae caper-like an' cruety. 
Lot's wife was fresh compared to her ; 
They've kyanised the useless knir; 1 
She canna decompose nae mair 

Than her accursed annuity. 

The water-drap wears out the rock, 

As this eternal jaud wears me ; 
I could withstand the single shock, 

But not the continuity. 
It's pay me here, an' pay me there, 
An' pay me, pay me evermair ; 
I'll gang demented wi' despair 

I'm charged for her annuity. 



Witch. 



DUGALD MOORE 

1805-1841 

WHEN " Whistle-binkie " was being put together from the pens of 
Carrick, Rodger, Motherwell, and others in David Robertson's back 
shop near the foot of Glassford Street, another howf of men of literary 
and artistic taste existed not far away. The stationery warehouse of 
James Lumsden & Son in Queen Street saw the comings and goings of 
artists like Horatio MacCulloch and Daniel Macnee, and of poets like 
Andrew Park and Dugald Moore. James Lumsden, first of the name to 
be Lord Provost, was a warm friend of struggling talent. MacCulloch 
and Macnee found early employment with him in the tinting of illustra- 
tions, and it was by his help that Moore was enabled to publish his first 
book of poetry, i 

Dugald Moore was the son of James Moore, a private soldier, who 
appears to have been related to Dr. John Moore, the author of 
"Zeluco," and his more famous son, the hero of Corunna.2 The 
poet was born in Stockwell Street, I2th August, 1805. His father, 
who had married at nineteen, died young; but his mother, Margaret 
Lamont, of Highland descent, was a woman of character, and managed 
to give her two sons at least the rudiments of education. It has been 
said that Dugald was apprenticed to a tobacco manufacturer, but the 
family account runs that it was to a maker of combs. Comb-making 
was not to his taste, and the method he took to have his indentures 
cancelled was ingenious enough. He never made a comb without 
breaking one or two of the teeth, till his master told his mother she had 
better send him to some other trade where good eyesight was not 
required. When at last he obtained a place in the copperplate 



1 Dr. Hedderwick, in " Backward Glances," gives an interesting picture and some 
amusing reminiscences of the warm-hearted Provost. 

2 See page 26. 



DUGALD MOORE 277 

printing department of Messrs. Lumsden & Son he found himself in a 
congenial atmosphere. 

By Lumsden's help, as already stated, Moore was enabled to publish 
"The African and other Poems" in 1829. The book ran to a second 
edition in 1830, and was followed in rapid succession by "Scenes 
from the Flood, the Tenth Plague and other Poems," "The Bridal 
Night and other Poems," " The Bard of the North : a Series of Poetical 
Tales illustrative of Highland Scenery and Character," "The Hour of 
Retribution and other Poems," and "The Devoted One." The poet 
contributed many pieces, besides, to the Glasgow Free Press, the 
Western Literary Journal, and other periodicals. On the proceeds 
of his earlier volumes he was able to start in business for himself as a 
bookseller and librarian in Queen Street, and when he was cut off, 
after three days' illness, at the age of thirty-six, he left a small com- 
petence for his mother. In the manner of his end he was a martyr to a 
mistake of surgery. It was the day of constant venesection, and the 
poet, laid aside by a slight inflammation, was literally bled to death by 
his doctor. He died 2nd January, 1841. 

Moore was a Freemason and was never married, but the portrait of 
a lady to whom he was attached is preserved, with that of himself by 
Sir Daniel Macnee, and a quantity of his MSS., by his niece, Mrs. 
David Smith, Glasgow. The portrait shows him to have borne a con- 
siderable personal resemblance to Robert Burns. His early death, 
after accomplishing so much promising work, excited widely-felt sym- 
pathy, and he was lamented by a large circle of friends and admirers 
who erected to his memory in Glasgow Necropolis one of the most 
notable monuments in that city of the dead. 

In his own day Moore's worth as a poet was widely acknowledged, 
but his merit has received no more than scant justice since his death. 
It is true that his muse had little turn for the tender and domestic. 
His arena was rather that of mountain, moor, and tempest. But his 
poetry is full of noble and fine suggestion, and in description of 
nature wild and free, and its association with human passion of the 
past, he has many passages and whole poems which must rank among 
the best. His finest work is contained in " The Bard of the North." 



278 THE GLASGOW POETS 



TO THE VITRIFIED FORT IN GLEN NEVIS 

I bend in wonder o'er the living fountains, 

Like a lone spirit of the cataract ; 
Or gaze athwart Lochaber's savage mountains, 

Measuring the ern on her majestic track ; 
Or with the hawk, high in these shadowy regions, 

Nestle amid the tempest and the gleam 
Of sunny clouds that, ranged in glorious legions, 

Float onward like the phantoms of a dream. 

Fondly I list the far and wild commotion 

Of the strong wind, as o'er the hill he skiffs ; 
Or drink the music, as the mighty ocean 

Rings like the voice of God among the cliffs. 
In joy I see the dim waves dance and brighten 

Around the marble hem of many an isle, 
And the eternal mountains rise and whiten 

'Mid light's high track and summer's crimson smile. 

But ah ! the song is hushed along the meadow ; 

Mute is the shepherd's pipe upon the hill ; 
And time moves o'er our deserts like a shadow, 

Bidding the magic of the harp be still. 
And silence, like the robe of death or slumber, 

Falls round the green sides of each fairy glen, 
And, save the ruined cot, or cairn's grey lumber, 

Nought tells that Scotland's valleys had their men, 



DUGALD MOORE 279 

Yes, men of hardihood, the boast of story, 

Once moved in pride through these unpeopled vales ; 
There beauty built her summer bower, and glory 

Leaned on his sword, and listened to her tales ; 
And music had her songs that will not wither 

The bard his harp-strings and prophetic thought ; 
And on those dreary slopes of rock and heather 

The voice of Cona sang, and Fingal fought. 

Aye, and a thousand plaided clans were ready 

To face unscared the battle's loudest roar, 
And fling its billows back as firm and steady 

As rocks dash out the sea-surge from the shore. 
But oh ! the days are changed : a desert meets us, 

Instead of peopled glens and laughing eyes ; 
And the wild hawk or wandering eagle greets us 

With dreary yell, in place of love's replies. 

A wanderer came the stern claymore was wielded 

By the free peasant of the lonely hill, 
Who, rushing from his mountain eyrie, shielded 

The father who begat him. Fiercely shrill 
His war-cry swept the crags the stranger felt it, 

And vainly braved the bonnet and the targe : 
The boast of England like a snow-wreath melted 

Before the levelled thunder of their charge. 

Yet vain the free-born and the noble-hearted 

Hewed 'mid the bristling steel and cannon's roar : 

The light, the fire of Albyn's tribes departed 
In the red tempest of Drummossie Moor. 



280 THE GLASGOW POETS 

In vain the mighty of the glens defended 

Their mountain hearths fell treachery was nigh : 

The brave, the beautiful, the long-descended 
Vanished like starlights when the sun is high. 

The grey hill knows them not the hunter's sheiling 

Stands low and desolate upon the brae ; 
The sons of song, the breasts of worth and feeling, 

The stately of the glens, have passed away. 
In vain the summer shines, the tempest gathers ; 

No one is there to greet them in the strath 
Gone to the glorious spirits of their fathers, 

The plaided sons of Scotia sleep in death. 

Yes, the grey bothy and our towers are hoary ; 

No more the hunters gather in the hall, 
To rouse the red deer in the misty corrie, 

Or hit the falcon by the waterfall. 
The rising beams of hope may come and gather 

O'er other lands they will not visit us : 
The dark stone looking through the silent heather 

That fort exclaims, it was not always thus ! 



HENRY GLASSFORD BELL 

1805-1874 

OF the friends whom " Christopher North" took very evident pleasure 
in introducing in the famous Noctes Ambrosiana and Dies Boreales, 
none is more kindly mentioned than "Tallboys." Henry Glassford 
Bell, who figures under this pseudonym, and who was then a young 
man in Edinburgh studying for the Bar, remains perhaps the most 
genial personality linking the Modern Athens of the time of Scott with 
the literary and social Glasgow of a later day. 

His father, James Bell, was a Glasgow advocate, and his mother was 
daughter of the Rev. John Hamilton, minister of Cathcart. The poet 
was born in Glasgow, but when he was six years of age the family 
removed to Edinburgh, and he was educated at the University there. 
He early developed a faculty for a life of letters. Upon leaving college 
he wrote, for Constable's Miscellany, a " Memoir of Mary Queen of 
Scots " in two volumes, which ran through several editions, and was 
translated into several languages. At the same time, when his feelings 
were warm and his thoughts full of the subject, he produced his famous 
poem on the hapless queen. And in 1829 he established the Edinburgh 
Literary Journal, which he edited with much success for three years. 
In 1831 appeared his first volume of poetry "Summer and Winter 
Hours." In the following year he published "My Old Portfolio," a 
collection of pieces in prose as well as verse. And during the next 
thirty years poems, essays, tales, and law-papers came from his pen, 
till the whole ran to twelve volumes. His latest work, "Romances 
and Minor Poems," combining the fervour of youthful feeling with the 
ripeness of maturer thought, set the seal to his title as a "maker." It 
was published in 1866. 

His life, however, was not only, nor even mainly, that of a man of 
Betters. In 1832 he was admitted as an advocate; seven years later he 
obtained the appointment of Sheriff- Substitute of Lanarkshire ; and in 
1867, when the Sheriff- Principal, Sir Archibald Alison, died, Bell, by a 
somewhat unusual step, was promoted to the post, which he held with 



282 THE GLASGOW POETS 

the highest distinction till his death. His original appointment of 
Sheriff-Substitute was owed to sheer merit. In the famous trial of the 
Glasgow cotton-spinners for conspiracy he was a junior counsel for the 
defence, and he got up the details of his case with so much ability and 
painstaking care that Sheriff Alison marked him for his next vacancy. 
For nearly forty years he filled one of the most conspicuous positions in 
the social and public life of Glasgow, an eloquent speaker on the plat- 
form, and most interesting and charming of guests. Among other 
public enterprises he took a large share in establishing in 1833 the 
Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland. 

He was still in the vigour of maturity when a cancer in the hand, 
brought on by the use of a round-topped walking-stick, struck him 
down, and he died ;th January, 1874. He was engaged at the time in 
editing an issue of the poems of David Gray. Twice married, he was 
survived by a widow, a son, and three daughters. His tomb is in the 
nave of Glasgow Cathedral, and a full account of his career was printed 
in the Glasgow Herald ot 8th January, 1874.1 

It may be true, as has been said, that Henry Glassford Bell was 
greater as a man than as a poet. As Sheriff he was known not less for 
his sound judgment and thorough knowledge of law than ior his personal 
character of sterling worth. He was no palterer, but with dignity, 
weight, and decision, went straight to his point. Ultimus Romanorum 
he has been called "One of the first of our few good dramatic 
censors, among patrons of art a Maecenas, of Scottish critics of poetry 
among the best our country has produced." His own verse has the 
ring of health and sanity in it, and if his finest poem, "Mary Queen 
of Scots," presents in some respects a conventional view of the heroine, 
the picture it affords has enlisted far-reaching sympathy, and conveyed 
an impression of the unfortunate queen second in effect only to that 
drawn by Sir Walter Scott. 2 

1 A number of personal and interesting reminiscences of Bell are also given by 
Dr. Hedderwick in his "Backward Glances." 

2 The Sheriff was not the only member of the family to wield a poetic pen. His 
younger sister, Mrs. Jane Cross Simpson, was a frequent contributor of poetry to the 
Edinburgh Literary Journal, and afterwards published several volumes of prose 
and verse. The fine hymn, " Go where the morning shineth," was her production. 



HENRY GLASSFORD BELL 283 



MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS 

I looked far back into the past, and lo ! in bright array, 
I saw, as in a dream, the forms of ages passed away. 

It was a stately convent, with its old and lofty walls, 

And gardens with their broad green walks, where soft the 

footstep falls ; 

And o'er the antique dial-stone the creeping shadow crept, 
And, all around, the noonday light in drowsy radiance slept. 
No sound of busy life was heard, save, from the cloister dim, 
The tinkling of the silver bell, or the sisters' holy hymn. 
And there five noble maidens sat, beneath the orchard trees, 
In that first budding spring of youth, when all its prospects 

please ; 
And little recked they, when they sang, or knelt at vesper 

prayers, 
That Scotland knew no prouder names held none more 

dear than theirs ; 
And little even the loveliest thought, before the Virgin's 

shrine, 
Of royal blood, and high descent from the ancient Stuart 

line. 

Calmly her happy days flew on, uncounted in their flight, 
And, as they flew, they left behind a long-continued light. 

The scene was changed. It was the court, the gay court of 

Bourbon, 
Where, 'neath a thousand silver lamps a thousand courtiers 

throng ; 



284 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And proudly kindles Henry's eye, well pleased, I ween, to 

see 

The land assemble all its wealth of grace and chivalry. 
Gray Montmorency, o'er whose head had passed a storm of 

years, 
Strong in himself and children, stands the first among his 

peers. 
Next him the Guises, who so well fame's steepest heights 

assailed, 
And walked ambition's diamond ridge, where bravest hearts 

have failed ; 
And higher yet their path shall be, and stronger wax their 

might, 
For before them Montmorency's star shall pale its waning 

light. 
There too the Prince of Conde wears his all unconquered 

sword, 
With great Coligni by his side, each name a household 

word ! 

And there walks she of Medici, that proud Italian line, 
The mother of a race of kings, the haughty Catherine ! 
The forms that follow in her train a glorious sunshine make, 
A milky way of stars that grace a comet's glittering wake. 
But fairer far than all the crowd who bask on fortune's 

tide, 

Effulgent in the light of youth, is she, the new-made bride ! 
The homage of a thousand hearts, the fond, deep love of 

one, 
The hopes that dance around a life whose charms are but 

begun, 



HENRY GLASSFORD BELL 285 

They lighten up her chestnut eye, they mantle o'er her 

cheek, 
They sparkle on her open brow, and high-souled joy 

bespeak. 
Ah ! who shall blame if scarce that day, through all its 

brilliant hours, 
She thought of that quiet convent's calm, its sunshine, and 

its flowers ? 

The scene was changed. It was a bark that slowly held 

its way, 
And o'er its lee the coast of France in the light of evening 

lay; 

And on its deck a lady sat, who gazed with tearful eyes 
Upon the fast receding hills that dim and distant rise. 
No marvel that the lady wept : there was no land on earth 
She loved like that dear land, although she owed it not her 

birth. 
It was her mother's land the land of childhood and of 

friends ; 
It was the land where she had found for all her griefs 

amends ; 
The land where her dead husband slept; the land where 

she had known 
The tranquil convent's hushed repose and the splendours 

of a throne. 

No marvel that the lady wept it was the land of France, 
The chosen home of chivalry, the garden of romance. 
The past was bright, like those dear hills so far behind her 

bark; 



286 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The future, like the gathering night, was ominous and dark. 
One gaze again one last, long gaze : "Adieu, fair France, 

to thee ! " 
The breeze comes forth she is alone on the unconscious 

sea. 

The scene was changed. It was an eve of raw and surly 

mood, 

And in a turret-chamber high of ancient Holyrood 
Sat Mary, listening to the rain, and sighing with the winds 
That seemed to suit the stormy state of men's uncertain 

minds. 
The touch of care had blanched her cheek, her smile was 

sadder now ; 

The weight of royalty had pressed too heavy on her brow ; 
And traitors to her councils came, and rebels to the field ; 
The Stuart sceptre well she swayed, but the sword she could 

not wield. 
She thought of all her blighted hopes the dreams of 

youth's brief day, 
And summoned Rizzio with his lute, and bade the minstrel 

play 
The songs she loved in other years, the songs of gay 

Navarre, 
The songs, perchance, that erst were sung by gallant 

Chatelar. 
They half beguiled her of her cares ; they soothed her into 

smiles ; 
They won her thoughts from bigot zeal and fierce domestic 

broils. 



HENRY GLASSFORD BELL 287 

But hark ! the tramp of armed men ! the Douglas battle- 
cry ! 

They come, they come ! and lo ! the scowl of Ruthven's 
hollow eye ! 

Stern swords are drawn, and daggers gleam her words, her 
prayers are vain 

The ruffian steel is in his heart the faithful Rizzio's slain ! 

Then Mary Stuart brushed aside the tears that trickling fell : 

" Now for my father's arm," she said, " my woman's heart 
farewell ! " 



The scene was changed. It was a lake, with one small, 

lonely isle 

And there, within the prison walls of its baronial pile, 
Stern men stood menacing their queen, till she should stoop 

to sign 
The traitorous scroll that snatched the crown from her 

ancestral line. 
" My lords, my lords ! " the captive cried, " were I but once 

more free, 
With ten good knights on yonder shore, to aid my cause 

and me, 
That parchment would I scatter wide to every breeze tha 

blows, 
And once more reign a Stuart queen o'er my remorseless 

foes ! " 
A red spot burned upon her cheek; streamed her rich 

tresses down ; 
She wrote the words ; she stood erect a queen without a 

crown ! 



288 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The scene was changed. A royal host a royal banner bore ; 
The faithful of the land stood round their smiling queen 

once more. 

She stayed her steed upon a hill, she saw them marching by, 
She heard their shouts, she read success in every flashing eye. 
The tumult of the strife begins it roars it dies away, 
And Mary's troops and banners now, and courtiers where 

are they ? 
Scattered, and strewn, and flying far, defenceless and 

undone 

God ! to see what she has lost, and think what guilt has 

won ! 

Away, away ! thy gallant steed must act no laggard's part ! 
Yet vain his speed, for thou dost bear the arrow in thy 

heart. 

The scene was changed. Beside the block a sullen heads- 
man stood, 

And gleamed the broad axe in his hand, that soon must 
drip with blood. 

With slow and steady step there came a lady through the 
hall, 

And breathless silence chained the lips and touched the 
hearts of all. 

Rich were the sable robes she wore, her white veil round 
her fell, 

And from her neck there hung the cross that cross she 
loved so well ! 

1 knew that queenly form again, though blighted was its 

bloom ; 



HENRY GLASSFORD BELL 289 

I saw that grief had decked it out, an offering for the tomb. 
I knew the eye, though faint its light, that once so brightly 

shone ; 
I knew the voice, though feeble now, that thrilled with 

every tone ; 

I knew the ringlets, almost gray, once threads of living gold ; 
I knew that bounding grace of step, that symmetry of 

mould. 

Even now I see her far away, in that calm convent aisle ; 
I hear her chant her vesper hymn, I mark her holy smile. 
Even now I see her bursting forth, upon her bridal morn, 
A new star in the firmament, to light and glory born. 
Alas, the change ! she placed her foot upon a triple throne, 
And on the scaffold now she stands, beside the block, 

alone 

The little dog that licks her hand, the last of all the crowd 
Who sunned themselves beneath her glance, and round her 

footsteps bowed ! 
Her neck is bared the blow is struck the soul has passed 

away ! 

The bright, the beautiful is now a bleeding piece of clay ! 
A solemn text ! Go think of it in silence and alone, 
Then weigh, against a grain of sand, the glories of a throne. 



V 



THOMAS BRYDSON 

1806-1855 

BORN in Glasgow, and educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, 
Thomas Brydson was in 1839 ordained minister of Levern Chapel, near 
Paisley, and in 1842 became parish minister of Kilmalcolm, where he 
remained somewhat of a recluse till his sudden death, 28th January, 1855. 
While a probationer he contributed to the Republic of Letters^ the 
Edinburgh Literary Journal ', and several of the London annuals. In 
1829 he published a volume of " Poems," and two years later " Pictures 
of the Past." The author of many pleasant pieces, he is probably 
destined to be remembered by a single fine song. It contains one 
perfect line, which might have been written by Keats. 



ALL LOVELY AND BRIGHT 

All lovely and bright, 'mid the desert of time, 
Seem the days when I wandered with you ; 

Like the green isles that swell in this far distant clime 
On the deeps that are trackless and blue. 

And now while the torrent is loud on the hill, 

And the howl of the forest is drear, 
I think of the lapse of our own native rill 

I think of thy voice with a tear. 



THOMAS BRYDSON 291 

The light of my taper is fading away ; 

It hovers and trembles and dies ; 
The far coming morn on her sea-paths is gray, 

But sleep will not come to mine eyes. 

Yet why should I ponder, or why should I grieve 
O'er the joys that my childhood has known ? 

We may meet when the dew-flowers are fragrant at eve, 
As we met in the days that are gone. 



ANDREW PARK 
1807-1863 

"WHEN I became acquainted with Park in 1856," says Charles Rogers 
in his " Century of Scottish Life," " he was a gentleman at large, existing 
by his wits, and courted for his society. Of an agreeable demeanour, 
and always apparelled in becoming vestments, he was presentable at any 
table, and he dined out almost daily. His home, if he had one, must 
have been stored sparingly, for his works sold slowly, and he would not 
have recourse to a subscription." 

Born at Renfrew, and taught in the parish school there, the poet 
enjoyed only two sessions at Glasgow University, before, in his fifteenth 
year, he entered a commission warehouse in Paisley. Five years later 
he removed to Glasgow as salesman in a hat factory, and presently he 
began business there on his own account. In this, however, like many 
poets, he had small success. The furor scribendi was upon him. 
Before leaving Paisley he had published "The Vision of Mankind," a 
poem written in a succession of sonnets. And in 1834 he issued another 
volume of poems, "The Bridegroom and the Bride." On cholera 
breaking out in the city he sold his stock, went to London, and made 
the attempt to live by his pen. There again he had scant satisfaction, 
and after several years of effort he returned to Glasgow in 1841. 

Dugald Moore was then recently dead, and Park bought his business, 
and set up as a bookseller. But ill-luck still pursued him, and he 
retired finally from commercial life. In 1843 " Silent Love," his most 
successful work, appeared, professing to be the production of one James 
Wilson, druggist in Paisley. Two years later it was issued again in 
small quarto, beautifully illustrated by Sir Noel Paton. Altogether his 
poetry ran to twelve volumes, till it was finally issued between a single 
pair of covers by Bogue, London, in 1854. One of the pieces gives an 
account of Queen Victoria's visit to Scotland in 1842, and another, 
" Veritas," contains a narrative of his own life up till 1849. In 1856 
he made a tour to Egypt and the East, and in the following year pub- 
lished an account of his journey. 



ANDREW PARK 293 

Park's latter days were probably spent somewhat after the gentle- 
manly Bohemian fashion Rogers has described, in going about among 
his friends and congenial acquaintances, by whom, there is evidence, he 
was much honoured and admired. When he died in Glasgow, 27th 
December, 1863, two hundred mourners followed his remains to Paisley 
Cemetery, where he had expressed a wish to be buried near his friend 
James Fillans, the sculptor. 

Something of the character of the poet is illustrated by an incident 
which occurred at his funeral. After the obsequies, several of the 
mourners from a distance betook themselves to a hotel in the town, 
"About thirty or forty persons," says Dr. Hedderwick, "might be 
present. Some one, however, seemed to be wanting to take the lead, 
and an old crony of the poet's ventured to suggest that the man really 
wanted was poor Park himself. ' Had Park only been here,' he said, 
' he would have introduced everybody to everybody else, ordered what- 
ever was needful, and called upon us all to drain a silent glass to the 
memory of the deceased.' " 

Three years later a handsome monument and bronze bust were set up 
over the poet's grave. 



SILENT LOVE 

Opening Passage 

No man e'er loved like me ! When but a boy 
Love was my solace and my only joy ; 
Its mystic influence fired my tender soul, 
And held me captive in its soft control. 
By night it ruled in bright ethereal dreams, 
By day in latent, ever-varying themes ; 
In solitude, or 'mid the city's throng, 
Or in the festal halls of mirth and song ; 
Through loss or gain, through quietude or strife, 
This was the charm the heart-pulse of my life, 



294 THE GLASGOW POETS 

While age has not subdued the flame divine, 
A votary still I worship at the shrine. 
When cares enthral, or when the soul is free, 
J Tis all the same. No man e'er loved like me ! 

Oh! she was young who won my yielding heart. 
Nor power of poesy, nor painter's art 
Could half the beauties of her mind portray, 
E'en when inspired, and how can this my lay ? 
Two eyes that spoke what language ne'er can do, 
Soft as twin-violets moist with early dew ; 
And on her cheek the lily and the rose 
Blent beauteously in halcyon repose ; 
While vermil lips, apart, revealed within 
Two rows of pearls, and on her dimpled chin 
The Graces smiled ; a bosom heaved below, 
Warm as the sun, but pure as forest snow. 
Her copious ringlets hung in silken trains 
O'er alabaster streaked with purpling veins ; 
Her pencilled eyebrows, arching fair and high 
O'er lids so pure they scarcely screened the eye. 
A form symmetral, moving forth in grace 
Like heaven-made Eve, the mother of our race ; 
And on her brow benevolence and truth 
Were chastely throned in meek perennial youth ; 
While every thought that had creation there 
But made her face still more divinely fair ; 
And every fancy of her soul expressed 
On that fair margin what inspired her breast, 
Pure as the sunbeams gild the placid deep 
Where zephyrs close their wings in listless sleep. 



ANDREW PARK 295 

This maiden won my heart. Oh, it is vain 
To say, perhaps hers was returned again ? 
To say, she read the language of my eyes, 
And knew my thoughts, unmingled with disguise ? 
Is it too much to say that eyes reveal 
What words in vain but struggle to conceal 
That silent love is not far more sincere 
Than vaunting vows, those harbingers of fear ? 
Deep-rooted veneration breathes no sound. 
Back, mortal, back, ye stand on holy ground ! 
Hid in the heart's recess, like precious ore, 
It lies in brilliant beauty at the core. 
Or as the moon, sweet empress of the night, 
Reflecting, gives, in modest mellowy light, 
The sun's refracting rays, her destined part, 
So genuine feeling steals from heart to heart. 
Laugh not, ye sordid sons, ye beings cold, 
Who measure all your greatness by your gold, 
Whose marble bosoms never once could feel 
What friendship, love, and sympathy reveal. 
Learn but one truth 'twill not reduce your stores 
Love higher than your gilded riches soars ; 
Your demi-god a meaner thing must be 
Than Cupid proves. No man e'er loved like me ! 

Think not a glance too transient to destroy 
The calmness of the mind with mingled joy. 
Judge for yourselves, but make no strictures here ; 
Set no mean limits to its hope and fear. 
Many could tell, if they but had the art, 
The stirring power with which it throbs the heart, 



296 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Thrills every nerve, pursues through every vein 
Its path electric till it fires the brain, 
And trembling there like needle to the pole, 
Strange blushes rise in crimson from the soul 
The heaving breast, in respiration free, 
Convulsive feels with innate ecstacy. 



HURRAH FOR THE HIGHLANDS 

Hurrah for the Highlands ! the stem Scottish Highlands ! 

The home of the clansman, the brave, and the free ; 
Where the clouds love to rest on the mountain's rough breast, 

Ere they journey afar o'er the islandless sea. 

'Tis there where the cataract sings to the breeze 

As it dashes in foam like a spirit of light ; 
And 'tis there the bold fisherman bounds o'er the seas 

In his fleet tiny bark through the perilous night. 

'Tis the land of deep shadow, of sunshine and shower, 
Where the hurricane revels in madness on high ; 

For there it has might that can war with its power, 
In the wild dizzy cliffs that are cleaving the sky, 

I have trod merry England, and dwelt on its charms ; 

I have wandered through Erin, that gem of the sea ; 
But the Highlands alone the true Scottish heart warms ; 

Her heather is blooming, her eagles are free. 



JOHN STUART BLACKIE 

1809-1895 

FOR nearly half a century the most noted figure in the streets of 
Edinburgh was that of Professor Blackie. With his bushy white hair 
and clear-cut, clean-shaven features instinct with a witty humour, 
with soft felt hat, and Scots plaid always on his shoulder, he was as 
distinguished in appearance as he was brilliant and versatile in intellect. 
Edinburgh has long claimed him as her own, but he was a native of 
Glasgow. 

His father was a banker, and while the son was still young the family 
removed to Aberdeen. At Marischal College there, at Edinburgh 
University, and afterwards at Gottingen, at Berlin, and in Italy, the 
future poet pursued education, and, having given up his first idea of 
the ministry, he was called to the Scottish Bar in 1834. In 1841 he 
was appointed Professor of Humanity at Marischal College, and eleven 
years later was elected to the chair of Greek at Edinburgh. It was 
characteristic of the man that he spent many months of the following 
summer in Greece in order to acquire a fluent use of the language as it 
is now spoken. 

From that time onward Blackie's life was that of the busy scholar, 
teacher, and writer. He had already published a notable translation 
of Goethe's " Faust," and a version of the plays of ^Eschylus. In 1857 
he issued "Lays and Legends of Ancient Greece," three years later 
"Lyrical Poems," partly in Latin, and in 1866 a work on "Homer 
and the Iliad," including a translation of the great epic in ballad 
measure, which remains his greatest performance. Of his later poetical 
works the most notable were " Musa Burschicosa," a volume of songs 
for students; "War Songs of the Germans," issued during the Franco- 
Prussian war in 1870; " Lays of the Highlands and Islands" in 1872; 



298 THE GLASGOW POETS 

and "Songs of Religion and Life" in 1876. His "Messis Vitse" 
appeared in 1886, and " A Song of Heroes " in 1890. His prose works 
included a treatise "On Beauty" in 1858, "The Four Phases of 
Morals," a volume on " Self-culture " by far his most widely circulated 
work, "full of the wisdom of life, ripe and true" a collection of 
philological papers, "Horse Hellenicse" in 1874, an d an elaborate 
work on "The Language and Literature of the Highlands" in 1876. 

After championing many causes, and upholding many theories with 
tongue and pen, he became identified latterly with the advocacy of the 
founding of a Celtic professorship at Edinburgh a project which was 
at length crowned with success. An enthusiast for the memories and 
scenery of the Highlands, he spent his summers at Oban till the railway 
reached the spot, upon which "desecration" he fled. Some of his 
translations of Gaelic songs, such as "Ho ro my nut-brown maiden," 
have long been extremely popular. 

Active with tongue and pen almost to his last hour, he died at his 
house in Edinburgh, 2nd March, 1895, and was buried with full 
academic honours, the pipers of the Black Watch playing before the 
bier from St. Giles' Cathedral to the Dean Cemetery. 

An official biography by Miss Anna M. Stoddart was published by 
Messrs. Blackwood in 1895, an< ^ a volume of "Selected Poems" was 
edited, with an eloquent appreciation, by Professor Blackie's nephew, 
Dr. A. Stoddart Walker, in 1896. The following pieces are included 
here by kind permission of the poet's executors. 



A SONG OF THE COUNTRY 

Away from the roar and the rattle, 

The dust and the din of the town, 
Where to live is to brawl and to battle 

Till the strong treads the weak man down ! 
Away to the bonnie green hills 

Where the sunshine sleeps on the brae, 
And the heart of the greenwood thrills 

To the hymn of the bird on the spray. 



JOHN STUART BLACKIE 299 

Away from the smoke and the smother, 

The veil of the dun and the brown, 
The push and the plash and the pother, 

The wear and the waste of the town ! 
Away where the sky shines clear, 

And the light breeze wanders at will, 
And the dark pine-wood nods near 

To the light-plumed bird on the hill. 

Away from the whirling and wheeling, 

And steaming above and below, 
Where the heart has no leisure for feeling, 

And the thought has no quiet to grow. 
Away where the clear brook purls, 

And the hyacinth droops in the shade, 
And the plume of the fern unfurls 

Its grace in the depth of the glade. 

Away to the cottage so sweetly 

Embowered 'neath the fringe of the wood, 
Where the wife of my bosom shall meet me 

With thoughts ever kindly and good : 
More dear than the wealth of the world, 

Fond mother with bairnies three, 
And the plump-armed babe that has curled 

Its lips sweetly pouting for me. 

Then away from the roar and the rattle, 

The dust and din of the town, 
Where to live is to brawl and to battle, 

Till the strong treads the weak man down ! 



300 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Away where the green twigs nod 
In the fragrant breath of the May, 

And the sweet growth spreads on the sod, 
And the blythe birds sing on the spray. 



CHINESE GORDON 

Some men live near to God, as my right arm 
Is near to me, and thus they walk about 

Mailed in full proof of faith, and bear a charm 
' That mocks at fear, and bars the door on doubt, 

And dares the impossible. So, Gordon, thou, 
Through the hot stir of this distracted time, 

Dost hold thy course, a flaming witness how 
To do and dare, and make our lives sublime 

As God's campaigners. What live we for but this 
Into the sour to breathe the soul of sweetness, 
The stunted growth to rear to fair completeness, 

Drown sneers in smiles, kill hatred with a kiss, 
And to the sandy waste bequeath the fame 
That the grass grew behind us where we came ! 



WILLIAM MILLER 

1810-1872 

WHEN the Rev. George Gilfillan, then in the height of his fame, was 
giving one of his popular lectures in Glasgow City Hall, he took 
occasion to refer to " Willie Winkie," and described it in characteristic 
fashion as " the greatest nursery song in the world." He was greatly 
surprised at the close of the lecture, on leaving the hall, to be accosted 
by a tall old man, who informed him, with moist eyes, that he was 
William Miller, the author of the song the lecturer had so warmly 
praised. 

Gilfillan's description is supported by the opinion of another critic, 
himself a great poet. Robert Buchanan declared Miller to be "the 
Laureate of the Nursery," adding, " There, at least, he reigns supreme 
above all other poets, monarch of all he surveys, and perfect master of 
his theme." 

The author of " Willie Winkie" was born in Briggate, Glasgow, in 
August, 1810, but spent his early years at Parkhead, then a rural 
village east of the city. It was intended at first to make him a surgeon, 
but a severe illness at the age of sixteen forced him to cease study, and 
he was apprenticed to a wood- turner. In that craft his skill became 
famous, and in his latter days few, it is said, could approach him either 
in speed or excellence of work. He began early to contribute poetry to 
periodicals, but it was the appearance of "Willie Winkie," "John 
Frost," and "The Sleepy Bairn," in the third and fourth series of 
" Whistle -binkie," that established his reputation. During the next 
thirty years of his life Miller wrote but little. He did not even collect his 
productions into a volume till 1863, when they appeared in a thin quarto 
under the title of " Scottish Nursery Songs and Poems." It was only 



302 THE GLASGOW POETS 

at the close of 1871, when poor health forced him to leave work, that, 
by his own fireside, he turned again to the making of verse. But he was 
then a dying man. A few weeks at Blantyre in July, 1872, did not 
restore him, and he expired at his son's house in Glasgow on 2Oth 
August. He was buried at Tollcross, but a monument was set up to 
his memory in Glasgow Necropolis. Some of the unpublished pro- 
ductions of his later years were printed in Grant Wilson's " Poets and 
Poetry of Scotland," and a new edition of his work has been edited by 
Mr. Robert Ford in 1902. Miller was a poet of a single string, and 
the entire bulk of his verse is small, but that verse stands alone, perfect 
of its kind. 



WILLIE WINKIE 

Wee Willie Winkie rins through the toun, 
Up stairs and doun stairs in his nicht goun, 
Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock, 
" Are the weans in their bed, for it's now ten o'clock ? " 

" Hey, Willie Winkie, are ye comin' ben ? 
The cat's singin' grey thrums to the sleepin' hen, 
The dog's speldert on the floor, and doesna gie a cheep, 
But here's a waukrife laddie that winna fa' asleep." 

Onything but sleep, you rogue, glowerin' like the moon, 
Rattlin' in an aim jug wi' an aim spoon, 
Rumblin', tumblin' roun' about, crawin' like a cock, 
Skirlin' like a kenna-what, waukenin' sleepin' folk. 

" Hey, Willie Winkie, the wean's in a creel, 
Wamblin' aff a body's knee like a very eel, 
Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravelin' a' her thrums 
Hey, Willie Winkie see there he comes !" 



WILLIAM MILLER 303 

Wearied is the mither that has a stourie wean, 

A wee stumpie stousie that canna rin his lane, 

That has a battle aye wi' sleep afore he'll close an e'e ; 

But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me. 

JOHN FROST 

You've come early to see us this year, John Frost, 
Wi' your Crispin' and poutherin' gear, John Frost, 

For hedge, tower, and tree, as far as I see, 
Are as white as the bloom o' the pear, John Frost. 

You've been very preceese wi' your wark, John Frost, 
Although ye ha'e wrought in the dark, John Frost, 

For ilka fitstap, frae the door to the slap, 
Is braw as a new linen sark, John Frost. 

There are some things about ye I like, John Frost, 
And ithers that aft gar me fyke, John Frost, 

For the weans wi' cauld taes, crying, " Shoon, stockings, 

claes," 
Keep us busy as bees in the byke, John Frost. 

And to tell you I winna be blate, John Frost, 

Our gudeman stops out whiles rather late, John Frost, 

And the blame's put on you if he gets a thocht fu', 
He's sae fleyed for the slippery lang gate, John Frost. 

Ye ha'e fine goin's-on in the North, John Frost, 
Wi' your houses o' ice, and so forth, John Frost, 

Though their kirn's on the fire they may kirn till they tire, 
But their butter pray what is it worth, John Frost ? 



304 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Now your breath wad be greatly improven, John Frost, 
By a whilock in some baker's oven, John Frost, 

Wi' het scones for a lunch, and a horn o' rum punch, 
Or wi' gude whisky-toddy a' stovin', John Frost. 



THE SLEEPY LADDIE 

Are ye no gaun to wauken the day, ye rogue ? 
Your parritch is ready and cool in the cog ; 
-Auld baudrons sae gaucy, and Tam o' that ilk, 
Wad fain ha'e a drap o' the wee laddie's milk. 

There's a wee bird singin' " Get up, get up ! " 
Losh ! listen, it cries, " Tak' a whup, tak' a whup ! " 
But I'll kittle his bosie a far better plan 
Or pouther his pow wi' a waterin'-can. 

There's claes to wash, and the house to redd, 
And I canna begin till I mak' the bed ; 
For I count it nae brag to be clever as some 
Wha, while thrang at a bakin', can soop the lum. 

It's nine o'clock, and father, ye ken, 

Has scrimpitly time a minute to spen' ; 

But a blink o' his wifie, and bairn on her knee, 

Aye lightens his toil, though sair it may be. 

So get up to your parritch, and on wi' your claes ! 
There's a fire on might warm the Norlan' braes ; 
For a parritch cog and a clean hearth-stane 
Are saut and sucker in our town-en', 



ALEXANDER HUME 
1811-1859 

IT will hardly be gainsaid that Burns's fine song " Afton Water ' owes 
as much of its popularity to the beautiful air to which it is sung as it 
does to the words themselves. That air, with not a few others in our 
Scottish song-books, was the composition ol Alexander Hume, the 
musician-poet. A man of the highest gifts, he was one of the saddest- 
fated of the sons of song. Born in Edinburgh 7th February, 1811, he 
was, to begin with, a chairmaker, and for a time, while a young 
man, lived in Dundee. He soon, however, developed a strong 
natural genius for music, and his self-taught efforts brought him into 
mark. He became a tenor chorister in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 
Edinburgh, and chorus-master at the theatre, and in 1843 was entrusted 
with the joint editorship of Messrs. Gall & Son's " British Psalmody," 
to which he contributed a number of fine tunes. Convivial habits, 
however, lost him one appointment after another, and removing to 
Glasgow, he led a precarious existence on the products of his pen. 
Some of his finest songs were written in most unlikely circumstances. 
He ceased living with his family, and, his health giving way, he died in 
Glasgow, 4th February, 1859. Paradoxically enough, five years before 
his death he won the prize of the Edinburgh Abstainers' Musical 
Association by his madrigal, " Round a Circle," a piece of solid merit. 
His poems and musical compositions have never been collected, but a 
considerable list of them is given in Mr. David Baptie's valuable 
compendium, "Musical Scotland." A vivid account of Hume was 
furnished by Tom Elliott in an article on James Macfarlan in the 
Ulster Magazine for January, 1863. 
X 



306 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE SCOTTISH EMIGRANT'S FAREWELL 

Fareweel, fareweel, my native hame, 

Thy lanely glens and heath-clad mountains ! 
Fareweel thy fields o' storied fame, 

Thy leafy shaws and sparkling fountains. 
Nae mair I'll climb the Pentlands steep, 

Nor wander by the Esk's clear river ; 
. I seek a hame far o'er the deep 

My native land, fareweel for ever ! 

Thou land wi' love and freedom crowned, 

In ilk wee cot and lordly dwelling 
May manly-hearted youth be found, 

And maids in every grace excelling. 
The land where Bruce and Wallace wight 

For freedom fought in days o' danger, 
Ne'er crouched to proud usurping might, 

But foremost stood, wrong's stern avenger. 

Though far frae thee, my native shore, 

And tossed on life's tempestuous ocean, 
My heart aye Scottish to the core 

Shall cling to thee wi' warm devotion. 
And while the waving heather grows, 

And onward rows the winding river, 
The toast be " Scotland's broomy knowes, 

Her mountains, rocks, and glens forever ! " 



ALEXANDER HUME 307 



MY AIN DEAR NELL 

bonnie Nellie Brown, I will sing a song to thee ! 
Though oceans wide between us row ye'll aye be dear to me ; 
Though mony a year's gane o'er my head since down in 

Linton's dell 

1 took my last fond look o' thee, my ain dear Nell. 

Oh, tell me, Nellie Brown, do you mind our youthfu' days, 
When we ran about the burnie's side, or speeled the gowany 

braes, 
When I pu'd the craw-pea's blossom and the bloomin' 

heather-bell, 
To twine them round thy bonnie brow, my ain dear Nell ? 

How often, Nellie Brown, ha'e we wandered o'er the lea, 

Where grow the brier, the yellow broom, and flowery haw- 
thorn tree, 

Or sported 'mang the leafy woods till nicht's lang shadows 
fell! 

Oh, we ne'er had thochts o' partin' then, my ain dear Nell ! 

And in winter, Nellie Brown, when the nichts were lang and 
drear, 

We would creep down by the ingleside, some fairy tale to 
hear. 

We caredna for the snawy drift, or nippin' frost sae snell, 

For we lived but for each other then, my ain dear Nell, 



308 THE GLASGOW POETS 

They tell me, Nellie Brown, that your bonnie raven hair 
Is s naw-wriite now, and that your brow, sae cloudless ance, 

and fair, 
Looks careworn now, and unco sad ; but I heedna' what 

they tell, 
For I ne'er can think you're changed to me, my ain dear 

Nell! 

Ance mair, then, Nellie Brown, I ha'e sung o' love and thee, 
Though oceans wide between us row, ye're aye the same to 

me 

As when I sighed my last farewell in Linton's flowery dell 
Oh, I ne'er can tine my love for thee, my ain dear Nell ! 



NORMAN MACLEOD 

1812-1872 

Two hundred years after Zachary Boyd, the minister of the Barony was 
again a poet. He was also the greatest Scottish churchman of his 
time. Descended from a race of ministers which for two generations 
held the manse of Morven, his father was author of the famous " Fare- 
well to Fiunary," and his mother of the stirring " Sound the Pibroch." 
There were proclivities, therefore, in the blood. The future minister of the 
Barony was born in his father's manse at Campbeltown, 3rd June, 1812, 
and was educated atGlasgowand Edinburgh Universities and in Germany. 
At Edinburgh he was Dr. Chalmers's favourite student. In 1838, on 
being licensed, he became parish minister of Loudon, and at the 
Disruption five years later he was transferred to Dalkeith. There his 
powers attracted notice ; he became editor of the Edinburgh Christian 
Magazine, and in 1846 was sent to Canada on Church affairs by the 
General Assembly. Five years later he became minister of the Barony 
parish of Glasgow. His church was said to be the ugliest in Scotland, 
but Sunday after Sunday, year after year, it was thronged by his eager 
audiences. His Sunday evening services for people in working clothes 
were immensely successful, and when he preached before Queen Victoria 
at Crathie in 1854 she became his lifelong friend. He was appointed a 
Dean of the Chapel Royal, Holyrood, Dean of the Order of the 
Thistle, and one of the Queen's Chaplains for Scotland. In 1858 also 
he received the degree ot D. D. A strong man mentally and physically, 
no labour seemed too great for him. 

Besides attending to his arduous parish work, he used a busy pen. 
In 1854 appeared his "Earnest Student" memorials of his friend John 
Macintosh ; when Good Words was established in 1 860 he became its 
editor ; and in its pages and elsewhere a constant succession of his 
works saw the lie;ht. Of his tales, the most popular remain " The 



310 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Starling" and "The Old Lieutenant and his Son." At the same 
time, with tongue and pen, throughout the country, he kept rousing 
enthusiasm for the undertakings of the Church. An attempt to bring 
him to judgment in 1865 for broad views on Sunday observance roused 
much excitement, but broke down ; and two years later the General 
Assembly sent him to report on its mission field in India. From the 
heat and labour of that journey he never recovered. In the following 
year he was elected by acclamation Moderator of the General Assembly, 
but already he was a failing man. He died i6th June, 1872, and was 
buried in Campsie churchyard. His death was felt to be a national loss ; 
he must be recognised as one of the greatest broadeners of the modern 
thought of Scotland. A Life by his brother, Dr. Donald Macleod, 
was published in 1876. 

Socially, in private and public, Macleod, with his fine humour, never 
failed to strike a happy note. Some anecdotes of him are given in Dr. 
Hedder wick's "Backward Glances." At a private dinner he told of 
a dispute between a Churchman and a Dissenter. " There can be no 
truth in Dissent," said the Churchman, "because Dissenters are never 
even mentioned in the Bible." "What !" cried the Dissenter, "did 
you never read of the seceders of Lebanon?" Again, at the Scott 
Centenary Banquet, in Glasgow City Hall, after Henry Monteith, 
the Marquis of Bute, Sheriff Bell, and others had said their best, the 
climax was reached, and the whole audience touched and thrilled, by 
Macleod's description of Sir Walter's *' heroic and superhuman effort, 
in old age, with enfeebled health and shattered nerves, to repay the 
prodigious debt in which he had become involved a debt over- 
whelming to him, but which would not have cost some gentlemen on 
that platform a night's sleep" 



DANCE, MY CHILDREN 

" Dance, my children, lads and lasses ! 

Cut and shuffle, toes and heels ! 
Piper, roar from every chanter 
Hurricanes of Highland reels ! 



NORMAN MACLEOD 311 

" Make the old barn shake with laughter, 

Beat its flooring like a drum, 
Batter it with Tullochgorum 
Till the storm without is dumb. 

" Sweep in circles like a whirlwind, 

Flit across like meteors glancing, 
Crack your fingers, shout in gladness, 
Think of nothing but of dancing ! " 

Thus a grey-haired father speaketh, 
While he claps his hands and cheers ; 

Yet his heart is quietly dreaming, 
And his eyes are dimmed with tears. 

Well he knows this world of sorrow, 

Well he knows this world of sin, 
Well he knows the race before them 

What's to lose and what's to win. 

But he hears a far-off music 

Guiding all the stately spheres ; 
In his father-heart it echoes, 

So he claps his hands and cheers. 



TRUST IN GOD 

Courage, brother ! do not stumble, 
Though thy path be dark as night ; 

There's a star to guide the humble : 
" Trust in God, and do the right ! " 



312 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Let the road be long and dreary, 
And its ending out of sight ; 

Foot it bravely, strong or weary : 
"Trust in God, and do the right ! " 

Perish policy and cunning ! 

Perish all that fears the light ! 
Whether losing, whether winning, 

" Trust in God, and do the right ! " 

Trust no forms of guilty passion ; 

Fiends can look like angels bright ; 
Trust no custom, school, or fashion ; 

"Trust in God, and do the right !" 

Trust no party, church, or faction ; 

Trust no leaders in the fight ; 
But in every word and action 

" Trust in God, and do the right ! " 

Some will hate thee, some will love thee, 
Some will flatter, some will slight ; 

Cease from man, and look above thee : 
" Trust in God, and do the right ! " 

Simple rule and safest guiding; 

Inward peace and inward light ; 
Star upon our path abiding : 

" Trust in God, and do the right ! " 



JAMES HEDDERWICK 

1814-1897 

BETWEEN the years 1840 and 1880 literary genius in Glasgow and the 
West of Scotland owed more to the fine lettered taste and enterprise 
of James Hedderwick than to anything else. In his publications 
Alexander Smith, Hu^h Macdonald, David Wingate, David Gray, 
James Macfarlan, William Black, and others, all found their first 
audience and road to fame. He is entitled to affectionate remem- 
brance, therefore, not only as a poet himself, but as a Maecenas of 
poets in his time. 

Born in Glasgow, 1 8th January, 1814, he was early apprenticed to 
the business of his father, who was afterwards Queen's printer in the 
city, and who believed the printing office an excellent school. Even 
as a boy, however, he had a strong literary bent, and on one occasion 
made a pilgrimage to Edinburgh to see Sir Walter Scott sitting as 
Clerk ot the Court of Session. At the age of sixteen he spent a year 
at London University, won first prize in the Belles Lettres class, and 
read Shakespeare with Charles Kemble. On returning to Glasgow, 
while still in his teens, he edited what is now a literary curiosity, the 
Saltwater Gazette^ and when the Argus was launched in 1832, he 
gained valuable newspaper experience in connection with it, his father 
being its printer. 

So well did he improve his opportunities, and so promising were his 
contributions to the press, that before he was twenty-three he was 
appointed assistant-editor of the Scotsman. During the following years 
in Edinburgh he made acquaintance with most of the Scottish men of 
letters of the time, and of many ot them Francis Jeffrey, James 
Ballantine, the brothers Chambers, and others he had at a later day 
highly interesting memories to relate. Among his other literary 
performances at that period he wrote one number of Wilson's " Tales 



3i4 THE GLASGOW POETS 

of the Borders," and some political articles which were much quoted 
and commented on. And when at last he left Edinburgh, in 1842, 
he was entertained at a public dinner, at which Charles Maclaren, 
editor of the Scotsman, presided, and John Hill Burton, the 
future historian of Scotland, was croupier. He then, with 
his brother Robert, started the Glasgow Citizen, a 4^d. weekly paper. 
In its columns the native literary taste of the editor became at 
once evident, and, the final series of " Whistle-binkie " having been 
issued in that year, the new paper gathered about it the literary 
traditions and aspirations of Glasgow. HedderwicKs Miscellany, 
another weekly periodical begun in 1862, had a more purely literary 
character, but much the same set of contributors. It ceased to 
appear two years later when, the new daily papers having under- 
mined the position of his weekly journals, Hedderwick launched 
the Glasgow Evening Citizen. The American Civil War was then at 
its height, and interest in Transatlantic news intense. By meeting this 
interest the new paper at once attained a brilliant and lasting success, 
and to its example is largely due the popular afternoon press of the 
United Kingdom. 

In 1878 Glasgow University recognised Hedderwick's services to 
literature by conferring on him the degree of LL.D. To the last his 
house in town retained something of the character of a salon of letters, 
among others who were frequently entertained there being the members 
of the Ballad Club, of which he was honorary president. For many 
years he was subject to distressing attacks of heart palpitation. This 
affection rendered imprisonment in a train a natural dread to him, and he 
travelled regularly to and from his country house at Helensburgh by 
road. Only twice in these years did he make a journey by rail, going 
once to Peebles and once to Edinburgh, on the latter occasion to give 
evidence regarding a brother killed in the disastrous Winchburgh 
accident. At Rockland, his Helensburgh residence, on ist December, 
1897, he died. He was twice married, and was survived by a widow 
and four sons and a daughter. 

As a journalist Dr. Hedderwick wielded to the end one of the most 
shrewd and charming pens. He possessed also a singularly happy 
manner of address, and but for his heart affection must have left his 
mark as an orator in a much wider sphere. On the occasions 
when he did make an appearance, as at the founding of the Western 



JAMES HEDDERWICK 315 

Burns Club in 1859, he made a memorable impression. As a poet, 
not less than a friend of poets, he has assured his place. His 
first volume of poems appeared in 1844. It was followed by " Lays 
of Middle Age" in 1859, enlarged thirty years later, and "The 
Villa by the Sea, and other Poems" in 1891. His ode on the jubilee 
of Queen Victoria was read to the Queen by his old friend Sir Theodore 
Martin, and was ordered to be included among the odes selected for 
preservation. Its feature was the absence of the usual adulation and 
flattery of Royalty for royalty's sake. 

Among his efforts for the fame of others must be recorded the highly 
effective prologue which he wrote for the dramatic performance given 
in 1860 for the widow of Hugh Macdonald, the memoir which in 
1862 he prefixed to the first edition of the poems of David Gray, 
and the very beautiful epitaph inscribed on the public monument to 
John Henry Alexander, the actor-manager, erected in Glasgow 
Necropolis. His witty, kindly, and altogether delightful volume of 
" Backward Glances," besides, published in 1891, contains many of 
the most interesting reminiscences of literary Edinburgh and Glasgow 
during sixty years. 

Dr. Hedderwick left some brief MS. notes of his life in the hands of 
his sons, from which a number of details have been included in the 
present short account. A memorial to him has been erected in the 
nave of Glasgow Cathedral. 



BY THE SEA-SIDE 

On thy fancy, gentle friend ! come listen while I paint 
A little sea-side village, with its houses old and quaint, 
With a range of hills behind, and a rocky beach before, 
And a mountain-circled sea lying flat from shore to shore 
Like a molten metal floor. 



316 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The noon is faint with splendour; the sails are hanging 

slack ; 

The steamer, passed an hour ago, has left a foamy track ; 
The fisher's skiff is motionless at anchor in the bay ; 
The tall ship in the offing has been idling all the day 
Where yesternight it lay. 

. 
There is not breath enough to wake an infant wave from 

sleep ; 

A dreamy haze is on the hills and on the shimmering deep; 
The rower slackens in his toil, and basks within his boat ; 
On the dry grass the student sprawls, too indolent to note 
The glory that's afloat. 

Round my throne of rock and heather the fat bee reels and 

hums; 
The liquid whistle of some bird from the near hillside 

comes ; 

All else is silence on the beach and silence on the brine, 
And tranquil bliss in many a heart, yet sudden grief in 

mine, 

To mark a stranger pine. 

He is young, with youth departed ; moist death is on his 

cheek ; 
They have borne him out into the sun a little health to 

seek 

An old man and a mother and a maid with yearning eyes ; 
They smile whene'er they talk to him ; he smiles when he 

replies ; 

Despair takes that disguise. 



JAMES HEDDERWICK 317 

Long months of weary watching o'er a patient bed of pain 
The light held softly backward that might show all watching 

vain 
With footsteps hushed, and awful fears unbreathed except 

in prayer, 
And healing draughts that would not heal, and whisperings 

on the stair 

Are imaged meekly there. 

Oh, picture sad to be so framed in the sunshine sent of 

God! 

Alas ! those sorrowing faces, and such loveliness abroad ! 
I look a little forward, and I spy a wider woe 
The heather wet and withered, and the waters moaning low, 
And a churchyard white with snow. 

Yet seems it well, my thoughtful friend, to cheer that 

dying eye 

With witness of the spousals of the glowing earth and sky 
To wrap that frail immortal in the year's delicious prime, 
And nurse him into dreamings of the bright celestial clime, 
Ere falls the wintry rime. 



JAMES NORVAL 



SOMETHING of a rough and towsy wit, but a man of character and 
force, with a rugged but real vein of poetry in him, " the Calton Bard" 
as he was called, was one of the best-known figures in the East-End of 
Glasgow in his day. When it was known he was to speak at an 
election meeting the hall was certain to be full. As a heckler of 
candidates he had no equal, and when he took up a cause, with his 
convincing rhetoric and caustic humour, the election was as good as won. 
Norval was born, not in the Calton, but in the village of Parkhead, 
farther east. While he was still a child, however, his parents removed 
to the " white houses " in the Gallowgate of Glasgow, and there during 
his happy childhood he gathered associations, woven later into " My ain 
gate en'," and others of his best songs. His mother had a wonderful 
store of old witch tales and ballads, which sank into his memory, and 
he grew up amid the stir of the Radical risings which arose out of the 
trying times after Waterloo. He saw the bonfires with which the 
people rejoiced over the acquittal of Queen Caroline, and he watched 
the processions to " the Clay Knowe meetings," at which the proletariat 
expressed their views on the whisky and tobacco duties of the Govern- 
ment. Like most others in Calton at that day he was bred a weaver, 
and for many years he made his living at the loom. Like many 
weavers also, he took early to the writing of verse, but it was only after 
the Glasgow Citizen was started, with the brilliant little group of 
East-enders, which included Hugh Macdonald and David Gray, 
contributing to it, and when Mr. William Freeland, as sub-editor, 
offered to print some of his compositions, that Norval bethought himself 
in earnest. To the Citizen columns he contributed his best pieces 
"The March Win'," "The Boo-Man," "The Wee Pickle Meal," 
and others. 



JAMES NORVAL 319 

Norval used to tell how, when the last-named piece appeared, an 
admirer tramped all the way from Carron to Glasgow to see the author. 
But when the weaver, in his shirt sleeves, and tufted with "cadis," 
emerged from his shop, the pilgrim eyed him with disdain. " Are you 
the author of ' The Wee Pickle Meal?'" he said. " I've walked a' the 
way frae Carron to see the man that wrote that poem, and I'm greatly 
disappointed. " 

In 1868 the poet was made a burgess of Glasgow ; and among his 
other exploits he took part in the famous struggle regarding the People's 
Park, in which the Town Council were beaten, and Glasgow Green 
was saved from further encroachment. 

Latterly Norval fell upon hard times. Hand-weaving decayed, and 
the loom verified its nick-name of "the four posts o' poverty." He 
was forced to descend to the calling of a labourer, and even then found 
it hard to live. To the last, however, he remained the sturdy, sober, 
and upright Scot. He was a total abstainer, and when he died the 
interests of the working classes in Glasgow lost one of their strongest 
advocates. An immense store of old Glasgow memories also died with 
him ; and though he was married he left no child to inherit his name. 
He died in the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow, and was buried in Cathcart 
Cemetery. As a poet he wrote little and printed less, but it is to be 
hoped that what he did write may yet be gathered into a modest 
volume to perpetuate his fame. After his death, an account of his 
career, from the sympathetic pen of Mr. Robert Ford, was printed in 
The People's Friend. 



THE MARCH WIN' 

The March win' sat gurlin' on the room winnock sill, 

At the deid hour o' nicht, and his gurl boded ill ; 

He gar'd the doors and winnocks shake, syne roared doun 

the lum 
" Are ye there, frail man ? Hoo ! I'll kill ye gin I come !" 



320 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" Kill me gin ye come, will ye? cat-witted auld fule ! 
Hoots ! ye couldna sned the shank o' a wee puddock-stool ! 
Cam' ye here to bullyrag ? Your threats I lichtly dree, 
For my life's in the haun's o } my Maker wha's on hie, 
An' quakes na at the snash o' a braggart like thee." 

" Ha ! ha ! ha !" lauched the win' ; " e'en sneer gin ye will, 
But I hae the power to threaten certes, I can kill ! 
I could mak' your heart cauld and your een stane blin' ; 
My sooth ! he maun be bauld that wad daur the March 
win'!" 

" My sooth ! ' he maun be bauld ! ' Feich ! the auld boul's 

rinnm' wud ! 

Gae 'wa' and fley the bairns wi' your white stourie clud. 
Turr the thack aff the roof, whup its strae ower the linn, 
I carena a bodle for your heel-hackin' win'. 
Ye lee like a banker when he spuilzies wi' a grin." 

" I've smote the bonnie bride 'mid her bridesmaids young 

and fair ; 

I've felled the beggar loon ; I've choked the baron's heir ; 
I've slain the radiant saint, and the bloated in his sin ; 
And the bauldest doff their caps to the keen March win' !" 

" Weel, I wadna doff my cowl, nor wad I jee my wig 
To sic a sprowsie fule to sic a leein' prig, 
That comes like a thief i' the middle o' the nicht. 
Gin ye'd come like a man, 'mid the noon's rosy licht, 
I wad ding ye wi' a sun-glaff, ye frozen-sauled wicht !" 



JAMES NORVAL 321 

" Frozen-sauled wicht ! said ye ? Then ye'll dree the 

wicht's power ! " 

Syne he gied me sic a worryin', fegs, I mind it to this hour. 
He filled me fu' o' gellin' pains frae ankle-bane to chin ; 
He brang the measles 'mang the weans, and speckled a' 

their skin ; 
It's easy wark to count their gains that daur the March win'. 



MARION PAUL AIRD 
1815-1888 

A GRAND-NIECE of the witty minister-poet Hamilton Paul, 1 and 
descended from old families in Carrick and Cunningham, the authoress 
of " Had I the wings of a dove" was born and educated in Glasgow. 
Her early days were spent in a romantic cottage at Govanhill, then a 
remote rural'spot, but during all her later years she lived at Kilmarnock. 
In 1838 she began to contribute poetry to the newspapers, and was 
brought into some local note by Dr. John Bowring, to whom she had 
addressed a set of verses, mentioning the compliment at a banquet 
given in his honour. Under the nom de plume of "Marimonia" she 
contributed to the Ayrshire Wreath and another poetical periodical 
issued by Mr. James M'Kie, and in 1846 she attained considerable success 
with a volume of poems, "The Home of the Heart." Seven years 
later she published "Heart Histories," containing the best pieces of 
her first book, with some additions. A larger volume, "Sun and 
Shade," saw the light in 1860, and in 18,63 sne issued an exact reprint 
of her " Home of the Heart." An occasional later piece from her pen 
appeared in the Kilmarnock Standard, and on Christmas and New 
Year leaflets. For an "Immortelle" on the Prince Consort she 
received a grant from the royal bounty fund ; but her circumstances 
were straitened, and in 1874 a number of friends and admirers sub- 
scribed and purchased an annuity for her. In her humble last years 
a gleam of sunshine which came to her was the news that a friend 
travelling on the Continent had heard a princess playing and singing 
her verses, "Far, far away." She died in Kilmarnock, 3ist January, 
1888, and was buried in the New Cemetery there. A brief account of 
her life appeared in the succeeding issue of the Kilmarnock Standard. 
In the words of the writer of that account, "her poetic faculty was 
sweet and amiable, if not very powerful." But, when all is said, 
there are few poets who can boast verses so universally sung as the 
simple child's hymn of Marion Paul Aird. 

1 See footnote on page 142. 



MARION PAUL AIRD 323 



FAR, FAR AWAY 

Had I the wings of a dove I would fly 

Far, far away ; far, far away ; 
Where not a cloud ever darkens the sky, 

Far, far away ; far, far away. 
Fadeless the flowers in yon Eden that blow, 
Green, green the bowers where the still waters flow, 
Hearts like their garments, as pure as the snow, 
Far, far away ; far away. 

There never trembles a sigh of regret 

Far, far away ; far, far away ; 
Stars of the morning in glory ne'er set 

Far, far away ; far, far away. 
There I from sorrow for ever would rest, 
Leaning in joy on Immanuel's breast ; 
Tears never fall in the homes of the blest, 
Far, far away ; far away. 

Friends, there united in glory, ne'er part, 

Far, far away ; far, far away ; 
One is their temple, their home, and their heart, 

Far, far away ; far, far away. 
The river of crystal, the city of gold, 
The portals of pearl such glory unfold, 
Thought cannot image, and tongue hath not told, 
Far, far away ; far away. 



324 THE GLASGOW POETS 

List what yon harpers on golden harps play 

Come, come away ; come, come away. 
Falling and frail is your cottage of clay 
Come, come away ; come, come away. 
Come to these mansions, there's room yet for you, 
Dwell with the friend ever faithful and true ; 
Sing ye the song ever old, ever new 
Come, come away ; come away. 



THE AULD KIRK-YARD 

Calm sleep the village dead 
In the auld kirk-yard ; 
But softly, slowly tread 

In the auld kirk-yard. 
For the weary, weary rest 
Wi' the green turf on their breast, 
And the ashes o' the blest 

Flower the auld kirk-yard. 

Oh ! many a tale it hath, 

The auld kirk-yard, 
Of life's crooked, thorny path 

To the auld kirk-yard. 
But mortality's thick gloom 
Clouds the sunny world's bloom, 
Veils the mystery of doom 

In the auld kirk-yard. 



MARION PAUL AIRD 325 

A thousand memories spring 

In the auld kirk-yard, 
Though time's death-brooding wing 

Shade the auld kirk-yard. 
The light of many a hearth, 
Its music and its mirth, 
Sleep in the deep, dark earth 

O' the auld kirk-yard. 

Nae dreams disturb their sleep 

In the auld kirk-yard ; 
They hear nae kindred weep, 

In the auld kirk-yard. 
The sire with silver hair, 
The mother's heart of care, 
The young, the gay, the fair, 

Crowd the auld kirk-yard. 

So live that ye may lie 

In the auld kirk-yard, 
Wi' a passport to the sky 

Frae the auld kirk-yard ; 
That when thy sand is run, 
And life's weary warfare done, 
Ye may sing o' victory won 

Where there's nae kirk-yard. 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 

l8l6-I9O2 

THOUGH not a native of the city, the author of " Festus " was educated 
at Glasgow University. His famous poem appears to have been 
inspired by the religious and metaphysical spirit of his alma mater \ and 
was the first production of a school to be strikingly identified with the 
city later by the " Life Drama" of Alexander Smith and the poems of 
James Macfarlan and others. For these reasons he cannot be omitted 
from the list of makers whom Glasgow has nourished. 

Born at Nottingham, 22nd April, 1816, and son of Thomas Bailey, 
author of the "Annals of Nottinghamshire," the poet matriculated in 
the old black College in the High Street of Glasgow in 1831. Four 
years later he entered at Lincoln's Inn, and was admitted as a barrister 
in 1840. He never practised, however, and at different periods of his 
life resided in Jersey and Naples, and in various parts of England. 
His last years were spent entirely in his native city, where, after the 
death of his second wife in 1896, he lived almost in solitude with his 
books as his companions. There he died, 6th September, 1902. He 
was survived by a son and daughter. 

It was while reading for the Bar in 1836 that Bailey planned his 
poem. He himself described its origin in an interview printed in The 
Young Man some years ago. " I began in the most natural way 
imaginable," he declared. "I merely started to write. From the 
time I was ten years old I had always been writing verse more or less. 
But I had time at my disposal in those days I did pretty much as I 
liked and I soon found myself making progress with 'Festus.' I 
had the theory of the poem in my mind, and the plan of working it out, 
as well as the conception of the main characters. The doctrine of 
Universalism has never been introduced into poetry, and in that aspect 
'Festus' was different from anything that had previously appeared." 

The poem was published in 1839, and received with a furore of 
applause. Eleven editions of it have appeared in this country, and 
thirty-one in America. Lord Tennyson wrote of it in 1850, " I can 
scarcely trust myself to say how much I admire it, for fear of falling 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 327 

into extravagance." And countless of its phrases have passed into 
current coin of speech. Yet its author lived to see his great poem 
almost forgotten. Nevertheless, " Festus," the production of a young 
man barely out of his teens, remains one of the remarkable achieve- 
ments of English li erature. Apart from its high poetic merit, part of 
its immediate popularity was probably due to the fact that it gave apt 
expression to many of the religious speculations and theories seething in 
its time. Its subject, of course, was the same as that of Marlowe's 
" Faustus " and Goethe's " Faust," but it differed from its predecessors 
in making its hero triumph at last over the powers of evil. Dealing 
with the highest problems of religion and philosophy, the poem was 
nothing less than an attempt to rival Milton. Its weakness, like the 
weakness of that other like attempt, Pollok's "Course of Time," lay in 
the fact that it was written by too young a man. To this fact also 
probably belongs the exaggeration of its style, for which it was 
gibbeted, along with the later works of Alexander Smith and Sidney 
Dobell, by Professor Aytoun in " Firmilian," as the production of a 
" Spasmodic School." 

Among Bailey's other works were " The Angel World," published in 
1850; "The Mystic," 1855 ; "The Age, a Satire," 1858; and "The 
Universal Hymn," 1867. Some of these were embodied in later 
editions of " Festus," doubling the size of the original work. In 
1901 Glasgow University conferred the degree of LL.D. on its old 
alumnus. 

An account of the poet's life appeared in the Nottingham Daily 
Express for 8th September, 1902. 

The following extract is included here by kind permission of Messrs. 
George Rou Hedge & Sons, Limited : 



SCENE FROM "FESTUS" 
A country town market-place noon 

Lucifer. These be the toils and cares of mighty men ! 
Earth's vermin are as fit to fill her thrones 
As these high Heaven's bright seats. 



328 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Festus. Men's callings all 

Are mean and vain ; their wishes more so : oft 
The man is bettered by his part or place. 
How slight a chance may raise or sink a soul ! 



Lucifer. What men call accident is God's own part. 
He lets ye work your will it is His own : 
But that ye mean not, know not, do not, He doth. 



Festus. What is life worth without a heart to feel 
The great and lovely, and the poetry 
And sacredness of things ? For all things are 
Sacred the eye of God is on them all, 
And hallows all unto it. It is fine 
To stand upon some lofty mountain-thought 
And feel the spirit stretch into a view 
To joy in what might be if will and power 
For good would work together but one hour. 
Yet millions never think a noble thought, 
But with brute hate of brightness bay a mind 
Which drives the darkness out of them, like hounds. 
Throw but a false glare round them, and in shoals 
They rush upon perdition. That's the race. 
What charm is in this world-scene to such minds 
Blinded by dust ? What can they do in Heaven, 
A state of spiritual means and ends ? 
Thus must I doubt, perpetually doubt. 

Lucifer. Who never doubted never half believed. 
Where doubt, there truth is 'tis her shadow. I 
Declare unto thee that the past is not. 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 329 

I have looked over all life, yet never seen 

The age that had been. Why then fear or dream 

About the future ? Nothing but what is, is ; 

Else God were not the Maker that He seems, 

As constant in creating as in being. 

Embrace the present ! Let the future pass. 

Plague not thyself about a future. That 

Only which comes direct from God, His spirit, 

Is deathless. Nature gravitates without 

Effort ; and so all mortal natures fall 

Deathwards. All aspiration is a toil ; 

But inspiration cometh from above, 

And is no labour. The earth's inborn strength 

Could never lift her up to yon stars, whence 

She fell ; nor human soul, by native worth, 

Claim Heaven as birthright, more than man may call 

Cloudland his home. The soul's inheritance, 

Its birthplace, and its deathplace, is of earth, 

Until God maketh earth and soul anew, 

The one like Heaven, the other like Himself. 

So shall the new Creation come at once ; 

Sin, the dead branch upon the tree of life, 

Shall be cut off forever ; and all souls 

Concluded in God's boundless amnesty. 

Fcstus. Thou windest and unwindest faith at will. 
What am I to believe ? 

Lucifer. Thou mayest believe 

But that which thou art forced to. 



330 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Festus.- Then I feel 

That instinct of immortal life in me 
Which prompts me to provide for it. 

Lucifer. Perhaps. 

Festus. Man hath a knowledge of a time to come- 
His most important knowledge : the weight lies 
Nearest the short end : and the world depends 
Upon what is to be. I would deny 
The present, if the future. Oh ! there is 
A life to come, or all's a dream. 

Lucifer. And all 

May be a dream. Thou see'st in thine, men, deeds, 
Clear, moving, full of speech and order ; then 
Why may not all this world be but a dream 
Of God's ? Fear not ! Some morning God may waken. 

Festus. I would it were. This life's a mystery. 
The value of a thought cannot be told : 
But it is clearly worth a thousand lives 
Like many men's. And yet men love to live 
As if mere life were worth their living for. 
What but perdition will it be to most ? 
Life's more than breath and the quick round of blood : 
It is a great spirit and a busy heart. 
The coward and the small in soul scarce live. 
One generous feeling one great thought one deed 
Of good, ere night, would make life longer seem 
Than if each year might number a thousand days 
Spent as is this by nations of mankind. 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 331 

We live in deeds, not years ; in thoughts, not breaths ; 

In feelings, not in figures on a dial. 

We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives 

Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. 

Life's but a means unto an end that end, 

Beginning, mean and end to all things God. 

The dead have all the glory of the world. 

Why will we live and not be glorious ? 

We never can be deathless till we die. 

It is the dead win battles. And the breath 

Of those who through the world drive like a wedge, 

Tearing earth's empires up, nears death so close 

It dims his well-worn scythe. But no ! the brave 

Die never. Being deathless they but change 

Their country's arms for more their country's heart. 

Give then the dead their due ; it is they who saved us. 

The rapid and the deep the fall the gulph 

Have likenesses in feeling and in life. 

And life, so varied, hath more loveliness 

In one day than a creeping century 

Of sameness. But youth loves and lives on change, 

Till the soul sighs for sameness ; which at last 

Becomes variety, and takes its place. 

Yet some will last to die out thought by thought, 

And power by power, and limb of mind by limb, 

Like lamps upon a gay device of glass, 

Till all of soul that's left be dry and dark ; 

Till even the burden of some ninety years 

Hath crashed into them like a rock ; shattered 

Their system as if ninety suns had rushed 



332 THE GLASGOW POETS 

To ruin earth or Heaven had rained its stars ; 

Till they become, like scrolls, unreadable 

Through dust and mould. Can they be cleaned and read ? 

Do human spirits wax and wane like moons ? 

Lucifer. The eye dims, and the heart gets old and 

slow ; 

The lithe limb stiffens, and the sun-hued locks 
Thin themselves off, or whitely wither ; still 
Ages not spirit, even in one point, 
Immeasurably small ; from orb to orb, 
In ever-rising radiance, shining like 
The sun upon the thousand lands of earth. 
Look at the medley, motley throng we meet ! 
Some smiling frowning some ; their cares and joys 
Alike not worth a thought some sauntering slowly, 
As if destruction never could o'ertake them ; 
Some hurrying on as fearing judgment swift 
Should trip the heels of death and seize them living. 

Festus. Grief hallows hearts even while it ages heads ; 
And much hot grief in youth forces up life 
With power which too soon ripens and which drops. 



HUGH MACDONALD 

1817-1860 

BEST remembered by his " Rambles Round Glasgow " and " Days at 
the Coast " books which have done more than anything else to waken 
interest in memorable spots about Glasgow and the shores of Clyde 
Hugh Macdonald was a writer of verse of real if simple charm, and 
left at least one song not likely to be forgotten. 

Of humble Highland parentage, and born in Bridgeton, 4th April, 
1817, he received scant education, and was early apprenticed to 
block-printing at Barrowfield works. His leisure, when a young man, 
was spent in rambles to every spot of interest within walking distance 
of the city. In this way he became an expert botanist. At the same 
time, in the same way as so many other Scottish men of letters, from 
the Wizard of Abbotsford downwards, he was gathering materials for 
the future alchemy of the ink-pot. After investing his savings in a 
small provision business, and losing most of them, he found work again 
as a block-printer at Colinslie, near Paisley, and walked from Bridgeton 
and back every day, a distance of sixteen miles. 

It was during these long walks that he began to compose poetry, 
which he contributed to the Chartist Circular. About the same time 
the Rev. George Gilfillan made one of those attacks upon the character 
of Robert Burns which appear to be periodic. It was answered by 
Macdonald in a series of letters contributed to the Glasgow Citizen. 
At that time the poet's outlook was of the darkest, and he applied for, 
and received, a situation as a letter-carrier. Meanwhile, however, he 
had found a more congenial occupation. He became sub-editor of the 
Citizen in 1849, and justified his appointment forthwith by contributing, 
above the signature of " Caleb," his delightful " Rambles Round 
Glasgow." These as proposed at first by Macdonald, were to be merely 
a series of articles descriptive of the wild-flower habitats of the 
neighbourhood, but at Mr. Hedderwick's suggestion they were made to 
include the scenery, antiquities, and memorabilia of each locality. 



334 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" Days at the Coast," a similar series, was begun in the same columns, 
but concluded in the Glasgow Times, of which Macdonald presently 
became editor. Both series have since gone through many editions in 
book shape. During his connection with the Citizen Macdonald 
discovered and introduced to public notice, among others, the merits of 
David Wingate and James Macfarlan. 

It is to this period that the description of Macdonald applies, which 
was furnished by Patrick Proctor Alexander in his memoir prefixed to 
the " Last Leaves " of Alexander Smith, who was Macdonald's most 
intimate friend. "If, at any time during summer, you chanced to be 
wandering about Loch Lomond, or anywhere in the beautiful Highland 
district which the Firth of Clyde lays open with its branching arms, 
you were nearly sure to spy, on the deck of some steamboat, a quaint 
little figure in a huge old rusty pilot coat, crowned with a Glengarry 
bonnet, jauntily set on one side, in which a considerable sprig of heather 
was always defiantly stuck, as making a testimony to all men. This was 
Hugh Macdonald on one of his perpetual rambles." 

In 1858 the Morning Journal was launched, and Macdonald became 
its literary editor. On this occasion he was entertained at a public 
dinner in the city ; and on 25th January following, at the celebration 
of Burns's centenary, he presided, with his homely dignity and broad 
Scots Doric, at the gathering in the King's Arms Hotel. * 

Among other contributions to the Journal^ he began a series of 
"Pilgrimages to Remarkable Places" and "Footsteps of the Year." 
He engaged also in preparation of a work on "Old Folk -Lore." But 
his pen had lost its charm, his health rapidly failed, and he died i6th 
March, 1860. He was buried in the Southern Necropolis. Three 
years later his poems were collected and published, with a memoir. 



I The dinner was described by the late William Simpson (Crimean, 
Simpson"), in a letter to Mr. Robert M'Clure, reprinted in the Scottish American^ 
lath September, 1900. " Hugh," says Simpson, "sat in an old chair in which Burns 
had sat. It had an arrangement by which some part of the back could be folded 
forward and used as a desk. On this Burns had written some of his poems. A grand- 
son of the poet was one of the party, a son of Mrs. Thomson, the daughter of Burns, 
who lived somewhere out by Crossmyloof or the 'Shaws.' Alexander Smith was 
there out of compliment to Hugh, and I had the honour of being present." Simpson 
was a personal friend of Macdonald, and is referred to in the "Ramble" to 
Robroyston. 



HUGH MACDONALD 335 

A sum of 900 was also raised as a testimony of public esteem, and 
invested for behoof of his widow and children, and a fountain to his 
memory was erected on Glasgow Green. Many vivid reminiscences or 
the poet are to be found in Dr. Hedderwick's "Backward Glances," 
and in the memoir of Smith by P. P. Alexander, already referred to. 



THE BONNIE WEE WELL 

The bonnie wee well on the breist o' the brae, 
That skinkles sae cauld in the sweet smile o' day, 
And croons a laigh sang a' to pleasure itsel', 
As it jinks 'neath the breckan and genty blue-bell 

The bonnie wee well on the breist o' the brae 
Seems an image to me o' a bairnie at play ; 
For it springs frae the yird wi' a flicker o' glee, 
And it kisses the flowers while its ripple they pree. 

The bonnie wee well on the breist o' the brae 
Wins blessings and blessings fu* monie ilk day ; 
For the way-worn and weary aft rest by its side, 
And man, wife, and wean a' are richly supplied. 

The bonnie wee well on the briest o' the brae, 
Where the hare steals to drink in the gloamin' sae grey, 
Where the wild moorlan' birds dip their nebs and tak' wing, 
And the lark weets his whistle ere mounting to sing. 

Thou bonnie wee well on the briest o' the brae ! 
My mem'ry aft haunts thee by nicht and by day j 
For the friends I ha'e loved in the years that are gane 
Ha'e knelt by thy brim, and thy gush ha'e parta'en. 



336 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Thou bonnie wee well on the briest o' the brae! 
While I stoop to thy bosom my thirst to allay, 
I will drink to the loved ones who come back nae mair, 
And my tears will but hallow thy bosom sae fair. 

Thou bonnie wee well on the briest o' the brae ! 

My blessing rests with thee, wherever I stray ; 

In joy and in sorrow, in sunshine and gloom, 

I will dream of thy beauty, thy freshness, and bloom. 

In the depths of the city, 'midst turmoil and noise, 
I'll oft hear with rapture thy lone trickling voice, 
While fancy takes wing to thy rich fringe of green, 
And quaffs thy cool waters in noon's gowden sheen. 



SIR W. STIRLING-MAXWELL, BART. 
1818-1878 

DESCENDED from two historic families, William Stirling was born at 
Kenmure, near Glasgow, 8th March, 1818. He was the only son of 
Archibald Stirling of Keir, in Perthshire, whose ancestors took part 
in the dark and turbulent events of the days of James III. and James V., 
and supported the famous Marquis of Montrose. And his mother was 
a daughter of Sir John Maxwell, Bart. , of Pollok, near Glasgow, whose 
forebears fought for Douglas at Otter bourne and for Queen Mary at 
Langside. 

Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he graduated in 1839, 
and in the same year, along with a college friend, published 
"A Posie of Poesies." His first independent volume, " Songs of the 
Holy Land," was the fruit of a visit to Palestine in 1842. The art and 
history of Spain next attracted him, and as results of much painstaking 
study and travel abroad he produced successively " The Annals of the 
Artists of Spain " in 1848 ; " The Cloister Life of Charles V." in 1852 ; 
" Velasquez and his Works " in 1855 ; and " The Chief Victories of the 
Emperor Charles V." in 1870. He also, among other services to art, 
published three series of rare engravings, "The Turks in 1533," by 
Peter Coeck; " The Procession of Pope Clement VII. and the Emperor 
Charles V. on the occasion of the Coronation, Bologna, 1530," by 
Nicholas Hogenberg ; and " The Entry of the Emperor Charles V. 
into Bologna, 1529," by an unknown Venetian. His "Don John of 
Austria" was published posthumously in 1883, and a volume of his 
miscellaneous essays in 1891. To the last named a brief biographical 
note was appended. 

Meanwhile he had entered Parliament in 1852 as Conservative 
member for Perthshire. In 1865 he married Lady Anna Leslie Melville, 
second daughter of the Earl of Leven and Melville, and in the following 
Z 



338 THE GLASGOW POETS 

year he inherited, through his mother, the baronetcy and estates of 
Pollok, on account of which he assumed the name of Maxwell. In 
recognition of his character as an author and a patron of letters, he was 
elected Rector of St. Andrews University in 1862, and received the 
degree of LL.D. Ten years later he was elected Rector of Edinburgh 
University, and in 1876, on the death of the Duke of Montrose, he was 
chosen Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. In 1876 he was 
made a Knight of the Thistle, and received the honorary degree of 
D.C.L. from Oxford University. His first wife having died in 1874, 
he married three years later the Hon. Mrs. Norton, an early friend 
and an authoress of some standing. Sir William died of a fever at 
Venice, I5th January, 1878, leaving two sons by his first wife. He was 
buried in Lecropt Churchyard at Keir. 

, In previous collections Stirling-Maxwell's poetical work is chiefly 
represented by a descriptive piece, "The Abdication of Charles V.," 
stated to be a translation of a Spanish ballad. The piece, curiously 
enough, does not appear among the poet's works. There can be little 
doubt that Sir William's fame as a poet has suffered from the inaccessi- 
bility of his compositions. His " Songs of the Holy Land " were 
published in a very limited edition, and there is no copy in any of the 
great public libraries in Scotland. The "Abdication of Charles V." 
by no means shows him at his best. 



RIZPAH 
2 Samuel xxi. i-n 

Behold ! the mighty corses on the rock of Jabesh hoary, 
Mighty corses seven, of warriors strong and tall ; 

Erewhile they went in purple, and dwelt in ease and glory, 
For they were seven princes of the royal blood of Saul 

They died not like the mighty, where deadly strife was 

keenest, 

In the forefront of the battle, in the leaguer'd city's 
flame; 



SIR W. STIRLING-MAXWELL, BART. 339 

But on the accursed gallows they perished like the meanest, 
And Saul's beloved Gibeah beheld his children's shame. 



For three long years of famine, said the seers, were sent by 

Heaven, 

Because that Saul had smitten, in his zeal, the Gibeonite, 
Who craved, as equal ransom of the wrong, these lordlings 

seven, 

And hanged them there in Gibeah when barley-fields 
grew white. 

Now side by side the victims, in the sleep that hath no 

dreaming, 

Naked beneath the heaven in storm and sunshine lie ; 
Morn and even vultures sail around them screaming, 
And prowlers from the wilderness at night around them 
cry. 

But vulture's beak, nor famished fang of wolf invades them 

sleeping, 
Only the noiseless worm unseen feeds sweetly on their 

clay; 
For kneeling near her slaughtered sons a mother watches 

weeping, 

And scares the flocking fowls of noon and nightly beasts 
away. 

These fallen ones had brethren, and friends they loved as 

brothers, 
And followers very many in their day of honour fled, 



340 THE GLASGOW POETS 

And the witching love of women, but none was like their 

mother's, 

Whose heart did most remember when all forgat them 
dead. 

In Millo's palace seemed it a marvel and a wonder 

To the mighty men of valour, and the courtiers every one, 

That Rizpah from her children nor shame nor death could 

sunder ; 
So it was told King David what the concubine had done. 



IN MEMORY OF H. A. S. 

Sister ! these woods have seen ten summers fade 
Since thy dear dust in yonder church was laid. 
A few more winters, and this heart, the shrine 
Of thy fair memory, shall be cold as thine. 
Yet may some stranger, lingering in these ways, 
Bestow a tear on grief of other days ; 
For if he too have wept o'er grace and youth, 
Goodness and wisdom, faith and love and truth, 
Untinged with worldly guile or selfish stain, 
And ne'er hath looked upon the like again, 
Then, imaged in his sorrow, he may see 
All that I loved and lost and mourn in thee. 1 



'These exquisite lines are not included in Sir William Stirling- Max- 
well's published works. They are inscribed on a monument in the old 
churchyard of Lecropt, within the policies at Keir. 



W. J. MACQUORN RANKINE 

1820-1872 

"WITH a profusion of auburn hair, he had a head like imperial Jove. 
As Professor of Civil Engineering and Mechanics in Glasgow 
University he was learned in mathematics, profuse in his use of 
algebraic symbols, and profound in all kinds of equation and analysis. 
Some of his calculations were too deep for ordinary understandings to 
fathom. Yet his social character had a light and airy side. He wrote 
rhymes of infinite jest ; some of his original songs he sang to tunes of 
his own composition, accompanying himself on the piano ; while he was 
also the author of a little series of ' Fables,' very brief and very 
pointed, which, as he repeated them with quaint gravity, were always 
received with relish." 

This is a description of Professor Rankine, given by Dr. Hedder- 
wick, in his delightful volume, " Backward Glances," while enumerating 
the company to be met at dinner at the house of Sheriff Glassford Bell. 
For the following details of the Professor's career the present writer is 
indebted to a manuscript book of memoranda by Rankine himself, 
in possession of his cousin, Miss Grahame, London. An account of 
his life by his cousin, James Grahame, evidently condensed from the 
same notes, was printed in " Memoirs and Portraits of One Hundred 
Glasgow Men," in 1886. 

His father, a younger son of Macquorn or M'Oran Rankine of 
Drumdow, in Ayrshire, after serving as a lieutenant in the 2ist 
Regiment, was latterly Secretary to the Caledonian Railway Company. 
His mother, Barbara Grahame, elder daughter of Archibald Grahame 
of Drumquhassel, banker in Glasgow, was a niece of James Grahame, 
author of The Sabbath (see page 125). The poet, an elder son, was 
born at Edinburgh, 5th July, 1820, and was educated at Ayr Academy, 
Glasgow High School, and Edinburgh University. He had been early 



342 THE GLASGOW POETS 

instructed by his father in elementary mathematics, mechanics, and 
physics; and when he was fourteen a gift of Newton's "Principia" 
from his uncle, Archibald Grahame, gave him a foundation in higher 
dynamics, and may be said to have decided his career. 

Two years later Rankine gained a gold medal for an essay on the 
undulatory theory of light. In 1838, after helping his father on 
works of the Dalkeith railway, he became a pupil of Sir John 
Macneill, the eminent civil engineer, and three years later he 
contrived, on the Drogheda railway, a new device for setting out 
curves, since known as " Rankine's method." At the age of 
twenty-two he published his first pamphlet, "An Experimental 
Enquiry into the Advantages of Cylindrical Wheels on Railways," and 
on the occasion of Queen Victoria's first visit to Edinburgh superintended 
the erection of the bonfire on Arthur's Seat so scientifically that the rock 
was partially vitrified. Ten years later, along with John Thomson, he 
revived the scheme proposed in 1845 by his friend Lewis Gordon and 
by Lawrence Hill, junior, to supply Glasgow with Loch Katrine water. 
In 1855 he succeeded Gordon as Regius Professor of Civil 
Engineering and Mechanics in Glasgow University. And in 1857 
Dublin University recognised his scientific discoveries communicated 
to the many learned societies of which he was a member, by conferring 
on him the degree of LL. D. 

Two years afterwards the Professor entered a new rdle. Govern- 
ment accepted the offer to raise a corps of Glasgow University 
Volunteers, and Rankine received a commission as its captain. For four 
years he remained an enthusiast in the new movement, and published 
papers on target and rifle practice. On the amalgamation of his corps 
with the 1st Lanarkshire Regiment in 1860 he became senior major, 
and commanded the second battalion in the great review of 21,514 
volunteers by the Queen at Edinburgh on 7th August. He resigned in 
1864. The rest of his career was that of the busy engineer, professor, 
lecturer, and author of scientific works. His chief productions were 
his " Manual of Civil Engineering," published in 1862, and in 1866 
his " Shipbuilding, Theoretical and Practical," of which some parts 
near the beginning were written by F. K. Barnes. He was also 
author, in 1870, of a memoir of John Elder, the eminent shipbuilder. 

During his life Rankine's poetic gift was known chiefly to friends by 
his singing of his own songs, to which his voice and manner lent a 



W. J. MACQUORN RANKINE 343 

singular charm. Some of these songs were published with the 
music, and at least three appeared in BlackwoocT s Magazine. After his 
death, however, in 1874, a small volume of his "Songs and Fables" 
was published in Glasgow by Mr. MacLehose. He was never married, 
and died in Glasgow, 24th December, 1872. " The Engine-Driver " is 
reproduced here by kind permission of Messrs. William Blackwood & 
Sons. 



THE ENGINE-DRIVER 

Put forth your force, my iron horse, with limbs that never 

tire! 
The best of oil shall feed your joints, and the best of coal 

your fire. 
So off we tear, from Euston Square, to beat the swift south 

wind, 

As we rattle along the North-West rail, with the express 
train behind : 

Dash along, crash along, sixty miles an hour ! 

Right through old England flee ! 
For I am bound to see my love, 
Far away in the North Countrie. 

Like a train of ghosts, the telegraph posts go wildly trooping 

by, 

While one by one the milestones run, and off behind us 
fly: 

Like foaming wine it fires my blood to see your lightning 
speed ; 

Arabia's race ne'er matched your pace, my gallant steam- 
borne steed ! 



344 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Wheel along, squeal along, sixty miles an hour ! 

Right through old England flee ! 
For I am bound to see my love, 

Far away in the North Countrie. 

My blessing on old George Stephenson ! let his fame for 

ever last ! 
For he was the man that found the plan to make you run 

so fast. 
His arm was strong, his head was long, he knew not guile 

nor fear ; 

When I think of him it makes me proud that / am an 
engineer ! 

Tear along, flare along, sixty miles an hour ! 

Right through old England flee ! 
For I am bound to see my love, 
Far away in the North Countrie. 

Now Thames and Trent are far behind, and evening's 

shades are come ; 
Before my eyes the brown hills rise that guard my true 

love's home : 
Even now she stands, my own dear lass ! beside the 

cottage door, 

And she listens for the whistle shrill, and the blast-pipe's 
rattling roar. 

Roll along, bowl along, sixty miles an hour ! 

Right through old England flee ! 
For I am bound to see my love, 
At home in the North Countrie. 



THOMAS ELLIOTT 

1820-1868. 

WHEN the " Lyric Gems of Scotland " was published serially in 
Glasgow from 1854 to 1858 it included songs by a number of new 
poets. One of these was Thomas Elliott. Descended of a branch of 
the Border Elliots settled in Ulster after the Revolution, he was born 
at Ballyho-bridge, in Fermanagh, 22nd December, 1820. After a fair 
education in his native district, he became apprentice in his fifteenth 
year to his father, the village shoemaker. In 1836 the family removed 
to Belfast, and there the future poet took advantage of the greater 
opportunities for the study of books. His first attempt at poetry was 
in his twenty-second year, when he essayed a satire on a pedantic music- 
teacher who had given him offence. In 1847 he crossed the Irish Sea 
and settled as a working shoemaker in Glasgow, where his "Doric 
Lays and Attic Chimes " was published in 1856. 

Elliott also wrote occasional prose articles for the press, perhaps 
his most notable performance of this kind being an account of another 
Glasgow poet, James Macfarlan, which appeared in the Ulster 
Magazine in January, 1863. His poetry strikes a healthy, vigorous, 
independent note, with nothing at all of latter-day decadence in it. 

Among the poems of Janet Hamilton remains an eloquent "Appeal 
for Thomas Elliott," in which his last days are pathetically described : 

" Poor Tom's a-cold ! Upon his shrinking head 
The pelting storm beats pitiless ! On bed 
Of languishing, disease, and cureless pain 
He lies, surrounded by the haggard train 
Of want the victim of the thousand ills 
With which cold poverty the life-blood chills. 
Alas, poor Tom ! must thy last look on earth 
Fall on a squalid room and cheerless hearth, 
Pale, pining children, and a weeping wife, 
With scanty sustenance for needs of life ? " 



346 THE GLASGOW POETS 

A living Glasgow poet, to whom the younger singers of the city owe 
many a kind encouragement, and who knew the subject of these lines, 
writes of him : " Elliott was delicate, yet fought heroically against fate. 
He was optimistic, and sang like a lark. He sang his way to heaven's 
gate, and I cannot help fancying that, if St. Peter had a stool of gold 
vacant, he must have given it to poor Tom, and asked him to make 
sandals for the seraphs." 



CLYDE BOAT SONG 

Leave the city's busy throng, 
Dip the oar and wake the song ; 
See on Cathkin's braes the moon 
Rises with a star aboon. 
Hark the boom of evening bells 
Trembles through the leafy dells ! 

Row, lads, row ! row, lads, row ! 
While the golden eventide 
Lingers o'er the vale of Clyde. 
Row, lads, row ! row, lads, row ! 
Up the Clyde with the tide, 
Row, lads, row ! 

Life's a river deep and old, 
Stemmed by rowers brave and bold ; 
Now in shadow, then in light, 
Onward aye, a thing of might. 
Sons of Albyn's ancient land, 
Row with strong and steady hand 



THOMAS ELLIOTT 347 

Row, lads, row ! row, lads, row ! 
Gaily row and cheerly sing, 
Till the woodland echoes ring. 

Row, lads, row ! row, lads, row ! 
Up the Clyde with the tide, 
Row, lads, row ! 

Hammers on the anvils rest, 

Dews upon the gowan's breast ; 

Young hearts heave with tender thought ; 

Low winds sigh, with odours fraught : 

Stars bedeck the blue above 

Earth is full of joy and love. 

Row, lads, row ! row, lads, row ! 
Let your oars in concert beat 
Time, like merry dancers' feet. 
Row, lads, row ! row, lads, row ! 
Up the Clyde with the tide, 
Row, lads, row ! 



UP WITH THE DAWN 

Up with the dawn, ye sons of toil, 

And bare the brawny arm, 
To drive the harnessed team afield, 

And till the fruitful farm : 
To dig the mine for hidden wealth, 

Or make the woods to ring ; 
With swinging axe and sturdy stroke 

To fell the forest king. 



348 THE GLASGOW POETS 

With ocean car and iron steed 

Traverse the land and sea, 
And spread our commerce round the globe 

As winds that wander free. 
Subdue the earth and conquer fate, 

Outspeed the flight of time : 
Old earth is rich, and man is young, 

Nor near his jocund prime. 

Work, and the clouds of care will fly, 

Pale want will pass away : 
Work, and the leprosy of crime 

And tyrants must decay. 
Leave the dead ages in their urns ; 

The present time be ours, 
To grapple bravely with our lot, 

And strew our path with flowers. 



JAMES LITTLE 
1821- 

SON of a respectable shoemaker, who was a claimant, through his 
mother's mother, of the honours and estates of the last Marquis of 
Annandale, James Little was born at Glasgow, 24th May, 1821. He 
enjoyed but a scanty education, and early enlisted as a private soldier. 
He served for eight years, mostly in North America and the West 
Indies. Then he purchased his discharge, and settled as a journeyman 
shoemaker in his native city. He emigrated to the United States in 
1852, but soon returned. His best pieces were set to music in the 
" Lyric Gems of Scotland," and he published two volumes of poetry, 
"Sparks from Nature's Fire" in 1856, and "The Last March and 
Other Poems " later. 



SCOTIA'S SHORE 

Sing not to me of sunny shores, 

Of verdant climes where olives bloom, 
Where still and calm the river pours 

Its flood 'mid groves of sweet perfume. 
Give me the land where torrents flash, 

Where loud the angry cat'racts roar, 
As wildly on their course they dash 

Then here's a health to Scotia's shore ! 



350 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Sing not to me of sunny isles, 

Though there eternal summers reign, 
Though orange groves serenely smile, 

And gaudy flowerets deck the plain. 
Give me the land of mountains steep, 

Where wild and free the eagles soar, 
The dizzy crags where tempests sweep 

Then here's a health to Scotia's shore ! 

Sing not to me of sunny lands, 

For there full often tyrants sway, 
Who climb to power with blood-stained hands, 

While crouching, trembling slaves obey. 
Give me the land unconquered still, 

Though often tried in days of yore, 
Where freedom reigns from plain to hill 

Then here's a health to Scotia's shore. 



COLIN RAE-BROWN 

1821-1897 

IF a man ever achieved his own memorial by inaugurating monuments 
to other people, that man was Colin Rae-Brown. He was little more 
than twenty when he took part in erecting a monument to Highland 
Mary in Greenock churchyard. He set on foot in 1856 and engineered 
the movement to build the National Wallace Monument on the Abbey 
Craig at Stirling. He suggested the great national demonstration which 
took place on the centenary of the birth of Burns. He inaugurated 
the London Burns Club in 1868; co-operated three years later with 
Charles Mackay, George Cruickshank, and others, in raising funds for 
the completion of the Scott Monument at Edinburgh ; and took part 
in the movement which placed a statue of Burns on the Thames 
Embankment. His last achievement of the kind, the placing of a 
statue of Highland Mary on the Castle Hill, Dunoon, was accomplished 
at the expense of his life. From first to last he was a most patriotic 
Scotsman, full of enthusiasm and energy. 

As a private citizen his career was eventful enough. One of his 
forebears is said to have been the "Colin" of the song " There's nae 
luck aboot the hoose." His father was a respectable merchant captain 
and shipowner in Greenock, and Colin Rae-Brown was born in that 
town, 1 9th December, 1821. In his tenth year the family removed to 
Glasgow, but in his twentieth he returned to Greenock to manage a 
business there. On 6th August, 1844, he was present, as one of a 
deputation from Greenock, at the famous meeting with the three sons 
of Burns at Alloway, presided over by the Earl of Eglinton, and on 
that occasion was introduced to " Christopher North." Shortly after- 
wards, on the launching of the North British Daily Mail, " the first 
daily broadsheet published in Scotland," he returned to Glasgow as its 
business manager. In 1855, the Mail having changed owners, he 



352 THE GLASGOW POETS 

started, with some friends, the Glasgow Daily Bulletin, the first daily 
newspaper sold at a penny in Britain, as well as the Workman, a 
weekly paper. During the last thirty years of his life he lived chiefly 
in London, but spent the summers at Tighnabruaich, on the Kyles of 
Bute. He died at his town residence, South Kensington, in 
September, 1897. 

Rae- Brown was author of a number of volumes of poetry. " Lyrics 
of the Sea and Shore," published in 1848, was dedicated to De Quincey, 
who had come to Glasgow to be at hand as a contributor to Taifs 
Magazine, bought by the proprietors of the Mail. His " Lays and 
Lyrics" appeared in 1859, "The Dawn of Love" in 1862, and "Noble 
Love" in 1871. He also wrote a good deal of prose. He edited the 
"Scottish Annual" in 1859, and his "Glimpses of Scottish Life," 
contributed to the St. James 1 Magazine in 1874, afterwards appeared 
in' three volumes. He was author of " The Wolf in the Fold," " The 
Head of the Clan," and other serial tales. And he wrote the memoir 
prefixed to the collected poems of James Macfarlan in 1882. A 
selection of his works was published by Mr. Alexander Gardner, 
Paisley, under the title of "The Dawn of Love and Other Poems," in 
1892, and a short biography was prefixed. The two short poems here 
given are printed by kind permission of the poet's representatives. 



SECRETS 

There is a creed in every heart, 

Unsyllabled, unsung : 
A creed that never strays beyond 

The portals of the tongue. 

There is a name the lover shrines 
'Neath all his hopes and fears, 

A name that mingles with his life 
Throughout the changing years. 



COLIN RAE-BROWN 353 

There is a something never breathed, 

Not even to the dearest 
A secret doubt or fond belief 

That to the heart lies nearest. 

Unuttered and unfathomed things, 

Which we to none impart 
Or high or low, or rich or poor 

Are hid in every heart. 



" OLD TIME " 

Men call me feeble, old, and grey 
My strength and vigour passed away ; 

But strong and stalwart still am I, 
Nor frail my step, nor dim mine eye. 

What are a thousand years to me, 
But as a drop in yonder sea ! 

I've not yet reached my manhood's prime, 
And laugh to hear men say " Old Time." 

Let centuries pass and ages roll ! 

The year that my last knell shall toll 
So far away in the future lies, 

That ne'er a tear hath wet mine eyes. 

No ! I am joyous, gay, and free, 

Living a life of jollity : 
But, Man, mark well each passing chime, 

Thy stay is short in the realms of Time. 

2 A 



JAMES NICHOLSON 

. 
1822-1897 

BORN at Edinburgh, 2ist October, 1822, the son of a working tailor, 
James Nicholson had early experiences of a kind little likely to produce a 
poet. In his home " stinted meals, sour looks, and days of taciturnity " 
were the rule. When he was six years of age the family removed to 
Paisley, and amid worse poverty, with no more than a single week's 
schooling, at the age of seven he was sent to work in a tobacco factory 
at a shilling a week. His instincts, however, were towards finer things. 
He learned to read by a painful study of sign-boards and hand-bills 
and the books on view in stationers' windows ; and on the household 
removing to Strathaven, he found leisure as a herd boy to read all the 
books tie could borrow. Then he went to Edinburgh, and while he 
learnt the tailor's trade from his grandfather there, he got the old man 
to set him a copy of the letters of the alphabet in writing, and so 
acquired slowly and stiffly the art of penmanship. 

It was then, in his nineteenth year, that his first verses appeared in 
the Christian Jotirnal. Two years later he married, set up in business 
with his wife's brother at Strathaven, and began the study of botany. 
His business proved only moderately successful, but in 1853 he 
obtained the post of foreman tailor at Govan Workhouse, then situated 
in Eglinton Street, Glasgow. In this position he remained till his last 
years, when he was relieved from the more arduous part of his duties in 
the tailors' shop. Even then he continued his solicitous care of the 
poorhouse orphan bairns, whom he led for many a ramble in the 
country, and whose lot he sang in one of his happiest and tenderest 
sets of verses, "A faither to ye a'." 

Meanwhile he had not ceased to write. As a contributor to the 
Working Man's Friend in 1849 he gained some distinction. His first 



JAMES NICHOLSON 355 

volume was a thin octavo, " Weeds and Wildflowers," published in 
1850. He had set some store on the possibility of selling this produc- 
tion in the countryside, but on his setting forth with his parcel his 
poetry was so scouted by the farmer's wife at the first house he called 
at that he tried no more. It was his next volume, " Kilwuddie and 
Other Poems," published in 1859, which first struck public notice. In 
1861 appeared his "Willie Waugh, or the Angel o' Hame," which 
was enlarged, in 1884, with some poems by his daughter, Ellen C. 
Nicholson. "Idylls o' Hame and Other Poems" appeared in 1870, 
followed by his most successful volume, "Tibbie's Garland," of which 
a second edition was published in 1891, and a selection of "Poems" 
by himself and his daughter was issued in 1880. A series of botanical 
papers also, which he contributed to the Scottish Temperance League 
Journal ', was published under the title of " Father Fernie the Botanist " 
in 1868. And another series on astronomy, contributed to the People's 
Friend, was collected in 1880 under the title of " Nightly Wanderings 
in the Garden of the Sky." 

In 1895 the veteran poet was entertained at dinner by a company of 
friends and admirers in the Cockburn Hotel, Glasgow, and presented 
with an address. The eulogy it contained must be considered just: 
" Unaided by birth or fortune, you have won distinction in many 
directions. Your advocacy of Temperance in song and verse has made 
you the laureate of the movement ; your writings on botany and 
astronomy have been popular and stimulating ; while your songs and 
poems have touched a chord in the heart of the Scottish people, the 
echo of which will not quickly die." In the same year Govan 
Parochial Board also presented the poet with an address, in which his 
long and faithful services were recognised. 

Shortly after these public acknowledgments Nicholson suffered a 
shock of paralysis which foreshadowed his end. His latter days were 
cheered by a gift, in recognition of his literary work, of ^150 from the 
Government of Lord Rosebery. But he did not live long to enjoy the 
honour. He died at the schoolhouse, Merryflats, the house of his 
daughter, 24th September, 1897. 

Among other qualities, Nicholson's vein of humour was singularly 
happy, and as a master of the pathos of the child life of the streets he 
remains without a rival. The best account of his life is one prefixed to 
his Kilwuddie volume, from the pen of the Rev. Alexander Macleod, 



356 THE GLASGOW POETS 

afterwards of Birkenhead, to whom the poet owed much encourage- 
ment in his earliest efforts. An excellent portrait of Nicholson in his 
prime is in possession of his daughter, to whom the present writer is 
indebted for many of the details given here, and for kind permission to 
reproduce the poet's work. Several of his volumes are extremely 
scarce, and it is to be hoped that a collected edition may be given to 
the public. 

IMPH-M 

When I was a laddie langsyne at the schule 
The maister aye ca'd me a dunce and a fule ; 
For somehow his words I could ne'er understan', 
Unless when he bawled, "J a rm e > haud oot yer han' ! " 
Then I gloomed, and said " Imph-m," 
I glunched, and said " Imph-m " 
I wasna owre proud, but owre dour to say Aye. 

Ae day a queer word, as lang-nebbit's himsel', 
He vowed he wad thrash me if I wadna spell. 
Quo' I, " Maister Quill," wi' a kin' o' a swither, 
" I'll spell ye the word if ye'll spell me anither 

Let's hear ye spell Imph-m, 

That common word Imph-m, 
That auld Scots word Imph-m, ye ken it means Aye." 

Had ye seen hoo he glow'red, hoo he scratched his big pate, 
And shouted, " Ye villain, get oot o' my gate ! 
Get aff to yer seat ! ye're the plague o' the schule ! 
The dei) o' me kens if ye're maist rogue or fule ! " 

But I only said " Imph-m " 

That pawkie word Imph-m : 
He couldna spell Imph-m, that stands for an Aye. 



JAMES NICHOLSON 357 

And when, a brisk wooer, I courted my Jean, 
O' Avon's braw lasses the pride and the queen, 
When 'neath my grey plaidie wi' heart beatin' fain, 
I speired in a whisper if she'd be my ain, 

She blushed, and said " Imph-m," 

That charming word Imph-m 
A thousan' times better and sweeter than Aye. 

And noo I'm a dad wi' a hoose o' my ain, 
A dainty bit wife, and mair than ae wean ; 
But the warst o't is this when a question I speir, 
They pit on a look sae auldfarran' and queer, 

But only say " Imph-m," 

That daft-like word Imph-m, 
That vulgar word Imph-m ! they winna say Aye. 

Ye've heard hoo the deil, as he wauchled through Beith, 
Wi' a wife in ilk oxter, and ane in his teeth, 
When some ane cried oot, " Will ye tak' mine the morn ? " 
He wagged his auld tail while he cockit his horn, 

But only said " Imph-m," 

That usefu' word Imph-m 
Wi' sic a big mouthfu' he couldna say Aye. 

So I've gi'en owre the Imph-m it's no a nice word ; 

When printed on paper it's perfect absurd : 

So if ye're owre lazy to open your jaw, 

Just haud ye your tongue, and say naething ava' ; 

But never say Imph-m 

That daft-like word Imph-m : 
It's ten times mair vulgar than even braid Aye. 



JOHN YOUNG 

. 
1825- 

ONE of the few rare instances in which poetry has rescued its composer 
from abject circumstances was that of John Young. He was born 
in the Blue Raw, Campsie, i;th November, 1825, but the humble 
household presently removed to the north-west quarter of Glasgow, 
where his father began business as a cowfeeder and small contractor. 
The poet himself followed the occupation of a carter, and married at 
the age of twenty-three. A burning accident, however, five years later, 
maimed his hand and almost totally blinded him, and he was forced to 
take refuge in the poorhouse. Within its walls, inspired by the eager 
hope of winning his way to the outer world again, he turned his poetic 
faculty to account. By the help of friends his " Lays from the Poor- 
house " was liberally subscribed for, and when the book was published 
in 1860, it enabled him to leave the walls within which he had been 
immured for six years. Four years later he followed up his success 
with another production " Lays from the Ingle Nook," in the preface 
to which he described with genial philosophy the "inconceivable 
number of stair-mountings and bell-pullings " which had enabled him 
to attain his object. Other volumes followed, which served the double 
purpose of eking out a humble livelihood for their author, and of earn- 
ing him a modest place on Parnassus. There have been better-known 
poets whose lives and verses lacked the homely wisdom of this humble 
poorhouse bard. 



JOHN YOUNG 359 



MY FIRST BREEKS 

When I was a younker, and bade wi' my granny, 

A gey steerin' cowt, as a body may trow, 
Frae mornin' to nicht into mischief I ran aye, 

And aye gat the waur as the aulder I grew. 
I then was in coats, though a thump o' a callan, 

And aye keepit granny, puir body, in steeks, 
Till time, wha's aye fleein, though aften a-killin', 

Cam' roun' wi' the nicht that gied me my first breeks. 

I stood at the door watchin' Sandy the tailor, 

And soon as the body cam' into my view, 
I ran aff to meet him, hurrahed like a sailor, 

And, seizin' the breeks, back to granny I flew. 
I gat them drawn on, hansell'd too in a blinkie, 

While granny in a' ways was pleased wi' their worth : 
Wi' them 'neath my head, though I bowed na a winkie, 

I wadna changed places wi' Willie the Fourth. 

I grew up to man, and wi' cares gat entangled, 

And fand that this life was a drag and a draw, 
And that the imprudent, unsteady, new-fangled, 

Aye stuck, or were kicked through wi' naething ava'. 
Sae wi' a leal heart I wooed fortune, the kimmer, 

Was whiles up or down, as it fitted her freaks, 
And when ocht gaed wrang I aye ca'ed her a limmer, 

And sighed for the days when I wore my first breeks. 



360 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Sin' then I've drawn on twa three pair on my hurdies, 

Some gude anes, some ill, as it happened to fa', 
And whiles, mair's the pity, believe ye, my wordies, 

'Twas just a' the tear I had ony ava'. 
Be that as it may, I've had moleskin and plaiden, 

And braid cloth, and tartan wi' some gaudy streaks ; 
But ne'er had a pair that I took sic delight in, 

Or wore me sae weel as thae hamer-made breeks. 

I've lived thretty years, and a bit to the tail o't, 

And as I look back o'er the path I hae trod, 
I'm fain to confess noo that, had I the wale o't, 

I'd choose me a strauchter and cannier road. 
But wise 'hint the han' is a trait o' my kintra, 

Though mair than the Scots hae their ain bits o' freaks, 
And, frae the Land's End to the bleak hills o' Fintry, 

We've a' been maist happy when in our first breeks. 



JAMES P. CRAWFORD 

1825-1887 

ON a September Sunday afternoon in 1855, in a certain United Presby- 
terian church in Glasgow, instead of listening to the sermon of the 
minister, James P. Crawford composed the poem by which he is likely 
to be long remembered. "The Drunkard's Raggit Wean," simple, 
true, and touching, became at once popular, and remains perhaps the 
most successful lyric of the temperance movement of its time. 

Crawford was born in the Ayrshire village of Catrine, I4th June, 
1825. At the age of fifteen he removed with his family to Glasgow, 
and, to perfect himself in his father's trade of tailor, he wrought for a 
time in London and Paris. For over a quarter of a century he carried 
on a tailor's business in the city, and only relinquished it on receiving 
an appointment as one of the registrars of Govan, of the Parochial 
Board of which he had been a member since 1856. He died at Ibrox, 
Govan, I3th February, 1887, survived by a widow and seven sons and 
daughters. 

The poet possessed a keen sense of humour, and dearly loved a joke, 
even when it told against himself. He had also a very real sympathy 
with the poor, who constantly found help at his hands. Among those 
who had reason to thank him was that other true poet, but shiftless and 
dissipated character, James Macfarlan. 

Crawford's best-known lyric, here reprinted, was published first in 
The Crystal Fount, a temperance song book, of which 33,000 copies were 
sold in little more than a year. Other seventeen thousand copies of 
the poem were also rapidly sold in penny sheets. Miss Dougall sang 
the piece in Glasgow City Hall with extraordinary effect. Under the 
pseudonym of "Paul Rookford" he also wrote "Bright Water for 
Me," and many pieces with the true ring of poetry in other veins. 
His productions were never published in volume form, but he left a 



362 THE GLASGOW POETS 

considerable mass of MSS., as well as an excellent portrait, in the 
hands of his daughter, to whom the present writer is indebted for 
details of the poet's life. Accounts of his career, including several of 
his poems, were printed in the Glasgow Weekly Herald of igth March, 
and the People's Friend, of 3oth March, 1887. 



THE DRUNKARD'S RAGGIT WEAN 

A wee bit raggit laddie gangs wan'rin' through the street, 
Wadin' 'mang the snaw wi' his wee hackit feet, 
Shiverin' i' the cauld blast, greetin' wi' the pain 
Wha's the puir wee callan ? He's a drunkard's raggit wean. 

He Stan's at ilka door, an' keeks wi' wistfu' e'e 

To see the crowd aroun' the fire a' laughin' loud wi' glee ; 

But he daurna venture ben, though his heart be e'er sae 

fain, 
For he mauna play wi' ither bairns, the drunkard's raggit 

wean. 

Oh, see the wee bit bairnie, his heart is unco fu', 

The sleet is blawin' cauld, and he's droukit through and 

through ; 
He's speerin' for his mither, an' he won'ers whare she's 

gane: 
But oh ! his mither, she forgets her puir wee raggit wean. 

He kens nae faither's love, and he kens nae mither's cart, 
To soothe his wee bit sorrows, or kaim his tautit hair, 
To kiss him when he waukens, or smooth his bed at e'en ; 
An' oh ! he fears his faither's face, the drunkard's raggit 
wean. 



JAMES P. CRAWFORD 363 

Oh, pity the wee laddie, sae guileless an' sae young ! 
The oath that lea's the faither's lips '11 settle on his tongue, 
An' sinfu' words his mither speaks his infant lips '11 stain ; 
For oh! there's nane to guide the bairn, the drunkard's 
raggit wean. 

Then surely we micht try an' turn that sinfu' mither's heart, 

An' try to get his faither to act a faither's part, 

An' mak' them lea' the drunkard's cup, an' never taste 

again, 
An' cherish wi' a parents' care their puir wee raggit wean. 



DAVID WINGATE 

1828-1892 

IF proof were needed that the poet is much more the creator than the 
creature of circumstances it might be found in the life of David 
Wingate. Born at Cowglen, near Pollokshaws, 4th January, 1828, he 
lost his father by a fire-damp explosion when he was five years of age. 
His advantages of education were three years only at the parish school. 
At the age of nine he descended the pit, and he toiled in the darkness 
of the coal-seams during the best years of his life. Yet few Scottish 
poets have sung a sweeter, purer, or more tender song. His poetry 
must be compared to the spring welling up limpid clear from the dark 
bosom of the earth, with the gleam of a jewel in its pellucid depths. 

From his earliest years Wingate showed a strong liking for natural 
things. He used to tell how as a child in Cowglen he liked to sup his 
morning " parritch " seated by a haystack with a favourite kitten on his 
shoulder. He also told of a walk to Edinburgh, undertaken when he 
and his companions had just enough among them to provide a scone 
apiece, and when he, as the youngest and most likely to excite 
sympathy, was deputed to ask some milk at a wayside farm. On such 
rambles, a few years later, he used to carry his plaid that he might 
spend the night outside if need were. Wild flowers were his hobby, 
and he used to astonish his neighbour miners with the posies he would 
bring home. 

As with other poets from time immemorial, Wingate's song faculty 
seems to have wakened at the dawn of love. He married at the age of 
twenty- two, and in the same year the genial " Rambler," Hugh 
Macdonald, discovered the merits of his poems, which had appeared in 
the Hamilton Advertiser, and brought him to public notice in the 
Glasgow Citizen. It was not, however, till 1862 that his first volume, 
" Poems and Songs," appeared. It attracted attention at once, and an 



DAVID WINGATE 365 

article by Lord Neaves in Blackivootfs Magazine, set a seal upon the 
poet's reputation. Of one piece in the volume " My Little Wife" 
the reviewer said, " There are few verses in the language more pure, 
tender, and musical, nor any love-utterance we can remember more 
refined and delicate in its simplicity than this charming little poem. 
Montrose himself could not have set his lady more apart from all the 
evils of common thought than this collier-lover sets the humble maiden 
who has given him her modest heart." 

The publication of this volume and his next, " Annie Weir," in 1866, 
not only brought the poet reputation and the acquaintance of men of 
letters, but gave him the means of attending the Glasgow School of 
Mines; and on the passing of the Coal Mines Regulation Act in 1872 
he received a certificate which enabled him to take the position of 
colliery manager, which he filled successively at Craigneuk, Garscadden, 
Cambuslang, Omoa, and Tollcross. His occupation was now less 
exacting, and he was able to write not only occasional poetry, which 
appeared in Blackivood's Magazine, Good Words, and other periodicals, 
but a good deal of prose, in the form of stories for the Glasgow Weekly 
Herald. His third volume, " Lily Neil and other Poems," appeared 
in 1879. It was followed in 1883 by "Poems and Songs," and in 
1890 by a volume of "Selected Poems." A considerable number 
of his pieces also appeared in the volumes of the Glasgow Ballad 
Club, of which he was a member. 

In 1883, in recognition of his literary work, Wingate received a Civil 
List pension of $o, but to the end he retained the sturdy independence 
of spirit which had carried him through the rugged hardships of his 
early days. His own preface to his first volume gives a better picture 
of his character than any long description : " What can I say? Shall 
I tell you I have no learning? The book itself will tell you that. 
Shall I whine, and say to my critics, * Have mercy on me ! think of 
my position in life ? ' No, indeed ! On the contrary, I say, weigh the 
book alone. My peculiar circumstances (if they be peculiar) have no 
right to go in with it. If I have sung badly, or thought sillily, let it be 
no excuse for me that I am and have been a collier since my ninth year. 
If the book has any merit apart from whatever that fact may suggest, it 
may live ; if not, it deserves to die." 

The poet was twice married. By his first wife, Janet Craig, he had 
a numerous family, of whom three sons and three daughters survived 



366 THE GLASGOW POETS 

him. His second wife, Margaret Thomson, whom he married in 1879* 
was a descendant of Robert Burns. His pleasure was to be with his 
family. He inspired his children with his own taste for country walks 
and wild flowers. And it was his habit, while writing, not to seclude 
himself from the home circle, but to work away amid the noise of quiet 
conversation. He died at Mount Cottage, Tollcross, 7th February, 
1892, and was buried in Dalziel churchyard. For details the present 
writer is indebted to Mr. Walter Wingate, the poet's son. 

. 

MY LITTLE WIFE 
My little wife has two merry black eyes 

Sweet little, dear little, daisy-faced Jane ! 
And fifty young lads always deemed her a prize, 

And blamed the kind creature for causing them pain. 
They all knew her pretty, 
And some thought her witty, 

But sware of sound sense she was faultless and free, 
Because the fair scoffer 
Refused every offer, 
And secretly cherished affection for me. 

My little wife has a cheek-dimpling smile 
Sweet little, dear little, lily-browed Jane ! 
A blythe, buoyant nature that cares not for toil : 
So how could the poor lads from loving refrain ? 

In spite of her scorning 

They wooed night and morning ; 
"The wild little coquette," they cried, "is heart-free !" 

Nor dreamed that she, weeping, 

While others were sleeping, 
Oft hopelessly cherished affection for me. 



DAVID WINGATE 367 

My little wife weekly to the church came 

Sweet little, dear little, mellow-voiced Jane ! 
When I, filled with equal devotional flame, 
Would glance at her fair face again and again. 

Sometimes an emotion, 

Not wholly devotion, 
A dim, nameless thrill o'er my senses would flee ; 

And then, growing bolder, 

I dared to behold her, 
And wish that such sweetness would once think of me. 

My little wife often round the church hill 
Sweet little, dear little, neat-footed Jane 
Walked slowly and thoughtful and lonely until 
The afternoon bell chimed its call o'er the plain. 

And nothing seemed sweeter 

To me than to meet her, 
And tell her what weather 'twas likely to be ; 

My heart the while glowing, 

The selfish wish growing, 
That all her affections were centred in me. 

My little wife once 'tis strange but 'tis true- 
Sweet little, dear little, love-troubled Jane 
So deeply absorbed in her day-dreaming grew, 

The bell chimed and ceased, yet she heard not its strain. 

And I, walking near her 

(May love ever cheer her 
Who thinks all such wand'ring of sin void and free), 

Strove hard to persuade her 

That He who had made her 
Had destined her heart-love for no one but me. 



368 THE GLASGOW POETS 

My little wife well, perhaps this was wrong 
Sweet little, dear little, warm-hearted Jane 
Sat on the hillside till her shadow grew long, 
Nor tired of the preacher who thus could detain. 

I argued so neatly, 

And proved so completely 
That none but poor Andrew her husband could be. 

She smiled when I blessed her, 

And blushed when I kissed her, 
And owned that she loved and could wed none but me. 

My little wife is not always quite sure 

Sweet little, dear little, hearth-cheering Jane 
That joy will not tarry where people are poor, 
But only where wealth and her satellites reign. 
In each baby treasure 
She finds a new pleasure : 
If purse and demand should by chance disagree, 

She smiles, bravely humming, 
" A better time's coming," 
And trusts in good health, in the future, and me. 



ALEXANDER SMITH 

1829-1867 

IN 1851 lovers of literature had their interest suddenly quickened by the 
announcement in the London Critic that a new great poet was about 
to appear. The announcement was made by the Rev. George Gilfillan, 
at that time perhaps the best-known Scottish man of letters. Striking 
passages were printed from the new poet, and a glowing eulogy 
whetted public taste. When the promised volume, " A Life Drama 
and Other Poems," did at last appear, it was received with a rage of 
enthusiasm. Its author, Alexander Smith, was hailed as the greatest 
poet of the day, and was lionised in London and entertained at 
Inveraray Castle by the Duke ot Argyle. Soon, however, a revulsion 
of feeling occurred. It was perceived that the " Life Drama " dis- 
played more violence than real force. In spite of its many wild 
beauties it was decried as much as it had been praised. Professor 
Aytoun, first in Blackwood and afterwards in his " Firmilian," turned 
the poet's style to ridicule, and borrowing a word which Carlyle had 
applied to Byron, gibbetted Smith, Dobell, and " Festus " Bailey as 
apostles of the " Spasmodic School." 

By all this, it is clear now, a real injustice was done to Smith. 
Gilfillan's praise was as injudicious as it was extravagant and premature. 
Its result was that the poet was brought to the bar of public judgment, 
and condemned, upon the first unequal flights of his youth, and that 
his later and greater work suffered from a popular prejudice. The 
epithet "Spasmodic" has stuck, as such things do; but the fact 
remains that Smith's hand at the time struck a note new in poetry, that 
his verse dealt, on its own initiative, with the living problems of life, 
and that it remains distinct, with a voice juvenile, perhaps, but its own, 
and vital to the present hour. 
2B 



370 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Smith's father was a pattern designer, his mother, whose name was 
Murray, was descended from a good Highland family. The poet was 
born in Kilmarnock on the last day of 1829, and received his schooling 
in that town. He was intended at first, like so many intelligent 
Scottish lads, for the ministry, but a severe illness put an end to the 
project, and he entered his father's trade. The family had by this 
time removed to Glasgow, and there, while the lad designed patterns for 
lace collars, he wrought his early imaginings into verse. At that time 
Dr. Hedderwick's paper, the Glasgow Citizen, was gathering the 
literary promise of Glasgow about it, and Smith's first productions 
appeared in its columns. In 1853, as has been already said, his 
first volume was published. The greater part of it consisted of a 
blank-verse piece in thirteen scenes, entitled "A Life Drama," and it 
was upon this, with its singular wealth of new and startling images, 
that the poet's fame shot up like a rocket. Here at last, it seemed, 
was the maker who was to invest the scenes of modern life with the 
poetic glamour of a golden age. A similar furore had in 1839 greeted 
the appearance of the "Festus" of Philip James Bailey an alumnus 
of Glasgow University and the first extravagant rage was to be 
followed, as in the case of " Festus," with a long neglect. 

Meanwhile Smith received for his poem from Bogue, the publisher, the 
sum of ;ioo, and was in 1854 appointed Secretary to Edinburgh 
University. His salary was ^150, raised presently to ^200, and he 
settled down to the life of a man of letters in the Scottish capital. 

It was the time of the struggle in the Crimea, and along with Sidney 
Dobell he produced in 1855 a volume of " Sonnets on the War." Two 
years later appeared what must be considered his best poetic work, the 
volume of " City Poems," whose warm richness of colour drew from 
Gerald Massey the epithet for its author of the "Rubens among 
poets." 

Now, at the climax of his achievement, he married Flora Macdonald, 
a descendant of the famous heroine. J Then a great eclipse befell the 
young author. For four years he devoted himself to the composition 
of a poem which should be his masterpiece " Edwin of Deira." But 
before the work appeared, in 1861, it had been forestalled in its own 



1 It was while accompanying Horatio M'Culloch on a painting expedition to Skye 
that Smith met his wife. The artist had a wife from the same family. 



ALEXANDER SMITH 371 

field by Tennyson's "Idylls of the King." This fact seemed to 
clinch a formidable charge of plagiarism which had recently been 
brought against the Scottish poet. For his whole labour Smith received 
only a sum of ,15, and with the same good sense as Scott, when he 
confessed naively to a friend that Byron "bate" him, he turned 
from poetry to the composition of prose. Besides contributing to 
the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," Mackenzie's biographical, and 
Chambers's encyclopaedias, writing for Blackwood s and other 
magazines, and doing a good deal of work for the daily press, he 
produced a succession of memorable books. In 1863 he published 
a volume of his essays under the name " Dreamthorp." In 1865, 
besides his fine memoir and edition of Burns, appeared his best prose 
work, "A Summer in Skye." Then, in 1866, he entered the field of 
Scottish domestic fiction with the touching tale of "Alfred Haggart's 
Household," and its sequel, "Miss Dona M'Quarrie." 

But already his race was run. Exhausted by the effort to mairiain 
the reputation and social place which had been prematurely thrust upon 
him, he was seized with typhoid fever and diphtheria, and died at 
Wardie, near Edinburgh, 5th January, 1867. He lies in Warriston 
Cemetery, and a tall lona cross, with a medallion portrait, marks his 
grave. A year after his death appeared his " Last Leaves," a volume 
of sketches and criticisms, with a portrait and a memoir by Patrick 
Proctor Alexander. Another account of the author is contained in 
" The Early Years of Alexander Smith," by the Rev. T. Brisbane, an 
acquaintance of his youth, published in 1869. 

Smith was of middle height, and had a massive forehead, but his 
expression was marred by an extreme squint in the right eye. One of 
the most sensitive and modest of men, he did not shine in conversation 
or in company, and showed no flash of anecdote or repartee. Yet, 
says Dr. Hedderwick, who knew him well, his strong good sense was 
unquestionable, he was not without a certain quiet vein of humour, and 
possessed great warmth and depth of affection. His prose has a 
peculiar poetic charm of its own, and his "City Poems" merit a 
wider fame than they have yet received. That on Glasgow is 
characteristic, and remains by far the best poetic description extant of 
the city. 



372 THE GLASGOW POETS 



GLASGOW 

Sing, Poet, 'tis a merry world ; 

That cottage smoke is rolled and curled 

In sport ; that every moss 
Is happy, every inch of soil : 
Before me runs a road of toil 

With my grave cut across. 
Sing trailing showers and breezy downs 
I know the tragic heart of towns. 

City ! I am true son of thine : 

Ne'er dwelt I where great mornings shine 

Around the bleating pens : 
Ne'er by the rivulets I strayed, 
And ne'er upon my childhood weighed 

The silence of the glens. 
Instead of shores where ocean beats 
I hear the ebb and flow of streets. 

Black Labour draws his weary waves 
Into their secret-moaning caves ; 

But with the morning light 
That sea again will overflow 
With a long, weary sound of woe, 

Again to faint in night. 
Wave am I in that sea of woes, 
Which night and morning ebbs and flows. 



ALEXANDER SMITH 373 

I dwelt within a gloomy court 
Wherein did never sunbeam sport ; 

Yet there my heart was stirred 
My very blood did dance and thrill 
When on my narrow window sill 

Spring lighted like a bird. 
Poor flowers ! I watched them pine for weeks 
With leaves as pale as human cheeks. 

Afar, one summer, I was borne ; 
Through golden vapours of the morn 

I heard the hills of sheep : 
I trod with a wild ecstasy 
The bright fringe of the living sea, 

And on a ruined keep 
I sat and watched an endless plain 
Blacken beneath the gloom of rain. 

O fair the lightly sprinkled waste 

O'er which a laughing shower has raced 

O fair the April shoots ! 
O fair the woods on summer days, 
While a blue hyacinthine haze 

Is dreaming round the roots ! 
In thee, O City, I discern 
Another beauty sad and stern. 

Draw thy fierce streams of blinding ore, 
Smite on a thousand anvils, roar 
Down to the harbour bars ; 



374 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Smoulder in smoky sunsets, flare 

On rainy nights, with street and square 

Lie empty to the stars. 
From terrace proud to alley base 
I know thee as my mother's face. 

When sunset bathes thee in his gold 

In wreaths of bronze thy sides are rolled, 

Thy smoke is dusky fire ; 
And, from the glory round thee poured, 
A sunbeam, like an angel's sword, 

Shivers upon a spire. 

Thus have I watched thee, Terror ! Dream ! 
While the blue Night crept up the stream. 

The wild train plunges in the hills, 
He shrieks across the midnight rills ; 

Streams through the shifting glare 
The roar and flap of foundry fires, 
That shake with light the sleeping shires 

And on the moorlands bare 
He sees afar a crown of light 
Hung o'er thee in the hollow night. 

At midnight, when thy suburbs lie 
As silent as a noonday sky, 

When larks with heat are mute, 
I love to linger on thy bridge, 
All lonely as a mountain ridge, 

Disturbed but by my foot ; 
While the black, lazy stream beneath 
Steals from its far-off wilds of heath. 



ALEXANDER SMITH 375 

And through thy heart, as through a dream, 
Flows on that black, disdainful stream ; 

All scornfully it flows, 
Between the huddled gloom of masts, 
Silent as pines unvexed by blasts 

'Tween lamps in streaming rows. 
O wondrous sight ! O stream of dread ! 

long, dark river of the dead ! 

Afar, the banner of the year 
Unfurls ; but dimly prisoned here, 

Tis only when I greet 
A dropt rose lying in my way, 
A butterfly that flutters gay 

Athwart the noisy street, 

1 know the happy summer smiles 
Around thy suburbs, miles on miles. 

Twere neither paean now, nor dirge, 
The flash and thunder of the surge 

On flat sands wide and bare ; 
No haunting joy or anguish dwells 
In the green light of sunny dells 

Or in the starry air. 
Alike to me the desert flower, 
The rainbow laughing o'er the shower. 

While o'er thy walls the darkness sails, 
I lean against the churchyard rails ; 
Up in the midnight towers 



376 THE GLASGOW POETS 

The belfried spire ; the street is dead ; 
I hear in silence overhead 

The clang of iron hours. 
It moves me not I know her tomb 
Is yonder in the shapeless gloom. 

All raptures of this mortal breath, 
Solemnities of life and death, 

Dwell in thy noise alone ; 
Of me thou hast become a part 
Some kindred with my human heart 

Lives in thy streets of stone ; 
For we have been familiar more 
Than galley-slave and weary oar. 

The beech is dipped in wine ; the shower 
Is burnished ; on the swinging flower 

The latest bee doth sit. 
The low sun stares through dust of gold, 
And o'er the darkening heath and wold 

The large ghost-moth doth flit. 
In every orchard autumn stands 
With apples in his golden hands. 

But all these sights and sounds are strange, 
Then wherefore from thee should I range ? 

Thou hast my kith and kin, 
My childhood, youth, and manhood brave 
Thou hast that unforgotten grave 

Within thy central din. r 
A sacredness of love and death 
Dwells in thy noise and smoky breath. 



JAMES MACFARLAN 

1832-1862 

AT the Garrick Club, on a night in 1859, Samuel Lover, lately 
returned from the celebration of the Burns Centenary at Glasgow, 
recited a poem which he had picked up there. It was by a Glasgow 
author, and was entitled "The Lords of Labour." As the piece 
ended Thackeray sprang to his feet with the excited exclamation, " Not 
Burns himself could have taken the wind out of this man's sails ! " 

The poet whose composition elicited such 'enthusiastic commendation 
was in real life a startling paradox. His character has been described 
by another true son of song 1 : " It ever a human being breathed in 
whom the divine fire burned with unquenchable flame, that man was 
the ragged, unkempt, mean-looking tramp, who from dingy garrets 
and common lodging-houses in the slums of Glasgow sent forth to the 
world such beautiful lyrics as 'The Poet,' 'The Ruined City,' and 
that superb piece of marching music, ' The Lords of Labour.' " 

Charles Rogers, who knew the man, describes him further in his 
"Century of Scottish Life": "He was a poet born, yet rags, 
meanness, leasing, and drink were also in a manner native to him. 
Having read some of Macfarlan's verses, I desired to form his 
acquaintance, and I met him by appointment at the office of the 
Glasgow Bulletin, some time in 1856. Our interview was short, and 
had I chanced to meet him prior to reading his verses, it would have been 
shorter still. Appearance of genius he had none. Of slender form, 
tattered garments, and commonplace features, he seemed every inch 
the gaberlunzie. Nor did his manner of conversation tend to modify 
this impression. Low society he loved, and his best verses were 
written amidst the fumes of tobacco and drink. His muse was always 



iThe late James M. Slimmon, of Kirkintilloch, author of "A Dead Planet and 
other Poems." 



378 THE GLASGOW POETS 

ready, and on the margins of old newspapers, amidst the distractions of 
a taproom, he would inscribe admirable verses. With equal promptitude 
he could invent a tale of distress, or feign a family bereavement, to 
obtain sixpence." 

Such a man was the Pedlar Poet, who, but for the utter abjectness 
and lack of gaiety in his constitution, might be named the Francois 
Villon of Scotland. 

His father was an Irish pedlar from Augher, Tyrone, and the poet 
was born in Kirk Street, Calton, Glasgow, 9th April, 1832. At the 
school which he is said to have attended for some two years he was 
described as " one of those boys a teacher takes a pride in always 
obedient, assiduous, and attentive." But about the age often he began 
to accompany his father over the country, and among the towns and 
villages of the West of Scotland. By this means he may, it is true, 
Have acquired impressions of nature which were to be of service later in 
his verse. But it is certain he also acquired habits of vagrancy which 
were to prove fatal to his character and career. An accident presently 
opened to his sight the magic world of poetry. He picked up on a 
Lanarkshire road an odd volume of Byron which some rambler had 
dropped. The young man had poetry already in his blood. His 
mother had used to chant a store of old ballads which were an 
inspiration in themselves. "To my boyish fancy," he afterwards 
wrote, " they formed all that was desirable on earth, and filled my 
heart with a sense of melody strange and inexplicable." His father 
too was something of a rhymer. Now, therefore, as the passion awoke, 
the lad borrowed books in the library of every town he entered, and 
fed its flame. From the allusions in his poem " Bookworld " it is 
evident he found his way at once to the greatest masters of the world's 
song, and he himself says that by the time he was twenty there was 
scarcely a standard work in the language which he had not read. 

Presently he summoned courage to show a few of his own verses to 
Hugh Macdonald, at that time sub-editor of the Glasgow Citizen. The 
result was an article by the warm-hearted Rambler in August, 1853, 
proclaiming the new poet, and giving some specimens of his muse. 
Elated with this issue Macfarlan forthwith tramped to London, and 
arranged for the publication of a volume of " Poems," which appeared 
in 1854. The book was well received by the critics, and with the 
recent success of Alexander Smith before his eyes, the poet indulged in 
the wildest dreams. 



JAMES MACFARLAN 379 

From these heights, however, the failure of a number of subscribers 
to implement their promise plunged him to the opposite extreme of 
want and despair. He was glad to accept a situation as assistant 
librarian in Glasgow Athenaeum at 20 a year. This opening he 
might have improved, but the monotony and long hours were irksome 
to him, his neglect of duty and drunkenness lost him the post, and soon 
he was on the road, a pedlar again. Presently, in 1855, he applied to 
Colin Rae-Brown, and from him received an appointment as police- 
court reporter on the Daily Bulletin. In the same year he published 
in Glasgow his second volume, "City Songs." On the strength of 
these achievements he forthwith took to himself a wife. She was a very 
respectable girl, a steam-loom weaver from Belfast, and she did her 
best in the miserable Drygate attic which was the poet's home to eke 
out a livelihood by dressmaking. But what with the constant births 
and deaths of children, and the chronic inclination of her husband to 
go "on the ran-dan," she must have led a sorry life. 

For a short time Macfarlan kept his post, supplying regular racy para- 
graphs which became a feature of the paper. Then his fatal tendency 
showed itself, excuses more and more frequently reached the editor instead 
of " copy," and the poet was dismissed. In this emergency he followed 
his usual habit. He had dedicated his "City Songs" to the Earl of 
Carlisle, then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He now wrote to the Earl, 
explaining his circumstances, and was roused to wrath by receiving in 
return a guinea. With two hundred copies of his book he went to 
Edinburgh, but his attempts to hawk them met with little success, and 
after a third repulse from a publisher to whom he had applied for "a 
little aid," he was, he says, so exhausted with grief and suffering that 
"suicide seemed to have become a necessity." He returned to 
Glasgow only to suffer further rebuffs, one man bidding him burn his 
books, as he pushed him from his office, while another, a reverend 
author and editor, slammed the door in his face. In these straits, 
with, as he put it, "the waters of affliction around me," he applied 
again to Rae-Brown, who engaged him to write a series of tales for 
his weekly paper the Workman. 

As if he had at last taken his bitter experience to heart, Macfarlan 
continued for many months to contribute these tales and sketches. At 
the same time a number of his poems were printed by Charles Dickens 
in All the Year Round, and liberally paid for, and his third little 



380 THE GLASGOW POETS 

volume, "Lyrics of Life," was issued by David Bogue, London. 
Nothing, however, could finally eradicate the wandering habits of his 
early years, and again and again he would yield to the impulse to start 
" on the spree." On such occasions he and Alexander Hume might be 
seen together, the latter raising a few shillings by the sale of some 
melody composed on the back of an old envelope in some public-house, 
and Macfarlan managing to sell one of the broadside poems he had 
printed at the Poets' Box in Gallowgate. When these resources ran 
dry the two did not hesitate to levy largesse in other ways. Upon one 
occasion David Gray, then a pupil-teacher in the East End, was 
knocked up in the middle of the night by Macfarlan, with the sad 
tale that one of his children was dead, and that he was in a sore strait 
or assistance. Gray had no funds, and it was just as well, for the tale 
turned out a fabrication. Another Glasgow poet has a story of how 
Macfarlan "did" him out of the price of a railway ticket to Ayr, 
which place he never reached on that occasion. On the proceeds of 
such devices the two would drink and keep up their talk of music and 
poetry in some low tavern till the lights were put out. 

Such a career could have but one end. In 1860, indeed, moved 
partly by the kindness and persuasion of another true poet, James P. 
Crawford, Macfarlan became an abstainer, and by the friendship of 
William Logan, the temperance restaurateur, attained somewhat more 
of comfort in his way of living. But his constitution had been fatally 
undermined by his previous experiences, and in 1862 the fires of life 
showed signs of burning out. On a chilly morning in October he set 
forth to sell some copies of " The Attic Study," a prose pamphlet he 
had just printed. Two hours later he returned penniless. As he 
ascended the stairs to his home a trembling seized his limbs, and he 
sank with a moan. He was put to bed, and comforted with warm 
blankets and generous cordials, but the end had come, and on the 5th 
of November he died. 

There was something impressive about his funeral. From the mean 
Drygate attic in which he breathed his last a company of fourteen 
poets and artists followed his body to the cemetery in Cheapside 
Street, Anderston. It was a day of gloomy sky and heavy-falling snow, 
and the spot itself was dismal enough ; but as they lowered the body 
into the grave the scene was lit up by a flash of vivid lightning, and a 
rolling peal of thunder crashed out overhead. The heavens gave the 
poet his requiem. 



JAMES MACFARLAN 381 

Macfarlan's appearance has been already mentioned. About five 
feet six in height, always meanly clad, with heavy, commonplace 
features, sallow, fair complexion, and dull brown eyes, he wore a brow- 
beaten, dejected look. He was notable only, perhaps, by his " large 
unclassic head." Of his principles the less said the better. He scorned 
honest labour, sneered at honour and gratitude as mere cant, and 
scrupled no whit to swindle and beg. He had also his own vanity, and 
concluded his connection with Rae- Brown's Workman by crashing the 
hat over the eyes of the cashier who told him his salary could only be 
paid to his wife. Yet he was not lazy, and kept constantly sending off 
"screeds of prose things" to the country papers, and scribbling in 
the dimly lit corners of noisy taverns the exquisite verses by which he is 
destined to live. For there can be no doubt he was a true poet, who, 
if time and opportunity had been his, might have become a great one. 
His poetry, it has been said, " presents a bright contrast to a dismal 
life. If sometimes small and querulous, it is often full of noble thought, 
and, with a strain of helpless melancholy running through it, is 
generally pure and sweet." His book, indeed, is full of rare and 
beautiful things ; jewels glitter and the flowers of poetry bloom 
enchanted on every page. 

Besides the publications already referred to, Macfarlan issued after 
1856 a poem in pamphlet form, entitled " The Wanderer of the West." 
Many of his pieces were printed in the Glasgow Citizen, and several of 
his prose "Wayside Thoughts" after his death in HedderwicVs 
Miscellany. His collected poems, with a very inadequate memoir by 
Colin Rae-Brown, were published at Glasgow in 1882. An excellent 
sketch of his life from the pen of Thomas Elliott, who knew him well, 
appeared in the Ulster Magazine for January, 1863. And another 
interesting account from the pen of William Hodgson, who had known 
Macfarlan in the Bulletin office, was printed in the Fifeshire Journal 
of 26th June, 1884. A recent appreciation by Mr. Thomas Bayne 
appeared in Temple Barioit March, 1902. 



382 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE LORDS OF LABOUR 

They come ! they come in a glorious march ! 

You can hear their steam steeds neigh, 
As they dash through Skill's triumphal arch, 

Or plunge 'mid the dancing spray. 
Their bale-fires blaze in the mighty forge, 

Their life-pulse throbs in the mill, 
Their lightnings shiver the gaping gorge, 

And their thunders shake the hill. 
Ho ! these are the Titans of toil and trade, 

The heroes who wield no sabre ; 
But mightier conquests reapeth the blade 

That is borne by the Lords of Labour. 

Brave hearts, like jewels, light the sod, 

Through the mist of commerce shine, 
And souls flash out, like stars of God, 

From the midnight of the mine. 
No palace is theirs, no castle great, 

No princely, pillared hall ; 
But they well can laugh at the roofs of state, 

'Neath the heaven which is over all. 
Ho ! these are the Titans of toil and trade, 

The heroes who wield no sabre ; 
But mightier conquests reapeth the blade 

That is borne by the Lords of Labour. 



JAMES MACFARLAN 383 

Each bares his arm for the ringing strife 

That marshals the sons of the soil ; 
And the sweat-drops shed in their battle of life 

Are gems in the crown of toil. 
And prouder their well-won wreaths, I trow, 

Than laurels with life-blood wet ; 
And nobler the arch of a bare, bold brow 

Than the clasp of a coronet. 
Then hurrah for each hero, although his deed 

Be unblown by the trump or tabor ! 
For holier, happier far is the meed 

That crowneth the Lords of Labour. 



THE WATCHER 

The streets are smothered in the snow, 
The chill-eyed stars are cleaving keen 

The frozen air, and, looming low, 

The white moon stares across the scene. 

She waiteth by the fading fire, 
The gasping taper flickers low, 

And, drooping down, and rising higher, 
Her shadow wavers to and fro. 

No foot disturbs the sleeping floor 
No motion, save the breeze's breath 

That, stealing through the crannied door, 
Creeps coldly, as a thought of death. 



384 THE GLASGOW POETS 

It chills her with its airy stream, 
Oh cold and careless barren blast ! 

It wakes her as her fevered dream 

Hath skimmed the sweetness of the past. 

She stirs not yet. The night hath drawn 
Its silent stream of stars away, 

And now the infant streaks of dawn 
Begin to prophesy the day. 

She stirs not yet. Within her eye 
The half-crushed tear-drop lingers still 

She stirs not, and the smothered sigh 
Breaks wave-like on the rock of will. 

O heart that will unheeding prove ! 

O heart that will unheeded break ! 
How strong the zeal, how deep the love 

That burns for faithless folly's sake ! 



THE RUINED CITY 

The shadows of a thousand springs, 

Unnumbered sunsets, sternly sleep 
Above the dust of perished things 

That form the city's blasted heap. 
Dull watch the crumbling columns keep 

Against the fierce, relentless sky ; 
Hours that no dial noteth creep 

Like unremembered phantoms by ; 
And still this city of the dead 
Gives echo to no human tread. 



JAMES MACFARLAN 385 

A curse is writ on every stone, 

The temple's latest pillar lies 
Like some white mammoth's bleaching bone ! 

Its altars know no deities. 
Five columns of a palace rise, 

And when the sun is red and low, 
And glaring in the molten skies, 

A shadow huge these columns throw, 
That like some dark, colossal hand, 
In silence creeps across the sand. 

The senate slumbers wondrous hive 

Of counsels sage and subtle schemes ! 
But does no lingering tone survive 

To prove their presence more than dreams ? 
No light of revelation beams 

Around that voiceless forum now ; 
Time bears upon his restless streams 

No reflex of the haughty brow 
That oft has frowned a nation's fate 
Here where dark reptiles congregate. 

Where, where is now the regal rag 

That clothed the monarch of yon tower, 
On which the rank weed flaps its flag 

Across the dark, this solemn hour ? 
Alas for pomp, alas for power, 

When time unveils their nakedness, 
And Valour's strength, and Beauty's flower 

Find nought to echo their distress, 
And flattery, fine delusive breath, 
Melts in the iron grasp of Death ! 

2C 



386 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Day rises with an angry glance, 

As if to blight the stagnant air, 
And hurls his fierce and fiery lance 

On that doomed city's forehead bare. 
The sunset's wild and wandering hair 

Streams backward like a comet's mane, 
And from the deep and sullen glare 

The shuddering columns crouch in vain, 
While through the wreck of wrathful years 
The grim hyena stalks and sneers. 



JAMES H. STODDART 
1832-1888 

SPRUNG from the best class of the Scottish peasantry, James Hastie 
Stoddart was a native of Sanquhar. At the village school he went so 
far as to read a large portion of the Iliad in Greek, and at home he had 
his imagination stirred by his mother's stores of Scottish ballad, song, 
and story. As a lad he went to Edinburgh, and passed from the 
Scotsman counting-house to a chemist's office in Leith, and afterwards to 
the employment of Messrs. Bryden, bell-hangers. Finally, about 1850, he 
was sent to Glasgow to establish a branch of Messrs. Bryden's business. 
From the first, however, he possessed a taste for letters. From 
matching himself against others of his years at a "mutual improvement 
society," he proceeded to contribute to the columns of the North 
British Daily Mail and the Scottish Banner. Through an acquaintance 
with the author of "The Life of John de Witt," then on the Glasgow 
Herald staff, he obtained a connection with that paper, and entered the 
office as a sub-editor in 1862. After serving as lieutenant to Mr. 
Pagan and Professor Jack, he became editor of the paper in 1875, and 
occupied the chair with tact, ability, and distinction, till shattered 
health put an end to his labours. 

Throughout all his busy years poetry was his recreation. He was 
known as the author of many brilliant jeux cTesprit and flashes of 
humorous satire which from time to time enlivened the columns of the 
Herald, and his poems, "The Village Life," published by Messrs. 
MacLehose in 1879, and "The Seven Sagas of Prehistoric Man," by 
Messrs. Chatto & Windus in 1884, proved his title to a place among 
the makers. In his later years he gathered materials for a scientific 
epic which he did not live to complete an undertaking which has been 
depicted with fine power and pathos in the "Lost Epic" of his sub- 
editor, Mr. William Canton. His last work was a new edition of the 
poems of George Outram, published in 1888. 

When the Glasgow Ballad Club was established in 1876, Stoddart 
was elected Honorary President. In 1882 he was presented with his 



388 THE GLASGOW POETS 

portrait by the leading citizens of Glasgow. And four years later 
Glasgow University conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. A few 
months before his death, at a public dinner presided over by the Lord 
Provost, Sir James King, Bart., he was presented by the employees of 
the Herald and Evening Times with a service of silver plate as a 
token of affection and esteem. He died at The Cottage, Lennoxtown, 
nth April, 1888, leaving a family of four sons and three daughters. 
The main facts of his life are set forth in a memorial volume privately 
printed at the time of his death. 

As a journalist Dr. Stoddart won esteem by his clearness of 
perception and fairness of judgment. As a poet he may not be 
destined to a supreme place, but his verse shows a sympathetic insight 
into the phases of rustic life which possesses its own charm. "The 
Blacksmith's Daughter " is printed here by kind permission of Messrs. 
MacLehose & Sons. 



THE BLACKSMITH'S DAUGHTER 
From " The Village Life " 

Away, philosophy and creeds ! 

Here in the honeysuckle bower, 

Which at the garden's farthest edge 

Looks on the streamlet as it speeds, 

Sunlit and gleaming through a shower, 

Away o'er pebbles and through sedge, 

Sits, with her needle, Isobel, 

The smith's young daughter, fair and tall, 

As sweet a maiden for a song 

As e'er did poet's heart enthrall. 

Her eyes are steadfast as a well 

Of living water in its pit, 

When to its depths immeasurable 

A zenith star has lighted it. 



JAMES H. STODDART 389 

Her face is ruddy with the health 
Pure blood through all her body whirls ; 
And worth all gems of greatest wealth 
Is the luxuriance of her curls. 
She shakes them gaily in the sun, 
Nor knows how witchingly they fall 
About the marble of her throat. 
Though dearly loved and praised by all, 
She hardly knows she has begun 
To blossom into perfect flower 
The perfect flower of womanhood. 
Unconsciously she's fair and good, 
A village maiden pure and sweet, 
Her soul just opening daintily 
To the young radiance of the day 
That tinges it with blushes meet. 
Much given to meditation, too, 
Nought loves she better than to see 
The red light softly die away 
Beyond the woods, beyond the moor. 
Then steals she past the smithy door, 
Rejoicing in her friend, the Night, 
Her heart, her eyes, all brimming o'er 
With youthful feelings of delight. 
She seeks new life below the moon, 
And happy thoughts then crave the boon 
Of speech from her red lips, while high 
Above, the stars are glowing bright 
In the blue lift, that to her eye 
Seems veiling Heaven from mortal sight. 



JOHN NICHOL 

1833-1894 

PROFESSOR NICHOL, as he was affectionately known to a generation of 
students at Glasgow University, was the second of the name known to 
the city. He was born at Montrose, when his father was Rector of 
the Academy there, 8th September, 1833. Four years later the father 
was appointed to the chair of Astronomy in Glasgow. Here, first of 
all in the old College court in High Street, and afterwards in the new 
Observatory, to which the household migrated in 1841, Nichol's boyhood 
was spent. In his early years he was an omnivorous reader, and was 
attracted to the study of geology and astronomy. From the Western 
Academy, with a year at the Grammar School of Kelso, the reserved, 
timid lad passed to Glasgow University and Balliol College, Oxford. 

Even in his boyish days he wrote verses, and in 1854 he contributed a 
poem on Ailsa Craig to the Glasgow University Album, a production 
which he organised and edited. In the same year he printed privately 
his first volume of verse, under the title of " Leaves." Among the 
friends of his earlier years at Glasgow were Alexander Smith and 
Sydney Dobell, and at Oxford he founded an essay-reading club, the 
Old Mortality, which included James Payne, T. H. Green, and A. C. 
Swinburne. Jowett was his kindly mentor and life-long friend. After 
taking his degree with first-class honours, he kept his terms in London 
for the English Bar, and he built up a reputation as one of the most 
successful "coaches" at Oxford. In 1861 he married the eldest 
daughter of Henry Glassford Bell, who proved, in a peculiar sense, the 
good angel of his life. By her he became the father of a son and two 
daughters. 

Defeated by John Veitch in his candidature for the chair of Logic and 
English Literature at St. Andrews, he was appointed to the new chair 
of English Literature at Glasgow in 1862, and occupied it for a quarter of 
a century with brilliant success. He afterwards was an unsuccessful 
candidate for the chairs of Logic and Moral Philosophy at Glasgow and 
of English Literature at Oxford. In 1873 he published "Hannibal, 



JOHN NICHOL 391 

an Historical Drama," and "received the degree of LL.D. from St. 
Andrews University. In the crash of the City of Glasgow Bank he was 
involved as trustee for a shareholder, but through the honourable 
conduct of the relations for whom he held the trust he ultimately 
suffered little loss. 

In 1889 Nichol resigned his chair. With failing health, and failing 
enthusiasm for the rough work of the Scottish class-room, he had begun 
to believe there was a conspiracy against him in the world of letters, 
and his idea was to devote himself more freely to literature and 
to conquer his opponents by a tour deforce. He had always been a 
contributor to the Glasgow Herald and Manchester Guardian, especially 
of obituary notices, and he had contributed a series of articles on the 
Scottish poets to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He had compiled in 
1877, on a suggestion of Professor Knight, his laborious "Tables of 
European History, Literature, Science, and Art " ; had produced a 
valuable "Primer of English Composition" in 1879 ; ha 1 contributed 
to the English Men of Letters Series in 1880 a monograph on Byron 
which Swinburne called "the very best apologia for another man 
that ever was made"; had published his best poetical work, "The 
Death of Themistocles and Other Poems " in 1881 ; had issued 
" Robert Burns, a Summary of his Career and Genius," and a history 
of American literature in 1882 ; and in 1888 he had published a 
monograph on Francis Bacon. Alas ! after his resignation of the 
chair he was to produce only one book more, though indeed it was his 
best, his monograph on Carlyle. This appeared in 1892. A year 
earlier his portrait by Orchardson had been presented to him in 
Glasgow University. Two years later he was dead. He had taken 
up residence in London, and he died there nth October, 1894. 

Nichol's greatest work was probably that done in the class-room at 
Gilmorehill, where he inspired a generation of the picked young minds 
of Scotland with a love for the real graces and glories of our literature. 
But his monographs on Byron, Burns, Bacon, and Carlyle are themselves 
among the vital criticism of his time. And, in poetry, if his portraits 
of Hannibal and Themistocles depict subjects perhaps too remote for 
modern enthusiasm, his sonnets and short poems are in many cases 
pure gold. A memoir of Nichol, by his friend, Professor Knight, was 
published by Messrs. MacLehose in 1896. 

The following poem is reproduced by kind permission of Professor 
Nichol's representatives. 



392 THE GLASGOW POETS 



MARE MEDITERRANEUM 

A line of light ! it is the inland sea, 

The least in compass and the first in fame ; 
The gleaming of its waves recalls to me 
Full many an ancient name. 

As through my dreamland float the days of old, 
The forms and features of their heroes shine : 
I see Phoenician sailors bearing gold 
From the Tartessian mine. 

Seeking new worlds, storm-tossed Ulysses ploughs 

Remoter surges of the winding main ; 
And Grecian captains come to pay their vows, 
Or gather up the slain. 

I see the temples of the " Violet Crown " 

Burn upward in the hour of glorious flight ; 
And mariners of uneclipsed renown, 
Who won the great sea-fight. 

I hear the dashing of a thousand oars ; 
The angry waters take a deeper dye ; 
A thousand echoes vibrate from the shores 
With Athens' battle-cry. 

Again the Carthaginian rovers sweep, 

With sword and commerce, on from shore to shore 
In visionary storms the breakers leap 
Round Syrtes, as of yore. 



JOHN NICHOL 393 

Victory, sitting on the Seven Hills, 

Had gained the world when she had mastered thee ; 
Thy bosom with the Roman war-note thrills, 
Wave of the inland sea. 

Then, singing as they sail in shining ships, 
I see the monarch minstrels of Romance, 

And hear their praises murmured through the lips 
Of the fair dames of France. 

Across the deep another music swells, 

On Adrian bays a later splendour smiles ; 
Power hails the marble city where she dwells 
Queen of a hundred isles. 

Westward the galleys of the Crescent roam, 

And meet the Pisan challenge in the breeze, 
Till the long Dorian palace lords the foam 
With stalwart Genoese. 

But the light fades ; the vision wears away; 

I see the mist above the dreary wave. 
Blow, winds of Freedom ! give another day 
Of glory to the brave. 



ALEXANDER FALCONER 

1834-1896 

THE son, like Thomas Carlyle, of a stone-mason, Alexander Falconer 
was a native of the Gallon, in Glasgow. At the age of nine he left the 
Normal School and was apprenticed to a chemist. Even so early, 
however, he had found friendships in the world of books, and spent 
his spare hours poring over his treasures in a disused attic. One 
incident of those years he never forgot. With his little sister on his 
back he was gazing into a bookshop window, when a passer-by asked 
him which volume he would like. He answered readily enough, and 
to his intense surprise the stranger bought the book and presented it to 
him. From the first, too, he had distinct ambitions, and, as a lad, used 
to save his pocket-money in order to travel first-class and see the 
manners of good society. 

At the age of twenty he became a reporter on the staff of the 
Glasgow Sentinel, and afterwards on that of the Daily Times. In that 
position he made the acquaintance of men like John Kelso Hunter, the 
cobbler-artist, Robert Buchanan, the poet-novelist, and the sad-fated 
David Gray. But the realities of journalistic life, as it was carried on 
at that time in Glasgow, soon disgusted him, and he turned to another 
career. 

After helping at the Refuge Home in Duke Street as a Sunday 
teacher, he obtained an appointment, in 1857, on the permanent staff. 
There, because or his surgical knowledge, he was affectionately 
known as " the Doctor" by the boys. Two years later he removed to 
a similar post in Greenock, and in 1860 was appointed Superintendent 
of a new reformatory at Malone, near Belfast. Having now a free 
hand he put into practice his new ideas of civilizing the lads by kindly 
personal influence, rather than of brutalizing them by force. He 
worked, played, talked, and even ate with them. But the material 



ALEXANDER FALCONER 395 

was too debased some of his subjects had been four times in prison ; 
and in two years he was forced to give up the attempt. He became 
Governor, first of the Reformatory at Sunderland, and eight years 
later of the Boys' Industrial School at Mossbank, Glasgow. There, 
during his twenty-seven years of office, he passed through his hands 
upwards of two thousand boys. To him belongs much of the credit 
of introducing a new method which has resulted finally in abolishing 
the old Reformatory system altogether. Instead of the severe repressive 
and punitive methods the lash and the cell which he found in vogue 
on his appointment, he brought to bear other and gentler means of 
which he was a master. Ninety, at least, out of every hundred of the lads 
under him did well in the world ; and during his later years Falconer 
constantly received visits from old boys who had prospered in life, and 
who came back with full hearts to show they did not forget. 

At an early period of his management the great school was burned 
to the ground. On that occasion Falconer wrought at the work of 
salvage among the smoke and flames almost till the roof came down 
upon his head. Not a life was lost, however, the school soon 
recovered, and it was never so powerful an engine for civilization as at 
the time of its Governor's death. 

In an accident to the steamship " Midnight Sun," off the West 
Coast, Falconer narrowly escaped drowning. The shock culminated 
in a paralytic stroke, and he died at Auchenlarich, Dunbartonshire, in 
August, 1896. He was twice married, and was survived by a widow, 
four daughters, and a son. 

Throughout his life he found his recreation in literature. He con- 
tributed historical papers of considerable value to Eraser's Magazine, 
the British and Foreign Evangelical Review, and the Scottish Review. 
In poetry he was an admirer of Wordsworth, and besides compositions 
which appeared in the volumes of the Glasgow Ballad Club, he was 
author of a small volume printed in 1865, and of "Scottish Pastorals 
and Ballads," published in 1894. 



396 THE GLASGOW POETS 



WEDDED LOVE 

We went by the corn and barley, 

And the woodland ways so sweet, so sweet ; 

The linnet and mavis sang all the way, 
And the river that flowed at our feet. 

There was love in the bush and love in the blue, 

And the sunshine laughed, and the shadows flew, 

As if they each knew 

'Twas our twentieth marriage morning. 

By the stile half hid 'mong the rowan and thorn, 

Where the old wooden bridge and the kirk tower are seen, 
And all the clear length of the water that lies 

In the silvery shallows between, 

We stayed, and, fondly as true lovers, kissed 

Kissed, for 'twas here long ago I was blessed \ 

While our eyes were filled with a sudden mist, 

On our twentieth marriage morning. 

Then she pulled a flower from brier and thorn, 
And set each, as she only could, in her hair. 

" And now, beloved, come tell me true," 
She said, with her winsomest air 

" Not so bonnie as then ? 

Not so bonnie as when 

I drooped while you cheerily said ' Amen,' 

And we passed out with blessings that morning ? 



ALEXANDER FALCONER 397 

" Not so bonnie nor blythe, I am sure, you'll say, 

As in the dear courting time, long ago, 
When you praised, you remember, my simple ways, 

My eyes and my ringlets then black as the sloe ? 
Not so blythe as then 
Not so blythe as when 
I drooped, while you cheerily said 'Amen,' 

And your love was your wife that morning?" 

Oh, never so much of the gay-worded wit 
Had I seen her, my darling, in bypast years ; 

And of many a gladness we both had shared, 
Of troubles enough, and tears. 

Then love stirred anew 

Love tender and true, 

And while sunshine laughed and while shadows flew, 
I told all my heart that morning. 

The flowers she took from her dark, tangled hair 
As I sang the last words, and twined them together, 

And holding them up, said, with tenderest charm, 

" Thus, love, have we two been in all sorts of weather 

In the past golden years, 

And so we shall be, come what joys or what tears : 

Take this as the token, I go without fears 
On our twentieth marriage morning." 



DAVID GRAY 

1838-1861 

" WESTMINSTER ABBEY ! If I live I shall be buried there so help me, 
God ! " These words, written to a stranger, Sidney Dobell, by the son 
of a poor weaver of Kirkintilloch, seem at first extravagant. They 
are merely, perhaps, the expression of what most young poets 
think but do not say. In the case of David Gray, however, they 
expressed more than a boyish dream, for the passion which of all others 
consumed his soul was the feverish thirst for fame, and it may be 
believed that had he lived he would have realised his dreams. As it is, 
he must be granted the "gracious room" he craved, beside Pollok, 
White, Keats, and Bruce, as a true poet cut off before his prime. 

Eldest of eight children, Gray was born on the banks of the Luggie, 
eight miles from Glasgow, 29th January, 1838. At school he showed 
himself a bright lad, and like so many others in similar circumstances 
and of similar parts, was destined for the ministry. Alas ! how often 
the effort of peasant lads in Scotland to take this social step with 
scanty means has cost them their lives. By dint of pupil- teaching at 
Bridgeton and in the Free Church Normal School, Gray paid his way 
for four years at Glasgow University, but he spent himself in the 
struggle. Meanwhile he had written poetry. By his early friend, Mr. 
William Freeland, he was introduced to Dr. Hedderwick, and many of 
his poems appeared above the signature of "Will Gurney" in the 
Glasgow Citizen. 

At length, giving rein to his ambition, he decided on the career of a 
man of letters, and with another ardent young spirit, Robert Buchanan, 
set off for London. By some mistake the two left for the South from 
different railway stations, and Gray arrived in London alone and too late 
to find his friend. With the impulse of poetic youth, and perhaps from 



DAVID GRAY 399 

motives of economy, he spent the night in Hyde Park with disastrous 
results. He caught a cold, which, in his ill-nourished frame, rapidly 
developed into consumption. For some time Buchanan and he carried 
on the struggle for fame and bread in a certain "dear old ghastly 
bankrupt garret" in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, and while there Gray 
managed to attract the interest of Mr. Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord 
Houghton. Milnes proved a true friend, found literary work for him, 
and at last, when he was stricken down, sent him to the South of 
England and afterwards home to his parents at Kirkintilloch. For 
nearly a year the poet lingered, writing verse and letters full of 
passionate yearning and despair, and before he died he was gratified 
by the sight of the first printed page of his book. He passed away 
3rd December, 1861. 

To his posthumous volume, published in 1862, a memoir was 
prefixed from the pen of Dr. Hedderwick, and an introduction by 
Lord Houghton. To an enlarged edition, issued in 1874, was 
appended the biographical speech delivered by Sheriff Glassford Bell 
at the inauguration of Gray's memorial stone in the Auld Aisle burying- 
ground at Kirkintilloch. And among his own works Robert 
Buchanan furnished an account of the poet's brief life-struggle. More 
recently, a fine personal description with reminiscences, from a lecture 
by Gray's early friend, Mr. William Freeland, appeared in the 
Kirkintilloch Herald of 27th February, 1901. 

In his " Backward Glances," Dr. Hedderwick describes the poet as 
*' a young man of good height, broad-shouldered, but hollow-chested 
and slightly stooping. His dark hair curled over a forehead of Keats- 
like formation, and I remember being struck with his delicate 
complexion, softly luminous eyes, and sensitive mouth." As an 
inheritor of poetic fame there is room to believe that Gray has not yet 
come altogether to his own. Had he been an English bard, with the 
ear of the London world, his name, it may be taken for certain, would 
have been in the mouths of all men to-day. His " Luggie," no doubt, 
contains lines whose over-ardour the poet would have been likely to 
modify in time. But it also contains lines and passages which no 
touch could improve lines of such perfect description as 

" Hushfully falls the soft white windless snow." 
And of his thirty sonnets, " In the Shadows," written by the poet 



400 THE GLASGOW POETS 

during his last illness, Sheriff Bell was probably right in declaring they 
possessed a solemn beauty not surpassed by many of the finest passages 
in Tennyson's " In Memoriam." Certainly, as his first biographer said, 
it would not be easy to name anything in literature more intensely 
pathetic. 

The following poems are included here by the kind permission of the 
publishers, Messrs. James MacLehose & Sons : 



WHY? 
From "In the Shadows" 

Why are all fair things at their death the fairest ? 

Beauty the beautifullest in decay ? 

Why doth rich sunset clothe each closing day 
With ever new apparelling the rarest ? 
Why are the sweetest melodies all born 

Of pain and sorrow ? Mourneth not the dove, 

In the green forest gloom, an absent love ? 
Leaning her breast against lhat cruel thorn, 

Doth not the nightingale, poor bird, complain, 

And integrate her uncontrollable woe 
To such perfection that to hear is pain ? 
Thus sorrow and death, alone realities, 

Sweeten their ministration, and bestow 
On troublous life a relish of the skies. 

IF IT MUST BE! 
From "In the Shadows" 

If it must be ; if it must be, O God ! 

That I die young, and make no further moan ; 



DAVID GRAY 401 

That underneath the unrespective sod, 

In unescutcheoned privacy, my bones 
Shall crumble soon then give me strength to bear 

The last convulsive throe of too sweet breath ! 
I tremble from the edge of life to dare 

The dark and fatal leap, having no faith, 
No glorious yearning for the Apocalypse ; 

But, like a child that in the night time cries 
For light, I cry ; forgetting the eclipse 

Of knowledge and our human destinies. 
O peevish and uncertain soul ! obey 
The law of life in patience till the day. 



THE CONCEPTION 
From " The Luggie " 

Beneath an ash in beauty tender leaved, 
And through whose boughs the glimmering sunshine flowed 
In rare ethereal jasper, making cool 
A chequered shadow in the dark-green grass. 
I lay enchanted. At my head there bloomed 
A hedge of sweet-brier, fragrant as the breath 
Of maid beloved when her cheek is laid 
To yours in downy pressure, soft as sleep. 
A bank of harebells, flowers unspeakable 
For half-transparent azure, nodding, gleamed, 
As a faint zephyr, laden with perfume, 
Kissed them to motion, gently, with no will. 
Before me, streams most dear unto my heart, 
2 D 



402 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Sweet Luggie, sylvan Bothlin fairer twain 

Than ever sang themselves into the sea, 

Lucid ^Egean, gemmed with sacred isles 

Were rolled together in an emerald vale ; 

And into the severe bright noon the smoke 

In airy circles o'er the sycamores 

Upcurled, a lonely little cloud of blue 

Above the hamlet. Far away 

A gently rising hill with umbrage clad, 

Hazel and glossy birch and silver fir, 

Met the keen sky. Oh, in that wood, I know, 

The woodruff and the hyacinth are fair 

In their own season; with the bilberry 

Of dim and misty blue, to childhood dear. 

Here on a sunny August afternoon 

A vision stirred my spirit, half awake, 

To fling a purer lustre on those fields 

That knew my boyish footsteps ; and to sing 

Thy pastoral beauty, Luggie, into fame. 

x Now, while the nights are long, by the dear hearth 
Of home I write ; and ere the mavis trills 
His smooth notes from the budding boughs of March, 
While the red windy morning o'er the east 
Widens, or while the lowly sky of eve 
Burns like a topaz, all the dear design 
May reach completion, married to my song 
As far as words can syllable desire. 
May yet the inspiration and delight, 
That proved my soul on that autumnal day, 
Be with me now, while o'er the naked earth 

\ Hushfully falls the soft, white windless snow. 



DAVID GRAY 403 



HIS EPITAPH 

Below lies one whose name was traced in sand. 

He died not knowing what it was to live, 

Died while the first sweet consciousness of manhood 

And maiden thought electrified his soul 

Faint beatings in the calyx of the rose. 

Bewildered reader ! pass without a sigh 

In a proud sorrow. There is life with God 

In other kingdom of a sweeter air j 

In Eden every flower is blown : Amen. 



WILLIAM BLACK 

1841-1898 

BY far the most popular British novelist of the seventies and eighties, 
when his "Daughter of Heth," "Princess of Thule," and "Macleod of 
Dare," took the fashionable reading world by storm, William Black is 
probably destined to be best remembered as the great prose poet of 
West Highland scenery mountain, sea, and sunset ; and is aptly 
commemorated by the beacon erected to his name on Duart Point, in 
Mull. But in his earlier days he also wrote verse, and, first above the 
pseudonym of "Alton" in the Glasgow Citizen^ and afterwards over 
his own name in Hedderwick's Miscellany y he contributed many pieces 
of grace and charm. 

Descended from a Covenanting race of farmers at Carnwath, of the 
Highland stock of Clan Lamont, Black was born in the Trongate of 
Glasgow, and educated at St. James's Parish School. He grew up a 
shy, thoughtful boy, and for some years acted as clerk to a firm of 
bookbinders in Jamaica Street. But his tastes were literary, and he 
early formed a friendship with Mr. William Freeland, sub-editor of the 
Citizen, and became a contributor of tales and poetry to Hedderwick's 
publications. At the age of twenty-one he betook himself to London. 
There at first he lived with Robert Buchanan in lodgings in Camden 
Town, and earned a living as clerk with a firm of China merchants in 
Birchin Lane. But he obtained an appointment presently as a 
descriptive writer on the Morning Star, and soon distinguished 
himself. 

Before leaving Glasgow he had published a novel, "James Merle," 
and in 1868, when fairly established as a journalist in London, he 
produced another, "Love or Marriage." Both were distinctly im- 
mature. His next book, "In Silk Attire," published in 1869, 
possessed much charm ; but the Saturday Review sneered at a Scottish 



WILLIAM BLACK 405 

author who presumed to write novels of English life. The taunt drove 
Black to his true field. In 1871 "A Daughter of Heth" appeared 
anonymously, first in the Glasgow Herald, and afterwards in book form. 
For some weeks it hung fire, then the Saturday Review led off a paean 
of praise, and the world suddenly awoke to recognise 'the charm of the 
new teller of tales. 

For twenty years Black remained the most fashionable novelist. 
Volume after volume came from his pen, full of the atmosphere, 
health-giving and glorious, of the West Highlands, which he had made 
his own. If success tempted him to become a buyer of pictures, and a 
connoisseur of cigars, that was his own affair. Amid all his success he 
remained singularly modest and unspoiled, and he made many true 
friends. An amusing story is told in connection with one of these, 
Miss Mary Anderson, the actress. He had a profound admiration and 
regard for that lady, and made her the heroine of his " Strange 
Adventures of a Houseboat." Twice for a prank he appeared on the 
stage as a " super " in the play she was acting, and on the first 
occasion, paralysed with stage fright, or pretending to be so, had to be 
forcibly dragged off the boards. 

The novelist died at Brighton, loth December, 1898, and was 
survived by a widow, two daughters, and a son. His biography, by 
Sir Wemyss Reid, was published in 1902. 

Somewhat shy and reserved in general company, Black yet displayed 
at times a wild fund of boyish spirits, and was himself the " Whaup " of 
his early story, "A Daughter of Heth." He was a keen sailor, an 
enthusiastic angler, and passionately devoted to all forms of sport. He 
took great interest in the younger generation of writers, watching and 
admiring greatly such men as Rudyard Kipling and J. M. Barrie. If 
his own books deal little with the great "problems" of modern life, it 
must be admitted that they helped to mould the thoughts and tastes of 
an entire generation in an altogether healthful and delightful way. 

The first two specimens of his verse here reprinted appeared 
in Hedderwick 's Miscellany ', and were written while the novelist was 
still in his teens. Apart from their own merit, they are interesting for 
the sake of his later work. They are reproduced by kind permission of 
Mrs. William Black and the Messrs. Hedderwick. The third piece 
here given is reproduced from the novelist's later " Rhymes of a 
Deerstalker," by favour of Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston & Co. 



406 THE GLASGOW POETS 



EYLOMEL 

Up the morn the red was creeping, 
Mists across the plain were sleeping, 
Sedges dark and low were weeping 
O'er the beauteous Eylomel. 

There she lay amid the shiver 
Of the sedges on the river, 
Gleaming white, but silent ever, 
Golden-tressed Eylomel. 

Far away where leaves were swaying, 
Tender hearts for her were praying 
Little lips their lesson saying : 

" Bless, O God, our Eylomel ! " 

Dark the waters o'er her streaming, 
Ghastly white the pale face gleaming, 
Silent all the sedges dreaming 
Side by side with Eylomel. 



TO LILY F . 

dear little lady, with earnest eyes 
Of wonderful, beautiful blue 

1 see you are struck with a sweet surprise 

That we should be looking at you. 



WILLIAM BLACK 407 

You know not the joy which a primrose bloom 

Gives to a dweller in towns, 
Bringing him visions of sea-dipped gloom, 

And fragrance of breezy downs. 

You know not the beauty of those blue eyes, 

Or the sudden electrical flush 
Which laughingly up to your sweet face flies, 

Too simple and pretty to blush. 

Your father is one of those poets, my child, 
Who were born in the woodlands to roam ; 

Yet why should he sigh after flowerets wild 
With such a sweet Lily at home ? * 



ADAM O' FINTRY 

" O mother, mother, steik the door, 

And hap me in my bed : 
O what is the ringing in that kirk-tower ? " 

" It's Adam o' Fintry 's wed." 

" It's Adam o' Fintry was my love 
When the spring was on the lea ; 

It's Adam o' Fintry was my love 
When the leaf fell frae the tree. 



* These verses were addressed to the infant daughter of Black's early 
friend, Mr. William Freeland. 



408 THE GLASGOW POETS 

" O mother, mother, steik the door, 
And make the window fast ; 

And wrap the sheet around my een 
Till a' the folk be past. 

" And smiles he on the bonnie bride ? 

And is she jimp and fair ? 
And make they for the castle-towers 

Upon the banks of Ayr ? 

" Oh what is this, mother, I hear? 

The bell goes slower and slow ; 
And are they making ready now 

For the dark way I maun go ? 

" You'll lay me out upon the bed 
In a fair white linen sheet ; 

With candles burning at my heid, 
And at my cauld, cauld feet. 

" But mother, bid them ring low and low 
Upon the morrow's morn ; 

For I wouldna that Fintry heard the bell 
When to the kirk I'm borne." 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 

1841-1901 

NOT less ambitious than his comrade, David Gray, Robert Buchanan, 
when a young man, wrote to Philip Hamerton, " I mean, after 
Tennyson's death, to be Poet -Laureate." More fortunate, in one sense, 
than his friend, he lived to prove the words no mere idle boast. There 
can be little doubt that had he remained of the temper for it, when 
Tennyson passed away no poet could have advanced a stronger claim 
by merit for the honour than Robert Buchanan. Unfortunately, his 
temper had changed. By dint of his readiness to come to blows with 
any one and every one, he had made himself the Ishmael of the literary 
world, and for this reason, it would seem, the real greatness of his 
work has never been adequately recognised. But the merit is there, 
and doubtless its day will come. 

Though born at Caverswall, in Staffordshire, :8th August, 1841 (his 
mother was an Englishwoman, Margaret Williams, of Stoke-on-Trent), 
Buchanan was reared in Glasgow, and received his education at 
Glasgow Academy, High School, and University. His father, one of 
Robert Owen's band of Socialists, was editor of the Sentinel newspaper, 
and from the first the son breathed a literary atmosphere. Gray was 
his closest friend, and in the Buchanan household at 9 Oakfield 
Terrace, and in the Sentinel office in Howard Street, the pair talked 
over their plans, and dreamed their dreams. Buchanan's early efforts 
found a ready place in his father's somewhat Bohemian paper, and 
when the crisis arrived he was ready for it. His father became 
bankrupt, and, without money or influence, his career at the 
University cut short, the young poet had to face the world for himself. 
On a day in May, 1860, Gray burst in on him with the news, " Bob, 
I'm off to London !" Buchanan's mind was made up, and he went 
also. He himself has told the story of that adventure how the two by 



4 io THE GLASGOW POETS 

some mistake travelled by separate routes, how for economic and 
romantic reasons he spent his first night in London in the Hotel of the 
Stars, otherwise, in the open air ; and how he put in his first year in an 
attic in Stamford Street, Blackfriars. 

At first he had the comradeship of David Gray ; and William Black 
and Charles Gibbons found their way to him later, but for most of the 
time he was alone, and driven by his loneliness to seek strange 
company. " I have walked," he wrote afterwards, " for long hours by 
midnight between Stamford Street and the Bridge of Sighs, almost 
crying for companionship. The street-walker knew me, and told me 
of her life, as we stood in the moonlight, looking down upon the 
Thames. From the loafer and the tavern-haunter, as from my first 
friend, the thief, I got help, friendliness, and comfort. But I wanted 
something else, and I knew not what. I was full of insane visions and 
aspirations. Poetry possessed me like a passion. Elsewhere there 
were pipes and beer, Mimi, loose raiment, and loose jokes. But my 
yearning was not for these, but for the dead poets and the dead gods." 

Presently he found work on the Athenceum, and was entrusted by 
Mr. John Morley with books to review for the Literary Gazette. 
Dickens, asked by Edmund Yates for a list of the best contributors to 
All the Year Round, included his name, and he was asked accordingly 
to write for Temple Bar. His first independent publication had been a 
volume of poems issued under the name of " Undertones" in 1860. It 
was followed by his " Idylls and Legends of Inverburn," a series of 
legendary sketches, pathetic, humorous, and weird. " London 
Poems," his third production, assured his position as a poet. It was 
followed by a stream of volumes from his pen. Among the number 
were " Ballad Stories of the Affections," translated from the Scandi- 
navian; "The North Coast, and other Poems"; "The Drama of 
Kings " ; and " The Land of Lome." " The Book of Orm," conceived 
amid the tremendous scenery of Loch Coruisk in Skye, and published 
in 1868, struck a new and daring note in religious thought as effective 
as it is wildly beautiful. In 1870 he received from Mr. Gladstone's 
Government a pension of ^100 a year. Four years later he began his 
series of novels, each with a purpose. Among these his " Shadow of 
the Sword " is a powerful polemic against war, while " God and the 
Man" illustrates forcibly the vanity of individual hate. Also in 1874 
he appeared as a playwright, his " Madcap Prince,' written in youth, 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 411 

being produced at the Haymarket. It was followed by a succession ot 
plays "Napoleon Fallen," " The Witchfinder," "A Nine Days' 
Queen," "Alone in London," and others. Among his other works 
were the novels "A Child of Nature," in 1879 ; and "The Martyrdom 
of Madeline," in 1882. " St. Abe and his Seven Wives," and " White 
Rose and Red," were published anonymously as a trap for the critics. 
" Ballads of Life, Love, and Humour" appeared in 1882, and "The 
Wandering Jew" in 1890. A collected edition of his poems was 
published shortly before his death. 

Throughout his career Buchanan was seldom without some great 
controversy in hand, in which he was the attacking party. His early 
assault on the "Fleshly School of Poetry" (Rossetti and his friends) 
must remain historic ; and his last, on " Imperial Cockneydom " and 
Mr. Rudyard Kipling, is likely also to be remembered. His fighting 
temper extended even to his private affairs. Under the impression that 
his works received less than justice from publishers and managers of 
theatres, he became his own theatrical manager and book producer, 
only, alas ! to come to grief in both arenas. Something of his fighting 
spirit and colossal pride was foreseen by a publisher on whom he 
called in his early days in London. " I don't like that young man," 
said the publisher; "he talks to me as if he were God Almighty or 
Lord Byron." Nevertheless, from first to last the poet was as warm- 
hearted as he was hot-headed. On a December night in 1861 he 
started from his sleep weeping. "What is wrong?" asked Gibbons, 
who shared his attic at the time. " David Gray is dead," replied 
Buchanan. The next post brought from Scotland the news of Gray's 
death. 

During his last years the poet made his home at Southend-on-Sea, 
and there he lies buried. His position in the world of letters has yet 
to be assigned, but there can be no doubt it is by his poetry that his 
name will live. Buchanan's genius was like his blood, Celtic. 
Behind it lay an unsatisfied yearning and a wistful pathos that on 
occasion could break either into hot wrath, kindly laughter, or happy 
tears. His "Balder the Beautiful" and "The City of Dream" are 
surely immortal, and as a ballad-writer he had no living rival. 

The following poem is included here by kind permission of Miss 
Harriett Jay and Messrs. Chatto & Windus. 



412 THE GLASGOW POETS 



THE BALLAD OF JUDAS ISCARIOT 

'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot lay in the field of blood ; 
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot beside the body stood. 
Black was the earth by night, and black was the sky ; 
Black, black were the broken clouds, though the red moon 

went by. 
'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot strangled and dead lay 

there ; 

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot looked on it in despair. 
The breath of the World came and went, like a sick man's 

in rest ; 
Drop by drop on the World's eyes the dews fell cool and 

blest. 

Then the soul of Judas Iscariot did make a gentle moan 
" I will bury underneath the ground my flesh and blood 

and bone. 
I will bury them deep beneath the soil, lest mortals look 

thereon, 

And when the wolf and raven come the body will be gone ! 
The stones of the field are sharp as steel, and hard and 

cold, God wot ; 
And I must bear my body hence until I find a spot ! " 

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot, so grim, and gaunt, and 



Raised the body of Judas Iscariot, and carried it away. 
And as he bare it from the field its touch was cold as ice, 
And the ivory teeth within the jaw rattled aloud like dice. 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 413 

As the soul of Judas Iscariot carried its load with pain, 
The Eye of Heaven, like a lanthorn's eye, opened and shut 

again. 

Half he walked, and half he seemed lifted on the cold wind ; 
He did not turn, for chilly hands were pushing from 

behind. 

The first place that he came unto it was the open wold, 
And underneath were prickly whins, and a wind that blew 

so cold. 

The next place that he came unto, it was a stagnant pool, 
And when he threw the body in it floated light as wool. 
He drew the body on his back, and it was dripping chill, 
And the next place he came unto was a Cross upon a hill. 
A Cross upon the windy hill, and a Cross on either side, 
Three skeletons that swing thereon, who had been crucified. 
And on the middle cross-bar sat a white dove slumbering ; 
Dim it sat in the dim light, with its head beneath its wing. 
And underneath the middle cross a grave yawned wide and 

vast, 

But the soul of Judas Iscariot shivered and glided past. 
The fourth place that he came unto it was the Brig of 

Dread, 
And the great torrents rushing down were deep, and swift, 

and red. 

He dared not fling the body in for fear of faces dim, 
And arms were waved in the wild water, to thrust it back to 

him. 

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot turned from the Brig of Dread, 
And the dreadful foam of the wild water had splashed the 
bodyjed. 



414 THE GLASGOW POETS 

For days and nights he wandered on upon an open plain, 
And the days went by like blinding mist, and the nights 

like rushing rain. 
For days and nights he wandered on, all through the Wood 

of Woe; 
And the nights went by like moaning wind, and the days 

like drifting snow. 

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot came with a weary face 
Alone, alone, and all alone, alone in a lonely place. 
He wandered east, he wandered west, and heard no human 

sound ; 
For months and years, in grief and tears, he wandered 

round and round. 
For months and years, in grief and tears, he walked the 

silent night ; 

Then the soul of Judas Iscariot perceived a far-off light. 
A far-off light across the waste, as dim as dim might be, 
That came and went, like the lighthouse gleam on a black 

night at sea. 

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot crawled to the distant 

gleam ; 
And the rain came down, and the rain was blown against 

him with a scream. 
For days and nights he wandered on, pushed on by hands 

behind ; 
And the days went by like black, black rain, and the nights 

like rushing wind. 
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot, strange, and sad, and 

tall, 
Stood all alone at dead of night before a lighted hall, 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 415 

And the world was white with snow, and his footmarks 

black and damp, 
And the ghost of the silver Moon arose, holding his yellow 

lamp. 
And the icicles were on the eaves, and the walls were deep 

with white, 
And the shadows of the guests within passed on the 

window light. 
The shadows of the wedding guests did strangely come and 

go, 

And the body of Judas Iscariot lay stretched along the snow. 
The body of Judas Iscariot lay stretched along the snow ; 
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot ran swiftly to and fro. 
To and fro, and up and down, he ran so swiftly there, 
As round and round the frozen Pole glideth the lean white 

bear. 

'Twas the Bridegroom sat at the table head, and the lights 
burnt bright and clear 

"Oh, who is that," the Bridegroom said, "whose weary feet 
I hear?" 

Twas one who looked from the lighted hall, and answered 
soft and low, 

" It is a wolf runs up and down, with a black track in the 
snow." 

The Bridegroom in His robe of white sat at the table head 

" Oh, who is he that moans without ? " the blessed Bride- 
groom said. 

'Twas one that looked from the lighted hall, and answered 
fierce and low, 

11 Tis the soul of Judas Iscariot gliding to and fro," 



416 THE GLASGOW POETS 

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot did hush itself and stand, 
And saw the Bridegroom at the door with a light in His 

hand. 
The Bridegroom stood in the open door, and He was clad 

in white, 
And far within the Lord's Supper was spread so broad and 

bright. 
The Bridegroom shaded His eyes and looked, and His 

face was bright to see 
" What dost thou here at the Lord's Supper with thy body's 

sins ? " said He. 
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot stood black, and sad, and 

bare 
" I have wandered many nights and days ; there is no light 

elsewhere." 
'Twas the wedding guests cried out within, and their eyes 

were fierce and bright 
" Scourge the soul of Judas Iscariot away into the night ! " 

The Bridegroom stood in the open door, and He waved 

hands still and slow, 
And the third time that He waved His hands the air was 

thick with snow. 
And of every flake of falling snow, before it touched the 

ground, 
There came a dove, and a thousand doves made sweet 

sound. 

'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot floated away full fleet, 
And the wings of the doves that bare it off were like its 

winding-sheet. 



ROBERT BUCHANAN 417 

'Twas the Bridegroom stood at the open door, and 

beckoned, smiling sweet ; 

Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot stole in and fell at His feet. 
" The Holy Supper is spread within, and the many candles 

shine, 

And I have waited long for thee before I poured the wine !" 
The supper wine is poured at last, the lights burn bright 

and fair ; 
Iscariot washes the Bridegroom's feet, and dries them with 

his hair. 



WALTER C. SPENS 

1842-1900 

DESCENDED of an old Fifeshire family, Spens of Lathallan, Walter 
Cook Spens was born in Glasgow, was educated at Glasgow and Edin- 
burgh Universities, and in 1865 was called to the Bar. Already, in 1863, 
he had published his first volume of verse, " Dreams and Realities," and 
had developed a passion for the game of chess. Both of these accom- 
plishments, no less than his legal acumen, commended him to Sheriff 
Glassford Bell, who in 1870 appointed him a Sheriff-Substitute of 
Lanarkshire. After presiding in Hamilton Court for six years he was 
transferred by Sheriff Clark to Glasgow, where he remained till his 
death. He was author of several valuable contributions to legal 
literature, and was known throughout his career as an able, painstaking, 
and courteous judge. In 1881 he published his second volume of 
verse, " Darroll and Other Poems," and in 1889 Glasgow University 
conferred on him the degree of LL.D. He was a keen golfer, and was 
said to be the finest exponent of the game of chess in Scotland. So 
eager was he for a fine game that he occasionally journeyed to Perth 
Penitentiary to play with a certain Angus M'Phie confined there, a 
triple murderer and maniac, who was nevertheless the solver, in half an 
hour, of Raikes's great chess problem. On the death of David Wingate, 
Sheriff Spens became vice-president of the Glasgow Ballad Club, and 
several of his poems are published in its volumes. Some details of 
his life were furnished in Mr. Walker-Brown's volume, "Clydeside 
Litterateurs," and in the Glasgow Herald on the day of his death, I2th 
July, 1900. The following poem is included here by kind permission 
of Sheriff Spens's representatives. 



WALTER C. SPENS 419 



IN THE CHAMBER OF DEATH 

Oh God, he is dead, and he thought me true 
I who am false as a fiend of hell ! 
Is it best for him that he never knew 
My wifehood a lie from beginning to end ? 
On his death-bed his heart I dared not rend. 
Oh, was it not for his happiness well 
That he died with his hand in mine, his eye 
On my lying face fixed so lovingly ! 

Alone with the dead alone ! alone ! 
I wonder in truth I am not afraid. 
Has fear from my heart so utterly gone, 
Through the awful blight of my damning sin, 
That never again it can enter in ? 
Otherwise how do I dread not his shade 
May rise to invoke a curse on the head 
Of her who so terribly wronged the dead ? 

Is he conscious how I wronged him now ? 

Surely surely it cannot be ! 

It would rob peace from his radiant brow 

To know, the woman for whom he wrought 

Who was his pride and his chiefest thought 

Was vile as the daughter of misery 

Who prowls for gain on the streets at night 

Worse ! I have sinned against knowledge and light, 



420 THE GLASGOW POETS 

He whispered, " Love, take care of our son. 

You will love him more for me, darling wife ! 

Guide him in all that is right when I'm gone." 

Oh, God of Heaven ! I thrill through and through ! 

Twas thus he whispered, deeming me true, 

And pure as the lily ! Oh, hideous life ! 

What can I do ? and oh, where can I flee ? 

For after death comes black eternity. 

At last I know that I love him now, 

As he grandly lies with his raven hair 

Clammily clinging to marble brow. 

And oh, that a vile, shallow woman's lies 

Could deceive a man so noble and wise ! 

And he thought me true as he thought me fair ! 

His words of love haunt me, and make me shiver 

They will haunt and curse me, I know, for ever. 

He has left me wealth : that other will come, 

With a smile on his beautiful, lying face, 

And ask me, " When will you come to my home ? " 

I will rise and call a curse on his head^ 

The bitterest ever a woman said. 

Though he cloud my life with. the foulest disgrace, 

As his pitiless spite will do, I know, 

It is well ; I can feel no darker woe. 

As I loved him once so I hate him now. 
I knew it before my wronged husband died, 
I solemnly swore, and I'll keep my vow, 
I would never, never, whatever my life, 



WALTER C. SPENS 421 

Allow myself to be named his wife, 
And I swear it again, whatever betide 
Aye, here by the Ruler of Heaven I swear ! 
I am utterly reckless, and, Mark, beware ! 

Spilt water ! spilt water ! that never again 
Can be gathered up, though it might have been 
A draught of blessing instead of pain. 
Oh, the agony of remorse, to think 
I refused from his hands the cup to drink ! 
And the noblest man I have ever seen, 
Whose nature was clear as the heaven above, 
Relied on a shallow, lost woman's love ! 

Will a life of repentance wash out my sin ? 
I doubt there is more than enough to damn. 
Nor greatly now care I that heaven to win 
Where that upright one will be sure to be, 
Who gave me his heart so trustfully, 
And deemed this lost wretch a stainless lamb. 
Oh, it were worse hell to meet him there ! 
Rather give me hell and its black despair ! 



ALEXANDER G. MURDOCH 

1843-1891 

OF Scottish sons of song whose powers may be held to have been 
tempted forth by the offering of rewards, probably the most considerable 
was the author of "The Laird's Lykewake." In his eighteenth year 
he won the first prize offered by a London weekly periodical. A little 
later he was first in the Christmas competition of the People's Journal, 
Dundee. In 1879 ne won the medal offered by the Committee of the 
Burns Monument at Kilmarnock for a poem on the Ayrshire bard. 
And he afterwards carried off the gold medal offered by a native of 
Dumfries for lines on " Kossuth at the Grave of Burns." 

With these exceptions Alexander G. Murdoch may be said to have 
had no outside help towards the development of his talent. Born in 
the northern part of Glasgow, in humble circumstances, in April, 1843, 
he enjoyed only a scanty education, and was early apprenticed to the 
trade of a marine engineer. He was employed successively in 
the works of Messrs. Tod & M'Gregor and Messrs. Singer. 
At an early date, however, he began to discover a literary 
faculty. In 1870 he contributed a humorous poem, "The Brae o' 
Life," to the Weekly Mail newspaper, and followed it rapidly by others 
in similar vein, till in 1872 he was able to publish a volume of pieces, 
"Lilts on the Doric Lyre," which proved highly successful. Four 
years later he produced the volume by which he is best known "The 
Laird's Lykewake and Other Poems." The chief poem is a narrative 
on the model of the "Canterbury Tales," or the Ettrick Shepherd's 
" Queen's Wake," in which each of the mourners round the laird's bier 
tells a tale or sings a song to entertain the company. Murdoch's third 
and final volume of poetry was " Rhymes and Lyrics," published 
in 1879. 



ALEXANDER G. MURDOCH 423 

Meanwhile he had been contributing popular readings and tales to the 
People's Journal, the Weekly Mail^ and other papers, and in 1878 had 
finally given up his trade for a place on the staff of the Mail. By his 
succession of serial stories " Fire and Sword," " Sweet Nellie Gray," 
" Bob Allan's Lass," and the like he became a popular exponent of 
the fiction of humble life. In 1880 he contributed to the North British 
Daily Mail a series of articles on " Recent and Living Scottish Poets " 
of much biographical value, which has since gone through two editions 
in volume form. Another series on " Scottish Fiddlers and Fiddle 
Making " has also made an interesting book. It is as a poet of the 
people, however, that he is likely to be remembered. With a true 
instinct and a genuine gift of melody, he sang of the things before his 
eyes, and the real life he knew. He died at his house in Bellgrove 
Street, I2th February, 1901. The following piece is included here by 
kind permission of the poet's son. 



THE BURNS MONUMENT, KILMARNOCK 
Prize Medal Poem 

I handle life's kaleidoscope, and lo ! as round it turns, 
I see, beneath an arc of hope, the young boy-poet, Burns. 
Dream-visioned, all the long, rich day he toils with pulse of 

pride 

Among the sun-gilt ricks of hay, his Nellie by his side. 
The world to him seems wondrous fair : sunrise and sunset 

fill 

With music all the love-touched air, intoned in bird and rill. 
Time moves apace : the ardent boy confronts life's deep'ning 

fight, 
And "Handsome Nell" a first-love joy melts into 

memory's light. 



424 THE GLASGOW POETS 

I look again, and shining noon still finds him chained to 

toil, 
His soul throned with the lark song-poised above the 

daisied soil ; 
Mossgiel ! upon thy greensward now the song-king grandly 

stands, 
God's sunshine on his face and brow, the plough-horns in 

his hands. 
Mouse, that dost run with " bickerin' gait," stay, stay thy 

trembling flight, 
The bard who wept the daisy's fate laments thy hapless 

plight j 
And perchance, when the gloamin' lies on glen and hillside 

green, 
Thy mishap may re-wet his eyes, told o'er to Bonnie Jean. 

Kilmarnock ! oft thy streets and lanes echoed the poet's 

tread. 
He brought to thee his matchless strains, asking for fame 

not bread ; 
And see, the proud bard, dream-wrapt, stands for one 

sweet hour apart, 
His book of song within his hands, and in his book his 

heart ! 

O, happy town, that gave the bard a gift hope-eloquent, 
His dearest wish and first reward his book in " guid black 

prent " ; 
And proudlier throbbed his heart by far when that same 

book he pressed, 
Than if a coronet and star had decked him, brow and 

breast. 



ALEXANDER G. MURDOCH 425 

The glass revolves again, and lo ! Edina fair appears, 

And men around him come and go, and Rank a proud 

front rears ; 
And Wealth and Fashion, gaily decked, look on with 

lofty eye, 
While Learning, with a vague respect, bows as the bard 

goes by. 
Mark him, ye great ! The plough and clod befit him ill, 

I trow 
The living autograph of God flashed from his eye and brow. 



The drama hurries on : the bard retires to Ellisland ; 

At plough and hairst-rig tolling hard a toiler strong and 
grand, 

A curbed Elijah, peasant-born, daring Song's windy height, 

His homely garb, clay-stained and worn, a prophet's robe of 
light. 

His giant heart his only lyre, by Love's rich breath oft 
stirred, 

Till memory's passion-gusts of fire among its chords were 
heard. 

And never from ^Eolian wires was holier music wrung 

Than what his heart's re-kindled fires at Mary's grave- 
shrine flung. 

The veil uplifts once more, and now, sublimcst scene of all ! 
His lion-heart still strong, his brow erect, although the gall 
And bitterness of trampled hopes sadden his weary soul, 
As he, a stricken song-god, gropes towards the final goal. 



426 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Dumfries, no longer doth he tread thy stony streets, soul- 
tired 

The dark clouds settling o'er his head, by genius glorified. 

Ring down the curtain ! Bow the head ! The last sad 
scene is o'er ! 

A nation mourns the mighty dead, and weeps the wrongs 
he bore. 

Sun, that no shadow now can cloud ! Heart, that no sorrow 

wrings ! 
Man, in whose praises all are loud ! Voice, that for ever 

sings ! 

A people's love the holy bier that holds thy worth in trust, 
With glory flashing through the tear that drops above thy 

dust; 

O, rich inheritor of fame, rewarded well at last, 
Whose strong soul, like a sword of flame, smites with fierce 

light the past, 
This sculptured pile, in trumpet tones, attests thy vast 

renown 
A nobler heirship than the thrones to princes handed down. 



ROBERT WALKER 

1843-1900 

FOR twenty years Secretary of the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 
and full of real interest and zeal in his office, Robert Walker probably 
did more than any one else in his time to help substantially the cause of 
painting in the city. No figure was deservedly better known in the art 
circles of the West of Scotland than that of the earnest, kindly, 
humorous little Secretary ; and to the real support awakened and 
assiduously fostered by him about his Institute may be attributed not a 
little of the development of that Glasgow School which has become 
famous in the painting world. But Walker was also a man of letters 
and a poet. He was one of the founders and first secretary of the 
Glasgow Pen and Pencil Club, and was an original member of the 
Glasgow Ballad Club. 

Born in Glasgow, I9th March, 1843, the son of a banker, he was 
educated at the Edinburgh Institution, and in 1858 apprenticed to the 
Edinburgh Life Assurance Company. After filling the positions 
successively of the company's inspector for Lancashire and for Ireland, 
and secretary for Dublin, he returned to Glasgow in 1872 as Scottish 
secretary of the Reliance Society ; and when the Glasgow Institute of 
the Fine Arts was established in 1880, he became its acting secretary. 
This position he held till his death. At the same time, from the days 
of his apprenticeship, he had practised his literary faculty. As early as 
1863 he had contributed stories and sketches to the Glasgow Citizen and 
Hedderwictt s Miscellany. Now, with the opportunities afforded by the 
Institute, he became an acknowledged writer on art subjects. Nearly 
half the biographical articles in Messrs. Isbister's volume, "Toilers in 
Art," were written by him, and he had a considerable share in preparing 
the memorial volume of the Fine Art Collection of Glasgow Exhibition 
in 1888. He was also author of the Glasgow and Aberdeen special 
numbers of the Graphic, and was a frequent contributor to that paper, the 
Art Journal, Black and White, and other periodicals. He did not 
write much poetry, but his " Level Crossing " has long been a popular 
recitation, and some other pieces of merit are included in the volumes 
of the Ballad Club. 



428 THE GLASGOW POETS 



CRILLON THE BRAVE 

Through all the vast cathedral pile 
The preacher's deep voice rolled, 

As he, with insight rare and true, 
The oft-heard story told 

Of how our Lord upon the cross 

The sins of men had borne ; 
Of how, deserted and alone, 

He met men's rage and scorn. 

No frothy pulpiteer was he : 

Straight from the heart he spoke, 

And in his hearers' awe-struck hearts 
An answering echo woke. 

Among the crowd old Crillon sat, 
His whole soul deeply stirred ; 

An arrow to his conscience seemed 
The preacher's every word. 

Crillon the brave no better knight 

Than he had wielded lance 
In all the fights that drenched with blood 

The fairest fields of France. 

His king he served with honest faith 
Through many a doubtful day 

The wisest at the council board 
The foremost in the fray. 



ROBERT WALKER 429 

But now, of court and camp heart-sick, 

His weary soul sought rest ; 
The warrior's spirit stern and rude 

The Church's power confessed. 

White-haired and bent old Crillon sat, 

His wild, hot youth all past; 
But still he burned with martial fire, 

A soldier to the last. 

" Deserted and alone, no friend 

To pity, none to save, 
The meek-souled Lamb of God was sent 

Despised to the grave." 

The preacher paused : a clash of steel 

Through all the silence rang, 
As Crillon, young and strong once more, 

To his full stature sprang. 

And, waving high above his head 

His battle-dinted blade 
That blade from which in other years 

His foes had shrunk dismayed, 

The fierce wild light of long-past days 

O'er-flushing all his brow, 
He cried, with anguish in his cry, 

" Oh, Crillon, where wert thou ? " 



JOHN GILKISON 

1844-1895 

A SOMEWHAT sad-visaged man, evidently enjoying only indifferent 
health, of slight, stooping figure, and a sufferer from that bane of the 
sedentary, dyspepsia such was John Gilkison in his later years. 
Nevertheless he was possessor of the quaintest vein of humour that 
Glasgow has seen among her poets, and amid his own somewhat 
disheartening experiences of life he generated many a merry quip for 
the delectation of others. 

Born in the Gorbals of Glasgow, the poet spent much of his boyhood 
on his grandfather's farm in Ulster, and to this experience, along with 
the Irish blood of his mother, he probably owed the fine humour that 
he kept to the end. At school in Ireland his chief friends were two 
nephews of Captain Mayne Reid. They lent him their uncle's 
productions, and in his room beneath the rafters, where he was sent 
early to bed, with the poplars swaying in the wind outside the little 
gable window, the boy pored over these wonderful tales. At the age 
of sixteen he was apprenticed to the trade of umbrella-making in 
Glasgow, and for twenty years remained in the employment of his first 
masters. In later life he attempted, without much success, to 
establish a business in Dunbarton, and for some time before his death 
he occupied the position of a clerk in one of the departments of 
Glasgow Corporation. It may be suspected, however, that his real 
interest was never in the details of his trade. At one time he had a 
hankering to be a musician, but an accident to a finger spoilt his violin 
hand. He had also thoughts of the stage, but after two years' member- 
ship of the David Garrick Club he was disillusioned by finding himself 
cast for nothing higher than a sailor in " The Rent Day." His true rdle 
was that of humorist a slender profession to make a living by, yet one 
which, with greater advantages of education, he might have turned 
to sufficient account. It was to his faculty that the Wizard and the Bee, 
short-lived Glasgow comic papers, owed whatever happy merit they 
possessed ; and he was the " Yorick Glasguensis " from whose pen came 
the highly amusing Jean Byde Papers, of which some highly successful 
numbers were published in 1873. He was author of Charles Bernard's 



JOHN GILKISON 431 

first and most famous pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre in Glasgow ; and 
he was adapter of the next, and had a hand in many successors. Many 
of the songs which he wrote for these pantomimes, such as " The 
Calico Ball" and "What's wrang wi' ye?" were full of humorous 
local allusions, and proved immensely popular at the time. Gilkison 
was also author of more than one serial tale, and he wrote a series of 
children's toy story books for a firm of Glasgow publishers. 

The only work, however, by which Gilkison is likely to live is his 
poetry. For many years he was the acknowledged humorist of the 
Glasgow Ballad Club, some of his best pieces appearing in its volumes. 
And in 1888 he gathered his productions and published them under the 
title of "The Minister's Fiddle: a Book of Verse, humorous and 
otherwise." 

Alas, poor Yorick ! After more than one fight with death, in circum- 
stances enough to quench the most sturdy humour, he was carried away 
by the bitter February of 1895, when the cold was for some weeks so 
intense that it was impossible to dig graves for the dead. So it 
seemed that the earth was to prove inhospitable to its jester even when 
his quips were ended and his lips for ever closed. 



THE LAMENT OF DOUGAL MACGREGOR 

So Dougal lay dead, och aree ! 

His chanter now silenced for effer ; 
The last Red Macgregor wass he, 

A ferry goot job whateffer. 
Oh, 'tis he that wass aye the wild lad, 
With hough like a bullock or filly, 
His life had its goot and its bad, 

Wass piper and henchman and gillie. 
But now he lay dead, och aree ! 

No more he would tread on the heather ; 
And clansmen from Luss to Lochee, 
AH mourned for Dougal together, 



432 THE GLASGOW POETS 

His name it wass known far and wide, 

The last blood of Rob Roy Macgregor ; 
And Rob in the best of his pride, 
I'm sure wasn't wilder or bigger. 
He neffer was anything long, 

But just aye a wild Hielan' rover, 
Could play on the pipes, sing a song, 

Wass poacher and poatman and drover. 
And famed, too, as effery wan knows, 

From Drymen to lonely Glen Falloch, 
And known to the Duke of Montrose, 
And Constable Campbell in Balloch. 
But now he lay dead, och aree ! 

Stretched out by old Flora Macluskie ; 
His like Drymen Fair ne'er did see 

For dancing and drinking the whuskey ! 



The last night that Dougal wass here, 

He sent for his friends altogether, 
And kindly they gathered them near, 

O'er mountain and moorland and heather. 
There wass Norman and Donald ochon ! 

And two cousin's sons from Dunbarton, 
And Hamish and Rob and young Shon, 

And others true sons of the tartan. 
So when they were all sitting still, 

Then Dougal asked old Duncan Dewar 
With pen just to write out his will, 

To make all things certain and sure. 



JOHN GILKISON 433 

" My poat I will leave to young Shon, 

My shot-gun to wee Archie Biggar, 
My tackle to Alison's son, 

And my pipes to young Hamish Macgregor. 
And the Duke of Montrose's man, Shon 

No better e'er stood in shoe leather 
Has twenty goot pounds of my own, 

All the money I effer could gather. 
And this he will take, and employ 

To bury me, ponnie and pleasant ; 
For I'm the last blood of Rob Roy, 

I'm not a poor Sassenach peasant. 

" And down on Inch Cailleach's green breast 

Just bury me where the winds free sough ; 
Aye, there I will lay me and rest 

Till Gabriel blows the last pibroch. 
Let twelve Hielan' lads be picked out, 

Each wan in his bonnet and feather, 
To carry me steady and stout, 

By fours, taking turns together. 
And, friends, don't old Dougal affront 

By making believe to deplore me ; 
But Hamish shall walk in the front, 

Playing my own pipes before me. 

" And aye on the road as you go, 

Still halt when you see Hielan' heather, 
And Hamish a pibroch will plow, 
To bring the Macgregors together. 

2 F 



434 THE GLASGOW POETS 

Then five or six ferry goot men, 

Without any teetotal rigour, 
Will hand the dram round now and then, 

And drink to the last Red Macgregor. 
That's all. My old pipes give me down, 

I'd feel them wanst more on my shoulder ; 
I would hear the old chanter's sweet soun' 

Before my old fingers grow colder." 

And there, just before effery eye, 

He tuned the old pipes in their places, 
Gazed fondly, and gave one long sigh, 

And stroked all their ribbons and graces. 
And then, as his time was near spent, 

He into the bag began plowing, 
And played the Clan Alpine Lament 

'Twas just on the eve of his going ; 
Then stopped, and just laid back his head, 

His fingers relaxing their vigour, 
So passed through the mists of the dead, 
The ferry last wild Red Macgregor. 
And Dougal lay dead, och aree ! 

His chanter now silenced for effer ; 
The last Red Macgregor wass he, 
A ferry goot job whateffer. 



INDEX OF POETS 



Aird, Marion Paul 

Bailey, Philip James . 
Baillie, Joanna 
Bell, Henry Glassford . 
Blackie, John Stuart 
Black, William . 
Boyd, Zachary 
Breckenridge, John 
Brydson, Thomas . 
Buchanan, Robert 

Cameron, William 
Campbell, Thomas 
Carrick, John Donald . 
Couper, Robert . 
Crawfurd, Andrew 
Crawford, James P. 
Cross, William . 

Dunlop, John 
Elliott, Thomas . 

Falconer, Alexander 
Finlay, John 

Gilkison, John 
Glen, William 
Graham, Dougal . 
Grahame, James . 
Grant, Mrs., of Laggan 
Gray, David. 

Hamilton, Janet . 
Hedderwick, James 
Hume, Alexander . 

Jacque, George 



PAGE 




PAGE 


322 


Little, James 


349 




Lochore, Robert . 


. 108 


326 
An 


Lockhart, John Gibson . 
Lyle, Thomas 


. 214 
. 209 


j? 






297 


Macdonald, Hugh 


333 


404 


Macfarlan, James . 


377 


9 


Macleod, Norman 


39 


203 
290 


Mayne, John 
Miller, William . 


. 64 
. 301 


409 


Moore, Dugald 


. 276 




Motherwell, William . 


233 


260 


Murdoch, Alexander G. 


. 422 


141 
190 


Nichol, John 
Nicholson, James . 


390 
354 


187 


Norval, James 


. 318 


36i 
263 


Outram, George . 


. 270 




Park, Andrew 


. 292 


60 


Pollok, Robert . 


, 253 


345 


Rae-Brown, Colin 


351 




Rankine, W. J. M. 


341 


394 


Reid, William 


. 116 


168 


Rodger, Alexander 


. 172 




Smith, Alexander . 


. 369 


43 


Smollett, Tobias . 


. 26 


193 

3Q 


Spens, Walter C. . 


. 418 


8 
125 


Stirling- Maxwell, SirW., 
Stoddart, James H. 


Bart. 337 


398 


Struthers, John 


. 132 




Walker, Robert . 


. 427 


224 


Watson, Walter . 


. 164 


313 


Wilson, John 


. 181 


305 


Wingate, David . 


364 



267 Young, John 



358 



INDEX OF POEMS 



A Ballad of Memorie 
Adam o' Fintry 
A Glance Ayont the Grave . 
All lovely and bright 
A song of the country . 
A Young Kintra Laird's Court- 
ship 

Behave yoursel' before folk . 
Bernardo and Alphonso 
Bothwell Castle . 
By the Sea-side 

Captain Paton's Lament 
Cauld Kail in Aberdeen 
Chinese Gordon . 
Clyde Boat-Song . 
Conscience .... 
Could I find a bonnie glen 
Crillon the Brave . 

Dance, my children 

Dinna ask me ... 

Dunoon . 

Effie a Ballad . 
Eylomel . 

Fair modest flower 
Far, far away 
Festus, Scene from 

Glasgow (John Mayne's) 
Glasgow (Alexander Smith's) 
Good-night, Good-night 

Hail, holy love 

Hark, how Heaven is calling 

His Epitaph . 

Hohenlinden 

Hurrah for the Highlands 



PAGE 




PAGE 


226 


If it must be . 


400 


407 
I8 9 


Imph-m .... 
In Memory of H. A. S. . 


356 

340 


290 


In the Chamber of Death 


419 


2 9 8 


Isabella .... 


170 




It fell on a morning 


95 




Jeanie Morrison . 


336 


176 


John Anderson, my jo . 


120 


221 


John Frost .... 


33 


260 


John Highlandman's remarks 




315 


on Glasgow 


42 


216 


Joseph Tempted . 


12 


118 


Kate o' Gowrie 


121 


300 
346 


Kelvingrove .... 


211 


188 






ee 


Lady Frances Stewart . 


62 


428 


Leave me not 


56 




Lines to Agnes Baillie . 


103 


3 IO 
62 


Lochiel's Warning 
Logan Braes 




212 


Lord Ullin's Daughter . 


161 


229 


Mare Mediterraneum . 


392 


406 


Marriage and the care o't 


112 




Mary Queen of Scots 


283 


119 


My ain dear Nell . 


307 


323 


My first breeks 


359 


327 


My heid is like to rend, Willie 


244 




My Little Wife . 


366 


73 






372 


O come with me . 


1 68 


93 


Ode to Leven Water 


3 1 




Ode to Independence . 


32 


255 


Old Time .... 


353 


268 


On a sprig of heath 


57 


403 


O where, tell me where 


53 


146 






296 


Poverty parts good company . 


97 



INDEX 



437 



Red gleams the sun 

Red red is the path 

Rizpah 

Robin Tamson's Smiddy 

Sae will we yet 

Saw ye Johnnie comin' . 

Scotia's shore 

Secrets 

Silent Love . 

Sweet lovely Jean 



48 

48 

338 

174 

165 
94 
349 
352 
293 
119 



Tarn o' the Lin . . . 101 
The Annuity . . .271 
The Answer. . . .178 
The Auld Kirkyard . . 324 
The Ballad of Judas Iscariot . 412 
The Battle of the Baltic . 154 
The Blacksmith's Daughter . 388 
The Bonnie Wee Well . . 335 
The Burns Monument . . 423 
The Cavalier's Song . . 240 
The Conception . . .401 
The Dainty Bit Plan . . 264 
The Drunkard's Raggit Wean 362 
The Engine-driver . . 343 
The Evening Cloud . .183 
The Exile of Erin . . 147 
The Fatal Shaft ... 37 
The Gowan Lea . . . 262 
The Grampians ... 59 
The Harp and the Haggis . 192 
The Highland Maid . . 200 
The Humours o' Gleska Fair 204 
The Last Man . . .157 
The Lament of Dougal Mac- 

gregor . . . . 431 
The Lea-rig . . . .123 
The Lords of Labour . . 382 
The March Win' . . .319 



The Merle, . . , .129 
The Mermaiden . . . 247 
The Ruined City . . . 384 
The Sabbath . . .127 
The Scottish Emigrant's 

Farewell .... 306 
The Sheiling ... 49 
The Siller Gun ... 66 
The Sleepy Laddie . . 304 
The Soldier's Dream . .160 
The Solemn Song of a Right- 
eous Heart . . . 241 
The Song of Harald . . 248 
The Tears of Scotland . . 29 
The Turnimspike ... 40 
The Watcher . . .383 
The Widow . . . .166 
The Winter Day . . .134 
The Winter sat lang . . 87 
The Year that's awa' . . 61 
To a wild deer . . .184 

To Lily F ... 406 

To the Evening Star . . 161 
To the Memory of John Gra- 
ham of Claverhouse . .201 
To the Rev. James Bell . no 
To the Vitrified Fort in Glen 

Nevis .... 278 
Trust in God . . .311 



Up with the dawn 



347 



Wae's me for Prince Charlie . 198 
Wedded Love . .396 

Why? 400 

Willie Winkie . . .302 
Wooed and married and a' . 99 



Ye Mariners of England 



149