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Full text of "One hundred modern Scottish poets: with biographical and critical notices"

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Sixth Series. 



MODEM SCOTTISH POETS 



WITE BIOGRAPHICAL AND 
CRITICAL NOTICES. 



^BBECHIN : 

D. H. EDWARDS. 
1883. 



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yaj^c^^^/ 



^ 



JJ^oTi^ 



MAR 28 1893 






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PREFATORY NOTE. 

TITHI ^^^ entering on the present work, with the idea 
^*^r% that we could exhaust the sabject in a volume, 
entitled " One Hundred Modem Scottish Peete,** we must 
have had a very imperfect idea of Scotland's fertility in 
poetic writers, and we might now well feel the result of our 
temerity in announcing the Uut volume on two different 
occasions. Without much investigation being reqidred, 
every series has brought forth hosts of new aspirants, and 
our chief difficulty has been to succeed in making the best 
selection from the increasing mass of materiaL After 
exercising due discrimination, and rejecting unworthy con- 
tributions as tenderly as possible, we have yet matter of 
much merit from poets whose careers, briefly and concisely 
narrated, cannot fail to be interesting, to make another 
volume— and positively the last— of sweet and tuneful 
mdkikers. This we announce with " fear and trembling " 
— ^fearing lest we might be accused of mere book-making, 
and trembling lest we should weary our friends and 
supporters. Feeling confident that a Supplemental 
Volume will exhaust the poetical stream for a number 
of years, and, encouraged by many warm letters from 
literary friends and competent critics, we have thus re- 
solved to complete the labour we have undertaken. In the 
concluding volume we will give a general index to the 
complete work, an essay on " Modem Poets and Poetry," 
with a portrait of the Editor, drawn by Mr A. C. M*Bryde, 



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PBEFATOBY KOTE. 

grand-nephew of Allan Cunningham, and engraved by 
Dalziel Brothers. Amongst the kind communications we 
have received is one by a gifted poet — Mr Gavin Greig, a 
descendant oi James Bums, great-grandfather of Bums — 
who will appear in the concluding volume. As it is in 
excellent rhyme, we may be excused for giving it here : — 

My honoured frien*, I pray, exoose 
The freedom o* my aula Scotch Muse, 
Wha lifts your sanctum sneck, and sues 

Amo' the rest, 
Hopin' ye*ll maybe n&e refuse 

Her sma* request. 

To hain your precious time, — I hear 
You're poets bidden in the rear, 
Worthy *man(? ithers to appear 

And tune their reed ; 
But that the reader's wrath ye fear, 

Should ye proceed. 

Your bonnie volumes number sax ; 
Yet, if it winna overtax. 
Your ill-advised intent relax ; 

And, since your tether 
Will fireely thole a wee bit rax. 

Just gie's anither. 

Grant it a trespass, to begin : 

The Bible says our erring kin. 

Though seventy times seven times they sin. 

Maun be forgiven ; 
Then wherefore raise sae muckle din 

For ae sma' seven ? 

But faut apart : in Holy writ 

Ye find that chiels o* worth and wit 

Did ne'er their efforts intermit. 

But aye repeat. 
To reach that number fair and fit. 

Final, complete. 

The seventh did aye the cycle close. 
And Heaven's own mystic mark impose ; 
So, be it rhyme, or be it prose. 

The project bright 
Its full-orbed glory only knows, 

Septempartite. 



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FRBFATOKT NOTE. 

Nor only so ; bnt see, once more. 
Even as the Persiiui king of yore. 
Throned on the Hellespontine shore 

In god-like state. 
Viewed his vast armament pass o'er 

The hoat-bridged strait f 

So. brooding o'er " her mncfa-loved isle," 
Fur Scotia marks with beaming smile 
In grand review her minstrel file 

Go harping past, 
And waits with patient pride the while 

To bless the last. 

Obseqnions, then to her command. 
Lead forth entire the lanrelled band, 
From Pentland's surc^e to Solway's sand, 

From Mull to Mearns,— 
Home of heroic Bruce, and land 

Of bardic Bums ! 

Go seek them too where'er they stray ;— 
To climes that woo the virgin day, 
Or regions where the rosy ray 

Dies, zephyr-blown ; — 
Be their heart leal, and true their lay, 

They are her own ! 

And lengthen out the roll of fame. 
Till each aspirant, who can daim 
Clear contact with the furcate flame,— 

Baptism divine, 
May there behold his honoured name, 

Emblazoned, shine ! 

So shall the envious nations own 
That Scotia cdaims her ancient throne ; 
And stands on stiurry heights alone, 

Belustred rare, — 
Song-queen of every dazzled zone, 

Peerlessly fair 1 

And thine shall be the fair reward— 
A grateful country's high regard ; 
While nobly linked with Scottish bard 

And Scottish lay. 
Shall Edwards' name and fame be heard 

For many a day ! 

* Zeros, King of Persia, Invaded Greece with an enormous force, and 
from a marble throne feasted his pride with a view of it crossing the 
Hellespont hy a bridge of boats constructed for its passage. 



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PBBFATOBT N€»IB. 

In the present volume we have been able to reveal the 
anonymity of several popular authors whose productions 
have hitherto been known only hjnoma-de-plitme, and also to 
give sketches of a number of Scottish-American poets, who, 
it will be evident to our readers, are still Scotch at heart. 
The Supplementary Volume will tell of several others in 
various climes whose nationality has never left them, and 
some of whom have recently re-visited the old country. We 
think nothing ever more plainly showed the deep-rooted 
and undying love of country than the saying of the warm- 
hearted Irishman who, after an absence of full fifty years, 
was asked what it was that had brought him back to his 
native land, seeing that all the friends he once had there 
were now sleeping the sleep of death. " I came home," 
was his reply, " to see once more the glorious old hills of 
Ireland before I die ! '' It is one of the most notable 
things about Scotchmen that they are to be found in 
almost every country, yet evermore with an inextinguish- 
able love for the land of their birth. As a 
people, too, the Scotch are noted for the depth and en- 
durance of their filial affection, so that, however far they 
may be severed from their parents, their attachments and 
their devoted love still reach back to the homes of their 
youth, and to the dear ones upon whose knees they were 
dandled in infancy. In the words of Mr A. B. Todd, the 
accomplished Ayrshire litterateur and sweet and tender 
poet of nature, to whom we have been indebted for much 
and valuable information in the course of our labours : — 
" Much as they may admire, and high as may be their 
hopes for the future of the country of their adoption, and 
prosperous also as may be their lot, still, as the years pass 
over and the seasons steal away on the unstaying wings of 
time, and as their thoughts, feelings, and affections (like 
that of every other man when the evening of life has been 
reached) begin to reveit more and more to the scenes of 



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PaiVAIOllT NOTI. 

their youth, we can fancy them saying, in the woida, or at 
least feeling like this pathetic breathing, of one of Heniy 
Scott Kiddell's deathless lyrics : — 

' I wish we were harae to our ain folk, 

Onr kind and onr trae-hearted ain folk. 
Where the wild thistles wave o*er the beds o' the braTe, 

And the graves are the graves o' our ain folk. 
But happy gae luoky, we'll trudge on onr way, 
Till the arm waxes weak, and the haffet grows grey ; 
And though in this warl* our ain still we miss. 
Well meet them again in a warP o* bless. 

And then we'll be hame to our ain folk. 

Our kind and our true-hearted ain folk. 
Where far yont the moon, in the heaven aboon. 

The hames are the hames o* our ain folk.' '* 

While again thanking many literary friends for their 
kindly interest, and expressing gratitude for the encourag- 
ing reception our efforts have met with from the public 
and the press, we cannot allow this opportunity to pass 
without referring to the loss we have sustained in the death 
of one who aided us very materially, and took a substantial 
and deep interest in this work. We refer to the late Rev. . 
William Cousin, the husband of the amiable and accom- 
plished authoress of "The Sands of Time are Sinking," 
and other beautiful hymns. The early associate of 
M'Cheyne and the Bonars, he joined with them in evan- 
gelist effort, and was deeply imbued with the same 
fervour of spirit With exact and refined literary tastes* 
cordial geniality of manner, and consistency of character, 
he possessed a highly cultivated intellect and a rich and 
powerful imagination. 

D. H. Edwabds. 

Advertiser Office, 
Brechin, Ikeembery 1888. 



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CONTENTS. 



AlBTH, J. 

The Good Old Days. 
A Drop of Dew. 
Address to the Muse. 

Allak, D. . 
Thomas Garlyle. 
The Anld Scotch Sangs. 
My Ain Jeao. 

Allan, W. . 
The Anld floose. 
We've Aye Held Oor Ain. 

Akdebson, B. R. . 
The Old Man. 
Twilight. 
Daisies. 
An Old Song. 



60 



166 



342 



402 



381 



Bennook, F. 
Who Dares to Scorn? 
The Bonnie Bird. 
Eva. 

May-Day. 

My Bonnie Wee Wifie. 
My Johnny. 

Hey, my Bonnie Wee Lassie. 
Hast Thou a Friend? 

Bowie, K. S. . .222 
The Auld Emigrant. 
We Sorely Can Forgie. 
The E'enmg; Brings a' Hame. 
The Brioht Sun had Faded. 

Bbemner, J. F. . . 170 
Dairsie Castle. 
Old Age. 

To a Pet Bird Killed by a 
Hawk. 



PAOB, 

Bbttos, D. . .274 

The City of the Sad. 
Gin I had a Lad o' My Ain. 
Fife, an* a' the Lands aboot it. 
Sleep. 

BuoHAN, A. W. . 279 

My Heart's no my Ain. 
Hame in the Morning Grey.* 
Freedom's War-Song. 
To a Caged Song-Bbd. 
Secret Sighs. 

Buchanan, D. 328 

Kindness. 
Farewell. 
A Bnined Life. 
Faith. 

Caibns, a. . . . 96 

The Land o* the Brose. 
Love's Victory. 
Caold was the Blast 
Oh, Wed do I Mind. 

Campbell, J. . . 35 
The Gael to his Country 

and his Countrymen. 
The Gael in a Foreign Land. 
Marriage Song — Miss 

Campbell of Lochnell. 
The Postboy. 

Campbell, J. 200 

A Moorland Spring, 
Hail! Sweet Season. 
Oor Lambs in the Shep- 
herd's Fauld. 
The Hour I Meet Thee. 



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OONTBNTS. 



Christib, J. . . 260 
A Shepherd to his Collie Doc. 
The Fisher's Call. 
A Mither's Love. 
"The Fause Love and the 

Trae.'' 
When Life was Young. 
Curling Song. 
Song. 
To the Devon. 

Clark, H. . . .352 
Heone. 

An Essay on Ice. 
I Think of Thee. 
She Weeps. 
Night. 

Sunrise in Spring. 
Ardrossan ; A Retrospect. 

Cleghorn, J. . . 366 
The Temple of Nature. 
The Aged Widow to Her 

Wedding Ring. 
Oor Ain Fireside. 
Woman's Mission. 

Cooper, G. . . . 72 
Dry up Thy Tearfu* E'e. 
The Bowl o' Bluid. 

Craig, C. P. .300 

Mary to Salome. 

Dreams of Heaven. 

The Flower o' the May, 

Voices of the Past. 
Crerar, D. M. . . 121 

Caledonia's Blue Bells. 

To-Morrow. 

My Bonnie Rowan Tree. 

The Eirlic Well. 

To Evan MaccoU. 
Crichton, Mrs . . 82 

The Worlil is Very Beautiful. 

Wake, Oh Awake. 

The Kail of Sebastopol. 

*' Write Injuries in Sand, 
Kindnesses in Marble." 

Passing Away. 

The Hailstone and the 
Snowflake. 



Cross, W. . . . 17 
The CantingAuld Eimmer. 
Amang the Heather. 
The Laird's Awa\ 
The Dainty Bit Plan. 
Wee Peggie. 
The Dying Widow's Request. 

Denham, J. . . . 67 
By the Sea. 
April. 
Friendships. 

Donaldson, A. . . 374 
The Faitherless Bairn. 
Welcome. Little Bairnie. 
The Shepherd's Lament. 
My Bairnie an' Thee. 
May Morning. 
November in the Wood. 

Drummond, A. . . 48 
To Leonore. 
The Invalid's Farewell. 
Memory. 

Duncan, A. . . . 188 
The Vale of Leven. 
Summer Shower. 
** Jesus Christ the Same 

Yesterday, To - Day, 

and for Ever." 

Elliot, M. . . . 379 
To the Venerable Ash at 

Branxholm. 
The Scotch Fir. 

Fergusson, R. M. . 267 
Dreaming and Working. 
" Longing for the May." 
The Viking's Bride. 
An Orcadian Cradle Song. 
The Street Singer, 259 

The Seas Lullaby, 259 

Fisher, R. . . . 324 
I've Lost my Mither's Wean. 
Nature's Music. 
To a Snowdrop. 
Auld Grannie's Ta'en Awa'. 
Old Remembrances. 



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OOltiESTA, 



Glass, A. . . • 338 
The Sea. 
Beantifnl May. 
The Bonnie Streams o' 

Ayrshire. 
The Sun's Gane to rest. 

GULLAND, C. . . 244 

Morning. ^ , 

Summer Evenmg in the 

Country. 
Toung Wallaoe. 
Young Bamsay of Balmain. 

Habdy, R. F. . 310 

Oor Ain Eirk-Bell. 
Willie. 
L'envoi. 
Dnnmore. 

Habpeb, F. . .344 

The Auld Plough. 
My Lovely Lassie. 

Hendebson, D. M*L . 115 
Scotland Mine. 
Oh, Lippen an* be Leal. 
Our Scottish Fern. 
A Song of Love. 
Oh, for the Skylark. 

Hogg, W. . . . 370 
Tween the Cradle an' the 

Grave. 
Our Little ChUd. 
Homes and Haunts of 

Other Days. 
Sing on. Little Warbler. 

Kennedy, J. . . 213 
To the Hummii^ Bird. 
Bonnie Noransioe. 
The Droukit Pedlar. 
Ijang Peter. 
Wee Charlie. 
Address to the Mosquitoes. 



Laudeb, J. . 
A Mitherless Bairn. 
The Bairn's Petition. 
To a Skylark. 



362 



Laing, a. . . . 147 
To Kyle. 

The Wee Well o' the Wood. 
Oor Toun En'. 
On a Dead Lark. ^ 
" Lea' Me Alane." 
The Bride's Lament. 

Levack, G. W. . 63 

The Old Man of Wick. 
The Fisherman. 

Lyle, W. ... 28 
A Scottish Ballad. 
Daisy Buds. 
OurTam. 

The Land of the Heather. 
Frozen Hearts and Drift- 
ing Snows. 
Diotima. 

Meek, R. ... 209 
My Mither's Departure. 
The Forsaken Bairn. 
The Laddies Noo-a-Days. 
The Milk-Maid. 

Mbnteath, Mbs 289 

The Martyrs of Wigton. 
Fragments. 
OldFriends. 

M'Farlanb, S. . .394 
Song of the Storm Spbit. 
LQy o' the Glen. 
Night. 

M*Lban, a. . .136 

A Dream of Youth. 
Saturday Night. 
A Glimpse of April Sun. 
The Jewels of Blarney. 
Her Eighteenth Birthday. 
From the Source to the Sea. 

Maclkod, N. . . 23 
The Deserted Gael. 
The Maid of Ballychro. 
Where I was Yestreen. 

Macphail, M. . .298 
Burns' Vision of the Future. 



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ooNmniB. 



Macmorland, Rev. P. 87 

John Knox. 
Norman Macleod. 
There's Blessing in the 

Shower. 
A. Short Sermon for Edueators. 
The Snowdrop : A Similitade. 
Advice to a Young Minister. 
"Feed my Lambs." 
" I WiU Give You Rest." 

M'Nbil, D. M *F. 318 

The Birds and Bards of 

Bonnie Scotland. 
In Oor Hoose at E'en. 
My Grannie's Hearthstane. 

M*Nkill, K. . . 228 
Mary at Jesus' Feet. 
Mother's Death. 
Night. 
Inverkip. 

NiooL, C. . . .70 

The Pleasures o' Hame. 

Boon by a Wee Bit 
Wimplin' Burn. 

Wee Willie Wallacky. 
NOBVAL, J. . . 193 

The Wee Pickle Meal. 

Auld Scotland's Sabbath Bells. 

My Ain Gate En'. 

The Deein' Widow's Wail. 

An Auld Man's Sang. 

Wee Mary Ann. 

The Boo-Man. 
Paxton, J. W. . . 173 

Your Ain Fireside. 

Retrospect. 

When Oor Youth is Awa'. 

Died at Sea. 
Rbid, J. p. . . .241 

Song of the Mermaid. 

The Auld Road En'. 

** Bonnie Jean's " Lament. 
RoBB, J. . . .162 

By the Bippling Stream. 

Eilspindie. 

Keep Your He'rt Abune. 

When Shades o' Nicht. 



Sakgstbr, Mrs M. E. . 107 
Our Own. 
The River. 
Motherhood. 
Praise Univocal. 

Sellabs, T). R. . . 163 
To a Young Sparrow. 
"Still on it Creeps." 
" Pretty Polly "—A Ghost 

Story. . 
The Maiden's Song. 
Love and Aid Each Other. 

Stbwabt, a. . . 333 
The Abbey Church Bells. 
To an Autumn flower. 
Waiting. 
The Lifeboat. 

Stewart, CM.. . 180 
The Harper's Corry. 
The Lost Treasure. 
A Vision in a Soul-Garden. 

Stbwabt, J. . . 262 

The Muckle Bubbly Jock. 
Life ! — A Stream. 
The Lover's Meeting. 
Wi' Caution Cross the Line. 
The Fisher's Tragic Fate. 

Stoddabt, T. T. . 349 

' The British Oak. 

Let Ither Anglers. 

The Angler's Trysting-Tree. 
Sutherland, £. . . 347 

Lift me Again to my Chair. 

My Mither. 

Swan, A. S. . . . 397 

** Nae Best till we win Hame." 

The Bells. 

From the Depths. 

All Thine. 

Harvest Days. 
Tatlow, J. . . .206 

By the Restless Sea. 

To an Aged Friend. 

The Dreamer. 

My Boy and I. 

Agnes. 



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0OMTBNT8. 



Tatlob, M. . . 101 

A Four-Leaf CloTer. 
Bobert BuniB. 
To Anld Kirk AUoway. 

Thohsok, J. . . 306 
The Ploughmen Lads. 
The Brotherhood. 
Flowers of the Forest. 

Thomson, T. . . 78 
Bless the Weans. 
Tryste wi' me. 
My Love She's Bonnie. 
maaky. 

Thomson, W. L. . . 822 
To a Desert Flower. 
After Many Tears. 

XJSQUHABT, J. . . 140 

The Auld Hoose. 
Willie and I. 
The Newsboy. 
Summer. 



Urquhabt, J. 149 

Autnmn Morning. 
Thoaght. 

Weddsbbubn, a. 288 

Naebody's Bairn. 
Aye Keep oot o* Debt 
PerseTerance. 

Whittkp, R. 128 

Home-LoTe. 

'* Jonk and Let the Jaw By.** 
A LM[end of the Daisy. 
The Froien Born. 
The Daisies. 
What is Kindness? 

WiLKis, J. . • 273 

A Lnllaby. 
The Voice of the Night Wind, 

Wood, W. M. . . Ill 
Old and New. 
My Joy is Taken. 
Thomas Oathrie. 



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MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

WILLIAM CROSS, 

^PT^HE well-known and talented author of "The 
Vk^ Disruption: a Tale,'* and other works, was 
born in the "Parnassian town of Paisley," in 1804. 
His father was a handloom weaver in humble circum- 
stances, and could afford him little or no school educa- 
tion — indeed he was taught nothing at school but 
reading and spelling. When in his eighth year, it 
was found necessary to put him to work, although his 
teacher, Mr Barr, a remarkable man, who anticipated 
some of the improved methods of tlie present day, 
was urgent that he should be left at school, and 
generously offered to impart to him all he knew 
without payment. To this his father, both from a 
feeling of independence, and the need for his services, 
could not consent. His first employment was to act 
as what was called ** draw-boy," when figured fabrics 
were woven which required a juvenile assistant to 
carry on the work. The labour was slavish, and 
consisted of heavy and constant tugging at hard 

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18 MODBBN SCOTTIRH POSTS. 

cords, which often blistered and bled the tender 
hands enf^agod in it. Girls as well as boys were so 
employed, and he did not think himself exceedingly 
unfoiTunate. Improved laws and machinery have put 
an end to such hardships for children, which pre- 
vented their education, and embittered their early 



Meanwhile his education was not being neglected 
at home. His father was a man of refined taste, and 
the ** fireside training" of our poet was exception- 
ally extensive and stimulating. His father took a* 
lively interest in, and gave much thought to matters 
which few people in his position think of. From hia 
conversation, Mr Cross learned to know something 
of history, astronomy, and, valuable to him above 
all, poetry. His library was small, but choice, and 
from the home lessons William imbibed a keen relish 
for our native poetry, and gained a general know- 
ledge of the great fa(*ts of history and science. But 
his father's tuition did not stop here. In his youth 
he had practised drawing, and even in old age 
retained his taste for it, and for all the branches of 
art. From him his son derived the same intellectual 
bent, and it eventually enabled him to struggle out 
of his depressed position. By the time he became 
a ** draw-boy " shawl manufacturing was rising into 
importance, and although he never was a weaver, his 
employment as an assistant at the loom gave him 
opportunities of seeing and studying the patterns, and 
even trying his hand at ** designing." His efforts 
were encouraged by friendly neighbours, and when 
several of his designs were brought into use his joy 
was unbounded. At an early age he became an ap- 
])rentice pattern-drawer, and at the end of five years 
attained considerable proficiency in the art. In 
course of time he was admitted into partnership with 
a shawl manufacturing firm, and the business pros- 
pered so well that when the agreement came to an 

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WILLIAM CROSS. 19 

end he was in possession of several hundred pounds, 
and started business as a manufacturer on his own 
account. 

Such was his position from 1832 till 1839, but in 
that year a great depression of trade took place, 
and he felt it impossible to continue in the same 
line without loss. One of his early associates in 
pattern-drawing, Mr Alex. Colquhoun, was a person 
of great parts and excellent character. He had 
betaken himself to the study of languages and 
political questions, and in both departments had 
gained much credit. He acquired a name as 
a teacher of French and Italian, and was a valued 
contributor to newspapers and magazines, which led 
to his appointment to the editorship of a provincial 
newspaper. In this capacity he became known to 
many influential people connected with the press — 
amongst others the Messrs Chambers and Mr Tait, 
of Edinburgh. This encouraged him to aim at 
obtaining a footing in a wider and more remunera- 
tive field. On this subject he often spoke to Mr 
Cross, who regretted to see him spending his valuable 
talents without adequate reward. Mr Cross, though 
never a keen politician, and though shrinking from 
controversy and personal discussions, had a decided 
taste for literary composition, and had early been a 
contributor to several local publications. On the 
** shawl trade " failing, the two Iriends resolved to 
unite their efforts in a newspaper venture. They 
purchased the copyright and plant of an Edinburgh 
weekly newspaper — the price almost absorbing their 
little capital. Mr Cross was to be business manager, 
and his friend the editor. It was soon found that 
the copyright was worthless — they had made a bad 
bargain ; the paper was old, but had no standing. 
However, some progress might have been made, but 
unfortunately Mr Colquhoun was in delicate health, 
and before he had been many weeks engaged m his 

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20 MODEKH dOOnSftH POETS. 

new duties was suddenly cut off. This was a serious 
calamity to Mr Cross. The entire harden was left 
on his own shoulders, and after a fair trial he gave 
up the undertaking — losing all his hard-earned 
savings, and after a struggle of six years' duration 
he left Edinhurgh penniless. 

A slight gleam of success attended one of Mr 
Gross' efforts in the press hefore Jiis final severance 
from it — viz., the publication by weekly instalments 
in his paper of what he called an imprtm^tu fiction-— 
his long popular work "The Disruption." It was 
originally written as a mere recreation^ and had no 
serious bearing on the great event of the time which 
split up the Church. The tale was well received in 
this form, and raised the circulation of the paper 
considerably. After it had been for more than thirty 
years before the puMic, the proprietors of one of the 
most widely circulated Glasgow papers paid a 
large sum for the copyright, and they had no reason 
to regret the purchase. Had he received such en- 
couragement earlier, he might probably have con- 
tinued his connection with the press. But circum- 
stances decided otherwise, and left him no choice. 

On returning to the west, where he had many true 
friends who stood by him through aU his reverses, 
Mr Cross resumed business as a manufacturer, but 
this time in Glasgow, and in, to him, a new branch 
of the trade — tartans. For thirty years he applied 
his undivided attention to business — holding in 
abeyance his natural inclination to literary pursuits 
— and, fortunately, a few years ago he found himself 
able to retire. 

So recently as in 1882 Mr Cross published a volume 
of verses entitled ''Songs and Miscellaneous Poems 
written in rare intervals of leisure in the course of a 
busy life," (Kerr & Richardson, Glasgow), and it is 
remarkable that the first poem in the volume bears 
the date 1822. Eeferring to this significant fact, the 

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WHdUAU 0B08SL 21 

€kristim^ Zeader, in a Gritkal notice, sajs — ''The 
HoTatian rule involved but a trifle in the waj of 
waiting compared with the role which Mr Gross has 
imposed upon himself. He has certainly had a self- 
command — and shall we say a delicacy of feeling 
respecting h^s own poetical wares — ^not too common 
among verse-writers; it would have been a great 
pity, however, had he not favoured us with this 
Yolnme. ' The Canting Auid Kimmer,' for perfect 
verbal felicity has no match in the language ; and 
when we say this wa do not forget the Doric master- 
pieces of Bums, ibe Baroness Nairne, and Hew 
Ainslie." ** Twilight Musings " opens up a different 
vein. It is an argnment in support of the doctrine 
of man's unmortolity. To the reality of this the 
author flndaall nature testifying : — 

The waters violet 
Grows, till ito flowering'time, beneath the pool, 
Then lifts its head into the air to bloom. 
Even so in this prolific pool of time 
Man hajEi his root and vegetates awhile, 
To rise into a higher place, and there 
Unfold his powers. God has not formed a flower 
Of upward growth, and nature needing room. 
Never to let it rise. Nor has He framed 
A winged creature and denied it flight. 



Every fragrant plant, 
White rfch in verdure, and with flowers ablow, 
Sepretes its pure aroma as a soul. 
The essence lives. why, then, may not man 
Deem his ethereal nature as ordained 
To lasting life, and his corporeal frame, 
Creation's acme, a mind-bearing tree, 
Whose fruitage is undying consciousness ! ** 

We feel that it is not necessary to add much to the 
above. The lyrics of Mr Cross possess much pathetic 
grace, quiet humour, and gentle melody, while his 
more rc&lsctiTe musings appeal to the heart and mind 
through theij; subdued, and suggestive thought, and 



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22 MODERN SCOTTIHH POBTS. 

pleasing and perfect phrase. Altogether our esteemed 

'* late flowering" poet has by his' productions secured 

not only a right to occupy a prominent place among 

our Scottish poets, but also a warm place in many a 

Scottish heart. 

THE CANTING AULD KIMMER. 

" How happy a wife am I," 
In her pride said a canting auld kimmer, 
• " To think that my dochter's to lie 
In a pious man's bo6om gin simmer. 
Well a' sing thegither, 
We'll a' rejoice thegither. 
That sic a bricht pant's to become 
In our family a son and a brither. 

** I'm tauld he's a stoop o' a kirk, 

And has riches baith here and in Zion ; 
And the hingings are turk-upon-turk, 
O' the bed that my dochter's to lie on. 
We'll a' be gude thegither, 
Well a' be grand thegither, 
Uech ! winna a godlv gndeson 
Gree weel wi* a godly gndemither I 

** He is clad in the garments o' faith ;— 

His speeritual man— for his body 
Is bnskit wi' bonnie braid daith, 
And he often comes here in a noddy. 
Well a' pray thegither, 
We'll a' be earnest thegither, 
That the gentleman never may gang 
A bellwayering after anither. 

** It's true that a weel-behaved»lad 

Has got the begunk frae my dochter ; 
But how was the bargain to haud. 
When a far grander gentleman socht her ? 
Well a be grand thegither. 
We'll a' flee up thegither, 
How proud I'll be hearing the folk 
Saying, There goes the grand lady's mither ! 

'* Douce Davit's a' man o' his word, 

A vera respectable creatur ; 
But a braw house and gooseberry yaird. 
To refuse them is no numan nature. 
We've a' agreet thegither. 
The aunties, and faither and mither, 
To swap the puir chiel for a laird ; 
And Lizzie, she ne'er had a swither. 

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WILLIAM CBOSS. 23 

"The letters between them that pM8*d, 
The best thinff to do is to burn them ; 
And his presents to her first and last. 
It wadna be kind to return them. 
We a' think theg^ither 
The twa may ory clear wi' ilk ither, 
For in looks o* her hair he has mair 
Than wad make a braw wif; to her faither. 

*' His bread has a' bakit to be, 

The never a farl is ready : 
He might as weel offer to flee 
As to make ony woman a lady. 
Its a' stuff thegither, 
Blawfum and nonsense thegither 
To think that the saft tow o' love 
Can ever do weel for a tether. 

. " But Lisszie to fortune was born. 

The plough has been aye coming till her, 
And brawly she kens caff frae corn, 
As weel as the craws or the miller. 
We'll a' thrive thegither. 
We'll a* colleague thegither ; 
8io a prospect o' gudeness and gear 
Wad mak ony head licht as a feather. 

" It behoves us a' hooly to walk ; 
The f u' cup's no easily carried ; 
And Lizzie maun bridle her talk. 
And keep hersel' mim till she's married. 
We'll a' keep wheesht thegither, 
We'll a' be close gabbit thegither ; 
If some neighbours stood in our snoon, 
Preserve us a' how they wad blether !" 

AMANG THE HEATHER. 

Amang the braes aboon Dunoon, 

In vernal May's delightfu' weather, 
I met at e'en abonnie lass 

Alane amang the blooming heather. 

A hame-spun gown and westlan' plaid 
Was dress enough — she had nae ither — 

But blythe and comely was her face. 
And licht her step amang the heather. 

I Bjpak her fair, and speert her name. 

To tell me true she didna swither ; 
But modestly she hung her head, 

And blushed as red's the blooming heather. 



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34 MOD£]IN SCOTTISH POBTS. 

A bonnie lass and loye-s^ck lad 
Maun hae a crack when they forgather ; 

Sae doon we sat beside a burn 
That wimpled through tbe blooming heather. 

Our words were neither saft nor sweet 
But came frae hearts as licht*i a feather ; 

And I how fast the time Hew bye 
Wi* heedless talk aman^ Ijhe heathei;. 

We spak o' kirks, we spak o* ffedrs, 
The sprouting com, the bonnie wettther ; 

0' everjrthing we spak but loye, 
Though love was a' our thought thegither. 

Gould I keep still my beating heait^ 
Or ae wora richt put to amtfaer. 

When for my ain I tried to win 
The bonnie lass amang the heather? 

Ah, no ! though lang I ettled aair, 
My tongue could hardly dip the tether ; 

But weel the lassie guess'd my mind. 
That happy night amang the heatner. 

The balmy ak, the glowing tkifi, 
The thymy sod, the blooming heather ; 

And sic an angel smiling' by^ 
I trow 'twas heaven a'tiiegither. 

Tha nioht grew late befom we wiat, 
It took us hours to part wi' ither ; 

And now she's mine, the bonnie lass 
I woo'd amang the blooming heathen. 

THE LAIRD'S AWA». 

Now summer decks the Oleqfield braes 

With brightest flowers and freshest green, 
On velvet sward the lambkin plays. 
The laverock sings overhead unseen. 
But the Laird's awa', the kind auld Laird, 

Wi' a' his sense and droUerie ; 
His cheery voice nae mair is heard — 
His like again, we ne'er shall see. 

Frae m airland hills the crystal bum 

Comes down wi^ merry gurgling din ; 
It laughs in mony a wimpling turn. 
And sings o'er mony a. rock v linn^ 
But the Laird's a wa', the bly the, auld Laird, 

Frae a' he liked sae weel to see^- 
Awa' frae a' the joys, he shared 
Wi' high and low richt heartQy. 



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WILEIAM CSOSS. 

When vrinU(t hares the fields agftin, 

Or buries them in drifted snaw, 
Or drearily wf sleet an* raia 
l^face o' natiire darkens a*. 
We'U 'miss the Laird, we*Il miss him sair— 

He aye brought sumipegr in his unile ; 
His presence made fonl weathei^.fur. 
And halved the lengtii o^ n^ony • mile. 



THE DAINTY 9IT PLAN. 

Qmr.MAy had aa e'e to a man, 

Nae les^ tha^ the newlypl^MOf^ gw^ fher ; 
SML^e pIot^,a d^t;^. bit plan, 
' For irappm' oor spiriioal teacher. 



Vol, oh ! w^ wer^ »ly.. l\y : , 

Oh 1 we. werA sjy mi^stoek 

B^i ne>p say, ^ kVW^ k ^ 



1 ^e. werA sjir ^sl^kit ; 
UntilTt^Llth^SSLS an^ reekii. 

W« fllMtteETd yonats> KaiBtar Ifaoaook, 
We ptted him wi? te^an' wi' toddy) 

Aiul<we;piBaiMde«eBy vovd thaVhe spoke. 

Till we miost put him cot o' lihe body. 

^|or,,6!i'!'i^e were, sly, ijfy, &o. 

^:ft^kJb*T?^*?®WW%wa, 
Unless when frae hame he was helpin' ; 

When May, or the rest o' us a*. 
Ran far an' iv^ar aftec l^iifi skelpin*. 
For, oh !'we were sly, sly, ko. 

But, to oome to ttie *^ heart o' the nlt;r 
The dainty bit plan that we plotit, ' 

Was to get a subscription a^flir, 
An* a watch to the minister Totit., 
For, oh ! we were sly, sly, &c.' 

The young women-folk o* the kirk. 

By turns took a hand'at c»llectm' ; 
But May took tY^ feck o' the wark. 

And ther trouble the rest o* direcKiu*. 
For, oh I she was sly, sly, &c. 

A gran* watch was gotten beilyve, 
An' May wi' sma* priggiqf opnsenl^' 

To be ane o' a party o' ^ve 
To gang to the manse and present it. 
For, oh! she was sly, sly, Ac 



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MODBRN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Tftkin' praaent and speech baith in han' 

She delivered a bonnie palaver, 
To let Maister MacGock understan* 

How zealous she was in his favour. 
For, oh 1 she was sly, sly, &c. 

She said " That the gift was to prove 
That his female frien's valued nim highly ; 

But it couldna express half their love*' — 
And she glintit her e'e on him slUy. 
For, oh ! she was sly, sly, ke. 

He put the goold watch in his fab, 

** An' proudly,*' he said, '* he wad wear it ;" 
Then, after some flatterin' gab, 

Tauld May '* he was gaun to be marrit V* 

Oh ! we were sly, sly ; 

Oh ! we were sly an' sleekit ; 
But Mr MacGk>ck was nae gowk 

Wi* oor dainty bit plan to be cleekit. 

May cam hame wi' her heart in her mouth. 
An' frae that day became a ** Dissenter," 
An' noo she's renewin' her youth 
^ Wi* some hopes o' the Burghier precentor. 

Oh ! but she's sly, sly ; 

Oh ! she is sly and sleekit ; 
An* cleverly opens ae door 

As soon as anither is steekit. 



WEE PEGGIE. 

Wee Peggie is a darling. 
She's everybody's pet, 

And fules she makes o' ane an' a'. 
To think the warld never saw 
A bairn sae sweet and winsome — 

She's lust a fairy queen ! 
Andgally bauds a court o' luve 
Wherever she is seen. 

Wee Peggie came to cheer us 
When days were dark and cauld, 

Before the silver snowdrop came. 
Or golden crocus raised its flame. 
Wee Peggie came to cheer us, 

Her sunny infant smile 
Made glints o' heaven come through the gloom. 
Our sorrows to beguile. 



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WILLIUC CBOSS. 27 

Her een outshine the violet 
Wet wi' the morning dew ; 

In her bric:ht face the Graoes me«t, 
Nae rosebud ere was half sae sweet 
Wee Peggie's kisH o' fondness 

Delights baith auld and young, 

And charming are the oooing notes 

That warble from her tongue. 

A cherub is wee Peggie, 
A messenger of joy, 

Her innocence and gladsome glee 
Gar clouds o' care and sadness flee. 
To see her joyous as the birds, 

And bonnie as the flowers. 
Sheds happiness on a' around, 
Like balmy summer showers ! 

THE DYING WIDOW'S RBQUBST, 

Lay me at last in William's grave. 

My long-lost lover, still my own ; 
My rightful place still let me have 

Upon his faithful breast alone. 

Oh I let no stranger dust repose 
His dear remains and mine between, 

The narrow house let us enclose 
Together, who but one have been. 

Since the dark day that overcast 

My happy lot in cheerless gloom. 
My joys nave all been of the past. 

And all my hopes beyond the tomb. 

happy past ! when I recall 
Thy vanished joys, entranced I rove 

By shady wood and waterfall, 
And all the dear resorts of love. 

Remembrance brings the days again 
When, shining in my Willie's smue. 

Our home was heaven, and care and pain 
Were all unknown to us the while. 

Ah me ! how changed, and yet the same 

Is all the world to me ; and I— 
How fdtered since my sorrow came, 

My life a load, my breath a sigh. 
Kind friends are mine— but what are friends 

To stricken heart and 'wilder'd brain ? 
Death is the friend who sorrow ends. 

And joins divided souls again. 



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d6 MODWm gOMmtt POSTS. 

They told me (fliiie ironld Ileal ray woe^ 
And chi^iiM of scene briogr sweet reUef ; 

AUijJ how little do tbey^ know, 
Who thne cap sf^k of h<»>eieBB grief. 

Time oaly vendetbe blaeted tMc^ 
And»f0tB tlM dead wood to tbaeo^a^ 

The wredUlM* dviffai £iioi» sea to sea 
Is wrecked ane^nr 91^ ey^ Qhore^, 

The cliMinflf Jyy need* mttst flO! 

Bereft oMts shstalning tree ; 
86 with my WiUijjim perished all 

The worth of everything to me. 

Then lay me itt my Wflliaflii.'B grave, 
There mingled tet'oar ashee^Ke ; 
i|jf uj, iHaoA itill IjBt B^h^ 
ime merge in eternity. 



^HEOUG TOUT this, ^ork we h^ve given nume- 
Vk rou8 pro^ o|5 tiie' aayisg that Sootsmen who 
emigrate to other ItadS ane' apt tio be even more 
Scottish than Sootsiaeftvhftlive.irfihG!«^0. "Absence," 
it appears, '''malres tile heart grow fi>nder." Many 
of me old tracJitiDWpJ' qbeerv:anc08. which, truth to 
tell, seem to have fallen very much into abeyance in 
the **old cQjimtty,'' are annually engaged in with 
much spirit by^ **0aled6nian," and '*'8t Andrews" 
Associations: PatototiC' orationa^ birttnming over 
with the p^r^^vuium, igenrnm Scfitorum, are delivered, 
and Burns' songs* ar» suag^ and Sleotch music in- 
dulged in ad'l^tum. Long may the feeling continue 
that prp.izipts patriotic outbursts among Scotsmen 
across the' Atlantic. Xn, the p7:686nt' volume we are 
to introduce several noble, ezamplea oi our country- 
men who have gon« abroad; but'whaabo continue to 



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love, and writer and f^s^ about the tartao anil ihe 
heal^er, the brMmjr brae and the bdrk^i shaw. 

"Mr Lyle, of Seeheeter, New York, la aatnkioAg 
example of our sweet and tender Scottifih-Anroriqan 
poeta. He was bom in Edinburgh, in 1822. Wlbile 
he was yet young his father died, and the care of his 
'* npbrinfring " devolved upon his mother, who, with- 
out a great show of the ** world's gear," nobly per- 
formed her duty. The rudimenHis of his education 
were obtained at the Lancaet^rian School in the 
Scottish metropolis, and somewhere about the age of 
twelve his mother took hiitt to Glasgow, where the 
night school and his own hard application '< finished" 
his education. 

Mr Lyle was apprenticed to a potter in Glasgow, 
and while an apprentice he courted the Muse. He 
says, ** I was rude, and )9hd #&^ shy, but I would not 
be denied." After '* serving He time " and getting 
married he went to England, and was there at the 
time of the great Barnsley mine dilsaster. On that 
sad occasion he wrote his first lengthy poem — ** The 
Grave of the Thi«e Hundred," which was noticed 
very favourably by the press. In l^e eourse of a few 
years afterwards Mt Lyle left England for America 
— " the land of gold.*' He says that he ** did not find 
any of it on the streets," nar did he find much of it 
anywhere for some time, even though he worked 
hard. For fourteen yeard he has acted very 
efficiently, and is much esteemed, as manager of the 
**Eochester Sewer Pipe Company,'* and has "been 
able to live decently — a Scotchman's pride." He still 
keeps to the Muse, and his productions are warmly 
welcomed in many of the American newspapers and 
magazines. 

Mr Lyle has a Warm regard for all mankind, but 
he loves the very name of his native land, and he 
still cherishes the hope that he will one day look 
upon her hills. He has not only got a musical name, 

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90 MODERN SCOTTIBH POETS. 

but all hiB Terses have a fine Scotoli ring that entitles 
him to a high place in onr valhalla. His poems 
and songs display ease and sprightliness of versifica- 
tion, simple pathos, and pleasing humour. Several 
of his ballads and (domestic pieces are delicately 
touching. 

A SCOTTISH BALLAD. 

My heart w lane and weary, 

And the sea is moaning sair, 
And every night comes Jamie 

Wi' the sea- weeds in his hair. 
He stauns before my window, 

Wi* his white face to the pane. 
And beckons me to follow 

When my heart is a' alane. 

I was na* kind to Jamie, 

Tho* he loo'd me warm and true. 
I smiled upon anither. 

But I wadna do sae noo. 
His ring is on my finger, 

But his corpse is in the sea — 
His mither's heart is breaking, 

And he died for love o* me. 

ril tak' the ring he gied me. 

An' I'll sink it in the deep 
Whaur Jamie rows sae cauldly, 

Tho' his ghaist it canna' keep. 
And maybe sae content him ' 

That he'll come nae mair to me — 
Wi' a' his weird locks dripping 

Frae the myst'ry o' the sea. 

And if nae peace comes to him, 

I'll gang an' be his bride, 
Aneath the angry surges 

I will lay me by his side. 
I canna bide his comin' 

Wi* his blue lips to the pane ; 
My een are red wi' greetin , 

And my heart is like a stane. 

Oh, loud the wind is blawin' 

Owre the heidland at the cape. 
The leaden clouds o* winter 

Tak' mony an' eerie shape ; 



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WILLIAM LTLS. 31 

And far doon V the darknesa, 

Whanr the fishes gang to hide, 
Twa bodies rock in silence — 

Jamie an' his bonny bride. 

DAISY BUDS. 

Hae ye seen the daisy bads 

Hanging wet wi' dew, lassie, 
Langin' for the momin* sun T 

Sae wait I for yon, lassie. 
Ilka snnny smile ye gie 
Warms my heart, an' glads my e*e— 

Lang may ye be tme, lassie. 

Ken ye how the ivy clings 

To the stalwart tree, lassie? 
I wad hae yer honest love, 

Sae keep close to me lassie. 
When the aik-tree fails its trust — 
When the warl' is mair than just, 

Then I'U be fause to thee, Uuwie. 

No ae daisy on the brae, 

But wants a smile to cheer, lassie, 
No ae slender ivy twig 

But needs a stoat branch near, lassie. 
Cheer me wi' yer gowden smiles — 
m shield ye irae the warl's wiles, 

An' hand ye ever dear, lassie. 

OUR TAM. 

« Purring at the fireside. 
Blinking at the lowe, 

Saucy as a lord's son- 
Wagging his auld pow ; 

Saft as mither's new muff, 
Blacker than my hat. 

To a' folks a wunner — 
Is our Tam, the cat. 

When set by the ingle 

The winter nicht lang. 
He climbs o'er m^ shouther. 

An' sings me his sang. 
He's like a spoiled bairnie, 

Sae sonsy an' fat. 
He's ower muckle made o', 

Is our Tam, the cat. 

Content as a crowned king, 

Tam has nae care, 
He tak's what the rest tak's, 

An' looks for nae mair. 



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MODSSN SOOXXISH POSTS. 

Some folks die wi* worry — 

Tarn's no sic a flat, 
For a* things come easy 

To oar Tarn, the cat. 

He has white TelVet pawi, 

And mony a man 
Canna keep his pai^s while, 

Do a' that hd catt. 
Just gi'e him a tvialU^ 

Wi* mbnsie or ral— 
That's life's highest pleasalHi 

To oat Tam, the oat. 

Tam sleeps wbar he Uk»e betft, 

And eares na a pia 
For gentle or simple — 

wha^l oat or wha's in. 
But when the doog snaps him, 

Tam gies tit lor Ut-* 
STa eatina weel Uame him^ 

He's only a cat. 

Kidht afW I've pondered, 

While stroking Tam'a hair, 
How he does a' his duty. 

And wha could ask mair ? 
Xn 6lrivin*8 o' mortals, ' 

If ilk ane did that. 
He could rimk as a orither 

To our Tam, the cat. 

THE LAND OF THE HftATHBR. 

Come sing me the songs of old Scotland, 

If ye would he n.erry a while, 
And strike the wild harp of her minstrels, 

If ye would my sorrow beguile. 
chant the proud lays of her h^iroes, 

Whose hlood has baptised every vfiU, 
And sing me the songs of her martyrs. 
That oft lent a joy to the gale. 
Hurrah for the land of the heather. 
The dear little land of the Aorth» 
Where true hearts ana brave ones together 
Tell mankind what freedom is worth. 

The earth is enriched with her lessons. 
And time is enihalihing her name. 

Disgrace never tarnished her tarians, 
Ormaotled a,brow with its shame. 



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WltLIAM LYLE. 33 

Bright gold may not burst from her iralleyi«. 

Nor silver be washed from her streams, 
But there is a gold in her glory— 
Her valour all silver oat^leams. 
Then cheers for the land of the heather. 

The dear little land of the north, 
Where true hearts and bra?e ones together 
Tell mankind what freedom is worth. 

Through all the archives of the nations, . 

Tis writ how her fame has been bought, 
Still wearing the chaplet of honour, 

Wherever her claymore has fought. 
Oh hearts from the oirth place of freedom. 

Forget not the soil ye have trod— 
Through time, and through distance remember 
The noble old land, and her God. 
Hurrah for the iand of the heather, 
The dear little land of the north. 
Where tr^e hearts and brave ones together 
Tell mankind what freedom is worth. 

■ FROZEN HEARTS AND DRIFTING SNOWS. 

Through t'he dreary solitudes 
Of the rustling autumn woods, 

C<>me the winds careering. 

Tiny birds that miss the leaves 

Hasten to the sheltered eaves, 

. Warned of Winter nearing. 

Grow warm my heart as colder grows 

The chilly autumn weather. 
For frozen hearts and drifting snows 
Should never come together. 

Soon upon the fliniy street 
We shall see cold little feet- 
Few .about them caring. 
Shall they shiver through the blast, 
Homeless, shoeless to the last — 
Friendless and despairing ? 
Mercy forbid love's reign should close, 

And in the wintry weather. 
That frozen hearts and drifting snows 
Should ever come together. 

Some one's mother will be cold. 
Some one's father, frail and old. 

Dreads the near December. 
Ah ! ye rouIs who know not want. 
Is it much God bids you grant ? 

Keep alit love's ember — 



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34 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Think of the poor, with many woes, 

In the pitiless weather- 
Let frozen hearts and drifting snows 

Never more come together. 

In the star-land overhead, 
There's a smile of pity shed. 

Through the earth-clouds dreary. 
But the warmth that smile imparts 
Still must pass through human hearts 
To the poor and weary. 
Do we forget ? The great One knows 

That when they come together. 
Warm summer hearts shocud melt the snows 
Of life's dark winter weather. 



DIOTIMA. 

All Rome was there ; it was a gala da]r. 

The golden sunlight bathed the waving pines. 
Gay chariots rolled along the Appian way, 

And horsemen passed in never-ending lines. 
Rough, sandaled boors and blue, patrician bloods 

Poured through the streets in huge converging floods. 

•* On to the arena !*' do they wildly cry j 
And soon the circling hills, whose sloping sides 

Show tier on tier of terraced seats on high 
Are thronged, and gorged with living, swaying tides. 

Ten thousand voices smite the listening sky — 

** Bring forth the swordsmen, let the weakest die ! *' 

The athletes came ; strong-veined and bearded men. 

Sing their keen falchions through the cloven air, 
Pours their red blood, and shouts rise high again 

As one by one they sink in gory lair. 
Poor bleeding hearts— hungry for mercy's tones. 

While Rome makes merry o'er their dying groans. 

*Tis not enough — the best wine at the last- 
Bring forth the Christian maid ; she, too, must bleed. 

Then loud rose the heralds* trumpet blast, 
Then moved the guards with hot and cruel speed. 

Oh I cultured Rome, oh 1 deep and damning stain. 
Must innocence once more appeal in vain ? 

Like lily garnished in its Spring-time white, 

Arrayed in purity the damsel came. 
Beauty, unsexed, sat gloating o'er the sight, 

And men that history may blush to name, 
Upraise the barrier gate, youth smiles in faith, 

Ulose it again, andshut her in with death. 



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JOHN OAMFBBLL. 35 

Spring the fierce lions on their gentle prey, 
Rending her white robes with their greedy fangs, 

Her whiter bosoms open to the day, 
Empurpled now, and rent with death's sharp pangs, 

In mercy draw the veil, shut ont the sight 
Of what, to some, gave rapturous del^ht. 

So fell Diotima, but when she died 

The victors* wreath enrapt her royal brow. 
Above great Diocletian in his pride — 

Above his gods to which she would not bow. 
Crowned queen that day, she left avenging yean, 

To humble Rome in ashes and in tears. 



JOHN CAMPBELL. 

^THE rocky home of a Highland poet of peculiar 
\i^ interest may be seen by the tourist among the 
silvery lights and soft shadows, the changing rain 
and sunshine, of our Western Highlands. At 
Ledaig, Benderloch, looking past Oban down the 
Sound of Kerrera to the open ocean, is the dwelling 
of John Campbell, the ** poet-postmaster " and 
laureate of the Land of Lome. Born in the land of 
Bens and glens, our poet inherited his patriotic 
passion for the Highlands. His forefathers were in 
Lorn before the time of King Robert Bruce, and 
some of them took part in the battle of Brander. 
His father, a worthy country schoolmaster, was 
for thirty-five years ** General Assembly Teacher" 
at Ledaig, and his grandfather was a small farmer 
near Oban. John Campbell was bom at Oban, 
and the family removed to Ledaig when our poet 
was two years old. At the age of seventeen he 
went to a warehouse in Glasgow, and remained in 
that city for about six years, although on three 



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36 MODJfiBN SCOTTIHH POETS. 

occasions during that poriod he had to go home in 
delicate health. While in the " great city '' he had 
studied hard during his spare moments, and for 
ahout two years after he returned to the glens of his 
boyhood he was, as he tells us, '' almost at death's 
door.*' He started as shopkeeper in a small way, 
but this did not succeed, and he ha(l to give it up. 
Having. always a taste for gardening, and afraid to 
try town life again, 'he asked the factor for a bit of 
shore ground and some bare rocks about the cottage. 
This gentleman was willing, but it was possessed by 
a large sheep farmer who would not give up an 
inch at any reduction. He waited patiently for 
about four years, by which time the farmer's lease 
had expired, and then received fully two acres, which 
he reclaimed from being a desert to *' blossom as the 
rose." 

Let us describe the surroundings of our poet, 
and the romantic cottage post-office. No part of 
Argyleshire is richer in all the elements of scenic 
beauty and grandeur than the region where Loch 
Etive joins the Linnhe Loch, and the latter expands 
into a spacious marine basin, divided longitudinally 
by the island of Lismore, ** the Great Garden," and 
surrounded by a screen of hills, of which the loftiest 
are those of the Kingairloch range, verging upon the 
hills of Morven on one side, and on the other the 
Ballachulish and Glencoe mountains, with the twin 
summits of Ben Oruachan rising higher than them 
all in the distance. If this be, as is affirmed, Ossian's 
**Selma," meaning **the beautiful view," it is 
worthy of the name ; and, at any rate, is a view 
which has been celebrated in poetry and romance, 
and must be fondly remembered by all who have 
traversed Argyleshire in quest of picturesque scenery. 
If we leave the high road from Oban at Connell 
Ferry, crossing the narrow rocky gully through 
which the waters of Loch Etive rush into Loch 



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JOHN CAMPBELL. 37 

Linnhe, and follow the coast road on the opposite 
side, a walk of two miles brings iis to the clachan of 
Ledaig, the seat of a sub-post-oflB.ce, which, if it be 
one of the lowliest in Her Majesty's service with 
respect to extent and accommodation, is one of the 
most picturesque of post-offices in regard to situation 
and surroundings. 

The cottage lies snugly at the foot of a lofty 
diflP of conglomerate, of large rounded water-worn 
fragments of quartz and other substances, present- 
ing a rude resemblance, in its exposed surfaces, 
to huge piles of cannon balls fixed in a common 
cement. On a promontory of this rock, about a milo 
below Ledaig, and full in sight of it, is DunstaflPnage 
Castle, once the residence, as its chapel is the burial- 
place, of the early monarchs of Scotland, and from 
which was taken, first to Scone, and thence to West- 
minster Abbey, the stone of the coronation chair. 
The neighbourhood abounds with antiquities of 
various kinds, and all round is a panorama of moun- 
tains, which is as changeful in its light and colour, 
its gleam and gloom, as the Isea itself — sometimes 
dear and shining and restful, at other times dark 
and weird and wild. 

But our interest centres at present in the humble 
and picturesque abode of the poet. The sea comes 
nearly up to the front door of the domicile. So 
jealously do cliff and tree conspire to hide it from 
intrusive gaze that it appears a mere speck beside 
the crag under which it shelters. Professor Blackie, 
who has paid several tributes to the fine lyrical 
talent, and great personal worth of our poet, and 
has translated the verses we quote, says it is ^'the 
most unique of Highland dwellings, cut from the 
living rock, and looking out across the sea, like 
the King of Thule's castle in Goethe's song. In 
one of 3ie beautiful broad bays flanked by pro- 
jecting headlands on the west coast of Argyleshire, 



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38 MODEBN 8C0TTIHH POETS. 

a grand crag of old red conglomerate juts out 
into the sea, and one huge fragment of this mass 
has so shaped itself as to be readily turned into 
a comfortable chamber. Here a friend of mine — 
one of those native singers in whom the Highlands 
abound — has pitched Ids abode; and not few are 
the happy hours that I have spent in his rocky 
shelter, singing with him Gaelic songs of his own. 
composition, full of that warm patriotism and loyalty 
which the lords of the Highlands in this commercial 
age have done so little to cherish. But neither the 
Queen in all her majesty at Balmoral, npr Tennyson 
in &11 the beauty of heath, gorse, and copsewood at 
Haslemere, can boast of a dwelling so poetical as my 
friend John Campbell." 

After a visit to the spot, the genial Professor 
wrote a spirited poem, making the bard speak as 
follows : — 

" My name it is Ian the Bard, 

And I dwell on the far west shore, 
Where I look on the mighty old Ben, 

And hear th*e old ocean roar ; 
And my house it is cut in the rock, 

At the head of the beautiful bay, 
Beswept by the strength of tne blast, 

And beshone by the grace of the disiy. 

O fair is the house of the bard. 

Where it stands on the rock by the sea, 
With the sway of the billow below, 

And above with the swing of the tree. 
With the golden sun in his view. 

As he sinks in the glow of the west. 
And the joy of the grey sea-birds 

As they float on tne old ocean's breast ! " 

In summer a profusion of roses ding to the walls of 
the cottage, and the russet roof is a study of colour — 
the very thatch being brilliant with a vegetation of 
its own. The soil of the garden was made from 
scrapings carried from the road, and moss mixed 

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JOHN CAMPBELL. 39 

with sand from tlie shore. The poet planted it with 
flowers, shrubs, strawberries, fruit trees, and bushes, 
and enclosed it with a black thorn hedge. 

Coming unexpectedly upon this scene of floral 
exuberance, the stranger is often seen to pause in 
admiration of a sight so pleasing and refreshing; and 
if the house is the most romantic of post-offices, a 
nook of the garden of the poetic florist has been con- 
verted by him into the quaintest of school-rooms. 

The late Mr Keddie, lecturer in the Free Church 
College, Glasgow, wrote an interesting article in 
the Sabhath School Magazine, in which he gave a 
touching account of the life and death in his 
eighth year of a son of the poet, who was thought- 
ful beyond his jrears, passionately fond of poetry 
and of hearing and repeating the old legends of 
his native Highlands, and whose remarkable intelli- 
gence, and BtiU more remarkable piety, were lovingly 
pictured by his minister in a little ** Memoir," 
which was printed and largely circulated. Mr 
Keddie, in his introductory remarks, said — **In 
one of the caves in a cliff on the loch shore, now 
raised above the reach of the waves, Mr Campbell 
has constructed his school by an operation involving 
no little contrivance. The cavern is closed in, sea- 
wards, by a wall, consisting partly of masses of stone, 
and partly of the trunk of a growing ash-tree ; the 
whole being, except the tree, substantially roofpd 
over. The interior is about thirteen feet in length, 
with an average of six in breadth, and, if not very 
shapely in outline, is roomy and dry. It accommodates 
comfortably thirty pupils, but as many as fifty have 
assembled in this cave school. The seats follow the 
sinuosities of the irregular wall, against which thoy 
are disposed. A large cosy arm-chair occupies one 
end of the cave, along with a table containing copies 
of the Holy Scriptures and other books in Gaelic and 
English, for much of the teaching is conducted in 



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40 MODERN SCOTTISH. POETS. 

the former language. At the other extremity a fire- 
place, a clock, and a lamp, complete the internal 
equipments. 

The ornaments of the 'rock-room/ as the. ppet 
calls it, are characteristic of the region. These 
are, a bottle containing a preserved specimen of. a 
species of sea-pen, one of the rarest zoophytes of 
the British seas, and found in the Linnhe Loch; a 
cinerary urn taken from a cave in a cliff at Ledaig ; 
specimens of the quern, or ancient hand-mill, dug up 
in the neighbourhood ; fragments of th© vitnfied 
stones of the adjoining fort ; a stone hammer; several 
charm-stones, and other relics of byegone days-" 

Edward Bradbury, in a recent number of CasselPs 
Magazine, writes: — **A step from the ppst-ofi^ce 
porch, another step across the road, down a garden- 
patcli bright with flowers that you would . not; expect 
to meet out of a conservatory, and shady with 
fruit-trees that might have been^ leased from I)«.vpn- 
shire, and then you are among the Atlantic boulders. 
Here Ian, assisted largely by the rocky tun^ult of 
nature, has built a grotto-parlour. The shore rocks, 
supplied him with two ready-made walls and a por- 
tion of a third ; but the , rest is the poet's own 
cunning contrivance, as indeed is his thriving garden, 
for until John came here the place was all baxren 
rock, and he has made the wilderness smile by the 
dint of his own diligent hand. The ponderous 
wooden block which serves as a table was once the 
resting-place of Robert the Bruce — being m^de out 
of an old oak tree that lay near Lochawe, and on 
which the king took a repast before the battle was 
fought. A sturdy oaken chair is in proportioQ- to the 
solid table. A few forms are placed round the little 
room, which is reached by a descent of xno^8-:grown 
stone steps from the garden. A patch of.^unjight 
comes iu from a pane in the roof. Thej:^ is .one 
window ; it looks right out upon the Atl^ntiQ,. upon 



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JOHN CAM^BLL. 41 

the grey glory of DunstafiEhage Oastle, upon island 
and mountain, upon scenery that is an enchantment 
to the most commonplace eye." 

In this quaint room the Highland poet has 
held a Sabbath class for the past ten years, and 
twenty years previously it met in a fisherman's 
cottage that the Atlantic one night, remorseless 
in its rage, swept away. Thus for thirty years 
or more the poet-postman has taught his simple 
country-side scholars. His pupils trudge sturdily 
itom. faX'oS crofts, across the sobbing moors in 
the winter sleet. Several are yoimg children from 
seven to eight, but most of them are young men 
and (Women from fifteen to thirty years of age, and, 
in some instances, married people with bonnie 
bairns of their own. They are so attached to it in 
thmr age that they come every Sunday night across 
the peaty paths — weather fair or foul, sun-time and 
snow^time — to listen to the old, earnest, sympathetic 
voice, telling the wonderful story of the Man of 
Sorrows, who consecrated their humble position by 
His poverty, and 'wbo dignified their hard lot by His 
toil. 

It is a picture, that Sunday evening service in 
the wave- worn cave, with the lamp throwing darkly 
weird Bembrandt-Iike shadows, and sharp lights, 
on the little throng of men and- women, youths 
and maidens, gathered round their teacher. The 
sea is moaning on the boulders under the little 
window that throws its yellow gleam upon the 
throbbing Atlantic; the wind is howling through 
corrie and glen; but there are warm hearts in 
this little room. Occasionally there is a hymn 
sung — ^the words by the teacher — but more fre- 
quently a grand old psalm, filling the air with its 
quaint melody, in English and Gaelic, for both are 
taught to the class of our bard, who thus unites, 
in his Sunday evening service, sound instruction 



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42 MODERN SOOTTXSH POSTS. 

with deep devotion. Then follows a prayer that is 
touching in its pleading pathos, a verse of scripture 
is read by each member of the class, and a question 
in the Shorter Catechism is repeated. In all 
the exercises most of the scholars from time to 
time take part, and are thus made to feel that they 
have an equal interest in the exercises. 

We have depicted the scene, serene in its summer 
sleep, but frequently the spindrift rises high, a white 
whirling mist, over the cave. Our poet was feeling 
himself ** at the top of the brae," and that his diffi- 
culties were over, when a storm, in November 1881, 
swept away his plants, trees, &c., left little but bare 
rocks, and sadly demolished the wave-worn grotto. 
Bruce's table, chairs, forms, lamps, books, &c., were 
carried to sea. The historic table ^as, however, 
stranded down the coast next day, and so recovered. 
Friendly help, and patient perseverance on his own 
part, soon restored the place to its former beauty. 
** Faith and hope," he tells us, ** with a firm trust in 
my Kedeemer's promises, have ever kept me up. I 
have a happy home, a loving wife, affectionate 
children, beautiful surrounding^, and what are the 
world's riches to be compared to these ? " * * Nor, " says 
Professor Blackie, '' is John Campbell a poet merely ; 
many a poet is a worthless fellow, and others think 
the world is bound to admire them, and even to sup- 
port them for blowing soap-bubbles ; but my friend 
handles the spade as efficiently as the pen, and is in 
all respects an admirable specimen of that noble 
peasantry who shine so bright in the military annals, 
and have been, not unfiequently, so ungraciously 
handled and so stupidly neglected in the rural 
economy of this country . " 

Our bard has himible ideas ot his poetic faculties, 
and says that he was always fond of poetry, ''for 
there is much in it to form one's character and ele- 
vate the mind, and although I often give vent to my 



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JOHIT CAMPBBLL. 43 

thoughts in rhyme, I never expected to be called a 
poet, get a place among them, or that my pieces 
wonld be known beyond the neighbourhood." His 
verses have, however, been repeatedly honoured with 
prizes by associations of Celtic scholars, and several of 
his poems have been quoted in American and 
Australian newspapers. For many years he has been 
urged to publish his fugitive pieces in book form, 
and many will be pleased to learn that he has at last 
consented to do so. Professor Blackie deserves the 
grateful thanks of all lovers of our minstrelsy for 
rescuing from the Gaelic many of the inspirations of 
*'Ian's" muse that in their natural form could 
never have reached the heart of the Sassanach. 
His poetry is marked by a fervid patriotism, 
and he is eloquent in his regret at the decad- 
ence of the Highland race. ** Tears come into 
his voice," says the writer in CasselPs Magatine, to 
whom we are indebted for many interesting parti- 
culars, *' when he contemplates a land cleared of its 
people and its once green farmsteads, so that English 
brewers may bang away at stags, and make the moors 
a slaughter-house for grouse." We are unable to 
speak of his verses in the language in which they came 
from them the poet, although Celtic scholars inform 
us that they are exceedingly melodious and touch- 
ingly pathetic. He can make a single word pictorial, 
and successive words become successive pictures, 
while the quiet solitudes and the simple sounds 
which are heard amidst such retirements are made 
the medium for conveying many a useful lesson. 



THE GAEL TO HIS COUNTRY AND HIS COUNTRYMEN. 

My heart's in the Highlands, I love every glen, 
Every corrie and crag in the land of the Ben, 
Each brave kilted laddie, stout-hearted and true. 
With rich curly locks 'neath his bonnet of blue. 



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\: MODESK BOQVNSm POSTS. 

A brave Highland boy, when light*footed bd.goeB, 
MTlth plaid, and with kilt, dirk, sporraD, and boae ; 
• who will compare with ra^ Highlander then, 
Whenih» ooiaee fresh and fair like a breeze from the Ben. 

When foemen were landed to spoil and annov, 
Who then 'fronted death like my brave Highland boy? 
For his cause and his country in battle's rude shock. 
When kingdoms were reeling, he stood like a rock. 

And the deav Highland lasses, bad lack to the day 
When I look in their- faces and wish them away ; 
111 cross the wide seas to the far coral isles, 
With Mary to lighten the road with her smiles. 

And the son^ of the Gael on their pinions of fire. 

How oft have they lifted my heart from the mire ; 

On the lap of my mother I lisped them to God ; 

Let them float round my grave, when I sleep 'neatk the sod. 

And dear to my heart are the chivalrous ways. 
And the kindly regards of the old Highland days, 
When the worth of the chief and the strength of the clan 
Brought.glo^ and gain to the brave Highlandman. 

But now with mere sheep they have peopled the brae, 
And flung .th^ brave clansmen like ruobish away ; 
i3ut should foes we have vanquished the struggle renew. 
They'll sigh for the boys with the bonnets of bine. 

At Alma's red steep, and at red Waterloo^ 
The Gael still was first where hot work was to do ! 
And when Oanga and Jumna revolted, who then 
Were more^oyal and true than the sons of the Ben 1 

Where the East and the West by broad billows are bounded. 
The Gael shall be known and his fame shall be sounded ; 
While thrones shall have honour, and right shall prevail. 
Long ag^s shall echo the praise of the Gael. 

And when need comes again for the law of the sword, 
Though few now the clansmen>that follow their lord. 
The brave kilted boys for defence will be nigh, 
And shoulder to shoulder will conquer or die ! 

THE. GAEL IN A FOREIGN LAND. 

Dear land of my fathers, my home in the Highlands, 
'Tis oft thkt I think on thy bonnie green glens, 

Thv far-gleaming lochs, and thv sheer-sided corriea, 
Thy dark frowning cliflfs, and thyglory of Bens 1 



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JOHV XMMP9VLL, 4b 

Thy wfld-sweeping toirentfl, wi«h botinxl and wlth'BlelMr 
That to88 their white tnanes down the steep rocky hrae, 

Thy bumies that, babbline o'er beds of the granite, 
Through thick copse of hazel are wimpliog thefr way. 

Thy close dingill? i^» with fresh shining leafage^ 
That blooms through the winter and smiles at the storm. 

And spreads its green arms o'er the hoary old oasUft, 
To bind its grey ruin and keep its heart warm. 

The sweet-sounding plash of thy light-rippling billo.wi» 
As they beat on the sand where the white peebles lie. 

And their thundering war when, with whirling oommotiQii, 
They lift their white crests in grim face of tne aky. 

The land 1 was bom in, the land 1 was bred in. 
Where soft-sounding Gaelic falls sweet on the ear ; 

Dear Ga^Uc, whose accents take sharpaeas ijpom soirow. 
And fill me despairing, with words of good -cheer. 

'Twas oft I looked backward, and wistfully turned me, 
When my travel-worn foot to the Lowlands was near ; 

Like a gUmpse of the sun throi;^h the dark doiid ont-peeping 
Was the land of my love which f left with a tear. 

What though from the hills, when we first know the Lowlands, 
The .Lowlander greets us with sneer and with jest ; 

Oft times when the bark is the roughest and hardest, 
The pith is the soundest, the wood is the beci. 

O this is the country that bore the brave fellows, 

High-hearted in purpose, heroic in deed. 
Who stood like a rampart from danger to shield us. 

Whose help never failed in the hour of our need. 

O these were the stout ones whose mettle was tested 
On red field of battle and fierce swelling fiood, 

Still forward to strike and still slow to surrender. 
Till they shed from their veins th« last drop of their blood. 

these are true gentlemen, breed of the mountains, 
Whom all bonnie lassies will meet with a smile, 

And welcome them home with a voice of endearment, 
Tibat sweetens their sorrows, and lightens their toil ! 

Seasons may roll, but no Time shall divorce me 
From the land and the people, the light of mine eyes ; 

And memory never shall drop from her quiver^ 
The words I take with me from lips of the wise. 

And though I should wander far west to the Indies, 
Where Uie green isles uprise from the clear coral bed. 

Be my rest 'neath a sod in the land of the heather, 
And a cairn of grey granite be piled on my head ! 



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46 MODBRN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

My bleBsinsr be with yon, brave land and brave people ! 

In the bright roll of story is blazoned yoar name ; 
And may the fair fame of oar forefathers never 

Be blurred with dishonour, or blotted with shame. 

MARRIAGE SONG— MISS CAMPBELL OF LOCHNELL. 

My love is a lady, my love is a Campbell, 
And she has come back to the Highlands again ; 

For the blood will run thin in the veins of a Campbell 
When away from the heather that purples the Ben. * 

Mid the pomp of huge London her heart still was yearning 
For her home in the corrie, the crag, and the g[len ; 

Though fair be the daughters of England, the fairest 
And stateliest walks in the land of the Ben. 

What poet may praise her ? her virtues to number 
Would baffle the cunning of pencil or pen ; 

Though fair be the casket, the jewel is fairer — 
The best of true hearts for the best of good men. 

She is comely and kind, and of gracefulest greeting. 
Erect and well-girt as a Campnell should show, 

And a heart with warm blood, and a pulse ever beating. 
With loving reply to the high and the low. 

Long ages have gone since the sires of thy people 
First pitched at Ardmucnas their tents on the shore, 

When Diarmad himself, with his spear and his harness, 
0*er the heights of the Garvaird gave chase to the boar. 

The swan on the loch that belongs to thy peoi^e 
Made vocal the billow to welcome thee home. 

And Mucaim and Benderloch shouted together, 
** The Campbells are coming, the Campbell is come !" 

THE POSTBOY. 

The postboy comes, the postboy comes ! 

I see him on the road, 
With, on his back of weighty news, 

I wis a goodly load ! 
Full many a careful clouded eye, 

That wept a cheerless lot, 
Will brighten up that hour, I ween, 

When he unties his knot ! 

There's many a heart that's joyful now. 

And gay with flaunting show, 
That post will dash them to the ground. 

And whelm in waves of woe. 



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JOHN CAMPBKLL. 47 

With careless step the postboy comes, 

And dusts along the track, 
But little thinks what weight of care 

He bears upon his back ! 

All eyes are strained to see him come, 

And hope with fear doth sway, 
For news of death that he may bring, 

Or tax, or rent to pay ; 
For news of bargain firmly stnick, 

Uf promise loosely broken, 
Of faith that blossomed into joy. 

Of faithless lover's token. 

A letter comes to that fair maid. 

That for three months and more 
Has wept her loye, who wandered far. 

Beyond the Atlantic roar ^ 
And now he writes that all is well. 

And he has geld in store ; 
And she shall daim to share his bliss 

On San Francisco's shore. 

A letter comes that darker makes 

That mother's clouded brow ; 
If she did fear before, her fear 

Shall flood in sorrow now ! 
Her son, her dear, her only son — 

The bravest in the land ; 
Her sailor boy lies breathless now, 

Wrecked on the far sea strand I 

How mild was he, how blythe and free, 

Light heart and manly brow ; 
His mother's pride and prop, her sting 

Of sharpest s6rro'w now ! 
How many a night she sleepless lies. 

With this her only joy. 
To tell the story to ner neart, 

Of her poor sailor boy. 

But why should I go on to tell 

What hath no end of telling, 
What gladness springs from every post. 

What founts of grief are welling. 
There's many a man of grief to-day, 

This night will staunch his sorrow ; 
There's many a son of pride to-night. 

Will kiss the sod to-morrow. 

The post, the post I never see 

But in my heart I ponder, 
What bright surprisai here may be, 

Whikt red wound bleeding yonder ! 



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48 MODERN SOOmSH POSTS. 

Whil6 to my Father-God on high, 
I lift the prayer that He, 

With helpful grace may still be nigh, 
Even as my need may be ! 



ALEXANDER DRUMMOiSrD 

MAS born in 1843. His ybuthfal days were 
8pen|} m GlenHervie, in the romantic region 
of Torwood, in the parish of Larbert, Stirlingshire. 
At an early age the Muse seems to have visited him, 
and Torwood, with its historic memories did much 
perhaps to develop the poetic fkculty in him, and 
shape his character into one of more than ordinary 
force and independence. In opening manhood he 
with his family removed to Springfield Farm, in the 
parish of Bothkennar, where for a year or more he 
followed the plough and wrote verses. He then 
entered a shipping office in the neighbouring port of 
Grangemouth, where his capacity fbr business made 
itself apparent. From Grangemouth he went to 
Konigsberg, in Prussia, v^^here he studied German. 
While there his health, which before had been fail- 
ing, broke down, and he returned home. Subse- 
quently he entered the office of Mr R. P. Newton, 
land steward to the Earl of Zetland. But his days 
were numbered ; he had to struggle, too, with a fail- 
ing faith, for the rampant Rationalism of Konigsberg 
led him to question many things he had before 
firmly believed. ** He fought the spectres of the 
mind ; " the struggle was severe, but he triumphed 
in the end. Thus passed away in his twenty-seventh 
year a life of much goodness and t-are promise. 

Mr Druinmond was well read in the poets, and he 
himself wielded a ready and an able pen. Had he 



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ALEXANDER DRUICMOND. 49 

lived longer, he might have attained distinction in 
some branch' of literature. From a len^hy and very 
thoughtful poem — '* Evedale " — ^we give :a quotation 
entitled ''Memory." This poem is much superior to 
his miscellaneous verses, and shows that he possessed 
the poetic faculty in no common degree. His shorter 
pieces are unequal, but all his productions show 
accurate scholarly t^ste, and a fine imagination. 

TO LBONORB. 

Fairest maiden, beauty laden, 

Llglit and air)r as a fay, 

Gmtering earls, teeth of pearls, 

Eve»as bnifht as day ; ' 

when the summer brings the hammer 

Of the golden etore, 

Wilt than prove me if I love thee, 

Blu*^y«4 iieonore ? 

Violeta sleeping, lilies weeping. 
Tears in glittering moonshine 
Cannot charm me, or disarm me. 
Like these- orbs of thine, 
Peering deeply, streaming sweetly, 
Mjr^ieart o'ev and o'er>; 
mlt thou prove me if I love thee. 
Bright eyed Leonore T 

Charming maiden, beauty laden, 
' Blushing, laughing like the dawn. 
Gaily tripping, lightly skipping 
As an airy fawn ; 

Thou hast wound my heart around thee. 
Ever more and more. 
Wilt thou prove me if I love thee, 
Bloe eyed i«onore ? 

THE INVALID'S FAREWELL. 

Why does my bosom beat so high. 
Why do my limbs thus shake with fear, 
Is it because I soon must die 
And leave all those behind so dear ? 
Adieu fair earth, ere long I must 
To thee resign my aching clay. 
Soon shall this body press the dust. 
To loathsome filthy worms a prey. 



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50 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Adiea ye woods where oft I've stray'd, 
From you for ever now I'm torn ; 
Thou grassy hill on which I play'dy 
And lightly skipped in childhood's morn. 
Adieu to valley, dell, and hill, 
To thee, thou ever stormy tide, 
And to the gently purling rill 
That gurgles down the mountain side. 

Adieu, adieu bright orb of day. 

Thou m on tltat shroud'st the world in sleep, 

Ye stars that deck the milky way 

And nightly happy vigils keep. 

Again, again I bid adieu, 

A long farewell— my poise beats low, 

And down my forehead pale the dew — 

The chilly dew of death, doth flow. 

Who can my inward horrors tell. 
Dark visions hover o'er my bed, 
Mad spectres furious round me yell 
And dance around my swimming head ; 
Methinks I hear the distant wtJl, 
The far off distant shriek of woe 
That rises faintly on the gale 
Where Lethe's sullen waters flow. 

Bring me a sweet and fragrant flower, 
TwiU light ray gloom and cheer me now ; 
Pluck me fresh roses from my bower. 
And bind them round my throbbing brow. 
Hush, hush, my troubled heart be still. 
Be calm again my raving breast. 
Submit thou to thy Maker's will. 
To Him that soothes the soul distressed. 

God of my days, God of my life, 
To Thee I trembling lift mine eye. 
Quell and subdue this inward strife, 
And guide me when I've come to die ; 
Lead me beyond the realms of time. 
Where nought intrudes to mar our bliss. 
To heaven that bright and happy clime 
Of sweetest, purest loveliness. 

MEMORY 

Spirit of the subtle power, 
Garlanded by thorn and flower. 
Grave recorder of the past, 
Full thy burning radiance cast ; 



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ALEXANDEB DBUMMOND. 51 

On the page my life hath writ, 
Pour thy fiery beam on it, 
Tho' revealing many a spot, 
Blurred by darkling word and thought ; 
Bead hours passed in hopeless mood, 
Dead days vacant of the good ; 
Duty's martyred Tisage numb. 
Starting like ghout from heaving tomb ; 
Rise, I reck not, come to me. 
Illume my soul, great Memory I 

Who art thou ? where dost thou dwell ? 
On the shores or wiMs forlorn ? 
Comes thy voice at curfew bell ? 
Gomes it on the soul of morn ? 
Whetstone of the immortal mind, > 
In her dingy walls confined^ 
Polish thou her edge again. 
Clear-eyed goddess, take thy reign. 

Where wert thou when earth was laid 
Swelt'ring on the liquid deep ? 
When from long abysmal sleep 
Shot the light through chaos' shade ; 
Ere the sun and moon began. 
Ere uprose the primal rtian ; 
Ere Echo's voice first woke from far. 
With the shout of morning star ; 
Lo ! thy brows of eld declare. 
Rings of ages circled there. 
Tell me, have I helpless come. 
Aimless out of nothing's womb. 
Like a waif on ocean lost. 
By remorseless billows tossed, 
One short day to live, and then 
Plunged in nothing's womb again. 
Rather say that first I came 
From the Mighty forger's flame, 
At his anvil in the dark, 
Forth I leapt a living spark ; 
Essence of the future me, 
Thro' resistless circles flying ; 
Chained by Law all death defying. 
Destined higher still to be ; 
But a stepping stone is this, 
But a wormy chrysalis, 
Yet on glory wings to spring 
From the depths of suffering. 
To the Heights by angels trod, 
More of man and more of God. 



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52 MOPXB^. SC0TTI3E POBTS. 

ThoQ wilt not ans-wer tUo' I cry. 
All is dark and draped in cloud ; 
Wrap thee in thy uiystio shrpud. 
Set tnv dreauvy mirror nigh, 
BeTeal to me the solemn woods 
Where pale Contemplation broods ; . 
Apple orchards, lambkins' bleat. 
Breath of kine in meadows sweet, 
Crow of cock. and caw of rook, 
Voice of laughter, loving brook ; 
Children round the cottage door. 
Lost— ah lo8it— for evermore ! 
Gathered by maternal. care, 
Hushed in tones of holiest prayer, 
Till the soul with a sweet woe 
Brimming feels ber overflow. 

Ascend we ndw that mount whose head 
StarcB aghast at sky and sea, 
With the fringe of mist o'erspread, 
Like a giant pleepUy , 
Starting from some horrid dream ; 
And the waves below do seem 
Like a thousand snakes, I wiss, 
Flick'ring high with wavy hiss, 
Their tongues of death around his feet ; 
His sides are bare and ktained with blood ; 
Hark what sound skips over the flood I 
Ever and aye I hear the beat 
Of a drum at intervals ; 
Booming along the bottomless deep. 
Heavily ^n the heart it falls, 
Making the blood to pause and creep 
List'ning in the veins, — ^and d ety 
From the ghost of a doomed despair. 
Winging its w^y thro* a lonely sky- 
Nevermore rest for its weary foot--- 
WaUs, while a thousand meteors shoot 
Thorough witb intermittent glare. 

Hush ! methinks the sky grows calm. 
And the stars look down in peace. 
All the vampire noises cease, 
And a bell of Sabbath tolls ; 
Mounts to list'ning Gk>d a psalm — 
Like a unison of souls — 
Win^d, disembodied, shriven. 
Beating at the gate of heaven. 

Memory, thy glass is dim > 
And thy torch flares faint and low ; 
Dead forms on the surface swim 
Darkly to and fro. 



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OBOBOB W. LBTAOK. 53 

Crlsf Uie iniiisMnes that wppear 
On time's lake ; too oft I hear 
Drops of fiery rain ; 
Has ^e unknown more of tears, 
From a vision of past years, 
Have I hope to gain ? 



GEOEQE W. LEVACB:, 

TJYnjIOK, has, in various respects, heen an anfor- 
\L\k% tunate son of the muse, and his efforts have 
been attended hy a train of adverse circumstances 
and depressing stirroundings. He was bom in Glas- 
gow, in 1846, kiid when about six years of age, on 
the death of his father, he was sent to live with two 
old aunts at Tanetstown, in the vicinity of Wick, 
Here'he remained till the death of his relatives, 
when he removed to Bankhead, in the same neigh- 
bourhood. He received a very meagre education, 
and never having learned any trade, although he 
served for a short time as a taUor, and afterwards to 
the blacksmith business, he at present is obliged to 
depend on the pittance of the Parochial Board for a 
living. He has contributed frequently to the local 
papers, and in 1882 he published a little volume of 
poems, with a portrait, and dedicated to Garden Duff 
Dunbar, Esq. of Hempriggs, from whom he has 
received much kindness. In this effort he was also 
assisted and encouraged by the editor of the 
Northern Ensign, In his preface he says: — "My 
poor unrefined muse has been regarded favourably ; 
uud now that I have ventured to scatter my rhyming 
wares abroad through the circles of society — launch 
my humble volume upon the stormy ocean of litera- 
ture — I hope they wiU not only be patronized, but 



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54 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

appreciated. My muse has oftentimes turned my 
calamities into blessings. There is no dungeon so , 
deep or so dark, but a poem or a song will sing one 
out of. Poetry, I can safely say for my part, has 
been its own * exceeding great reward.' It has made 
me more refined, more feeling, more submissive, 
more patient, under many bitter disappointments 
and trials — nay, in ten thousand ways has this 
celestial spirit of the skies been a comfort to me — 
coming with a light more fair by far than that which 
is seen on sea or shore, and raising for the time 
being my soul nearer to God, to heayen, to all that 
is pure, unselfish, and above the grovelling and the 
earthly." 

Although lacking in some respects simplicity of 
motive and melody of expression, Mr Levack's senti- 
ments are always pure. In the natural objects with 
which he is surrounded, he has found no lack of 
topics, and he has been most successful in his treat- 
ment of the traditional and historic, for which he 
cherishes a warm veneration. 



THE OLD MAN OF WICK. 

The 01(1 Man of Wick, from his rocky height, 

Looks out on the billo\^ sea — 
Deserted and lone and stripped of his might, 

Yet a usef al old ruin is he. 

For the iishermen, drench'd by briny foam, 

Descries this beacon from far — 
He rejoices to think he's nearing his home, 

A nd he names it his gui^iing star. 

Oft many a shriek has the Old Man heard. 

From the drowning fishermen near, 
When MO help was at hand, nor human regard, 

As they closed their earthly career. 

And stones have roll'd down from the rugged height- 
'Twas the tears which the Old Man shed — 

As his watch he kept through the stormy night 
O'er the fisherman's watery bed. 



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GBOBOE W. LEYAOK. 56 

What a long varied tale these walls could reveal, 

Were each stone to speak for an hour ; 
Bat hoary old Time has imprinted his seal, 

And mote is the ruinous tower. 

Flazen haired Norsemen, our ancestors bold. 

Held revel within these old walls ; 
The sparisling wine flow'd at these festivals old. 

And rude mirth rang through its halls. 

In ages long past there dwelt in this place, 

A lady most charmingly fair. 
The sweetest, ani purest, and last of her race, 

And no one with her conld compare. 

Soon the " Black Chief of Keiss covets this flower. 

And forthwith demands her his bride ; 
Bat his offer is scorned, though mighty his power, 

Whom no one had dared or defied. 

Can the lamb and the lion in harmoby dwell ? 

Can the dove and serpent agree ? 
So far this fair maid the chief doth excel — 

A base-hearted villain was he. 

For he called to his side a rude-hearted horde. 

With their souls as stem as cold fate, 
Resolv'd to destroy Oldwiok's tower and its lord. 

As they breathed forth vengeance and hate. 

The grim work was done— ^good Oliphant fell, 

With all his brave band, in their gore ; 
Bat the daughter's death no mortal could tell, 

And the *' Black Chief saw her no more. 

When the tempest howls around the old tower. 

And the billows are crested with white, 
Then a fair spectre form, at midnip^ht's lone hour, 

StiU haunts the grey ruins by night. 

What changes, along with the flight of the years, 

Has the Old Man of Wick withstood : 
Still proudly he stands among his compeers, 

And laughs at the storm and flood. 

Then still be a guide to the fisherman bold. 

Far out on the heaving main ; 
Perform thy grand ui^dion, thou ancient stronghold. 

And long as a landmark remain. 

THE FISHERMAN. 

I love to see our fishers bold, 

For brawny men are they. 
Who brave the ocean's depth untold. 

Where mighty monsters play. 



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56 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Each fishfaig omft, with lail wide set, 
Speeds o'tsr the mighty main— 

This busy scene Aone can forget — 
Each bent on honest gain. 

In oilskins and sou*- wester dressed, 

Be hastens to the quay : 
His large seaboots, capluiibus breaht, 

With pride X love to see. 
While thus attired, I gase on him, 

So manly, fre^, and brave, 
With tawny faoe^ sunburnt and grim, 

Who toils upon the wave. 

From twilight grev till momiftg^ Ujtht, 
^ He's out upon the deep, 
Catching the finny prize each night 

While we are fast asleep. 
At home his wif^, with anxious care, 

Prays for his safe return-^ 
** Thou who did'st wind and sea prepare, 

His loss let me not mourn." 

His fishing ^ear and tidy craft 

Are pleasing to the view — 
At Neptune's wrath they i^fthav^kMigh'd 

When he the billows threw 
Around them in tempestuburrage ; 

Like open graves tney seemed ; 
The lowering sky no fear assuAge 

As loud the storm- wind scream'd. 

Vet we have seen the Ocean King 

In sullen mood arise, 
Our herring fleet to pieces fling 

Before our tearful eyes. 
The manly form of fishers brave 

Have sunk to rise no more ; 
Great ocean's depths have proved a grave 

To many of our shore. 

Thou, who dost hold the ocean vast 

Within Thy mighty hand, 
Around them may I'hy arms be cast, 

And bring each boat to land ; 
Then, tilled with grateful hearts to Thee, 

A song of praise shall rise 
From these brave toilers of the sea— 

Their noblest sacrifice. 



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JOHN DEKHAM. 57 



JOHN DBNHAM 

f^S a natiye of Edinburgh, and is the eldest son 
^ of a mexohaat there. He was ediRMited at a 
private academy and Gborge Watson's OoUege, 
served a term of years in an assoranoo office, and is 
presently secretary to the Scottish Liberation Sodety . 
Many of his pieces 'have appeared in ''the poets' 
corner " of the newspapers, and they are generally 
of a reflective nature. They are highly melodious 
and neat in ei^pression, and l&hoW a warm feeling to 
all that is true and beautifal in. Nature <and in man- 
kind. 

BY T.HE'SBA. 

On a summer eve reclining 

'Neftth the cliifs beside. th» em, 
While the setting sun was shining 

On the billows rolling tree, 
• Ai^the sfllaehing of ther wavelets, 

As thev broke upon the strtkhd, 
Seemed like strMns of liqfQidTninic 

From a far-ofif, foreign land. 

There, mebhought/ amid the falling 

Of the waters on the shore, 
I did near a voice soft callinvr, 

As I ne'er had heard before. 
And laasweredin my ai»iiig. 

For the tone I seemed to kn6w, 
When the voice responded to me. 

And the sound was sweet and low, 

'* Why so sadly bv the ocean. 

All alone dost thou recline, 
Is it that thy heart's devotion 

Bids thee worship at this shrine ; 
Or do longings strongly draw thee 

Here so oft thy time to spend. 
Where thy willing thoughts mav wander 

After him, thine absent friend ?" 

As these words from oat thd dcean 

Stole uuon my wond'rlng eiir, 
Fain wonld I my hearted emotton 

Have controlled, yet 'twas not fear 



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58 MODBBN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Made me tremble, as I listened 

To the queries from the sea, 
For the tones they did resemble 

Those of one most dear to me. 

Then, I sought, in this my dreaming, 

To the voice to make reply, 
But the sea-birds, wildly screaming 

Round the white cliffs, towering high. 
Woke me from my waking day-dream, 

And upon the pebbly shore, 
Once again I heard the wavelets 

Breaking, but the voice no more. 

APRIL. 

A beauteous maid 
Who dwells amid fair amaranthine bowers 

Descends, arrayed 
In rainbow vestments, to this world of ours. 

Earth still is dank 
With the dissolving of the winter's snows ; 

No mossy bank 
Can she descry on which she may repose. 

She weeps to find 
No flowers yet bloom, beside the flowing rills. 

Her tears are kind, 
For soon along the vales and on the hills 

The flow'rets spring 
Awakened b^ her sorrow thu^ outpoured. 

And quickly fling 
A garland at her feet with beauty stored. 

She smiles to see 
The budding treasures, and her sunny looks 

She finds to be 
Most potent, for although in sheltered nooks 

They most abound. 
The op'ning flowern, responsive, lift their heads 

And cluster round 
The gentle maid, where'er her light foot treads. 

With loving hand 
She wakes the woodlands, as she trips along ; 

And soon the land 
Is tilled with sweetest fragrance and with song. 

Then as a fay 
Must leave when daybreak tints the eastern sky, 

The approach of May 
Compels her to depart, but with a sigh. 



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JOHN DSNHAIC 69 

FEIENDSHIPa 

Friendships, like streams, are seldom free from ohaDge, 

For in their coarse thro* varied scenes they range. 

As streams that now are gliding gently on 

Thro' fairest, richest landscapet, and anon. 

As in the mountain fastness of the Gael. 

No longer slow mean'dring thro' the vale. 

Leaping and dashing, spuming in their pride 

The grim rocks' aid, as from the mountain side. 

With one great bound, their floods impetuous flow — 

Springs on the air, to dash in foam below. 

Some mongst the hill-tops of our youth arise, 

When life's fair morn illumes cerulean skies. 

Then hopes are bright and hearts are free from care, 

For gladsome youth finds sunshine everywhere — 

Its snoots of merriment, its sportive ^lee. 

From life's corroding cares proclaim it free ; 

But not for along are life's fair heavens aglow— 

The hand-sized clou<i appears, the wind sighs low. 

The sunshine wanes, the sky is quick o'ercast, 

And fierce and strong sweeps down the raging Uast. 

The tiny cloud — a thoughtless word or slight ; 

The sighing wind — the wounded spirit's fight ; 

The fading glow— the oft averted nead ; 

The darkened sky— the mind with spleen o'erspread ; 

The ruthleds storm— ^the rush of anger'n tide. 

That carries hate and malice far and wide. 

Some join the current of our lives when we. 

Like river winding thro' a flower decked lea. 

Speed calmly on adown the vale of time— 

Our lives, harmonious as a silver chime 

Of tinkling bells, borne faintly on the breexe 

That fans the flowers and whispers to the trees. 

Few that together leave the green hiUside 

Of youthful days united long abide, 

For as adown the hill of life they run, 

Bright as the waters sparkling 'neath the sun, 

Estrangeiiients rise, as rocks that streams divide. 

And then dissevered, far apart they glide. 

But tho' there are but few that constant prove 

From early youth, still, as we onward move, 

The friendships formed in our maturer years 

Are broken oft, and what moi»t real appears 

Oft, like a dream that fills the mind by day, 

Fleets like the clouds or fades like mist away ; 

Or, as the riUs born of a thunder-shower. 

Rises and falls within a passing hour. 

Then let us prise those who in times of need 
Have shown that friendship's ties are bonds indeed- - 
Bonds formed not for convenience alone 
(Buch fast'nings circle only hearts of utone), 



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to MODBBN^ Sdot^IftH' POETS. 

Bat gordian knots, entwined fn Heaven above, 
Sealed with the sigrnet of the God of Love. 



JAMES AIETH 

^8 an Arbroath poet, and was bom in 1804. 
^ His father died when he was in his sixth 
year, leaving a widow and two sons, of whom the 
sabjeot of our sketch was tho elder. Thus early in 
life the battle with adversity began, whieh in after 
years had fipequently ' to be fought. When quite 
young he showed more than average intelligence, 
and his teacher recommended that he should be edu- 
cated for the Church, but while zealously directing 
his studies, he died before the pupU had com- 
pleted his elementary education, and nothing came 
of the proposal. Our poet was a^preuliced to a baker, 
and after serving his apprenticeship in Arbroa<)h, he 
worked for a short time as a journeyman in Aberdeen. 
When quite a young man he commenced business on 
his own account — ^rst in Inverkeillor, and afterwards 
in Arbroath. While in the latter place he got into 
difficulties, and lost whatever means he had managed 
to acquire. Again he tried business on a small scale 
at Inverkeillor, where he remained for hine years, 
and where, as on the occasion of his first attempt, he 
succeeded in making a little money. About this 
time a relative died, leaving James some property, 
with the proceeds of which, and his own savings, he 
made up his mind to try farming. With this 
view he offered for different farms, but unsuccess- 
fully. The Arbroath aiid Foifiar Railway having 
then opened, he applied for and obtained a situation 
in that Company's service as'istationmaster. He was 



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appointed to. Auldbar, and, the Direotgn, having 
erected an inn at that station, induced, hiz^ . to 
become innkeeper also. To this he gave a , yerj 
reluctant consent. Having no knowledge of, nor 
taste for the business, the speculation was an unfor- 
tunate one, for. within two years he lost his little 
capital. On giving up the inn, he had to 
resign his situation a^. stationmaster,. and, with his 
wife and a large family, he was again in difficulties. 
He recommenoBd the baking business — ^thjfi time in 
Friockjieim, and for two years he did well,, but the 
owners of the property, who were also bakers, sum- 
marily, resumed possession of the premises, of which 
Mr Airth . had no lease, and this fresh . misfortune 
was to him a great blow. Applying to the Hall- 
way Company for employment, he was. appointed 
agent at.&lasterUw* then a junction station, where 
he remained for. nearly two years. But here again 
his ill-luck followed him, for, it haying been decided 
to make Guthrie the junction instead of Glasterlaw, 
the latter station was discontinued ; and no opening 
being found for Mr Airth in lieu of this, he was 
again left out in the cold. 

He resumed the baking trade in Friockheim, but 
this time not so successfully as on former occasions, 
and after a struggle with ill-health and insufficient 
capital, his difficulties and disappointments got the 
better of him, and the business was finally given up. 
His next venture was toll-keeping, first at Forebank, 
near Brechin, and afterwards at Greystone, near 
Dundee. While at the latter place, he fell heir to a 
small legacy ; and having more than once thought of 
trying his fortune abroad, this piece of good luck 
enabled him to carry out his wish. So, in 1854, he, 
with his family, left Dundee for New Brunswick. 
On his arrival, he made arrangements with the 
GK>vemment for a farm of six hundred acres in 
Annandale Settlement, where, with the assistance, of 



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62 MODVBN SCOTTISH POETS. 

his eldest son, a promising young man, then in his 
twenty-sixth year, and who had been bred to the 
millwright business, a clearance was made, and a 
dwelling-house erected. When these preliminaries 
had been effected, the sod referred to went to 
Fredricktown and engaged in business as an en- 
gineer, in order, if possible, to add to the family 
capital, and so acquire a larger acreage for cultiva- 
tion. 

Meantime our poet, with the aid of the other 
members of the family, toiled day and night in order 
to make the new speculation a success. Such 
laborious work, to which he was unaccustomed, 
acting on an already enfeebled constitution, led him. 
to ask his eldest son to rejoin him in order to carry 
on the farming operations. But fresh misfortune 
awaited him, for this sod, to whose as»stance he 
had looked forward so eagerly, was seized with 
diptheria, and died after ao illness of only two days. 
This was a terrible blow to the father, and for a time 
he was quite prostrate with grief, bordering on 
despair. 

Being quite unequal to the work of farming his 
land without the aid of the son referred to, he placed 
it in other hands, and took a situation as clerk in a 
store in Fredricktown, where he stayed but a short 
time, removing afterwards to St John, where he 
remained for four years struggling with ill-health. 
Findiog that he would never again be able to do 
anything in the way of farming, he disposed of his 
lot, and acting on medical advice, he returned to 
Scotland, arriving in Dundee in the summer of 1859. 

Shattered in health, and without the prospect of 
retrieving his former position, he did not again 
attempt to get into business, but contented himself 
with doiug any odd jobs for which his enfeebled 
constitution enabled him. He died in Dundee, in 
1870. 



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JAMBS AntTH. 63 

If the life of Airth cannot be called erentful in 
the sensational sense of the term, it was one which 
exhibited a continued struggle with misfortune, not 
brought about by any misconduct on his part, 
for he led a most exemplary life, and he is remem- 
bered and lovingly spoken of by friends. He 
was of an exceedingly sensitive temperament, 
and any reverses he met with affected him very 
acutely. His troubles give us a key to the bitterness 
and despondency which permeate much that he has 
written. He commenced to write verses at a very 
early age, but these being merely for the gratifica- 
tion of his own tastes, or for the entertainment of his 
friends, he made no attempt to preserve what he 
wrote. It was only in deference to • the urgent 
request of his friends that, in 1848, he consented 
to publish several of his pieces in a volume entitled 
** Maud's Dream, and Various Minor Poems." 

''Maud's Dream'' is a deeply interesting legend 
of the olden time. The story is entirely imaginative, 
having no foundation in historical or traditional 
fact. The plot is admirably managed, and the 
denott^ment woll oonceived. It shows that the author 
not only possessed original talBnt, hut had read with 
appreciation the productions of our best poets. 
The period during which the events recorded are 
presumed to have occurred is placed shortly after 
Edgar acquired his disputed right to the Crown of 
Scotland as legal successor to his father, the cele- 
brated Malcolm Oanmore. The first scene is laid in 
Montreathmont Muir, in Forfarshire, where Glen- 
dochart, an exile chief, has his abode, and where 
Maud, his wife, has an extraordinary dream, the 
recital of which, and what follows thereon, forms the 
groundwork of the piece. His manuscript volumes 
also contain other poems of oonsiJerable length, and 
are well worth preserving. The quotations we give 



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64 MODEBK SCOTTISH POETS. 

are not from, his published works, but ape e9.tji];ely 
taken frbin his manuscript volumes. 

Mi^ Airth wrote very little in the Scottish dialect, 
but the following verses, which we extract from a 
long, poem, will show that, had he cultivated .this 
style, li^s productions would have been an acceptable 
contribution to our Scottish Muse. In the poem from 
which we quote, an old man is supposed to be 
addressing tl^ie poet, and is comparing present times 
with 

THE GOOD OLD DAYS. 

See^Bt thou yon brae o* bracken bronn, 
Jnat whare the eTenin'; sun'a gane doun , 
Ayont the howe, tbere stands a ruin 

Whar yon may see, 
AtweeB ye an* the sky, the croon 

0' spreadin' tree. 

There stan*8 a rtiefu* sioht I ween. 
Four roofless wa's, whare first my een 
I opened on thip earthjy scene ; 

It wakes my tears 
To think that there my liame has been 

FpK seventy years. 

An* to be driven, as shepherd ca*s 
His bleatin* flock, frae the anld wa*s, 
When life's gray gloamin' round me fa*s 

Wi' deep*nin* shade. 
An' want's caula north wind nippin* blaws 

Aroond my head, 

Say is it no enench to sink 

The man that's totterin* on the brink 

O' the dark grave, and brak' the link' 

That weds the mind , 
To mortal clay, how sad to think 

This noo I find. 

But view^the country round about 

Whare waves the com, whare graze the noM^, 

An' mony a trace you will find out 

Whare dwalt of yore 
Th^ banish'd race, whase helpless lot 

I noo deplore. 



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JAM1S8 AIRTH. 66 

Amid the fallows trigly tfll'd, 

Or *maiig the corn in eiome bm«d fieldf 

Or where the owsen seek a bield 

'Neath the lone tree — 
Uiftorian sad— there stands rereal'd 

Antiquity. 

The lonely spreading boughs denote 
Where stood the hamlet or the oot, 
Where oahn contentment dwalt, I wot. 

In lang |>aSt days, 
0* whilk mankind noo tak nae note, 

Sa^ to despise. 

Tis nae uncommon thing to hear 
O' twa-tbree walthy farmers share 
A. parish hale, an' nane to spare 

To a pnir cottar 
To girse a coo, a family care 

For milk an' batter. 



O' meal a^d maut we had nae lack, 
An' gteya an' wincies for dor hack 
Withoot machinery we did mak', 

And aye contentit, 
Tho' in oor purse whOes ne'er a plack. 

An' gey hard stentet. 

Folk then had peace to live, and leisnre 
To sweeten life wi' harmlera pleasure ; 
And if they had nae muckle treasure 

They didna heed it. 
Their rigs supplied sufficient measure 

O' a' they needit. 

Tre seen when twa freen*s met thegither 
In fine and sunny sunitner weather, 
On some grey stane amang the heather, 

Or ower a stile, 
Hand the snufif-mull to ane anither 

Three lang hours hale. 

An' fairs an' trysts they aye freqnanted, 
Tho' naething they particular wanted ; 
At ilka bridal blythe they ranted, 

An' lap an' flang, 
And ower the nappy ale'descanted 

Wi' tale and sang. 



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C6 MODBRN SCOTTISH POETS. 

O, but the happy days of yore, 
Their mtickle loss I maun deglore, 
Sic times again will come no more 

To glad the land. 
The gowd nno grasped, a needfu* store, 
.Bears hale command. 

What happy meetings I hae seen, 
What sports at gloamin' on the green, 
What New Year joys, what Hallowe'en, 

At mill and smiddy, 
What fun, what cheer, wi* Kirkton Jean, 

Ower ale and toddy. 

What fiddlin' whan the corn cam' in, 
What rants whan lasses met to spin^ 
At bridals blythe what liltin* din 

That noo nae mair 
Gies the sad heart a lift within 

'Bune dowie care. 

Folk lived and de'd.where they were bred. 
Their native acres then them fed, 
Wi' their ain 'oo' they still were cled. 

And as they wanted 
The tree in age that gave them shade 

In youth they'd planted. 

They saw their weans grow up around them, 
An' near themselves a mailen found them, 
Even where their ain hill summits bound them 

They saw arise 
Their bairns* bairns, as still they own'd them 

Wi' tender ties. 

Then sure as on the mountain grew 
The stately oak or tow'ring yew, 
On native soil thejr only knew 

Life s passing day, 
And at its solemn eve withdrew 

To kindred clay. 



A DROP OF DEW. 

Sow bright in the sunbeam little drop of dew. 

Still twinkling, twinkling, ever fair to view ; 

From whence comest thon— and how hither borne ; 
Say owest thou thy birth, 
To the teeming womb of earth, 

Or camest thou unseen on the wings of the morn ? 



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JAMBS AIRTH. 67 

How short is thy stay, thou little drop of dew, 

While I gaze then art gone, alas, from my view ; 

As thon earnest thou hast gone — but who thy coarse unfold, 

O ! say didst thou fly. 

On a sunbeam to the sky, 
Some evening cloud to deck with heavenly gold. 

Or nobler Rtill, in that galaxy bright. 
Soon to shine in all the fair charms of light, 
When Iris in glory bends his heavenly bow, 

On the far stretching shroud 

Of some dark showery cloud. 
While mankind are gazing with wonder below. 

So ponder frail man, ! learn to be wise, 

Nor mean things deem worthless, nor things small despise, 

In a little drop of dew on the flower of the sod, 

Even as In the rays 

Of yon source of circling days 
Appears th' hand of an omnipresent God. 

Still let thee my soul fair virtue pursue, 

Still taintless and pure like the bright drop of dew. 

Then like its first course on a sunbeam on high. 

Thou wilt wing thy way 

From this house of clay 
To regions immortal of bliss in the sky. 

ADDRESS TO THE MUSE. 

Say what shall be the strain celestial power. 
In scene so calm in this most hallowed hour, 
- When solemn evening reigns — when twih'ght grey. 
With sombre wing broods o'er declining day : 
For now again my soul transported burns— 
Thy heavenly charm resistless still returns. 
Methinks I hear thy tuneful voice reply. 
More soft than when beneath the vernal sky, 
Zephyrus fawns Flavonious' virgin charms, 
And lengthening day great nature's bosom warms. 

son beloved, thou who in youth and age. 
With varied song hast 'lom'd the letter'd page, 
Must know that when I wake the tuneful string, 
And teach frail man the heavenly art to sing. 
All things alike with native charms appear. 
Though not all charming to the partial ear, 

By me inspired, or high or low the theme. 
The claim is equal still, though not the fame. 

Then let me sing of tbee, as oft forlorn, 

1 trode unknown, in flatteriniyf youth's fair morn, 
Wit'i treniblinor hand, nnd fervent virgin fire, 

To wake the music of the sacred lyre : 



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C8 MOD£KN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

And though not ardent less when evening grey, 
With darkening shade broods o*er decJiuinR.day, 
The flight of years hy long experience taught 
Comes to my aid mature with wisdom fraught, 
Bat though less fervent were the tuneful sound, 
It must more nobly swell, if more pro|ound< — 

Begone ye mortal cares— ye hopes, ye fears, 
So long the source of bitter signs and tears, 
Or at the best but flattering airy forms, 
Or calms, prophetic of apfiroaching storms. 
Come to my soul like sunsfaine after rain, 
That wakes the roiieio of the vernal plain : 
Come to my soul with thy celestial lay, 
And chant the strliihs of immortality— 
With transport fired, delectable to hear — 
Such as blest spirits sing in happier sphere, 
Where vice and woe, and avarice are ubknown. 
Where thou dost reign immortal and alone. 

O ! early doom*d the ills of life to know, — 

Sad sorrow's sigh, the bitter tear of woe : 

To lonelv sylvan haunts T often stble. 

To breathe unknown the sorrows of my soul— 

To monrn that no kind hand vouchsard to aid. 

That while cold pity mock'd, frail friendship fled. 

Thou, only thou, O Muse, relieved my care, 

Thou, only thou, repeird forlorn despair. 

Before nie now that distant day appears, 

Through the long vista of departed years ; 

When sick of life, in melancnoly mood, 

I siinght relief from woe in solitude. 

When, like some outcast driven by fate to roam, 

Through hostile scenes remote without a home, 

Where all seem'd wrapt in threat'ning gloom and woe. 

And every passing form a secret foe : 

When without aim, as by some spirit led. 

From haunts of men to solitude I fled. 

Between two jutting heads there bending lay. 
Bright in the solar beam, a pleasant bay, 
To which with gentle slope the lan<l is seen. 
Descending gay with flowers and verdure green, 
To where appears the bounds of sea and land 
And playful waves that murmur on the strand — 
Twas there thou f ound'st me on the soft green sward — 
'Twas there thou first inspir'd the youthful bard. 
Struck with the splendour of the earth and seas. 
And wavelets* sound aqd the soft sighing breeze, 
And the refulgent lamp of day on high — ^ 
With clouds slow wandering o'er the spacious sky, 
And the sweet solemn calm whose sacred reign 
Prevailed o'er earth and heaven and wavey main, 



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JAMES AIRTH. 

Hy soul was mov'd as tonch*d by power divine — 
My tongue must falter praise in tuneful line, 
(Jninea^ured strains, unheard with fervent mind, 
I breathed devoutly on the ocean wind. 

Since thou, O Muse, pre-doom'd to wander long, 
O^er earth ittid sea, the charms of s icred song 
Have ever been my stay^the antidote benign, 
^ tboudfnd sorrows, while thv power divine 
Hast swell d the tide of joy, when prosperous gales 
Piped in mibe ear, and tiU'd my spreading sails. 
Where'er my wandering feet have trod in quest 
Of fanciedigood, in some sweet place of rest, 
whether in sorrow's day, or joy's brief hour. 
Thy aid was neap—I felt thy sovereign power- 
Still faithful thou to aid^-still Qver near 
To share my jo^— my sorrowing soul to cheer. 
Unlike those friends of earth that frequent wait, 
Wilth aednlws eare on wealth and high eutate. 
But whep t^e s^rms of adverse fate ariite, 
Far from the withering blast delusive flies ; 
Thou'rt ever near when fortune's sun shines bright, 
Y^t atih oiorQxieaj; in sorrow's sable night, 
To t.une thy heavenly lyre, with triumph strain, 
Or with some sOotning song to banish pain. 



If sad I dweU .ainidst the city'a throng. 

And mourn o'er happier scenes departed long ; 

I bear thy- veioe in all the winds that blow, — 

In.mnrmuring seaiS, and streams that warbling flow, 

In woodland songs, in nature's varied strains. 

That loud resound afar, or soft complains. 

Ifttaasintflone I- wander ocean's shores, 

Wb^n j^m prevails, or .when the tempest roars, 

Or where tne giant mountain lifts its head. 

Or where Ifae pleasant vales their beauty spread ; 

Whethur b^i^eatb the sultry noon-tide ray, 

Or whep morn ^^igns,.or solemn evening grey, 

Or when the moon anil starry host appear, 

And night invests the ceaseless circling sphere ; 

j^rom all the.c^pntless scenes that meet mine eye. 

On earth or sea, or in the distant sky. 

Thy heavenly influence comes my soul to fire, 

To wake the varied mu^ic of the lyre. 



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70 MODBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 



CHARLES NIOOL 

MAS born at Pollockshaws, in the county of 
Benfrew, in 1858. Like many of our poets 
he had the misfortune to lose his father when he 
was a child, and after receiving a very limited educa- 
tion, he, at the tender age of ten, was sent to work 
in a weaving factory, for two shillings and sixpence 
a- week. In the evenings he attended a school for 
working lads, and otherwise endeavoured to improve 
his mind. When thirteen years of age he removed to 
Glasgow, and afterwards went to Thornliebank, 
where he was employed in the engraving department 
of the Messrs Crum's work. It was there, and while 
only eighteen years of age, that he first began to 
attempt verse-making, and was successful in getting 
several of his effusions printed in the local press. 
Mr Nicol is a thoughtful prose-writer, and was for a 
number of years correspondent for one or more news- 
papers. Some years ago he became district agent 
in Glasgow to the *'Eefuge Assurance Company, 
(Limited), '' which company transferred him to Edin- 
burgh, and latteily to Glasgow, where he now acts in 
the capacity of an inspector. 

Mr Nicol is a frequent contributor to newspapers, 
and his puetry is such as indicates the possession of 
qualities entitling him to rank among the sweet 
singers of Scotland. His poems are generally de- 
scriptive, and his songs are of a cheerful and homely 
nature, written evidently when the day's work is 
done, and the house quiet, as so man^ of our noble 
working-men poets do. They make excursions into 
that land so ideal, yet so intensely real, which at 
times seems so far off, yet is ever close at hand, where 
wonder and scenes of unearthly beauty reveal them- 
selves to those who have an ear to hear and an eye 
to see. 



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OHABLBS NIOOL. 71 

THE PLEASURES 0* HAMB. 

A tihort hameart lay to the wife that I hae, 

A kind-hearted thrifty wee dame, 
Wha singB nioht an' day like the warblers in May, 

A moment's attention may claim. 

When worn oot at nicht, what can gie sic delicht 

As to see at the dean hearthstane sitting 
Sympathetic an' true, the wifie ^e lo'e, 

While the wean busy plays wi' the kitten ? 

I've a wee toddlin' wean, wha can lisp geyan plain 

Pleasant words, such as mammy an' da' ; 
The wee prattlin' feet, losh ! to see is a treat ; 

She's the pawkiest wean ye e'er saw. 

Oh, happ^'s the hame whaur fon i hearts beat the same, 

An' waitna wi' fear for the morr(»w ; 
Whaur sunbeams o' joy ever shine to destroy 
An' the profo^ess retard o' fell sorrow. 

By nioht an' by day I maist fervently pray. 

May the snn o' prosperity shine 
On the wean an' the wife— Nearest treasures o' life— 

An' the love which I bear never tyne. 



DOON BY A WEE BIP WIMPLIN' BURN. 

Doon by a wee bit wimplin' burn 

I met my lassie fair yestreen, 
A lassie wha's baith young an' braw, 

A lassie wi' twa bonnie een. 
Sweet birdies sang their tuneful lays 

Aboon oor heids, sae bonnie o', 
Whilk made oor hearts feel lioht auce mair 

An' happy aye as ony o'. 

Twa 'oors fu* swiftly passed awa', 

An' aye we sat beside the burn ; 
Oor thochts were a' o' love sae dear, 

Frae that sweet theme we couldna turn. 
For love, ye ken, is ever sweet 

When heard frae yer ain lover o'. 
An' sae it was wi' us yestreen 

Ab we sat under cover o'. 

Oh, happy, happy did I feel, 

'Lang wi' my queen, my love, my a', 
An' ere we pairted mony vows 
.. Were made and passed atween us twa. 



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72 . MODERN SOOTTISH POSTS. 

For aijre to be fn* leal »q' true 

Towards ilk ither ever o' ; 
Nae maitter what should ere befa*, 

Till Rriin death should us sever o'. 

WEE WILLIE WALLACKY. 

Whaur hae ye been a' the day, 

Wee WUlie Wallacky, 
Causin' mamnjy grief an* wae, 

Eh, Willie Wallacky? 
Mony a time afore the nicht 
You've been tell'd to keep ip sioht ; 
But naething will ne you a fricht, 

Roguish Willie W allaoky. 

You've been wi* ither bairns, ye say, 

Wee Willie WaUacky, 
At the sandy holes at play. 

Wee Willie Wallacky. 
Noo dinna stan' an' tell a l6e. 
For plainly in yer face I see 
Ye want to try and* blindfold me. 

Roguish Willie Wallacky. 

Just try an* be a man for ance, 

Wee Willie WaUacky, 
An* tell the truth withoot a wince, 

Noo Willie Wallacky. 
For truth, my man, aye stands tiie test ; 
It is the safest coorse an* best ; 
Noo dinna lauoh an* think I jest, 

Roguish Willie Wallacky. 



GEOEGE COOPER 

MAS born in Arbroath, in 1829. To the trade 
of painter, which he learned in early life, 
he added that of flaxdresser, and this he followed 
when the painting trade was dull. He left 
Arbroath when quite a young man, aBtd remov- 
ing to England, worked for some time, at his 
trade, and afterwards enlisted in the 8drd.Begiment 



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of Foot, set^^'g under the colours of that regiment 
daring the Indian Mutiny. His Indian residence, and 
the sufferings attendant on his career as a soldier 
during a harassing time of war, told severely on his 
health, and after serving eight or nine years with his 
regiment he returned to his native town invalided in 
1862, and died in 1876. His pen was prolific, 
though little of his work has seen the light, writing 
as he did more for the gratification of his owh tastes 
than for the sake of public approval. He left be- 
hind him a consider'aBle number of poems in manu- 
script, several of the pieces containing between 
three and four hundred lines. Many of his verses 
are exceedingly humorous. Mr Cooper also wrote a 
number of tales, which were submitted to the late 
George GilfiUan, who pronounbed them well worthy 
of publication. But the financial risks attendant on 
publishing deterred his' relatives from venturing on 
such a speculation. 

DRY UP THY TEARFU* E'B. 

Drv up thy tearfu' e'e, sweet lass ! 

Dry up thy tearfu' e'e ; 
Trust better fortUDe be our lot, — 

Let's live to hope and see. 
We've had our troubles— that I grant, 

And crosses sad and sair. 
And aften fought wi' niggard want, — 

Bat so hae mony mair. 
Sweet lass i 

You've aye been kind to me, sweet lass I 

You've aye been kind to me, — 
Oh !' cold and crael were my heart 

To cause a grief in thee. 
Life's heaven keeps a brighter blue. 

Our stormy aky will clear ; 
We've had our ups and downs, 'tis true. 

But so hae mony mair. 
Sweet lass ! 

Then dry thy watery e'e, sweet lass ! 

Then dry thy watery e'e ; 
We shouldna weep to blind our sight 

When scarce our path we see. 



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74 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Hie stoat heart elimbs the steepest brae, 
Though fed on sober fare ; 

We'll meet misfortane's sternest fae, — 
As well as mony mair, 
Sweet lass ! 



THE BOWL 0' BLUID. 

Within a neighboaring borough town 
There lived a man named Sandy Brown ; 
A humble weaver to his trade, 
For at the loom he earned his bread. 
Nae great amount o' brains he*d got— 
Guid mither-wit embraced the lot. 
For he could joke and speak sae funny 
That few e'er thocht his mind was puny. 
Hia faithfu' rib, his dear wife Janet, 
Gould conc|uer him at ony minute — 
The bounoin', spinnin' wee teetotum 
Knew a' his ways frae tap to bottom. 
Her kind heart kept him to her tether, 
And lang they loved and lived thegither ; 
Nae brats o* bairnies were her care. 
To smash and brak her crockery ware. 

Behind their house, in bi^ kail yard. 
She onions, leeks, an' taties rear'd. 
And tumipe, carrots, potherbs plenty — 
A' fit to make the kail-pot dainty. 
But, pride o' a' her wark, in fine 
Her heart and noul lay in her swine, 
For gallant brutes and fat she made them, 
Weeiand attentively she fed them. 
The price o' ane aye paid her rent — 
Behind wi' that she ne'er was kent ; 
While ane ilk sax months she did reckon. 
Was fit to keep the house in bacon. 
And always on the day o' killin' 
She gae to Sandy ae white shillin' 
To dean the stye, and mind his work, 
An' drink success to pigs an' pork. 

It happen'd ance upon a time — 

I'll no nay when, for dates don't rhyme. 

Nor look in arithmetic numbers. 

For they seem stiff — stiffness encumbers 

The line that fain would be poetic 

When jamm'd wi' figures arithmetic. 

It was about the New Year time, 

When silly folks their bottles prime, 

That Janet had a pig to kill 

For home oonsumpt, their waiues to filL 



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OBOSOB COOPXB. 76 

The job was done without ousht failing, 
And simple Sandy got his shflling. 
While Janet, thro' her maws foreboding 
Had kep't some bluid to mak' black pudaings, 
For, as she said, they would be handy 
To make a dish for her and Sandy. 
So then, to wait her time and tide, 
The bowl o' bluid was set aside 
Within a cupboard sly and crafty- 
Deed a* housewives should aye be thrifty. 

The day flew by, and nicht glowered doon ; 

Thro* the wild clouds, the wintry moon 

Wi' cauld pale face and placid brow 

Look'd on the frozen world below, 

When Sandy, staggerin' thro' the street. 

Did nae a livin' creature meet. 

For a' weel-doers had gane to bed. 

Where flitting dreams span thro' the head. 

On, on he wrastled, sadly fu'— 

Ay, just as drunk as Davie's sou — 

Whiles takin' a' the street to baud 'im, 

And stoitering as the spirit bad 'im, 

Until his wearv shanks got harae 

To his ain thrifty trusty dame, 

Wha, like a little bobtail cur, 

Misca'd him weel wi' mooy a slur, 

For a' the worthless ne'er-do-weels, 

And senseless fools that dance their reels, 

Till madness gies their mind the staggers, 

And drink has brought them down to beggars. 

But ne'er a word poor Sandy said, 

Poo'd aff his claes an' went to bed, 

While Janet crept behind his back 

Tired o' her ain unruly crack. 

And liored her face close to the wa'. 

And would hae nought wi' him ava ; 

But soon sweet sleep o'ercam' the pair. 

And man and wife were lost to care. 

But lang ere morning's dim grey e'e 

Began to open up to see. 

An' peep thro' ilka frost-flower'd lozen. 

How weary souls within were dozin', 

When Sandy waken'd frae his sleep. 

And frae the bed began to creep, 

A' fain to get a drink o' water 

To quench the bet fumes o' his batter. 

Wi' tongue and throat as dry's a whistle. 

He 'mang the chairs and stools did jostle. 

And pawin', gropin' in the dark, 

Wi' naething on nim but his sark. 



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76 MODBBN 80OTTIBH POSTS. 

Until b(&tK),tlie «ipbMUc4 ^ot 
For 8omethl9g that would cool bis throat, 
And ,99 h9«a«Ld and ^hiyerin' stood, 
Bl^ &j»nd oan* o'er the bowl o* bluid. 
His heart JMar loupet in his month 
Wi' joy, that be micbt slock. his drouth. 
" Rallo I " he said^ the cnnningr nigae> 
" 1*11 do for Janet's sour uiilk cog ; 
How nice and cool, and firm a^ liver, 
Odd's laith, the better there was never." 

The bpwl o' bli4d h9,drank, o' whilk 
He thought contained toe best sour milk, 
And lick'd his lips into t;he bargain 
(Bah ! what cared he for Janet s jargon), 
Then groping, stagger'd back to bed, 
And pillowed there his aching head ; 
But scarce had he got het in hammock^ 
Whepj^ sick qualm swam round his stama^,. 
That rent, and rose, and heaved, till pitohmg, 
Burst forth with a tremendous retching. . 
He groan'dy and threw, and cried on Janet, 
Wha to his side sprang in a minute, 
Crying, " Sandy, Sandy, what's the matter ? 
Oh, are ye ill, or deein*, my creature ? " 
" Wow, get a lioht," he solemnly murmured, 
'* For oh, I feel my days are numbered ; 
In wickedness my soul I've perilled, 
Noo beast-like I maun leave the world." 

Wee Janet rose wi' tongue o* scandal. 
And stmok a match to light the cancUe, 
But seeing him vomit gorts o' gore, 
She screamed and sank upon the floor, 
Crying, '* Sandy (oh, forg^e him heaven), 
I hope thy follies are forgiven ; 
Forgie me if I hae roisca'd ye — 
Tis for your weel when I upbraid ye. 
I've taufd ye oft it conldna miss. 
That, soon or late, 'twad come to this — 
Grod*8 will be done, if sae we're parted. 
But oh, yon leave me broken-hearted.^ 

Auld Sandy groan'd wi' silent mood. 

And thougnt he spew'd his ain heart's blnid; 

Boo, boo, he heaved and sweat and trembled, 

Wi' enawing pain his belly grumbled. 

While Janet for the doctor ran, 

And brought, the wise and skilly man. 

Who f^t the pulse o' tibeiAuld weaver. 

And found him in a burning fever.. 

He viewed the blood that he'd. thrown. up, 

And that which still came flowing up. 



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OSOB«JB OOOFUL 77 

Aaked him some qnestions, which were answered. 

And said he thoaght his stomach cancered. 

" f oa've eat, friend, if I*m not mistaken, 

Some musty cheese of nuty bacon; ' 

Or something that's deranged your stomach.*' 

" No, no, sir, 1 had bat a dramock, 

It's no an honr since I aWoke— 

Wi' dronth sir I was like to choke, 

I rose, and to the cupboard got 

For something jnst to cool my throat, 

And there a bowl o' rare sour milk 

I drank np like a sookin^ elk,; 

I felt refreshed and fine ^n part 

Till this sick qualm came o'er my heart.'* 

** Sour milk ! sour milk ! your surely daft, 

Faith but ye drive mair warp than waft, 

Deed Sandy I had nae milk there," 

Cried Janet, who at him did stare, 

'* 111 wager you, by a' that's guid 

That you've drunk up ray bowl o' blnid 

That I set by to mak black puddin's, 

Foi* weel I wat I can make guid anes." 

8(e wheel'd about, and by the liffht 

The empty bowl stood in her sight. 

" Wow, wow," she said. " I never had 

A weel laid scheme within my head 

But that it aye did end in smoke. 

But this is far aboon a joke. 

Oh Sandv, oh yoii silly billy. 

The miscnief tak' your drouthy belly, 

Nae wonder that my heart it maddens. 

You've done me oot o' my black puddings." 

The doctor smiled upon the twa. 
Then took his hat to gae awa' 
An*' hear nae mair o' Shandy's faults 
But bade him tak' a dose o' salts. 
Then left, while Janet's tongue did rattle. 
And pour'd the brant o' wordy^ battle 
On Sandy's head wi' caustic wit, 
I've nae doubt but she's stormin' yet. 



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78 MODSRN SCOTTISH FOBTS. 



THOMAS THOMSON, 

a FACILE prose writer, and an enthusiastic 
admirer of lyrical poetry, was born in the 
southern district of Edinburgh, in 1848, almost under 
the shadow of Salisbury Crags. His paternal grand- 
father was a tailor by trade, and had seen 
service as an artilleryman during the Peninsular war. 
His father, who followed the same calling, was also, 
for the long period of 24 years, a soldier in the 92nd 
Begiment (Gordon Highlanders), and at the time of 
the poet's birth, was a local pensioner in Edinburgh. 

During his boyhood, Mr Thomson was distingu- 
ished by an intense love of reading, and it is told of 
an old woman who dealt in smallwares in his neigh- 
bourhood, that she would divide the small story- 
books, which constituted part of her stock-in-trade, 
in parts, when his funds were not equal to the 
purchase of the whole, secure in the knowledge that 
his ** first bawbee " would be applied to the acquire- 
ment of the other half. When scarcely nine years of 
age he went to work in a printing office, where, as 
message boy, machine boy, and compositor, he 
remained for 1 1 years ; during which time he en- 
deavoured, by attendance at the evening schools of 
the British League, the School of Arts, &c., to 
remedy his defective education. 

In 1869 he went to Glasgow, remaining there 
about a year, and having acquired a knowledge of 
shorthand during his apprenticeship, he was em- 
ployed as a reporter on several local papers. He 
returned to Edinburgh in 1871, only to leave again 
for the western capital in the following year. He is 
at present a ** printer's reader" in his native town. 

Mr Thomson's poetical attempts date from early 
life. His first venture to the newspapers was in 



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THOMAS THOMSOF. 79 

the obildhood vein — a song now very popular, 
entitled **Ta ta Bairnie" — and he has since con- 
tributed, under a variety of nams-de-plume, numerous 
pieces to the columns of various newspapers and 
joFumals. Modest and unassuming, our poet lays no 
claim to the title of poet. Nevertheless, he not only 
can blow the Doric reed, but is also an excellent 
and thoughtful prose writer. In the temperance 
question he takes a deep and active interest, and has 
written many pieces in its advocacy, in which he 
wields a scathing pen. He has won laurels as a 
lecturer on literary subjects. One of his lectures, 
**A Nicht wi' Alexander Logan, Scottish Poet," 
might be referred to here, not merely because of 
its beauty of language, and critical knowledge, but 
also on account of the estimable and talented subject. 
Mr Logan is author of many delightful domestic 
pictures, and noble national odes. He was noticed 
in the first volume of this work, and has assuredly 
earned the distinguished appellation of '* Laureate 
of the Household." 

Mr Thomson's poetry is the outcome of a heart 
overflowing with sincerity, displaying an earnest and 
deep-rooted sympathy for suffering humanity. It is 
deeply imbued with all that is good and true, and 
everywhere shows a loving and beautiful spirit. 

BLESS THE WEANS. 

When hame at oioht, a wearied wicht, 

Frae tiresome toil I gladly flee, 
Oh ! what delicht the cheery sioht 
0' smilin* wife an* barnies gi*e. 
Oh ! bless the weans, the bonnie weanB, 
That fill oor hames wi' dinsome glee ; 
Their prattlin' noise wi' game or toys 
Gars ilka care an' sadness flee. 

A dean hearthstane, a chubby wean, 

To climb upon its daddie*s knee ; 
An' kin'ly dame, the queen o' hame, 

Hae joys that wealth can never gi'a. 
Oh 1 bless, &c. 



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80 MOQjVRir 80OTTISH POSTS. 

The7 ^erve flk he*rt Jbo dae its pi^irt, 
An' ID Lifers battle mak' a stand ; 

For W6an8 an* wife we choose the strife, 
An' gx'e e'en life, should cause demand. 
Oh ! bless, &c. 

Oh ! wha wad choose to drink an' boose, 
An* waste life in a druoken spree, 

While sad at hame, in rags an* shame, 
The starvin' wife an' weans may be. 
Oh I bless, &c. 

Ye wha lo'e drink, I redd ye, think, 
Ere shame or want ye come to see. 

And in yer hames wi' wife an' weans 
Seek purer joys alang wi' me. 
Oh ! bless, &;c. 

TRYSTE WI* MB. 

tryste wi' me, my bonnie Jean, 
Ayont the mill, on summer een, 
Whaur wf can crack an' no be seen 

By t!ka curious e*e ; 
Then by the banks o' Esk we'll stray, 
Or sit upon some shady braie. 
An' to ilk ither say oor say, 
Whaur nane can hear or see. 

Then tryste wi' me, my bonnie Jean, 

Tryste wi' me, my am Jean, 
Ayont the mill on summer e*en, 
' An' rove by Eak wi' me. 

I'll tak' ye whaur the wildings spring, 
An' on the air their odours fling. 
An' ye shall hear the linties sing 

What fain I'd tell to thee. 
Vve Whispered it to ilk wee flo'er, 
An' Esk has heard it owre an* owre ; 
The very trees, had they the pow'r. 

Wad tell thou'rt dear to me. 

MY LOVE SHE'S BONNIE. 

Oh ! my love she's bonnie, 
Bonnie, bonnie, bonnie ; 
Oh ! ray love she^a bonnie, 

An' oh 1 she's dear to me ! 
Her glancin' een, her snaw-white broo. 
Her genty form, her sweet wee moo* ; 
The like was never seen, I trow. 

An' fairer canna be. 



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THOMAS THOMSON. 81 

Ok \ my love she's winsome, 
Winsome, winsome, win^nne ; 
Ob } my love she's winsome, 

Aq!ob ! she's dear to me. 
Heir ^ovoe like mnsic low an' sweet. 
Her e'e at Pity's tale is weet. 
Her heart's a fire that love does beat, 

Mn^ inodeit an' she^s free. 

Oil ! my love she's pawky, . 
Pawky,' Ig^ P«wky : 
Oh ! my Wve Ok^t pawky, 

An' dhl sh^'rdear to me. 
Whene'er I see her 'mang the lave, 
I scarce can thole to weel behave, 
My heart ganp^ dirlin' like a stave. 

Her sly bit aifts to see. 

Leeze me on my dawty, 
My dawty, my dawty ; 
Leezfr poi^n my dawty» 

9ofr'oft i' tM*i dear to me. 
Sma' care ha'e I for warly gear, 
Elfflc ftmnty Cane I wima stew ; 
Bnt^ove wBrmak' o' hame^ cheer 

APttfiMBetome. 



WHISKY. 

Thou feU d^trc^n', arch deceiver, 
mankind's happiness the reiver. 
Wad t could ryaoh thee wi' a cleaver, 

I'd stap thy breath; 
. Fn' sune thy lafdn', madd'nin' fever 

Wad end in death ! 

When erst Earth fell aneath the ban, 
An' Satan got the upper han', 
The foulest thief in a his clan 

Was this same Whisky ; 
Nae ither fiend at his oomnrnn' 

Could play sic plisky. 

He comes to us in freen'ly guise. 
Well coated owre wi' suf^ared lies ; 
But baud ye aff, gin ye be witte, 

^ae Willie Wispie 
Mair fell intent could e'er disguise 

Than freen'lp Whisky. 



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MODBRF SCOTO8H POBTtt, 

The widow's groftn, the orphan's tear ; 
Youth laid on a dishonoured bier ; — 
Oh ! Whisky, it wad sink von. sheer. 

To deepest Hell, 
If half yoar black indictment here 
I could but tell ! 

Pray God that sune the time may oome 
When— thy unhallowed course full run — 
There shall frae thy fell toils be won 

A ransomed race, 
Wha winna thole aneath the sun 

0' thee a trace ! 



MRS CRICHTON. 

ynVARY DUNCAN SCOTT, daughter of David 
X ll«/ Scott, jr. of Newton, grand-daughter of the 
Rev. Mr Gleig, for the long period of forty-seven 
years parish minister of Arhroath, was married 
to Dr Crichton, of Woodside, who died a few 
years ago. Some time after the death of her hus- 
band, she disposed of West Ghrange and Woodside, 
and went to England, where she at present re- 
sides. Mrs Crichton inherits much of the character 
and talent of her maternal grandmother, Mary 
Dunccm Gleig, the only sister of the Right Hon. 
Jonathan Duncan, long Governor of Bombay, 
who, after abolishing infanticide and other bar- 
barous customs in the Presidency of India so 
long under his sway, died there in 1811. A monu- 
ment was erected to his memory in Bombay, the 
inscription on which, paying a due tribute to his 
private worth and distinguished public services, was 
penned by Sir James Macintosh. 

Miss Scott — for as a literary lady she was best 
^own under her maiden name — has written much 



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MRS CKICHTON. 83 

that shows her to be possessed of fine taste, high 
culture, and a keen appreciation of the sweet and 
true. The bulk of her poems appeared between the 
years of 1850-60 in various magazines, and were well 
receiyed. She also wrote some excellent songs, two 
at least of these having been penned when our 
country was engaged in war on a foreign shore. One 
of these, addressed to our soldiers during the Crimean 
War, obtained g^eat popularity throughout the 
kingdom. The song, however, which brought her 
most fame was ''The Fall of Sebastopol." Those 
of onr readers who are old enough to remember the 
intense interest which centred in the great struggle 
in which our sons and brothers were engaged on the 
shores of the Crimea will not fail to call to mind the 
great enthusiasm with which the news of the fall of 
the stronghold of the Czar was received in this 
country. Within a few days after the event, Miss 
Scott's song appeared in the columns of the Arbroath 
Guide. It was set to music by Mr J. F. Leesan, a 
musical composer of considerable repute. Its recep- 
tion everywhere was very cordial, ^nd it was sung 
and received most enthusiastically among the English 
soldiers in the Crimea. 

THE WORLD IS VERY BEAUTIFUL. 

The world is very beaatif ul 
In spring time's swnny hours, 
What can be sweeter than to note 
The opening ot the flowers. 
How timidly they come at first, 
As if withheld by fear. 
From giving all their beauty forth 
So early in the year. 

The world is very beautiful, 

O beautiful in truth. 

When summer comes with matron grace. 

Yet with the bloom of youth ; 

O what a full fruition of 

The promises of spring, 

O what a wealth of Koral gems 

Does the bright summer briug. 



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84 MODBBK SCOTTISH POETS. 

Oh yes, the world is beautiful- 
Some call the antamn drear, 
But yet to me it eyer seems, 
Of all the circliDfi: year, 
If not ihost full of promise, 
The nobttt asd the best. 
For doth it not ri^rl^^ well fulfil 
The promise of the' rest. 

Oh yes, the world is beautiful 

£!'en when old winter stands. 

And taketfa of eartfa\i garniture 

With his C0I4 froze^ hands ; 

The pure white rob^ he ^yeth, deokad 

With broi(}erie of firost, 

Hath beairtiee, too, though not akiii 

To those with summer lost. 

Yes, it is fver beautiful, 
When all enrobed in white, 
Or when with fruit and flowers it is 
Most gorgeously bedlght ; 
Ye ever cjiroling seasons^ 
. Cold winter, summer, spring, 
I loye ye all, and glaalv hm 
The ohaagfs that ye bang. 

WAKB, OH AWAKE. 

Wake, oh awake, bright spirit of sunshine, 
Why slumber so long in thy gloomy retreat ? 
Nat^re is moiuming thine absanoe^ and wa&feii^ 
Wearily waiting, thy coming to greet. 

Wake, oh awake, the uplands and yalleyL 
And dark sombre woocra glad homage will pay, 
And murmuring streapos wijl hymn thpe % welcome. 
Fair queen of summer, oh beautiful fay^ 

Wake, oh awake, why art thou so tardy. 
Winter has held thee m bondage too long ; 
Come, buds and blossoms haye coMmals for thee, 
Come, birds will hail thee with rapturous song. 

Come, with thy beauty, thy jjOy-giying brightness. 
Come, of the bleak earth a paraoise make ; 
All things are pining and grieving withoift thee. 
Spirit of summer time, wake, oh awake. 

THE FALT. OF SEBASTOPOL. 

Who said we could not do it ? 

Who said our arm was weak ? 
Who dared against Old England 

These traitor words to speak ? 



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MBS CBIGHTON. 86 

Who said oar soldiers were not men 

As were the men of old ? 
Who said their hearts were feehle. 

And their patriotism cold ? 

Ab ! take each vile tradncer 

To whOre the AlmA rnns, 
Point to the graves ^los^ tenanted 

By England's noblest sons, 

And lead them on to where the fi^d 

Of Inkerman was loggbt. 
And ask if soldiers gradged the priee 

At whwh that iield was bought. 

We.soff9ow o'er the fallen, 

We weep with th« befeav'd 
(Bnt death *nd moaminflr ever eome 

Sre victories are achieved). 

Fain ^onld we heal each bleeding heart, 

Bat ah I how few could dare 
lutri^e upon a grief that is 

Leasgnet than deep despair ! 

Buit now the oity*s fallen, 

And ev'ry doulit is o'er ; 
The stronghold of the Czar is down, — 

Sebastopol's no more. 

Ah ! now the nations must rejoice 

The victory is won ; 
And honour DC to those by whom 

That glorious work was done i 

•WRITB INJURIBS IN SAND, KINDNESSES IN MARBLE/* 

Write injuries in sand, so that they may 

Soon be left imheeded, passed away 

From out the memory, no more to come 

Back to the thoughts, to make the heart the home 

Of Miter fe^ings, for it is not well 

The Wemovy of injuries should dwell 

Within the boeom. Write them in the sand, 

And let Oblivion gently pass her hand 

Over the writing ; let there not remain 

One wcmi to bring them to thy mind again. 

If ye haVe sat beside the ocean's shore, 

Watohinyi: ita waters, listening to its roar. 

Ye must Mve noted how its wi^vqs effaced 

From off the sand each footprint on it traced. 

Write /fie on sand, thenr.and thou wilt be free 

From many cankering thoughts of injury, 



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86 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

For memory of injuries will corrode 

The heart wherein it maketh its abode, 

And ouljr free forgiveness' gentle wave, 

Can blot its traces — from its blighting save. 

But every kindness that for thee*s been done. 

Engrave as with an iron pen on stone, 

Note every one, bear all upon thy mind, 

For even the smallest thou wilt surely find 

Helping to fill thy thoughts with gentleness, 

Helping to fill them with forgetfulness 

Of many ills that compass thee around ; 

For there is much of soothing to be found 

In kindly deeds, they have a power to sway. 

And win the thoughts to betterness away 

From unkind judgments. Oh, engrave on stone 

Each kindness, even every little one ; 

Write them on marble, they should aye remain 

As bright links of that great, that world-wide chain 

That bindetb man to man, and heart to heart. 

And vain it is to strive to stand apart 

And say, " / will not owe to any one 

My thanks for kindness that to me they've shown." 

Vain is such boasting, and ah ! who would be 

So desolate. It ever seems to me 

As if that heart must be most stern and hard, 

(Worthy to meet its sure and just reward) 

That scorneth kindness, feareth it, because 

It will not be obliged. Ah ! let us pause. 

Each asking, has be got a heart of stone 

Too ha/rd for kindnesses to write upon ? 

PASSING AWAY. 

Passing away— the glories of summer. 
Though hailed with delight, but a moment remain, 
Vainly we wish they would rest with us ever — 
Wishes are powerless one bud to retain. 

Passing away— the dark clouds of winter. 
Though lowering and dreary are but for awhile ; 
Why should we shrink with dread at their threatening. 
Soon they will yield to spring time's sweet smile. 

Passing away— 'tis the doom that awalteth 
Ail that we cherish, and all that we fear ; 
E'en as the sunshine, our best joys are fleeting. 
And sorrows are but the dark clouds of our year. 

Passing away oh then wherefore should we 
Be boastful of joys that so quickly decay. 
Or why let our sorrows be cast down, despondent, 
They too like all things are passing away. 



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PBTEB MACMOKLADD. 87 

THE HAILSTONE AND THE SNOWFLAKE. 

A blustering: hailstone, and a soft snow-flake, 

One day agreed they would a trial make 

Of their respective powers ; they wished to see 

By which the earth^s bright green would covered be. 

The boastful hailstone, oonfident in power, 

Soon spent its strength in one short noisy shower ; 

Q do not mean that all the ill was done 

jmr one poor single frozen drop alone) 

The rivals elaimed and took (each thought it right) 

Their friends' aid in this trial of their might. 

But, as I said, the hailstone spent its strength, 

And was compelled to yield its place at length ; 

And notwithstanding all its noise and hurry 

It wholly failed earth's verdant garb to bury. 

The quiet snow-flake now in turn essayed 
With nothing of the noise the hailstone made, 
Grentlv it fell, ho softly none could know 
By aid of ear it had begun to snow ; 
But lo ! the earth ere long its power conf est, 
By seeing all things in its pure white drest, 
The hailstone granted it had gained the day. 
Then turned aside and melted quite away. 

If any doubt, pray bring it to the tent, 
You'll find that gentle means are always best ; 
And you may also And, if you but try. 
By perseverance more is done than by 
Short, sudden efforts, which -serve to expend 
The strength, without accomplishing an end. 



EEV. PETER MACMORLAND, LL.D., 

HUTHOR of several poetical works, including 
''The Sabbath," an ode which Thomas Aird 
characterised as possessing ''the essential spirit of 
poetry and religion," and of which the Hon. 
Mrs Norton publicly expressed her admiration, 
was bom at Ghreenock in 1810. He entered Glasgow 
College at the very early age of twelve, and there 
aoqurredy as he afterwards acknowledged, "that 

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88 MODBRN SOOTTI8H ^BTS. 

love of literature wUch, though not the highest, is 
still one of the highest pleasures and enjojtnents of 
life." 

Dr Macmorland iiras licenced in 1832 by the Pres- 
bytery of Paisley — the Moderator at that time being 
the late Principal Cunningham. He was assistant 
for some time to Dr Begg, who was then a young 
minister in Paisley, and then, ait^r ministering some 
nine months in an extension chtareH in that tpii^n, he 
was called, somewhere about 1834, to Begent Square, 
London, which had been yaciant for s6me time 
through the removal of Edward Irving. Oif his four 
years* incumbency there he said:— ** Edward ^rving 
preceded me, James Hamilto^x ^^]^^ after n^e, and I 
always look upon my incumbeoAy of four years as 
having been a short parenthesis of twilight between 
the two great lights — a short par'eilthesis of .weakness 
between the two great strengths! Still, it was 
something to have stood) however unworthily, even 
within the shadow of the great figure of Edward 
Irving." 

Our poet was next offered, and accepted the newly 
built church of St Matthew's, Glasgow, which he left, 
after five years' work, and because his health was 
giving way, for the Parish of Inverkeithing, where, 
no doubt, there was suggested and written a poem 
entitled *»The Ferry Hill." After a time Inver- 
keithing was exchanged for St Luke's, Edinburgh, 
and that again for North Berwick, which, after 
seventeen years of good and faithful work, he re- 
signed — his active ministry thus dosing in 1873. 
From that time till his death, in 1881, he resided in 
Edinburgh, and acted as an elder in West Coates, 
occasionally affording assistance to friends aknong 
the clergy. 

The Haddingtonshire Cowrier^ in an obituarV notice, 
said :— ** His pulpit discourses were of k hirfr order, 
and the vivid poetical imagination which hep68Ei^s^Bd 



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PBTisB MACMOBLAND. 89 

by nature gave to them a glowing power of yigour 
whioh stamped them as much^ above t)ie average. " 
It noticed also his " q^uiet sjetnse of humour," and it 
might have added his unfailing good taste and 
sympathy with all that is true and beautifiil and good. 
The Eev. R. G. Forrest, of West Coates Parish, 
to whom we are indebted for many interesting parti- 
culars of the life of our poet, says:— r** In his leisure 
hours, Dr Maemorland not unfrequently turned ^to 
literary work, contributing to various magazines, and 
cultivating the art of poetry with not a little success. 
His scholarly tastes were cultivated to the last. 
Even when his health had failed he continued to bp 
interested and informed in the principal questions of 
the time, and as a devout and careful student of the 
Ditine Wbrd, he is said to hate read, to the very last 
day of his life, a partion of the Bible in Hebrew every 
day." 

On the Sundiay aft^?; Pr M^^cmc^laad's luneiral, and 
at the (^oee of an appropriate sermon, Mr Forrest 
referred to the beautiful qualities of his mind and 
heart, his cultured intelligence, his delicate sensi- 
bilities, hi§ loyalty to the faith, hi^ openness to light, 
and withal, his. spirit so kindly and devout The 
preacher knew him only during his closing years, 
but such knowledge m^y often help one to understand 
the life and character of f^, m^aur-'' fbr»" he ^aid» ''the 
last days are generally the outcome and the crown, 
and so in a very real way a revelation, 6f the earlier 
years." , 

In addition to being the author of several admirable 
poems, Dr Maemorland also wrote a number of 
humourous sketches, descriptive of character he met 
with in his parish. Among his other publications 
were '* Forethought and Aiterthaught/' — a manual 
of communion preparation; >^'>The Ferry Hills," 
•* Eoom for John Knox," ** Sonnets frbm Malta, &c. 
HiH usual nom-de-plume was **V. 0. B." — Yioar of 

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90 MODBBN SCOTTISH POETS. 

the Bass — a title which belongs to the parish minister 
of North Berwick, ex officio. 

For Dr Maomorland we claim an honourable 
position among the religious poets of our time. 
Scholarly tastes, fine imagination — all the qualities 
of a read poet are seen in his productions, and he 
renders tributary to all his poetic reveries the 
transcendant principles of reveaied truth, as if dipt 
in a fount of heavenly radiance. We give two quota- 
tions from **Eoom for John Know" — first, the 
opening portion, where the Eeformer is supposed to 
be passing along the crowded streets on his way to 
the General Assembly, and the second, where the 
poet introduces, among others, Norman Macleod. 

Within the records of our recent times, 

Are chiefs, again, whose names must deck our rhymes. 

JOHN KNOX. 

Of weakly frame,— but with that kingly eye, 
Which told so clear his mission from the sky ; — 
Of weakly frame, — but with that grave stem face. 
Which spoke him one of the old prophet race, — 
He passes on ; — and round him as he goes 
There is an awe impressed upon the rows 
Of those who crowd and crush on either hand. 
Yet own the look and presence of command 
In him who, (not without large share of blame,) 
Had in his lifetime won a glorious name. 
And set his mark on Scotland, as we know ; — 
Making his name and memory honour'd so ! 

There are, who meanly through existence crawl ; 
Their deeds are paltry, and their motives small ; 
Who only live to vegetate and feed ; 
With nothinff nobler in their aim or deed ; 
PilUnc a little space ; — a little day 
Live through ; — and then, forgotten, pass away ; 
Soon disappear into the gathering dan:. 
Leaving no trace, or monument, or mark. 
But others, — kingly souls ! — are full of sway, 
And born to rule their fellows in their day, 
Leaving their trace upon the earth they tread, 
And moulding ages after they are dead ! 



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FBTBB MAGMORLAHD. 91 

Such was the man, whose name the welkin shook, 

As up the ancient street his way he took ; 

With staff in hand, his steps to aid and guide ; — 

His Hebrew Bible belted to his side, 

Like a good sword that slumbers in its sheath ; 

Keady to deal around both life and death, 

Ready to answer to the warrior's hand, 

And leap to action at his stem command. 

There, £rom his side depending, claspt it hung. 

Fixed to the chain that to his girdle clung ; — 

A girdle, — compassing a frame so weak, — 

That one might say~*' Pll gmiU him on the cheek ! " 

But whoso'd look again upon the grand. 

Severe, determined face, would h^d his hand ! 

'* JRoom/or John Knox ! " — ^the shouters shout before, 

And dear the way to the Assembly's door ! 

NORMAN MACLEOD. 

Norman, the sturdiest ofiiedioot, — 'tis allow'd, — 

Of the whole race and clanship of Macleod ! 

When shall our eyes a^pun his like behold 7 

The eloquent, — ^large-minded, — ^genial-soul*d ! 

Indulgent, — ^senerous, — patient of offence ; 

The very soul of humour and of sense. 

Too soon struck dumb that most persuasive tongue, 

On which the listening throngs in rapture hung ; — 

Too soon struck down that eagle of tne sky, 

Which soar'd, with wings of mighty beat, on high ! — 

One who had never cower'd and never blench*d, 

TiU thought was gone, and life itself was quenoh'd. 

Looking on life with sympathies enlarged, 

He none the worse his higher work discharged. 

A great man truly ; — truly great and good ; — 

And since he left us — ^better understood. 

So fine a spirit, — with so sweet a tone 1 

Self, jealousy, and envy, — all outgrown ; — 

And mellowness, — and ripeness, — of his own ! 

A man of power, because a man of prayer ; 

Worn out Dv pastoral toil, and public care ; — 

If Here his labour ; — his reward is There ! 

THERE'S BLESSING IN THE SHOWER. 

There's blessing in the shower 
That falls so soft and kindly on the field. 

Bidding it yield 
Each life-sustaining fruit, each pleasant flower ! 



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92 MODUUI fMX>TmB POSTS. 

'. Thfive*B bleising m the light 
That falls around us every working day« 

. . ^p aweet» so bright, 
That being beocnnes biiss beneath its ray ! 

w Thaw's blessing in the air 
That bvfiftthes so balimly at mom and eve, 

Faxminfl lair ddldhood's hair. 
And kissing t£e pale t^eek, that it may leave 

A health behind ) 

^There's blessiBg. in that wind 
Wherever it maif breathe on oommonest days ; 
Bat tenfold blessing, waking tenfold praise. 

In this day's silent shower 

That falls &om yonder skv, 

In this day's heavenly lignt 

Xhftt ^lads the inward e^e, 

In this day's heavenly air, 

Fnll-eharged, with graee and prayer ! 

A SHOitT SBRMON FOR EDUOATO&S. 
. , Oxa. XXV. 27. 
Gk>d focus floohi different ; let no man pervert 

His purpose in the making,, through self -wxU ! 
There were two boys ; to one He gave the heart 

Oi the itsong. hTmter^ venturesome to kill 

Fiero* gaane, as one who never get lus fill 
Of danaerv'^Th' other, " plain," and fond of home, 

Oared not to wander from his mother's tent ! 

I^it «ack be dealt with as his native bent 
Inclinesrr-to live home-bound, or else to roam. — 
One has an eagk spirit^Hiet him free ! 

Uimp^B him 1 let his powers be freely spent, 
No chM&: can bind him down upon the lea ! 

Another kyves the quiet ; wisdom trains 

Each as his nature leads, else fruitless all tike pains ! 

THE SNOWDROP; A SIMILITUDE. 

like that first spring flower, vestured all in white, 
(Meet robe of stamless purity divine), 
Which like a l^tar of mom on earth doth shine, 

Feeding, the gentle ^e with deep delight ; 

Low on the ground, 'as crouching from the sight ; 

With modest head aU droop'd upicm Ms breast, 
And drinki&c in the beams that a^ its wine ; 

By day, by ni^t, ia an unbroken ca^m 

worship wrapp'd— like an imutter'd psalm, — 



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S^ 



PBCBB ICACM OBUOTB. 98 

Whose silent m^odies are breathed «remid ; 
And flproup'd in sisterhoods^ — all fitiy dressed 

Alue, — as bridesmaids undefiPd are fonnd ; 
like such sweet emblem, — 'mid this eartlily Waste, 

Shine the dear saints of Christ, pare, prais^fal, on the 
ground ! 



ADVICE TO A YOUNG MINISTBR. 

Let thy footfall through the parish 

Be a gospel heard alway ;^ 
There are feeble aools to cherish.— 

Ontcasts hiding from the day ; 
Let^y €hri8t-lifee ministrations 

Fall aroond them like a ray. 

Foot it, loot It, late and early ; 

Breathe a l^bssitig on the air : 
Open with thy hand the ^ peitriy 

Gates,'* to snllen-ey'd Despair ;— 
Lighten with thy hand the bardeas, 

Which the weaiy-hearled benr. 

Sow, and sow,— where'er than goest 

By the wayside,— in the field ; 
Cease not, for thou neve^ knowest, 

Whether handfal -fruit may yield ; 
Cease not, for it'wi^ be growing, 

When thy lips in death are sealed. 

Foot it, foot It, 'mid the dwellings 

Of the Suffering, up and down ; 
Where dark Jordan spreads its swelling. 

Where dark tibial casts its frown ;— 
Mitigate thy ^HDtber's sorrows )-* 

And let that be thy renown. 

Spare not study ; spare not kbour ; 

Spare not wrestlings on thy knees ; 
Trim thy lamp, and whet thy sabre,— 

Watchman-warrior of the " Keys," 
Honours and rewards await on 

Toils and travaitings like these. 

Bat remember, oh remember. 
That who bears the Pastor's vow. 

Hath a world beyond hia chamber— - 
Where the weary-hearted how ;— 

Where the weary-sutfering languish ; 
Where guilt oloiids the heait^and brow. 



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94 MODERN SCOTTISH POBTB. 

Where the poor, the sad, the dying, — 
On their coaches low are laid ; 

Where the perishing are lying, 
Under Ruin's awfal shade ; — 

Spend thy life, and spend thy labour, 
Faithless never, — nor afraid. 

In the bye-lanes of the city ; 

'Mongst the hovels of the lost ; — 
Where no other eye may pity, — 

Where no other foot hath cross'd ;— 
Ever true, and faithful-hearted, 

Be thouiound upon thy post. 

Speak with kindness, — speak with feeling ;-^ 
Gently touch the spirit's sores ; — 

Kindness hath a charm of healing,— 
Which the snnkest soul restores ; ^ 

When like sacred oil of heaven, 
From a sacred font it poors. 

Rudely dealt with, answer never 
Rudeness with a ruder sound ;— 

Warn with tears each careless liver ; 
Tell him of the lost and found ; " 

Tell him of the grace that welcomes. 
All that walk on earthly ground. 

Thus, in traces of thy Master, — 

Of thy Master ever dear. 
Step with footstep firmer,— faster. 

Step with Conscience clean and clear ; 
Death will then be no disaster ; 

Heaven will then be daily near. 

"FEED MY LAMBS." 

Sweet younglings of the flock ! 
Come, guided onwards by my pastoral rod, 

To where that smitten Kock, 
Yields the glad waters of the stream of God. 

To where that Infant head 
Of old was humbly shelter'd, let us speed ; 

And look upon the bed, — 
The manger-bea that held the Woman's Seed. 

To where the Jordan rolls 
Its hallowed waves,— with many a linkM wind, — 

For there the food of souls. 
In pastures safe and sweet, my lambs shall find. 



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PBTBB MACMORLAKD, 95 

By Bethany's calm retreat, 
And by the path where the old Olives wave,— 

Trod bv the blessed feet 
Of Him, who, clothed in weakness, came to save ;— 

And round about the lake, 
Whose watera bore his feet like solid gronnd, 

^ Where face to face he spake 
With men,^the pastures of the soul are found. 

Along the Garden's walks. 
Where by mysterious woes His soul was stir'd— 

Listen, the while He talks 
In agony ;— and live upon His Word. 

Then climb the weary steep. 

And on the awful brow of Calvary's hill- 
Keep waiting ;— where the sheep 

Of Jesus feed, well-pleas'd ;~and linger still. 

'Mid finest of the wheat, 
'Mid rocks, all with the droppiufif honey stored, — 

Safe from the storm ana heat. 
Feed, sheltered well, ye ransom'd of the Lord, 

Your steps still tending thither,— 
Where Life's great river, onwards— onwards— flows ; 

Where joys shall never wither,— 
Nor the long day of gladness have a close. 

"I WILL GIVE YOU REST." 

The toilwom man, at close of day, 
Homewards his weary journey takes ; 

Yet give him food, and let him lay 
His limbs at rest,- refresh'd he wakes. 

For toil of limb— put toil of brain, 
With ills and aches that on it wait ; 

Nature has cordials, which again 
Restore, and re-invigorate. 

But the worn, weary, burden'd soul, 
Where can it rest from trouble find ? 

What hand its load away can roll, 
Or heal that sickness of the mind 7 

Is there, in all that Nature yields. 

In all that Science deeplv knows, 
In all the herbs of all the fields. 

What can afford that soul repose ? 



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96 MODBKN 80OTTI8H POBT8. 

AUm, the Mftroh were worse than vain ; 

Doth not experieade mftke it Qlew, 
Thttt the trne antidote to pain, 

Is found and grather'd, nowhere here ? 

Not all the herbs in field that grow, 
Or vale, or on the moilotftin side ; 

Not all the edenoe Man can kdbw; 
In the high fl^>wering of his pride ; 

Not all the love of loving hearts, 
Nor kindness of Aif60tian*s care, 

Omi soothe pain that Sin imparts. 
Or ease the load tlie soul dojbfa bear. 

One balm there Ib,— one Sovereign balm,- 
The crimson o«ne of .Oadvaiy'vwee, 

Whiefa bringeth healiag; oleansiny, eabn,- 
— The blood4)i4m of that AffMljr. 



ARTHUE OAIBNS, 

.S^OE the long period of seventeen years one of the 
Jl most energetic i^embers of the Dundee Burns 
Club, who can sing with touching pathos his own 
songs, and who possesses histrionie powers of no 
mean order, was bom in Dundee in 1840. His father 
having died when the son was tea years of age, he 
was sent to work in a spinning mill. As a conse- 
quence, his education was of the most scanty order, 
and the little he did acquire was picked up at an 
evening school. Our poet learned to be a power- 
loom tenter, and for some time followed that calling. 
He spent a niimber of years in India, where he had 
charge of the weaving department of a large jute 
factory situated on the banks of^ the Hoogly. He 
now holds a similar position in his native town. 

It is not many years since Mr Gairns began to pay 
his respects to the Muse, yet what he has done has 



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ARTHUR CAIRNS. 07 

been to goodi purpose, and his sot^ga have been yerj 
popular at social gatherings. Hisikindly nature, and 
cheerful reidiiiess to assist in every effi)rt on behalf 
of the poor «nd suffering has endeared him to a wide 
circle of MeiMs and admirers. The events of daily 
life, and the feelings which they excite of love, grief, 
bope, and faith, give, ample scope for our poet's 
faculties. His utterances breathe love for simple 
Nature, and sympathy with common human emotions; 
while fresh ana Hkppy epithet, and a touch of genuine 
pathos are remarkable in all his verses. 



TS'E L^A-ITD 0» THE BROSB. 

Let the E^gU^hvHUi vmg wV. pride o' his roast, 

And drink to^^e fame q' the roue, man, 
Bat Scotcl^iiffiy will 0veir pntfer the auld toast, 

The land o* the thistle an' brose, man. 
There's naethibff.Qan lav a foundation sae weel. 
There's naethjbg can 611 np^the hose o' a chiel, 
Or mak' the redcglow o'er hie conslwnance steal, 
Iiike the gutdihalesome oog^iea o' brose, man. 
Sae hey for the co^gie brimfu' o' aitmeal. 
The ktime; Ukeplaidie, an^ claymore o' steel. 
The stay an* the guard o' atrld Scotia's weel, 
The land & the thistle an' brose, man. 

Langsyne when the Bomans invaded oor shores, 
They'thocht' there was nane to 6ppose,' man, 

But better for them they had broken their oars 
Than Steered 'mang the sons o' the orose, man. 

Sae firm on their nMmntainsj unconqnered they stood ; 

Tho' claes they were scanty^ and manners were rude. 

Their strong brawnjr arras show'd gdde h'alesome food 
They had in their coggies o' brose, man. 
Sae hey, &c. 

At famed Waterloo, when tl^ey tf^en up their place. 

An' stood in invincible r^ws, man. 
Nap. found that he hadna auld women to face 

When he met wi' the sons o' the brose, man ; 
There, shouther to shouther, they stood on the field. 
An' declared they wad dee, but they never wad yield 
As lang's they a sword or a musket could wield — 

The lads that were fed upon brose, man. 
Sae hey, &c. 



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98 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Some say that it U the braid girtbo* the sea 

That keepe ns f rae dangerooi foes, man ; 

But Scotland will aye be the land o' the'free 

As lang as she sticks to the brose, man. 
Her braw hardy sons are aye first in the race, 
Nae ithers wi' them need attempt to keep pace. 
An' the reason o' that you plainly can tnoe 
To their guid halesome coggies o' brose, i 
Saehey, £c. 



LOVE'S VICTORY. 

Tonng Jeanie was as fair a flower 
As ever decked the gowanie lea ; 

An' Jockie was a blithesome lad, 
Wi' lichtsome heart, sae frank an' free. 

They had together baimies been. 
An' played aboot the barnie side ; 

An* aft the laddie said that she 
Wad be to him his winsome bride. 

She, a poor orphan lassie, sought 

The shelter o' his friendly arm, 
An' woe befall the heartless loon 

Who'd try to do the lassie harm. 

Year after year gaed smoothly by — 
Bright were the smiles that pass'd between ; 

An' love within their bosoms glowed, 
An' sparkled intil baith their een. 

But true love's course tak's mony a turn. 
Whiles hides its glory oot o' sight. 

Then, like the sun frae 'hint the cloud, 
It shines again in rays mair bright. 

It wasoa that young Jockie saw 
A lass that could mair lovin' be ; 

Nor yet had Jeanie seen a lad 
She could hae gane a-coortin' wi'. 

But gaein' sometimes to the inn, 

Jock fell amang bad company. 
That press'd the glass till he began 

To dearly lo'e the barley-bree. 

Wha lo'es the drink lo'es naething else, 
It sets the heart and brain on fire ; 

A' virtuous thoughts are thrown aside 
To satisfy the ae desire. 



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ARTHC7K OAIRNS. 

Thongh mithen sigh an' bairnies met, 
The fathers stand on rain's brink ; 

Though hearts should brak, an' *' angels weep,** 
Yet they maun bow to demon drink. 

\ Young Joekie worshipped f eryently, 

Whene'er the demon's hand did beck ; 
He followed doon the drunkard's path. 
Till he becam' a helpless wreck. 

Drink took frae him his hard won fee. 
An' tum'd him oot o' place an' hame ; 

Nane wad to him a hire ^e. 
For he had lost his guidly name. 

The demon rubbed his hands and said, 
** I trow I ne'er hae looked upon 

A better sample o' my art, 
Gin I had but the head-sheaf on. 

" Come doon the bumie side wi' me 
To whaur it gushes ower the linn ; 

There is a pool baith dark an' deep, 
Gae end yer days by loupin' in. * 

Poor Joekie stood upon the brink 
Gey sweer to bid the warld adieu. 

" Why hesitate ? " the demon said, 
" There's nane on earth that loyes ye noo." 

But hark ! a yoice rings through the air 
That sounds abune the gushmg rill, 

"Oh ! Joekie, lad, come back ! come back ! 
There's ane that dearly lo'es ye still !" 

^ " Wha can it be that mocks me sae ! 
I'm sure there's nane can pity feel. 
Or that can hae a true regard 
For sic a worthless ne'er-do-weel." 

" It is yer lang neglected lass." 
Around his neck her arms she twined ; 

" Gin ye should do this awfu' deed 
A broken heart ye'll leave behind." 

'* Ah I Jeanie, lass, thae kisses sweet 
Tell I hae plaved a foolish part ; 

Tho' but a worthless life ye save, 
I winna brak a truthfu' heart. 

"I swear by a' the powers aboon 

That I will lead anither life, 
An' ere a twalmonth's pass'd an' gaen 

111 tak ye for my ain dear wife. 



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100 MODfStiSf SGOlTTIRH POETS. 

Awa' ! v6 heilfsli fiend, awa^ ! 

Trae love has >vroken noo yet ehadn, 
A foe hencefotth in tne' tell find 

Gin ere ye daar enme back' again.*' . 

The prie^leM irorth o* Woman's lore 

Gaes far Hbtine oor mortal ken- 
It brightens up the path o' life, 

An' guided i&n' ebeeirs the heairts o' men. 

CAULD WAS THE BliAST. 

Canld wag the blast 'tba£ laid my lasde low, 
And cauld the grave we laid her in to i«8t t 

Now still the h^f rt that felt », lovim;: ^low . 
When ne8tliog fondly bo my throbbing breast. 

As sadly from ber resting plaoe I papaed, 
Nae sign o' sprinfi: was seen on flower or tree ; 

The wintry wipds blew in.aq a^gry blast ; 
A' nature's sighin' seemed to mourn wi' me. 

Why did I ever Ihink sae fiiir a flower 

Could share wi' me the cares o' wedded life, 
For mony a cross and dtsapppintment sour 

Fa's to her lot wna is a workman's wife ? 

* 

Uer's was a life 9' love and constant ioil, , ^ 
Her puir auld parents' wants ishe'did appeaaei. 

Till sickness cam , she pined and ceiled to smile, 
But struggled on, the victim of disease. 

Health without labour, Ijibour without health. 

Are heaviest blows misfortune'^ hand can gl'e ; 
Companions o' the puir unkenn'd to wealth, 

To cease to labour is to pine an' dee. 

But there's a hope that cheers my achin' heart ; 

As time brings roubd the darkness and the light, • 
So death, wha tore oor lovinff hearts apart, 

Will them again in heavenly bands unite. 

OH, WBBL DO I MIND. 

Oh, weel do I mind o' the lassie langsyne 

That sent through my young heart love's first glowin' thrill ; 
Had she been but constant she wad hae been mine, 

But fate maun aye sport wi' affection at will. 

I gied her my hand, an' I thought when she smiled 
An' look'd sae contented nhe'd gien her'B to me ; 

But, oh, the cruel laxsie, uiy young heart beguiled. 
An' gied her's awa' to a sailor sae free. 



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MALCOLM TATLOE, 101 

Obghpo.ipy h^rt dimted, an' hoo I /did stare, 

Wh^n first wi' iny lassie the sailor I saw ; 
I eotfd'baelffe ^rted, ihj hefait i^sti sae sair, 

To ttok' that ime ma she'd beea.stown awa* ; 

Ta think that her hand in anither'fr was laid. 
An.' tbi lips I had Mssed to anither*8 were pressed, 

Aj^the hoffifi I^ had cherished had bloom M but to fade ; 
ttetiB w^re lang weary nights that I couldna find rest. 

There are some things we mind.o' frae ^onth down to age ; 

The joy and thcT sorrow that lassie gied me 
Are feo6rds inscHi^ on mV memory's page 

That Infe'er eao.f orget tul^ the day. tha^ J dacu 

The orient snnshine that's suddenly bom, 
All.MbW MgDfrf iti ipAik to depart ; 

^ teve,t|)at dawns brigtitly on ywith's early mom 
1 in a lan^ tinlight that steals o^sr the heart. 



M^LQOLM TAYLOR 

'flYftjA^ bi^rn, in, DuA^ee iu 18.50. His father was 
^|^^ir% a oomppsitpr ou the J)ailif CAronide, and 
hayiug, a.fin^ vpice and considerable musioal talent 
he became well-known in singing oirclee, and acted 
as pjrecentpr in one of the principal churches, also as 
lQa4j^T. o f ^tg. ))undee Choral Union. Going to the. 
** Ifpw Worijii,'^ in 1858, the father sejQured steady 
em|497iii6nt a|id a home. He then, sent for his 
fajmiljT— thje subject of our sketch reaching America 
when D^ was .ten years of age. 

On receiving a fair education, Mr Taylor, in his 
fourteenth year, comn^enced as an apprentice to learn 
the plumber trade, which, after three years service, 
he abandoned as unsuited to his taste and physical 
organism. During this period his talent for versify- 
ing first displayed itself, and his early productions 
often appeared in t^i^. literary pap^iirs, of the day. 

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102 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

After engaging for several years in commercial pur- 
suits, he obtained an engagement as companion and 
private secretary to a gentleman whose business 
necessitated much travelling, and in this capacity 
he, in 1874, re- visited his native country, and made 
an extended tour on the continent, where the poetic 
nature of the young man found ample food to 
strengthen and develop itself. 

During a visit to the ** Land of Burns " and the 
"Highland Lake region" his pen gave abundant 
proof of an inborn love for the romantic and beautiful 
in Nature, and a number of his poems written at this 
time were published in the Scottish American Journal 
and the Scotsman or Caledonian Advertiser. In the 
latter paper a lengthy poem entitled "Mountain 
Musings" appeared in serial form for several weeks, 
and excited considerable admiration as a work dis- 
playing profound study and lofty imaginative powers. 

Eeturning to his native land, our poet continued to 
travel, until, in 1878, he married Mrs E. E. Schermer- 
horu, a talented lady of means who had won consi- 
derable reputation as the first lady attorney of 
the city of Eochester. He has since resided at 
their house Cascade, on the beautiful shore of 
Owasco Lake, in central New York, where, while 
not engaged in the duties of conducting a delightful 
summer resort, he has ample opportunities, under 
the inspiration of a congenial companion, and amid 
romantic surroundings, of cultivating his poetic 
muse, and still giving the public the pleasure of 
reading an occasional verse from his facile pen. 

A FOUR-LEAP CLOVER. 

Yest'reen, ray lacky love and I, 

A blythesome lass and lad, O, 
We strolled where grass was growing high 

Adown the unmown meadow, 
When Jane's sun, sinking in the sky, 

Oast first a doaUe shadow. 



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HALCOLBC TATLOB. 103 

Bat as the orb of day, serene, 

The West's decline descended. 
Lees rays of light fell slant between 

Oar shadows as they blended, 
Then where oar footsteps tamed, I ween 

We neither one attended. 

Bat slow a lengthy walk we led. 

Nor drew oar forms asander , 
Till, talking of oar f ate^ I said : 

" Will lack be oars, I wonder ?'* 
When seemed she down to hang her head, 

And look her eyelids nnder. 

Then, driving from his haant the bee, 

And scaring np a plover, 
She ran away, in girlish glee, 

And bent the blossoms over, 
Crying : ." I foand it, love, see ! see ! 

A looky f oar-leaf clover !" 

" Aye, love, good lack is oars, I trow. 

Shown by this rare found token, 
Bat fortune's boon is mine the now, 

And has been since was spoken 
By lisping lips the heart-felt vow 

That never may be broken." 

" Yet, since good signs come not amiss, 

I'll prize this symbol vernal, 
And, from the hand that gave me this. 

While Fortune smiles supernal, 
Still hope to find my f ature bliss. 

Where clover blooms etemaL" 

ROBERT BURNS. 

Seven Sonnets read at the Burns Birthday Festival, 
Auburn, Jan. 24th, 1879. 

A poet was a prophet deemed of old ; 
The singer then was noted as the seer. 
And dared to pierce, with soul perceptions clear, > 

The Future's vail, to have its scenes foretold ; 

So I, like privileged, would now make bold 
To draw the curtained Past, each fold a year. 
That Time with vandal-touch has mildewed sere 

Until a century has back unrolled. 
And lo ! what scene bursts on my spirit sight : 

An humble cot of clay, with roof straw- thatched. 

Whose lowlv entrance, swinging wide aniatched, 
Beveals th' event we celebrate to-night. 

There on a cubby bed, one winter's morn. 

The infant Robert Bums was happily bom. 



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104 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS, 

Now let me, with my pen'tf weird wand, fdtaooth', 
Waive by the windings of hid vounv Iffd-path, 
The petty trials he had, as each' child hatn,' 

Till Boon we see him as a reaper youth ; 

When, bending low, beside some winsome Rnth 
To bind with wheaten gyves the levelled swath, 
Or gathering ap the golaen after-math, , 

He tried to sing the love he felt in.trut]^. 
Then woke the poet's spirit in his form.; 

Moved was his hand to touch the latetjt chords 

That longed to give exnression faiTt in worde. 
To what his heart felt, in affection warm ; 

And as he told his love in lilt'ed line, 

He wooed the willing Colla» muse divioev 

Next to my retrospect is he revealed 
The farmer-poet, driving team abreast 
And plowshare deep, while sweetlv he expreat 

His sentiments on Nature seen afield.. 

And thus he tilled the fertile soil, to yield 
Him honors great, for merits, well ppsaept» 
Alike from ^alaoed bield a crest 

And appreciative peasant in his field. 
' lanes to a Mouse,' * Uses to a Jkloantaan Daisy/ 

' Poor Mailie's Elegy,* served to exojykf( 

The Stoic's sympathies with pune.deliffkti. 
And earned in fair return the lavish praise he 

Received, as an adept in Poesy's art — 

A man of feeling, near to Nature's beart. 

Thus, from the harvest field, erst-wh!lid unseen, 
Arose our laverock, Rab, dnnooated; shy. 
Who, in the ladder-rounds of -ftong-, f^lt'high 

Did mount, impulsive, with majestic mien, 

Through clouds of circumstance, to sing serene, 
Exultant in the literary sky ; 
Awaking all the people far and nigh. 

Who wondered what bird coming on the scene 
So charmed their senses with sweet 'ddl(^t-straih«r 

Till plaudits from the critics glad, elate, 

As echoes rose, to wide reverberate 
And reach unto the end of Earth's domains, 

While up he soared to Ambition's dizzy height. 

And bathed his wings in Fame's supernal light. 

And now behold him. Fashion's pampered child ^ 
The pet of Wealth ! The social. board around. 
His favoured friends did reverence profound* 

While he with his owu songs the times beguiled,; 

Till with that Circe, Pleasure's draught grown wiT/^,; 
Our laverock. Rab, soon had his sad rebound^ 
And faulty, tell back to the common groiindl 



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MAIiOOUf TATLCOL IW 

To sink from sight in povcvtyexiled. 

But, thooeh vniA smfrohed with sfaane in toaeUng drott, 
The frame tiat hoaied hii soul, above mer» peH/^ 
Yet crushed not was the better «|»att of self ; 

From humaireffoltiB suAwin^ iioiosB 
His songs lived on, and lingered^- still «ublime 
Through all the eohping corridors of t^me. 

Tes, like the thtxtsh he in a sonnet framed 

That e'en in ¥dnter*8 d^itfa ye^ san^ elite— 

A birthday prophecy or hk own fate— 
His lilted lo^e will rise, whene'er is n&mM 
Hie People's Batd i a;^0,''all wlios'^ gratiidsires claimed 

A drop^ Celtic hlopd, wijl c^l^ibrate 

As we dft nowt hw,m&a ^^y^^ state,:. 
And drown in I#tibe'i»,tiQe wl)aticoi4p-be l^lMnfid^ 

As said one time thsid^me wbOigave.him birth, 
ViewiQfijthe mffiiumeptM h^ c^ve-^oads . 
** Puir Bob, ^e asked.tljifi w^d.tp .g^yjB ye bread 

An' they gied ye a stone to show your worth." 
But, more than graaitfe iilAJkt th^ 6cidtti4h tOngve 
Will keep his memory, fdre^ei^ sqng: " 

Thus have I, 

Retraced a 

Who, from 
Peered up, tc 
Among the gi 

And now Ic 

His day, w 
His spirit in : 

While in gc 
Doe homage 

" A man's j 

His " Auld „ , . . cup 

In memory of Rab, our* Bard and Brither, 
Since " we are a' Johii Thamsoh's baitns thegither." 

TO ACJLD KIRK ALLOWAY. 

Auld ruined Kirk o' Alloway ! 
Like great gran'sire, decripiaj gray» 
Though ye hae seen your best y^ung day, 

Yet, frae my he'rt, 
I wad some thocht« in frien'ly way 

Toyein^rt. 

The wild rose decks your broo in Spring, 
Aroun' your form the ivies cling 
Like memories dear, while li^ties sing/ 

Their leal loVeVp^filise, 
As Rab did his. meandering 

On Doon's green tsraes. 



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106 MODBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Wetl wad ve noo, wV moonlicht grace, 
Serve for the witches* sportin' place, 
A« when Meg led their chief a chase ; 

But a' sic clan 
Ar9 driven frae the earth's fair face, 

By Wisdom's ban. 

Not haunted ye by warlocks grim, 
By beldames gaunt, yet lithe o' limb. 
Nor hags in cuttv sarks sae trim, 

In midnicht ^lory. 
But by the Uvin\ wha frae him 

Learnt your quaint story. 

Your wa's still stan', though roofless lang. 
An' wi' carse, crumblin' eud nae Strang, 
Sin' S3me your bell in peal has rang, 

Fu' mony a wight 
Has joined the dust frae whence he sprang. 

An' gane frae sight. 

An' wi' the rest the gifted one. 
Proud Caledonia's honoured son, 
Wha sang hoo Tarn disturbed the fun 

O' Nannie joUy, 
His race o' life did shortened run, 

A prey to folly. 

Although nae antiquarian bold 
Thocht iit to write your history old, 
Your name was writ in letters o' gold 

That ne'er will pale. 
By him, wha, wi' true genius, told 

Your pleasin' tale. 

Then while a stane is left to stan' 

By rash decay's debasin' ban', 

It will frae man respect comman' — 

Aye, e'en your site 
The feelin's that are guid an' gran' 

Will serve t' excite. 

To Scot an' stranger still endeared, 
By swain an' sage alike revered, 
As when, for holy purpose reared, 

Your wa's first heard. 
In Sabbath worship, solemn, weird. 

The sacred word. 

As long the lavs the ploughman sung 
To chords o'*C/olia*8 lyre, love-strung, 
Repeated are by human tongue. 

Fame to prolong. 
Ye will be known foremaibt aiuoug 

The kirks o' song. 



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yrhmTimmmaamt,iSkmVmm 




Sm lev BM. tko^ yoB-i* id 
TewfflbetoobiiVioBCMl» 
For vUk the and o- MB 4m 

Ten fir* iB 1^0*7 o* «^ PMt» 
KtA AIIii«»r! 



MBS MAKGABET ELIZABETH SANG8TEB. 

/f\BB M. E. 8ANG8TER, mdt MUN80N, now 
X UJ residing at Brook! jn, America, is widely and 
popularlj known as a frequent ccmtributor to eorrent 
Uteratore. On the maternal side she is deaoeoded 
from the Ghishokns and KirkaldySy and thus etaima 
kinship with the Scotch. Her pablished works are 
''Poems of the Honsehold," '* Honis with QirV' 
'' Miss Ducberr/s Scholars," " Mary Stanhope," and 
nmnerons little volumes for children. Both in her 
prose and poetical works she is pure and gracefdl, 
and writes with feeling, tenderness, pathos, and 
careful finish. An American writer sajs : '* She is a 
poet with whom the affections are inspirations, and 
who finds a world of simple poetiy in common tldnffs. 
She has a dear insight into the themes which A» 
selects, or which select her, and jEin excellent taste, 
which is as much the expression of her own nature 
as the studied expressitm of her culture ; and she has 
more than a womanly sense of the demands of the 
poetic art." 



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OUR, OWN. I 

If I hftd known in tlra morning I 

How weArily'all'thWdiQf' I 

T)ie words unwind { 

Would trouble my mind i 

I said when' yon' Went AWaJr^ 
I hMl b^n more.piureful, darling, 
Nor given you needless pAin.; 

But we,vejc our own ' 

With look a):)4t9ne 
We migh|>,n.9T^rjt4)ce bacif againv 

Fdr though in the quiet evening 
You may give me the kiss of peaoe, 

Yet well it might be 

That never for me 
The paiu of the h^art should oease. 
How many go forth' in the morning 
Who never oome home at niji^ht ; 

And hearts have broken 

For harsh words spoken, 
That soRQW can ne'er set ririit. 

We have careful thoughts for the stranger, 
Abd'sraHttB for thef sometime gnest !;: 

But oft for our own 

The bitter tone, 
ThoUgh'we love our own the beet. 
A^ ! lip with curve impatient ; 
Ah ! brow with that look of soom, 

'Twere a cruel fate, 

Were the night too late 
To u^do the work^of mom. 

THE EIVBR. 

Far up on the mountain the river begins, ~ 

I sa# it^ a thread in the sun. 
Then it grew to a bpook. and through dell and (through nook, 

It dif^^lea, and danced in its fun. 

Airibbon^ofiflilver, it sparkled along 

Over meadows, beeprink^efl with gold : 
With a^twiat ana a twirl, and a loop and a curl, 

TbVough' fhe pastures the rivulet rolled. 

Then to the valleys it, leaped a^d it la^gl^e^. 

Till it stronger and stiller became ; 
On Its banks the tall trees rooked their boughs in the lireeze. 

And the lilies were tapers aflame. 



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MAImTAISbT ^fSiABSTH ^dii)«68TBB, '* 169 

T^e blifldren tb^^ pieb^Tds; ^^nd'^hoblld Witfa 'fi^ 

At the cfrdes lihey made in Vttr strtAw ; 
And the white fisher-boat, sent so lightly afloat, 

Drifted oiF liKe a sail in a dreilm ; 

Deep-hearted, the mirth of its baby-life past, 

'It toiled for the grinding of corn ; 
Its shores heard the' beat of the lamberman's feet, 

His raft on its carrent was borne. 

At inlet and cove, where its harbours were fair, 
Vast cities' arose in their pride, j' 

A nil tWVealth of their streets bame from beautlftirileeti. 
Forth launched on its affluent tide. 

Tbe'glorions'riTer swept on to the sea, 

The sea that engirdles the land ; 
But I saw it begin in a thread I could ■spin, 

Like a cobweb of silk, in my hand. 

And I tl|ought of the rirer that flows 'from tlie throne, 

Of 'ih^ love that Is d^hlesA and free,— 
Of the grace of his peace that shall ever increase, 

Ohrist-gfven to you and to the. 

Far up on the mountain^ and near to the sky, 

The cup-full of wa^er is seen, 
That is wimmed till its tide carries benlsons wide 

Where the dales and the meadows are green. 

Is thy soul like a cup ? Let its little be given. 

Not stinted nor cnurlish to One 
Who will fill thee with love, and his faithfulness pr6ve. 

And 'bless thee in shadow and sun. 

MOTHEH'H'OOD. 

Sweet Mary Mother, when of old an artist's dream divine 
Was once to let his thoughts of thee in all men's eyes to shine. 
He sought some peasant woman, or some dame of high degree, 
And watched her brooding o'er her babe, And thus he looked on 
thee. 

And still he saw how mother-love its precious burden bore 
In plentitude of joy that swept (like tide that floods the shore) 
Each fret and discord out of life — a rapture so profound 
That aye where mother clasped her ohiLl that place was holy 
ground. 

The centuries have drifted on. I read to-day the page 
That kindles with its beacon-fire a hope for every age ; 
Betwixt th6' 'midnight find the dawn I too behold the star 
Which stands above the Bethlehem stall where Babe and Mother 



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110 MODSBK SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Yet oft, like him whoee canvas glowed in medieval dajs 

With her dear face whoee matchless grace woke sternest hearts 

to praise, 
I nearer draw to Him who came the dark world^s light to be, 
When bent o'er some small cradle where a wee babe smiles at me. 

I kiss the dimpled rosy feet by dost of earth unsoiled ; 
I own with awe the parity by stain of earth unspoiled ; 
And in her ha^py eyes I gaze who wears the mother's crown, 
And feeb vdthin her sonl a love not death itself may drown. 

Madonna mia^ mother sweet, in palace or in cot. 

Where thou dost dwell the angels wait, and though we hear them 

not, 
They softlv chant a Gloria that swiftly finds its way 
To film whom, erst a human child, the heavenly hosts obey. 

PRAISE UNIVOCAL. 

St Francis, gentle of life and word. 

The innocent praise of his Master heard 

In the grasshopper's chirp, and the song of the bird. 

When the lark upsprang in the dewy mom, 
Or the partridge whirred in the tasselled com. 
Or the call of the dove to her mate was home. 

The ^ood man deemed that the bending skies 
Received the notes as a sacrifice. 
Sent to the Maker in Paradise. 

I listen, and clear through the folded peace 

That at twilight lies like a silver fleece, 

On the fields where the darkness bids labour cease, 

There comes to my ear a mingled strain ;. 

The brook that is brimmed by the summer rain. 

And the wind in the trees, add their sweet refrain. 

And an elder saint than St Francis says 
To my heart, as I dream in the fading day's 
Last glimmer of light, " Oh, haste and praise ! 

** Praise Ood, rocks, rills, and the stars of light, 
From the lowest depth to the heavenly night. 
Praise Him who only hath power and might !" 

Would that my thoughts were like his of old, 
Forever set to a harp of gold, 
Alas ! they are often slow and cold. 

And the birds as they sing in the hidden nest, 
But chide the spirit that cannot rest 
Secure in the Father who knoweth best. 



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WILUAM MACDOKALD WOOD. Ill 



WILLIA^M MACDONALD WOOD, 

BOBN in Edinbnrgh, in 1847, was the second 
son of James Wood, a printer, and of 
Susanna Macduff, a true-hearted daughter of the 
Highlands, from whom the subject of this sketch 
inherits many distinguishing traits. His father was 
a man of ability, and, though not an ordained dergy- 
maii, had in his time officiated as a preacher of the 
gospel in the **lang toon o' Kirkcaldy." The Wood 
family are numerous in '* the Kingdom," their main 
habitat being in the vicinity of Largs, the birthplace 
of Alexander Selkirk. 

Young Wood was at an early age employed in an 
Edinburgh publishing house, but having a hanker- 
ing for adventure and ambition to push his way in 
the world, he struck out, and emigrated to America 
in 1869. The war of the Eebellion was over, and 
som^ow he was attracted to the " Sunny South," 
all the while corresponding with the Edinburgh 
JReview, making his quarters for a brief period in 
New Orleans, whose balmy, delicious climate and 
summer pomp still linger pleasantly in his memory. 
Finding, however, his associations not altogether 
congenial or consonant with his ardent love of liberty, 
he flitted northward, and securing employment on a 
Brooklyn journal, he has ever since been connected 
with it, holding now the responsible and arduous 
position of managing editor with a tact, skill, and 
literary ability which have given it no mean place in 
the world of newspaperdom. 

At an early age Mr Wood devdoped a genius for 
poetry, his wonderful rapidity in versifying (he has, an 
American correspondent informs us, ** been stented to 
compose a finished sonnet in seven minutes, and done 
it ") being perhaps a barrier rather than an advan- 



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112 •ifM>Bur -aoemsH bors, 

tage to him in his oourtship of the Muses. Under a 
veiy gentle exterior there is a true manliness, a 
tender feeling, a warm love of country, native and 
itdopted, and a gonial wit and humour that would 
hardly be saspecibed by those who find faim f^pte- 
seated in this volume 'by the fdlowing MSieir 
efliliioas. 

OLD AND NEW. 

** O dintia rinir thM^jibflrlin.' MMgB 

Thftt tMnpt the griuMless feet, 
Wi' ■olemn words in daft array, 

Like 'raisers on the street ; 
' ^ut to the ffnuid aold tneasnvea 

TJbat fiU the kirks at h^me, 
Sing the sweet sangs that David sang 

To strains that he mioht dalm. 

At least let thae licht sangs be still 
. On th4 holy Sabbath dajr, 
^ Nor thrhm sio evil dancin rants 

When, to your God ye pray. 
HI do sic wanton thrains 
Become the holy name, 
sotnid His praise in the grand a«id airaias 
That fill the kirks at hame." 

O gMknnie, let the bairnies sing 

As tits their liohtsome mood. 
Nor let the gloom o Sinai cloud 

'li^heir gowan-bosket road. 
Sweet were the auld Wk anthems, 

Where lyart elders knelt ; 
Yet thinkna Heaven disdain'd to hear 

Tlie laverpck^s gladsome lilt. 

Aft hae oor com an' tempted hearts 

Thriird to the psalmist's Ivre, 
An' kenned the sins an' griefs -our ain 

That did his strains inspire. 
But the sangs that pleas'd the^ Master, 

When this cauld world He t^d, 
Were the glad hosannas o' the weans 

That hailed Uim as their God. 

Bethink ye how our faith was- wrocht 

In persecution's fires, 
When on the Covenant anvU 4tem 

God fashioned out onr sires. 



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WILLIAM MAODONALD WOOD. 113 

Th^lulb tba^ drank their Hfe-bloid. 

Bekd their mtatyr psalms, 
Each misty moor their children till 

Their nigged faith embalms. 

But Mi^^j, hae fa'en on sunnier days, 

Tha^filii^'s e' the aald tree ; 
Tho' Covenant bluid is in their veins, 

Nae Govehant fireb they diee. 
Theirs are the lanohin' blossoms, 

The faagrant sweet-blown flowers 
0* the faith bedewed wi' martyr bkwd 

On Scotland's heathery moors. 

Then, Gltaimie^ let the baimies sing 

As suiMiheir gleesome nood ; 
Nor let ear «inAi elead the path 

Their Grod wi' flowers has strewed. 
When DaffWVwaes beset them 

Uktftis, his psalms theyll sing. 
But let the^ k»dd hosannas rise 

That kail Mm children's King. 



MY JOY IS TAKEN. 

Once, ^^Al^ ivtth »y own joy, and counting small 
The stranger sorrows that around me lay, 
I sang that all Iboidd hail <ibe Christmas Day, 

The Day of Days, the Children's Festival. 



Myjoyi 
Witht 



' is taken from me, and my song 
I dolorous echoes fills the Chri«tmas Eve, 
As in my woe a thorny oroWn I weave 
From roses that to Memory belong. 

roses^ fondly cherished how ye rting t 
Drawing hot tears with every reverent touch. 
Who oonld have dreamed that love would sow so much 

Of thorns as round your fairest blossoms cling ? 

This is my wod, for all the world is glad. 
Ana every home is wreathed in festal green, 
O ialse aid mocking wreath ! Have I not seen 

How soon the fairest ^* evergreen" can fade ? 

But all the world is glad, for rude and wild 
From every home rings childhood's boisterous tone. 
The world is fall of children ; I alone 

Beach vainly int * darkness for my child. 

And iiarents, happy in their children's mirth, 
Jostie agftmst me in each crowded street, 



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114 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

As, hnrrying homeward with love- lightened feet, 
Their joy anconscious seems to mock' my dearth. 

Why should I mar their feast with funeral song ? 

Do they not well to joy, those happ^ ones ? 

May I not share the gladness of their sons 
And hold my selfish, envious sorrow wrong ? 

Nay, for my child is not. At everv feast 
Mine eyes but see the unregarded ghost. 
Each joy -borne load is what my child hath lost ; 

All are for them, and not for him the least. 

I know that in the generous home divine 
Of the Child-lover who was once a child. 
My darling's loneliness will be beguiled 

By love as tender and more wise than mine. 

He has been carried to the birthday feaat 
Where Christ's own hands adorn the Christmas tree. 
I know that all is well, but I can see 

Only the darkness where my gladness ceased. 

Only the darkness, and my child is there. 
An, God, that I might see the light beyond. 
His feeble ste^s led by Thy tender hand. 

How in this Christmas joy my heart would share ! 

THOMAS GDTHRIE. 
(died FEB. 23, 1873.) 

Here is one whom ye may mourn — 

A man, whatever title others claim. 
This ever shall his name adorn — 

In every fibre of his burly frame ; 
- In his broad, vehement speech ablaze with thought ; 
In every noble work his strong hands wrought, 
Staunch, stubborn manhood fit expression sought. 

What was he, this grey-haired man, 

Lyinff so still, though wet with burning tears. 
Washed with orphan tears, yet wan- 
Scarred with tne hurricanes of storm filled years ? 
An iron veteran, battle-worn and grim, 
Yet love bends over him with soft eyes dim. 
And hosts of homeless children weep for him ? 

He was a prophet of the Lord, 

His lips aglow with coal from 6od*s own altar. 
And all the gold of Fashion's horde 

Was vain to tempt his steps to swerve or falter 
From the steep patn alone by duty lighted. 



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DANIEL M'iNTTRB HENDERSON. 115 

« 
Bravely he went to seek the souls benighted, 
Tai even his tempters followed him delighted. 

A man of wondrous eloquence. 

Melting proad schoolmen with his glowing zeal, 
And shaping intellect and sense, 

As on nis forge the workman shapes the steel ; 
Yet scorning, like his Galilean Chief, the praise 
And costly offerings of the host he sways. 
And earing more the outcast poor to raise. 

« 
Even as his wanderincr Master took 

Lepers and thieves and harlots in his care, 
Unheeding Pharisee's rebuke. 

So Outhrie trod dark alley and vile stair. 
And vice shrank withered from his words of fire, 
And men, uplifted, shunned the drunkard's mire, 
And the neglected children found a sire. 

Honour to Thomas Guthrie's name ! 

His hearty voice is heard no more on earth, 
But we are richer with his fame. 

And heaven is richer with his love and mirth. 
Write on his tomb that Scotland never gave 
To earth a man more noble, kindly, brave. 
Than this who rests from toil in Ghithrie's grave. 



DANIEL M'INTTEE HENDERSON, 

BALTIMORE, was born in Glasgow, in 1851. 
His father, a native of Thurso, and a car- 
penter to trade, was then employed at PortDundas by 
the Forth and Clyde Canal Co. When the son was 
abont ten years of age, the family removed to Black- 
hill Locks, on the Monkland Canal, near Glasgow, 
where his parents still reside. Our poet was thus 
placed in a position between town and country — 
near enough to the great cit^ to feel its stir and be 
moTed by the current of its busy life, and remote 
enough to have the opportunities for contemplation 
and reflection which the country affords. He early 



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116 MODEBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

hegan to write verses^ but almostnotlihigof bis work 
done on tbe Scottisb side of tbe A.tlantic bas been 
preserved. Mr Henderson learned tbe wbolesale 
drapery business, but a satirical eflufijoh directed 
against some of tbe firm's arrangements wbicb seemed 
to tbe poet to need rectifying, was considered bj bis 
employers to contain too mucb trutb for so small 
a piece of rbyme, and cost bim bis place. After 
filling one or two other vitiations, be was appdinted 
book-keeper to the Scottisb Permissive Bill and Tem- 
perance Association-^a f acti .which indicates tbe strong 
interest be bas always taken in temperance and other 
moral questions. 

In 1873 Mr Henderson sailed for AmericSi and 
landed in Baltimore, where he seotired a position as 
book-keeper in a lar^e manufacturing estal^isii&ent, 
which situation he still holds. We are infonned by 
Ameiican friends that be occasionally fills tb^ Con- 
gregational pulpit, ^nd gives public lectures in and 
around Baltimore. He has visited Scotland once, 
when he took to himself a wife, and bis American 
home bas now in it the music of children's voices. 
The Scotsman and Caledonian Advertiser of New York 
published bis first effusions written on American soil, 
and reviewed them very favourably. Mr Henderson 
has also written with mucb acceptance for the New 
Tork Independent^ Chicago Advance, tbe Baltimore 
American^ tbe Scottish American Journal^ and other 
papers. He bas not yet published in book forin, 
but may consent to do so in the near future. Tbe 
impulses of a poet's mind are remarkable in his 
reflective pieces, and a vivid yet chaste imagination 
is shown when be depicts the beauties of nature. 
Many of his productions are rich in evangelical 
sentiment and true poetical feeling. 

SCOTLAND MINE. 
Oh, Scotland mine, my mother-land, 
How grand, how fair art thou ; 



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DAjmsL m'inttbb HBNDSBSON. 1X7 

The sunbeams pUy aboat thy feet, 

The ligbtnixiK rgtund thy brow. 
How stout of arm, how fierce of speech, 

In battle aiy^ in ^torm ; 
But to toy children, bosom-nursed, 

How tfoder-aovM and warm. 

OhjScoUand mine, my mother-land, 

What pan^ were at thy Urtb ; 
With throes and tossings terrible 

Travailed thy motthef, Earth f 
Each jsffged beak, each jutting olitf, 

Still teU of pam and strife, 
Whentbon, from oatEatth's burning womb 

Wert lifted into life. 

My mother-land, how bare thy form, 

How wild thy heart of flame, 
Till kindly snows and miste and dews . 

With gentlest soothing came ; 
And now in Katnre's greenett robe, 

A queen I see thee stand ; 
The fairest, grandest child of earth. 

My own, my mother-land. 

Thy children, too, my mother-land. 

Game to their birth through strife — 
In war, and storm, and martyr-flres, 

They bravely won their life— 
Bock-framed and rude, how stem they stood 

For truth and conscience free — 
Fire-souled, how flamed their being forth 
" ■ For liberty and thee. 

Come now, soft dews of sytopathy, 

Gome, mists of human tears, 
And snows that nurse the buried seed 

Shall blootn in brighter ybata ; 
Then greenest sward of love shall fold 

Eternal rocks of truth— 
And kingly men thy sons Hhall stand 

In royal robes of ruth. 



OH, LIPPEN AN' BE LEAL. 
(a pabafh^asb.) 

Oh, lippen an* be leal ! 

The Faither's bairns are ye— 
A' that He does is weel. 

And a' that's guld Hell gie ! 



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118 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

The birds, they ken nae cark, 
They fear nae oauld nor weet — 

His e'e'a ower a' His wark, 
They dinna want for meat. 

Think o' the bonnie flowers, 
Wi' slender, graoefu* stem, 

Drinkin' the summer show'rs— 
The Faither cares for them I 

The mies o' the field 
At (^od's ain biddin* bloom ; 

His bosom is their beild, 
Uis breath is their perfnme. 

And if He minds the flowers, 
And deoks them oot sae braw, 

He'll care for you and yonrs — 
Then trust Him wi' your a*. 

The Faither's bairns are ye — 

A' that He does is weel, 
And a' that's guid He'll gie— 

Oh, lippen and be leal ! 

OUR SCOTTISH FERN. 

It died, we said, at early frost — 
So surely did we deem it lost. 
We had forgotten it almost. 

So when the spring with sun and showers 
Stirred stiffened plants, woke sleeping flowers, 
We did not think to look for ours. 

But, tender as a babe new-bom, 
Curling and fresh, a slender horn 
Clomb to the light one April morn I 

Nor was it come to live alone : 

Four sister-shoots since then have grown. 

And earth has rendered back our own ! 

It was a glad surprise to find 

Dame Nature's wrinkled bteast so kind. 

To that which we had dropp^ from mmd. 

And with the coming of our fern. 
What sunny memories return. 
What blessed lessons we relearn. 

We walk once more by fell and brake, 
And see the plashing wavelets break 
Upon the shores of Lomond lake. 



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DANIEL M'iNTYRB HBNDBBSOIT. 119 

We seat as in the sheltered glade, 
And watoh the play of lif^ht and shade 
Upon the Falls of Inversnaid. 



Thro' fringe of fern and fragrant heath 
The waters leap, to hiss and seethe 
About the sollen rocks beneath. 

Far-bending o'er the rocky bed, 
The rowans hang their berries red 
And lock their branches overhead. 

In this song-hallowed nook of earth 

Our fern-plant, bailed bv sonsr-birds' mirth. 

And hum of waters, had its birth. 

Here gentle hands and cautious blade. 
About its clinging roots were laid : 
We bore it far from Inversnaid — 

We tended it by sea and shore- 
It died when summer days were o'er — 
How could we hope to see it more ? 

But April bade the dead arise, 

With all its buried memories. 

To fill our souls with sweet surprise. 

So, sometimes, Nature's ooM and drear, 
Touched by a human smile or tear. 
Have opened like budding year. 

So, e'en where Hope had ceased to be, 
Strong Faith may spriuj; and blossom free 
At the first touch of sympathy. 

So does the grave its secret keep 
To gladden yet the eyes that weep — 
Our loved ones are not dead, bat sleep I 



A SONG OF LOVE. 

Love's season is but brief, 

So they say. 
It opens like the leaf. 

To decay. 
Ah, well, I only know. 
The long years come and go. 
But 'tis leaf-time with Love alway. 

A silver cloud is Love, 
So they say — 



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126 MODEKN S00TTI8H 'F0B«8. 

That floats a while above, 

Then away — 
Ah, well, the yean have brought 
Their freight of care and thought, 
Yet I build in the clouds to-day. 

Uncertain as the sea, 

So they say. 
Love ever will be free — 

Well-a-day. 
The years have come and gone. 
Life's ebb and flow go on. 
But the sea is the same for aye. 

If Love do fade e'er long, 
As they say- 
Yet Love is true and strong, 

And will stay. 
The leaf, and cloud, and tide. 
Through all the .years abide— 
Is not Love longer lived than they. 



OH, FOR THE SKYLARK. 

Oh, for the Scottish skylark, 

In the bright southern sky ; 

To 'thrill my soul with joyous song, 

As in the days gone by. 

And oh, to lie, and mark his flight, 

Till far within the blue, 

A si^eck half seen, ima^ned half, 

His form escapes my view. 

Oh, for a single skylark 

To pour like sun-lit rain, 

Down aU the air a shower of song 

To gladden hill and plain. 

High-priest of birds, the skylark takes 

Of all Dird song the best, 

Then goes alone, but when he wills, 

Into the holiest. 

Oh, for the song of the skylark, 

Then shall this land rejoice. 

When she, dumb queen, with splendour girt. 

Hath found at last a voice. 

Her wooded hills are dear to me, 

Her valleys fair to see — 

Ay, this were home, could I but hear 

The skylark's melody. 



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DtnSCAJSf ICACOKEOOB CBBSAB. 121 



DUNCAN MAGGREGOR CRERAR, 

[TJTHOR of the exqtdsite lyric, "C^edonia's 
Blue Bells," well-known and admired in this 
cottntry, aAd sung by " gentle and simple " through- 
out Ameiirick, was bom, in 18[38, at Amulree, Glen- 
quaich, Perthshire. He is second son of the late 
Alexander MacKtntosh or Crerar and Janet Mac- 
Qregor, '*Aaught6r 6f'the late Duncan MacGregor, 
merdbtimt; Anftdree. His love of books early mani- 
fMdd itself, azfd hp is still a student. After receiv- 
ing « substantial elementary ^ucation, it was the aim 
of his pai'iBnts to *hAte lidm ^'brought out for the 
ministry, ' but the early death of his father de- 
feated this intention. In 1857 he went out to the 
comity of Perth, Oans^da. Here he met numerous 
paftiee who bad been evicted from Glenquaich and 
other parts of Breadalbane — many of them relatives, 
aii^nota few bf'them old acquaintances. Those 
settlors were an intelligent people, who had been in 
comfortable circumstances at home, and here they 
were the pioneers and formed -the nucleus of what is 
now one of the finest counties in Ontario, named 
Perth kfber the shire they had left. 

Mr Orerar spent nearly nine years in Canada, 
chiefly occupied in mercantile pursuits, and for a 
considerable time also in the Active Militia, of which 
he ^ai^ iein Enthusiastic member. 'He served with his 
company for some months on the frontier during the 
Fenian troubles of 1865, and as a reward for 
efficiency in this capiacity he was gazetted Honorary 
Lieutenant of his old Corps, Co. A. 28th Perth, by 
the Canadian Government, when under the direction 
of his Mend, the Honourable Alexander MacKenzie. 
Between posts at the front he used a diligent pen, 



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122 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

and was a well-known correspondent of the Stratford 
Beaeonj an influential paper published in the county 
town of Perth. 

In the autumn of 1865, the Active Service Bat- 
talions were recalled, and the men composing them 
allowed to take their discharge. Shortly thereafter, 
the interval being devoted to certain special studies 
at Toronto, Mr Orerar left for New York, where, 
with the exception of a summer spent in Scotland, 
he has since remained! 

Though a frequent contributor of letters to Scottish 
and other newspapers, Mr Crerar allowed none of his 
poetical effusions to appear until pressed to do so by 
Mr A. MacKenzie, F.S.A., Inverness, editor of the 
Cdtie Magatine^ during that gentleman's visit to 
America in 1879. In this magazine first appeared 
the poem on his old friend Evan MacCoU, the well- 
known Lochfyne-side bard. This poem was widely 
quoted in Scotland and throughout Canada, whence 
came a letter of congratulation from the Marquis of 
Lome. In April of the same year (1880) his ** Well 
done, brave Perthshire ! " was published in theP^r^A- 
shire Advertiser, and soon after, in the same paper, 
''Alma, Countess of Breadalbane." In the Celtie 
Magazine has since appeared, among others, '' Adieu ! 
loved friends of Athol Bank," ''Caledonia's Blue 
Bells," "My Bonnie Eowan Tree," "A Spray of 
White Heather " — the last-mentioned being dedicated 
to Mrs William Black, wife of his warm friend tlie 
eminent novelist. 

A well-known New York critic thus writes of Mr 
Orerar and his work: — "In addition to many 
smaller pieces not yet published, he has an epic on 
which he has for some time been engaged, but which 
is not nearly completed. This poem will have 
immense attraction for lovers of the beautiful in 
nature, but particularly for those who are familiar 
with the matchless scenery, the family histories, and 



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DTJNOAN MACORHOOR ORBRAB. 123 

the l^endary lore of Perthshire. His published 
pieces have been widely copied, and have won for 
him enooniums from manjr distinguished people. 
Socially, though not given to company, and perhaps 
a little too retiring in his ways, he is one of the noblest 
of fellows, as is known best to those who are per- 
mitted to enter the chosen circle of his friends. In 
his friendship, as in everything else, he is honest 
and sincere." Mr Orerar, from his numerous rela- 
tions, as well as from his literary sympathies, has 
been brought into contact with many of the British 
publishers and authors who, in recent years, have 
visited America, and among the list of his friends 
and correspondents he includes such names as George 
MacDonald, William Black, Alexander Strahan, and 
others. 

'* Caledonia's Blue Bells," which the American 
Scotsman characterised as an exquisite gem, ** coming 
from the heart of a loyal Briton and an enthusiastic 
Scot," is a fine picture of a happy Sco.ttish home, 
breathing, like many of the poet's productions, piety, 
patriotism, filial and brotherly love, and touching all 
the best chords of our common humanity. Mr 
Orerar's productions have in them the warmth of 
Highland blood, the flavour of the heather, and the 
freshness of the mountain breeze. They possess 
pathetic grace, quiet dignity and exquisite tender- 
ness, together with that subtle blending of the moods 
of Nature with human feelings which is always the 
seal of true imagination. 

CALEDONIA'S BLQE BELLS. 

Hail, bonnie Blue Bells, ye come hither to me 
With a brother's warm love from far o'er the sea ; 
Fair flowerets, ye grew on a calm, sacred spot, 
The ruins, alas, of my kind father's cot. 

Caledonia'a Blue Bells, bonnie Blue Bells I 

What memories dear of that cot ye recall. 

Though now there remains neither roof tree nor wall ; 



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tgi Mf^oBN mynum vovcs. 

Ai^flp^HliT. lintel and tl^reshold are gpne, 
While oold 'neath the weeds lies the hallowed hearthstone. 
CMadhdafs Bloe B^lls, O bonnie Bine Bells r 

Twas A straw-roofed cottage, but love abode there, 
And.pcMee and contentment aye breathed fad its ahr ; 
Wikb s^ngs ivom the mother, and legends from sire, 
Ho.w hUify were we fiXi round the cheerie pe^ fir«. 
Caledonia's Blue Bells, bonnie Blue Bells ! 

Qor sire U^g i^l^p^. his fond mem'ry endeare)d. 
The mother still spared us, beloved and revered ;^ 
Sweet ^ue Bells with charmed recollections entwined 
Of.ip0nM^ mJT childhood for.evev enshrined. 

C«a^don{a*s Blue,^^ bq^nie Blue Bel|8 ! 

TO-MORROW. 

Aw^y.with ffrlef, dull care away, 

A^ay with canker, pain, and sorrow ; 
• Where ^black eloiids scowl and frown to-day 

The sun will brightly shine to-morrow. 
The v^aiy }^9V% when sore di^tresstd 

Too of( alas, will trouble borrow ; 
But'joy will banish what distressed, 

APd fyes that i wept will ^mile to-morrow. 

Wlnr should we grieve though friends forsake ? 

If Qne.isJjeft thali's true and thorough ; 
In adverse house who will partake 

And share our woe or weal to-morrow. 
No peae^ul place of rest is this. 

Here no immunity from sorrow ; 
But an enduring home and bliss 

Awaits above when comes the mqirow. 

MY BONNIE ROWAN TREE. 

Thrice welcome, sweet green spray 
• OttlPd from my rowan tree, 
By loved ones far away. 
In bonnie Amulree. 

In bojrhood^s days thy root 

Wa^ planted by my hi^i^d, 
Just ere I l^f t' my dear. 

My Scottish fatJberUnd I 

Thou but a sapling then, 
Thobgh ndw a sheltering tree, 

While warbkrs in thy bqughs 
Sing sweetest m^JpdiiB; 



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DJJirni^ MAO^OttOOB dffllBAtU 1S5 

Ob, haiidii6iii€rTdwaii trM r 

I*m ffrowiD|if dicl'ftfid'grtfy i 
BxUi thdti art tt^h mtd green, 

Bemote from all denay. 

One boon for wbicb I pray— 

A bome in Amalree, 
W^ere friendB of yore I*d meet 

Beneatb thee, rowan tree ! 

Tbe Fraocbie wimpling by, - < 

. IxL cadence eoft and alow— , * 
Craig Tbnllicb tow*nng l^igb, . 
Tbe fragrant woods below. 

Tbe old kirk on tbe knowe, 

Tbe gi»Teyard Bxotty greep ; 
Tby boaky bkka, Lubdhtta^ 

Thy streamlet's silv'ry sheen. 

With warm Breadalbane bteurts, 

'MdAg tbose romi&ntio braes, 
I happily eonld spend 

Th6 ^loaittifng of my days. 

The memories of langsyne — 

Bright days of gladsome glee — 
We fondlv could revive 

B^ntaMth thee, ro^wan^ tree. 



THE BIRLIC WELL. 

d £irlic Well, dear Eirlio Well, 

Again I gaze on thee ; 
What sacred mem!rie8 round thee ding. 

Fount of mine infancy. 
Thy waters laugh and npple now, 

As in the days of yore ; 
Idid changes thou art still unchanged. 

And ceaseless in thy store. 

Long years have passed since last I kissed 

Thy gureling wavelets sweet, 
And oft I longed iti climes afar 

To woo thy wild retreat. 
Now that again I fondly hear 

The music of thy flow, 
I sigh for those who with me shared 

Thy blessiiigs long ago. 

H6w joyonsly we bounded forth, 
When free from task and school. 



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MODE&N SCOTTISH POBTS. 

To gather round thy mossy hrink, 
And quaff thy waters cool. 

Oh, youthful hearts and innocent, 
Pure as those sprays of thine, 

Where are they now who clustered round 
Thy banks in auld lang syne ? 

[ Ah roe, they all have gone, and here, 

^ In pensive mood alone, 

^^^ I meditate on bygone days 

'\ Upon thy moss-clad stone. 
Fiidends of my youth, the loved, the leal, 

\ waft, where'er you dwell, 
My^ warmest wishes ; bless you all, 
Wt^o drank from Eirlic Well. 

Loved feWAj WelT, flo^^r 6r on : 
Those cooling draughts of thine 

The tired and weary aye shall cheer- 
Flow on, O boon Divine I 

Farewell, charmed spot, I ne*er again 
Thy cheerie face may see ; 

But thou art graven in my heart, 
Scene of mine infancy. 



TO EVAN MACCOLL. 

My greeting to thee. Bard revered, 

Sweet minstrel of Loch Fjme ! 
Heaven bless, and shield, and prosper aye. 

Mo Cha/raid ! thee and thine.' 
May time deal ever tenderly, 

MaoColl ! with thine and thee ; 
Long may thy tuneful Highland harp 

Throb sweetest minstrelsy. 

The sterling virtues of the Gael, 

Their deeds of bravery, 
Their guileless hearts so warm and true. 

Who can portray like thee ? 
And sweetly dost thou sing the charms, 

The gracefulness divine 
Of Highland maids, in speech endeared — 

Thy mother tongue and mine. 

" lona,*' " Staffa," and " Loch Awe," 
" Tioch Lomond" and " Loch Fyne," 

The " Brander Pass" and " Urquhart's Glen," 
Thou grandly dost outline. 



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DVNOAN HACORBOOB OBEKAB. 127 

Thv ** Child of Promise/' beanteoas gem, 

A plaintive, soothing psalm, 
Thy *' Falling Snow" brings to the heart 

A sweet, a noly calm. 

Thine own " Glenshira," by thy mnse, 

Is now a classic land ; 
Its scenes of grandeur have been limned 

With skill by Royal hand. 
Oh, bless her, Princess of oar race I 

That Rose without a thorn, 
So dearly cherished in our hearts, 

The loved Louise of Lome. 

Thine odes, thy sonnets, and thy songs. 

All rich in melodie, 
Shall with delight be read and sang 

While Awe flows to the sea. 
Oh, Bard beloved ! in boyhood's mom 

I sang thy mountain. lays ; 
With joy perused thy poesie 

'Mong famed Breadalbane's braes. 

I dreamed not then the rich delight 

My future had in store — 
Thy noble friendship, treasured dear, 

Within affection's core. 
The happy ceilidhs to thy home. 

The charming converse there ; 
Thy Highland hosnitality. 

How cordial, and how rare ! 

Though fair Ganadia, now thy home, 

Be full of charms to thee. 
Thy heart oft yearns to see Argyll, 

And thine own ** Rowan Tree." 
My wishes warm to thee I waft, 

Charmed songster of Loch Fyne ; 
And oh, mav Heaven's blessing rest. 

My friena, on thee and thine I 



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128 MODBJtN SCOTTISH BQSTfk 



ROBERT WHITTET, 

jIVXJBLISHER, Jtichnaond, Va., America, and a 
11%^ poet of much depth of thougfeit and sweetness 
of expression, was bom iA Perth, in 1829. His 
father was then a printer in the f f fai]> city," and the 
son was educated at Stewart's Free School-^— an insti- 
tution for the education of the sons of burgesses. 
Our poet learned the printing business, and after 
working in Aberdeen and Edinburgh for some years, 
began business on hi^ own account in hjs native 
town. He conducted it very successfully for seven- 
teen years, when a poetical desire for a life of " rural 
felicity " took possession of his miiid, and he " pulled 
up stakes," an4 went to Virginia, U.8,^ America, 
where, as the proprietor of a fine plantation of 420 
acres, he hoped to enjoy a qtiiet ^d oQntemplative 
leisure. It was not, hpwevel^,> so profitable as to 
admit of the dream, and h& had to ab^tndjbn it for his 
old friend — the types* iir "WT?4ttet removed to 
Richmond, the capital of the Southern Confederacy, 
and contracted as publisher to supply the Sunday 
School Literature of the Presbyterian Church, South. 
For a time he experienced some of the ups and downs 
of life, and not a few of its rough kicks. Indeed, 
we have reason to believe that the incidents and 
characters of his noble poem, **The Brighter Side of 
Suffering," which gives the title to his large and 
beautifid volume, recently published, are per- 
sonal reminiscences. But the '^ brave heart to the 
stey brae" has enabled him to come out fairly 
prosperous at the last. The firm of **Whittet & 
Shepperson " is now widely and favourably known 
lor its high-class literature and beautifully got-up 
works. 



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BOBBRT WHITTBT. 129 

The Tolmne already allnded to — ''The Brighter 
Side of SafiPering, and other Poems "—w^s published 
in 1882, and is inscribed to *' my wife, whose loving 
self-sacrifice has met and warded off many of our 
mutual sufferings, and to our children, whose dutiful 
affection has been a .solace in seasons of care and 
anxiety." In the preface we are told that it has 
long been th^ intiention and desire of the poet to 
re-model and rfttwrite the whole; but the exactions 
of a life of toU' denied him the opportunity, and an 
occupation that hi^s demanded for thirty years rarely 
less than twelve ^im fourteen hours a-day of close 
application ''leaves but little hope that, if left till 
' a more convenient season,' it would ever be accom- 
plished." It is {further stated that the work is the 
product of odd half-hours and occasional wander- 
ings by the waysii^e. In a pleasing poetical " prefa- 
tory" we have the following "apology" given for 
singing :— 

One linnet's note the more or less. 

Within the wildwood*s minstrelsy, 
Can neither raise nor auf^ht depress 

The sense of joyous revelry. 

And yet each linnet from the spray 

His swelling notes melodious flings. 
And pipes his own sweet roundelay 

Heedless of how another sings. 

He has a song 'tis his to sing. 

And that he sings right earnestly, 
And waits for neither serf nor king 

To urge his heart to minstrelsy. 

The skylark sings where hliss belongs, 

That song an ampler field be given ; 
Takes to the clouds his seraph songs — 

Throws half to earth and half to heaven. 

And some sweet songster, near alight 

On thorny perch, amid the throng, 
Gives to the passing heart delight. 

And cheers it with a joyous song. 



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130 MODEKN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

So are the songs that poets sing 

Within secluded quiet retreat^ 
But single echoed notes, that bring 

Their quota for a volume sweet. 

Each pipes his own peculiar strain. 

On golden lyre or grassy reed, 
And sin^s, and sings, and sings again, 

To satisfy his own heart's need. 

Yet mav some raptured thought out-reach 

Far, far the poet's dream above, 
And some faint wavering heart beseech 

To deeds of grace, and hope, and love. 

To sing has given one heart employ. 

And thus did end enough f ulnl ; 
But if, re-sung, another's joy 

Is more enlarged, 'twere better still. 

And so, self-pleased, I give the song 
That's kept my own past clear and bright, 

If that, perchance, some other tongue 
May hf t the lilt, and find delight. 

The elegant work was well received, and deservedly 
elicited high praise from the American press. The 
leading poem is of more than ordinary merit, show- 
ing breadth of view, excellent conception , maturely 
considered and well reasoned out. Its metaphors 
are apt, striking, and full of beauty, and the spirit 
of true piety is manifested throughout. The poet 
shows that the beauties of nature only attain the 
higher types by passing through the process of 
decay, that freedom, civil and religious, has been 
secured through suffering, and the teachings of the 
Gospel are presented in sweet, attractive, and har- 
monious measure. All his productions give evidence 
of the possession of the true poetic giit. His Doric 
verses are peculiarly graceful, natural, and tender, 
while they occasionally betray a vein of fine pleasing 
humour. 



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ROBEBT WHITTBT. ISfl 

HOME-LOVE. 

Prom the " Brighter Side of Suffering.** 

Oh I love is like a snmmer day, 
When snnny pleasures crowd ; 
When hrightest shines the silver ray 

Nearer the thunder-cloud ; 
But mother's love and father*8 care, 

Where'er our footsteps roam, 
Still make our hearts tne sunshine share 
Of love — sweet love at home I 
O home-love, sweet home-love, 

There no love like home-love ; 
Though all else may faithless prove, 
Leuty's aye in home-love. 

O'er the prairie waste the wanderer 

Plods with laggard step alone ; 
On the billow toss'd, the mariner 

Treads his watch, even starlight gone ; 
And from whence, to such ones weary, 

Can a sweeter comfort come. 
Than to know that hearts sit dreai^ 
For their sakes, far, far at home ? 
O home-love, sweet home-love. 

There's no love like home-love ; 

Wander where our footsteps may, 

We cherish still our home-love. 

The bustling world to some is joy. 

Or dreams of golden gain — 
What loved ones gone would deem a toy, 

Perhaps esteem as pain. 
When to the mind, 'mid care and strife. 

No resting-place can come, 
The balm for every ill of life 
Is surest found at home. 

home-love, sweet home love. 

There's no love like home-love ; 
The sweetest rest for aching breast 
Is the couch of home-love. 

As where the purest light is given 

The brighter are the flowers. 
So when the life is likest heaven 

The purest joy is ours ; 
And thoughts of highest bliss are bound 

Bv heaven's unclouded dome. 
And most of heaven on earth is found 

Around the hearth at home. 



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132 MODBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

■\ : 
O home-love, sweet home-love. 

There's no Uve like home-love ; 
The purest — best — the sweetest zest, 

Is surely found in home-love. 

fiat ah I beside l^e love of heaven. 

Earth's best we dare not name, , 
For there the lovers' hearts, nnriven, 

Are changeless and the same ; 
Bat still earth's dearest, tenderest ties 

Nearest to heaven's standard come. 
Where'er the barb ojf grief and sighs 

Are solaced tte^t^at home. 

home-love, sweet home-lov6, . 
The pattest love is home-love ; 

Thoagh all else mky faithless prove, 
Faithfal aye is home-love. 

"JOUK AND LET THE JAW BY.»' 

When Johnnie fee'd to «ot tooli 

1 ihocbt that Dane ooold match him ; 
I oonldna help bat Id'e the loon. 

So cock'd my cap to eatoh him 1 
He cam' to #00, and now ayont's 

A thooht'he wadna throw by, ' 
Sae come what will to thwart oor wants 

I'll joak and let the jaw by. 

They jeer and laugh at Johnnie's love. 

They daffin' mak o' mine too ; 
But scofiSn' ne'er mv heart can move, 

And Johnnie's still to mine true. 
Care I what enviou9 lasses say ! — 

Their envy sune will blaw by, 
I'll please my Johnnie and myseP, 

And jouk and let the jaw by. 

A towmond owre, he'll be my ain, 

When Martinmas brings oor fees round ; 
Sage wisdom says 'tis best to hain 

A wee before oor love's crowned. 
It isna lang— it hearer comes 

As time ca's ilka daw by, 
Besides, he's worth their cuffs and slams, — 

I'll jouk and let the jaw by. 

A LEGEND OP THE DAISY. 

Long had sunk the light of day. 
When, prostrate on the cold, green sod. 

Within Gethsemanet,! there lay^ 
Disconsolate, the Son of God. 



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KOBBBT WHITTET. 133 

i ' ^ 

With bitter sighs his bosom heaved, 

In semow's veiee 4ie eried aload, 
IlD« torn with grie£y his heart relieved 

Itself with sweat of crimson blood. 

Down from his quivering brow it fell, 

A dropping stream upon the grband ; 
And long'that spot eouid passers tell, 
-*'^ bare amid* the green around. 

And autamn came, and spring-time's showers. 

And summer's zephyrs softly blew. 
Yet on that spot no other flowers 

Sav^some sweet mountain daisies grew. 

And as each raised its drooping head. 

Its serrate fringe was crimson dyed : 
liemo'rifti of the tears He shed. 

And of the hour to blood be sighed. 

As in salvation's world-wide flow, 

The heaven-inspired apostle band, 
FlMt to God's chosen people go, 
'' Andthto abroad' to every land ; 

So from that spot the daisy bears 

ToaU the world a message brief : 
The otmson of its fringe declares 

The story of the Saviott^'s grief. 



THE FROZEN BURN. 

whare is the wee brook that danced through the valley, 
Wha's murmur at gloamin' sae sweet was to me ! 

Or whare are the gowans that decked a* the alley. 
And gae us, when baimieis in summer sio glee ? 

O canld cam' the rude blast that blew frae the wild hills. 
And keen bit the hoar frost, and fierce drave the saaw^ 

And they've plucked a' the sweet flowers that bosket the wee 
rffls. 
And sealed up the burme's wee wavelets and a'. 

But spring soon will come wi' its buds and its blossoms. 
The waving young leaflets will dead Ilka tree. 

The birdie's sweet love notes will thrill frae their bosoms, 
And this snaw-oovered desert an Eden will be. 

Hie wee flowers will peep up their heads by the bumie, 
And its waters will d«Aoe in the sunbeams again ; 

nk thing that has life iat will flourish and charm ye. 
When the life now entombed shall have burst its ice chain. 



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134 MODBBN SCOTTISH POETS, 

Sae man-, like the burnie when sommer is glowinf?, 
Glides on in his rapture, free, lifirhtgome, and gay ; 

But life has its winter, and towards as 'tis flowing. 
And soon will its mde breath freeze us in the clay. 

But there is a summer the soul kens is comin*. 
When life to these temples anew will be given ; 

Then fret nae, but cheer ye, and comfort yer gloamin*- 
The grave has but planted the flowerets for heaven. 

THE DAISIES. 

The daisies come and the daisies go, 
And our hearts are warmed with a conscious glow 
Of kindlier love, — ^we love them so ; 
They carry us back to our childhood's days. 
When the heart was light in its guileless wayB ; 
And for ever, methinks, the daisy says,-^ 
** I come and go, 
Failing never, but grow 
O'er all God's earth, and so, 
Proclaiming His goodness with summer's glow, 
Tell how sweetly His love and His mercies flow." 

The daisies come and the daisies go.— 

In the woods and fields and by roaosides grow. 

Everywhere, everywhere, seeking to show 

The unceasing love of the Father s care. 

Who gifts so lowly a thing such share 

Of the beauty he sheds o'er earth so fair, 

Still preaching so, 
' Where'er they go. 

That men may know, 
By the breadth of the hills and dales they sow. 
How wide His love and His mercies flow. 

The daisies come and the daisies go, — 
In childhood's heart make summer glow 
With holier joy, and innocence flow 
With a purer stream, that in after days 
Will afford a guard from the temnter's ways, 
And bless through life what the oiaisy says, — 

** As I come and go. 

Let me ever show. 

That where'er men go. 
Through sorrow or joy, they stiU may know 
Grod's mercies follow with ceaseless flow." 

WHAT IS KINDNESS. 

What is kindness?— go forth and ask 

The toiling, very poor^ 
What 'tis would make life's current flow 

With stream more bright and pure ? 

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AVDBSW m'lbah. 136 

And they will say how symMthy 

Would help to oast behind 
The drear oat-look of coming days — 

To sympathize is kind. 

Tea ! it is sweet when, sorrow bent, 

The heart droops low and lone. 
To hear the angel voice which comet 

In kindness' soothing tone ; 
Bat *tis not all that cheering words 

For monmin^ breasts we find ; 
The sympathizing heart will born 

To acts— and tbos be kind. 

What is kindness ?— *tis to bestow 
Whatever the needy want, 

To clothe the orphan^s shivering limbs- 
Give bread when bread is scant ; 

To add to joy where joy may reign. 
To heal where wounds we find ; 

With word, or act, or smile, or tear, 
Find fit^ deed— 'tis kind. 

And kindness is when brothers strive 

'Mid waves of poverty, 
To stretch the warding hand to raise, 

And give sweet liberty ; 
To free them when privation's thralls 

With cares o'er-burdening bind. 
And find how life fits into life— 

Aye, this in trath is kind. 



ANDREW M'LEAN, 

^^ANAGING EDITOR of the Brooklyn Daily 
XIU JSayle, was born in the yillage of Ronton, 
Dumbartonshire, in 1848. After leaving the parish 
school in the neighbouring village of Alezandiria, to 
which his parents had removed while he was still an 
infant, he was apprenticed to the joiner trade in the 
print works at that place. When only fourteen 
years of age he resolved to try his fortunes in the 

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136 MODSKN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

United States, and proceeding to Glasgow he induced 
the captain of an American jbarqiie to let liim work 
his passage across the Atlantic. A few days after 
reaching New York, he joined the United States 
NaTy — ^the Civil War being then in progress, and 
remained in the service, chiefly on the Potomac 
Hiver, till the end of the war. On his return to his 
Mends in Brooklyn, our poet was sent to a commercial 
college in that city, and he was' t^efe fitted to begin 
work as a newspaper reporter. 

For the past twelve years Mr McLean has been 
steadily employed in Brooklyn journalism, and for 
eight years he has been managing editdr of the 
J%fo. The true Scottish **grit" of * M'Lean is 
proved by his antecedents. Re is an eloquent and 
effective public speaker, and the skill tod ability 
he has displayed in conducting ah influential *^ daily " 
are generally conceded. Engaged as he id, he has 
but few leisure hours to devote to poetry ; and yet, 
such is the energy of the man, that he has actually 
written much — ^no small portion of whidi bears the 
stamp of poetical genius. His poetry shows spon- 
taneity, freshness, and truth, the descriptive and 
narrative in particular being full of subtle touches 
and bits of life-like portraiture, and always apprecia- 
tive and pathetic. That his productions are vigorous 
and thoughtful, the following poems will demon- 
strate: — 

A DREAM OF YOUTH. 

Deep crimson heather bloom, 
Bion yellow blushing broom, 
Sweet, f raRrant Scotch bluebell, 

Farewell, Farewell ! 

Song hearted, throbbing lark. 
Grey cushit crooning dark, 
Shy plaintive ** bonnet blue," 
Adieu, Adieu ! 



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ANDSBW m'LXAN. 137 

Broftd bosomed silver lake, 

Grim, gri^y moantams high, 

Qood-byf , Good-bye ! 

Scenes that I loved and roved among ; ' 
Bocks that echoed my earliest song/; . 
Birds I knew *ui the nesting days ; 
Flowers Iplooked by the woodOwnd ways ; 
Lake of sUvef and snnnj stNamr^ 
Beauteous aU aaa sinless dream ^ 
I say farewell, good-bye, adieu. 
But life shall end ere X part from yon ; 
Ye are ixresent^ wheresoever I be» i> - • 
Thy life .is mipe, I- am part of thee. 



SATURDAY NIGHT. 

The wearisome week is over, 

With its burden of fret and toil ; 
To-morrow I^Il'staeQ- the Cl^rv^r, " 

And'tf«ad t^« Yi&fsied sdll, '* 
And chaM a tune kn I lightly go 

Mom 'nfteny than any thb greenwoods know. 

Where the streamlets glint and shimmer 

Throii^ shadows of maple gloss. 
And stroulti^ sntibeams glimmer 

On fern and rambling moss. 
An honr 111 bpend'and drink the balm 

That the btt>oklets bre#^n tl^d woodland's calm. 



A GLIMPSE OF APRIL SUN. 

Hail, gladsome gleam of April sun I 
Thou glance from nature s kindly eye ; 

Bright pledge of boisterous weather ctoiie ; 
fair flowery fragrant iMsopheeif . ' '-u^ : < 



Thy radiance to the bluebird shows 

_ „ ing. 

When winds that wanton with*the rose 



liy ra< 

The gentleness he loves to sing, 
^en winds that wanton with •the 

Forsake the rose to fan his wing. 



The various creatures of the woods 
Are gladdened by thy enriy ^n^aee. 

As I am glad when angrjrt nuMds - : • 
Pass doud-likftirom an old friend's face. 



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138 MODERN S00TTI8H P0BT8. 

THE JEWELS OP BLARNEY. 

Tb told xu plMsantly, by the simple peasantry, 
Whose hearts ne'er wander tho' their words may stray, 
How an earPs daoffhters into Blarney's waters 
Cast all their jewels on a hapless day ; 
There to be pendant till some late descendant, 
Finding from war and bigotry release, 
Shall bid the fairies, on whom the care is. 
Bring them to deck his coronet in peace. 

There's another story, presMfing glory, 
And somethigg better, which the peasants tell : 
For witching reasons, in happy seasons. 
When the earth is under the new moon^s spell, 
Come flocks all white, from the breast of night. 
Calmly to graze near the pearlv strand ; 
So that favoured eyes may at least surmise 
That a spotless future awaits the land. 

These old traditions and superstitions 
Yield a moral that fits our time and place— 
They've a counterpart in each human heart 
That throbs with the heat of an ancient race ; 
The Bigot's word^nd Oppression's sword 
Made a lake far deeper than Blarney knows. 
And in its waters Good Will's fair daughters 
Once buried jewels more rare than those. 

Clanearty's earl ne'er owned a pearl 
To compare with the gem of brotherhood ; 
Nor in any mine doth a diamond shine 
Like the soul that longs for another's good. 
No glittering schist or soft amethyst 
Oan rival the beams of a friendly eye ; 
The emerald fades and the topaz shades 
In the flashing light of a purpose, high. 

On a new made plain I observe again 

The Blamev flocks with their spotless dress, 

And a shepherd near, from the fairy sphere, 

Maketh signs which my heart is swift to guess : 

Our age is the heir to the jewels fair 

That Good Will .buried in evil davs, 

And we shall see in our own land free 

The diadem on his forehead blaze. 

Let us sing old songs and bury old wrongs. 
And draw from the past, not, gloom but cheer ; 
The angry moods of our father's feuds 
Should oe given no place in our gatherings here : 



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AND&EW M^BAN. 139 

Let our children boast when onr healths they toast 
At the festal boards of the years to oome. 
That their fathers' choice was for friendship's voice, 
And in favoar of striking rancour dumb. 

HER EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY. 

As the rose-bud fresh in the morning, 

Just waked from its dewy repose, 
Forspeaketh the later adomins 

That shall shine in the glorified rose ; 
So maidenhood «hy and retreating. 

With thoughts that never obtrude, 
Looketh on to the swift coming meeting 

Of glory in full womanhood. 

To thee, faur maid, at the knitting, 

Of maiden and womanly duty, 
We can send no wish more fitting. 

Than b taught by the rose-bud's beauty ; 
The wish and the trust dose-mated. 

That thy larger life shall find 
No joy of the dawn abated, 

No fragrance gone from the mind. 

PROM THE SOURCE TO THE SEA. 

A dear little rill ran with musical measure 

Through scenes that were sylvan and sacred to pleasure, 

From under an oak tree by pine trees surrounded 

Its young current broke free and babbled and bounded ; 

Then out of the shade, and away from the dun. 

Like a boy to his games, sped to play with ,the sun. 

To a landscape of sand, 'twixt the croft and the sea* 
As arid and tanned as the heart of Ohaldee 
Came the brook rippling cheery a current of light, 
A joy to the weary, a gem to the sight ; 
But alas for the glory of woodland and mead. 
In the sand died the glitter, the music, the speed. 

Oh, freshness of childhood 1 Oh, gli^lness of prime ! 
Oh, home in the wildwood ! Oh, dawning of time ! 
From thee do we haste to the levels of life. 
To the passionate waste, to the toil and the strife. 
Where our courage succumbs and <9ur happy hopes flee. 
Ere we reach the dim shore of the mist-shrouded sea. 



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140 MOD£SN SOOinSH POSTS. 



JAMES UEQUHAET. 

ME have given several slariking proofs of the 
quciint hiimoar, keen wit, genial wisdom, 
and brilliant power associated with the legal profes- 
sion. We have only td tnention the perfection of the 
admirable good s^nse, combined with quickness to 
perceive the ludicrous/ thb humour always fresh, rich, 
and enforced, and the satire keen, without a particle 
of bitterness^ as shown in the songs of Lord Neaves 
and George Outram to prove that poetry can exist on 
the bench, in '* Parliament House,*/ and among musty 
papers and dry deeds. From these ^sources we have 
in song hc^d'glraphic pictures of the pecuUar features 
of Scotch legal process, the comic side of the peculiari- 
ties of Scotch law, and its efPect on the character and 
feelings of out ' countrymen, ^hese sketches are 
remarkable for breadth of colouring and truth to 
human nature, and are drawn with rare genial power. 
Mr Urquhart is a poet of much promise. He is 
studying for'th^ bar,- and at the age of nineteen has 
pubushed a volume containing poems of high merit. 
James Urquhart was bom in Dundee in 1864. 
His fat^her,^ who was a soljusitor in tha.t town, and for 
some years held the offices of Sheriff Clerk Depute 
and Oonlmisdary Clerk, died, and left a widow with 
four children — l^e eldest of whom was six years, 
and the youngest only three months. James was 
sent to school when five years old, and the youthful 
poet, on account of the tales he had heard of school 
life, cried cogioudy and 'remonstrated strongly on 
being Jed to commence his education. However, the 
*' mistress" treated him so kindly, and he felt so 
interested in what he saw, that he was sorry when 
the time came to go home, and was all eagerness to 
9t back again next morning. After three years he 



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JAMES UBQUHABT. 141 



went to the High School^ where his experienoeB ^ 
considerably widened. He was not what is generally 
understood as a diligent lad at school, and only took 
one prize, and that was for elocution. Yet he was 
thoughtful beyond his years, and loved long solitary 
rambles, when he endeavoured to cast his thoughts 
into rhyme. His first effort in this line wlks when 
he was nine years of age. It was committed to the 
care of a note-book, which he always took to bed 
with him,, so that he might jot down any fancies 
which occun?ed to him during tiie night. It was not, 
however, until he became a pupil at Oray's OoUege, 
Essex, and when about fourteen, that he began to 
write regularly. In the neighbourhood of the college 
are all the beauties of English pastoral scenexy — 
deep woods, hedged alleys,, oldf fashioned houses, 
quiet sleepy villages, and ivy-decked churches, and 
^ese scenes strengthened and fed his poetic impulses. 
The odd dress of the country people, and the quaint 
buildings in the neighbouring hamlets had the 
greatest interest for hun in Ids holiday rambles ; 
while the richly-dothed woods, with their luxuriant 
undergrowth and twining plants, he. has beautifully 
pictureid in many of his poems, and notably so in 
'^Mary," the poem firom which his recently-publiahed 
volume takes its name. 

Shortly after entering the college, and having 
been greatly impressed with the musical rhythm of 
Hood's '* Bridge of Sighs," which he had then read 
for the first time, he essayed an imitation named 
" War," which was his second poetical production of 
any note. He sent this poem to the ^* Gazette " — a 
magazine carried on by the young ladies of the estab- 
lishment — and it was so enthusiastically received that 
he became a regular contributor. Having successfully 
passed the Cambridge Local Examinations, he re- 
turned to Dundee, and having decided to study law, it 



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142 MODSBN 800TTISH POXTS. 

was arranged that lie shonld go to Edinburgh. He 
passed the General Knowledge Examination in 1880, 
and was thereafter apprenti^ to a firm of Writers 
to the Signet in the Scottish metropolis. It was 
then, in the quietude and loneliness of his lodgings, 
and when his studies were not so heavy, that he 
found time to write. Coming across a volume of 
Kirk-White's ''Bemains," this more than anything 
else stimulated thought. He started the story of 
Mary," but not feeling satisfied with the work 
in its first form, he never got farther than 
'' Autumn." He wrote it again and again, and as it 
gradually developed, the labour afforded him much 
pleasure. Meanwhile he produced minor poems when 
only in his sixteenth year, and was gratified to ^d 
one of these efforts published in the People^ s Friend. 

We learn that Mr Urquhart has been accused of 
modelling his principal poem on the lines of '' Enoch 
Arden," bat we have reason to believe that the poet 
had not even read that poem tiU after his volume 
was published. His sources of incitement have 
mainly been the '"Bemains" of Kirk- White, the 
works of Byron, and an overwhelming desire on his 
own part to write. He has found fruitful thought 
for his lively fancy in nature, in life, and in art ; and 
his treatment of the varied themes shows that fre- 
quently the least promising is most prolific in sugges- 
tion to his warm imagination. Love of external 
nature, and a genuine realisation of those feelings 
which make up the sum of average human experience, 
when it is healthy and kindly, find vivid expression 
in his poems. His productions are unequal in point 
of merit, but all are evidently finished with care and 
thought — a quality to be appreciated in these rhym- 
ing days. We look upon Mr XJrquhart's published 
efforts as a foretaste of something to come that will be 
sure to live. 



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JAinS UBQUHIBT. « 143 

THE AULD HOOSE. 

The ftold hoose stood b^ a lmrnie*8 side, 

TbMt wimpled aae bonnie an* bricht, 

As we weanies wid wide in its ^listenin' tide, 

Frae the lang summer morn till nleht ; 

^e mnnin' aboot, noo in an* noo oot, 

Happy as birds, an* as free, 

We scampered an* played *neath the aald hooee^ shade, 

For 'twas a' the big warld to me. 

The dear aold Hoose, the queer anld hooee, 

Whatever my fortunes be, 
Wi' its gabled en', an* its but an* ben, * 

It*ll aye be dear to me ! 

And there in the e*en I hae aften seen, * 

Aifter their wark wis done. ? 

My faither and mither a* sittln' thegither, 

Watehin' their wee bit son. 

An' oh ! I can mind a* the glances kind. 

An* the anxious looks they d gie, 

As I sported sae crouse roun* the dear anld hooee— 

Far the happiest hame to me. 

The dear auld hoose, &o. 

It's thae looks sae kind that will ever bind 

My thoughts to days o' yore, 

For I love to gaze, e'en through memory's haie,. 

On the faces that are no more. 

For as mony's I meet on the daily street, 

There's nane half sae welcome to me, 

An* when memory strays to thae bygone days. 

It's the lang-loet smiles to see. ^ 

The dear auld hoose, &c. 

An' as I look back on the cosy thack, 

An* the cheery wee bittie o' ^n*, 

Whaur my mither wad sit wi' her wark an* knit, 

An' join in my innocent fun — 

I dioht my weet face, an* picture the place 

A' lonely an' thick wi' decay, 

An* wearily sigh for the boon but to lie 

Near the auld noose fading away. 

The dear auld boose, the queer auld hooee 

Whatever my fortunes be, 
Wi* its gabled en', an* its but an* ben, 

It*ll aye be dear to me. 



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144 MODBRK SOOmSH POSTS. 

WILLIE AND I. 

TwM Springtime, and Nature h^ newlv arisen 
From her Blmmb^rs within Winter's ^bleni: frosty prison, 
The snowdrop and primrose were decking the viucv. - 
And the odonrs of budding flowery .perfumed t|ie>gale ; 
We were children, and life was but ni^wly begun, 
And we. knew. .nothing else save Qur innocent. fun«^.., 
When my Willie and I roamed (the hillside togetMUV - 
And sported in glee 'mong the fresh mountain heather. 

The shadows were falling, an' evenix\g serene, r' 
Had followed tl^e heat of a biright Summer's 'day^/:' 
And the gloamln's calm peace brooded over the scene, 
And chased ever^ thought of the world away ; 
We were wandVmg together whilst, warblipg above. 
The blackbird was'trinin^ in stihorous tone, ■ ,. 
When my Willie confessed to hi^ pure lasting towfi^ 
And I knew that the true heart I loved was my own. 

The ripe com was' waving beneath a hot sun, 
And the work a* the harvest-time newly begun. 
And the rich' scent of roses was borne on the breeze, 
As it languidly moved through the leaf-laden- trees, 
The year was matured, and adl N^jire wa4j^i;vdit. 
And ever^ heart throbbed with a joyous delight, 
When Willie and. I were' made one py Loye's tether. 
And our loving hearts bonded still closer to^rether. 

The snows of the Winter are lying deep now* 
Every leaf has forsaken f^AcAt bare blackened bough. 
And the wind whistles shrill as it sweeps o'er the. lea. 
And sighs a sad dirge round each dead withered tree ; 
But although we are old, and our hair is as white 
As the snows that are falling so thickly to-night. 
We are happy as ever, and only aiw»it . 
For the Sun that will shine on our heavenly state ! 



THE NEWSBOY. 

Fastly and thickly and coldly« 
The snowflakes came hurrying down. 

In an eddying crowd. 

And spreading a shroud 
Of pureness and peace o'er the town. 

Empty and dreary and lonely. 
Every street, alley, and square, 
For the wind, I ween. 
Was cold and keioi;- • s ^ 
And the snow was deep everywhere. 



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JAMES UBQUHABT. 145 

l^irefoot and n^sged and wrenched, 
Sfkiv^ring and blue with the cold, 
Crouched a poor little form 
^ pm the heedless storm, 
\ a bundle of papers tmsold. 

Weary and drooping and hungry, 
Hoarse with the unheeded cry, 

A home he has none 

Tni he's sold every one, 
And so he must onwards and try. 

So, hopeless and homeless and he4rt-sore 
Still Jbe went wandering on, 

Wj(h tbe same si^ cry. 

And no one to buy, 
Till the last flow of strength had gone. 

T%en weary, so wearr, and djring. 
He latd his poor head down to rest 

Oik th6 bhiel hard stone, 

But ete morning shone 
He hfid hdh on his Savidur's breast. 

Rigid and lifeless, bat peaceful. 
Cold itf h doorway he lay ; 

Bttt his fiiee was bright 

In the monking light, 
For its sorrow had vanished away ! 

SUMMER. 

Prom "Mart." 

Snmmer hath cast her mantle o*er the scene. 
And clothed the meadows in a richer green, 
Hath given new colour to the rip'ning corn. 
And fragrant freshness to the dewy mom. 
The heather blooms upon the mountain topfi, 
And wild flowers mingle with the verdant crops, 
The dewdrops nestle in the perfumed flowers. 
And sunbeams dance amoDg the morning showers. 
The nightingale singing out his heartfelt love. 
The hymns of larks heard softly from above, 
The blackbird whistling on a lowly tree, 
The rippling streamlet with its melody. 
The ringing woods, the verdure of the trees, 
The universal harmony of busy bees — 
All are the heralds of the joyous mirth 
Which Summer scatters freely o'er the Earth. 

Summer— when every beauty decks the vale. 
And every songster swells the tuneful gale, 



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146 MODBRK SCOTTISH POETS. 

When from their clover beds the larks arise 
To siDK their hymns among the morning skies, 
When clonds but come to quickly pass away, 
And lend a varied beauty to the day, 
Summer hath come, all Nature tells the tale, 
From loftiest summit down to deepest vale. 

Now Nature, like a lovely rosy maid. 

In all the charms of healthfulness arrayed. 

Just ere she enters on her womanhood. 

Smiling on all, and with a multitude 

Of ways engaging, bright and of ttimes coy, 

Lends unto all her own apparent joy. 

The woods, with every leaf of foliage crowned. 
With ivied trunks, and wild flowers strewn around. 
Where, hanging from the intertwining trees. 
The honeysuckle scents the cooler breeze. 
Are filled with warblings and the mild perfume 
Of budding wild flowers bursting into bloom. 
There *mong the mossy knolls and ferny dells 
Romance and Poetry enweave their spells 
About the worldly traveller's heated brain. 
And bid him taste of Paradise again. 
The bubbling stream, melodious as it flows 
Through shady glens, or where it dancing goes 
'Midst golden sunbeams, tinkling like a bell, 
Mingles its music in the jo3rful swell. 

AUTUMN MORNING. 

The Autumn morning, bright and brown and ohill. 

Reigns o'er the prospect, and the early sun, 

Newly arisen, and undimmed by day. 

Sheds o'er the landscape now his clearest ray. 

The road is thickly strewn with fallen leaves 

Huddled in batches, thickest at the side, 

O'er which, as o'er the moss-grass in the woods, 

A crispy rhne has fallen, clothing all 

In glittering whiteness. O'er the arching sky 

Not one dark cloud careers, but, deep and pure. 

It compasseth the landscape. Summer's breath 

Seems for a time to mingle with the winds 

Of aged Autumn, and the morning sheds 

A transient life into the dying scene. 

THOUGHT. 

Beloved Thought. Thou variegating flower, 
Now pure and bright with Hope's ethereal hue. 
Now dimmed with Disappointment's chilly dew— 
Thou art my best companion. Many an hour 



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ALEXANDER LAIN6. 147 

I've passed along with thee, soothing this life 

With thy sweet perfume. Oh, had 1 the art 

To plant thy wild seeds surely in my heart, 

I'd reap a harvest of them rare and rife, 

By stadious oaltivation. Bat the soil 

Most first be rich and fruitful, and the streams 

Of Learning's waters and the genial beams 

Of Knowledge must, with much of care and toil, 

Expand the germs, which, after all, but yield 

Their rich autumnal fruits to grace a field 

O'er which the sun is sinking. 



ALEXANDER LAING, 

^ IKE bis modest, yet world-famed namesake, the 
^ author of the "Standard on the Braes o' 
Mar," is a sweet and tender lyrical poet. He was 
bom at Forres, Morayshire, in 1840, and when he 
was six years of age the family removed to Elgin, 
where our poet received the rudiments of his 
education. From Elgin they afterwards went to 
Archiestown, a village on Speyside, where Alexander, 
at the age of twelve, commenced to work with the 
fanners, attending school during winter. It was at 
this time that he became enamoured of poetry. 
At the farm where he was employed there was an 
old book of Scottish poetry and a copy of Burns' 
poems. These he took with him to the field, and so 
intent was he in his study of the pathetic ** auld warl 
ballants," and the fine conceptions of Bums, that the 
cattle were frequently permitted to take liberties 
with the tender shoots of com. It is interesting to 
note here that he modestly feels that he had at this 
time more real poetry in his mind than he ever had 
afterwards. He was wont to gaze intently on *' the 



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148 MODBBN 800TT1BH POSTS. 

moon-like snn " dflatringp the tnists ftwaj in Hbe sum- 
mer mornings, every flover and every mountain and 
hill had a charm fur him, and all the birds of song 
"Were his special friends. He continued to follow 
agricultural pursuits till 187,1, when he became tired 
of the plough, and removed to Glasgow, and after- 
wards to Dundonald, Ayrshire, where he was manager 
of the gas-works for eight years. Vx Laing is pre- 
sently employed in a nursery at Kilmarnock. 

In 1868 our poet published a selection of his 
verses in book form. This venture was well received, 
and the work was highly eommended by the press. 
After being silent for a number of years, he again 
"strung the lyre," and to his great surprise was 
successful in gaining on different occasions a first prize 
in competitions in connection with the Kihnairnoek 
Standard, It was not without many misgivings that 
he consented to allow his name to appear here. He 
humbly affirms that he is able merely to string a few 
simple verses together, and in a letter says : — " If 
you can honestly include me among those who write 
poetry, and not a jingle of words, you will be quite 
welcome to look over these verses. If not, allow me 
to harp out my existence, and die along with the 
simple lines I have sent for your inspection." 

Mr Laing's poetry is natural, easy, and flowing, 
unrestrained and musical in rhyme, and chaste and 
faultless in expression. We find no aimless '^ jing- 
ling lines whose endings clink," nor are there 
dreamy, dreary harpings about neglect and cold, 
chilly despair. He is bright and cheery, and his 
pictures of rural life are calculated to add to the 
happiness of the happy, and comfort the miserable 
like the touches of tender hands and the music of 
soft tones. The following proves his right to a place 
in our galaxy of modem bards. 



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ALBTAWniB LAIIIO. 149 

TO KYLE. 

I from my early yean have longed to view this land of lore, 
Far from the mountains of the north and Moray's fertile shoref 
To ftand on ' Warley Hill and gaise adown the vale of Ayr, 
And 96b historie Irvine roll among her meadows fair. 

Bnve heroes of the misty («8t to Fancy's eye appear- 
Some fighting for their God and truth, and some for Sootlaod 

dear, 
lliat future generations might in unity oombine 
To {;:iiard this land with liberty and m&ke it brightly shine. 

Behold the knight of Elderslie by yon fair river stroll 
A shade of sadness on his brow and sorrow in his sou, 
HiB oouitry's freedom to defend from tyrant's ruling swi^, 
And sweep the foemen from the field in battle's grim array. 

DondonaM's Castle proudly stands— borne of the Stuart line^ 
Whose walls have sounded loud with mirth and seen the Am- 

cross shine 
In days wkm miutrals tvmed the lyre and ladiee sang with glee 
The triumphs of thdr lords who fought to keep them fair and 

free. 

0, land of beauty and of worth, gay home of chivalry, 
whose sons have shone in every t^e like starry gems in thee, 
BeUgion raised her gentle voioe within the holy isle. 
And echoed throng primeval groves, from " LiMly Kirk of 
KjrW 

Thera Bnioe of Bannobkbnm did bow full oft his royal knee, 
And pnyed for Oaledonia'b good,* her right and liberty ; 
And though on life's horizon rose clouds of a dismid hue, 
fie thm m liftppy wedlock joined his lady fair and true. 



Land where the lore of ages lives ; land where the minstrela 



Land wnere the martyrs died for truth, and where the hero king 
Hung high his sword when all his foes had fled from Scottish 

soil. 
And ttlw the dawn of freedom rise bright on his native isle, 

I from the mountains of the North, among the lowly bred, 
Have dared to raise my humble voice and liame thy mighty 

dead; 
To wander hi thy woodlands wild, and by thy rivers fair, 
And woo the muses of the Doon, the* Irvine,^and the Ayr. 



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150 MODEBN SCOTTISH P0BT8. 

THE WEE WELL 0' THE WOOD. 

Bax me doun my oloak, mither ; I maon bnJd my gowden 

hair- 
Fast the gloamin' fa's aroan' me, he'll be weary waitin' there, 
Where the flowers o' summer blossom in the sylvan solitude, 
And the love notes o' the mavis oheer the wee well o' the wood. 

Ye shooldna keep me langer when ye ken that I mann gang ; 
Dinna bar the door, dear mither, for I'll nae be very laag, 
Bnt I aye ha'e kept my promise, and this nicht he will be prood 
When his lassie gangs to meet him at the wee well o' the wood. 

Five aiken trees are springin', a' like sisters, frae ae stem, 
Where he held me to nis bosom in the antamn's sunny gleam. 
And kissed me till the blushes glow'd my cheeks wi' rosy blood, 
When naebody was near us, at the wee well o' the wood. 

He oa'd me dowie Jeanie, and I langh'd his fears awa', 

But what he dreaded sair, mither, is likely to befa' ; 

That nicht when sittin' wi' him there the thought wad aye 

intrude. 
That I nae mair wad meet him at the wee well o' the wood. 

I feel a bumin', bumin' in this painfu' breast of mine, 

And, tho' whiles I think I'm mendin', I can see mysel' decline^ 

Like the heath flower on the mountain, when the surly wm' 

blaws rude. 
And the wild rose finds a shelter near the wee well o' the wood. 

Ye may gang and tell him, mither, that he needna wait on me, 
I shall never mair be wi' him 'neath the auld green aiken tree, 
Ye will see the tears doun fa'in', for his heart is saft and good— 
0, I wish that I were wi' him at the wee well o' the wood. 

Bring a drink to me, dear mither, for I long to taste again 
0' its bonnie, clear cauld water— it will maybe ease my pain ; 
Aften in the summer gloamin', when the linties lilted lood, 
Ha'e we sat an' sang thegither at the wee well o' the wood. 

Lay by my hat and cloak, for I feel na fit to rise ; 

I'll count the hours till morning weaves her. web o'er a' the 

skies ; 
He'll be weary, weary waitin' in the silent solitude, 
Thinkin' I'll be there to meet him at the wee well o' the wood. 

OOR TOUN EN'. 

A bonnie lassie dwells 

Doun at oor toun en' ; 
She a' the rest excels 

Doun at oor toun en'. 



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ALSXANDBB LAINO. 161 

Like a lintie blythe is she, 
Wi' a licht laugh in her e*e. 
An* the smile she has for me 
Doun at oor toon en'. 

When I gang to get the air 

Doan at oor tonn en', 
Nae intendin' muckle mair, 

Doun at oor toon en* ; 
Before I ken mysel'. 
There's something like a spell 
Wiles me where I winna tell, 

Doun at oor toon en*. 

When we meet, it's like by chanoe, 

Doun at oor toun en' ; 
But there's love in ilka glance, 

Doun at oor toun en*. 
Wi' my bonnie lassie there, 
When the iron blazes glare, 
I can cancel a' my care, 

Doun at oor toun en*. 

I hae seen the lassies a\ 

Doun at oor toun en* ; 
O, they're bonnie, brisk, and braw, 

Doun at oor toun en*. 
But young Katie I maun hae, 
Ere the flittin* time in May, 
To be wi' me nicht an* day, 

Doun at oor toun en*. 

ON A DEAD LARK. 

Sweet warbler o' the early Spring, 
Nae mair, alas ! on lofty wing 
Thy gleef u* sang again thoult sing 

In mornings grey^ 
Or when the summer e'enings hing 

Their gowden ray. 

Upon thy wee bit bonnie breast 

The daisy's fading petals rest. 

That bloom*d sae fair beside thy nest 

The summer lang. 
When Flora smiled frae east to west 

Her wilds amang. 

When buds were burstin* in the bowers, 
And sunblinks cam' atween the showers. 
Ye cheered wi' sang the glintin' hours 
As they gaed by, 



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152 MODS^LN soot;c|s^ fqbts. 

And bailed the first fa^r aanngin* flowers 
Wr tunefu* joy, ^^- ^ 

Aft when I strolled in mn^in' mood 
Alang the edges o' the wood, 
Ye drew me irae the sol^^ude 

To tread the lea^ 
Thy sang cam f rae the siUer Q^oud 

Sae sweet to m^. 

I'm sad to see thee lyiu' there, 

To think that ye will sing hae mair ; 

When Spring comes roun', wi' mantles fair 

0' vernal green, 
Through a' the saft an' supuy air 

Ye'll nae be seen. 

"LEA' ME ALANE." 

O lea' me alane, laddie, lea' me .«4^9» 

And dinna come mair seekiQ' Ii^yqv^s o' me ; 
They say ye gae coortip' wi' some iljtker ane 

Wha may oe has mair in her coffers to gie. 
Ye bought a blue ribbon to bind her .broon hair» 

A brooch for her breast and a pink parasol, 
And tbeo ye were seen slippin' hiMue uae the fair 

A way that nae f aithf u' young laaaie can thole. 

lea' me alane, laddie, lea' me alAne» 

I like na to bield wh^9 anither should be ; 
Gi'e a' your fause kisses to sonie ither ane 

And tell her she's welcome to ba'e them for me. 
I'm nae sae auld vet to be f earin' my fate, 

I'm nae sae ill-favoured but soAie catiny chiel 
Will ca' in some nicht when ye're oot o' the gate 

To share me his love an' his bainin's as weeL 

O lea' me alane, laddie, lea' me alane, 

My mither will murmur if langer I stay ; 
And dinna come back wi' your glamour agahi, 

For mair I'll ne'er meet ye whate'er ye may say. 
Hand aff to the lassie ye left me to lo ve, 

Alang wi' my blessin', and tell hesc frae me 
To lippen but little on laddies wha rove, 

Or she may regret till the day that she dee. 

THE BRIDE'S LAMENT. 

Now sadly I walk at the close of the day, 
Doun by the auld bush at the fit o' the or^, 
Wha ance sang sae cheer ie wi' nae ca^e &^4, . 
Sighs ilka lone gloomin' for young Willie Shaw. 



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Thy vnAffn^ dear Iryipe, ^i| boi^mo ao4 fwr, 
And snnimto^s sweet flborets were soentiii* the ftir, 
When last in thy yidleys I roVed tOl nightf a' 
And wandered the wild woof^ wi' jQum Yrilli# Shaw. 

Weel mind I the niobt when he asked me to be 
His darling fpr life ; wi' 1^^^ ^^^eair in my e'e 
I smiled and consented) I coujdna say pa. 
My heart was enraptured wi' young Willie Shaw. 

He ca'd on mj f aither, ^nd tanld him wi' glee^ 
ThaX lang ^re the broon leaf would fa' Irae the tree 
I wad be his dearie, and proud were ttiey a' 
To join me in wedlook fn' young Willie 8^w. 

O, blythe was the bookin' wf dancin' an' glee, 
3nt m$ las^e T^as Jihere aae Uiilfatfu' as me ; 
A^d ntta^ o' l^e neebours could find out a flaw, 
Tb ^laoceh the fair name of young Willie Shaw. 

I^viQ^ fair Jrvine, roU ijoftjly alo^g, 
Te soothe my sad heai^ wi' the sigh o' ^our song, 
Bufidotlald'B aiild castle when day %ears awa*, 
Nae mair can enclose me wi' young Willie Shaw. 

He has gone to the land o' the lovely and fair, 
And fovoly will welcome his aln las^ there, 
Wha loqgs to be wi* hi^ where death cannaoa'. 
To part ihe wV sorrow Irae young WiUi^ Shaw. 



DAVID R.. SBLLAR8, 

BEnCTEE-KNOWN under the nam-de^kme of 
*'8maUtingle/' was bom ftt Musselburgh in 
1354, but his youth was spent in Dundee— his 
pa:rei;iif9} )rho belonged to the tatter town, returning 
to it when David was about three years of age. His 
i^ttendance at ^hool was of limited duration, but 
while there he distinguished himself sufficiently to 
justify his teacher in marl^ing him out as a future 
assistant. This intention ^as, however, thwarted 
by liis f^ther'3 death when Dai^id was eleven years 



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154 MODBBN SCOTTISH POETS. 

old, and so he had to commence work to assist his 
widowed mother. He started life as a message-boy 
to a grocer — ^his spare time being spent in the cellar 
readmg a book among the empty boxes and draw- 
ing, of which he was passionately fond. He was 
next employed in the office of the Dundee Advertiser, 
working there from four till nine in the morning, 
and attending school during the remainder of the 
day. After continuing at this work for some time, and 
becoming acquainted with several lads who were 
learning the shoemaking under the ''division of 
labour " system, he adopted that trade also. From 
his characteristic determination to learn thoroughly 
what he set himself to, we find him able, as the trade 
phrase is, ''to take the road" at sixteen, when he 
went to Glasgow, and for some time followed his 
calling there. 

Before this, however, our poet had attracted some 
attention by conducting a newspaper correspondence 
on behalf of his fellow-tradesmen during a dispute, 
and also by producing several pictures which were 
readily bought. At this early age we, therefore, 
find his pre-disposition toward art and politioo- 
economic trade union matters strongly marked. He 
held office in the Glasgow Trade Union, and when 
only twenty-three years of age, he was secretary for 
the Dundee branch of the National Union, Dispute 
Investigator, and Organiser and Strike Manager for 
Scotland, and one of the National Trustees — rather 
formidable positions for so young a man — and it was 
with loud expressions of regret from his entire con- 
stituency that they consented to allow him to retire 
from some of them. 

It was during these years, and while wandering all 
over the country, that he wooed the muse, and wrote 
sketches for the newspapers, for his own and his 
friends' amusement — spending regularly an hoiir 
every evening among his favourite poets after the 



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DAYID B. SBLLABS. IK 

harassing cares of trade disputes. We thus find 
the strange combination of a trades' union leader and 
a man of the genial and gentle temperament of the 
poet — a man of unbending will in matters relating to 
what he considered the well-being of his fellow- 
workersy but of melting tenderness at all other times. 
A notable illustration of this is given in his poem 
" To a Young Sparrow." In a note attached to the 
poem when it first appeared in the newspapers, he 
states that ** the little creature, either hy mistake, or 
trusting to its flying powers to accomplish the feat, 
flew in the direction of Dickmont's Den. When 
about midway, however, it failed, emitted several 
piteous cries, and flew round in a continuous circle 
till it finally dashed into the water. I undressed 
myself, however, swam out, and rescued it.*' This 
was but one of a series of many kind and noble acts. 
When but a lad of fifteen he saved several persons 
from drowning, and was presented with the medal of 
the Dundee Humane Society, and has since received 
parchments, &c., for deeds of bravery. 

Being a graceful speaker, he seldom failed to com- 
mand the attention of his audience, and he was 
generally successful in moving his hot-headed hearers 
to walk in the course of reason when their excitement 
might have led them on to social ruin. His reading 
being extensive, colloquial addresses on general sub- 
jects were always welcome when business was over, 
and especially in England did they enjoy his recita- 
tions from Bums. Ii& Sellars has sat at several con- 
ferences of delegates, and the last time he had the 
honour to do so, he represented the whole of Scotland. 
But of late he has given over trade affairs, and 
devoted his attention to art. All along, the elements 
of the artist; were within him, and despite the valu- 
able time lost to the study of it, he, by his usual 
persistent perseverance, is now rapidly making way, 
and promises to occupy an honourable position in the 

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1^6 MOPBW ^Tip^ JP1I?BTS. 

profesdo^. He lia^ gfdn^d nuinerQii^ V^f^ w4 

Srtifioates from the South Kensington Dep^rt^i^it. 
[though stixL a shoemaker, he teaches art himself, 
' and his pame is well known as an exhib^r at Eine 
Art Exhibitions throughout the country. 

Mr Sellars has long been a valued cQ^itributpr to 
the columns of the PeopW$ Friend, the ipundee x^w^ 

Kapers, Arbroath Ghtide, and several magazin^. I<he 
eart and head of the paiAter are seen in hu pqems 
describing natural scenery. He is touohingly tender 
iiji his treatment of domestic themes, and thejre is in 
him an entire absence of the melancboly/sleqj^y, 
j'tMwi-poeitic strain, insipidly sweet in the s^ntim^atal 
passages^ an^ dreamily impossible iu th^ ^ore pom- 
xnonplace descriptions. 

TO A YOUNG SPARROW. 

Wee flitt'rin', flecht*rin' half-fledged spnr^ie, 
Thbu need'st na think thvser sae storaie 
As Mp^P to ^P ^'<^ t^^ thy hardie, 

An' soar the skies 
As skilfa' as thy parent burdie, 

Wha aft there flies. 

Like lashons, f eokless, toddlin' woao, 
Ye iBirst maun creep afore ye rin ; 
The seed is planted^sre the grain 

Luxnnaqt grows ; 
The rosebush 'neath the winnook pane 

Bads ere it blows. 

(See.wi' what tentie, tender care, 
Yer mither strives to teaoh'ye lear, 
7b streek yer wiiigs, an* cleave the tax 

InMtyflicht; 
Admonis))in' ye ne'er to dare 

Mair tha>n yer micht. 

{ tak' ye tent ye taupie thing, 
Ye^ll np be pleased or ere ye bring 
t)6Struction doon, wf fearfii' swing, 

Torive'ah* t^ar y^'; 
Ower Pi^kmont's Den yer tenoer wing 

*l}f. never bear ye. 



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Bat yofc yell no rest tffl ye try ; 
See, see ye fail ! that piteous cry 
AMistanoe crayee, when nana v n%h 

To lift ye dear; 
In aimleas drcles noo^e fly, 

Syne duappear. 

Snoh ernel fitite to those are meted» 
Whose appetite for fame is whetted 
By past success, till they're defeated. 

When curst amhftion 
Their fanoy fired, and f rdonr heated. 

Beyond sabmlaslon. 

Snooess eneonragement imbues ; 
Success doth recklessness Infuse ; 
Success aft mak's the douce abuse 

Advice that's guid ; 
Tho*, fegB, his tentlessness he rues 

tn calmer mood. 

The martial hera lusty wight,, 
Wi' burnished l^e he seeks the i 
Thrice dimm'd wT gore the glanoin'l 

That from it shone ; 
His hopes soar high ; long, long ere night 

His soul hath flown. 

Tho' blust'rin' Boreas blaws fn' free, 

The hardy sailor puts tu sea ; 

In days long past, wi' dauntless e'e, 

He faced the storm ; 
The waves now moan a lullaby 

O'er his cold form. 



"STILL ON IT CREBPS." 

"Tick-a-tick ! tick-a-tiek ! " 

My old clock's voice I hear — 
" Tick-a-tick 1 tick-a-tick ! " 

In sullen tones and clear, 
It mocks man's efforts to restrain 

Time's irrevocable flight. 
As each succeeding tick is lost 

In everlasting night. 

"Tiok-a-tick ! tick-a-tick ! '* 

Unceasing, silent flies 
Impetuous Time, whose swift wing bears 

Whole worlds* destinies ; 
While Yon unheeding, thoughtless stand 

Perchance at Death's dark door. 



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IW MODXRN SCOTTISH POETS. 

And idly view the priceless f^em 
Evanish for evermore. 

"Tick-a-tick I tiok-a-tick ! " 

No riches can surpass 
The hours, the days, the years that fly ; 

Mis-spent, ill-judged, alas ! 
While carefiil of mush meaner things, 

WTiy squander— waste that boon ? 
You're rich in precious time until 

The end comes — ah ! too soon. 

" Tick-a-tick I tiok-a-tiok I " 

Tis tedious when alone 
To hear the clock our triflings chide - 

Into sad, slow monotone. 
Youth may possess abundant time, 

Yet can it spare a spell ? 
No tick should tind vou unemployed ; 

Its worth?— Death-beds can tell. 

"Tick-a-tick ! tick-a-tick ! " 

A strong arm time doth wield ; 
Tick-a-tick 1 tick-a-tick ! 

To time e*en death must vield ; 
Time humbles haughty wilful pride ; 

Time dulls contrition's sting ; 
Hme nurses fondest, sweetest hope ; 

Time clips ambition's wing. 

*' Time lifts the fallen, aids the weak. 

Time overthrows the great, 
Time cradles all ; Time buries all ; 

Time soon may seal your fate.** 
Thus in the twilight's deep'ning gloom, 

With never-ceasing clicK, 
The clock chimed forth its warning tale ; 
And still I hear the mournful wail 

In its constant ** tick-a-tick ! " 



"PRETTY POLLY*'— A GHOST STORY. 

It happened thus — a strolling company came — 
A motle]^ squad, cross-bred 'tween ring and stage — 

Contortionists — now voice, now muscle, claim 
The lion's share of i)ublic patronage— 

Their tent upon our village green they pitched ; 

Their toil-worn horses at the back they hitched. 

From the raised front like brazen clarion rung 

The accents of the swarthy showman's tongue. 

As to the crowd he loudly did proclaim 

Their acting skill and acrobatic fame ; 



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DAVID B. SSLLABS. 169 

While round the back his helpers quietly creep 
To smite the luckless youths who shyly peep 
Through open chink or upraised edge below, 
And strive to view, gratuitous, the show. 

He was brought forth, and the delighted crowd 

With rapture hailed the principal amuser ; 
His legs he stretched, his gaudy head he bowed, 

Then blearily winked, like a half-drunk carouser. 
No better knowledge had poor Poll been taught 
Than smooth his plumage and most glibly quote 
Smart stage expressions, Shakespeare's favourite lines, 
And emphasise where greatest beauty shines ; 
liike other actors of much greater fame. 
He learns his lessons, and repeats the same. 

Now, whether to promulgate his known skilL 

Poll wandered forth one clear and moonlignt night, 
Or if, poor fellow, he was sick and ill- 
Sick of show-life, and meditated flight — 
Sick of the all-unmeaning[ grins he saw — 
Sick of the sense that weigned upon his maw — 
For, certain 'tis that all excessive study 
The brain empowers, but enervates the body ; 
Or, if a latent wish had made him roam 
To seek for rest, to find his former home, 
We never knew ; but when the morning dawned 
Poor Poll had vanished from his wonted stand — 
The stand whereon he gamely did show fight— 
The stand whereof he spouted loud at night. 
And though the country wide, for miles around, 
Was scoured and searched, his PoUship was not found ; 
While the grieved showman, counting o'er his coet, 
Heaved up an oath, and gave Poll up as lost. 

The night succeeding that which missed poor Poll, 

Our sexton — worthy man — received a note. 
Detailing how ^rim death— whom none control — 
A neighbourmg farmer to the heart had smote ; 
And likewise prayed the sexton to prepare 
A fitting grave with more than common care. 
And common haste ; ** for," as the note did say, 
" We cannot keep him o'er the following day. ' 

The night gleamed bright, the moon transcendant shone, 
And clear as mid-day*s sun all things appeared ; 

Our sexton thought 'twould be a good job done 
If, ere the dawn, the grave he could have cleared ; 

So forth despatched his simple-minded aid. 

The wielder of the pickaxe and the spade — 

His sole assistant, he who laboured hard 

To charm the cabbage in the sexton's yard, 



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To breed j^otato^s, cultivate tbe carrots. 

But who ne'er saw nor heArd of talking; parrots— 

A sillv, simple-minded idiot lad, 

Who for his help the sidztod fed and dad. 

Behold hltt now— with energy he swin^ 

The powerful pick where countless number^ sleep ; 
With equal viaour how he deftly flings 

The loosened earth in an unshapely heap, 
Till soon, the Cold clav Yielding to hu strength. 
The opening to his middle reached. At lengtlC 
Just as he raided his soade o*erheaped with mould, 
A strange, unearthly, hollow voice cried "Hold 1^ 
A sadden chill, a curdling 61 the blood— 
The frightened' boy tteered round hfm where he stood. 
Save the wf ird shi^dows of the gravevard stones 
He saw notfght eUe. At last, in quaking tones. 
He VedtuM s<iund, *' Who's there ? who's there?" he cried ; 
'* I am thy father's ghost r the voice replied. 

His knees, ^itl^ terror, smote each other now ; 
Gold perspiration damped his clammy brow, 
'* F — father's ghost, what do ye want of me ?" 
The poor boy gasped in perfect agonv. 
" Me pound of flesh I" the voice made grim reply, 
** Now yield thee, knave, or thou shalt surely die I" 
** Why, father's ghost, I ha' no meat of thine," 

The lad implored while clutching fast his spad^ 
" Ha, perjured ^retch, thy heart's life blood is mine !** 

The voice in deep-drawn accents surly said. 

Then overhead was heard a flapping sound ; 
A bright green object hopped on to the ground ; 
Quick from the nave, with agonising yell, 
The boy leaped forth as if a yawning hell 
Gaped at his feet, and threatened him with death, 
And homeward sped, till panting out of breath 

He reached the house, and at the sexton's feet he fell. 
The crouching boy, with frightened face, and pale, 
In vain endeavoured to rehearse his tale ; 
He stammered, paused, then spoke again, but save, 
**The devil, sir ! the devil's at the grave !" 
Could say no more, and feared for what he'd said, 
In terror crept for shelter 'neath the bed. 

Forth from his domicile the sexton strode ; 

A lamp his left hand bore, the right a rod 

Wherewith to nmite the pranky youth who played 

His silly jokes; if he his place betrayed ; 

For, thought the sexton, **Ti8 some village wight/' 

Till of the open grave he came in sight ; 



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DAYID R. SBLLABSi 161 

There on the edge our merry parrot stood} 
Viewing the hole in conteroplAtive mood. 
All clear ae tfoondaj then appeared the canse)-^ 
The parrot had been striving for applanse r 
He captured FoH^ aAd straight without delay^ 
Belivered him in triumph up next day. 

THi' MAIDEN'S SONG. 

'* Ethereal minstrel tune thy voice, 
Now swell aloud thy cheerful lay, 
Let blooming Nature's self rejoice. 
No care shall marr my bliss to-day ; 
Blush red-rose blush ! 
Sing merry thrush ! 
O joyful let his welcome be ; 
Here him I'll meet, 
Here him 111 greist, 
Who vowed he loves none else but me." 
The Maiden's song swelled full and clear ; 
' Sh6 tarHed long none came to hear. 

**^Thou' mocking owlet scofiF me not,^ 
MfUsk not the love he doth despise, 
A smiljing face is dearly bought 
By withered hopes, and banished joys ; 
drooping rose 
Tell not the throes 
That rent my broken bleeding heart* 
Cease I cease ! O thrush 
Thy wailings hush, 
They but renew the painful dart." 
The Maiden's song died with a wail ; 
None did console — none heard the tale. 

LOVE AND AID EACH OTHER. 

Poortith befa' the sordid wretch, 

Wha grips an' hoards his ^ear, 
Indiilgin' in ilk gruesome wile, 

To grasn an' gather mair ; 
Ne'er lendin' succour to the weak, 

Ne'er helpin' those that need ; 
Yet wi' his wealth, maist deeply plnnged 

In misery, indeed. 

But leeze me on the gen'rone mind, 

Wha cheerfully hands forth 
A helpin han' to fellow man. 

To puir but honest worth, ' 
Wha's ruddy beamin' sonsie face 

Bespeaks content within ; 
A pure, an' uncorrupted heart, 

A conscience clear o' sin. 



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162 MODEST SCOTTISH POBTS. 

Then sad you see a helpless waif 

For your assistance suein', 
While on life's stream bein' swept alang 

Toward the gulf o' ruin, 
Ne*er pause, but rax a friendly loof, 

And save a stragglin' brither ; 
For blessings rich upo* them pour, 

Wha love and aid each other. 



JOHN ROBB. 

'^^HE subject of the present sketch was bom at 
yi^ the village of Kilspindie, in the Carse of 
Gtowrie, in 1855, under circumstances inimical to a 
poetic career, although nurtured in a poetic region. 
His father Ti-as a farm servant, and had a large 
family, of whom the poet was the eldest. Reared in 
the cold shade of poverty, and leaving school when 
ten years old, he was put to work at that tender age 
to contribute his mite towards the support of the 
humble home. Though his early life was spent in 
unremitting toil, the love of Nature sustained the 
youthful poet in his upward struggles till he attained 
the age of manhood, when he became a follower of 
the plough. At this stage of his history, ill-health 
prostrated his father on a sick bed, and his death 
shortly afterwards left a blank in the family circle, 
followed, within the next six months, by the death 
of his mother, thus leaving four children to the 
poet's care — the youngest little more than three 
years of age. 

In 1876 John abandoned his native fields "for 
pastures new," and entering the service of the Cale- 
donian Railway Company as a porter, was soon 
promoted to the post of a signalman at Dundee. It 



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JOHN KOBB. 163 

was not till he came to reside there that he attempted 
to express his thoughts in verse, although from boy- 
hood he had been an enthusiastic lover of poesy. 
To enable him to study the ** divine art," he pro- 
cured books of a poetic and historic nature, which he 
read with avidity. He also studied the works of our 
best prose- writers, English grammar, &c., and was 
thus enabled to venture on composition, which he ulti- 
mately had the gratification of seeing in print. He 
still occasionally contributes his " Doric numbers " 
to the Scottish press. There is a sweetness and 
simple pathos in some of Mr Robb's lyrics which 
show he has a sympathetic perception of what is 
beautiful and true in human nature, while his 
humorous and descriptive powers are considerable. 
Writing without any ambitious aim, he loves poetry 
for its own sake, and for the pleasure it gives to his 
leisure hours. Like many others of the poor but 
industrious peasantry of Scotland, his struggles with 
adversity but intensified his love of song ; and like 
them, too, the Bible and the poetry of Burns were 
the chief sources of hia inspiration, for in a note he 
says: — "During my agricultural career I possessed 
only two books — a Bible and the works of Robert 
Burns." 



BY THE RIPPLING STREAM. 

Upon the margin of this rippling stream 

1 pensive sit, where flowers are in their bloom, 
And, gaily nodding to the sun's bright beam, 

Scent all the woodlands with their rich perfume. 
While all around in summer fields I see 

The swarthy peasants busy at. their toil, 
And hear their voices, fraught with mirth and glee. 

Thus singing as they turn the crusty soil. 

As thus I sit, enrapt in deepest thought. 
And gaze on hill and valley far and near. 

My early years are all before me brought, 
And in their midst what happy scenes appear. 



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164 MODBSN fSOOlTtJSB POETS. 

A oot, in fatie^, here itB roof iiprean, 
Aroand whose ivied walls I sportive played, 

But ah ! 'tis now beneath a loaa of years, 
By Time's rude hand in blackened rai&B aid. 

How sweet to sit secluded and alone, 

Admiring Nature m its bright array. 
And thus tameditote on pleasures flown^ 

Far from the citv^s iami^g, noise away. 
The weary son sinks slowly in the west, 

His fading light proclaims the close of dhy ; 
The blackbird, peoehed ab^ve his woodland nest. 

In rich profusion trills his evening lay. 

The night approaehingrfin^ me Ung'ring here. 

As wit^ a sigh if sadness I depart, 
And l^eave these scenes^ to love and memory dear, 

Now shrined for eVer in my aching heart. 

KILSPINDIB. 

I draw aside the veil of bygone years. 
And through Life's horodcope can dimly 8<>i8, 
In the fatr distance^ on the sun^t lea. 

The time-worn ooi, which to my n^ind endears 

The well-remembered scenes of youthful days. 
When oft, among the yellow waving bMorn, 

I 8Qampe];ed lightsome o'er the flowery braes. 
My brow undarkened by miisfortune's gloom ; 

Or by the streamlet, when the evening sun 
On each hill top its fading lustre shed, 
I mused alone on visions that are fled. 

And woo*d the stillness of the twilight dun. 
Wiien home returning through Eilspindie's glen,' 
I knew no cares that vex the souls of men. 



KEEP YOUR HE'RT ABUNE. 

Ne'er mind, guidwife, though neebours rail, 

And taunt us wi' their sneers ; 
Ne*er mind though apitefu' words assail. 

And tingle in oor ears ; 
But let us keep oor heids erect, 
. And we- will, sune or late, 
Blunt a' the shafts they may direct. 

And baffle a' their hate. 

What thongh they wound oor he'rts fu' sair 

Wi' arrog;ance and pride. 
While in the richt we needna care 

Hoo vipers may deride ; 



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fOHN BOBB. 165 

Sae ne'er f orgeL my dearert pairt, 

This gud^ advice I gie— 
Let not their venom in yoar heVt 

Breed animoaitie. 

^fe^l^l?**'^^® ** J^p? "^•y ^^^ 

Will Bart nor you nor me ; 
And while f Key keep Irae'afci^Jc and Wow, 

Forget and aye forgie. 
They are but mortals— flesh and blood, 

As we are sae oorsel's. 
Though in their he'risibe kindred flood 

Of leelin' never swells. 

Sae let ns keep oor he*rts abune, 

Their mi^ce an' their hate. 
And enmiCj^ wiU weary ^tnk 

When left to fecht wi' fate ; 
|*er it is »ye the wisest plati 

To thole and to forbear. 
And iiVe to lo*e "oor fellow man 
' ^Migfi he may spurn oor care. 



WB.^^ SHAPES 0' NIGHT. 

When shades p' nicht fa' saftly doon. 

An' veil the face o' gaudv day, 
'Lang pleasure's path, far frae the toon, 

Ita tftfcttightfu* mood I lanely stray. 
ITrae discord's brawling noise away, 

rWr a' aroon' me calm an' still, 
My Muse,' enraptured, seems to say— 

' "O' Fancy's stream tioo drink yer fill." 

Athwart the lift, oot ane by ane. 

The gHdtin^ stars begin to peep ; 
And pfde^faoed Cynthia up her lane 

The azure arch does slowly creep ; 
Mrhile Nature, wearied, nbo to sleep 

Recliikea her flowery couch upon ; 
4n' hals exultant fly and leap 

In frolic madness of their own. 

Here, distant from the giddy throng, 
An* hum discordant o' the toon,' 

I'd rove for aye the groves among, 
To list the night-bird's eerie croon. 

Beneath the pale beams o' the raoon— 
Deep mirrored in the placid sea— 

Upon the grass I lay me doon, 
' Amid the joys sae dear to me. 



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166 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

To WOO the glories o* the scene, 

I rest in this seqaestered bower, 
Where me an' mv sweet thoughts between, 

In the calm solace of the hour. 
The gentle zephyr from the flower 

Its sweetened fragrance bears along. 
While, aided by Apollo's power, 

I poor my numbers forth in song. 



DAVID ALLAN, 

HN artist, as well as a poet of considerable 
promise, was bom at Carstairs, Lanarkshire, 
in 1857. When thirteen years of age he joined the 
service of the Caledonian Bailway Oompanj, and 
while in their employment met with an aoddent, by 
which he lost a limb. He was thereafter for about 
eight years engaged by the Company in the capacity 
of a signalman. Of late our poet has been studying 
art, and his paintings have met with such commenda- 
tion from competent critics that he now intends to 
make it his profession. Mr Allan has been a prize- 
winner in the People^ 9 Jowmal Christmas competition, 
and he frequently appears in the columns of the 
People's Friend, the Hamilton Advertiser, the Falkirk 
Herald, &c. He sings the praises of rural life and 
scenery with a considerable degree of power and 
sweetness. Several of his songs are refined and 
musical, and he appears to be able to use the Doric 
with good effect. 

THOMAS CARLYLB. 

''Unconscious still, and sinking fast," the evening message said. 
And morn proclaimed, with sorrowing voice, our grand old seer 

is dead ; 
No tempest stirred his parting breath, he calmly passed away, 
Like the perfumed breath of twilight, at the close of summer 

day, 

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DAVID ALLAN. 167 

And fast throughout the wide domain of Saxondom there 

thriUed 
The tidings, fraught with burning thought, that God at length 

had willed 
To take again that pure, high soul, whose utterances sublime 
Shall lififht with truth for evermore the ocean-tides of time. 
Wild spirit-energy was his, that nothing could subdue, 
He saw Gk>d*8 own sign-manual set on all things that were trae~ 
Material form, a transient veil, hid nothing from his eye. 
Diyinity's fire-splendours gleamed in ocean, earth, and sky, 
Tet cowards tried to brand the shame of Atheist on his brow ; 
Breathes there a oatiff on this earth would dare to do it now ? 
If so, his answer comes loud-toned from ** Old World" and 

from "New" 
He is the Prophet of our time, what carping thing are you ? 
Oh, brave old Titan, staunch and bold, though fierce at times thy 

mood, 
Thy great soul throbbed with love to all the human brother- 
hood, 
And through thy wild deep theories run soft thoughts that 

seem to be 
The heart prayers of a brother man, that men may yet be free. 
Thy burning pages thrill with wild apocalyptic wail, 
Where falsehood writhes convulsively with nature in travail ; 
IVntb clad in hell fire, hate and steel, and night and chaos come, 
And carnage rides triumphantly, for pity's voice is dumb. 
I tell ye truth must reign supreme, be it for woe or weal. 
And every heart beat of vour world the baud of Qod can feel. 
Tonr creeds and sects will pass away, with all their party cries. 
And from the ruins of the old a fairer world shall rise. 



Sleep on, thou well hast won thy rest, our brave old warrior 

sage : 
Oar Hebrew prophet, heaven-inspired in *' this dead-iron age"' 
So long as men shall feel and own divinity in truth 
Thy world-knit laurel wreath shall wear the immortal bloom of 

yonth. 



THE AULD SCOTCH SANGS. 

Ye say that Germany's gi*en birth 

To maisters great and grand, 
Wha hae made glorious strains to flow 

Ower a' their faitherland. 
I winna doot their high-bom airt, 

I dinna say ye're wrang. 
But ah I the music o' the he'rt 

Heaves in an auld Scotch sang. 



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168 MODERN SOOnaSH P0BT8. 

Whaar will ye hear, ower a? the waid', 

A richer, sweeter soon' 
Than flows in liquid sadness thro* 

" Ye banks and braes o' Doon ** ; 
That speaks contentment o* the mind, 

Tho' touched wi' gentlest woe. 
Where heaven's ain smile as glmtin* on 

" John Anderson, my joe V' 

What leal and true-bom Spotebmftn yet 

Could ever think to tyne 
The lyric melody of love 

That sighs thro' " Auld Lanasyne ; V 
That strikes the " Emigrant's FareWeUt'* 

On sorrow's deepest key. 
And dies in soft and hallowed toiMp 

Aneath the "Rowan Tree." 

Oh ! rare auld sangs, oh ! dear auld sangs. 

Sing, sing thetm ower ance in^r i 
They tak* us back to laddie days 

When life ne'er kent a care. 
We ne'er thocht then the ws^' held 

Sae mony sins and wrangs> 
When roon^ the ingleside at nicht 

We heard thae auld Scotch sangs. 

They're sung 'neath Afrio's torrid zonfi, 

In far Canadian woods ; 
They're pealed, sad-voiced, o'er Arctic sew. 

Thro' Alpine solitudes. to .,... 

And exiled anes hae heartd the strains 

Frae yearning souls out-pour. 
And blessed auld Scotland's heather hills. 

And happy days o' yore. 

I've lo'ed them since a lisping bairn 

Beside my mither's knee ; 
m lo'e them still, thro' guid and ill, 

Until the day I dee. 
The kindred touch that Nature yields 

To ane and a' belangs. 
And pours sic wild enchantment thro' 

Oor dear auld Scottish sangs. 



MY AIN JEAN. 

Jean Syminp^n, my ain Jean, 
I am lookmg back this nicht 

To da:^8 when earth was aye array^^ 
In simmer's sunny licht ; 



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When life, stun-orowiued orifth hope, warn yomig, 

And hearth and- han* were lain, ' 
And a* -the warld looked .wondrous fair, 

Jean Symington, >my aln. ' 

Ah me ! what waefa' storms o' care 

Hae crossed oar path sin* svne ; 
What darksome duds jl^rougb which it seemed 

Nae glint o* licht woold shine ; 
When tiiocht an' speech were burdened baith 

Wi* desert winds o* pain. 
And life and death were battling J^^ 

^4lean S^&ington, to gaii. > '^ 

A JAoble woman's work was youfs, 
"Whatever the warld may aiy ; 
Ye tiried «to lift^a darkened heart 

To rea^ns of purer day : 
And tho* |t fell— weak, selfish he^ift — 

And m^e your work seeiiii ^ain', 
B^eve me, 'tis not frholly lost) 

Jean Symin^n, my ain. 

The gold of life wj^ yet be pu^ed 

^Vom all this base alloy, 
The coronach of ^ief become 

A/nadtigal of joy. 
Theper^ect trust in God's ^ood time 

Will yiat jbo ours again, 
If we bnt wait with patient hearts, 

^.ean^ymi^gton, my ain. 

I feel a subtle something steiJ 

through all thee^e earthly lars ; 
I se^ the pure, deep love of God 

Traced dearlj^ oti the stars. 
The- tokens of liis guardian care 

Paint all the summer plain, 
*Then why should we yield up high hope, 

Jean Sjrmmgton, my ain ? 

At worst, 'tis but a few more years 

Of lengfing and unrest— 
A fiitful time of stp^m and c»|fn. 

Of langour and of zest. 
And tho'^ life's music oftimes thrills. 

With tear-voiced wails of pain, 
A heavenly chord r^ns through -eaeh tone, 

Jean Symington, my ain. 

Oh ! if our faith, strong-winged, could rise 

All radiant and serene, '' - 
And teach our hearts with fiery touch 

To trust l^e Great 'Unseen. 



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170 MODERN S00TTI8H POETS. 

The dark browed angel of Despair 
Would find no room to reign, 

While sunlit fell on God's green earth, 
Jean Symington, my ain. 



JAMES FLEMING BBEMNEH, 

^AVOURABLY known by the nom-de-phme of 
Jl " Gbosequill " in the pages of the FifeBhm 
Jtmrnal and several literary serials, is a grand- 
nephew of Miss Marjorie Fleming, who was the great 
pet of Sir Walter Scott, and the heroine of Dr John 
Brown's ** Pet Marjorie." He was bom at Cupar, 
the county town of Fifeshire, in 1864, his 'father 
being chief constable of the county. James was 
educated at the Madras Academy there. At the age of 
seyenteen, haying passed the necessary law examina- 
tions, he entered the office of Messrs Pagan & 
Osborne, the Conservative agents of the county, 
as an indentured apprentice. His poetical '^ Views 
of Fifeshire," printed at intervals in the Journal, are 
about to be published in book form. They record 
with power deeds of heroism, and give graphic pic- 
tures of life in byegone years, while many of them 
contain pleasingly-condensed historic information, 
and excellent descriptions of old castles and other 
places of interest. His smaller poems are natural, 
felicitous in expression, and evince no straining after 
mere effect. 

DAIRSIE CASTLE. 

How sweet to muse in the twilight gray, 

Beside some ruined keep, 
When the beams of dying sunlight play 
O'er the home of those who have passed away 

And the mail-clad warriors sleep ! 



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* JAMES FLEMING BBldoraE. 171 

How Bweet, when the moonbeam tints the wtH, 

Once all alive with men, 
To see in the pale light's trembling tall 
The armed retainers fill np the hall 

And the songs resound again. 

The lover breathe with his gentle late 

Thro' stilly evening air. 
The words of the soul when lips are mate 
And love is hid in each tone of the flote. 

To the ear of beaateoas tail I 

Bat doads oppress the sad silv'ry beam ; 

Their figures melt in gloom ! 
They are gone like phantoms of a dream ; 
They liave vanished away ; and yet they seem 

To breathe thro' their orumbling tomb. 

The roundelays of thy " barons bold ** 

Are sung now by the gale. 
Which whistles a dirge o'er them now oold. 
And bats have high carnival in the hold. 

Once scourge of the Edenvale. 

When Eden flowed in the silent hour 

With starry-jewelled tide ; 
When Luna silvered thy 'battled tower. 
The lady stole forth to the try'sted bow'r, 

Adown the calm riverside. 

And Eden flows in the silent night, 

But where are thy brave lords ? 
And where are the eyes that shone so bright. 
That sparkled all over with mirth and li^t ? 

An echo flings back the words 1 

Where Parliament sat in those old days. 

Beneath thy vaulted dome. 
Now nought except mice can riots raise, 
And spiders now weave their nets in the ways 

In the old Archbishop's home. 

The plover cries in thy firwood shade. 

When ev'ning's chill dews fall : 
Unfearing, the hare at thy gate is laid. 
For never a sound 'neath thy arch is made, 

Save the wind on th' ivied wall. 

But near thy gate on the star-lit eves. 

When all around is still, 
The sighing lover once more receives 
His ghostly mistress, and once again weaves, 

A happy life-woof at will. 



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The maidenB once more opon thy green 



And the knuhts in brav^ »rray are seen 
As the moofioeam g^Un]^ from |iheir armqucfs sheen, 
As they ^^pe on ^eds so fleet. 

Farewell i for the moon with ri^jupg horn 
Is creeping up the sky— 

The i^d^tK fe AFi^fj^ 

In the d%yj o^M:Sm^?r 

Ah, there he sits, the 9UI and feeble mi^i, 
While ni^hVs ffrey hemq, twilight, creeps 9ip9^ 

As round his withered visage, pinched and ,wan,' 
The sfio^ now occupy the raven's place. 

He sits and gazes in the shining fire. 
And visions back the past ana youthful da^s 

When life ^f^ new t6 hiin': while yet ^is sire 
Smiled on his sports, »i)d Joined bis childish plays. 

When that dear Mother, now so lop^ at resjb, 
Whose only wish ^as for ^is happiness. 

Had held him as an Ujifant on her breast. 
And chastened ev'ry Cault in fond caress. 

And now they both are sleeping 'neath the sod. 
While he is trndging on Life's hilljr way. 

While they, uni,tea, stand );»efore their' Goo, 
He lives a lonely Ufe frotn day to day. ' 

He never knew until they died what love — 
What almost wonhlt^hrhad Intertwined 

Aronnd their being— what josteem did ipove 
Amid hislieiurt for them, lor ever kij^d^ 

He thinks upon the time when, older grown, 
Heliad to' go and fight the Wotfld'for bread ; 

When often, ov6^earied tSnd alOne, " '^ ' 
He thought he would haye 'joyed if Ufe h^ ^^d. 

He thinks upon his wife ; and, as he thinks. 
The look o( f^r-aw^l^ steals 'frbtti his eyes ; 

He hears fa^tr voiee— his bosoni swells and smks, 
As she oomei^back'to him In memories ' 

Disturb him not. He. lives upon the past. 
And treads again a Happy' me'-ddur6^' o'er : 

God grant him a safe pastoge home at last, 
To see the dead as living' everm^Of-e.' 



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S6wk ^. PArrbJl tfi 

TO A PET BIRD KILLED BY A BAWS: 

What tyrant cruel undid thv budding; life? 
What talonsr printed thy bedappled bi'elwt 
With bleeding Btabs? What savage in tii« fltrifd 
Veiled thy bright eye, for ever now at rest. 

Boor binl, tlion paid'st the penalty of love : 
Thy very tameness was thine early dei^th-^, . 
Mayhap thou would'st have yet entranced the grovei 
In trilRtig forth thf mtkdc-laden breatH. 

Perhaps thy mate, unconscious, waits for'thee^ 
Unconscious of the death that found heV love : 
Maybe lor him they never more shall see 
Thy callow young cry to the clouds above. 

Bat Innocence is never any gruard 

Nor helplessness, protection to the, weak ; 

They never will the evil niind retard 

Froni deed of shame whicfk crimson ev*ry 6lieek. 

No more thy happy song will now be heard 
At 4ia\y m'orii; awakening the sun, 
Thy heart is still for ever, little bird. 
The work thou had'st to do on earth is done. 



^*IP 



JOHN W. PAXTON 

TITHjAS bom at MillerLill, neat Edinburgh, in 
\t^r% 1854. When he was fite years of age his 
parents removed to .Ash Glen, by I^ortobello, where 
his father remained fox seventeen years. Young 
Paxton early developed a taste for literature, and 
his love of poetry quickly became a passion. Before 
he was ten yiBars of age h^ committed to memory 
'*Eokeby," large portions of ** Marmion," **The 
Lady of the Lake," and Byron's ** Prisoner of Ohil- 
lon," and Jean Ligelow's ** Noble Meroer." He 
early began to give expression Vb his own thoughts 



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174 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

in verse, and, at the age of twelve, made bis first 
appearance in print in the Scottish Reformer, This 
was a poem entitled ** Up, rise ye sons of labour." 
Since that time he has continued to write at intervals 
-^his verses, as well as his prose articles and sketches, 
finding ready acceptance in the pages of newspapers 
and periodicals. 

Mr Paxton is presently employed as engine-keeper 
to the Marquis of Lothian at Newbattle Colliery, 
Dalkeith, and it is his intention to make a selection of 
his poems, and to publish them in book form. Home, 
with all the sweet and tender associations that duster 
round it, forms the theme of many of his pieces. 
He sometimes writes in a* pensive spirit, but he is 
always thoughtful and earnest, his diction is gener> 
ally simple and melodious, and all his productions 
are creditable to the heart and feelings of the author. 



YOUR AIN FIRESIDE. 

When wintry blasts frae owre the moor 
Heap snaw-drifts deep aroun' the door, 

An' a' the plains are white, 
Where is it that the winter's snow. 
Can never change the happy glow 
That gi'es your heart delight. 
The spot you treasure far aboon 
The hale wide warld beside ? 
Tis 'mid the lovin' hearts aroun' 
Your ain fireside. 

There lauchin' an' chaffin' 
In spite o' wind or snaw ; 
Wi' clashin' an' dafi&n' 
Ye drive dull care awa. 

When baimies, grouped aroun' the hearth. 
Do wake the echoes wi' their mirth. 

Till coUie barks wi' glee. 
And grannie in the ingle chair 
Doth hotch an' lauch until the tear 

Will sparkle in her e'e. 



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JOHN W. FAZlOlf, 176 

Oh ! canld indeed maun be the heart 
That wad the baimies chide, 
And cast a shade o' sadness owre 
Their ain fireside. 

Be kind aye, an' mind aye 

To join the bairns' sport ; 

Nor froon aye, an' gloom aye, 

Wi' face o' solemn sort. 



Then when wee heids begin to nod, 
An' Morphens, the droway god, 
Dotn claim them for his ain. 
Then lay them tenderly in bed, 
An' breathe a blessin' o'er the head 

0' each an' ev<ery wean. 
'TIS thus you gain their early love, 
Their early footsteps ffoide, 
An' time brings added blessin's to 
Your ain fireside. 

When years then, an' tears then, 
Shall change your hair sae black 
To grey then, that day then 
You'll get your blessin's back. 

When weans are sleepin* ane an* a'. 
The finiidman an' guidwife can draw 

Their chairs wegither then, 
To sit an' hae their canty crack, 
An' in their stories travel back 
To blythesome days again ; 
Then, wi' a fond gude nicht caress, 
They kneel doon, side by side, 
An' pray the Lord abune to bless 
Their ain fireside. 

Come weal then, or woe then, 
They're ready for it a' ; 
Sae sweet then, their sleep then, 
Unta the day will da'. 

Oh, Scotia 1 weel I loe thy hills. 
Thy bonnie glens, an' sparklin' rills. 

But dearer far to me 
Than boskie glen, or ripplin' bum, 
Each bonnie, blythesome Scottish bairn 

Wi' face sae fu' o' glee. 



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176 uoDiBir soomsH' posts. 

May pam^ ati' plen^ be ihkar \bt 
O'er a' the warld wide*^ 
Langmay they bless^ m ha* or cot, 
Their ain fireside. 

Sae roey, an* cosy,- 
My heart unto them yciams ; 
Thik day then, I'll pray then, 
Mai^ Heaven Hlifin the bairns. 

RETRQSPECT; 

When weaiv work my lim1c>9' dx>t& tire, 
At evening bj^ my cheerful ^re 

I lift^nae down and mn/se. 
Then forms and scenei^ of long ago 
Within the ruddy embers glow 

In panoramic views — 
Old scenes where I was wont to rove, 

And forms that once we^e deari 
W]^e YiHces that I (Mice did love. 
Fall s^^etly on mine ear. 

I Sgreet them, nor seek them 
i To leave me and depart, 
Believing they're weaving 
A halo round my heart. 

Here, from my winctow, if I gaze, 
I see beneath the tree-crowned braes, 

The lowly sjjot so dear 
Where all npy childhood's years were spent. 
When blissful peace and sweet content 

Did crown each fleeting year. 
But what a dt'ear^ desert lies 

Between that tune and now— 
I feel the tears rise to my eyes — 
Again my head I bow. 

While sighing and trying 
. To find a reason why 
Dame Fortune, long spiOrting, 
Should still have passed me by. 

Ah, me ! those ye^urs of blessed hope, 
When fancy roams with fullest scope — 

Anticipations vague ; 
The world all unexplored doth lie — 
We yet have found no cause to sigh, 

No cares have come to plague ; 

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JOHN W. PAXTON. 177 

But swift the years of yonth fly past, 
The easrly blooms depart, - -\^-' 
Then manhood's troubles, thick and fast, 
Come'-'ci^bwding on the heart. 
■'/*'' ^ith fears then, and tears then, 
**^ We wait each morrow's dawn ; 
W^* jbonder and wonder 

Where all the flowers have gone, 

Sinoe first I left yon lowly glen 
To wander 'mid the haunts of men, 

<:^4 tak<e my share of toil, 
IVe shared in follies not a few 
(And: hm tny folly oft to rue), 

7Mld scenes uiat can besniile. 
IVe seen my early hopes laid low, 
. Aod ci^^es have pressed me hard ; 
But car#,~ ajaji ! too. well J know 
Is folly's just reward. 
; i » '?; Xo-day we may gay be, 

'" A*d still keep ranting on ; 
To-morrow brines sorrow, 
"'With youthful vigour gone. 

And those who with me made a start, 
When in the world's labour mart 

We sought to know our worth — 
Ah ! where are they, the gladsome crowd. 
With quip, or jest, and laugh so loud, 

Could chaso the hours with mirth ? 
With B«ine, tiie sea between us rows ; 

There's some by death set free ; 
And Aome who, ialse to early vows. 
Are worse than dead to me. 

First careless and fearless. 

We wander day by day. 
We chide thenj divide then, 
' And take our lonely way. 

Thus, one by one, we step aside — 
Opinions differ, cares divide, 

XTntil we stand alone ; 
But y^i I thank my God that I 
Have little cause to sit and sigh, 

Except for what is gone. 
I have my home, my wife so dear. 
To aid me on my way ; 



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178 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS, 

I have the baimies' lansh so clear, 
To cheer me day by day. 

So, humble and thankful, 

We lift our eyes to Heaven ; 
And praise still we raise still 
For what the Lord hath given. 



WHEN OOR YOUTH IS AWA. 

Oh, mind aye, my freens, as we journey alang 

On the high road o' life at oor ease, 
That we'll no aye be young, an' we'll no aye be Strang, 

We maun gaun doon the hill by degrees. 
We maun gaun doon the hill till we rest at the fit, 

An' the grave is the bed for us a' ; 
Though we think na the noo, that age will us boo. 

Its a' altered then when oor youth is awa*. 

When the bluid it is thin, an* the limbs growin' frail. 
When the e's is less bricht, an' the cheek it is pale. 
When the locks, noo sae braw, are white as the snaw. 
Its a' altered then, when oor youth is awa'. 

In the momin' o' life when we start on the road, 

Hoo jauntie we swagger alang ; 
Each freen' that we meet helps to lichten oor load. 

An* we banish dull care wi' a sang. 
But oor freen's wear awav as we creep doon the brae. 

An' sorrow upon us will ca' ; 
Then we a' hae to bide, what we canna avoid, 

Its a' altered then, when oor youth is awa'. 

Oh, think then, my f reen's, hoo we waste precious time — 

Sweet hoors that we canna reca', 
We are prood o' the strength o' oor glorious prime. 

An' loodly oor horns we blaw. 
But when age comes at last, we will sigh for the past, 

When we lean wi' oor backs to the wa' ; 
When sae prood like an' high ilka ane passes by. 

Its a' altered then, when oor youth is awa'. 

Noo the point o' my sang's dinna frolic owre lang. 

Remember that age will be here ; 
To the auld folk be kind, for you often will find 

A kind word will banish a tear. 
Its but kindness they crave, when they're nearin' the grave. 

Oh, be kind to them freen's ane an' a', 
For the grim looks an' soor may yet come to be yours, 

And its a' altered then, when oor youth is awa'. 



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JOHN W. PAXTON. 179 

DIED AT SEA. 

Our noble ship was bounding o'er tbe ocean's heaving breast — 

The waters gently murmured like a weary sonFs unrest ; 

Our gallant ship was homeward bound, each heart beat high and 

glad. 
While below, within his hammock, lay a dying Scottish lad. 

On tbe day we weighed our anchor from that far Australian 

shore, 
The young lad he had joined us to seek his home once more ; 
Now he*8 stricken down in sickness, and we sighed to think how 

soon 
A grave beneath the waters should be his all too early doom. 

On this night I watched beside him, and I knew 'twould be the 

last! 
As I listened to the ripple of the waters mshiug past, 
The poor lad heaved a heavy sigh, and turned him on his bed. 
And as I held his feeble hand 'twas thus to me he said :— 

" My friend, if ye ever see auld Scotia's shores again 

Will ye seek within the Loudons for the sweet Hawthomden ? 

There yonll find my faither's cottage, an' a message bear frae 

me 
To my parents, frae their laddie that lies buried in the sea. 

Ye will tell my aged faither that I think o' him this day, 
I see on his broo each wrinkle, an' his hair o' silver grey ; 
I see again the lovin' smile, the blessin' bear again 
That he used to breathe each evening o'er his only laddie wean. 

And also tell my mither that, when tossing in unrest, 
I could feel her airms aboot me as she pressed me to her breast ; 
I beard her whispered soothings, an' her hand felt on my broo — 
It was a' sae real and tender, I maist think I feel it noo. 

Ob, mither, dearest mither, ye will never see again 

The laddie that ye lo'ed sae weel — your rosy-cheekit wean ! 

An' oh, I feel ye'll thole wi' me, an' think it no unmeet 

A mickle, buirdly, bearded man should for his mither greet. 

Bid my mither bear my message to the one I loved so well — 
My boyhood's love, miy manhood's hope, my ain, my darling 

bid her tell my dearest, when my spirit upward passed, 
That the name I held sae dearly, it was on my lips the last. 

Weel I mind oor hinmost pairtin' on the day I gaed awa*, 
^ she sabbit on my bosom, beneath Roslin's castle wa', 

1 tried a' I could to cheer her, though my heart was throbbing 

sair, 
As she sobbit oot— * Ob, darling, I will never see ye mair.' 



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180 MOPBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

But how faet the darkness thickens, an' I think my time has 

oome, 
Yon will take my message safely to my childhood's happy 

home — 
Yon will give them all my last good-bye— my heart's best love as 

well— 
And now fareweel my trae kind friend— my faither— mither— 

NelL" 

So died this loving Scot];is)i lad— his earthly race was mn ; 

A few short Words— a snllen plimve— the last sad rites are done. 

A notice nnder heading *' deaths " is all the world i 



1 may __ 
A brief and simple line or two, announcing — ** Died at Sea I " 



CATHERINE MAXWELL STEWAET, 

^^8 a daughter of the late John Stewart, Esq. of 
^ Achadashenaig (or Q-lenaros), Mull, where she 
was bom. From this happy abode where there was 
so much to stimulate her opening mind, and people 
her memory with poetic images, she removed to 
Bothesay in early life, and thence to Edinburgh, 
where she now resides. Under the initials " C. M.S. , " 
Miss Stewart was induced some years ago to contri- 
bute to the Family Treasury a number of poems which 
attracted much attention and admiration for their 
imaginative originality and thoughtfulness. They 
are evidently the impulses of a poetic, highly accom- 
plished, and devout mind, possessing much genuine 
poetry, and sound and vigorous piety. 

The origin of the name of the first piece given is 
doubtful. ** The Harper's Corry " is situated on the 
summit of Ben Doran, not far horn the Black Forest, 
and on the way from Glenorchy to Glencoe— the 
ancient Cona. The name may have been given by 
some special bard, or because of the sound of the 

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OATHISINI M* 8TSWABT* 181 

wind among the rocks, or the shape of these last, 
which somewhat suggests a harp. 

THE HABJ?BR'B cobby. 

And does thy name yet echo from Afar 

The harp of other yearA ? 
Didst thou hear Osdan's lay of lote and war, 

Or see Bialvina's tears ? 

Or was the wind the only bard that tuned 

Thine adamantine chords ? 
Thine own the music borne along the gale, 
Through the grev rustling pine-to|)s to the vale, 

To mingle with the rivers rushing words? 

When the Black Forest stood against the stag, 
And 'twizt the purple stems gleamed Heaven's pure blue, 

When Gona was tne noma of bard and chief, 

In manhood's glorious summer bright and brief. 

Or apse's winter, bent in sightless grief. 
Still brave and wise and true. 

When gazing far into the west. 

Beyond the Awe's enchanted spring, 
Onr fathers saw the islets blest 

Through gold and purple glimmering. 

On that vague glory looking back, 

It seems as Scotland's youth were gone — 
As if, that brilliant era past. 

Her age were slowly creeping on. 

The warriors few and far between — 

Their ancient legei^ds ijing out ; 
And, in jbhe \m^s where they were seen. 

Their very being held in doubt. 

In solitude the hunter now. 

Or herdsman, treads the mount or glen, 
And westering, in the sanset glow. 

Lie stretched the halls of "little men." 

Faint echoes from the days of old 

We treasure, as they greet our ear ; 
But many a warrior's home may hold 

No tenant save the wild red deer. 

How changed ! and yet, a brighter day 

Now to our hills and glens is given 
Than that of old, whose parting ray 

To Ossian seemed the gate of heaven. 



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182 MODKRN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

No distant coast of snnlit gold — 

No islet in the pale groeu sky - 
That stretches westward far away, 
And fades above to twili^^ht my 
Where crimsoned olondf-realms lie — 

Not such the heaven we hope to know — 
That sight no mortal eye may share — 
No eye hath seen the sinless land. 
No ear hath heard the ransomed band. 
Where Qod's own light is ever shining — 
And endless day knows no declining, 
The heart's one rest, for Christ is there. 

Bat waymarks all the pathway through 
Are set, that those who read may run. 
And sure His promise is, and true 
To guide the blind in wajrs unknown 
Until they reach the Heavenly throne, 
And promised rest is won. 

So taming from that misty past 

That distance gilds so bright, 
We more — far more, rejoice that heaven 
To Scotland's eventide has given 

The Star of Jacob's light. 



THE LOST TREASURE. 

Lost—while the golden dawn 
Of Earth's first morning shone, 

Spreading across the faintly purple sky. 
When the pale late moon was slowly waning. 
And the little misty clouds were gaining 

Shape and colour as they floated by ; 
When the Earth had youth, and peace, and rest, 
A^d the dwellers there were glad and blest, 

(Before the rosy glow 
Had left the distant land). 
It was dropt from a careless hand, 

Long ago. 

At the bidding of a foe ; 
And their gladness and their peace, 
And their sunshine and their ease, 

All went to pay the cost 

Of what was lost 

Lost — all unheeded 

As the day wore on : 
Lost— to be needed 

As the dark night came down : 



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eATHSsnra m. stbwabt. 183 

liCMt — ooYored o'er with dnst 

In the coniitry of the moth and rust ; 

While the nations passing; to and fro 

'Mid the heat and burden of the day 
Trod it under foot, and did not know 
In their dreary haette what lay below, 

Though Earth's golden time had passed away 
To pay the cost, 
When it was lost 

Missed— in the twilight eray, 

When the rain that had been gathering all the day 

Fell ceaseless and chill : 
Missed, with a drear misgiving 
That without it all man's living 
And good would end in ill. 
Till hia very life would go to pay the cost 
Of what was lost. 

Sought— by the loser 

In sorrow and pain ; 
'Mid deepening shadows 

Sought for in vain ; 
When the sun had set behind the hUl, 
And the night fog gathered dank and chill 

O'er the plain. 
Sought, by a flickering light- 
Sparks of his own. 
That blazed a moment bright. 
Then, sinking into night. 

Left him alone. * 

Through hot blinding mists of unshed tears, 
In a feverish dream of shapeless fears, 
Helpless, hopeless, as the midnight nears, 

Of finding an^rwhere ; 

Nigh to despair, 
When he triea to count the cost 
Of what was lost. 

Sought — by another : 

Sought— by a brother : 

Sought for with weary toil and pain. 

Through the night wind and the drifting rain : 

Sought by One who left His Father's house. 

And went out among the falling dews. 

Though the drops of night were in His hair 

Heavy and cold : 
And He, the lifting of whose face 
Made the sunshine of the blessed place. 

Was a Man, by grief and care 
' I old; 



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...yj. iyr^.\ 
184 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

For He knew the eost 
Of what was lost. 

Found — ^never to be loab again ir<i ..•>..- 
Found— by One who never 0eagh#l»Tai»<r' ' '' •" 

For QJB breath oan light the oahdle of toe Lord, 
And a light, 
Throngh the night, •^«'^>( >- 

Shining in dark places is His word : 
And He knoweth what ii| dafkneMhideth, 

For the light hath ever dwdlt with'Him, 
And in dloiidlete radiance sUU abideth ^ j' q 
Though the sun should change to darkness, ana fi 
moon wax red and d|m. 

Besides— He 0at(i the cost 

Of what was lost. 

Found— to be stamped for ever 

With the image and the name 
Of heaven's King : 
Found to be given back to Earth 

In her poverty and shame, 
That she yet, as at her birth, • i. . i i i •:. . 
Miffht have tribute-money in her hand to brii^ 

To Him who did deliver 
Her soul from perishing, 

When she could not pay the cost 

Of what was lost. 

Found — to the glory 

Of His name : 
Found— that it mklit be freely spent 
As a treasure He Himself had lent. 

To spread the wondrous story 
Of His fame. 
Small in itself, and most 
To be prized for what it cost 
Him, when it was lost. 

And all other help was vain, 

To buy it back again. 

Found— in the end 

To be for His pleasure ; 
To be set for ever in the light 
Before His sight. 

And be counted His peculiar treasure. 
When all darkness shall have passed away. 
And He maketh up His jewels 
In the dawninff of a cloudless day. 

Earth little knows at most 

Of what the anding cost. 

Or of how He loved the lost. 



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CATHB&INB Mi STBWiJlT. 185 

A VISION Ilf A SOUL-GXSbEW. 

I stood in a Rarden gtmiad. 

Which it seemed to^ttei'] 
It had once been fenced aronnd. 

But the hedp^e was broken throogh. 
I had read of it long ago, ; '< w: > 
How the thorn aadltbe nsttie grew 

AU tangled over the place ; 
But I felt as if I had aem^Ui^koOfi^ 

And the weeds were my disgrace. 

As I wandered, musing so, 
I heard voices sad and low, — 

Like the siffh of a wamtf sea 
On a rooky shelving shore, 
Where it beateth evermore, 

Ue^essly. 
And I tnmed to see • 
Where they might be. 

In an arbonr dark and lonflL 
On a trellis dim with monl<L.t 
Ivy (wMathed in many tbtf<»d) - 
With the deadly nightshade gnew ; 
And a straggling woodbine threw 
Sickly branches to the air, - . . . 
And I saw them gathered there/|.* 
While a misty ffleam that throni^t 

-TImhM weeds had f oond ite way, 
GKving motes mmd dost to .Tiew, 

On uieir anxious faces lay. 

Love was weeping, and she said, 

'< I will sit apart,— 

I have not a true heart, — . 

How can I love e^usebt'I see, ' 
With a love that's worth His taking 

Can I tell if false or true I be, 
Till there comes a day of waking. 

And Earth's shadows fleet " 

And Faith was leaning near 

The door with a helpless face i 

But she started often in her place, 
And stretched her hand. 

And drew it back a^ain 

With a shiver of pam, 
Murmuring, " This is the silent land. 

And night is coming on, 
But it was not light to me 

Even at dawn. 



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186 MODB&N SCOTTISH POSTS. 

I hATe spoken words of trnst,— 

I have striven the light to see ; 
Bat I know that it would be just 

U it mver should shine on me." 

Hope at her feet was wailing 

In heart sickness dire ; 
Her azure robe all soiled with trailing 

lliroagh the mire ; 
And her listless fingers twining 

In her hair, 
Where the star-orown had been shining, 

Now not there : 

And she said to Faith, 
*' I have wandered far and wide ; 
With Fancy for my guide, 

And am tired almost to death. 
She has wings like a butterfly ; 

She can hold by a spider's thread ; 
And she flits from flower to flower, 

But they wither where I tread. 
I once felt jovous and bold 

As I looked on the years to come ; 
Bat Hope is deferred, and my heart grown old. 

And I seem no nearer home. 
What if I hope in vain 

For that I cannot see, — 
What if I wait in pain 

For a dav that ne*er shall be. 
Thou hast heard the words that shall never change ; 
/ have only had visions dim and strange. 

And they vanished quickly too.— 
Come forth with me. 
So shall I see 

If these my dreams be true." 

And Faith made answer, '* Yes I will ; 

And with thee I wiU seek the light. 
Though clouds and darkness veil it still, 

And hide it from our feeble sight, 
I know it shines beyond the gloom ; 

I know it shall shine for ever. 
And light the new Heaven, where the saved gather 
home 

Bound the Light-giver ; 
And I vHU lie in His hand,— 

I cannot be but there. 

For He reigneth everywhere, 
And His will none can withstand ; 
But 1*11 choose it for my rest — 

Let Him choose the way I take. 

That I may be carried through, 



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GATHSBINB M. 8TBWABT. 187 

Till the shades of night are past, 
And the morning dawns at Last, 
And I meet Him when I wake 
In the country of the hlest." 

Then they tnmed to Love and said, 

"Wilt thou go?" 
But she, sighing, answer made, 

Dreamily and slow, 
"Onol 
I cannot go. 

Sense and feeling, ever near, 
Whisper softly in my ear, 
That He does not hold me dear. 
I might doubting hold vou back — 
I might wander from the track 

When your way was dear. 
Gro — ^my heart goes with you ; 

But I will tarry here. 

Where the thorns and briers are growing, 

And the thistle its seed is strewing, 
There is work for me to do. 
I have slept while tares were sown — 
I have dreamed, and never known — 
How the little foxes crept 
Near the vines I should have kept — 
Oh, that He were come again, 
Though the north wind and the rain 
Might be sad to bear ; 
If I knew that he were there, 
And would nerve my hand 

To pluck up one weed, — 
Word^vain words — my want is true, 
And I am weary—Oh, if you 
Find Him, tell Him He can do 

AU I need." 

So those two went forth together 
Slowly through the misty weather ; 
And the evenmg dew was shining 

On the cobwebs Fancy weaves, 
As they trod at day's declining 

Through the falling leaves ; 
And I know not how they sped. 

Or if thev returned alone 

To find the weeds still higher grown, 
And Love faint or dead ; 
But I've heard of One who said 

In the days gone by, 
Words whose echo soundeth on 
To the watcher for the dawn 

Ever nigh,— 



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188 UODIEN SOOniSH POETS. 

" I am this world's Light, and never 
Shall one following after me 

In the dark abide for erer, . . 
But the light shall sordy see.'* 



ALEXANDER DUNCAN 

MAS bom at Dalmeny, Liiilithgoyrahii;e, id 1823. 
His father was au, iodustrlQus aii4 rcMipeot^ 
able stone mason, who removed witk his family to 
the village of It(Brito»^ in the y&Le of Levei, ,ih 1834. 
Alexander was the eldest of a family of ten, and at 
the early age of eleven ^ears he was a{>prenticed to a 
tailor. The early age at whipb hq b.egan wpr);; pre- 
vented him from acquiring a good elementary educa- 
tion, but he continued d[uring his a|»prenticei^^ip to 
attend the evening dfasses in. t&e village school. 
After working for some years as an operative tailor, 
he removed to Glasgow, and began business there in 
partnership with his broi)her-in-law as tailors and 
clothiers. The business did not prove successful, and 
he returned to the Vale of Leven in 1 855. He' now 
felt his health beginning to give warning that sooa 
he would join the majority. He removed to Gl^go w 
a second time, and, a&er a lingering illness of «ight 
years, died there in 1864, leaving a widow and five 
of a family. m . 

Alexander Duncan was an enthusiast for music, 
and qualified himself to offi,diate as a precentor, and 
while a member of the Wesleyaa He1;tiodlsi{S he often 
performed with much ability and aoc^tance both the 
duties of precentor and prey^olier. .Wh^n laii aside 
^y illness he found a sdlaciB m his Jove |pr music and 
in cultivating the muses. On the advice of his 

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ALIXAVDXB DXnTGAH. 189 

Mends he published, in 1858, a small Tolnme of his 
poems entitled'"'* Leisure Hours/' dedicated to the 
late William Campbell, Esq. of Tilliohewan. In 
1862 he published another Uttle pamphlet of his 
poems, ''The Yial," and from time to time Beveral 
booklets on local matters. 

His poems breaiJie the simple Scottish piety which 
ennobles honest poverty. They are pervaded with 
the sad refrain of one who suffered much, and daily felt 
that he was near the end of his life's journey. He 
also sung of the sweeter joys, the privileges, and the 
domestic affection that fall to the lot of the virtuous 
poor, and of the scenes of his youth in his lowly 
rural home by the classic banks of the Leven. In 
his own sphere, Alexander Duncan fought manfully 
amidst many trials and difficulties his uphill battle 
of life. He lived and suffered, loved and was loved, 
shedding a loving radiande around ndt a few of 
Scotland's humble cottage homes. 

The following is from ftn address delivered by the 
poet at a soiree of the Yale of Leven Association 
which is annually held in Glasgow : — 

THE VALE OP LEVEN. 

Fair Vale I thy name I love to hear, 
Tt sonnds sweet masic in my ear : 
Twas there I first began to play, 
And lisp the poet's hnmble lay ; 
Twas tnere I first went to the school. 
To learn to speak and write by rule ; 
Twas there in fancy I did rove, 
And first began to study love; 
Twas there, with parents kind and dear, 
I spent in youth my vernal year. 
Sweet Vale I no place on earth so dear ! 
In death my father slumbers here. 
My bosom swells to write his name I 
It kindles up love's quenchless flame ; 
It calls to view yon gorgeous scene — 
Yon paradise where oft I*ve l>een. 
Ah, yes ! in vonder Eden fair, 
V^e heard a father's evening prayer ; 



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190 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

His yolce, though silent, echoes yet, 
" Forget me not ! " I'll ne'er forget. 

A mother's love — that depthless sea ! 
In Leven's vale flowed forth to me ; 
And all the heauty of the grove 
Doth fail when measured by that love ! 
Yes, love of loves is mother's part — 
It spars the soul and swells the heart ; 
Ana thouGrh eternal beauty fail 
In Lebanon or Leven's vale, 
That flame of love shall never die— 
'Tis seen in every smile and sigh. 



SUMMER SHOWER. 

Refreshing shower ! why should I mourn, 

^ Although I'm ofttimes wet by thee ? 
Since flowery groves and fields of corn 
T>o hail thee now with mirth and glee. 

Soul-stirring shower ! thy drops are like 
The pearly gems that stud the sky, 

Thev cheer the heart that's like to break. 
They speed the step and soothe the sigh. 

Soft dewy shower 1 how sweet the gift 
Of love, thou fallest on the ground 

To satisfy her parching thirst : 
All creatures chime thy humming sound. 

The tiny flower which decks the plain. 
And sturdy oak— the forest's queen — 

Do clap their hands ; — ^beasts wild and tame 
Exult in song when thou art seen. 

The running brook, the glassy lake, 
And humming bird thou seem'st to please ; 

The cuckoo sings — nature's awake, 
And insects flutter in the breeze. 

How like the children round the hearth, 
Glad telling what some friend has given. 

Are singing birds, in hymns of mirth, 
Returning thanks for gifts from heaven. 

The broom, the thistle, and the brier. 
The hazel, and the fair elm tree. 

Seem to have only one desire — 
To render thanks to God for thee. 

And when thy mission thou has done 
(Refreshing man, and beast, and ground). 



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ALEXANDBB DUKOAIT. 191 

Thou gently leav'st to let the ran 
Shed his Dright, warming beami aroimd. 

Blest messenger I thy work npon 
The bleaky leaf, how like the grace 

Of Qod upon the heart of stone !— 
Death leayes his throne ; life takes his place. 

Since yiolets smile, and warblers sing, 

And streamlets echo music sweet ; 
Whilst Nature, wide, tunes every staring 

The genial summer shower to greet. 

Why should my heart still parch^ be, 

In this my summer day's decline ; 
Whv wither in eternitv, 

Smce Jesus showers nis love divine, 
Like dew upon the human soul, 
To deanse, to save, and keep it whole T 

"JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY, TO-DAY, AND 
FOR EVER." 

Happy, happy world of glory ! 

Where seraphic spirits dwell. 
Echo, echo forth the story, 

Sound it with the loudest bell — 
That the Lord doth live for ever, 

King of kings in worth and name — 
That His love is like a river^ 

Ever flowing yet the same. 

Pure created angels, praise Him — 

Ye who knew Him ere the Fall, 
Lend vour aid anew to praise Him 

Higher on the jasper wall ! 
Ere He laid the earth's foundation, 

Was He not your constant theme ? 
Still He claims your adoration — 

All He was, He's still the same. 

Ye who watched with marked attention 

As He drew this world's plan, 
And admired the strange invention 

Whilst He made the being man, 
String your timbrels, string them stronger. 

Give your Master all His claim, 
For eternity, if longer, 

Would still eoho— Christ's the same ! 

Ye who saw Him, moved with pity. 
Veil the majesty of God, 



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192 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Coming from His golden city 
To atetito^rti4 sitatiw's load— 

Ho^ Hfa love evoked your wonder — 
Heaven dazzled at his flame ! 

Coul(^ ye cdaae, in voice of- thunder, 
To exalt — Christ is the same ! 

Ye who watched Him in the manger, 

Qradled i^ a. JIp wly. bed, . . i 
Sa'vr Hint, too, a h'ouaeless stranger, 

Wjtnout pi^ow lor. His head. . 
Did ye not e;?ctol His conduoifc^ 

Ever free from sin and shame ? 
Heaven spake % ear4ih respoaded— 

JeB«» vas and is the same i 

Te who saw Him on this ocean, 

Tosaing.'on tinge's troubled wave, 
Ye who chanted sweet devotion . 

Whilst He conquered death's dark grare — 
Praise Him, sound the psaltery louder, 
. ^ Forjoankiod tire Xismb was alain — 
Spread the anthemsi spread them broader, 
Jesus is the same. Amen ! 

Praise Him river, lake, and fountain, 

Catch the music, passing breeze, 
Carry it o'er plain and mountain, 

Tell it to the stirring trees, 
That King Jesus never faileth ; 

Great in power, and worth, and fame. 
Yesterday, to-day, and ever, ... 

Jesus was and is the same. 

Saint on earth, why stoop with sighing ? 

Thy Bedeemer's on his throne, 
Hours are passing, time is flying, 

Soon shall all thy grief be gone. 
Ever keep His love before thee. 

Let it in thy soul abide, 
And thoug;h tempests gather o'er fhee 

Safely still in Jesus hide. 

Praise Him, praise Him, earth and heaven, 

Stars and sun and all that t>e ; 
Let all voices He hath given 

Echo through eternity — 
That He was, and is for ever. 

Yesterday, to-day^ the same ; 
Nothing shall His kingdom sever — 

Tell it, angels, with acclaim. 



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JAMBS NOBVAL. 193 



JAMES NORVAL, 

©"SB of ous swjseteBt nursery poets^ whose songs 
hfkve been long popular in the hearts of lus 
coDntrymen, and priaed far beyond Scotland's '* hills 
and dalee," wastbosn at Parkhead, Glasgow, in 1814. 
His fath^ follj9^e4 the trade of handloom weaving, a 
re^spectable and profitaiUe calling at that period. 
When a year- old J^es was removed to the " White 
Houses/' GaUo3!?gate,: at one time a famous roadside 
inn, and the. scene- of his fine ballad, ''The Wee 
Pickle Meal." In the vicinity of his dwelling was the 
fanaouii '* Wii^^jioans," at that time a terror to all 
Glasgow boys, Sr^m the many weird stories in circu- 
lation about the midnight cantrips enacted by the 
witches among its lone trees and hedges. His 
earliest recollection were the bonfires in honour of 
the acquittal of Q^een Caroline, whose famous defence 
by Lord Brougham grained the latter his spurs ; and 
the famous processions in 1820 to the *'Clayknowe 
meetings," which gave the Government of that day 
so much trouble' over their tobacco find whisky duties. 
Bands and banners passed the ''White Houses," 
women walking in procession carrying long poles 
with caps of liberty on the top of them, and men with 
polj&s having whisky stoups and tobacco pipes with 
inverted heads. 

At the age of seven our poet was sent to school, 
but remained there only two years, a circumstance 
he regretted very much. He was put to the loom, 
which trade he has generally followed since. Few 
in his walk of life have maintained such a good 
character for sobriety, as during his long and event- 
ful career he has always espoused total abstinence 
principles, and this he did at a time when such were 
L neither tolerated nor respected. He was made a 



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194 MODERN SOOTTISH POETS, 

burgess of the city of Glasgow in 1868, and in that 
position was one of three who fought the battle of the 
people's park — the well-known Glasgow Green. In 
this he was successful, the Town Council being 
beaten, and the boundaries of the Green settled so as 
to prevent any further attempt at encroachment. 

As a public speaker, Mr Nerval has done good 
service in his day by advocating the interests of the 
working classes, and no more congenial work could 
be given him than denouncing those who were ever 
ready to trample upon working men. He indulged 
in a satirical and caustic style, making those shrink 
who came under his lash in a way to be remembered. 

As a true Scottish poet, his numerous pieces will 
speak for themselves. They have a genuine ring of 
true metal about them not to be mistaken, many of 
them possessing great tenderness, beauty, and pathos. 
'*My Daddie's Awa\" '^MyAin Gate En'," "The 
Auld Stairheid," ** Sabbath Bells," ''Wee Mary 
Ann," "Wee Pickle Meal," and quite a host of 
nursery songs have long been popular by those who 
knew little about the poet, and will live while 
the pure Scotch Doric is read. To invest with poetic 
imagery and expression subjects interesting to children 
is admitted to be a species of composition which re- 
quires peculiar talent. His felicitous heart-utter- 
ances when sketching child-life are true to nature, 
and appeal to all our warmer sympathies. His 
songs have been hailed as sterling issues in the 
lordly ha' as well as in the humble cottage or the 
hairst rig — by the man of high culture as well as by 
the humblest peasant. Many of them display fine 
quiet humour, which occasionally breaks out into 
broad fun, while others are touched with a natural 
sweetness and pathos that commend them irresis- 
tibly to tlie affections and the heart. Most of his 
verses were honoured by Dr Hedderwick, of Glasgow, 
no mean critic and poet himself, with a place in the 



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JAMET NOBVAL. 196 

famous "comer" of the Citizen in its early days, and 
now one of the most popular evening daily papers in 
Scotland. Our poet, although nearing the three- 
score and ten, is hale and hearty for his years, and 
still amuses his friends by adding fresh gems to his 
long list — proving that the fine poetic spirit has not 
left him in his old age. 

TfiE WEE PICKLE MEAL. 

I mind when I was geyan young- 
Aye geyan young atweef— 

There cam' a puir wife to oor door 
Beggin' a pickle meal. 

She socht it wi' a bitter wail 
That stopp'd my mither's wheel 

Wi' "Waesocks me/' and *'Gude bless thee, 
Gi'e me a wee tate meal.*' 

My mither bang'd up frae her wheel, 

And cried " Gude help the puir," 
And wi' a lioht and eager step 

She cross'd the kitchen flure. 
Her hand shook at the awmry door, 

Like some ane gaun to steal. 
When frae our wee meal-pock she drew 

A goupinfu' o' meal. 

** Ye maunna greet," my mither said, 

*' Come dicht, O dicht your een, 
For I can see in that pale face 

That better days you've seen ; 
And I can read in tny fu' e'e 

Y6 ha'e a heart can feel 
For ithers' waes ; sae tak' frae me 

A blessing wi' the meal." 

The beggar wife was sair o'eroome, 

She shook in every nerve— 
" Waa't no," she said, ** for such as thee, 

The like o' me micht starve. 
I've wandered unco far th' day, 

'Mang hearts as cauld as steel — 
It's hard to hirple doun life's brae, 

Beggin' a pickle meal. 

" Waes me, I hae seen better days, 

But noo, alack, they're gane ; 
I've had on earth a' that could mak' 

A woman proud and fain. 



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196 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

My kind guidman frae me was torn 
To war's red battle-fieP ; 

He fell, — and I mann either dee, 
Or beg my piokle meal. 

" We had twa honnie, sonsie bahrns— 

Dmt Mary, and wee John— 
Wha baith sleep noo anaath the yaird, 

Beside the banks o' Don. 
Bat when I think on a* Vwe borne, 

Wi' grief the wa*s I*d specl. 
For noo Tm le^ in waning life 

To beg a pic^e meal." 

Fnll thirty years ha*e row*d awa' 

To memoiy's dnsky shore, 
Since that puir woman taald her tale 

At my kind mither's door. 
My mither*B gane whaur a' mann gang, 

And nane but me can feel 
The hallow'd burden o' my f 

That goupinfu' o* meal. 



AULD SCOTLAND'S SABBATH BELLS. 

I like to hear the Sabbath bells, 

Wi' their sweet tinkling soun ; 
When sitting on a water side, 

Miles frae the dinsome toun. 
They bring me back life's sunny mom, 

Wi' a' its witching spells ; 
The clachan, bum, the vellow com. 

The sheep along the fells.. 

They bring me back a mither's love, 

A father's fostering care ; 
On memory's wings I flee awa' 

To speel the auld' kirk stair. 
I stand within that sacred pile. 

Where hymns in volume rose, 
And peal'd along the sounding aisle, 

To soothe the saint's repose. 

They bring loved forms o' ither years, 

That lang hae dooless lain. 
An' flood my een wi' sooin' tears, 

For youthfu' frien's that's gane 
To sleep beneath the grassy turf. 

By mountains, crags, and dells. 
That aft in life hae heard wi' me, 

These solemn Sabbath bells. 



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NOEVAL. 197 

And when this weary wayward lieart 

Has ceased for aye to beat, 
And scandal, wi* her cankering dart, 

Can rouse nae mair to hate, 
'l^ere will be hearts wha'll feel as ke«n, 

Their deep and holy knells, 
As e'er* he aid wha simply sings 

Auld Scotland's Sabbath beUs. 



MY AIN GATE BN\ 

I've dimb'd the lofty mountain, T've cross'd the gowllng sea ; 
I've rested by the fountain that gushes 'neath the lea ; 
Ty9 been amang the truly great, alack, but even then. 
My heart grew grit wi' yearning for my ain gate en*. 

Oh, dear to me the scenes at my ain gate en' — 
The wifies and i the weans at my ain gate en' ; 
There's no -a spot on a' the earth that I sae brawly ken, 
As the hainely auld white hoosies at my ain gate en'. 

It isna for their grandeur — they hae nae gaudy show $ 

It lacks a' dignity o' art, that lowly cottars' row, 

Wi' its quaint amd theeked roofs, and its cozie huts and bens, 

Whanr dwelt the douce and decent at my ain gate en'. 

I've had muckle fun and daffin roun' my ain gate en' ; 
Joy and comfort aye gaed lauchin* roun' my ain gate en' ; 
Tet there's a'e Mt moumf u' nook, a bonny fairy den. 
Where I buried a pet Bobin, at my ain gate en . 

Oh, I firat owre that wee birdie till I sca'ded baith my een, 
And I Dusked a' the yirdie wi' the wild flowers frae the green. 
And I thocht there was nae loss like mine within a* human ken, 
Sae sicker is first sorrow at our ain gate en'. 

Hae ye seen a wardless outcast cut aff frae freens and hame, 
A-pining for that ingle, wi' its soul-stirring fiame ; 
What can thro' a' his bleeding heart sic thrills o' pleasure sen', 
As a weel-kent bairn-time story o' his ain gate en ? 

A blink o' sweet remembrance glints owre his scowling broo, 
A bygane blue-e'ed lassie is beside him sittin' noo ; 
Agam he wreathes her sunny hair wi' fox'>bells doun the glen. 
And he hears the waters rtuh/inff by his ain gate en'. 

O, an unca ¥ritching charm has our ain gate en' ; 
And we shrink frae change as harm to our ain gate en' ; 
Frae the peasant on the lea to the wealthy and the hie, 
We've a' a warm heart4iken to our ain gate en*. 



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198 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

THE DEEIN' WIDOW'S WAIL. 

Garry me doun to yon auld wither'd tree 
That Stan's on the Common alane, alane ; 

It's leafless and mateless, and geyan like me 
That's lost baith my man and my wean, my wean. 
That lost baith my man and my wean. 



They sent my dear Pate ower the wild roarin' 
Alack, he sleeps noo wi' the slain, the slain ; 

I micht hae borne that had cauld death left to me 
The pledge o' oor fond love — my wean, my wean, 
The pledge o' oor fond love — my wean. 

I mourn when the day-star is olosin' its e'e, 
And gaan tae its bed in the main, the main, 

And I weary for mom, like the bird on the tree, 
To feed on my sorrows again, again — 
To feed on my sorrows again. 

I've gane dean aff my feet, and the oauld yird sweat 
(Others roan' my puir heart like rain, like rain ; 

But 1*11 sune be at rest wi' the twa I lo'ed best — 
My ain kindly Pate and my wean, my wean. 
My ain kindly Pate and my wean. 



AN AULD MAN'S SANG. 

Oh, gin I was young again, 
Hech, how ! gin I was young again ; 
Chasin' bumbees ower the plain 
Is just an auld sang sung again. 

I'd gie the goud o' Indian mine 
To feel noo as I felt langsyne — 
A harum-scarum, thochtless wean— 
I'm fleyed I'll ne er be young again. 

We canna see the win's that blaw. 
Nor men's thochts when they rise or fa' ; 
We're turning present joy to pain 
Wi' oraikin' to oe young again. 

We've had oor day— e'en let it gang ; 
Ilk dog has his, sae rins the sang ; 
Ck>me sing wi' me this dear refrain, 
** The blyth heart will grow young again." 

When bairns' bairns stand roun' our knee, 
Their green love fills oor heart wi' ^lee ; 
Fair morning flowers without a stain, 
^Tour fragrance mak's us young again. 



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JABfES NOBVAL. 199 

Oh noo I feel I'm young again, 
Tho* bent wi' eild and crunohin' pain ; 
'Tis sweet as wee bird's spring-time strain 
When bairn-time's lays are sung again. 



WEE MARY ANN. 

The simmer's tide is gane, an* I'm sitting here alane, 
Moping by the chimla cheek, a sairy auld man, 

Musing on the hours that I spent by Haldane's towers, 
Baffin like a glaikit bairn wi' wee Mary Ann. 

We damb Glen Eagle's braes, wbaur grow the nits and slaes ; 

Through the wood in gleefu' mood, and ower the lea we ran ; 
My heart was fu' o' joy, and again I was a boy — 

Losh 1 I forgot my gray hairs wi' your wee Mary Ann. 

There wasna a wee flower nor a birdie in its bower. 
The heather noddin' ower the cairn, the lily, pale and wan — 

She kent flowers, birds, an' stanes as a mither kens her weans ; 
I wat she is a knockie bairn, your wee Mary Ann. 

I've been upon the sea when the waves danced in their glee — 
Our noble ship she breasted them as gracefu' as a swan ; 

I've been in fashion's ha', wi' the frivolous and the sma', 
An' heard the flirt's ha, ha ! as she giggled 'hint her fan. 

But of a' the gates I've been, or a' I've heard or seen, 
Whether on the restless deep or on the solid Ian' ; 

I've never shared a bliss that I would prefer to this — 
Scampering up Glen Eagles wi' your wee Mary Ann. 

May He that reigns abune, an' gallops on the win', 
Hands the mighty waters in the hollow o' His han', 

Adorn wi' every grace her mind, her form, and face, 
While earth's the biding place o' your wee Mary Ann. 

THE BOO-MAN. 

Come awa' to your bed noo, my bonnie wee mannie. 
And cuddle i' the bosie o' yer ain auld grannie ; 
Dinna kick an' spur sae, let us sleep while we can ; 
Wheest ! what the sorra's that ? Oh, there's the Boo-Man. 
Oh, there's the Boo-Man, quo' she ; there's the Boo-Man ; 
Hide yer head aneath the claes ; for there's the Boo-Man. 

Hear him oomin' doun the lum, wi' his muckle pock ; 
Noo he's on the hearthstane snorin' like a brock, 
Rattlin' roun' and roun' the house, like chuckles in a pan. 
To fill his pock wi' waukrife wean4, — oh, the Boo-Man ! 
Oh, the Boo-Man, quo' she, oh, the Boo-Man : 
I wish he minna tak' us baith, oh, the Boo-Man ! 



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200 MOi^BK scoi!¥i6fir foet3. 

There he's in below the bed, purttn''l&e a cat ; 
Noo he's in the cMi-hole, squeakin* like a rat, 
Bampin' owre the dresser-held, he'll coup the nSilk can ; 
Oh, the foul fa' the dairty feet ;-ofh,'the Boo-Man I 
Oh, the Boo-Man, quo' she, oh, the Boo-Man ; 
Hirsel closer to me yet, for there's the Boo-Man. 

Stridelegs on the biUie-goat, he gallops roun' the biggin' ; 
Noo he's on the hen's bank ; there he's ^a the riggin , 
Dancin* roun' the chimly-tap, an' dnlimittin' on tne can, 
Singin' owre his eerie croon, — oh, the Bo6-Man ! 
Oh, the Boo-Man, quo' she, oh, the Boo-Man ; 
Watchin' aye for waukrif e bairns, the weary Boo-Man. 

He's warstlin' thro' the keyhole, an' dinglin' at' the sneck ; 
Tumlin' owre the warpin' powl ; deil nor he thraw his neck ; 
Bonn' the hooue, an' doon the hoose, an' owre the hoose he's ran ; 
He's a gruesome chiel, a tricky deil, that Boosie, Boosie Man. 
That Boosie, Boosie Man, quo' she, that Boosie, Boosie Man ; 
Close your een an' bless yersel, an' fricht the Boozie Man. 

There he's in the awmry, eatin' a' the banilocks ; 

Noo he's breengin' thro' the house, — he'll shatter a' the winnocks ; 

There he's in the ase-hole, — noo he's on the cran ; 

Losh ! he'll scowther a' his hinder en', the Boode, B6osie'Man. 

Oh, the Boo-Man, quo' she, oh, the Boo-Man : 

Wee Harry's gaun to sleep noo ; gae Wa', ye Boo-Man. 



JOHN CAMPBELL 

•jITfl AS bom in 1846, at the pleasant village of 
\t\r% Kilburnie, in Ayrshire, where his father 
practised the calling of a cotton spinner, until, to use 
his own expression, he was "literally starved oiit of 
the place." Our poet was "nursed in the lap of 
poverty," and when he was five years of age, the 
family removed to Glasgow, his father finding em- 
ployment for a year or two in a factory at the east 
end, during which time John had his fitst e^^p^iienoe 
of school in the one attached to the factory. Thence 
tliey removed to Kelvin* Street in the noiPth^T^eist of 



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•JOHN O^OCFfiiaiL. ^1 

tbedty, a street whieli was then in an oiQtlyiQg 
suburb, between rows of fruit and vegetable jgfaafdetis, 
and beside fields, trees, and flowers, rural walks and 
sylvan scenes. The *' groozie" Keltin, the classic 
Kelvin Grove, the Three GDree Well-^dkosAU haunt 
of love and of the Muses — were all in' the imtilediate 
neighbourhood. The onward march of the great 
city has, however, swept away the rustic beauties 
of the ^<ice, and now lines of stone eixCQ. lime leave 
scarce a vestige of their e^cistence. This was the 
**home of his happy days," and hither all his boy- 
hood's recollections fondly turn. When about thir- 
teen, he- was apprenticed as a compositor in a small 
printing oifi^e iil Jamaica Street, and it was'th^re, in 
the second year of his apprenticeship, while setting 
up the poems of the late Hugh Macdonald, author of 
**Kambles Bound Glasgow," *'Days at the Ooast," 
&c., the ** Caleb " of the now defunct Morning Jcfumal, 
that he' first felt the stirrings of the Muses awakened 
by the sweet- strains <d that master of the lyre. 

Mr Oampbell is a man of unassuming natixre, a 
bright and afidiahle companion, and a warm and 
sympathetic Mend. Industrious, ingenious, and 
brinifM of 6n!ergy, going at whatever he Und^irta^es 
with heart and will, his leisure hours have far more 
calls than he can meet, and the wonder is that he 
finds time to think poetry, not to Speak of writing 
and printing it. A descendant of Covenanters, he is 
imbued with the faith of his fathers. He has written 
many excellent and touchingly sweet songs, and 
several of his lyrics have been wedded to appropriate 
music. With a true modesty, which forms a strong 
trait of his character, he has not sought wider 
publicity for his efforts than that afforded by a large 
circle of personal friends and admirers, for whom he 
printed, in 1874, a small colle6iioii 6f sOngs and short 
pieces, called *' Wayside Warblings," a new and 
enlarged edition of which he has now (1883) ap- 



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202 MODSEN SCOTTISH POETS. 

preaching oompletiony printed, as before, for private 
Guoolation. 

A MOORLAND SPRING. 

'MoDg the heath of the moor— on the breast of the hill, 
Bright sparkle the stores of a clear mountain rill ; 
In a quiet sheltered hoUow, its treasures, so sweet. 
Flow murmuring on to the lake at our feet ; 
While dpwn by its fountain our tired limbs we fling. 
And measure a song to the sweet moorland spring. 

Its waters, so pure, on their peebly bed. 

Are brighter by far than the sky overhead. 

As with soft invitation they cheerily play 

Bound the traveller's feet on the lone moorland way ; 

When, footsore and sad, to his heart he may bring 

A gladness divine from the dear moorland spring. 

Here children in groups come gamb'ling in glee. 

And matrons and sires taste thy bounty so free ; 

At eve, ere the music is hushed in the grove, 

Here voices are heard in whispers of love ; 

And words have been spoken, too sacred to tell, 

And vows have been pledged at the lone moorland well ! 

Oh, hadst thou a tongue, thou lone moorland well. 

At thy tales of the past, how our bosoms would swell I 

Of faces that oft in thy mirror were seen. 

Now far from thee parted, with oceans between ! 

Oh ! tell me, if still, as a sacred thing. 

They treasure the hours by the dear moorland spring. 

Tho' I've seen it but once, in its home on the hill, 
Tho* years roll away, I'll remember it still ; 
For a form has been there, and a face now I see 
Looking up from its depths, as she tasted with me ; 
And a throbbing bosom shall own to the spell 
That bids me forget not the old " Ladle Well.'' 

HAIL! SWEET SEASON. 

Hail ! sweet season, smiling Spring, 
Silent as on fairy's wing. 
Wantonly again to fling 

Bean^ o'er the earth. 

Season fair I whose mystic hand 
Charms the bleak and cheerless land, 
Wond'rous more than wizard's wand- 
Death gives birth to life. 



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JOHN CAMPBELL. 203 

Ceased the wintry tempest's growl. 
Stayed its fury, hnsh'd its howl ; 
Turbid torrents rippling roll 
At thy gentle touch. 

Since the gloom the scene forsook. 
Beauty haunts each sheltered nook, 
Wimpling burnies jink and jouk, 
Light as hearts in youth. 

Freed from thrall of ice and snows, 
fiythe and bright the verdure grows ; 
In the glen fair Primrose blows. 
With her golden smile. 

By the margin of the brook 
Dewdrops snowy lilies drook — 
FlowVets of a dream they look, 
In the lap of Spring. 

Heralding the brightening days. 
Wild-wood songsters lilt thy praise ; 
Lav'rocks' hope inspiring lays 
Welcome thy approach. 

Fragrant flowers, the budding tree, 
Birdies piping songs of glee — 
Grateful Nature—telleth me, 
God is God of Spring. 

OCR LAMBS IN THE SHEPHERD'S PAULD. 

Ay, betimes oor hearts were stricken 

Sair, sair, an' like to break ; 
An' Death his fell dart had driven. 

An' left oor hame a wreck. 
Deep fountains o' sorrow welling 

Up frae oor hearts need flow. 
Sad wailings o' grief past telling, 

For oor sweet lambs laid low ; 
But there cam' God-given healing — 

They're ^ane frae the warld's canld. 
To shelter in Jesus' bosom — 

Lambs in the Shepherd's fanld. 

Twas first in the dreary winter. 

Weird was the nicht-wind's sigh, 
As we watched beside the pillow 

Whaur oor first born did lie. 
Sae stricken an' dazed wl* sorrow. 

We scarce could pray or weep, 
O, sae gloomy was the morroW 

Oor wee lamb fell asleep 1 



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'ify4k MOD£BN SCOTTISH POETS. 

But thete oam'^tiiis ptecious healmg— 
He's g&ae f rae the warld's cauld, 

To lie in the Sheipiherd's bosom — 
A lamb in Jesus' fauld. 

AgainV when the flowers were springing, 

An* nature donned her green, 
Ance mair fell the clouds o' sorrow, 

An' saut tears bUnt oor een ; 
For the dear sweet smile and prattle, 

Tliat .cheered us wi' a thrill, 
0* oor wee lamb, Jn a moment 

Were hush'd, silent, an' still. 
But ance mair cam' the sweet healing — 

He's gane frae the warld's cauld, 
To rest in the Shepherd's bosom— 

A lamb in Jesus' fauld. 

In ilka cauld winter that passes. 

Sad though oor mem'riea seem, 
Oor faith sees a briehter vision — 

O, it 's mair than a dream ; 
An' ilka spring-time, disclosing 

Its treasures fair an' bricht 
Seemt a gUnt o* the heaven afauxfte — 

The dasFwithouIra iiicht. 
sweet is Faith's eonsolatioQ — 

Though dealzb i^ould lay us oauld, 
A' free o' pain, we'll meet again 

Oor lambs in Jesus' fauld. 



THE HOUR I MEET THEE. 

O give me the gloamioK, the Baft^simmer gloaming, 
When shadows .dance Ucht frae the boupfhs o' each tree ; 
Tho' bricht is day's dawning, O gie ma its waning, 
For O 'tis the hour, love, that takes me to thee 1 

Tho' fair be the rising, the beauty surprising, 
O' Phoebus' first smile as it spreads o'er the lea, 
Mair prized is the treasure an' sweeter the pleasure 
Which comes wi' the hour, love, that takes me to thee. 

The day mav be dreary, wi' heart sair an' weary, 
An' heavy the care since mom op'd my e'e ; 
Hiey flee at the wiling, sae witching, beguiling, 
Which breathes in the hour, love, that takes me to thee. 

Tho' fu' be the measure o' gladness an* pleasure — 
Happy moments o' life ilk' heart lo'es to pree ; 
Too soon these may perish, but aye I will' cherish 
The bliss o' that hour, love, the hour I meet thee. 



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JOSEPH JATLOW. 205 

Then gie me day's ending, when freedom is blending 
Wi* love*B gowden sun-gfintB on life's restless sea, 
then there oomes stealing love's holiest feeling— 
A bliss maist divine, love, the hoar I meet thee. 



JOSEPH TATLOW. 

MHEN we admit Mr Tatlow to a place among 
the Scottish poets, we must do so as a 
proselyte, though rather as a proselyte of justice than 
as one of the gate — the former, among the andent 
Hebrews, enjoying all the privileges of a native, 
while the latter was siinply allowed to liv.e among 
the chosen, people. By length of residence, however, 
as well as by literary tastes, Mr Tatlow may freely 
claim a place among the poets of Scotland. 

Bom at Sheffield in 1851, he was taken by his 
parents to Derby when a few months old, and then 
to Birmingliam, where his father was appointed 
agent for the Midland Railway Company. Between 
the age pf five and eleven years, Joseph attended^ 
one of the Birmingham Parish Schools. In 1862, ha 
removed to Derby, where his father became manager 
of the Mineral Department. At the age of fifteen, 
after receiving a good mercantile education, our poet 
also entered the offices ol the Midland Company. 
In 1873, he removed to Glasgow and joined the 
Caledonian Bailway service, and in 1875 he was ap- 
pointed to a principal post in the office of the Glas- 
gow and South Western Railway Company, which 
position he still continues to fill. 

With a most decided penchant for literary pursuits, 
he has never in. the least allowed these to mterfere 
with the more serious business of life, and his metho- 
dical business habits and unremitting application to 

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206 MODEBN SOOTTISH POSTS. 

duty would hardly lead one to suppose that his 
leisure hours were so often passed in the more pleas- 
ing bye-paths of literature. His nature, however, is 
of that active and enthusiastic kind to which work — 
mental work especially — is an absolute necessity, 
and which finds its recreation in change of occupa- 
tion. 

Mr Spurgeon has said that no country in the 
world has produced so many poets as Scotland, and 
it is undoubtedly the '^ land of the mountain and the 
flood" which has made Mr Tatlow's fine mental 
powers to blossom into poetry. During the last five 
or six years his poems have occasionally appeared in 
the Feople^s Friend and several other publications. 
He has also contributed biographical sketches, tales, 
&c., to various magazines, and, by and bye, he is 
likely to give a volume of poetry to the world. 

Mr Tatlow's poems display a well-cultured mind 
and a refined taste. Beautiful in sentiment and ex- 
pression, there is never any want of that force which 
prevents simple beauty from palling the taste and 
tiring the reader. There is at the same time a quiet 
philosophic pathos in the productions of Mr Tatlow 
which both touches the heart and abides in the 
mind. 



BY THE RESTLESS SEA. 

On orimson tide adown the west, 
The day floats homeward to its rest ; 
The wild winds sleep, the storm is o'er, 
The sea birds' cry is heard no more ; 
Eve fills with peace the ambient airj 
Bat still the deep is heaving there. 

O heart I stirred as thy depths are now, 
Like yonder surging sea art thou I 
Since thought and feeling first began 
To sway the changeful soul of man, 
The human heart, the restless sea, 
AlUce have been — and aye will be ! 



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JOSEPH TATLOW. 207 

For though m v loitering footsteps tread 

A flowery path, and overhead 

The clouds that frowned o'er other days 

Are luminous with golden rays, 

A void remains Earth cannot fill— 

My yearning heart is restless stilL 

The force that moves the sea alway, 
Is Heaven and Earth's divided sway ; 
Thepower that agitates the soul, 
Is Eteaven disputing Earth's control ; 
The sea's unrest with Time shall cease— 
The wearied soul in Heaven find peace. 

TO AN AGED FRIEND. 

Dear Mark, upon the hill of life 

A lofty ledge thy footsteps tread- 
Beyond the din of common strife — 

Whilst wreathed snows enorown thy head. 

Canst thou wait there until I climb 
The same high point, that, side by side, 

Our thoughts may range the fields of Time, 
And o'er the broad past backward glide ? 

It cannot be. If, by God's grace, 
I should attain that region fair, 

'Twill be to mourn a vacant place- 
Twill be to find thou are not there I 



THE DREAMER. 

Dreamer I Phantasy enamour'd, 
Quick, bestir thee, for the glamoor'd 

Hour is passing to its grave, 
Bringing doom to king and slave. 

Smoothly now the waves are gliding ; 

Smoothly now thy bark is riding ; 
Syren voices charm thine ear, 

Shapes of beauty hover near. 

Drifting, drifting, dreaming ever, 
Such entrancement is felt never, 

Save when, leaving Reason's realm, 
Wayward Fancy takes the helm. 

Dreamer ! see the active bustle. 

Where men, straining nerve and muscle. 
Pass in quick succession by — 

Fixed their hearts, and firm their eye. 



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20^' MODBEIV SOOlSnSH FOBTS. 

Made -iibefar toiling, hear their oheering', 
Naught of danger are they fearing^ 

With ^e Bails of life«et fair» 
They will never know despair. 

Wake, awake ! and.look around t^ee ; 

Life's realities surround thee, 
Wake, and string thy nerveleseheavt; 

Wake* and l^^ar a mioilyipairti 

MY BOY AND I. 

See., a ruddy face is peeping 
Through the garden trellis gate ; 

And two earnest eyes are asking 
Whyhui father stays so late. 

Ah, he sees me, what a ringing, 

Happy shout of ohildieh joy ; 
How he clambers up for kisses, 

Does my merry madcap boy. 

Now with, winsome glee he tumbles 

On the Kirass in blissful freaky 
And the ** crimson tippit" daisies 

Print their kisses on his cheek. 

From the ground he springs up nimbly. 
Shouting out with wild delight ; 

Then a butterfly he follows 
In its undulating flight. 

Bude despoiler, he has caught it. 

And he laughs in elfish fun ; 
Later on he'll learn this moral, — 

Aims are brightest ere they're won. 

AGNES. 

As stars are dimm'd when fuU-orb'd Djan fills 

With her resplendent light an Autumn sky ; 
As fragrant musk all fainter perfume kills. 

And roses shame the flowers that blpssom nigh : 
So Agnes, pale and pure, thy charms outvie 

The brisfhtest stars in fancy's boundless space; 
Soft as an od'rous zephyr is thy sigh, 

And fairer than a lily is thy face. 
But brighter still, and purer, and more fair 

Than outward beauty, draped in cloth of gold, 
Are those rich ornaments thy soul doth wear — 

Truth, Hope, a Tenderness of depth untpld, 
A helpful Instinct, sweet as it is rare, 

A Patienee that abides, a Tiove that grows not cold. 



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BOBBBT VEBK. 209 



ROBERT MEEK, 

mPOET of deep and tender feeling, the charm of 
whose proddotions consists in their simplicity 
and noble human sjrmpathies, was born at Leith, in 
1836, when Leith Walk was a country road between 
Edinburgh and Leith, and the resort of beggars of 
erery description, who took advantage of sailors and 
others. His parents removed to Edinburgh when 
he was about four years of age, and he has remained 
in that city ever since. Our poet received his limited 
education at the out-door Heriot Schools. He was 
always a great reader, and when message boy in a 
boot and shbe warehouse, he weekly received with 
his half-crown of wages on the Saturday night three 
bal^ence from his master to buy ChamlerB^B Journal. 
In his spare moments he studied educational works, 
and thus strengthened his thinking powers. Mr 
Meek was over thirty years of age when he began to 
compose verses, and it was about this time that he 
received an appointment in connection with the city 
as public weigher at Hope Park End, Meadows. 
Here he became acquainted with the genial 
" Meadows Poet "— Mr John Taylor, noticed in our 
First Series. He read the fine productions of this 
bard, and became inspired with the poetic fire him- 
self. In course of time he ventured to send his pro- 
ductions to the local newspapers and some of the 
religious periodicals and magazines published in Edin- 
burgh. He was greatly encouraged by finding that 
they were warmly received, and he still occasionally 
contributes hymns and poems. Although offcen urged 
to make a selection of his pieces, and publish them 
in book form, he has not yet done so. We feel sure 
his verses would be read with pleasure by a wide 
circle. 
Mr Meek has also written much in prose, and we 



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210 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

have no doubt that should he consent to publish 
portioDs of it, along with the cream of his poetical 
efPusioDs, the work would command the admiration 
of all who are of an antiquarian and patriotic turn of 
mind. He depicts with a graphic pen many curious 
and forgotten characters and places, events and build- 
ings, and gives many fine pictures of old Edinburgh 
as it was in his youth. B^ferring to his father's 
house, he informs us that it had been the dwelling- 
place of Scotland's nobility. Its walls were covered 
with oak panellings and oil paintings, while the fire- 
place was ornamented with hand-painted tiles and 
artistically carved marble. 

Bobert Meek's poems breathe the genuine tones 
of the Scottish lyre, with its pathos, truth, and native 
affection. His hymns show a pure heart in the 
highest and holiest sense — grace and refinement 
combined with religious fervour. Extreme modesty 
keeps him in the shade, like the sweet violet whose 
fragrance and loveliness must be sought after. Much 
of his spare time is spent in visiting the destitute, 
ignorant, sick, and wayward denizens of the dark 
and dismal closes and dens of the High Street and 
Canongate of Edinburgh; and many of his touching 
sketches of wretchedness and poverty have been 
inspired amidst such surroundings. He tells a 
homely story of grief or joy with truth and feeling, 
can paint an odd character with a stroke or two of 
his poetic brush, and in a fragmentary song of 
sorrow express the essence of an entire tragedy. 

MY MITHER'S DEPARTURE. 

I am lanely ! I am lanely ! since my mither's gane awa ; 
The hoose is nae the same, an' I canna rest ava. 
Her ingle side is dark, an' her knock is stan'in' still, 
An the flowers are no sae cbeerie oot on the window sill. 

I look into her roomie, and I gie the ither stare. 
Aye thinkin' that my mither should be sittin in her chair ; 
But ah, waes me, a cloud o' gloom has gathered o'er her ha', 
An' tears come drappin' frae my een as noo she is awa ! 



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BOBBBT MEEK. 211 

I am lanely I I am lanely 1 an' I dream the hale langr nicht ; 
An' aye my mither's kindly face oomen up npon my sicht. 
I think I hear her loving voice, while she upon me smilea ; 
But ah, I find when momin' comes the vision but beguiles. 

When hame I come at e'enin' frae the warl's toil an' care, 
Nae mither's there to greet me, an' oor frugal dish to share ; 
An' as I wander thro' the hoose, mv heart gets wae an* sad. 
For aye her countenance, 'twas said, made everybody glad. 

An' when the momin' comes o' that hallowed day o' rest, 
1 miss her aye the mair, tho' I ken she's wi' the blest ; 
For aye it was oor priy'leare to read wi' her the Book 
That tells as o' eternal life when we to Jesus look. 

I am lanely 1 I am lanely I an' yet amidst my grief. 
The parting words my mither spake brings me a sweet relief ; 
For ere her captive spirit fled, it was divinely given 
To her to breathe the precious truth, '* There is sweet rest in 
heaven ! " 

An' so this hope lies uppermost upon our dowie heart 
(That tho' oor ain dear mither hae been called frae us to part). 
That when the thread o' life is run upon this haz^ shore. 
Well meet in yon unsullied land, where weepin' is no more. 

THE FORSAKEN BATRN. 

Wee Johnnie Wilkie, a bonnie, canty bairn, 
The heart that tum'd frae him maun be as hard as aim, 
To forsake the harmless laddie, sae sonsy an' sae neat, 
Sae gentle an' sae blythe— 0, it's like to mak' us greet. 

To see his coal-black een an' manly lookin' head. 
His sweet expressive face and hair sae neatly shed, 
An' hear his tender voice sae fu' of childish glee, 
It maks us pity them wha his virtues couldna see. 

There's nane micht be asham'd to own this happy child. 
Except the worthless parent wha wi' the drink gaed wild ; 
He is nae fashious wean, nor fu' o' sulks an thraws, 
Nor hashie like the swine, or noisy like the craws. 

Still he has his wee bit faults, as ony ane may hae^ 

Yet there's something in his head that regulates his play ; 

He's ancient, douce, an' wise, far far ayont his years, 

An' when he says his prayers, we micht banish a' oor fears. 

Sae we'll nae despair o' Johnnie, but commend him to the care 
O' Him wha feeds the sparrows, an' kens our ilka hair. 
An', if he's spared to manhood, he'll be nae idle drone, 
O may his iLind an' soul to guid be ever prone. 



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212 MODBIUf OCOTTZBH POSTS. 

THE LADDIES NOO-A^DAYS. 

When I was a laddie, 'twas different frae noo, 
The graceless, the godless, were reckoned but few ; 
Mair rev'renoe was seen wi' the youth o' the city, 
Malr strivin' to 'walk in the pathways o* duty. 

We ne'er had a doot but the richt was the best, 
That it aye led to peace, wi' the conscience i^t rest ; 
That oor fathers and mothers were wiser than we, 
And what was best for us they surely ooold see. 

But noo, what a contrast, dear pity me 1 
Sic looseness in callants I never did see ; 
The tearin' an' swearin' we find among some 
Is a proof that the heart is as foul as the lum. 

The want o' respeo' for the head wi* grey hairs 
Is something maist awfu', an' makes us hae fears 
That the folks in the future nae credit will gie 
To us, their forbears, though wise we may be. 

Could our forefathers see the queer ways that are noo ; 
Boo laddies an' lassies gang early to woo, 
An' hear their strange crack on the street or the green* 
They surely wbuld hardly believe their ain een. 

Oor schules may teach knowledge, biit what o' it a', 
If our youth o' discretion will mak' a kick-ba' ? 
Let a' wha hae wisdom the richt way to run 
Remember the braid road o' folly to shun. 

THE MILE. MAID. 

Nae mair we'll see the miik-maid, 

Wi* the bonnie yellow hair ; 
Nae mair we'll hear her laughin' voice 

Gae soondin' thro' the stair. 

An' as she gangs frae door to door 
Her face confirms the tale — 

That she will siine be far awa', 
In her ain native vale. 

Anither maid may fill her place. 

An' be as blythe as she ; 
But faces that we've kent sae lang 

Are pleasant aye to see. 

Where'er the lassie's lot be cast. 

May it be ever smooth ; 
An' should she see afflictions sair, 

May sympathy aye soothe. 



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JAlfBS KSNNEDY. 213 

May peace amid the ills o* life 

Deep in her bosom dwell, 
That peace o' God, which those wha hao 

WJU no be blate to tell. 



JAMES KENNEDY 

^8 an exodlent representative of the many self- 
^ expatriated Scotsmen who have foand a home 
in the United States. His ** Poems on Scottish and 
American Subjects" reflect the better sentiments 
characterii^tiG of the typical Scottish - American. 
Loyalty towards, and admiration of, the land of his • 
adoption is auperadded to a fervent love of his 
fatJierland. In his preface he alludes to that '4ove 
of our. native land which, like all other loves, be- 
comes more impassioned when separated from its 
ol^t " He acknowledges that '' the fair scenes of 
C^^edonia" ^'have been the main influences that 
have called into vocal utterance much that the author 
presents in this volume." *' It has not been," our 
poet adds, ^' the single object of keeping green the 
memories of the fatherland that has acted as the 
onjiy motive in the author's mind. He looks upon 
the stories of the lives and fortunes of the people who 
leave Scotland and seek their fortunes in America 
a9 being peculiarly suited for imaginative treatment. 
There are no people more heroic. In the battle of 
life the burden of labour sits light upon them. 
They are self-reliant, and hence are marked by strong 
individuaUl^, which gives rise to incident, which 
kindles imagination." 

Mr Kennedy's lyre is not an instrument of one 
stiring. He passes with apparent ease from touching 

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214 MODBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

pathos to broad humour, and sings with scarcely 

greater fervour of Caledonia, 

*' Where the deeds o' martial glory 
Hallow Uka hill and dale/' 

than of the Union's '.' bright flag's starry fold " with 
its '* blended crimson, blue and gold." 

Mr Kennedy is of Celtic origin, being descended 
through his father from the Kennedys of Badenoch, 
and through his mother — from whom he inherits his 
literary taste and poetic temperament — from the 
Macintoshes of Glenshee. After the '45, a branch of 
the Kennedys settled in Angus, and sought employ- 
ment in the extensive quarries of the county. Their 
descendants chiefly followed the same occupation, 
and the poet's father rose to be a moderately success- 
ful contractor in the quarries of Aberlemno and 
neighbouring parishes. Dying when barely past the 
meridian of life, his widow was left burdened with 
the task of rearing a family of ten children, of whom 
James, born in 1848, was the seventh, and some of 
whom were in infancy. It says much for the inde- 
pendence, frugality, and industry of the Scottish 
mother that she not only brought up her numerous 
family, but managed to secure for each such educa- 
tion as a few years at the parish school afforded. 

At the age of twelve James began life as a farm 
labourer, and took a prominent part in the agitation 
of 1865 for improving the condition of the agricul- 
tural classes. Shortly after this period, while an 
apprentice machinist in Dundee, he began his 
literary career. His verses, more especially, gained 
him a considerable local reputation. 

At the age of twenty-one he emigrated to America, 
landing in New York in 1869. By attending the 
New York evening High School, and while still 
following the calling of a machinist, he made most 
laudable efforts to remedy the deflciences in his early 
education. In a few years he graduated in the 

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JAMBS KENNEDY. 215 

regular literary course. In 1875 he was awarded 
the first prize for English composition. In 1876 he 
was commended both for excellence in oratory, and 
for rapid progress in the study of the Latin language. 
His periodical contributions to the press of both 
Scotland and America demonstrated his growing 
culture. His language was rapidly becoming more 
vigorous and pure, and his thought more elevated. 

Several of his humorous character-sketches made 
their appearance in the People^ b Jau/nuU, and some of 
his more serious pieces were published in magazines 
and annuals. la 1881 a serial story, ** Willie 
Watson," from his facile pen illustrated his first 
work in fiction, and in 1883 his '* Poems on Scottish 
and American Subjects" was published in New 
York, and has already reached a second edition. 
Still young, industrious, persevering, and undoubtedly 
talented, possessing the respect alike of his fellow- 
artisans and of his Scottish associates, and braced 
by the obstacles under which weaker men would 
certainly have succumbed, even more may be expected 
from Mr Kennedy than he has yet given us. He is 
a valuable accession to the ranks of that great army 
of poets who have sprung horn the humbler ranks of 
the Scottish people. His poems have been well 
received by the press and ^tinguished litterati of 
America and this country. From a host of private 
testimony to their excellence we select the foUowing 
characteristic letter from, John G. Whittier, the 
Quaker poet : — ** My Dear Friend, — I have read thy 
poems with great pleasure, especially the Scottish 
ones, ' Wee Charlie,' * Address to the Mosquitoes,' 
&c., and the songs. * Noran Water ' is a very ad- 
mirable piece of descriptive poetry. The mantle of 
Burns, the master singer, is too vast for modem 
bards, but surely his * auld plaid ' has fallen on thy 
shoulders. Wi^ hearty thanks, I am thy firiend," 
&c. 



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216 MODERN S00TTI8H POJSTS. 

TO THE HUMMING BIRD. 

Braw birdie, when in brambly howes, 
Whaur mony a buss entangled grows, 
And bonnie flow'rs in beauty spring, 
I've seen thee fauld thy qaivermg wing, 
While rapt I stood, amased to see 
The glowing hues that gleamed on thee — 
The red, the blue, the gowd, the green, 
The pearly gloss, the siller ^een ; 
Then quick ere yet the eager eje 
Had half perceived each daz^mg dye, 
Awa' ve fluttered f rae the sight. 
Like fire-flaucht in the cloudi o' night. 

Sae like's when in the day's dull thrang 
Time drags the weary hours alang ; 
Bright fancy flashes on the mind 
Some bonnie blink o' wond'rous kind — 
Wild glens wi' burnies bick'rin' doun. 
Far frae the stoury, noisy toun ; 
Green woods an' sweet secluded dells, 
Whaur silence aye serenely dwells ; 
Fond faces— rare auld warks an' ways 
That graced the light o' ither days— 
Gome sudden on the enraptured- view. 
Then vanish in a blink— uke you. 

But speed thee on thy fairy flight, 
Whaur sweetest blossoms tempt thy sight ; 
thii 



An' round thee may ilk gladsome thing 
Light as the flaffer o' thy wing 
Aye keep thee blythe, nor aught e'er mar 
The bonnie, braw, wee thing ye are. 
Owrejoyed am I when happy chance 
But brings thee in a passing glance. 



BONNIE NORANSIDK 

When joyfu' June wi' gladsome grace 

Comes deok'd wi' blossoms fair, 
An' twines round Nature's bonnie face. 

Her garlands rich and rare. 
How swift my fancy wings awa' 

Out owre ]ron foaming tide, 
And fondly paints each leafy shaw 

On bonnie Noranside t 

O sweetly there the wild flow'rs spring 

Beside the gowany lea 1 
O blythely there the wild birds sing 

On ilka bush and tree 1 



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JAIOBB . KBK9XDT. 217 

WhQe purple hills an', valleys green. 

Array 4 in Simmer's pnde, 
Spread lavish to the longiiMC md 

On boonie ^onmrnde. 

The gay lahnmnm waves its ereet 

Abune the erystal stream ; 
The lily <^>e8 its snan^ breast 

To catoh ibhe gowoen gleam ; 
The stately firs their arms extend 

In shady covei^ts wide, 
Where a' the o^arms o' Nature Uend, 

By bonnie Noranside. 

Ye Powers wha shai>e our varied traok 

. On life's .uncertain «ea, 
As bright there comes in fancy back 

Youth's lairy scenes to me, 
Sae bring nie back,.! £on4}y nray. 

To where mv auld friends bide, 
To spend ae lee lang simmer's day 

By bonnie Noranside. 



THE DROUKIT PEDLAI^ 

Ken ye ought o* Wat the nedlar? 

V ow, but he's a graceless vaig ; 
Sic a waefu' wanworth meddler 

Weel deserves a hankit ci;aig. 

Mony ane he's sair tormented. 
Driven women's head's agee. 

Till their dreams wi' Wat are haunted, 
Pedling wi' his puokle tea. 

nka ane wi' spite he stounds aye, 

Aft their doors they'll tightiy look ; 

Wat, regairdless, goes his rounds aye, 
Beg'lar as an ^ucht-day olook. 

Fient the rap afore he enters. 

Slap the door gangs to the-wa', 

Bauldly in the villain ventures. 
Pedlar, paper-pocks, an' a'. 

fiut the foot o' rude intrusion 

Wanders whiles to sorrow's sebule ; 

And the band o' retribution 

Wrought the pedlar muckle dnle. 



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218 MODXKN SOOmSH POETS. 

Jean Macraw, that oaref a* creature. 
Gleans her house wi* fashious fyke, 

Night and day — ^it is her nature — 
Working aye as hard's ye like. 

Now the chairs an' stools she's drilling, 
Ben the house in rankit raw ; 

Now she's prappit near the ceiling, 
Straikin' whitening on the wa\ 

Little thought she, worthy woman—- 
Busy wi' her mixture het — 

0' the waefu' peddler comin'. 
Or the droukin' be wonla get. 

In he bang*cL the whitening whummlet 
Wi' a sclutter owre his skull ; 

Baoklin's headlang doun he tummlet — 
BuUer'd maist like ony bulL 

Dazed was he, an' fairly doitit, 
Back^i wi' anguish o' despair, 

Sprauchled up, then owre he oloited, 
Cowpit oatmaw doun the stair. 

Auld an' voung in tumult gather'd, 
Jeanie danc'd an' craw'd fu' orouse, 

Wives delighted, blythely blether'd, 
Boars o' laughter shook tike house. 

Wat^uir chield — nane did lament him — 
Clear'd his een, an' sought the road, 

Aff, an' never look'd ahint him, 
Binnin' like a hunted tod. 



LANG PBTEB. 

Lang Peter was an unoo loun, 

A queer catwittit creature ; 
An' nought could please him up or doun. 

But rinnin' to the theatre. 
He bore his mither's wild tirwirrs. 

For sad an' sair it rack'd her. 
To think that weel-born bairn o* hers 

Would turn a waugh play-actor. 

But Peter wadna baud nor bind. 

But lived in firm adherence 
That some grand chance one day would "find 

His lang-look'd-f or appearance ; 



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JAMBS KENNEDY. 2l9 

And whyles he gaed to sic a height 

Wr Shakespeare's grand creations. 
That fowk were deav'd baith day an* night 

Wi skelpe o' recitations. 

An' sae it chanced, an orra rake 

Aft gripped in want's oaold dntohes, 
Though like a Jew, aye on the make 

In ilka thing he loaches, 
Had fa'n upMon an unco plo^— 

Puir chield, an unco pity- 
To play the drama o* " Rob Roy *' 

Owreby in Brooklyn City, 

Frae far an' near the show fowk cam', 

Puir hungry-looking villains. 
An' some would play juist for a dram, 

An' some for twa'r three shillings : 
But Peter sought nae baser kind 

O' monetary clauses. 
But offered free his heart an' mind. 

In hopes to win applauses. 

And had he seen him on that night 

When on the stage thegither, 
I wat he was a gallant sight 

For marching through the heather ; 
Wi' tartan kilt and braid claymore, 

An' buckles glancing rarely. 
Like chieftains i' the days o' yore 

That fought for Boyal Charlie. 

But how can e'er mj muse rehearse 

The sad, the sair misfortune. 
Or paint that sight in modest verse, 

How when they raised the curtain, 
A chield stood winding up the daith 

Like playing on hurdie-gurdies, 
An' in rowed Peter's tartan graith, 

An' hung him by the hurdles 1 

A yell broke frae th' astonished crowd, 

The very sky it rent it ; 
Some glaikit lassies skirl'd fu' loud. 

An' ithers near-hand fainted. 
Puir Peter squirmed, an' lap an' sprang. 

Just like a new-catch'd haddock, 
An' kick'd his heels wi' fearfu' spang 
Amaist like ony puddoek. 



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S9P MODEBN SQQa(:79SHje:Q«TS. 

Some tried to free him bae his plight, 

They, cftm* but little speed o' 't, 
Aii« .broke .the handle in his might, 

Jtust when they maiBt had need o' % 
A chield grown desp'rate i' the case 

Shut aff the biff gas meter, 
ka* brought thick cuvkness owre the plaoe, 

An'tBOBie relief to Poter. 

Daft gowk ! he minds his nither now, 

Mis stage career is ended ; 
An' may ilk foolish prank, I trow, 

Thus be at first. suspended. 
Te youths wha court the public e'e 

Keep back in canny clearance. 
Or some disaster ve may dree 

Like P«ter's first appearance. ' 

W£E CHABLIE. 

O 9^ my heart could hae its wiss 

Within this wearr warld o' eare, 
rd ask nae glow o' faalvy bliss 

To dwell around me evermair. 
For joy wer^. mine beypnd compare. 

An' O how happy would The, 
If HeaTen wouldgrant my earnest prayer, 

An' briijig W^ Charlie back to jne. 

He cam like sunshine when the buds 

Burst into blossoms sweet and gay. 
He dwelt like sunshine when the cfuds 

Are vanished frae the eye o' day. 
He pass'd as daylight fades away. 

An' darkness spreads owre land an' sea : 
Nae wonder though in grief I pray, 

bring wee Charliecback to me. 

When Pleasure brings her hollow joys, 

Or Mirth awakes at Friendship's oa'. 
Or Art her varied power employs 

To mak' dull Time look blythe an' braw. 
How feckless seem they ane an' a' 

When gad Bemembrance dims my e^'e,— 
tak' thae idle jovs awa', 

An' bring: Wj^e Charlie back to me. 

But Tain's the cry ; he mannna cross 
Frae where he dwells in.bliss pnseen, 

Nor need I mourn my waef u' loss. 
Nor muse on joys that might; h^fibt^n. 



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When oanld' death corned to eloBO m^ e^n,' 

Awa* beyond life's tronbloas sea, 
In everlasting joy serene, 

Theyll bring wee Gharlfe back to me. 

ADDRESS TO THE MOSQUITOES. 

Lanff-nebbit, bizzin', bitin* wretohee, 
That fire my skin wV blobs an' splatches ; 
Till vez*d wi' yeukie clawd an' soratcfties, 

I think I'm free 
To say the warld has seen few matches 

To Job an' me. 

Sae aft you've gar't me fret an' f ome, 
M;^ Vera spirit ye consume 
Wi* everlasting martyrdom — 

Ye wicked tartars, 
Tou've Borely settled on my room 

For your headquarters ! 

Asleep or wauken, air or late, 
Like Nick himsel' ye are na blate p 
But like the doom o' pendin' fa^ ^^ 

Aboon my head, 
Ye keep me in a waef u' state 

0' quakin' dread. 

Whiles like a fury I've been stan'in', 
An' closed my mou to keep f rae bannin', ■ 
Wliiles some destructive scheme I'm plannin' 
Your race to scatter-- 

oould I ram ye in a cannon. 

An' then lat blatter I 

When pensive in my fav'rite nenk, 

1 ^low'r owre some auld-f arrant beuk. 
Like leeches then my bluid ye sook. 

Then bizz an' flee ; 
An' then begins th' infernal yeuk 
That angers me. 

When lost in mazy contemplation 
And soars supreme imagination. 
How aft on fancy's fair creation 

The curtain draps : 
Ye bizz, an' blinks o' inspiration 

At ance collapse ! 

O would some towsie-headed tyke, 
Wha strives to make some new bit fyke, 
Invent a plan to sweep your byke 

Frae human dwallins, 
I'd sing his praise as heigh's ye like 

In braw, braid ballan's. 



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222 koDBSN BOomsH posts. 

Bat fiz'd ye are 'mang hnman ills— 
Whose bitter cnp your bitin* fills ; 
Nor auld wive's cures nor doctor's bills 

Con mend the case- 
Firm as the everlasting hills 

Ye keep your place. 

But could I gain some grace or.ither, 
To teach me in ilk warslin swither 
To tak the guid an* ill thegither 

Without complaint, 
Then might we dwell wi* ane anither 
In calm content. 

But sae it is,— ye maun hae food. 

An* I maun guard my ain heart's bluid ; 

But could ye scrape a livelihood 

Some ither where, 
I would be yours in gratitude 

For evermair. 



EOBEET SOMMEEVILLE BOWIE. 

^'HE subject of our present sketch, the Rev. K. 
\i^ S. Bowie, was bom in 1846, in the classic 
Drygate of Glasgow. Although, in recent years, 
most of the old buildings in the Drygate have been 
removed to make room for those of a more modem 
kind, the house in which our poet was born still 
stands, and is situated near the auld Drygate Brig, 
celebrated in song and story, which spans the famous 
Molindinar Bum. The monks of old, like the shrewd 
men they were, seem to have been in the habit of 
building their monasteries near a well-wooded 
spot, through which some sweetly- flowing stream 
quietly glided, in order that the refectory might be 
well supplied with ''flesh and flsh." And so it 
doubtless was that Glasgow Cathedral was built near 
the banks of the Molindinar Bum, which runs be- 
tween the Cathedral and what was formerly the 
** Fir Park," now the Necropolis. At one time the 



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ROBEBT S, BOWIE. 223 

Bum was so well stocked with '' siller salmon " that 
the apprentice weavers were wont to make it pazt of 
their agreement that they were not to be fed on 
salmon oftener than once a day. Now, however, no 
fish could exist in this once dear stream, which, in 
its lower reaches at least, is nothing but a moving 
mass of muddy impurity. 

Mr Bowie comes of the better class of oxir noble 
Scottish peasantry. His maternal grandfather was 
a man of rare genius, for to his skill is attributable 
the discovery of the manufactxire of Iodine from kelp. 
Our poet is the second of nine children, seven of 
whom, with their parents, are stiU alive. At the age 
of ten our poet, after being six years at school, 
entered the employment of a firm of shippers. Here 
he remained for a number of years, and, by his 
assiduity and frankness of manners, gained the 
esteem of his employers. By attending evening 
classes at the Glasgow Institution, Anderson's Oollege, 
and other institutions during several winters, he was 
able, on leaving the employment of the Messrs 
Graham — the firm of shippers — to enter upon the 
duties of an assistant teacher in West Eegent Street 
Academy, of which Mr Buchan, author of ** Buchan's 
Advanced Header," and numerous other educational 
works, was principal. Mr Bowie was afterwards for 
sometime master of Dovecothall School near Barrhead. 
He is an Alumnus of Glasgow University, and was 
for nearly eight years minister of the Church of the 
Messiah in Dunfermline. Since leaving this charge 
he has acted as superintendent of the Olmstian Union 
Mission, Glasgow, which was founded by himself for 
the purpose of bringing the various detiominations 
into a doser bond of union, in order that they might 
the more successfully promote the advancement of 
Christ's cause and kingdom. In this capacity he has 
visited many parts of England, Ireland, and Scot- 
land, preaching in churches of all denominations, and 



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234 MO0ISK sootfnesfi posts. 

always mfli gr^kt acoeptanoe. Possessed of arich, 
well*-modiilated voice, Mr Bowie is not only an elo- 
quent pulpit orator, but he is also a celebrated 
public reader. He has been frequently requested 
to undertake once more the duties of a settled pastor, 
but has hitherto declined. We understand, ho-v^- 
ever, that ho is at the present time seriously contem- 
plating the advisability of accepting a pastoral 
appointment which has been offered for his accep- 
tance, and which will not interfere with his continu- 
ing to act as superintendent of the Union. 

Mr Bowie is ia prolific writer, and his productions 
are as pure in sentiment as they are correct in 
diction. He is the author of many highly meritori- 
ous poems, and has given to the world a smctU 
volume, entitled ''Fireside Lyrics," also a hymnal 
rdspectfolly dedicated to all who believe in the 
Fa&erhood of Gbd and the brofcherhood of man. 
His '' spiritual songs " are of a truly graceful and 
deeply devotiontU character, and will bear favourable 
comparison with the productions of our best hymn 
writers. Mr Bowie has also published a selection of 
his songs under the title of **The Laverock," and 
one of the lyrics we quote— ** The Parting Hour," 
so filll of warm pathos — was set to music by 
James Kennedy, and sung by his sister Marjory 
in the tour made round the world by the eminent 
family of Scottish vocalists. 

Mr Bowie has been a keen observer both of men 
and things, and like most of those who have risen from 
obscurity, his early path was steep and rugged. To 
him there is not only poetry, but the highest philo- 
sophy in the lines — 

** Life's glor^, like the bow in heaven, 

Stilfspringeth from the sod ; 
And soul ne'er soared the starry seven. 

But pain's tire-chariot rode. 
They've battled best who've boldest borne — 
The kingliest crown's the crown of thorn." 



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BOBSRT S« BOWIB. 226 

In his poetry, simple and almost ooiomonplaee 
elements are woven into thoughts o£ n^uch beauty. 
All his sentinLttntB are fresh, pure, and. ennobling, 
and he joins with true melody a deeply religious 
feeling. 

THE AULD EMIQRANT. 

Far. ) far f tfae^ Caledonia, 

The land o' yonth an' yore, 
Whaii9iibulife*a joyooa days were ipent, 

I sit and ponder o*er 
Each waU «i9wn weae ao'-weel kent faoe, 

That noo nae mair I'll lee, 
orael Biem*r J I wherefore bring 

Sic waefn' thochts to me. 

My father's cosy strae-roof ed cot, 

The burnie wimplin' by, 
The wee bitJcirkie on the hill : 

The kirkyard, too, where lie 
The banes o' a' my kith an' kin, 

A sacred spot to me ; 
Aft, aft, I've thocht to rest me there, 

But, oh 1 it oanna be ! 

The hair that's noo sae snorwy white. 

Wis anoe like r»▼eB^l ^mg ; " 
The voice that quavers in ilk tone, 

Anoe cheerily eovld sing. • • 
The limbs that staeher ronn' the door 

Aooe danced f n' heiok I ween, 
'Mang lads sae rare, and lasses fair, 

Upon oor village green. 

Oh 1 wonderfu', oh ! wonderfu'. 

To my sad heart it seems, 
Sic scenes can ne'er be acted o'er. 

Except mavhap in dreams. 
That sic bljrthe hearts in this strange warl. 

Should never, never meet. 
dinna winder younglins a', 

Tho' noo ye see me greet, 

For should ye live to be as auld 

And ken as mony waes, 
Ye'U doubtless think as I dae noo 

On bygone happy days. 
When cauld care never daured ye. 

And yont hearts were free frae pain : 
When nioht'brocht nane but' happy thochts, 

And morn brocht joy again. 



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226 MODBBN SCOTTISH POBTS. 

Farewell, auld Caledonia, 

Farewell thy heath clad hills, 
Thy bonnie rivers famed in sang. 

Thy thousand sparkling rills. 
Farewell, but to my heart's first hame, 

My heart's last sigh shall flee : 
Although inv banes maun moulder 

Far nae Scotia an* frae thee. 



WB SURELY CAN FORGIE. 

As thro' this wearv warl we roam, 

Whaur a' hae ills to dree, 
Let's dae oor best to help a frien'. 

Whatever his fauts may be. 
Gin those we help ungratefu' prove. 

Which aft, in truth, we see, 
Altho' we canna weel forget. 

We surely can forgie. 

The best o' folk will bicker whiles 

Wi' those they lo'e rioht weel. 
And in a foolish moment say — 

What they would else oonoeaL 
But should we, therefore, keep up spite, 

An' never mair agree? 
Gude save's, tho' we may ne'er forget, 

We surely can forgie. 

We're only here a'e wee short hour. 

Our life is but a breath : 
We've only waked and rubbed oor een. 

When lo ! we sink in death. 
But, joyful thocht 1 in yon brioht Ian', 

Aboon the stars sae hie ; 
We fin' a Frien' that can forget. 

An' better stiU, forgie. 



THE E'ENING BRINGS A' HAME. 

Poor wand'rer's thro' life's dreary vale, 

Whose hearts wi' grief are torn. 
Who often breathe to Heaven the wish — 

Ye never had been born. 
Tho' dark and cheerless be your path, 

And all unknown ^onr name, 
Aye keep in mind this cheering thocht. 

The e'enlng brings a' hame. 



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BOBBBT s. Bowns. 227 

This warPs, 'tis true, *s a soene o* strife, 

Whaar kindest hearts are chilled : 
And een that ne*er seemed made to weep, 

Wi' saut, saat tears are filled. 
An* mony fu' in fortune's strife, 

Who never toiled for fame, 
Bnt for a cmst ! Tet, oonrage aye. 

The e'ening brings a* hame. 

When those ye love are laid to rest, 

Aneath the kirkyard mool. 
And ower their graves ye drap a tear, 

An* sing a sang o' dool, 
Ye*ll comfort fin in this sweet thocht, 

*Twill kindle np hope's flame ; 
" We're only parted for a wee — 

The e'ening brings a' hame.*' 

THE BRIGHT SUN HAD FADED. 

The bricht sun bad faded frae view in the west. 
When 1 flew to the lassie my heart lo'es the best, 
To whisper a tale of fond love in her ear, 
To kiss her, an' dawt her, an* ca* her my dear. 

The fond mavis chanted a sweet lay of love 
To his listening mate in the dark shady grove, 
As I wandered wi' licht heart the lassie to see, 
Wha's love is worth mair than the hale warl* to me. 

As I drew near the sheilin* that staun*s on the brae, 
I heard her clear voice sing a soul-melting lay. 
The burden o* which was, ** O laddie be true 
To the leal-hearted maiden that's trustin' in you." 

Then I flew to the spot whence the sweet music came, 
Wi' my pulse beatin' high, and my heart in a flame. 
An' my arms roun' the neck o' m^ dearie I flang, 
An' I Kissed her fu* kindly, an' kissed her fu' lang. 

An' whispered syne to her, lassie ne'er fear 
That I can prove false to thee ; no, love, I swear 
That sooner shall streamlets rin back frae the sea, 
Than I shall prove false, my dear lassie, to thee. 

Oh ! this lassie o* mine, she is dear to my heart, 
An' I'm aye dowf an' dowie when frae her I pairt ; 
When I bask in the love-licht o' her witching e'e, 
Nae monarch on earth is mair happy than roe. 



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228 MODKior seornsH posts. 



KATE MCNEILL. 

BAENETT SMfflH, writing xeceriay in the 
Christian Z^ider on the subject' of ''The 
Beligion of Poets," r^f^r^efl to the fadt that in an 
age when the spirit of soepticism prevaih in many 
intellectual quarters, ft i^ satisfactoty to reflect that 
the four great poets of England and America are on 
the side of Faith. "We do not mean" says Mr 
Smithy ''that these poiats are attached to certain 
creeds or dogmas, but they certainly hold, and hold 
firmly, the great cardinal doctrines of Christianity. 
Tennyson and Browmng in England, and Whittier 
and Longfellow in the United States, hare all written 
noble poems which breathe a profound Christian 
spirit." In the present woik we have giv^n ntune- 
rous bright examples, proving that many of our own 
poets are richly and happily pious, and full of ihat 
kindliness and charity which does not evaporate in 
mere sentiment, but shines like a glint of sunshine 
through their every-day life. It would, indeed, be 
strange to find a true singer who had not a deeply 
religious nature, for is it not the (^ee of the poet 
to trace the Creator in all the wonders of His hand, 
whether material, human, or spiritual? This is 
eminently the case with the young poetess now 
before us. 

Kate M'Neill was bom at Houston, in 1858. Her 
father is a working man, and when our poetess was 
eight years of age the family removed to Inverkip, 
and latterly to Glasgow, where she now resides. 
She attended school from her sixth to her fourteenth 
year. Her mother was an invalid for sixteen years 
previous to her death, and was carefully nursed by 
the subject of our sketch. During these years of 
close confinement. Miss McNeill wrote many of 
her harmoniously flowing and deeply religious pieces. 



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KATB BC^NBILL. 229 

'* At the Fe^t of Jeams " was the first poem she com- 
posed ; and after much thought and repeated emen- 
dations, she resolved (without anyone knowing except 
her mother) to send it to the editor of the Chrisfian 
Leader, It immediately found a place in the columns 
of that excellent periodical, and ever since she has 
been a frequent and valued contributor. 

Miss M'Neill is a poetess of pure and tender feel- 
ing. Her thoughts are the genuine offspring of a 
truly poetic naliure, and she has. drawn much of her 
inspiration £rom the highest and noblest of human 
sympathies and filial affection. 

MARY AT JESUB* FEET. 

At JesuB* fo^tS seems it a low position 7 
Yet higher up she has no wisn to be. 
This is the sammit of her soul's ambition 
For aUi eternity. 

'Twas here she sat anc|. listened to His teaching, 

Here made her changeless choice of *' that good part," 
Here, by her brother's grave, she knelt, beseeching 
Balm for her breaking heart. 

Thv tears were balm, Thou sad and sinless Weeper, 

Bat more Th^ voice that echoed thro' the cave, 
And woke to life the darling, death-hushed sleeper. 
And brought him from the grave. 

Then, at the feast, when favour'd guests are seated. 

And Lazari^s among them at the board, 
The furnace of her love is seven times heated. 
She kneels beside her Lord. 

Words are too feeble for her soul's emotion, 

She breaks the box of odours rich and sweet. 
And Ohtist alone can read her heart's devotion, 
While she anoints His feet. 

Falls on the scene the curtain-folds of ages, 

Bieit Jesus gives command that Mary's name 
Shall shine beside His own in Gospel pages, 
Sharing His spotless fame. 

Time's blast shall quench the lights of carnal atory, 

But hers shines on in tranquil skies afar, 
A bright, unclouded beam of deathless glory 
Lit in the Morning Star. 



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230 MODBBN SOOTTISH POSTS. 

Now she is safe within lifers shadeless portals, 

For her inheritance in light made meet, 
Among the saved and sanctified immortals 
Gathered "at Jesus' feet.'* 

At Jesus' feet ! be this my soul's position, 

Where, 'mid a world of frowns, His smile I see, 
Be this the holy height of my ambition 
For all eternity. 



MOTHER'S DEATH. 

Te who have bent above the dying lips 

A loving parent's latest word to near, 
Have ye not felt amid life's last eclipse 

The light of immortality more near. 

Oh, God ! I seldom thought of others* woe. 
My tears in sympathy were rarely shed. 

Until Thy chast'ning hand had dealt the olow 
That laid my own dear mother with the dead. 

We thought to listen for the midnight chime. 
And hail the dawning year with mirth and glee. 

But while we stood upon the verge of time. 
She took the step into eternity. 

, Eternity ! 'tis nearer than we think. 

Time's precipice is veiled by earthly charms 

That vanish when a loved one nears the brink 
And leaps into the everlasting arms. 

Oh 1 it becomes the creatures of a day 
To live the priceless moments as they fly, 

Would 1 be ready were I called away 
While I am waiting for a year to die. 

On Sabbath mom her spirit left the clay 
Ere yet the Orient streaks had cleft the gloom. 

As if to point us backward to the day 
And to the hour when Jesus left the tomb : 

Then wherefore should our hearts be rent with grief,. 

The weary nights of pain are over now. 
And who could fail to read the deep relief 

That death had written on the bloodless brow : 

'Tis not in man to bid disease depart, 

Transient at best the ease his skill could give her ; 
The Great Physician only touch'd the heart. 

And, in an instant, she was healed for ever. 



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KATB MCNEILL. 131 

She's gone, and oh, the blank in home and heart, 

We cannot trace the path her spirit trod, 
BnL after all, we're not so far apart — 

Her life and oars are " hid with Ohrist in Grod." 

NIGHT. 

All alone, in lampless chamber. 

Thro' tne old Venetian bars, 
I can catch the dreamy lustre 

Of the pure and peaceful stars — 

Stars in stately silence shining 
Thro* the still and solemn night— 

And the milky wa^ above me, 
Dense with undiscovered light — 

Stan to British eyes as countless 

As when viewed from Sjrrian sod. 
Symbol of a seed unnumbered 

To the childless *' Friend of Ood.** 

Talk of the advance of science — 

Gk>d of Nature guide her march 
Thro' yon labyrinth of systems 

Circling in cerulean arch. 

Oh. the eyes that gazed in vision 

On the world's last lurid night, 
On the stars in wild collision. 

And tiie folded heavens in flight. 

Ah, those eyes were that disdpWs 

Who, amid the world's unrest, 
Hmrd the heart-beats of Jehovah 

While he leaned on Jesus' breast. 

INVBRKIP. 

Sweet Tnverkip, 'tis break of day, 
I watch the sun's first genial ray 
Rise, 'mid the dawn's dispersing grey, 
To light thy lovely scenery. 

HeM, by the balmy breezes f ann'd, 
Ardgowan from its vantage grand, 
Rises to look o'er sea and land. 
With calm baronial dignity. 

Here, the " Old Castle " seems to keep 
Some tragic secret dark and deep ; 
One half expects a ghost to creep 

From out the crumbling masonry. 



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232 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

.-». :i /,:'. 
Here, by the heaving breast of Clyde, 
Where grove and ^laraen skirt the tide, 
A prince might wish to lead his bride, 
'Mid Nature's artless symphony. 

Noon» on the Lunderstonian height, 
Gives sun-bathed jnountains to the sight, 
Broad floods far-flashing in the light, 
And fields of rare fertiUty. 

Bright girU with sunny tresses trip 
Thro' the wild glen where' roe-deer skip. 
And, far below, the crystal Kip 

Gleams thro' dishevelled shrubbery. 

Glen Kip 1 'twas here I used to stray. 
Regardless of parental sway, ( . 

And dream the drowsy hours away 
In childhood's chainlesa liberty. 

I sat and watch'd the streamlet glide. 
Or gathered tlow'rs from its steep side, — 
Flowers that might grace the fairest bride, 
Or wreathe the bfpw of. royalty.. • 

Here have I read from Nature's book, 
Alone in some secluded nook, ' , 
With scarce a sound save of the brook, 
To break the weird tranquility. . 

Time, to its reputation true. 
Flies, and the light is flying too, 
Clouds sail across the boundless blue 
In swift and silent majesty. 

But to describe the river's flush 
Caught from the sun's retiring blush. 
And the soft twilight's holy hush, 
Baffles both paint and poetry. 

The soul is satisfied with calm. 
The feather'd choirs suspend the psalm, 
And grove and garden shed their oaUn, 
On airs of vesper sanctity. 

Sweet Inverkip, 'tis close of day, 
I watch the last receding ra^ 
Leave thee in darkness, on its way 
To light no fairer scenery. 



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NEIL MAOLEOD. ^^ 



NEIL MACLEOD. 

^T'HB specimens we have given from the poetry of 
W " Nefthei- LbohaW/' Peter M'Naugttoi', John 
0££npbeD, and ottiers, prove that the raoeofGajeHc 
bards is not yet exttnot; and Neil Madeod, the' sub- 
ject of the present ^ketqh, is wi(^elj J^own as a writer 
of beautifid Gaelic songs, and lively and^ humorous 
poems, thus maintaining the bcurdic fe^ii^tion of his 
forefathers. Mr lAiialbleQd w:as liprn in 1443, in Skye 
-—the *' Isle of Mist "'—where the wild but beautiful 
scenery proved '' meet nurse fgra poej^ child," and 
where fairies and g'host's .aj)^t](ke heroes of Ossian 
took a firm root in the minds of the people. And 
now, away in " Au^ji.^eek^e," and. ,whUe pursuing 
his calling of a oommei^cial traveller, the scenes and 
people of his native island rise u|) so vividly before 
his mind that h<9 id c6mpeD.€|d to sing about them. 

We are not qualified to speak of the inerits of our 
poet's productions, btit are ablj^ to g^ve excellent 
translations made by Mrs Mackellar, Mr D. Mackay, 
and**Fionn." These dhov^'^ 8fc46atJ^-flpMng versifi- 
cation, and abound in those liappy.jfelidties of ex- 
pression which invest common ideas with novelty and 
fresh meaning. We recenti^Jbeard cfiie^f his poems 
recited at a gathering of iBagnlanders in Inverness, 
and from the intense interest atfd excitement mani- 
fested by the audience, and the dramatic movements 
of the reciter, we could gather that if 'was deeply 
pathetic and powerfully tragic.' !the Narihem Chrth 
ntele, a good authority, says that his harp is not 
loud-toned, but '4t is very sweret, and Mr Madeod 
was well advised by the friends who counselled him 
to pick up his stray pearls and make a chaplet of 
them. And the chaplet th,eyiiai^e ''is'/such as any 
bard might feel proud to wear.'' 



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234 MODBSN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Ab is oliaracteristio of Qaelio poetry, our bard's 
Ijrios are pervaded with a keen appreciation of 
scenery and a spirit of weird sadness. There are 
also love songs full of sweet and tender joyousness, 
and he oocasionally draws a wholesome moral from a 
humorous story with telling effect and a keen sense 
of the ludicrous side of Highland character. 

THE DESEBTED GAEL. 

The darkmess desoends 

From the wings of the night', 
And the mist is encircling 

The steep mountain height ; 
The friends of my childhood 

Have from me been torn ; 
Alone in this valley 

They've left me to mourn. 

The birds *monff the branches 

Are sinp^ing their lay, 
And leapmg with joy 

'Mong the sweet-budding spray ; 
Their ofEspring around them 

Are happy and gay, 
But mme have, by death, 

All been taken a#ay ! 

My brow now is furrowed 

And shaded with gloom, 
For m^ helpmate once cheerful 

Is laid in the tomb ; 
And three little children— 

Our joy and reward — 
Now Bleep in the churchyard 

Beneath the green sward. 

When Winter, stern tyrant, 

Makes all things look bare. 
To a kindlier climate 

The songsters repair ; 
Betuming when Summer 

Decks valley and lea — 
No seasons can e'er bring 

My friends back to me ! 

The homes of our fathers 

Are bleak and decayed. 
And cold is the hearth 

Where in childhood we played ; 



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KBIL MAOUSOD. 

Where the hungry was fed 

And the weary found rest. 
The fox has his lair. 

And the owl has her neat . 

No herd'boy'B shrill whistle 

Is heard in the vale, 
No milk-maid at gloaming 

Hies out with her pail. 
Where oft I hare heard 

Her sweet song to the f old— 
Her rich golden ringlets 

How fair to behold 1 

The chanter is silent- 
No harper is found, 

To waken the echoes 
From slumbers profound ; 

The lads once so buoyant 
In innocent mirth, 

Oppression has reft 
From the land of their birth. 

Success to the living 

And peace to the dead— 
The gloaming of life 

Now encircles my head ; 
In the grave 111 soon rest 

With the friends gone before. 
Where sorrow and pain 

ShcJl oppress me no more. 

THE MAID OF BALLYCHRO, 

One day I roam'd among the heights 
. Where crag on crag is piled. 
Where antler'd herds delight to dwell 

'Mong gorges lone and wild : 
A hoary mist fell on my oath. 

Night's shades were falling low. 
When like a star shone on my way 

The Maid of Ballychro. 

In accents sweet she calmed my fears. 

And kindly bade me stay 
Until the sun with kindly beam 

Should chase the clouds away ; 
A couch of heather, soft and dry, 

She would for me prepare, 
And to my wants and comforts all 

Attend with willing care. 



235 



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286 MODBRN 8GOTTI8H POSTS. 

There's many a dewy rosebud red 

Ne'er praised by hamaa tomfnn* 
There's many a bei^utepps j^^en brigh.t 

That minstirel ne'er has smift; 
But never did %9^^op r«it 

On rose so sweet and rare, 
Nor Beauty gi^^.fi.poiirt or, h^ 

Like Mary young unS, fair. 



with Joflfire fiffSi^SJ^ 



Though I might i 
With coffers fi] 
That riche8_hnp|» Ijijf gVmiipA^^ 




Among the Kine, alone, witl 
Fair Maid of BaUy^^ 

And when 

She trea 
And tunes 

Down in 
The birds 1 1 , 

Udou ea 
In suenoe 

Fair Ma 

Her eye, so beandnff so^ and r mild, 

Bespeak a min4.tfti^s pwe. 
Her graoef ql.f pp|i .^a bounding otep ; 

A healthy frame ensure « 
Sweet beauty, njjjd/B^ty* apd-lpv^. 

Enrobe her white as snow— 
A lily by the fountain thou, 

FdbriMia^d olBUljrctiro. 

May ricfaestblessings crown her life 

In gladness as of yoire^ — 
Her lolrely'faoe ana image bright 

Shall haunt me evermore ; 
My mem'ry shall with fondness dwell,* 

TUl death «hall lay me low, 
On her wbo-firstinsphred my lay. 

The Maid of Ballyohro. 



WHERE I WAS YESTREEN. 

Nane can tell in. a' the warl'- 

Where I was vestreen ;, 
Nane was near out Mary Allan, 

Where I- was yestreen ^ 



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NBIL MAOLSOD. 237 



Dear the vows gat frae my lassie 

'Neath the birken screen. 
In the gfen sae frtah aiid g^tbssy, 

Where I was yestreen. 

Sweet the wild birds sang thefr carols 

Where T was yestreen ; 
Dancin* on the' boughs sae happy, 
. where I was yestrieen ; ^ 
Honey dew like iiibense drapinn' 

imeeach: leaf sae greeii;; 
An! .nae city dust to darken 

Where I was yestreen. 

What oared we for mooni>eamB gowden 

Where I was yestreen ? 
Wavin* botighs were behdin* oWre us 

Where I was yestreen ; 
'Mang the daisies white an' foomlie 

Wl' my fairy queen. , 
Swift the hours flew licht an' happy 

Where I was'yestreen. 

What cared we for warly treasure 

Where I was yestreen ? 
Gtowd nor Ian' could e'er gte pleasure, 

Where I was. yestreen ; 
Ne'er for ony royal palace 

De6k'd in silketi sheen, 
Wad I leave the grove sae rashy 

Where I was yestreen. 

Whilst I live my heart *will linger 

Where I was yestreen ; 
Wi* the maid sae kind and tender, 

Where I was yestreen ; 
Till I'm laid in death's cold fetters, 

N<»ught oaa chat^e, I ween. 
All I vow'd to Mary Allan 

Where I was yestreen. 



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238 MOBBBK SCOTTISH POETS, 



ALEXANDEE WEDDERBURN 

MAS bom in a seaboard parish of Aberdeen- 
shire in 1836. His parents were among 
the humble poor — a hard-working decent couple, 
whose home though lowly was in the broadest 
sense of the word a happy one. In his tenth year 
he "took the shilling" from a farmer, and by his 
half yearly wage added a little to the family ex- 
chequer. When herding on the green braes and 
flowery vales every spare moment was devoted to the 
improvement of his mind. 

When scarcely fifteen years of age his father had 
him apprenticed to the *' gentle crafb " under one 6f 
the best of masters, who not only taught his 
boys how to become good tradesmen, but also at the 
same time watched carefully over their advancement 
intellectually and morally. On his apprenticeship 
coming to an end he remained with his first and only 
master for upwards of six years. About this time 
he began to write verses. He read with eagerness 
whatever books of poetry came in his way, his 
favourite authors being Burns and Oowper. Writ- 
ing verse at first chiefly for amusement, sometimes 
reading them to a friend that he might hear them 
criticised, he was at length encouraged to submit one 
of his pieces to the editor of the People* b Journal for 
a Christmas competition, and though the verses 
failed to take a prize they were published the follow- 
ing year in a volume entitled ** Poems by the 
People." He also was presented with a handsome 
volume of poems. Since then several of his pieces 
have appeared in the People^ s Friend, and in more 
than one of the Aberdeen newspapers, and one 
found its way into a London magazine called the 
GentUmen^s Jotirnal, for which the conductors pre- 



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▲LBZAKDSB WEDDESBUBH. 239 

seifted him with a valuable volume of Wordsworth's 
poems. Mr Wedderbum's poetry manifests buoy- 
ancy and spontaneity of flow, pure sentiment, and 
occasional quiet pathos. 

NABBODY'S BAIRN. 

His father, wha cared nae a flee for his laddie, 

Ran off wi' a ship to a far distant shore 
Before he had learned to lisp mam or daddie, 

Or toddle alane 'tween the fire an' the door. 

His mither, aye wealcly, then grew broken-hearted. 

Unable her sweet balmie's liyin* to earn ; 
In less than a towmon frae life she departed. 

An* syne the wee callant was naebody's bairn. 

When neighbours met roan' the cauld clay o' his mammie 
The last solemn rite to the dead to perform, 

He frisked and he played like a young simmer lammie 
That kens nae the force o' the cauld winter's storm ; 

He shed nae a tear, had nae fit o' cryin*, 

Alas, little mannie, he yet had to learn. 
What sorrow and sadness, what sabbin' an' sighin', 

Was birthright to him wha is naebody's bairn. 

AYE KEEP OOT 0' DEBT. 

There's mony a pithy learned saw. 

The sayin's o' the sage. 
If acted on would gnioe us a' 

Frae infancy to age. 
On memory's tablet let them shine. 

Their precepts ne'er forget. 
An' 'mang them write this worthy line 

Aye, aye keep oot o' debt. 

It doesna need a silken purse 

Wi' gowden guineas fu'. 
To cancell the nrimcTal curse, 

An* mak' us leal an' true. 
If ye would bask in happiness, 

In spite o' foes or fate, 
The short an' simple method is 

Aye, aye keep oot o' debt. 

Nae matter tho' your coat be bare, 

Or made o' hielan' 'oo', 
The finest daith a man can wear 

Lets debt win dirlin' thro'. 



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240 MODSBN SOOmSH POBTS. 

A paton or twa on hoddin' grtkf. 

Ne'er mak's the bodv blate 
Wha can hand tip his face an* say, 

I'm fairly cot o' debt. 

Misfortqne whiles m^y diiw a man, 

An' dand him when he's aeon, 
Mav^aU^ttipony a voi^y.plan, 

liesigne^ tp mak' aproon. > 
Tet e'«n misfortone's, cussed pranks 

OoQf e doon at second rata < ' > . 
On him wha can gie God the thanks, 

An' say I'm oot o' debt. 

Th^ citink o' siller aft .oommands 
,. ,An ea^y lifc^ 'tis tme, •> a' .« > 
But carefu' heads an' workin' hands 

Oie independence too. 
Thien eat the bread your hands hae won, 

E'en scorn the parish plate. 
An* wear the claith ye'vepaid or spun. 

An' aye keep oot o' debt. 

Itl^l^ae enough when worn an' wan 

To condescend to alms, 
The conecienoe o' an honest man- 

E'en then will hae some qualms. 
Buttbo' the ills o' Hfe's short span 

Gome a' upon his pate, 
He'll bear them a', an' feel a man 

If he be oot o' debt. 

PERSEVERANCE. 

Life is all a fight for glory. 

Onward is the battle cry, , / 
Princes young and peasants hoary 

Side by side their weapons ply. 
Fickle hearts may be det«ate«, . • 

Sillv minds may quake .witkiear. 
But the brave wish nervea firjBpseated, 

Proves their motto— persevere. 

Many a crooked perverse turning 

Lengthens out the road to fame^ 
Wayward footsteps lead to moummg^ 

Folly's sure reward is shame. 
Trifles light as airy-bubbles 

Dance Defore the eyesight clear ; 
But the brave o'eroome their troubles 

With their motto— persevwe. 

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J. p. KEID. 241 

Perseverance — maxim fatal — 

To tbe world's alluring din, 
Conquering in every battle 
. Fdnirht with trial or with siti, 
Trifling failures only teaoh ns ^ 

How through life our course to steer, 
ABdkk jWjpDing tones beseech ns 

UAnaiitiy to persevere. 



JOffN PBINGLB BEID, 

/ttLAJgS-CfOTTSat, wfts b<»rn in the pretty Kttte 
Vk rural viliagfe of Aberlady, on the Haddington- 
shire coast, m Xs6i. Both his parents were very 
highly esteemed natives of that locality, his father 
being a pholographer, and also carrying on business 
as a general merchant in the village. When our 
poet was only a few weeks old his mother died, and 
he had the misfbrtilnd to 166e his father when ten 
years of age. He was early sent to school, but at 
first made slo^ pto^6&6, preferring the playground 
and the village green to his lessons. Nevertheless, 
he ultimately acquired a fair elementary edux^ation, 
and left sdiiool in his fourteenth year. Fo^ some 
time he fbllbwed the dccu^ation of a gardener, but 
this calling not being to his taste, heremoviBd to the 
Scottish capital, and ^tered the employment of the 
Edinburgh and Leith Flint Glass Company, where 
he still remains. 

It was not till he was in his seventeenth year that 
our poet evinced any taste for poetry, or thought of 
puttiiig his reflections into rhyme. Since then he 
has written much in verse, many of his productions 
having appeared in local newspapers. Being of 
excellent character and kindly disposition, there runs 
through his verses a strong vein of purity ; and the 



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242 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

scenes of bygone days, on whicli lie delights to dwell, 
lie portrays in affectionate language. He is a loving 
observer of Nature, and the sources of his aspirations 
seem to be expressed in the words — " All Thy works 
praise Thee." 

SONG OF THE MERMAID. 

The sea, the sea, the dee^ blue sea 1 
My life, my home, and my joy's in thee ! 
Where the sea-fowl skim o'er the waters bright, 
Or in screaming eddies take higher flight ; 
Where the rocks are lash*d by the restless wave, 
Kind Nature Has made me my ocean cave. 

Far down in the marvellous deep I dive, 
Where the finny tribes and the shell-fish live ; 
Where the zoophites and sea- weeds grow. 
In wondrous beauty far down below ; 
Then I rise again and embrace the wave, 
And dash thro' the surf to my ooean cave. 

When blackening clouds dim the azure sky, 
And the dark waves mirror them as they fly ; 
When the swelling seas, with a hollow tone, 
Beat furiously on the rocks so lone ; 
And all around me the tempests rave, 
I recline and list in my ocean cave, 

For dear to me does that music prove, 

Tho* not of the kind the sealchus love ; 

The crested wave and the battling wind. 

Their voices together in concert blend ; 

While the bold sea-ffulls,^as the storm they brave. 

Scream loud and wild round my ocean cave. 

But when in a calm Sol sinks in bed, 
And as he departs paints the waters red, 
Then, with slass in hand, I comb my hair. 
So thick and long, and so golden fair ; 
While the ripplets round me gently lave. 
As they make their way up my ocean cave. 

When the time shall come that I dwine and die. 
And these scenes grow dim to my closing eye ; 
When the waves no longer my heart can cheer, 
And their music dies on my dying ear ; 
Let the wild gull scream o er the mermaid's grave. 
And the sea make moan round her ocean cave ! 



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J. p. RBID. 243 

THE AULD ROAD EN\ 

I gaed the ither day by the auld road en", 
Wnaur some baimies were at play at the auld road en* ; 
Oh, I liked to see them fine, 
For they brocht into my min* 
A* the splores we play'd langsyne 
At the auld road en*. 

Yonder staun's the elm tree at the auld road en*, 
Whaur for *oors we used to swee at the auld road en* ; 

An* do ye min* yon day 

When to schule we wadna gae, 

But juist took oor fill o* play 
At the auld road en*. 

Aiten ha*e we spiel'd the dyke at the auld road en*, 
Irespassin*, laddie-like, at the auld road en*, 

Thro' the neeborin* fiePs we*d scour, 

Pu*in' ilka bonnie flooer. 

Syne terminate oor tour 

At the auld road en*. 

Mony lawless tricks we T)lay*d at the auld road en* ; 
Nestlin* expeditions gaea frae the auld road en* ; 

For then, for mony a day, 

Be*t for kirk, or schule, or play, 

Oor meetin* place was aye 
At the auld road en*. 

The scene is little changed at the auld road en*, 

Tho* afar we*ve sometimes ranged frae the auld road en* ; 

Noo we*ve grown to grave-faced men, 

Sae we*ll never tryste again 

To play as we did then 

At the auld road en*. 

Yet we*ll sometimes tak* a walk by the auld road en*, 
An* o* bygane days we'll crack at the auld road en* ; 

But the time *11 sune draw nigh 

When the maist o* us *11 lie 

I* the snug kirkyaird ower-by 
At the aiud road en*. 

"BONNIE JEAN*S** LAMENT. 
Departed that spirit sae loving and brave ! 

Oh why suld the best be the quickest to dee ? 
The foremost o* men is laid low in his grave — 

" There*8 naught left but sorrow for Scotland and me I '* 



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244 MODERN SOOTTIdH POBTS. 

Bobbie ! Robbie ! Fm weary an' wae ; 

My een noo are dim an' my heart is fu' sair ; 
For silent art thou noo, the pride o' thy day, 

An' bleak is this warld sin' it hands thee nae mair ! 

Ah, baimie ! I see there's a blank on yer face; 

Ye list for the voice that ye never will hear ; 
An* still dae ye long for his loving embrace — 

Alack I yer dear faither iB cauld in his bier. 

Nae mair hell denounce the vain hypocrite's creed, 
Or ffie to the honest the crown o' true worth, 

Or lichten the hearts that in sorrow may bleed. 
Or clothe in true piety the pair cottar's hearth, 

Nae mair by ** Sweet Afton " he'll pondering stray. 
Or •* adown winding Nith," or by " Banks o* the Doon," 

Or by Ayr or by Devon to gie them a lay — 
Ah, no ! his sweet lyre nevdr mair wiu he tone. 



CHABLBS GTJLLAND, 

mN accomplisbed author and highly-gifted poet, 
known only hitherto by the letter ** O.," was 
bom at Falkland in 1840. Having passed a few- 
years at the Parish School of that town, he, at the 
age of twelve, entered Edinburgh Academy, where 
his exceptional abilities soon made themselves mani- 
fest. In the Edinburgh University, under Professor 
Pillans, he took the poetical prize. Ever since Mr 
G-ulland has devoted much of his time to the cultiva- 
tion of the Muse, and he has done so with conspicuous 
success. 

After a few years' training in London, Our poet in 
1865 joined his father in business at Falkland as a 
solicitor and banker. He still dwells there, amid 
the inspiring traditions of the locality — his lovely 
residence being bounded on the one side by the 

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OH^RLXS OULLAND. 2i5 

rpmantio Lomonds, and on the other by the stately 
palaoe of the Stuart kings. 

Mr GuUand's publii^ed works are — '^SjlfanuBi 
Netherton, and other Poetical Works," a large hand- 
some volume, published by Wm. P. Nimmo, Edin- 
burgh, in 1867; '*The Lomond Hills," a poem 
(1877); "The Fairies of Falkland: a Metrical 
Eon^aiice" (1876); and " Scottish Ballads, and other 
Poems" (1881), besides other smaller works, now in 
their second edition, or out of print. ** After: a 
Poem" (1875), also published by Mr Nimmo, is a 
work of much power and thought, being an imagi- 
nary narration of earth's decline, and fall, and judg- 
ment* as told by one angel to another in Paradise. 
In the introductory portion of part ninth we find 
the following lines : — 

Where be the Devils that oornipt the soul? 

Do they, envenomed, crawl upon the worlds, 

Working, iuTisible, a tale of woe, 

Whisp'rinff with bated br^th in the ear of the weak. 

The irresolute, the careless, the perplexed 7 

Do they flutter by the side of morttJ man 7 

Are they present in the throng, in solitude. 

In the closet, bv the couch, oaalignant watehing 

With keen hawk-eyes the opportunity 

To enter and destroy the precious soul ? 

Nay ! man is left to battle out his life 

Unprompted by the sp'rits of good or evil. 

The Law, the Word, these be his legacies 

From Heaven, and the result is with himself. 

Many of Mr GuUand's productions weye first pub- 
lished in the columns of the Fifeshire Journal, among 
the contributors to which he holds a high rank. He 
is about to print a sixth volume, which will include 
two dramas—*' Queen Elizabeth " and ** Eothesay," 
and several poems hitherto unpublished, giving evi- 
dence of mature thought and careful finish. 

Prom "Wallace," as well as other dramatic pieces, 
contained in his published works, it is at once seen 
that Mr Gulland is an author possessed of gifts far 

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246 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

above mediocrity. These show much feeling and 
power, and are marked by much clearness of outline 
and distinctness of plot. They, as well as his beauti- 
fully tender baUads, evince unusual powers of narra- 
tion ; and while scrupulously faithful to history, he 
succeeds in throwing all the charm and fascination of 
romance around the stirring and exciting period of 
Scottish history. As a ballad-writer — tragic as well 
as humorous — his narration is clear and concise, and 
his descriptions are vivid and vigorous ; while the 
ring and rattle of action and quaint sough of the 
olden time, the home life, the manners and customs 
of '* gentle and simple," of kings and their courtiers, 
of barons and their retainers, are reproduced with 
vivid naturalness and graphic power. His more 
ambitious poems, too long for quoting here, are full of 
nerve and pith, and contain many gems of thought. 
These will repay on the part of the reader deep 
and careful study. From the opening portion of 
**Netherton " we give the following : — 

MORNING. 

Blue the soft heavens, and blue the far ocean, 
Gently their shores the hoarse waters sweep, 
Hushed the dark forest, no quickening: motion 
Save in the breast of the tremulous deep. 
Here on this pinnacle stand I and treasure 
The musical notes of the deep^booming sea, 
As they strike on the air witn unvarying measure, 
And murmur their drowsy but sweet melody ; 
See the foam of yon billow gleaming and glancing. 
Night hath departed, day is advancing. 

Night with her mystery, night with her sorrow. 
Dark-wing^ shelter of evil and crime, 
Flees from the reckoning voice of the morrow, 
Heedless of aught but the finger of time. 
Night with her welcome repose to the spirit 
That battles in vain with the world and despair, 
Surcharged with oblivion to such as inherit 
The wide-spread bef|uest of heart-swelling care ; 
Not for long are the clouds from memory banish'd. 
Night hath taken her mantle around her and vanish'd 



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OHABLBS OULLAND. 247 

Hark to the throstle oommenoin^ his lay, 

To the faint-breaking smile of the opening day, 

From the poplar's hifi^h summit, unfetter'd and free, 

Out{>ouriD^ his sonl In innocent glee ; 

Inspired with his gladdening slumbers and rest, 

He carols his joy to the reddening east. 

While his sweet-throated rivals aroused to the theme, 

Confide their soft loves to the pure morning beam. 

Now slow from the distance of waters uprearing, 

The circle of day, in his splendour appearing. 

Exults in the sheen of his glorious might. 

And bathes the far landscape in glittering light, 

O'erspreading with gladness th' wild frowning mountain 

Erst towering uncertain in vajionrs and mist, 

Ulnming anon the shadowy fountain, 

Now bright as the face which affection hath kissed. 

On swift early wing, all impatient of leisure. 

Loud hums the quick bee to her labour of pleasure, 

Ont-trilla the calm blackbird, the lav'rock rejoices. 

And blend in sweet medley their clear-ringing voices, 

Thus the crown of the day, as higher and higher 

He climbs the steep pathway enthrone in fire, 

Is hidl'd with applause by nature's wide choir. 

'<The Lomond Hills" is a poem containing 
numerous beautiful passages, giving evidenoe of a 
refined and cultured mind, keen observation, unvary- 
ing flow of thought, and a charming appreciation of 
the beauties of Nature. In this poem he depicts, in 
felicitous language, hill and dale, cottage and 
castle, hamlet and city. All th6 scenes are well 
chosen, and pass before the reader in beautifully- 
painted panoramas. Here is a fine picture of 

SUMMER EVENING IN THE COUNTRY. 

. But evening comes. . . See ! at their doors 
And on their outer steps the village dames 
Are seated, and their nimble fingers ply 
The glancing wires, while loud and voluble. 
Echoes the gossip to their heart's content. 
See too ! by the church rail sedately sit 
A row of townsmen resting from their toils. 
Consuming at their ease the fragrant weed. 
Now home the sleek cows hie, heavy and slow, 
Nodding as they approach, and in the rear 
The fair cheeked milkmaids walk, the ready jest 
With gallant swain exchanging as they pass ; 
Lithe graceful girls, with locks of russet brown, 

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248 MODSBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Posies of meadow sweet clasped in the hand, 
A welcome smile for all their hn^Ue world. 
There, too, the norses from the outbid come. 
With drooping heads and slow advancing pace, 
Mounted or led by youths prou4 of their task. 
Lo 1 yonder animal, time worii and lean, 
And jaded, bears upon his naki^.back 
Time honoured master, bonneted and grav^ ; 
Before him, clutching earnest by the 'mane, 
A child is placed, pleased with nis^dignity, 
And close behind another urchin sitsi 
Clasping with ready haxids his grapc|iii;re!s w^st. 



YOUNG WALLACES. 
(From "Scottish Ballads.") 

Wha hasna heard of Wallace wioht 
The stalwart son of Ellerslie 7 
A bolder or a likelier lad 
In a' the round there couldna be. 

One day he to the fishing gaed 
Doun by the Irvine water side. 
And when his basket was weel filled. 
Three Southron soldiers he espied. 

He turned him to the little boy 
Who followed eager at his heel— 
** My lad, there may be mischief here, 
I'll haud the rod, and you the creel." 

He took his lithe rod quickly doun, 
His creel he to the laddie gave. 
Then wi* his face turned to the foe 
He calmly stude, sae swank and brave. 

Ahent him stude the boy, and smiled— 
"They dinna ken their man,** said he, 
** What though the carles be three to ani 
They canna fecht young Ellerslie." 

Up cam' the soldiers, and began 
The fisher youth to leer and flout — 
** Nae doubt you only fish for sport, 
Gie us the basket wi the trout." 

" Ye arena blate," young Wallace said, 
** And your demand I hold unfayr, 
I winna gie the creelf u' up. 
But you are welcome to a share.' 



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OHARLBS OULLAND, 249! 

" The whole or none,'' the soldiers crie^, 
An4 s«dden ensbed on EHerslie, ' 

Who dauntless waited ; save his rod 
No weapon of defence had he. 

The foremost of the three he stmok 
With his rod-end a cxushing blow, 
A single blow i(Q#th the etat 
Thatlaid his a^jrarsary low. 

Then caught he up his Tiotim's sword, 
And swift the blade cam' flashing donn 
Upon a seccN^d Southron foe, 
A deadly stroke that cleft Us orooii. 

The third turned tail and ran af^a' ; 
Young Wallace grimly smiled—^* I trow 
My sport on Irvine stream ^ dunf, 
111 f ollbw ither ^iJng now. 

** 111 no be hame this nioht my lad. 
Nor yet will I be hAme tlie ihorn, ^ 
60, tell my folks I oanna thole 
To be the mane for 3<^ut|^pn appm. 

''Tell them IVe done a deed ,^ 
That stamps me Bngland^s enei 
And to escape a cipafil dea^h 
'Tis I maun tio the moun^ins.fl^ 

" Inglorious ease and tranquil day(| I 
To them I bid a long adieul ' 
And now^ my puir ^wn-froddf^ lafid^ 
My life • I consecrate to y^j^* 



Awa*, awa', to the London Hills 
To rou3e h|s brither Scots fled he s 
And England learned ere lang to dread 
The outlawed jou%\i frae EUerslie. ' 



YOUNG RAMSAY QF 3AL]^AIK. 

"O for a man of mioht and power 
To wear the Scottish crown ; 
O for a King well worth the name 
To baud the Engtish down ! 

** Nae pleasure takes our King in war 
Or in his armour bricht, 
And for the tilt and touman^ent 
He scunners at the sloht. 



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260 MODJBRN SOOmSH F0BT8. 

** He shuns his nobles, spends the time 

Wi* men of low de^rree ; 

A tailor and a canning smith 

Are his best companie. 

" Whanr is fair Scotland's honoor gane? 
Whaur is the Stuart pride ? 
A mason and a fiddler reign, 
And we are set aside.*' 



To Lauder cam' the Scottish King 
He and his proud array ; 
Atween the river and the town 
His valiant army lay. 

Twas they wad meet the English host 
To humble Edward's i>ride ; 
But James, a laggard in the war, 
Did lang at Lander bide. 

Sair did the warlike nobles fret, 
Their discontent grew loud. 
Till 'gainst the f av'rites of the King, 
An evil death they vowed. 

In Lauder Kirk the nobles met 

To lay their vengeful plan ; 

The oath they swore, and f rae the kirk 

On murder bent they ran. 

They huntit high, they huntit low, 
They huntit round and round, 
Unnl their victims ane by ane 
They unrelenting found. 

And they have hanged the mason bold, 
Cochran sae braw and trig ; 
With the tailor and smith for companie 
Ower the middle of Lauder Brig. 

The fiddler's gane the self-same gate ; 
And the rest of low degree 
Are butchered some, and hangit some, 
For nane had time to flee. 

Then out spake Angus Bell-the-Gat, 
As in the camp he stood 
Aleaning on his weighty sword 
That dreepit down red blood, 

** My lords, this is a glorious day, 
And well it has begun ; 



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GHABLBS OULLAKD. 251 

But James maun be our prisoner 
Before our task is done. 

" Well tak' him on to Edinbruoh, 
And that richt speedilie, 
That Scotland frae her silken bonds 
Shall ance and aye be free." 

Swift at the word the nobles rushed 
With a rude following, 
And haughtv Angus at their head, 
To beard th unconscious King. 

Lo ! as they hastened through the Gamp 
Tu glut their flaming wrath, 
A youthful fav'rite of the ^ng 
Did chance to cross their path. 

A youthful faT'rite of the King, 
John Ramsay of fialmain ; 
And when the rabble spied the lad 
They yelled with micht and main. 

The fricbtened lad they hnntit fast, 
On instant murder bent, 
Until they brocht Balmain to bay 
Before the Monarch's tent. 



O but he was a bonnie youth. 

His eyes were of the blue ; 

And his rich brown hair in clusters rare 

Fell o'er his snowy broo. 

He raised his eyes beseechingly, 
But spake he ne'er a word ; 
Stern Angus pitied as he gazed. 
And sheathed his bloody sword. 

*' Enough of blood," the Douglas said, 
Filled with unwonted ruth ; 
" Thy face is like thy father's, lad, 
And 1 spare thee for thy youth. 

" Thy minions, King, are put to death— 
'TIS thou shalt gang wi' me. 
And I shall teach thee how to reign. 
Butt men of low degree. 

"Thy minions, ane and a' this day 
To their account are gane ; 
Saving this boy now at thy feet, 
John Ramsay of Balmain. 



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252 MODSBN SOOmSH POBTB, 

" And now, my lad, a word wi* thee— 
I was thj l«kh«r'8 Mend ; 
I wad adviBe thy father's son 
His silly ways to mend. 

<* Disdain to sit in slUcen tents 
dad in a.sUfcea suit. 
And leave to finoecs feminine 
To Strom upon uie luts. 

" Wear harness on ^ baok, my boy, 
Rise in i/ba early mom* 
And let thy swieetest mnsio be 
The merrie hound and horn. 

'*Oo, study war ; nneeasing stri?e 
A worthy nam# to gain 
'Mong Scotland'j n^hidst for the House 
Of Ramsay of Balinain.'* 



JAMES &TBWABT, 

H RAILWAY FO]^, whp (|inflB ^^eetly of the 
birds and their hyovua of m^dy in the green 
boughs, the morning sun causing the "ifiwj fields to 
sparkle in silvery brightness^ and sees in the sheep 
lying on the hillsides a gvaphic picture of peaceful 
oontent, was bom at Qrayrigg' farm hdu9e> parish of 
Johnstone, Dumfriesshiro, i^ 1 84 1 . His grandfather 
held the farm from 1799 to the time of hj^ death in 
1840, when the fkther of our ppet succeeded to the 
lease. Owing to finanoial difficulties, he had to give 
up Ghrayrigg in 185^5, and this so affected his health 
that he lost l^e^t, and died in 1861, leaving a family 
of six sons and three daughters, all of whom are still 
living. The mother was &n p^^e^get^ic, intelligent 
woman ; her good example encouraged the family in 
well-doing and self-reliance, ^d'th,0 n^s^ult is that 
they are now in good positions. 

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JAMBS STBWABT. 353 

After reoeiviB^ a fildr education ^t Johnstone 
Parish School, Mr Stewart, at the age of fourteen, 
went to farm service. !&e remained four years at 
this work, and Was afterwards several years coach- 
man to a genUeman in DumMesshire. In 1862 he 
went to Ameriea. At this time the war between the 
North and South Ttras imaging, ai^d dfter being in that 
country for about three .years, he return^ home. 
He joined the serviofe of the Calcldonian Railway 
Company as a porter kt fourteen shillings a-week, 
and has continued in their service since 1865, rapidly 
advanciitg ftom gusLrd to stationmaster at two impor- 
tant junctions. At present Mr Stewart is traffic 
inspector, looking i^er the Company's interests 
generally, over the whole line, with bright prospects 
of advancement in the immediate future. 

For a number df yelllrd Mr StewM has been a 
frequent contributor to the columns of the Glasgow 
Herald, the Atrdrie Advertieir, and other newspapers 
and literary journals. He is about to make a selec- 
tion of his poetns and songs, and publish them in 
book form. His poetry is the redillt of keen obser- 
vation and original thoiight. The rhyme is easy 
and flowing, the language generally felicitous, and 
he is occasionally very happy in delineating the 
humorous aspects of character ; while there is a 
pleasing vivacity in his national enthusiasm that will 
make his volume highly appreciated by his country- 
men at home and dbroad. 

THE MUCKLB BUBBLY JOCK. 

Some.lreeiis were busy talking ower 

Life's troubles, great an' saia' ; 
The hale o' them hah) felt their p6wer ; 

Nae ane was free at a*. 
A beggar— silly — cam* alang, 

From cares they thought him free ; 
They speered at him if aught was wrang, 

That troubled him awe6..,., 
Quo* he, I'd trudge on wi' my pocks, 



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254 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

And happv walk alaiur ; 
If 'twas na for the bubbly jocks, 

Nae maitter where I gang. 
Nae maitter where I Rang, 
Nae maitter where I fang : 
There's aye a muokle bubbly joek, 
Nae maitter where I gang. 

Some folks, ye ken, may happy seem. 

They pass their time in song, 
As douD the waters o' life's stream 

They gaily float along, 
Their face is all lit up wi' smile, 

Nae trace o' grief is there ; 
Tbevll joke and talk, but all the while. 

Their heart is worn wi* care. 
There's aye some trouble and some shook, 

And mony a heartfelt pang ; 
There's aye a muckle bubbly jock, 

Nae maitter where ye gang. 
Nae maitter, ko. 

Yer neighbour ye may think gey queer, 

Wr strange and unco way. 
He's had his troubles and his fear 

For mony a weary day. 
Then dinna fash him wi' your jeers, 

Respect him if ye can. 
He some big dreary trouble bears, 

He canna tell to man. 
O ! treat him weel, and dinna mock, 

Fash ye may hae ere lang, 
There's aye some muckle bubbly jock, 

Nae maitter where ye gang. 
Nae maitter, &c. 

There's aye some nasty canker worm. 

And mony grounless fears. 
But the sun shines amid the storm — 

There's smiles as well as tears. 
We need them baith to keep us richt. 

Our pleasure's mixed wi' pain, 
We grum'le whan the sun's aye bricht. 

And get nae summer rain. 
Then tak' your stan' firm as a rock. 

And dinna turn and flee, 
There's ajre a muckle bubbly jock 
Nae maitter wha ye be. 
Nae maitter wha ye be, 
Nae maitter wha ye be, 
There's aye a muokle bubbly jock, 
Nae maitter wha ye be. 



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JABCBS STKWABT. 3S5 

LIFE! — A STREAM. 

Away up high, 'mong mountain sidet, 
A streamlet from its birthplace glides, 

And trioklinff rUls 

Its channel mis 
With water gathered from the hills. 

In swelling stream it plunges en, 
The gorge resoonding with its song ; 

Its torrent roars, 

As on it pours, 
And dashes down its rooky shores. 

Down through the glen it runs with joy. 
Then hides beneath the trees quite coy. 

And swift it flows. 

And downward goes, 
Its banks o'erhung with hazel boughs. 

It pours o'er rooks in silver stream. 
And sparkles in the sunshine's gleam, 

With onward rush, 

And downward gush. 
It hastes in pools its voice to hush. 

O'er falls it leaps with gladsome cry, 
A sheet of silver to the eye, 

And roars away. 

With shouts each day, 
While battling in its showers of spray. 

It lingers in the wooded dale, 
To kiss the lilies of the vale. 

With cheerv song 

It moves along, 
Where flowers in thousands on it throng. 

Down the valley, in graceful chain^ 
It winds and turns and winds again. 

With onward creep, 

And graceful sweep, 
It dimples where the pools are deep. 

With outstretched arms it rolls away. 
And meets the waters of the bay. 

And vessels ride, 

With stately pride, 
Upon its mighty heaving tide. 

And such is life ! for it would seem 
So like this noisy mountain stream. 
With its rattle 



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ii56 MODBSN SOOmSH POSTS. 

And its prattle, 
And the constant flKht and battle. 

Like it, life- haft its sunny hours, 
Though ruffled by. some filing showers, 
Wbsn thuAdersr boom. 
And black clouds loom. 
And soowl like demons in the glookn. 

Stream-like| tnrbnlent, fr6m its source, 
Life onward ti^es its trombled course, 

And nears ea^ dAy 

The peaceful bay 
Of death— its sorrows there to lay. 

But waters vapoured by tiie sun 
Again are sent some course to run : 
And so will rise 
The soul that dies, 
T1m> new-bom life above the skies. 



THE LOVERS* MEETING. 

The wee birds were singing, and loud was their piping, 
As the stin was descending behind the gr^en hill ; 

The gentle wee lambkins were jovously sporting, 
And like gold was the sheen which the valley did fill. 

Tellow trouts were leaping the active flies catching. 
As they plajrfully flittea on the face af the rfll. 

The mavis sang clearly, the wooda loud were ringing 
As he whistled his notes — ^nature, listening, was still. 

A bonny ;wee lassie, her e'en wi' love glancing, 
Oame l^ripping down gaily, with heart artless and true— 

Her form was most perfect, e'en nature's best effort. 
And her feet were the neatest e'er kissed by the dew. 

The cows she was driving to pastures to thrive on, 
Down to the ^een meadows, by the calm flowing stream ; 

As she sat 6/n Its blinks, the minnows ^^re sporting. 
And playfully swam, while of love she did dream. 

The elder leaves rustled, the warm air caressing, 
As it passed up the vale, bringing joy on its wing ; 

The butterflies sported, each other were chasing, 
As they felt the n^w life and sweet breath of the spring. 

Far away up the vale some one gave a whistle. 
Its loud echo was heard by the lass at the bum ; 

The shy trembling maiden, with joyous emotion. 
At once started up, signalling back in return. 



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H^l.i;-.n, . ; JAMBS .«iaiWABI.. .u 257 

>f • ■ . ■ • »>. It '" 

The bright day «Hdiviergiti|r'f<^r into thci< (gloaming, 
The maiden ■etoedtiPMtckfiig, with h«r lieftrii in a thrill ; 

'Mi<l the roailidg ofieaved her love stepped fWnn the glade, 
And pressed her to his heflart^onlthte bankE^lf the rill. 

The two hearts, so joyQ^s, m accord weirei beating, 
And happy l^|{i8Mp.her.A^ he called her his love, 

Fondly she nestled whiiat love he was whinpering, 
And they plighte4 fcl^ir tTQth vhen the stars smiled above. 

WI» jSi^Xj'siPN CROSS THE LINE. 

Whene'er I travel on the line 

A lesson ther^ I see ; 
^' At Ilka statioit iftiereVa^Bilni • 

Stack qp to catch the e'e. 
In lettMM painj^'blaek or lyfifte 

Isee itev'^tftne : -' ' 
M' MrCf^ydQ' use the bridM )q sight , 
WheBB»8r ye tBroes the line.' ' 

^.^nene'er , ye cross the linO) 
whenipfer . ye pros?' the line ; 
.Wi* cautious car^ ' . . 
Aye monnt the Stair 
•' ' 'Whetie'et' f^ cross the line. 

Some folk may tl^oilehe world is .fair— 

Their heart ne'er'gaes.a sten f ' 
TheyW kl^ays free frjiefash and pare. 

Though ^brrows they may ken. 
And when, g<ey, flee a thjpg tJ^y Uke^ 

Where foUiesid^^^ng, shine. 
They nevet think, but ^u a ^)f.e, ;..,.. 
They reacK it o*er the line* , ; / 
' They reach It o*er tlie line, 
: Tb^ reAcbit o'er the Uimi 
Th^ iMiier..tbink ai - :. 
Bn|;ina wink ;. • • 
r.i Thfly iiA«Qh ilU>Vff the Uae. 

In joyom^yowlbh) ifrb/^Pftsslon^^iCe , 

Run wQoly t^cQugh youi; yeins» 
n^m «^W f'fc.a' <il»^ 8Vfi&^s,Q';Jj|e,i -; .. 

Nor t^k & liitut^ paipf^ i 
But pleasure's cup wi' poison's fraught — 

Then mind the railway sign, 
And use the bridge and don't get caught 
In croesing e'er the line. 

In vtossing o'er the line> 
I& crossing {^'ertbe line ; 
Wi' ciautietts-cami 
Aye mount the stair— 
In safety cross the line. 

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258 MODERN SOOTTISH POSTS. 

When wanton pleasure's witching smiles 

Are set to lure you on, 
Avoid her false deceptive wUes, 

For soon like flowers they're gone. 
Impulse may led you to death's brink 

It you for pleasures pine ; 
Then aye be sure to stop and think 
Before ye cross the line. 

Before ye cross the line, 
Before ye cross the line ; 
Think of the snare 
That's hidden there- 
Wi* caution cross the line. 



THE FISHER'S TRAGIC PATE. 

One bonny smiling mom in May 

The birds sang in the trees, 
The 6eld, bedecked with flowers, were gay. 

And softly hummed the bees. 

The children gamboled on the Ua 

Among the pretty flowers, 
And loud were heard their shouts of glee 

Down in the hawthorn bowers. 

The fishing villa^ by the sea 

Lay gleaming m the sun, 
While far away as eye could see 

The fisher's boats had run. 

The rolling waters of the bay, 

Unruffled smooth and deep, 
Like silver shining, peaceful lay, 

And calmly heaved in sleep. 

But clouds of blackness scowling rose. 

Grim in the western skies, 
And burst, like soldiers on their foes, 

'Mid thunder's deafening cries. 

A fearful whirl, and rushing sweep 

Of wind came o'er the plain. 
Which rudelv waked the bay from sleep 

And tossed the peaceful main. 



The village lovely nestles there, 
But widows lonely weep 

Beside the sea, and linger where 
Their husbands ever sleep. 



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R. M. FBROUSSON. 250 

THE STREET SINGER. 
(This, and the foUowingrsongrarebyR. M. Fergusson, p. 267). 

Id a buatling street, 'mid the city's din, 

A poor }?irl moved along. 
With clothes all worn, and tattered and thin. 

And snng a strange street song. 

Twas eventime. and the lamps shone bright. 

And the winci blew cold and keen ; 
The crowds passed by on the left and right, 

And it looked like a shifting scene. 

Bat still the poor, pale singer stay'd, 

And snng her plaintive tune. 
In the glimmering light the gas lamps made, 

With the beams of the silvery moon. 

She sang with a voice of the richest tone 

A tale of the deepest woe. 
How she had been left in this world alone. 

With one small brother, Joe. 

Her father sunk in a drunkard's grave- 
Had left a dying wife. 

Who pined away till no power could save 
Her wretched and wasted life. 

And now she roamed in the city street, 

And sung of pain and woe, 
Forlorn and sad, with cold bare feet, 

That she might feed poor Joe. 

But Joe, alas I had long been ill. 

And pined for want of bread, 
And now he lay at the Oalton Hill, 

Under an archway, dead. 



When her heart with grief was like to break 

She found a pitying friend, 
Who cared for her for his Master's sake, 

And made her hardships end. 

THE SEA'S LULLABY. 

Bipple, ripple up the beach. 

Over the moving sand. 
Kissing the peebles within my reach, 
Mnrmuring low the song I teach. 

Like the tale of another land. 

Glisten, glisten in the sun, 
^s it sfieda its golden light, 



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260 



HOJXEpX fiCQTp»H ,P08i;9. 

Over th« rifckt to which I run, 
Over the stones which I have wod, 
'And miMle tny coach lit' night 

Oomikig\'*^lig ail the time, < 

WithirotV«ftti spmne, and foam, ' 
Unheeding the sound of the evening chime. 
Wafted alokiK^ Hke a runic thytue, 
Till it dies in my obeanhome. 

Lauglifaig; MiftHhgMeTtt^ night, 

As the boats creep up the bay, 
Kisalnir al filr*#tBU icyithfe Mght, 
That fades'ih'ih^ vrMt&tn sky so bright, 
: ' Th^lovc-JfloW df thfe dAy, 

.n.M. . {\:4'.u Hit • >r *.i ■ . 1,- 

Ebbing, flowing as of yore, 

Wbileih^ t»^v^eft«r«poHi and play. 
Hearing the -shells upon the shore 
Murmuring low thrir evermore — 
The lullaby of a day. 



JAMES OHBISTIE 

HPOET of sw^et natt^jTAl. gr^e and, remarkably 
fertile fancy, was born at Dollar, in 1827. 
He was educated at Dollar Institution a^d tlie Normal 
Seminary of the Church of Scotland^ Edinburgh. 
Thereafter he becamjB. one pf the Doll^ar masters, a 
position which he has held for many years. He has 
also been for a o.onsid'i6i*able period the' respected 
librarian of the Ihstitution. '' While holding this 
position he mside a discoreiy of considerable interest 
in connection with Burns' spoemd. 

Mr Christie has always b^en aii enthusiastic ad- 
mirer of the Ayrshire b^rd, and was perfectly familiar 
with all his songs. < He was, therefore^ surprised to 
find in a copy of the JEdiniur^ Ma^assiine for 1774 
that two of 6urns*8< songs, or wh^t passed for his, 
\d a place there anonymously. The songs referred 

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JAMBS CHBISTIE. 261 

to are : — ** Powers Gelestial whose ttotection " and 
**,Q9uJ^a^gh^,,flf i39Pg.4eq}^r^,:,nu^^Pftin9^^^ " Thye' 
lat^ , ^. .S(;QtV J?Q^g^a§» » h Ms: : e4itic«j pf Burns, bas 
py^fiixpa !^Ke». %>Uwi^g ^o^^ itQ tln^.jjY.eraea.ofBui^Mi 
beginning ** Behold the fatal hour arrive": — **^. 
PpgPi.§^(9'^H^^o*h»/{^<^e 9^ f,MjBnw)fianda ■ of 
mg9e.^j€ii7jqneo^9^y.jPjqi^tfe4 (a^fcpmppi^itic^.of Buri>e^' 
t^]^p^%i^il|.,^^4igp4?}i^.S^f^ep^^ tp,:^ literary 




f^ypuij^ij^^ pfl^h v^ -^p^^e . qq9iip,ufti^a^i9ft : .^from the 
»9j^i^pij^,,,w^ thafci. 4iscp»eF;y,7i Mr.. Ja^n^^ 

C&isb^^ , jj^ij^gi^.pf . ;the , P^U^r , ilu^itvitippir-which 
*®%W ^^fttSl^^?lWf^/ l^^Ji,in,j);|^ei^awft,old perir. 
o.^cg m T^%^e jf9u^.th^,ttwq[pie{(^q.^ to, j. 

. j^ jj ^^p.^. (j§psfiie ^g <^^^)^4 Wt pfi aiP*it^ggUng poem 

dRi^bt^dj^y.jthe'.jf^fqginjaljQf i^jf^e. so^g-tn" Behold : the 

it fii. l^'Tjt !l.!:i. '•/.' ^\i in; . ■ ■ 

i. Y(}}mii„^\p ^jfrfetTO WP are in- 

Ei)ikiJLjeptw^jQ>-9»u tV;;Th^ PpetSiof 
|ie, f f Magft^p.'.^ . joH i the Ij^stjtu^ 



*i9fiK?S?® ^}v>%^?^.??fasiiji8^, j3^t^^jygf459 oil when 
thg yojjun^e-x^^i^^^ -Pi^f^jiiW,^,^^, pi^jt^Jisfeed, 



in three of his lyrics, the ideas ana words of.itbP 
nameless minstrels who contributed them to that old 
peposito:^fy,^ Tt§ ji^^ iMi^kPy ^^g^ ,1* Bphold/the 
Hour,'^ sent by Bums to Clarinda in /17?1, ap- 
proaches evenxj].08^T^;#it^^^^ verses 
supplied to Th(OT8bnri»/M^3." .ij ^ ^ \ : , - : 

Mr Christie has been knowti^'from' his boyhood as 
a poet. While sW &'y6fWm%66}lM^ Wilson tells 
us, the reading of the Ettrick Shepherd inspired the 

.,,■•■ .<> (' '• iUV l-'-'i '■' /^::'.t^ .. ■" 

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262 MODEKN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

the subject of our sketch with ambition to tune the 
Doric lyre. Even then he wrote the verses we give, 
supposed to be addressed by a shepherd to his collie 
dog. 

From the time of this early effort Mr Christie's 
Muse has never ceased to be productive. The result 
has been that his numerous graceful and tender 
lyrical effusions have earned for the poet a prominent 
place among the minor singers of bis country. His 
** curling songs" have secured a popularity far be- 
yond the locality where they were &»t produced, and 
one of them had the honour of being quoted with 
commendation in an article on curlmg which ap- 
peared in one of our most widely cirordated maga- 
zines. Several of the sweetest of his songs have 
been published in the Scotsman and in other influ- 
ential newspapers and literary journals both at home 
and abroad. In his Scotch verses Mr Christie makes 
excellent use of the **mither tongue" — pure and 
chaste — in all its wealth and pith of expressive terms 
and familiar idioms, and entirely free from what is too 
frequently met with in modem poetry — objectionable 
slang and vulgar provincialisms. His songs have 
the ring of inspiration, while his more ambitious 
themes are evidently not the mere dreamy effusion 
of mental fancy, but a faithfrd transcript of .the 
impressions produced by mutual contact with the 
recdities of life upon an honest heart and a discerning 
mind, 

A SHEPHERD TO HIS COLLIE DOG. 

Auld toozy Wylie, honest oallan\ 
Thou'rt welcome aye within my dwallin*. 
For weel I wat thou ne'er wast sullen 

To do my will ; 
At darkest hour thou aye wert willin* 

To dim' the hill. 

Whene'er I p^rasped my friendly crook, 
Thy shaggy coat thou quickly shook. 

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JAMBS GHBISTIK. 263 

And wi* a kind and cordial look 

O* joy and glee. 
Thrice round and round thou*d wheel aboot, 

Syne follow me. 

Thro' wind and weet, thro* snaw and frost, 
A better dog I cooldna boast ; 
For gin a sheepie had been lost, 

Or gane astray, 
Thou quickly brocht her to the rest, 

Tho' far away. 

But twal' lang years ha*e come and gane 
Sin'e to the hill thou first was ta'en ; 
Then loodly at the rowin stane, 

Adoon the brae. 
Thou gar'd the rocks and hallows ring 

Wi' whalpish glee. 

Noo, canny ower the flowery brae 

Vhon hangs th^ head, o'erspread wi* grey ; 

Tet still thy bite and sowp thou'lt ha'e. 

And bear in min', 
is l«iig*8 1 see the licht o* day. 

Thou hast a frien*. 

THE FI&HEB*S GALL. 
The mist is aff the hill. 

The summer morning's breaking, 
And ilka littie rill 

A merry music's making ; 
The shepherd's left his cot. 

Hie clover-field the maukin, 
Then up, let's hae a day ot — 

Waukin, fishers, waukin ! 

A' nature's blythe and gay- 
Bonnie flowers are bloomin* 

On mossy bank and brae. 
Wood and glen perfnmin' ; 

The mavis tak's the tree. 
The wind blaws saf t and steady. 

Then up and follow me — 
Ready, fishers, ready ! 

Bring the osier creel. 

Bring the rod and tackle, 
Bring the readv reel, 
' The woodcock wing and hackle 

Yonder flows the river — 

Troots in every eddy, 
Drop your flees like gossamer— 

Steady, fishers, steady ! 



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264 MODEUK SCOTTISH POETS. 

My mither flylM^ mr mitlfw^lfQWttCk 

For what, I dinna Ken ^ < 
AwJ »yeraJti(^«ajy^ *.y« glaikft,Ta8%^ 

Beware o' faittiless raoiif ,,., , 
They'll deave yer ^oung an' thochtless head 

\y.i',ip^By afloflr»ii*«lac!lfc*r.. ; . > ^ 
Be unco fair afore yef fMOki^ >- ^ ; ^ -^^ ^' > 

But lauch abinti 3fwr»«bdQki • 

Wr face asJaAgVa ^iowterjs, 

An' hangin , dooncast e>, / , 
They'll swear by a' the powers aboon, 

Thal4fS0/{yi«ra«^»*tai'frU^ee. < 

But, uiarK iu«»- rood thmn backwArdi; 

An' tak it a' audioes t » . , . . i ^ 
Their vows are like the ,weatbei«(xdE^'^/ 

That turns. t^Ony bfoeze. 

,•> ■ , ' ■■^■.••^■fi \ 
An' min' ye, Jean, ye're a* I ha'e, 

An' it looks na weiela^a J-. 
For n^f^st JaRSfM' eitaf)piif • -oot v h 

Whe^ nicht Winf tofa'u 
Tia better far to be atlMMOtr 

Aside yer spipaln* wheel, ' 

Than clishmaclaverin'oDvtha road 

Wi' ilka weirdless chiel. 

I tell yfe*t tot yer eqid, Jean, ^. 

An' dinna glancq «n* gloora, ^ ^ ;' • ' 
Nor t^d^l^t^tli^^^<)«k»f^there 

Wi' face as soot's a |)166tti;^ ';• 

Amither'slbVfe'lA'^rdngr, Jtiatfr^V ' ,.. 

An' my auW^heart can feel ; V. : - 
Sae bide at %ato«H^ngr\>o^ ntte tnair . 

An mind ^er ftphAfn'^wteel. V ,/' 



"THE FAUSB tO.VE ANI> iTRUE." 

** A gowpeipi q!. ^Qwd fkpd. fai^ieis ,pi^w, 
And a hatni^ in a l-rdly .* Ic^^W* ' t 

And, servants to beck .an4 boo aI my ca', 
Aiid saft dbqp.Jb^^t^ t(> 9)e9W', i?^.; ^ 

I spurn yer offer S^r Roderick' Grahame, , 
Yer fleetchin is ia'-in -vain ; ". , . 

Wad ye mak'>!BWt tewJL^f^ tnjnaiiie^! 
And cringe lik«l a.hcnkadiinlii chain ? 

'"'< ■''■• '' '-i v ■ ■•''■' ''''tV- ■ ''' ^^''"* 
Wha slichted the.lwa q* Ferme,3]giwer» 
And Jean o' th^ H^^inP^JU ,, ,'j 



y(pOOgle 



JAMBS CHRISTIB. 

Wha slew this fiincliV it ifid&in^s honr, 
As he drank at the, ** Maiden W^eU **^ , ,. 

Wha brak tibir^hflavtio' ISavr <^3^ i< >^1 
The flower o* the Boreland Glen ? 

Y0P«ll«ek ffNTMiB^ei, iflitd itr)efePt€ mKy, 
Forthaetti»ib't&ei*bWtWlylM9tf;^ - ' ., 

Young Jamie the landi^deaiiio me $ i'^ 

Health emilea' on bis manly broo : > > 

I Uve in the hekrfcD^rhivHkwi) |dtie»iAB) < ' 

For hirvfaeavbiike jhii flrwordiktmei '■ 

.h'ji I •': >Iirii -'>:!*>■ n /r?.t /.. 
Then awa, fause lord, nae lander bide ; 

iYiqr ffowd^aad yecgear awa^} -' u'<^ </- '■ 'f 
Acos7biel*QaF;ih6fQMeli:Mll«iid«>i '^'^t ni 

Wa{>Jalili«M«Bairttfa«iaV ' i 

To Thet3^1efa^le*ti« r^ijalif^tomiiQ laaaje; C|, l^ ' 
The flowers are blooming fair, bonnie lassie," v; ; 

And 'ne^fchtbehaaj^lji^wptWtvi [. -t'^irhr - o.- f 
»«, ,^y,ilkaVe Mii^ee^,,, ■...„^ . .. ^^^i .,; f»,,/ 
III bosk ye lu6e j^ ^^fSH poi^niC! .lassie, 0. 

The laveroc)c sings fu*'8W6dt,,b9ti1Ji.ie1^,<^0^ 
Am from the " dewy "weet.** boniife mBJle^ O; . 
He mounts on qui v'rm* wa^' ' ' i ' " '' .. . r r ' / 
Where io^^deh bJdtiaiets^JiiSS,. '' V : ' ' 
To hail the smiliii* spi^itlg; bonnid lassie, 0. 

We will wander by thes^r^SAij; bonnie lassicL 0, 
That flows like suiwjJww^ ,t«?Pi«ftJ*lfi^ 
^d through iAe>^J5^IL|sftj|<,K- r) 

Where geni^.JiNcee^ blavjr, f ,,. u^n.„[ mH " 
We'llrlipJ,^e,ipe!8.pa?n^ ,. . 

Then haste and coift^lMWk'^.Wni^aftM ,j 

And^mna M^ w^ na,. Wnpi^ }ajs}ft,0 ;■, 

A' 
Baithi 



(\iiS: 



For wjtl^QQ^.»our.wil^^^ .,,,, ,,v ,. 

A IJimg waO^wrl^fls^be, ft.-^,u r a. i^. ^ 

ith streamlet, flower, and tree, bonnie lassie, O. 



imriiig lias gane^rf ite Bihi 
a the summer's sunnv glo 

autumn hasblesa'd^tbi^ go 

Till our^garnerar overffo^ *^ 



The smriiiglias gane^rf ite Bihilecralid teari^ 

Ana the summer's sunny glow, -, ^ 

And autumn has bless'd'th^ gdMeti M^k'!-' ' 

Therusset^vea-ihljli^e 8W6ekiiti^Wa»t^; •^'!'" 
Wfarftfrae the forest trees, ^• 



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266 MODSRir soomsH pobtb. 

While onrlers fi:reet wi* welcome meet 
Their King frae the frozen seas. 

The hills are wreathed in a sheet o' snaw, 

And the little bnmies hushed, 
That lately, bricht in their siller sheen, 

Wi* fairy music sashed ; 
The sky is swath'a in a leaden hue, 

And the day has a misty e*e. 
But the curler's cup of jov rins ower 

By tiie roaring rink ana tee. 

! sweet is the broom in its tassell'd gold 
On the mossy bank and brae. 

Where the lintie*s love-lilt saftly blends 

Wi' the bhickbird's melting Uy ; 
But the buskit broom in the winter-tide 

Has a greater charm to me, 
When soopin the rink that the laggard stane 

May rest by the magic " tee." 

When winter davs are snell and cauld. 

And ice like the north wind keen. 
We'll ply the game wi' a hearty wiU 

Frae peep-o'-day till e'en ; 
Then snuglv met at the smoking board, 

Wi' social crack and glee. 
Well croosely sing o' oor vict'ries won, 

And pledge the ** Rink and Tee." 

SONG. 

My auld-farrant mither wid say 

(A weel-tae-dae body she rankit), 
'* Be honest, and eident, and thrifty. 

That nane may say *boo ' to your blanket."* 

This kindly advice o' nnr mither 
Has a' through my life to be thankit. 

For I've aye kept the " croon o* the causey," 
And nane can say '^ boo " to my blanket. 

1 married when jist a bit lassie ; 

What I brew'<( uncompleenin', I drank it ; 
We liv'd but a wee while thegither, 
Tet nane could say ** boo " to my blanket. 

I didna sit doon and lament ; 

My f eelin's cauld care never fankit ; 
Licht hearted I wrooht late and e'er, 

"That nane could say " boo " to my blanket. 

*The saying '* Nane can say * boo * to my blanket," meanA that no one 
can cast any repruach on m«. 



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K, M. FBRGUSSON. , 267 

I hae a cot boose o* my ain, 

A htinner notes tae I hae bankit ; 
I*ye a bite and a sonp for the needni', 

And wha oan say *^ boo ** to my blank et ? 

TO THE DEVON. 

Stream of m^ childhood, 

Deathless in son^^ — 
Through moorland and wildwood 

Winding along ; 
Kissing the wild flowers 

On meadow and hill, 
Brushing the hazel bowers, 

Turning the mill. 
Onward in gladness, 

Placid and slow ; 
Now leaping in madness. 

The chasms below. 
Foaming and raving, 

Like giant in war ; 
Now peacefully laving 

Grey boulder and scaur. 
Stream of the mountains, 

Joyous and free. 
Bright are the fountains 

That murmur to thee ^ 
From lone glen and come. 

And moss-covered height, 
Thev flash in a elorv 

Of beauty and light. 
My own native river. 

Deathless in song, 
Dreamlike for ever. 

Flow singing along. 



ROBERT MENZIES FERGUSSON, M.A., 

BELONGS to a family in seyeral of whose 
members poetic genius has asserted itself. 
His father, the late Rev. Samuel Fergusson, minister 
of the parish of Fortingall, Perthshire, was the author 
of the well-know volume entitled ** The Queen's Yisit, 

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268 MODBRN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

aM other Poems." ''Mj'yfei^liu&on is also related to 
the Gaelio singer, Dugal^.A^M^hf^xsA) U^Hieam^moTy ot 
whom a memorial '^Sc^ixBteiic^-^wifilB- hit^W ^ected at 
Strathtyre., T,^rmb«f^%M'M'M^dder» 
was the dwening-plaoe of his ancestors. 

.Mr Fergusson y^ ^^r^ iii^ ^^ n^fk|ise at Fortingall 
in 1859. He recei^ed^JbW ffi^^Ji^^Jif^ of his educa- 
tion at the public sc^o^otiminJloj^i. Thence, in the 
autunm of IM^^Jfhd'Webt^ 'ta"Edtolijd?gh University, 
at which he gradu^Ji^,.^.;Mt^^^^ From that 

time tiU now he haaiiflttiAied.rtheologV at 8t Mary's 
College, St Andrews^'' '^;^JI'J^^^;J? ' 

While a student at i^ UrMverjsAlgr *of Edinburgh, 
Mr Fergusson oooasion«lly ^wrote* short pieces for 
Professor Blackie. '''Tli^^J^^ translations 

from Greek and Latin\jlp^^4)i(iXbo.< learned and ver- 
satile Professor duriBj^^/thlp*'1iim^'|h^ occupied the 
Greek Chair did jm^^i^^ spirit in 

several members Q^j^KuafiSds,! and being a genuine 
" Son of Song " himsetf^Jb^r'^^il^ to encourage 
any youthful aspif4A^°^'l{jJ,,^!?^gj^^ was one of 
the competitors foB th^wpm^^pcjlemiin the class of 
English Literati^;' )iiUd?th(]^jg#'ii!a4\iQoessful— there 
bemg but one prize ^^^v^jQ^T^j^i^dpoem was highly 
commended by Professor' Ma^9(9n» '"Flk several years 
he has been a contribu6^J^^^^4jti(^6,^^ UniverHty 

Qua/rt&rly and other m,^g«u^|kai9MirjBiai;hief work, ho\( - 
ever, is his volume of '^ Eambling Sketches in the Far 
North" (London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. ; Edin- 
burgh: Menzies&Co). M:8>ayofthese were originally 
contributed to the columns of the Fifeshire Jottmaly 
and consist of a series of poetical pieces, describing 
the m^anners.Mid cwp;(»m9,, aud.cnrjafcaUi^^ 
tory 4Srofhkii<fe bf^^tKe' remitSi-^ifghl^ 
pectt^ijftr ])j9aY,tie^^ ^^*^W ^lafl^^8>fti|^l^|'et " 






.n<L / -K A 



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' .Y /. U. ^i ^' .'T^^^^W;) / (. 1 - 269 

Mr Fergfmftsoii's "Verse in Ter7''clifa(8te,''ahd 6eEf>ef^ 
of htt^o^m^iiiaica^fe'cbnslABrftbTe i>lril6te^fc fiiSlglit. 
.Tfaxpiu^h a.tnttin}?i9r.io(f hi$)BOiig(» the Al^teatiye^eaiviflM 
discern a note of the melancholy that characterized the 
genifiiigiatfse ifthfe bbuhtry in' WMctf he liVe^r "tfte 
rhythmiemi «^deiideriand touting 'pAtheeof 'f^es^ Hi^ 
sufficieht' to cahfire ti^at^' to '** spritTg 'dtifeld&eli* tWm 
jjhe^^.^oxv^ej!/, : 3J^;tengR^^,Qf *k^.poi9t it^alw^ys 
elegant and musical, and we find in .all that ha^been 
fittbinftted'^fo* 'otir tf6ii8i&ratidii' mM'' dSHbacy of 
sentiment, and charming sweetness of thought. 

" Until the day break and shadows flee away." 

Man is weary, ever weary, waitinflr for some coming tinie, 
Add b'lldtenlbg f6r tbib^AtfOii^g of wume sweet and deep-ton6d 
ohime. 

gha^ fof the fancied ^^x^M df thtf betlt^ days to be. '^ ' ' ^^ 
l^en the jih^ows will be scattered, and the captive Wui hfi fre^. 

See him dreaming of a kingdom where each man will 4w the 

same, . 

Free and tM)tt&I; iif<d'GaI)«d brdt]l^eni--brd!th^^y In tm ailii^. 

There he fancies truth will triumph, and the right will role 

■ 'floprenke^' : • ■■•-.■ t .-■' -. t-.-,.. 

But, alas ! 'tis all a fancy, and no better than a dream. - • '-. 

..-..• ■''.'.,. •;<: n ...Ml': "..-"^v'^ ■; > J> >' I i /< -.ti ».' 

If the world is to be better, let us strive to make it so. 

And nptcwastaionntiine^and taleata: ftUiqiidieamiiig imr^MQ0l 

Man must work and fight in earnest Against the passions of his 
heart, . . : ^ , . 4 ■ . •' •••''•'.•,'• '; • 

If b<^^^Yer i^e^as tbcoi^quer, ^d perfb^^^^ . 

It is not by class or faction that the rights of man will sway, 
But by every patty Worklngif or the obihi6g of ithbt day. 

When the noble and the simple will be in the selfsame mood. 
And when both will tqpend their talente in the common cause of 
good. •' ■ . f •. -,• .- ... . ■ 

Then will be that "goo4 t;im« cpniiiiig'' when a ixian,qa« say he's 

free. 
When the shadows shall be scattered, and the world of Christ 

shall be. 



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270 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

"LONGING FOR THE MAY.*' 

At my window in the evening: I am sitting all alone, 
Weary with the task of study, thinking of some absent one ; 

While the gloaming stealing softly gilds the western hills with 

gold, 
Tripping o'er the smiling meadows and the far extending wold. 

But the session is not over, and my spirit longs for rest. 
Far from Academic studies, near the one that I love best. 

Weary with the glare of gaslight, students long for summer's 

sun. 
For the dajrs when Nature scatters wide her charms on every 

one. 

From the city with its pleasures, to the rustic village life. 
We would fain transport our fancy far from college care and 
strife. 

There, in peace beside the murmur of some rapid mountain 

stream. 
We would pass the pleasant moments as if life were but a 

dream. 

'Mid the charms of Nature's music we would roam, as students 

should. 
O'er the valley and the mountain, through the shadow of the 

wood. 

In the garden of creation we would chant a better tune. 
Where the streaks of golden sunlight and the silver of the moon 

Weave themselves in wreaths of glory, waiting for the coming 

King, 
Who will waken sweeter music than the melodies we sing. 



Then we see the coming goodness of the better days to be. 
When the clouds of error scatter, and the foes of mankind flee. 

In the future all is brighter, and the past is left behind. 

As the world is slowly conquered by the mighty force of mind. 

THE VIKING'S BRIDE. 
An Oboadian Ballad. 

In the cold grey dawn of an autumn day. 

As the sun peeped over the sea, 
A Norseman's bark sailed out of the bay. 
With the sails full set and all so gay, 

Away to the west went he. 



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B. M. FBBOUSSOK. 271 

Twas a Viking bold from the Norway shore. 

And a tall Sea King was he ; 
Bnt he sailed away to return no more, 
Nor to hear again its deep-toned roar ; 

For he sank 'mid the foam of the sea. 

The Orcadian Isles was the land he sought, 

And a royal bride to wed, 
Who was waiting now till the North wind brought 
To her watching eyes— that looked for nought— 

The sight of the Dragon Head. 

And this brave Sea King, with his crew so gay. 

Were as happy as men could be ; 
For they left their shores at the break of day. 
And they cheered their friends as they passed the bay, 

And steered for the open sea. 

As their hearts were light, and their bark was tight, 

And their limbs so stout and strong, 
They would fear no foe nor the dark wHd night, 
As they steered their bark by the pale moon's light, 

But sang this Orcadian song :— 

"The sea is wild and free, my boys, 

The sea is wild and free. 
And o'er the back of the ocean wide 
We steer our barks by wind and tide, 

And sing aloud in our glee, my boys. 

And sing aloud in our glee. 

Weplay with the foam of the deep, my boys. 

We play with the foam of the deep, 
That ffleams in the light of the moon so bright. 

And sinks with the stars to sleep, my boys, 

And sinks with the stars to sleep. 

We fish at the turn of the tide, my boys. 

We fish at the turn of the tide. 
And whisper low, while the breeases blow, 

Of the girl that's to be our bride, my boys, 

Of the girl that's to be our bride. 

Ob. we are happy and gay, my boys. 

Oh, we are happy and gay, 
We love to sail with breeze or gale, 

And then return to the bay, my boys, 

And then return to the bay." 

When the music ceased there arose a gale 

That became a hurricane blast, 
And the cheek of the Norse sea king turned pale 
As he heard the sound of the ocean's wail. 

And saw the bending mast. 



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With • shriek and mo^^ all t^e^hrfmds wica i^i, 

And the mast went b\y. ;the mdew ... ^ . . ,.. . 
While the braye. BfowfMp^n 'neath ti)e billows went 
With their bark, and all that the king had sent 
Todeok.hUbonB^bi!ide. 

^dyn -i • i'tti'f I'.iv *. i*l* i ■ * .. • '. 

In a JttlMionie; te » loflQp.'low«r, . < . . . v 

Sits a maid by Orebdii%«e%t i ^i: 
And she weeps and sighs from honr to hour 
For th*»Viking boM to c!«ni her dower, 

But he sleeps in the moaning sea.. 

AN ORc'aDIAiNm€RADLE SONCK 

Cnddle-dpon. tae ipammie ; 
7VQwi98* oann^tak' tboo, 
..,HwlM<9ba,.lamnwe.,. 

Me bonnie peerief bird, 

Sleepin'lnnvi^^osi^i 
Wee mannie speak a word, 

Pirrin'mnoo f^e.CQsif. 

Ba, ba^ p^rie Ving^ :. . 

Sleepabonman%ppMa ; . . 

Tho'll sleep an' ril^, 
. ^ rMfclmi' ksstokift happy. 

.i|^4qv^ fi8hin».i':tbe«a,, .{. 
.CutqlMn' jOCMt wi' iierrin'j 
Bringin' hameihisfiah iae thee« 
Tae me sonsie bairn. 

Ba, ba. lamie.Dpo» >.: ., 

Cfidajl^ doon tae mammie ; 
l^wies oanna tak' thoo, . 

Hushie bn^, ]ammie^ ..;;«c:r..ji 

*Trow8, the filrtek of Orcftdkn ttop^tttion. 
iPeerU, small, wee. ' 

tA natee applied to a little girl in; Orlcnay. > 
ITDiminutive^tf ^w. . 



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JAMBS WILKIE. 273 



JAMES WILKIE 

•JIYnj AS hotH Sii Musselburgh in td62. He was 
VL\H educated at the High School of Edinburgh, 
where he studied English under the ttitei t>T John M. 
Boss, the distitogiiifihed scholar and writer. In his 
seventeenth y^ftr he entered the University of Edin- 
burgh, where, in 1879-80, he gained a prize and first 
class hononrsi in Ehetoric and English Literature. 
Having studied' Logic, Metaphysics, and Moral 
Philosophy, Mt Wilkie has now entered on d (Sburse 
of training for th^ legal profession^ His first printed 
verses (on ''I>0e8id&") were written at Braemar, 
and contributed ih the Olasgow Weekly Citi%en. He 
has since conti^ibuted, both prose and verse, to 
Chambers's JckJvrhiMy Blitsgdw Herald, People^ s Friend, 
Fifeshire Jowrnal, Norfh JBritisK Advertiser, &c. 

Mr Wilkie is the writer of ' ^ Notes from the Modem 
Athens," in FifeMire fowrnal. These articles have an 
excellent literary tone about them, and are full of 
information, presented in an instrtteMTe and pleasing 
stylo. We regret being able td giv6 only two 
specimens of his verse. These show decided promise 
— refined sentiment, and |rare and elevated thought — 
and hold out hopes that our poet will produce some- 
thing of high quality. 

A LULLABY. 

Best thee, the daylight has gone from the vaUey, 
Night from the eastward is gliding again ; 
Duskv shades lurk in each tree-woven alley, 
Slumber will rule in the night's dark domain. 
Rest thee, then, rest thee, western winds sigh ; 
Night voices chant lullaby, lullaby. 

Best thee, the lake murmurs faint in its dreaming, 
Stirs like a child that has visions of joy ; 
And Venus in radi&nce effulgent is beaming, 
Guarding from aught that thy rest could destroy. 
Best thee, then^ rest thee, western winds sigh ; 
Night voices chaAt lullaby, lullaby. 



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274 MODBRN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

A€st thee, sleep on till tbe Krey dawn is stealing, 
And the star of the morning is fainting in light ; 
Sleep till the mist armies, breaking and wheeling, 
Flee from the hill with the going of night. 
Rest thee till morning breaks, western winds sigh ; 
Night voices diant Imlaby, lullaby. 

THE VOICE OP THE NIGHT WIND, 

Softly and plaintively, oool from the monntains. 
From oavern halls where the dim twilight sleeps, 
Waking to loader song, brooklets and fountains. 
When the daylight is dying on sunkiss^ steep, 
Comes forth the night wind rustling and sighing. 
Chanting the dirge of the day that is dying. 

Dim lies the lake in the hour of the gloaming, 
Mystery haunteth each tree-covered isle. 
Far off the gleam of the white cascade foaming, 
Night winds to love and to song would beguile ; 
Still in the reeds the night wind is sighing. 
Chanting the durge of the day that is dying. 

What is there else that the night wind is telling, 
Whispering low in the pines on the hills ; 
Sighing and sobbing, anon ever swelling, 
Melody mingling with song of the rill ? 
What IS the secret the night wind is sighhug. 
Ebbing and flowing when daylight is dying ? 

Many a fragment of eerie tradition, 

Many a tale of love that is true, 

Many a legend and old superstition. 

Told in the time of the failing of dew. 

These are the songs that the night wind is singing. 

When dark pinioned night from the eastward is winging. 



DAVID BRUCE, 

XTKE the late Bobert Tennant, is a postman and 
a melodious poet. The son of a working shoe- 
maker, he was born at Cupar Fife in 1860. Being 
the fourth of ten children, and his father's weekly 
wages never exceeding ten shillings, his early edu- 



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DAVID BBUCB. 275 

cation ^as scanty. At ten years of age lie was sent 
to learn the trade of a tailor, and on completing liis 
apprenticeship he went to Glasgow, where he resided 
for several years. He returned to Coupar in weak 
health, hut daily walks hy his ^* ain bumside " 
brought back his wonted strength, and not being 
particularly fond of tailoring, he applied for a situation 
in connection with the post-office, and was appointed 
one of the letter-carriers in his native town, which 
situation he at present holds. 

When our poet went first to Glasgow, he knew 
nothing of grammar, and '* blushed at the sight of 
his own signature, " but by dint of diligent practice he 
was soon able to write a good hand, and also mentally 
improve himself. Mr Bruce has contributed verse 
with much acceptance to the columns of the Fife 
Herald and other newspapers. He sings in the praise 
of local scenery with much sweetness, and his mis- 
cellaneous poems show neatness of phrase, pleasing 
thought, and freshness of imagery. 

THE CITY OP THE SAD. 

(Snggested by a walk to a Lnnatio Asylam.) 

A strange weird stillness chains the earth and sky ; 
A gloom han^ over flower, and field, and wood ; 
A mystic thrilling dims the mind's quick eye, 
Deepening the solitude. 

Whence came that hollow, wild, unearthly yell 

That wakes the solemn echoes of the lonely wood ? 
The echoes die ! and gathering fancies tell 
The wreck of womanhood. 

Perhaps the voice that shrieked that ghost-like sound 

Hatn mourned a mother from a father's hearth — 
With fondest love hath decked the grassy mound 
That gave to madness birth. 

Or else she may have loved with fondest faith 
Some secret one the world may never know, 
Till disappointment with its blighting breath 
Changed joy to bitter woe. 



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276 MODJfiBK BGOmSH POSTS. 

Agtdn I she may have sought her blessed Lord 

To liffht her darkened soqI and make her glad. 
Till growing weary, flnng aside His word, 
And thus, aliu ! gone mad. 

Now fttfol fancy's fevered train of thought 

Hunts after reasom throngh the brain^ gUb oell 
In vain, to find 'midst senses over-wrought 
Some settled spot to dwelL 

Oh, noble man ! oh, woman, gentle, mild. 

Essence of thought sublime and liffht of love ! 
Oan there remain in yon, e'en as a child, 
A sense of Him above, 

Who stills the storm> and makes the calm appear^ 

Restores to life the dost that fills the urn, 
lAfta up the fallen, dries the widow's tear, 

And comforts them that moom ? 

Silence is the only answer. Earth and sky 

Share in the gloom o'er flower, and field, and wood, 
A mystic thrillmg dim's the mind's quick eye, 
Beep'ning the solitude. 

Weird whisperings bid me quit this lonesome wait. 

Nor ever grieve too much, nor be too glad, 
Lett it may lead me to this gloomy gate— 
The City of the Sad. 

GIN I HAD A LAD 0' MY AIN. 

Oh, dowie's the cosy fire en'. 
An' sair 'tis to toddle alane. 
An' see ilk bit lassie I ken, 

Wi' her laddie out sportin' at e'en. 
Can it be that my beauty is puir ? 
Can it be that I canna behave ? 
Oh, I kenna the cause or the cure. 
But I wish I'd a lad like the lave. 
Oh, gin I had a lad o' my ain, 

T wad gie him a heart fond an' true, 
I wad kiss him and cuddle him fain. 
Gin I had a laddie to lo'e. 

There's Sandy the miller, next door, 

I aft think his wealth will be mine. 
For the laddie ance asked me afore. 

An' he's maister o' twa mills sin' syne. 
I buy a' my meal frae his mill, 

An* I get a' my milk frae his kye, 
An' I never said a word, guid or ul. 

That wad gar him be keen to gang by. 
But gin I had a lad o' my ain, &c. 



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DAVID BBUCB. 277 

There's Jamie, the pride o* the toon, 

Wha sae moidest and bonnie as he ? 
Hip amile ilka sorrow can droon, 

An' sweet blinks his brioht haeel e'e. 
He has horse, he has hens, aod a qney, 

A bit land, and an acre o' grass ; 
'Od, I think I wiU lie in his way. 

An' gie 'im a bit smile as I pass. 

For gin I had a lad o' my ain, &c. 

An* there's Johnnie, a fine, decent chield, 

He^has sax bunder sheep in the fauld, 
He is laird o* a fine cosy bield, 

An' bis mither, pair body's, growin aold. 
I oonld help her to bake an' to wash. 

Keep the boose snod, while Johnme an* me 
Could deed her an' keep a* her cash, 

And cheer her auld heart till she dee. 
But gin I had a lad o' my ain, &c. 

But S^dy, an* Jamie, an' John, 

An^ mony braw laddies I see, 
Wi' their lasses gang aft doon the loan. 

An* there's no ane left looking for me. 
Sae I fear I maun toddle my lane, 

Sin' I've juppin' sae far ower my teens, 
Staff in hand to some garret abune - 

Wi' a cat an' a parrot lor frien's. 

But gin I had a lad o' my ain, ko. 

FIFE, AN* A' THE LANDS ABOUT IT. 

The Hielands brag o' war-like clans. 

And rugged rocks whaur eagles shelter, 
High tow'rin' hills an' deep dark glens, 

Wbaur torrents rush out helter-skelter ; 
But tow'rin' Bens and dark ravines 

Are free to them whase love can suit it ; 
I wadna tak' their boasted scenes 

For Fife or ae bit land about it. 

What though o* clans they brag an' blaw. 

And wild-like scenes ; nane e'er saw ony 
Sicht half sae grand, here or awa*. 

Than Howe o* Fife, sae braid an' bonnie. 
Nae heather trash, or torrents ra^h. 

But peace and plenty, dinna douot it. 
For eident hands mak' fertile lands 

O' Fife an' a' the lands about it. 

Adown the hills rin bonnie rills, 

Wi' here and there a oosv clachan. 
While flooers an' grain wbilk fill the plain 

Send sunshine owre her landscape lauchin', 



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278 MODBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

WV busy mills an* weel-filled mines, 
She wanels throngh an' ne'er 'ill moot it. 

But keeps hersel*, an' brichter shines 
Auld Fife an' a' the lands abont it. 

Wha hasna heard o' Cam'ron Brig, 

Or Leven saut and Markinob sabies, 
Or ancient houffs whaar ye may dig 

For kings that moulder in her abbeys. 
Though scant o' cash, 'twill thole nae snash 

Frae ither lands that try to doot it, 
But firm defies a' wha'd despise 

Bauld Fife or ae bit land about it. 

Sae though thev brag o' lonely tarns 

An' passes wud wi' nature's bounties, 
"The mngdom's " dens, her braes, her bums 

Wad deck the brawest norland counties ; 
Her fields are fair — I'll tell jrou mair — 

The nation couldna dae without her ; 
Sae joy an' health, long life an' wealth, 

To Fife an' a' the folk about her. 



SLEEP. 

Blest messenger of peace. 
Soul of some cause divine. 
Say what strange spell of magic power 
Steals gently through the lonely nonr 
And binds our hearts to thine. 
No earth-born force 
Dare stay th^r course, 
Nor man's inTentive mind faint trace thy silent source. 

All beasts that live and die 
On earth, in air, or sea — 
The soldier on the battle-plain, 
The sailor on the troubled main. 
Find rest and peace in thee. 
Yea 1 lions wild 
Thou hast beguiled, — 
Kind nature yields to thee, and thou art nature's child. 

For thee, when revels o'er. 
Much would the gay forego— 
The poor and lonely nnd in thee 
An oil to calm life's troubled sea. 
For thou canst conquer woe ; 
Grief flies away. 
And 'neath thy sway 
Earth's gloomy night is lost in Heaven's eternal day. 



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ALBZ. W. BUCHAN. 279 

For then what dreams arise, 
To dazzle mortal sight, 
« Celestial peace with friendship blends, 
There love is law, there sorrow ends 
While pure, and calm, and bright ; 
High Seraphim 
And Cherubim 
Around God's Holy Throne chant an immortal hymn. 

Then guardian of our souls 
Clasp thou our erring hands, 
Oh ffuide us to our Father's side, 
And lead us not where sinners hide. 
And Satan, tempting, stands ; 
From sin's increase 
Grant thou release. 
Great Captain of our cares, oh germ, oh fount of 
peace ! 

Descend celestial dove, 
My weary eyelids close. 
Come from the regions of the blest. 
And 'neath thy wmgs I'll softly rest 
Deep in thy soul's repose. 
While world's roll ' 
From pole to pole. 
Till death steal gently on, and soothe my longing soul* 



•^r- 



ALEXANDER WINTON BUOHAN. 

mYESHIEE has long been the land of song, and 
while none can approach its royal bard, still 
many have trodden diligently his footsteps, animated 
by somewhat of his inspired energy, and refreshing 
themselves with invigorating draughts from the 
perennial wells by the way. We have repeatedly 
shown that the race of singers has not disappeared, 
and we now have much pleasure in introducing to 
our readers a name that will live as one of the 
most thoughtful and sweetest of the Ayrshire poets. 

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.280 MODJBBN 80033189 'PQBTS, 

Alex. Winton Buchan, th& author of the well- 
known poem "The Song of Rest" — a poet of 
strong imaginative powers, and whose productions 
are often adorned with ioiageB of rare poetic beauty 
— was bom at Kilmarnock in 1814. He was the 
only remaining son of honeat working people, and re- 
ceived a good education. His mother, who had fine 
literary tastes, died whem h^ was about thirteen, and 
at the early age of seventeen he became a teacher. 
He did not, however, deliberately choose teaching as 
a profession, but rather w^s genUy cirawn into it. A 
neighbour, we are told, having been spoken to by 
several farmers who were on the outlook for a 
teacher for the " Side School " at XTnderhills, in the 
parish ofCraigie, said — ** there is a nice lad ower 
the street that would answer you fine." Mr Buchan 
was offered the situation, and, humble as it was, he 
gladly accepted it, thinking tliat, f/s his health was 
noc good, the bracing air of the country would act 
bene^iciaUy. 

In a series of excellent sketches of the "Irvine 
Poets " appearing in the Mspress of that town, by, 
we understand, the Eev. W. B. R. Wilson, an 
esteemed minister at Dollar, we are told that 
so precocious was the intellectual development 
of our poet that he seems to have "stepped at 
once from the position of a pupil to that of a 
" master ! '' In this situation Mr Buchan remained 
for two years, when he removed to Kilmar^ock, 
where he proved himself a very successful teacher, 
and thence, when not yet twenty-one years of age, 
he was invited to a school at Irvine, which he con- 
ducted from 1838 to 1843, when, through his fame 
as a teacher, he was appointed to St James's Parish 
School, Great Hamilton Street, Glasgow. Her^ he 
taught with much success for fifteen ye^rs, .^fter 
which he removed to the west end of the city, and 
'X)nducted for other fifteen years Wei^t Regei^t (Street 



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9,vA Bat^i S^eet kc9,i^my. As illuatrating his energy 
fuid love of culture, it ^ould b^ mentioned that while 
connected with S.t Ja^mes's Slchool, and prosecuting 
his laboprio.us dutiQ9 fis a.teao^^jr, he attemded the XTni- 
yersitj, if^k 9II the usual art classes, axMl fulfilled the 
regular cojUege curriculum Qf four sessions. HeSias 
pow retired from the active duties of his profeesiony 
and enjojs a weU-eamed repose in the plefusant town 
of SatlteQi9^|l;s. Hore Mr Bucban ocoa^onally oulti* 
vates the muse — in his own wQrds '* he hums away 
still". — and enrichejs **the poet's comer" of the 
newspapei:9 by IHb more recent productions. 

Mr Bvchan first appeared as an author in 1866, 
when he published the '' Song of Best^ and other 
Poems." rthU wprk met with sneh an enooiuraging 
reception that in 1873 he was induced to follow it up 
with a dramatic poem entitled ** Esther" — a poem 
which; although pidrhaps not so popular as his mis- 
cellaneous and less amilntions verges, i^hows that the 
author is not pi^y well read in bis subject, but that 
he has also the ipower, to a considerable degree, of un- 
folding S|hades of (^aracter^ and develo|iling fliem in 
action. Throi^hout the ppqm there is a grave and 
dignified t<me, ^and the thoughts are often adorned 
with images of rare beauty. , **Tl;ie Song of Best" 
pictures in beautiful colours the life a£ man from 
childhood to old age, following him through all the 
chequered scenes of earth, through all his failures 
and successes, his trials and joys, and thxo:ugii 
all his wanderings, until he reaches the home of 
peace — ^the high eternal rest. While there are 
scattered throughout it the traces of deepest feeling 
and the expressions of loftiest aim, the characteristic 
tone of the whole is that of a subdued well-regulated 
spirit which has passed through m,any a varied ex- 
perience, and has at length foujad rest In the beauti- 
ful, the good, and the true. There are many 
passages giving signs of the warm heart and true 



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282 MODBBK SCOTTISH POSTS. 

motive in the aU-important labour of educating the 
young. We have touching memories of the happy 
days of childhood and old school companions, and as 
it is difficult to give quotations from a poem of such 
length without destroying i(8 unity, and interfering 
wim the skill and imaginative strength of the poet, 
we must content ourselves by showing the natural 
ease and grace with which he depicts the scenes in 
the playground of a country school during the time 
set apart for recreation. 

" Happy forms are there, 
Clear voices ringing through the summer air ; 
Life, hope, and health, and wit with endless freak. 
And rosy laughter, with his dimpled cheek 
And shaking sides, clapping his joyous hands, 
AU heedless of the schoolroom's stern commands. 
Their brows are shaded by no cloud of care ; 
The fragrant breezes wave* their glossy hair ; 
Their satchels, from their willing backs unbound. 
Lie with their caps upon the welcome ground. 
Some spin the top, some strike the bounding ball. 
Some tig and run, some ride upon the wall, 
Some dart the marble with unerring aim. 
While others, stooping, watch the skilful game ; 
Some overleap a comrade bending low. 
Some give and take in sport the frien<Uy blow. 
Their happy spirits sparkle in their eyes, 
fiound in their limbs, and echo in their cries. 
No errors past wake up repentant tears. 
No coming sorrow calls for present fears ; 
Their hearts are busy and their thoughts are free, 
Joy wings this hour, the next they do not see." 

In the more popular department of lyric literature 
Mr Buchan has produced several songs expressing 
with the utmost simplicity and tenderness the pathos 
of the domestic life of the humble classes. Mr 
Wilson, in his sketch already alluded to, says Mr 
Buchan's ''poetic vocabulary is copious, his expression 
always dear, and sometimes sweet and strong, while 
his versification, always correct, is not seldom also 
marked by a subtle and pleasing melody." We en- 
tirely agree with this estimation ; and these features 
come out perhaps more strikingly in his minor poems 



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ALEX. W. BUOHAy. 283 

and songs. Ocoasionallj our poet shows a happy 
yein of pleasantry and quiet humour ; and when he 
chooses to make use of the Scottish dialect, ifc is in 
the pure expressive Doric of the classic writers of the 
grand old speech. Altogether, in everything that 
Mr Buchan has written, there is evidence of a heart 
folly strung to give out the purest and tenderest tones 
of love, and faith, and Christian sympathy. In illus- 
tration of his themes, he brings materials gathered 
from within his own observation and experience, and 
in all his productions there is evidence of the true 
poet, lively imagination, a sound knowledge of poetic 
diction, beautiful and attractive imagery, and simple 
and unaffected language. 

MY HEART'S NO MY AIN. 

Awa' wi' thae offers o' goud and o' gear, 

And awa* wi' the love that sic offers can gain ; 
My heart is a jewel that oanna be ooft,— 

And mither, dear mither, my heart's ne my ain. 
The aold laird could mak' me a leddie, I ken,— 

But what were a carriage and silk gown to me, 
When wi' the young shepherd that wons in the glen 

Contented and happy I only could be. 

The bnrnie that wimples by yon castle wa* 

Sings saftly to me in my sweet gloamin' dream, 
But lang ere it reaches yon mist-cover'd hill, 

Its music is drown'd m the bisr roaring stream ; 
And sae the young lassie that blooms in the cot, 

Transplanted, would wither and fade in the ha' ; 
And her voice that sang blythe in her ain bonnie glens, 

In the struggle o* fashion, would soon die awa*. 

Ah. yes ! my poor bosom would weep were it ta'en 

Awa f rae these hills and these meadows sae green ; 
It would lang for the time when sae merry I sped 

To weir in the sheep in the calm summer e'en ; 
It would sigh for the wild flowers sae modest and pure. 

The gowospink and linnet that warble sae clear ; 
But oh, it would break when my memory brought back 

The young shepheni laddie that lo'ed me sae dear. 

But no ! I nhall never prove fause to my love— 
Do you see yon green shaw smiling gay in the sun ? 

My Sandy waits there in its close leafy shade — 
We trysted to meet when the day's wark was done. 



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V MODUUr SeOTflSH POSTS. 

^ awa' m* fchae offers o' gond and o' gear, 
AjQjl awa' wi' the love that sic offers can gain ; 

Myheart'is a je«^el that canna be coft, — 
Attd mair, my dear mither, my heart's no my ain. 

HAME IN THE MORNING GRAY. 

When Jamie came to woo and win — 

For win mv heart did he — 
Fiiae morn till e'en, at our house en', 

I wrought and sang wi' glee ; 
And now that we are man and wife. 

And the bairns are at my fit, 
J^ iTamie loe's me mair and mair, 
Anjd I sing the blyther yet. 

' Oh he sails south, and he sails north, 

In Irvine's bonnie bav, 
4nd takes the luck God sends, and hame 
He comes in the morning gray. 

Oh there they go, the fisher lads, 
Aiid t^iere the dark-sail'd boats, 
But Jamie's is the brawest craft 

On the kindlv wave that floats ; 
For I%ee it mair through a warm, true heart, 

Than through a cauldrife e'e, 
Aild love in the thing that it 'o'es weel 
Can nought but beauty see. 

Oh he sails south, and he sails north. 

In Irvine's bonnie bay, 
And eatoh he many, or oatoh he few, 
He's dear jln the morning g^ay. 

Tike Axran hills in the eloaming fade. 

And £be bonnie Heads o' Ayr, 
And Aisla Craig in his hazy plaid 

Has wrapped his breaeft sae bare ; 
While a gentle breeae frae the south comes up 

And earls the skinkling sea,— 
My lad will ha'e eood luck the nicht. 
Good luck for the bairns and me. 

Oh lie sails south, and he sails north. 

In Irvine's bonnie bay. 
And hame wi' a thousand three times told 
He'll come in the morning gray. 

Oh lie ye still, my sweet wee bird, 

Your sister's sound asleep, 
Aiid faither in his bonnie boat 

Bv the nets his watch doth keep ; 
He'U draw them syne, and libe silver fish 

Hell bring to vou and me ; 
For wi' the lave he'll ^et his share— 

And, there's plenty in the^ea. 



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▲LEX. Wv BCOHAN. 

So he aalls soath, and he saib northy 

In Irvine's bonnie bay, 
And oh that Heaven may bring him hame 

Aye safe in the morning gray. 



FREEDOM'S WAR-SONG. 

Brothers, patriots, sons of freedom, 

Heaven has brought the pray'd-for hoar ; 
Face to face we stand confronted 

By the bloody tyrant's power. 
Now the sword of righteous vengenanoe 

Quivers in the oppressor's eyes. 
Heralding his dread destruction 

Ere yon sun forsakes the skies. 

See the goddess Freedom beckoning, 

Mark the glory of her face. 
What prevents her sons from rushing 

Into her divine embrace ? 
Shall the coward* tyrant's legions, 

Ministers of death and woe ? 
Up and hurl the living barrier 

To its kindred shades below. 

Hark ! ^our country's voice indignant 

Swelling from her battle plains, 
" Shall the land where Freedom shelter'd 

Now degraded wear the chains? 
Shall the men whose freebom mothers 

Taught their infant lips to say, 
God and freedom, home and country. 

Grouch beneath a tyrant's sway ? ^ 

Grouch, — no never I by the birthright 

Which our noble sires have given, — 
Never I by our trembling children, — 

Never ! by our hopes of heaven. 
Draw the sword, then, and remember 

Heaven no second hour will give : 
Raise the watchword, ** Death or Victory !"- 

On — ^ye true hearts — strike and live t 

TO A CAGED SONG-BIRD. 

Sweet native of the groves and open sky. 
How comes it that within this narrow space 

Wire-fenced thou pout* 'at with tremulous energy 
A flood of melody, in which no trace 

Of sorrow falls upon my listening ear 

That thou hast lost thy liberty so deilr ? 



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286 MODBKN 800TTI8H POSTS. 

HMt thou f owot the green fields and the stream, 
The leafy glades, the boundless aroh of blue T 

And see'st thou never, even in springtide dreams, 
Thy dear-loved mate« maternally so true, 

Upon her nest, whiles from a neighbouring spray, 

Resting from husband-toil, thou sing'st thy lay ? 

Has nature faithless tutor'd thee to sing 
The songs of liberty in bondage vile. 

So making tyrannv a sweeten'd spring 
Of summer joy thy weakness to beguile, 

Thee having robb'd of all the heart doth prize. 

Home, friendship, love, earth's flowers of paradise ? 

If so, 'tis well ! And yet it is not well 
That free-bom life should learn to hug the chain ; 

Better, methinks, the prisoned heart should swell 
With noble rage, till, finding effort vain 

To 'scape the thrall, it break and cease to force 

Life's crimson tide along its weary course. 

But no ! the voice of nature is not dead 

Within thy frame ; for true to her soft hand- 
Soft as a mother's on her darling's head — 

Thy heart-strings thrill responsive with the band 
Of feather'd choristers that make the groves 
All resonant with music of their loves. 

When rosy-handed mom unbars the east. 
And earth and sea laugh into life and joy. 

Thou know'st the hour ; and, like a faithful priest, 
Arisest straight thy sweet gift to employ 

In praising Him who sits above the sky, 

But ever beckons earth to venture nigh. 

In spring and summer's love-awakening reign 
Thou feel'st thy bosom thrill with soft desires,— 

What is it else that makes thee dash in vain 
Thy little bill aprainst these cruel wires. 

And In the gloammg cower upon that spar. 

Like one from home and country banish'd far ? 

These shrill notes echoing from thy captive cell 
Are but a protest 'gainst the lawless power 

That placed thee there all hopelessly to dwell, 
Tom from thy mate and summer-builded bower. 

Yes ! strains of freedom sung in slavery 

The tyrant tell **The free-born should be free." 

I freedom love, and in her full defence 
Would boldly dare, if need were bravely die, — 

Sooth-are these wordisi->then under what pretence 
Keep I thee, linnet, from thy native sky ?— 



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ALBX. W. BUCHAN. 287 

I do thee wrong,— but oh 'tis love to thee 
That holds thee, now at least, in slavery. 

For captured in the woods — but not by me — 
Shut long within this oage, thy wing untried, 

Poor weakling were I now to set thee iree, 
Thou oouldst not winter's shivering blasts abide ; 

If spring were here I think I'd let thee go — 

When spring was here my tender fears said no. 

But pleased am I to note that thou hast come 

To know me lovingly, for when my nail 
I draw across the wires of thy cage-home. 

Galling thee Dick, poor Dick, thou dost not fail 
To answer with a chirp, and turn thine eye 
With sidelong glance upon me tenderly. 

Love is the element in which the heart 

Doth live and grow ; so, linnet, be at rest, 
And charm me with those notes, untaught by art, 

That I may learn to soothe the weary breast 
Of human nature with some poet strain. 
That, heard but once, shall never die a^^n. 

I, linnet, like thyself, am prisoner too 

Within this city, kept from year to year, 
All anxious to escape to taste a true 

Repose of mind *mong scenes to memory dear 
With my soul's mate, and with her meekly mourn 
** O'er joys departed never to return." 

There weeds in season, water from the spring, 
And grateful seeds toou shouldst have these in store, 

And when the sun his influence did fling 
Athwart the earth, outside my cottage door 

Thou wouldst outshower thy notes upon the air 

To swell the joy outbursting everywhere. 

But the great Father wills that we remain 

In this vast Babel yet a little while- 
To His decree we humbly say " Amen "— 

But anxious that on us His face may smile. 
Or here, or in that long'd-for rural rest, 
For then, and only then, we can be blest. 

So, linnet, sing meanwhile, and I shall dream 
Of trees and streams, of meads, of hills and dales 

Of rustic life, the poet s darling theme. 
Content that here where man's weak band prevails 

God keeps my love for nature pure and strong 

Even by my cagki linnet's simple song. 



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MODWiX SCOTTISH ^ATS. 

SBCRET SlGHS. 

Thejr are falling, falling round me, 

Like the leaves in Autumn's blast ; 
On the lovely boughs of Mendship 

My longing eyes I caist^ 
But I miss, ^ \ many a dear one. 

And hark t that doleful moan, 
Through the spectral branches sighing, 

** Thou wilt soon be left alone " 

Oh, tell me, Memory, tell me ! 

Can it be that I am old ? 
It seems but just like yesterday. 

Since I was brisk and bold 
Among my young companions ; 

But now I, startinff, find 
They have gone, ana left me standing 

In the whistling Autumn wind. 

They are falling, falling quickly— 

Do the children look at me. 
As I looked upon the old man's face. 

In tiiy days of childish glee ? 
I cannot, cannot think it, 

For my heart is tender still,. 
But then, where are my old friends 

nifeelnota^'^chiU? 

Oh, surely, I have wandered 

From the earth I knew of yore ; 
Then all was bright, behind, beside, 

But brightest still before ; 
Then, fairy music charmed the air. 

And day still chased black night,. 
And loving hearts were ever near 

To taste and give delight. 

But now, ah ! woe it is to think 

Begret, and loss, and fear. 
Are bearing sway around my path 

Throughout the weary year ^ 
Now gJoomy night o'er-rides the day, 

And sound is bnt a moan — 
My eft-put question echoing back, — 

•• Where are my old friends gone ? " 



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MBS S. MENTBATH. 289 

Thev pain me, those new faces, 

That stare and rush alon^ ; 
And *tis a language strange and oold 

I hear amid the throng ; 
Their jovs and griefs, I know them not, — 

And on ! they cannot tell 
The depth of sad and sparkling thought 

Which in my soul doth dwell. 

Dear friends !— how could vou leave me ? 

Oh. ye were good and fair. 
And bright, and blvthe, and quick, and true, 

And free from selfish care ; 
And I was full of trust and love, 

But yet I've lived to say : 
" Oh, strangers ! kindly took on me. 

My friends have fled away." 

Where have :^e hidden from me? 

Alas I and is it true 
That ye are sleening 'neath the shade 

Of cvpress and of yew ? 
Ah ! then, I Should be leaning now 

Upon the lettered stone 
That speaks your wurth, for, in this crowd, 

Indeisd, I am (done. 



''**|JP 



ME8 8TUAET MENTEATH. 

HLTHOUGH the heroic struggles of Wallace and 
of Bruce for freedom and independence can 
nerer be forgotten by Scotchmen, and while the re- 
membrance of their deeds will serve to nerve the 
patriot's arm, and continue to shine like beacon 
lights of liberty till latest time, still the more recent 
contendings of the Covenanters have, in some degree, 
withdrawn the gaze of the modem sons of freedom 

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290 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS, 

from the earlier heroes, to fix it on those who battled 
80 bravely for religions liberty : 

*' And now for them the poet's lyre 
Oft wakes iU notes of heavenly fire.*' 

Burns had a word to say on their behalf, so also had 
James Hogg, he doing so with power and pathos, 
both in his poetry and prose. James Gb'aham, in his 
beautiful poem ''The Sabbath," has sung of their 
undaunted deeds in strains that will neyer die. The 
harp of Cowper never gave forth a truer or a lofder 
tone than when he sung — 

"They lived unknown 
Till persecution dragfirect them into fame, 
And chased them up to heaven I" 

James Hyslop has breathed one short but deathless 
song in praise of Cameron and the slaughtered heroes 
of Airsmoss. William M*Dowall celebrates them 
quite as worthily in his ** Nithsdale Martyrs ;" and 
James Murray melts the heart and moistens the eye 
in his touching ** Songs of the Covenant Times ;" but 
the most sustained and truly noble poetic tribute 
which ha sever been laid upon their tombs is the one 
by the subject of this sketch. 

Mrs Menteath is sprung from one of the most 
worthy families of Wigtonshire, and is the youngest 
daughter of the late Major-General Agnew of Dal- 
reagle. She, however, was bom in London, where, 
and on the continent, she resided till she had reached 
the age of nineteen, and, till then, she knew nothing 
of the religious struggles of her country. At that 
time she made a long summer visit to her father's 
friends at Lochnaw Castle, in Wigtonshire, when a 
new world of thought opened upon her, and hence 
the burning fervour and the lofty enthusiasm with 
which she sings of our Covenanting ancestors. 

In 1841 she was united in marriage to Alexander, 
sixth son of the late Sir Charles Granville Stuart 



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MBS 8. MBNTEATH, 291 

Menteath of Closeburn and Mansfield, Bart. Shortly 
after, several spirited poems ^m her pen appeared 
from time to time in different publications, and were 
much and deservedly admired. 

In 1851, this gifted lady collected some of these 
poems, which with others, all commemorative of scenes 
and incidents in the Covenanting era, she published 
under the title of *'Lays of the Kirk and Covenant." 
These at once became popular. She is not merely 
the poet of the Covenanters, however, but is also a 
sweet singer of Nature and her boundless and num- 
berless beauties. The influence of the varied and 
delightful scenery of her ancestral Galloway (where 
she read Butherford's letters beneath the shadow 
of his own kirk wall of Anwoth) is largely 
seen and felt in her fresh and vigorous poems. 
The lone crest of the mountain ; the woods of summer 
green, with their dew-dripping branches ; the blue- 
bells by the brook ; the quiet valleys ; the grey 
mists creeping over the hills ; the clear and indes- 
cribable beauty of the light of the autumn morning ; 
the Hchen-covered stones which mark the martyrs' 
graves ; with ** the murmur loud and cadence low" 
of the never-silent sea, give visions of delight, and 
glow through her vigorous and harmonious verse. 

Notwithstanding a long life of exile on the con- 
tinent — at first for the health of her children, latterly 
for her own— Mrs Menteath has still a heart as 
warm as ever towards all that relates to Scotland and 
the Covenanting times. These circumstances have 
prevented her from publishing another volume, though 
the ''Lays" soon passed into a second edition, be- 
sides one or two in America. The work, however, 
has been out of print, and much sought after, for 
more than thirty years. We trust that it will not be 
long until a new edition is in the hands of the public ; 
and that to these will be added some of the poems 
which Mrs Menteath occasionally contributed to 



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292 MODBRN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

various periodicals. Our space will only permit of 
one quotation from 

THE MARTYRS OF WIGTON. 

Ay ! bonnie hills of Gallov^ay, the douds above ^e driven. 
Make pleasant shadows in your depthii, with glints and gleams 

of neaven ; 
And ye have fairy hidden lakes deep in your secret breast, 
Which shine out suddenly like stars, as sunbeams go to rest. 
And ye have dells and greenwood nooks, and little valleys still. 
Where the wild bee bows the harebell down, beside the mountain 

rill; 
And over all grey Caimsmore glooms — a monarch stern and 

lore, 
Though the heather climbs his barrenness, and purples half his 

throne. 

O I bonnie hills of Galloway, oft have I stood to see, 
At sunset hour, your shadows fall, all darkening on the sea ; 
While visions of the buried years came o*er me in their might — 
As phantoms of the sepulchre — instinct with inward light ! 
The years — the years— when Scotland groaned beneath her 

tyrant's hand, 
And it was not for the heather she was called the '* purple 

land," 
And it was not for their lovliness her children blessed their 

God, 
For the secret places of the hills— and the mountain heights 

untrod. 

Oh ! as a rock those memories still breast timers surging flood. 
Her more than twice ten torture years of agony and blood 1 
A lurid beacon light they gleam upon her pathway now, 
Thev sign her with the Saviour's seal— His cross upon her brow ! 
And never may the land whose flow'rs spring fresh from 

Martyrs* graves 
A moment parley hold with Rome — her minics — or her 

slaves ; 
A moment falter with the chains, whose scars are on her yet, 
Earth must give up her dead again, ere Scotland can forget. 

A grave— a grave is by the sea — ^a place of ancient tombs — 
A restless murmuring of waves for ever o'er it comes — 
A pleasant sound in summer tide — a requeim low and clear. 
But oh ! when stormn are on the hill, it hath a voice of fear. 
So rank and high the tomb weeds wave around that humble 

stone, 
Ye scarce may trace the legend rude, with lichen half o'er- 

^rown ; 
But ank the seven years' child that sits beside the broken wall, 
He will not need to spell it o'er— his heart hath stored it alL 



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HABBllT S. MBNTBATR. 293 

A peasant's tal«-^« humble grave— two names on eartih un- 
known $' 

fiut Jesus bears them on his heart before the eternal throne ; 

And kinits and heroes yet shall oome to wish their lot were 
bound, 

With those poor women slumbering beneath the wa?e-girt 
ground. 

The earth keeps many a memory^ of blood as water poured — 

The peasant summoned at his toil to own and meet his Lord — 

The secret hungering of the hills, where none but God might 



Ay, Barth had many martyrs— but these two were of the sea. 



"The redcoats, lass ; the redcoats !*' cry the weans from off the 

street ; 
Who knows but ClaTer'se' evil eye may blast them if he meet I 
Nay, only Bruce and Windram come, but oh ! wae worth the 

way — 
They have gotten Gilbert Wilson's bairns in their cruel hands 

to-day ! 
See Annie, bonnle Annie ! oh but she is wasted sore, 
With weary wandering on the hills — ^this seven month and 

more— 
And Margaret, with her bleeding feet, and weather-stained 

brow- 
But surely One alone could breathe the calm upon it now ! 
She recks not of the jibing words those ruthless soldiers speak — 
IShe recks not of her bleeding feet— her frame so worn and 

weak ; 
She sees not even the pitying looks that follow as she goes — 
Her soul is filled so full of pray'r — that God alone she knows ! 
Long hath she looked for such a day — with awe and shuddering 

Its terror in the night hath fallen, haunting her cavern bed ; 
And she hath prayed in agony, that if He might not spare, 
Jesus would bear her charges then, and He hath neard her 
prayer. 

Hiey have brought her to their judgment hall— a narrow prison 

room. 
And once she looked up as she crossed from sunlight into gloom, 
And a sound of bitter weeping dose behind her now she hears, 
And she wished her hands unshakled, just to dry her mother's 

tears. 
They have questioned of her wanderings -they have mocked her 

with their words — 
They have asked her if the Covenant could shield her from their 

swords. 
Or if she sought a miracle to test her call the more — 
That she ventured to her father's home — right past the curate's 

door. 



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294 MODBSN BCOTTiaH FOJSTS. 

** man ! but they are bitter tears, ye cause the houseless weep. 
With hauntiuK thoughts of food and fire— that will not let them 

sleep, 
And temptings of home words and ways—even whispering as 

they pray. 
Until another takes the load— once tempted even as they ! " 
There was a murmur through the crowd — first hope^ and then 

despair, 
For in the scoffing laugh nf Bruce — was that he could not spare — 
'* lass ! ye should hae ta'en the bay— ere there was light to 

see I ** 
She answered to that pitying voice — ** I dared na for the sea ! *' 

Mas 1 it is a little stroke draws from the flint the fire— 
And but a little spark may light the martp's funeral pyre— 
And in the hearts of evil men, such mischiefs smouldering herd, 
That cruel thought, to cruel deed, may kindle at a word ! 
** Ho, bo, the sea, the raging sea, and can it tame your pride ! 
My sooth ! we'll frame a covenant with the advancing tide — 
To-morrow, when the dawn is dull, in Blednoch Bay we'll see 
What mild persuasion harbours in the cold kiss of the sea ! " 



The guards are met, the stakes are set, deep, deep within the 

sand, 
One far toward the advancing tide, one nearer to the land ; 
And all idong the narrow shore, that girdles in the bay. 
Small groups of anxious watchers come — as wane the stars 

away! 
Low lie the fog-clouds on the hills, blank in their curtained 

screen, 
Each crest of beauty veils its brow from that abhorred scene ; 
While eastward far, the straining eye through mist and gloom 

may see 
Large raindrops plashing heavily into the dull, sad sea. 

They come— they come— a distant sound— a measured marching, 

soon 
On mail-clad men the dewdrops rain from off thy woods 

Baldoon l 
The trodden grass, the trampled flow'rs — alas, poor emblems 

they 
Of all a despot's iron heel was crushing down that day— 
They shall revive — the harebell, see, uprears its crest again, 
The failing dew hath cleans'd anew its purity from stain. 
And thus beneath the oppressor's tread and hell's opposing 

powers, 
God's truth throughout the land shall spring, a sudden growth 

of flowers. 



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HABBIBT S. MENTBATE. 296 

Sad silence deepened on the throng as near and nearer oame 

The victims to their place of doom— the murderers to their 
shame — 

And there were blank and hopeless looks, white lips dry parched 
with fear, 

Low murmurs — suddenly suppressed, lest they who rule should 
hear — 

And men bowed down with women's tears until the sod was wet, 

But Bothwell Brig unnerved their arm, and crushed their man- 
hood yet. 

Woe for the land ! the despot's rule hath lined its soil with 
graves — 

And left beneath the frown of Grod— but taskmasters and slaves ! 



A sound— it cometh from the sea ! and many a cheek is pale — 
A freshening wind and fast behind — that hurrying voice of wail — 
" Besbrew my heart "—cries Windram now—" haste comrades 

while ye may ; 
With Sol way speed, I red ye heed— the tide comes in to-day,— 
Now, mother, to the stake amain, your praying time is past — 
Or pray the breakers, if ye will, they race not in so fast I "— 
Her grey hairs streaming on the wind— they bear her to the bay. 
While nearer roars the hungry sea, that raven's for its prey. 

And Margaret stands, with cold clasped hands, that bitter sight 

to see. 
And now toward her own death-place thev guide her silently ; 
A sudden impulse swayed the crowd, as those young limbs were 

bound— 
A moment's movement— stilled as soon— a shiver through a 

wound. 
And they have left her all alone, with that strong sea before, 
A prayer of faith's extremity faint mingling with its roar ; 
And on the eyes that cannot dose— those grey hairs streaming 

still. 
While round about, with hideous rout— the wild waves work 

their will. 



They will not cease— they will not sleep — those voices of the 

wave. 
For ever, ever whispering, above the martyr's grave ; 
lis heara at night, tis heard at noon — ^the same low wailing 

song. 
In murmur loud, in cadence low — ** How long, O Lord, how 

long." 
A cry against thee from the tide, tyrant banned of Heaven ! 
It meets the blood-voice of the earth, and answer shall be given ! 
A littie while — the cup fills fast — ^it overflows for thee— 
And thine extremity shall prove, the vengeance of the sea. 



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2% HODBRK SCOtTlS± POETS. 

Ay ! Ktiash thy tdeth In impotence, the fated hour is 66mh, ,, 
And oeeAn with her strenf^h of waVeft bear the avenger honi«. 
See i eai^er thousands throng the shore to hail the advanoing 

fleet, 
While iiaffled Dartmouth Tainly strives that heaven-sent foe to 

meet, 
And post, on hurrying post crowds fast, with tidings of dismay, 
How the glassed waters hill to aid the landing of Torbay — 
Away ! prepare thy coward flight, thy sceptre scourge oast down. 
The sea pursues thee with its corse— thoa King without a orown. 

FRAGMENTS. 
(Intended for a later edition of the *' Lays.**) 

Far off amidst the hills, 
The wild bird hath her secret nest, 
And the lone trickling mountain rills 

Gladden the earth's green breast ; 
And there the sun's last rays are thrown. 
And there the storm-cloud broods alone. 
And Spring's soft dews, and Saamer^s glaro 
Freshen and fade the wild flowers there ! 

Why should I seek the sppt T 
Are tnere not lovelier scenes by far, 
Wild woods, where day intrudeth not. 

Skies, that neglect the star. 
Why should I track the hunter's path. 
Why should I brave the teippests wrath, 
To stand with thee at evening lone. 
Beside a lichen-mantled stone ! 

Hush ! this is holy ground : — 
Thou, who this very day hast prayed, 
Thy children kneehng all around, 

None making thee afraid. 
Muse on that time when praise and prayer 
Ascended through the midnight air^ 
Only from lips and hearts nerved high. 
To glorify their God, and die ! 

This is a martyr's grave 1 
And surely here the dews are given 
In richer show'rs, and wild flowers wave 

More in the smile of Heaven i 
And something in the stirring air 
Tells ms that angel wings are there, 
And angel watd^ers keep the space. 
To be their own sweet resting place i 



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HAftRtVt ft. taSHl^KAm. 2{|? 

They feared to tell his mother, 

A widow poor and lone, 
She had been deaf for many a year, 

But she caught the firtc low tone \ 
Then suddenly stopped the whirrins wheel, 

And suddenly snapped the thread ! 
As she tossed her withered arms to heaven. 

With one wild heart cry— Dead ! 
Well hast $;hQ!a sped, my dear, dear son ! 

Soon hast thon reached the ^oal ; — 
The cruel archers shot at thee, ' 

But they could not reach thy sotal I 

OLD FRIENDS. 

^air fell the light on Erskine^s bowers, 

'Twas summer's latest, loveliest day, 
With two old friends I gathered flowers, 

And wiled the pleasant noon away ! 

The stately halls, the sheltering woods. 
Brought other scenes before our eyes — 

We seemed to gaze on Arno's flood. 
To wander 'neath Italian skies. 

And much we spoke of byegone days, 
Whei*e each sustained a mutual part, — 

Those nothings, which a thousand warn. 
Entwine old friendships round the heart. 

I mighty is the spell that lies 

In having shared youth's springtime weather ; 
The heart has some deep melodies 

Old friends alone can siiig together 1 

We may have other holier ties. 

We may be severed far and wide ; 
And dearer, deeper sympathies. 

For all, and each may heaven provide. 

But still, the sealed up,. secret spring. 
The fountain of ^fe s freshness gone '^ ^ 

Where Hope first bathed her rainbow wing. 
Can flow for early friends alone. 

And still, when bends the suppliant knee 

To blend beloved names in prayer. 
The cushat voice of memory, 

Murmurs of early loved one there. 



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29d MODBBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 



MYLES MAOPHAIL 

MAS for a considerable number of years a 
bookseller in Edinburgh, and the publisher 
of a monthly ecclesiastical magazine bearing his 
name, which the Disruption in the Oharch of Scot- 
land called into existence, and which, with consider- 
able ability, took the side of the Establishment. 
Possessing much mental power, and being a man of 
excellent culture, he not only acted as editor of the 
magazine, but wrote largely for it himself. Pecuniary 
difficulties caused him to give up business, and to 
emigrate to Australia many years ago, where his 
literary friends soon after lost sight of him, nor are 
they able to say if he is still alive. 

Although an occasional writer of poetry, his only 
separate publication was '* Burns' Vision of the 
Future," which appeared in 1859. It is a vigorous 
and well- written poem, and greatly superior to the 
numerous odes and verses which appeared about 
that time on the same subject, and which, with 
wearisome and sickening inanity, still continue to 
flood the world. The following is the concluding 
part of 

BURNS* VISION OF THE FUTURE. 

He started back— a Fig^nre Btood 

Whom onoe in vision he had seen ; 
Now she assumed a loftier mood, 

A sterner and a haughtier mien. 

Her brow was with the holly bound, 

A tartan plaid was o*er her thrown. 
She spoke— and as he looked around 

Both hill and dale were fled and gone. 

*' You wished, you hoped, and breathed a prayer, 
What future times would mark your name ; 

A deathless chaplet you shall wear. 
Your country will protect your fame. 



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MYLB8 MAOFHAIL. 299 

** As ruthless Time on Lethe's shore 

Sweeps all into the silent sea, 
He'll drop his scythe, and pass thee o'er— 

He will not toaoh or injure thee. 

" All hail I my own illustrious Son, 

A far-otf mom I will unveil — 
That glorious future is thine own. 

Behold it— 'tis no idle tale." 

He looked, and saw a palaoe fair. 

It bore no crown or coronet ; 
No gloomy tower of stone was there, 

No martyrs' blood it wore on it ; 

Its crystal domes caressed the sky, 

The stars in wonder g^d to see 
The fairest Fame ere raised on high 

Since rose the earth from out the sea. 

" Six thousand years of strife and blood, •>— 

The Tyrant's rod - the Nation's cries ; 
Tet— there the People's Palace stood, 

I knew it would one day arise. 

*' Art shone upon its crystal walls. 

And Science all her trophies hung, 
Its ancient and historic halls 

Shrined all that ere was said or sung." 

He. gazed upon the rolling crowd, 

While loud hurrahs broke on his ear : 
' Some Victory gained," he said aloud, 
** A Nation's thanks— a British cheer." 

Fame grasped him by the hand and said, 
" Thou long'st to know what that mav be. 

My Son," exclaimed the enraptured Maid, 
" Behold— Thine own Ceutenary." 

'Mid shouts and cheers the curtain fled, — 

He gazed with awe and joy by turns, 
A laurel crown entwined — the Mead, — 

The sculptured Form was— Bobbbt Busns. 



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300 MQDJfilOr i^OOTTIBk POSTS. 



CATHEEINE PRINGLE OEAIG, 

XONQ an admired contributor to the GUtagaw 
Citvbm and other papers and magazines, and 
author of the well-knowh dramatic poem, entitled 
'' Mar J, the Mother of Jesus," as well ais several 
volumes of poetry, was bom in Brechin, in 1826. 
Her grandfather was for a long time the respected 
minister of the Secession Church in Kinclaven, 
Perthshire, and her father, at the time of her birth, 
was minister of the United Secession Church in 
Brechin. She left that town at an early age, and 
was brought up in the house of her grandfather. 
Miss Craig was at one time a frequent contributor to 
the magazines, but of late years she has suffered 
much on account of bad health and imperfect sight ; 
and we have heard that literary Mends and those 
who have derived pleasure and profit from the 
perusal of her works have of late been endeavouring^ 
to procure for her a grant from the Government 
Literary Fund. 

Miss Craig's £rst appearance in print was in the 
pages of the Glasgow Citinen, and her youthful efforts 
were greatly encouraged by the poetical and talented 
Dr Hedderwick, who was then editor of that paper. 
So far back as 1844 she published a volume of poetry 
in Glasgow, eutitled ** Isidore, and other Poems," 
while ** Mary, the Mother of Jesus," a work of much 
thought and chastened grace of expression, and 
which attracted wide attention, was published by 
Messrs Hodder & Stoughton in 1872; while her 
third volume, **Zella, and other Poems,'* was 
brought out by the same publishers in 1877. 

Her best-known poem is written in a beautiful and 
reverent spirit, and the poet gathers the incidents 



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OATHBRINV P. CBAI0, 3Gt 

with which Mary's name is ooiinecte4 in Scripture 
and weaves them into smooth and elegant verse. At 
times it glows with pictures of great poetic beauty, 
while throughout the portrait of the mother of Jesus 
is drawn with dignity and meekness, fortitude and 
purity. The late Q-eorge QilfiUan said — *' The whole 
poem shines in the subdued light of reverence, and 
could only have been written by one combining the 
spirit of profound piety with that of female tender- 
ness and poetical feeling." As showing the reverent 
spirit of the poet, one of the characteristics of the 
poem is the fact that while Christ himself — his work 
and suffering — constitutes the great theme, He is 
never introduced as a speaker. It is thus evident 
that she has adhered closely to the sacred narrative, 
simply endeavouring to impart the full detail and 
warm colouring of actual life to the outline which 
its statements and hints supply. We have only 
space for one quotation, and give the concluding 
scene, where Mary is represented conversing with her 
friends after the ascension. She has seen the end 
of the great mystery, and she surveys the whole with 
a plaintive satisfaction, longing for repose and 
triumphing in hope. 

MARY TO SALOME. 

" I ever in my prayers 
Remember all my children, yet no more 
Can I among them dwell. Jeans for me 
More wisely chose, knowing my timid heart. 
My spirit's weakness, ever prone to feel 
Its ssulness with the past, where he with John, 
Arranged for me a home— hot needed long. 
I feel the evening of mv life declines. 
And the sweet night of peace and rest is near ; 
I know that Jesus will not leave me here 
To faint beneath the weariness of earth ; 
I am not sad now, all my thoughts are tuned 
To pleasant undertones of hope and joy ; 
Only my work seems o'er and I would sleep. 



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302 MODSSK SOOmSH POSTS. 

This mortal form is weak, and the deep woe 

Of these four days has shaken all my strength ; 

The sword that pierced His side struck through my heart. 

That wound is bleeding still. Often I start, 

Surprised by sudden pain, and press my hand 

Upon my breast to check the rising moan." 

Miss Craig's minor productions are all marked by 
sweetness, pathos, and piety, and show a heart and 
mind not only guided by intellectual power, but by 
the higher power of Christian love. She has evi- 
dently held sweet converse with the beauties of 
Nature and the sublime teachings of Scripture. 

DREAMS OF HEAVEN. 

Child of the laughing eye, careless and free, 
Tell me what smile of joy heaven wears for thee. 

*'The flowers of that land are all fairer than this, 
And no winter comes o*er them to darken our bliss. 
My lost mother is singing those bright bowers among ; 
*Twill be heaven to hear her, so sweet is her song.*' 

Maiden who weepest, sad and forlorn. 

What dust thou sigh for in heaven*s happy morn ? 

*' A friendship undying, a truth that shall last. 
No fears for the future, no grief for the past ; 
No cold frown to chill me in eyes that I love ; 
This— this is the heaven I look for above." 

Man of the furrowM brow, wither'd and old. 
Say, what do those realms to thine eyes unfold ? 

" I am weary with breasting the billows of time. 
And I long for the peace of that sunnier clime. 
No toil and no trouble, no sorrow, no tears ; 
I shall win back the freshness of youth's faded years." 

Christian, scorn'd and forsaken, vet calm in thy faith ? 
What seest thou beyond this cold region of death ? 

'* All, all that can waken glad thoughts within, — 

A mind ever busy, vet no whisper of sin ; 

My Saviour exalted, that glory I'll share, 

And his love-breathing accents shall welcome'me there. 

All my work shall be worship, each song shall be 

praise ; 
Oh t my joyous hosannas how fondly I'll raise 



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OATHEBINE P. CRAIO. 303 

Unto Him who hath won me my robe and my crown, 
And the sun of His favour no more shall go down. 
Oft it shines on me here in this lowly abode. 
And the holy heart's heaven is the smile of its God." 

THE FLOWER 0' THE MAY. 

The baron*8 towers rise proud and strong, his lands lie wide and 

fair; 
But his young daughter, Marjorie, is the sweetest floweret there. 
Her mother looks wi' smiles o' love on the fair face at her side. 
While her father counts her beauties o'er, wV words o' raickle 

pride. 
O many a lover sought her bower, wha sadly turned away, 
For ill to please, and hard to win, was the baron's bonnie May. 

There came a harper to the ha* when winter nights were lang ; 
He touch'd the strings wi' ready hand, and mony a lay he sang. 
His cheek was wither'd o'er wi' age, his locks were thin and 

white. 
But the e'e that on the maiden smiled, wi' youth's warm fire was 

bright. 
His doublet was o' coarsest cloth, his cloak was worn and bare. 
But on each was wrought a cross o' blue, in silken colours fair. 

" Why do ye wear that cross o' blue, so bright wi' colours fine ?" 
*' It is the badge o' a knight I served, ip the wild wars o' lang- 

syne.* 
But what has changed the gay maiden ? her lightsome laugh is 

still'd. 
And the cup she to the harper bears wi' trembling hand is fiU'd. 
Nae mair she dances through the ha', her step is hushed and 

slow; 
And sittin' at her mother's side, her sighs come deep and low. 
** Tour sangs o' luve," the baron said, ** they may ring sweet 

and clear. 
They make my Marjorie to sigh, and ye bide nae langer here." 

When summer came, and the young birks hung a' their tassels 

out. 
And sweet scents met the westlin' winds that roam'd the glens 

about. 
The maiden sought her woodland bower, beside the waters clear. 
To see the yellow trout glide by, and the birdies sang to hear.t 
It canna be the mavis' note that sounds sae soft and low, 
Wi' whispered words o' luve, that make her cheeks like crimson 

glow. 
It canna be the harper auld, wha at her feet doth pray ; 
And yet he wears a cross o' blue upon his doublet grey. 

"Oh, flee wi' me, fair Marjorie, I've loved ye true and lang. 
And hameward to my southron ha' alone I canna gang : 



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304 MOOS«N SCpTTiaH POS^. 

Twere vm to ie«k yoar father's tow«n, his pride wid w»m to 

dree, 
I would but pine in dungeon dark, and thou in sorrow be. 
My steed is swift, my sword is bright, the way ye needna fear, 
And four and twenty stalwart youths lie in the woodland near." 

" I canna wi* a stranger flee, and leave my father's tower ; 
I'd wither like yon violet, stol'n frae her native bower. 
Can I forsake my brothert brave, my mother fond and dear ? 
Oh, rise ye up ye gay gallant, your wo^ds I maunna hear.'* 

The winter nights were lang and mirk, the sleet was drfftin* 

white. 
When by the gate the maid again apake wi' the southron knight. 
"My followers fc* are wear'in' sair, my sisters mourn for m6: 
Now I am come thett, lady fair, to bid farewell to thee. 
Your father will a brjdegroom find, nae bride shall e'er be mu^o. 
Your norfan() skies are no sae cauld as that vOung heart o' thine. 
Far distant on my homeward way, when breaks the dawn lit 

be, 
And ye wi' smiles iv^ greet the day, and think nae mair o' me." 

She laid her lily han4 ^° ^^ ' " '^^^^ "i?^^ ^"^ ^^ y^^^ ^^4^* 
I'll meet jrou at the lonely kirk, the twisted oak beside. 
For you I'll leave my mountain hame, ray brothers a* behind ; 
But waes me for my mother dear, my ffi>ther, true and kind/' 

The cock crew loud before the ha', that sleepin' maids might 

hear; 
The dawn came glintin' up the east, and touched the Qehila 

near; 
Yet still beside the twisted oak, the southron knight doth stray : 
*' My bootless tryste nae mair I'll hold, it's time I were awav.*' 
He turned him round wi' hasty step, while the tear stood in ma 

e'e; 
"How could ye break your plighted troth, ye false, fair 

Marjorle?" 

" why this morn does l^onnie May sae close her chamber keep? 
I'll ride without my stirrup cup, since she sae Round maun sleep. 
Unto her, when she seeks the ha', her father's blessin' tell, 
But wake her not till I come back, if she wake not hersel'.'* 

The gloamin' mints were gatherin' grey, when homeward frae 

the chase 
The baron rode bold up the steep, and a cloud was on his faoe. 
"The deer were swift, the hounds were slow, the ready scent 

they miss'd ; 
I rode without my stirrup cup, my May I hadna kiss'd." 

Wi' heavy tramp he trod the ha', nor wife nor child conld see. 
"Oh sleeps she still," at last he said, " my bonnie J^^rjorio?" 



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0ATHBBIN1& P. OBAIO, 305 

In haste he to her chamher came, nae sleepih' maid was there, 
But on her bed was left a lock o' her lang eowden hair ; 
And near it lay a snaw- white glove, mark'd wi^ a cross o* blue, 
And a feather that had af ten napp'd when far the raven flew. 
The baron's brow (?rew black and stern, for well he read the 

sign. 
" I'll make nae maen for that light leman, she is nae child o* 

mine.*' 

They spread the feast as they were wont, held wassail in the ha'. 
In laugh and jest tlie baron's voice rang loudest p' them a'. 
But oft her mother bent^ to hide the salt tears in her e'e, 
And her brothers speir^d wi' wonderin' look, " Where can our 

sister be?" ^ 
But little kempi^d ]t))9j.»' how changed was that youpg smiling 

face. 
And little wisjiiJtb^.sQjqthfon knight< o' Jiis bride's sleepin'-place. 
In the dark stream besi^.t^i^^fa',. aneath a treach'rous stane, 
there the bonniei.Jl^^i^prie lies caujaly a' alane. 

The Yule log blazed upon the hearth, and a' was cheer within. 
When to the .barcfO^s door a hand came tirlin' at the pin. 
The touch was light, as -snow-flakes fa', or leaf by zephyr stirr'd. 
And yet the sounddMig out sae clear, that ilka reveller heard. 
And they hae open'd wide>tfae door, when there stood Marjorie, 
Wha thought the maiden fair before, should now her beauty see. 

In fairest robes q* sUkep. sheexi the lady she was drest, 
And rarely wrought, a cross o' blue shone on her snowy breast : 
Her hair was depk'd wi' roses, gay, ber gown wi' mony a flower, 
That neither grew in lowlaad shaw» nor yet in highland bower. 

"lam nae light leman," she said, **but a wedded bride sae 

true. 
And I canna rest wi* me bridegroom, for the love I bear to you. 
Gie me ae kiss, my mother dear, your blessin', father good." 
The wonderin' baron raised his hand, and blest her where she 

stood, 
Her brother rose to lead her in, but Marjorie was gone. 
And on the floor a watery foot was marked upon the stone. 

Sae they hae search'd the darksome stream, and there her corpse 

they found. 
And now beside the twisted oak she sleeps in holy ground. 
But frae that night, for her fair May, the mother grieved nae 

mair, 
For she soon gaed to the bowers above, to meet her daughter 

there. 
And still beneath the birks the stream gaes singing on its way, 
But aye that maiden's name it bears, this water o' the May. 

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306 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

VOICES OP THE PAST. 

When the g^av mom smiles on vale and plain. 

To the fona heart they come 
Like the echo of a happy strain 

Bom from the spirirs home ; 
And a deeper charm o'er our joy is cast 
By the gladsome voices of the past. 

Musing alone, at the noontide hour, 

They break on memory's ear, 
Stirring the soul with a nameless power, 

In their silvery tones so clear ; 
And bright young hopes that fled too fast 
Come back on the voices of the past. 

In the low soft breath of the eveniifg air, 
How sweet are their notes of love. 

While no dark whisper of change or care 
The listening heart can move I 

But the present seems a desert vast 

Peopled with visions of the past. 

When the clouds of midnight veil the sk^, 

And no other sound is heard 
From the secret caverns where they lie, 

Each long-forgotten word 
Returns with the force of a trampet's blast 
In the well-known voices of the past. 

Hope shines on the brow of the future years — 

A star to lure us on ; 
Bravely we struggle through doubts and fears. 

And deem the strength our own ; 
Nor think how strangely our life is cast 
In^the mould of the deep-toned viewless past. 



JOHN THOMSON. 

^ff^ABLY impressions frequently tinge the future 
JW life, and so it has been the case in the career 
of the Rev. John Thomson, of St John's Church and 
Parish, Hawick. He was reared amid rural scenes, 
and his sermons and platform speeches abound with 



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JOHN THOMSON. 307 

illustrations drawn from pastoral pursuits. We get 
the first glimpse of our poet as a '' laddie herdin' 
kye" on the banks of the Ale, on the farm of 
Honeton, of which his father was farmer. Here, 
while surrounded with the hum of bees and the songs 
of birds, he is seen plaiting his helmet and sword of 
green rushes, and, hastening to the fray, defending 
the weak and overthrowing imaginary despots. At 
other times he betakes himself to the rustic labours 
of the farm. Amid the sandbanks of the murmuring 
stream he marks out a field, ploughs it with the 
branch of a tree, sows his seed, and carries home 
with joy his rustling sheaves. Frequently he has 
been heard to say that he did not like to hear the 
glad earth called the great mother of us all. She is 
too youthful — too buoyant and fresh for such an idea. 
** The sunrise is very dear to me, and when I wake 
up at early morn mid sparkling dews and glistening 
flowers, it appears as if all were fresh from the Great 
Creator's hands." 

We are indebted for several of the following par- 
ticulars to an interesting sketch of Mr Thomson's 
career that appeared some time ago in the JBawtck News, 
At college he was a diligent and distinguished 
student. In the second Greek Class he was awarded 
a valuable prize for an essay proving a knowledge of 
the classics essential for the study of the law, medi- 
cine, and theology. In the moral philosophy class 
he was treated by Professor Wilson as a companion 
and friend rather than as a student, and the genial 
Professor spoke of him as one of his best students. 
Mr Thomson was licensed in 1853, and at once be- 
came assistant to the late Dr Munro, Campsie. He 
was also assistant for some time to the late Dr Gillan 
of St John's, Glasgow, and afterwards fiUed the 
same position to the late Mr Campbell, Selkirk. In 
1857 he removed to Hawick to take charge of the 
Mission Station in the Old Church. By his great 



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306 MODKRIT 80OTTI8H POSTS. 

aotiyity in visiting, teaching, and preaching, Ae 
church and district were formed into a parish 
quoad Bocra^ and Mr Thomson was ordained in 1860. 
There he laboured with much suicoess for nearly 
twenty years. On resigning his chmrge in 1879 
he visited the Holy Land, and has since written and 
lectured much on &e subject of its hallowed associa- 
tions. 

Mr Thomson was ordained to the new Church and 
Parish of St John's, Hawick , in 1 88 1 . As a preacher, 
his style is said to be original and unique, interest- 
ing and attractive. Although he alludes freely to 
passing events, he never fails to be thoroughly 
reverent and sincere. The temperance movement has 
ever found in him a warm supporter, and in his fre- 
quent appearances at public meetings he is received 
with enthusiasm. The young and poor are especially 
welcome at his beautiful residence of Eosalee, and 
many a hearth is made happy by his kind and season- 
able gifts. He has also taken a deep interest in 
building societies and improved houses for working 
men, and has given much attention to the laws of 
health, having taught classes in physiology and 
kindred topics, and his practical hints on ventila- 
tion, exercise, food, and clothing have been productive 
of good results. He is also an ardent Freemason, 
and many of his poetical e£Pusions are in praise of 
the '* brotherhood." 

Much of Mr Thomson's leisure time is devoted to 
"he has published several works of 
well as racy sketches and short tales, 
contributed learned papers to the 
Society on **Lake Dwellings" and 
Mr Thomson has not yet published 
ction of his poems and songs, but 
have appeared in newspapers and 
a number of them on patriotic sub- 
printed in the SeoUman, Several of 



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JOHN THOMSON. 309 

his songs have been wedded to music, and, being 
neat and tender, are quite popular. His poems 
evince ease and felicity of expression, and an imagi- 
nation which can produce pictures of poetic beauty. 

THE PLOUGHMEN LADS. 

The ploughman lads are strong and true— 
With head and heart we work together y 

Wise to revere 

Earth's simple cheer, 
And find in every man a brother. 

All round the world from year to year, 
Directed by the same kind Father, 

Teach Fatherhood, 

And Brotherhood, 
And cease our scorn of one another. 

Tlie soldier draws his glistening blade. 
And drains the life-blood of his brother : 

We turn the lea 

With joyous glee. 
Draw life and bread from earth, our Mother. 

Ten thousand lessons every day 

We from the fields and seasons gather — 

Wo hold the plough 

With beaming brow. 
In partnership with God our Father. 

Mid shade and sunshine on wef toil, 
The farm and heart our husbandry ; 

'Mid mud and corn. 

Some miay us scorn. 
But God approving, what care we ! 

TH^ BROTHERHOOD. 

As iron rails join land to land, 
Blending all nations in one band. 
Electric wires join part to part. 
Flashing kind words from heart to heart ; 
Thus mystic signs of Masons' good 
Bind man to man in brotherhood. 

Thus round the world all bright and free 
We find true Masons all agree 
In teaching one great Architect 
The poor and friendless to protect,— 
Where ere the mystic sign is found 
We find a brother on that ground. 



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310 MODBRX SCOTTISH P0£T8. 

This then the Mason's duty stem 
Taught all who join the lodge and learn, 
With despot's sword no more we slay 
Weak brothers of the short-lived day ; 
Like air and light we work for good, 
And form 'mong men one brotherhood. 

Thus wave on wave of love divine 
Boll past from the eternal shrine ; 
The Brothers trained to fight and kill. 
No more one drop of blood will spill ; 
They rush into each other's arms, 
Enjoy God's peace and all its charms. 

FLOWEBS OF THE FOBBST. 

(New Version.) 

8weet flower of the forest, sae oharmin' and bonnie, 
Yon have stolen my heart this many a day ; 
Awav wi' your moanin', your sighin' and groanin*, 
The flowers of the forest are not wede away. 

At mills in the momin' the blythe lads are smilin'. 
The lassies are cheery and happy and gay ; 
There's daffin' and gabbin', nae sighin* and sabbin*— 
The flowers of the forest are not wede away. 

At e'en in the gloamin*, the younkers are roamin' 
'Mong stacks wi' the Ussies at boglie to pla^ ; 
Nae maiden sits drearie, lamentin' her dearie — 
The flowers of the forest are not wede away. 

My work is in Hawick, mv heart is in Ettrick, 
A' alane I walk dowie and sad by the way ; 
But a bright day is oomin*. a sweet home to live in, 
Then, sweet flower of the forest, I'll wed you that day. 



y 



EOBINA F, HAEDY 

^S the talented author of -'Jock Halliday: A 
^ Grassmarket Hero," receutly published in a 
most tasteful form by Messrs Oliphant, Ferrier & 
Anderson, Edinburgh, an interesting tale full of 



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BOBINA F. HABDY. 311 

▼ivid and faitliM pictures of humble Soottish life, 
and numerous popular stories for the young, includ- 
ing '^Nannette's New Shoes" and other delightful 
works. She is a grand-daughter of the late Dr 
Thomas Hardy, one of the ministers of St Giles', 
Edinburgh. Dr Hardy is mentioned in Oockbum's 
'< Memorials of his Time " as '' Hardy the eloquent 
Professor of Church History." Along with Dr 
Logan, he wrote several of the Paraphrases, but his 
papers got mixed up with Logan's, and it is not 
generally known how many he composed, but literary 
Mends inform us that at least the twenty-seventh 
and twenty-eighth were by Hardy. Miss Hardy's 
father was a medical gentleman, and died in his 
prime. 

Miss Hardy, who resides in Edinburgh, has for a 
number of years been popularly known as a very 
pleasing writer in the pages of magazines and news- 
papers, and takes a very substantial interest in 
Dr Bobertson's Yennel School. Along with another 
lady she gave a class of older girls lessons in cooking, 
and the result of their experiences is published in a 
very interesting little book, edited by Miss Hardy, 
entitled '* What I Saw at the Yennel School." This 
valuable institution was founded nearly forty years 
ago by the late Dr Robertson, New Greyfriars. It 
has educated, fed, and clothed over 12,000 children, 
a large proportion of whom have passed from the 
school into positions of respectability and usefulness. 
At present the number on the roll is nearly 400, and 
each receives daily, besides education, a substantial 
breakfast and dinner. The expense of keeping up 
the school is nearly £700 a-year, and of this sum 
about £185 is defrayed from Government grants 
earned, and a few pounds are received as fees from 
less destitute parents. For the rest of the discharge 
the Trustees have to look to annual subscriptions, 
donations, and legacies, and it might here be added 



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312 MODBRN SCOTTISH POETS. 

that the profits from the sale of Miss Body's litjUe 
book, published by Messrs Oliphant, Anderson, & 
Ferrier, are devoted to the school. 

In 1879, Miss Hardy publisl^ed a beautifally-illus- 
trated volume of poetry, entitled '* Whin-Bloon^." 
These '^blooms*' are richly laden with genuine 
poetry, and the freshness of the fields and the fra- 
grance of the humble wayside flowers breathe in many 
of her poems. They possess all the beauty of their 
wildling name, and form a series of graphic pictures 
of Scottish life — both in town and country- startling 
pictures of destitution melting the heart with pity, 
and pleasing descriptions of the joys and sorrows of 
the industrious poor, which, as we peruse theipj^ 
awaken our national feelings. Her poems and 
songs are full of simple tenderness and devout pathos, 
and altogether the productions of Miss Hardy — 
whether in poetry or prose — afford evidence of n^uoh 
depth of feeling and purity of sentiment, cind are 
such as can touch the heart and live upon the 
memory. 

OOR AIN KIRK-BELL. 

It 's cracket noo an* jinglin', 

It*8 failin*, like myser— - 
Yet weel I lo'e the jowin' 

O* oor ain kirk-bell. 

Its chime cam* owre my cradle, 

In days sae lang gane by ; 
I've heard it on the hillside, 

A bit laddie herdin' kye ; 
An' whiles when i' the preaohins * 

I slinket frae the ' Fast,' 
Wi' gurly growl it followed me 

On ilka wand'rin' blast \ 
But times are changed, an' deed ! the Fast'i 

Mair like some mickle fair ; 
The toll-road's in a swirl o' stour 

Wi' twenty^ gigs an' mair ; 
A haiindfu's i' the kirk, whaur ance 

The countryside itsel' 
Wad gaither at the jowin' 

0' oor ain kirk-beU. 



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SOBdA F. HABD7. 313 

An auld, greytheadecl^ fcoMeBS loon, 

I wait this Sabbath day, 
To hear the weel-kent, silsery voiee 

Ring owrethe breezji bcae. 
An' oh ! the white wa's rise again 

•Wr blossoms biieht an* fair— 
The cosie bieldthat sbelteired me 

In days that are-nae mair ; 
I see my mither'e lithsome gait, 

My faitber's word I hear ; 
An' e'en the verra ^ oarritcbes * 

Are ringin' in my ear ; 
My sister Kate; my^ brither Jeok, 

My bonnie May hersel'. 
Come an66 inhii at the Jowin* 

O* oor ^in Kirk-bell. 

I bide at hame an' mind the balms ; 

It's satr against ir^y Will; 
My hirplin' f eet'll gktig nae miiir 

To Zion's hi)ly hill. 
Yet, wafted on the summer atr, 
. A mesisa'ge cothes to me- 
lt comes like glads6me ttdtn's 

Frae a far counttie — 
That tells me o' a better land 

A brichter Sal?bfkth-day, 
A hame, frae sin>h' sorrow free» 

That will. not pass away., 
An', whiles, it comes into my held 

That angels — wba ca^ tell J-r- 
Hae sped that welcome Jowin* 

O' oor ain kirk-DelL 

That kinfUy v<dc0 jU.ccaokl^ noo, 

There^ttle need.to tell ! 
Yet weel I lo'e the jowin' 

0' oor ain kirk-bell. 



WILLIE. 

Our wee flow*r 1 our ae flower t 
It blushed at momin' tide, 

Sae dainty, sac genty,— 
Our lowly biggin's pride 1 



The muirland spanned h^s l^l^tlf life 
The heather was bur hame j , 

An* life an' love were young wi' ui 
When our wee Willie came. 



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3U 



A gowan spreadin' to the sun 

Uk mom its starry rays ; 
Oar wee bit wild-flow'r blossomed sae, — 

Sae sped his Infant days. 

An' syne we watched him chase wi' glee 

The butterfly's brioht wing, 
Or staun' ae moment, still an' quate. 

To hear the laverock sing. 
Whiles graspin' wi' his tiny hands 

The blue-Dells wavin' free ; 
An' rinnin' back to stow the gear 

Safe on his mother's knee. 

And there at e'en he laid his head, 

An' lisped * Our Father ' there, 
While sunset tinted his white gown. 

An' lit his yellow hair. 
There fell a day— a mirk, mirk ane 1 

For tho' the sunlicht lay, 
A glory on the gowden gorse 

An' on the heathery brae ; 
An' tho* the blue-bells lichtly waved. 

Swung by the westlin' air, 
While mony a glintin' wing flew bye,— 

Our Willie wasna there ! 

An' oh ! he sate sae listless then, 

Upon his mother's knee ; 
A cnmson cheek against her breast 

Pressed hot and heavily. 
An' yet a day, — a darker day,— 

Its slow hours glided by ; 
We little recked o* sun or shower — 

O' fair or clouded sky, 
Till glitterin' stars looked silently 

Doun on a silent form ; 
Life's little play-hour past an' gane — 

And fever s briefer storm. 

Lane, lane an' cauld our dull hearth-stane. 

We sate wi' hearts sair riven. 
That day, when back to earth again. 

Our ae wee flower was given. 
We tried to think of him, at peace, 

For evermore with God ; 
But oh ! the bonnie curly head, 

Low-laid aneath the sod. 

We crossed the muir, an' climbed the hill. 
When Sabbath bells were ringin', 

And at his grave we thocht how sweet 
Our bairn in Heaven was singin*. 



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BOBINA r. HABDY, 315 

An' dearer seemed the ivied walls — 

An' sweeter rose that day. 
The solemn psalm, the gran' words read, 

Sae near where Willie lay. 
Or e'er they died away, we said, 

' He took bat what was given 1 ' 
'This is indeed the House of God— 

The very gate of Heaven.' 



Ance mair I tread the moirland turf, 

Ance mair the anld hame see ; 
An' oh, the wimplin' o' the burn, — 

The sang o' bird an' bee, — 
Hae backward rolled the tide o' tioM, 

An' brooht the years again ; 
The three brief years that swiftly sped 

When Willie was our ain. 

Anitherland, anither hame. 
We lang hae called oor idn ; 

An' ither Dairns lang hae played 
Around our braid nearth-stane. 

At e'en upon the mother's knee 
A curly head is laid, 

An' lips — sae like to ^m— repeat 



The prayer that Willie said. 
They need that prayer,— A« needs it not ! 

Safe, an' set free frae ill. 
An' lanp^ won hame ; but they, an' we 

Pilgnms an' strangers still. 



L'BNVOI. 



Onlv some whin-bloom on a bleak hillside ; 

Glad in the sunset glow, — ^the flush of mom. 
Far from the great world's glory and its pride ; 

Ung[uarded but by tiniest spears of thorn — 
Gaily it bloomed. Till one sweet snringtide eve 

A shadow of misgiving darkly fell. 
And, all at once, as those who turn to grieve 

At sudden sounding of the passing-bell. 
Its blossoms drooped, and paled their golden glow. 
For ' Is there need of us ?' they murmured low. 

Low at their feet the gorgeous citv lay, 
They saw its palaces, — its gilded towers ; 

And marked, 'mid silvery fountains ceaseless play 
Or orystal-shrined, a dazzling wealth of flowers. 



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SHjS MODHLV aooimv posts. 

From that far Qit^p lose tbe gltA refrain 

That echoed up tbe gleii,*-^'er moor and lake ; — 
* We deok Um bnde^^we deok tbe sacred fane ;— 
Give OS your fairest Uossoms for tbeir sake I* 
Low drooped tlie whin-blooms on the mountain*side, 
' Joy hath no need of ns I' they sadly sighed. 

And one bright mom the efty-gates were thrown 

Wide open to reqeive her hero-son ; 
A thousand yoioes made his triumphs known, 

A thousand t^Jd'th^ tBophies he bad won. 
And up the mountain-aid^, thair echoes came 

Now loud, naw,. faint) uniiil they died away ; 
' Great is the victor !— Great bis deathless fane !— 

Give us your richest flowers to strew his way V 
Then thiav who listened on the lonely hill 
Said, 'Glory needs us not T andaorrowed still. 

Clouded and tearful, rose another mom 

When sorrow's wail fell sadly on the ear ; 
Forth from his stately home a youth was bbme 

Pale as the lilies stnwn upon his bier. 
Low, lew and soft the whimring echoes wound 

Far up the mountain, -^'er .the lonely lake, 
' Fair was our blossom ! Let his grave bd orown'd ! 

Earth ! yield your purest, sweetest, lor his dake I' 
And paler grew tlie whiik^bloom's golden glow, 
'E*en:8Qnrow needs us not V they munnured low. 

Yet ere the ahangefnl spring had passed away, 

There came a weary and wayfaring ma» ; 
By mountain-track and moor, be sought his way, 

llejoioed to feel his native breezes fan 
Onoe more his furrowed brow. Besting awhile 

To taste the common gifts 6i earth and air. 
Gladly he greeted, and with friendly smile. 

Some golden patches scattered here and there ; 
The littlr^in-blooma met that kindlv glow. 
And * Wekome home !' th^ whispered soft and low; 

And last.' ' When pali9^fae«d citr-f oiks, one noon. 

In happy exodus came trooping there 
To while awat- some sunnv hours 'of June, 

An4 drink fresh vigour from the mountain air : 
Oh'i'ttiatty a'hard*>il\rrnught hand was fain with gle^ 
To phf^'tfae frAgyant flower, -^the thorny spray ; 
While children capered with delight to see 
How bright the whin^-bloomio^edthathdliday i 
And so, that day. upon the green hiltside. 
Those bloMoms lifted up their heads' with pridto^ 
For, * There i* need of us^ they gaily oiM. 



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DUNMORE. 

In the far, far East, — on a battle plain, 
All strewn with the wounded and Hud «lalb,'«- 
A soldier lad lay dying. 

The wild war-blast had died away, 
There, 'neath the darkening skies he lay. 

With the night winds round him sighing. 

His fevered agony was past, 

And the life was ebbing, — ebbing fast. 

From the heart so brave and fearless. 

The moonlight fell on his yellow hair ; 
It smiled on the face so wan and fair^ 

And the blue eyes dim but tearless. 

And far away from the death-strewn plain. 
The burning village, — the trampled gqan, — 
His fainting spirit wandtoed, 

Back to the land that gave him birth ; 
Back to the days of careless mirth. 

And the boyhood lightly squandered. 

In that brief vision rose once more. 
The lowly roofs of sweet Dunmore, 
By heathered hills 8urroun<)ed, 

Green were the glades of the tasselled larch ; 
White gleamed the kirk thro' its mouldering arch 
With the * graves o' his ain folk' round it. 

Then he watched the schoolboys at their plaiy, 
While the glow of sunset died away, 

And the long, long shades were faUing. 

And again, as he lingered a little while. 
By the hawthorn hedge, and the broken stile. 
His mother's voice was calling ; 

Calling her boy to his home once more. 
He answered the call as in days of 'yore,~ 
Was she there, indeed, to hear him ? 

' Mother, I come,' he whispered low ; 
He was weary and faint ; and longed to go 
To the rest that seemed so near him. 

And so he passed from the battle-plain, — 
From the blood-dewed sod, — and the silent slain, 
And the comrades round him lying. 

His blue eyes closed to the soft moonlight. 
And he passed to the land that hath no night. 
And the Life that knows no dying. 



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318 MODKBK S00TTI8H POBTR 



DUNCAN M'FAELANE M'NEIL 

MAS born at Eenfrew, in 1 830. When the sub- 
jeot of our sketch was about three years old 
his parents removed to Paisley. At an early age, and 
ere he had yet had , the advantage of school training, 
young M*Neil was sent to work as an assistant to his 
father and other weavers in the capacity of ** draw- 
boy," in which he had long hours and small wages. 
But his education was not in the meantime alto- 
gether neglected. Like many more of our Scottish 
youths of promise, his memory was stirred and 
his imagination fired by listening, at the fireside 
and in the weaving shops, to the recital of our national 
legends, ballads, and songs, which were more 
generally circulated half-a-oentury ago than they are 
now. When he reached the age of ten years, 
Duncan was taken from work and sent to school, but 
he only remained there for about a year, when he 
was sent back to his former employment. By this 
time, however, he had learned to read, and soon he 
was deep in the enjoyment of Tannahill's songs, 
Hector McNeill's " Will and Jean," Wilson's 
** Watly and Meg," Bums' poems, and books of a 
similar nature. At the age of fifteen years he was 
apprenticed to the baking trade, employing his spare 
winter hours in attendance at an evening school. 
Fond of solitary rambles by mountain, wood, and 
glen, our poet's soul was also fed and nourished at the 
fountain head of all true inspiration, and soon he 
began to express himself in verse. In 1860 he pub- 
lished a small volume of poems and songs, which had 
a very favourable reception, and the edition was 
speedily sold off. While this volume certainly con- 
tains a few blemishes, chiefly grammatical and 
orthographical, arising from the defective education 



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DUNCAN m'fABLANE MCNEILL. 319 

of its author, it also as unmistakably displays many 
of the oharaoteristics of the true child of song. We 
have the poet's sympathy with the beauties of Nature, 
his insight into the peculiarities of character and 
social life, and his ardent delineations of the tender 
passion. 

Yery shortly after the publication of his volume 
our author removed to Glasgow, where he has 
resided ever since, with the exception of three years, 
during which he was in the village of Duntocher. 
Of late he has occasionally contributed poems and 
songs to the local newspapers, the Scottish Banner, 
the P&opUU Friend, &c. 



THE BIRDS AND BARDS OP BONNIE SCOTLAND. 

The birds of bonnie Scotland, sae pleasant aye to hear 

Their music in the shady wood, sae sweet, sae pure, and clear ; 

They fill the mind wi' heavenly thoughts, wi' bliss they fiU the 

heart. 
Ye birds of bonnie Scotland, O ma^r we never part 
Ye bards of bonnie Scotland, come join wi' me your praise, 
To sing the birds of Scotland in many happy lays ; 
Till music sweet, and pure, and clear, shall m>m yoor throats 

arise. 
Till mortals on this earth shaU think *tis music from the skies. 

I hear the linnet singing saft among the heather bells, 

I hear the blackbird's rounded notes adown the wooded dells ; 

O what a happy throng I hear, O what a joyous choir, 

Te birds o' bonnie Scotland 1 re fill my heart wi* firt. 

Te bards o* bonnie Scotland, be ye wae and sad. 

Come up among the slaethom dens, your hearts will there be 

And wi' a thrill o* happiness, yell sing along wi' me. 
The birds of bonnie Scotland, o'er meadow, hill, and lea. 

O what a glorious gloamin' hour, the sun sinks in the west, 
A glow is o'er my raptured soul, as on this bank I rest ; 
But oh, what music now I hear, 'tis far beyond my ken, 
'Tis echoing in ilk dingle, 'tis echoing through the glen. 
Ye barda of bonnie Scotland, anew your harps now string. 
And wi' the mavis doon the glen, come wi me and sing ; 
It heralds in the morning snn, and sings it to the west. 
Ye birds of bonnie Scotland, wi' love ye thrill my breast. 



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320 MODBSir SCM>TTISH POBTB, 

Tlie iMic-ii mm on.^yering wiw, 'tis Boarinfi: oat of Ffew, 
Aod from ito specimed breast hath flungr the moniij^'s yearly 

dew; 
O hmpffy bird to sing sae sweet, and thus your notes prolong, 
Bnt ob^ how little power have 1 to sing so sweet a song. 
Te baros of bonnie Scotland^ wi* you I would prevail, . 
To sing ate shilphie^s livdy note, the yieldrin^ mournfa' tale ; 
O'er broomy knowe or heathery hill, in glen or flow'ry lea, 
O l^jrtbeaome birds of Siootlana, ye sing wi' muokle glee. 

IN OOR H008E AT E'EN. 

Blink, blilik, and lowe fu' bonnily, an' drive the cauld awa*. 
The win* is sharp, tiie frost is keen, an'-erumpin* is the snaW ; 
Come bairnies gaither roun' abool^ for here nae sntkyf is seen. 
An' 111 sing ye a Heartsome sang in oor hoose at e'en. 
In oor-hobS4B at e'en, in oor hoose at e'en, 
Sae bonnie is the lowein' fire in oor hoose at e'en. 

There's nae big grate atween the jams to look sae black and 



Bat just a wee biteommon **rib," sae code neat and trim» 
Nae oven htart wi^lirazen knobs, bnt oh how warm and clean — 
Wi' joy I draw my cha^r fn' close in oor hoose at e'en. 
In oorhbbse at'.'e'en, in oor hoose at e^en, 
Nae lack o' bliss I fin' ava, in oor hoose at e'en. 

There now, my pipne is doon again, I hear the bairns' uprqiff, 
Puir things they ha*^ forgotten clean that winter's at. the door ; 
They're ca'in' for liiiither sang, sweet Joy is in their een. 
An' aft they jirik arpun' my chair in oor hooSe at 'e'en. 

Ifa ooi^ hooc^ at e'en, in oor hoose at e'en. 

We'll ne'er mi^' saa their merry hearts in oor hoQse at, e'en. 

And there's the wife fu' happy like an' weel ; upon my aith 

Like lichnin* flash the needle jumps, fast oot and in the d&ith ; 

She-'*' men^n' np the bairnies' claes, an' makin' them look bien, 

I like to see her eident han' in oor hoose at e'en. 
In oor hobse at e'en, in oor hoose at e'en, 
I ken in hains the coppers aft in oor hoose at e'en. 

May ilka working man enjoy a warm fireside at hame. 

A trig bit hoose an' bonnie bairns, a plea^p^t thrifty aam« ; 

I wish it frae my ver^ heart, when frosty win's blaw keen. 

That ilka an'e could sing in glee, ** in oor hoose at e'en." 
Xp oor hoose at e'en, in oor hoose at e'en, 
There's nae place that I see ava like obr hoose at e'en. 

MY GRANNIE'S HEARTHSTANE. 

I think aft on days that are lang, lang syne gane. 
When I aft fell asleep on my grannie's hearthstane ; 
The griefs and the hardships in manhood we hae, 
The cares o' the morrow will drive them away.' 

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DUNCAN^M*FAKIiANB M*NBILL. 321 

The^gibes ane may get when his back's at the wa', 
A wee blink o' sunshine sen's sad thochts awa', 
But the days o' my childhood aft soothes me again— 
Oh, I ne'er can forget my auld grannie's hearthstane» 

A canny auld bodie, yet hearty was she, 

She liket a joke maist as weeFs her drap tea ; 

She leev't in a garret sae snug-like an' bien— 

Ilk thing was in order sae trig an' sae clean ; 

The dresser sae white-like, the broth plates in raws, 

The tin things a' shinin' that hung on the wa's ; 

The place was but sma', but it aye maks roe fain 

When I think on the nichts roun' my grannie's hearthstane. 

I hae heard tell o' paintin's an* panels sae grand 
That docket the ha's o' the great in the land- 
Sic things I ne'er dream'd o', what were they to me ? 
For aft through the nicht yet the auld place I see, 
Whaur I ran wi' my joys, my sorrows, an' a', 
For she cleaned up m^ daes if I happen'd to fa', 
And ne'er tauld my mither when droukit wi' rain. 
That my claes were a' dried at my grannie's hearthstane. 

Fu' weel do I mind when I whiles tore my claes, 

Or on some sharp stane would hae daudit my taes, 

My grannie would spread wi' her thoom a lump cake, 

An' nane on this yirth sican cakes could e'er bake. 

She mended my claes, an' she buckl'd my sair, 

She dried up my tears, an' she smooth'd doon my hair. 

Sic kindness I'll ne'er on this yirth see again. 

An' I'll never forget my auld grannie's heartlistane. 

I mind weel wi' what joy she would ay speak to me. 
An' aft the big Buke she would tak on her knee. 
And tell me to mind that wbate'er would befa'. 
That Christ oor Redeemer had died for xfs a' ; 
That works ne'er would save me unless I had faith. 
And if I had Christ that I needna fear death, 
Wi' heaven before me that death would he gain. 
Ah ! grand was the counsel at grannie's hearthstane. 

Bnt changes will come — that nane here can avert — 

Wi' changes whiles sorrow that maist break the heart. 

Ae day at the gloamin', when autumn was past, 

And the leaves o' the summer were borne on the blast, 

My auld grannie bliss't me, an[ slippit awa 

For a land whaur nae sorrow is e'er kenn'd ava. 

I sabbit an' grat till awa I was tane. 

And the beauty a' fled frae ray grannie's hearthstane. 



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322 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 



WILLIAM LAING THOMSON 

MAS bom at Cupar, Fife, in 1864. After 
receiving a good education he entered the 
office of a writer, where he remained until he was 
appointed clerk and bookkeeper in the local branch 
of the Dundee Advertiser. He writes occasional 
▼erses to the Fifeshire Journal and other newspapers, 
under the nam-de-plume ** Olympus." These are 
mostly lyrical productions, and possess considerable 
thought and pathos. 

TO A DESERT FLOWER. 

In vain thou was*t not made 
With g^raoefnl form, so beautifully fair. 
And fragrance sweet, embalming desert air,— 

I would not thee evade. 

Nor by mere chance didst find 
Thy place of lonely quiet there,— 
Freed from earth's corroding care, 

Thou'rt kissed by passing wind. 

By no rude mortal's hand 
Didst thou thy desert home receive. 
Nor doth the tyrant thee aggrieve 

For thy sweet home of land. 

In quiet of eventide. 
While soothing zephyr breezes blow, 
And while the western sun sinks low, 

I would be by thy side. 

Nut in the shady den. 
Or leafy forest hid from view, 
Hiy canopy is of azure hue. 

Thy drink the dews of heaven. 

Alone, too, with onr God, 
In deserts quiet with thee I'd be, 
And worship Him who watcheth thee. 

Where lew before have trod. 



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WILLTAM L. THOMSON. 323 

AFTER MANY YEARS. 

Ah, tmlj yes,^ the ncenes have changed ; 

But do mine eyes now dimmed with years 
Me trnly show my place of birth, 

The place of many hopes and fears ? 

Ah, yes, even yet can I discern 

The home of many years ago. 
From which in youth's fair morn I went 

This world to traverse to and fro. 

In many climes I've been since then, 

And roamed o'er many a distant land ; 

On manv an ocean's breast I've sailed. 

And trudged o'er tracts of shifting sand. 

Oh ! joy of earth. At home once more, 

Though now the homestead ruined stands ; 
Come, Sol, and grace it with thy smile, 
T'll welcome thee with outstretched hands. 

And there, too, is the old beech tree. 

And 'neatb it my old favourite seat, 
Where oft in summer eve I've sat 

All sheltered from the burning heat. 

There, too, I see the hawthorn bush, 

Though tall and wild since then it seems ; 

The rivulet still gently flows, 

Reflecting clear the sunny beams. 

The water-wheel which used to turn 

The honest miller's busy mill, 
No more its daily task pursues. 

But there it is, as we see still. 

That little spot of earth which I 

My garden was so proud to call. 
Is trimmed no more by human hands. 

For now by weeds 'tis covered idl. 

But when from scenes like these below, 

My tearful eyes I upward raise, 
There all the same is as when I 

In youth to heaven did love to ( 



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324 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 



EOBEET FISHEE, 

HUTHOE of a very iDteresting volume, entitled 
" Poetical Sparks," which has reached a 
second edition, was born at Fl'estwick, near Ayr, in 
1840. His father was an indnstriouB handloom 
weaver, and his mother having died when he was 
five J ears of age he was placed under the care of his 
grandfather, who resided at Maybole. Eobert at- 
tended school at that town, and afterwards at his 
native place. When little more than eleven years 
of age we find him plying the shuttle with great 
alacrity, and his limited spare time was spent in 
reading every description of books he could lay his 
hands on. When quite a youth he would take long 
solitary rambles in some wild romantic glen, and 
we have specimens of his precocious skill in word- 
painting, giving evidence of his poetic powers when 
only about fourteen years of age. At this time he 
left the weaving trade, hired himself to a farmer, 
and followed agricultural pursuits for three years, 
after which he was apprenticed to a ship- 
wright, went out to Africa, returned home, and 
worked for some time in Govan and Eenfrew, and at 
present he follows the calling of a bookseller in 
Dumfries. 

Mr Fisher is an antiquarian of some repute, and 
is a member of the Antiquarian and Natural History 
Society of Dumfries and Galloway, before which he 
recently read an exhaustive paper entitled ** Personal 
Observations on Nature, and Sketches of Travel in 
Western Africa," which he is about to enlarge and 
publish in book form. As a poet, his versification is 
smooth, his thoughts natural, and many of his 
verses show the tender side of the poet's nature. 
This is seen in many of his English compositions — in 



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ROBERT FISHER. 325 

his volume, and^t intervals in " the poet's corner " — 
in which he expresses his thoughts on various not- 
ahle events and incidental occurrences. But when he 
adopts the Scotch vernacular, and writes with simple 
homeliness on the subject of domestic joys and cares, 
and with fine quiet humour paints the peculiarities of 
village characters, he is unusually felicitous. In his 
own words, his 

" Harae-spun thochts are best expressed 
In mither tongue — ^they're aye the best." 

Altogether, Mr Fisher is a poet who has written 
much that is tender, musical, and refined, and he 
has evidently a warm sympathy with all that is good 
and true. 



I'VE LOST MY MITHER'S WEAN. 

Oflf through the busy crowded street, 
Behind the big drum's merry beat, 

A lifctle girl of seven, 
Her father's house had wandered from, 
But ere she left that happy home 

A oharge to her was given. 

The music charmed her youthful ear, 
She pressed behind its notes to hear, 

And catch each rolling strain. 
A darling wandered from her side, 
When, lo ! she turned and wildlv cried 

" I've lost my mither's wean.' 

She stood and cried and firmly pressed 
The youngest darling to her breast. 

Her heart was rent with pain, 
And still the burden of her cry 
Was to each careless passer by 

** Tve lost my mither's wean." 

With joy her aching heart was crowned. 
For soon her little one was found. 

She could not well retain 
The joy she felt as through the crowd 
She homeward ran, so pleas'd and proud 

She'd found her mither's wean. 



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326 MODERN SGOTTIfiH POSTS. 

A. lesson'ti here for young and old, 
To watch the lambs within the fcid — 

They way from us be riven : 
But cheering for us all to know, 
That though we lose them here below— 

There's *' nae weans " lost in heaven. 

NATURE'S MUSIC. 

The dread hullow moan of the deep surging sea, 
Has music more pleasant and sweeter to me 
Than all human instruments, sweet though they be. 
For it's tuned by the finger of God. 

The weird and sad sigh of the wintry wind 
Leave lasting impressions more deep on my mind 
Than all works of art in the world I can find ; 
It issues from regions untrod. 

The rumbling roll of the great thunder's crash, 
And the wonders wrought by the lightning's flash, 
Makes man's puny works but a nutshell of trash- 
It's awfully grand and sublime. 

And the searching rays of the brilliant sun — 
The guide of the earth since Nature began. 
And so will remain till Nature is done— 
The vast denoter of time. 

The musical tone of the wee winding rill, 
Kising far on the peak of some heathery hill, 
Flowing gently aside and supplying the mill, 
Then pursuing its course to the sea. 

The erie sound of the tall mountain trees 
Scattering their leaves on the sad autumn breeze ; 
And the plaintive notes of the busy bees 
Has a world of pleasure for me. 

TO A SNOWDROP. 

Hail ! lovely unassuming gem. 
Again I see thy slender stem 

Appear above the earth. 
Oh, let me muse but one brief hour. 
In some sequestered lonely bower, 

To celebrate thy birth. 

Although no fragrance thou dost shed, 
Around thy little snow-girt bed, 

Earth's breast thou dost adorn. 
I love to see thy face so fair, 
For thee I look with anxious care, 

And long till thou art bom. 



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ROBERT FISUSR. 327 

How short thy time on earth below, 
Sweet emblem of the ermine snow 

That melts *neath sunny rays ; 
The strongest link in Nature's chain 
Must break — thou can'st not here remain — 

Fair emblem of our days. 

Although of stature thou art mean, 

Yet Nature's wide and varied scene 
Holds not a purer thing 

Than thy snow-tinted, spotless form, 

That bears the blast of rain and storm- 
First messenger of Spring. 



AULD GRANNIE'S TABN AWA. 

When the com was waving yellow, and the days were lang and 

clear. 
And the leaves were gently fa'in' in the autumn o' the year, 
Auld Grannie took an ill turn, and freens and neighbours a' 
Gather'd round about her bedside to see her taen awa. 

For Grannie ¥ra8 a favourite wi' baith the auld and young, 
She was a clinker wi' the hands, and a glib ane wi' the tongue ; 
A clean thriftv body, wi' a mutch as white as snaw. 
Her equal will be hard to fin* since noo she's taen awa. 

She was troubled wi' rheumatics for mony a lang year. 
They took sae firm a grip o' her that whiles she couldna steer. 
And though she had her crutches she was often like to fa' ; 
But they re a' left ahint her noo, and Grannie's taen awa. 

We can scarcely think her gane, though we see her vacant 

chair. 
When we step into her tidy hoose we think she should be there. 
And a tear starts frae oor e'e, and a heavy sigh we draw. 
We ken we ne'er shall see her mair, for noo she's taen awa. 

She had mon]^ ups and doons in her three score and ten. 
Though fechtin' tae get en's tae meet, she managed aye to fen ; 
She gather'd up her bawbees, and bocht a coo or twa. 
For Grannie was a saving ane, but noo she's taen awa. 

The women folks will miss her maist when trouble fa's their lot, 
For when wanted as a sick nurse, she aye was on the spot ; 
She needed nae instructions, nor made a great fracoa', 
For Grannie ken'd her wark sae weel, but noo she's taen awa. 

The bits o' bairns will miss her sair, as ilka neebour says. 

For Grannie was a perfect ban' at tying broken taes ; 

She could soothe their wee bit sorrows, was fond to see them 

braw, — 
But we a' are sad an' lonely noo that Grannie's taen awa. 



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328 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

OLD REMEMBRANCES. 

O weel I mind the borough, the auld sea-girt borough, 

Where first I saw the clear licht o' day ; 
As memory wanders back o'er time's trodden track, 

What strange things it finds by the way. 

weel I mind the kirk, the auld roofless kirk, 

Surrounded by memorials of the dead. 
Many wild wintry blasts o'er its bare walls have passed 

And have struck against its consecrated h«ad. 

O weel I mind the burn, the wee wimpling burn. 

Meandering its way to the sea, 
Where minnows swam in shoals, I guddled in the holes 

Wi' my breeks buckled up o'er my knee. 

O weel I mind the braes, the bonnie heather braes, 

Where I chased the wild butterfly and bee. 
Till, warm on simmer days, I stripped off my claes, 

And heedlessly ran into the sea. 

weel I mind the shore, the bright shelvy shore. 

Its gowden sand glistening in the sun ; 
Freedom reigned supreme, time sped on like a dream. 

Though wi' me it was only then begun. 

O weel I mind the whins, the yellow tappit whins, 
Whaur the Unties built their cosy nests wi' care. 

And the blossoms o' the broom sent its delicate perfume 
In zephyrs floating sweetly through the air. 

Oh ! where are all my playmates, my kind and hardy playmates, 
Ah \ time hath wrought her changes very fast ; 

Then let it be my theme through the ever changing dream 
To prepare for a brighter home at last. 



DAVID BUCHANAN 

MAS born at Dundee in 1844. His parents 
died when he was four years of age, and he 
was brought up at Blackwater, Glenshee, and at- 
tended sphool till he was nearly fourteen. He worked 
with farmers in the neighbourhood of Glenshee for 



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DAVID BUCHANAN. 929 

seven years, then became a van-driver, and for the 
last eight years he has been employed as lodge and 
storekeeper in a large shipbuilding yard at Dundee. 
Our poet was for nearly three years precentor in Cray 
Church, and on resigning the office when leaving the 
district he was handsomely rewarded by the congre- 
gation, by which he was much esteemed. He has 
written poetry since he was twenty years of age, and 
many of his productions have appeared in news- 
papers and religious periodicals. It is interesting to 
note the peculiar circumstances under which be first 
began to court the muse. He had been long confined 
to the house through an accident, and having read 
all the books he could procure from friends, he, as a 
pleasing exercise, and to pass a weary hour, tried his 
hand at rhyme. That he has done so to good purpose, 
the samples we give will prove. They are full of 
neatly expressed sentiment, depth of thought, and 
purity of feeling, and highly creditable to th^ head 
and heart of one in very humble circumstances. He 
has written numerous poems suitable for reading at 
temperance meetings — a subject in which he has 
taken a very deep interest, and his intelligent study 
of nature and of books is shown in an ambitious and 
well thought out poem entitled ** Creative Wisdom," 
which opens as follows : — 

Strack by the truth reflective minds observe 
All things were made their proper ends to serve, 
An ardent wish within me md arise 
To note Creation's works so good and wise, 
In measured rhyme, for such a form seemed best 
To fix the memory, or to move the breast, 
And that the mind perchance may better know 
The pleasures which those studies can bestow. 

Wide was the subject, and I oft would ask 
Can I presume to undertake the task ? 
Creative Wisdom ! Ah ! a theme so high 
Should be essayed by worthier bards than I, 
Strains so magnificent and so divine 
Require a nobler, sweeter harp than mine. 
Earth's brightest poets would find ample scope 
To sing of beauty from the airiest top 



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330 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS, 

Of Mount Pama$8iu. Tea, enraptured soar 
To realms of science never reached before. 

To weigh it well, why, it would take an age, 
A lifetime of a scientific sa^e. 
Thousands of years this tonic would embrace 
The highest talents of the human race. 
And still its mighty treasury would be 
As unexhausted as the deep blue sea. 

Yet such as I some golden grains might earn, 
And studying this a lofty lesson learn ; 
Resolved I try, some line or word may come 
To cause reflection and do good to some. 

David Buchanan's poetry is refined and chaste both 
in thought and expression. Although his Doric lyrics 
are pleasing and musical, they are not equal to his 
reflective compositions, which, in a fair degree, pos- 
sess some of the susceptibilities and inherent ap- 
preciation of the beautiful and the pure that are ever 
the characteristics of the poet. 

KINDNESS. 

May kindness attend us, whaurever we gang, 
Sae. let it commend us to sing a kind sang. 
Be kind to ilk ither, for kindness is sweet, 
Be kind as a brither to a* that you meet. 

Be kind to auld grey fouk, their time is but short 
Be kind to young gay fouk, destroy not their sport. 
Be kind to a' classes, whether puir fouk or braw. 
For kindness surpasses guid sentiments a*. 

Tis life to the cheerful, the sullen, or grave, 
'Tis hope to the fearful, an* strength to the brave. 
'Tis nil to the biUow whaur passions arise, 
'TIS down to the pillow whaur sufferin' lies. 

A kindly word spoken, a kindly deed dune. 
May lift the heart-broken their sorrows abune. 
Tis a source o' great pleasure, a sun in life's sky, 
Tis a weU oot o' measure that never runs dry. 

FAREWELL. 

Farewell to old Scotia, my dear native land ; 
Farewell to her wild woods and mountains so grand ; 
Farewell to the glen where I've spent my voung days ; 
Farewell to its heather-clad moorland ana braes ; 



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DAVID BUCHA17AN. 331 

Farewell to the cot which has long been my home ; 
It will bring sweet reflections wherever I roam ; 
Farewell, little warblers of every green dale ; 
Farewell, limpid streamlet that winds thro' the vale ; 

With yon I can sunder ; but, ah, it is sore 
To part with my Nelly, and see her no more. 
Farewell, loving brothers ; to me you are dear ; 
Farewell, all companions and friendships sincere ; 
Soon, soon the wild ocean between us shall roar, 
And my dear lovely Nelly I may not see more. 

Farewell I this sad parting may yet prove a boon. 
And the bark that will bear you will follow me soon ; 
Despair not, my darling, and when you come o'er 
We will live in sweet union, and part nevermore. 

A RUINED LIFE. 

In the far, far West, in the prairie dell, 
Where the " Settler Whites '^ 'mong the Indians dwell, 
Was a native chief, ** Swift Runner " by name, 
For he was as swift as the prairie game, 

And as swiftly life's path he trod ; 
And his fame grew dark and his features grim ; 
For the white man s whisky was ruining him, 

And he could not belive in his God. 

Yet still more fierce his aspect grew. 
His foes increased, and his friends were few ; 
His brain was fired, and his heart was hard, ' 
And for God or man he had no regard 

As he sped on his downward road : 
And his sense of right waxed weak and dim ; 
For the white man's whisky had ruined him, 

And he would not believe in his God. 

And still the drink-fiend goaded him on, 
Till human feeling was almost gone. 
Till his darkened spirit knew no rest ; 
While he cherished a hatred in his breast^ 

And a thirst for the white man's blood. 
Till his murderous cup was full to the brim ; 
For the white man's whisky had ruined him, 

And he would not believe in his God. 

A dagger he drew as the drink he quaffed. 
His reason had fled, for he wildly laughed, 
As he sprang on a white, and his life he took. 
And laved his hands in the crimson brook. 

Ah it moistened the prairie sod ; 
And he swore as he severed each quivering limb. 
That the white man's whisky had ruined him, 

And he would not believe in his Gt>d. 



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MODKBN flOOITIBH POSTS. 

Bat JoBtioe caiuht him and boand him ttmt. 
And demanded its doe, and his die ¥ra8 cast 
When the white man erected a gibbet high, 
Where the fearless culprit was led to die — 

To relinquish life's weigh^ load ; 
But he cared not to sever life's thread so slim ; 
For the white man's whisky had ruined him, 

And he would not believe in his God. 

And a priest drew near to prav for his soul, 
£re it winged its flight to its final goal. 
But he bade him begone for a base hypocrite, 
For whom he cared less than the dust of his feet, 

Or a loathsome, crawling toad ; 
But give him an Indian death-dance grim ; 
For the white man's whisky had ruined him. 

And he would not believe in his God. 

FAITH. 

Faith is a precious diamond. 

Set in the crown of grace, 
Its origin is lofty. 

Heaven is its native place. 

But its abode is lowly. 

It dwells upon the earth ; 
With poor and sinful creatures 

It makes its humble berth. 

' It gives the Christian warrior 
A sword and shield to fight. 
Cheers him in every conflict, 
And puts his foes to flight. 

The lips of prayer it opens. 
Each want on hiffh doth raise ; 

The stream of life ft tumeth 
To one of active praise. 

The mind of God the Father 

It readeth with deU^ht, 
As on the cross 'tis written 

In golden letters bright. 

It crowns the lovely Jesus, 

As king of every land ; 
It sees the heavenly kingdom, 

That evermore shall stand. 

It breaks through clouds of darkness, 
Dispels all doubts and fears ; 

It views the coming glory. 
When Christ, its life, appears. 

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ALEZAKDEB STBWABT. 2SS 

And here we find the secret — 

It leaves all in Grod's hand ; 
The times, the means, the method, 

Are all at His command. 



ALEXANDEE STEWAET, 

mPOET of pure thought and fine feeling, was 
bom at Dunfermline, in 1821. His father 
came from Inverness-shire when a young man, and 
his mother was born within three miles of Dunferm- 
line. Mr Stewart was an officer of Her Majesty's 
Customs for some years in a small port on the Firth 
of Forth, and was promoted in 1855 to the Liverpool 
Customhouse, where he officiated for nearly thirty 
years, and retired on superannuation in 1883. For 
many years our poet has taken a deep interest in 
various public and social questions, and has fre- 
quently contributed prose and verse to the periodical 
literature of the day. Though living so long across 
the Border, he has ever felt a loving attachment to 
his native place, and a keen interest in all that con- 
cerned its welfare and prosperity. He has written 
numerous poems on the subject of early scenes and 
memories of the happy days of childhood, and has 
contributed to the Scotsman and other newspapers a 
number of poems, full of noble and patriotic senti- 
ments and of much historical interest, illustrative of 
Dunfermline and its Abbey in the olden time — 
Scotland's ancient capital, where dwelt and were 
buried for centuries the kings, queens, and nobles 
of the land. These poems were frequently written after 
weary hours, or when Mr Stewart was engaged in the 
hurry and monotony of a busy life, and as a recreation 
and change to the mind after the labours of the day. 



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334 MODSBK SCOTTISH POETS. 

Traces of deepest feeling, with the expressions of 
loftiest aim, and a subdued well regulated spirit 
run like a silver thread through his miscellaneous 
pieces, and all evince in no small degree noble and 
generous sentiments, tenderness of feeling, and 
felidty of expression. 

THE ABBEY CHURCH BELLS. 

At eventide, when in the west, 

The ^ates of night are glowing, 
When wearied labour seeks for rest. 
And when the young moon's rising orest 

Her softest beams are showing ; 

And when through midnight's gloom profound 
Dark ghostly shades are looming, 

O'er slumbering homesteads all around, 

And o'er each silent graveyard mound. 

Break forth thine echoes booming ! 

By day and night, through sun and shower, 

Thy warning voice is falling, 
Touchinp^ the heart with solemn power. 
And telling that each passing hour 

l8 one that'9 past recalling / 

In varying moods thine echoes seem 

Like night winds dark communing. 

Now like the rolling of a stream, 

Or strains of music in a dream 

While choirs their songs are tuning. 

And bygone times again appear, 

Bright vanished dreams revealing. 

When broke on childhood's wondering ear 

Thy startling music, deep and clear. 
And dibtant echoes pealing. 

From thy grey tower long may'st thou toll 

In tones harmonious blending. 
Swelling, like ocean's solemn roll, 
A spirit song to reach the soul. 

While men are churchward wending. 

Ages have come and gone since thou 

First pealed in Sabbath chorus, 

Inviting men the knee to bow ; 

The refrain of thy song is **JNfoto/* 
In tones deep and sonorous. 



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ALEXANDBB STEWART. 335 

Ring Sabbath bells I with rousing ohime, 

Thy deep and solemn greeting. 
Call with thy thrilling notes sublime 
The living to " redeem " the " time," 

For life is short and fleeting ! 



TO AN AUTUMN FLOWER. 

Fair flower ! in robes of beauty dress'd, 

Alight with glittering gold, 
Who studded so thy jewelled crest 

With charms so manifold ? 

Who gave to thee such matchless grace ? 

Who formed each tiny stem ? 
A ^eam of heaven illumes thy face, 

Thou winsome little gem ! 

Whence have such lustrous tints their birth ? 

Whence comes thy rich perfume ? 
Thou'rt rooted in the clods of earth — 

Whence then thy fairy bloom ? 

How can a thing with charms like thine, 
Sprung from damp soil and cold, 

Look so ethereal and divine — 
So framed in heavenly mould ? 

With timid grace thou ope'st thine eye, 

To greet the dewy morn ; 
The pearly drops that on thee lie 

Thy glistening leaves adorn. 

When shines high noon, thou hold'st levee 
'Midst hum and song birds' lay ; 

The winged tribe — the wandering bee, 
Their fluttering homage pay. 

Thou know'st the time to seek repose 

When sinks the glowing sun ; 
Tis then thy tender petals close, 

Thy daily duty done. 

When all is hushed o'er hill and dale. 

To screen thee from the night 
Thou gather'st close thy leafy veil, 

Till breaks the morning light. 

And thus beneath heaven's starry dome. 

No dream of care or sorrow, 
Thou slumberest in thy perfumed home. 

With no thoaght for the morrow. 



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386 M01>£RN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Thanks to thee, lovely, modest flower, 
Sent like a sunbeam's ray, 

To gild with hope man's fleeting hour, 
And brighten life's highway. 

Oh I pretty, stainless thing so rare — 

Emblem of purity ; 
If thon'rt so perfect and so fair, 

What must thy Maker be 1 



WAITING. 

Wandering by the lonely shore, 

With a heart that's aching, 
I hear the waves moan, evermore 

While at my feet they're breaking, 
The mighty waters ebb and flow. 
Rolling, surging, to and fro ; 
JNow wailing deep, now sobbing low, 
While I am weary waiting ! 

Wand'ring by the lonely shore, 

Sad and weary waiting ; 
But my love comes nevermore 

To the heart that's breaking. 
When stars begem the vault of night. 
And Luna sheds her silver light, 
In pity, from their heavenly neight. 
They view my weary waiting. 

Listening by the lonely shore 

I hear, while weary waiting, 
" ffe'll come no more — he'll come no moi'e** 
^ To the heart that's breaking ! 
Spring and summer come and go. 
Autumn with its golden glow. 
Winter draped in'shroud of snow. 
He comes not for my waiting. 

" Why wait ye by the lonely shore ? 

In vain is all thy waiting, 
Alas ! the heart beats nevermore 

For whom thine own is breaking. 
He sleeps beneath the wand'ring wave. 
O'er his breast dark waters lave, 
But know, true love outlives the grave. 
Then cease thy weary waiting." 

"Safe has he reached the golden shore, 
And for thee now is waiting ; 

Earth's * fitful fever,' all is o'er, 
Th£ dawn of life is breaking ! 



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ALEXANDER STEWART. 337 

Beyond the 6ood whose shores divide 
Thee from thy love on yonder side, 
As bridegroom waits the coming bride, 
For thee— for thee he*s waiting^ !" 



THE LIFEBOAT. 

Hark I amid the darkness falling, 
And the thnnd'ring winds appalling, 
Comes an urgent signal calling 

Help from o'er the seas ! 
Rouse, ye heroes, brave and daring, 
Ye of lite and limb unsparing, 
Oft with death before yon staring, 
Face the dreadful breeze i 

Though the night be frowning, 
On to save the drowning. 

Forward all ! 

At mercy's call. 
Your noblest actions crowning ! 
Man the lifeboat— this is glory. 
Rather to be famed in story . 
Than the field of battle gory 

Nations hold so dear. 

Soon the boat through billows tow'ring 
And the blinding deluge show'ring, 
Nears the wreck where all are cow'ring, 

From a yawning grave ; 
Now, amid the thunder pealing, 
And the hungry billows reeling. 
In the lifeboat safe they're kneeling— 

Rescued from the wave. 

Hearts and eyes o'erflowing. 
Grateful thanks bestowing. 

To the brave 

Who came to save, 
When death's pale face was showing. 
The welcome haven gained at lant, 
And now are sheltered from the blast ; 
While kindness dims the dreary past 

And dries the bitter tear. 



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338 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 



ANDEEW GLASS. 

'A^HE subject of this sketch is a native of Girvan, 
Vk where be was born in 1820. The town itself 
has nothing about it calculated to strike the 
young poetic mind, but in its neighbourhood there 
are scenes of much romantic and historic interest, 
and also of soft enchanting beauty. Not far away, 
too, an extensive and magnificent view is obtained 
of the Frith of Clyde, the waters of which wash 
the coast of Ayrshire for many a mile, and away to 
the west the huge and rocky Ailsa rears it bald head 
defiantly above the foaming billows at its base. 
Such scenes began early to afPbct the young sool of 
the poet, and their influence is still to be found 
in his writings. 

The parents of Mr Glass were poor but industrious 
people, who followed the calling of handloom weav- 
ing, and he, after a very brief elementary education, 
was put to the same trade, at which, however, he 
never gained much proficiency, as the bias of his 
mind lay in another and more ambitious direction. 
He early manifested an insatiable thirst for know- 
ledge, but money was scarce, and books hard to pro- 
cure. A kindly magistrate, however, noticing not 
only the bent of his mind, but being convinced of his 
latent talent, paid his subscription to the circulating 
library; and his desire for knowledge and love of 
literature have grown upon him through life. At 
this period (and at an earlier age than Ohatterton or 
Scott) Mr Glass began ** to give his soul to song," but 
he was induced to leave the faculty to rust, owing to 
the jeers of those who sneered at the ideiei of a poor 
lad like him writing verses or possessing any literary 
talent, of which they themselves were void. After 
sometime, however, he strung his harp anew, and 



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ANDREW GLASS. 339 

for years contributed poems to the local news- 
papers. Some of his efforts came under the eje of 
Hugh M'Donald, the genial and talented author of 
*'Bambles Boimd Glasgow" and ''Days at the 
Coast," who was then editing one of the Glasgow 
newspapers. He took kindly notice of Mr Glass, and 
spoke highly of his verses. Shortly after this, our 
poet was attached to the staff of the Ayr Observer , 
and during his long connection with it he wrote 
a number of exceedingly interesting traditionary tales 
and sketches, several of which have been published 
in book form. At present Mr Glass is engaged on 
one of the Glasgow toeeUies. 

In 1869 Mr Glass published a volume of '' Poems 
and Songs," which is now in a fourth edition. He 
has a fine eye for nature, which he describes truth- 
fully, but at the same time with the fine setting and 
the graceful touches of fancy and imagination. His 
verse is at all times musical and smooth, with a slight 
inclination towards melancholy, though not of an un- 
pleasant tone. The sweet -flowing Girvan, with the 
lesser streams which flow into it, seem ever present 
to his mind. There is a quiet grace, as well as a 
melodious cadence, with occasional vigour and spirit, 
in the language in which his poetry is couched, which 
indicate the possession of no mean literary skill, and 
fine imaginative powers. 

THE SEA. 

Suggested by the Wreck of " The London.'* 

Sea t beautiful sea, how sweet to stray 
O'er the sunlit beach, on a summer day I 
When the rippling waves on the firolden shore 
Are sinffinff such dream-like music o*er, 
That echo is silent within the care, 
And the sea-RuU sleeps on the azure wave. 
While the sailor boy longs for the breeze to come 
That shall waft him back to his old loved home. 

Sea ! stormy sea, how dread the roi^r 
Of thy wintry waves on the rocky shore t 



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340 MODBRN SCOTTISH POETS. 

When the foam of their fnrv is flnng on high, 
O'er the beetling crags whicn their wrath defy ; 
When the mermaids, dripping within their oavQB, 
Look with affright on the yeasty waves, 
And the hqrricane's voice, in the rock-bound bay 
Is heard o'er the mountains far away. 

Sea ! boisterous sea, when thy waves run high. 
And lightnings dart from the murky sky, 
When cloud o'er cloud in confusion is hurled. 
Like the massive wreck of a mighty world — 
Then the stately ship and her gallant crew 
Shudder to try their strength with you ; 
For there's death to those who dare to brave 
The might that rests in thy crested wave. 

Sea ! pitiless sea, could'st thou not spare 

**Tlie London," with her freight so fair 

Of women and children, and men as brave 

As ere in thy waters found a grave ? 

Gould their lofty courage not melt thy mood. 

As serene on the storm-swept deck they stood t 

And while friends in the air were ringing their knell. 

Replied with a prayer and a calm farewell ! 

Sea ! terrible sea, retain you mav 
Such trophies won till the final day ; 
But when earth is ended, and time is fled. 
And thou art commanded to yield thy dead. 
Then issuing forth from thy depths far down, 
Thev shall rise to receive their immortal crowp. 
And cast a last radiant look on thee, 
As they pass to where ** there is no more sea.'* 

BEAUTIFUL MAY. 

Vocal as ever with music and mirth, 
May has returned to beautify earth- 
Joyously tripping o'er moorland and green. 
Scattering gifts like a beautiful queen. 
Breathing her fragrance through wildwood and dell. 
Shedding rich sunshine on mountain and fell ; 
How the green hedgerows their rich robes display. 
Fresh from the fingers of beautiful May. 

Shaking the bright dews of earth from his wings. 
The laverock with ecstacy heavenward springs ; 
Over the streamlet the swift swallows skim, 
Trying to twitter, like others, a hymn. 
H nmmfng and working, the hees are abroad, 
Where the bright blossoms in !T)yria<1s nod ; 
Meadows appear like the sky's milky way. 
Garnished with gowans by beautiful May. 



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ANDBEW GLASS. 341 

Into the ravine the sun sends his beams, 
Drying the beds of the darlc mountain streams ; 
Making the rivers that hone diired to ford 
Shallow and bright as a silvery cord. 
Beautiful flovfners in festoons are htxng 
O'ffr the bleak rucks where the fleet waters sung ; 
LowljT the cataract now seems to say — 
"Thride are ye welcome back, beautiful May." 

Come from the city, and share the soft breeze, 
Sighing and dying among the green trees ; 
Sweet is the music that rings through the grove, 
Breathing of harmony, innocence, love. 
Come to the shade of the fern-fringed rock, 
Where the blithe shepherd is tending his flock. 
And sadness will flee from your heart far away. 
When breathing the incense of beantifnl May. 

THE BONNIE STREAMS 0' AYRSHIRE. 

^e bonnie streams o' Ayrshire, 

As on their course they run, 
Like siller belts around the hills 

Thesr sparkle in the sun. 
And Simmer spreads the fairest flow'rs 

Upon the classic braes, 
Whaar linger still the echoes sweet 

O' Bums's deathless lays. 

The beauties o' the Doon and Ayr 

Resound in many a land, 
Whaur music floats through myrtle bowers. 

Far frae famed;Carriek's strand ; 
But the Girvan hides its unaung worth 

Amongst its leafy shaws. 
An' jinks an* jouka by broomy knotres, 

An' ancient lordly ha's. 

There lee me stray one hour or sae 

Upon the braes and dream, 
Whaur fair Killochan's stately trees 

Are mirrored in the stream. 
Oh, haunts o* youth ! oh, ha me </ luye ! 

Yet through the mist o* years 
They rush unbidden on my sicli^. 

An* bl4nd my een wi' tears. 

The world has only left me thia — 

The memory o' tne past ; 
It cannot take what Time has spared 

Unclouded to the last. 
The fairy stream, the flowery dell^, 

Dear— though unkent to fame — 



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842 MODKUN 800XTIBH POKT8. 

The hallowed haanti, forever fair 
Around my yoathf ul hame. 

THE BUN'S OANE TO REST. 
The Ban's gaae to rest, love, behind yon great monntaiti, 

That looms in wild grandear across the deep sea ; 
The stars beam in beauty upon the clear fonntain. 

The ffowans are sleeping upon the green lea. 
The voices are mute o the birds in the wildwood ; 

The bat, like the swallow, now winnows the air ; 
Ob ! come to the burn where we paidled in childhood, 

like thy bonnie sel', Jean, its face is aye fair. 

The wUd rose nods there to the bright water's singing, 

Awa to its hame in the wide spreading sea ; 
While o'er it the woodbine its fragrance is flinging, 

And hushed is the hum o' the wild mountain bee. 
Years, lang years hae fled since we pu'd the red heather, 

To theek the wee houses we bigg'a on its braes ; 
An' wove 'neath the hazel our wee heads thegether. 

Those visions as bright as the sun's setting rays. 

When far, far awa', love, I ever was dreaming 

Upon the fair face that I loved mair than fame ; 
It cheered me whaur war's gorjy banner was streaming. 

Afar frae my country, my kindred, an' hame. 
Afar frae this burnie, its heath-bells, an' gowans, 

I dreamed o' my Jeanie across the deep sea ; 
I dreamed o' the spot whaur we pu'd the red rowans, 

An' shook the brown nit frae the auld hasel tree. 

Sweet haunts, ever dear, whaur in life's sunny morning 

We followed the minnows that played in the stream ; 
While o'er us the midges their dances were forming, 

Wbaor we danced, too, like them on the daisy-dad green. 
Here, blest wi' your love, in the lowliest shieling. 

The sun o' enjoyment wad ne er set again : 
She sunk on his bosom — ^her blushes concealing — 

An' murmur'd, " Dear laddie, my heart's a' yer ain." 



WILLIAM ALLAN, 

BOOKBINDEK, was born at Fuotdee, Aberdeen, 
in 1844. He k presently in the employment 
of Messrs Pirie & Bona, 8fcp9eywood Paper Works, 

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WILLIAM ALLAN, Md^ 

near Aberdeen, and is a valued contributor of poems 
and songs co the local newspapers. Mr Allan writes 
with a realism and simplicity and directness of pur- 
pose that better-known poets might well feel proud 
of. He has an intimate acquaintance with the Doric, 
and can make effective use of it, while much of his 
poetry shows warm home affection, love of nature, 
with touches of genial humour pleasingly and musi- 
cally expressed. 

THE AULD HOOSE. 

O the atild hoose. the auld boose, fair fa' thy oouthie beild, 
Its winnocks o* toe bygane days, its riggin' marked wi' eild, 
What though the hoosie be na braw, leal hearts are aye within, 
An* far as craws' flicht keep fell care frae tirlin' at the kin. 

O the auld hoose, the auld hoose, wi' glee its wa's hae rung. 
When couthie greetings welcomed a', and cheerie sangs were 

sung* 
Nae ingle blinked on blyther hearts, nae happier could they be, 
The kind guidwife gied scouth to a' aneth tne auld roof -tree. 

the auld hoose, the auld hoose, fond memories roun' thee 

ding. 
Though mony a mile o' sea an' Ian' hae broke the in<):le'8 rinsr. 
The bairns' bairnies a' met there whan Sabbath eve cam' rooti', 
Wi' hallowed strains frae guileless hearts their Maker's praise 

wad croon. 

The beathety peak on Brimmon's brow is purplin' in the west, 
The peace o Scotia's Sabbath eve will close the day o' rest, 

1 see across the weary wave a beam o' slaiitin' licht 

That lingers on the dear auld hoose now hidden frae my iticht. 

Sae fades the scenes o' childhood's morn frae a' but fancy's «'e. 
But rosy tints o* sunset born aye gild their memorie ; 
Amang the treasures o' the heart the hoose will liand its ain. 
Whan baimies' bairns wi' hafiits grey, at e'en are hirplin hame. 

WE'VE AYE HELD OOR AIN. 

Ance mair the bard of Coila my feeble harp inspires, 
And tunes it to the heather land o' free men of our sires ; 
Nae dullsome strains o' wae be mine, nor gloomy the refrain, 
For in days bygane, we will maintain, we've aye held oor ain. 

Xs there a page in history through whilk a man micht kee'c 
But ineddlers get frae Scottish hearts their kail through the 
fe<d£? 



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344 MODBRN 8C0TTISH FOBTS. 

The " Nemo me " has blazed afar on mony a bloudy plain. 
For in days bygane, we will maintain, we*ve aye held oat ain. 

The Scottish heid is hard to crack, yet often in the van ; 
There's mair than what the spoon pits in within the hampaA. 
Lang may the hamelv tartan wave aboot their shanks sae'bare, 
And their fireside still be guarded by the challenge '* Touch who 
dare.** 

High o*er yon misty mountain the sun is keekin* throui^, 
Nae place whaur despots' feet can tread will open to the view ; ' 
The foreign cocks may loodly craw on midden neids at hame. 
We'll this maintain, wi' micht and main, and aye baud oor ain. 



FEANCIS HAEPEE 

MAS bom in ** bonnie Feughs Glen," twenty- 
eight miles west from Aberdeen, in 1865. 
The second son of a family of nine, he received a fair 
'' country" education, and when he left school at the 
age of fourteen, he had made considerable advance- 
ment in the higher branches. About this tim^ Mb 
father, who was tenant of the farm of Balnaboth, liad, 
on account of bad seasons and serious losses, to give up 
hiis lease, and those of the family who were old enough 
had to leave the parental roof, and engage in woi'k. 
We find the subject of our notice apprenticed to a 
general merchant in the village of Banchory, abbtit 
eighteen iniles from the ** Granite City"; but after 
having served three years of his time, his health gaVift 
way, and his master seeing that the lad's heart was 
not in his work allowed him to leave. He was sick 
of being 

Pent up in a shop from morn till nioht, 
Debarr'd o* nature's glorious licht, 
Wi' ne'er a sprig o' green. 

His fondnesQ for out-door labour was such that ev^n 

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FBAXOIS HAEPBB. 



m 



his school holidayB were gladly sjient in working in 
the fields ; and at present we find him engaged as 
a farm servant not far from the home of his boyhood, 
thoroughly contented with his lot, and, a« he says, 
** always happy to work alongside Nature." 

Frota his early years our poet manifested a strong 
love for Scottish poetry ; and the poems and songs af 
Bums, and the writings of Soott, hate been to him 
exhaustless sources of mental pleasure. For several 
years his effusions have appeared in l/he poet's 
comer of the Aberdeen WeeMy SerdU and Free Press. 
The following specimens of his writings evince con- 
siderable felicity of expression, and much natural 
sweetness and freshness : — 

THE AULD PLOTTGH. 

Therd tak' thy retit, for rest thou nitftit^ 
Sad prey to rottennesB and met ! 
Aula Time's gien thee a fatal thrast, 

Thy stilts dn' nifaff 
Are ihoula'rlD' doonward into dust 

From whetiee they sprdxig ! 

Twice forty years an* mair, nae doot, 
Has passed awa' sin' '* Airchie Scott *' 
First fixed thy ribs, an' waulled thy snoot, 

An' clinched thy broo ; 
An' stiltit thee, an' turned thee o6t 

A noble ploo ! 

Since then thou'st gotten mony a scoor, 
On bleak hillside an' barren thoor ; 
Yet thou wast never dull nor dour 

To do thy wark ; 
But sent the ** red Ian' " up like stoor 

Frae morn till mark. 

Methinks I yet behold, serene, 
That oooter, pointed sharp an' keen, 
Go tearin' thro' the foggage green 

On yonder lea ; 
While doon below the sock, unseen, 

Raired oot for glee. 

Ah, sock ! ah, sock ! thy davs are o'er, 
Kae mair aneath the grun' tnoult bore ; 



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3i6 MODVSK SOOTTISH POSTS. 

Nm mair 111 hear thee grant an' snore 

At skreech o* day ; 
Or motter lood as on ye tore 

Thro' stanes an'^oiay. 

Fn' mony a daisy hae ye tummePd, 

An* mony a big prood thrissle hummel'd, 

An* mony a '* carl doddle " rummel'd. 

Clean heelster heid ; 
An' mony a mousie's nest sair jnmmel'd 

Beyond remeid. 

When nyatterin' on aneath the yird. 
Whiles Against a rock ye wad come dird ; 
Anld BloBs back stottit at the « gird,'* 

A fit an' mair, 
As Willie's ribs, first, second, third, 

Were ohatter'd sair 1 

Atween thae stilts for mony a year 
Has Willie sparr'd an' g^ripp'd severe, 
An' faced the wintry win^s an' sheer 

FeU bitin' caold ; 
Thongh noo he's grown ** waur o' th' weer, 

He's auld ; fu' anld. 

Yet everv mortal has his day ; 

For manhood's strength must snre decay, 

A' things on earth return to clay 

By Heaven's decree ; 
And even this warld shall pass away 

An' cease to be. 

Then while it still fulfils His plan, 
May Scotia's vigour never wan ; 
Lang may her sons o'ertnrn the Ian' 

Once Wallace trod I 
The plough's the noblest work of man ; 

And he of God. 



MY LOVELY LASSIE. 

Whaur birches scent the balmy air, 
Whanr heather blooms sae fresh an' fair, 
Whaur wild flowers wave in dusters, there 
Dwells my lovely lassie. 

Whaur cushets coo, whaur linties sing, 
Whaur laverocks, carolling, upward spring, 
Whaur mountain echoes loodly ring, 
DweUs my lovely lassie. 



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BMILT SUTHBBLAMD. 347 

Whaur bonnie Feagh in simmer days, 

Amang the rooks sae cheerfu' plays, 

By Fingan's shady woods and braes, 

Dwells my lo?ely lassie. 

Pore as the dew ni>on the thorn. 
All radiant like a simmer mom, 
Sweet as the floo*r by nature born, 
Blooms my lovely lassie. 

Begone dull oare ! awa wi' haste ! 
Why daur ye lurk within my breast ? 
For, when the sun sinks in the west, 
I'm aff to woo my lassie. 



EMILY SUTHEELAND, 

HTOXJNO poetess of much promise, is a native 
of Auohterarder, and presently resides in 
Crieff. She is an occasional contributor to the 
Feople^g Friend^ and frequently appears in the Poet's 
Oomer of several newspapers. She has written a 
number of lively verses, showing originality of con- 
ception, and an ear well attuned to rhyUim and the har- 
mony of numbers, but we think she is most success- 
ful when she adopts a subdued and reflective vein. 

LIFT MB AGAIN TO MY CHAIR. 

Oh, lift me again to my chair, mither. 
Surely this oanna be death. 
An' open the window for aur, mither. 
For 1 feel as if ohokin' for breath. 

But, mither, dinna greet sae sair, 
Although I'm gaun to dee ; 
Ye ken we'll meet to pairt nae mair 
In the bonnie countrie. 

Now saft blaws the win' on m^ broo, mither 
Sae oome an' sit doon by my side, 



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94A MODUN SOOTTIBH FO«». 

For I fain wid aay something to yon, mitfaer ; 
An' I hae but a wee while to bide. 

When Jamie comee bame frae the sea, mither, 
Te*ll tell him I loved him sae true. 
An' say that I wish him to be^ mither. 
In my stead, a bairn to you. 

An' gie him the Book that I lo'e, mither — 
Ah, ^es I hae lo*ed It weel, 
For it showed me the wa7 sae true, mither^ 
The way to the Land o' the Leal. 

Whatna music is that I hear, mither, 
Soundin' sae low an* sweet ? 
Oh, come closer yet to mv ear, mither. 
For I canna hear ye speak. 

Its the song o* the angels I hear, mither, 
An* I think it's for me they sing. 
Yea, yes, they are oomin' sae near, mither, 
I hear the flap o' their wing. 

Saf mither dinna greet sae sair, 
Althbh^n I'm gatm to dee ; 
Ye ken we'll meet to pairt nae mair 
In the bonnie countrie. 

MY MITHER. 

Cauld, canld seems the world ndo, an' caulderthe hame. 
Since my mither to the land o' the leal gaed awa' ; 
Mither I ah, mither ! hoo I like to bear that n&me. 
E'en tho' the soond o't gars the saut tears fa'. 

I'll ne'er forget the day when the angel of death 
Wi' his icy hand cam' an' tirled at the door ; 
When my mither's e*e grew dim, an' feeble her breath, 
My heart felt a pang it had ne'er felt afore. 

Ah, yes, it was a pang that was salr, sair to bide. 
An' aft did I wish I could lie doon an' dee^ 
That in death I micht be by mv dear milker's side. 
But, ah 1 he didba lay his cauld hand on me. 

A wee while langer in this weary Tale o' tears, 
That m^ reb^lons soul may be chastened an' refined. 
But patiently I'll wait, e'en though it may be jears. 
Ere the croon o* glory roond my broo be entwmed. 



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T. T. STODDABT. B4B 



THOMAS TOD STODDAET. 

'TTHE son of a rear Admiral in the British Navy, 
Vl^ Thomas Tod Stoddart chose to turn aside early 
in life into the peaceable bj-paths of literature, and 
possibly much of that gentleness of disposition which 
ne manifested through life was largely owing to 
his being educated at a Moravian establishment in or 
near Manchester. He was bom in Edinburgh in 1 8 1 0. 
Intending to follow law as a profession, he entered 
the University of his native city at a very early age, 
and when only sixteen he carried off the prize for 
poetry in the Moral Philosophy Olass, the chair of 
which was then filled, by the brilliant John Wilson. 

Studying for the bar, Mr Stoddart passed as advo- 
cate at the age of twenty-three, but, like many of our 
most celebrated literary men, he disliked the profes- 
sion, and soon abandoned it altogether, and settled 
down for life at Kelso. Here, amid scenery the 
richest and loveliest of all the southern vales of Scot- 
land, he wooed the muse, and secured the friendship 
of many of the most notable n^en of the time, chief 
among whom were Professor Wilson, the Ettrick 
Shepherd, Henry Glassford Bell, Professor Ferrier, 
and Thomas Aird. With these chpice spirits he de- 
lighted to wander, and to commuse by the river banks, 
the lonely mountain stream, and the ^road blue lakes 
which gleam among the solitary hills. Leading a life 
of such healthful recreation, he, in 1835, produced 
**The Lunacy, or Death- Wake: a Necromaunt;" 
in 1839, *' Songs and Poems;" in 1846, "Abel 
Massenger, or the Aeronaut, a Eomanoe ; " in 1 866, 
*'An Angler's Eambles aud Angling Songs ; " and 
in 1873, ** Songs of the Season, and other Poems," 
besides several pleasing works on angling in the 
intervals between these periods. Mr Stoddart died 



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90Q MODBBH SOOmSH P01T8. 

in 1880, having only a few days previously eontem- 
plated hiB autobiography, which is said to be a work 
of great interest, and of a most pleasing nature, but 
whioh, as far as we know, has not yet been published, 
though doubtless it will be, for few authors ever 
wrote so much with hardly a line ** which, dying, 
he could wish to blot." 

Mr Stoddart's poetry is redolent of the heather, 
and has all the freshness of the summer winds which 
wanton among the unfrequented hills; while his 
numbers flow on as smoothly as the pellucid waters of 
his much-loved Tweed and Teviot at their sweetest 
windings, and when spring is wooing the birds to 
sing upon their banks. His songs are just such as a 

Satient, happy angler might be expected to sing, and, 
ke everything he has written, have a charm about 
them which never tires. 

THE BRITISH OAK. 

The oak is Britain's pride ! 

The lordliest of trees. 
The glory of her forest-side, 

The guardian of her seas ! 
Its hundred arms brandished wide 

To brave the wintry breeze. 

Our hearts shall never quail 

Below the servile yoke. 
Long as our seamen turn the sail, 

And wake the battle-smoke— 
Long as they stem the stormy gale 

On planks of British oak 1 

Then in its native mead 

The golden aoom lay. 
And watoh with care the bursting seed. 

And guard the tender spray ; 
England will bless us for the deed 

In some far future day ! 

Oh ! plant the acorn tree 

Upon each Briton 'n grave ; 
So shall our island ever be 

The island of the brave — 
The mother-nurse of liberty, 

And empress of the wave ! 



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T. T. STODDABT. 351 

LET ITHER ANGLERS. 

Let ither anglers choose their ain. 

An' ither waters tak* the lead'; 
0' Hieland streams we covet nane^ 

Bat gie to ns the bonnie Tweed ; 
An' gie to us the cheerfu' born 

That steals into its valley fair— 
The streamlets that at ilka tarn 

Sae saftly me^t an' mingle there. 

The lanesome Tala an* the Ljne, 

An' Manor wi' its mountain rills. 
An' Ettrick, whose waters twine 

Wi' Yarrow, frae the forest hills ; 
An' Gala, too, an' Teviot bright, 

An' mony a stream o' playf u' speed ; 
Their kindred valleys a' unite 

Amang the braes o' bonnie Tweed. 

There'e no a hole abune the Crook, 

Nor stane nor gentle swirl aneato, 
Nor drumlie rill, nor fairy brook. 

That daunders through the flowery heath. 
Bat ye majr fin' a subtle trout, 

A' gleamin' ower wi' starn an' bead ; 
An' mony a salmon sooms aboot, 

Below the bields o' bonnie Tweed. 

Frae Holylee to Olovenford, 

A chancier bit ye canna hae ; 
So Gfin ye tak' an angler's word. 

If e'd. through the whins an' ower the brae, 
An' work awa' wi' cunnin' hand 

Yer birzy hackles black an' reid ; 
The saft sough o' a slender wand 

Is meetest music for the Tweed. 



THE ANGLER'S T R YSTI NG-T REE. 

Sing, sweet thrushes, forth an' sing, 

Meet the morn upon the lea ; 
Are the emeralds of the spring 

On the angler's trysting-tree ? 

Tell, sweet thrushes, tell to me. 

Are there buds on our willow-tree ? 

Buds and birds on our trysting-tree 7 

Sing, sweet thrushes, forth and sing. 

Have you met the honey-bee. 
Circling, upon rapid wing. 



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MODSKN 80OTTI8H POSTS. 

Round th6 wigler*! trysting tree T 
ITp, sweet thrushes, up and see. 
Are there bees on oar wiUowtree, 
Birds and bees at the trysting tree T 

Sing, sweet thrashes, forth and sing. 
Are the foantains gashing free ? 

Is the soath wind wandering 
Through the angler's trvsting-tree 7 
Up, sweet thrashes, tell to me. 
Is were wind up our willow tree. 
Wind or calm at our feryating-tree 7 

Sing, sweet thrushes, forth and sing, 
Wile us with a merry glee ; 

To the flowery haunts of spring- 
To the angler's trysting-tree. 
Tell, sweet thrushes, tell to me. 
Are there flowers 'neath our willow tree. 
Spring and flowers at the trysting-tree ? 



HUGH CLARK. 

"Hbonb." 

flN 1861, a volume of '* Poems for the Period," by 
^ "Heone," appeared from the Irvine press of 
Mr Charles Murohland, a gentleman of much enter- 
prise and fine literary tastes. The Ti'ork was edited 
by the Rev. Henry Reid, Irvine, and dedicated to 
the * • Irvine Bums Club, which has ever been fore- 
most in the recognition of merit, and the endeavour 
to encourage the inspiration of song." It was evi- 
dent that the poet was a man of rare genius, high 
culture, and great refinement of feeling, for the poems 
bore evidence of natural ease and grace, while the 
lyrics were sweet and musical. Dr John White, author 
of ** Jottings in Prose and Verse," himself a poet of 
deep feeling and imagination, says : * * The phraseology 
is most choice, and the versification has all the ease 



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HUGH CLABE. S6S 

and freedom of a Byron. His knowledge of human 
nature is correct and extensive, and his descriptive 
pieces indicate his love for the beautiful, and his 
ability to describe it. Above all, his imagination — 
the happiest test of a poet — is lively, almost un- 
bounded, and always used with the best effect." 
The mystery which hung around the authorship of 
the interesting volume was deepened by the state- 
ment made in the short preface, which, while it in- 
formed the reader that the poet was a native of North 
Ajrrshire, and still living, stated that he was never- 
theless unable to undertake the editing of his own 
work. The poems were said to have been written 
in the author's earlier years; and curiosity and 
wonder were still farther excited by fche poet's own 
picture of himself prefixed to the volume, and con- 
tained in the following vigorous and impassioned 
lines:-— 

HEONE. 

As mourns the eagle, exiled from his zone, 
Spuming the sordid limits of his chain ; 
So thro' this dull, oold world he wandered lone, 
Moaning wild music, like a god in pain. 

Strong as a lion — softer than a dove — 
His soul was wed to Beauty, and his dreams 
Shone with the purple atmosphere of love. 
Deep as the dawn-bloom dyes the upland streams. 

His heart was strung to music and his ear 
Thriird to the touch of all things true and tender ; 
All glorious to his eye this rolling sphere- 
Its woods and waters^ skies and sunset splendour. 

Bom in a wood-emboasom'd rustic home, 
That overlooked the wide Atlantic shore ; 
His eye could see the wintry billows' foam, 
His ear could hear the thunder of its roar. 

A passion and a glory ! And at even — 
In youth's blest lapse of golden summer-time — 
He watch'd the far, cloud-castled heights of Heaven, 
And longed to tread those wonder-realmB sublime ! 



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354 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

His life was one long prayer for Lo^e and Power — 
For love lay captive in a giant hold ; 
O, for the might of Heaven for one brief honr, 
To smite and save, as Samson smote of old I 

The intrinsio excellence of the poetry, with the 
mystery in which the authorship still remained con- 
cealed, and the high praise bestowed upon th,e 
volume by the press, at once made the book popular; 
and it is now only that we, by the aid of the publisher, 
are enabled to let the world know who ** Heone " is. 
Were space at our command to enable us to enlarge, 
a life-story could be told as painfully interesting as 
that of Edgar Allan Foe, to which, indeed, it bears a 
close resemblance. 

Hugh Clark was bom at the farm of New Eng- 
land, in the parish of Ardrossan, Ayrshire, in 1832. 
When quite a boy, he was much given to wandering 
alone, seemingly deep in the study of Nature's beauties, 
which, in hill and glen, sea and island, lay full within 
his view. Beceiving an excellent commercial educa- 
tion, he worked for a year as farm boy, and then 
went to assist his brother in his shop at Saltcoats, re- 
moving ft'om thence to Ardrossan in the same 
capacity. When sixteen years of age, he went to 
Glasgow, entering one of the great counting houses 
of the city as clerk. In this situation he continued 
for two years ; but by this time he had been caught in 
that whirlpool of dissipation into which so many of 
our brightest youths are sucked, and perish miser- 
ably in their mad pursuit of pleasure. He lost many 
excellent and well-paid situations which, by his noble 
presence, fine address, and great ability, he had always 
been able to obtain in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and 
other places, but unsteady habits had now taken firm 
possession of him. In his sober moments his remorse 
was terrible, and his written vows of amendment 
show their painful earnestness. Yet even then, his 
high powers of mind and poetic gifts were the wonder 

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HUGH GLARK« 865 

and admiration of all who knetr him, and one well 
capable of judging of these thus writes : — ** My first 
acquaintance with Clark was when I was an apprentice 
printer. I was so enraptured with his verses that 
the idea often occurred to me that if ever I should 
become a publisher, it would be amongst my first 
volumes. That time did arrive." Yes, but in what 
melancholy circumstances ! When the poet was unable 
to be conscious of the voice of popular applause, and 
regardless of the accents of pity or of blame. In a 
lonely garret he eked out many a weary day, till at 
length the brain gave way, and now he presents the 
painful picture of a helplesb, hopeless inmate of the 
imbecile ward of the Irvine Poor House. " I have 
visited him several times," says his publisher, ''and 
it is painful to witness such a tall, handsome-look- 
ing man, still in the prime of life, so gifted once, 
and who appeared to have such a great future before 
him, who might have been the noblest of mankind, 
now such a miserable wreck. The poem ' Heone ' is 
a true picture of himself." 

Although the volume gives us only fragments of 
the great things we might have had from the poor 
sufferer, still many of the poems are quite colossal in 
their melancholy grandeur, displaying lofty imagina- 
tion and rich fancy. His poetic imagery is at all 
times vivid, and his pictures correct ; while his ear 
has been able to delight itself with the many-toned 
melody of Nature. Our first quotation is selected 
from a lengthy poem containing many fine word 
pictures, entitled 

AN ESSAY ON ICE. 



Well to the road. Look at these yoangsters there, 
Sliding, and sliding too with all their soleSt 
As if it were the purpose of their lives. 
Poor, happy, naked, ill-fed wretches, all ; 



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366 MODBBlN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Smeared faces, hair unkempt, some without shoes 
As earnest as the rest, and one sly imp 
Has stolen his father's well worn Wellingtons 
That sheathe him to the thighs— lo, he is King ! 

And here, as o'er the Railway Bridge we pass, 

Comes to our memory a stanza writ 

By one who to the great world is unknown : 

" Now swift along the line as lightning's gleam. 
The burning wheels of fruitful commerce roll ; 
While at the active head he sits supremo — 
Directs, pervades, and animates the whole." 

A man, poor, proud, true, tender as a child — 

The foe of all hypocrisy and wrong. 

A light, if lesser, not the less a light ; 

If not much known, yet much to him is known. 

Who knows to touch that spring of springs — the heart. 

Long, long ago, I've heard my sister sing 

His songs, and well I loved the warbled strain — 

Their echoes linger in my memory still. 

" 0, music, music, music, power divine." 

Still from the greed — ^the strife — ^the clangour 

Of the Mammon-serving throng, 
O, lap me in the lulling langour 

Of some fine old Scottish song 1 

I'd rather heir the Heaven-dower'd Gift of Song 

Than all the wealth rich England's coffers hold. 

A wit as well was he : his rattle-rhymes 

Like wild-fire round the rustic fireside ran— 

Tickling till laughter brought glad showers of tears. 

Ever to me was magic in his name, 

Bringing bright thoughts of humour, mirth and son^^. 

The snows of time amon^ his locks have fall'n — 

He was in manhood's prime ere I was born, — 

Yet still upon his shoulders his fine head 

Sits well,— the curls still cluster round his brow — 

The poet's brow, high seat of loftv thoughts,— 

His eye still lightens as of old,— his lips, 

Charged with some noble utterance, ere they ope 

To daszle and delight with eloquence. 

Assume a grand expression all their own — 

Proud as the soul-rapt vision-seer of eld, — 

Pausing a moment, like an eagle plumed 

Ere soaring to the sun. I honour him 

As Bard, — but as a man I love him more,— 

For that my Mother he did reverence, 

And her dear iiieiiiory doth still revere. 

He may have failings, — Heaven forgive those few I — 

** FaulUeaa— Feckless^" a proverb— Scotch— and true. 



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HUGH CLAUK. 357 

Oh, indeed, that is all very well as it goes, 
Still I own it looks rather — er — coleur de rose ; 
But most artists when young like to lay on the red, 
So yon need iMt mind blushing but please go — 
a— head. 

Ay, let us haste, for there upon our right 
Reeks the vaporous source from which we light 
Our homes and streets from sunset till sunrise — 
Faugh ! how the vile fumes till our nose and eves. 
Strange that from source so dark our light we draw,— > 
Contraries seem the universal law. 
From darkest night breaks forth the rosiest morn ; 
From deepest sorrows, highest joys are bom ; 
And — crown the idea with this truth divine — 
The blackest sinner, brightest saint may shine. 



At length we reach the straight, wide, open road. 
Traversed how oft in boyhood's days gone by ; 
Each old familiar field, each tree, each wall 
I recollect, — the very stones I know. 
Like unf orgotten faces of dear friends. 



Along this path on sunny afternoons. 

Fed full, blowing their cutties black and old. 

In cool shirt sleeves, their aprons loosely furled, 

Hie Weavers walked ; and on yon low, rude wall. 

Would sit for hours and hours in deep debate : 

But this was in the good old prosperous times. 

The opulent Millenium of looms. 

When weavers truly wove their webs of gold — 

Not the lean ells their sons now beg to spin. 

Here, at this point, four highways meet and part, — 

One to the east, where wisdom dwelt of old ; 

One to the west, the land of war and gold ; 

One to the north, bleak realm of ice and snow ; 

One to the south, whence soft-voiced breezes blow. 

The first we choose, for wisdom's ways we love. 

Since ''all her paths are pleasantness and peace." 

And, with Longfellow's fine mount climbing cry, 

Effgt-seUs-he-o'er / we hope to make them buy and buy. 

"Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale 
Gut shorter many a league," and with our speed 
Have crossed the Border, and already won 
That region fan yet near — New England. 
A sad-brow'd Youth my memory here recalls — 
My fellow-traveller from the city — who 
Onpassing this same spot thus murm'ring spake ; — 
*• Here was I bom, and here my boyhood's years, 

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368 MODKBN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

The purett, happiest yean of all my life, 

Aiuong thoee well-known woods and fields, were spent. 

Twas nere my mother tauffht me first to pray. 

My mother — at her name the blinding tears 

Start to my eyes — to think that that dear name 

Is now a hallowed memory and no more. 

Much have I travelled, many homes have seen, 

but never yet her equal have 1 found — 

Nor hope to find. Jaer voioej in mild rebuke, 

Could quell the raging devil m my heart ; 

Her touch could quench the ferer of mv brow ; 

Her soul was virtue, and diffused the aews 

Of kindness that refreshed where'er they felL 

She was a Christian,— nerer from her door 

Turned Hunger unappeased, nor Cold unwarmed. 

Nor Nakedness unclothed, nor homeless head 

Unlodged till morn, nor fainting heart uncheered. 

Well could she feel, for she herself had felt 

Affliction's heavy hand laid on her sore. 

Her life-path lay 'midst thorns and sorrow's gloom. 

Thro* which she, like an angel, passed unharmed. 

Turning the very darkness into day. 

My life has been a wayward, wild career, 

But ever in Temptation's fierciest whirl, 

In darkest depths of passion or remorse. 

The precepts she had taught me at her knee 

Like angel-whispers soothed my soul to rest ; 

She 'e/vtd me well^ wottld I had loved her more t 



I THINK OF THEB. 

When in the east the sun is glowing^ 
When morning airs are gently blowmg. 
When rosy day is slowly growing, 
I think of thee. 

When fragrant flow'rs are freshly springing, 
When joyous birds are merry sin^ng. 
When early bees abroad are winging, 
I think of thee. 

When evening winds are softly sighing. 
When birds and bees are homeward flying, 
When weary day is calmly dying, 
I think of thee. 

When silently the stars were beaming. 
When moonlight on the wave ia gleaming. 
When wrapt in slumbers, and a-dreaming, 
I think of thee. 



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HUGH OLABK. 359 

SHE WEEPS. 

A castle stands on a rocky shore, — 
A relic dim of the days of yore. — 
And the waves beat round it evermore : 

A lady weeps ; 
In a chamber h\f(ti of that castle hoar 

A lady weeps : 
While the day is dying in his gore 

She weeps. 

The night has let drop her sable pall, 
And tapers barn in that lofty hall ; 
Yet still as she sits at its window'd wall, 

The ladv weeps I 
Heeding not the midnight s silver call. 

The lady weeps ; 
Seeing not the shadows round her fall, 

She weeps. 

The hills are lit by the laughing morn, 
And far o'er the sea her smile is borne, 
But still at the window, sad and lorn. 

The lady weeps ; 
O like one whose bosom-hopes are torn, 

The lady weeps : 
Like one who has loved and lives to mourn. 

She weeps. 



NIGHT. 

Hush, hush I — ^a calm, unbroken silence reigns 
O'er glittering lake, and lawn, and darkling wood ; 
The utndscape dim in steeped in quietude, 
Through which there ever steal, like silver veins, 
Soft fanning z^-phyrs, 'riched with odours fine. 
Faint whispering 'mong the leaflets green 
Of beech and aspen, shivering the woodbine. 
As if with the thought of joys that once have been ; 
Enthroned on heaven's cerulean dome, the Queen — 
Peerless Queen— of night I holds her court on high, 
Thick, thronging with innumerable stars — 
A brilliant multitude of worshippers— ^ 
Brought by the night from out the far blue sky. 
And passing with her as she passeth by. 

The earth is lying in a silver sleep— 
But, ah 1 what searing miseries are awake 
Beneath this calm, and sleepless vigils keep, 
Like fitful dreams that through pale slumoer break : 
Sad-hearted vice, with counterfeited smile- 
Deadlier fascination than the serpent's wile— 



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360 MODERN 800TTIBH POETS. 

ni-dftd orphans, and widows, who do make 
The very winds to wail their sorrows, shake 
Unpitied in the night ; in garret vile, 
Care-waated labour pUes her midnight toil. 
And sleep and tears her fevered eyes forsake ; 
Lone wives and mothers watoh and weep the while, 
Listening each footfall ; with suspendea breath, 
Mate grief is gathered round the bed of death. 

And *neath the same pale melancholy moon. 
Couched 'uong thick velvets, sleeping Beauty lies ; 
Her ripe lips parted sweet, like rose m June, 
Murmur a name enwreathed in tender sighs ; 
Her breast heaves gently, like a summer sea 
Yearning for the shore ; could we see her eyes, 
They'd tell she dreams of love and bliss to be ; 
The youth from kin and country parted — he 
Dreams of his home, and climbs again those steeps 
He knew of yore — and through the shady dells. 
Where cowslips grow, and ^inks, and rustling bells. 
He roams, as o'er some strain the memory keeps ; 
And she, for whom he gathered flowers, is there, 
Her smile still brighter, and her cheek more fair. 



SUNRISE IN SPRING. 

Lo, the East is brightening grey. 
Betokening the approach of day ; 
Lingering mists are drawing off, 
Andearth bes^ins her veil to don. 
Now the labourer takes his way, 
To commence the toilsome day — 
Whistling loud for want of care, 
Happy he ! content his share. 
Now steals forth the timid hare — 
Fearful of the bound and snare- 
Seeks the quiet sequestered glade 
For the fresh and dewy blade. 
Hark the Hunter's clauging horn, 
He-echoing in the stilly mom ; 
And the cocks, proclaiming day, 
Sound their pipes right cheerily. 
See, the clouds with rosy tinge — 
Like a golden-tasseU'd fringe — 
Hang the orient canopy 
With a gorgeous drapery, 
Fading as they sketch away. 
Till they assume an azure grey. 
Let'd hasten to the mountain's brow. 
For the sun's appearing now, — 



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HUGH OLIBK. 891 

Yonder in hu flaming orest, 

Next appears his burnished breast, 

Glorions with his lustrous plumes 

He the mountain top illumes, 

And soaring up in golden pride 

Shines around the mountam side, 

Where the thiok-dropp*d trembUng dew 

Sparkles with a ▼aried hue. 

Lightly from the dewy corn, 

Springs the lark to greet the morn, 

l^illing sweet his gladsome lay 

As he mounts right merrily. 

Soft the warblinff of the thrush 

Comes from yonder budding bush. 

In yon shady woodland nook — 

Where a deep pellucid brook 

Mirrors clear the primrose pale — 

Bing-doTes coo their amorous tale. 

Borne upon the morning gale 

Plaintive comes the plover's wail. 

The sun still mounts the Eastern height, 

Gathering greater heat and might, 

Kissing dew from off those flowersL 

That load with perfume noonday hours, 

Inviting forth to spend the day 

'Mong virgin flowers yonog, fresh and gay, 

The dainty waving butterfly,-- 

And all is joy I around, on high < 



ABDBOSSAN: A BETBOSPBCT. 

" In a C!ottage I was cradled by the margin of the sea," 
And my feather-footed boyhood sped the silver-sanded shore ; 
Ah, the broom in golden blossoms, and the daisy- jewi^ed lea, 
I remember, I remember, tho* I see them nevermore. 

'Mid the dim and solemn shadows, by my faintly glowing fire, 
I sit and wake the memories of these golden days of yore ; 
And my fancy, in the embers, rears a well-known church and 

spire, 
By a bill with storied column, and a oaetle high and hoar. 

And I see the loud-lipp'd cannon, and the grey time-hallowed 
tombs, 

Where the kine are calmly browsing, and the light-limbed lamb- 
kin skips ; 

Far below them lies a Orescent dropt in odour-breathing blooms 

And a red town clasping in her arms a forest dim of ships. 

Dark looming in the distance tower proud Arran's purple tops. 
With the Holy Isknd lying like an emerald in the lee ; 



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362 MODBBV 800TTX8H POITS. 

the glory md the ffloom of gulfy glens and Btumy slopes, 
O'er the shimmer and the glimmer of the silTer-glimoing sea ! 



Hark 1 the wind howls at my lattice, and the swift-desoending 

snow 
Is flattering, like a wounded doTe, against my window pane ; 
Tes ! 'tis winter, and I only dream ca summers long ago ; 
Tet methinks I near the music of the melancholy main. 



JAMES LAUDEB. 

mOBODY thinks less loTingly of Homer beoaose 
(as is generally believed) he sung his grand 
and immortal ballads for bread ; and doubtless it is 
the mellow light of antiquity in whioh he now stands, 
and by whioh alone we get a glimpse of the hoary 
old bard, that makes us look without dislike on 
his abject condition. Let the genius of the living 
poet be ever so great, however, the case with him 
is altogether different, and his worldly necessities 
seem at once to wither the bays of the bard. 
If he has really possessed exalted genius, no sooner 
has the grave closed over him than, like the fabulous 
phodniz, his fame springs up afresh from his ashes, 
and men wax eloquent about his genius 
and worth. Although they would not perhaps 
stretch out a hand to raise him above his lowly lot, 
or aid him in adversity, yet no sooner has he gone 
down to the grave amid poverty and gloom than 
they subscribe to place a memorial stone above his 
dust. 

James Lauder is peculiarly one of the poverty- 
stricken poets of the present. Born at Leith, in 
1841, the son of a working blacksmith, he, after a 



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JAMBS LAUDElL 363 

scanty eduoation, was put; to the same trade, but 
after the death of his mother, for whom he had a 
strong affection, he took a great dislike to the 
business. Not being able to endure the toil and 
confinement, and haying preyiously acquired a 
good knowledge of music, and become a skilful 
player on the yiolin, he, for the last eight 
years, has been leading the wandering life of a 
street musician. In that capacity he has roamed 
the country far and wide. 

About the age of eighteen, Lauder read the poems 
of Bums, and from that time he began to write 
poetry. After a while some of his pieces appeared 
in the Scotsman, and in several other newspapers 
and publications. 

In 1863 he published a small collection of 
** Scotch Lyrics," of very considerable merit, and in 
1870 a volume entitled ''Warblings of a Gaged 
Bird." His songs show fancy, studious observation, 
and, as might be expected, a fine ear for harmonious 
verse. From his high admiration of the writ- 
ings of the two Boberts — Fergusson and Bums — ^the 
Doric in which he frequently writes, might have been 
expected to have been more pure and correct than 
it frequently is. 

Our poet at present is engaged on a work, *' the 
object of which is to reconcile God's Word and God's 
Work, the first volume of which is nearly finished." 
Should it ever see the light, the work is likely to 
prove a curiosity, and certainly it is a most ambitious 
one for a wandering minstrel to undertake. 



A MITHEBLESS BAIRN. 

Wha*ll tend the laddie noo, 
WhaOl kaim his flaxen hair, 

And shed it ower bis broo ? 

Wball wipe his wee black bou* ? 
Mammy never mair. 



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884 MODJuur aoorxuH poets. 

llMuny's dead and gane, 

Gane to the burial hole, 
An' the wee, wee duddy wean 
Toddles the stair alane, 

Wi' a face as blaok as ooal. 

Hbdaddie'satihesea, 
Foe there his bite he earns ; 

And his litUe sUters three 

AreJQst such like as he- 
Wee tfaochUees, oaretess babna. 

Will nae ane kaim his hidr, 
And wash his dirty feet ? 

Tbera's mothers in the stair, 

But nae ane seems to care- 
Hie baimie just maun greet. 

Fm sore that kind wee face 

Micht melt a heart o' stane ; 
But ah ! in a* the place 
There doesna seem a trace 

0' eren sicoan ane. 

Gome» gold Samaritan, 

Speak wi* a kindly tongue 
To the lanely little man, 
Whase sorrows hae began 

While yet helis sae young, 

Ohpity the wee boy 
Tnus on the hard world starred ; 

Ouid actions bring a joy 

Unmingled wi* alloy — 
Will nane claim the reward? 

THE BAIRN'S PETITION, 

Oh, oome awa' hame, mither, dinna gang there ; 
Te ken its the whisky that doubles your care. 
My foot's awfu' sair, its beginning to beal, 
Wi* yon piece o* glass I got into my heeL 
Oh, oome awa' hame, mither, bind up my tae, 
Ye see that the nail o*t is a* torn away ; 
The dirt's gettin* in, and is makin' it sair, 
Oh, oome awa' hame, mither, dinna gang there. 

I gaed to the schule, whaar the braw batrnies gang, 

And the gentleman tel'd us that drinkin' was wrang ; 

He said ** their fine music is only a snare 

To wile aff the witless," Oh, dinna gang there ; 

He said that " the devil lay hid in ilk room, 

And ower a* your laugbin* was craokin* his thoom, 



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JABCBS LAUDEB. 9$^ 

Singin' aye * here's another IVe caught In my snare.' " 
Oh, come awa' hame, mither, dinna gang there. 

Ye ken it was whisky that made auntie dee, 
An' banished my faither awa' ower the sea ; 
Ye ken it was whisky that made ye sae pair, 
Oh, come awa' hame, mither, dinna gang there ; 
Oh, had ye been sober, hoo altered your case, 
Wi' nae nasty scars to disfigure your face, 
Ye had ne'er been sae ragged, forlorn, or sae pair, 
Oh, come awa' hame, mither, dinna gang there. 

TO A SKYLARK. 

Sing away, wing awav, 

Bird of the dawn of day 
Fluttering, twittering, 

Up to the canopy. 

Beautiful, dutiful. 

Bird of the morrowing. 
Hie aloft, fly aloft, 

Thou hast no sorrowing. 

Leaving still, grieving still. 

Thy little brood awhile, 
Sing above, wing above. 

Up in the cloud a mile. 

Slumberless, cumberless. 

Welcome the sun again, 
Preach to us, teach to us. 

Day has begun again. 

Sing thy way, wing thy way. 

So may my soul ascend. 
Life all gone, strife all gone, 

To yon bright goal ascend. 

Should they not, could they not, 

Have called the chanticleer ? 
Morning bird, warning bird, 

Rising the dawn to cheer. 

Prettiest, pitiest 

Thou the poor citizen, 
Smok*d all day, chock'd alway, 

'Mid the dull city's din, 

Hammering, clamouring, 

Round thee unceasingly ; 
Would'st tbou then, could'st thou then, 

Warble thus pleasingly ? 



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S66 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Pretty one, pity one 
Wretch of the weariest, 

Lost amoDff, toss'd among 
Gloom of the veriest. 

Warring off, scaring off 
Sorrow with poesy ; 

Weaving songs, grieving wrongs, 
'Mong engines noisy. 

Winp^ng yet, singing yet, 
Mirthfully, pleasantly ; 

Chant away wantonly, 
I'll lose thee presently. 

Merry bird, cheery bird, 
Sun's in the horizon ; 

Wing aloft, sing aloft, 
Breathe out tny orison. 

Bonnie bird, sunny bird, 
Soaring so well's ye are ; 

Longer yet, stronger yet, 
Sing tny excelHor, 



JANE CLEGHOEN. 

B PERIOD of sore bereavement opened a well of 
poesy in the subject of this sketch. Bom 
at Port-Glasgow in 1827, she was only four 
years of age when her father, a young ship- 
master, in his twenty- seventh year, was wrecked 
on the iron-bound coast of Wales. By his bravery 
he was the means of saving his entire crew, but was 
himself ultimately drowned — leaving a wife and two 
children. After receiving a scanty education, she 
had to take her share in providing for the wants of 
the little household— and, indeed, she has earned her 
bread since her tenth year. Many years ago she 
was suddenly left a young widow, with an aged 



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JANE GLBOHORN. 367 

mother and a young child to provide for ; and the 
efiPect of this sore bereavement, followed hy others, 
vras almost overwhelming. After a time she began 
business as a hairdresser in her native town. Her 
life has been a constant round of care and toil, yet 
though both her surroundings and her work are 
prosaic, she has only to go a few paces from her 
home when she can feast her eyes on the gorgeous 
scenery of the Firth of Clyde— one of the finest 
panoramas ever unrolled by our loving Father's 
hand. As the shadows of evening are gathering 
round her, each year she enjoys this feast with re- 
newed pleasure and zest. 

Mrs Cleghom contributes frequently to the Glasgow 
and other newspapers, and as a poet she exhibits 
genuine feeling, striking thought, and considerable 
power of coiidensation. Her utterances are ever 
tender, and she at times rises to a real glow of 
fervour. 

THE TEMPLE OF NATURE. 

The day advances on the wings of morning sure and fleet, 
And from my oouch I gladly sprinR, its rosy face to greet ; 
The trees have hang their banners out, see every leaf unf nrrd, 
Rejoicing that another day is '* bom unto the world." 
The birds their joyous anthems weave in ecstasy of song, 
The woods catch up the melody, and trail the notes along ; 
Oh consecrate, Thou great High Priest ! my heart and lips pre* 

pare, 
E'er I enter through the portals of this wondrous house of 

prayer, 
This temi>le grand; this minster vast, built by no human hand, 
Which in its stately grandeur rose at Thy divine command. 

And now from every bush and tree sweet odours hourly rise, 

For Nature oSers back to Thee a willing sacrifice ; 

The forests wave Thy majesty upon the mountain*s breast ; 

To tell us of Thy mightv power the ocean lifts her crest. 

The flowers proclaim Thy beauty forth in many a varied hue ; 

We taste Thy loving kindne&s in the sunshine and the dew. 

The thunder's voice, the earthquake's throe, the swift volcanic 

fire. 
Come forth to do Thy bidding, and at Thy command retire. 



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3H MODOOr BOCMmSH FOBTS. 

Th« Wvdf, tii« beMte, the flowers, the stara, the orient orb of 

All simess lift their Toices up and praise thee as they may. 
To Thy behests all nature bows, and answers, " Lord I eome." 
Can this be so, and only man, poor sinful man be dumb ? 
Or shall we shake the langonr off ?— to noblest deeds aspire, 
Until onr 11 res harmonious blend with Nature's perfect choir. 

THE AGED WIDOW TO HER WEDDING RING. 

Only a tiny cirdet small, a well-worn hoop of gold, 

Tet, could it tell its storV, what a tale it would unfold 

Of hopes that budded, bloomed, and died, of anxious cares and 

fean, 
Of purest joys that girt our lives for more than forty years. 

My hands were small and soft and white upon my bridal day. 
And my heart was sweetly crooning o'er a joyous roundelay : 
For I dreamt not what lay hid for me in the folded hands of tife, 
Nor could I grasp the meaning of that mystic name, a wife. 

We clasped each other's hands, and climbed the hills of self- 
denial. 
And bore each other -safely up through many a fiory trial : 
For the sun of love shone clear and warm along the ruggea road, 
And shed his rays of brightness o'er the path our footsteps trod. 

Ten lovely plants of human life around our table grew, 

And blessings fell upbn our heads, thick as the morning dew ; 

And we thought our bonnie bairns were ours to have and hold 

and keep, 
And so with perfect confidence we lulled our hearts asleep. 

But, ah ! one morn, one winter morn, a dark-robed angel came — 
At sight of him our slumb'ring fears burst forth into a flame ; 
He wrapped his sable robe round three, our fairest and our best, 
.And as he bore them from our sight we shuddered for the rest* 

A^in, and yet again, we heard the rustling of his wings, 

until his dreaded visits grew to ns familiar things ; 

Until our hearts were drunk with grief, our eyes with tears were 

dim, 
And when he took our last one, how we longed to go with him. 

But. last of all, he came for thee, band of my home and heart, 
And set his seal upon thy brow, and I knew that we must part ; 
And from that hour how heavily I've trod the vale of life, 
Ah I now I know the meaning of those mystic words—** a wife." 

And now with me 'tis eventide ; but 1 see the blissful goal. 
Which has been battled for and won by each enfranchised soul. 
And, gazing thus, mj spirit plumes her wings for instant flight, 
And only waits her Lord's command to bid the world good nightk 



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JANB CLEOHORN. 

OOB AIN FIRESIDE. 

There's a bonnie winsome qneen at oor ain fireside, 

Wi* merry lauchin' een at oor ain fireside ; 

It was her wee eident hand 

That made bonnte Scotia grand, 

Sae we bow to her command 

At oor ain fireside. 

Wha wadna struggle sair for their ain fireside, 
An' fecht through foul or fair for their ain fireside ? 
There peace, the gentle dove, 
Spreads her downy wings o* love 
Like a spirit frae above, 
Bound oor ain fireside. 

It i« Thrift we ca' the qneen at oor Ain fireside, 
She's the cheeriest e'er was seen at oor ain fireside, 
Weel may oor hardy race 
Bless her independent face, 
^n' gie her aye her place 
'heir ain fireside. 



^n' gi< 
4tthe 



There freedom sits enthroned at oor ain fireside. 
For which oor fathers groaned at their ain fireside, 
As the birdie seeks its nest, 
Sae I seek my haven o' rest 
In the neuk I lo'e the best. 
At oor ain fireside. 

There the weary rest frae toil at their ain fircAide, 
Frae the sorrow and the soil at their ain fireside ; 
An' hope wi* smilin' eye, 
Paints a brighter bye an' bye, 
Whanr love can never die 
Yont oor ain fireside. 

WOMAN'S MISSION. 

To wait man's entrance into life, and pay his passage here 
With mortfil pftngs, and glowing hope and pale and ghastlj 

fear ; 
Then quick forget the price we paid, and take the heiress thing 
And wind it round and round with love as with a bridal ring. 

Forgetting pains and weariness to find our earthly bliss 
In tending hiui, full well repaid by hin first infant kiss ; 
To train aright his wavward will, to sleep with heart awake, 
And slay the potent idol. Self, forever for his sake. 

To take his hand and lead him up the slippery steps of youth, 
And teach him how to gird Iuh soul with manliness and truth ; 
To follow still the purest aims and aspirations high, 
X And keep an open heart for claims of pure humanity. 



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370 MODERN SCOTTISH POSTS. 

Tis man's to push through bush an' break amidst the daxksoma 

wood. 
To trample down the tangling briars in quest of daily food ; 
Tis yours and mine to hold fuoft the blasdng torch of love 
Above his path and light him on to a home of rest above. 



WILLIAM HOGG 

^S the first butcher we hare come across in our 
^ galaxy of poets. It is a calling that many will 
doubtless think is altogether out of harmony with 
the true spirit of song-making ; nevertheless we have 
in all our work few more sweet and tenderly 
written productions than those of our present poet. 

William Hogg was born in the parish of Cambus- 
nethan, county of Lanark, in 1822, and attended 
school from his fifth to his ninth year, when he was 
employed as a cowherd. He discharged these rustic 
duties for about six months, and thereafter he be- 
came assistant or " drawer " to one among the many 
thousands of the human family who make their 
living by digging far down among the fossils of the 
earth. He continued at this calling until he reached 
his twenty- seventh year, when he began business as 
a butcher, in which trade he is at present engaged in 
the village of Bellshill, about ten miles to the east 
of Glasgow. 

Mr Hogg is well known in and around Glasgow, 
is much esteemed in a wide circle, and is presi- 
dent of the local ** Burns Club " — a very flourishing, 
intelligent, and warm-hearted society. Although 
often solicited, he has not as yet consented to publish 
liis numerous poems and songs in book form. Many 
of his verses have appeared in the Glasgow news- 
papers, the Hamilton and the Atrdrie Advertiser, as 



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WILLIAM HOGO. 371 

well as in other weekly journals. His poems bear the 
mark of spontaneous thought, called forth by the 
particular subject of each, and thus conveying in 
them traces of the writer's individuality. His lyrics 
are set in smooth and musical words, graceful in 
their simplicity, and they possess a remarkable 
roundness and completeness of thought. 

TWEEN THE CRADLE AN» THE GRAVE. 

In the town an' in the city. 

An' in clachan's sma', my son. 

There are places worth the seeing. 

An* places ye maun shun. 

An' this Btkte an' sober lesson 

^e mauna try to waive — 

There is much that's worth the kenning 

'Tween the cradle and the grave. 

Ye may by sage experience 

Be led the fact to ken, 

What often mak's the difference 

'Tween great an' little men. 

The love o' power's been kent to mak' 

A coward to look brave — 

There is muckle made by watching 

'Tween the cradle and the grave. 

Dinna gauge yonr fellow being 
By his coat or place in life, 
An' be gentle aye in wielding 
Dissection's deadly knife. 
I hae kent the unsuspecting 
Made the victim of a knave — 
There are mony weary turnings 
Tween the cradle and the grave. 

Dinna envy p^andy glitter, 
Though aiblms hraw to see ; 
What may to you be beantifu', 
To ithers dark may be. 
Some gie awa to finery 
What they should maybe save — 
There are mony queer requirements 
'Tween the cradle and the grave. 

Some hae started on the journey 
0' life wi' prospects clear, 
An' wha had to a' appearance 
Nae evil hour to fear, 



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872 MOD£KN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Yet were kent, thro' fickle fortane, 
To be another*R sUve — 
They are stout that never tumble 
Tween the cradle and the grave. 

Von will see some pets o* fortune 

Wha couldna tell ye why 

They've been landed an' been lifted 

To seats o' honour high. 

Wha a favour frae the fickle fates 

Were never kent to crave — 

Smooth's the road to some in wandering 

Tween the cradle an* the grave. 

Be just in a' your dealings 
Wherever ye may gang ; 
A shilling gotten honestly 
Is worth hundreds gotten wrang, 
An' that line o' life in choosing 
Will pangs o' conscience save. 
An' will mak' ye aye respected 
Tween the cradle an the grave. 

OUR LITTLE CHILD. 

** Emblem of parity," sweet is thy smile, 
Thou art a stranger to envv or raOe ; 
No cloud of sorrow has darkened thy brow, 
'* Emblem of purity,** happy art thou. 

Calmly and joyfully, half the day long 
Drinking in eagerly mother's sweet song ; 
Happiness greater to thee cannot be, 
The song of thy moth^'s worth worldsjto thee. 

May thy life's morning glide gently away, 
May thy life's gloaming be blameless and gay, 
Till thy life's silver cord death shall divide ; 
*' Emblem of purity," God be thy guide. 

HOMES AND HAUNTS OF OTHER DAYS. 

Soberly again I'm wandering 

Where in youth I've often bieen, 

Where I dreamed— ah, vain my dreaming, — 

Suns would keep upon me beaming, 

That no shadow dark would screen. 

Years have on my memory painted 
Pictures dark of hnman life, 
Cheering hopes and prospects blighted. 
Days of coining joyn benighted, 
Troubles; trials, cares, and strife. 



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WILLIAM HOGG. 373 

Time has overspread with chanRes 
Homes and haunts of daj^u gone by ; 
Places fair are fast decaying, 
Are aside their beauty laying. 
And will soon in ruins lie. 

Of my early old companions 
Faces few of them are seen ; 
Some have crossed the dreary river 
That will roll and roll for ever 
Them and earthly homes between. 

And the few and weary wand'rers 
That are left behind theiu here, 
Nature's voice to them's revealing 
That decay's upon them stealing, 
That their end with time is near. 

Fleet atid frail are earthly pleasures, 
Joys that live but for a day ; 
Quick are they in difiappearin^^ 
And are poor the heart in cheering 
When the head with years U grey. 

And the many pleasant places 
Mem*ry loves to linger o'er, 
He who loves round them to wander. 
He who loves on them to ponder, 
Shortly will be known no more. 

SING ON, LITTLi; WARBLER. 

Sing on, little warUer, I love thy sweet lay, 

Nae sweeter* aae purer's the breath o' the day ; 

Nae cares e'er arise in thy breast to destroy 

l%e day 6* unbroken contentment an' joy. 

Thy danrk airy dwelling to thee is as fair 

As yon dome to my lord, wi' its gold an' its glare. 

An' thy slumber's as sweet in thy moss-enshrined bed 

A.B he wha on pillows o' down lays his head. 

Frae morning to e'ening thy wants that are few 
Aye come unperceived like the fa' o' the dew ; 
While the blue arch o' heaven remains overhead 
Kind nature will furnish its miustrels wi* bread. 
Rejoice, little warbler, thy hame's wide and wild. 
With beauties around it luxuriously coiled ; 
But the grandeur that daezles the love drinking e'e 
Are lost to the vision in listening to thee. 

Thy sweet voice has often when care o'er me hung. 

When fears, doubts, and darkness my strength had unstrung. 

Dispelled the wild dreams o' my heart an' my brain, 

An cheered my lune bosom in joys sweet again. 

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374 MODBKK 8GOTTIHU POBT8. 

Sing on, little warbler, I love thy sweet lay, 
Nae sweeter, nae purer's the breath o' the dfty ; 
Nae cares e'er arise in thy breast to destroy 
Thy day o* unbroken contentment an' Joy. 



ALEXANDEE DONALDSON, 

HUTHOR of a volume entitled ** Rustic Lays," 
was born at Gifford, Hadding^nshire, in 
1851. In his seventh year he was sent to the village 
school, which he attended four years, and was then 
apprenticed to his father, who was the village tailor. 
Mter having served three years the .subject of our 
sketch, desiring a better knowledge of his trade, 
engaged himself to a firm in Haddington, with whom 
he completed his term of apprenticeship. While at 
Haddington, and when only sis teen years of age, he 
enlisted into an Artillery Regiment of Militia, with 
whom he served five years. At the completion of 
that period he obtained his discharge wiili a good 
character. During the time he served in the 
militia- that is ** between trainings'' — and for some 
time after, our poet followed his ordinary calling in 
various parts of Scotland. In 1872 he settled down 
in North Berwick, and it was about this time that 
the productions of his muse first saw the light. We 
are informed that when he first attempted versifica- 
tion, he had so far neglected the little education he 
possessed, that he knew nothing of grammar, and 
was ignorant of the fact that every line in verse 
should begin with a capital letter. Determined, 
however, to make amends for misspent years, he 
diligently set himself to the cultivation of his mental 
faculties ; and many an anxious and late hour was 
spent OYer his grammar and dictionary. 

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ALEXANDER DONALDSON. 375 

In 1880 our poet was appointed school board 
officer for the parishes of Gijfford, Bolton, and 
part of Garvald. He is also precentor in the Yester 
Free Churchy and is a well-known comic vocalist and 
Scottish humourist of some repute, in which capacity 
he frequently appears at concerts, &c. It is strange, 
however, that our bard seldom throws any of his 
drollery into his writings. 

Mr Donaldson was for some years a constant con- 
tributor to the Haddington Courier, but since the 
publicadon of '^Bustic Lays," in 1879, he has 
unfortunately seldom retained a copy of his pro- 
ductions ; and thus many a fine little lyric has been 
lost. His verses have a pleasing and spontaneous 
ring, and they all display a considerable degree of 
poetic merit. His themes are varied, and many of 
them are touchingly pathetic. He has evidently a 
heart that can join in the joys and share the sorrows 
of others, and he is, as he tells us in the preface to 
his volume, ** tenderly and reverently susceptible to 
the manifold beauties and abiding lessons of Nature.'' 
Our poet's '* verses about the bairns '* are sweet and 
tender — indeed his nursery lines are peculiarly 
simple and touching. The following poem was 
written on hearing a little girl say on behalf of 
another whose playmates were shunning her com- 
pany, ** Oh, lat her play wi' 's, she has nae faither:" 
THE FAITHERLESS BAIRN. 

Aye, aye, she is faitberless, dinna her spurn, 

Lest her wee lip should hing, an* her young heart should mourn. 

The lambs lo'e ilk ither, an' play on the lea ; 

Sae bairnies, dear bairnies, oh ! why winna ye ? 

The wean craves yer love, oh, that love let her ha*e, 
Let her share o' yer joys, an' join ye in play, 
An' drive her na frae ye wi' skelp or ill mane— 
Oor heart's deepest pity the faitherless claim. 

Nae faither has she coming hame frae his toil, 
To meet his bit lassie wi' kind word an' smile — 
To kiss her sweet lippies sae bonnie an' red, 
Or pat wi' affection her wee curly head. 

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976 MODBRll BOOTTfSU POHtft. 

Twad nigh break the heart o' the mither in twain 
To lee ye despise sae her faitberless wean, 
Thro' saut tears she e'es her wee love no sae braw, 
As when he was wi' them, the faither awa*. 

But tho' she's no basket sae braw like as yon. 

Her face is as fair, an' her heart is as true, 

The sunshine o* aitlessnees gleams in her e'e, 

Then shout blythesome bairnies, '* Oor playmate she'll be," 

An' ne'er wound her heart wi' the shafts o* disdain, 
But aye mak' a frien' o' the faitberless wean. 
Thus, sow in her bosom, where death has sown grief. 
Sunny joys o' sweet ohildhood— sorrow's relief. 

WELCOME, LITTLE BAIRNIB. 

Welcome to oor ingle-en'. 
Little, rosy, dainty hen : 
Sune ye'll toddle but an ben- 
Welcome, little baimie. 

Sane yell lisp the words sae fine, 
Cheer my heart when I repine ; 
To oor hame a gift Divine— 

Welcome, little baimie. 

When ve prattle on my knee, 
Blythely will I sing to thee. 
Saunter wi' ye ower the lea — 

Welcome, little baimie. 

Hoo rU cuddle y;e at nicht, 
Watch wi' care till mornin' licht. 
When ye'll wauken blythe an' bricht— 
ParUn' litUe bairiiie. 

Watchf u* angels ever guard, 

Lift your young thochts heavenward ; 

An' the blessings o* the bard 

Rest on thee, my baimie. 

THE SHEPHERD'S LAMENT. 

Oh ! see ye yon oot where the douce shepherd's eoUia 
Is friskin' aboot 'mang the bairnies at play ? 
An' see ye yon bumie that, snake-like and slowly. 
Is creepin' alang by yon bracken-clad brae ? 

Weel, yon is the dear cot where anoe lived my NMlli*, 
A sweeter young flooret ne'er hallow'd a dell — 
Immaculate, too, as yon sweet droopin' lily. 
That her ain fingers rear'd by yon bonnie wee wril. 



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An' von in the burnid where Aft we'd be stmyin' 
Wi' ban' ciaspin' ban' on its margin sae Rreen, 
Fond e'ein' the guileless lambs sportively playin* 
'Mang the juniper bushes, ilk spring nicht seren^. 

We'd watch the troot sport in the burnie's elear shallow, 
Admire them when swift thro' the ripples they spring 
To rob o' his dear prey the fiat ekimmerin* swallow 
That tak's 'bune the stream's breast the gnat o& the wU^. 

An' aft wad my love ken tkie Mel o' my plaidies 
When snell blew the win' ow^r the heatherv hiU, 
An' sweetly she'd sing o' Ver dear shepherd laddie 
That tended his laramies beside the clear rill. 

Oh ! joys evanescent, alas I liDo ye Vanish'd — 

Ye cheer'd for awhile, then swift did depart, 

An' wi' me left sorrow, whase cruel pang$ hae banish'd 

Ilk faint ray o' hope that illumiued my heart. 

For a'e Sunday e'enin' When roaibin' tbeglther, 
I saw a bricht tinge on Illy Nellie's fair cheek ; 
An' sadly I e'ed as we roani'd thro' the heather, 
Her step ahce sae liohtsokne grow feeble Ikn' weak. 

The first seeds o' grief were then sown in my bosom. 
The first marks 6* sorrows Were tti^ced oh m^ ^^^^A 
When I saw the sad change on that young viirgin blolsdtn, ^ 
An' view'd health's red streiak fadin' fast Me Ber moii . 

When autumn was here, an* the dead Seaves were ti^Mablin 
An' fa'in' in gowden heaps fast frae the tree, 
A few scatter'd mourners were sadly assemblin' 
To bear Nell tiwa' frae her kindred ah' nie. 

The trooties ma;^ loup noo, an' lanunies mi^ gambol, 
An' frae the whin's aark cresi the lintie may sing, 
A-n', blythe, up yon hillside the lover may scramblt^ 
But joy to this sad heart there's naething can brinl^. 

MY BAIRNIE AN' THEE. 

Ye're awa' noo, my wifie, awa' for a While, 

An* sair, sair I miss noo thy sweet, winnin' smile ; 

An' lanelv I sit wi' the tear in my e'e. 

An' sigh for a hame wi* my bairnie an' thee. 

My bairnie an' thee, my bairnie an' thee ; 

I sigh for a hame wi' my bairnie an' thee. 

Ilk sweet little flow'ret that blooms on the plain, 
An' ilk little birdie that sings in the glen. 
Ilk ewe an' her lammie, that frisks on the lea, 
A' mind me o' hame an' my bairnie an' thee. 

My bairnie an' thee, O my bairnie an' thee ; 

A' mind me o' hame an' my bairnie an' thee. 

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978 MODUtir SOOTXIBH FOBT8. 

I'm WM, WM, an' wearj—withoat thee I'm sad— 
There's nocht here to oheer me, or mak' my heart glad ; 
YeL oh ! it is solaoe, sweet solace to me. 
To ken that I'm lov'd wi' my baimie an* thee. 

My baimie an* thee, O my baimie an* thee ; 

My life's brightest sonbeams, my baimie an' thee. 

Dear wife o' my bosom, belov'd o' m^ heart. 
Ah, sweet is the joy that thy love did impart ; 
Snrs, break wad this leal heart, an* dim grow the e'e. 
Gin I were bereft o' my baimie an' thee. 

My baimie an' thee, my baimie an* thee ; 

May Ood blessings send to my bairnie an' thee. 

MAY MOBNING. 

Momin' has broken, the snn's shinin' bricbt, 

The swallows are twitt'rin*, my heart's loupin' licht ; 

The young buds are barstin' on bush an' on tree. 

An' sweet blaw the gowans on knowe an' on lea ; , 

Thick hang the dewdraps on ilka green blade. 

Sweet sing the birdies in glen an* m glade ; 

Sae wake ye that slumber, drive dull sleep away. 

Arise noo an* welcome the advent o* May. 

The wren's in the bush, an' the lark's in the sky. 

The hind wi' his braw team jogs cannily by ; 

An' see, 'mans the young grass, the fleet boundin' hare 

Is scatterin' the dewdraps like diamoads rare. 

The midges are dancin* abune the clear stream. 

While the wee waves aneath them dae ripple an' gleam ; 

The woods are inviting — the meadows are gay — 

Oh, wha wadna bathe in the dews o' the May. 

NOVEMBER IN THE WOOD. 

When last aneath this tree I stood, the sweet wild floo'rs o' Jane 
Bloom'd bonnily, the birdies sang, an* a* were merry roun' ; 
Noo floo'rs hae fled an' birdies' sangs, while wild wiu's whistle 

lood. 
An' Nature whispers in my ear, " November in the wood." 

The bum that by its floo'ry marge row'd smoothly, saft, an' 

clear, 
Noo tears alang wi' eerie din that's gruesome aye to hear ; 
It bounds an' birkers ou apace in bitter, angry mood. 
At ilka bound methinks it cries, *' November in the wood." 

The feather'd brackens, ance sae green, assume the russet hue, 
An* winter's snawflakes hang «vhere ance hung draps o* simmer 

dew ; 
The leafy trees look desolate, tho' deck'd in snawy hood. 
Their bleak dismantled frames declare, November in the wood. 



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MAROABBT BLLIOTT. 379 

The wee bird fin's in yonder bush nae oosey biel aya, 
To shield it frae the wintry blast, or hap it frae the snaw ; 
Its waefu' cheep fa's on my ear. Oh, birdie, gin I ooold, 
I'd shield ye sae that ye'd defy November in the wood. 

The sqairrel on von leafless bough, wi' pryin', little e'e, 
Surveys the ruefu' scene below, an' feels dung doon awee ; 
Dootless, aneath some spreadin' tree, he's stored his winter's 

food, 
But's tint the spot, an' noo deplores November in the wood. 

In yon'er thicket, unoonoem'd, the reynard tak's his rest, 
Yestreen he socht the hen wife's store, an' dined upon the best : 
But when the huntsman's horn cheers on his pack so fierce ana 

rude. 
Then he amang the lave regrets November in the wood. 

In yon'er copse, sae shelterless, sae dowie-like an' bare, 
After a lang nicht's scamper, the maukin fin's a lair ; 
An' thro't the gowden pheasant stalks fa' gracefully an' prood, 
Waes me 'twill sune be made to feel November in the wood. 

For even noo, wi' cover nigh, the sportsman's shot is heard — 
There's nocht but flight will save thee noo, thou puir, ill-fated 

bird ; 
When sportsmen ance the stillness breaks o' this thy solitude, 
Wi' bleedin' breast ye then will mourn November in the wood. 

Auld faither Adam tint his wits, an' played a foolish part. 
When he like tender saplin' bow'd aneath auld Satan's art ; 
Oh, had he but his treach'rous wiles a' manfully withstood. 
Nor bird nor beast wad e'er hae moum'd November in the wood. 



MARGARET ELLIOTT. 

ynV ARGARET ELLIOT was born, and still resides, 
X II J at the pleasant pastoral farm of Oottersdeuchy 
Teviothead, Roxburghshire. Miss Elliott never knew 
any other home, and rents the farm which belongs to 
his Grace the Duke of Buccleuch. Her father and 
mother were descended from good old border families, 
and the traditions in which the district is so rich, 
and the objects of great natural beauty and 
historic interest around her, form the theme of hex 



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9B9 MODUjr momsu hmtb. 

muse, whidi, while foUowing her rural purBtdte, sba 
oultivatee in a pleasing manoer. '* The Branxbolm 
Aah," forming the sttOJeM; of the following poem, 
was the *' haogiag tree '' in the olden time, and whesi 
blown down in 1882 was said to be fenr huadred 
years old. A tsAbinet was made frbtn the wood fbt 
the Duke of Buooleuch. 

TO THE VENERABLE ABH AT BRAHXHOLM. 

Thou and Mh, why Unger heit ? 
Alone thou stand'st, no comrade near ; 
AH, all is ohanMd, einoe fiiet thy leasee 
A pony plant played on the breeze. 

Age roUfl on age. yet still eaeb spring 
Jmnmphant back thy glories bring ; 
> The tempest thou iMuit laoghed to scorn. 
Defied the spirit of the storm. 

Post stand to tell of the minstrel grey, 
Who in Branxholm's hall attuned his lay, 
SweUed on the breeze his harp wild rang. 
And now the last of the minstrels sang ? 

Did Teviot^ Flower glide, ander your shade 
To meet her true knight in the hawthorn glade ? 
Or stayed she with dread as the night bircTflewi 
And her mstling robe, from the turf, swept the dewf 

Methinks yuur branches g^roaned and swung, 
The owl screeched high as the castle gate rung ; 
When forth sped the knight un his errand bent, 
To rob the dead, to the wizard's grave went. 

Did thy timber re-echo that fatal blow 
That stretched the brave English champion low ? 
The shouts that rang when bis bride whft won, 
And the victor led to the Ladye her son ? 

From Lord David*s tower at the magic hour, 

When the Ladye communed in her secret bower ; 

Weird forms may have skimmed, and stirange lights gleamed 

O^er thy head till day dawned, and the bright sUn beamed. 

THE SCOTCH FIR. 

The boasted oak let England claim, 
Extol its worth and sing its fame ; 
To Scotia's sons, the brave, the free. 
Give them their own, their native tree. 



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VBANOIS BBinrooH. 981 

Thy AWtt-inspiritig, st^Cast mien. 
Unchanging garb of ever-green ; 
Our patriotic feelings claim, 
Fit emUem of thy noble name. 

Onr sailor, when he reefs the sail. 
When calmed, or driren by the Kftle^ 
With joy relates his dream of sea* 
When first he climbed the old fir tree. 

When wearied, siok of snow's pale faee. 
When ei^rth seems locked in death's embraqf ; 
Like rainbow promise thou art seen 
Bearing aloft thy cloud of green. 

When tempests wild against thee blow. 
Thy leafless co-mates hendtug low, 
Brect you stand, strive for the field, 
To do or die, but never yield. 

Thy noble, haughty, stately stem, 
Aspiring, grave, fantastic gem ; 
Majestic, grand, heavenward thy aim- 
King of our woods, I thee proclium. 



FRANCIS BBNNOOH, 

HUTHOB of a large, rery handsome, andinterest- 
ing Tolume, entitled '* Poems, Lyrics, Songs, 
and Sonnets," is one of the many sons of Scotland 
who, at an early age, have crossed the Border in 
quest of, and have attained, fame and fortune. The 
land of their adoption, endeared ]by life's struggles 
and triumphs, becomes the home of their choice. 
There they have lived, toiled, suffered, and won; 
there they have formed all the attachments of love 
and friendship, and from i^. and its associations they 
have no wish to be severed. England becomes the 
home of their manhood and old age ; while Scotland, 
as the land of their birth, becomes more and 



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382 MODBBN 800TTIBH POETS. 

more the golden memory of their youth. The 
habits and attachments of a lifetime cover over 
without weakening the ties of patriotism. 

Francis Bennoch was bom at Drumeruil, parish of 
Durrisdeer, Dumfriesshire, in 1 8 1 2. By both parents 
he was connected with Nithsdale. His father was a 
farmer on the Drumlanrig estate of the Duke of 
Bucdeuch, and his mother belonged to a family who 
had been two centuries tenants on the same property. 
He shared to some extent in the work of the farm, 
and in reference to his poem ** The Storm," tells 
how it was his delight to assist the shepherd for a 
long winter night in a terrible storm, the object 
being to keep the sheep on the windward side of the 
fold in case they should be smothered in the drift. 
A farmer's life, however, offered iu his sight little 
for the gratification of his ambition, and we find him 
in London at the age of scarcely sixteen. At the end 
of nine years (in 1837) he started in business for 
himself, and after nearly forty years of active business 
life he retired, having realized an independency, and 
enjoyed the esteem of his associates and a wide circle 
of fellow-citizens. 

While engaged in business, and now in his retire- 
ment, Mr Bennoch has proved himself a public- 
spirited man. and he has ever taken an active and 
substantial interest in promoting the welfare of the 
humbler classes. He was successively chosen common 
councilman and deputy of his ward in the Corporation, 
and approved by the Queen as a Commissioaer 
of Lieutenancy of the City of London. As 
a friend of improvement, his schemes for bridg- 
ing and embanking the Thames may be cited 
as two of many examples. Bold, independent, 
and disinterested, he thoroughly gained the trust 
and respect of both friends and opponents. He 
was the prime mover of early closing in wholesale 
houses, and after personally negotiating with the 



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FRANCIS BBNKOCH. 383 

principals of the leading firms, bis views were adopted, 
securing a redaction of three hours daily in the hours 
of labour. In gratitude, the employees, by a shilling 
subscription, presented Mr Beunoch, at a meeting 
presided over by Grote the historian, with silver plate 
to the value of one hundred guineas. Our poet 
is even now one of the busiest men in London. 
He is either chairman or director of several 
financial and industrial organisations, a con- 
servator of the river Thames, one of the most active 
members of the incorporation of Foreign Bond- 
holders, a Fellow of the Society of Arts and 
several other scientific and antiquarian associations, 
and as honorary secretary of the Female School of 
Art, he has done much valuable work. 

Turning now to his literary career, Mr Bennoch 
began at the early, age of eighteen to contribute verses 
to the press of his native district, and nearly forty- 
five years ago made his first appearance as author of 
a volume of poems. This work was very highly 
spoken of by the press and in literary circles. It 
gained him many friends, including Wordsworth, 
Southey, Landor, Kingsley, Dickens, Buskin, the 
Howits, Hawthorn, Longfellow, Bryant, De Quinoey, 
Charles Swain, Mary Bussell, Allan Cunningham, Mit- 
ford. and others eminent in literature and art — names 
not to be found on the list of personal friends of 
many business men of Mr Bennoch's day. He speaks 
warmly of Allan Cunningham's kindness to him on 
his first arrival in London. It is, besides, to our 
poet that we mainly owe the collected edition of Miss 
Mitford's tales, and he also collected and arranged 
for publication her dramatic works, which were dedi- 
cated to him. When in England, Nathaniel Haw- 
thorne and he were as brothers, and to Mr Bennoch 
more than to any living man, it is said, the great 
American disclosed the inner workings of his genius. 
Space will not permit us to refer to many interebt- 



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SIM MOAUV aqoiffiWH f^bts. 

ing epuodea that lend an unusual variety to 
the career of a man whose life has been thus 
divided between business, poesy, and the con- 
genial society of the leading literary men and 
women of the age. The influence of birth and 
manner of life is seen in his verse and oboiee 
of ibe^ieQ. Mr Pinnington has happily likened 
his muse to one of the pure, warm-hearted daughters 
of the north — "the April of the fair cyde. Her 
laughtiar ripples sweetly in alternation with the 
silent flow of tears from the depth of her loving 
heart. Life among the 8outhrons has only shar- 
pened her relish of the accents of her native land. 
She remains the same frank, trans- 
parent creature, sweet as the mountain heather, 
pure as the dew of Tynron, musical as Shipnel. 
Under her natural brightness lie feelings deep and 
strong as the Nith in spate. Sympathetic, loving, 
and reverent, with a keen eye to beauty, a heart opep 
to sorrow, and a warm appreciation of the bright and 
beautiful, she stands before us one of the most 
fascinating of beings who was ever enticed by a son 
of the Muses away from the bonnie glens and hills of 
Scotland to the peopled waste of London." 

Having ** slacked the cords and eased the collar of 
labour," MrBennoch, in 1877, collected his scattered 
verses, and they were published in a large, beautiful, 
and quite unique volume by Hardwicke & Bogue — 
just forty years after his previous book has seen the 
light. As already hinted, when his first work was 
issued be was advised to adopt literature as a pro- 
fession, but Wordsworth, in one of several letters 
couched in friendliest language, whilst urging him 
to continue the study of poetry as a pleasure, quoted 
the opinion of Walter Scott, that ' * poetry as a staff 
was a pleasant companion to walk with, but perilous 
as a crutch to lean upon." He therefore remained a 
man of business ; and in the preface to his later 



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FRANCIS BBNNOCH. 385 

volumes he says — ** though, like many others, T have 
enjoyed the blessings of prosperity, and, like them 
too, suffered from adversity; yet, whether lifted 
high by popular applause, or cast down by publio 
forgetfulness, I have always found my sweetest con- 
solation and dearest pleasure in my passion for 
poetry and in the practice of verse." 

Begarditig his affection for Scotland, as shown in 
his poetry, the man is perhaps more prominent than 
the Scotsman. He loves Scotland, but humanity 
more. His patriotism has lost none of its keennef^s 
by absence from the land which inspires it. His 
verse has lost none of its fervency, while it has 
gained in scope. Travel has done much to widen 
both his sympathies and his intellectual range. At 
thirty-six he visited America, and again at sixty- 
eight, and he has travelled much on the European 
continent. Wherever he went, he carried with him 
the poet's eye and the poet's heart. His musings 
leads him above the prejudices of class or race, he be- 
comes reflective and moralises, he lets a song-flower 
expand into an unobtrusive teacher, he tones a ballad 
with the silvery atmosphere of reflection. . Mr Ben- 
noch has written poetical tales, songs, sonnets, and 
hymns, but we think he excels in lyrics, and he 
gives many evidences of the possession of a full share 
of Scottish humour. He possesses, too, a musical 
ear, and sings of Nature with a cadence as regular 
and sweet as her own. His love strains are begotten 
of the melody in his heart, and his songs of filial 
affection are tender to an unusual degree. Surely 
it is well to be able to say to a mother on her eighty- 
third birthday, when the son's hair was rapidly 
whitening — 

*' *Ti8 a wearisome life at best, mother, 
Bnt lessons of love and truth 
Are seldom forfl^otten in a.?e, mother, 
T When tenderly taught in youth." 

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MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

WHO DARES TO SCORN? 

Who dares to Bcorn the meanest thing, 
The hnmhlest weed that grows, 

While pleasure spreads its joyous wing 
On every breeze that blows. 

The simplest flower that hidden blooms, 
The lowliest on the ground, 

la lavish of its rare perfumes, 

And scatters sweetness round. 

The poorest friend upholds a part 

Of life's harmonious plan ; 
The weakest hand may have the art 

To serve the strongest man ; 
The bird that highest, clearest sings 

To greet the morning's birth, 
Falls down to drink, with folded wings. 

Love's rapture on the earth. 

From gerirjs too small for mortal sight 

Grow all things that are seen ; 
The floating particles of light 

Weave nature's robe of green ; 
The motes that fill the sunny rays 

Build ocean, earth and sky— 
The wondrous orbs that round us blaze 

Are motes to Deity. 

Life, love, devotion closly twine 

Like tree, and flower, and frnit — 
Tljey ripen by a power divine. 

Are fed by leaf and root. 
The man who would be truly great 

Must venture to be small : 
On airy columns rests the dome 

That shining circles all. 

Small duties grow to mighty deeds ; 

Small words to thoughts of power ; 
Great forests spring from tiny seeds, 

As moments make the hour ; 
And life — howe'er it lowly grows. 

The essence to it given ; 
Like odour from the breathing rose. 

Floats evermore to heaven. 

THE BONNIE BIRD. 

Oh, where snared ye that bonnie, bonnie bird, 
Oh, where wiled ye that winsome fairy ? 

I fear me it was where nae truth was heard. 
And far frae the shrine o' the guid St. Mary? 



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FKANCIS BENNOCH. 

I didna snare that bonnie, bonnie bird, 
Nor try ony wiles wi' the winsome fairy ; 

But won her younyf heart where the an(;;el8 heard, 
In the bowery glen o* Invercary ! 

An' what want ye wi' sic a bonnie bird ? 

I fear me its plumes ye will ruffle sairly ; 
Or bring it low down to the lane kirkyard, 

Where blossoms o' grace are planted early ! 

As life I love my bonnie, bonnie bird. 
Its plumage I never will ruffle aairly ; 

To the day o* doom I will keep my word. 
An' cherish my bonnie bird late an' early. 

Oh, whence rings out that merry, merry peal ? 

The sang an' the laugh, they are chorused rarely ; 
It is ! — it is the bonnie, bonnie bird, 

Wi' twa sma' voices a' piping early. 

For, he didna snare the bonnie, bonnie bird, 
Nor did he beguile the winsome fairy ; 

He had made her his ain, where the angels heard, 
At the holy shrine o' the blest St Mary. 

EVA. 

Oh slumber my little one ; 

Sleep on my pretty one ; 
Smiles dream-awakened — are tokens of bliss : 

Delight never ceasing, 

But hourly increasing, — 
What earthly enjoyment is equal to this ? 

O Eva, sweet Eva, beautiful Eva, 
My Eva, dear Eva, to fondle kiss ! 

With winter winds blowing, 

And winter clouds snowing, 
There came to my arms a wee innocent dove ; 

My fever subduing. 

My rapture renewing. 
The child of my grief is a well-spring of love : 

O Eva, sweet Eva, beautiful Eva, 
My Eva, dear Eva, my joy from above ! 

Her open lips breathing, 

Sweet rosy smiles wreathing,— 
Her cheek like the apple-bloom, pinky and fair ; 

Her bonny bine eyes, 

Are shreda filched from the .^kies ; 
And dusky as night is her wavy brown hair, 

O Eva, sweet Eva, beautiful Eva, 
Eva, dear Eva, my xjride and my care. 



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388 MODBKN SCOTTISH POETS. 

What clasping and clutching — 

Though aimless, how touching ! 
What fairy in whispering swells her young breast ? 

Come close to my bosom, 

My blessing, my blossom ; 
Were ! here's yonr home, darling, your refuge and rest. 

Eva, sweet Eva, beautiful Eva, 
My Eva, dear Eva, this, this is your nest. 

The trees gently waving. 

The lapping tide laving. 
The streaiiilets from Claragh ns glancing they ran. 

Had tongues t*» them given. 

Like TtiURic from heaven. 
Repeating rejoicings awoke at Drishane. 

Eva, sweet Eva, beautiful Eva, 
My Eva, dear Eva, so pleasant to scan. 

Unbounded in measure, 

Sure Nature her treasure 
Exhausted in moulding this baby of mine. 

Ye spirits of goodness, 

Defend her from rudeness ! 
Surround her, protect her, ye angels divine ! 

Eva, sweet Eva, beautiful Eva, 
On thee may the sun of all blessedness shine. 

MAY-DAY. 

The biting wintry winds are laid, 

And spring comes carolling o*er the earth ; 
Mead, mountain, glen, and forest glade 

Are ringing with melr^dious mirth. 
Thcfields have doffed their sober brown, 

And donned their robes of lovely green, 
On level mead, and breezy down. 

Are flowers in countless myriads seen. 
Come forth, come forth, enjoy the day, 
And welcome song-inspiring May ! 

Through bud and branch, and gnarled trunk, 

To deepest root, when quickening light 
Touches the torpid juices, sunk 

In slumber by the winter's might, 
Electric currents tingling rise, 

Each circle swells witKIife anew ; 
Wide opening to the sunny skien, 

Young grateful blossoms drink the dew. 
Come forth, time-furrow'd age, and say 
If anything feels old in May ? 

Step o*er the brook, climb up the bank. 
And peepi em-nth t^»»8e withered leaves — 



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FRA.NC1S BENNOCH. 

Among the roots with wild weeds rank ; 
See now the preRnant e^rth upheaves 
With pultting life ! How quiveringly 

The timid young flowers, blushing, bend 
Their gentle heads, where modesty 
And all the graces sweetly blend. 
Come forth, come forth, ye young, and say 
What cheeks can vie with rosy May ? 

From desk and 'Change come forth and range, 

From clanging forge, and shop, and mill ; 
From crowded room, from board and loom, 

Come ! bid the rattling wheels be still. 
Come, old and young, come, strong aud weak, 

Indulge the limb and brain with rest ; 
Come, gushing youth and wrinkled cheek. 

In leisure feel your labour blest. 
Come forth, come forth, and hail the day. 
Come, welcome in the glorious May ! 

Come, ere the dappled East has burned— 

Made molten gold the winding stream ; 
Come, ere the fiery sun has turned 

The pearly dew to misty steam ; 
Come, ere the lark has left his nest, 

Or lambkin bleated on the hill ; 
Gome, see how nature looks in rest, 

And learn the bliss of being still. 
Come forth, come forth, aud hail the day. 
Come, welcome blossom-teeming May ! 

iEolian murmurs swell the breeze. 

Enchant the ear, and charm the brain ; 
While merry bells and humming bees * 

Fill up the burden of the strain. 
On earth, in air, oh, everywhere, 

A brighter glory shines to-day ; 
Old bards reveal how birds prepare 

New songs to herald joyous May. 
Come forth, come forth, nor lingering stay. 
Come, crown with flowers the matchless May 

Consummation. 

No trumpet's thrilling call is heard 

To servile host or lordly crest, 
But that mysterious, viceless* word, 

By which the world is onward prest — 
Which bids the grass in beauty grow, 

And stars their path of glory keep. 
Makes winds and waves hannonions flow, 

And dreaming infants smile in sleep. 



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MODERN HCOTTISU POETS. 

Tliat voice, reoibtless in it sway, 
Turns winter wild to flowery May. 

From edges of the dusky shade. 

That canopies the restless town, 
Come trooping many a youth and maid, 

With flushing face and tresses brown. 
High hopes have they, their hearts to please, 

Thev seek the wild wood's haunted dell ; 
They laughing come, by twos and threes, 

But chiefly twos. I mark them well- 
So trimly drest, so blithe and gav, 
With them it seems 'tis always T^aj, 

They steen their kerchiefs in the dew ; 

Then follow wondrous wringings out ; 
As winged seeds were blown, they knew 

What laggard lovers were about. 
Some pluck the glowing leaves to learn 

If love declared be love sincere ; 
Or in red ragged streaks discern 

Love lost, and virtue's burning tear. 
Oh, love is earnest though in play, 
When comes the love-inciting May. 

With hawthorn blooms and speckled shells, 

Ohaplets are twined for Mushing brows ; 
While gipsies work their magic spells. 

And lovers pledge their deathless vows. 
Then round and round with many a bound, 

Thev tread the mystic fairy ring. 
The silent woods have voices found. 

And echoing chorus while they sing : 
** With shout and nong, and dance and play, 
We welcome in the peerless May 1 " 

Linked hand in hand, their tripping feet 

Keep time to mirth's inspiring voice ; 
The^ wheel and meet, advance, retreat, 

Till ha^py hearts in love rejoice. 
The ring^ is formed for kisses sly — 

Leaping and racing o'er the plain ; 
The young wish time would quicker fly. 

The old wish they were youhg again. 
Away with care : no cares to-day ! 
Care slumbers on the lap of May ! 

The voice that bade them welcome forth. 
Now gently, kindly whispers " Home I " 

To-day has been a day of mirth. 
To-morrow sterner duties come. 

Such pleasures nerve the arm for strife. 
Bring joyous thoughts and golden dreams, 



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S'RAKCIS BENNOCH. 39J^ 

To mingle with the web of life — 
And memory store with woods, and streams. 
Such joys drive cankering care away ; 
Then ever welcome flowery May ! 

MY BONNIE WEE WIFIK 

My bonnie wee wifie, I'm waefa* to leave thee, 

To leave thee sae lanely, and far frae me ; 
C!ome night and come morning, I'll soon he returning ; 

Then, oh, my dear wifie, how happy we'll be ! 
Oh, cauld is the night, and the way dreigh and dreary, 

The snaw's drifting blindly o'er moorland and lea ; 
All nature looks eerie. How can she be cheery. 

Since weel she maun ken I am parted frae thee ? 

Oh, wae is the lammie, that's lost its dear mammy, 

An* waefu' the bird that sits chirping alane ; 
The plaints they are making, their wee bit hearts breaking. 

Are throbbings o' pleasure compared wi' my pain. 
The pun to the simmer, the bark to the timraer, 

The sense to the soul, an' the light to the e'e. 
The bud to the blossom, sae thou'rt to my bosom ; 

Oh, wae's my heart, wifie, when parted frae thee ! 

There's nae guid availing in weeping or wailing. 

Should friendship be failing; wi' fortune's decay ; 
Love in our hearts glowing, its riches bestowing, 

Bequeaths us a treasure life takes not away. 
Let nae anxious feeling creep o'er thy heart, stealing 

The bloom frae thy cheek when thou'rt thinking of me ; 
Gome night and come morning, I'll then l»e returning ; 

Nae mair, cosy witie, we parted shall be. 

MY JOHNNY. 

hae ye seen my auld gude man, 

O hae ye seen my Johnnv ? 
It's heaven to a woman's e e 

To look on sic as Johnny 1 

The daisies growin' on the lea, 

Sae modestly an' bonny. 
How sweetly aye they smile on me, 

When I am wi' my Johnny. 
In youth I buxom was.au' braw. 

Had wealthy wooers mony ; 

For honest lo'e I turned frae a*. 

An' buckled wi' my Johnny. 

hae ye seen my auld gude man, 

hae ye seen my Johnny ? 
It's heaven to a woman's e'e 
To look on sic as Johnny \ 



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392 MODBBN 800TTI8B POETS. 

Our Vairna like blossomfi round a tree 

Hae grown about ua thriving, 
Twould Rlad yonr heart could ye bat see 

How they for us are striving. 
As hirpling doon the hill o' life, 

What happiness it gies us. 
To see oar Daimies, young an* auld, 
Sae eident strive to please us. 

hae ye seen my auld gude man, 

O hae ye seen my Johnnv ? 
It*8 heaven to a woman^s e'e 
To look on sic as Johnny ! 

O mony a jovous nicht an* day 

I've shared wi' my auld crony ; 
Gome weal, come wae, come what may — 

111 ever bless my Johnny. 
His look sae kind, sae clear his mind. 

His brow sae high an* bonny ; 
Auld Nature vows nhe has na power 
To mak' another Johnny. 

hae ye seen my auld gude man, 

hae ye seen my Johnny ? 
His lo*e IS life an' mair to me, 
My life e* life is Johnny 1 

HEY, MY BONNIE WEE LASSIE. 

Hey, my bonnie wee lassie, 
Blvthe and cheery wee lassie. 
Will ye wed a canty oarle, 
Bonnie, bonnie we lassie? 

I ha*e sheep, an' I ha'e kye, 
I ha'e wheat, an' I hae rye, 
An' heaps o' siller, lass, forbye. 
That ye shall spend wi' me, lassie. 
Hey, my bonnie wee lassie, 
Blythe and cheerie wee lassie. 
Will ye wed a "canty carle, 
Bonnie, bonnie wee lassie ? 

Ye shall dress in damask fine. 
My guwd and gear shall a' be thine. 
And I to ye be ever kin*, 
gay, — will ye marry me, lassie ? 
Hey, my bonnie wee lassie, 
Blythe and cheerie wee lassie. 
Will ye wed a canty carle, 
Bonnie, smiling wee lassie ? 

GrMk hame, auld man, an' dam your hose, 
FQI up your lanky sides wi' brose, 



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FRANCIS BENNOOH. 

An' at the ingle warm your nose ; 
But come na coartiu' me, carle. 
Oh, ye tottering auld carle, 
Silly, davering, auld carle, 
The hawk and doo shall pair, I trow, 
Before I pair wi* ye, carle. 

I winna share your gowd wi' ye, 
Your withering heart, an' watery e'e ; 
In death I'd sooner shrouded be 
Than wedded to ye, auld carle. 
Oh, ye tottering auld carle, 
Silly, claTering auld carle, 
When roses blaw on wreaths o' snaw, 
111 bloom upon your breast, carle. 

But there's a lad, an' I*m his ain^ 
May Heaven blessings on him ram ; 
Though plackless, he is unco fain, 
And he's the man for me, carle. 
Oh, youth and age can ne'er agree ; 
Though rich, you're no the man for me. 
Gae hame, auld carle, prepare to dee ; 
Pray Heaven to be your bride, carle. 



HAST THOU A FRIEND? 

Hast thou a friend ? Oh hold him fast. 

Fling not his hand away ; 
Thou of a treasure art possessed 

Thou'lt find not every day : 
Oh let no hasty word or look. 
Blot out his name from memory's book. 

A Friend ! to man the noblest gift 
That Heaven has in its power ; 

Stronger than death, and yet, most strange. 
More frail than feeblest flower : 

For that which braved the storm severe, 

May yet be blighted by a sneer ! 

He may have errors ; who has not ? 

Who dares perfection claim? 
God gave thy friend some worthy parts, 

Fix all thy heart on them. 
His virtues rightly drawn— J ween 
His faults in shade will not be st* en. 

If thou would'st keep thy friend thine own, 

Be open, be sincere ; 
What tnou unto thyself art known, 

Such to thy friend appear ; 



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SM MODERN SOOTTtSH PolfiTS. 

Twixt him and thee have no disguise ; 
In this true friendship's secret lies. 

Thon fuut a friend ! oh hold him fast ; 

Fling not his hand away ; 
Thon of a treasure art possessed 

That's found not every dav ; 
Oh let no hasty word, or look, 
Blot thy friend's name from tby heart's book ! 



3' 



SAMUEL M^FAELANE 

^S a little over fifty years of age, and was bom at 
^^ Newley, in the parish of Auchtergaven, Perth- 
shire. He is descended from a race of small but 
much-respected farmers, and our poet still occupies 
a few acres of land in the place of his birth. He 
received a good elementary education at the Bank- 
foot and the Parish Schools, and when quite a boy 
he was very fond of reading, and made good use of 
many of our classical writers from the Auchtergaven 
Subscription Library, which the poet NicoU was so 
enthusiastic in starting. Mr M^Farlane is a keen and 
intelligent botanist, and many of his poems sweetly 
celebrate the beauty of flowers. He was a member of 
the Boyal Perthshire Horticultural Society, and has 
long contributed both in prose and verse to the press. 
Li his poems and songs Mr M Farlane describes 
natural objects with ease and accuracy, and evinces 
an affectionate love of all the external forms of 
Nature. 

SONG OF THE STORM SPIRIT. 

My home is the North, my kingdom's the Earth, 

Destruction I scatter abroad ; 
In the days of old, when the heathen ruled, 

I was worshipped as a god. 



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SAMUEL M^FABLAK£« 395 

To me then all bowed, and cried aloud 

To withhold luy destroying arm, 
When from the wild north I in fury rode forth — 

The Spirit of the Storm. 

The san is shining bright in his noonday height, 

All nature seems to bask in his ray, 
But a black cloud appears and hides him from sight, 

Changing into darkness the day. 
By the lightning's flash and the thunder's crash. 

And the noble oak's shivered form, 
O ! then you may know I am riding in might — 

The Spirit of the Storm. 

The gallant ship as she ploughs through the deepc 

And dashes o'er waves white witl^ foam. 
In the wind's fell swoop is heard my wild whoop. 

Proclaiming she will never reach home. 
By the rending sails and the piteous wails 

Of crew and passengers forlorn, 
O ! then you may know that I ride at will — 

The Spirit of the Storm. 

In the sunny south where luxuriant growth 

Of vegetative nature appears, 
! there I am known in the hurricane's breath — 

That scourge which mankind fears. 
Whole cities around I cast to the ground, 

A nd fairest scenes waste and deform ; 
Full well I am known in the torrid zone— 

The Spirit of the Storm. 

In the wintry north where the skiea send forth 

Their streamers of lambent light, 
Where the Esquimaux low in his cavern of snow 

Is passing his long winter's night ; 
Where the growling bear, 'mid the icebergs there. 

Slowly drags his unwieldy form, 

! there I am known in my northern home — 

The Spirit of the Storm. 

O'er all the wide earth I ride in my mirth. 
The ruin and terror of man ; 

1 say in my might, who with me dares fight ? 

In my strength and my fury who can ? 
Then to see how I gloat o'er havoc I've wrought, 

And laugh in a hideous form ; 
No sweet pity enthralls, nor black ruin appals - 

The Spirit of the Storm. 

LILY 0' THE GLEN. 

dinna doot but I wad woo ye 

Gin I should meet ye in the glen. 



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396 llODfilLN »C0TT1SH POBTS. 

An' dinna think bat I waci ]o*e ye — 
I wish I bad ye for my ain. 

Ripdlin' dark, like mountain streamlets, 
The glossy braids o' Lily's hair, 

Fa 'in' roond her neck in ringlets, 

Wi' grace an' beauty minglin' there. 
dinna doot, &c. 

Her een are like the stars o' e'en in* 

When gUntin' through the shiftin' cluds ; 

Awhile wi' love-licht saftly beamin'. 
Syne hid beneath their droopin' lids. 
O dinna doot, &o. 

Her lips are like the scarlet rowan, 

When bricht wi' pearly momin' dew, 

An' cheeks, wi' tints o' moss-rose glowin'. 
That flush an' pale, then blush anew. 
O diuna doot, &c. 

O ! bricht an' fair the hawthorn blossom, 
An' sweet the grace o' heather bell ; 

But fairer yet is Lily's bosom, 

An' sweeter graces roond her dwell. 

Then dootna Lily I wad woo ye. 

Gin I should meet ye in the glen. 

An' dinna think but I wad lo'e ye — 
1. wish that ye were a* my ain. 

NIGHT. 

High overhead in myriad numbers shine 
Bright twinkling lights that stud night's sable brow, 
Their place is there, we know not why or how. 

Yet know their origin must be Divine ! 

Their various laws exhibit high denign 
And a Designer wise, omnipotent. 
In them we see order with beauty blent. 

And harmony and beauty both combine 

To raise the soul from the dull cares of earth. 
And from the hollow, rotten paths of sin. 

To this our noblest feelings owe their birth, 
And this the heaven that we strive to win 

Under that shining dome pour forth a prayer 

Into the silent night — for God is there. 



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ANNIE S. SWAN. 397 



ANNIE S. SWAN, 

HTJTHOR of several prose works of great excel- 
lence, and containing strikingly-portrayed 
sketches of Scottish character, is also a poet of much 
freshness of imagery, and easy, flowing style. Miss 
Swan was born at Leith in 1859 — her father at that 
time being a merchant. She was educated in Edin- 
burgh, partly in the Ladies' College, Queen Street. 
When she was fourteen years of age» and her father 
having taken the farm of Mountskip, near Qore- 
bridge, she left school, and has resided there ever 
since. Her first venture in the field of literature was 
in the Christmas competition of the People's Jounudj 
in which she gained a second prize in 1877. Since 
then she has written a number of prose works of 
much merit and abiding interest. In several of 
these we have graphic and vivid pictures of human 
nature, pathetic incident, and picturesque detail. 
The delicious breeze of the mountain and the heather 
stirs in many of their pages, and all bear the mark 
of fine literary grace and elegance. The most 
popular of these are ^' Shadowed Lives," '^ Bess : the 
Story of a Waif," " Ghrandmother's Child," "For 
Lucy's Sake," and " Aldersyde : a Border Story of 
Seventy years Ago." The latter is a very handsome 
volume, published by Oliphant, Anderson, & Ferrier, 
Edinburgh. This work has attracted the attention 
of Mr Gladstone, and has been characterised by him 
as " a beautiful work of art," and one which "it 
must be the fault of a reader if he does not profit by 
its perusal." AU the characters are limned with 
much power and graphic skill. The leading char- 
acter, Janet Nisbet, has all the qualities of true- 
heartedness, simple piety, and honest pride that is 
only to be found in the typical Scottish lady ; and 



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386 MODBRN SOOTTIRH POETS. 

the Prime Minister thinks that Miss Nisbet and 
Marget, daughters of the Laird of Aldersyde, will 
''long hold their places among the truly living 
sketches of Scottish character." 

Miss Swan has thus, although only twenty -four 
years of age, accomplished much that is good and 
lasting. She steadily contributes leading tales and 
character sketches to the columns of the Christian 
Leader, the PeopWe Friend, and several other literary 
and religious magazines. Although she frequently 
enriches the poets' comer of these and other periodi- 
cals, she has not yet published a volume of poetry. 
Her poems are almost entirely of a religious and 
reflective cast — tender, natural, and unrestrained. 
Many of her pieces, although sweet, harmonious, and 
full of pleasing fancy, have a gently melancholy 
tendency, which occasionally breaks out in a lofty 
and impassioned strain. They all show pure-souled 
religious feeling, a sound knowledge of poetic diction, 
and the following selection will be prized by all who 
love to contemplate the breathings and heart-com- 
munings of one whose thoughts will find a permanent 
place in the literature of her country. 

•*NAE REST TILL WE WIN HAME." 

Oor life is but a pilgrimage — 

A lung an' dreary road ; 
Ower mony a stey an' staney brae 

Ilk ane bears his ain load. 

Throagh frosts, an' snaws, an' gather! n' clouds, 

An' mony a rainy day, 
Wi' whiles a blink o' simmer sun 

To licht the dreary way — 

An* feet grow weary aften whiles, 

An' heids an' hearts the same ; 
But here there is nae aittin' doon — 

*' Nae rest till we win hame." 

For we maun work while shines the day, 
For nicht is comin' sune ; 



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ANNIE 8, SWAN. 399 

Or what a pair hairst field we'll hae 
To show the Lord abune. 

Dear hands slip daily frae oor grasp, 

An' hearts are sundered sair, 
An' een grow dim wi' bitter tears 

For thetn we'll see nae mair. 

There's mony a weary burden here 

An' grief we daurna name ; 
We'll lay them doon in God's ain time, 

" Syne rest when we win hame." 

THE BELLS. 

How fair the Sabbath morning 

Dawns on the quiet town ; 
On hands from labour resting, 

On week-day work laid down. 

And weary hearts turn heavenward, 

In gratitude and love ; 
And earth-bound aims soar upward, 

Into the light above. 

bells, how sweet your voices 

King through the Sabbath air ; 
How welcome yonr glad summons 

Unto the house of prayer. 

What memories dear and tender 

Ye waken, Sabbath bells ; 
What wealth of heartfelt praises 

Your happy tune foretells. 

Ye soothe like sweetest music. 

Ye calm the restless will ; 
How drear the Sabbath morning 

Were your sweet voices still. 

When in vour hearts, ye grumblers, 

A selfish interest swells, 
Go learn in quiet the lesson 

Taught by the Sabbath bells. 



FROM THE DEPTHS. 

In this sad world of ours — 
This dreary wilderness of care and pain, 
This mystery, this turmoil of unrest, 
This rough and stony pathway to the tomb. 
Where many tears ana blurring shadows fall — 



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400 MODBKN SCOTTISH POETS. 

How tweet, O Lord, to know that we are Thine ; 
That in Thy hand this mighty chai/s lies ; 
That Thine the key of this great mystery— 
We ooald not bear it else ! 

For as the years go by 
One sorrow makes a strange, prepared way 
For yet another ; one by one our joys 
Are wrested from us ere we call them ours ; 
And sweetest human ties are severed wide. 
And sweetest human cares slip from our grasp ; 
And dear home nests are robbed of all the binU, 
And family trees are stripped of flower ami leaf ; 
And many graves lie greenly siile by side. 
And oceans roll between some we hold dear : — 
Till with sad folded hands we sit and say, 
How can God have it so ? 
For human hearts will cry out for their loves, 
And human eyee seek dumbly for the smiles 
Of angel faoes gone. 

God, pity us ! 
wrap Qs in the fulness of Thy love ! 
In infinite compassion lay Thy hand 
Upon our hearts, and make tnem very ntill. 
And since the cross is Thine. help us bear 
It very natiently, until that olessecl morn 
When all the shades of nio^ht shall flee away. 
When we shall clasp again the loved and lont. 
And every severed bond shall join again ; 
Where in the light that circlen round the thnme 
In all His beauty shaU see the Kiiig. 



ALL THINE. 

My God, T do not know 
What coming yeara may hold for me, 
And what my future days may be ; 

Thou hast it so. 

Some day now drawing near, 
I may be called to hiil farewell 
To ail that I have loved so well 

And lived for here. 

Or there may be for me 
Long years which bold a cross of pain ; 
And I may prove all hopes in vain 

Unle*>8 i.f Thee. 

I cannot hnpe to have 
A life entirely free from care : 



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ANNIB •. SWAN, 401 

Ah no, life's burden I most bear 
Down to the grave. 

I would not ask from Thee 
That life should be a summer day ; 
That there should grow upon the way 

No thorns for me ; 



But I would humbly pray 
That I mi^bt labour on for Thee 
With gladness till the shadows flee 

At break of day. 

I could not bear to sit 
With folded hands upon the field, 
And yet, my Father, I must yield 

If Thou see'st fit. 

I leave myself with Thee, 
My life, my hopes, my aU are Thine ; 
I would not seek to call them mine ; 

I love to be 

All Thine. *Tia passing sweet 
To feel Thee nearer day by day, 
Till eUl my cares and hopes I lay 

At Thy dear feet. 

HARVEST DAYS. 

The leaves amang the birken shaws 

Glint yellow in the sun, 
An' gently whisper as they fa' 

That summer days are dune. 

Thick grow the bonnie clusters red 

Upon the rowan tree. 
An' to my een there creeps a mist 

O' tearfu' memory. 

An' far an' near in braid hairst-fields 

The reapers are fu' thrang, 
An' as they hook the gowd6n grain 

They lilt a blythesome sang. 

Oh, bonnie shines the mornin' sun, 

Wi* dew draps in his beam ; 
An' bonnie shines the harvest mune 

When gloamin' fa's at e'en. 

'Twas in the gowden harvest time 
The Reaper cam' at e'en. 



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402 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

To ont the sheaf o' stannin* com 
Wi* his dark sickle keen. 

Oh ! 'twas in love the Master willed 
To tok' His harrest hame. 

To bind oor wanderin' hearts ahnne, 
An* so we dauma blame. 

To mind oor time is hastenin' on. 
Sic sorrows here are gien ; 

But when we've bound oor stent on earth 
We'll meet at hame at e'en. 



BASIL R. ANDERSON, 

HlfOUNG and very promising poet, was bom in 
1861 at Unst, the most northern of the Shet- 
land Islands. His father, who was a fisherman, was 
drowned at sea when our poet was only five years of 
age, leaving a family of five sons and one daughter. 
The mother struggled bravely to enable her family 
to get a fair elementary education. Basil was an apt 
scholar, and acted as a pupil teacher in the parish 
school, till, in 1875, the family removed to Edinburgh. 
After attending school for a short time in '' Modem 
Athens'' he entered a lawyer's office, where he is at 
present employed. In an interesting series of articles 
in the WceUy NewSy entitled "The Poet's Album," 
the author, writing on the subject of our sketch, says : 
** Mr Anderson rhymes with no view to either fame 
or fortune,, but simply to the call of passing fancies 
that tickle his imagination when his mind is with- 
drawn from the sterner duties of life. Like many 
another, he rhymes for his own amusement, and 
communicates the fact, even to a friend, almost with 
bated breath, not deeming himself worthy to be 
reckoned as the least among poets. Everyone will 



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BASIL B. ANDERSON. 403 

appreciate the modesty of this, as it augurs well for 
the success and good sense of the possessor of it ; 
still, we would say to all such — more especially since 
it is so common in our time to sneer at the efforts of 
fledgling and amateur poets — sing on, and sing out. 
As there is room for all the song-birds in the forest, 
so is there room in the world, and more than room, 
for all who have the divine gift of song. They do a 
noble and a God-pleasing work who make their 
fellows happier, either by didactic sentiment or 
* weel-timed daffin',' and this, our present subject, 
is well fitted to do." 

We have given examples of the effusions of several 
young lawyers, proving that though the. love of law 
differs widely from the law of love, a man may be 
inspired by the former and at the same time obedient 
to the latter. Many lawyers have spoken and written 
with equal discretion and humour on the affairs of 
the heart. Popular satire has from time immemorial 
represented lawyers as slow to blush, and even slower 
to surrender themselves to the gentlest and most 
generous of the affections. 

Mr Anderson's poetry is evidently the genuine 
offspring of a true singing heart. A tender play of 
fancy is quickened by the force of a strong yet chas- 
tened imagination. His sentiments are refined, and 
all of them give evidence of pure thought and feeling 
expressed in very graceful language. He contributes 
frequently to a number of newspapers and periodi- 
cals, and many of his poems have appeared in the 
Chrutian Leader and People^s Friend, His grand- 
father, who removed with the family to Edinburgh, 
is the subject of the poem entitled ** The Old Man." 
He is now in his eighty -eighth year, and the poem 
treats of him when the family were in their island 
home, and as little wonderers the children sat 
listening to his ever-new stories. 



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404 MODBRir SOOTTIBH P0BT8. 

THE OLD MAN. 

How I love to see the old man 

Sitting by the blazing fire 1 
When the nights grow darker, colder, 
Winter winds wax wilder, bolder, 

And the fitfnl flames leap higher. 

Planted in his favonrite comer. 
Snug shored in his elbow ohair. 

Like a hero in his glory. 

Giving forth some quaint, aueer story. 
As his pipe-fumes doud the air. 

Who such yams could spin and weave you— 

Warp and woof, jrou marvel how — 
As this old romantic sailor, 
And, to boot, bold Arctic whaler. 
Though his hulk is shattered now ! 

Pictures of the wondrous old time, 

Painted b^ a master-hand ! 
Scenes, subhme, burlesque, and tragic, 
Lit with fancy's tajb of magic. 

Glorious, grotesque, and grand ! 

How the children gather round him I 
Eyes, and ears, and mouth as well, 

All attention, eager drinking. 

While the little mind is thinking, 
And the soul is bound by spell. 

Thus from first to last, untiring. 
Follow eyes with wild unrest ; 
As some flowerets, ever gazing 
Sunward, while that orb is blazing, 
Mark his course from east to wevL 

And as glances of the sunbeams. 
Falling on cold winter's brow. 

Make his frozen face to glisten ; 

So their glances, as they listen, 
Wake the sage's smile e'en now. 

Till the pride of days departed. 

Fires anew the old man's breast ; 
As the glorv, erst of morning. 
Evening's deepening, dark shades scorning. 
Floods the bosom of the west. 

Now, the wondrous tales suspended. 
Off to bed the children go ; 



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BASIL R. ANDERSON. 406 

While the old maii*8 memory ling«n, 
As he spreads his frozen fingers, 
To the kind, congenial glow. 

On the long-lost friends of childhood, 

Youth, and manhood, riper still ; 
And bright Pancy^s pencil traces- 
Portraits ?— nay, the living faces ; 

Firebrands conjuring at will. 

But his brow grows sad and thoughtful 

As the spent fire sinketh low ; 
And, far in his soul's hid chambers, 
As he poreth o*er the embers. 

Spectral shadows come and go. 

Visions happy, like the fire-light. 

Faded with each fated brand. 
Twofold darkness mantles o'er him ; 
But the hero looks before him 

To that brighter, better land. 

Hush ! his spirit is transported ! 

Tis no vision dark and dim — 
In his heaven-lit visage read it — 
Darkness reigns ; he doth not heed it. 

For it is not night to him. 

Mar not sweet anticipation 

Of re-union with the dead ; 
Leave him, leave him softly sleeping, 
Bright the star-dreams vigil keeping — 

Angels hover o'er his h^. 



TWILIGHT. 

When the Sun-god's fiery chariot 

Has attained the glowing west. 
Wide are flung the golden portals- 
Wondrous sight to eager mortals — 
To receive him to his rest. 

Short he pauseth on the threshold 

Ere retiring for the night ; 
Then the great gates close behind him. 
But still leaving to remind him 

Crimson streaks of glorious light. 

Ere descends the wings of darkness 
To envelop all in gloom, 



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406 MODERN SCOTTISH POETS. 

Oomes the sweet, the shadv gfrey-light, 
With its lovely, dusky twilight, 
Blushing like a rose in bloom. 

Soft the sighing west wind whispers 
Words of love among the trees, 
While the wailing of the plover, 
Like a sad desponding lover« 

Plaintive answers to the breeze. 

Mirthful music shouts the streamlet 

As it babbles down the glade. 
Thro' the mead and tangled wild-wood, 
Happy as the days of childhood, 
With its blue sky overhead. 

Still the song comes from the branc es 
Where the birds have gone to re«t ; 
Homeward there a far-strayed bee flits. 
But the flowers^ with folded leaflets, 
All maintain a drooping crest. 

Rapt, I gaze in adoration 

Of the beauties all around. 

And I, pensive, musing, ponder, 

As I ever onward wander^ 

On their teachings, high, profound. 

O what lessons read we in them ! 

To the wounded here is balm ; 
Tho* ye see your day declining, 
Never be your soul repining — 

Twilight brings a holy calm. 

Sweating Labour, faint and weary. 

Sinks into the arms of Rest ; 
Hushed are fretting Care and Sorrow, 
Hope portrays a glorious morrow — 
Grief already deems her blest. 

But now darker grow the shadows, 
Deep and deeper round me close 

Dusky, fleet-foot, shapeless forms, 

Like a host of wild alarms. 
Or a horde of swarthy foes. 

Pale and wan the Queen of Evening 

Dimly now her lantern holds. 
Where the curtain of the dark night, 
Stadded o'er with many a spark-light. 
Slowly in the east unfolds. 

So, when life's soft twilight fadeth. 
Still let foolish tears be dry ; 



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BASIL B, ANDEBSON. 407 

Why shoald we be broken-hearted ?— 
Tis the lieht of the departed 

Sun that gilds the evening sky. 

Thus the lamp of good men shineth 
When their sun's sunk in the west ; 

And their thoughts and actions guide us, 

As if they were still beside us- 
In this world of wild unrest. 

Nor shall fade their hallowed star-light 

Till the gladsome mom arise ; 
And their souls, more bright and glorious, 
O'er the night of death victorious, 

Bmrst upon our wondering eyes. 

DAISIES. 

How fair the homely daisies are 

That deck the verdant lea. 
More gorgeous hues would only mar 
What seems to me more glorious far — 

Their sweet simplicity. 

I love their laughing, golden eyes, 

Like summer sunlets smiling 
From out bright, glistening, emerald skies, 
Where vernal beauty weeping lies, 

Unconsciously beguiling. 

Tho' others shine with brighter blaze. 

And stand with prouder mein, 
I love the daisies' simpler phrase. 
That speaks of childhood's artless v^ajb 

From every village green. 

Enticing gilded beams to sip. 

They stand in pure array, 
Like innocents on light toe-tip. 
With straining: neck and parted lip, 

To give a kiss away. 

The infant daps his little hands 

With joy to see them bloom ; 
And, when in distant foreign land. 
The traveller still beside them stands, 

They talk of childhood's home. 

AN OLD SONG. 

sing again that song to me, 
And I will list it o'er ; 



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* 406 MODBIUf SCOTTISH POETS, 

Its sweet and soothinff melodie 
I fain would hear onoe more ; 

For I to-night am sorrowful 
As ne'er I*ve been before ; 

And nooffht oan oalm a troubled soul, 
Like the sweet songs of yore — 
nien sing again, oa 

It lulled my babyhood to sleep 

Upon a rook-bound shore ; 
And now. like music of the deep, 

It thrills me to the core. 
It breathes like odours from the am, 

Hat soft winds ferry o'er ; 
And brings with it the memory 

Of the dear days of yore— 
Then sing again; fte. 

Hie voices of departed friends, 

That whisper now no more, 
The sighing of the summer winds, 

<Md ooean's measured roar. 
Gome back across the tide of Tbm 

To cheer my winter hoar. 
As silver bells at Christmas chime 

The happy peals of yore- 
Then sing again, ftc 



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