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Full text of "The poets and poetry of Scotland : from the earliest to the present time, comprising characteristic selections from the works of the more noteworthy Scottish poets ;"



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THE 



POETS AND POETRY 



SCOTLAND. 




i [E i T B 



THE 



POETS AND POETRY OF SCOTLAND 



FROM THE EARLIEST TO THE PRESENT TIME 



COMPRISING CHARACTERISTIC SELECTIONS FROM THE WORKS OF THE MORE 
NOTEWORTHY SCOTTISH POETS 



WITH BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL NOTICES 



By JAMES GKANT WILSON 



ILLUSTRATED WITH PORTRAITS ENGRAVED ON STEEL 



VOL. L 

From THOMAS THE RHYMER to RICHARD GALL. 

BOK.N A.D. 1219 Bobs a.d. 1776 




NEW YORK 
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS 

FRANKLIN SQUARE 

1876 



I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing 
but the thread that binds them is mine own. 

MOSTAIGNE. 

A floury grene 
Full thick of grass, full soft and sweet, 
With floures fele faire undir feet. 
And little used. Chaucer. 



Copyright, 187n, by IJarpeu & Brothetiq. 



PEEFACE.. 



865-1 



The purpose of this Work is to give a compreliensive view of Scottish 

Poetry from the earliest to the present time, in a condensed and easily 

accessible form. Comparatively few persons can command sufficient 

N leisure to enable them to examine thoroughly, in these busy days upon 

Y which we have fallen, the wilderness of separate volume^ of the Scottish 

^ poets, and still fewer can afford to place them on the shelves of their 

'H libraries. Many readers regret being thus deprived of the opportunity 

of becoming fully acquainted in a systematic manner with a body of 

1" poetry and song, than which there is none superior in the literature of 

rt any land ancient or modern. To all such the present Work it is believed 

twill come as a great boon. It will be found to present selections from 
the writings of some two hundred and twenty Scottish poets, sufficiently 
ample in extent to enable the reader to form a precise opinion respecting 
5r the style and merits of the authors. 

*" Another purpose of this Work is to supply what has long been a 

CO desideratum in Scottish literature — concise biographies of the poets, 
^ with notices of their works, and critical remarks upon their writings — 
"* to tell, in short, when they lived, what they wrote, and the estimation in 
which their writings are held by competent authorities. To quote the 
JP words of one whose poems are included in this Collection, "We have 
Q undertaken to discourse here for a little on the Poets, what ideas men 
^ have formed of them, Avliat work they did." 

J5 The two volumes in which this Work is comprised will be found 

to contain a large and satisfying proportion of all that is truly beautiful 
among the productions of the best-known Scottish poets. That every 
reader should find in these pages every one of his favourite poems is 
perhaps too much to expect ; but it is believed that of those on which 
the unanimous verdict of the intelligent has set the seal of being 
worthy of preservation, few, if any, will be found wanting. The work 
covers a period of above six hundred years, the first poem in the col- 
lection having been written about the middle of the thirteenth century, 
and the latest during the third quarter of the nineteenth. Embraced 
within the time from Thomas the Ehymer to Robert Buchanan will 






vi PEEFACE. 

be found more than ten-score names of Scottish singers, not all alike in 
the measure of their fame, for " one star differeth from another star in 
glory;" but names that are thought to be worthy of honourable mention 
among the minstrels of their native land — that noble brotherhood who 
speak for themselves in tones of harmony, grandeur, and pathos, and upon 
whom Wordsworth bestowed his benediction : — 

" Blessings be with them, and eternal praise, 

Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares, — 
The Poets ! who on earth have made us heirs 
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays!" 

The writings of the earlier poets being couched in language not easily 
understood except by students of ancient literature, it has been deemed 
expedient to restrict the extracts from their works to short specimens, 
which, however, exhibit the form in which their thoughts were conveyed. 
But to enable the reader fully to understand the nature and scope of 
these writings, detailed descriptions have been given of their subject 
matter, with such explanations as seemed to be required. On the other 
iiand, full scope has been given to the more modern poets, from whose 
writings very copious extracts have been made; and many admirable 
and lengthy productions, such as Eamsay's "Gentle Shepherd," Beattie's 
"Minstrel," Blair's "Grave," Home's "Douglas," Grahame's "Sabbath," 
('aiiipbeH's "Pleasures of Hope," and Pollok's "Course of Time," appear 
in full in these pages. Other poems of too great length to be given 
complete, are represented by such ample extracts that after their perusal 
the reader will find himself quite at home with the author. 

Independently of names like those of Burns and Scott, that stand as 
landmarks in the world's literature, it may be truthfully asserted that 
no nation beneath the sun is more abundant than Scotland in local bards 
that sing of her streams and valleys and heathery hills, till almost 
every mountain and glen, every lake and brook of North Britain, has 
been celebrated in sweet and undying song. If it be true, as it has been 
said, that Scotland has given l)irth to two hundred thousand poets, the 
Ivlitor asks for a generous and kindly consideration in his delicate and 
difficult duty of selecting some two hundred and twenty names from that 
large numl)er, as well as for such other shortcomings as may doubtless 
be discovered in a work of this nature. 

It is the peculiar good fortune of the compiler of these volumes, the 
preparation of which has been with him for several years a labour of love, 
to 1k' al)lt' to present to liis readers unpublished poems by Kobert Burns, 
William Tcnnant, Mrs. Grant of Laggan, Henry Scott Riddell, John 
licyden. Hew Ainslie, P^van MacColl, and others who find an appropriate 



PEEFACE. vii 

niche in this Walhalla. There remains the agreeable duty of returning 
grateful thanks to the authors who have contributed original contribu- 
tions to these pages, and to other living Avriters and their publishers, 
who have given permission to make use of copyright poems, as well 
as to many friends who have communicated information and in various 
ways afforded facilities to the Editor in the preparation of this Work. 

There is a passage in an ancient volume which appears to be appro- 
priate as a concluding paragrapli to this introductory page. Cotton 
Mather I'emarks, in the dedication to his Decennmm Luduosuni, " Should 
awj i^dlt monsieur complain (as the captain that found not himself in the 
tapestry hangings which exhibited the story of the Spanish invasion in 
1588) that he don't find himself mentioned in this history, the author 
has this apology: He has done as well and as much as he could, that 
whatever was worthy of a mention might have it; and if this collection 
of matters be not complete, yet he supposes it may be more complete 
than any one else hath made; and now he hath done, he hath not ])u]led 
uji the ladder after him; others may go on as they please with a com- 
pleter composure." 

New York, Jaintary, 187ti. 



CONTENTS. 



Portrait— Jo ANKA Baillie— from the picture by Masquerier .frontis. 

,, William Drummond of Hawthornden — from the picture by Jansen, to face 73 

„ Allan Ramsay — from the picture by Aikman, „ 102 

„ Eev. John Skinner — from the picture that belonged to Dr. SJdnner, „ 192 

„ Robert Tannahill — from the picture by Blair, „ 502 



PAGE 

Preface, v 

List of Authors, xv 

Thomas the Rhymer (1219-1299), 1 

Su- Tristrem (extract), 3 

Barbour, John (1316-1395), 4 

Speech of King Robert Bruce, .... 6 

The Blessings of Liberty, 7 

Wyntoun, Andrew (1350-1420), 8 

The Chi-onicle of Scotland (extract), . . 9 

Henry the Minstrel (iseo- —), 10 

The Death of Wallace, 11 

James the First (1394-1437), 12 

The King's Quhair (extract), .... 15 

Cluist's Kirk on the Green, 16 

Di\'ine Trust, 18 

Henryson, Robert (uso-isoo), 18 

The Two Mice, 20 

Kennedy, Walter (1450-1508), 22 

Invective against Mouth-thankless, . . 23 

The Praise of Age, 23 

Dunbar, Willlvm (1400-1520), 24 

The Thistle and the Rose, 26 

Earthly Joy returns in Pain, .... 28 

Douglas, Gavin (1474-1522), 28 

King Hart (extract), 30 

Apostrophe to Honour, 31 

Barclay, Alexander (1475-1552), 31 

Of them that give Judgment on others, . 32 

Of Elevated Pride and Boasting, ... 33 

Of Evil Counsellors, Judges, and Lawyers, 33 

Lindsay, Sir David (1490-1555), 34 

The Complaynt (extract), 35 

SuppUcation in Contemption of Side-Tails, 37 

The Building of the Tower of Babel, , . 38 



FAOE 

IVLutland, Sir Richard (i49g-15sg), 38 

The Creation and Paradise Lost, ... 39 

Satire on the Town Ladies, 41 

Wilson, Florence (1500-1547), 41 

Ode— Why do I ? 43 

Scot, Alexander (1502 ), 45 

The Flower of Womanheid, 45 

Rondel of Love, 46 

To his Heart, 46 

Love ane Leveller, 46 

The Eagle and Robin Redbreast, ... 47 

Lament when his Wife left lum, ... 47 

Buchanan, George (1506-1582), 48 

On Nesera, 49 

The First of May, 50 

Franciscanus (extracts), 50 

James the Fifth (1512-1542), 51 

The Gaberlunzie Man, 52 

The Jollie Beggar, 53 

Montgomery, Alexander (1540-1G14?), 54 

The Cherry and the Slae (extract), . . 55 

Night is nigh gone, 55 

"WTiile with her White Hands, .... 56 

Vain Lovers, 56 

Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), 57 

On the Death of the Dauphin, .... 58 

Sonnet — Que suis-je, helas! 58 

To Ronsart, 59 

Last Prayer, 59 

Hume, Alexander (156O-1609), 59 

The Day Estivall, 60 

Recantation, o2 

James the Sixth (1500-1025), 63 

A Short Poem of Time, 64 

The ciiii. Psalme, 65 

Sonnet— We tind by proof 66 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Ayton, Sik Robert (isro-icss), 66 

On Woman's Inconstancy, 67 

The Answer, 67 

Inconstancy Reproved, 68 

Song — What means this Strangeness i . 68 

Anckum, Earl of (tors-icsi), 68 

Praise of a SoHtary Life, 69 

Stirling, Earl of (iobo-i64o), 70 

Song— would to God! 71 

A Speech of Coelia, 72 

Sonnet — I swear, Aurora, 72 

Drcmmond, William (158.5-1649), 73 

The River of Forth Feasting (extract), . 75 

Song — Phoebus, Arise! 76 

Dedication of a Church, 77 

Sonnets, 77 

Johnston, Arthur (issr-ioii), 78 

Caskieben, 79 

Charles the First (1600-1049), 80 

Majesty in Misery, 81 

On a Quiet Conscience, ...... 81 

Sempill, Francis (1005-1680?), 81 

, The Blytlisome Bridal, 83 

She Rose and Loot me in, S3 

Maggie Lauder, 84 

Montrose, Marquis of (ici2-ifi5o), 84 

My dear and only Love, 86 

On the Execution of Charles I., ... 87 

Macdonald, John (i62o?-iroo), 87 

The Death of Glengarry, 88 

On Crowning Charles H., 89 

The Battle of Inverlochy (extract), . . 89 

Baillie, Lady Grizzel (icg.5-174(j), 90 

Were na my Heart Light, 91 

the Ewe-buchting's bonnie, .... 91 

Hamilton, Wm., of Gilbertfield (Ui(i6?-irr,i), 92 

Willie was a Wanton Wag, 93 

Epistles to Allan Ramsay, 93 

Wardlaw, Lady (10:0-1727), 96 

Hardyknutc, 97 

( 'li;uk. Sir John (iow)-i7.55), 100 

The Miller, 101 

Kamsay, Allan (\r>Hr,~nr,y),. 101 

The Gentle Sheidierd, 105 

The Vi.sion 128 

Lochabcr no More, 131 

The La.st Time I came o'er tlie Moor, . 132 

ThoLa.ssof Patie'sMill 132 

Hcssie Hell and Mary CJray, 132 

The Yellow-hair'd Laddie, 133 



PAGE 

Crawford, Robert (1690-1733), 133 

The Bush aboon Traquair, 134 

One Day I heard Mary, 135 

Leader Haughs and Yarrow, .... 135 

Tweedside, 135 

My Dearie, if thou Dee, 136 

Doun the Burn, Davie, 136 

When Summer comes, 136 

Peggy, I must Love thee, 137 

Ross, Alexander (1699-1784), 137 

The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow, . . 138 

They say that Jockey, 139 

Woo'd and Married and a', 139 

What ails the Lasses at me ? .... 140 
The Braes of Flaviana, 140 

Blair, Robert (1099-1746), 141 

The Grave, 142 

Thomson, James (1700-1748), 150 

The Seasons (extracts), 153 

Hymn of the Seasons, 156 

The Castle of Indolence (extract), . . 157 

To the Memory of Mr. Congreve, . . . 160 

Tell me, thou Soul, 161 

For ever. Fortune, 161 

Hard is the Fate, 161 

Rule Britannia, 161 

Against the Crusades, 162 

Mallet, David (1700-170.5), 162 

William and Margaret, 164 

The Birks of Invermay, 165 

A Funeral Hymn, 165 

As Sylvia in a Forest lay, 166 

A Youth adorned with every Art, . . 166 

Ye Woods and ye Mountains, .... 166 

Macdonald, Alexander (1701-1780), 166 

The Lion of Macdonald, 167 

Address to the Morning, 168 

Hamilton, William, of Bangour (1704-1754), 169 

The Braes of Yarrow, 170 

To the Countess of Eglinton, . . . .171 
The Maid of Gallowshiels (extract), . . 173 

Why hangs that Cloud ? 173 

Ah, the poor Shepherd, 174 

Strephon's Picture, 174 

Ye Shepherds and Nymphs, .... 174 
Alas! the Sunny Hours are past, . . . 175 
Ye Sliepherds of this Pleasant Vale, . . 175 

Armstrong, John (1709-1779), 176 

The Art of Preserving Health (extracts), 177 

CocKBURN, Mrs. Alison (1712-1794), 179 

The Flowers of the Forest, 180 

Mackay, Robert (1714-1778), 180 

The Song of Winter, 181 

Home Sickness, 182 

DisapiJointed Lovo, 183 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Buchanan, DuGALD (i7io-ir68), 183 

The Skull, 18o 

The Dream, 18(j 

Bkirving, Adam (ino-isos), 187 

Tranent Muir, 188 

Johnnie Cope, 189 

Wilson, John (i-20-ir8y), 189 

The Clyde (extracts), 190 

Skinner, John (ir-2i-i8or), 192 

Tullochgorum, 193 

The Ewie wi' the Crookit Horn, . . .191 

A Song on the Times, 195 

John o' Badenyon, 196 

The Stipendless Parson, 197 

The Man of Ross, 197 

Blacklock, Thomas (1721-1-91), 198 

Ode to Aurora, 199 

Absence, 199 

Beneath a Green Shade, 200 

The Wedding-day, 200 

Anna, 201 

Importance of Early Piety, 201 

Terrors of a Guilty Conscience, . . . 201 

Smollett, Tobias George (ir2i-irn), 201 

The Tears of Scotland, 203 

Ode to Independence, 204 

Thy Fatal Shafts, 205 

Blue-eyed Anne, 205 

When Sappho tun'd, 205 

Ode to Leven Water, 206 

Elliot, Sir Gilbert (1-22-1:77), 206 

Amynta, 207 

'Twas at the Hour, 207 

Home, John (1722-18O8), 208 

Douglas, 209 

Macintyre, Duncan (1724-1812), 227 

The Bard to his Musket, 228 

Mary, the young, the fair-hair'd, . . . 229 

The Glen of the Mist, 229 

The Last Adieu to the Hills, .... 231 

Lapraik, John (1727-1807), 232 

Matrimonial Happiness, 232 

Elliot, Miss Jane (1727-18U5), 233 

The Flowers of the Forest, 233 

MacLaggan, James (i72S-isod), 234 

Song of the Royal Highland Regiment, . 234 

Falconer, William (1732-1769), 235 

The Shipwreck (introduction and canto i. ), 236 

Occasional Elegj', 245 

Address to Miranda, 246 



PAGE 

Ogilvie, John (1733-1814), 246 

Providence (extract), 247 

Hymn — Begin, my Soul, 248 

MicKLE, William Julius (i734-i78>-), 249 

Cumnor Hall, 250 

The Prophecy of Queen Emma, . . . 251 
There's nae Luck about the House, . . 253 
The Lusiad (extract), 2.53 

Beattie, James (1735-1803), 254 

The Minstrel, 256 

Retirement, 268 

The Hei-mit, 268 

Could Aught of Song, 269 

Geddes, Alexander (1737-1802), 269 

The Wee Wifukie, 270 

Lewis Gordon, 271 

Macpherson, James (i7.38-i79c), 271 

Oina-Morul, 273 

The Songs of Selma, 274 

Address to the Sun, 276 

The Desolation of Balclutha, .... 277 

Address to the Moon, 278 

Fingal's Auy Hall, 278 

Colna-Dona, 278 

Ossian's Song of Sorrow, 280 

The Cave 280 

Muirhead, James (i742-i8(i(;) 281 

Bess the Gawkie, 282 

Hunter, Mrs. John (1742-1821), 282 

The Lot of Thousands, 283 

The Ocean Grave, 283 

Oh, Tuneful Voice, 284 

Adieu, ye Streams, > . . 284 

To-morrow, 284 

To my Daughter, 284 

My Mother bids me, 2S4 

The Indian Death-song, 285 

Mackenzie, Henry (1745-1831), 285 

The Pm-suits of Happiness, 286 

The Spanish Father (act i. ), 291 

Bruce, Michael (i746-i767), 294 

Lochleven, 295 

Sir James the Ross, 'M\ 

Elegy to Spring, 30:1 

To a Fountahi, 304 

Danish Ode, 305 

Sweet Fragrant Bower, 305 

The Wish, 305 

The Adieu, 306 

Ode to the Cuckoo, 306 

Macneill, Hector (i74g-i818), 307 

Scotland's Skaith, 308 

The Waeso" War 311 

Mary of Castlccary, 315 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

My Boy Tammy, 315 

Donald and Flora, 316 

I lo'ed ne'er a Laddie but ane, .... 317 

Come under my Plaidie, 317 

The Plaid amang the Heather, .... 317 
Dinna think, bonnie Lassie, 318 

Blamire, Susanna (1-47-1794), 318 

The Traveller's Return, 319 

What ails this Heart o' mine ? . . . . 320 

The Chelsea Pensioners, 320 

Barley Broth, 321 

And ye shall walk in Silk Attire, . . . 321 
The Waefu' Heart, 321 

Logan, John (i748-i78s), 322 

A Visit to the Country in Autumn, . . 323 

The Prayer of Jacob, 32-4 

The Complaint of Nature, 324 

The Reign of Messiah, 325 

Heavenly Wisdom, 325 

The Dying Christian, 325 

While frequent on Tweed, 326 

The Braes of YaiTow, 326 

The Light of the Moon, 326 

Fergl'sson, Egbert (1750-1774) 327 

The Farmer's Ingle, 329 

Braid Claith, 330 

To the Tron-kirk Bell, 330 

Scottish Scenery and Music, .... 331 

Caulcr Water, 331 

Sunday in Edinburgh, 332 

Hallow Fair, 333 

Barnard, Lady Anne (1730-I825), 334 

Auld Robin Gray, 335 

Why tames my Love ? ...... 336 

Lowe, John (17.50-1798), 337 

Mary's Dream, 338 

(iRANT, Mrs. Anne (i7:)5-i8;iK), 338 

where, tell me where '< 340 

On a Sprig of Heath, 341 

Oh, my Love, leave mo not, 341 

Could I find a bonny Glon, 342 

The Indian Widow, 342 

My Colin, lov'd Colin, 342 

My sorrow, deep .sori'ow, 343 

The Highla!i(l Poor, 343 

On hvr Eighty-third Birth-day, . . .344 

SCIHT, ANDKKW (l767-18:i0), 344 

Marriage of the Tweed and Teviot, . . 345 

Rural Ontcnt, 345 

Hymon and Janet, 346 

The Young Mnid'.s Wish fr^r Peace, . . 347 

The Fiddler's Widow, 347 

Lament for an Irisli Chief 348 

Coijuct Water 348 



PACK 

Burns, Robert (1759-1790), 349 

Ode for Washington's Birth-day, . . . 353 
The Cotter's Saturday Night, . . . .354 

Tam o' Shanter, 356 

The Vision, 358 

Elegy on Captain Matthew Henderson, . 361 

Halloween, 362 

To a Mountain Daisy, 365 

A Bard's Epitaph, . 366 

Man was made to Mourn, 366 

Mary Morison, 367 

Highland Mary, 368 

MacPherson's Farewell, 368 

Ca' the Ewes to the Knowes, .... 368 

Bruce's Address, 369 

To Mary in Heaven, 369 

John Anderson, 370 

Wilt thou be my Dearie ? 370 

Honest Poverty, 370 

Oh, wert thou in the Cauld Blast? . . 371 

Ae Fond Kiss, 371 

Wilhe brew'd a Peck o' Maut, . . .371 
The Highland Widow's Lament, . . .372 
Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon, . 372 

Tam Glen, 373 

Meikle thinks my Luve o' my Beauty, . 373 

Mayne, John (i759-iS36), 373 

The Siller Gun (Canto I.), 375 

The Muffled Drum, 378 

Helen of Kirkconnel, 378 

Logan Braes, 379 

The Troops were Embarked, .... 379 

Hamilton, John (1701-1814), 380 

Up in the Mornin' Early, 380 

The Rantin' Highlandman, 381 

Miss Forbes' Farewell to Banff, . . .381 
The Ploughman, 381 

Lochore, Robert (1702-1852) 382 

Walter's Waddin', 382 

A Kintra Laird's Courtship, .... 385 
Marriage and the Care o't, 386 

Baillie, Joanna (1702^851), 386 

Sir Maurice, 388 

Lines to Agnes Baillie, 391 

Woo'd and Married and a', 392 

Saw ye Johnnie comin' < 393 

It was on a Morn, 393 

It fell on a Morning, 394 

Poverty parts good Company, .... 394 

Hooly and Fairly, 395 

The Black Cock, 395 

Say, sweet Carol ! 396 

To a (;hild, 396 

The (Jowan glitters on the Sward, . . 396 

The Phrenzy of Orra, 397 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Koss, William (1-62-1-90), 398 

The Highland Maid, 399 

The Bard in the South, 399 

The Last Lay of Love, 400 

Reid, William (i764-i83i), 400 

Kate o' Gowrie, 401 

Cauld Kail in Aberdeen, 402 

John Anderson, 402 

The Lea-rig, 402 

Fair modest Flower, 403 

Of a' the Airts, 403 

Grahame, James (ir65-i8ii), 403 

The Sabbath, 405 

The Birds of Scotland (extract), . . . 413 

To my Son, 415 

The Wild Duck and her Brood, . . .415 

The Poor Man's Funeral, 415 

To a Redbreast, 410 

Stewart, Helen D. (ires-isss), 416 

Returning Spring, with gladsome Ray, . 417 
The Tears I shed must ever fall, . . .417 

Wilson, Alexander (irec-isis), 41 8 

Watty and Meg, 421 

Auchtertool, 423 

Matilda, 423 

The Schoolmaster, 424 

A Pedlar's Story, 425 

Rab and Ringan, 425 

The American Blue-bird, 426 

Connel and Flora, 427 

NaIRNE, CvROLINA (1766-1845), 427 

The Pleughman, 429 

Caller Hemn', 429 

The Laird o' Cockpen, 430 

Gude Nicht, and Joy be wi' ye a' ! . . 430 

The Hundred Pipers, 430 

The Land o' the Leal, 431 

Saw ye nae my Peggy? 431 

Cauld Kail in Aberdeen, 432 

Here's to them that are gane, .... 432 

The Lass o' Gowrie, 432 

He's ower the Hills that I lo'e w eel, . . 433 
The Attainted Scottish Nobles, . . .433 
Would j'ou be Young again ? .... 433 

Farewell, farewell ! 434 

Rest is not here, 434 

Balfour, Alexander (i-6--i82<j), 434 

To a Canary Bii-d, 435 

The bonnie Lass o' Leven Water, . . . 436 

Stanzas — Hark! Time has struck, . . . 437 

Slighted Love, 437 

A Lament for Culloden, 438 

To the Laurel, 438 

To the Memory of Gray, 438 

Elegj' to the Memory of Robert Burns, . 438 



PAGE 

NicoL, James (i-eo-isui), 441 

Haluckit Meg, 441 

Where Quaii- rins sweet, 442 

By yon hoarse murmurin' Stream, . . 442 

Blaw saftly, ye Breezes, 443 

My dear little Lassie, 443 

PiCKEN, EbENEZER (l76'j-18iu), 443 

Nan of Logic Green, 444 

Woo me again, 444 

Blythe are we set, 445 

Peggy wi' the glancin' c'c, 445 

Reflection, 445 

Hogg, James (i770-i83o), 446 

Kilmeny, 451 

Sir David Graeme, 454 

To the Comet of 1811, 456 

La.ss, an' ye lo'e me, tell me now, , . . 457 

The Lark, 457 

Donald Macdonald, 457 

Ah, Peggy, since thou'rt gane away, . . 4.'J8 

Lock the Door, Lariston, 458 

The Auld Highlandman, 459 

Gang to the Brakens wi' me, .... 459 

Bonnie Jean, 460 

Flora Macdonald's Farewell, .... 460 

Caledonia, 461 

Bonny Prince CharUe, 461 

Scott, Sir Walter (1771-1832), -161 

A Bridal in Branksome, 4t!(! 

The Death of Mamiion, 467 

Christmas in the Olden Time, .... 468 

The Eve of St. John, 469 

The Battle of Bannockburn, .... 471 

Carle, now the King's come, .... 478 

The Massacre of Glencoe, 480 

Lochinvar, 480 

Hymn of the Hebrew Maid, .... 481 

The Sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill, . . 481 

Jock o' Hazeldean, 482 

Macgregor's Gathering, 482 

Hail to the Chief, . ^ 482 

Soldier, Rest! 483 

Song — Love wakes and weeps, .... 483 

The Heath this Night, 483 

■ Pibroch of Donuil Dhu, 484 

Allen-a-Dale, 484 

Montgomery, James (1771-18.^-1), 485 

Greenland (extract), 487 

The Grave, 490 

Christopher Columbus, 492 

Robert Burns, 492 

'•Friendship, Love, and Truth," . . . 493 

The Recluse, 493 

Verses to a Robin Red-breast, .... 494 

The Field of the Worid, 4H4 

Via Crucis, Via Lueis, .... . 494 
The Common Lot, 49, > 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

German War Song, 495 

Home, 495 

Slavery that was, 496 

Night, 496 

To a Daisy, 497 

Evening in the Alps, 497 

Paul, Hamilton (1773-1854), 498 

The Bonnie Lass of Barr, 500 

Helen Gray, 500 

Petition of the Auld Brig o' Doon, . . 500 

TaNNAHILL, KoBERT (1774-1810), 501 

Towser: a true Tale, 503 

Gloomy Winter's now awa', 504 

Loudoun's bonnie Woods and Braes, . . 504 

Midges dance aboon the Burn 504 

Jessie, the Flower o' Dumblane, . . . 505 

The Braes o' Gleniffer, 505 

Good Night and joy, 505 

The Wood of C'raigie Lea, 506 

The Lament of Wallace, 506 

The Braes of Balquhither, 506 

Clean Pease-strae, 506 

The dear Highland Laddie, 507 

0, are ye sleeping, Maggie ? 507 

Langsyne, beside the Woodland Burn, . 507 
The Harper of Mull, 508 

Inglis, Mrs. Margaret M. (1774-1843),.... 508 
Sweet Bard of Ettrick's Glen, .... 509 

Bruce's Address, 509 

Heard ye the Bagpipe '! 509 

"WTien shall we meet again? 510 

Allan, Robert (i774-is4i), 510 

The Thistle and the Ro.sc, 511 

The Twa Martyrs' Widows, 511 

Bonnie Las.sie, 511 

A La.ssic cam' to our Gate 512 

Life's a Faught, 512 

Blink over the Burn, 513 

Caledonia, 513 

To a Linnet, 513 

The Sun is setting on sweet Glengarry, . 51 3 
The Covenanter's Lament, 514 

Leyden, John (i77.'>-i8ii), 514 

Scenes of Infancy (part i.), 516 

Lines to Mrs. Charles Buller, .... 522 



PAGE 

The Mermaid, 522 

Ode to an Indian Gold Coin, .... 525 

Ode to the Evening Star, 526 

The Return after Absence, 526 

Sonnet on Sabbath Morn, 526 

SCADLOCK, JaJIES (1775-1818), 527 

Hark, hark, the Skylark singing, . . . 527 

October Winds, 527 

Along by Leveni Stream, 528 

BoswELL, Sir Alexander (1775-1822), 528 

The High Street of Edinburgh, ... 529 

Jenny's Bawbee, 530 

Auld Gudeman, 531 

Good Night, and Joy be wi' ye a', . . 531 

Bannocks o' Barley Meal 531 

Taste Life's glad Moments, 532 

Jenny dang the Weaver, 532 

Come, rest ye here, 533 

MacLachlan, Ewen (1775-1822), 533 

A Dream, 534 

Ode — What thick'nuig glooms, . . . 534 

The Mavis of the Clan, 536 

The Melody of Love, 537 

Cunningh.\m, Thomas M. (i77c-iS34), 537 

Farewell, ye Streams, 538 

The Beggar, 538 

The Hills o' Gallowa', 539 

Mary's Grave, 539 

The Unco Grave, 539 

The Braes of Ballahun, 540 

Struthers, John (1770-1853), 540 

The Poor Man's Sabbath, 541 

The Sick Child, 550 

Gall, Eichaed (1776-1801), 551 

The Braes o' Drumlee, 551 

My only Jo and Dearie, ! 552 

On the Death of Burns, 552 

Farewell to AjTshire, 553 

Glendochart Vale, 553 

I \vinna gang back to my Mammy, . . 553 

The Cradle Song, 554 

The Waits, 554 

Index 555 



LIST OF AUTHOES, 

SELECTIONS FROM WHOSE WRITINGS ARE GIVEN IN THIS VOLUME. 



PAGE 

Allan, Robert, .... 510 

Ancrum, Earl of , . . . . 68 

Armstrong, John, . . . 176 

Ayton, Sir Robert, ... 66 

Baillie, Lady Grizzel, . . 90 

Baillie, Joanna, .... 386 

Balfour, Alexander, . . . 434 

Barbour, John, .... 4 

Barclay, Alexander, ... 31 

Barnard, Lady Anne, . . 334 

Beattie, James, .... 254 
Blacklock, Thomas, . . .198 

Blair, Robert, 141 

Blamire, Susanna, . . . 318 

BHnd Many, 10 

Boswell, Sir Alexander, . 528 

Bmce, Michael, .... 294 

Buchanan, Dugald, . . . 183 

Buchanan, George, ... 48 

Bums, Robert, .... 349 

Charles the First, ... 80 

Clerk, Sir John, .... 100 

Cockburn, Mrs. Alison, . 179 
Crawford, Robert, . . .133 

Cunningham, Thomas M.,. 537 

Douglas, Ga\-in, .... 28 

Drummond, William, . . 73 

Dunbar, William, ... 24 

Elliot, Sii- Gilbert, . . .206 

Elliot, Jane, 233 



Falconer, William, 
Fergusson, Robert, 

Gall, Richard, . . 
Geddes, Alexander, 
Grahame, James, 



235 
327 

551 
269 
403 



Grant, Mrs. Anne, 



PAGE 

338 



Hamilton, John, .... 380 
Hamilton, Wm. (Bangom-), 169 
Hamilton, Wm. (Gilbertfield), 92 



Hem-yson, Robert, 
Henry the Minstrel, 
Hogg, James, . . 
Home, John, . 
Hume, Alexander, 
Hunter, Mrs. John, 



18 

10 

446 

208 
59 

282 



Inglis, Mrs. Margaret M., . 508 



James the Fifth, . 
James the First, . 
James the Sixth, . 
Johnston, Arthur, 

Kennedy, Walter, 

Lapraik, John, 
Leyden, John, 
Lindsay, Sir David, 
Lochore, Robert, . 
Logan, John, . . 
Lowe, John, 



232 

514 
34 
382 
322 
337 



Macdonald, Alexander. 
Macdonald, John, 
Macintyre, Duncan, 
Mackay, Robert, . 
Mackenzie, Henry, 
MacLachlan, Ewen, 
MacLaggan, James, 
Macneill, Hector, 
Macpherson, James, 
Maitland, Sir Richard, 
Mallet, David, . . . 
Mary Queen of Scots, 
Mayne, John, . . . 



166 
87 
227 
180 
285 
533 
234 
307 
271 
38 
162 



373 





PAGE 


Mickle, William Julius, 


. 249 


Minstrel, Hemy the. 


. 10 


Montgomery, Alexander, . 54 


Montgomery, James, 


. 485 


Monti'ose, Marquis of. 


. 84 


Muirhead, James, . 


. 281 


Nairne, Carolina, . . 


. 427 


Nicol, James, . . . 


. 441 


Ogilvie, John, . . . 


. 246 


Paul, Hamilton, . . 


. 498 


Picken, Ebenezer, 


. 443 


Ramsay, Allan, . . 


. 101 


Reid, William, . . 


. 400 


Rhymer, Thomas the. 


. 1 


Ross, Alexander, . . 


. 137 


Ross, William, . . 


. 398 


Scadlock, James, . . 


. 527 


Scot, Alexander, . . 


. 45 


Scott, Andrew, . . 


. 344 


Scott, Sir Walter, . 


. 461 


Sempill, Francis, . . 


. 81 


Skinner, John, . . 


. 192 


Skirving, Adam, . . 


. 187 


Smollett, Tobias Georgt 


>, . 201 


Stewart, Helen D'Arcy, 


. 416 


Stii-ling, Earl of, . . 


. 70 


Struthers, John, . 


. 540 


Tannahill, Robert, . 


. 501 


Thomas the Rhymer, 


. 1 


Thomson, James, 


. 150 


Wardlaw, Lady, . . 


. 96 


Wilson, Alexander, . 


. 418 


Wilson, Florence, 


. 41 


Wilson, John, . . . 


. 189 


Wyntoun, Andrew, . 


8 



THE 



POETS AND POETRY OF SCOTLAND. 



PERIOD 1219 TO 1776. 



THOMAS THE EHYMEE 



Born 1219 — Died 1299. 



SO little is known with certainty concerning 
Thomas the Uhymer, the "day-starre" of 
Scottish poetry, that even his name has long 
heen a subject of controversy. No other bard 
of ancient or modern times is more rich in 
designations. Commonly called Thomas the 
Rhymer, he is also known as Thomas Rymer, 
Sir Thomas Learmont or Lermont, Thomas of 
Ercildoune, and Thomas Rymer of Erceldon, 
the name given to him by his son, and one 
that existed in the poet's native county of 
Berwickshire during the thirteenth century. 
In the year 1296 one John Rimour, a Berwick- 
shire freeholder, did homage, in company with 
others, to Edward I. King of England. The 
fact that persons named Learmoth still claim 
the right of sepulchre in the churchyard at 
Earlston as representing Thomas the Rhymer, 
is a fact in favour of the supposition that lie 



' The biograpliers of Russia's greatest poet, with the 
single exception of Alexander Pushkin, chiim for 
Michael Lermontof (1811-41) — whose Scottish ances- 
tors settled in Poland in the seventeenth century, and 
from thence passed into the dominions and service of 
the first Tsar of the Romanoff dynasty — kinship with 
the father of Scottish poetry. Lermontof often refers 
in his poems to the home of his forefathers. In one he 
says:— 

"Beneath the curtain of mist, 

Beneath a heaven of storms, 

Among the hills of my S' otland, 

Lies the grave of Ossian ; 

Thither flies my weary soul. 

To breathe its native gale, 

And from that forgotten grave. 

A second time to draw its life." 
And in another poem called "The Wish." he longs to 



did bear that name. His territorial appella- 
tion as proprietor of a mount or hill at Ercil- 
doune may have grown into Laird of Ersil- 
mount, and have gradually become converted 
into Larsilmount or Learmont. ^ 

But whatever may have been his name, he 
was undoubtedly a gentleman of condition, and 
his Avife is believed to have been a daughter of 
the knight of Thirlstane, an ancestor of the 
Earls of Lauderdale. The same uncertainty 
concerning his proper designation also exists 
in respect to the exact time of his birth. Sir 
Walter Scott, who styles him the earliest Scot- 
tish poet, conjectures that he was born between 
1226 and 1229, while later autliorities assign 
1219 as the year of his birth. 

The family to which Thomas belonged seems 
to have taken its territorial title from Ercil- 



have the wings of the bird, that he might fly "to 
the west, to the west, where shine the fields of my 
ancestors," and where ' in the deserted tower among the 
misty hills rests their forgotten dust." .\l)Ove the swcrd 
and shield hanging on the ancient walls he would fly, he 
cries, and with his wing flick off the gathered dust of 
ages. 

"And the chords of the harp of Scotland wo\ild I touch. 
And its sounds would fly along the vaults. 
By me alone awakened, by me alone listened to; 
No sooner resounding than dying aw;iy." 

But vain are his fancies, he adds, his fruitless prayei-s 
to be delivered from the harsh laws of fate — 

"Between me and the hills of my fatherland 
Spread the waves of seas; 
The last scion of a race of hardy warriors 
Withers away amid alieti snoHS." 



THOMAS THE EHYMEE. 



doune, or according to modern corruption Earl- 
ston, a small village situated on the Leader, 
two miles above its junction Avith the Tweed. 
He himself resided in a Border keep at the 
south-western extremity of this hamlet, the 
ruins of which, called "Rhymer's Tower," are, 
after the lapse of six centuries, still to be seen; 
and on a stone in the front wall of the church 
of Earlston is the inscription : — 

"Anid Rhymer's race 
Lies in tins place." 

Tradition says that this stone with its modern- 
ized spelling was transferred from the old 
church, which stood at a distance of a few yards 
from the existing building ; also that it was 
substituted for a very ancient stone destroyed 
in 1782. The poet probably lived to be more 
than threescore and ten. He is known to 
have died before, or early in, the year 1299, as 
that is the date of a charter granted by his 
son and heir to the Trinity House at Soltra, 
in which he calls himself_/?//Hs et lucres Thomce 
Rymour de Erceldon. Henry the Minstrel 
represents the jioet to have been a companion- 
in-arms of Sir William Wallace in 1296; so if 
this authority is to be credited the poet died 
lietween that period and the date of his son's 
document. 

Among his countrymen Thomas is celebrated 
as a propiiet no less tlian a poet. The pro- 
phecies of Tiiomas the IJiiymer were first pub- 
lislied in Latin and English, early in tlie seven- 
teenth century. Barbour, AVyntoun, and Blind 
Harry each refer to his prophetic character. 
Tiie Bishop of St. Andrews is introduced by 
Barliour as saying, after Bruce had slain the 
Jicd Cumin — 

'' I hop Tlioiiiiis' pro)Jiecy 
Otr IIurHiUlouiie, were fyd be 
III lillii ; for Hwa our Lord help me, 
I liaiir^rrct, hop he Kclmll l»e king. 
.\iiil liailltliis land .Ul in leding." 

Wyntoun's word.-^ arc these; — 

"Of thJH Hvcht i|Mliiliim spak Thomas 
Of Krufldoiiiio, thatHayd in deriie, 
Tharo hii|<| niw^t Htalwarty, tttark, and storne. 
IIii M.iiil it in hiH proplii'cie 
Hut liiiw he wixt, it wn« ferly." 

IJliiid Harry represents Rliymcr as saying, on 
being falsely informed that Sir Willi.-un Wal- 
l-icc wiiH ricad — 



" For such, or he decess, 
Mony thousand on feild shal mak thar end. 
And Scotland thriss lie sail bring to the pess; 
So gud of hand agayne sail nevir be kend." 

"The popular tale of the neighbourhood 
relates," says Sir Walter in a note to his Bor- 
der MinstreUy, that "Thomas was carried oflT 
at an eai'ly age to Fairy Land, Avhere he acquired 
all the knowledge which afterwards made him 
famous. After seven years' residence he was 
permitted to return to the earth to enlighten 
and astonish the world by his prophetic 
powers; still, however, being bound to return 
to his royal mistress (the Queen of the Fairies) 
whenever she should intimate her pleasure. 
Accordingly, Thomas was making merry with 
his friends in the Tower of Ercildoune, when a 
person came running in with fear and astonish- 
ment, and told that a hart and hind had left 
the neighbouring forest, and were composedly 
and slowly parading the street of the village. 
The poet arose instantly and followed the ani- 
mals to the forest, whence he was never seen 
to return. According to the popular belief he 
still 'drees his weird' (undergoes his doom) in 
Fairy Land, and is expected, at some future day, 
to revisit the eartii." 

Robert de Brunne, an English writer who was 
contemporary with Thomas of Erceldoune, 
commemorates him as the author of a metrical 
romance entitled "Sir Tristrem," which was 
supposed to be lost, till a copy of it was dis- 
covered among the Auchinleck manuscripts 
in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, and 
published in 1804, with an introduction and 
notes by Sir Walter Scott. It was for a long 
time to Robert de ]3runne alone that we owed 
the preservation of Thomas the Rhymer's fame 
as a poet. In the "Prolog"' to his Annals, 
written about 1338, he thus records his admir- 
ation of Sir Tristrem : — 

"Sir Tristrem 
Over Gestes' it has the 'steem^ 
Orer all ilint is, or was." 

The recovery of this poem is of the more con- 
sequence tiiat it presents us, in its original 
simjilicity, with a story of great celebrity, which 
was Kubse(]ucntly altered and perverted into a 
thousand degenerate forms by the d'lseurs of 
Normandy. Sir Tristrem was one of the ancient 



' Eoniances. 



- Esteem. 



THOMAS THE EHYMEE. 



heroes of Wales, and if we can trust ancient 
authorities acted a distinguished part in the 
history of King Arthur and tiie knights of the 
Round Table. Gottfried of Strasburg, a Ger- 
man minstrel of the thirteenth century, says 
"that many of his profession told the tale of 
Sir Tristrem imperfectly and incorrectly, but 
that he derived his authority from ' Thomas of 
Britannia,' master of the art of romance, who 
had read the history in British books, and 
knew the lives of all the lords of the land, and 
made them known to us." The poem is written 
in what Kobert de Brunne calls 

"so quainte Inglis 
That many one wate not wliat it is ; " 

and Sir Walter Scott has drawn from this cir- 
cumstance, combined with the originality of 
the romance, a conclusion of so much impor- 
tance to the literary fame of Scotland, that we 
are induced to give it in his own words. 

"It will follow," says Sir Walter, "that 
the first classical English romance was written 
in part of what is now Scotland ; and the atten- 
tive reader will find some reason to believe that 
our language received the first rudiments of 
improvement in the very corner where it now 
exists in its most debased state. In England 
it is now generally admitted that after the 
Norman conquest, while the Saxon language 
was abandoned to the lowest of the people, and 



while the contjuerors only deigned to employ 
their native French, the mixed language now 
called English only existed as a kind of Uiu/i(a 
franca to conduct the necessary intercourse 
betw'een the victors and the vanquished. It 
was not till the reign of Henry III. that this 
dialect had assumed a shape fit for the pur- 
poses of the poet ; and even then the indolence 
or taste of the minstrels of that period induced 
them to prefer translating the Anglo-Norman 
and French romances which had stood the test 
of years, to the more precarious and laborious 
task of original composition. It is the united 
opinion of Wharton, Tyrwhitt, and Ritson, that 
there exists no English romance^ prior to the 
days of Chaucer which is not a translation of 
some earlier French one." While the kings 
and knights of England were entertained with 
chivalric tales, told in the Frencii language — 
by the lais of Marie, the romances of Chretien 
de Foyes, or the fableaiix of the trouveiirs — the 
legends of Scotland, which could boast of never 
having owned a victor's sway, were written in 
that Anglo-Saxon-Pictish mixture known by 
the name of Inglis or English. Thomas the 
Rhymer, and other Scottish poets whose works 
have now perished, had been famed through- 
out Europe for romances written in their native 
language — the language of Chaucer, a hundred 
years before "the day-starre of English poetry" 
was born. 



SIR TRISTEEM. 

(extract from fytte first.) 



I was at (Erceldoune :) 

With Tomas spak Y thare ; 
Ther herd Y rede in roune. 

Who Tristrem gat and bare. 
Who was king with croun; 

And who him forsterd yare; 
And who was bold baroun, 

As thair elders ware, 
Bi yere: — 

Tomas tells in toun. 
This auentours as thai ware. 

This semly somers day. 

In winter it is nought sen; 

This greves wexen al gray. 
That in her time were grene : 



So dos this world Y say, 
Y wis and nought at wene; 

The gode bene al oway, 
That our elders have bene 

To abide :— 
Of a knight is that Y mene; 

His name is sprong wcl wide. 

Wald ^lorgen thole no wrong, 
Tliei Morgan lord wes; 

He brak liis castels strong. 
His bold borwes he ches: 



1 Sir Walter means no romance in English written by 
an Englisliman for the Englisli was at that time com- 
mon to both Scotland and England. 



JOHN BAEBOUR. 



His men he slough among, 
And reped him mani a res; 

The wer lasted so long, 
Til Morgan asked pes 

Thurch pine; 
For sotlie, withouten les, 

His Hit" lie wende to tine. 

Thus the batayl it bigan, 

Witeth Avele it was so, 
Bituene the Doiik Morgan. 

And Ivouland that was thro. 
That never thai no Ian, 

The pouer to wirehe wo: 
Thai spilden mani a man, 

Betuen hem selven to, 
In prise ; 

That on was Douk Morgan, 
That other Konland Kiis. 

The knightes that wer wise 
A forward fast thai bond, 

That ieh a man scliul joien his 
And senen ver to stond : 

The Douk and Houhmd Riis, 
Thcrto tiiai bed her bond, 

To lieighc and holdcn priis, 



And foren till Inglond, 

To lende : 
Markes King thai fond, 
With knightes mani and heude. 

To Marke the king tiiai went. 

With knightes proud in pres; 
And teld him to th' ende, 

His auentours as it wes: 
He preyd hem as his frende, 

To duelle with him in pes : 
The knightes thai were hende, 

And dede with outen les, 
In lede; 

A turnament they chess, 
With knightes stithe on stede. 

Glad a man Avas he 

The turnament did crie, 
Tiiat maidens might him se. 

And ouer the walls to lye: 
Thai asked who was fre, 

To win the maistrie; 
Thai said that })est Avas he, 

The child of Ermonie, 
In tour: 

Forthi chosen was he. 
To maiden Blaunche Flour. 



JOHN BAEBOUB. 



Born 1316 — Died 1395. 



John B.xkroi'r, an eminent historical poet, 
whose name is also written Harber, Barbere, 
and IJarbai'c, was born at Aberdeen, according 
to Lord Haiics in 131fi; other authorities have 
variously assiuncd 1320, 132(), and 1330 as 
the dates of his birth. He studied for the 
fliurcli, and in 13r)6 was by King David 
appointed to tiic aichdeaconry of Aberdeen. 
Ill August, 1357, there was a safe-conduct 
granted by Kilward III, nl' Kngland, at 
the rcf|iiest of the .Scottish king, to "John 
Marbcr, an-hdeacon of Aberdeen, with three 
H(;holarH in his company, coming into England 
for the piirpo.sc of studying at the University 
nf ( )xford ; ft ihii/cvi acliix HcoldHticoH exercrndo," 
Ac. In Sc[)tcnibcr of the same year he was 
appointed by tiic Hishf)p of Aberdeen one of 
his ('(unmiKsioncrs to treat at Fdinburgh con- 
cerning the ransom of the Scottish king, then 



a prisoner in England. In 1365 he appears 
to have visited St. Denis, near Paris, in com- 
pany with six knights, his attendants, it is 
supposed, for a religious purpose, as the king 
of England granted them a safe-conduct 
through his dominions. 

,\t the desire, it is said, of King David he 
composed his historical poem of " The Actes 
and Life of that most Victorious Conqueror, 
Robert Bruce, King of Scotland; wherein are 
contained the Martiall Deeds of those Valient 
Princes, Edward Bruce, Syr James Douglas, 
Erie Thomas Eandal, Walter Stewart, and 
sundric others," which he finished, as he him- 
self informs us, in 1375. This celebrated poem, 
though only second in antiijuity to the "Sir 
Tristrem" of Thomas the Rhymer, is one of 
the finest in the old English language. In 
clearness and simjjlicity it must rank before 



JOHN BARBOUR 



either Cower or Chaucer; and in elevation of 
sentiment Pinkerton does not hesitate to pre- 
fer it to hoth Dante and Petrarcli. Warton, 
than whom there was no better judge of the 
comparative merits of the early British poets, 
says, that "Barbour adorned the English 
language by a strain of versification, expression, 
and poetical images far superior to the age." 
Dr. Irving, another eminent critic, pronounces 
his opinion in the following words: — " Barbour 
seems to have been acquainted with those finer 
springs of the human heart which elude vulgar 
observation; he catches the shades of char- 
acter with a delicate eye, and sometimes pre- 
sents us with instances of nice discrimination. 
His work is not a mere narrative of events; it 
contains specimens of that minute and skilful 
delineation wliich marks the hand of a poet." 
Had tiie style of the poem been much in- 
ferior to what it is, the subject is of a nature 
which could not fail to excite a deep interest 
in the breast of the Scottish people, recounting 
as it does the gallant deeds of some of the 
most renowned characters in their history: 
of a Bruce who rescued Scotland from the 
dominion of England; and of a Douglas, a 
liandolpii, and other brave spirits, who assisted 
in that glorious enterprise. To tlus day 
"The Bruce" — the first epic in the Englisli 
language — is a favourite work among the 
common people of Scotland, through the 
medium of a modern version. The poem is 
in octo-syllabic lines forming rhymed couplets, 
of which there are seven thousand. It was first 
published at Edinburgh in 1616, although 
some authorities state that an earlier edition 
existed. Since that period upwards of twenty 
different editions have appeared, the best of 
which are Pinkerton's and Dr. Jamieson's, the 
latter published in 1826. From some passages 
in AVyntouu's "Chronicle," it has been sup- 
posed that Barbour wrote another poem giving 
a genealogical history of the kings of Scotland. 
In 1870 Henry Bradshaw, tlie learned libra- 
rian of Cambridge University Library, dis- 
covered MSS. wliich we can hardly err in 
believing to be early copies of poems hitherto 
unknown, by Barbour. The first is a volume 
which was described at the Duke of Lauder- 
dale's sale in 1692 as a "History of the 
Grecian and Trojan wars," and is a metrical 
translation by Lydgate, a monk of Bury, of 



Colonna's Destruction of Troy. But for 
some cause the volume does not explain, the 
translation is not entirely that of Lydgate, and 
twice the transcriber inserts the following 
note: "Here endis the monk and beginnis 
Barbour," w'ith a like note at the end of each 
interpolated passage. These two portions con- 
sist of 1560 and 600 lines respectively, and 
of them Profes.sor Cosmo Innes says that the 
language, and the Komance octo-syllabic coup- 
lets, would satisfy those well acquainted with 
" The Brus" that they are unquestionably Bar- 
bour's work. The other manuscript contains 
the lives of about fifty saints in 32,000 lines of 
octosyllabic verse, translated from the Latin, 
which, from internal evidence, is believed to be 
al.so the production of Archdeacon Barbour. 

About 1378 the sum of ten pounds was 
paid to Barbour by the king's command, as 
the first reward, it would seem, for the com- 
position of his poem of " The Bruce." This gift 
was followed at the interval of a few months 
by a grant of a perpetual annuity of twenty 
shillings; and the Rotull Scaccarli, after Bar- 
bour's death, state expressly that this annuity 
was granted "for compiling the Book of the 
Acts of the most illustrious prince. King Robert 
Bruce." 

The reward which Barbour received for his 
second poem, now lost, was a pension for life 
of ten pounds a year. The grant is dated 
December 5, 1388. The pension was payable 
in two moieties — the one at Whit^iunday, the 
other at Martinmas. The last payment which 
he received was at Martinmas, 1394, so that 
the celebrated poet must have died between 
that date and Whitsunday, 1395. The precise 
day of his death was probably !March 13th, on 
which day Barbour's anniversary continued to 
be celebrated in the cathedral church of St. 
Machar, at Aberdeen, until the Reformation— 
the expense of the service being defrayed from 
the perpetual annuity granted to Barbour by 
the first of the Stewart kings in 1378, "pro 
compllacione Libri de GeMis i'/ustris.simipr'inci- 
pis quondam Domini Her/is Rohertl de Brus." 
Such are all the memorials which the de- 
structive hand of time has left us of one of the 
earliest and greatest of Scottish poets, the 
Froissart of his native land. He was justly 
celebrated in his own times for his learning 
and genius; but the humanity of his senti- 



6 



JOHN BARBOUR. 



ments, and the liberality of bis views, were 
greatly in advance of tlie age in whicii he 
lived. His eulogy on liberty, the very first 



to be found in the English language, has been 
often quoted, but not more often than it 
deserves. 



SPEECH OF KING EOBEET. 

(from the BRUCE.) 



And quhen the gud king gan thaim se 
Befor him .swa asseniblit be; 
Blytli and glad, that thar fayis war 
Eabutyt apon sic maner; 
A litill ([uhill he held him still; 
Syne on thi.s wyss he said his will. 
" Lordingis, we aucht to love and lufF 
All niychV God, that syttis abufF, 
That sendis ws sa fayr begynnyng. 
It is a gret discomforting 
Till our fayis, that on this Avi.ss 
Sa sone has bene rabutyt twiss. 
For quhen tliai off tiiair ost sail her. 
And knaw sutiily on quhat nianer 
Thair waward, that wes sa stout. 
And syne yone othyr joly rout, 
That I trow off the best men Avar. 
Tliat thai myeht get amang thaim thar. 
War rabutyt sa sodanly; 
I trow, and knawis it all elerly. 
That mony a hart sail wawerand be, 
That semyt er off gret bounte. 
And, fra tiie hart be discumfyt, 
The body is nocht worth a myt. 
Tharfor I trow that gud ending 
Sal! folow till our begynnyng. 
And <|uhetliir I say nocht tliis vow till, 
For that yc suld folow my will 
To fyclit: hot in yow all sail be. 
Forgid'yow thinkis speidfull that wc 
f^cclit, we sail: and giifye will, 
We love, your liking to fulfill. 
I sail consent, on alkyn wiss, 
To do, ryclit as ye will dyw'yss. 
Tharfor sayis off your will planly." 
And with a woce than gan tliai cry; 
" Gud king, for owtyii mar tielay, 
To mornc alsone as yc .so day, 
Ordane yow liale for tiie bataill. 
For doiitc off (Icdc we nail notiit fail): 
Na na payn sail refusyt bo, 
f/uhili W(; iiiiifrniaid mir i-ounli-e ficl " 

'^uhen tiic king had hard sa manlily 
Thai Hpak to fcchting, and sa hardely, 



' DelivtTwl on the evening before the linttle of Ban 
nockbiini. 



In hart gret glaidschip can he ta: 

And said; " Lordingis. sen ye will sua, 

Schaip we ws tharfor in the mornyng. 

Swa that we, be the sone rysing, 

Haff herd mess; and buskyt weill 

Ilk man in till his awn eschell, 

AVitb out the pailyownys, arayit 

In bataillis, with Ijaneris displayit. 

And luk ye na wiss brek aray. 

And, as ye luf me, I yow pray 

That ilk man, for liis awne honour, 

Purway iiim a gud baneour. 

And, quhen it eummys to the fyclit. 

Ilk man set hai-t, will, and mych*, 

To stynt our fayis mekill prid. 

On horss thai will arayit rid; 

And cum on yow in full gret hy. 

Mete tliaim with speris hardely. 

And think than on the mekill ill, 

That thai and tharis has done ws till; 

And ar in will yeit for to do, 

Gift" thai haf mycht to cum thar to. 

And certis, me think weill that ye 

For owt abasing aucht to be 

Worthy, and of gret wasselagis. 

For we haff thre gret awantagis. 

The fyrst is, that we haf the ryclit: 

And for the rycht ay God will fydit. 

The totliyr is, that thai cumniyn ar, 

For lyppynuN ng off tliair gret powar. 

To sek ws in our awne land; 

And lias broucht htr, rycht till our hand, 

I'ychcs in to sa gret ()uantit<5. 

That the jiowrest of yow sail be 

Bath rych, and mychty thar with all, 

Giff that we wyne, as weill may fall. 

The tlirid is, that we for our lyvis, 

And for our cliildre, and for our wywis, 

And for our fredome, and for our land. 

Ar strenyeit in to bataill for to stand. 

And thai, for thair mycht anerly, 

.\nd for tiiai lat of ws iieychtly, 

And for thai wald distroy ws all. 

Maiss tliaim to fyclit: bot yeit may fall, 

That thai sail rew thair barganyng. 

And coitis 1 wanie yow off" a thing; 

'I'iiat, liaiiiiyn tliaiin, as God forbed. 

That deyt on mid for niankvn iieid ! 



JOHN BAEBOUR. 



Tliat thai wvn ws opynly, 

Tliai sail oft" ws haf na mercy. 

And, sen we knaw tliair felone will, 

Me think it suld accord to skill, 

To set stoutnes agayiie felony; 

And mak sa gat a jupert\-. 

(^uliarfor I yow requer, and pray, 

Tliat with all your niycht, that ye may, 

Ye press yow at the begynnyng, 

But cowardyss or abaysing, 

To mete thaini at thair fyrst asscm])le 

Sa stoutly that the henmaist trymble. 

And menys of your gret manheid, 

Your worschip, and your douchti tlcid; 

And off the joy that we abid, 

Gift' that ws fall, as weill may tid, 

Hap to wencuss this gret battaill. 

In your handys with out faile 

Ye bev honour, pi'ice, and rich (5s, 

Fredome, welth, and blythnes; 

Gyft" yo coutene yow manlely. 

And the contrar all halyly 

Sail fall, gift' ye lat cowardyss 

And wykytnes yow suppriss. 

Ye myclit haf lewyt in to threldonie: 

Bot, for ye yarnyt till have fredome, 

Y^e ar assemblyt her with me. 

Tharfor is nedfuU that ye be 

Worthy and wyc^ht, but abaysing. 

And I warne yow weill oft" a thing; 

Tiiat mar myscheft'may fall ws nane, 

Than in thair handys to be tane: 

For thai suld sla ws, I wate weill, 

IJycht as thai did my brothyr Nele. 

Bot qulien I mene oft" your stoutnes. 

And oft' the mony gret prowes, 

That ye haff'doyne sa worthely: 

I traist, and trowis sekyrly. 

To iiaft' plane wictour in this fycht. 

For thoucht our fayis haf mckill mycht, 

Thai have the wrang; and succudry, 

And cowatyss of senyowry, 

Amowys thaim for owtyn mor. 

Na ws char dreid thaim, bot befor: 

For strenth off" this place, as ye se. 

Sail let us enweronyt to be. 

And I pray yow als specially, 

Bath mar and les commonaly, 

That nane of yow for gredynes 

Haft" ey to tak of thair ryches; 

Xa pri.>oner;s for to ta: 

(^uhill ye se thaim contrary it sa. 

That the feld anerly yowris be. 

And than, at your liking, may ye 

Tak all the riches that tliar is. 

Gift" ye will wyrk apon this wiss, 

Ye sail haiff" wictour sekyrly. 

I wate nocht quhat mar say sail I. 



Bot all wate ye quhat honour is: 
Contene [yow] tliau on sic awiss. 
That your honour ay savyt be. 
And Ik hycht her in leaut(5; 
Gitt"ony deys in this bataille, 
His ayr, but ward, releft", or taile, 
On the fyrst day sail weid: 
All be he neuir sa young off"eild. 
Now makys yow redy for to fycht. 
God help ws, that is maist of mycht! 
I rede, armyt all nycht that we be, 
Purwayit in bataill sua, tiiat we 
To mete our fayis ay be boune." 
Tlian ansueryt thai all, with a soune; 
"As ye dywyss all sail be done." 
Than till thair innys went thai sone; 
And ordanyt thaim for the feciiting: 
Syne assemblyt in the ewynnyng: 
And swagat all the nyclit bad thai. 
Till on the moru that it wes day. 



THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY. 

(from the BRUCE.-) 

A I fredome is a nobil thing; 
Fredome mayss a man to haiff" likinj 



1 Barbour, contemiilatiiig the enslaved condition of 
his country, breaks out into tlie following animated 
lines on the blessings of lilierty. — Genrgt ElUa. 

Some readei-s may more readil}' arrive at the mean- 
ing of this fine apostrophe through the following para- 
phrase: — 

Ah ! freedom is a noble thing, 
And can to life a relish bring. 
Freedom all solace to man gives; 
He lives at ease that freely lives. 
A uoble heart may have no ease, 
Nor aught beside that may it please, 
If freedom fail for 'tis the choice, 
More than the chosen, man enjoys. 
Ah! he that neer yet lived in thrall. 
Knows not the weary pains which gall 
The limbs, the soul of him who 'plains 
In slavery's foul and festering chains; 
If these he knew, I ween right soon 
.He would seek back the precious boon 
Of freedom, which he then would jirize 
More than all wealth beneath the skies. 

2 Our archdeacon was not only famous for liis exten- 
sive knowledge in the iihilosophy and divinitj' of tho^e 
times, but still mure admired for his admirable genius 
for Eiglish poetry; in which he composed a history of 
tlie life and glorious actions of Robert Bruce. A work 
not only remarkable for a copious circumstantial detail 
of the exploits of tli^t illustrious jirince, .and his brave 
companions in arms Kandolff, Earl of Moray, and the 
Lord James Dougbis, l)ut al.-!0 for the beauty of its 
style, which is not inferior to that of his contemporary, 
Chaucer. — Henry's Histury of Great Sritain. 



ANDEEW WYNTOUN. 



Fredome all solace to man giflBs, 
He levys at ess that frely levys. 
A noble hart may haiff nane ess, 
Xo ellys nocht that may him pless, 
GyfF fredome failythe: for fre liking 
Is yharuyt our all othir thing. 
Xa he that ay hass levyt fre, 



May nocht knaw weill the propyrte, 
The angyr, na the wrechyt dome 
That is cowplyt to foule thyrldome, 
Bot gyff he had assayit it, 
Than all peniuer he suld it wyt, 
And suld think fredome mar to pryss 
Than all the cold in warld that is. 



ANDEEW WYNTOUN. 



Born 1350 — Died 1420. 



Andrew Wyntoln, or Andrew of Wyntoun, 
in point of time tlie third of the early Scottish 
l)oets whose works have been handed down to 
us, lived towards the close of the fourteenth 
century. Of the place or exact date of his 
birth nothing positive is known. He is 
believed to have been born about 1350. The 
rhyming chronicler was a canon-regular of 
St. Andrews, the most important religions 
establishment in the kingdom, and in or before 
the year 1395 he was elected prior of the 
monastery of St. Serf, in Lochleven. Of this 
Wyntoun gives an account in his " Orygynale 
("ronykil of Scotland:" — 

" Of my (lefaute it is my name 
Be baptisme, Aiidrewe of VVyiitoune, 
Of Saiict Andrew's a diaiioune 
Hegiilare; Ijot, iioucht foithi 
Of tli:iim all the le.st worlliy. 
Bot of tliair grace and t)iair favoure 
I wes Imt meryt. made piionre 
Of the Viich within Ijoclilevyne." 

hi llic cliartulary of tiie priory of St. .Andrews 
there arc several public instruments by 
Andrew Wyntoun, as prior of Loclileven, 
dated l)ctwccn the years 1395 and 1413; and 
in tiie last page of his " Cronykil " he makes 
mention of tiic Council of Constance, which 
bugan November 16, 1414, and terminated 
.May '20, 141H. On the supposition that he 
brought down his narrative of events to as late 
a period as lie possibly could, his death may 
be supposed to have occurred in 1420, or the 
year following. 

Notwitlistanding the great value of Wyn- 
loun's historical jiocm, written at the rc(|uest 
• if "Srhyr .1 hone of the Weniys," it was suf- 



fered to remain neglected for nearly four cen- 
turies. In 1795, however, an edition of that 
portion of it which relates more immediately 
to the atfairs of Scotland was published, with 
very valuable notes by David Macpherson, 
who omitted the introductory portion of this 
famous "Cronykil," in which, after the fashion 
of Roger of Chester and other venerable histo- 
rians, the author most learnedly treats of the 
creation and of the general history of the 
world before he reaches the subjects which 
more pertinently relate to his work, i.e. the 
history of Scotland. " The Chronicle of Wyn- 
toun," says Dr. Irving, "is valuable as a pic- 
ture of ancient manners, as a repository of 
historical anecdotes, and as a specimen of the 
literarj- attainments of our ancestors. With 
a perseverance of industry which had numer- 
ous difliculties to encounter, he has collected 
and recorded many circumstances that tend to 
illustrate the history of his native country; 
nor, rude as the composition may seem, is his 
work altogether incapable of interesting a 
reader of the present age of refinement. To 
those who delight to trace the progress of the 
human mind his unpolished production will 
afford a delicious entertainment." Another 
writer remarks "that Wyntouu's genius is 
certainly inferior to that of his predeces.sor 
Barbour, but that at least his versification is 
easy, his language pure, and his style often 
animated." 

In Wyntouu's work the student of history 
will find what, in the absence of more ancient 
records, must be now regarded as tlie original 
accounts of numerous transactions in Scottish 



ANDEEW WYNTOUN. 



9 



story. Many of these the poet has related 
from his own knowledge or from the reports of 
eye-witnesses; and of the general fidelity of 
■<£' i nari'ative there is every reason to form the 
most favourable opinion, from the strict agree- 
ment which is to be found between him and 
other authorities, where there happens, on any 
fact, to be other authors to refer to — such as 
the " Foedera Angliae, or the Fragments of 
the Chartulary of the Priory of St. Andrews," 
from which Wyntoun drew largely and liter- 
ally. Of Barbour and other writers he speaks 
in a generous and respectful manner, and 
modestly avows his inability to Avrite equal to 
the author of "Bruce," as in the following 
lines: — 

"The Stewartis origiiiale 
The Aichedekyne lias tretyd hal, 
In metre fayre mare u-ertwsli/ 
Than I ca7i tliynk be mij study," &c. 

That Wyntoun was a man of learning his 
poem gives evidence, as it contains quotations 
from Aristotle, Cicero, Joseph us, Livy, and 
other ancient authors, and also mentions 
Augustin, Cato, Dionysius, Homer, Virgil, 
&c. In the "Chronicle" there is preserved 



the Jirst of Scottish songs, which is believed 
by several authorities to be ninety years older 
than Barbour's work. Allan Cunningham 
deemed it too melodious and too alliterative 
for that early date, and as rather belonging to 
the same period as the rhyming chronicler 
himself. It is a little elegiac song on the 
death of Alexander III., wlio was accidentally 
killed in the year 1286:— 

"Qiihen Al3sandyr oure Kyiig wes dede, 

Dat Scotland led in luwe and le, 
Away wes sons of ale and brede, 

Of wyne and wax, of gamin and gle: 
Oure gold wes changyd in-to lede, 

Cryst, borne in-to virgynyte, 
Succour Scotland and remede, 

Dat stad is in perplexyt^." 

In 1872 a new edition of Wyntoun's work 
appeared, edited by David Laing, containing 
the suppressed or omitted portions of the 
" Chronicle," and forming nearly one-third of 
the entire poem. There are several manu- 
script copies of the "Chronicle," more or less 
perfect, still extant, of which the one known 
as the Royal MS., in the British Museum, is 
by general consent considered the most perfect. 



THE CHRONICLE OF SCOTLAND. 



(extract.!) 



.\nde, or all this tyme wes gone, 

The yliowng Erie off Murrawe Jhon, 

And Schyre Archebald off Dowglas, 

That brodyr till Schyre Jamys was, 

Purchasyd thame a cumpany, 

A thowsand wycht men and hardy. 

Till Anand in a [tranowntyng] 

Thai come on thame in the dawyng: 

Thare war syndry gud men slayne. 

Schyre Henry the Ballyoll thame agayne 

Wyth a staffe fawcht stwrdyly, 

And dyntis delt rycht dowchtyly, 

That men hym lovyd efftyr his day. 

Thare deyde Schyre Jhone than the Mowbray 

And Alysawndyre the Brws wes tane. 

Bot the Ballyoll his gat is gane 

On a barme liors wyth leggys bare: 

Swa fell, that he ethchapyd thare. 

The lave, that ware noucht tane in hand. 

Fled, qwliarc thai niycht fynd warrand; 



1 Book viii. chap. xxvi. 



Swa that all that cumpany 
Dyscumfyt ware all lialyly. 

The Scottis men syne, that hade dredyng. 
That Schyre Edward, off Ingland Kyng, 
Suld cum wyth fors in till oure land 
(.\s he dyd, nowcht agayne standand 
Tiie pese, that sworne wes, and made, 
And confermyd wyth selys brade). 
Made ordynawns thare land to save. 
To the Erie Fatryk tliai gave 
The Castell off Berwyke in kepyng; 
And syne the town in governyng 
Thai gave till Alysawndyr off Seytown, 
That wes a knycht ofl'gud renown. 
Schyre Andrew off Murrawe gud and wycht. 
That was a bald and a stowt knycht, 
That nane bettyr wes in his day, 
Fra the gud Kyng IJobert wes away. 
Was made AVardane off all the land. 
And fra he tuk that state on hand, 
He gert sowmownd his folk in hy: 
And thai assemblvd hastvlv. 



10 



HENRY THE MINSTEEL. 



And wyth that folk he held his ^yay 
Till Roxhureh, quhare the BallyoU lay, 
That Jiad bet'or in Ingland bene: 
Off sergeandys thare and knychtis kene 
He gat a gret cunipany. 
Sehyre Andrew thiddyr can liym hy; 
Hvri men held noucht all gud array; 
Swra yhowng men, as I herd say, 
Come on the bryg: bot Inglis men 
Swa gret debate made wytli tlianie then, 
That thai welle swne war pwt away; 
The bryg syne occupy id thai. 
And in defens of!" KawfF Goldyng, 
That wes borne downe on a myddyng, 
Sehyre Andrew JIurrawe owt off his stale, 
Tiiat wend, that all his menyh6 hale 
Had f'oiowyd, bot thai dyd noucht swa 
(For swme off thame war fere hym fra. 
And othir swme owt off array, 



For purwayd noucht at poynt war thai, 

Swa bot full fewe wyth hym ar gane) 

He wes nere-hand lefft hym allane. 

To the bryg went he .stwrdyly, 

As all hys men had bene hym by. 

And made sic pay, that men sayis yhete, 

He gert fele fall down till his fete 

Sprewland, as thai chyknys ware. 

And qwhen his fays saw hym thare 

Forowtyn fei'e feyclitand allane. 

And has hym in his armys tane, 

And enbrasyt hym sturdyly, 

[He] turnyd hym wytli hym in hy 

For to beteche hym till his men, 

That he wend at his bake war then, 

Tiiau all the Inglis cumpany 

Ikdiynd stert on hym stwrdyly, 

And magrawe liis, thai have hym tane; 

Bot swthiy he yhald hym to nane. 



HENEY THE MINSTEEL 



Born 1360 — Died 



IIexuy the Minstrel, or Blind Harry, as 
he was familiarly called, who commemorated 
the deeds of the champion of Scottish liberty 
in a heroic poem entitled "Ye Actis and Deidis 
of ye Illuster and Vailzeand Champioun Shry 
William Wallace," flourished in the fifteenth 
century. Of his personal history we know 
very little — wc do not even possess more than 
lialf iiis name; and have no means of knowing 
whether Henry was a Christian or surname. 
He is stated by Dempster to have been living 
in 1361; but Major, who is supposed to have 
lieen born aljout 1446, stated tiiat when he 
was in liis infancy Henry the Minstrel wrote 
his "Actis and Deidis." Major also infin-ms 
us tliat the poet was blind from his birtii, and 
that he gained liis food and clothing by the 
recitation of histories or "gestes" I)cfore tiie 
nobles of the bind. It is said l)y (lie Minstrel 
himsoif lliat his work was founded on a narra- 
tive of the life of Wallace written in Latin liy 
Arnnhi Blair, chaplain to the Scottish hero, 
and wliich, if it, ever hail existence, is now 
lost; and from the immediate descendants of 
Wallace's coiitomporaries. 

"'I'll'' Wallace" abounds in evident exagge- 



rations and anachronisms, but as a poem it is 
simple, intei'esting, and exciting. As a nar- 
rative of facts it must be remembered that we 
have it not through the medium of the author's 
own pen, but through oral recitation, to the 
corruptions of which there are no limits. 
The circumstance of the poet's correctness as 
regards several incidents heretofore believed to 
be fictitious — as, for example, Wallace's expe- 
dition to France — having been recently veri- 
fied by the discovery of authentic evidence, 
should induce us to be careful in ascribing to 
the Minstrel errors in which it abounds, rather 
than to the reciters of his work, who are much 
likelier to be the culprits. "That a man 
born blind," says George Ellis, "should excel 
in any science is sufficiently extraordinary, 
though by no means without example; but 
that lie should become an excellent poet is 
almost miraculous, because the soul of poetry 
is description. Perhaps, therefore, it may be 
safely assumed that Henry was not inferior, 
in point of genius, to Barbour or Chaucer, nor 
indeed to any poet in any age or country." 
The prai.se of this eminent critic exceeds that 
which is justly due to Henry the Minstrel, 



HENRY THE MINSTREL. 



11 



deservedly popular as his effusions are. " The 
Wallace " cannot certainly be compared to 
the great poem of the learned Archdeacon of 
Aberdeen." 

"'The Bruce' is evidently the work of a 
politician as well as a poet. The characters of 
the king, of his brother, of Douglas, and of 
the Earl of Moray are discriminated, and their 
separate talents always employed with judg- 
ment, so that every event is prepared and ren- 
dered probable by the means to which it is 
attributed; whereas the ' Life of Wallace' is a 
mere romance, in which the hero hews down 
whole squadrons with his single arm, and is 
indebted for every victory to his own muscular 
strength. Both poems are filled with descrip- 
tions of battles, but in those of Barbour our 
attention is successively directed to the cool 
intrepidity of King Eobert, to the brilliant 
rashness of Edward Bruce, or to the enterpris- 
ing stratagems of Douglas; while in Henry 



we find little more than a disgusting picture 
of revenge, hatred, and blood." This critic 
errs in underrating, as the writer first quoted 
does in overi'ating, the merits of Blind Harr\\ 
The assertion that any portion of his " AVallace" 
is disgusting only exhibits an ignorance of the 
work on which the criticism is passed. The 
poem is in ten-syllable lines, the epic verse of 
a later period, and it is not deficient in poetical 
effect or elevated sentiment. A modern para- 
piirase of the poem, by William Hamilton of 
Gilbertfield, has long been a favourite book 
amongst the peasantry of Scotland, and it was 
the i-eading of this volume which had so great 
an effect in kindling the genius and patriotic 
ardour of Robert Burns. The only JIS. of 
Blind Harry's heroic poem is preserved in the 
Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, and bears date 
1488. The first edition of the work was pub- 
lished in 1570; the latest and most correct, with 
notes and glossary by Dr. Jamieson, in 1820. 



THE DEATH OF WALLACE.^ 

(FROM «m WILLIAM WALLACE.) 



On Wednysday the fals Sotherouu furth brocht, 
Till martyr him as thai befor had wrocht. 
Rycht suth it is, a martyr was Wallace, 
Als Osauold, Edmunt, Eduuard, and Thomas. 
Off men in amies led him a full grot rout. 
With a bauld spreit gud Wallace blent about: 
A preyst he askyt, for God at deit on tre. 
King Eduuard than cummandyt his clerge. 
And said; " I charge, apayn off loss off lywe, 
Nane be sa bauld yon tyrand for to schrywc. 
He has rong lang in contrar my hienaec." 
A blyst byschop sone, present in that place, 
Off Canterbery lie than was lychtwyss lord, 
Agayn the king he maid this i-icht record; 
And [said]; " My selff sail her his confessioun, 
Gyff I haiff nijx-ht, in contrar off tin croun. 
And thou throu force will stop me oft t1iis thing, 
I wow to God, quhilk is my rychtwyss king. 
That all Ingland I sail her enterdyt. 
And mak it knawin thou art ane herretyk. 

' Wartoii, in his HiMory of Eiiidinh Poetrii, notices 
Barbour and Heniy the Minstrel in these words: — 
"Altliongh this work is jirofessedly confined to Eng- 
land, yet I cannot pass over two Scotch poets of this 
period who have adorned the Englisli language by a 
train of versification, expression, and poetical imagery 
far superior to their age; and who consequently deserve 
to be mentioned in a general review of our national 
poetry." 



The sacrenient off kyrk I sail him geiff ; 

Spi tak thi chos, to sterwe or lat him leiff. 

It war mar waill, in worschip off thi croun. 

To kepe sic ane in lyff in thi handoun. 

Than all the land and giul at thow has refyd. 

Bot cowatice the ay fra honour drcfyd. 

Thow has [thi] Ij'ff rongyn in wrangwis deid; 

That sail be seyn on the, or on thi seid." 

The king gert charge thai suld the byschop ta; 

Bot sad lordys consellyt to lat him ga. 

All Inglissmen said, at his desyr was rycht; 

To Wallace than he rakyt in thar sicht. 

And sadly hard his confessioun till ane end. 

Hvmbly to God his spreyt he thar comend; 

Lawly him serwyt with hartlj'e deuocioun 

Apon his kneis, and said ane orysoun. 

His leyff he tuk, and to West monastyr raid. 

The lokmen than thai bur Wallace but baid 

On till a place, his martyrdom to tak; 

For till his ded he wald na fortliyr mak. 

Fra the fyi'st nycht he was tane in Scotland, 

Thai kepyt him in to that sanimyn band. 

Na thing he had at suld haiff doyn him gud; 

Bot Inglissmen him seruit off carnaill fud. 

Hys warldly lyff desyrd the sustenance, 

Tlioclit he it gat in contrar off plcsance. 

Thai thretty dayis his band thai durst nocht slaik, 

Quhill he was hundjni on a skamjdl off ayk, 

With ini chenyeis that was bath stai'k and kepi. 



12 



JAMES THE FIRST. 



A clerk thai set to her quhat he wald meyn. 
"Thow Scot," he said,"that gret wrangis has don, 
Thi fatell hour, thow seis, approchis son. 
Thow suld in mj'nd remembyr thi mysdeid, 
At clerkis may, quhen thai thair psalmis reid 
For Crystyn saullis, that makis thaim to pray, 
In thair nowmyr thow may be ane off thai; 
For now thow seis on fors tliou mon decess." 
Than Wallace said; " For all thi roid rahress, 
Thow has na charge, supposs at I did myss; 
Yon blyst byschop has hecht I sail haiff blis; 
And trew [I] weill, that God sail it admyt: 
Thi febyll wordis sail nocht my conscience smyt. 
Conford I haiff off way that I suld gang, 
Maist payn I feill at I bid her our lang." 
Than said this clerk; ''Our king oft send the till; 
Thow niyeht haiff had all Scotland at thi will, 
To hald off him, and cessyt off thi stryff ; 
So as a lord rongyn furth all thi lyff." 
Than Wallace said; "Thou spekis off mychty 

thing. 
Had I lestyt, and gottyn my rychtwj'ss king, 
Fra worthi Bruce had rasauit his croun, 
I thocht haiff maid Ingland at his bandoun. 
So wttraly it suld beyn at his will, 
Quhat i)lcssyt him, to sauff thi king or spill." 
"Weill," said this clerk, "than thow repentis 

nocht: 



Oft' wykkydness thow has a felloun thocht. 
Is nayn in warld at has sa mony slane; 
Tharfor till ask, me think thow suld be bane, 
Grace off our king, and syn at his barnage." 
Than Wallace smyld [a] litill at his langage. 
" I grant," he said, "part Inglissraen I slew 
In my quarrel, me thocht nocht haiff enew. 
I mowyt na wer bot for to win our awin; 
To God and man the rycht full weill is knawin. 
Thi frustyr wordis dois nocht bot taris me, 
I the commaund, on Goddis haiff, lat me be." 
A schyrray gart this clerk sone fi'a him pass; 
Rycht as thai durst, thai grant quhat he wald 

ass. 
A Psaltyr buk Wallace had on him euir; 
Fra his childeid fra it wald nocht deseuir. 
Bettyr he trowit in wiage for to speid. 
Bot than he was dispalyeid off his weid. 
This grace he ast at Lord Clyffurd that knycht, 
To lat him haiff his Psaltyr buk in sycht. 
He gert a preyst it oppyn befor him hauld, 
Quhill thai till him had done all at thai wauld. 
Stedfast he red, for ocht thai did him thar: 
Feyll Sotherouu said, at Wallace feld na sayr. 
Gud deuocioun sa was his begynnyng, 
Conteynd tharwith, and fair was his endyng; 
Quhill spech and spreyt at anys all can fiiyr 
To lestand blyss, we trow, for euirmayr. 



JAMES THE EIEST 



Born 139i — Died 1437. 



James the First, one of the most cliivah-ie, 
;ind certainly tlic most aecomplislied of tlie 
ancient Scottisii kings, was born at Dunferm- 
line in 1394. His eider brotlier having fallen 
a victim to the ambition of his uncle tlie 
Duke of Albany, Robert III., filled with 
anxiety for tlie safety of his only remaining 
.son, and in order to place him beyond tlie 
reacli of a faitliless kindred until he should 
attain to manliood, resolved to .send liim to 
the court of France to complete liis education, 
whicii liad been begun under the learned prc- 
hitc Walter Wardlaw, arclibisliop of St. An- 
drcwH. Accordingly, in 1405, (lie young 
prince nailed from his native country under 
the care of the Earl of Orkney, but the vessel 
licinjf captured by an English .squadron, in 
violation of a treaty of peace which then 
existed between tlic two nations, lie was car- 



ried prisoner to the Tower of London. This 
act of gross injustice completed the calamities 
of the infirm King Robert, who sank under 
the blow, and it led to the captivity of James 
for more than eighteen years. 

After a confinement of two years in the 
Tower the young prince was removed to Not- 
tingham Castle. In 1413 he was taken back 
to the Tower, but in the course of the same 
year was transferred to Windsor Castle. In 
1414 the English king, Henry IV., took James 
with him in his second expedition into France, 
but on his return committed him anew to 
Windsor Castle, where he remained till his 
final liberation. Tiiough kept in close con- 
finement he was instructed in every branch of 
knowledge which that age afforded, and became 
also eminently expert in all athletic exercises. 
Hector lioecc tells us that he was a proficient 



JAMES THE FIEST. 



13 



in every branch of polite literature, in gram- 
mar, oratoiy, Latin and English poetry, 
music, jurisprudence, and the philosophy of 
the times;^ and Drummond says "that there 
was nothing wherein the commendation of wit 
consisted, or any shadow of the liberal arts did 
appear, that he had not applied his mind to, 
seeming leather born to letters than instructed. " 
Philosophy and poetry were the sources from 
which the unfortunate young prince drew the 
consolation he so much needed. Speaking of 
his determination to write the " King's 
Quhair," his greatest work, he says — 

"And in my tyme :nore ink and paper spent 
To lyte effect, I tuke conclusion 
Sum new thing to write;" 

and that he did not seek the consolations of 
philosophy in vain is shown by many passages 
in his matchless poem : — 

"Bewailling in my chain bar thus allone, 
Despeired of all joye and remedye; 

For-tii'it of my thoucht and wo-begone, 
And to the wyndow gan 1 walk in liye. 

To see the warld and folk yt went forbye. 
As for the tyme, thovgh I of luirthis fudc 
Mycht have no more, to hike it did me gude." 

At length James was restored, when in his 
thirtieth year, to his kingdom, returning to 
Scotland in April, 1424, having espoused the 
Lady Joanna Beaufort, daughter of the Duke 
of Somerset, and grand-daughter of John, duke 
of Gaunt. His descriptions of the small gar- 
den, once the moat of Windsor Castle, which 
was seen from his place of confinement, and 
the first glimpse he there obtained of his future 
queen, are among the most beautiful and 
touching passages in the poem. Proceeding 
first to Edinburgh he was received by his 
people with a degree of afl^ectionate enthusiasm 
which could scarcely have been expected from 
their former indifference to his fate: he after- 
wards went to Scone, accompanied by his 
queen, where they were both solemnly crowned. 
When first informed on his arrival in the 
kingdom of the lawlessness which prevailed in 



' He was well lernit to fecht with the sword, to just, 
to turnay, to worsyle, to sing and dance, was an expert 
medicinar, richt crafty in iilaying baith of lute and 
harp, and sinJry other instruments of music: he was 
expert in gramer, oratory, and poetry, and maid sae 
flowan' and sententious verais— he was ane natural and 
borne poete.— ^oece'.? Iliflonj. 



it he exclaimed, " By the help of God, though 
I should myself lead the life of a dog, 1 .shall 
make the key keep the castle, and the bush 
secure the cow." The sentiment was worthy 
a prince, and he set himself vigorously at 
work to curb his lawless nobles, and to better 
the condition of his distracted kingdom. 

In 1436 James renewed the allegiance with 
France, giving his daughter Margaret in mar- 
riage to the dauphin. The year following a 
conspiracy was formed against him, and on 
the night of February 20 he was assassinated 
at Perth by a band of rufiians led by Sir 
Robert Graham of Strathearn. His death was 
universally bewailed by the nation, and his 
inhuman murderers were put to death by the 
horrible tortures practised in that age. Jineas 
Sylviu.s, afterwards Pope Eugene IV., who 
was in Scotland as legate at the time of this 
catastrophe, in giving an account of it, said that 
he "was at a loss which most to applaud, the 
universal grief which overspread the nation on 
the death of the king, or the resentment to 
which it was roused, and the just vengeance 
with which his murderers were pursued; who, 
being all of them traced and dragged from 
their lurking retreats, were, by the most lin- 
gering tortures that human invention could 
suggest, put to death." 

"A cruel crime rewarded cruellie." 

IMargaret, dauphiness of France, eldest daugh- 
ter of the murdered king, inherited not a little 
of her father's gallant spirit and poetic ability. 
It is of her that the familiar story is related 
that, walking in the gallery of the palace, and 
finding Alain Chartier, the poet, asleep there, 
she reverently kissed him. "How could you 
kiss one so ugly?" exclaimed one of her maids 
of honour. "I do not," answered the princess, 
"kiss the man, but the lips that have uttered 
so many beautiful thoughts" — a kiss which 
Menage says will immortalize her. 

Of the king's principal poetical work Pin- 
kerton, a writer extremely penurious of praise, 
says that it "equals anything Chaucer has 
written;" and Ellis remarks that "it is not 
inferior in poetical merit to any similar pro- 
duction" of the father of English poetry. It 
is most undoubtedly true that neither Chaucer 
nor any contemporary poet of either England 
or Scotland is characterized by that delicacy 



14 



JAMES THE FIRST. 



•which distinguishes the productions of King 
James. Considering the rude age in which 
he wrote, and that Chaucer and Gower, with 
whose writings he was well acquainted, and 
whom indeed he acknowledges in one of his 
stanzas for his masters, were so distinguished, 
as well as Dunbar, for an opposite character, 
it is certainly one of the greatest phenomena 
in the annals of poetry. The " King's Quhair " 
was for centuries lost to the world, tlie only 
MS. copy in existence, at the Bodleian Library, 
having been discovered by Lord Woodhouse- 
lee, who in 1783 first published it to the 
world, with explanatory notes and a critical 
dissertation. The subject is the royal poet's 
love for his future queen, described in the 
allegorical style of the age, but with much 
fine description, sentiment, and poetical fancy. 
To King James is likewise ascribed two 
humorous poems entitled " Christis Kirk on 
the Grene" and " Peblis to the Play," descrip- 
tive of the rural manners and pastimes of that 
age. These poems are great favourites. To 
tiie former allusion is made by Pope, who 
writes — 

*' One likes no language bvit the Fairy Queen: 
Or Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o' the Green." 

His claim to either has been disputed, but 
Allan Ramsay, Sir Walter Scott, and others 
unhesitatingly ascribe " Christls Kirk on the 
(Jrene " to the royal poet, while authorities 
equally entitled to credit entertain the same 
feelings of certainty as respects the authorship 
of his other poem, " Peblis to the Play." The 
poems of the royal poet were first collected and 
IPiiblished at Perth in 1786, and are also to 
lie found in Sitiitald's Chronicle of Scottish 
I'oi'trij. In 1873 was published an edition of 
"The I'oetical Itcmains of King James the 
First of Scotland, with a Memoir by the 
I'cv. Dr. l{ogers," containing, in addition to 
the conijiositions jircviouHly mentioned, a song 
on "Ai)scncc" and a sacred ))ocni entitled 
"Divine Trust," tiic latter included among 
our Hclcctions. 

Ilistorians relate that the king was a skilful 
musician, playing on eight different instru- 



ments, and to him accord the honour of intro- 
ducing " a new kind of music, plaintive and 
melanchol}', different from all others," to quote 
the language of Tassoni, an Italian writer who 
flourished in the early part of the sixteenth 
century. James is known, from contemporary 
authorities, to have cultivated music with 
more than usual ardour, and under circum- 
stances of long imprisonment and solitude, sin- 
gularly calculated to give to his compositions 
that "plaintive and melancholy" style which 
the Italian writer tells us was regarded as the 
characteristic of the kind of music which the 
king invented, and which we know to V)e the 
characteristic of the national music of Scot- 
land as existing during the past four and a 
half centuries. 

Dyer said of this accomplished prince — 

"Amiil the bartls whom Scotia holds to fame, 
She boasts, nor vainly boasts, lier James s name; 
And less, sweet bard! a crown thy glory shows, 
Than the fair laurel that adorns thy brows;" 

and Washington Irving, in the article entitled 
" A Royal Poet," in the Sketch Book, has 
given us a charming description of the king 
and his Quhair (Book), consisting of 197 
seven-lined stanzas, declared by Lockhart to 
be "infinitely more graceful than any piece 
of American writing that ever came from any 
other hand, and well entitled to be classed 
with the best English writings of our day." 
Mr. Irving, after a visit to Windsor Castle, 
remarks, " I have been particularly interested 
by those parts of the poem w hich breathe his 
immediate thoughts concerning his situation, 
or which are connected with the apartment in 
the Tower. They have thus a personal and 
local charm, and are given v!\i\\ such circum- 
stantial truth as to make the reader present 
with the captive in his prison, and the com- 
panion of his mei'.itations. ... As an 
amatory poem it is edifying, in these days of 
coarser thinking, to notice the nature, refine- 
ment, and exquisite delicacy which pervade 
it, banishing every gross thought or immodest 
expression, and presenting female loveliness 
clothed in all its chivalrous attributes of 
almost supernatural purity and grace." 



JAMES THE FIRST. 



15 



THE KING'S QUHAIR.1 



(extract. ) 



Than wold I say, Giff God me had de^^sit 
To lyve my lyf in tlii'aldom thus and pyne, 

Quhat was the cause that he more me comprisit, 
Than othir folk to lyvc in such ruyne < 

I suffere alone amang- the fig'uris nyne, 
Ana wofull wrache that to no wig-ht may sj^ede, 
And yit of every lyvis help has nede. 

The long dayes and the nyghtis eke, 

I wold bewaille my fortune in this wise. 
For qvihich, again distresse confort to seke, 

My oustum was on "mornis for to rise 
Airly as day, happy exercise ! 

By the come I to joye out of tumient ! 

Bot now to purpose of my first entent. 

Bewailling in my chamber thus allone, 
Despeired of all joye and remedye, 

For-tirit of my thoucht and wo-begone, 
And to the wyndow gan I walk in hye, 

To see the warld and folk that went forliyc, 
As for the tyme, though I of mirthis fude 
Myclit have no more, to hike it did me glide. 

Now was there maid fast by the Touris wall 
A gardyn faire, and in the corneris set 

Ane herbere grene, with wandis long and small, 
Railit about, and so with treis set 

Was all the place, and hawthorn hegis knot. 
That lyf was non, walkjing there forbye. 
That mycht within scarce any wight aspye. 

So thick the beuis and the loves grene 
Beschadit all the allyes that there were. 

And myddis every herbere mycht be sene 
The scharp grene suete jenepere, 

Growing so fair with branches here and there. 
That, as it semyt to a lyf without, 
The liewis spred the herbere all about. 

And on the small grene twistis sat 
The lytil suete nygtingale, and song 

So loud and clere, the ympnis consecrat 
Of luvis use, now soft now lowd among, 

That all the gardynis and the wallis rong 
Ryclit of thaire song 

Kest I doun myii eye ageyne, 
Quhare as I saw walkyng under the Toure, 



I The "King's Quhair" is a long allegory, polished 
and imaginative, but with some of the teJiousness usual 
in such productions— //e^icy HaUam. 

The author of our first serious and purely imagina- 
tive poem, the " King's Quhair," and our earliest truly 
comic and homely poem, '• Peblis to the Play."— Allun 
Cunnmyham. 



Full secretely, new cumyn hir to iileyne, 
The fairest or the freschest young Houre 

That ever I sawe, methoucht, before that houre, 
For quhich sodayne abate, anon astert 
The blude of all my body to my hert. 

And though I stood abaisit then a lyte. 
No wonder was, for quhy ] my wittis all 

Were so ouercome with plesance and delyte, 
Only through latting of mjai eyen fall. 

That sudajaily my hert become hir thrall 
For ever; of free wyll, for of manace 
There was no takyn in hir suete face. 

And in my hede I drew ryght hastily, 
And eft sones I lent it forth ageyne. 

And saw hir walk that verray womanly, 
With no wight mo, bot only women tueyne. 

Than gan I studj' in myself and seyne. 
Ah suete ! are ye a warldly creature. 
Or hevingly thing in hkenesse of nature ? 

Or ar ye god Cupidis owin princesse. 

And cumj'n are to louse me out of band ? 
Or ar ye veray Nature the goddesse, 

That have depajnitit with your he^inly hand. 
This gardyn full of flouris, as they stand ? 

Quhat sail I think, allace ! quhat reverence 

Sail I mester to your excellence i 

Giff ye a goddesse be, and that j^e like 
To do me paj'ne, I may it not astert; 

Giff ye be warldly wight, that dooth me sike, 
Quhy lest God mak j'ou so, my derest hert ! 

To do a sely prisoner thus smert, 

That lufis you all, and wote of noucht but wo. 
And, therefore, merci suete ! sen it is so. 

Quhen I a lytill thrawe had maid my mono. 
Bewailing niyn infortune and mj' chance, 

Unknawin how or quhat was best to done. 
So ferre I falhnng into lufis dance. 

That sodeynly my wit, ray contenance, 

My hert, my will, my nature, and my m}^ld, 
Was changit clene rycht in ane other kind. 

Of hir array the form gif I sal write, 

Toward her goldin haire, and rich atyre, 

In fretwise couchit with perils (juhite. 
And grete balas lemjaig as the fyre. 

With mony ane emerant and faire sajihu'e. 
And on hir hede a chaplet fresch of hewe, 
Of plumys partit rede, and quhite, and blewe. 

Full of quaking spangis brycht as gold, 
Forgit of schap like to the amorettis, 



16 



JAMES THE riEST. 



So new, so fresch, so pleasant to behold, 
The plumys eke like to the floure jonettis, 

And other of schap, hke to the floure jonettis; 
And, above all this, there was, wele I wote, 
Beautee eneuch to mak a world to dote. 

About hir neck, quhite as the fayre anmaille, 

A gudelie cheyne of small orfeverye, 
Quhare by there hang a ruby, without faille 

Like to ane hert schapin verily, 
That, as a sperk of lowe so wantonly 

Semyt bu'nying upon hir quhite throte. 

Now glf there was gud pertye, God it wote. 

And for to walk that fresche Mayes morowe, 
Ane huke she had upon her tissew quhite, 

That gudeliare had not bene sene to forowe, 
As I suppose, and girt sche was alyte; 

Thus halflyng lowse for haste, to suich delyte, 
It was to see her youth in gudelihed, 
That for rudenes to speke thereof I drede. 

In hir was youth, beautee, with humble aport, 
Bountee, richesse, and womanly faiture, 

God better wote than my pen can report, 
Wisdome, largesse, estate, and conyng sure 

In every point, so guydit hir mesure. 

In word, in dede, in schap, in contenance, 
That nature mycht no more hir childe auance. 

And, quhen sche walkit, had a lytill thrawe 

Under the suetc grene bewis bent, 
Hir faire fresch face, as quhite as anj^ snawe, 

Sche turnyt has, and furth hir wayis went. 
Bot then began myn axis and turment ! 

To sene hir part, and folowe I na mycht; 

Methoucht the day was turnyt into nycht. 



CHRIST'S KIRK ON THE GREEN.i 

Was never in Scotland heard nor seen 

Such (lancing nor deray, 
Neither at Falkland on the green, 

Or Peel)lisat tlie I'lay; 
As was (of wouiariH as I ween) 

At Ciirist's Kirk on a day: 
Tlicre came our Kitties waslicn clean, 

In their new kirtillis of pray, 

Full gay. 
At Christ's Kirk on tlic green, that day. 

' Jaitiex Sibb.ilil has imined St. Salvator's Cliapel, at 
St. AnilrewH, an tlie scene of the diveraioiis celebrated 
ill tliid lively ballad; by other aiitlioritien the scene is 
UHHiKiieil to (iarioch. Abeiileeimhiro. It wa», however, 
most probably at the old kirk town of Leelie, a place 
ill all rciiiwcts Hilitiiit; the rei|iiirenimit8 of the jxiem, 
and within six niilu« of Kalklaiid Palace, a favourite 
ruMirt of the gallant kiirg. -Ku. 



To dance thir damysellis them dicht, 

These lasses licht of laitis; 
Their gloves Avere of the raffell right, 

Tlieir schone were of the straitis, 
Their kirtles were of lyncome light, 

Well prest with many plaitis; 
They were so nyss wlien men them nigh'd, 

They squelit like any gaitis. 

Full loud, 
At Chri.st's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Of all these maiden.s mild as meid, 

Was none so gymj) as Gillie; 
As any rose her rude was red, 

Her lyre was like the lily: 
Fow yellow, yellow was her head, 

But she of love was silly, 
Though all her kin had sworn lier dead, 

She would have but sweet Willie 
Alone, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

She .scorned Jock and skraipet at him, 

And murgeon'd him with mokkis, 
He would have luvit, she would not let Jiini, 

For all his yellow lokkis; 
He cherisht her, she bad go chat him, 

She comptit him not two clokkis; 
So shamefully his short gown set him, 

His limbs were like two rokkis. 

She said, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Tom Tvutar was their minstrel meet, 

Lord, as he could lanss. 
He played so schill, and sang .so sweet, 

While Tow.sy took a transs; 
Old Light-foot, there he did forleit. 

And counterfeited France, 
He u.s'd himself as man discreet, 

And up took morrice dance, 

Full loud, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Then Stephen came stepping in with stends, 

No rink might him arrest, 
Splayfoot he bobbit up with bends, 

F^or Maud he made request: 
He lap while he lay on his lends 

But rising he was priest. 
While that he liostit, at both ends, 

For honour of the feast, 

That day. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Syne Robin Roy began to revel 

And Downy till him druggit, 
Let be, quoth Jock, and call'd him javell, 

And by the tail him tugged; 



JAMES THE FIRST. 



17 



The kensie cleikit to a cavell, 

But, Lord! if they then luggit, 
Tliey parted, there, manly with a nevell; 

God wot if hair was ruggit. 

Between them, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

One bent a bow, sic sturt could steir iiini. 

Great skayth wes'd to have scared him; 
He chesit a flane as did afFeir him; 

The t'other said cUrdum dardum: 
Tlirough both the cheikis he thought to elieir 
him. 

Or throw the erss have chard him, 
But by an akerbraid it came not near him. 

I can not tell what marrd him. 
There, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

With that a friend of his cried, Fy! 

And up an arrow drew; 
He forged it so furiously. 

The bow in flenderis flew; 
So was the will of God, trow l! 

For, had the tree been true, 
Men said, that kend his archery. 

That he had slain anew. 

That day. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green. 

An hasty hensure called Harrj' 

AViio was an archer heynd. 
Tilt up a takill witliouten tary, 

That torment so him teynd: 
I wot not whether his hand could vary. 

Or the man was his freynd: 
But, he escaped tlirough michtis of JIary, 

As man that no ill meynd, 

But gude. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Then Lowre as a lion lap, 

And soon a flaue could fedder; 
He hccht to pierce him at the pap. 

Thereon to wed a wedder; 
He hit him on the wanie a wap; 

It buft like any bledder; 
But so his fortune was, and hap, 

His douI>let was of iedder; 

And saved him, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

The buff so bousteouslie abaisit him, 

To the erd he duschit down; 
The other for dead he preissit hint. 

And fled out of the town: 
The wives come furth and up they paisit him, 

And fande life in the loun; 



And with three routis they raised him, 
And couverit him of swouiie. 

Again, 
At Christ's Kirk on tlie green, that day, 

A zaip young man, that stood him neist, 

Loos'd off' a shot with ire: 
He ettlit the hern in at the breist. 

The bolt flew o'er the byre; 
One cried, fye! he had slane a priest, 

A mile beyond a mire: 
Then bow and bag from him he keist, 

And fled als ferse as fyre 

Of flynt, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

With forkis and flailis they let great flappis, 

And flang together like friggis; 
With bowgaris of barnis that beft blue kappis. 

While they of bernis made briggis; 
The reird raise rudely with the rappis. 

When rungis was laid on riggis: 
The wyffis come forth, with cryis and clappis, 

Lol where ray liking liggis. 

Quoth they, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

They girnit, and leit gird, with granis. 

Each gossip other grevit; 
Some struck with stingis,some gathered stanis, 

Some fled, and evil eschewit: 
The minstrel wan within two wanis. 

That day, full well he previt; 
For he came home with unbirs'd banis. 

Where fechtaris were mischevit. 

For ever. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Heich Huchcoun, with an iiissel ryss; 

To red can throw them runimill; 
He mudlet them down, like any mice, 

He was no batie-bummil; 
Though he was wicht, he was not wise, 

With such jangleris to jummil; 
For from his thumb they dang a slice. 

While he cried barla-fummill, 

I'm slain, 
Ai Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

When that he saw his blood so reid, 

To flee might no man lat him: 
He would it had been for auld feid: 

He thought one cried, have at him; 
He gart his feet defend his held. 

The far farar it set him; 
While he was past out of all pleid. 

He suld been swift that gat him, 

Through speed. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 



18 



EGBERT HENRYSON. 



The town sowtar in grief was bowdin, 

His wife liang in his waist: 
His bodj' was with blood all browdin, 

He granit like any gaist; 
His glittering hair, that was full gowden, 

So hard in love him laist; 
That for her sake he was not zowdin, 

Seven mile while he was chaist. 

And more, 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

The miller was of manly mak, 

To meet him was no mowis; 
Their durst not ten come him to tak. 

So nowit he their nowis; 
Tiie busi-hment haill about him brak, 

And bikkerit him with bowis, 
Syne traitourly behind his back, 

They hewed him on the howis, 

Behind, 
At Ciirist's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Two that were heidsmen of the herd, 

Kan upon uderis like rammis; 
Than follow it feymen, right unatteir'd, 

Bet on with barrow trammis; 
But where their gobbis were ungeird. 

They got upon the gammis; 
While bloody barkit was their beird; 

As they had werreit lammis 

Most like. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

Tlie wives kest up an hideous yell, 

Wlien all tiie yunkcris yokkit; 
As fierce as any fyr-flaught fell, 

Friekes to the field tlicy flokkit: 
The cariis with clnbbis could other quell, 

While blood at briestis out bokkit; 
So rudely rang the commoun bell, 

Wiiile all the stcejile rokkit. 

For reird. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

When they had beirit, like baited buUis, 
And l>ranewod, brvnt in bailis, 



They wox as meek as any mulis. 
That mangit were witli mai'.is: 

For faintness thir forfochin fulis 
Fell down, like flauchtir failis; 

Fresh men came in and haild the dulls 
And dang them down in dailis, 
Bedene, 

At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 

When all was done, Dick, with an aix, 

Came forth, to fell a futher; 
Quod he. Where are yon hangit smaiks. 

Right now wald slain my bruther? 
His wife bad him go home, good glaiks. 

And so did Meg his mother; 
He turn'd, and gave tliem both their paiks 

For he durst ding none other. 

For feir. 
At Christ's Kirk on the green, that day. 



DIVINE TRUST.i 

Sen thi'ow vertew incressis dignitie, 

And vertew is flour and rute of nobles ay, 

Of ony wit or qnhat estait thou be 

His steppis follow, and dreid for none effray; 
Eject vice, and follow truth alway; 

Lufe maist thy God that first thy lufe began, 

And for ilk inche He will the quyte ane span. 

Be not ouir proude in thy prosperitie. 
For as it cummis, sa will it pas away; 

The tyme to compt is schort, thow may weill si?. 
For of grene grass sone cummis wallowit hay. 
Labour in truth quliilk suith is of thy fay; 

Traist maist in God, for He best gyde ih6 can, 

And for ilk inche He will th6 quyte ane span. 

Sen word is thrall, and thocht is only fre, 

Thou dant thy toung that power lies and may 

Thou steik thy ene fra warldis vanitie, 
Refraine thy lust and harkin quhat I say: 
Graip or tho slyde, and keip furth the hie way, 

Thou bald th(? fast upon thy God and man. 

And for ilk inche He will the quyte ane span. 



IIOBERT HENEYSON, 



Born 1430 — Diku 1506. 



IJoHKUT Hknhvhon, or Henderson, a poet 
and fabulist of the fifteenth century, was chief 

' Of the kiiig'K liymna or vacrud poems only one speci- 
men hoH lieeii prenerveii at the close of the colloutimi 



.schoolmaster of Dunfermline. Lord Hailes 
conjectures that he acted as preceptor to the 

called The Oiule and Gmllie Ballales, published in 1.5'; 
It has been entitled hy Dr Rogers "Divine Tnist."— Ed. 



ROBEET HENRYSON. 



19 



Ikiicdictine convent of that town. It is sup- 
I)osed that he was born about the year 1430, 
and it is known that he died at an advanced 
a£^e, as Sir Francis Kinaston tells us "that 
being verj' old, he died of a diarrhoe or fluxe. " 
It is also known that he passed away early in 
the sixteentii century, as his name appears 
among the latest of the poets lamented by 
Dunbar in his poem on the " Deth of the 
JIakkaris," printed in the year I0O8: — 

'■ In Diimfermling he lies taiie Broun, 
Witli gude Mr. Roljert; Henrysoun." 

On the poet's own testimony he appears to 
have lived to a good old age, and happily not 
to have been without the comforts so necessary 
in advanced years. In the opening stanzas 
of the "Testament of Faire Creseide," tlie 
longest of his productions, he says: — 

" I made the fire, and beked me aboiite, 

Then toke I drink, my sjiirits to comforte, 

Ami armedine well fro the cold thereoiite. 

To cutte tlie winter night, and make It shorte, 
I took a qiiere, and lefte all other sjiorte, 

Writen by worthy Chancer glorious, 

Of faire Creseide and lusty Troilus." 

Of this poem a critic says, " Wittily observ- 
ing that Chaucer, in his fifth book, had related 
the death of Troilus, but made no mention 
what became of Creseide, he learnedly takes 
upon him, in a fine poetical way, to express 
the punishment and end due to a false incon- 
stant, which commonly ends in extreme 
misery." The poem' was first printed by 
Henry Chartei'is in 1593, and has been ap- 
pended to various editions of Chaucer's Troilus 
and Cmselde. The "Testament of Creseide" 
and Henry son'.s pastoral poem of " Robeneand 
Makyne," the earliest of bucolics in the Scot- 
tish language, was printed (sixty-five copies) 
for the Bannatyne Club in 1824 bj' George 
Chalmers. Of the latter poem a wi-iter in 
Blackie's Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen re- 
marks, " I consider it superior in many respects 
to the similar attempts of Spenser and Broune; 
it is free from the glaring improprieties which 
sometimes appear in tlie pastorals of those 
more recent writers, and it exhibits many 



genuine strokes of poetical delineation." His 
poetical tale entitled " The Traitie of Orpheus 
Kyng, and how he came to yeid to hewyn an<i 
to hel to seik his Quene," Avas first published 
in 1508. Portions of both of tliese poems have 
been highly commended by Sir Walter Scott, 
Warton, and other competent judges: but it 
is in his fables that Heiiryson's poetical powers 
appear to greatest advantage. The best of liis 
" Fabils," thirteen in number, is the common 
story of the "Town Mouse and the City Mouse," 
which he treats with much humour and char- 
acteristic desL-ription, and concludes with u 
beautifully expressed moral. He gives it the 
Scotch title of " The Borrowstoun Mous and 
the Landwart Mous." This collection, in 
manuscript, is still preserved in the Harleian 
Libi-ary, and is dated 1571. 

The "Fables" of Henryson were reprinted in 
1832 for the Bannatyne Club, from the edition 
of Andrew Hart, printed in Edinburgh, 1()21, 
— of which the only known copy is in the 
Advocates' Library — with a memoir prefixed 
by Dr. Irving, the editor. " Nearly the 
whole of Henryson's poems," says a critic, 
"bear evidence of having been composed in 
tlie decline of life. In this he resembled his 
model Chaucer, whose Canterbury 7\des, the 
best of all his works, were written when on 
the verge of threescore years and ten. Henry- 
son had not, however, like Chaucer, cause to 
blame a vagrant muse in his dying hours, for 
anything in his writings which might pollute 
to future ages the stream of future morals. 
His sentiments are uniformly worthy of his 
years — pure, chastened, and instructive; and 
whatever share of the poetical art he displays 
it is solely employed in giving to the lessons of 
virtue some heightening charm, or rendering 
the ways of vice more odious." Until recently 
it was a subject of regret that only specimens 
of Henryson's poems were to be met with in 
the collections of Hailes, Finkerton. Ramsay. 
Sibbald, Irving, and Ellis. The desideratum 
was at length supplied by David Laing, who 
first collected his poetical writings and pre- 
pared a memoir of his life, issued at Edinburgii 
in 1865. 



EOBEET HENRYSON. 



THE TWO MICE.' 



Esope, myne autour, makis mentioun 
Of twa niyiss; and they war sisters deir; 

Ofl quhom the elder dwelt in borrowstowu; 
The yonger wend up-on-land, well neir 
Rycht solitair; (juhyle under busk and breir, 

Quhyle in the corn, in uther menys schacht, 

As outlawis dois that levis on yUn wacht. 

The rurall mouss into the winter tyde 

Had hungar, cauld, and tholit grit distress; 

The tothir mouss that in the burgh can byde 
Was gilt brother, and made ane free burgess. 
Tol-free alswa, but custom, mair or less, 

Antl freedom had to ga quhaii- eii- sche list 

Ainang the cheiss and meill, in ark and kist. 

Ane tyme quhen scho was full, and on fute fure, 
Scho tuk in mynd her sister up-on-land, 

And langit for her cheir, and her welfair, 
And se quhat lyfe scho led under the wand: 
Barefute allane, with pykstaff in her hand. 

As pure pilgrim, scho passit out of town. 

To seik her sister, baith our daill and down. 

Throw mony wilsum wayis couth scho walk, 
Throw mure and moss, throwout bank, busk, 
and breyir, 

Fra fur to fur, cryand fra l>alk to balk, 
t'um furth to me, myne sueit .sister deir ! 
Cry peip anis — with that the mouse couth heir, 

And knew her voce, as kynnismen will do 

By verry kind; and furth scho came her to. 

Tlieir hairtly cheir. Lord God ! gif ye had seen, 
Was kyind (julicn thir sisters twa wer met, 

Quhilk that oft .syss was .schawin thamebetwene; 
For quhj'les thai leuch, and quhyles for joy 

thay gret; 
Quhyles ki.ssit sueit, and quhyles in armis plet. 

And thus they fure, quhill sobirt was their meid, 

Tiieii fute for fute onto thair chalmer ycid. 

As I hard .say, it was a simple wane 
Off fog and fcrnc, full maiklj' was it maid, 

A silly scheill under a yerd-fast stanc. 
Of c|iiliilk the entry was not hie nor bred: 
And in the same thai went bot mair abnid, 

Withouttuii fyre or candoU burnand briclit, 

For cf)mm<>nly sic jiykers lykes not lychl. 

Quhen they war higit thus, thir silly myss. 
The yungest sister initil her bulrie hyieii. 

Brought forth nuttis, an<l jieiss, instead of spyss; 
(Jif that woH wcilfani doit, on thame bosyd. 
Thin burgess mouss pormyngit full of pryd, 



> 8iblinl(l wiys, "Tliin fnble in written with much 
niilvet<;,nml twiiist llie very flntt exiinqileof timt rnniiiier 
in the .Scottinh liin^iiage, in uniinuntly ciiriouB." El). 



Than said, sister, is this your daily f ude ? 

Quhy not, quod scho, think ye thLs mess not gude? 

Na, be my saul, me think it but a skom; 

Ma dame, quod sche, ye be the mair to blame; 
My moder said, after that we wer born, 

That ye and I lay baith within her wame; 

I kep the rycht auld custom of my dame, 
And of my syre, lyvand in povertie. 
For landis haif we nane of propertie. 

My fair sister, quod scho, haif me excusit; 
This rude dyet and I can not accord; 

With tender meit my stomach ay is usit; 
For quhy, I fair as weill as ony lord: 
Thir widderit peiss and nuttis, or thai be bord, 

Will brek my teith, and mak my mouth full 
sklender, 

Quhilk usit wer befor to meit mair tender. 

Weill, Weill sister, than quoth the rural mouss, 
Gif that ye pleiss sic things as ye se heir, 

Baith meit and drink, and arbourie and house. 
Sail be your awin — will ye remain all yeir. 
Ye sail it half, with blyth and hairtly cheir; 

And that suld make the messes that are rude, 

Amang friendis richt tendir, sueit and gude. 

Quhat plesans is in feists feir dilicate. 

The quhilk ar given with a gloumand brow; 

A gentle heart is better recreate 

With blyth usage than seith to him a cow; 
Ane Modicum is better, yeill allow, 

Sae that gude-will be carver at the dess, 

Than a thrawn vult, and mony a spycie mess 

For all this moral exhortatioun, 

The burges mous had little will to sing, 

But hevely scho kest her visage doun. 

For all the daintys scho couth till her bring; 
Yit at the last scho said, half in hiething. 

Sister, this vittell and your ryal feist 

May Weill suffice for sic a rural beist. 

Let be this hole, and cum unto my place, 
I sail you schaw, by gude experience, 

That my U ude- Fridays better than yom* Pase, 
And a di.sh licking worth your hale oxpence; 
riouscs I haif enow of grit defence, 

( )f cat, nor fall, nor trap, 1 haif nae dreid. 

1 grant, <|Uod sche, convinced, and furth they 
ycid. 

In skugry ay throw rankest gras ami corn. 
And wonder slie prively throw they creip; 

The eldest was the gyde, and went beforn, 
The yunger to her wayis tuke gude keip; 
On uicht they ran, and on the day did sleip, 



ROBERT HENRYSON. 



21 



Till on a morning, or the lavrock sang, 

They fand the toun, and blythly in couth gang. 

Not far frae thyne, on till a worthy wane, 
This burges brocht them sune quhair they 
sould be. 

Without God-speid, — thair herboury was tane 
Intill a spence, wher vittel was plenty, 
Baith cheis and butter on lang skelfs richt hie. 

With fish and flesh enough, baith fresh and salt. 

And pokkis full of grots, baith meU and malt. 

After, quhen they disposit wer to dyne, 

Withouten grace they wush and went to meit, 

On every dish that cuikmen can divyne, 
Muttone and beif strikin out in telzies grit; 
Ane lordis fair thus can they counterfitt, 

Except ane thing, — they drank the watter cleir 

Insteid of wyne, but yit they made gude cheir. 

With blyth upcast and merry countenance, 
The elder sister then speird at her gest, 

Gif that scho thocht be reson differance 
Betwixt that chalmer and her sary nest. 
Yea dame, quoth scho ; but how lang will this 
lest? 

For evu-mau- 1 wate, and langer to. 

Gif that be trew, ye ar at eise, quoth scho. 

To eik the cheir, in plenty furth scho brocht 
A plate of grottis, and a dish of meil, 

A threfe of caiks, I trow scho spairt them nocht, 
Habundantlie about her for to deill; 
Furmage full fyne scho brocht insteid of geil, 

A quhyte candle out of a coffer staw, 

Insteid of spyce, to creish thair teith with a. 

Thus made thej' mirry, ([uhyle tlicy^ micht nae 
mair. 
And hail jinlc ! hail 1 they cryit up on hie; 

But after joy aftentymes comes cair, 
And trouble after grit prosperitie: 
Thus as they sat in all thair solitie, 

The spensar came with keis in his hand, 

Opent the dore, and them at dinner fand. 

They tarriet not to wash, as I suppose. 

But on to gae, quha micht the formost win; 

The burges had a hole, and in scho goes, 
Her sister had nae place to hyde her in; 
To se that silly mous it was grit sin, 

Sae disalait and will of all gude reid. 

For very feir scho fell in swoun, neir deid. 

But as God wald, it fell a happy case. 
The spensar had nae laisar for to byde, 

Nowthir to force, to seik, nor skar, nor chaiss, 
But on he went, and kest the dore upwyde. 
This burges mouss his pasage well has spyd, 

Out of her hole scho came, and cryt on he. 

How ! fair sister, cry peip, quhair eir thou be. 



The rural mous lay flattings on the ground, 
And for the deid scho was full dreidand. 

For till her heart strak mony waefuU stound, 
As in a fever trymlin fute and hand ; 
And when her sister in sic plicht her fand. 

For very pitie scho liegan to greit; 

Syne comfort gaif, with words as hunnj- sweit. 

Quhy ly ye thus? Ryse up my sister deir. 
Cum to your meit, this perell is owre-past; 

The uther answert, with a hevy cheir, 
I may nocht eit, sae sair I am agast: 
Lever I had this fourtie dayis fast, 

With watter kail, or gnaw beinis and peis. 

Then all your feist with this di'eid and disseiss. 

With fair tretie, yit gart scho her ryse; 
To burde they went, and on togither sat; 

But skantly had they drunken anes or twice, 
Quhen in came Gib Hunter, our joly cat. 
And Imd God-speid. — The burges up than gat, 

And till her hole scho fled as fyre of flint; 

Badrans the uther be the back has hint. 

Frae fute to fute she kest her to and fi'ae, 
Quhyle up, quhyle doun, als cant as onj^ kid; 

Quhyle wald she let her ryn under the strae, 
Quhyle wald she wink and jDlay with her buk-hid : 
Thus to the silly mous grit harm she did; 

Quhyle at the last, throw fail- fortune and' hap, 

Betwixt the dressour and the wall scho crap. 

Syne uj:) in haste behind the pannaling, 

Sae hie scho clam, that Gilbert might not get her. 

And be the cluks craftylie can hing. 

Till he was gane, her cheir was all the better. 
Syne down scho lap, quhen ther was nane to let 
her. 

Then on the burges mous loud couth she ciy, 

Fairweil sister, heir I thy feist defy. 

Thy mangery is myngit all with cair, 

Thy gj'se is gud, thy^ gane-full sour as gall; 

The fashion of thy fens is but fair. 

So sail thou find heirefterwart may fall. 

I thank yone courtyne,and yone parpane wall. 

Of my defenss now fra yon ere well beist; 

Almichty God, keip me fra sic a feist. 

Wer I into the place that I cam frae. 
For well nor wae I sould neu- cum again. 

With that scho tuke her leif, and furth can gae, 
Quhyle throw the corn, quhyle throw the plain, 
Quhen scho was furth and frie, sche was rycht 
fain. 

And merrj^lie Hnkit unto the mure, 

I cannot tell how afterwart scho fure. 

But I hard syne she passit to her den. 
As warm as wow, suppose it was not grit, 

Full beinly stuflit was baith butt and ben. 

With peis and nuts, and beinsand ry andquheit. 
When eir scho Ivkt scho had eneuch of meit. 



•22 



WALTEE KENNEDY. 



In quiet and eise, withouten dreid, 

But till her sifter's feist nae mair she yeid. 

MORALITAS. 

P^reindis, heir may ye find, will ye tak heid, 

in this fable a gud moralitie. 
As titchis myngit ar with noble seid, 

So interniellit is adversitie 

With erdly joy; so that no stait is h'4 
Without truble and sum vexatioun; 

And namely thaj' that clymis up most he, 
And nocht content of small possessioun. 

Blissit be sj-mple lyfe, withouttin dreid; 

BUssit be sobir feist in quiete; 
Quha hes enuche, of no moir hes he neid, 

Thoeht it lie littill into quantete. 

Grit habowndance, and blind prosperity, 
Oft tymis niaks ane evill conclusioun; 



The suetest lyfe, thairfoir, in this cuntro, 
Is of sickerness, with small possessioun. 

O wantoun man ! quhilk usis for to feid 

Thy wame, and makis it a God to be, 
Luke to thyself, I wame th.6 weill, on deid ; 

The cat cummis, and to the mouss hewis 6. 

Quhat dois availl thy feist and reyelt^, 
With di-eidfuU hairt and tribulatioun ? 

Thairfoir best thing in erd, I say, for me, 
Is mirry hairt, with small possessioun. 

Thy awin fyre, freind, thoeht it be bot a gleid, 
It warmis weill, and is worth gold to the: 

And Salamone sayis, and ye will reid, 
Under the keviii I can nocht hettir se. 
Then, ay he hli/th, and leifin hnneste; 

Quhairfoir I may conclud be this ressoun, 
Of erdly joy it beiris moist degr^, 

Blythness in hairt, with small possessioun. 



WALTEK KENNEDY 



Born 1450- Died 1508. 



Walter Kennedy, a contemporary of Dun- 
bar, was born in tlie district of Carrick, Ayr- 
shire, about the middle of tlie fifteenth century. 
lie resided in the town of Ayr, which he calls 
"hamc," and belonged to the ecclesiastical 
order. Although Kennedy is now chiefly 
known to the readers of Scottish poetry by his 
" Flyting" or altercation witii Dunbar in 
rhyme, lie appears in iiis time to have pos- 
sessed a very considerable poetical reputation. 
He speaks of liimself as "of i?ethory the 
lto.se," and as one wlio has 

" aiiil)ulati3 on Parimsso tlie mountain, 
Itmpvrit with Ileiines fiae liis golden si)liere: 
Ami iliilcul}' drunk of eloquencu the fountain, 
(juhun puriflet witli frost, and ilowand cleir." 

In adiiitioii to his own te.stiinony we find him 
Hieiitiotied l)y Douglas and JiVndsay, as one 
of the most eminent of tiieir contemporaries. 
Doughis ranks liiiii before Dunbar in liis 
"Court of Muses," styling him "tlie great 
Kcnneilie." His works, with the exception of 
a few short poems, have perished. Dunbar, 
with whom he carried on a poetical warfare, 
upbraids him with living by theft and beggary: 
but Kennedy replies that lie wants not " land, 



store, and stakkis," " steids and cakes," of 
his own. He boasts also of the favour of 
royalty, and even of .some affinity to it: — 

" I am the king's bliide, liis trew and special clerk. 
That never yit imaginit his offense; 

Constant in my allegiance, word, and wark. 
Only dependand on his excellence, 
Trusting to have of his magnificence 

Guerdon, reward, and benefice bedene." 

The " Flyting" is a miserable exhibition of 
rival malice, and does as little credit to the 
moral sense as to the poetical taste of the 
combatants. It is due, however, to Kennedy 
to mention that the controversy did not com- 
mence with him, and that he appears to have 
suft'ercd least iir the wordy conflict. Lord 
Ilailes thinks it probable that the altercation 
iictween the poets may have been merely a 
play of fancy, without any real quarrel existing 
between the parties, and that there was more 
mirth than malice at the bottom of the affair. 
It is gratifying to know that Dunbar, who 
survived Kennedy, survived also whatever re- 
sentment he entertained towards him, if indeed 
he ever felt any. In his "Lament for the 
Death of the Makkaris," he thus mourns the 



WALTER KENNEDY. 



23 



r,pproaching loss of his adversary, wlio appears, 
at the time the poem was wfitten, to have 
been on his death-bed: — 

" And Mr. Walter Kennedy 
In point of death lies wearily, 
Grit rewth it war tliat so should be, 
Timor mortis conturbat me." 



"The Praise of Age" is the only production 
by Kennedy extant which is of a nature to 
account for the estimation in whicli he was 
anciently held. "This poem gives a favourable 
idea of Kennedy as a versifier. His lines are 
more polished than those of his contempo- 
raries." 



INVECTIVE AGAINST MOUTH- 
THANKLESS. 

.Vne agit man twyce fourty yeirs. 

After the haly days of Yule, 
I hard him carp among the freirs, 

Of order gray, makand grit dule, 

liicht as he war a furious fule; 
Aft-tymes he sicht, and said Alace! 

Be Claud my care may nevir culc, 
That I servt evir Mouth-thankleas. 

Throcli ignorance, and folly, youth. 
My preterit tyme I wald neir spair, 

Plesance to put into that mouth. 
Till aige said, Fule, let be thy fare. 
And now my lieid is quhyt and liair. 

For feiding of that fowmart face, 
Quhairfor I murn baith late and air. 

That I servt evir Month- thankless. 

Silver and gold that I micht get, 

Beisands, brotclies, robes and rings, 
Frelie to gife, I wald nocht let. 

To pleise the mulls attour all things. 

Right as the swan for sorrow sings, 
Before her deid a little space, 

Richt sae do 1, and my hands wrings, 
That I servt evir Month-thankless. 

Bettir it were a man to serve 

With honour brave beneatii a shield. 
Nor her to pleis, thocht thou sould sterv 

That will not luke on thee in eild, 

Frae that tliou hast nae hair to heild 
Thy lieid frae harming that it lies, 

(iulien pen and purse and all ar peild, 
Tak then a meis of Motith-thankless. 

It may be in example sene. 

The grund of truth wha understude, 
Frae in thy bag thou beirs tliyne ene. 

Thou gets nae grace but for thy gude. 

At Venus closet, to conclude. 
Call ye not this a cankert case: 

Now God help and the haly rude, 
And keip all men frae Mouth-thankless. 



brukil youth in tyme beliald, 

And in thy heart thir words gae graif, 

Or thy complexion gather cauld. 

Amend thy miss, thy self to saif, 
The bliss abune gif thou wald half, 

.\nd of thy gilt remit and grace. 
All this I hard an auld man raif. 

After the Yule of Mouth-tliankless. 



THE PRAISE OF AGE. 

At matyne houre, in midis of the nicht, 
Walkeit of sleip, I saw besyd me sone, 
Ane aigit man, seimit sextie yeiris be sicht. 
This sentence sett, and song it in gud tone: 
O thryn-fold, and eterne God in trone! 
To be content and lufe th6 I half cans. 
That my licht youtheid is our past and done; 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawls. 

Grene yowth, to aige thow mon obey and bow, 
Thy fulis lust lestis skant ane May; 
That than wes witt, is naturall foly now, 
Warldly witt, honor, riches, or fresche array: 
Deffy the devill, dreid deid and domisday. 
For all sail be accusit, as thow knawis; 
Blessit be God, my yowtheid is away: 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawls 

O bittir yowth! that semit delicious; 

() swetest aige I that sumtynie semit soure; 

rekles yowth I hie, halt, and vicious: 

haly aige I fulfiUit with honourc; 

O flowand yowth! frutles and fedand flour. 

Contrair to conscience, leyth to luf gud lawis, 

Of all vane gloir the lanthorne and mirrourc; 

Honor with aige till every vertew drawis. 

This warld is sett for to dissaive ns evin: 
Pryde is the nett, and covetece is the trane; 
For na reward, except the joy of hevin, 
AVald I be yung into this warld agane. 
The schip of fayth, tempestous winds and rauc 



24 



WILLIAM DUNBAR 



Of Lollerdrj-, dryvand in the sey' hir blawis; 
My yowtli is gane, and I am glaid and fane, 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawis. 

l.aw, luve, and lawtie, gravin law thay ly; 
J)issimulance hes borrowit conscience clay is; 



Writ, wax, and selis ar no way is set by; 
Flattery is fosterit baith witli friends and fayes. 
The sone, to briiik it that his fader liais, 
Wald s6 him deid; Sathanas sic seid sawis; 
Yowtheid, adew, ane of my mortall fais, 
Honor with aige to every vertew drawis. 



WILLIAM DUNBAE 



Born 1460 — Died 1520. 



"William Dunbar, styled by Pinkerton " the 
chief of the ancient Scottish poets," was born 
about the year 1460. From passages in his 
writings he is supposed to have been a native 
of East Lothian. Having received his edu- 
cation at the College of St. Andrews, where, 
in 1479, he took the degree of Master of Arts, 
he became a travelling novitiate of the onler 
of St. Francis, as we learn from his poem " How 
Dunbar was desyred to be ane Frier," in which 
capacity he visited the principal towns and 
cities of England and Scotland. He also went 
to France, preaching, as was the custom of the 
order, and living by the alms of the pious — a 
mode of life which the poet himself acknowledges 
to have involved a constant e.xercise of deceit, 
flattery, and falsehood. He returned to Scot- 
land about the year 1490, and attaching himself 
t(i tiie court of the brave, generous, and accom- 
j)lishcd James IV., he received a small pension 
from that monarcli. AVhat his duties at court 
were is not known, but he evidently enter- 
tained hopes of advancement in the church. 
His snialier poems abound with allusions to 
this effect: — 

" I kii.uv iioclit 1k)W the kirk is gyiiit, 
Hot beiiuticiH ar iioclit luil devydit; 
Slim men hoH Heviii, iiiid 1 nocht iiaiie, 
({iiliilk tu consider is anu pane. 

" And HiMii, iinwortliy to lirouk ane stall, 
\V;ild clyni to be ano cardinall; 
Am: liiHiioprio may noidit liiin gane, 
(^iihilk to conHidvr ia aiiii pane. 

" Unwimrtliy I, aiiiang tlio laif, 
Ane kirk doiB craif, and nane can liave," <Scc. 

It docH not ajipcar that any ecclesiastical 
licncficc wa.s ever conferred upon Dunliar; a 
fact tlic more remarkable because it is known 



that he became a great favourite at the Scot- 
tish court. It is believed, from allusions in 
his writings, that for many years he was em- 
ploj'ed by the king in some subordinate capa- 
city in connection with various foreign embas- 
sies, and that he visited England, Ireland, 
France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Leading 
such a life for upwards of ten years, Dunbar 
could not fail to acquire much of that know- 
ledge of mankind which forms so important a 
part of a poefs education. It is probable that 
the poet accompanied the ambassadors who 
were sent to England to conclude the negotia- 
tions for the king's marriage, and that he 
remained to witness the affiancing of the 
Princess Margaret, sister of Henry VI II. , which 
took place at St. Paul's Cross, with great 
solemnity and splendour, January 25, 1502; 
and that he was the person then styled " The 
Rhymer of Scotland." Three months before 
her arrival in Scotland Dunbar compo.sed 
" The Thrissill and the Kois," one of the most 
beautiful, and certainly the noblest, of all 
prothalamia. We give the whole poem, as 
lie wrote it, among our selections. He appears 
to have been on good terms with the queen, 
as he had previously been witli the king, for 
he addresses several poems to her majesty in 
a very familiar manner. One is entitled 
" Prayer tiiat the King war Johne Thomsounis 
JIan," that is, subservient to the views of his 
consort, so that he might obtain wliat the 
queen desired his majesty to bestow upon 
liim : — 

" I'or war it so, tlian weill were me, 
lint lionefico I wald iioolit be; 
My bard fortoun were ondit tlian, 
Uod gif ye war Jolme Tliomsouuis man !" 



WILLIAM DUNBAR. 



25 



To be John Thomsons man, was a prover- 
bial expression for being what is now fami- 
liarly known as a hen-peeked husband. 

At Martinmas, 1507, his pension Avas newly 
e.lhed; the king having ordered it to be increased 
to £20, and three years afterwards it was raised 
to £80, to be paid during his life, "or until he 
be promoted to a benefice of £100 or above." 
It is, we think, very evident that the cause of 
the court-bard's non-preferment was the king's 
reluctance to be deprived of his company, 
being pleased with his compositions, and pro- 
bably also with his conversation, tlie charms of 
which, judging from his writings, must have 
been very great. His majesty would not have 
stood such incessant badgering about a bene- 
fice, had he not been loath to lose so bright a 
genius — nay, had he not loved the man. As 
for Dunbar himself, we doubt his having been 
as desirous to give up his £80 a year at court 
for £100 per annum, and a parish in some 
obscure village, as would appear to have been 
the case from his unceasing appeals to the 
king. "With all his cheerfulness and elas- 
ticity of spirit," says his biograplier, "Dunbar 
had reached a period of life when he must have 
felt keenly the misfortune of continuing so 
long a dependant on court favour. Had the 
Scottish monarch not desired to retain him as 
a personal attendant, he would have found no 
difficulty in gratifying the wishes of an old 
and faithful servant, as the presentation to all 
vacant benefices was vested in the king's hands; 
for it has been well observed, 'that it must 
have been a pure priesthood, indeed, to whom 
Dunbar would not in his niaturer years have 
done honour.'" Of the time or manner of 
Dunbar's death nothing is known with cer- 
tainty. From one of his poems on the death 
of the poets he appears to have outlived most 
of his contemporaries, and probably lived un- 
til about 1520 or 1530. Next to the "Thrissill 
and the Rois," his most considerable poem 
was "The Goldyn Targe," a moral allegorical 
piece intended to demonstrate the general ten- 
dency of love to overcome reason; the golden 
targe, or shield, of reason, he shows to be an 
inefficient protection to the sliafts of Cupid. 
It is cited by Sir David Lyndsay, as showing 
that Dunbar had "language at large." The 
most remarkable of his poems is the "Dance 
of the Sevin Deidly Synnis." It is equal in 



its way to anything in Spenser. Dunbar was 
the author of a number of moral poems, the 
most solemn of which is the one in which he 
represents a thrush and nightingale taking 
opposite sides in a debate on earthly and 
spiritual affections. 

Among his numerous comic pieces, which 
are not, however, suited to the present era, 
the most humorous are the "Twa Marriet 
Women and the Wedo," containing many sar- 
castic reflections upon the fair sex; and an 
account of a tournament, entitled "The Justis 
betuix the Tailyzour and Sowtar" — conducted 
according to the laws of chivalry. It is in a 
style of the broadest farce, and as droll as 
anything in Scarron or IJabelais. Dunbar is 
supposed to be the author of another exquisitely 
humorous tale, " The Freirs of Berwick," 
which supplied the groundwork of Allan Ram- 
say's well known poem of "The Monk and the 
Miller's Wife." Our court-bard had the for- 
tune, rare in that age, of seeing some of his 
poems printed in his lifetime. In 1508, 
among the first eflx)rts of the Scottish press, 
Chapman and Miller published his "Golden 
Targe" and "Two Married Women and the 
Widow." Most of his writings were, how- 
ever, allowed to remain in the obscurity of 
manuscript among the Bannatyne and Mait- 
land collections, till the beginning of the last 
century, when some of his productions appeared 
in Allan Ramsay's Evergreen. It was not till 
1834 that a complete edition of his works, 
accompanied by a life and valuable notes by 
David Laing,was published. Had any accident 
befallen the Bannatyne and Jlaitiand MS. prior 
to 1834 Dunbar would not,, as now, have been 
known as "the darling of the Scottish muses." 

"In the poetry of Dunbar," says Dr. Irving, 
"we recognize the emanations of a mind ade- 
quate to splendid and varied exertion: a mind 
capable of .soaring into the higher regions of 
fiction, or of descending into the liumble walks 
of the familiar and ludicrous. His imagina- 
tion, though highly prolific, Avas sufficiently 
chastened by the interposition of judgment. 
In his allegorical poems we discover originality, 
and even sublimity of invention; while those 
of a satirical kind present us with striking 
images of real life and manners. As a descrip- 
tive poet he has secured superlative praise. 
In the mechanism of poetry he evinces a won- 



'26 



WILLIAM DUNBAR 



derful degree of skill; he has employed a great 
variety of metres; and his versification, where 
opposed to that of his most eminent contem- 
poraries, will appear highly ornamental and 
poetical." That Celt-abhorring critic, John 
I'inkerton. said, '• His moral pieces have a 
terseness, elegance, and force only inferior to 
those of Horace;" and Sir Walter Scott, after 



many enthusiastic encomiums on his various 
powers, has finely remarked, "The genius of 
Dunbar and Gavin Douglas alone is sufficient 
to illuminate whole centuries of ignorance. . .. 
Dunbar is unrivalled by any poet that Scotland 
ever produced, and he has the honour, thougii 
not the earliest, of being regarded as the father 
of Scottish poetry. " 



THE THISTLE AXD THE ROSE.^ 



Quhcu ^lerch wcs with variaud windis past. 
And Appryll had, witli hir silver schouris, 

Tane leif at Nature with ane orient blast, 
And lusty ^lay. that muddir is of flomis. 
Had maid the birdis to begin their houris 

Aniang the tender odouris reid and quhyt, 

Quliois amiouy to heir it was delyt: 

In bed at morrow% sleiping as I lay, 
Me thocht Aurora, with hir cristall ene, 

In at the window lukit by the day, 
And halsit me, with visage paill and grene; 
On quhois hand a lark s;ing fro the splcne, 

Awalk, luvaris, out of your slomering, 

S^ how the lusly morrow dois up spring. 

Me thoucht freschc May liefoir my bed up stude. 
In weid depaynt of mony divei-ss hew, 

Sobir, lieuyug, and full of mansuetude. 
In brycht atteir of flouris forgit new, 
Hevinlj- of color, quhyt, reid, broun and blew, 

Balmit in dew, and gilt witli Pho?bus bemys; 

Quhyll all the house illumynit of hir lemys. 

Slugird, .scho said, awalk annone for schame. 
And in my honour sum thing thow go wryt; 

The lark lies done the mirry day proelame. 
To raise up luvaris with confort and delyt; 
Yit nocht ineressis thy curage to indyt, 

Quhois hairt sum tyme hos glaid and blisfull bene. 

JSungis to mak undir the Icvis grene. 

Quhairto, (pioth I, sail I uji rvsc at morrow. 
For in this May few birdis herd I sing; 

Thai haif moir cause to weip and plane thair 
.sorrow ; 
Thy air it is nocht holsum nor bonyng; 
Lord Eolus dois in thj* .sc^sone ring: 



I or tliis poem, in which nuubai- eiiibleni:ttize<l the 
jiinction iiiid amity of thv two (H^rtioiis of Britniii, L>r. 
Irviii)( remni-k.H, the nutlior "diapliiyg boldness of iii- 
vuntioii mill Ik^iiuIv of iirrangvmont.Hiiil iiisevmal of its 
(letiu'heil |Mirt,H tlio utmost «trt<nj;th and even delicacy 
of Colouring;" and Dr. Lnngthorne tinely e«»y8: — 

" In ncrvoiiR Ntraiiis Dunbar'tt )M>ld niiiaio flo\>s. 
Anit Time yet Bistres tliu Thistle and the Rose."— Eu. 



So busteous ai'e the blastis of his home, 
Amang thj^ bewas to walk I half forborne. 

With that this lady sobirly did smyle. 

And s;ud, Upryse, and do thy observance; 

Thow did promyt, in Mayis lusty quhyle. 
For to discryve the Rois of most plesaiice. 
Go s^ the bii'dis how thay sing and dance, 

Illumynit oure with orient skyis brycht, 

AnnamyUit richely with new asure Ij'cht, 

Quhen this wes said, depai'tit scho, this quene, 
And enterit in a lusty gairding gent; 

And than me thocht, full hestely besene, 
In serk and mantill [efter hir] I went 
In to this garth, most didco and redolent. 

Off herb and flour, and tendir plantis sueit, 

And grene levis doing of dew doun fleit. 

The purpour sone, w-ith tendir liemys reid, 
In orient bricht as angell did appeir. 

Throw goldin skyis puttiu up his heid, 
Qidiois gilt tressis schone so wondir cleir. 
That all the world tiike confort, fer and neir. 

To hike upon his fresche and blisfull face, 

Doing all s;ihle fro the hevynnis chace. 

And as the blisfull soune of cherarchy 
The fowlis song throw confort of the licht; 

The birdis did with oppin vocis cry- 
To luvaris so. Away thow duly nicht. 
And welcum day that comfortis every wicht; 

Ilaill May, haill Flora, haill Aurora schene, 

Haill princes Nature, haill Ventis luvis quene. 

Dame Nature gaif ane inhibitioun thair 
To ferss Ncptunus, and Eolus the bawld, 

Nocht to perturb the wattir nor the air. 
And that no schouris [snell] nor blastis cavvld 
Eflfniy suld flouris nor fowlis on the fold: 

Scho hid eik Juno, goddes of the sky. 

That scho the hevin suld keip amene and diy, 

Scho ordand eik that cvoiy bird and heist 

Bcfoir hir hionos suld annouo conipeir. 
And I'v.M y ll.iiir of vcrtew, most and loist, 



WILLIAM DUNBAR. 



27 



And even* herb he feild fer and neir, 
As they had wont in Alay, fro yeir to yeir, 
To hir thair makar to niak obediens, 

Full law inclynnand with all dew reverens. 

With that annone scho send the suiyft Ro 
To bring in beistis of all conditioun; 

The restless Suallow connnandit scho also 
To feche all fouU of small and greit renown; 
And to gar flouris compeir of all fassoun, 

Full craftel}' conjurit scho the Yarrow, 

Quhilk did furth swirk als swift as onny arrow. 

All present wer in twynkling of ane 4, 

Baith beist, and bird, and floui', befoir the 
quene; 

And first the Lyone, gretast of degr^, 
Was callit thair, and he, most faire to sene. 
With a full hardy countenance and kene, 

Befoir dame Nature come, and did inclyne. 

With visage bawld and corage leonyne. 

This awfull beist full terrible wes of cheir 
Persing of hike, and stout of c untenance, 

Rycht strong of corpis, of fassoun fan-, but feir. 
Lusty of schaip, lycht of deliverance, 
Reid of his cullour, as is the ruby glance; 

On feild of gold he stude full mychtely, 

With flour-de-lycis su-culit lustely. 

This lady liftit up his cluvis cleir. 

And leit him listly lene upone hir kne. 

And crownit him with dyademe full deir, 
Off radyous stonis, most ryall for to se; 
Saj-ing, The King of Beistis mak I the. 

And the chief protector in woddis and schawis; 

Onto thy leigis go furth, and keip the lawis. 

Exercc justice with mercj- and conscience. 
And lat no small beist suffir skaith na scornis 

Of greit beistis that bene of moir piscence; 
Do law elyk to aipis and unicornis. 
And lat no bowgle with his husteous hornis 

The meik pluch-ox oppress, for all his pryd, 

Bot in the yok go peciable him besyd. 

Quhen this was said, with nojds and soun of joy. 
All kynd of beistis in to thair degr^, 

Atonis crj-it, lawd, Vive le Roy, 
And till his feit fell with humilit^; 
And all thay maid him homege and fewtd; 

And he did thame ressaif with princely laitis, 

Quhois noble yre is parcere prostratis. 

SjTie crownit scho the Egle King of Fowlis, 
And a.s steill dertis sherpit sho his pennis. 

And bawd him be als just to awppis and owlis, 
As unto pacokkis, papingais, or crennis, 
And mak a law for wycht fowlis and for wrennis; 

And lat no fowll of ravj-ne do efferay, 

Nor devoir birdis bot his awin pray. I 



Than calUt scho all flouris that grew on feild, 
Discirnyng all thair fassionis and effeiris, 

Upon the awfull Thrissil she lieheld, 

And saw him kepit with a bu.sche of spelris; 
Considering him so able for the weiris, 

A radius croun of rubeis scho him gaif, 

And said. In feild go furth, and fend the laif : 

And sen thow art a king, thow be discreit; 

Herb without vertew thow hald nocht of sic 
pryce 
As herb of vertew, and of odour sueit; 

And lat no nettil v3-le, and full of vyce, 

Hir fallow to the gudly tlour-de-lyce; 

Nor latt no wyld ^^'cid, full of churlicheness 
Compair hir till the lilleis nobilness: 

Nor hald non udir flour in sic dentj"^ 

As the fresche Rois, of cullour reid and quhyt: 

For gife thow dois, hurt is thyne honesty; 
Considdering that no flour is so perfyt, 
So full of vertew, plesans, and delyt, 

So full of blisful angeilik bewty, 

Imperiall birth, honour, and dignity. 

Than to the Rois scho turnit hir visage, 
And said, lusty dochtir most benyng, 

Aboif the lill}', illuslarc of lynnage, 
Fro the stok ryell rysing fresche and ying, 
Bot ony spot or macull doing spring: 

Come blowme of joy with jemis to be cround, 
For oure the laif thy bewty is renownd. 

A coistly croun, with clarefeid stonis brycht, 
This cumly quene did on hir heid incloss 

Quhyll all the land illumynit of the licht; 
Quhaii'foir me thocht the flouris did rejois, 
Crying, attonis, Haill be thow richest Rois! 

Haill hairbis Empryce, haill freschest Quene of 
Flouris, 

To the be glorj' and honour at all houris. 

Thane all the birdis song with voc3 on hicht, 
Quhois mirthfuU soun wes mervehis to heir: 

The mavjis sang, Haill Rois most riche and richt, 
That dois up flureiss under Phebus speir; 
Haill plant of j-owth, haill princes dochtir deir, 

Haill blosonie breking out of the blud royall, 

Quhois pretius vertew is imperiall: 

The merle scho sang, Haill Rois of most delyt, 
Haill of all flouris quene and soverane: 

The lark scho sang, Haill Rois both reid and quhyt. 
Most pleasand flour, of michty culloiuis twane; 
The nychtingaill sang, Haill Naturissuffragano, 

In bewty, nurtour, and every nobilness, 

In riche array, renown, and gentilness. 

The commoun voce up raise of birdis .small, 

Apon this wyis, blis.sit he the hour 
That thow wes chosin to be our principall; 



28 



GAVIN DOUGLAS. 



Welcome to be our Princes of honour, 
Our perle, our plesans, and our paramoiu-, 

Our peax, our play, our plane felicity ; 

Cliryst the' conserf frorae all adversity. 

Than all the birdis song with sic a schout, 
That I annone awoilk quhair that I lay, 

And w-ith a braid I turnyt me about 
To s4 this court; bot all wer went away: 
Then up I lenyt, halfling-is in affray. 

And thus I wTet as ye half hard to-forrow. 

Off lusty May upone the nynt morrow. 



EARTHLY JOY RETURNS IN PAIN. 

Off Lentren in tlie first mornyng, 
Airly as did the day up spring, 
Thus sang ane bird with voce upplane, 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 

man! haif mynd tiiat tliow men pass; 
lienienibir that thow art bot ass, 
And sail in ass return agane: 
.\ll erdly joy returnis in pane. 

Haif mynd that eild ay followis yowth, 
Deth followis lyfe with gaipand mowth, 
Devoring fruct and flowring grane; 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 



Welth, wavldly gloir, and riche array, 
Ar all bot thornis laid in thy way, 
Ourcovered with flouris laid in ane traue: 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 

Come nevir yit May so fresche and grene, 
Bot Januar come als wod and kene; 
AVes nevir sic drowth bot anis come rane: 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 

Evermair unto this Avarldis joy. 
As nerrest air sueceidis noy; 
Tiiairfoir qulien joy may nocht remane. 
His verry air sueceidis pane; 

Heir lielth returnis in seikness; 
And mirth returnis in haviness; 
Toun in desert, forrest in plane: 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 

Fredome returnis in wrecliitness. 
And trewtli returnis in dowbilness, 
With fenyeit wirdis to mak men fane; 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 

Vertew returnis into vyce. 
And honour into avai'yce; 
AVith cuvatyce is consciens slane; 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 

Sen erdly joy abydis nevir, 
Wirk for the joy that lestis evir; 
For uther joy is all bot vane: 
All erdly joy returnis in pane. 



GAVIN DOUGLAS. 



BouN 147-1 — Died 1522. 



Gavin Douglas, whom tlie Scottish anti- 
quary .John Pinkerton pronounced the fifth of 
tiie seven classic poets of Scotland wliose works 
wo\ild " be ref)rintcd to the end of the English 
lanL'iiage" — the others being liarbour, James 
I., Ulind Harry, Dunbar, Sir David Lyndsay, 
and Druniinond — was one of tiie distinguislicd 
luminaries tiiat marked the restoration of let- 
ters in his native land at the commencement 
of the sixteenth century. He was the third 
Honof.\rcliil)al(l, fifth Earl of .Angus, siirnamed, 
from a well-known incident in Scottish history, 
'• IJcll-tlic-Cat," but generally the (ireat Earl 
of .Angus. (Javin was born, it is believed, at 
IJrccliiri laic in the year 1474, or early in 147.'>. 



Of Ills early life little is known, but it is pro- 
loable that, being designed for the church, he 
received as liberal an education as Scotland 
could then furnish. If it be true that his 
father gave 

" Tliaiiks to Saint Bothan, son of mine, 
Save Gavin, ne'er could pen a line," 

then his progress was perhaps due, in a great 
measure, to his natural talent for acquiring 
knowledge. All that is known with certainty 
on the subject is that his education was com- 
])lcted at the University of Paris, and that 
having made a continental tour he returned to 
his native land, and was ap{)ointed rector of 
Hawick in 149G, being when installed but 



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•xoos' H?raKvxaiv 



GAVIN DOUGLAS. 



twenty-two years of age. In 1509 Douglas 
was made provost of the collegiate cimrcli of 
St. Giles, Edinburgh, and five years later the 
queen-mother, then Regent of Scotland, who 
had married his nephew, the young Earl of 
Angus, appointed him abbot of Aberbrothock; 
and soon after conferred upon him the ai'ch- 
hishopric of St. Andrews, in a letter to the 
pope extolling him for his eminent virtue and 
great learning, and earnestly soliciting him to 
confirm her nomination. His holiness did not, 
however, grant the queen's request, but issued 
a bull designating Forman, bishop of Moray, 
for the vacant dignity; while at the same time 
the chapter, who approved of neither Douglas 
nor Forman, made choice of John Hepburn, 
prior of St. Andrews. 

To console Douglas for his disappointment 
the queen in 1515 made him Bishop of Dun- 
keld; but the Duke of Albany, who in this 
year was declared regent, to prevent him from 
obtaining that see, accused him of contraven- 
ing the laws of the realm in obtaining bulls 
from Rome, in consequence of which he was 
imprisoned for a year in the Castle of Edin- 
burgh. On the reconciliation of the queen 
and the duke, Douglas obtained his liberty, 
and was consecrated at Glasgow by .Archbishop 
Beaton. In 1517 he accompanied the Duke of 
Albany to France, but soon returned to Scot- 
land, and repaired to his diocese, where he 
applied himself diligently to the duties of his 
episcopal office. In 1521 he was compelled by 
the disputes between the Earls of Arran and 
Angus to take refuge in England, where he was 
kindly received by Henry VIII., and where 
he formed the acquaintance of Erasmus, who 
.speaks of his regal mien, and of Polydore Vir- 
gil, a learned Italian who was then writing a 
history of England. The bishop is believed to 
have supplied the latter with information con- 
cerning the early period of the Scottish nation. 
AVe are informed by Holingshed tiiat during 
his residence in London Douglas received a 
pension from the English monarch, who, with 
all his faults, was a liberal patron of literature. 
Bishop Douglas died in London of the plague 
in September, 1522, and was interred in the 
chapel-royal of the Savoy. 

In this ancient little church, on the banks 
of the Thames, there was discovered in 1873, 
after a long disappearance, the old brass plate 



which indicated his burial-place. The in- 
scription describes him as "Gavanus Duwgla.s, 
Nationc Scotus, Dunkellensis Pra;sui, patria 
sui c.xul. Anno Christus 1522." The words 
imtria nui exul are suggestive of the similar 
epitaph of Dante, between whom and Douglas 
there is at least the resemblance that each of 
them shed a lustre by his genius on a stormy 
and anarchic period of his country's history, 
and died in exile. 

Hume says that the bi.shop "left behind 
great admiration of all his virtues and love of 
his person in the hearts of all good men; for, 
besides the nobility of his birth, the dignity 
and comelincssof his personage, he was learned, 
temperate, and of singular moderation of mind, 
and, in these turbulent times, had always 
carried himself among the factions of the 
nobility equally, and with a mind to make 
peace, and not to stir up parties, which qua- 
lities were very rare in a clergyman of those 
days." Douglas, who is also highly eulogized 
by George Buchanan, is also remembered as the 
author of one of the best historical Scottish 
witticisms. When the Hamiltons, in April, 
1520, were planning their attack on the Dou- 
glases in the Higii Street of Edinburgh, which, 
after it came oflT, was known among skirmishes 
as " Clear -the- cau.'ie way," from the sweep 
which was made of the assailants, Gavin, as a 
man of peace, remonstrated with one of their 
chief abettors, James Beaton, archbishop of 
Glasgow. The archbishop laid his hand upon 
his heart, and said, " Upon my conscience, I 
cannot help what is going to happen." But, 
lo! as he was speaking, the armour which he 
liad donned beneath his episcopal rochet began 
to rattle. "Ha! my lord," said the witty 
Gavin, " I perceive that your conscience is not 
sound, as appears from its clatters" — a rejoin- 
der the double force of which can be appre- 
ciated only by a Scotchman. 

As a man of lettera Douglas stands distin- 
guished as the first poetical translator of the 
classics in Britain. Besides the translation of 
Ovid's De Bemedio Aworis, he translated the 
yEneidot' Virgil, with the additional thirteenth 
book of JIapheus Vigius, into Scottish verse. 
This he undertook at the request of Henry, 
first lord Sinclair, in 1512, and completed it 
in the short space of eighteen months. It was 
first printed in London under the following 



30 



GAVIN DOUGLAS. 



title:—" The XIII Bukes of Eiieados of the 
Famose Poet VinjlU. Transhited out of Lutine 
Verses into Scottish Meter by the Reverend 
Father in God, Jlayster Gawin DougLas, Bishop 
of Dunkel and Unkil to the Erie of Angus. 
Euery Buke hauing hys perticuhir Prologe." 
Douglas' Virgil possesses one excellence to 
which no succeeding translation lias any pre- 
tension. The prologues of his own composition 
which he has prefixed to tlie different books 
are such as almost to place him on a level with 
the poet he had so ably translated. It has 
been said, " They yield to no descriptive poems 
in any language;" and Warton remarks, " The 
.second book of Virgil's Jj^neid is introduced 
with metrical prologues which are often highly 
poetical, and show that Douglas' proper walk 
was original poetry." These original pro- 
logues, it has been supposed, suggested to 
Scott the idea of the introduction to tlie several 
cantos of " The Lay of the Last Minstrel" and 
" Marmion." 

Douglas is also tlie autlior of two allegorical 
poems, the one entitled "The Palace of Hon- 
our" and the other "King Hart." The first 
named was addressed, as an apologue for the 
conduct of a king, to James IV., and was 
written prior to 1501. " It is a poem," says 
Warton, "adorned with many pleasing inci- 
dents and adventures, and abounds with genius 
and learning." "King Hart" is believed to 
have been written in the latter part of his life, 
and contains what Dr. Irving styles "a most 
ingenious adumbration of the progress of 
human life." It was first printed in Pinker- 
ton's collection of Ancient Scottish Poems, 
published in 1786. It is perhaps worthy of 
mention that the well-known Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress bears a strong resemblance to Douglas' 
"Palace of Honour," although it is hardly 
possible that Bunyan could have met with the 
poem. The works of Bishop Douglas were first 
published, with a memoir, notes, glos.sary, &c. , 



by Piev. Mr. Scott, in 1787; the latest and most 
complete edition appeared in 1874, in four 
vols., bearing the following title: — "The 
Poetical Works of Gavin Douglas, BisJiop of 
Dankeld. AVith Memoir, Notes, and Glossary, 
by J. Small, Librarian of the University of 
Edinburgh." 

In the only attempt made by Dr. James 
Beattie, in a poetical epistle, to use the Mearns 
or Aberdeen dialect after the manner of Eobert 
Burns, he mentions the name of Douglas in 
his happy summary of the early Scottish 
poets: — 

*■ 1 liere might gi'e a ski'eed o' names, 
Dawties of Heliconian dames, 
The foremost place Gavin Douglas claims, 

That pawkj' priest. 
And wha can match the first King James, 

For saing or jest ; 
Montgomery grave, and Ramsay gay, 
Dunbar, Scot, Hanthornden, and niae 
Tlian I can tell; for o' my fae 

I maun brak afF; 
'Twould tak' a live-long summer day 

To name the half. 

Another poetical allusion to the amiable and 
virtuous prelate occurs in one of George Dyer s 
l^oeras: — 

" Dunkeld, no more the heaven directed chaunt 

Within thy sainted walls may sound again, 

But thou, as once the Muse's favourite haunt, 

Shall live in Douglas' pure Virgilian sti-ain, 

While time devours the castle's crumbling wall, 

And loofless abbeys pine, low-tottering to their fall." 

Home Tooke remarks that the language of 
Gavin Douglas, though written more than a 
century after Chaucer, must yet be esteemed 
more ancient: even as the present English 
speech in Scotland is in many respects more 
ancient than that spoken so far back as the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth. So Casubon says 
of his time. The Scottish language is purer 
than the English of the present day, where by 
'• purer" he means nearer to the Anglo-Saxon. 



KING HART. 



AN ALLEGORICAL POEM. 

(extract from canto first.) 
King Hart, into his cunilie castell Strang, j So proudlie was he polist, plaine, and pure, 

Closit aliout with craft and mcikill uro. With youtheid and his lustie levis grene; 

So .seimlie wes he set his folk amang, So fair, so freschc, so liklic to endure. 

That he no dout had of mi.saventure: | And als so blyth, as bird in symmcr schene. 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY. 



31 



For wes he never yit with schouris schot, 

Nor yit our run with ronk, or ony rayne; 
lu all his lusty lecam nocht aiie spot; 

Na never had experience into payne. 

But alway into lyking mocht to layne; 
Onlie to love, and verrie gentilnes, 

He wes inclynit cleinlie to remane, 
And woun under the wyng of wantownes. 

Yit was this wourthy wicht king under ward: 

For wes he nocht at fredom uttcrlie. 
Nature had lymmit folk, for thair rewaril. 

This gudlie king to governe and to gy; 

For so thai kest thair tynae to occupy. 
In welthis for to wyne for thai him teitchit; 

All histis for to love, and underly, 
Ko prevelie thai preis him and him preitchit. 

First [war thair] Strenth, [and !'((>/'',] and W'an- 
toa/ies, 

Grein Lust, Disport, Jeloaij, and Inrij; 
Freschues, New Gate, Waist-tiiidi\ and WilfnlneK, 

Deb/vernes, Fulhurdenex thairby: 

Geritrke, Fredome, Petie privie espy, 
Want-wit, Vaimjloir, Prodigalitie, 

Unrest, Nicht-walh, and felon Gluttony; 
Uiuicht, iJijmc-sicht, with Slicht, and Suhtiltie. 

Thir war the inwarde ythand servitouris, 
Qiihilk governours war to this nobil king; 



And kepit him inclynit to thair curis. 

So wes than- nocht in erde that evir micht bring 
Ane of thir folk awa fra his dwelling. 

Thus to thair tcrnie thai serve for thair re wai'de: 
Dansing, disporting, singing, revelling, 

With liissines all blyth to pleis the lairde. 

This folk, with all the femell thai micht fang 

Quhilk numeint ane milyon and weil mo, 
That wer upbred as servitours of lang. 

And with this king wald woun, in weil and wo. 

For favour, nor for feid, wald found him fro; 
Unto the tyme thair dait l)e run and pa.st: 

That gold nor gude micht gar thanie fro him go; 
No greif, nor grane, suld grayth thamc so agabt. 



APOSTKOPHE TU IIUNoUR. 

0, hie honour, sweit heuinlie flour digest! 

Gem verteuous, maist precious, gudliest, 
For hie renovni thou art guerdoun conding. 

Of worschip kend the glorious end and rest. 

But whome in richt na worthie wicht may lest. 
Thy greit puissance may maist auance all thing, 
And poucrall to meikall auail sone bnng. 

I the rc((uirc sen thow but peir art best, 
That eftir this in thy hie blis we ring. 



ALEXANDER BAECLAY, 



Born li7.5 —Died 1552. 



Wliether Alexander Barclay, an elegant 
poet of the sixteenth century, was born on 
Scottish or English soil has long been a quamtio 
vexata, affording the literary antiquary a suit- 
able field for the display of his characteristic 
amenity. Bishop Bale, Dr. Bullcyn, Holling- 
shed, and Ritson claim iiim as a Scotchman; 
while Warton, Wood, and other writers are 
equally certain that he was born south of the 
Tweed. The year of Barclay's birt h is believed, 
on very obscure evidence, to liave been 1475. 
From his writings it is conjectured that about 
1795 he was pursuing his studies at Oriel Col- 
lege, O.xford, wliere, or at Cambridge, hereccived 
thedegreeof D. D. Going afterwards to the Con- 
tinent, he there added to his classical attain- 
ments a knowledge of the Dutch, French, (ier- 
man, and Italian languages. On iiis return to 



England he entered the churcii, and became 
chaplain to Bishop Cornish, who in 1508 ap- 
pointed liim oneof the priests or prebendaries of 
St. Mary Ottery. Devonshire. Subsequently he 
became a Benedictine monk of Ely, and after- 
wards a Franciscan monk at Canterbury. While 
in this situation he published an English trans- 
lation of the MiiTour of Good Manner t. a trea- 
tise compiled in Latin by Dominyke Jlamyn 
for the use of the "juvent of England." .\ftcr 
the IJeformation Barclay accepted a ministerial 
ciiarge in the Protestant Church as vicar of 
Much-Bailew, in Esse.v. In 154G he was vicar 
of Woking, in ."Somersetshire: and in .Vpril, 
1552, he became rector of .Ml-llallows, Lom- 
bard Street, London. He po.ssesscd this living 
but si.K weeks, and died in tlie montii of June 
at Croydon, in Surrey, where he was buried. 



32 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY. 



Of his personal character diametrically differ- 
ent accounts have been given. Bale, a Pro- 
testant, treats Barclay's memory with indig- 
nity, and charges him with having lived a 
scandalous life; while Pitts, a Roman Catholic, 
assures us that the poet directed his studies to 
the service of religion, and employed his time 
in composition, in his religious duties, and in 
reading the lives of the saints. 

Barclay was the author of a large number 
of works, original and translated, and he is 
entitled to grateful commemoration as having 
done more for the improvement of English 
literature than any of his contemporaries. 
His principal poetical production, entitled 
"The Shyp of Fooles," is an extremely curious 
and once widely popular satii-e, which, under 
the allegory of a ship freighted with fools of 
all kinds, held the mirror up to the prevailing 
vices and follies of every rank and profession 
at that important and suggestive period of 
histor}' immediately preceding the Reforma- 
tion. Barclay's metrical version in tiie balade 
or octave stanza, adapted from a German poem 
by Sebastian Brandt, called '■ Navis Stulti- 
fera," printed by Pynson in 1509, contains 
large additions satirizing the follies and vices 
of his own countrymen. Of this work Warton 
writes: "All ancient satirical Avritings, even 
those of an inferior cast, have their merit, 
and deserve attention, as they transmit pic- 
tures of familiar manners and preserve popular 
customs. In this light at least Barclay's 
'Ship of Fools,' which is a general satire on 
the times, will be found entertaining. Nor 
must it be denied that his language is more 



cultivated than that of many of his contempo- 
raries, and that he has contributed his share 
to the improvement of the English phraseology. 
His author, Sebastian Brandt, appears to have 
been a man of universal erudition, and his 
work for the most part is a tissue of citations 
from the ancient poets and historians." A 
beautiful edition of this work, witii a glo.ssary 
and biographical notices by T. J. Jamieson, 
keeper of the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, 
was published in 1874. Copies of the Pynson 
edition are very rare, and are valued at upward.s 
of one hundred pounds. 

Among Barclay's other works are his 
"Eclogues," translations freely made from 
Mantuanus and Eneas Silvius, and which are 
the earliest specimens of pastoral poetry in 
the English language; "The Castle of La- 
bour," an allegorical poem ; and a transla- 
tion of Sallust's History of the Jugurthine 
War, published five years after the poet's 
death. It is one of the earliest specimens of 
English translation from the classics, and on 
the title-page may be read, "translated into 
Englishe by Syr Alexder Barklaye, prieste: 
nowe perused and corrected by Thomas Pay- 
nell." Of the "Eclogues," Warton, in his 
History of English Poetry, says, "They are, 
like Petrarch's and Mantuan's, of the moral 
and satirical kind, and contain but few touches 
of rural description and bucolic imagery." 
Barclay's abilities, it may be added, gained 
him very great distinction as a writer even 
during his lifetime. He was admired for his 
wit and eloquence, and for a fluency of style 
not common in that age. 



OF THEM THAT GIVE JUDGMENT ON OTHERS. 



Who that reputyth hym selfe iust and fawtles, 
Of maners godc, and of lyuynge commendable, 

And iugeth other (parchaimce that ar gyltles) 
To be of a coridicion reprouable, 
Hymselfe nat notynge, thoughc that he were 
culpable, 

He is a folc, and onys shall haue a fall, 

Syns he wyll other iuge, hym selfe yet worst of all. 

Many fallyth in great peryll and damage, 
And grouous doth by the vyco of folysshnes, 

I'orseuorantly V)ydyngo in theyr outrage, 
Thuyr soulu infect with sj'nne and viciousnes; 



And though that deth hym alvvay to them 
addres. 
Yet hope they in longe lyfe and prosperyte, 
And neuer asswageth theyr blynde iniquyte. 

The tyme passeth as water in a ryuere, 
No mortall man can it reuoke agayne; 

Detho with his dartis vnwarely doth apere, 
It is the ende of euery man certayne, 
The last of all f erys and ende of worldly paync : 

But thoughe we knowe that we all must haue an 
ende, 

We slepe in synne disdaynynge vs to amende. 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY. 



3;j 



Some thynke them gode, iust and excellent, 
Myghty stronge and worthy of permynencc: 

Charitable, chast, constant and innocent, 
Nat doutynge deth nor other inconnenyence: 
But yet ar they wrappyd sore in synne and 
offence, 

And in a vayne hope, contynue in suche wyse 

That all the worlde (saue them selfe ) the}' dispyse. 

They take on them the workes of God omnipotent. 
To iuge the secrete of mannys mynde and 
thought; 
And where no sygne is sene playne and euydent 
They iuge a man, saynge his lyfe is nought. 
And if deth one hath \nato his last ende brought, 
( As mad) they mende nat theyr mysgouernaunce, 
Nat thynkyiige that they ensue must the same 
daunce. 



OF ELEVATED PRIDE AXD BOASTIX(i. 

That lawde is vyle the whiche doth procede 
From mannys owne mouth vttred in wordes 
va jme ; 
Of suche foly no wyse man taketh hcde. 
But by discression doth hym selfe refrayne; 
But pompe and pryde whiche doth all men 
disdayne 
Engendreth fol3's: whiche thjnikynge to exell 
All other in erth, at last fall downe to hell. 

Besyde our folj's rehersyd here before 
In dyuers barges almost innumerable, 

Yet stately pryde makyth the nomber more, 
Whiche is a. vyce so moche alihomynable. 
That it surmountyth without any fable 

All other vyces in furour and vylenes. 

And of all synne is it rote and maystros. 

The noblest hertis by this vyce ar acloyed. 
It is confounder mekenes and vertue; 

So by the same is many one destroyed 

In soule and body whiche them to it subdue. 
Wherfore let the wj^se his statelynes eschewe. 

For it hath be sene, is sene, and euer shall. 

That first or last foule pryde wyll haue a fall. 

The first inuentour of this vnhappy vyce. 
As doth the scripture playne expres and tell, 

Was Lucyfer, whiche to hym dyd attyce 
A cmsyd nomber both stately and cruell, 
In mynde intendynge his Maker to excell; 

Or els if he coude come to his intent 

For to be egall with God omnypotenfc. 

Thus of all synnes pryde was the first of all, 
Bygon by Lucifer; but God omnypotent 



Percyuynge his foly made h}Tn anri his to full 

From heuen to hell, to paynes violent 

In horryble shape: before .so excellent 

Shynynge in heuen before the auiigels all, 

Thus had his folysshe pryde a greuou.s fall. 



OF EVIL COUNSELLOHS, JUDGES, AND 
LAWYERS. 

He that office hath and hyghe autorite, 

To rule a royalme, as juge or coim.sellour, 
Which seynge Justice, i)layne ryght and eijuytc, 
Them falsly blyndeth by fauour or rigour, 
Condemnynge wretches gjdtles; and to a trans- 
gre.ssour 
Fomiede shewinge fauour: suche is a.s wyse a 

man 
As he that wolde seeth a quycke sowc in a i>aii. 

Right many labours nowe, with hyghe diligence, 

For to be lawyers the comons to counsaylc, 
Therby to be in honour had and in reueronce; 
But onely they labour for theyr pryuate auayle: 
The purs of the clyent shal fymle hym ap- 
parayle. 
And yet knowes he nej'ther lawe, good counsel 

nor justice. 
But speketh at auenture, as men throwe tlic dyce. 

Suche in the senate ar taken oft to counsaylc 
With statis of this and many a other region, 

Whiche of theyr maners vnstable ar and frayle, 
Nought of lawe ciuyl knowinge nor canon, 
But wander in derknes, clerenes they hano 
none. 

noble Rome, thou gat nat thy honours 

Nor general cmpyre by suche coinisellours. 

Whan noble Rome all the worlde dyd gouenic 
Theyr councellers were oldo men iust and 
prudent, 

Whiche egally dyd euery thynge desccnie, 
Wlierby thej'r enipyre became so excellent. 
But nowe a dayes he shall haue his intent 

That hath most gokle, and so it is liefall 

That atmgels worke wonders in Westmynster hall. 

They cursyd coyne makyth the wronge .some 
right; 
The cause of hym that lyucth in pouertye 

Hath no defence, tuycion, strength nor niyght: 
Suche is the olde custome of this faculto 
That colours oft cloke justice and eiiuyte: 

None can the mater fele nor vnderstonde 

Without the aungell be weyghty in his honde. 



3 



34 



DAVID LINDSAY. 



DAVID LINDSAY. 



Born 1490 — Died 1555. 



Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, so called 
from a family estate of that name near Cupar- 
Fife, a celebrated poet, moralist, and refo-rmer, 
was born, it is believed, in 1490, at his fatiier's 
seat. He was educated at the University of 
St. Andrews, which he entered in 1505. Here 
he remained for four years. In 1512 he 
became an attendant of the infant prince, 
afterwards James Y., his duty being to take 
the personal charge of him during his hours 
of recreation. He held this position for twelve 
years, exercising an important and benefi- 
cial influence in the formation of his charac- 
ter, when he was dismissed on a pension by 
the four guardians to whose care the young 
king was committed in 1524. Lindsay now 
devoted his time to the congenial pursuit of 
literature, and in 1528 produced his "Dream," 
in which he exposes, with truth and great 
boldness, the disorders in church and state, 
which had arisen from the licentious lives of 
the Romish clergy and the usurpations of the 
nobles. In the following year he wrote and 
presented to the king his " Complaynt,'' in 
which he reminds his majesty of his faithful 
services in the days of his youth. It is pleasant 
to record that, more fortunate than one of his 
poetical predecessors, Lindsay was in 1530 
appointed by James lyon king-at-arms, and 
at the same time had the honour of knighthood 
conferred upon him. 

In the "Complaynt of the King's Papingo," 
Sir David's next production, the royal parrot 
is made to ridicule, in a most happy vein of 
humour, the vicei of the Popish clergy. In 
1531 the poet was sent with two other ambas- 
sadors to AntAverp to renew an ancient treaty 
of commerce with the Netherlands, and on his 
return he married a lady of the Douglas 
family. In 1535 he produced before the king 
a drama entitled "A Satyre of the Three 
Estatis." The same year he was sent with 
Sir John Campl)ell to Germany in quest of a 
queen for the young king; but none of the 
portraits of German beauty which they brought 



back pleasing him, Lindsay was the following 
year sent on a similar mission to France. In 
1536 he wrote his "Answer to the Kingis 
Fly ting," and his " Complaynt of Basche the 
King's Hound;" and in 1538 "The Sup2)lica- 
tion against Syde Taillis," a part of women's 
dress. On the death of Magdalene of France, 
two months after her marriage with James, 
Lindsay composed his " Deploratioun of the 
Death of Queen Magdalene;" and on the 
arrival in Scotland of Mary of Guise, James' 
second consort. Sir David superintended a 
variety of public pageants and spectacles for 
the welcoming of her majesty. 

In 1541 the poet produced "Kittie's Confes- 
sion," written in ridicule of auricular confes- 
sion. The year following he lost his prince 
and pupil, who died of a broken heart, and 
during the succeeding regency the Eomish 
clergy obtained an act to have Lindsay's satiri- 
cal poems against them and the corruptions of 
their church publicly burned. In 1544 and 
the two succeeding yeai's he represented the 
town of Cupar-Fife in Parliament. In 1546 
there was printed in London Lindsay's "Tra- 
gical Death of David Beatoun, Bishoppe of St. 
Andrews, in Scotland; whereunto is ioyned 
the Martyredora of Maister George Wyscharte, 
for whose sake the afore said Bishoppe was 
not long after slayne." His pithy motto about 
the foulness of the deed, combined with its 
desirableness, has been often quoted: — 

"As for the cardinal, I grant 
He was t)ie mau we well might want; 

God will forgive it soon. 
But of a trutli the sooth to say, 
Altliongli tlie loiin be veil aw:\y, 

Tlie fact was foully done." 

In 1548 he was sent on a mission to Denmark, 
and two years later published the most pleasing 
of all his productions, "The History and Tes- 
tament of Squire Meldrum ;" and in 1553 
appeared his last and most important work, 
"The Monarcliie." He is supposed to have 
spent the remaining years of his life at the 



DAVID LINDSAY. 



35 



Mount, his paternal estate. The exact date 
of hi.s death is not known, but it occurred 
between January and April, 1555. As a poet 
Lindsay does not rank with Dunbar and 
Douglas. Warton, who was the first in modern 
times to revive the recollection of Lindsay as 
a poet, does not venture farther than to discover 
in some of his poems "many nervous, terse, 
and polished lines." The lord lyon king-at- 
arms was, however, one of the trio of great 
Scottish singers of the sixteenth century, and 
his place and power as a poet has been described 
with much exactness in "Marmion:" — 

" In the glances of his eye, 
A penetrating, keen and sly 

Expression found its home; 
The flash of thai satiric ra<ie 
Which, bursting on the early stage, 
Branded the vices of the age, 

And broke the keys of Rome." 

All of Lindsay's poems are in his "ain braif 
tongue," for the use of whicli, amidst all the 
rage for Latin writing, he takes occasion in 
the first book of "The Monarchic," to give an 
abundance of very excellent reasons. Neitiier 
Aristotle nor Plato, he says, wrote in Dutch; 
neither Virgil "the prince of poetry," nor 
Cicero "the flower of oratory," wrote in Ara- 
bic; but each in his own mother tongue. Lind- 
say's satirical powers and broad humour long 
rendered him an especial favourite with the 
common people of Scotland, with whom many 
of his moral sayings passed into proverbs. So 
much was this the case, that in days past wiien 
they heard a proposition stated of a doubtful 
character, they would observe " Tiiere is na sic 
a word in a' Davie Lindsay." The century 
which saw his death saw no fewer than fifteen 
editions of his works, in whole or part, 
issued from the presses of St. Andrews, Edin- 
burgh, London, and Paris; and successive 
editions appearing during the course of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, kept his 



name and fame more prominently before his 
countrymen tiian was the ca.se with any of tiie 
early poets. Perhaps the most valuable and 
accurate of the numerous editions of Lindsay 
was that published in L806 by Chalmers, till 
the appearance in 1871 of David Laing's care- 
fully revised edition, and that of the Early 
English Text Society. 

Of the bold herald-poet so beautifully intro- 
duced in "Marmion" — 

"Still is thy n.inie in liigh account. 
And still thy muse han cliamis. 
Sir David I.in.lsjiy of tlie Mount, 
"LiniX Lyon King-at-anu:i !'' — 

Hallam, in his Literary History of Eurojte, 
writes: "In the earlier part of this period 
(1520-50) we can find very little English 
poetry. Sir David Lindsay, an accomi>lished 
gentleman and scholar of Scotland, excels his 
contemporary Skelton in such qualities, if not 
in fertility of genius. Though inferior to 
Dunbar in richness of imagination and in 
elegance of language, he shows a more reflect- 
ing and philosophical mind; and certainly his 
satire upon James V. and his court is more 
piquant than the other's panegyric upon the 
thistle. But in the ordinary style of his 
versification he seems not to rise much above 
the prosaic and tedious rhymers of the fifteenth 
century. His descriptions are as circumstan- 
tial without selection as theirs: and his lan- 
guage, partaking of a ruder dialect, is still 
more removed from our own. . . . Lind.-;ay's 
poetry is said to have contributed to the Refor- 
mation in Scotland,— in which, however, he is 
but like many poets of his own and preceding 
times. The clergy were an inexhaustible 
theme of bitter reproof." Pinkcrton, who esti- 
mated hissatirical poetry more highly, remarks, 
"Lindsay had prepared the ground, and John 
Knox onlv sowed tlie ^ccd." 



THE COMPLAYXT. 

(E.KTRACT. ) 



Schir, I beseik thy excellence, 
Heir my complaynt with patience; 
My dolent hart dois me constraine 
Of my infortune to complaine; 



Albeit 1 stand in greit doutance, 
(^uhome 1 sail wyte of my mischance, 
(.•uhidder Saturiuis crueltie, 
Kegnand in my naiivitie. 



36 



DAVID LINDSAY. 



Be bad aspect quhilk wirkis vengeance. 

Or utheris hevinly influence; 

Or gif I be predestinate, 

In court to be infortunate, 

Quhilk lies sa lang in service bene, 

Continually with King and Quene, 

And enterit to thy Majestic, 

Tlie day of thy nativitie: 

Quhairthrow my freindis bene eschainit. 

And be my fais I am defamit. 

Seand that I am nocht regardit. 

Nor with my brether of court rewairdit; 

Blamand my sleuthfuU negligence. 

That seikis nocht sum recompence. 

(juhen divers men dois me demand, 

Quhy gettis thow nocht sum peice of land. 

As Weill as uther men hes gotten? 

Than wis I to be deid and rottin, 

With sic extreme discomforting, 

That I can mak na answering. 

I wald sum wise man did me teiche. 

Quhidder that I suld flatter or fleiche: 

I will nocht flyt — that I conclude, 

For crabbing of thy Celsitude: 

And to flatter, I am defamit; 

Lack I rewaird, than am I schamit: 

But I hope thow sail do as Weill, 

As did the father of fameill, 

Of quhome Christ makis mentioun, 

Quhilk for ane certane pensioun, 

Feit men to wirk in iiis vineyaird: 

Bot quha come last gat first rewaird, 

Quhairthrow the first men war displeisit. 

But he thame prudently appeisit: 

For thouch the last men first war servit. 

Yit gat the first cpiliat they deservit. 

Sa am I sure thy Majestie 

Sail anis reward me or I die, 

.\nd rub the roust off my ingine, 

Quhilk bin for langour like to tyne: 

Althoch I heir noclit like ane baird, 

Lang service yairnis ay rewaird. 

I can nocht wyte thine e.xcellence, 

That I sa lang want reconipen.se; 

Had I solystit like the lave. 

My rewaird had nocht bin to crave; 

But now I may w-eill understand, 

.V dumb man yit wan never land; 

And in the court men gettis na thing 

Witlioutin opportune asking. 

Allace! my sleuth and schamefulncss 

Debarrit me fra all grediness; 

(iredy men that are diligent, 

iiicht oft obtenis tiiair intent, 

And failyeis nocht to conques landis, 

.\nd namely at yong princes handis. 

But I tuke never no uther cure 

In special, but for thy plesure: 



And now I am na mair despaird, 
Bot I sail get princely rewaird. 
The quhilk to me sail be maire gloir, 
Nor tliame thow did rewaird befoir. 
Men quhilk dois ask ocht at ane king, 
Suld ask his grace ane nobil thing. 
To his excellence honourabill. 
And to the asker profitabill: 
Thocht I be in my asking lidder, 
I pray thy grace for to considder, 
Thow hes maid baith lordis ami lairdi.s, 
And hes gevin mony rich rewairdis 
To thame quhilk was full far to seik, 
Quhen I lay nichtlie be thy cheik. 

1 tak the Quenis grace, thy mother, 
My lord chancellar, and mony uther. 
Thy nureis, and thy auld maistress, 
I tak thame all to beir witness; 
Old Willie Dillie wer he on lyve. 
My life full weill he culd discryve. 
How as ane chapman beiris his pack, 
I bure thy grace upon my back : 
And sum times strydlingis on my nek, 
Dansand with mony bend and bek. 
The first syllabis that thow did mute 
AVas Pa Da Lyn upon the lute. 
Than playit I twenty sjiringis perqueir, 
Quhilk was greit plesure for to heir. 
Fra play thow let me never rest: 
But GynJcertoim thow luifit ay best. 
And ay quhen thow came from the scale, 
Tiien I behuiftit to play the fule: 
As 1 at lenth into my Dreme, 
My sindrie service did expreme. 
■Thoch it bene better, as .sayis the wise, 
" Hap at the court nor gude service;" 
I wait thow luiffit me better than, 
Nor now sum wife dois hir gude-man; 
Than men till uther did record 
That Lynde.say wald be maid ane lord. 
Thow hes maid lordis, schir, by St. Geil, 
Of sum that hes nocht servit sa weill. 

To yow, my lordis, that standis by, 
1 sail yow sehaw the causis quhy; 
Gif ye list tary, I sail tell 
How my infortune thus befell. 
I prayit daylie on my kn6. 
My young maister that I micht S(S, 
Of eild in his estait royall, 
Havaml power imperiall; 
Than traistit I without demand, 
To be promovit to sum land; 
liot niyne asking I got ouir sone, 
liecause ane clipse fell in the mone, 
The quhilk all Scotland maid on steir. 
Than did my purpose ryn arrcir, 



DAVID LINDSAY. 



37 



The qiiliilk war langsum till dcclair. 
And al.s myne hai't is woiiniler fair, 
Quhen I have in remembrance, 
The suddan change to my niischance. 
The king was not twelf yeiris of age, 
Quhan new rewlaris came in thair rage. 
For commoun-weil makand na cair. 
Hot for thair profite singulair. 

Imprudently, like witles fiiles, 
Tiiay tuke the young prince from the >cu]is. 
Quhere he, under obedience. 
Was learnand vertew and science. 
And hastilie pat in his hand 
The governance of all Scotland: 
As quha wald, in ane stormie blast, 
Quhen marinaris been all agast, 
Throw danger of the seis rage, 
Wald tak ane child of tender age, 
Quhilk never had bin on tiie .sey, 
And gar his bidding all obey, 
Geving him haill the governall. 
To ship, marchand, and marinall, 
For dreid of rockis and foir land, 
To put the ruthir in his hand: 
Without Goddis grace is na refuge, 
({if thare be danger ye may judge. 

I give thame to 

Quhilk first devisit that counsell; 
I will nocht say that it was tressoun. 
But I dar sweir it was na ressoun. 
I pray God lat me never see ring 
Into this realme sa young ane king. 



SUPPLICATION IN CONTEMPTION 
OF SIDE TAILS. 

Sovereign, I mean of their side tails, 
Wiiilk through the dust and dubs trails. 
Three quarters lang behind their heels, 
Express agane all commonweals: 
Though bishops in their pontificals 
Have men for to bear up their tails, 
For dignity of their office; 
Richt so ane queen or ane emprice, 
Howbeit they use sic gravity, 
Comformand to their majesty, 
Though their robe-royals be upborne, 
I think it is ane very scorn. 
That every lady of the land 
Should have her tail so side trailand: 
Howbeit they been of high estate, 
The queen they should not counterfeit. 
Wherever they go it may be seen 
How kirk and causay they soop clean. 



The images into tiie kirk 

May think of their side tails great irk: 

For when the weather been maist fair, 

Tlie dust flies highest into the air, 

And all their faces does begary; 

Gif they could speak, they wald them wary. . 

IJut I liave maist into despite 

Poor claggocks clad in Raplocii white, 

Whilk lias .Kcant twa merks for tiieir fees. 

Will have twa ells beneath their knees. 

Kittok that cleckit was yestreen. 

The morn, will counterfeit the queen: . . . 

In barn nor byre she will not bide, 

Without her kirtle tail be side. 

In burghs, wanton burgess wives 

Wha may have sidcst tails strives. 

Wee! bordered with velvet fine, 

Hut followand them it is ane pyne: 

In summer, when tiie streit is <lryis, 

They raise the dust aboon the .skies; 

Naiie may gae near them at their ease 

Without they cover mouth ami ncese. . . . 

I think maist pane after ane rain. 

To see them tuckit up again; 

Then when they step furth through the street 

Their fauldings flaps about their feet; . . . 

They waste mair daith, within few years. 

Nor wald cleid fifty score of freirs. . . . 

Of tails I will no more indite. 
For dread some duddron me despite. 
Notwithstanding, I will conclude, 
That of side tails can come nac gude, 
Sider nor may their ankles hide. 
The remanent proceeds of pride, 
And pride proceeds of the devil: 
Thus always they proceed of evil. 

Ane other fault, sir, may be seen. 
They hide their face all bot the een; 
When gentlemen bid them gude day 
Without revereuce they slide away. . . . 
Without their faults be soon amended. 
My flyting, sir, shall never be ended. 
But wad your grace my counsel tak, 
Ane proclamation ye should niak, 
Baith through the land aiUl burrowstouns. 
To shaw their face, and cut their gowns. . . 
■Women will .<ay, tliis is nae bourds, 
To write sic vile and filtliy wonls; 
But wald they cicnge their filthy tails. 
Whilk over the mires and middings trails. 
Then should my writing clengit be, 
None other mends they get of me. 
Quoth Lindsay, in contempt of the side tails. 
That duddrons and duntibours through the 
dubs trails. 



410807 



38 



KICHARD MAITLAND. 



THE BUILDING OF THE TOWER OF 
BABEL. 

(from the monarchie.) 

Their great fortress then did they found, 
And cast till they gat sure ground, 
All fell to work botli man and child, 
Some howkit clay, some burnt the tyld. 
Nimron, that curious champion. 
Deviser was of that dungeon. 
Nathing they spared their labouris. 
Like bu.sy bees upon the flowers. 
Or emmets travelling into June; 
Some under wrocht, and some aboon. 
With Strang ingenious masonry. 
Upward their wark did fortify; . . . 
The land about was fair and plain. 
And it rase like ane heieh montane. 
Those fulish people did intend 
That till the heaven it should ascend: 
Sae great ane strengtii was never seen 
Into the warld with men's een. 
The wallis of tliat wark thej' made, 
Twa and fifty fathom braid: 
Ane fathom then, as some men says, 
Micht been twa fatliom in our days; 
Ane man was then of mair stature 
Xor twa be now, of this be sure. 

The translator of Orosius 
Intil his chronicle writes thus, 



That Avhen the sun is at the hicht 
At noon, wlien it doth sliine maist bricht, 
The shadow of that hideous strength 
Sax mile and mair it is of length: 
Thus may ye judge into your tiiocht, 
Gif Babylon be heich, or nocht. 

Then the great God omnipotent. 
To wliom all things been present, . , . 
He seeand the ambition. 
And the prideful presumption, 
How thir proud people did pretend 
Up through the heavens till ascend, . . . 
Sic languages on them he laid 
That nane wist what ane other said; 
Where was but ane language afore, 
God sent them languages three score; 
Afore that time all spak Hebrew, 
Then some began for to speak Grew, 
Some Dutch, some language Saracen, 
And some began to speak Latin. 
The maister men gan to ga wild 
Cryand for trees, they brocht them tyld. 
Some said. Bring mortar here at ance, 
Tiien Ijrocht they to them stocks and stanes; 
And Nimrod, their great champion, 
Kan ragand like ane wild lion. 
Menacing them with words rude. 
But never ane word they understood. . . 

for final conclusion. 

Constrained were they for till depart, 
Ilk company in ane sundry airt. . . . 



RICHAED MAITLAND. 



Born 1496 — Died 1586. 



Sir Richard JIaitland, a poet, lawyer, and 
statesman, was born in 1496. He Avas the 
son of William Maitland of Lethington, and 
Martha, daughter of George, lord Seaton. 
Having received the usual university education 
at the College of St. Andrews, he went to 
France to studj' law. On his return to Scot- 
land he was employed in various public offices 
by James V., and afterwards by the Regent 
Arran and Mary of Guise. In the year 1551 
he was appointed Lord of Session, and soon 
after he was knighted. In his sixty-fourth 
year he had the misfortune to lose his sight, 
but his blindness did not incapacitate him for 



business. In 1562 he was made lord privy- 
seal and a member of the privy-council. He 
continued a Lord of Session during the reign 
of Queen Mary and the minority of her son 
James VI. In July, 1584, his great age com- 
pelled him to resign his seat on the bench, 
previous to which time he had relinquished the 
ofliceof lord privy-seal to his second son John, 
afterwards Lord Thirlstane, Lord High-chan- 
cellor of Scotland. Sir Richard died March 
20, 1586, at the age of ninety, leaving seven 
sons, the eldest of wiiom, Sir William, his- 
torically known as Secretary Lethington, was 
accounted the ablest statesman of his age; 



EICHARD MAITLAND. 



39 



and one who in his day plaj'ed manj' parts, 
being -'anything by fits, but nothing long." 

With the single exception of a passage in 
Knox"s Histori/, which imputes to him having 
accepted bribes to aid Cardinal IJcaton in 
effecting his escape from imprisonment, a 
charge which is not generally credited, Mait- 
land is uniformly spoken of by contemporary 
writers with great respect. Many of his manu- 
script decisions are preserved in the Advocates' 
Library of Edinburgh. His collections of 
Earhj Scottish Poetry, in two vols., a folio and 
a quarto, Avere, with other MSS. , presented by 
the Duke of Lauderdale to Samuel Pepys, the 



founder of the Pcpysian Library at Cambridge, 
where they are still preserved. A selection 
from these may be seen in Pinkerton's valuable 
collection of Ancknt Scottish Poems. Sir 
Richards own poems were for the first time 
printed in 1830. in a handsome quarto volume, 
for the Maitland Club, which derives its name 
• from him. \\\& 1 1 iMonj and Chronicle of thi' 
}Ious ond Surename ofSeytoun was printed for 
the Maitland Club in LS29. His principal 
poetical pieces are the " Satyrcs," " IJallet of 
the Creatioun of the World," "The Blind 
Baron's Comfort," and asupplicatioa "Agaiua 
Oppressiouu of the Comouns." 



THE CREATION AND PAEADISE LOST. 



God by his v/ord his wark began, 
To form this eard and hevin for man, 

The sie and watter deip; 
The sun, the mune and stars sae bricht. 
The day devydit from the nicht, 

Thair courses just to keip; 
The heists that on the grund do muve. 

And fishes in the sie; 
Fowls in the air to flic abuve. 
Of ilk kind formed he: 

Sum creiping, sum fleiting. 
Sum fleing iu the air, 
Sae heichly, sae lichtly 
In muving heir and thair. 

Thir warks of gret magnificence, 
Prefytit by his providence. 

According to his will: 
Nixt he made man; to gife him glore. 
Did with his image him decore, 

Gaife paradyse him till; 
Into that garden hevinly wrocht. 

With pleasures mony a one. 
The heists of every kynd wer brocht, 
Thair names he suld expone; 

These kenning and nameing. 
As them he list to call. 
For eising and pleising 
Of man, subdued them all. 

In heavenly joy man sae possest, 
To be alane God thocht not best, 

Made Eve to be his maik: 
Bad them increass and multiplie. 
And of the fruit frae every tree 

Thair pleasure they suld take. 



Except the tree of gude and ill 

That in the midst dois stand. 
Forbad that tlicy suld cum thcrtill, 
Or twiti-h it with thair hand; 
Lest hiking and plucking, 
Baitli tiiey and all thair seid, 
Seveirly, awsteirly, 
Suld die without remcid. 

Now .\dam and his lusty wife 
In paradyce leidand thair lyfe, 

With pleasures infiiieit; 
Wanting nae thing suld do them ease, 
The heists obeying them to plei.se, 

As they could wish in spreit: 
Behald the serpent sullenlie 

Envyand man's estate. 
With wicket craft and subtiltie 
Eve temi)tit with desait; 

Xocht feiring, but speiring, 
Quhy scho take not her till. 
In using and chusing 
The fruit of gude and ill \ 

Commandit us, scho said, the Lord, 
Noways therto we suld accord, 

Undir eternall pain; 
But grantit us full libertie 
To eit the fruit of every tree, 

Except that tree in plain. 
No, no, nocht sae, the serpent said. 

Thou art desaifet therin; 
Eit ye therof, ye sail be made 

In knawledge Ivke to him. 
In seimins and dciming 
Of evcrv thing ariclit, 



40 



EICHAED MAITLAND. 



As dewlie, as trewly. 
As ye wer gods of micht. 

Eve thus with these fals words allurit, 
Eit of the fruit, and syne procurit 

Adam the same to play : 
Behald, said seho, how precious, 
Sae dilicate and delicious, 

Besyde knawledge for ay; 
Adam puft up in warldly glore, 

Ambition and high pryd, 
Eit of the fruit; allace therfore, 
And sae they baith did slyd; 
Neglecting, forgetting. 
The eternall Gods command, 
Quha scurged and purged 
Them quyt out of that land. 

(^uhen they had eiten of that fruit, 
Of joy then war they destitute, 

And saw thair bodys bare; 
Annon they past with all their speid, 
Of leives to mak themselves a weid. 

To cleith them, was thair care; 
During the tyme of innocence, 

Nae sin or schame they knew, 
Frae tyme they gat experience. 
Unto ane buss they drew, 
Abyding and hyding. 
As God suld not them see, 
Quha spyed, and cryed, 
Adam, qKliy hyds thou thee? 

I being iiaikit. Lord, throu feir. 
Fur sciiame I durst not to compeir. 

And sae I did refuse. 
If ad thou not eiten of the ti-ee, 
That knawledije had not beiii in thee, 

Nor yit nae sic excuse. 
The hel[)er. Lord, thou gaife to me, 

Has cawsit me to transgress. 
Saj/d scho, the serpent subtillie 
Persuaded me nae less, 
Intreitincj, he citing. 
That we sidd he perfyte, 
Me/ylit, heyylit; 
In him lyes all the wyte. 

Jehove, that evir juged richt, 
Bringing his justice to the licht, 

Tiie serpent first did juge; 
liecause the woman thou begylt. 
For evir thou sail be exylt, 

Said he, without refuge; 
Betwixt licr seid and thy offspring 

Nae peace nor rest sail be, 
And liir seid sail thy held doun thring, 

For ail tliy subtiltie; 



Abhorred, deformed, 
Thou on thy breist sail gang, 
In feiding and leiding 
Thy lyfe the beists amang. 

The woman nixt, for her offence, 
Did of the Lord resave sentence. 

Her sorrow suld encrease, — 
AVith woe and pain her childrene beir, 
Subdewt to man, under his feir. 

No libertie possess: 
For Adams fait he cursd the erth. 

That barrane it suld be, 
Without labour suld yeild nae birth 
Of corns, nor herb, nor tree; 
Bot working and irking 
For evir suld remain. 
And being in doing 
In erth returnd again. 

cruel serpent venemous, 
Dispytful and seditious. 

The grund of all our care! 
Thou fals-bound slave unto the devill. 
Thou first inventar of this evill. 
Of bliss quhilk made us bare; 
devlish slave ! did thou believe. 

Or liou had thou sic grace, 
Therby for evir thou micht live 
Abuve into that place: 

Tiiy grudging gat scrudging, 
And sae God lute the se, 
Desavers no cravers 
Of his reward suld be. 

dainty dame, with eirs bent 
That harkent to that fals serpent! 

Thy bains we may sair ban; 
Without excuse thou art to blame. 
Thou justly has obtaint that name. 

The very wo of man: 
With teirs we may bewail and greit 

That wicket tyme and tyde, 
Quhen Adam was obligit to sleip. 
And thou tane off his syde. 
No sleiping bot weiping 
Thy seid lies fund sensyne; 
Thy citing and sweiting 
Is turn'd to wo and pyn. 

Adam, thy part quha can excuse, 
With knawledge thou that did abuse 

Tliyne awn felicifie. 
Tiie serpent his inventing fals. 
The womans sune consenting als, 

Was noclit sae wicketly. 
(Jod did prefer thee to this day. 

And them subdewt to thee. 



FLOEENCE WILSON. 



41 



Sae all that they culd mein or say, 
Suld not have moved thee 
To brecking, abjecting 
That hie command of lyfe 
Quhilk gydid, provydit 
The ay to live bot stryf. 

Behald the state that man was in, 
And als how it he tynt tiirow sin, 

And lost the same for ay; 
Yet God his promise dois perform, 
Sent his Son of the Virgin born. 

Our i-ansome deir to pay. 
To that great God let us give glore. 

To us has bein sae gude, 
Quha be his grace did us restore, 
Quherof we were denude; 

Not careing nor sparing 
His body to be rent, 
Kedeiming, releiving 
Us quheu we wer all schcnt. 



SATIEE ON THE TOWN LADIES. 

Some wifis of the borowstoun 

Sae wonder vain are, and wantoun, 

In warld they wait not what to Aveir; 
On claitliis they ware mony a croun; 

And all for newfangleuess of geir. 

And of fine silk their furrit clokis. 
With hingan sleeves, like geil pokis; 

Nae preaching will gar them forbeir 
To weir all thing that sin provokis; 

And all for newfangleness of geir. 

Their wilicoats maun weel be hewit, 
Broudred richt braid, with pasments sewit. 

I trow wha wald the matter speir, 
That their gudeman had cause to rue it. 

That evir their wifis wore sic geir. 



Their woven hose of silk are shawin, 
Barrit aboon with taisels drawin; 

With gartens of ane new maneir, 
To gar tlieir courtliness be knawin; 

And all for newfangleness of geir. 

Sometime they will beir up their gown, 
To shaw their wilicoat hingan down; 

And sometimes baith they will upbcir. 
To shaw their hose of black or brown; 

And all for newfangleness of geir. 

Their collars, carcats, and hau.<e beidis — 
With velvet hats heigh on their heidis, 

Cordit with gold like ane youiikeir. 
Braidit about with golden threidis; 

And all for newfangleness of geir. 

Their shoon of velvet, and their muilis — 
In kirk they are not content of stuilis. 

The sermon when they sit to heir. 
But carries cusheons like vain fulis; 

And all for newfangleness of geir. 

And some will spend malr, I liear say, 
In spice and drugis in ane day, 

Nor wald their mothers in ane yeir. 
Whilk will gar mony pack decay, 

When they sae vainly waste their geir. 

Leave, burgess men. or all be lost, 
On your wifis to mak sic cost, 

Whilk may gar all your bairnis bleir. 
She that may not want wine and roast. 

Is able for to waste some geir. 

Between them, and nobles of blude, 
Nae diflference but ane velvet hudcl 

Their camrock curchics are as deir. 
Their other claitliis are as gude. 

And they as costly in other geir. 

Of burgess wifis though I speak plain, 
Some laudwart ladies arc as vain, 

As by their claithing may appeir, 
Wearing gayer nor tlicni may gain. 

On ower vain claitliis wasting geir. 



FLORENCE WILSON, 



Born 1500 — Dikd 1547. 



Florence Wilson, commonly known by his 
Latinized name of Florentius Volusenus, was 
born on the banks of the Lossie, in the vicinity 
of Elgin, about the year 1500. He received 



the rudiments of his education in his native 
place, and prosecuted his academical studies 
in the University of King's College, Aberdeen. 
I'lcpairing afterwards to England, his talents 



42 



FLORENCE WILSON. 



recommended him to the notice of Cardinal 
AVolsey, who appointed him preceptor to his 
nephew, and he accompanied the youth to 
Paris, wiiere he was sent for his education. 
On Wolsey's death in 1530 Wilson lost his 
pupil; but he soon after found another friend 
in the person of the learned Cardinal du Bellai. 
Intending to proceed to Rome with this prelate, 
he travelled with him as far as Avignon, where 
he was seized with an illness which caused him 
to be left behind, and prevented his continu- 
ing his journey. On his recovery he applied 
to the celebrated Cardinal Sadolet, Bishop of 
Carpentras, a churchman styled by Erasmus 
"eximium hujus cetatls decus." 

In a letter to his nephew Sadolet thus de- 
scribes the interview which took place. " I 
had," he writes, "by chance gone into my 
library when it was already night, and was 
turning over some books very diligently, when 
my chambei-lain announced that there was 
some one wished to see me. I inquire. Who is 
he? A person in a gown, was the answer. I 
ordered him to be admitted; he comes in. I 
ask what he may want, that he should come to 
me at such an hour; for I was anxious to get 
quit of the man speedily, and return to my 
studies. Then he, having entered on his 
introductory matter in very humble terms, 
spoke with such propriet,y, correctness, and 
modesty as to produce in me a desire to 
question liim more particularly, and to be- 
come more intimately acquainted with him. 
Therefore, shutting my book, I turned to- 
wards him, and asked from what country lie 
came, Avhat studies he had pursued, and what 
had brought him into these parts. He replied 
that he was a Scotchman. You come, then, 
said I, from the remotest region of the earth ; 
where have you studied? (This question I 
asked because his discourse betokened genius 
and an elegant Latinity.) In my own country 
first, he answered, and afterwards at Paris. 
What do you seek here? I asked. I came 
hither, he replied, moved by a strong desire 
to see you, and from having heard at Avignon 
that you were in want of some one to under- 
take the charge of instructing your youth." 

Tiic influence of the cardinal procured the 
desired situation, and Wilson was appointed 
teacher of tiic Greek and Latin languages in 



the public school of Carpentras, a town in the 
department of the Vaucluse. How long he 
retained this situation is not known, but it was 
long enough to compose his celebrated work 
De Animi Tranqiullitate Dlalorjus, Florentio 
Voluseno Scoto Aiictore, which was published 
at Lyons in 1543. In this dialogue, which 
displays throughout a vast compass of learn- 
ing and an intimate acquaintance with the 
Greek and Latin classics, there are interspersed 
several Latin poems of his own composition, 
which in elegance are little inferior to the 
productions of his contemporary and friend 
Buchanan. On the Continent the work was 
reprinted at Leyden and at the Hague, and at 
Edinburgh in 1571. A third edition was pub- 
lished in the latter city by lUiddiman in 1707, 
and a fourth in 1751, with a preface by Dr. John 
Ward. Warton remarks of this work, "It is 
addressed, as an apologue for the conduct of a 
king, to James lY., is adorned with many 
pleasing incidents and adventures, and abounds 
with genius and learning." Wil.son continued 
to reside on the Continent, visiting many 
parts of Italy and France, until the year 1546, 
when he felt a strong desire to see Scotland, 
and accordingly set out on his return home, 
but was taken ill on the road, and died at 
Yienne in Dauphiny in 1547. 

Wilson maintained a high character for 
genius and learning in the age in which he 
lived, and his countryman George Buchanan 
paid a tribute to him in an epigram which he 
composed upon his death: 

" Hie Musis, Volusene, jaces carissime ripam 
Ad Rhodani, terra qiiam prociil a patria! 
Hoc meruit virtus tua. tellus qute foret altri.v 
Virtutum, ut cineies couderet ilia tuos," 

Besides his treatise De Tranqu'dUtate, A nimi, 
which has ever been much admired for the 
beauty of the philosophy as well as the elegance 
of the Latinity, Wilson wrote a volume of 
Latin poems, said to have been printed in 
London in 1612. In the Bannatyne. Miscel- 
lany there are published two of his letters, 
the one in English, the other in Latin — the 
former addressed to Thomas Cromwell, after- 
wards Lord Cromwell, earl of Essex. The 
following ode was translated from tiie Latin 
by Robert Blair, the gifted author of "The 
Grave." 



FLOEENCE WILSON. 



43 



AVhy do I. most gracious God ! 

So heavily complain? 
And at tliy providence most just, 

Why do I thus repine? 

Since by reflecting I perceive, 

And certainly do know, 
That I, my wretched self alone. 

Am cause of all my woe. 

Who wittingly do strive in vain 
From darkness light to bring; 

And life and solid joys expect 
Under death's awful reign? 

As bitter wormwood never dotii 

Delicious honey yield, 
Nor can the cheerful grape be reap'd 

From thistles in the field; 

So who, in tliis uncertain life, 

Deceitful joys pursue. 
They fruits do seek upon sucii trees 

On which it never grew. 

That fading beauty men admire. 

Of person, and of face; 
Tliat splendour of ricli ornament, 

Which stately buildings grace; 

That train of noble ancestors. 

Which gives illustrious birtii. 
Wealth, luxury; then add to tliesc 

All the delights on earth: 

Yea, whatsoever object doth 

Invite our wandering sight. 
And whatsoe'er our touch doth feel 

With pleasure and delight, — 

They all, like despicable dust 

And atoms fly away: 
And are mere dreams of tlie short night 

Which we have here to stay. 

Tliat which is past is nothing 

And what of joy to come 
Impatiently we want, when got. 

Is quickl}' past and gone: 

And when 'tis past, like other tilings. 

It nothing will be thought; 
Should then that dream whicii nothing is 

So anxiously be souglit? 

Go now, go fool, to catcli tlie wind 1 

Prepare thy nets to bind; 
Which thing no man but he that's mad 

Did ever yet pretend. 



sure; 



See if tliou canst thy shadow grasp, 
Which no man yet could find; 

It Hies the more, tiie more thp' thou 
To follow art inclined. 

That which will leave thee 'gainst thy will 

Thou freely shouldst forsake; 
And wisely choose those iicttcr tilings 

Which none from thee can take. 

AVhat comfort can that mortal liavc 
Who earth's whole wealth ingrost, 

If, after this short span of life, 
His .soul's for ever lo.st? 

With how much wiser conduct lie 

His course of life doth steer, 
Who, by his j)ions endeavours 

Of doing good whilst here; 

And I)y ail holy, humble life, 

When he shall hence remove, 
Secures a passage for himself 

Into the heavens above. 

Meanwhile, would.>;t thou a small taste iiavt 

Of real happiness? 
And whilst thou on this earth doth dwell, 

Some pleasant days possess? 

Lay down all fears and anxious cares; 

To things within thy pciwcr 
Confine thy wish ; and make thy will 

Strict reason's laws endure. 

If thou affection do transgress. 

The bounds by reason placed. 
In noise and trouble thou shalt live, 

Both wretched and disgraced. 

If thou wouldst ]icrfect peace enjoy, 

Thy heart see thou apply 
To know Christ, and him crucified; 

This is the only way. 

How happy is that man who doth 

This blessed peace attain ! 
He all the joys on earth, besides. 

Will know to be but vain. 

He doth not set his heart on wealth, 

The care of worldly men. 
But strives to do that which is good, 

And Heaven's reward to gain. 

He flies the fond delights which we 

So ardently aft'ect ; 
Shuns them as crosses, and as things 

Which contemplation check. 



44 



FLORENCE WILSON. 



What we for greatest blessings take, 

He wholly doth disdain; 
And counts all things but loss and dung, 

That Christ's love lie might gain. 

What other men do grievous think, 

He calmly can endure; 
He knows none truly can rejoice, 

Whose riglit in Christ's not sure. 

He on the cross of Christ alone 
His wondering thoughts employs. 

Where in his death he hidden sees 
Life and eternal joys. 

Thus he can honey from the rocks, 
And oil draw from hard stones; 

A gift to few, and seldom given 
By Heaven, amongst men's sons. 

"Tis he alone long life deserves, 

And his years sweetly pass, 
Who holds that treasure in his breast 

AV'liose worth doth all surpass. 

What can he want of outward things 

Who hath tliis pearl of price, 
Wliich we should buy at any rate. 

And all things else despise* 

Woe's me! how much do other men 

In seas of trouble live. 
Whose ruin oft and endless cares 

Ev'n things they wish do give ! 

'Tis he alone in earnest can 

Wish for his dying day. 
Ail mankind's terror; yea, with tears 

I'jxpostulate its stay. 

() ! would to God my soul just now 

Were raised to such a frame. 
As freely to part hence, which soon 

Must be, though I reclaim. 

This present flies, another life 

Is swiftly hasting on, 
The way that leads to which is through 

The cross of Christ alone. 

How canst thou, without grief and tears, 
Think on these impious wounds 

Wliiditiioudidstcause, tiirougii wiiichtotliee 
Salvation free rebounds? 

Thou, who shun'st all fatigue, and gives 

Thyself to soft deliglit, 
With what assurance canst thou crave 

Wliat is the labourer's right? 



If a strict life thou canst not reach, 

At least let him not see 
Thee much unlike himself, with whom 

Thou wouldst partaker be. 

That which resembles most the sun 

We truly may call bright ; 
And what is most like to the snow, 

Will whitest be to sight. 

These things are sweet which in their taste 

With honey may compare. 
And tiiese are swift which can contend 

With tlie light-flying air; 

So, sure, the more thou art like Christ, 

Moi'e perfect thou'rt indeed ; 
For, of all true perfection, he 

Both pattern is, and head. 

Who are persuaded of this truth, 

When sore afflictions grieve. 
This comfort have, that, ev'n in thi.s, 

They more like Christ do live. 

Men of this stamp are very scarce. 

Whose virtue doth them bear 
Above the vulgar; for what's great. 

Difficult is, and rare. 

But we to mind salvation's work 

Will never be advised; 
And that all things are vanity, 

Till death hath us surprised : 

Then to reflect we first begin. 

And our past lives abhor. 
And all these empty joys which we 

So much admired before. 

Tiien under terrors we would fly 

To Christ, the only rock 
Of life; whom in prosperity 

We never did invoke. 

The fear which can no merit have 
Drives us t'implore his grace; 

So great his mercy, tiiat in vain 
We ne'er shall seek his face. 

But yet we ought without delay 

Examine our estate; 
And saving interest get in Christ, — 

Far better soon than late. 

If any otiier way we seek 

Our passions to oppose, 
Or get tranquillity of mind, 

We tinie and laljour lose. 



%n(\ \)3]\v.i9m TT9qA\ Sniaq '96fl "I '^l-^IWH 

)0 .lO^.ia.I p9)UI0ddT! SBAV pUB ■pUV[ OAl^tlU siq 

o^ P9U.IIH3J aq .mo; iTJ^uoai'juoo v aptjui SuiAiiq 
•Jinn puo 'siJBj JO A^iSMDAiu;^ 9q; ^13 pojapl 
-moD SBAV noi^TJonpD siq ^v.xw si 'joofcins oi\% no 
.C')nic}.i9D q}i-^^ iiAVOu?! s; 'iv.x[^ \\y ■9Sp9iA\ouj( 
Suuinbot; joj ■juait:; itijii^Gu siq o; '9jnsTJ9iu 
;t;9.iS V ui '9np sdcqagd sbav ss^gaSoad siq U9qj 
„'an!{ t? uad ppioo issn 'nj.\TJ9 aAisg 
'euitu JO uos 'ai!moa. ?ui«g o^ 8>|inji{x ,, 

9At:g aaqicj 
i^iq '}xnii gn.ij 9q ']i jj •qsni.inj ii9q; pjnoo 

pUtJC^OOg SB UOpBOnpa Ul! lB.I9qTl SB p9AI9.->9.l 

oq 'qo-inqo gq'j .lOj p9uSis9p Stiigq ']Bqj 9|qBq_ 
-o.id s[ ■}! inq 'uavouji st d\n\[ Sjll Ai.tB9 siq jq 



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-i;uB qsi;;o.iv^ oq; UioqAV 'svio.lOQ KLVVQ 



•SoSl craia — tzfi KHog 



SY^IDnoa RIAYO 



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'Suuds dn .vBp 9q; pip sb .Ciaiy 

'Su.CuJOUi ;sji} oq; ut uo.nu9'i .yo 

KIWI XI sxanxaii Aor a'iikiuv:i 



•.woxiotu ;u.Cii oq; oiiodn Xbjv X;sni go 
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'anouiBJBd ano ptiB 'suBsaid ano 'ojaod anQ 
'anouoq jo spouiaj ano aq o; oiuoojo^w 



•svionoa kiavo 



8Z 



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q ju99}.nq; [BuopippB 9q^ q^i.u 'liS-iJA JO 2^P>^3^ 
aqi pa^nqsuBa; 9q 'si.ioiuy oipama^i 9(j s^piAQ 
JO uopt'it-ucrj aq^ sgpisag 'iiiTJ^i.ig in sdksb[d 
9q^ JO .iojcisuiu:> icoipod ■js-.iq oq:^ su pgqsnig 
-ut^sip epuB^s sc[.§ii0(]; saa^pi jo uuui v sy 

•uBiuq9:(09g T! Xq .C[uo pg^TJiD 
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.uaqi JO auo q^jAv pa^B.i^suouiaa 'aa^ad jo ubui 
t; SB 'uiACf) 's'jUB[iBssi3 aq'j jo apBui sbai qoiqAV 
daaAvs aq-j xuo.ij ,/XBAvasm?o-aq'j-.iBaiQ ,, sb 
saqsmi.it5{s Suouib u.tton}[ sba\ 'jjo auiBO }i .layB 
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-noQ aq'j uo j(aBj^B aiati; SuuiuBid a.iaAV '05SX 
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aq-) ut p9J.i9'}ui 8BM puB 'sset 'Jsquia^dag ui 
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q:)iAv 'oqAV 'qa.iBuoiu qsjiSiiji ai^ uio.ij uoisuad 
B paAiaoa.i sB[Siio(£ uopuo'^i ui aauapisa.i siq 
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•uo^Bu qsi')')ooi^ 8qi JO poi.iad ai.ib9 aq") Suiuaao 
-uoa uoi')Bui.iojiii q'jTAV .la^'jBj ai^ paipldus aABq 
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B Sui:)i.iAv uaq-) sbai otpw ubhb:)i pau.uia[ b '[iS 
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oqAV 'snmsB.ig jo aouBjuiBiiboB 9qj pgiuaoj aq 
a.iaqAV puB ''niA ^-H'^H ^^ paAiaaa.i A'lpui^ 
SBAV aq 9.iaqAV 'puB[Sua[ ui aStijaa aj[Bj 0% snSuy 
puB UB.i.iy JO si-iBg aq-) u9aA\')aq sa'jndsip aq'; 
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siq JO S9i')np aq? o'\ i^ouaSijip jjasiuiq paijddB 
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s^iiiq SuiiuB^qo UI rajBa.! aq; jo savbj aq; Sui 
-uaAB.i;uoa jo uiiq pasuooB 'aas -jBq; SuiuiB'jqo 
luojj iuii[ ')iiaAa.id o; ''juaSa.i pa.iBjoap sbav .tb9.C 
siq; ui oqAV 'iuBqiy jo aJliiQ ^^.'\ '^"1 'PP^ 
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panssi ;nq ';sanbaj s^uaanb aq; ;ubjS '.laAaAvoq 
';ou pip ssaujioq si jj •uoi;buiuiou .loq lu.iijuoa 
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oq; .ia;B[ sjBaX aAi; puB 'q.o.in(|uip5[ 'saii») ■')(-;! 
JO qaanip a;Bi,Saiioa aq-) jo ')S0A0.id apBiu sba\ 
sB[SnoQ (jocx 14 "oSb jo sjBa.C oav;-A';u9av'; 



65 



svionoa niavo 



ALEXANDER SCOT. 



45 



ALEXANDER SCOT 



Born 1502 — Died 



Alexander Scot, the pre vailing amatory char- 
acter of whose poems caused him to be called 
tlie Scottish Anacre.on, though there are many 
points wanting to complete tlie resemblance to 
the Teian bard, was a subject of James V., 
and also flourished during the reign of the 
unfortunate Mary, to whom lie addressed 
" Ane New Yere Gift," when she came from 
France in 1562. Little is known of his per- 
sonal history beyond what can be conjectured 
from his writings. It is supposed tiiat he was 
born about the year 1502. In iiis address to 
Mary, Avhicii begins: 

"Welcome, illustrate lad}', and our queeu !" 

he designates himself her "simple servant 
Sanders Scot," and shows that lie was a warm 
friend to the Reformed religion, which he 
recommends in strong terms to her majesty's 
protection. The poet concluded liis address, 
\yhicli is in twenty-eight stanzas, with an 
alliterative verse, higlily characteristic: 

" Fresli, fulgent, flourist, fragrant flower, formose. 

Lantern to love, of ladies lamp and lot, 
Cherry maist cliaste, chief carbuncle and chose. 

Smaill sweet smaragd, smelling hot smit or sniot ; 
Noblest nature, nourice to nurture not. 

This dull indyte, dulce, double, daisy dear. 
Sent by thy simple servant Sanders Scot, 

Greeting great God to grant thy grace guid year ! " 

The poet appears to have been totally 
neglected by the court, and in a beautiful 
little fable, entitled "The Eagle and Eobin 
Redbreast, " he feelingly laments liis hard fate 



in being obliged to sing without reward or 
notice; and we find the name of Scot selected 
by Alexander Montgomery to point a reflection 
on neglected merit, in one of his sonnets ad- 
dressed to Robert Hud.son: 

"Ye knaw, ill guyding genders mony gees. 
And specially in poets: for example. 
Ye can pen out twa cuple an' ye please, 

Yourself and I, AnUl Scot and Robert Semple." 

In Allan Ramsay's Evergreen, and in the 
collections of Hailes, Pinkerton, and Sib- 
bald, will be found many pleasing specimens 
of Scot's poetry. The Bannatyne MS. con- 
tains others which have never been printed ; 
but, considering how often that valuable col- 
lection has been examined by competent judges, 
we may conclude that nothing has been ne- 
glected whose oblivious repose is worth dis- 
turbing. Allan Cunningham says: "Gay and 
light, and elegant beyond most poets of iiis 
time, Alexander Scot sang with much more 
sweetness than strength, and was more anxious 
after the smoothness of his numbers than the 
natural beauty of his sentiments. He flows 
smooth, but he seldom flows deep; he is refined 
and delicate, but has little vigour and no 
passion. Yet his verses are exceedingly pleas- 
ing; they are melodious, with meaning in 
their melody, and possess in no small degree 
that ea.syand gliding-aAvay grace of expression 
of which the old minstrel vaunted — 

' Forbye how sweet my numbeia flow, 
And slide away like water."' 



THE FLOWER OF WOMANHEID. 



Thou well of virtue, flower of womanheid. 
And patron unto patiens: 

Lady of lawty baith in word and deid, 
Rycht sobir, svveit, full meik of eloquens, 
Baith gude and fair; to your magnificens 

I me commend, as I haif done before. 

My sempill heart for now and evermore. 



For evermore I sail you service mak: 
Sen of befoir into my mynd I made. 

Sen first I knew your ladyship, hot lak 
All bcwtie, youth and womanheid ye had, 
Withouten rest my heart couth not evade. 

Thus am I yours, and ay sen.syne haif bene, 

Commandit thereto by your twa fair ene. 



46 



ALEXANDER SCOT. 



Your twa fair ene maks me aft syis to sing, 
Your twa fair ene maks me to sicli also, 

Your twa fair ene maks me grit comforting, 
Your twa fair ene is wyt of all my woe, 
Your twa fair ene will not ane heart let go, 

But links him fast that gets a sicht of them: 

Of every virtue brielit, ye bear the name. 

Ye bear tlie name of gentilness of blude, 
Ye bear the name that mony for ye deis. 

Ye bear the name ye are baitli fair and gude, 
Ye bear the name of every sweit can pleis, 
Ye bear the name fortune and you agreis, 

Ye bear the name of lands of lenth and 
breid : 

The well of vertew and flower of womanheid ! 



RONDEL OF LOVE. 

Lo what it is to luve, 

Learn ye tluit list to pruve, 
Uy me, 1 say, that no Avays may 

The grand of greif remuve. 
But still decay, both nicht and day; 

Lo what it is to luve. 

Luve is ane fervent fire, 

Kendiilit without desire. 
Short plesour, lang displesour; 

Repentance is tiie hire ; 
Ane pure tre.ssour, without messotir; 

Luve is ane fervent fire. 

To luve and to be wise. 

To rcge with gude adwise; 
Now thus, now than, so goes the game, 

Incertain is tiie dice; 
There is no man, I say, that can 

Both luve and to be wi.se. 

Flee alwayis from the snare. 

Learn at me to i)eware; 
It is ane pain and dowble train 

Of endless M'oe and care: 
For to refrain tiiat dcngcr plain, 

Flee ulwavs from the snare. 



TO HIS HLAKT. 

Hence, iicart, with her that must depart, 
.Anil hald thee with thy soverain. 

For I had lever want ane iieart, 

Nor have tiic heart that docs me pain; 



Therefore go with tliy luve remain. 
And let me live tiius unmolest; 

See that thou come not back again. 
But bide with her thou luvis best. 

Sen she that I have servit lang 

Is to depart so suddenly. 
Address thee now, for thou sail gang 

And beir thy lady company. 
Fra she be gone, heartless am I; 

For why? thou art with her possest. 
Therefore, my heart! go hence in liy, 

And bide with her thou luvis best. 

Though this belappit body here 

Be bound to servitude and thrall, 
My faithful heart is free inteir, 

And mind to serve my lady at all. 
Wald God that I were perigall 

Under that redolent rose to rest! 
Yet at the least, my heart, thou sail 

Abide with her thou luvis best. 

Sen in your garth the lily whyte 

May not remain amang the lave, 
Adieu the flower of haill delyte; 

Adieu tiie succour that may me save; 
Adieu the fragrant balmie suaif, 

And lamp of ladies lustiest! 
My faithful heart she sail it have, 

To bide with her it luvis best. 

Deplore, ye ladies clear of hue, 

Her absence, sen she must depart. 
And specially ye luvers true. 

That wounded be with luvis dart. 
For ye sail want you of ane heart 

As weil as I, therefore at last 
Do go with mine, with mind inwart. 

And bide witii her thou luvis best. 



LOVE ANE LEVELLER. 

Lov3 preysis, bot comparison. 

Both gentle, simple, general: 
.\nd of free will gives wareson, 

As fortune chances to befal; 
For love makes noble ladies thrall 

To baser men of birth and blude; 
So love gaurs sober women small 

Get maistrice o'er great men of gude. 

Firm love, for favour, fear, or fcid, 

Of rich nor poor to speak should spare; 

For love to greatness has no heed, 
Nor lightless lowliness ane air, 

But puts all persons in compare: 
This proverb plainly for to preve, 



ALEXANDER SCOT. 



47 



That men and women, less and mair, 
Are come from Adam and from Eve. 

So though my liking were a lady, 

And I no lord, yet ne'ertheless. 
She should my service find as ready 

As duke to duchess dought him dress; 
For as proud princely love express 

Is to have soverainitie; 
So service comes of simpleness, 

And lealest love of low degree. 

So lovers lair no leid should lack, 

A lord to love a simple lass; 
A lady also for love to take 

Ane proper page her time to pass — ■ 
For why? as bright bene burnished brass 

As silver wrought in ricli device. 
And as gude drinking out of glass 

As gold — though gold give greater price. 



THE EAGLE AND ROBIN REDBREAST. 

The prince of all the fethert kynd. 
That witii spred wings out fleis the wind. 
And tours far out of humane sicht 
To view the schynand orb of licht: 
This ryall bird, the braif and great. 
And armit Strang for stern debait, 
Xae tyrant is, but condescends 
Aftymes to treit inferiour friends. 

Ane day at his command did flock 
To liis hie palace on a rock. 
The courtiers of ilk various syze 
That swiftly swim in christal skyis; 
Thitiier the valiant tersals doup. 
And heir rapacious corbies croup. 
With grcidy gleds and slie gormahs, 
And dinsome pyis and clatterin daws; 
Proud pecocks, and a hundred mae, 
Bruscht up tliair pens tiiat solemn day, 
Bowd first submissive to my lord, 
Then tuke thair places at liis borde. 

Mein tyme quhyle feisting on a fawn, 
And drinking blude frae lamics drawn, 
A tuneFull robin trig and yung. 
Hard by upon a bour-tree sung. 
He sang the eagles ryall lyne. 
His persing ce and richt divyne, 
To sway out-owre the fetherit thrang, 
Quha dreid his martial bill and fang; 
His flicht sublime, and eild renewit, 
His mynd witii ciemencie endewit; 



In safter notes he sang his luvc, 
Mair hie his beiring bolts for Jove. 

The monarch bird with blythness hard 
The chaunting litil silvan bard, 
Calit up a buzart, quha was than 
His favourite and chamberlane. 
Swift to my treasury, quod he. 
And to yon canty robin gie 
As mekle of our currant geir 
As may mentain him throw the yeir; 
We can weil spairt, and its his due. 
He bad, and furth the Judas flew. 
Straight to the brench quhair robin sung, 
And with a wickit lieand tung. 
Said, Ah! ye sing sae dull and ruch. 
Ye haif deivt our lugs mair than enuch. 
His majestie lies a nyse eeir. 
And nae mair of your stutt'can beir; 
Poke up your pypes, be nae mair sene 
At court, I warn ye as a frein. 

He spak, quhyle roljinis swelling breist 
And drouping wings his greif exprest; 
The teirs ran happing doun his cheik. 
Grit grew iiis liairt he coud nocht speik, 
Xo for the tinsell of rewaird. 
But tiuit his notis met nae regaird; 
Straicht to the schaw he spred his wing, 
Resolvit again nae mair to sing, 
Quhair princelie bountie is supprest. 
By sic with quhome they ar opprest, 
Quha cannot beir (because they want it) 
That ocht suld be to merit grantit. 



LAMENT WHEN HIS AVIFE LEFT 
HIM. 

To love unlov'd it is a pain; 
For she that is my sovereign, 

Some wanton man so high has set her, 
That I can get no love again. 

But break my heart, and nought the better. 

When that I went with that sweet may 
To dance, to sing, to sport, and play. 

And oft-times in my armis plet her — 
I do now mourn both night and day. 

And break my heart, and nought tiie better. 

Where I was wont to see her go. 
Eight timely passand to and fro, 

With comely smiles when that I met hei" — 
And now 1 live in pain and wo. 

And break my heart, and nouglit the better. 



48 



GEORGE BUCHANAN. 



Whattaue ane glaikit fool am I 
To slay myself with melancholy, 

Sen Weill I ken I may not get her? 
Or what should be the cause, and Avhy, 

To break my heart, and nought the better? 



My heart, sen thou may not her please, 
Adieu ! as good love comes as gais; 

Go choose another, and forget her ! 
God give him doleur and disease, 

That breaks his heart, and nought the better. 



GEOEGE BUCHANAN 



Born 1506 — Died 1582. 



George Buchanan, the best Latin poet of 
his time, and known as the Scottish Virgil, 
was born at Killearn, Stirlingshire, in Feb- 
ruary, 1506. He was educated at the Univer- 
sity of Paris, and at the College of St. Andrews, 
taking his degree of Bachelor of Arts, Octo- 
ber 3, 1525. While employed as tutor to the 
Karl of Murray he gave great oflFence to the 
clergy by a satirical poem, and was obliged to 
take refuge on the Continent, from Avhich he 
(lid not return to Scotland until 1560. While 
living abroad he Avas for a time tutor to the 
celebrated Montaigne, who records the fact in 
his Essays; and for a year and a half he was 
confined in the dungeons of the Inquisition, 
tiien transferred to a monastery, where he 
employed his leisure in writing a considerable 
portion of his inimitable Latin version of the 
I'salms. Though he had embraced the Pro- 
testant religion, and was well known as a 
reformer, his reception at the court of Queen 
Mary was favourable; he became her classical 
tutor, was employed to regulate the univer- 
sities, and became Principal of St. Leonard's 
College, in the University of St. Andrews. 
Dr. Johnson greatly admired Buchanan's 
beautiful verses addressed to Mary, and said, 
"All the modern languages cannot furnish so 
melodious a line as — 

''Formosaui resonai'e doces AmarilUda ultras." 

The (|uccii bestowed on IJuclianan a pension 
of 500 pounds Scots. Although a layman he 
was in June, 1507, on account of his great 
abilities ami extraordinary learning, elected 
moderator of the (ieneral Assembly of Scotland. 
It is uncertain at what precise date his ad- 
mirable ver.iion of the I'salms was first printed, 



but a second edition appeared in 1566. The 
work was inscribed in an elegant dedication 
to Queen Mary, who in 1564, after the death 
of Queutin Kennedy, had conferred upon him 
the temporalities of Crossraguel Abbey. The 
murder of Darnley and Mary's marriage to 
Bothwell induced Buchanan to join the party 
of the Earl of Murray, whom he accompanied 
to the conference at York, and afterwards at 
Hampton Court. Whilst in London he ad- 
dressed some highly complimentary verses to 
the English queen, who had no dislike to 
praise, especially from the learned, and she 
settled upon the poet a pension of £100. At 
the desire of the earl he was prevailed upon 
to write his famous Detectlo Marice Regince, 
which was published in 1571, a year after the 
regent's assassination by Hamilton of Botii- 
wellhaugh. The year previous (1570) he was 
appointed by the estates of the realm one of 
the preceptors to the young king, who was then 
in his fourth year; and to Buchanan James VL 
was indebted for all his classical learning. The 
poet proved his independence by a liberal ap- 
plication of the rod, the fame whereof has 
come down to our own day ; and he said of the 
Scottish Solomon that he " m.ade him a pedant 
because he could make nothing else of him." 
When seated on the English throne the king 
used to say of a person in high place about 
him, that he ever "trembled at his approach; 
it minded him so of his pedagogue." James 
regarded Buchanan's History of Scotland as 
an infamous invective, and admonished his son 
in his Basilkon Doron to punish such of his 
future subjects as should be guilty of possessing 
copies of the work. 

In the seventy- fourth year of his age 



GEORGE BUCHANAN. 



49 



Buchanan composed a brief sketch of his own 
life, and about the same time published his 
famous treatise De Jure Begni, advocating 
strongly the rights of the people. The last 
twelve years of his life he employed in com- 
posing in Latin his well-known history of 
Scotland, published in Edinburgh in 1582, 
under the title of litirum Scoticarum Historia. 
He died, unmarried, on the morning of Friday, 
Sept. 28, 1582, and was honourably interred by 
the city of Edinburgh in the Grey friars' Church- 
yard; and, says Dr. Irving in his life of the 
poet, '"his ungrateful country never afforded 
his grave the common tribute of a monumental 
stone." Since those lines were written the 
poet of whom Scotland is justly proud has 
been indebted to a simple Scottish artisan for 
erecting a tablet to point out to the pilgrim 
to his grave the last resting-place of not only 
the first Latin poet of liis country, but of his 
age. An edition of Buchanan's works was 
published by Ruddiman at Edinburgh, in two 
folio vols, in 1714, and another at Leyden in 
4to in 1725. 

The character and works of Buchanan, who 



was equally distinguished as a poet, historian, 
and jurist, exhibit a rare union of philosophi- 
cal dignity and research with the finer sensi- 
bilities and imagination of the poet. Even Dr. 
Johnson admitted his great literary achieve- 
ments in his happy reply to Buchanan's coun- 
tryman, who said, "Ah! Dr. Johnson, what 
would you have said of Buchanan had he been 
an Englishman?" "Why, sir," he replied, 
" I should not have said had he been an Eng- 
lishman what I will say of him as a Scotchman, 
that he was the only man of genius his country 
ever produced. " Certainly the most applauded 
of Buchanan's jjoetical works is tiie translation 
of the Psalms, particularly Ps. civ., which has 
been rendered into Latin by nine Scottish 
poets. Mackenzie remarks that his " version 
of the Psalms will be esteemed and admired 
as long as the world endures, or men have any 
relish for poetry;" and Bishop Burnet said, 
"Buchanan in his immortal poems shows so 
well how he could imitate all the Roman poets 
in their several ways of writing, that he who 
compares them will be often led to prefer the 
copy to the original." 



ON NE^RA.i 



My wreck of mind and all my woes. 
And all my ills, that day arose, 
AVhen on the fair Xejera's eyes 

Like stars that shine 
At first, with hapless fond surprise, 

I gazed with mine. 

When my glance met her searching glance, 

A shivering o'er my body burst, 
As light leaves in the green woods dance 

When western breezes stir them first; 
Sly heart forth from my breast to go, 

And mix with hers already wanting, 
Now beat, now trembled to and fro, 

With eager fondness leaping, panting. 

Just as a boy, whose nourice wooes him, 
Folding his young limbs in her bosom, 
Heeds not caresses from another. 
But turns his eyes still to his mother, 

1 This and the succeeding poem were translated from 
the Latin of Bnchaiian by Roliert Hogg, a nepliew of 
the Ettrick Shepherd —Ed. 



AVlien she may once regard him, watches, 
And forth his little fond arms stretches. 
Just as a bird within the nest 

That cannot fly, yet constant trying, 
Its weak wings on its tender breast 

Beats Avith the vain desire of flying. 

Thou, wary mind, thyself preparing 
To live at peace, from all ensnaring. 
That thou mightst never mischief catch, 
Plac'dst you, unhappy eyes, to watch 
AVith vigilance that knew no rest. 
Beside the gateways of the breast. 

But you, induc'd by dalliance deep, 
Or guile, or overcome by slec]i. 
Or else have of your own accord 
Consented to betray your lord; 
lioth heart and soul then fled and left 
Me spiritless, of mind bereft. 

Then cease to weep: use is there none 
To think by weeping to atone; 
Since heart and spirit from me fled. 
You move not by the tears you shed; 



50 



GEOEGE BUCHANAN. 



But go to her, entreat, obtain; 
1 f you do not entreat, and gain, 
Then will I ever make you gaze 
L'pon lier, till in dark amaze 

You sightless in your sockets roll, 
Extinguishd by her eyes" bright blaze, 

As I have been deprived of heart and soul. 



THE FIRST OF MAY. 

All hail to thee, thou First of May, 
Sacred to wonted sport and play, 
To wine, and jest, and dance, and song, 
And mirth that lasts the whole day long I 
Hail I of the seasons honour bright. 
Annual return of sweet delight; 
Flower of reviving summer's reign, 
Tiiat hastes to time's old age again ! 
Wiien spring's mild air at Nature's birth 
First breath'd upon the new-form'd earth; 
Or when the fabled age of gold. 
Without fix'd law, spontaneous roH'd; 
Such zephyrs, in continual gales, 
Pass'd temperate along the vales. 
And soften'd and refresh'd the soil. 
Not broken yet by human toil; 
Such fruitful warmths perpetual rest 
On the fair islands of the blest — 
Those plains where fell disease's moan 
And fraH old age are-both unknown. 
Such winds with gentle whispers spread 
Among the dwellings of the dead. 
And shake the cypresses that grow 
Whci-e Lethe murmurs soft and slow. 
Perhaps when God at last in ire 
Shall purify the world with fire, 
.\nd to mankind restore again 
Times happy, void of sin and pain. 
The beings of this earth beneath 
Such pure ethereal air shall breathe. 

Hail! glory of the fleeting yearl 
Hail I day the fairest, happiest herel 
Memorial of the time gone by. 
And emblem of futurity! 



FRANCISCANUS.i 

(extracts.) 

Oft musinff on the ills of human life, 
Its brioyant hopes, wild fears, and idle strife, 

' Tliew extracts, piibliHhed anonymously, are believed 
to liave been tninslateil from Buchanan's bitter and 
jKiwerfiil untire against the Franciscan friars by tlie 
Kev. Dr. CandliHli.— Kd. 



And joys — of hue how changeful ! tho' serene, 
That flit ere you can tell where they have been — 
(Even as the bark, when ocean's surges sweep, 
Raised by the waning- winds, along the deep 
Is headlong by the howling tempest driven, 
While the staid pilot, to whose charge is given 
Her guidance, skilfully the helm applies, 
And in the tempest's face she fairly forward flies), 
I have resolved, my earthly wandering past, 
In rest's safe haven to secure at last 
Whate'er of fleeting life, by Fate's decree 
Ere end my pilgrimage, remains to me, — 
To give to Heaven the remnant of my days — 
And wash away in penitence and praise, 
Far from this wild world's revelry uncouth, 
The sins and follies of my heedless youth. 
0, blest and hallowed day! with cincture bound, 
My shaven head the gray hood veiling round, 
St, Francis, under thine auspicious name, 
I wiU prescribe unto this fleshly frame 
A life ethereal, that shall upward rise. 
My heavenward soul commercing with the skies. 
This is my goal — to this my actions tend^ 
My resting-place — original and end. 

If 'tis thine aim to reach the goal of life 
Thro' virtue's path, and, leaving childish strife, 
To free thy darken'd mind from error's force 
To trace the laws of virtue to their source. 
And raise to heavenly things thy pui-ged sight, 
I view thy noble purpose with delight; 
But if a shadowy good doth cross thy way, 
And lure thee, phantom-like — but to betray — 
Oh! while 'tis time, restrain thy mad career, 
And a true friend's yet timely warning hear; 
Nor let old error with bewilder'd eye. 
Nor let the blind and senseless rabble's cry 
More move thee than stern reason's simple sway, 
That points to truth the undiscovered way. 
But deem not that high Heaven I dare defy, 
Or raise again vain war against the skj\ 
For from my earliest youth I have rever'd 
The priests and holy fathers, who appeared 
By virtue's and religion's holy flame 
Worthy a bright eternity of fame. 
But seldom underneath the dusky cowl. 
That shades the shaven head and monkish scowl, 
I picture a St. Paul : the priestly stole 
Oft covers the remorseless tyrant's soul. 
The glutton's and the adulterer's grovelling lust, 
Like soulless brute, each wallowing in the dust, 
And the smooth hypocrite's still smiling brow. 
That tells not of the villany below. 

Still deathful is the drug-envenom'd draught, 
Tho' golden be the bowl from which 'tis quaff 'd: 
The ass, in Tyrian purple tho' array'd. 
Is as much ass, as a.ss-like when he bray'd; 
Still fierce will be the lioness — the fox 
Still crafty — and still mild the mighty ox — 



JAMES THE FIFTH. 



51 



The vulture still will whet the thirsty beak — 
The twittering swallow still will chirp and squeak : 
Thus tho' the vesture shine like drifted snow, 
The heart's dark passions lurk unehang'd below. 
Nor when the viper lays aside his skin, 
Less baleful does the venom work within; 
The tiger frets against his cage's side. 
As wild as when he roam'd in chainless pride. 
Thus neither crossing mountains nor the main. 
Nor flying human haunts and follies vain, 



Nor the black robe nor white, nor cowl-clad head. 
Nor munching ever black and mouldy bread. 
Will lull the darkly-working soul to rest, 
And calm the tumults of the troubl'd breast. 
For always, in whatever spot you be, 
Even to the confines of the Frozen Sea, 
Or near the sun, beneath a scorching clime. 
Still, still will follow the tierce lust of crime — 
Deceit and the dark working of the mind. 
Where'er you i-oam, will not be left behind. 



JAMES THE EIFTH 



Born 1512 — Died 1542. 



James the Fifth was born at the palace 
of Linlithgow in the month of April, 1512. 
When the fatal field of Flodden numbered 
,among its victims tlie chivalrous James lY., 
his successor, the infant prince, was not a year 
and a half old. Among those who had charge 
of liis education was tlie celebrated Sir David 
Lindsay of the JMount, and John Bellenden, 
the translator of Boethius" Histori/. The works 
of both authors abound with passages referring 
to tlie share which they had in the formation 
of the young sovereign's character. It would 
.seem that to the poet the task had chiefly fallen 
of attending the prince in his hours of amuse- 
ment. In his "Complaint" he says — 

"And ay quheu thou came from the sehiile, 
Then I beliufft to play the fiile." 

It is to the happy influence of Sir David 
Lindsay that we may ascribe a large share of 
that regard for justice, that taste for literature 
and art, and that love of poetry, music, and 
romance for which the young Scottish king- 
became distinguisiied. 

In his twelfth year tlie nobles, tired of the 
state of misrule into wiiich Scotland had been 
brought, and of the dissensions among them- 
selves, requested James to assume the govern- 
ment. His power, however, was merely 
nominal, as four guardians were appointed, 
by M'hom the wliole authority of the state was 
exercised in his name. The Earl of Angus, 
one of these, soon obtained the ascendency 
over his colleagues, and he held the young- 



king in sucli restraint as induced Jiim to make 
his escape from the palace of Falkland when 
in his seventeenth year, and take refuge in 
Stirling Castle, the residence of his mother. 
By the most vigorous measures the king now 
proceeded to repress disorders and punish crime 
throughout the kingdom. Attended by a 
numerous retinue, under tlie pretence of enjoy- 
ing the pleasures of hunting, he visited various 
districts, executing thieves and. marauders, 
and caused the laws to be obeyed on every foot 
of Scottish soil. The most memorable of his 
victims was the noted borderer Johnnie Arm- 
strong, who was summarily hanged with his 
twenty-four followers, "quhilk," says Pit- 
scottie, "monie Scottisman heavilie lamented, 
for he was ane doubtit man and als guid ane 
chieftain as evir was upon the borderis aitlicr 
of Scotland or England." 

In 1535 James proceeded to France upon a 
matrimonial expedition, and married Magchi- 
lene, eldest daughter of the French king, who 
died of consumption within forty days of licr 
arrival in Scotland. He afterwards espoused 
]\Iary of Guise. A rupture with Henry VIII. 
led to the battle of Sol way Moss, one of the 
most inglorious engagements in Scottish annals. 
The command of the army having been con- 
ferred on Oliver Sinclair, a favourite of the 
king, the high-spirited and discontented nobles 
indignantly refused to obey such a leader, and 
were in consequence easily defeated by an 
inferior force. When the tidings of this 
disaster reached James he was frantic with 



52 



JAMES THE FIFTH. 



grief and mortification. Hastening to Edin- 
burgh, he shut himself up for a week, and 
then passed over to Falkland, where he took 
to his bed. Meantime the queen had given 
birth to a daughter, afterwards the beautiful 
but unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots. On 
being informed of this event he said, " It came 
with a lass, and it will go with a lass," deem- 
ing it another misfortune that it was not a 
male heir. A little before his death, which 
occurred previous to the 13th of December, 
1542, when he was but thirty-one years of age, 
he was heard muttering the words " Sol way 
Moss," the .scene of that disaster which hui-ried 
him to an early grave. The love of justice 
endeared the lamented monarch to the people, 
who conferred on him the title of " King of 
the Poor." Other princes have been called 
great and bold and mighty, but it was the far 
nobler pride of James to be styled The Kixg 
OF THE PooK. 

Of the elegant and useful arts, and of all 
l>ranches of what was called profane learning, 
he was a liberal patron and active promoter. 
"He furnisched the countrie," says Pitscottie-, 
"with all kyndis of craftismen, sik as French- 
men, Spainyardis, and Dutchmen, quhilk ever 
wes the finest of thair pi'ofessioun that culd be 
had : quhilk brought the countrie to great 
poiicie." Lindsay, Buchanan, Bellenden, 
Maitland, Montgomery, and many others of 



inferior fame, were among the men of letters 
who contributed to shed a lustre on his reign, 
and who, in an age when there was no reading 
public, could live on the patronage of the 
court alone. To gratify a strong passion for 
adventures of a romantic character James 
would often roam through the country in dis- 
guise under the soubriquet of " Tlie Gudeman 
of Ballangeich." He is believed to be the 
author of the well-known and popular ballads 
of "The Gaberlunzie Man" and "The JoUie 
Beggar," both founded on his own adventures. 
Sir Walter Scott said of the last-mentioned, 
that it was the best comic ballad in any lan- 
guage. George Chalmers and some other 
authorities have attributed other productions 
to the pen of the commons' king, but it is 
thought without suificient evidence. The 
two songs attributed to James V. are both pro- 
ductions of great merit — remarkable for their 
roguish humour and freedom of expression, 
albeit they are rather broad for the last half 
of the nineteenth century: 

" Old times are changed, old manners gone." 

Yet no change of manners or evolutions of 
time will much affect poetry which is founded 
in nature; and this makes the lyrics of James 
as fresh and lively and intelligible as they 
were more than three hundred years ago, when 
they were composed by the young king. 



THE GABERLUNZIE -MAN. 



The pawky auld carle came o'er the lee, 
Wi' many good e'ens and days to me, 
Saying, Goodwife, for your courtesie, 

Will you lodge a silly poor man? 
Tlie night was cauld, the carle was wat. 
And doun ayont tlie ingle he sat; 
My daughter's shoulders he 'gan to clap. 

And cadgily ranted and sang. 

O wow ! (|uo' he, were I as free 
.\s first wiicn I saw tiiis countrie, 
How blytlie and merry wad I be ! 

And I wad never tiiink lang. 
He grew canty, and siic grew fain, 
liut little did her auld niinny ken 
Wliat thir slee twa tlicgithcr were say'ng. 

When wooing they were .sae thrang. 



.\nd 0, quo' he, an' ye were as black 
As e'er the croun of my daddy's hat, 
'Tis I wad lay thee by my back. 

And awa' wi' me thou shou'd gang. 
And O, quo' she, an I Avere as white 
As e'er the snaw lay on the dike, 
I'd deed me braw and lady like, 

And awa' wi' thee I wou'd gang. 

Between the twa was made a plot; 
They rose a wee before the cock, 
And wilily they shot the lock. 

And fast to the bent are they gane. 
Up in the morn the auld wife raise, 
And at her leisure pat on her claise; 
Syne to the servant's bed she gaes, 

To spcer for the silly poor man. 



JAMES THE FIFTH. 



53 



She gaed to the bed where the beggar lay; 
The strae was caiild, he was away, 
She clapt lier hands, cry'd Wahiday, 

For some of our gear will be gane ! 
Some ran to coffer, and some to kist. 
But nought was stown that could be mist; 
She danc'd her lane, cry'd Praise be blest, 

I have lodg'd a leal poor man ! 

Since nacthing's awa', as we can learn, 

The kirn's to kirn, and milk to earn, 

Gae but the house, lass, and waken my bairn. 

And bid her come quickly ben. 
The servant gaed where the daughter lay. 
The sheets were cauld, she was away, 
Aud fast to her goodwife did say. 

She's aft" with the gaberlunzie man. 

fy gar ride, and fy gar rin, 

And haste ye find these traitors again; 

For she's be burnt, and he's be slain, 

The Avearifu' gaberlunzie man. 
Some rade upo' horse, some ran a-fit, 
The wife was wud, and out o' her wit. 
She could na gang, nor yet cou'd she sit. 

But she curs'd ay, and she bann'd. 

^leantime far 'hind out o'er the lee, 

Fu' snug in a glen, where nane cou'd see. 

The twa, with kindly sport and glee. 

Cut frae a new cheese a whang' 
The priving was good, it pleas'd them baitli, 
To lo'e her for ay, he gae her his aith. 
Quo' she, To leave thee I will be laith, 

ily winsome gaberlunzie man. 

kend my minny I were wi' you, 
Ill-faurdl}' wad she crook her mou'; 
Sic a poor man she'd never trow, 

After the gaberlunzie man. 
My dear, quo' he, ye're yet o'er young. 
And hae na learn'd the beggar's tongue 
To follow me frae town to town, 

And carry the gaberlunzie on. 

Wi' cauk and keel I'll win your bread. 
And spindles and whorles for them wha need, 
Whilk is a gentle trade indeed, 

To carry the gaberlunzie on. 
I'll bow my leg, and crook my knee, 
,\nd draw a black clout o'er my ee; 
.\ cripple or blind they will ca' me. 

While we shall be merry aud sing. 



THE JOLLY BEGGAR. 

There was a jollie beggar, 
And a begging he was boun, 



And he took up his quarters 

Into a landart town: 
He wadna lie into the barn, 

Xor wad he in the byre, 
But in ahint the ha" door, 
Or else afore the fire. 

And we'll go no more a roving, 

A roving in the night; 
We'll go no more a roving, 

Let the moon shine e'er so bright. 

The beggar's bed was made at e'en, 

Wi' gude clean straw and hay, 
And in ahint the ha' door 

'Twas there the beggar lay. 
Up gat the gudeman's daughter, 

All for to bar the door, 
And there she saw the beggarmau 
Standing in the floor. 

And we'll go no more a roving, 

A roving in the night. 
Though maids be e'er so loving, 
And the moon shine e'er so bright. 

He took the lassie in his arms, 

Fast to the bed he ran — 
hoolie, hoolie wi' me, sir, 
Ye'll waken our gudeman. 
The beggar was a cunning loon. 

And ne'er a word he spak — 
But lang afore the cock had crawn 
Thus he began to crack: 

And we'll go no more a roving, 

A roving in the night. 
Save when the moon is moving, 
And the stars are shining bright. 

Have ye ony dogs about this toun, 

Maiden, tell me true? 
And what wad ye do wi' them. 

My hinney and my dow? 
They'll rive a' my meal-powks. 

And do me mickle wrang. 

dool for the doing o't, 
Are ye the poor man? 

And we'll go no more a roving, 

A roving in the night, 
Nor sit a sweet maid loving 

By coal or candle light. 

Then up she gat the meal-powks, 
And flang them o'er the wa', 

The deil gae wi the meal powks 
Jly maiden fame and a' ; 

1 took ye for some gentleman, 

At least the laird o' Brodie — 
dool for the doing o't. 
Are ye the poor bodie? 



54 



ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY. 



And we'll go no more a roving, 
A roving in the night, 

Although the moon is moving, 
And stars are shining bright. 

He took the lassie in his arms, 

And gae her kisses tlu'ee, 
And four-and-twenty hunder merk 

To pay the nurse's fee: 
He took a wee horn frae his side, 

And blew baith loud and shrill. 
And four-and-twenty belted knights 

Came skipping o'er the hill. 
And we'll go no more a roving. 
A roving in the night, 



Nor sit a sweet maid loving 
By coal or candle light. 

And he took out his little knife, 

Loot a' his duddies fa'. 
And he was the brawest gentleman 

That was amang them a'. 
The beggar was a clever loon, 

And he lap shoulder height, 
ay for sicken quarters 
As I got yesternight ! 

And we'll ay gang a roving, 

A roving in the night. 
For then the maids are loving, 
And stars are shining bright. 



ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY. 



Born 1540 - Died 1614. (?) 



Alexander Montgomery, known as a poet 
in 1568, is supposed to have been a younger 
son of Montgomery of Hazlehead Castle, in 
Ayrshire. Of his personal history there are 
no authentic memorials. In his poem entitled 
"The Navigatioun," he calls himself "ane 
(lerman born." Dempster describes him as 
' ^EquesMontanns vnlgo vocatiis;" but is certain 
that he was never knighted. In the titles to 
his works he is styled Captain, and it has been 
conjectured tiiat he was an officer in the body- 
guard of tiie Regent Morton. Melville in liis 
Diari/ mentions him about 1577 as "Captain 
Montgomery, a good honest man, and the 
regent's domestic." His poetical talents se- 
cured him the friendship of James VI., from 
wiiom lie received a pension. In the king's 
"Renlis and Cautelis to be observit and 
csehewit in Scottish Pocsic," published in 
1584, his majesty quotes some of Montgomery's 
poem.s as c.vamples of the different styles of 
verse. His best known production is his alle- 
gorical poem of " The Cherrie and the Slae," 
on wiiich Allan I?amsay formed the model of 
his "Vision," and to one particular passage 
in which he was indebted for his description 
of the fieniuH of Caledonia. It was first pub- 
lished in 151)5, and reprinted two years later 
by Robert Waldcgrave, "according to a copie 
corrected by tlic author liimsulfc." .Vnothcr 



of his compositions is styled "The Flyting 
between Montgomerie and Polwart," which is 
written after the manner of the "Flyting of 
Dunbar and Kennedie." He is also the author 
of "The Minde's Melodic," consisting of para- 
phrases of the Psalms, and a great variety of 
sonnets. Among the books presented by Drum- 
mond of Hawthornden to the University of 
Edinburgh is a manuscript collection of the 
poems of Montgomery, consisting of odes, 
sonnets, psalms, and epitaphs. His death 
occurred between 1597 and 1615, in which 
latter year an edition of his "Cherrie and 
Slae" was printed by Andrew Hart. Editions 
of his poetical works were published in 1751 
and 1754; and in 1822 a complete edition, 
with a biographical preface by Dr. Irving, was 
issued in Edinburgh, under the superintend- 
ence of David Laing. 

An eminent critic says of Montgomery, that 
he "deserves more notice than he hasobtained; 
he was long spoken of, but seldom read; and 
I am willing to believe that the fortunate 
abuse of Pinkerton contributed to his fame, by 
arming in his behalf all the lovers of old Scot- 
tish song. The cast of his genius is lyrical; 
there is a sweetness and a liquid motion about 
even his most elaborate productions, and one 
cannot easily avoid chanting many passages on 
perusal. His thoughts are ready, his images 



ALEXANDEE MONTGOMERY. 



at hand, and his illustrations natural and 
apt. His language is ever flowing, felicitous, 
and abundant. His faults are the faults of 
the times. Printing had opened the treasures 
of ancient lore; and all our compositions were 
speckled and spotted with classical allusions. 
He embalms conceits in a stream of melody, 
and seeks to consecrate anew the faded splen- 
dour of the heathen mythology. Such dis- 



play of scholarship was less affected then than 
it would be now. To glance, as the stream of 
story flows along, at old glory and at ancient 
things, is very well when happily managed 
and not dwelt upon; but Venus can only come 
into courtships now to be laughed at, and the 
most reasonable god in all the mythology will 
abate rather than increase the interest of any 
living poet's song." 



THE CHERRIE AND THE SL.A.E. 
(extract.) 

About an bank with balmy benis, 
Quhair nyclitingales thair notis renewis, 

With gallant goldspinks gay; 
The mavis, merle, and progiie proud. 
The lintquhyt, lark, and laverock loud, 

Salutit mirthful May. 
Quhen Philomel had sweitly sung, 

To progne scho deplord, 
How Tereus cut out hir tung, 
And faJsly hir deflourd; 
Quilk story so sorie 
To schaw hir self scho semit, 
To heir hir so neir hir, 
I doubtit if I dreimit. 

The cushat crouds, the corl)ie crys. 
The coukow conks, the prattling pyes 

To geek hir they begin: 
The jargoun or the jangling jayes. 
The craiking craws, and keckling kays, 

They deavt me with tliair din. 
The painted pawn with Argos eyis 

Can on his mayock call; 
The turtle wails on witherit treis. 
And eccho answers all, 
Repeting with greiting, 
How fair Narcissus fell, 
By lying and spying 
His schadow in the well. 

T saw the luircheon and the hare 
In hidlings hirpling heir and thair. 

To nnvk thair morning mange. 
The con, the cuning, and the cat. 
Quhais dainty downs with dew were wat, 

With stif mustachis strange. 
The hart, the hynd, the dae, the rae. 

The fulmart and false fo,\; 
The beardit buck clam up the brae, 

With birssy bairs and brocks; 



Siini feidiiig, sum dreiding 
Tiie hunter's subtile snairs, 
With skipping and tripping. 
They playit them all in pairs. 

The air was sobir, saft, and sweit, 
Nae misty vapours, wind, nor weit, 

But quyit, calm, and clear, 
To foster Flora's fragrant flowris, 
Quhairon Apollo's paramouris. 

Had trinklit mony a teir; 
The quhilk lyke silver schaikers shynd, 

Embroydering bewties bed, 
Quhairwith their heavy heids declynd, 
In Mayis collouris cled. 

Sum knoping, sum droping. 
Of balmy liquor sweit. 
Excelling and smelling. 
Throw Phebus hailsiim heit. 

Methocht an heavenlie heartsum thina 
Quhair dew lyke diamonds did hing, 

Owre twinkling all the treis, 
To study on the flurist twists, 
Admiring nature's alchymists, 

Laborious bussie beis, 
Quhairof sum sweitest honie socht. 

To stay thair lyves frae sterve, 
And sum the.waxie veschells wrocht, 
Thair purchase to preserve; 
So helping, for keiping 
It in thair hyves they hyde, 
Precisely and wysely, 
For winter they provyde. 



NIGHT IS NIGH GONE. 

Hey, now the day's dawning; 
The jolly cock's crowing; 
The eastern sky's glowing; 
Stars fade one bv one; 



56 



ALEXANDEE MONTGOMERY. 



The thistle cock's crying 
On lovers long lying, 
Cease vowing and sighing; 
The night is uigh gone. 

The fields are o'erflowing 
With gowans all glowing, 
And white lilies growing, 

A tliousand as one; 
The sweet ring-dove cooing, 
His love notes renewing, 
Xow moaning, now suing; 

The night is nigh gone. 

The season excelling, 

In scented flowers smelling. 

To kind love compelling 

Our hearts every one; 
AVith sweet ballads moving 
The maids we are loving, 
Mid musing and roving 

The night is nigh gone. 

Of Avar and fair women 

The young knights are dreaming, 

With bright breastplates gleamins 

And plumed helmets on; 
Tiie barbed steed neighs lordly, 
.\nd shakes his mane proudly. 
For war-trumpets loudly 

Say night is nigh gone. 

I see the flags flowing. 
The warriors all glowing. 
And, snorting and blowing, 

The steeds rushing on; 
The lances are crashing, 
Out broad blades come flashing 
.Mid shouting and dashing — 

The nigiit is nigh gone. 



WHILE WITH IIER AVIIITE HANDS. 

While with her white and nimble hands 
Jly mistress gathering blossoms stands 

.\mid the flowery mead; 
Of lilies white, and viulets, 
A garland properly she plaits 

To set upon her head: 

Thou sun, now shining bright above, 
If ever thou the fire of love 

Hunt felt, as poets feign: 
If it be true, as true it seems, 
In courtesy withdraw thy i)eams, 

JiCst thou her colour stain. 



If thou her fairness wilt not burn 
She'll quit thee with a kinder turn, 

And close her sparkling eyes; — 
A brightness far surpassing thine, 
Lest thou thereby ashamed should tyne 

Thy credit in the skies. 



VAIN LOVERS. 

None love, but fools, unloved again. 

Who tyne their time and come no speed. 
Make this a maxim to remain. 

That love bears none but fools at feid; 
And they get aye a good gooseheed. 

In recompense of all their pain. 
So of necessitie men succeed : 

None love, but fools, unloved again. 

I wot a wise man will bewai'e, 

And will not venture but advice; 
Great fools, for me, I think they are 

Who seek warm water under ice: 
Yet some more wilful are than wise. 

That for their love's sake would be slain; 
Buy no repentance at that price — 

None love, but fools, unloved again. 

Though some we see in every age. 

Like glaikit fools, gang giddy gates. 
Where reason finds no place for rage. 

They love them best who them but hates: 
Syne of their follies wyte the fates. 

As destiny did them disdain, 
Which are but idle vain conceits, — 

None love, but fools, unloved again. 

Some by a proverb fain would prove. 

Who scarcely ever saw the schools. 
That love with reason is no love, 

Nor Constance where occasion cools: 
There they confess like frantic fools. 

That wilfully they will be vain; 
But reason, what are men but mules] 

None love, but fools, unloved again. 

Go ding a dog and he will bite, 

But fawn on him who gives him food. 
And can, as cause requires, acquit, 

,\s ill with ill, and good with good. 
Then love none but where thou art lov'd, 

And where thou finds them feign'd, refrain : 
Take this my counsel, 1 conclude — 

None love, but fools, unloved again. 



MAEY QUEEN OF SCOTS. 



57 



MAEY QUEEN OF SCOTS 



Born 1542 — Died 1587. 



Mary Quesn op Scots, the daughter of 
James V. and Mary of Lorraine, was born at 
Linlithgow Palace, December 8th, 1542. While 
she was still a child she was demanded in 
marriage by Henry VIIL of England for his 
son Edward VI. When the Earl of Huntly 
was solicited for his assistance in this measure, 
he said like a man, that he did not mislike the 
match so much, as the way of wooing. The 
wishes of this boisterous potentate were not 
gratified, and a war arose in consequence, 
during which tlie young princess was sent to 
France at the age of six years. Siie was kindly 
received by Henry IL, who resolved to educate 
her in all the accomplishments suitable to her 
elevated rank. She profited by her attention 
and her talents from the education which a 
munificent king bestowed upon her, as the 
intended wife of the dauphin, heir-apparent of 
his crown. By the death of the French king, 
and her marriage with Francis H., whom she 
also lost soon after, she became an unprotected 
widow at the age of eighteen. France had now 
no charms for her ; while she received invita- 
tions from all parties to return to her native 
country and her divided people. She arrived 
at Leith, the seaport of Edinburgh, on the 
19th of August, 1551. 

Before her departure from France Mary 
wrote verses with great facility in the language 
of that country, which may be said to have 
been her mother-tongue. She never attained 
to a good knowledge of English, not even of that 
form of it spoken in her native land. Her 
poems on the death of the dauphin, and on her 
leaving France, have " verj' considerable merit 
in the ideas, the imaginations, and the very 
genius of elegiac poetry," .says her vindicator 
Whitaker, who has translated them into Eng- 
lish. She was not only a poetess, but the 
cause of poetry in others. Many a vaudeville 
was written on her departure for Scotland, and 
one of her subjects, Alexander Scot, known as 
the Scottish Anacreon because he sung so 
much of love, sent " Ane New Year Gift" in 



the form of a poetical address, in twenty-eight 
stanzas. It begins — 

'Welcome, illustrate lady, and our queen!" 
and in one verse the poet makes pointed allu- 
sion to certain prophecies which assigned a 
brilliant future to the young queen: — 
"If saws be sooth to shaw thy celsitude, 

What baiin should brook all Britain by the sea, 
The prophecy expressly does conclude 

Tlie Frencli wife of the Bruce's blood should be: 
Tliou art by line from him tlie ninth degree, 

And was King Francis' party niaik and peer; 
So by descent the same slionld spring of thee, 
By grace of God against this good new year." 

After many vicissitudes of fortune, and 
struggles with her turbulent and semi-savage 
nobles, Mary was at last forced to flee from 
her own kingdom to that of a rival and enemy, 
for refuge from the hands of those who were 
capable of almost any deed of violence. But 
as well might the beautiful and unfortunate 
queen claim protection from her kinswoman 
as the hunted deer seek refuge in a tiger's den. 
For nineteen years .she was confined a prisoner 
in various castles, and at length ended her sad 
and chequered career on the block. She was 
beheaded at Fotheringay Castle, February 8, 
1587, in the forty-fifth year of her age. "The 
admirable and saintly fortitude with Avhich 
she suffered," it has been well remarked, 
"formed a striking contrast to the despair and 
agony which not long afterwards darkened the 
death-bed of the English queen." Her remains 
now rest in Westminster Abbey, where a mag- 
nificent monument is erected to her memory. 
Mary's sad story may be epitomized in the 
lines — 

" Beauty and angnisli walking hand in hand 
The downward slope to death." 

While the conduct and character of Queen 
Mary have been the subject of endless contro- 
versy with historians, her great beauty, her 
learning, and her many accomplishments are 
universally acknowledged. She wrote with 
elegance and force in the Latin, French, and 
Italian languages. Among her compositions 



58 



MAEY QUEEN OF SCOTS. 



are •'•Poems on Various Occasions;" "Royal 
Advice to her Son;" a copy of verses in 
French, sent with a diamond ring to Queen 
Elizabeth; and her '-Last Prayer," written 
originally in Latin. A meritorious poem of 
five stanzas has been attributed to her second 
husband. Lord Darnley, the father of James 
VI. In 1873 an edition of Queen Mary's 
poems in French was published, with an in- 



troduction by Julian Sharman. The volume 
contained eight poems.^ It is doubtful whether 
at any time the queen applied herself to the 
study or" composition of English poetry. A 
distich in that language, scrawled on a window 
at Fotheringay, is the only fragment: — 

" From the top of all my trust, 
Mishap has laid me in the dust." 



ON THE DE.iTH OF THE DAUPHIN. 

While in a tone of deepest woe 

My sweetly mournful warblings flow, 

I wildly cast my eyes around. 

Feel my dread loss, my bosom wound. 

.\nd see, in sigh succeeding sigh. 

The finest moments of my life to fly. 

Did Destiny's hard hand before. 
Of miseries such a store, 
Of such a train of sorrows shed 
Upon a iiappy woman's head? 
Who sees her very heart and eye 
Or in the bier or in the coffin lie; — 

Who, in the morning of my day, 

And midst my flowers of youth most gaj'. 

Feel all my wretchedness at heart, 

That heaviest sorrows can impart; 

.\nd can in nothing find relief 

But in tiie fond indulgence of my grief. 

What once of joy could lend a strain, 

Is now converted into pain; 

The day, that shines with feeblest light. 

Is now to me a darksome night ; 

Nor is there aught of highest joys 

That now my soul will condescend to prize. 

Full at my heart and in my eye 
A portrait and an image lie 
That figure out my dress of woe, 
And my i)ale face reflected show 
Tlie seiiiblance of the violet's blue, 
I'nhappy love's own genuine hue. 

To caHC my .^orely troubled mind, 
I keep to no one spot confln'd, 
IJut think it good to shift my place, 
In ho[)CH my sadness to efl^ace; 
For now is worst, now best again, 
The most sequestrate solitary scene. 



Whether I shelter in the grove. 
Or in the open meadow rove; 
AVhether the morn is dawning day. 
Or evening shoots its level ray, 
My heart's incessant feelings prove 
My heavy mourning for my absent love. 

If at a time towards the skies 

I cast my sorrow-dropping eyes, 

1 see his eyes sweet glancing play 

Amongst the clouds in every ray; 

Then in the clouds dark water view 

His hearse display'd in sorrow's sable hue. 

If to repose my limbs apply. 
And slumbering on my couch I lie, 
I hear his voice to me rejoin, 
I feel his body touching mine; 
Engaged at work, to rest applied, 
I have him still for ever at my side. 

No other object meets my sight, 

However fair it seems, or bright. 

To which my heart will e'er consent 

To yield itself in fond content: 

And robbed of the perfection be 

Of this impassioned mournful sympathy. 

But here, my song, do thou refrain 
From thy most melancholy strain. 
Of which shall this the burden prove: 
' My honest heart full lively love, 
Ilowe'er I am by death disjoin'd, 
Shall never, never diminution find." 



SONNET. 

Que suis-je, helas! et de quoi sert la vie! 
J'en suis fors qu'un corps priv6 de cueur; 
Un ombre vayn, un object de malheur. 
Qui n'a plu ricn qui de mourir en vie. 

' The Poems (if Mary Queen of Scots, e^lited by Julian 
Sliarman. One vol. 8vo (Pickering, London, ISIJ). 
100 copies only printed. — Ed. 



ALEXANDER HUME. 



59 



Plus nc me portez, enemvs, d'envie. 
Qui m'a plus I'esprit a la grandeur: 
J'ai consomm^ d'excessive douleur, 
Voltre ire en bref de voir assouvie, 
Et vous amys qui m'avez tenu cliere, 
Souvenez-vous que sanscueuret sanssantey, 
Je ne saurois auqun bon ceuvre fair. 
Et que sua bas etant assez punie, 
J'aie ma part en la joie infinie. 



TO EONS ART. 1 

Ronsart, si ton bon coeur, de gentille nature, 

Te meut pour le respect d'un pen de nourriture 

Qu'en tes plus jeunes ans tu as recu d'un roi 

De ton roi allie, et de sa nieme loi, 

Le dirai non couart ni tache d'avarice, 

Mais digne, a mon avis, du noni de brave prince. 



Helas! n'ecrivez par ses faits ni ses grandeurs, 
Mais qu'il a bien voulu empecher de malheurs. 



LAST PRAYER. 

Oh I my God and my Lord, 

I have trusted in thee; 
Oh I Jesus, my love, 

Now liberate me. 
In my enemies' power, 
In affliction's sad hour 

I languish for thee. 
In sorrowing, weeping, 

And bending the knee, 
I adore and implore thee 

To liberate mel 



ALEXANDER HUME 



Born 1560 — Died 1609. 



Alexander Hume, a sacred poet, was the 
second son of Patrick, fifth baron of Polwartli, 
and is supposed to have been born in the year 
1560. He studied at the University of St. 
Andrews, where he was graduated in 157-i. 
After spending four years in France studying 
the law, he returned to his native country, and 
was admitted to practi.se as an advocate. His 
professional progress is thus related by himself 
in an " Epistle to Maister Gilbert Montcrief, 
Mediciner to the King's Majestic, whei-ein is 
set down the Inexperience of the Author's 
Youth :" — 

" Q\ilieii that I had employ 'd my youth and i aine 
Fi>ui' years in Fi'ance, and was retnrn'd againe, 
I lano'd to learn and cm-ious was to knaw 



I The following translation was made liy D. G. 
Rosetti: — 

Ronsai-t, if thy good heart, of gentle kind. 
Moves thee in regard of some little nurture 
Which, in thy younger yeare, thou didst receive from a 

king 
.\llied to thy king, and of his self-same form of faith, 
I will pronounce him no craven, nor staijied with 

avarice, 
But worthy, to my thinking,of thenameof a good prince. 
Alas! write not his achievements nor his grandeur. 
But that he strove to prevent many calamities. 



The consuetudes, the custome, and the law, 

Quhairby our native soil was guide aright. 

And justice done to everie kind of wight. 

To that effect, three yeare, or near that space, 

I haiuited maist our highest pleading place, 

And senate, quhair causes reason'd war. 

My bre^ist was bruisit with leaning on the bar; 

My buttons brist, I partly sjiitted blood, 

My gown was traild and trampid quhair I stood ; 

My ears war deif'd with maissars cryes and din, 

Qukilk 1 rocutoris and parties callit in. 

I daily learnit, but could not pleisit be; 

I saw sic things as pitie was to see, 

Ane house owerlaid with process sa misguidit. 

That sum too late, sum never war decydit; 

The puir abusit ane hundred divei-s wayes; 

Pustpon'd, deffer'd with shifts and mere delayes, 

Consumit in gudes, ourset with grief and paine; 

Your advocate maun be rehesht with gaiue, 

Or else he fails to speake or to invent 

Ane gude defence or weightie argument. 

Ye 'spill your cause,' ye 'trouble him too sair,' 

Unless his hand anointed be with mair." 

Not meeting with success at the bar, Hume 
sought preferment at the court of James YL, 
but failing in this also, he entered into holy 
orders, and was appointed minister of Logic, 
in Fifeshire. He now devoted himself to 
writing religious songs and poems, with a view 
of correcting the popular taste, and displacing 



60 



ALEXANDER HUME. 



the "godlie and spiritual sangis and ballatis" 
of that age, which were nothing more than 
pious travesties of the profane ballads and 
songs then most in vogue. In 1599 Hume 
published a volume entitled "Hymnes or 
Sacred Songs, where the right use of Poetry 
may be Espied," dedicated to "the faithful 
and vertuous Lady Elizabeth Melvil," generally 
styled Lady Culros, who wrote "Ane Godlye 
Dream, compylit in Scotish Meter," printed 
at Edinburgh in 1603, and at Aberdeen in 
1644, which was a great favourite with the 
Presbyterians. The Hymns were recently re- 
printed by the Bannatyne Club. The best of 
these sacred poems, - entitled by the author 
" The Day Estivall," is altogether an extraor- 
dinary production for the age in which it was 
composed. It presents the picture of a sum- 
mer day from the dawn to the twilight; painted 
with a fidelity to nature, a liveliness of colour- 
iug, and a tasteful selection of incidents which 
mark the hand of a master. Besides the 



"Hymns or Sacred Songs," Mr. Hume wrote a 
poem on the defeat of the Spanish Armada. 
It is called "The Triumph of the Lord after 
the Jlaner of Men," and describes a triumphal 
procession similar to those of the ancient Ro- 
mans, in which the spoils of the conquered 
enemy are exhibited in succession. The fol- 
lowing passage may suffice for a specimen: — 

" Riclit as tlie point of day beginneg to spring, 
And larks aloft melodioiislie to sing, 
Bring fiirtlie all kynde of instrumentis of weir 
To gang befoir, and mak ane noyce cleir; 
Gar trnnijietis soiiiide tlie awful battelis blast, 
On dreadful drummes gar stryke alarum faste; 
Mak showting shalmes, anil peircing phipheris shill 
Cleene cleave the cloods, and pierce the hiest hill. 
Caus niichtelie the wierlie nottis breike, 
On Hieland pipes, Scottes and Hybernicke. 
Let heir the skraichs of deadlie clarions, 
And syne let off ane volie of cannons." 

The poem has been highly praised by Dr. Ley- 
den. The year 1609 is given as the date of 
Hume's death. 



THE DAY ESTIVALL. 



perfite light! quhilk schaid away 

The darknes from the light, 
And set a ruler ouer the day, 

Ane uther ouer the night. 

Thy glorie quhen the day forth flies, 

ilair vively dois appcare. 
Nor at mid-day unto our eyes, 

The shining sun is clcare. 

The .shaddow of the earth, anon. 

Removes and drawls by; 
Sine in the cast quhen it is gone, 

Appeares a clearer sky. 

Quliilk sunne perceaves the lytill larkis. 

The lapwing and the snype, 
And tunes thair fangs like nature's clarkis, 

Ouer mcdow, muir, and .strype. 

13ut cveric bauld nocturnal beast 

Na langcr may abide. 
They iiy away, baith maist and least, 

Tiicmselvcs in liousc to hide. 

They dread the day, fra they it see. 

And from the sight of men, 
To scats and covers fast they flee, 

As lyoiis to their den. 



Oure hemisphere is poleist clein, 
And lightened more and more, 

Quhill everie thing be clearlie sein 
Quhilk semit dim before. 

Except the glistering astres bright, 
Quhilk all the night were cleare, 

OfFusked with a greater light, 
Na langer dois appeare. 

The golden globe incontinent, 

Sets up his shining head. 
And ouer the earth and firmament 

Displays his beims abroad. 

For joy the birds, with boulden throats, 

Agains his visage shein, 
Takes up their kindlie musike nots 

In woods and gardens grein. 

Up braids the cairfuU husbandman, 
His cornes and vines to see. 

And everie tymous artisan 
In buith work besilic. 

The pastor quits the sloithfull sleepe. 
And pas.ses forth with spcede. 

His little camow-nosed sheepe, 
And roAvtting kic to fecde. 



ALEXANDER HUME. 



61 



The passenger from parrels sure 
Gangs gladlie forth the way. 

Breife everie living creature 
Takes comfort of the day. 

The subtile motty rayens light 
At rifta they are in wonne; 

The glansing thains, and vitre bright, 
Resplends agains the sunne. 

The dew upon the tender crops, 
Like pearls white and round, 

Or like to melted silver drops, 
Refreshes all the pound. 

The mistie rock, the clouds of raine. 
From tops of mountains skails; 

Clear are the highest hills and plaine, 
The v.iysors takes the vails. 

Begaried is the sapphire pend 
■\Vith spraings of skarlet hew, 

.\,nd preciously from end to end 
Damasked white and blew. 

The ample heaven of fabrik sure 

In cleannes dois surpass 
The crystall and the silver pure. 

As cleirest poleist glass. 

The time sa tranquil is and still. 

That na where sail ye find, 
Saive on ane high and barren hill. 

The aire of peeping wind. 

All trees and simples, great and small. 

That balmie leaf do beir, 
Nor thay were painted on a wall, 

Na mair they move or steir. 

Calm is the deep and purpour s6, 
Yea smoother than the sand; 

The wallis that woltring wont to be. 
Are stable like the land. 

Sa .silent is the cessile air. 

That everie cry and call, 
The hills and daills, and forest fair, 

Againe repeats them all. 

The rivers fresh, the caller streams 

Ouer rocks can softlie rin ; 
The water clear, like crystal .seams. 

And makes a pleasand din. 

The feilds and earthly superfice 
With verdure grene is spredd, 

And naturallie, but artifice, 
In partie colours cledd. 



The flurishes and fragrant floures. 

Throw I'liebus' fostring heit, 
Refi"e.sht with dew and silver shoures, 

Casts up an odor sweit. 

The clogged bussie humming beis. 

That never thinks to drowne. 
On flowers and flourishes of treis 

Collects their liquor browne. 

The sunne, maist like a speidie post. 

With ardent course ascends, 
The beauty of the heavenly host. 

Up to our zenith tends. 

Xocht guided by a Phaeton, 

Nor trayned in a chayre, 
Bot by the hie and holie On, 

Quhilk dois all Avhere empire. 

The burning beims doun from his face 

Sa fervently can beat. 
That man and beast now seeks a place 

To save them fra the heat. 

The breathless flocks drawes to the shade 

And frechure of their fald; 
The startling nolt, as they were madde, 

liunnes to the rivers cald. 

The heards beneath some leafy treis 

Amids the floures they lie; 
The stabill ships upon the seis 

Tends up their sails to drie. 

The hart, the hind, and fallow-deare 

Are tapisht at their rest; 
The foules and birdes that made th6 beare. 

Prepares their prettie nest. 

The rayons dures descending down, 

All kindles in a gleid. 
In cittie, nor in burroughs-towne, 

]May nane set furth their heid. 

Back from the blew paynicnted whunn. 

And from ilk plaister wall, 
The hot reflexing of the sunne 

Inflames the air and all. 

The labourers that timelie raiss, 

All wearie, faint, and weake, 
For heate doun to their houses gaiss, 

Noon-meate and sleip to take. 

The callour wine in cave is sought. 

Jlen's brotheing bi-eists to cule: 
The water cald and cleir is brought, 

And sallets steipit in ule. 



62 



ALEXANDER HUME. 



Sum pluckes the honie plowii ami peare, 

The cherrie and the pesche: 
Sum likes the rime, and London beare, 

The bodie to refresche. 

Forth of their skeppes sum raging beis 

Lyes out, and will not cast; 
Sum uther swarmes hyves on the treis 

In knots togidder fast. 

The korbeis and the kekling kais 

ilay scarce the heat abide; 
Halks prunyeis on the suunie brais, 

And wedders back and side. 

With gilted eyes and open Avings 
The cock his courage shawis; 

With claps of joy his breast he dings, 
And twentie times he crawis. 

The dow, with whistling wings sa blew. 

The w^inds can fast collect; 
Her purpour pennes turnes merry hew, 

Agains the sunne direct. 

Xow noon is went, gane is mid-day. 

The lieat dois slake at last; 
The sunne descends down west away 

Fra three o'clock be past. 

.\ little cule of breathing wind 

Now softly can arise. 
The warks throw heit that lay behind. 

Now men may enterprise. 

Furth faircs the flocks to seek their fiide 

On cverie hill and plaine, 
Quhilk labourer, as he thinks gude, 

Steppes to his turn againe. 

The rayons of the sunne we see 

Diminish in their strenth; 
The schad of everie towrc and tree 

Extended is in lenth. 

Great is the calm, for everie (juhair 

The wind is settin doune; 
The reik thrawes right up in the air 

From everie towre and towne. 

Their (irdoning the bony birds 

In bauks they do begin; 
Willi fiipes of reeds the jolic birds 

llalds up the mirrie din. 

The mavcis and the philomcen, 

The Stirling whissels loud, 
The ciischetts on the branches green. 

Full (|uictly they crowd. 



The gloming comes, the day is spent, 

The sun goes out of sight, 
And painted is the Occident 

With purpour sanguine bright. 

The skarlet nor the golden threid, 
Who would their beautie try. 

Are naething like the color reid 
And beautie of the skie. 

Our west horizon circuler, 
Fra time the sunne be set, 

Is all with rul)eis, as it wer. 
Or roses reid ouerfrett. 

What plesour wer to walk and see, 

Endlang a river cleir. 
The perfect form of everie tree 

Within the deepe appeirl 

The salmon out of cruives and creills, 

Uphailed into skoutts; 
The bels and circles on the well Is, 

Throw lowping of the trouts. 

! then, it wer a seemlie thing, 
While all is still and calme. 

The praise of God to play and sing, 
AVith cornet and with sehalme. 

Bot now the birds, with mony shout, 

Calls uther be their name. 
Ga, Billie ! turne our gude about. 

Now time is to ga hame. 

With bellie fow, the beasts belyve 

Are turned fra the corne, 
Quhilk soberly they hameward dryve, 

With pipe and lilting home. 

Throw all the land great is the gild 

Of rustik folks that cry; 
Of bleiting sheep, fra they be fild, 

Of calves and rowtting ky. 

All labourers <lraws hame at even, 

And can till uther say, 
Thanks to the gracious God of heaven, 

(Juhilk sent this summer day. 



RECANTATION. 

A lace, how long have I delayed 
To leave the laits of youth ! 

A lace, how oft have I essayed 
To daunt my lascive mouth, 



JAMES THE SIXTH. 



63 



And make my vayne polluted thought, 
My pen and speech propliaine, 

Extoll the Lord quhilk made of noclit 
The heaven, tlie eaith, and maine. 

Scarce nature yet my face about 

Her virile net had spun, 
Quhen als oft as Plioebea stout 

Was set agains the Sun; 
Yea, als oft as the fierie flames 

Arise and shine abroad, 
I minded was, with sangs and psalms. 

To glorifie my God. 

But ay the cancred, carnall kind, 
Quhilk lurked me within, 



Seduced my heart, withdrew my mind, 
And made me .sclave to sin. 

My senses and my saul I saw 
Debait a deadlie strife, 

Into my flesh I felt a law 
Gainstand the law of life. 

Even as the falcon high, and liait 

Furth fleeing in the skye, 
With wanton wing, hir game to gaif, 

Disdains her caller's cry; 
So led away witli liberty. 

And drowned in delight, 
I wandred after vanitie — 

My vice I give the wight. 



JAMES THE SIXTH. 

Born 1566 — Died 1625. 



James, the Sixth of Scotland and First of 
England, called by Sully "the wisest fool 
in Europe," was born in tlie castle of Edin- 
burgh, June 19, 1566. He was the son of 
Queen Mary, by her husband Henry liOrd 
Darnley. Both by his father and motlier 
James was the great-grandson of Henry VH. 
of England. It is well known that a confedera- 
tion of conspirators dethroned Mary about a 
year after the birth of her son. While this ill- 
fated princess was imprisoned in Lochleven 
Castle James was taken to Stirling, and there 
crowned King of Scotland at the age of thir- 
teen months and ten days. When he was 
scarcely nineteen years he became an author, 
by publishing The Essay es of a Prentice la the 
Divine Art of Poesie, ivith the Retvlis and 
Cauteles to be pursued and avoided. Tiiese 
es.says were printed at Edinburgh in 1585, by 
T. Vautrouliier, and consist of a mixture of 
prose and poetry; the poems being chiefly a 
series of sonnets, while the pro.se consists of a 
code of laws for the con.struction of verse accord- 
ing to the ideas of that age. There is little in 
tlie king's style or liis ideas to please the present 
age; yet compared with the efforts of contem- 
porary authors these poems may be said to pre- 
sent a respectable appearance. This volume 
was reprinted in 181-1, with a prefatory memoir 



by 1]. P. Gillies. Copies of the original edi- 
tion have been sold for more than £25. At 
Bindley's sale one brought £26, 5s. 

Hi 1591 King James produced a second 
volume of verse entitled Poeticall Exercises at 
Vacant Houres, in the preface to which he in- 
forms the reader, as an apology for inaccuracies, 
that "scarcelie but at .stolen moments had he 
leisure to blenk npon any paper, and yet noclit 
that with free, unvexed spirit." He akso ap- 
pears about this time to have proceeded some 
length with his translation of the Psalms into 
Scottish verse. A few years later the king wrote 
a treatise of counsel for his son Prince Henry, 
under the title of Basil icon Doron, which, 
although containing some passages ofi'ensive 
to the clergy, is a work of good sense, and con- 
veys, upon the whole, a respectable impression 
at once of the author's abilities and moral tem- 
perament. It was published in 1599, and 
gained him a great accession of esteem among 
the English, for whose favour, of course, he 
was anxiously solicitous. Camden says "that 
in this book is most elegantly portrayed and 
set forth the pattern of a most excellent, every 
way accomplished king." Bacon considered 
it as "excellently written;" and Hume re- 
marks that '• whoever will read the Basilicon 
Doron, particularly the last two books, will 



64 



JAMES THE SIXTH. 



confess James to have possessed no mean 
genius." 

It was a time ivhen puns and all sorts of 
literary quips and quirks were much in vogue. 
The king was not behindhand in following this 
peculiar and distressing fashion. James greeted 
hi.s Scottish subjects on a certain solemn occa- 
sion with a string of punning rhymes on the 
names of their most learned professors, Adam- 
.son, Fairlie, Sands, Young, Reid, and King. 

"As Adam was the first of men, whence all beginning 

tak; 
So Adam-son was president, and first man in this act (!) 
The theses Fair-lie did defend, which, though they lies 

contain. 
Yet were fair lies, and he tlie ?am right fairlie did 

maiiitein. 
The field first entred Master Sands, and there he made 

me see 
That not all sands are barren sands, but that some fer- 
tile bee. 
Tlien Master Young most subtilie the theses did im- 

pugne. 
And kythed old in Aristotle, although his name be 

Young. 
To him succeeded Master Raid, who, though Reid be 

liis name, 
Neids neither for his disput blush, nor of his speech 

think shame. 
Liist entered Master King the lists, and disjmte like 

a king, 
How reason reigning as a queene should anger under 

bring. 
To their deserved praise have I then playd upon their 

names, 
And will their coUedge hence be cald the CoUedge of 

King James." 

The king al.so wrote some vivacious verses when 
fifty-six years old, on the courting expedition 
to Spain of his son Charles and the courtly 
Buckingham. 



On March 28, 1603, Queen Elizabeth expired, 
having named James as her successor, and he 
was crowned King of Great Britain, July 25, 
by Archbishop Whitgift, with all the ancient 
solemnity of that imposing ceremony. James 
was the author of various works in addition to 
those alreadj' mentioned: A Discourse on the 
Gunpoioder Plot, Deinonology, A Counterblast 
to Tobacco, &c. Kings are generally, as Mil- 
ton has remarked, though strong in legions, 
but weak at arguments. James, although 
proud of his literary abilities, was certainly not 
.strong in argument. He was dogmatic and 
pedantic, and his idea of his vocation appears 
to have been— 

"To stick the doctor's chair into the throne, 
Give law to words, or war with words alone. 
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule, 
And turn the council to a grammar-school." 

So fond was James of polemics that he founded 
Chelsea College expressly for controversial the- 
ology. His grandson, Charles II., however, 
converted it into an asylum for disabled sol- 
diers. For the encouragement of learning the 
king also founded, in April, 1582, the Univer- 
sity of Edinburgh; and he conferred a lasting 
benefit on all who read the English language 
by the Authorized A'^ersion of the Holy Bible, 
still in use, nearly three centuries after it was 
completed and published by his orders. His 
reign was also distinguished by the establish- 
ment of new colonies and the introduction of 
manufactures. Early in the spring of 1625 
the king was seized Avith tertian fever, and 
died March 27th, in the fifty-ninth year of his 
as-e. 



A SHORT POEM OF TIME. 



As I was pansing in a morning aire, 

And could not .sloip nor nawayis take mo rest, 
Furtli for to walk, the morning was so faire, 

.\thort the fields, it seemed to me the best. 

Tlio east wa.s cleare, whereby bclyve I gest 
Tliat fyrie Titan cumming was in sight, 
Obscuring cha.ste Diana by his light. 

Who by Ills rising in the azure .skyes 

Did ilewliu helsc all tbame on earth do dwell. 

The bahiiiu dew through biniiiig drouth he diyis, 
\Vhi(;h made the soile to savoTir swcit, and smell 
By dow that on the night before downe fell, 



Which then was soukit by the Delphienns heit 
Up in the aire: it was so light and weit. 

Whose hie asce!iding in his purpour chere 
Provokit all from Morpheus to flee: 

As beasts to feid, and birds to sing with beir, 
Men to their labour, bissie as the bee : 
Yet idle men dcvysing did I see 

How for to drive the tyme that did them irk, 

By sindrie pastymes, quhile that it grew mirk. 

Then woundrcd I to see them seik a wyle 
So willingly the precious tyme to tyne: 



JAMES THE SIXTH. 



fi- 



And how they did themselfis so farr beg-yle, 

To fushe of tjTne, which of itself is fyne. 

Fra tyme be past to call it backwart sjTie 

Is bot in vaine: therefore men sould be warr 

To sleuth the tyme that flees fra them so faiT. 

For what hath man bot tyme into this Ij^fe, 
Which gives him dayis his God aright to knaw? 

Wherefore then soukl we be at sic a stryfe 
So spedelie our selfis for to withdraw 
Evin from the tyme, which is no wayis slaw 

To flie from us, suppose we fled it nocht ? 

More wyse we were, if we the tyme had socht. 

But sen that tyme is sic a precious thing, 
I wald we sould bestow it into that 

A\Tiich were most pleasour to our heavenly King. 
Flee ydilteth, which is the greatest lat; 
Bot, sen that death to all is destinat. 

Let us employ that tj^me that God hath send us, 

In doing weill, that good men may commend us. 



THE CIIII. PSALME. 

Lord inspyre my spreit, and pen, to jjraise 
Thy name, whose greatness farr surpassis all: 

That syne, I may thy gloir and honour blaise, 
Which claithis the over: about the lyke a wall 
The light remainis. O thou, whose charge, 
and call 

Made heavens lyke courtenis for to spraid abreid. 
Who bowed the waters so, as serve they shall 

For cristal sylring ouer thy house to gleid. 

Who walks upon the wings of restles winde. 

Who of the clouds his chariot made, even he 
Who, in his presence, still the spreits doeth find 

Ay ready to fulfill ilk just decree 

Of his, whose servant's fyi-eandflammis they be; 
Who set the earth on her fundations sure. 

So as her brangiing none shall ever see : 
Who, at thy charge, the deip uiJon hei- bure. 

So as the tops of mountains hie 

Be fluids were onis ouei-flowed at thy command, 
Ay whill thy thundring voice sone made them 
flie 

Ower hiddeous hills and howes, till noght but 
sand 

Was left behind, syne with thy mightie hand 
Thou limits made unto the roring deip. 

So shall she never droun again e the land, 
But brek her waves on rockis, her mairch to keip. 

Thir are thy workis, who made the strands to 
breid, 

Syne rinn among the hills from fountains cleir, 
Whairto wj'ld asses oft dois rinn with speid, 

With uther beasts, to drinke. Hard by we heir 



The chirping birds among the leaves, with beir 
To sing-, whil all the rocks aboute rebounde. 

A woundrous worke, that thou, Father deir, 
Maks throtts so small yeild furth so great a 
sounde ! 

thou who from thy palace oft letts fall 

(For to refresh the hills) thy bles.sed raine: 
Who with thy woi-ks maintain.s the earth and all: 

Who maks to grow the herbs and grass to gaino. 

The herbs for foode to man, grass dois remaine 
For food to horse and cattel of all kynde. 

Thou causeth them not pull at it in vainc. 
But be thair food, such is thy will and mynde. 

Who dois rejoyse the hart of man with wyne, 

And who with oyle his face maks cleir and bright. 
And who with foode his stomack.strengthnes syne. 

Who nourishes the very treis aright. 

The cedars evin of Liban tall and wight 
He planted hath, where bii'ds do bigg their nest. 

He made the firr trees of a woundrous hight. 
Where storks dois mak their dwelling-place, and 
rest. 

Thou made the barren hills, wjdde goats refuge, 

Thou made the rocks a residence and rest 
For Alpin ratts, where they do live and ludge. 

Thou maid the moone, her course, as thou 
thought best; 

Thou maid the sunne in tyme go to, that lest 
He still sould shj-ne, then night sould never come: 

But thou in ordour all things hes so drest, 
Some beasts for day, for night are also some. 

For lyons j'oung at night beginnis to raire, 
And from their denns to crave of God some 
pray: 

Then, in the morning, gone is all thair caire. 
And homeward to their caves rinnis fast, fra day 
Beginnes to kj'the, the sunne dois so them fray. 

Then man gois furth, fra tjTiie the sunne dois lyse. 
And whill the evening he remainis away 

At lesume labour, where his living Ij-es. 

How large and mightie are thy workis, Lord I 
And with what wisdome are they wroiight, but 
faill. 

The earth's great fulnes, of thy gifts recorde 
Dois beare: heir of the seas (which divers .skaile 
Of fish contenis) dois witnes beare: ilk .sail 

Of divers ships upon the swelling waves 
Dois testifie, as dois the monstrous whale 

Who frayis all fi.slies with his ravening jawes. 

All thir (0 Lord), yea all this woundrous heape 
Of living things, in .season craves thair fill 

Of foode from. Thou giving. Lord, they reape: 
Thy open hand with gude things fills them still 
When so thou list: but contrar, when thou will 



66 



EGBERT AYTON. 



Withdraw thy face, then are they troubled sair, 
Thair breath by thee received, sone dois them 
kill; 
Syne they returne into thair ashes bair. 

But, notwithstanding. Father deare, in cace 

Thou breath on them againe, then they revive. 
In short, tliou dois, O Lord, renewe the face 

Of all tlie earth, and all that in it Uve. 

Therefore immortal praise we give: 
Let him rejoyse into his workis he maid, 

Whose looke and touche, so hills and earth dois 
greive. 
As earth does tremble, mountains reikis, afraid. 

To Jehoua I all my life shall sing. 

To sound his name I ever still shall cair: 

It shall be sweit my thinking on that king; 
In him I shall be glaid for ever mair. 
let the wicked be into no whair 



In earth. let the sinful be destroyde, 

Blesse him my soule who name Jehoua bair: 
blesse him now with notts that are enjoyde. 



SONNET. 

We find, by proof, that into every age 

In Phoebus' art some glistering star did shine. 
Who, worthy scholars to the Muses sage, 

FulfiU'd their countries with their works divine. 

So Homer was a sounding trumpet fine 
Amongst the Greeks, into his learned days; 

So Virgil was among the Romans syne 
A sprite sublim'd, a pillar of their praise ! 
So lofty Petrarch his renown did blaze 

In tongue Italic, in a sugar'd style. 
And to the circled skies his name did raise; 

For he, by poems that he did compile, 
Led in triumph love, chasteness, death, and fame: 
Bvit thou triumphs o'er Petrarch's proper name ! 



EOBEET AYTON". 



Born 1570 — Died 1638. 



Sir Egbert Atton, a younger son of 
Andrew Ayton, of Kinaldie, Fifeshire, was 
born there in the year 1570, and studied at St. 
Leonards College, St. Andrews, where he took 
hi.s master's degree after the usual course of 
study, in 1588. Subsequently he resided for 
some time in France ; whence in 1603 he 
addressed an elegant panegyric in Latin verse 
to King James, on his accession to the throne 
of England. On his appearance at court he 
was kniglited, and appointed one of the gen- 
tlemen of the bcdciiamber and private secre- 
tary to the queen, Anne of Denmark. At a 
hiter period Ayton was secretary to Henrietta 
Maria, queen of Charles I. About 1609 he 
was sent liy James as ambassador to the Em- 
I)cror of Germany with tlie king's "Apology 
for tlie Oath of Allegiance," wiiich he had 
dedicated to all tlic crowned heads of Europe. 
During Aytou's residence abroad, as well as 
at the court of England, lie lived in intimacy 
with, and secured the esteem of, tlie most 
eminent persons of his time, "lie was ac- 
{|uaintcd," says Aubrey, " witii all the wits 
of his time in England; he was a great 



acquaintance of Mr. Thomas Hobbes of Malms- 
bury, whom Mr. Hobbes told me he made use of, 
together with Ben Jonson, for an Aristarchus, 
when he made his epistle dedicatory, for his 
translation of Thucydides." Ben Jonson 
seemed proud of his friendship, for he told 
Drummond of Hawthornden that Sir Eobert 
loved him (Jonson) dearly. 

Sir Robert Ayton died in London in March. 
1638, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, 
where a handsome monument was erected to 
his memory by his nephew. The inscription 
is in Latin, and his bust in bronze; in his 
looks there is as much of the gentleman as the 
genius. His monument is near tliat of Henry 
V. The brass head of the humble poet is still 
.safe and unmutilated ; while the silver head 
of the hero of Agincourt fell a victim to the 
value of its material : it was melted down by 
Cromwell's parliament to assist in j^aying the 
army! 

The courtier poet's song to his forsaken 
mistress is one of the sweetest and happiest of 
our early compositions. It was on this song 
that Burns bestowed a Scottish dress, and for 



EGBERT AYTON. 



67 



once he failed to improve upon til's original. 
It did not admit of emendation. The English 
poems of Aj'ton, for the firot time published 
in the Miscellany of the Bannatyne Club, are 
few in number, but of great merit, and remind 
us of the elegant productions of Herrick. 
John Aubrey i-emarks " that Sir Robert Ayton 
was one of the best poets of his time;"' and 
adds the more important testimony that "Mr. 
John Dryden has seen verses of his, some of 
the best of that age, printed with some other 
verses." Ayton was also the writer of verses 
in Greek and French, as well as in English 
and Latin. Several of his Latin poems are 
preserved in the work called Delitice Poet- 
arum Scotorum, which was printed at Ams 
terdam the year previous to his death. 

It is sad to think that the poet who could 
charm us with such songs in his native tongue 
should have poured the stream of his fancy 
into the dark regions of Latin verse, and lab- 



oured, like Buchanan, to make the world feel 
his genius in a language which only a few can 
understand. A critic says, " I cannot under- 
stand how a man can hope to write felicitously 
out of his mother tongue; by what spell is he 
to be posses.sed with all the proverbial turn- 
ings and windings of language, all those melt- 
ings of word into word — those gradations of 
meaning direct and implied, which give ii 
deeper sense than they seem to bear, and 
assist in the richness and the strength of com- 
position. The language may be learned and 
words may be meted out in heroic or lyric 
quantities by the aid of a discreet ear ; but 
such verses will want the original flavour of 
native poetry — the leaf will come without the 
fragrance, and the blossom without the fruit." 
A privately-printed edition of Ayton's poems, 
with a memoir prepared from original sources 
of information by the Rev. Charles Rogers, 
LL. D. , was issued in 187L 



OX WOMAN'S mCONSTANCY. 

I lov'd thee once, I'll love no more, 

Thine be the grief as is the blame; 
Thou art not what thou wast before, 

What reason I should be the same? 
He that can love unlov'd again. 
Hath better store of love then brain: 
Grod send me love my debts to pay. 
While unthrifts fool their love away. 

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown. 
If thou liadst still continued mine: 

Yea, if thou hadst remain'd thy own, 
I might perchance have yet been thine. 

But thou thy freedom did recall, 

That if thou might elsewhere inthral; 

And then how could I but disdain 

A captive's captive to remain? 

When new desires had conquer'd thee. 
And chang'd the object of thy will, 

It had been lethargy in me. 

Not constancy, to love thee still. 

Yea, it had been a sin to go. 

And prostitute affection so; 

Since we are taught no prayers to say 

To such as must to others praj'. 

Yet do thou glory in thy choice. 

Thy choice of his good fortune boast; 



I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice 

To see him gain what I have lost; 
The height of my disdain shall be. 
To laugh at him, to blush for thee; 
To love thee still, but go no more 
A begging to a beggar's door. 



THE ANSWER. 

Thou that loved once, now loves no more. 
For fear to show more love than brain; 

With heresy unhatch'd before. 
Apostasy thou dost maintain. 

Can he have either brain or love 

That doth inconstancy approve? 

A choice well made no change admits — 

All changes argue after-wits. 

Say that she had not been the same, 
Should thou therefore another be? 

What thou in her as vice did blame, 
Can thou take virtue's name in thee? 

No; thou in this her captive was. 

And made thee ready by her glass; 

Example led revenge astray. 

When true love should have kept the way. 

True love has no reflecting end, 
The object good sets it at rest. 



68 



EARL OF ANCRUM. 



And noble breasts will freelj' lend 

Without expecting interest. 
Tis merchants' love, 'tis trade for gain. 
To barter love for love again : 
'Tis usury, yea, worse than this, 
For self-idolatry it is. 

Then let her choice be what it will, 

Let constancy be thy revenge; 
If thou retribute good for ill, 

Both grief and shame shall check her change; 
Thus niay'st thou laugh when thou shalt see 
Remorse reclaim her home to thee; 
And where thou begg'st of her before. 
She now sits begging at thy door. 



INCONSTANCY REPROVED, i 

I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair. 
And I might have gone near to love thee. 

Had I not found the slightest prayer 

That lii)S could speak had power to move thee : 

But I can let thee now alone 

As worthy to be loved by none. 

I do confess thou'rt sweet, yet find 
Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets. 

Thy favours are but like the wind 
That kisses everything it meets. 

.\nd since thou canst with more than one, 

Thou'rt worthy to be kiss'd by none. 



The morning rose, that untouch'd stands, 
Arm'd with her briers, how sweetly .smells I 

But pluck'd and strain'd through ruder hands, 
Her sweet no longer with her dwells; 

But scent and beauty both are gone, 

And leaves fall from her one by one. 

Such fate ere long ivill thee betide, 
When thou hast Iiandled been awhile! 

Like sere flowers to be thrown aside, 
And I will sigh, while some will smile, 

To see thj- love for more than one 

Hath brought thee to be lov'd by none. 



SONG. 



What means this strangeness now of late, 
Since time must truth approve? 

This distance may consist v.'ith state — 
It cannot stand with love. 

'Tis either cunning or distrust 

That may such ways allow; 
The first is base, the last unjust : 

Let neither blemish you. 

For if you mean to draw me on, 
There needs not half this art; 

And if you mean to have me gone. 
You overact your part. 

If kindness cross your wished content, 

Dismiss me with a frown; 
I'll give you all the love that's spent. 

The rest shall be my own. 



EAEL OF ANCRUM 



BoRX 1578 — Died 1654. 



SiK RoBKUT Kekii, afterwards I<:arl of An- 
crum, was born in 1578, and succeeded to the 
family estate of Ferniehurst in 1590, when his 

1 Altered by Burns into the song — 

■' I do confess tliat tliou art fair;" 

.111(1 from (inotlier of Ayton's, beginning — 

" HhoiiM old awjuaintance be forgot, 
And never tliouyht upon," 

111- took the idea of u song e»i)ei;iuliy dear to all Scotch- 
men.— Et>. 



father was assassinated by a kinsman, Robert 
Kerr younger of Cessford. He was one of 
the gentlemen of the bedchamber who attended 
James VI. on his accession to the throne of 
England. In 1619 he became involved, either 
through family connection or friendship, in a 
violent quarrel wliicli arose between the Ma.\- 
wells and Johnstoncs respecting the warden- 
.>hip of the western marches, and received a 
challenge from Charles M.-ixwell to meet him 
in single combat. Although his adversary was 



EAEL OF ANCEUM. 



69 



a perfect giant, and he himself had scarcely 
recovered from a long illness, he promptly 
accepted the challenge, consulting his honour 
rather than his safety. It required all his 
skill to sustain the onset of his huge antago- 
nist, a bold and impetuous man, but he at 
length ran him through the body. Having 
now closed, they both fell, Maxwell being 
uppermost ; but in a few nainutes he breathed 
his last, leaving Kerr covered with his blood. 
The friends of the deceased are said to have 
acquitted Sir liobert of all blame, yet so strict 
were the laws established by the king for the 
prevention and punishment of duels, that he 
was obliged to escape to Holland, where he 
remained for about a year. There is a letter 
from William Drummond, the poet, to Sir 
Robert on the subject of his duel, with which 
our readers cannot fail to be interested. Pliilo- 
sophically and with much kindness he tlius 
reprehends his rashness and temerity: — "It 
was too much hazarded on a point of honour. 
Why should true valour have answered fierce 
barbarity; nobleness, arrogancy; religion, im- 
piety; innocence, malice, — the disparagement 
being so vast? And had ye then to venture 
to the hazard of a combat, the exemplar of 
virtue and the Muses' sanctuary? The lives 
of twenty such as his who has fallen in hon- 
our's balance would not counterpoise your own. 
Ye are too good for these times, in which, as 
in a time of plague, men must once be sick, 
and that deadly, ere they can be assured of 
any safety. Would I could persuade you in 
your sweet walks at home to take the prospect 
of court shipwrecks.' 

During his e.xile he employed himself in the 
collection of pictures which he afterwards pre- 
sented to Prince Charles. At the end of a year. 



through the intercession of friends, he was 
restored to his place at court. In 1624 he 
addressed the following letter to liis friend 
Drummond: — "Every wretched creature knows 
the way to that place where it is most made of, 
and so do my verses to you, that was so kind 
to the last, that every thought I think that 
way hastens to be at you. It is true I get 
leisure to think few, not that they are cava 
because Tcira, but indeed to declare that my 
employment and ingine concur to make them, 
like Jacob's days, few and evil." "The best 
is, I care as little for them as their fame; yet if 
you do not mislike them, it is warrant enough 
for me to let them live till they get your 
doom. In this sonnet I have sent you an 
approbation of your own life, whose character, 
however I have mist, I have let you see how 
I love it, and would fain praise it, and indeed 
fainer practise it." The poem thus diffidently 
introduced has had a more fortunate career 
than was contemplated by its author. It is 
the beautiful sonnet which follows this notice, 
and is unfortunately the only specimen of his 
poetical powers extant. On the accession of 
Prince Charles in 1625 he was promoted to be 
a lord of the bedchamber, and in 1633 was 
raised to the peerage by the titles of the Earl 
of Ancrum and Lord Kerr of Nesbit. Unlike 
many persons who owed everytiiing to King 
Charles, the earl continued his steady adherent 
during all his trials and troubles, and on bis 
death again took refuge in Holland, where he 
spent the remainder of his days. He died in 
1654, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. In 
Park's edition of AValpole's Royal and Noble 
Authors there is a portrait of the Earl of 
Ancrum, assigning him a thoughtful and 
strongly -marked countenance. 



PRAISE OF A SOLITARY LIFE.i 



Sweet solitary life! lovely dumb joy. 

That need'st no warnings how to grow more wise 

By other men's mishaps, nor the annoy 

Which from sore wrongs done to one's self 
doth rise. 

Themorning's second mansion, truth'sfirst friend, 

' This beautiful and sweetly plaintive sonnet, and tlie 
interesting letter which acconi[ anied it (to Drummond 
of Hawthornden), must be considered as oinanientul 
to this or to any other publication. — Thomas Paik's 
Walpole's Ri'i/al and Nuble Autlcois. 



Neiver acquainted with the world's vain broils, 
When the whole day to our uwn use we spend, 

And our dear time no fierce ambition spoils. 
Most happy state, that never tak'st revenge 

For injuries received, nor dost fear 
The court's great earthquake, the grieved truth 
of change. 

Nor none of falsehood's savouiy lies dost hear; 
Nor knows hope's sweet disease, that charms our 

sense, 
Nor its sad cure— dear-bought experience. 



70 



EAEL OF STIRLING. 



EAEL OF STIRLING. 



BoRX 1580 — Died 16i0. 



AViLLiAir Alexander, an eminent statesman 
and poet, was born on the estate of Menstrie, 
near Stirling, in 1580. His original station 
in life was that of a small landed proprietor or 
laird. While still young he accompanied the 
Earl of Argyll abroad as his tutor and tra- 
velling companion. Previous to this period, 
when only fifteen years of age, he was smitten 
with the charms of a country beauty, "the 
cynosure of neighbouring eyes," and on his 
return to Scotland his passion had suiFered no 
abatement. His first poems were addressed 
to his mistress, and though he actually penned 
a hundred songs and sonnets in her praise the 
lassie was not to be moved. She gave her 
hand to another; and as Alexander poetically 
tells us, "the lady, so unrelenting to him, 
matched her morning to one in the evening of 
iiis age." In his next attachment he was 
more fortunate, and after a brief courtship 
married the daughter and heiress of Sir 
William Erskine. In 1604 his first volume 
of poems was published in London under the 
title of "Aurora, containing the first Fancies 
of the Author's Youth." Shortly after James 
VI. ascended the throne of England Alexander 
followed him, and, it appears, soon obtained 
the place of gentleman of the privy chamber 
to Prince Henry, to whom he had addressed a 
poem or paraenesis. In 1607 he published 
some dramatic poems, entitled Moiiarchick 
Trofjedii's, dedicated to the king, with which 
was re[iublishe(l his first tragedy, founded on 
the history of Darius. 

In act iii. scene 3, several lines of the mon- 
arcli"s soliloquy bear a strong resemblance to 
the passage in the "Tempest" beginning 
" Tlic cloud-capped towers." As Shakspere's 
play was in all proljability written subsequently 
to " Darius," he would appear to have bor- 
rowed tlic idea from Lord Stirling, whose pas- 
sage begins — 

" I/et greatnoBse of Iitjr glnssio scepters vaunt, 

Not8c«ptro«, no, but recd.i, soon bruised, soon broken; 



Ami let this worldly pomp our wits encliant, 

Allfadtg, and acaicelT/ leaves be/and a token." 

On this subject Hunter writes — " Can there 
be any truth in the assertion that Shakspere 
ever was in Scotland? I cannot believe this, 
and yet there are many curious arguments to 
be assigned to show that he was. Could he 
have gone to visit William Alexander, Earl 
of Stirling, with whom he assuredly was ac- 
quainted, and whose works he did not scruple 
to imitate, and even adopt, in some instances?"^ 
In 1613 Alexander was appointed gentle- 
man-usher to Prince Charles. In 1G14 he 
received the honour of knighthood from James, 
who used to call him his "philosophic poet," 
and was made master of requests. The same 
year he published a sacred poem entitled 
"Doomsday, or the Great Day of Judgment," 
his largest and perhaps most meritorious pro- 
duction, which has been several times repub- 
lished. It is divided into twelve parts, or 
hours, as the author calls them, each hour 
containing upwards of one hundred stanzas. 
Prefixed were some complimentary verses by 
his friend Drummond of Hawthornden, which 
thus conclude: — 

" Tliy phosnix muse stiU wing'd witli wonder flyes 
Praise of our broolces, staiiie to old Piiidus siirings, 
And wlio tliee follow would, scarce with their eyes 
Can reach the sphere where thou most sweetly sings. 
Though string'd with starres, heavens, Orpheus' harpe 

enrolle. 
More worthy thine to blaze about the Pole." 

Drummond on another occasion described 
Alexander as " that most excellent spirit and 
rarest gem of our noi-th," and Drayton coupled 
them in highly eulogistic verse: — 

" So Scotland sent us hither for our own 
That man whose name I ever would have known 
To stand by mine; that most ingenious knight. 
My Alexander, to whom in his right 
I want extremely. Yet in speaking thus 
I do but show the love that was 'twixt us. 



1 Airhihald C'lmstaOle and his Literary Correspondents. 
Edinl)urgh, 1S73, three vols.— Ed. 



EARL OF STIRLING. 



71 



And not his numbers; which were brave and high, 

So like his mind was his clear poesy. 

And my dear Dnimniond, to whom much I owe, 

For his much love, and proud was I to know 

His poesy. For which two worthy men 

I Menstrie still sliall love, and Hawthomden." 

In 1621 King James made a grant to Sir 
William of Nova Scotia, with a view to his 
colonizing it. This scheme had also the sanc- 
tion of Charles I., who appointed him lieu- 
tenant of the new colony, and founded the 
order of the Baronets of Nova Scotia, the 
money to be derived from whom, for the title 
and land in the province, was to be expended 
in the formation of the settlement; but the 
project miscarried, and Sir AVilliam sold the 
colony to the French " for a matter of five or 
six thousand pounds English money." In 
1626 he was made secretary of state for Scot- 
land; in 16-30 he was created Viscount Canada; 
and in 1633, at the coronation of King Ciiarles 
at Holyrood, Earl of Stirling. He died in 
1640, and the title has been dormant since 
the death of the fifth earl in 1739. Among 
the various claimants for the extinct title was 
Major-general Alexander of the United States 
army, Avho served with distinction during the 
llevolutionary War, and was generally known 



as Lord Stirling. Three years previous to his 
death the earl collccteil his poems, which were 
published in 1637 in one folio volume, entitled 
Recreations loith the Muses. He also published 
at Oxford King James VI. 's version of the 
I'salms, which had been revised by him. 
Besides the works mentioned, he is believed to 
have written a supplement to complete the 
third part of Sir Philip Sydney's "Arcadia." 
A new edition of Stirling's works Avas under- 
taken in 1720 by A. Johnston, but never com- 
pleted. The editor in his preface states that 
he had submitted the whole of them to 
Mr. Addison for his opinion of them, and that 
that very competent judge was pleased to say 
he had read them over with the greatest satis- 
faction, and found reason to be convinced that 
the beauties of our ancient English poets were 
too slightly passed over by the modern writei-s, 
"who, out of a peculiar singularity, had rather 
take pains to find fault with, than endeavour 
to excel them." A complete edition of his 
works was published in 1870 at Glasgow in 
thiee handsome octavo volumes, entitled "The 
Poetical Works of Sir William Alexander, 
Earl of Stirlinff, &c. , now first collected and 
edited, with Memoir and Notes." 



SONG, 



would to God a way were found. 
That by some secret sympathie unknowne 

My faire my fancie's depth might -sound, 
And know my state as clearly as her owne. 
Then blest, most blest, were I, 
No doubt beneath the skie 

I were the happiest wight: 
For if my state they knew, 
It rutbeless rockes would rue, 
And mend me if they might. 

But as the babe before the wand. 
Whose faultlesse part his parents will not trust. 

For very feare doth trembling stand, 
And quakes to speake, although his cause be 
just: 

So set before her face. 

Though bent to pleade for grace, 

1 Avot not how I faile: 
Yet minding to say much. 
That string I never touch. 
But stand dismaid and pale. 



The deepest rivers make least din, 
The silent soule doth most abound in care; 

Then might my brest be read within, 
A thousand volumes would be written there. 
]\Iight silence show my mind, 
Siglies tell how I were pin'd. 
Or lookes my woes relate: 
Then any pregnant wit, 
That well remarked it, 

Would soon discern my state. 

No favour yet my fair aft^brds. 
But looking haughtie, though with humlb- 
eyes. 
Doth quite confound my staggering word-: 
.\nd as not spying that thing which she spies. 
A mirror makes of me. 
Where she hcrsclfe may see: 

And what .she brings to passe, 
I trembling too for feare, 
Move neither eye nor earc, 
As if I were her glasse. 



EARL OF STIRLING. 



AVliilst in this manner I remaine. 
Like to tlie statue of some one that's dead, 

Strange tyrants in my bosom raigne, 
A field of fancies fights within my head: 
Yet if the tongue were true, 
We boldly might pursue 
That diamantine hart; 
But when that it's restrain'd, 
As doom'd to be disdain'd, 
My sighes show how I smart. 

Xo wonder then although I wraeke, 
By them betray'd in whom I did confide. 

Since tongue, heart, eyes, and all gave backe. 
She justly may my childishnesse deride. 
Yet that which I conceale 
ilay serve for to reveale 
My fervencie in love. 
My passions were too great 
For words t'expresse my state. 
As to my paines I prove. 

Oft those that do deserve disdaine 
For forging fancies get the best i-eward: 

Where I, who feele what they do faine, 
For too much love am had in no regard. 
Behold my proofe, we see 
The gallant living free. 

His fancies doth extend; 
Where he that is orecorae, 
IJein'd with respects stands dumbe. 
Still fearing to offend. 

ily bashfulnesse when she beholds. 
Or rather my affection out of bounds, 
Alilioiigh my face my state unfolds. 
And in my hue discovers hidden wounds: 
Yctj'easting at my wo, 
She doubts if it be so, 

As she could not conceive it. 
This grieves me most of all. 
She triumphs in my fall, 
Not seeming to perceive it. 

Then since in vaiue I plaints impart 
To sc'iriifull earcs, in a contemned scroule; 

.\nd since my toung betraycs my hart, 
.\n(l cannot tell the anguish of my soulc; 
Henceforth I'll hide my losses, 
And not recompt the crosses 

That (1(1 my joyes orethrow: 
.\t lca>t to scnselesse things, 
Mounts, vales, woods, flouds, and springs, 
I shall tiiem onely show. 

Ah ! unafl'ccted lines, 

'iVuc mo(lcls of my heart. 
The world may see that in you shines 

The power of [)assion more than art. 



A SPEECH OP COELIA. 

(from the tragedy of CR(ESU.S.) 

Fierce tyrant, Deatli, who in thy wrath didst take 
One half of me, and left one half behind, 

Take this to thee, or give the other l)ack, 
Be wholly cruel, or be no way kind ! 

But whilst I live, believe, thou canst not die — 
0! e'en in spite of death, yet still my choice ! 

Oft with the inward all-beholding eye 
I think I see thee, and I hear thy voice. 

And to content my languishing desire, 

To ease my mind each thing some help affords: 

Thy fancied foi-m doth oft such faith ac(|uire. 
That in aU somids I apprehend thy words. 

Then with sucii thoughts my memoiy to wound, 
I call to mind thy looks, thy words, thy grace — 

Where thou didst haunt, yet I adore the ground ! 
And where thou slept, 0, sacred seems that 
place ! 

My solitary walks, my widow'd bed, 

My dreary sighs, my sheets oft bath'd with 
teai's, 
These shall record what life by me is led 

Since first sad news breath'd death into mine 



Though for more pain yet spar'd a space by death, 
Thee first I lov'd, with thee all love I leave; 

For my chaste flames, which quench'd were with 
thy breath, 
Can kindle now no more but in thy grave ! 



SONNET. 

I swear, Aurora, by thy starry eyes, 
And by those g. Iden locks, whose lock none 

slips, 
And by the coral of thj' rosy lips, 

And by the naked snows which beauty dyes; 

I swear by all the jewels of thy mind, 

Whose like yet never worldly treasure bought, 
Thy solid judgment, and thy generous thought. 

Which in this darkened age have clearly shined; 

I swear by those, and by my spotless love. 
And by my secret, ji^et most fervent fires. 
That I have never nurst but chaste desires, 

And such as modesty might well approve. 
Then since 1 love those virtuous parts in thee, 
Shouldst thou not love this virtuous mind in me^ 




d liAWTHORNXiEN 



WILLIAM DRUMMOND. 



WILLIAM DEUMMOND. 



Born 1585 — Died 1649. 



From the Drummonds of Carnock, after- 
wards Dukes of Perth, were descended tlie 
Drummonds of Hawthornden, a branch ren- 
dered as famous by the poet, as the other has 
been by statesmen and warriors. William 
Drummond, son of Sir John Drummond, was 
born at Hawthornden, December 13, 1585. 
He was educated at the recently founded Uni- 
versity of lidinburgh, and being designed by 
his father for the legal profession, was in the 
year 1606 sent, in accordance Avith the custom 
of that day, to France to prosecute the study 
of the law. He appears to have been a most 
diligent student, studying with gieat assiduity, 
taking notes of the lectures which he attended, 
and writing observations of his own upon them. 
That he was well fitted for this profession is 
not left to conjecture. The learned President 
Lockhart, on being shown these manuscripts, 
declared that if Drummond had followed the 
law "he might have made the best figure of 
any lawyer of his time." In 1610 his father. 
Sir John, died, and he returned to Scotland to 
take possession of an independent inheritance, 
as Laird of Hawthornden, at the same time 
deciding to look for happiness in rural life and 
literary pursuits. 

A more lovely spot for a poet's retreat we 
never saw in or out of Scotland. " Classic 
Hawthornden," Sir Walter called it. AVithin 
a small space are combined all the elements of 
sublime and picturesque scenery, and in the 
immediate neighbourhood is Roslyn Castle, 
one of the most interesting of Gothic ruins. 
In this charming retreat Drummond gave 
himself up to the study of the poets of Greece 
and Rome, of modern Italy and France; and 
to the formation upon them of an English 
style of his own. His earliest publication of 
which we have any knowledge, is a volume of 
poems of the date of 1616, when he was in his 
thirty-first year. This volume, however, is 
stated in the title to be the second edition. 
His next work was produced after his recovery 
from a dangerous illness, and was entitled 



"The Cypress Grove;" a prose rhapsody on 
the vanit\' of human life, which has been pro- 
nounced equal to the splendid passages of 
Jeremy Taylor on this sublimest of all earthly 
topics. If tradition may be credited, it was 
composed in one of the caves in the lofty cliff 
on which the House of Hawthornden stands, 
and whicii is to this day called "The Cypress 
Grove." About this time, and while in tlie 
same frame of mind, he wrote what he called 
" Flowers of Zion; or Spiritual Poems." The 
publication of these volumes brought Drum- 
mond great fame, and led to a familiar cor- 
respondence with several of the literary mag- 
nates of his day, among whom may be mentioned 
Ben Jonson, Michael Drayton, Dr. Artluir John- 
ston the Latin poet, and the Earls of Ancrum 
and Stirling. Drayton in an elegy on the Eng- 
lish poets takes occasion to speak of Drum- 
mond with much distinction. 

The most remarkable incident connected 
with the literary life of the Laird of Hawthorn- 
den, was the visit which the great dramatist 
"Pare Ben Jonson" paid to him in the spring 
of 1619. The Scottish poet kept notes of the 
opinions expressed by his distinguished guest, 
and chronicled some of his personal failings. 
Jonson alludes to all the contemporary poets 
and dramatists; but the most singular of all 
is his reference to Shakspere, of whom he 
speaks with as little reverence as of any of the 
others. He said, " Shakspere wanted art, 
and sometimes sense; for in one of his plays 
he brought a number of men, saying they iiad 
suffered shipwreck in Bohemia, where is no 
sea near by an hundred miles." In describing 
Jonson Drummond say.s, "He was a great 
lover and praiser of himself, a contemner and 
scorner of others, given rather to lose a friend 
than a jest; jealous of every word and action 
of those about him, especially after drink, 
which is one of the elements in wiiich he lived; 
a dissembler of the parts which reign in him; 
a bragger of some good that he wanted: think- 
ing nothing well done, but what either he 



74 



WILLIAM DEUMMOND. 



himself or some of his friends have said or 
done. He is passionately kind or angry, care- 
less either to gain or keep; vindictive, but if 
he be well answered at himself, interprets best 
sayings and deeds often to the worst. He was 
for any religion, as being versed in both; 
oppressed with fancy, which hath overmastered 
his reason, a general disease in man ij poets." 
"In short," concludes Drummond, "he was 
in his personal character the very reverse of 
Shakspere, as surly, ill-natured, proud, and 
disagreeable, as Shakspere, witli ten times his 
merit, was gentle, good-natured, easy, and 
amiable." 

It should be said to Ben's lionour, that when 
he spared not the absent, neither did lie over- 
look him who was present. Hawthornden's 
verses, he allowed, "were all good, especially 
his epitaph on Prince Henry; save that they 
smelied too much of the schools, and were not 
after the fancy of the times; for a child," said 
he, "may write after the fashion of the Greek 
and Latin verses, in running; — yet, that he 
wished for pleasing the king, that piece of 
'Forth Feasting' had been liis own." Our 
poet lias been most unjustly attacked for his 
remarks about Jonson, which was simply a 
rough memorandum for his own use, never 
intended for publication. Thougli it treats 
with unparalleled severity the character and 
foibles of the Englisli dramatist, there is every 
proof that he has not done him any injustice. 
It is not kindly, nor can it be said to be hos- 
tilely written. There is scarcely any writer 
that had any personal acquaintance with Jon- 
son wiio does not confirm Drummond's sketch. 
Howell, in one of his letters, has a passage 
which may suffice to acquit our poet of any 
singularity in his opinions. "I was invited 
yesterday," he says, "to a solemn supper by 
B. J. There was good company, excellent 
ciicer, choice wines, and jovial welcome. One 
thing intervened, which almost spoiled the 
rclisii of tiic rest, that B. began to engross all 
tiie discourse, to vapour extremely of himself, 
and by vilifying others to magnify his own 
name. T. Ca. buzzed me in the car, that 
though Ben had barrelled up a great deal of 
knowledge, yet it seems he had not read the 
ethics, which, amongst otiier jji-ecepts of mor- 
ality, forbid self-comnicndation, declaring it 
to bean ill-favoured solecism in good manners." 



It was about the time of the English poet's 
visit that Drummond formed an attachment 
for a young lady, daughter to Cunninghame 
of Barnes, an ancient and honourable house. 
His affection was reciprocated, the marriage day 
was appointed, and preparations going forward 
for its solemnization, when she was taken 
ill with a fever of which she soon after died. 
His deep grief on this sad event he has ex- 
pressed in many of those sonnets which have 
given him the title of the Scottish Petrarch; 
and it has been well said that he celebrated his 
dead mistress with more passion and sincerity 
than others use to praise their living ones. 
Finding his home, after this event, irksome to 
him, he sought consolation on the Continent, 
where he resided for eight years, spending his 
time chiefly in Paris and Rome. During his 
travels he collected a large library of the best 
ancient Greek and Latin authors, and the 
works of the most esteemed modern writers of 
France, Italy, and Spain. He afterwards pre- 
sented the collection to the College of Edin- 
burgh. The catalogue accompanying the gift, 
about 500 volumes, printed in the year 1627, 
is furnished with a Latin preface, from Drum- 
mond's pen, upon "the advantage and honour 
of libraries." 

On his return to his native land, which 
Drummond found already breaking out into 
those political troubles which so unhappily 
closed the career of Charles I., he retired to 
the residence of his brother-in-law. Sir John 
Scot, where he wrote his History of the Five 
Jameses, Kings of Scotland. For purity of 
style and elegance of expression it is not 
surpassed by any Scottish work of his day. 
It was not published until after Drummond's 
death. In the year 1630 he married Eliza- 
beth Logan, daughter to Sir Robert Logan, 
in whom he either found, or fancied he had 
found, a resemblance to his first love. By 
his marriage he had several children, the 
eldest of whom, a son, was knighted by Charles 
II. "VVe knoAv little of the private life of the 
poet after this period, but that he lived a re- 
tired life at his beautiful house of Hawthorn- 
den, which he repaired, as we learn from an 
inscription bearing date 1638 still to be seen 
upon the building. Drummond died December 
4, 1649, wanting only nine days to the com- 
plctiun of his sixty-fourth year. His body 



WILLIAM DRUMMOND. 



75 



was interred in Lasswade church, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Hawthornden. Besides his history 
he wrote several political tracts, all strongly 
in favour of royalty. 

It is as a poet, however, that Drunimond is 
now known and remembered. His poems, 
though occasionally tinged with the conceits 
of the Italian school, possess a harmony and 
sweetness unsurpassed by the productions of 
any of his English or Scottish contemporaries. 
His sonnets are particularly distinguished for 
tenderness and delicacy. William Hazlitt 
remarks, " Drummond's sonnets, I think, 
come as near as almost any others to the per- 
fection of this kind of writing, which should 
embody a sentiment, and every shade of a 
sentiment, as it varies with time, and place, 
and humour, with the extravagance or light- 
ness of a lAomentary impi'ession." It is gene- 
rally conceded that Drummond is second only 
to Shakspere as a sonnet writer; and Henry 
Hallam, Thomas Campbell, and Robert Soutliey 
have concurred, with some variations in degree 
of praise, in assigning him a high place among 
Britisii poets who appeared before Milton. 

Drunimond seems throughout his life, if we 
except the early collections, to have entertained 
little concern for the preservation of his poems. 
Many of them were only printed, during his 
lifetime, upon loose sheets; and it was not till 
1656 tliat Sir .John Scot caused them to be col- 
lected and published in one volume. An edi- 
tion of this collection was republished in Lon- 
don in 1659, with the following highly encomi- 
astic title: — " The most Elegant and Elaborate 
Poems of that great Court Wit, Mr. William 
Drummond; whose labours both in Prose and 



A^er.se, being heretofore so precious to Prince 
Henry and to King Charles, shall live and 
flourish in all ages, whiles there are men to 
read them, or art and judgment to approve 
them." Some of his poems remained in MS. 
till incorporated in the folio edition of his work? 
issued in 1711. The most popular of those 
detached productions printed in the poet's life- 
time was entitled " Polemo-Middinia, or th^ 
Battle of the Dunghill." This was a satire 
upon some of tiie autiior's contemporaries; and 
contains much humour in a style of comj)08i- 
tion which had not before been attempted in 
Scotland. It long retained its popularity in 
Eilinburgli, where it was almost yearly re- 
printed; and it was published at Oxford in 
1691, with Latin notes and a preface by Bi.shop 
Gibson. The latest edition of Drummond'.s 
works appeared in London in 1833, with a life 
by Peter Cunningham, a son of "honest Allan." 
In 1873 another memoir of the poet appeared, 
from the pen of Professor David Masson. 

The first poem which appears among oui 
selections from Drummond was designed as a 
compliment to King James VI., on his visit 
to Scotland in 1617. Of the many effusions 
which that event called forth this only has 
maintained its popularity, and indeed, as a 
performance professedly panegyrical, it is no 
ordinary praise to say tliat it has done .so. 
"It attracted," as Lord Woodhouselee has re- 
marked, " the envy as well as the praise of Ben 
Jonson, is superior in harmony of numbers to 
any of the compositions of the contemporary 
poets of England, and in its subject one of the 
most elegant panegyrics ever addressed by a 
poet to a prince." 



THE RIVER OF FORTH FEASTING. 



(extract. ) 



What blust'ring noise now interrupts my sleep? 
What echoing- shouts thus cleave my crystal 

deeps? 
And seem to call me from my watery court ? 
What melody, what sounds of joy and sport. 
Are convey'd hither from each night-born spring? 
With what loud murmurs do the mountains ring, 
Which in unusual pomp on tiptoes stand. 
And, full of wonder, overlook the land ? 
Whence come these glittering throne's, these 

meteors bright, 



This golden people, glancing in my sight ! 
Whence doth this praise, applause, and love arise? 
What load-star draweth us all eyes ? 
Am I awake, or have some dreams conspir'd 
To mock my sense with what I most desir'd ? 
View I that living face, see I tho.se looks, 
Which with delight were wont t'amaze my brooks? 
Do 1 behold that worth, that man divine, 
This age's glory, bj' these banks of mine? 
Then find I true what I long wish'd in vain; 
My much-beloved prince is come again. 



76 



WILLIAM DRUMMOND. 



So unto them whose zenith is the pole, 

When sis black months are past, the sun does 

roll: 
So after tempest to sea-tossed wights. 
Fair Helen's brothers show their clearing lights: 
So comes Arabia's wonder from her woods. 
And far, far off is seen by Memphis' floods; 
The feather'd sylvans, cloud-like, by her fly, 
And with triumphing plaudits beat the sky; 
Nile marvels, Serap's priests entranced rave, 
And in Mygdonian stone her shape engrave; 
In lasting cedars they do mark the time 
In which Aj)ollo's bird came to their clime. 

Let mother Earth now deck'd with flowers be 

seen; 
And sweet-breath'd zephyrs curl the meadows 

green : 
Let heaven weep rubies in a crimson shower. 
Such as on India's shores they use to pour; 
Or with that golden storm the fields adorn 
Which Jove rain'd when his blue-eyed maid was 

born. 
May never hours the web of day outweave ; 
May never night rise from her sable cave ! 
Swell proud my billows, faint not to declare 
Your joys as ample as theii* causes are : 
For murmurs hoarse sound like Ai-ion's harp, 
Now delicately flat, now sweetly sharp; 
And you, my nymphs, rise from your moist 

rejiair. 
Strew all your springs and grots with lilies fair. 
Some swiftest footed, get them hence, and 

pray 
Our floods and lake« may keep this holiday; 
Whate'cr beneath Albania's hills do run. 
Which see the rising or the setting sun. 
Which drink stern Grampus' mists, or Ochil's 

snows : 
Stone-rolling Tay, Tyne, tortoise-like that flows, 
The pearly Don, the Decs, the fertile Spey, 
Wild Severn, which doth sec our longest day; 
Ness, .smoking sulphur, Leve, with mountains 

crown'd , 
Strange Lomond, for his floating isles rcnovvn'd; 
The Iri.sh Rian, Ken, the .silver Ayr, 
The snaky Doon, the Orr with rushy hair. 
The crystal-streaming Nith, loud-bellowing 

Clyde, 
Tweed which no more our kingdoms shall divide, 
I{aiik-s\vellin>^ Annan, Lid witli curl'd streams. 
The Esks, tho Solway, where they lose their 

names; 
To every one proclaim our joys and feasts. 
Our triumphs; hid all come and be our guests. 
And as they meet in Neptune's azure hall. 
Bid them bid sea-gods keep tliis festival; 
Thi.>4 day shall by our currents be renown'd; 
Our liill.s about sliall still this day resound: 
Nay, that ovir love more to tliis day appear, 
Ijut us with it henceforth begin our year. 



To virgins flowers, to sun-burnt earth the rain, 
To mariners fair winds amidst the main; 
Cool shades to pilgrims, which hot glances burn. 
Are not so pleasing as thy blest return, 
That day, dear prince. 



SONG. 



Phcebus, arise. 

And paint the sable skies 

With azure, white, and red; 

Rouse Memnon's mother froni her Tython's 

bed. 
That she thy career may with roses spread, 
The nightingales thy coming each where sing. 
Make an eternal spring. 
Give life to this dark world which lieth dead; 
Spread forth thy golden hair 
In larger locks than thou wast wont before. 
And, emporor-like, decore 
With diadem of pearl thy temples fair: 
Chase hence the ugly night. 
Which serves but to make dear thy glorious 

light. 
This is that happy morn. 
That day, long-wished day. 
Of all my life so dark, 
( If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn, 
And fates my hopes betray, ) 
Which, purely white, deserves 
An everlasting diamond should it mark. 
This is the morn should bring unto this grove 
My love, to hear, and recompense my love. 
Fair king, who all preserves. 
But show thy blusshing beams. 
And thou two sweeter eyes 
Shalt see than those which by Peneus' streams 
Did once thy heart surprise: 
Nay, suns, which shine as clear 
As thou when two thou didst to Rome appear. 
Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise. 
If that ye winds would hear 
A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre. 
Your furious chiding stay; 
Let Zephyr only breathe, 
And with her tresses play, 
Kissing sometimes those purple ports of death. 
The winds all .silent are. 
And Phoebus in his chair 
Ensaflfroning sea and air, 
Makes vanish every star: 
Night like a drunkard reels 
Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels. 
The fields with flowers are decked in evei y 

hue. 
The clouds with orient gold spangle their blue: 
Here is the pleasant place. 
And nothing wanting is, save she, alas ! 



WILLIAM DRUMMOND. 



DEDICATIOX OF A CHURCH. 

Jerusalem, that phiL-e divine, 

The vision of sweet peace is named: 
In heaven lier glorious turrets sliine — 
Her walls of living stones are framed; 
Wliile angels guard iier on each side. 
Fit company for such a bride. 

She, decked iu new attire from heaven. 
Her wedding chamber now descends. 
Prepared in marriage to be given 
To Christ, on whom her joy depends. 
Her walls, wherewith she is inclosed, 
And streets, are of pure gold composed. 

The gates, adorned with pearls most bright, 

The way to hidden glory show; 
AtkI thither, by the blessed might 
Of faith in Jesus' merits, go 

All those who are on earth distressed 
Because they haveChrisfs name profes.^ed 

Tlie.se stones the workmen dress and beat 

Before they throughly polished are; 
Then each is in his proper seat 

Established by the Builder's care — 
In this fair frame to stand for ever. 
So joined that them no force can sever. 

To God, who sits in highest seat, 

Glory and power given be; 
To Father, Son, and Paraclete, 
Who reign in equal dignity — 

Whose boundless power we still adore. 
And sing their praise for evermore! 



SONNETS. 

Dear chorister, who from those shadows sends — 
Ere that tlie blushing morn dare show her light 
Such sad lamenting strains, that night attends, 
Become all ear, stars stay to hear thy plight ; 
If one whose grief even reach of thought tran- 

scend.s, 
Who ne'er (not in a dream) did taste delight. 
May thee importune who like case pretends, 
And seems to joy in woe, in woe's despite; 
Tell me (so may thou fortune milder try. 
And long, long sing'.) for what thou thus com- 
plains, 
Since Winter's gone, and .sun in dappled sky 
Enamor'd smiles on woods and flow'ry plains ? 
The bird, as if my questions did her move. 
With trembling wings sighed forth, " I love, I 
love." 



In Mind's pure glass when I myself behold, 
And lively see how my best days are .spent; 
What cloiuls of care above my head are rolled, 
What coming ill, which I can not prevent : 
My course begun, I, wearied, do repent, 
And would embrace what reason oft hath told ; 
But scarce thus think I, when love hath controlleil 
All the best rea.sons reason could invent. 
Though siu-e I know my labour's end is gnef, 
The more I strive that I the more shall pine, 
That only death shall be my last relief : 
Yet when I think upon that face divine, 
Like one with arrow shot, in laughter's place, 
Maugre my heart, I joy in my disgrace. 



Triumphing chariots, statues, crowns of bays, 
Sky-threatening arches, the rewards of worth ; 
Books heavenly-wise in sweet harmonious lays. 
Which men divine unto the world set forth ; 
States which ambitious minds, in blood, do raise 
From frozen Tanais unto sun-burnt Gauge; 
Gigantic frames, held wonders rarely strange, 
Like spiders' webs, are made the sport of days. 
Nothing is constant but in constant change, 
What's done still is undone, and when undone 
Into .some other fashion doth it range; 
Thus goes the floating world beneath the moon : 
Wherefore, my mind, above time, motion, place. 
Rise up, and steps unknown to nature trace. 

A good that never sati-sfies the mind, 

A beauty fading like the April showers, 

A sweet with floods of gall that nans combined, 

A pleasure passing e'er in thought made ours, 

A honour that more fickle is than wind, 

A glory at opinion's frown that lowers, 

A treasury which bankrupt time devours, 

A knowledge than grave ignorance more blind, 

A vain delight our etjuals to command, 

A style of greatness in effect a dream, 

A swelling thought of holding sea and land, 

A servile lot, decked with a pompous name: 

Are the strange ends we toil for here below, 

Till wisest death makes us our errors know. 



Thrice happy he who by some shady grove, 

Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own. 

Thou solitary, who is not alone. 

But doth converse with that eternal love. 

how more sweet is bird's harmonious moan, 

Or the hoarse sobbings of the widowed dove, 

Than those smooth whisperings near a prince's 

throne, 
Which good make doubtful, do the evil ajjprove! 
how more sweet is Zephyr's wholesome breath. 
And sighs embalmed which new-born flowers 

unfold. 
Than that applause vain honour doth bciiueath I 
How sweet are streams to poison drank in gold I 



AETHUR JOHNSTON. 



The world is full of horror, troubles, slights: 
Woods' harmless shades have only true delights. 



My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow 
With thy green mother in some shady grove. 
When immelodious winds but made thee move. 
And birds their romage did on thee bestow. 
Since that dear voice which did thy sounds ap- 
prove. 
Which wont in such harmonious strains to flow, 
Is reft from earth to tune the spheres above. 
What art thou but a harbinger of woe ? 
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more. 
But orphan wailings to the fainting ear, 
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear; 
For which be silent as in woods before: 
Or if that any hand to touch thee deign, 
Like widowed turtle still her loss complain. 



Sweet bird ! that sing'st away the early hours 
Of winters past or coming, void of care. 
Well pleased with delights which present are, 
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling 

flowers — 
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers 
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare, 
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare, 
A stain to human sense in sin that lowers. 
What soul can be so sick which by thy songs 
(Attired in sweetness) sweetly is not driven 
Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and 

wrongs, 
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven ! 
Sweet, artless songster ! thou my mind dost raise 
To airs of spheres — yes, and to angels' lays. 



Stay, passenger, see where enclosed lies 

The paragon of princes, fairest frame 

Time, nature, place, could show to mortal eyes. 

In worth, wit, virtue, miracle of fame: 

At least that part the earth of him could claim 

This marble holds — hard like the Destinies — 



For as to his Ijrave spirit and glorious name, 
The one the world, the other fills the skies. 
Th' immortal amaranthus, princely rose; 
Sad violet, and that sweet flower that bears 
In sanguine spots the tenor of our woes. 
Spread on this stone, and wash it with your tears; 
Then go and tell from Gades unto Ind 
You saw where earth's perfections were confined. 



Of mortal glory soon darkened ray ! 

winged joys of man, more swift than wind ! 

fond desires, which in our fancies stray! 

trait'rous hopes, which do our judgments blind! 

Lo, in a flash that light is gone away 

Whicli dazzle did each eye, delight each mind, 

And, with that sun from whence it came com- 
bined, 

Now makes more radiant heaven's eternal day. 

Let Beauty now bedew her cheeks with t^ars; 

Let widowed Music only roar and groan; 

Poor Virtue, get thee wings and mount the 
spheres, 

For dwelling-place on earth for tliee is none! 

Death hath thy temple razed, love's empire 
foiled, 

The world of honour, worth, and sweetness 
spoiled. 



I know that all beneath the moon decays; 
And what by mortals in this world is brought, 
In time's great periods shall return to nought; 
That fairest states have fatal nights and days. 
I know that all the Muses' heavenly lays. 
With toil of sprite which are so dearly bought, 
As idle sounds, of few or none are sought ; 
That there is nothing lighter than vain praise. 
I know frail beauty's like the purple flower 
To which one morn oft birth and death affords; 
That love ajarring is of mind's accords, 
Where sense and will bring under reason's power: 
Know what I list, this all cannot me move. 
But that, alas! I both must write and love. 



AETHUE JOHNSTON 



Boux L^Sy — Died 1641. 



Arthur Johnston, M.D. , next after 15u- 
chanan tlie best Latin poet of Scotland, was 
born in the year l.'JS? at Caskieben, the seat 
of his ancestors, near Inverury, in Aberdeen- 
shire. He is supposed to have been a student 
at Marischal College, Aberdeen, as he was 



afterwards elected rector of that university. 
With the purpose of studying medicine he 
resided for some time at Padua, Italy, where, 
in 1610, the degree of M.D. was conferred 
upon him. He subsequently travelled in Ger- 
many, Denmark, and Holland, and then set- 



ARTHUR JOHNSTON. 



79 



tied in France, where he acquired considerable 
eminence as a Latin poet. He is said by Sir 
Thomas Urquhart to have been laureated a 
poet in Paris at the early age of twenty -three. 
He remained for twenty years in France, a 
period during which he was twice married to 
ladies whose names are unknown, but who 
bore him thirteen children to transmit his 
name to posterity. On his return to Scotland 
in 1632 he was appointed physician to the 
king, it is supposed through the recommenda- 
tion of Archbishop Laud. The same year he 
published at Aberdeen his Parerga and Epl- 
grammata; and in 1633 he printed at London 
a specimen of his new Latin version of the 
Psalms of David, which he dedicated to Laud. 
A complete translation of the whole, under 
the title of Ps(tlmoriim Davidis Paraphrasum 
Poetica, was published at Aberdeen and Lon- 
don in 1637, with translations of the Te Deum, 
Creed, Decalogue, &c. , subjoined. Besides these 
he translated the Song of Solomon into Latin 
elegiac verse, published in 1633. He also 
wrote Musce Aidicce, or commendatory verses 
on some of the most distinguished literary men 
of his time; and edited Delitke Poetarum Scot- 
ontm, in M'hich he introduced many of his own 
pieces. Dr. Johnson was pleased to say of 
this work that " it would do honour to any 
eountiT." 

Critics have been divided as to the compara- 
tive merits of Buchanan's and Johnston's trans- 
lations of the Psalms. About the middle of 
the eighteenth century it was the subject of a 
controversy in which Lauder, and an English 
gentleman named Benson, stood forward as 
the zealous advocates of Johnston; while Jlr. 
Love and IJuddiman ably and successfully de- 
fended Buchanan. Hallam remarks, " Though 
the national honour may seem equally secure 
by the superiority of either, it has, I believe, 



been usual in Scotland to maintain the older 
poet against all the world. I am, nevertheless, 
inclined to think that Johnston's Psalms, all 
of which are in elegiac metre, do not fall far 
short of those of Buchanan, either in elegance 
of style or in correctness of Latinity." Three 
editions of Johnston's P.salms were printed at 
Benson's expense, with an elegant life of the 
translator prefixed. One of these, in quarto, 
with a fine portrait of Johnston by Vertue, 
after Jamesone, and copiously illustrated with 
notes, was published in 1741. Johnston, 
sometimes called the Scottish Ovid, died in 
1641 at Oxford, whither he had gone to visit 
a married daughter who resided there. Dr. 
William Johnston, professor of mathematics 
in !JLirischal College, Aberdeen, a brother of 
the poet, was a man of considerable celebrity. 
Wodrow says " He was ane learned and ex- 
perienced physician. He wrote on the mathe- 
matics. His skill in the Latin was truly 
Ciceronian." 

Robert Chambers, in writing of our author, 
says, " This poet, whose chief characteristic 
was the elegance with which he expressed his 
own simple feelings as a poet, in the language 
appropriate to the customs and feelings of a 
past nation, has left in his Ephjrammata an 
address to his native spot : and although Caskie- 
ben is a piece of very ordinary Scottish scenery, 
it is surprising how much he has made of it by 
the mere force of his own early associations. 
With the minuteness of an enthusiast, he does 
not omit the circumstance that the hill of 
Benachie, a conical elevation about eight miles 
distant, casts its shadow over Caskieben at 
the periods of the equinox." We give a trans- 
lation of this epigram, which unites a specimen 
of Johnston's happiest original effort with cir- 
cumstances personally connected with his his- 
torv. 



CASKIEBEN 



Here, traveller, a vale behold 
As fair as Tcmpe, famed of old, 

Beneath the northern sky I 
Here L-^rie, with her silver waves, 
Her banks, in verdure smiling, laves, 

And winding wimples by. 



Here, towering high, Benachie spreads 
Around on all his evening shades. 

AVhen twilight gray conies on: 
With sparkling gems the river glows; 
As precious stones the mountain shows 

As in the East are known. 



80 



CHARLES THE FIRST. 



Here nature spreads a bosom sweet, 
And native dyes beneath the feet 

Bedeck the joyous ground: 
Sport in the liquid air the birds, 
And fishes in the stream; the lierds 

In meadows wanton round. 

Here ample barn-yards still ai"e stored 
With relics of last autumn's hoard, 

And firstlings of this year; 
There waving fields of yellow corn, 
And ruddy apples, tliat adorn 

The bending boughs, appear. 



Beside the stream a castle proud 
liiscs amid the passing cloud, 

And rules a wide domain, 
(Unequal to its lord's desert:) 
A village near, with lowlier art, 

Is built upon the plain. 

Here was I born; o'er all the land 
Ai'ound the Johnstons bear command, 

Of high and ancient line: 
Mantua acquired a noted name 
As Virgil's birth-place; I my fame 

Inherit shall from mine. 



CHARLES THE EIEST 



Born 1600 — Died 1649. 



Charles I. , King of Great Britain, was born 
at Dunfermline Palace, which was the dotarial 
or jointure house of his mother the queen, on 
Nov. 19, 1600, the very day that the Earl of 
Gowrieand his brotherweredismembered at the 
cross of Edinburgh for their share in the cele- 
brated conspiracy. King James remarked with 
surprise that the principal incidents of his own 
domestic and personal history had taken place 
on that particular day of the month; he had 
been born, he said, on the 19th of June; he 
first saw his wife on the 19th of May; and his 
two former children, as well as this one, had 
been born on the 19tli of different months. 
Charles was only two and a half years old when 
his father was called to London to fill the 
throne of Elizabeth. The young prince Avas 
left in Scotland in charge of the Earl of Dun- 
fermline, but joined liis father in July, 1603, 
in company with the rest of the royal family. 
His elder brother, Henry, dying in 1612, 
(Jliarlcs was four years later formally created 
I'rince of Wales. He succeeded to the throne 
in lG2.'i, and on June 22 was mairied to Hen- 
rietta Marie, daughter of the illustrious Henry 
IV. of France. We cannot follow the unfor- 
tunate Stuart through his kingly career — the 
political troubles and civil wars, closing with 
the triumph of Cromwell and the execution 
of (.'harles, June 'W, 1649, in IVunt uf his own 
palace of Whitehall. 



In literature Charles is entitled to mention 
chiefly as the reputed author of a Avork pub- 
lished after his death entitled Eikon Basilike, 
Avhich contained a series of reflections, pro- 
ceeding from liimself, respecting various situa- 
tions in which he was placed towards the close 
of his life. This in a short space of time went 
through forty-eight editions, exciting a keen 
interest in the fate of the king, and high ad- 
miration of his mental gifts. He was also 
the author of some stanzas, not devoid of 
merit, Avhich entitle him to a place among 
the minor poets of his native land. We are 
indebted to Bishop Burnet for their preserva- 
tion. He gives them in his Memoirs of the 
Duhes of Hdmilton, saying, "A very worthy 
gentleman who had the honour of waiting 
on him there (at Carisbrooke Castle), and was 
much trusted by him, copied them out from 
the original, Avho voucheth them to be a true 
copy." The literary works attributed to King 
Charles were, after his death, collected and 
published under the title of Bdiqulce Sacrc 
Carollnce. They consist chiefly of letters and 
a few state papers, and of the " Eikon Basi- 
like," but his claim to the authorship of the 
latter has been much disputed; Dr. W^ords- 
worth is certain that the king wrote it. Sir 
James Mackintosh is equally positive that he 
did not; and the question appears to be no 
nearer settlement than that of the authorship 



FRANCIS SEMPILL. 



81 



of .hiniiis, or the'true character of tlie king's 
grandmother JIary Stuart. Charles was, how- 
ever, certainly among the most elegant English 



writers of his time, and a friend to the fine 
arts, which he greatly encouraged in the early 
part of his reign. 



MAJESTY IN MISERY. 1 

Great ilonarch of the World! from whose arm 

springs 
The potency and power of kings, 
Record the royal woe, my suHerings. 

Nature and law, by thy divine decree 
(Tiie only root of righteous loyalty), 
AVith this dim diadem invested me: 

With it the sacred sceptre, purple robe, 
Thy holy union, and the royal globe; 
Yet I am levelled with the life of Job. 

The fiercest furies that do daily tread 
Upon my grief, my gray discrowned head. 
Are those that owe my bounty for their bread. 

Tyranny bears the title of taxation, 
Revenge and robbery are reformation. 
Oppression gains the name of .sequestration. 

Great Britain's heir is forced into France, 
Whilst on liis father's head his foes advance: 
Poor child! he weeps out his inheritance. 

With my own power my majesty they wound. 
In the king's name the king himself 's un- 

crown'd; 
So doth the dust destroy the diamond. 



Jly life they prize at such a slender rate. 
That in my absence they draw bills of hate 
To prove the king a traitor to the state. 

Felons obtain more privilege than I, 
They are allowed to answer ere they die; 
'Ti.s death for me to ask the reason, Why. 

But, .sacred Saviour ! with thy words I woo 

Thee toforfjive, and not be bitter to 

Such as thou know'st do not know what they do. 

Augment my patience, nullifie my hate, 
Preserve my i.ssue, and inspire my mate: 
Yet though we perish, bless this church and 
stat^! 

Vota dabunt quce hello, negarunt. 



ON .\ QUIET CONSCIENCE. 

Close thine eyes, and sleep secure; 

Thy soul is safe, thy body sure : 

He that guards thee, he that keeps, 

Never slumbers, never sleeps. 

A quiet conscience in the breast 

Has only peace, has only rest: 

The music and the mirth of kings 

Are out of tune unless she sings. 

Then close thine eyes in peace, and sleep 

secure — 
No sleep so sweet as thine, no rest so sure! 



FEANCIS SEMPILL. 



Born 1605 — Died 1680. (?) 



The Sempills or Skmples of Beltrees, among 
the earliest and most successful cultivators of 
Scottish song, were small landowners or lairds 
in Renfrewshire. Sir James Sempill wrote 



1 The entire poem consists of twenty-four verees of 
very luiequal merit. Archbishop Trench says: " I have 
dealt somewhat boldly with this poem, of its tweuty- 



"Tlie Packman and the Priest," a satire in 
which the absurdities of Popery are expo.sed. 
He was a favourite with James VI., by whom 
he was knighted. Robert, the son and suc- 



four triplets omitting all but ten, these ten seeming to 
me to const itiite a fine poem, which the twenty-four fail 
to do." We i:refer the eleven as given above.— Ed. 
6 



82 



FEANCIS SEMPILL. 



cessor of Sir James, had the merit of first 
using a form of stanza in the well-known 
•' Elegy on Habble Simpson, the Piper of Kil- 
barchan," which Allan Ramsay and Robert 
Burns adopted and rendered popular. The 
"Sempill Ballates," a series of historical poli- 
tical and satirical Scottish poems attributed 
to him, have been recently republished in 
Edinburgh. Francis, the son of Robert, and 
the last of the rhyming lairds, was born at 
Bel trees early in the seventeenth century, 
probably about the year 1605. He was a 
warm adherent of the Stuarts, and wrote 
several panegyrics on James II. while Duke 
of York and Albany, and on the birth of his 
children. He was also the author of a piece 
of considerable merit, entitled "The Banish- 
ment of Poverty;" but it is as the reputed author 
of several admirable songs that he is chiefly 
indebted for the honourable place accorded to 
him among the song-writers of Scotland. Of 
his personal history nothing is known, not 
even tiie date of his death, which is believed 
to have occurred about the year 1680. 

Allan Cunningham says: " Tradition of late 
has provided authors for some of our favourite 
songs: and since authentic history declines to 
chronicle those who furnish matter for present 
and future mirtli, I can see no harm in accept- 
ing the aid of traditionary remembrance. On 
such authority, aided by the less doubtful tes- 
timony of family papers, Francis Semple of 
lieltrees has obtained the reputation of writing 
three popular songs, 'Tlie Blytlicsome Bridal,' 
' Maggie Lauder,' and ' She rose and loot me in. ' 
I have Iieard the tradition, Itut I have not seen 
tiie family manuscripts; and though I am not 
obliged to believe what I cannot with certainty 
contradict, yet I have no right to discredit 
what honest men have seriously asserted; the 
story has been for years before the world, and 
if any be sceptical they are also silent. Semple 
is of itself a worthy name. I am glad tradition 
has taken its part ; besides, we owe much 
poetic pleasure to the ancestors of Francis, 
who wrote, like their descendant, with great 
case and freedom; and why should not the 
mantle descend?" There arc few more famous 
Scottish songs than " Fy, let us a' to the 
Britlal" and "Maggie Lauder," tiie humour 



and broad glee of the latter being equalled by 
the admirable naivete and grace of the former. 
Speaking of one of these songs the critic whom 
we have quoted remarks: " The freedom with 
which some of the characters are drawn has 
gone far to exclude the song ('The BIythesome 
Bridal') from company which calls itself pol- 
ished. I quarrel not with matters of taste — 
but taste is a whimsical thing. Ladies of all 
ranks will gaze by the dozen and hour on the 
unattired grace and proportion of the old 
statues, and feci them o'er like the wondering 
miller in Ramsay's exquisite tale, lest glamour 
had beguiled their een ; but the colour will 
come to their cheeks, and the fans to their 
faces, at some over-warm words in our old min- 
strels; whatever is classical is pure." 

"Maggie Lauder" was a favourite song in 
the American camj) during revolutionary days, 
and was often sung to the commander-in-chief 
by stout old Putnam. An old chronicler says: 
" This afternoon the provincial congress of 
New York gave an elegant entertainment to 
General Washington and his suite, the general 
and staff officers, and the commanding officer 
of the different i-egiments in or near the city. 
Many patriotic toasts were offered and drank 
with the greatest pleasure and decency. After 
the toasts little Phil of the Guard was brought 

in to sing H 's new campaign song, and 

was joined by all the under officers, who seemed 
much animated by the accompanying of Clute's 
drum-sticks and Aaron's fife. Our good Gen- 
eral Putnam got sick and went to his quarters 
before dinner was over, and we missed him a 
marvel, as there is not a chap in the camp 
who can lead him in the 'Maggie Lauder' 
song." TJie hero of this beautiful song was 
Robert Simpsonne, alias " Rob the Ranter," 
who was also celebrated by Robert Sempill as 
" Habbie Simpson, the Piper of Kilbarchan." 
A grandson of the poet Francis deserves to 
be incidentally mentioned as a remarkable 
instance of longevity. He died in 1789 at the 
age of 103. He was the first in the nomina- 
tion of justices of the peace for Scotland in 
1708, being the year after the union, and was 
at the date of his decease undoubtedly the 
oldest judicial functionary of that or any other 
rank in the British Empire. 



FEANCIS SEMPILL. 



83 



THE BLYTHSOME BRIDAL. 

Fy, let us a' to the bridal, 

For there will be lilting there; 
For Jock's to be married to Maggie, 

The lass wi' the gowden hair. 
And there will be lang kail and porridge, 

And bannocks of barley-meal ; 
And there will be good saut herring, 

To relish a cog of good ale. 

And there will be Sawnej' the sntor. 

And Will wi' the meikle mou'; 
And tliere will be Tam tiie blatter, 

AVith Andrew the tinkler, I trow; 
And there will be bow-legged Eobie, 

With thumbless Katy's goodnian; 
And there will be blue-cheeked Dobie, 

And Laurie, the laird of tlie land. 

And there will be .sow-libber Patie, 

And plooky-fac'd Wat i' the mill, 
Capper-nos'd Francie and Gibbie, 

That wins in the how of the hill; 
And there will be Alaster Sibbie, 

Wlia in with black Bessie did mool. 
With snivelling Lilly, and Tibby, 

The lass that stands aft on the .stool. 

And Madge that was buckled to Steenie, 

And coft him gray breeks to his a , 

Who after was hangit for stealing — 

Great mercy it happen'd na warse! 
And there will be gleed Geordy Janners, 

And Kirsh with tlie lily-white leg, 
Wlia gade to the south for manners. 

And danced the daft dance in Mons Mea 

And there will be Judan Maclaurie, 

And blinkin' daft Barbara JLicleg, 
Wi' flae-luggit sharney-fac'd Laurie, 

And shangy-mou'd haluket Meg. 
And there will be happer-hipp'd Nancy, 

And fairy-fac'd Flowrie by name. 
Muck Madie, and fat-hippit Grisy, 

The Ia.ss wi' the gowdeu wame. 

And there will be Girn-again Gibbie, 

AVith his glaikit wife Jenny Bell, 
And misle-shinn'd Mungo Macapie, 

The lad that was skipper himsel. 
There lads and lasses in pearlings 

Will feast in the heart of the ha' 
On .sybows and rifarts and carlings, 

That are baith sodden and raw. 

And there will be fadges and brochan. 
With fouth of good gabbocks of skate. 



Powsowdy, and drammock, and crowdy, 
And caller nowt-fect in a plate; 

And tliere will be partans and buckles. 
And whitings and speldings enew, 

With singed sheep-heads and a haggis. 
And scadlips to sup till ye spew; 

And there will bclapper'd milk kebbocks, 

And sowens, and farls, and baps, 
With swats and well-scraped paunches, 

And brandy in stoups and in caps; 
And there will be meal-kail and castocks. 

With skink to sup till ye rive, 
And roasts to roast on a brander. 

Of flukes that were taken alive. 

Scrapt haddocks, wilks, dulse and tangle, 

And a mill of good snishing to prie; 
Wlien weary with eating and drinking, 

We'll rise up and dance till we die. 
Then fy, let us a' to the bridal. 

For there will be lilting tliere; 
For Jock's to be married to Maggie, 

The lass wi' the gowden hair. 



SHE ROSE AND LOOT ME IN, 

The night her silent sable wore, 

And gloomy were the skies, 
Of glittering stars appeared no more 

Than those in Nelly's eyes; 
When to her father's gate I came, 

Where I had often been, 
And begged my fair, my lovely dame. 

To rise and let me in. 

Fast locked within my close embrace. 

She trembling stood asliamed — 
Her swelling breast, and glowing face, 

And every touch inflamed. 
With look and accents all divine 

She did my warmth reprove, — 
The more slie spoke, tiie more she looked, 

The warmer waxed my love. 

then beyond expressing, 
Transporting was the joy! 

1 knew no greater blessing. 

So blest a man was I : 
And she all ravish'd with delight. 

Bid me often conic again, 
And kindly vowed that every night 

She'd rise and let me in. 

Full soon soon I returned again 
When stars were streaming free, 



84 



THE MARQUIS OF MONTROSE. 



Ob, slowly, slowly came she down. 

And stood and gazed on me : 
Her lovely eyes with tears ran o'er, 

Repenting her rash sin — 
And aye she mourn'd the fatal hour 

She rose and loot me in. 

But who could cruelly deceive, 

Or from such beauty part? 
I lov'd her so, I could not leave 

The charmer of my heart : 
We wedded, and I thought me blest 

Such loveliness to win; 
And now she thanks the happy hour 

She rose and loot me in. 



MAGGIE LAUDER. 

Wha wadnae be in love 

Wi' bonnie Maggie Lauder! 
A piper met her gaun to Fife, 

And speir'd what was't they ca'd her: 
Eight scornfully thus answered she. 

Begone, you hallan-shaker: 
Jog on your gate, you blether-skate, 

My name is Maggie Lauder. 

Maffgiel (]uoth he; now by my bags, 
I'm fidgin faiu to see thee ! 



Sit down by me, my bonnie bird, 

In troth I winna steer thee; 
For I'm a piper to my trade, 

Men call me Rab the Ranter: 
The lasses loup as they were daft, 

When I blaw up my chanter. 

Piper, quo' Meg, have you your bags, 

And is your drone in order? 
If you be Rab, I've heard of you, — 

Live you upon the Border? 
The lasses a', baith far and near,- 

Have heard of Rab the Ranter — 
I'll shake my foot wi' right good will, 

If you'll blaw up your chanter. 

Then to his bags he flew wi' speed, 

About the drone he twisted; 
Meg up and walloped o'er the green, 

For brawlie could she frisk it : 
Weel done ! quoth he. Play up, quo' she. 

Weel bobbed! quoth Rab the Ranter; 
'Tis worth my while to play, indeed, 

When I get sic a dancer ! 

Weel haeyou played your part! quothMeg; 

Your cheeks are like the crimson — 
There'.s naneiii Scotland plays sae weel. 

Since Ave lost Habbie Simpson. 
I've lived in Fife, baith maid an wife. 

These ten years and a quarter ; 
Gin ye should come to Anster Fair, 

Spier ye for Maggie Lauder. 



THE MAKQUIS OF MONTEOSE 



BoKN 1612 — Died 1650. 



Among the great soldiers of the seventeenth 
century, the cclcl)rate(l Manjuis of Montrose — 
a hero whom Cardinal dc Retz deemed worthy 
of the pages of Plutarch, being inspired by all 
the ideas and .sentiments which animated the 
classic personages whom that writer has com- 
memorated—is certainly entitled to a place 
among the minor poets of Scotland. It may 
1)C truly said that he possessed an elegant 
genius: spoke eloquently, and wrote with a 
graceful and perspicuous turn of expression. 
.Fames (iraham, Tiik Great Marquis, was 
liorn in the month of September, 1612, it is 
liclicvcd at the family estate of Auld Mon- 



trose. He was the only son of John, fourth 
earl, and Margaret Ruthven, daughter of the 
Earl of Gowrie. The future hero succeeded to 
his paternal estates and honours soon after 
Charles I. ascended the throne. During his 
minority he was under the guardianship of 
Lord Napier, who had married his sister, and 
who continued through life one of his warmest 
friends and supporters. He was educated at 
the University of St. Andrews, where he won 
reputation as a classical scholar and a poet. 
Montrose married Madeline Carnejie, daughter 
of the Earl of Southesk, by whom he had two 
sons. On the death of his wife he went abroad. 



THE MAEQUIS OF MONTROSE. 



85 



and spent three yeans on the Continent, return- 
ing to Scotland in 1633, with the reputation 
of being the most accomplished nobleman of 
his time. 

It were foreign to our purpose to follow the 
brilliant career of the chivalric soldier, or to 
describe the noble magnanimity and Christian 
spirit displayed by the Highland hero in the 
hour of defeat and disaster. In the year 16j0 
he was captured by the Pai'liamentary forces, 
and conducted to Edinburgh. There he was 
received as a condemned traitor, and subjected 
to the most barbarous indignities. The night 
before his execution he wrote the well-known 
and beautiful lines: — 

" Let them bestow on every airt a limb, 
Tlieu open all my veins, that I may swim 
To thee, my Maker, in that crimson lake, — 
Then pUice my parboil'd head upon a stake. 
Scatter my ashes— strew them in the air. — 
Lord! since thou knowest where all these atoms are, 
I'm hopeful thou'lt recover once my dust, 
And confident thou'lt raise me with the just." » 

Montrose was executed at the Scottish capi- 
tal, May 21, 16o0, and in accordance with the 
barbarous sentence the legs and arms were 
cut off, and sent as trophies to the four prin- 
cipal cities of Scotland, while his head was 
affixed to a spike at the top of the Tolbooth, 
Edinburgh. The Great JIarquis met his sad 
fate, and the many insults and indignities 
heaped upon him before his execution, with a 
calm and Christian spirit, with such dignity 
and fortitude as to excite even the admiration 



' There is a coincidence worthy of notice between 
these lilies and those written by Sir Walter Raleigh, 
when about to submit himself like Montrose to a judi- 
cial murder : — 

"Even such is time; who takes in trust 
Our joys, our youth, and all we have, 
And pays us but with earth and dust; 
Who, in the dark and silent grave, 
Wlieu we have wandered all our ways, 
Shuts up the story of our days; 
But from that earth, that grave and dust. 
The Lord shall raise me up, I trust." — Ed. 



and sympathy of his enemies. On the Restora- 
tion the remains of the greatest of the Grahams 
were carefully collected, and interred with 
imposing .solemnities within the precincts of 
St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgii, and the sen 
tence of forfeiture which parliament had passed 
was reversed by Charles II., thus restoring 
Lord Graham to his father's dignities and pos 
sessions. One of Scotland's sweetest singers 
has celebrated in the Loijs of the Scottish 
Cavaliers the death of the faitiiful royalist and 
gallant knight, and also that of his renowned 
grandson "Bonny Dundee;" and his bio- 
grapher Mark Napier concludes his memoir 
of the Great Marquis with these lines: — 

'• From yon grim tower, where long, in ghastly state, 
His head proclaim'd how holiness c;in hate; 
From gory pinnacles, where blencli'd and riven. 
Ten years his severd limbs insulted Heaven; 
From the vile hole, by malice dug, beneath 
The felon's gibbet, on the blasted heath, 
Redeem'd to hallow'd ground, too long denied, 
Here let the martyr's mangled bones abide. 

His country blush'd.and clos'd tlie cloister'd tomb, 
But rais'd no record of the hero's doom; 
Blush'd, but forbore to mark a nation's shame 
With sculptur'd memories of the murder'd Gialiaiu; 
The warrior's couch, 'mid pious pageants spread. 
But left the stone unletter'd at his head: 
Vain the dark aisle! the silent tablet vain! 
Still to his country cleaves the cui-se of Cain,^ 
Still cries his blood, from out the very dust 
Of Scotland's sinful soil,—' Remember me they mwt: 
But, though the fhame must Scotland bear tlirough 

time. 
Ye bastard priesthood, answer for the cnme! 
Preachei-s, not pastors, redolent of blood. 
Who cried, 'Sweet Jesu,' in your murderous mood, — 
Self-seeking - Christ-caressing— canting crew. 
That from the Book of Life death-warrants drew, 
Obscur'd the fount of truth, and left the trace 
Of gory fingers on the p^ige of grace: - 
'I'his was thy horrid handiwork, though still 
Sublime he soar'd above your savage will, 
Rous'd his great soul to glorify its flight. 
And foil'd the adder of his foenian's spite: — 
This was thy horrid liandiwork, the while 
He of the craven heart, the false .\rgyle. 
Sent for our sins, his country's sorest rod. 
Still doom'd his victims in the name of God. 
Denounc'd true Christians as the Saviour's foes. 
And gorg'd his i-avens with the Great Montrose." 



86 



THE MAEQUIS OF MONTEOSE. 



MY DEAE AND ONLY LOVE.i 



PART FIRST. 

3Iy dear and only love, I pray 

That little world,— of Thee, — 
Be governed by no other sway 

Than purest monarchy. 
For if confusion have a part, 

Which virtuous .souls abhor, 
I'll call a Synod in mine heart. 

And never love thee more. 

As Alexander I will reign. 

And I will reign alone; 
My thoughts did evermore disdain 

A rival on my throne; 
He either fears liis fate too much, 

Or his de.<erts are small, 
That dares not put it to the touch, 

To gain or lose it all. 

But I will reign and govern still. 

And always give the law, 
And have eadi subject at my imll, 

And all to stand in awe. 
But 'gainst my batteries if I find 

Thou kick or vex me sore, 
As that thou set me up a blind, 

I'll never love thee more. 

And in the empire of thine heart. 

Where I should solely be. 
If others do pretend a part. 

Or dare to vie with me; 
Or \f committees thou erect, 

And go on such a score, 
I'll laugh and sing at thy neglect, 

And never love thee more. 

But if thou wilt prove faithful then, 

And constant of thy word, 
I'll make thee glorious by my pen, 

Xx\A famons hy my sword: 
I'll .serve thee in such noble ways 

"Was never heard before, 
I'll crown and dock thee all with bays 

And love thee more and more. 

TAUT SECOND. 

My dear and only love, take heed 
How thou thyself dispose: 

Let not all longing lovers feed 
I'poii such looks as these: 

I'll marble-wall thee round about, 
Myself shall be the door, 



And if thy heart chance to slide out, 
I'll never love thee more. 

Let not their oaths, like volleys shot, 

Make any breach at all, 
Nor smoothness of their language plot 

AVhich way to scale the wall; 
Xor balls of wildfire love consume 

The shrine which 1 adore, 
For if such smoke about thee fume 

I'll never love thee more. 

I know thy virtues be too strong 

To suffer by surpri.se; 
If that thou slight their love too long 

Their siege at last will ri.se. 
And leave thee conqueror, in that healtii 

And state thou wast before; 
But if thou turn a Commonwealth, 

I'll never love thee more. 

And if by fraud, or by consent, 

Thy heart to ruine come, 
I'll sound no trumpet as I wont. 

Nor march by tuck of drum; 
But hold my arms, like ensigns, up. 

Thy falsehood to deplore, 
And bitterly will sigh and weep. 

And never love thee more. 

I'll do with thee as Xero did 

When Rome was set on fire: 
Not only all relief forbid. 

But to a hill retire. 
And scorn to shed a tear to save 

Thy spirit, grown so poor. 
But laugh and smile thee to thy grave, 

And never love thee more. 

Yet for the love I bare thee once, 

Lest that thy name should die, 
A monument of marble-stone 

The truth shall testify: 
That every pilgrim, passing by. 

May pity and deplore. 
And, sighing, read the reason why 

I cannot love thee more. 

The golden laws of love shall be 
Upon these pillars hung. 



1 Our veision of this loyal ballad is taken from an 
old broadside slieet discovered by the late Dr Irving. 
It is entitled 'Au excellent new ballad, to the tune I'f 
' 1 11 never love thee more,''' and is much superior to 
the common version.— Ed. 



JOHN MACDONALD. 



87 



A single lieart, a simple eye, 

A true and constant tongue. 
Let no man for more love pretend 

Than lie has hearts in store; 
True love begun will never end — 

Love one and love no more. 

And when all gallants ride about, 

These monuments to view, 
Whereon is written, in and out, 

Tiiou traitorous and untrue; 
Then in a passion they shall pause, 

And thus say, sighing sore, 
Alas! he had too just a cause 

Never to love thee more. 

And when that tracing goddess Fame 

From east to west shall flee. 
She shall record it to tiiy siiame, 

How thou hast loved me; 
And how in odds our love was such 

As few have been before; 
Thou lov'dst too many, and I too much. 

So I can love no more. 

^fy heart shall with the sun lie fixed 

For constancy most strange. 
And tiiine shall with the moon be mixed, 

Delighting aye in change. 
Thy beauty sinned at first more bright, 

And woe is me therefore, 
That ever I found thy love so light, 

I could love thee no more. 



The misty mount, the smoking lake, 

The rock's resounding echo. 
The whistling winds, the woods that shake,- 

Shall with me sing hey ho! 
The tossing seas, tiie tumbling boats. 

Tears dropping from each oar. 
Shall tune with me their turtle notes, — 

I'll never love thee more. 

As doth the turtle, eha.-te and true, 

Her fellow's deatli regret. 
And daily mourns for his adieu. 

And ne'er renews her mate; 
So, though thy faitii was never fast, 

Which grieves me wondrous .sore, 
Yet I siiall live in love .so chast, 

That I shall love no more. 



OX THE EXECUTIOX OF CHARLES L^ 

Great, good, and just, could I but rate 

My grief with thy too rigid fate, 

I'd weep the world in such a strain 

As it should deluge once again; 

But since thy loud-tongued blood demands 

supplies 
ilore from Briareus' hands tlian Argus' eyes, 
I'll sing thy obsequies witii trumpet sounds. 
And write thy epitaph in blood and wounds. 



JOHN MACDONALD 



Born 1620 (?) — Died 1700. 



JoHX Macdonald, a Lochaber poet and 
politician, known among his Highland coun- 
trymen as Jain Loin, literally "bare John," 
so named from his acuteness and severity on 
some occasions. He was also called Iain 
Mauntach, from a slight impediment in his 
speech. Macdonald was of the Keppoch family, 
but the exact place and date of his birth is 
unknown. We do know that he lived in the 
reigns of Charles L and IL, and that he died 
upwards of threescore and ten, about the year 
1700, so that his birth may be fixed between 
1620 and 1625. Of his early li(e little is known. 
The first event that made him famous bevond 



the limits of Lochaber was the active part he 
took in punishing the murderers of the heir of 
Keppoch : tlie massacre was perpetrated by the 
young Highlander's cousins. A few years later 
the poet, whose talents had made him a man 
of importance in his native country, was the 
means of bringing the armies of Montro.se and 
Argyle together at Inverlochy. From the 
castle the bard had a fine view of the engage- 
ment, of which he gives a graphic description 
in his long poem -'The Battle of Inverlochy." 



' Written at Brussels, on hearing of tlie king's e.xe- 
oution. — Ed. 



88 



JOHN MACDONALD. 



"So true," says Mackenzie, "natural, and 
home-brought is the iiieture, that all that had 
happened seem to be passing before their eyes. 
The spirit of poetry, the language, and bold- 
ness of expression have seldom been equalled, 
perhaps never surpassed; yet, at this distance 
of time, these martial strains are rehearsed 
with different and opposite feelings." 

The changes which afterwards took place 
produced no change in the politics of the royal 
Gaelic bard. He entered into all the turmoils 
of the times Avith his whole heart, and with a 
boldne.ss which no danger could daunt nor 
power intimidate from what he considered his 
duty. He became a violent opposer of the 
union, and employed his muse in numerous 
sarcastic and bitter compositions against 
William and Mary. But it was against the 
Campbells tiiat he wrote his sharpest satires. 
The head of the clan felt the influence of his 
ridicule so much that he offered a reward for 
the poet's head. The bard presented himself 
to the marquis at Inverary, and demanded the 



reward. Argyle received him courteously, 
showed him through the castle, and on enter- 
ing an apartment hung round with the heads 
of black-cocks, asked, "Have you ever seen so 
many black-cocks together?" ''Yes," said the 
bard. "Where?" demanded Argyle. "At 
Inverlochy," replied the poet, alluding to the 
slaughter of the Campbells on that memorable 
day. "Ah! John," added Argyle, "will you 
never cease gnawing the Campbells?" " 1 am 
sorry," said Macdonald, " that I cannot swal- 
low them." 

Iain Lom was a prolific writer, and among 
his other compositions he kept a poetical jour- 
nal of Dundee's route from Keppoch to Killie- 
crankie. Donald Campbell, in his Treatise on 
the Language, Poetry, and Music of the High- 
land Clans, tells us that "Mr. James Munro, 
than whom no man is better qualified, is pre- 
paring for publication the interesting poems of 
this eminent modern bard, with a memoir of 
tiie bard himself, which will, if possible, be 
still more interesting even than his poems." 



THE DEATH OF GLENGAERY. 



When in the morning T arose 

Pleasure was not my aim. 
Is there no end to Albin's woes, 

To deaths 'mong men of fame? 
The manly leader of tlie race 

Who own tlic Garrian-glen, 
Is off to ills last resting-place, 

IJorne high by sorrowing men, — 
Tlie diieftain lofty, true, and bold, 
Wlio never his allegiance sold. 

Not safe were they wlio rashly met 

Thy warriors, stern and true. 
When the proud hcather-l)adge was set 

In all tlieir bonnets blue; 
When tliy brave banner waved on high, 

.\nd tliou thyself wcrt seen, 
With liattlc kindling in tliiiie eye, 

To draw thy broad-sword keen: — 
Then, then 'twas time for Albin's foes 
To fly their fierce, their deadly blows. 

That praise, that early praise was thine, 
An<i sf)rcad thy well-known fame afar 

Thou diilst on all occasions shine. 
The wisest leader in tlie war. 



No serried red-coats daunted thee, 

Although their well-aimed volleys rolled. 

Upon thy ranks, from musketry 
That oft in deadlj' slaugiiter told: 

Thy just distinctions ever were — 

The wise to lead, the bold to dare. 

Thy lineage is, for blood and length, 

In Albin's annals unexcelled. 
And formed of chieftains famed for strength. 

Who in the deadly charge compelled 
Steeds fierce and fleet, that harnessed shone 

Like meteors coursing through the sky; 
Wliile in their sells, as on a throne, 

Tliey towered in their war panoply; 
And none of them has been constrained 
To deeds that have that lineage stained. 

Since some in battle have forgot 

ilow their brave fathers plied their steel. 
No refuge has our country got 

From ruthless Fortune's crushing wheel, 
Altliough ('hinudonnill on that day. 

As ever, clothed them with renown; 
Our heroes have been v)ede away. 

In fruitless battles one by one; 



JOHN MACDONALD. 



89 



And now we've lost the wortliiest lord 
That in these battles drew his sword. 

It was our conntrv's destiny 

To lose tliree piUars of the throne, — 
Heroes who, in adversity, 

For daring, proudly, greatly shone: 
Sir Donald, our leader Avhen combined; 

Clanronald, oaptaiu of our men: 
Alisdair, generous, good, and kind. 

Chief of the Garry's far-famed glen; 
ClanndonniU's ranks no more will see 
Leaders illustrious as the three. 

When other chiefs fled from their lands. 

Our heroes, stern and unsubdued. 
Rallied their bold, their kindred bands. 

And for their king and country stood; 
Aye stood prepared in arms to die, 

When war should his fierce tocsin sound. 
Or to achieve a victory 

That should their treacherous foes con- 
found; 
Such were our chiefs, than maidens mild, 
But, roused to war, than beacons wild. 



ON CROWNING CHARLES THE 
SECOND. 

Upon my elbow calmly leaning. 
Within the lovely mountain-glen, 

My mind indulged itself in dreaming 
Of the strange deeds and lives of men. 

And wherefore should my voice be silent, 
AVhile my heart bounds with pride and joy, 

Nor tell the Whigs, the base and violent. 
Their greedy, rampant reign is by? 

Their reign who falsely tried and murdered 
The true, the loyal, and the brave; 

Who, with their sophistry, bewildered 
The people whom they would enslave. 

AVith staft' in hand, the while 1 hasten 
To welcome home my native king. 

Why should I doubt that he will listen 
To the leal counsel I may bring? 

Counsel from clans and chiefs true-hearted. 
Who suffered in their country's cause. 

Which, through the royal bard imparted. 
Should warn him to respect the laws; 

But not the men whose conduct baneful 
Has scattered ruin o'er the land. 



And answered but with taunts disdainful 
Those whom they robbed of wealth and land. 

Remember, Charles Stuart, ever 
The lesson taught thee by the past. 

Forgetting truth and justice ne^'cr. 

If thou wouldst that thy reign may last. 

Think, since the throne thou hast ascended, 
Without the aid of spear or sword. 

How thy own rights may be defended, 
And eke thy people's rights restored. 

No Maehiavel has yet propounded 
The means to make the throne secure. 

Save when the people's rights are founded 
On a just basis, broad and sure. 

But leniency is not now wanted; 

A wi.se severity were just: 
Let those who are already sainted 

E'en go where they have placed their trust. 

Why should we grudge these men to heaven 
That have their treasure hoarded there ? 

Since they have made their road so even, 
Dismiss them while accounts are square! 

Thou subjects hast of high condition, 

Whose hearts are not more true than mine, 

That will, with many a sage petition. 
Crave boons, and laud thy right divine: 

But right divine did not defend thee 

When thou and Cromwell were at blows; 

Then try what force wi.se rule may lend thee. 
And make thy people friends — not foes. 

No doubt thy nobles would defend thee. 
At co.st of all their lands and lives. 

But, och ! it would not do to 'tend thee. 
And leave their children and their wives! 



THE BATTLE OF INVERLOCHY. 

(extu.vct. ) 

Heard ye not! heard ye not! how that whirlwind. 

the Gael, — 
To Lochaber swept down from Loch Ness ti> 

Loch Eil,— 
And the Campbells, to meet them in battle-array. 
Like the billow came on, — and were broke like 

its spray ! 
Long, long shall our war-song exult in that day. 



90 



LADY GEIZZEL BAILLIE. 



"Twas the Sabbath that rose, 'twas the feast of 

St. Bride, 
When the rush of the clans shook Ben-Ne^as's 

side; 
I, the bard of their battles, ascended the height 
WTiere dark Inverlochy o'ershadow'd the fight, 
And I saw the Clan-Donnell resistless in might. 

Through the land of my fathers the Campbells 

have come, 
The flames of their foray enveloped my home; 
Bi-oad Keppoch in ruin is left to deplore, 
And my country is waste from the hill to the 

shore, — 
Be it so! By St. Mary, there's comfort in store! 



Though the braes of Lochaber a desert be made, 
And Glen Roy may be lost to the plough and the 

spade. 
Though the bones of my kindred, unhonour'd, 

ununi'd 
Mark the desolate path where the Campbells 

have buru'd, — 
Be it so! From that foray theji never reiurn'd! 

Fallen race of Diarmed ! disloyal, — untrue ! 
No harp in the Highlands will sorrow for j'ou ! 
But the liirds of Loch Eil are wheeling on high. 
And the Badenoch wolves hear the Camerons'cry — 
"Come, feast ye! come feast, where the false- 
hearted lie!" 



LADY GEIZZEL BAILLIE 



BoBN 1665 — Died 1746. 



Lady Grizzel Baillie, the noble-minded 
daughter of Sir Patrick Home, afterwards 
created Earl of Marciimont, and wife of George 
Baillie of Jerviswood, in Lanarkshire, was 
born at Kedbraes Castle on Christmas Day, 
1665, was married in 1692, and died at Lon- 
don in 1746, aged eighty-one. Her Memoirs, 
by her daughter, Lady Murray of Stanliope, 
were published in 1822, and added to her 
claims on our regard as a lyric poetess claims 
of a deeper though less siiining kind — those 
of a dutiful daughter and an affectionate wife. 
"Her lot was cast," says Cunningliam, "in 
very stormy times, and her lively invention 
was employed in scenes of far deeper import- 
ance than in impressing humour and pathos 
on .song. Her turn for domestic pleasure and 
home-bred mirth was only equalled by her 
sense of propriety and her regard fqr prudence; 
and she found iier skill in song not only 
sootlied her own cares, but was a solace amid 
times of sore trial to her friends, with whom 
her genius and her virtues were in high 
esteem. She left many unfinished songs; for 
domestic cares made the visitations of the 
muse seldom, and the stay .short; but the song 
on which her fame in verse mu.st depend is one 
able enough to maintain it. Tho.se who look 
in ' Were nae my Heart liciit I would dee' for 
fine and polished language, or for a very high 



strain of sentiment, niu.st be content to be 
disappointed. But it has other attractions of 
a more popular and equally durable kind: 
it is written in the fine free spirit of the rustic 
poetry of Scotland — the Avords are homely 
and the ideas are natural, yet they are such as 
the heart of poesy only would have suggestG<l; 
and they who seek to add deeper interest to 
the stoi'y, or to endow it with more suitable 
ideas or more natural language, will owe their 
success as much to good fortune as to medita- 
tion. It is now an old favourite, though songs 
with more melodious verse, and a more em- 
bellished style, have followed thick and three- 
fold : yet its careless and artless ease, and simple 
but graphic imagery, will continue to support 
its reputation against its more ostentatious 
associates. The description of a disappointed 
lover, depressed in spirit and fancy-touched, 
will keep possession of every heart, and be 
present to every eye, till some jjoet exceed it 
in truth and felicity: — 

'And DOW he gaes danndrin' about the dykes, 
And a' lie dow do is to hund tVie tykes: 

'The live-lang niolit lie ne'er steeks his e'e, 
And were iia my heart licht I wad dee.' 

She was among the first of a band of ladies 
who have contributed largely to the lyric fame 
of Scotland; nor is she the only one of her 



LADY GEIZZEL BAILLIE. 



91 



name who has given Scottish song the advan- 
tage of female genius. There is anotlier wlio 
has breathed into it a far deeper pathos and 
a far richer spirit ; need we say it is Joanna 



Baillie?" — Our other selection, "0 the Ewe- 
hughting's bonnie," was in part composed by 
Thomas Pringle, Lady Baillie having left it 
unfinished. 



WERE NA MY HEART LIGHT. 

There was anes a may, and she loo'd na men: 
She biggit her bonnie bower doun i' yon glen ; 
But now she cries dool ! and well-a-day! 
Come doun the green gate, and come here awaj^ 

When bonnie young Johnnie cam' ower the sea, 
He said he saw naething sae lovely as me; 
He heclit me baith rings and monie braw things; 
And were na my heart licht I wad dee. 

He had a wee titty that loo'd na me, 
Because I was twice as bonnie as she, 
She rais'd such a pother 'twixt him and his 

mother. 
That were na my heart licht I wad dee. 

The day it was set, and the bridal to be; 
The wife took a dwam, and laj' doun to dee. 
She main'd and she graned out o' dolour and 

pain, 
Till he vow'd he never wad see me again. 

His kin was for ane of a higher degree, 
Said, What had he to do wi' the like of me ? 
Albeit I was bonnie, I was na for Johnnie: 
And were na my heart licht I wad dee. 

They said I had neither cow nor calf, 
Nor dribbles o' drink rins through the draff, 
Nor pickles o' meal rins through the mill-e'e ; 
And were na my heart hcht I wad dee. 

His titty she was baith w^lie and slee, 
She spied me as I cam' ower the lea; 
And then she ran in, and made a loud din; 
Believe your ain een an ye trow na me. 

His bonnet stood aye fu' round on his brow; 
His auld ane look'd aye as weel as some's new; 
But now he lets 't wear ony gate it w-ill hing, 
And casts himself dowie upon the com-bing. 

And now he gaes daundrin' aliout the dykes. 
And a' he dow do is to hund the tykes: 
The live-lang nicht he ne'er steeks his e'e; 
And were na my heart licht I wad dee. 

Were I young for thee, as I ha'e been, 

We should ha'e been gallopin' doun on yon green. 

And linkin' it ower the lily-white lea; 

And wow ! gin I were but young for thee ! 



THE EWE-BUGHTING'S BONNIE. 

the ewe-bughting's bonnie, ])aith c'ening and 

mom, 
When our bljrthe shepherds play on the bog-reed 

and horn; 
While we're milking tliey're lilting sae jocund 

and clear; 
But my heart's like to break when I think o' my 

dear! 
the shepherds take pleasure to blow on the 

honi. 
To raise up their flocks i' the fresh simmer morn: 
On the steep femy banks they feed pleasant and 

free — 
But, alas! my dear heart, all my sighing's for 

thee! 

the sheep-herding's lightsome amang the green 

braes 
Where Cayle wimples clear 'neath the wliite- 

blossomed slaes, 
Where the wild-thyme and meadow-queen scent 

the saft gale. 
And the cushat crouds luesoracly doun in the 

dale. 
There the lintwhite and mavis sing sweet frae 

the thorn. 
And blythe lilts the laverock aboon the green 

corn. 
And a' things rejoice in the .simmer's glad prime — 
But my heart's wi' my love in the far foreign 

clime ! 

the hay-making's jikasant in bright sunny 

June — 
The hay- time is cheeiy when hearts are in time; 
But while others are joking and laughing sae 

free. 
There's a pang at my lieart and a tear i' my e'e. 
At e'en i' the gloaming, adowni by the burn, 
Fu' dowie, and wae, aft I daunder and mouni; 
Amang the lang broom I sit gi-eeting alaue, 
And sigh for my dear and the daj's that are gane. 

the days o' our youthcid were heartsome and 

When we herded thegithcr by sweet Gaitshaw 
brae, 

When we plaited the rushes and pu'd the witch- 
bells 



92 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



By the Cayle's ferny howms and on Hounam's Though our toom purse had barely twa boddles 



green fells. 
But young Sandy bood gang to the wars vvi' the 

laird, 
To win honour and gowd (gif his life it be spared !) 
Ah I httle I care for wealth, favour, or fame, 
Gin I had my dear shepherd but safely at hame! 

Then round our wee cot though gruff winter 

sould roar, 
And poortith glowT in Hke a wolf at the door; 



to clink, 

And a barley-meal scone were the best on our 
bink; 

Yet, he wi' his hirsel, and I wi' my wheel, 

Through the howe o' the year we wad fen unco 
weel ; 

Till the lintwhite, and laverock, and lambs bleat- 
ing fain, 

Brought back the blythe time o' ewe-bughting 
again. 



WILLIAM HAMILTON, 



Born 1665 (?) — Died 1751. 



William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, the friend 
and correspondent of Allan Ramsay, was the 
second son of Captain William Hamilton of 
Ladylands, Ayrshire, and was born about 1665. 
He entered the army early in life, but after 
considerable service abroad returned to Scot- 
land, with no higiier rank than that of lieu- 
tenant. His time was now spent in field 
.sports; in the cultivation of the society of men 
of genius and culture; and the occasional pro- 
duction of some effusion, in which the gentle- 
man and the poet were alike conspicuous. 
His intimacy with the author of the "Gentle 
Shepherd" — tiiree of his epistles to whom are 
to be found in several editions of Ramsay's 
works — commenced in an admiration on tlie 
part of the afterwards celebrated poet of some 
■ pieces of Hamilton's which had come under 
his notice. Allan, in an epistle addressed to 
his friend, says: 

" When I begnud first to con vei'se, 
And cou'd your ' Ardry VVliins' rehearse, 
Where bony Heck ran fast and fierce, 

It uarni'd my breast ; 
Tlieii emulation did me pierce, 

Wliilk since near ceast. 

" May I be lickit wi' a bittle, 
Gin of your numbers I tliiiik little; 
Ve're never ragget, shan, jior kittle,' 

But blyth and gaVjby; 
And hit the spirit to a tittle 

Of Standart Habby." 

Towards tiie close of liis life Hamilton re- 
Kided at liCttcrick, in the county of Lanark, 



where he died at an advanced age, May 24th, 
1751. His principal productions are to be found 
in Watson's Choice Collection of Scots Poems. 
One of his compositions, which displays much 
simplicity and sweetness, records a very poetic 
circumstance in the ancient customs of Scot- 
land:— 

" wha will gar our shearers shear? 
Wha will bind up the brags of weir ?" 

In the old days it was the custom for a piper 
to play behind the reapers while at work; and 
to the poetical enthusiasm thus excited and 
kept alive we are most probably indebted for 
many of those sweet songs which have given 
Scottish airs so unrivalled a celebrity, while 
the authors and composers of them I'emain as 
unknown as if they had never lived. In 1722 
Hamilton published an abridgment, in modern 
Scottish, of Blind Harry's iy;'/e o/yS'ir William 
Wallace, a book that became a great favourite 
among certain classes in Scotland, and inspired 
the boyhood of numerous poets with patriotic 
and martial ardour. A writer says, "The 
name of Hamilton of Gilbertfield has suffered 
in celebrity from its similarity to that of 
a greater poet; but, if not illustrated by works 
of such merit as those of Hamilton of Bangour, 
it is connected with productions of too much 
merit to justify a slight regard. A writer 
whose strains could inspire an Allan Ramsay 
with emulation could not have been of a class 
to be forgotten. Oblivion will be kind to him 
on this account alone, as Sir Walter Raleigh 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



93 



beautifully tells us she has heen to the adorer 
of Laura. 

'"Oblivion laid Petrarch on Laura's tomb.'" 

The readers of Burns will remember that in 
one of his finest epistles he alludes to Hamil- 
ton, in company with Ramsay and the unfor- 
tunate Fergusson, as occupying a position on 
the Parnassian heights to which he could never 
hope to climb: — 

■'My senses wad be in a creel 
Should I but dare a hope to speel 
Wi' Allan or \vi' Gilbertfield 

Tlie liraes o' fame, 
Or Fergusson, the writer chiel', 

A deathless name." 



Of the following admirable .<ong, which has 
by some writers been attributed to William 
Walkinshaw, Allan Cunningliam says, "Xoone 
ever conceived a more original lyric, or filled 
up the outlines of his conception with more 
lucky drollery, more lively flashes of natjve 
humour, or brighter touches of human charac- 
tei". Willie is indeed the first and last of his 
race; no one has imitated him, and he imi- 
tated none. He is a surpassing personage, 
an enthusiast in merriment, a prodigy in danc- 
ing; and his careless graces and natural gifts 
carry love and admiration into every female 
bosom. " 



WILLIE WAS A WANTON W^\G. 

Willie was a wanton wag, 

The blythest lad that e'er I saw, 
At bridals still he bore the brag, 

An' carried aye the gree awa'. 
His doublet was of Zetland shag, 

And wow! but Willie he was braw, 
And at his shoulder hung a tag. 

That pleas'd the lasses best of a'. 

He was a man without a clag, 

His heart was frank without a flaw: 
And aye whatever Willie said, 

It still was hauden as a law. 
His boots they were made of the jag, 

Wlien he went to the weaponschaw. 
L^pon the green none durst him brag. 

The ne'er a ane amang them a'. 

And was na W^illie Aveel worth gowd ? 

He wan the love o' great and sma': 
For after he the l)ride had kiss'd. 

He kiss'd the lasses hale-sale a'. 
Sae merrily round the ring they row'd. 

When by the hand he led them a'. 
And smack on smack on them bestow'd 

By virtue of a standing law. 

And was na Willie a great loun, 

As shy re a lick as e'er was seen: 
When he danc'd wi' the lasses round. 

The bridegroom speir'd where he had been. 
Quoth Willie, I've'been at the ring, 

AVi' bobbing baitli my shanks are sair: 
Gae ca' your bride and maidens in, 

For Willie he dow do nae mair. 



Then rest ye, Willie, I'll gae out, 

And for a wee fill up the ring; 
But, shame light on his souple snout, 

He wanted Willie's wanton fling. 
Then straught lie to the bride did fare, 

Says, Weels me on your bonnie face: 
Wi' bobbing Willie's shanks ai-e sair, 

And I'm come out to fill his place. 

Bridegroom, she says, ye'll spoil the dance, 

And at the ring ye'll aye be lag. 
Unless like Willie ye advance: 

0! Willie has a wanton leg; 
For wi't he learns us a' to steer, 

And foremost aye bears up the ring; 
We will find nae sic dancing here, 

If we want Willie's wanton fling. 



EPISTLES TO ALLAN RAMSAY. 

Gilbertfield, June 26, 1719. 

fam'd and celebrated Allan! 
Renowned Ramsay! canty callan! 
There's nowther Highlandman nor Lawlan, 

In poetrie, 
But may as soon ding douu Tantallan 
As match wi' thee. 

For ten times ten, and that's a hunder, 

1 ha'e been made to gaze and wonder. 
When frae Parnassus thou didst thunder 

Wi' wit and skill; 
AVherefore I'll soberly knock under, 
And iiuat my quill. 

Of poetry the hail ([uintes.sence 

Thou hast suck'il up. left nae excrescence 



94 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



To petty poets, or sic messens, 

Tho' round thy stool 
They may pick crumbs, and lear some lessons 

At Kamsay's school. 

Tho' Ben and Dryden of renown 
Were yet alive in London town. 
Like kings contending for a crown, 

'Twad be a pingle, 
Whilk o' you three wad gar words sound 

And best to jingle. 

Transform'd may I be to a rat, 
Wer't in my pow'r but I'd create 
Thee upo' sigiit the laureat 

Of this our age, 
Since thou may'st fairly claim to that 

As thy first wage. 

Let modern poets bear the blame 
Oin they respect not Ramsay's name, 
Wlia soon can gar tjiem greet for shame, 

To their great loss, 
And .send them a' right sneaking hame 

By Weeping-cross. 

Wli;i l)ourds wi' thee had need be wary, 
.\nd lear wi' skill tliy thrust to parry, 
When thou consults thy dictionary 

Of ancient words, 
Which come from thy poetic quarry 

As sharp as swords. 

Xow tho' I sliould baith reel and rottle, 

.Viid lie as light as .Vristotle, 

At Ed'nburgh we sail lia'e a bottle 

Of reaming claret, 
Gin that ray half-pay siller shottle 

Can safely spare it. 

At crambo then we'll rack our brain, 
. Droun ilk dull care and aching pain, 
Whilk aften does our .spirits drain 

Of true content; 
Woy, woy! but we's be wonder fain 

When thus acquaint. 

Wi' wine we'll gargarize our craig, 
Tiicn enter in a lasting league, 
Free of ill aspect or intrigue; 

And, gin you please it. 
Like princes when met at tiie Hague 

We'll solemnize it. 

Accept of thi.s, and look upon it 
Witii favour, tho' poor I ha'e done it. 
Sac I conclude and end my sonnet, 

Wha am most fully. 
While I do wear a iiat or lionnet, 

Yours, Wanto.v Willie. 



PCSTSCRIPT. 

By this my postscript I incline 
To let you ken my hail design 
Of sic a long imperfect line 

Lies in this sentence — 
To cultivate my dull ingine 

By your acquaintance. 

Your answer, therefore, I expect; 
And to your friend you may direct 
At Gilbertfield; do not neglect. 

When ye ha'e leisure. 
Which I'll embrace Avith great respect, 

And perfect pleasure. 



Gilbertfield, July -24, 1719. 
Dear Ramsay, 

When I receiv'd thy kind epistle 

It made me dance, and sing, and whistle; 

sic a fike and sic a fistle 

I had about itl 
That e'er was knight of the Scots thistle 

Sae fain, I doubted. 

The bonny lines therein thou sent me. 
How to the rimes they did content me ! 
Tho', sir, sae high to compliment me 

Ye might deferr'd. 
For had ye but liafF well a kent me, 

Some less wad ser'd. 

With joyfu' heart beyond expression, 
They're safely now in my possession: 

gin I were a winter .session 

Near by thy lodging! 
I'd close attend thy new profession 
Without e'er budging. 

In even doun earnest there's but few 
To vie with Ramsay dare avow. 
In verse; for to gi'e thee thy due. 

And' without lleetching, 
Thou's better at that trade, I trow, 

Than some's at preaching. 

For my part, till I'm better lear't. 
To troke with thee I'd best forbear't. 
For an' the fouk o' Ed'nburgh hear't 

They'll call me daft; 
I'm unco eerie, and dirt fear't 

I mak Avrang waft. 

Thy verses, nice as ever nicket. 
Made me as canty as a cricket; 

1 ergli to reply, lest I stick it; 

Syne like a coof 
I look, or ane whose pouch is pickit 
As hare's my loof. 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



Hell winsom! how thy saft, sweet style 
And bonny a\ild words gar me smile; 
Tliou's travell'd surely mony a mile 

Wi' charge and cost, 
To learn them thus keep rank and file 

And ken their post. 

For I maun tell thee, honest AUie, 
{I use the freedom so to call thee,) 
I think them a' sae braw and walie 

And in sic order, 
I wad nae care to be thy valie, 

Or thy recorder. 

Has thou with Rosicrucians wandert. 
Or through some donsie desart dandert? 
That witii thy magic, town and landart, 

For aught 1 see. 
Maun a' come truckle to thy standart 

Of poetrie. 

Do not mistake me, dearest heart. 
As if I charged thee with black art; 
'Tis thy good genius, still alert. 

That does inspire 
Thee with ilk thing that's quick and smart 

To thy desire. 

E'en mony a bonny nacky tale 
Braw to sit o'er a pint of ale: 
For fifty guineas I'll find bail 

Against a bodle, 
That I wad quat ilk day a meal 

For sic a nodle. 

And on condition I were as gabby 
As either tiiee or honest Habby, 
That I lin'd a' thy claes wi' tabby, 

Or velvet plush, 
And then thoud be sae far frae shabby, 

Thou'd look right sprush. 

What tho' young empty airy sparks 
May have their critical remarks 
On thir, my blythe diverting warks; 

'Tis sma' presumption 
To say they're but unlearned chirks, 

And want the gumption. 

Let coxcomb critics get a tether 
To tie up a' their lang loose leather; 
If they and I chance to forgether, 

The tafie may rue it; 
For an' they winna hand their blether, 

They's get a flewet. 

To learn them for to peep and pry 
In secret drolls 'twixt thee and I, 



Pray dip thy pen in wrath, and cry, 
And ca' them skellums; 

I'm sure thou needs set little by 
To bide their bellums. 

Wi' writing I'm sae bleart and doited, 
That when I raise in troth I stoited: 
I thought I should turn capernoited. 

For wi" a gird. 
Upon my bum I fairly doited 

On the cauld eard; 

Which did oblige a little dumple 
Upon my doup, close by my rumple: 
But hail ye seen how I did trumple, 

Ye'd split your side, 
Wi' mony a lang and weary wimple, 

Like trough of Clyde. 



GiLBERTFIELD, Au(jU»t 24, 1719. 

Accept my third and last essay 
Of rural rhyme, I humbly pray, 
Bright Eamsay, and altho' it may 

Seem doilt and donsie, 
Yet thrice of all things, I heard say. 

Was ay right sonsie. 

AVharefore I scarce could sleep or slumber. 
Till I made up that happy number: 
The pleasure counterpois'd the cumber 

In every part 
And snoovt away like three-hand ombre, 

Sixpence a cart. 

Of thy last poem, bearing date 
August the fourth, I grant receipt: 
It was sae braw, gart me look blate, 

'Maist tyne my senses. 
And look just like poor country Kate, 

In Lucky Spence's. 

I shaw'd it to our parish priest, 
Wha was as blyth as gi'm a feast; 
He says, thou may ha'd up thy creest. 

And craw fu' crouse, 
The poets a' to thee's but jest, 

Not worth a souse. 

Thy blyth and chcerfu' merry muse, 
Of compliments is sae profuse. 
For my good bavins dis me roose 

Sae very finely, 
It were ill breeding to refuse 

To thank her kindly. 



96 



LADY WARDLAW. 



What tlio' sometimes, in angry mood, 
When she puts on her barlichood, 
Her dialect seem rough and rude; 

Let's ne'er be fleet, 
But tak" our bit when it is good. 

And buff'et wit. 

For gin we ettle anes to taunt her, 
And dinna eawmly thole her banter, 
She'll tak' tl)e flings, verse may grow scanter: 

Syne wi' great shame 
We'll rue the day that we do want her: 

Then wha's to blame? 

But let us still her kindness culzie. 
And wi' her never breed a tulzie; 
For we'll bring aflfbut little spulzie 

In sic a barter; 
And she'll be fair to gar us fulzie, 

And cry for quarter. 

Sae little worth's my rhyming ware, 
My pack I scarce dare open mair, 
"Till I tak' better wi' the lair, 

My pen's sae blunted; 
xVnd a' for fear I fill the fair, 

And be aflronted. 



The dull draflr<lrink makes me sae dowff, 
A' I can do's but bark and yowff: 
Yet set me in a claret howflf, 

Wi' fouk that's chancy, 
My muse may lend me then a gowfF 

To clear my fancy. 

Then Bacchus-like I'd bawl and bluster. 
And a' the muses 'bout me muster; 
Sae merrily I'd squeeze the cluster. 

And drink the grape, 
'Twad gi'e my verse a brighter lustre 

And better shape. 

The powers aboon be still auspicious, 
To thy achievements maist delicious; 
Thy poems sweet, and nae way vicious, 

But blyth and canny. 
To see I'm anxious and ambitious, 

Thy Miscellany. 

A' blessings, Eamsay, on thee row; 
Lang may thou live, and thrive, and dow, 
Until thou claw an auld man's pow; 

And thro' thy creed, 
Be keeped frae the wirricow 

After thou's dead. 



LADY WARDLAW 



Born 1670 — Dikd 1727. 



"Neither hi.story nor tradition," saj's Allan 
Cunningham, "has preserved any other proof 
of a genius of a very high order than is con- 
tained in the martial and pathetic ballad of 
"Hardyknute, "which both tradition and history 
combine in ascribing to Lady Wardlaw, daugh- 
ter of Sir Cliarlcs Halkett of I'itferren. From 
the curiosity of her compeers, or the vanity of 
her family, some other specimens of her poetic 
powers might have been expected; but what- 
ever was looked for, nothing has come; and 
this is only equalled by her own modesty in 
seeking to confer on an earlier age the merit 
of a production which of itself establishes a 
very fair reputation." Elizabeth Ilalkctt was 
liorn about the year 1670, and was married in 
1 Gitfi to Sir 1 Icnry Wardlaw, Bart. , of Pitrcavie, 
in I"Mfeshire. Her death is supposcil to have 
taken place in the year 1727. Her admirable 



imitation of the old heroic ballad style was 
published in 1719, at Edinburgh, by James 
Watson, who, between the years 1706 and 1710, 
issued a Choice Collection of Comic and 
Serious Songs, both Ancient and Modern. 
This imitation was greatly admired by Gray 
and Percy, who believed it to be ancient, 
though retouched by some modern hand; and 
by Sir Walter Scott, who .said it was the first 
poem he ever learned, the la.st he should for- 
get. "Hardyknute" is certainly a martial 
and pathetic ballad, but irreconcilable with 
all chronology, as Scott acknowledged; " A 
chief with a Norwegian name is .strangely in- 
troduced as the first of the nobles brought to 
resist a Norse invasion at the battle of Largs." 
Other ballads have been attributed to Lady 
Wardlaw's pen, but, wc think, without sufli- 
cient evidence. 



LADY WAEDLAW. 



97 



HAEDYKNUTE. 



Stately stept he east the wa", 

And stately stept he west; 
Full seventy yeirs he now had sene, 

With skerss seven yeirs of rest. 

He livit quhen Britons breach of faith 
AVrought Scotland meikle wae; 

And ay his sword tauld, to their cost. 
He was their deidly fae. 

Hie on a hill his castle stiide, 
With halls and touris a-hicht, 

And guidly chambers fair to see, 
Quhair he lodgit mony a knicht. 

His dame sae peirless anes and fair, 

For chast and bewtie deimt, 
Nae marrow had in all the land, 

Saif Elenor the quene, 

Full thirteen sons to him scho bare, 

All men of valour stout, 
In bluidy ficht. with sword in hand, 

Nyne lost their lives hot doubt: 

Four yit remain, lang may they live. 

To stand by liege and land; 
Hie was their fame, hie was their micht. 

And hie was their command. 

Great luve they bare to Fairly fair. 

Their sister saft and deir; 
Her girdle shaw'd her middle jimp 

And gowden glist her hair. 

Quhat waefou wae her bewtie bred I 

Waefou to young and auld: 
Waefou, I trow, to kyth and kin. 

As story ever tauld. 

The king of Norse, in summer tyde, 
I'uft up with powir and micht. 

Landed in fair Scotland the yle, 
With mony a hardy knicht. 

The tydings to our gude Scots king 

Came as he sat at dyne, 
With noble chiefs in braif aray, 

Drinking the bludereid wyne. 

"To horse, to horse, my royal liege. 
Your faes stand on the strand ; 

Full twenty thousand glittering spears 
The king of Norse commands." 



" Bring me my steed, Mage, dapple gray," 
Our gude king raise and cryd; 

A trustier beast in all the land 
A Scots king nevir seyd. 

"Go, little page, tell Hardyknute, 

That lives on hill so hie, 
To draw his sword, the dreid of faes, 

And haste and follow me." 

The little page flew swift as dart, 

Flung by his master's arm, 
" Cum down, cum down. Lord Hardyknute, 

And red your king frae harm." 

Then reid, rcid grew his dark-brown cheiks, 

Sae did his dark-brown brow; 
His luiks grew kene, as they were wont 

In dangers great to do. 

He has tane a horn as grene as grass, 
And gi'en five sounds sae shrill. 

That trees in grene- wood schuke tiiercat. 
Sae loud rang ilka hill. 

His sons in manly sport and glie 
Had past that summer's morn, 

Quhen low doun in a grassy dale 
They heard their fatheris horn. 

"That horn," quod they, "neir sounds in 
peace, 

We haif other sport to byde;" 
And sune they heyd them up the hill. 

And sune were at his syde. 

"Late, late yestrene, 1 weind in peace, 

To end my lengthened lyfe. 
My age micht well excuse my arm 

Frae manly feats of stryfe. 

" But now that Norse dois proudly boast 

Fair Scotland to inthrall. 
Its neir be said of Hardyknute 

He feired to ficht or fall. 

"Robin of Rothsay, bend thy bow, 

Thy arrows schute sae leil. 
That mony a comely countenance 

They've turned to deidly pale. 

"Brade Thomas, tak' ye but your lance, 

Ye neid nae weapons mair, 
Gif ye ficht wi't as ye did anes 

'Gainst Westmoreland's ferss heir. 
7 



98 



LADY WARDLAW. 



" i[aIeom, lieht of foot as stag 

That runs in forest wyld, 
Get me my thousands thrie of men, 

Well bred to sword and schield : 

"Bring me my horse and harnisine, 

My blade of mettal cleir;'" 
If faes kend but the hand it bare 

They suae had fled for feir. 

"Fareweil, my dame, sae peirless gude," 

And tuke her by the hand, 
"Fairer to me in age you seim. 

Than maids for bewtie fam'd: 

"Mj' youngest son sail here remain, 

To guard tiiese stately towirs, 
And shut the silver bolt that keips 

Sae fast your painted bowirs. "' 

And first scho wet her comely cheiks, 

And then hir bodice grene: 
Her silken cords of twirtle twist 

Weil plett with silver schene; 

And apron set with mony a dice 

()( neidle-wark sae rare, 
Wove by nae Ijand, as ye may guess, 

Saif tliat of Fairly fair. 

And he has ridden owre muir and moss, 

Owre hills and mony a glen, 
Quhen he cam' to a wounded knicht, 

Making a heavy mane: — 

'■Here maun I lye, here maun I die. 

By treachery's false gyles; 
Witless I was that eir gaif faith 

To wicked woman's smyles." 

"Sir knicht, gin ye were in my bowir, 

To lean on silken seat. 
My ladyis kyndlie care you'd prove, 

Quha neir kend dcidly hate: 

"Hir self wald watch ye all the day, 

Mir maids at deid of nicht; 
And Fairly fair your heart wald cheir. 

As scho stands in your sicht. 

"Arise, young knicht. and mount your steid. 
Full lown's the schynand day; 

Cheis frae my menyic (|uhom ye plcis. 
To Icid ye on the way." 

With smyicss hike and visage wan, 

The wounded knicht reply'd, 
"Kind chiftain, your intent pursue, 

For here I maun abvdc. 



"To me nae after day nor nicht 

Can eir be sweit or fair. 
But sune beneath sum draping tree 

Cauld death sail end my care." 

With him nae pleiding micht prevail; 

Braif Hardyknute to gain, 
AVith fairest words and reason strang, 

Straif courteously in vain. 

Syne he has gane far hynd attowre 
Lord Chattan's land sae wyde; 

That lord a worthy wicht was ay, 
Quhen faes his courage .seyd: 

Of Pictish race, by mother's syde; 

Quhen Picts ruled Caledon, 
Lord Chattan claim'd the princely maid 

Quhen he saift Pictish ci'oun. 

Now with his ferss and stalwart train 

He reicht a rysing heiclit, 
Quhair, braid encampit ou the dale, 

Norse menyie lay in sicht: 

"Yonder, my valiant sons, and ferss. 

Our raging revers wait. 
On the unconquerit Scottish swaird, 

To try us with thair fate. 

"Mak" orisons to him that saift 

Our sauls upon the rude: 
Syne braifly schaw your veins are fill'd 

AVith Caledonian blude. " 

Then furth he drew his trusty glaive, 

Quhyle thousands all around, 
Drawn frae their .sheaths glanst in the sun. 

And loud the bougills sound. 

To join his king, adoun the hill 

In haste his march he made. 
Quhyle playand pibrochs miuslralls meit 

Afore him stately strade. 

"Thryse welcum, valyiant stoup of weir, 
Thy nation's seheild and pryde. 

Thy king nae reason has to feir, 
Quhen thou art be his syde. " 

Quhen bows were bent and darts were thraAvn, 
For thrang scarce could they flie, 

The darts clove arrows as they met. 
The arrows dart the tree. 

Lang did they rage and fecht full ferss, 

With little skaith to man; 
But bludy, bludy was the field 

Or that lang dav was doue! 



LADY WARDLAW. 



99 



The king of Scots that sindle hniikd 

The war that lukit lyke iihiy, 
Drew his braid swonl and l)rake his bow, 

Sen bows seimt but delay. 

Quoth noble Rothsay, '-'Myne I'll kcip, 

I wate its bleid a skore. ' 
"Haste up, my merry men," cry'd the king 

As he rade on before. 

The king of Xorse lie soclit to find, 
With him to mense the feuclit; 

But on his forehead there did licht 
A sharp unsonsie shaft; 

As he his hand put up to find 

The wound, an arrow kene, 
waefou chance! there pinn'd his hand 

In midst betwene his een. 

"Revenge! revenge!" cried Rothsay's heir, 
"Your mail-coat sail nocht byde 

The strength and sharpness of my dart," 
Then sent it through his syde. 

Another arrow weil he mark'd. 

It persit his neck in twa; 
His hands then quat the silver reins, 

He law as card did fa'. 

"Sair bleids my liege! sair, sair he bleids! 

Again with miclit he drew. 
And gesture dreid, his sturdy bow; 

Fast the braid arrow flew: 

Wae to the knicht he ettled at; 

Lament now quene Elgreid: 
Hie dames too wail your darling's fall. 

His youth and comely meid. 

" Take aflT, take afFhis costly jupe, 

(Of gold weil was it twyn'd, 
Knit like the fowler's net, throuch quhilk 

His steily liarnes shynd.) 

"Take, Norse, that gift frae me, and bid 
Him "venge the blude it beirs; 

Say, if he face my bended bow 
He sure nae weapon feirs." 

Proud Norse, with giant body tall. 
Braid shoulder and arms strong, 

Cry'd. "Quhair is Hardyknute sae fam'd, 
And feird at Britain's throne 1 

"Though Britons tremble at his name, 

I sune sail mak' him wail. 
That eir my sword was made sae sharp, 

Sae saft his coat of mail." 



That brag his stout heart couldiia byde, 

It lent him youthfou micht: 
"I'm Hardyknute. This day," he cry'd, 

"To Scotland's king I hecht 

"To lay thee law as horse's hufc, 

My word 1 mean to keep." 
Syne with the first strake eir he strak 

He garr'd his body bleid. 

Norse ene lyke gray gosehauk's staird wyld, 
He sicht with shame and spyte; 

"Disgrac'd is now my far-fam'd arm 
That left thee power to stryke." 

Then gaif his head a blow sae fell, 

It made him doun to stoop, 
.\s law as he to ladies usit, 

In courtly gyse to lout. 

Full sune he rais'd his bent body; 

His bow he marvell'd sair, 
Sen blaws till then on him but darr'd 

As touch of Fairly fair. 

Norse ferliet too as sair as he. 

To see his stately hike; 
Sae sune as eir ho strake a fae, 

Sae sune his lyfe he tuke. 

Quhair, lyke a fyre to hether set, 

Bauld Thomas did advance, 
A sturdy fae, with luke enrag'd, 

Up towards him did prance: 

He spur'd his steid throw thickest ranks. 

The hardy youth to quell, 
Quha stude uiimuvit at his approach, 

His furie to repell. 

" That schort brownshaft, saemeanly trim'd, 
Lukis lyke poor Scotland's geir: 

But dreidfuU seims the rusty poynt!" 
And loud he leucli in jeir. 

"Aft Britons blude has dim'd its shyne, 
This poynt cut short their vaunt;" 

Syne pierc'd the boi.>teris bairded cheik, 
Nae tyme he tuke to taunt. 

Schort quhyle he in his sadill swang; 

His stirrup was nae stay, 
Sae feible hang his unbent knee. 

Sure taken he Avas fey. 

Swith on the hardcn'd clay he fell, 

Richt far was heard the thud, 
But Thomas luikt not as he lay 

AH waltering in his blude. 



1(K) 



JOHN CLERK. 



With cairles gesture, mind unmuvit, 

On raid he north the plain, 
He seimt in tlirang of fiercest stryfe, 

Quhea winner ay the same. 

Nor yit his heart dame's dimpelit cheik 
Coud meise saft luve to bruik ; 

Till vengeful Ann returned his scorn. 
Then languid grew his luke. 

In thrawis of death, with wallowit cheik. 

All panting on the plain. 
The fainting corps of warriours lay, 

Neir to aryse again: 

Neir to return tc native land ; 

Nae mair with blythsom sounds 
To boist the glories of the day. 

And schaw their shyning wounds. 

On Norway's coast the widowit dame 
May wash the rocks with teirs. 

May lang luke owre the schiples seis 
Befoir hir mate appeirs. 

Ceise, Emma, ceise to hope in vain, 

Thy lord lyis in the chiy; 
The valyiant Scots nae revers thole 

To carry lyfe away. 

There on a lie, quhair stands a cross 

Set up for monument. 
Thousands full fierce that summer's day, 

Fill'd kcne waris black intent. 



Let Scots, quhyle Scots, praise Hardyknutc, 
Let Norse the nanve aye dreid; 

Ay how he faucht, aft how he spaird, 
Sal latest ages reid. 

Full loud and cliill blew westiin' wind, 

Sair beat the heavy showir, 
Mirk grew the nicht eir Hardyknute, 

Wan neir his stately towir: 

His towir that us'd with torch's bleise 

To shyne sae far at nicht, 
Seim'd now as black as mourning weid; 

Nae marvel sair he sich'd. 

" Thair's nae licht in my lady's bowir, 

Thair's nae licht in my hall ; 
Nae blink shynes round my Fairly fair, 

Nor ward stands on my wall. 

"Quhat bodes it? Robert, Thomas, say!" 

Nae answer fits their dreid. 
" Stand back, my sons, I'll be your gyde;" 

But by they past with speid. 

"As fast Fve sped owre Scotland's faes" — 

There ceist his brag of weir, 
Sair schamit to mynd ocht but his dame, 

And maiden Fairly fair. 

Black feir he felt, but quhat to feir. 

He wist not yit with dreid; 
Sair schuke his body, sair his limbs. 

And all the warrior fled. 



JOHN CLEEK 



BoKN 1680 — Died 1755. 



Siu John Clerk, second baronet of Fenny- 
cuik, for nearly lialf a century one of the barons 
of the exchequer in Scotland, was born in 
1680, and succeeded his fjither in his title and 
estates in 1722. He was one of the commis- 
sioners for the union, and was recognized as 
one of the most accomi)lished men of his time. 
For twenty years he carried on a correspond- 
ence with lioger Gale, tiie English antiquarian, 
which appears in Nicliol's B'tbliotheca Topo- 
;irfi/>h'ir(i, lirltannka, and contributed scien- 
tific i)ai)erH to various learned societies. He 



"was joint author, in 1726, with Baron Scrope 
of the Historical View of the Forms and 
Powers of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, 
which was printed at the expense of the barons 
of exchequer at Edinburgh in 1820, in a large 
quarto volume. To Sir John are ascribed 
some amatory lines sent with a flute to Sus- 
anna Kennedy, whom he courted unsuc- 
cessfully. On attempting to blow the instru- 
ment it would not sound, and on uncovering 
it, the young lady, afterwards Countess of 
Eglinton, found the 'rollowing: — 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



101 



" Hai-monious pipe, how I envye thy bliss, 

When press'il to Sylphia's lips with gentle kiss! 

Aud when her tender fiiigers round tliee move 

In soft embrace, I listen and approve 

Those melting notes, which soothe my soul to love. 

Embalra'd with odours from her breath that flow, 

You yield your music when she's pleased to blow; 

And thus at once the charming lovely fair 

Delights with sounds, with sweets perfumes tlie air. 

Go, happy l>ipe, and ever mindful be 

To court the charming Sylphia for me; 

Tell all I feel — you cannot tell too much — 

Repeat my love at each soft melting touch; 

Since I to her my liberty resign. 

Take thou the care to tune her heart to mine." 

It was to tbi.s lady that Allan Ramsay, in 
1726, dedicated his " Gentle Shepherd." The 
baronet was one of Ramsay's warmest friends, 
who "admired his genius and knew his 



worth." During the poet's latter years much 
of his time was spent at Pennycuik House, and 
at his death its master erected at hi.s beautiful 
family .seat an obelisk to Ramsay's memory. 
Sir John by his second wife had seven sons 
and six daughters. One of the former was 
the author of the well-known work on Naval 
Tactics, and father of the eccentric Lord Eldin, 
one of Scotland's most eminent lawyere. Sir 
John died at Pennycuik, October 4, 1755. 
His extremely humorous and popular song of 
"The Miller" first appeared in the second 
volume of Yair's Charmer, published at Edin- 
burgh four years before Sir John's death: and 
since that date it has been included in almost 
all collections of Scottish song. The first vcr.<e 
belongs to an older and an anonymous hand. 



THE MILLER. 



Merry may the maid be 

That marries the miller. 
For foul day and fair day 

He's aye bringing till her ; 
Has aye a penny in his purse 

For dinner and for sujiper; 
And gin she please, a good fat cheese, 

And lumjis of yellow butter. 

Wiien Jamie first did woo me, 

I speir'd what was his calling; 
Fair maid, says he, come and see, 

Ye're welcome to my dwalling: 
Though I was shy. yet I cou'd spy 

Tiie truth of what he told me, 
.A.nd that his house was warm and couth. 

And room in it to hold me. 

Behind the door a bag of meal, 

.\nd in the kist was plenty 
Of good hard cakes his mither bake.*, 

And bannocks were na scanty; 



A good fat sow, a sleeky cow 

Was standin' in the byre: 
While lazy puss with mealy mou 

Was playing at the fire. 

Good signs are these, my mither says, 

And bids me tak' the miller, 
For foul day and fair day 

He's aye bringing till her: 
For meal and malt she does na want, 

Nor anything that's dainty: 
And noo and then a keckling hen 

To lay her eggs in plenty. 

In winter when the wind and rain 

Blaws o'er the house and byre, 
He sits beside a clean hearth stane 

Before a rousing fire, 
With nuti)rown ale lie lilts his tale, 

Which rows him o'er fu' happy: 
Who'd be a king— a petty thing, 

Wlien a miller lives so happy? 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Boit.N 1686— Died 1757 



Allan Ramsay, the restorer of Scottish I by the father's side from the Ramsays of Dal- 
poetry, was born Oct. 15, 1686, in the village I housie, a genealogy of which he speaks in one 
of Leadhills, Lanarkshire. He was descended | of his pieces with conscious pride: — 



102 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



" Dalhousie, of an aiild descent — 
Jly chief, my stoupe, and ornament !" 

His father, John Ramsay, was superintendent 
of Lord Hopetoun's mines at Leadhills; and 
his mother, Alice Bowers, was the daughter 
of a gentleman of Derbyshire, wiio had been 
invited to Leadhills to assist b}' his skill in 
the introduction of some improvements in the 
art of mining. Allan, while yet an infant, 
lost his father, who died at the early age of 
twenty-five. His mother soon after married 
a ilr. Crichton, a small landholder in Lanark- 
shire. He was sent to the tillage school, 
where he acquired learning enough, as he tells 
us, to read Horace "faintlj' in the original." 
In the year 1700 he lost his mother, and his 
step-father was not long in discovering that 
lie was old enough to take care of himself. 
He took Allan to Edinburgh, and apprenticed 
him to a wig-maker, an occupation which 
most of his biographers are very an.xious to 
distinguish from a barber. The vocation of a 
" skullthacker," as Eamsay humorously calls 
it, would appear not to have been so uncon- 
genial as his biographers would have us 
i)elieve, as it is certain that he did not abandon 
it when his apprenticeship ceased, but followed 
it for many years after. In the parish registers 
he is called a wig-maker down to 1716. Four 
years previous to this he married Christian 
Ross, a writer's daughter, with whom he lived 
most liappily for a period of thirty years. 

The earliest of his poems which can now be 
traced is an epistle addressed in 1712 "To the 
ilost Happy Members of the Ea.sy Club," a 
convivial society, of which in 1715 he was 
appointed poet-laureate; but it was soon after 
broken up by the Rebellion. -In 1716 Ramsay 
pul)lishcd an edition of James l.'s poem of 
•'Christ's Kirk on the Green," with a second 
canto by himself, to which, two years after, 
he added a third. The wit, fancy, and perfect 
mastery of the Scottish language which his 
additions to the king's poem displayed, greatly 
extended his reputation as a poet. Abandon- 
ing his original occupation, he entered upon 
the more congenial business of bookselling. 
His first shop was "at the sign of the Mercury, 
opposite to Niddry's Wynd," Edinburgh. Here 
lie appears to have represented the threefold 
•character of author, editor, and bookseller. 
His poems were printed on single .sheets as 



they were composed, in which shape they found 
a ready .sale, the citizens being in the habit 
of sending their children with a penny for 
"Allan Ramsay's last piece." In 1720 he 
opened a subscription for a collection of his 
poems in a quarto volume, and the liberal 
manner in which it was immediately tilled up 
by "all who were either eminent or fair in 
Scotland " affords a .striking proof of the esteem 
in which the whilom wig-maker was now held. 
The volume, which cleared him 400 guineas, 
clo.sed with an address by the author to his 
book after the manner of Horace, in which he 
thus boldly speaks of his hopes: — 

' ' Gae spread my fame. 
And fix me an immortal name ; 
Ages to come shall thee revive. 
And gar thee with new honours live. 
The future critics, I foresee. 
Shall have their notes on notes on thee ; 
The wits nnboi-n shall beauties find 
That never entered in my mind." 

In 1721 the poet published the first volume 
of the Tea -table Miscellany, a collection of 
songs Scotti.sh and English, which was speedily 
followed by a second: a third volume appeared 
in 1727, and a fourth after another interval. 
This publication acquired him more profit 
than la.sting fame, passing through no less 
than twelve editions in a few years. This was 
followed by "The Evergreen : being a Collection 
of Scots Poems, wrote by the Ingenious before 
1600," in two volumes. This work did him 
even less credit as an editor than the Tea- 
table Miscellany had done. Lord Hailes says 
with truth that he took great liberty with 
the originals, omitting some stanzas and add- 
ing others ; modernizing at the same time 
the versification, and varying the ancient 
manner df .spelling. Ramsay availed him.self 
of the opportunity of concealment afforded by 
this publication to give expression in a poem 
of pretended antiquity, and with a feigned 
signature, to those Jacobite feelings which 
prudence led him to conceal. It was called 
"The Vision," and said to be "compylit in 
Latin be a most Icrnit clerk in tyme of our 
hairship and oprcssion, anno 1300, and trans- 
latit in 1524." The pretended subject was the 
"history of the Scots' sufl^erings by the 
unworthy condescension of Baliol to Edward I. 
of England till they recovered their indepen- 



ALLAN EAMSAY, 



KCi 



dence by the conduct and valour of the Great 
Bruce." For the period of Edward I. substi- 
tute that of George I., and for " tiie Great 
Bruce" the Pretender, and tlie object of the 
poem will stand revealed. "The Vision" is 
a production of great power; in it tiie genius 
of Scotland is drawn with a touch of the old 
heroic muse: — 

"Great dai-iiig darted frae his e'e, 
A braidsword sliogled at Lis thie. 

On his left arm a targe ; 
A shining spear filled his right hand. 
In stalwart make in bane and brawnd, 

Of just proportions large ; 
A various rainbow-coloured plaid 

Ower his left spaul he threw; 
Doun his braid back, frae his white head, 
Tlie silver wimplers grew. 
Amazed I gazed 

To see, led at his command, 
A stampant and rampant 
Fierce lion in his hand." 

Eamsay's next publication at once estab- 
lished his reputation upon an enduring foun- 
dation. The "Gentle Shepherd," a pastoral 
comedy in five acts, the best poem of its kind, 
perhaps, in any language, was published in 1725. 
Its succe.ss was immediate and unprecedented; 
edition followed edition, and in a few years 
it was known to every admirer of poetry in 
Great Britain, and was a fireside companion 
of almost every cottager in Scotland. The 
popularity of Gay's "Beggar's Opera" induced 
Ramsay to print a new edition of the "Gentle 
Shepherd," with songs interspersed, adapted 
to Scottish airs, and these it has ever since 
retained. The original manuscript of the 
"Gentle Shepherd" was recently purchased for 
thirty-one guineas by William Ciiambers of 
Glenormiston. The text varies in many in- 
stances from that of the printed copies, and 
presents some curious readings. Ramsay, like 
Burns, was a careful corrector, but not always 
with equal taste or judgment. It is to be 
hoped that Mr. Chambers will publish this 
first draft as a literary and national object of 
interest. 

In 1726 Ramsay removed to a house in the 
High Street, and instead of Mercury adopted 
for his sign the heads of Ben Jonson and Drum- 
mond of Hawthornden. Here Ramsay collected 
the first circulating library opened in Scotland. 
After his death it passed into the hands of 
James Sibbald, editor of the well-known 



Chronicle of Scottish Poetry, by whose exe- 
cutors it was sold in 1806, and has since that 
time been broken up and disposed of by auction. 
"Here," says one of Rara.say's biographers, 
" he sold and lent books to a late period of 
his life; here the wits of Edinburgh used to 
meet for their amusement and for information; 
and here Gay, a congenial poet ("a little 
plea.sant man with a tye wig," says Mr. Tytler), 
was wont to look out upon the Exchange in 
Edinburgh, to know persons and ascertain 
characters." Allan was now a famous and 
prosperous man. His society was courted by 
the nobility and literati of Edinburgh, and he 
was on familiar terms with contemporary poets 
— the Hamiltons of Bangour and Gilbertfield, 
Gay, and others. His son, afterwards a dis- 
tinguished painter, he sent to Rome for in- 
struction in his jirofession. 

About this time the bard appeared with 
another volume of poems, followed in 173i) by 
his "Thirty Fables," undoubtedly the best of 
his minor productions. Among them is "The 
Monk and the Miller's Wife," a story which, 
though previou.sly told by Dunbar, "would of 
itself," as it has been remarked, "])e Eam- 
say's passport to immortality as a poet." With 
these he seems to have concluded his poetic 
labours, presenting in this another instance of 
his characteristic prudence. In a letter to his 
friend Smibert the painter he says, " I e'en 
gave over in good time, before the coolness of 
fanc}' that attends advanced years should 
make me risk the reputation I had acquired." 
An edition of his poems was published in Lon- 
don in 1731, and another appeared in London 
in 1733. Three years later his passion for the 
drama and his enterprising spirit prompted 
him to erect a new theatre; but in the follow- 
ing year, 1737, the act for licensing the stage 
was passed, and the magistrates ordered the 
house to be shut up. By this speculation he 
lost considerably, and it is remarked by his 
biographers that this was the only unfortunate 
project in wOiich he ever engaged. 

In 1743 the poet lost his wife, who was 
buried in thb Grayfriars' Churchyard; but his 
three daughters, grown to womanhood, in 
some measure supplied her place. It appears 
to have been about this period, and with the 
view of relinquishing business, which still 
went on prosperously, that he erected a house 



104 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



oil the north side of Castle Hill, where he 
might spend the remainder of his days in dig- 
nified retirement. The site was selected with 
the taste of a poet and the judgment of a 
painter. It commanded a view probably not 
.•^nrpassed in Scotland, or indeed in Europe, 
extending from the mouth of the Forth on the 
east to the Grampians on the west, and .stretch- 
ing away across the green hills of Fifeshire to 
the north — embracing every variety of beanty, 
of elegance, and of gi'andeur. The view is 
now intercepted by the houses of the new 
town. The situation did more credit to the 
poet's taste than the octagon-shaped house 
which he built and called Ram.say Lodge, and 
which, from its peculiar form, was compared 
by .some of the wags of the city to a goose-pie. 
The poet complaining one day of this to Lord 
Elibank, his lordship gayly remarked, tliat 
now .seeing him in it he thought it an exceed- 
ingly apt comparison! Fantastic though the 
house was, Ramsay spent the last twelve years 
of his life in it, except when he was abroad 
with his friends, in a state of philosophic ease 
which few literary men are able to attain. 
He seems, however, not to have abandoned his 
business until 1755, an event which he did not 
long survive. An epistle which he wrote this 
year, "full of wise saws and modern instances," 
gives his determination on the subject, and a 
more graphic picture of himself than could be 
drawn by any other person: — 

" Tho' born to no ae hicli of ground, 
I keep my conscience wliite and sound; 
.\nd tlioiigh I ne'er was <a rich keeper, 
To make that up I live the cheaper; 
15y this ae knack I've made a shift 
To drive aniltitious care adrift; 
And now in years and sense grown auld. 
In ease I like my liml)s to faiild. 
Debts I abhor, and plan to Vje 
From shackling trade and dangers free; 
That I may, loosed frae care and strife, 
With calnines-s view the edge of life; 
And when a full ripe age shall crave, 
Slide e.isily, into my grave; 
Now seventy years are o'er my head, 
And thirty more may lay me dead." 

IJainsay died at Edinburgh, January 7, 1757, 
in tlie seventy-third year of his age. He was 
buried by the side of his wife, and with him 
for a time was buried Scottish poetry, there 
not being a single poet in Scotland to .sing a 
requiem over the grave of the bard whose life 



is one of the "green and sunny spots" in 
literary biography. He was one of the poets 
to whom, in a pecuniary point of view, poetry 
had been really a blessing, and who could com- 
bine poetic pursuits with those of an ordinary 
business. He posse.ssed that turn of mind 
which Hume .says it is more happy to possess 
than to be born to an estate of ten thousand a 
year — a disposition always to see the favour- 
able .side of things. The merits of the "Gentle 
Shepherd" are of tiie highest order, and will 
carry Ramsay's name down through the com- 
ing centuries. It was his hope that he might 
" be clas.sed with Tasso and Guarini," and the 
.station is one which posterity has not denied 
to the Edinburgh bookseller. Ramsay thought 
highly of his "Fables," which are little, if at 
all, inferior to his comedy, evincing great .skill 
in story-telling, and abounding in point and 
humour. As a song-writer he has many supe- 
riors, although some of his lyrics are justly 
admired, and enjoy a great degree of popu- 
larity. " Be>sie Bell and Mary Gray" and 
the "Yellow-haired Laddie" are both beauti- 
ful productions; " Lochaber no more" is a 
strain of manly feeling and unaffected pathos; 
and the " Lass of Patie's Mill" an exquisite 
composition. A noble marble statue of Ram- 
.say, at who.se lamp Burns lighted his brilliant 
torch, has been erected in Princes Street Gar- 
dens, Edinburgh, near those of his brother 
poets Sir Walter Scott and John Wilson. 

The readers of this sketch of Ramsay, next to 
Burns the most distinguished national poet of 
Scotland, may be interested in knowing that 
the poets son Allan attained considerable emi- 
nence as an artist, and in 1767 w-as appointed 
portrait-painter to the king and queen. He 
corresponded with Voltaire and Rousseau, both 
of whom he visited when abroad ; and his 
lettei-s are said to have been elegant and witty. 
" Ramsay, in short," remarks Allan Cunning- 
ham, " led the life of an elegant accomplished 
man of the world and public favourite." He 
was frequently of Dr. John.son's parties, who 
.said of him, "You. will not find a man in 
whose conversation there is more instruction, 
more information and elegance, tiian in Ram- 
say's." He died in 1784, John Ramsay, a 
son of the painter, and grandson of the poet, 
entered the British army, and rose to the rank 
of niiiior-gencral. 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



10.-) 



THE GENTLE SHEPHERD.^ 



DUAMATIS PERSON.E. 



Sir William Worthy. 

Patie, the Gentle Shepherd, in love with Pecig;/. 

Roger, a rich young Shepherd, in love with Jenny. 

Symon, \ f^^^ ^i^ Shepherds, tenants to Sir William. 

Gladd, ) 

Bacldt, a Hind, engaged with Neps. 



Peggy, thought to he Gland's niece. 

Jenny, GlaiuTs only daughter. 

Mause, an old %ooman, supposed to be a M'ilch. 

Elspa, Symmi's wife. 

Madge, Glaud's sister. 



gcEXE. — A ShepheriVs Village and Fields, some few milea from Edinburgh. 
Time of action within twenty-four hours. 



ACT FIRST.— SCENE I. 

Beneath the south side of a craigy bield. 
Where crystal springs their halesome waters yield, 
Twa youthfu" shepherds on the gowans lay. 
Tenting their flocks ae honnie morn of Jlay. 
I'oor Roger granes, till hollow echoes ring; 
But blyther I'atie likes to laugh an' sing. 

Patie atid Rogicr. 

SANG I. 
Tmu — " The wawking o' the faulds " 

Fade. 
My Peggy is a young thing, 
Ju.st entered in her teens, 
Fair as the day, an' sweet as May, 
Fair as the day, an' always gay. 
My Peggy is a young thing, 

An' I'm no very auld. 
Yet weel I like to meet her 
At the wawking o' the fauld. 

My Peggy speaks sae sweetly 

Whene'er we meet alane, 

I wish nae mair to lay my care, 

I wish nae mair o' a' that's rare. 

My Peggy speaks sae sweetly. 

To a' the lave I'm cauld. 
But she gars a' my spirits glow, 
At wawking o' the fauld. 

My Peggy smiles sae kindly 

Whene'er I wliisper love. 
That I look down on a' the town. 
That I look down upon a crown. 

I Burns, with somewhat too much extravagance, pro- 
nounced the "Gentle Sheilierd" "the most glorious 
poem ever written;" and Professor Wilson has saiil, 
"Theocritus was a ple:xsant pastoral, and 'Sicilia' sees 
hiui among the stars. But all liis dear idyls together 
are not equal in worth to the single 'Gentle Sheplierd,'" 
Thomas Campbell remarked, "Like tlie poetry of Tasso 
and Ariosto, that of the ' Gentle Shepherd' is engraven 
on the memory of its native country. Its verses have 
p.issed into proverbs, and it continues to he the delight 
aiui solace of the peasantry whom it describes." — Ed. 



My Peggy smiles sae kindly, 
It mak's me blyth an' bauld. 

An' naething gie's me sic delight 
As wawking o' tlie fauld. 

My Peggy sings sae saf tly 
When on mj- pipe I play. 

By a' the rest it is confest, 

By a' the rest, that she sings best. 
My Peggy sings sae saftly, 

An' in her sangs ai-e tauld, 
Wi' innocence, the wale o' sense, 

At wawking o' the fauld. 

Pat. This sunny morn, Roger, cheers my blood. 
An' puts a' nature in a jovial mood. 
How heartsome 'tis to see the rising plants ! 
To hear the birds chirm o'er their pleasing rants 1 
How halesome it's to snuff the cauler air, 
An' a' the sweets it bears, when void o' care ! 
What ails thee, Roger, then? what gars thee grane/ 
Tell me the cause o' thy ill-seasoned pain. 

Jioi/. I'm born, Patie, to a tln-awart fate ! 
I'm born to strive wi' hardships sad an' great. 
Tempests may cease to jaw the rowin' flood, 
Corbies an' tods to grien for lambkins' blood; 
But I, opprest wi' never-ending grief, 
Maun ay despair o' lighting on relief. 

Pat. The bees shall loth the flower, an' quit 
the hive. 
The saughs on boggy ground shall cease to thrive. 
Ere scornfu' (jueans, or loss o' warldly gear. 
Shall spill my rest, or ever force a tear. 

Rot/. Sae might I say; but it's no easy done 
By ane whase saul's sae sadly out o' tune. 
You ha'e sae saft a voice, and slid a tongue. 
That you're the darling o' baith auld an' young. 
If I but ettle at a sang, or speak, 
They dit their lugs, syne up their leglcns cleek : 
An' jeer me hameward frae the lone or bught, 
"\Miile I'm confused wi' mony a ve.xing thouglit. 
Yet I am tall, an' as well built as thee. 
Nor mair unlikely to a lass's e'e. 
For ilka sheep ye ha'e, I'll number ten, 
An' should, as ane may think, come farer ben. 

Pat. But aiblins, ncibour, ye ha'e not a heart. 
An' downie cithly wi' your cunzie ptu-t. 



lOG 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



If that be true, what signines yotir gear? 

A mind that's scrimpit never wants some care. 

Ro(j. My byre tumbled, nine braw nowt were 
smoored, 
Three elf -shot were, j^et I these ills endured: 
In winter last my cares were veiy sma', 
Though scores o' wathers perished in the snaw. 

Pat. Were your bien rooms as thinlj^ stock'd 
as mine, 
Less you wad loss, and less you wad repine. 
He that has just enough can soundly sleep: 
The o'ercome onlj^ fashes fouk to keep. 

Roij. May plenty flow upon thee for a cross, 
That thou niay'st thole the pangs o' mony a loss! 

may'st thou dote on some fair paughty wench, 
That ne'er will lowt thy lowan drowth to quench, 
Till, bris'd beneath the burden, thou cry dool, 
An' own that ane may fret that is iiae foul ! 

Pat. Sax good fat lambs, I said them ilka clute 
At the West-port, an' bought a winsome flute, 
0' plum-tree made, wi' ivory virls round; 
A dainty whistle, wi' a pleasant sound : 
I'll be mair cantie wi't, an' ne'er cry dool. 
Than you, wi' a' your cash, ye dowie fool ! 

liofj. Na, Patie, na! I'm nae sic chui-lish beast, 
Some other thing lies heavier at my breast: 

1 ch-eam'd a dreary dream this hinder night. 
That gars my flesh a' creep yet wi' the fright. 

Pat. Now, to a friend, how silly's this pretence. 
To ane wha you an' a' your secrets kens ! 
Daft are your dreams, as daftly wad ye hide 
Your weel-seen love, and dorty Jenny's pride: 
Tak' courage, Roger, me your sorrows tell. 
An' safely think uane kens them but yoursel. 

liog. Indeed now, Patie, ye hae guessed owre 
true. 
An' there is naething I'll keep up frae you; 
Me dorty Jenny looks upon asquint. 
To speak but till her I dare hardly mint. 
In ilka place she jeers me air an' late. 
An' gars me look bombazcd, an' unco blate. 
But yesterday I met her yont a knowe, 
She fled as frae a shelly-coated cow: 
She Bauldy lo'es, Bauldy that drives the car, 
But geeks at me, an' says I smell o' tar. 

Pat. But Bauldy loes no her, right weel I wat; 
He sighs for Neps:— sae that may stand for that. 

Roij. I wish I cou'dna lo'c her — but, in vain, 
I still maun do't, an' thole her proud disdain. 
My Bawty is a cur I dearly like. 
E'en wliilehe fawn'd,shestrak the i>oor dumb tyke; 
If I had filled a nook within her breast, 
She wad ha'e shawn mair kindnes.s to my boast. 
When I begin to tune my stock an' horn, 
Wi' a' her face she shaws a cauldrife scorn. 
Last night I played (ye never heard sic spite), 
" O'er Bogie" was the spring, an' her delyte; 
Yet, tauntingly, she at her cousin speer'd, 
fJif shecoulcl tell what tune I play'd, an'sneer'd. — 
Flocks, wander where ye like, I dinna care, 
I'll break my reed, an' never whistle mair. 



Pat. E'en do sae, Roger; wha can help misluck, 
Saebiens she be sic a thrawn-gabbit chuck ? 
Yonder's a craig; since ye ha'e tint a' houp, 
Gae till't your ways, an' tak' the lover's loup. 

Rog. I need na mak' sic speed my blood to spill, 
I'll warrant death come soon eneugh a-will. 

Pat. Daft gowk! leave aff that silly whinging 
way; 
Seem careless, there's my hand ye'll win the day. 
Hear how I serv'd my lass I lo'e as weel 
As ye do Jenny, an' wi' heart as leal. 
Last morning I was gye an' early out, 
Upon a dyke I lean'd glow'ring about; 
I saw my Meg come linkin' o'er the lee; 
I saw my Meg, but Meggy saw no me; 
For yet the sun was wading through the mist. 
An' she was closs upon me ere she wist. 
Her coats were kiltit, an' did sweetly shaw 
Her straight bare legs, that whiter were than snaw. 
Her cockernony snooded up fu' sleek, 
Her haffet-locks hang wavin' on her cheek; 
Her cheeks sae ruddy, an' her een sae clear; 
An' oh! her mouth's hke ony hinny pear. 
Neat, neat she was, in bustine waistcoat clean. 
As she came skiffin' o'er the dewy green. 
Blj'thsome, I cried, "My bonny Meg, come hei'e, 
I ferly wherefore ye're sae soon asteer; 
But I can guess, ye're gawn to gather dew." 
She scoured awa, an' said, "What's that to you ? " 
' ' Than fare ye weel, Meg Dorts, an' e'en's ye like, " 
I careless cried, an' lap in o'er the dyke. 
I trow, when that she saw, within a crack. 
She came vn' a right thieveless errand back; 
Misca'd me fii'st, — then bade me hound my dog, 
To wear up three waflf ewes strayed on the bog. 
I leugh, an sae did she: then wi' great haste 
I clasp'd my arms about her neck an' waist; 
About her yielding waist, an' took a fouth 
0' sweetest kisses frae her glowing mouth. 
While hard an' fast I held her in my grips, 
My very saul came lowping to my lips. 
Sair, sair she flate vn me 'tween ilka smack, 
But weel I ken'd she meant no as she spak'. 
Dear Roger, when your joe puts on her gloom, 
Do ye sae too, an' never fash your thumb. 
Seem to forsake her, soon she'll change her mood; 
G-ae woo anither, an' she'll gang clean wood. 

SANG II. 
Tune—" Fy gar rub hei- o'er wi' strae." 

Dear Roger, if your Jenny geek, 

An' answer kindness vsd' a slight, 
Seem unconcern'd at her neglect; 

For women in a man delight. 
But them despise wha's soon defeat. 

An' wi' a simple face gi'es way 
To a repulse; then be nae blate, 

Push bauldly on, an' win the day. 
When maidens, innocently young, 

Say aften what they never mean. 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



107 



Ne'er mind their pretty lying tongue, 
But tent the language o' their een: 

If these agree, an' she persist 
To answer a' your love vd' hate, 

Seek elsewhere to be better blest, 
An' let her sigh when it's too late. 

Ro(/. Kind Patie, now fair-fa' your honest heart, 
Ye're ay sae cadgy, an' ha'e sic an' art 
To hearten ane: for now, as clean's a leek, 
Ye've cherished me since ye began to speak. 
Sae, for your pains, I'll make you a propine 
(My mither, rest her siul ! she made it fine); 
A tartan plaid, spun of good hawslock woo'. 
Scarlet an' green the sets, the borders blue: 
Wi' spraings like gowd an' siller crossed wi' black; 
I never had it yet upon my back. 
Weel are you wordy o't, wha ha'e sae kind 
Redd up my ravell'd doubts, an' clear'd my mind. 

Pat. Weel, haud ye there — an' since ye've 
frankly made 
To me a present o' your braw new plaid, 
M}^ flute be yours; an' she too that's sae nice. 
Shall come o-will, gif ye'll tak' my advice. 

I}o(j. As ye advise, I'll promise to observ't; 
But ye maun keep the flute, ye best deserv't. 
Now tak' it out, an' gie's a bonny spring; 
For I'm in tift to hear you play an' sing. 

Pat. But fii-st we'll tak' a turn up to the height. 
An' see gif a' our flocks be feeding right; 
By that time bannocks, an' a shave o' cheese. 
Will mak' a breakfast that a laird might please; 
Might please the daintiest gabs, were they sae 

wi.se 
To season meat wi' health, instead o' spice. 
When we ha'e tane the grace-drink at the well, 
I"ll whistle fine, and sing t'ye like mysel. [E.veunt. 

SCENE II. 

A flowrie howm, between twa verdant braes. 
Where lasses use to wash an' spread their claiths; 
A trotting burnie wimpling through the ground, 
Its channel jieebles, shining, smooth, an' round : 
Here view twa barefoot beauties, clean an' cleav; 
First please your eye, ne.\t gratify your ear: 
While Jenny what she wishes discommends. 
An' Meg, wi' better sens3, true love defends. 

Peggy and Jenny. 

Jen. Come, Meg, let's fa' to wark upon this 
green. 
This shining day will bleach our linen clean; 
The water's clear, the lift unclouded blue, 
WiU mak' them like a lily wet wi' dew. 

Peff. Gae farder up the burn to Habbio's How, 
Where a' the sweets o' spring an' siunmer grow : 
Between twa birks, out o'er a little lin. 
The water fa's an' mak's a singin' din; 
A pool breast-deep, beneath as clear as glass. 
Kisses, wi' easy whirls, the bordering grass. 
We'll end our washing while the morning's cool. 
And when tlu day grows het, we'll to the pool, 



There wash oursels — it's healthfu' now in May, 
An' sweetly cauler on sae warm a day. 

Jen. Daft lassie, when we're naked, what'U ye 
say, 
Gif our twa herds come brattling down the brae, 
An' see us sae' that jeering fallow Pate 
Wad taunting say, Ilaith, lasses, ye're no blate. 

Peff. We're far frae ony road, an' out o' sight; 
The lads they're feeding far beyont the height. 
But tell me now, dear Jenny (we're our lane). 
What gars ye plague your wooer wi' disdain i 
The iieibours a' tent this as weel as I, 
That Roger lo'es ye, yet ye carena by. 
What ails ye at him/ Troth, between us twa. 
He's worthy you the best day e'er ye saw. 

Jen. I dinna like him, Peggy, there's an end; 
A herd mair sheepish yet I never ken'd. 
He kaims his hair, indeed, an' gaes right snug, 
Wi' ribbon knots at his blue boiniet lug, 
Whilk pensylie he we;u-s a-thought a-jee, 
An' spreads his gai-tens diced beneath his knee; 
He falds his o'erlay down his breast wi' cai'e. 
An' few gang trigger to the kirk or fair; 
For a' that, he can neither sing nor say, 
E.Kcept, How d'ye i — or. There's a bonny day. 

Pe(/. Ye dash the lad wi' constant slighting 
pride. 
Hatred for love is unco sair to bide; 
But ye'll repent ye, if his love grow cauld : 
Wliat like's a dorty maiden when she's auld ? 
Like dawted wean, that tarrows at its meat. 
That for some feckless whim will orp an' greet: 
The lave laugh at it, till the dinner's past; 
An' syne the fool thing is obliged to fast. 
Or scart anither's lea\Tings at the last. 

SANG III. 
Tune — "Polwart on tlie green." 

The dorty will repent, 

If lovers' hearts grow cauld ; 
An' nane her smiles will tent. 

Soon as her face looks auld. 

The dawted bairn thus tak's the pet. 
Nor eats, though hunger crave; 

Whimpers an' tarrows at its meat, 
An's laught at by the lavs. 

They jest it till the dinner's past; 

Thus, by itself abused. 
The fool thing is obliged to fast. 

Or eat what they've refused. 

Fy! Jenny, think, an' dinna sit your time. 

Jen. I never thocht a single life a crime. 

Peg. Nor I: — but love in whispers lets us ken. 
That men were made for us, an' wc for men. 

Jen. If Roger is my joe, he kens himsel. 
For sic a tale I never heard him tell. 
He glow'rs an' sighs, an' I can guess the cause, 
But wha's obliged t" -^moH his hums an' haws? 



108 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Whene'er he hkes to tell liis mind mail- plain, 
I'se tell him frankly ne'er to do't again. 
Thej-'re fools that slavery like, an' may be free; 
The chiels may a' knit up themsels for me. 

Peg. Be doing your wa's; for me, I ha'e a mind 
To be as yielding as my Pa tie's kind. 

Jen. Hech, lass ! how can ye lo'e that rattle- 
skull? 
A very deil, that ay maun ha'e his will; 
We'U soon hear tell, what a poor fechting life 
You twa will lead, sae soon's ye're man an' wife. 

Pe<j. I'll rin the risk, nor ha'e I ony fear. 
But rather think ilk langsome daj^ a year. 
Till I wi' pleasure mount my bridal-bed, 
Where on my Patie's breast I'll lean my head. 
There we may kiss as lang as kissing's gude. 
An' what we do, there's nane dar ca' it rude. 
He's get his wiU : why no ? it's good my part 
To gi'e him that, an' he'll gi'e me his heart. 

Jen. He may indeed, for ten or fifteen daj's, 
Mak" meikle o' ye, vn' an unco fraise. 
An' daut ye baith afore fouk an' your lane; 
But soon as his newfangleness is gane, 
He'll look upon you as his tether-stake, 
An' think he's tint his freedom for your sake. 
Instead then o' lang days o' sweet delight, 
Ae day be dumb, an' a' the neist he'll flyte: 
An' may be, in his barUckhoods, ne'er stick 
To lend his loving wife a loundering hck. 

SANG rv. 
Tune — "O, dear mitlier, what shall I do 5" 

O, dear Peggy, love's beguiling. 
We ought not to trust his smiling; 
Better far to do as I do. 
Lest a harder luck betide you. 
Lasses when their fancy's carried, 
Think of nought but to be married : 
Uunning to a life, destroys 
Ilartsome, free, an' youthfu' joys. 

Peg. Sic coarse-spun thoughts as thae want 
pith to move 
My settled mind; I'm o'er far gane in love. 
Patie to me is dearer than my breath. 
But want o' him I dread nae other skaith. 
There's nane o' a' the herds that tread the green 
Has .sic a smile, or sic twa glancing een: 
An' then he speaks wi' sic a taking art. 
His words they thirl like mu.sic through my heart. 
How blythely can he sport, an' gently rave. 
An' jest at feckless fears that fright the lave ! 
Ilk day that he's alanc upon the hill. 
He refids fell Iwoks, that teach him meikle skill. 
Ho is— but what need I .say that or this? 
I'd spend a month to tell ye what he is ! 
In a' he say.s or does, there's .sic a gate. 
The rest seem coofs compared wi' my dear Pate. 
His better .sense will lang his love secure; 
lU-naturc hofts in sauls that's weak an' poor. 



Tune — " How can I be sad on my wedding-day?" 

How shaU I be sad when a husband I ha'e, 
That has better sense than ony of thae 
Sour weak silly fellows, that study, like fools. 
To sink their ain joy, and mak' their wives 

snools. 
The man who is prudent ne'er lighthes his wife. 
Or wi' dull reproaches encourages strife; 
He praises her virtues, and ne'er will abuse 
Her for a sma' failing, but find an excuse. 

Jen. Hey, bonny lass d Branksome! or't be lang. 
Your witty Pate will put you in a sang. 
O 'tis a pleasant thing to be a bride; 
Syne whinging getts about your ingle-side, 
Yelping for this or that vri' f asheous din : 
To mak' them braws then ye maun toil an' spin. 
Ae wean fa's sick, ane scads itsel wi' broe, 
Ane breaks his shin, anither tines his shoe; 
The Deil yaes o'er Jock Wahster, hame grows hell. 
An' Pate misca's ye waur than tongue can tell. 

Peg. Yes, it's a hartsome thing to be a wife, 
When round the ingle-edge young sprouts are 

rife. 
Gif I'm sae happy, I shall ha'e delight 
To hear their httle plaints, an' keep them right. 
Wow! Jenny, can there gi-eater pleasure be. 
Than see sic wee tots toolying at your knee ; 
When a' they ettle at — their greatest wish, 
Is to be made o', an' obtain a kiss? 
Can there be toil in tenting day an' night 
The Uke o' them, when love mak's care delight? 

Jen. But poortith, Peggy, is the warst o' a', 
Gif o'er your heads ill-chance should begg'i-y 

draw ; 
But little love or canty cheer can come 
Frae duddy doublets, an' a pantry toom. 
Yom- nowt may die; the spate may bear away 
Frae aff the howms your dainty rucks o' hay; 
The thick -blawn wreaths o' snaw, or blashy thows, 
May smoor your wethers, an' may rot your ewes; 
A dyvour buys your butter, woo', an' cheese. 
But, or the day o' payment, breaks, an' flees: 
Wi' glooman brow, the laird seeks in his rent; 
It's not to gi'e; your merchant's to the bent; 
His honour mauna want; he poinds your gear: 
Syne, driven frae house an' hald, where will yo 

steer ? 
Dear Meg, be wise, an' live a single life; 
Troth, it's nae mows to be a married wife. 

Peg. May sic ill luck befa' that .silly she 
Wha has sic fears, for that was never me. 
Let fouk bode weel, an' strive to do their best: 
Nae mair's required; let Heaven mak' out the 

rest. 
I've heard my honest uncle aften say. 
That lads should a' for wives that's virtuous pray: 
For the maist thrifty man could never get 
A wcel-stored room, unless his wife wad let: 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



109 



Wherefore, nocht shall be wanting on my part 
To gather wealth to raise my shepherd's heart: 
Whate'er he wins, I'll guide wi' canny care, 
An' win the vogue at market, trone, or fair. 
For halesome, clean, cheap, an' sufficient ware. 
A flock o' lambs, cheese, butter, and some woo'. 
Shall first be sell'd, to pay the laird his due; 
Syne a' behint's our ain. — Thus, without fear, 
Wi' love an' rowth, we through the warld will 

steer; 
An' when my Pate in bairns an' gear grows rife. 
He'll bless the day he gat me for his wife. 
Jen. But what if some young giglet on the 
green, 
Wi' dimpled cheeks, an' twa bewitching een, 
Shou'd gar your Patie think his half -worn Meg, 
An' her ken'd kisses, hai'dly worth a feg? 

Peg. Nae mail' of that. — Dear Jenny, to be 
free. 
There's some men constanter in love than we : 
Nor is the ferly gi-eat, when nature kind 
Has blest them wi' solidity of mind. 
They'll reason calmly, an' wi' kindness smile. 
When our short passions wad our peace beguile. 
Sae, whensoe'er they slight then- maiks at hame, 
It's ten to ane the wives are maist to blame. 
Then I'll employ wi' pleasure a' my art 
To keep him cheerfu', an' secure his heart. 
At e'en, when he comes weary frae the hill, 
I'll ha'e a' things made ready to his will. 
In winter, when he toils tlu-ough wind an' rain, 
A bleezing ingle, an' a clean hearth-stane ; 
An' soon as he flings by his plaid an' staff. 
The seething pats be ready to tak' aff : 
Clean hag-a-bag I'll spread upon his board. 
An' serve him wi' the best we can afford. 
Good humour an' wliite bigonets shall be 
Guards to my face, to keep his love for me. 
Jen. A dish o' married love right soon grows 
cauld. 
An' dosens down to nane, as fouk grow auld. 
Peg. But we'U grow auld thegither, an' ne'er 
find 
The loss of youth, when love gi-ows on the mind. 
Bairns and their baims mak' sure a firmer tye. 
Than aught in love the like o' us can spy. 
See yon twa elms, that gi-ow up side by side, 
Suppose them some years syne bridegroom an' 

bride; 
Nearer an' nearer ilka j-ear they've prest. 
Till wide their spreading branches are increased, 
An' in their mixture now are fully blest. 
This shields the other frae the eastlin blast. 
That in return defends it frae the wast. 
Sic as stand single (a state sae liked by you !) 
Beneath ilk stomi, frae every airt maun bow. 
Jen. I've done — I peld, dear lassie, I maun 
yield; 
Your better sense has fairly won the field. 
With the assistance of a little fae 
Lies darned within my breast this mony a day. 



Tv.ne — " Nancy's to the green-wood gane." 

I jneld, dear lassie, ye ha'e won, 

An' there is nae denying. 
That sure as light flows frae the sun, 

Frae love proceeds complying. 
For a' that we can do or say 

'Gainst love, nae thinker heeds us; 
They ken our bosoms lodge the fae 

That by the heart-strings leads us. 

Peg. Alake, poor pris'nerl Jenny, that's no 
fair; 
That you'll no let the wee thing tak' the air: 
Haste, let him out; we'll tent as weel's we can, 
Gif he be Bauldy's or poor Roger's man. 

Jen. Anither time's as good; — for see the sun 
Is right far up, an' we're not yet begun 
To freath the graith; — if canker'd Madge, our 

aunt, 
Come up the bum, she'll gie's a wicked rant: 
But when we've done, I'll tell ye a' my mind ; 
For this seems true, — nae lass can be unkind. 

\E.i:eunt. 

ACT SECOND.— SCENE L 

A suug thack house, before the door a green : 
Hens on the midding, ducks in dubs are seen. 
On this side stands a bam, on that a byre ; 
A peat-stack joins, an' forms a rural square. 
The house is Claud's : there .vou may see him lean. 
An' to his divot-seat inrite his frien'. 

Glaud and Stmon. 

Glaud. Good-morrow, neibovir Symon : — come, 
sit down, 
An' gie's your cracks. — What's a' the news in 

town? 
They tell me ye was in the ither day. 
An' said your Crummock, an' her bassen'd quey. 
I'll warrant ye've coft a pund o' cut an' dry; 
Lug out your box, an' gie's a pipe to try. 

Sjim. Wi' a' my heart; — an' tent me now, auld 
boy, 
I've gathered news will kittle your mind wi' joy. 
I cou'dna rest till I cam' o'er the bum. 
To tell ye things ha'e taken sic a tum. 
Will gar our \\\e oi)pressors stend like flaes, 
An' skulk in hidlings on the hether braes. 

Olai'd. Fy, blawl — Ah, Symie! rattling ehiels 
ne'er stand 
To deck an' spread the grossest lies aff-hand, 
Whilk soon flies round, like will-fire, far an' near: 
But loose your poke, bc't tnie or fausc let's licar. 

Si/iii. Seeing's believing, Glaud; an' I have seen 
Hab, that abroad has wi' our master lx;en; 
Our brave good master, wha right wisely fled. 
An' left a fair estate to save his head: 
Because ye ken fu' weel he bravely chose 
To stand his liege's friend wi' great Montrose. 



no 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Now Cromwell's gane to Nick; an' ane ca'd Monk 
Has played the Rumple a right slee begunk, 
Restored King Charles, an' ilka thing's in tune; 
An' Habhy says we'll see Sii- William soon. 

Olaud. That mak's me blyth indeed!— but 
dinna flaw: 
Tell o'er your news again, an' swear till't a'. 
An' saw ye Hab? an' what did Halbert say? 
They ha'e been e'en a dreary time away. 
Now God be thanket that our laird's come hame. 
An' his estate, say, can he eithly claim ? 

.%m. They that hag-rid us till om- guts did 
grane, 
Like greedy bairs, dare nae mair do't again; 
An' good Sir William sail enjoy his ain. 

SAXG VII. 
Turie—" Cauld kail in Aberdeen '' 

Cauld be the rebels cast. 

Oppressors base an' bloody; 
I hope we'll see them at the last 

Strang a' up in a woody. 
Blest be he of worth an' sense. 

An' ever high in station. 
That bravely stands in the defence 

Of conscience, king, an' nation. 

Glaud. An' may he lang ; for never did he 

stent 
Us in our thriving wi' a racket rent; 
Nor grumbl'd if ane grew rich, or shor'd to raise 
Our mailens, when we pat on Sunday claise. 

Sjim. Nor wad he lang, wi' senseless, saucy air, 
Allow our lyart noddles to be bare. 
" Put on your bonnet, Symon; — tak' a seat. — 
How's a' at hame? — How's Elspa?— How does 

Kate? 
How .sells black cattle? — What gie's woo' this 

year?"— 
An' sic-like kindly questions wad he speir. 

SANG VIII. 
Tune — " Mucking o' Geoidy's byre." 

The laird wha in riches an' honour 

Wafl thrive, should be kindly an' free, 
Nor rack his poor tenants, wha labour 

To rise aboon poverty: 
Else, like the pack-hor.se that's unfothcred 

An' burdened, will tumble down faint: 
Thus virtue by hardshij) is smothered. 

An' rackers aft tine tlieir rent. 

<tl(i vd. Tlien wad he gar his butler bring bedeen 
The nappy bottle ben, an' gla.sses clean, 
Whilk in our breast raised sic a blytli.some flame, 
Ah gart nic mony a time gae dancing hame. 
My heart's e'en rai.sed ! -Dear neibour, will ye 

stay, 
A n' tak' your dinner here wi' mc the day ? 



We'll send for Elspa too — an' upo' sight, 
I'll whistle Pate an' Roger frae the height: 
I'll yoke my sled, an' send to the niest town. 
An' bring a draught o' ale baith stout an' brown; 
An' gar our cottars a', man, wife, an' wean. 
Drink tiU they tine the gate to stand their 
lane. 

Sym. I wad'na bauk my friend his blyth design 
Gif that it had'na first of a' been mine; 
For ere yestreen I brewed a bow o' maut. 
Yestreen I slew twa weathers prime an' fat; 
A furlet o' guid cakes my Elspa beuk, 
An' a large ham hings reesting in the neuk: 
I saw mysel', or I came o'er the loan, 
Our meikle pat, that scads the whey, put on, 
A mutton bouk to boil, — an' ane we'll roast; 
An' on the haggles Elspa spares nae cost; 
Sma' are they shorn, an' she can mix fu' nice 
The gusty ingans wi' a cum o' spice: 
Fat are the puddings, — heads an' feet weel sung; 
An' we've invited neibours, auld an' young. 
To pass this afternoon wi' glee an' game. 
An' drink our master's health an' welcome hame. 
Ye manna then refuse to join the rest. 
Since ye're my nearest friend that I like best: 
Bring wi' you a' your family; an' then. 
Whene'er you please, I'll rant' wi' you again. 

Gland. Spoke like yoursel, auld birkj'; never 
fear. 
But at your banquet I sail first appear: 
Faith, we sail bend the bicker, an' look bauld. 
Till we forget that we are failed or auld. 
Auld, said I ! — Troth I'm younger be a score, 
Wi' your good news, than what I was before. 
I'll dance or e'en ! — Hey, Madge, come forth, 
d'ye hear ? 

Enter Madge. 

Madfje. The man's gane gyte! — Dear Symon, 
welcome here. 
What wad ye, Glaud, wi' a' this haste an' din ? 
Ye never let a body sit to spin. 

(J laud. Spin! snuff! — Gae break your wheel, 
an' burn your tow. 
An' set the meiklest peat-stack in a low; 
Syne dance about the bane-fire till ye die. 
Since now again we'll soon Sir William see. 
Madije. Blythe news indeed! — An' wha was't 

tald yovi o't? 
Gland. What's that to you? — Gae get my 
Sundays' coat; 
Wale out the whitest o' my bobit bands, 
My white-skin hose, an' mittins for my hands; 
Syne frae their washing cry the bairns in haste, 
An' mak' yoursels as trig, head, feet, an' wais* 
As ye wore a' to get young lads or e'en; 
For we're gaun o'er to dine wi' Sym bedeen. 
Stpn. Do, honest Madge: — an', Glaud, I'll o'er 
the gate, 
An' sec that a' be done as I wad hae't. [Exeiuit. 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Ill 



SCENE II. 

The open field.— A cottage in a glen, 

An auld wife spinning at the sunny en'. 

At a sraa' distance, by a blasted tree, 

W'i' faulded arms, an' hauf-rais'd looks, ye see 

Bauldy his lane. 
What's this! — I canna bear't! 'Tis war than hell 
To be sae brunt wi' love, yet dar'na tell ! 

Peg-gy, sweeter than the dawning day, 
Sweeter than gowany glens, or new-mawn hay; 
Blyther than lambs that fri.sk out o'er the knowes; 
Straughter than aught that in the forest grows: 
Her een the clearest blob o' dew outshines; 
The lily in her breast its beauty tines; 

Her legs, her arms, her cheeks, her mouth, her een, 
Will be my dead, that will be shortly seen! 
For Pate lo'es her, — wae's me! an' she lo'es Pate; 
An' I wi' Neps, by some unlucky fate. 
Made a daft vow : — 0, but ane be a beast, 
That mak's rash aiths till he's afore the priest! 

1 dar'na speak my mind, else a' the three, 
But doubt, wad prove ilk ane my enemy. 

It's sair to thole; — I'll try .some witchcraft art. 

To break wi' ane, an' win the other's heart. 

Here Mausy lives, a witch, that for sma' price 

Can cast her cantrips, an' gi'e me advice: 

She can o'ercast the night, an' cloud the moon. 

An' mak' the deils obedient to her crune: 

At midriight hours, o'er the kirkyard she raves. 

An' howks unchristened weans out o' their graves; 

Boils up their livers in a warlock's pow: 

Rins withershins about the hemlock low; 

An' seven times does her prayers backward pray. 

Till Plotcock comes wi' lumps o' Lapland clay, 

Mixt wi' the venom o' black taids an' snakes: 

0' this, unsonsy pictures aft she makes 

0' ony ane she hates, — an' gars expire 

Wi' slaw an' racking pains afore a fire: 

Stuck fu' o' prins, the devilish pictures melt; 

The pain, by fouk they represent, is felt. 

An' yonder's Mause; ay, ay, she kens fu' weel 

When ane like me comes rinning to the deil. 

She an' her cat sit becking in her yard; 

To speak my errand, faith, amaist I'm fear'd: 

But I maun do't, though I should never thrive; 

They gallop fast that deils an' lasses drive. 

[Exit. 

SCENE III. 

A green kail-yard ; a little fount. 

Where water poplin springs : 
There sits a wife wi' wrinkled front, 

An' yet she spins an' sings. 

SANG IX. 
Tune — " Carle, an' the king come." 

Peggy, now the king's come, 

Peggy, now the king's come; 
Thou shalt dance, an' I shall sing, 

Peggy, now the king's come. 



Nae mair the hawkies shalt thou milk, 
But change thy plaiden coat for silk, 

An' be a lady o' that ilk. 

Now, Pegg}% since the king's come. 

JUiifei- Bauldy. 

Ban/. How does auld honest lucky o' the glen'i 
Ye look baitli hale an' fere at thj-eescore ten. 

Mause. E'en twining out a thread wi' little din, 
An' becking my cauld limbs afore the sun. 
What brings my bairn this gate sae air at mom < 
Is there nae muck to lead? — to thresh, nae corn? 

BauL Eneugh o' baith— But something that 
requii-es 
Your helping hand, employs now a' my cares. 

Mause. JNIy helping hand! alake! what can I do. 
That underneath baith eild an' poortith bow? 

Baal. Aye, but ye're wise, an' wiser far than we, 
Or maist part o' the parish tells a lie. 

Mause. 0' what kind wisdom think j'e I'm 
possest. 
That lifts my character aboon the rest ? 

Baul. The word that gangs, how ya're sae wise 
an' fell, 
Ye'U maybe tak' it ill gif I should tell. 

Mause. What fouk say o' me, Bauldy, let me 
hear; 
Keep naething up, ye naething ha'e to fear. 

Baul. Weel, .since ye bid me, I shall teU ye a' 
That ilk ane tauks about ye, but a flaw. 
When last the wind made Glaud a roofless barn. 
When last the burn bore down my mither's yarn; 
When Brawny elf -shot never mair came hame; 
When Tibby kirned, an' there nae butter came; 
When Bessy Freetock's chuffy-cheeked wean 
To a fairy turned, an' cou'dna stan' its lane; 
When Wattie wandered ae night through the 

shaw, 
An' tint himsel amaist amang the snaw; 
When Mungo's mare stood still, an' swat wi' 

fright, 
When he brought east the howdy under night; 
When Bawsy shot to dead upon the green. 
An' Sara tint a snood was nae mair seen: 
You, lucky, gat the wyte o' a' fell out. 
An' ilk ane here dreads you, a' round about: 
An' sae they may that mean to do you skaith; 
For me to wrang you, I'll be very laith: 
But when I niest mak' groats, I'U strive to please 
You wi' a furlet o' them, mixt wi' pease. 

Mause. I thank ye, lad. — Now tell me your 
demand, 
An', if I can, I'll lend my helping hand. 

Baul. Then, I like Peggy. — Neps is fond o' me. 
Peggy likes Pate; — an' Pate is bauld an' .slee. 
An' lo'es sweet Meg. — But Neps I downa see.- 
Cou'd ye turn Patie's love to Neps, an' then 
Peggy's to me, — I'd be the happiest man! 

Mause. I'll try my art to gar the liowls row 
right; 
Sae gang your ways, an' come again at night; 



112 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



'Gainst that time I'll some simple things prepare 
Worth a' your pease an' groats; tak' ye naecare. 

Baul. Weel, Mause, I'll come, gif I the road 
can find; 
But if ye raise the deil, he'll raise the wind; 
Syne rain an' thunder, may be, when it's late, 
Will mak' the night sae mirk, I'll tyne the gate. 
We're a' to rant in Symie's at a feast; — 
will ye come, like Badrans, for a jest? 
An' there ye can our different 'liaviours spy: 
There's nane shall ken o't there but you an' I. 

Mause. It's like I may; but let nae on what's 
past 
'Tween you an' me, else fear a kittle cast. 

Baul. If I aught o' yoiu- secrets e'er advance, 
May ye ride on me ilka night to France. 

[Krit Bauldy. 

Mause her lane. 

Hai'd luck, alake! when poverty an' eild, 
Weeds out o' fashion, an' a lanely beild, 
Wi' a snia' cast o' wiles, should, in a twitch, 
Gi'e ane the hatefu' name, ^-1 tcniiHed witch. 
This fool imagines, as do mony sic, 
That I'm a wretch in compact wi' Auld Nick ; 
Because by education I was taught 
To speak an' act aboon theii" common thought. 
Their gross mistake shall quickly now appear; 
Soon shall they ken what brought, what keeps 

me here; 
Nane kens but me; — an' if the mom were come, 
I'll tell them tales will gar them a' sing dumb. 

[Exit. 

SCENE IV. 

Behind a tree upon the plain, 

Pate and his Peggy meet ; 
In love, without a vicious stain, 
The bonny lass an' cheerfu' swain 

Change vows an' kisses sweet. 

Patie and Peggy. 

Peff. Patie, let me gang, I mauna stay; 
We're baith cry'd hame, an' Jenny she's away. 
Pat. I'm laith to part sae soon, now we're 
alane, 
An' Roger he's awa wi' Jenny gane; 
They're as content, for aught I hear or see, 
To be alane thcmscls, I judge, as we. 
Here, where primroses thickest paint the green. 
Hard by this little burnio let us lean. 
Hark, how the lav'rocks chant aboon o\u- heads, 
How saft the westliii winds sough through the 
reeds I 
/V/. The scented meadows,— birds, — an' healthy 
breeze, 
Vur atight I ken, may mair than Peggy please. 

flit. Ye wrang me .sair to do>ibt my being kind ; 
III .speaking .sae, ye ca' me dull an' blind; 
(Jif I cou'd fancy aught's sae sweet or fair 
Ah my dear Meg, or worthy o' my care. 



Thy breath is sweeter than the sweetest briar, 
Thy cheek an' breast the finest flowers appear. 
Thy words excel the maist delightfu' notes. 
That warble through the merl or mavis' throats. 
Wi' thee I tent nae flowers that busk the field. 
Or ripest berries that our mountains yield. 
The sweetest fruits, that hing ui^on the tree. 
Are far inferior to a kiss o' thee. 

Peff. But Patrick for some wicked end may 

fleech, 
An' lambs should tremble when the foxes preach. 
I dar'na stay; — ye joker, let me gang; 
Anither lass may gar you change your sang; 
Your thoughts may flit, an' I may thole the wrang. 
Pat. Sooner a mother shall her fondness drap. 
An' wrang the bairn sits smiling on her lap, 
The sun shall change, the moon to change shall 

cease, 
The gaits to dim, the sheep to yield their fleece, 
Ere aught by me be either said or done. 
Shall skaith our love; I swear by a' aboon. 
Peff. Then keep your aith. — But mony lads 

will swear, 
An' be mansworn to twa in liauf a year. 
Now I believe ye like me wonder weel; 
But if a fairer face your heart shou'd steal, 
Your Meg, forsaken, bootless might relate, 
How she was dawted anes by faithless Pate. 

Pat. I'm sm-e I canna change; ye needna fear; 
Though we're but young, I've lo'ed you mony a 

year. 
I mind it weel, when thou cou'dst hardly gang, 
Or lisp out words, I choos'd ye frae the thrang 
0' a' the bairns, an' led thee by the hand 
Aft to the tansy knowe, or rashy strand, 
Thou smiling by my side : — I took delight 
To pou the rashes green, wi' roots sae white; 
0' which, as weel as my young fancy cou'd, 
For thee I plet the flowery belt an' snood. 

Peg. When first thou gade wi' shepherds to the 

hill. 
An' I to milk the ewes first tried my skill; 
To bear a leglen was nae toil to me, 
When at the bught at e'en I met wi' thee. 

Pat. When corns grew yellow, an' the heather 

bells 
Bloomed bonny on the muir, an' rising fells, 
Nae birns, or briers, or whins, e'er troubled me, 
Gif I could find blae berries ripe for thee. 

Peff. When thou didst wrestle, run, or putt the 

stane. 
An' wan the day, my heart was flight'ring fain: 
At a' these sports, thou still ga'e joy to me; 
For nane can wrestle, run, or putt wi' thee. 
Pat. Jenny sings saft the Bvoom li' Cou-den- 

l-noiven. 
An' Rosie lilts the Milkini] o' the Ewes; 
There's nane like Nancy Jennji Nettle sings; 
At turns in Maffijy IahuI'v Marion dings. 
But when my Peggy sings, wi' sweeter skill, 
The Boatman, or the Lass o' Patie''s Mill, 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



11:5 



It is a thousand times mair sweet to mc: 
Though they sing weel, they canna sing hke thee. 
Pe<j. How eith can lasses trow what tliey desire! 
An', roosed by them we love, blaws up that fire: 
But wha lo'es best, let time an' carriage try; 
Be constant, an' my love shall time defy. 
Be still as now, an' a' my care shall be. 
How to contrive what pleasant is for thee. 

SANG X. 
Tune — "The yellow haii'd laddie." 

P«0!PJ- 
When first my dear laddie gaed to the green hill, 
An' 1 at ewe-milking first sey'd my young skill, 
To bear the niilk-bovde nae pain was to me. 
When I at the blighting foregathered wi' thee. 

Patie. 
When corn-riggs waved yellow, an' blue heather- 
bells 
Bloomed bomiy on muirlaud, an' sweet rising fells, 
Nae biras, briers, or breckens ga'e trouble to me, 
(Jif I found the berries right ripened for thee. 

Peggy. 

W^hen thou ran, or wrestled, or putted the stane. 
An' cam' aff the victor, my heart was aye fain; 
Thy ilka sport manly ga'e plea.sure to me; 
For nane'can putt, wrestle, or run swift as thee. 

Patie. 
Our Jenny sings saftly the CoiiKlen-hroom-hiowes, 
An' Rosie lilts sweetly the Milking the Ewes; 
There's few Jeniiji Nettles like Nancy can sing; 
At Thro' the Wood, Laddie, Bess gars our lugs 
ring; 

But when ray dear Peggj' sings, wi' better skill, 
The Boatman, Tweedside or the Lass of the Mill, 
It's mony times sweeter, an' pleasing to me; 
For though they sing nicely, they cannot like thee. 

P<'(jgy- 

How easy can lasses trow what they desire ! 
An' praises sae kindlj' increases love's fire: 
Gi'e me still this pleasure, xn\ study shall be, 
To mak' mysel better, an' sweeter for thee. 

Pa'. Were thou a giglet gawky like the lave, 
That little better than our nowt behave; — 
At naught they'll ferly, senseless tales believe. 
Be blyth for .silly heghts, for trifles grieve; — 
Sic ne'er cou'd win my heart, that kenna how 
Either to keep a prize, or j'et prove true; 
But thou, in better sense without a flaw. 
As in thy beauty, far excels them a'. 
Continue kind, an' a' my care shall be. 
How to contrive what pleasing is for thee. 

Peg. Agreed. — But hearken! yen's auld aunty's 
cry, 
I ken they'll wonder what can mak' us stay. 



Pat. An' let them ferly. — Now a kindly kiss, 
Or fiive-score guid anes wadna be amiss; 
An' syne we'll sing the sang wi' tunefu' glee, 
That I made up last owk on you an' me. 

Peg. Sing first, sync claim your hire. — 

Pat. Weel, I agree. 

SANG XI. 

By the delicious warmness of thy mouth. 
An' rowing een, that smiling tell the truth, 
I gue.ss, my lassie, that, as wccl as I, 
You're made for love, an' why should ye deny/ 

But ken ye, lad, gin we confess o'er soon. 
Ye think us cheap, an' syne the wooing's done: 
The maiden that o'er quickly tines her power. 
Like unripe fruit, will taste but hard an' sour. 

Patie. 
But gin the}' hing o'er lang upon the tree. 
Their sweetness i\\e\ may tine; an' sae may ye. 
Red-cheeked, ye completely ripe appear. 
An' I ha'e tholed an' wooed a lang half-year. 

Peggy {singing, fa's into Patie' s arms). 

Then dinna pu' me, gently thus I fa' 
Into my Patie's arms, for good an' a'. 
But stint your wishes to this kind embrace. 
An' mint nae farrer till we've got the grace. 

Patie (iri' his left hand about her tcaist). 

O charming armfu' I hence, ye cares, away ! 
I'll kiss my treasure a' the live-lang day; 
A' night I'll dream my kisses o'er again. 
Till that day come that ye'll be a' my ain. 

Sung hy both. 
Sun, gallop down the westlin skies. 
Gang soon to bed, an' quickly rise; 
lash your steeds, post time away. 
An' haste about our bridal day! 
An' if ye're wearied, honest light. 
Sleep, g-in ye like, a week that night. 

[Exeunt. 



ACT THIRD.— SCEXE I. 

Now turn your e.ves beyond j'on spreading lime. 
An' tent a man whase beard seems bleach'd wi' time; 
An elwand fills his hand, his habit mean ; 
Nae doubt ye'll think he has a pedlar been. 
But whisht! it is the knight in masquerade. 
That comes, hid in this cloud, to see his lad. 
Obeen-e how pleas'd the loyal sufTrer moves 
Through his auld av'nues, ance delighfu" groves. 

Sir William solus. 
The gentleman, thus hid in low disguise, 
I'll for a space, unknown, delight mine eyes 
With a full view of every fertile plain. 
Which once I lost — which now are mine again. 
8 



114 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



Yet, 'midst my joy, some prospects pain renew, 
Whilst I my once fair seat in ruins view. 
Yonder, ah me ! it desolately stands 
Without a roof, the gates fallen from their bands! 
The casements aU broke down; no chimney left; 
The naked walls of tap'stry all bereft. 
My stables and pa-vilions, broken walls. 
That with each rainy blast decaying falls; 
My gardens, once adorned the most complete, 
With all tliat nature, all that art made sweet; 
Where, round tlie figured green and pebble walks. 
The dewy flowers hung nodding on their stalks; 
Biit, overgrown with nettles, docks, and brier, 
No jaccacinths or eglantines appear. 
How do those ample walls to ruin jaeld. 
Where peach and nec'trine branches foundabield, 
And basked in rays which early did produce 
Fruit fair to \aew, delightful in the use! 
All round in gaps, the most in rubbish lie, 
And from what stands tlie withered branches fly. 
These soon shall be repaired; — and now my joy 
Forbids all grief, when I'm to see my boy; 
My only prop, and object of my care, 
Since Heaven too soon called home liis mother 

fair: 
Him, ere the rays of reason cleared his thought, 
I secretly to faitliful Symon brought. 
Ami charged him strictly to conceal his birth. 
Till we should see what changing times brought 

forth. 
Hid from himself, he starts up by the dawn, 
And ranges careless o'er the height and lawn 
After his fleecy charge, serenely gay. 
With other shepherds whistling o'er the day. 
Thrice happy life ! that's from ambition free; 
Removed from crowns and courts, how cheerfully 
A calm contented mortal spends his time, 
In hearty health, his soul unstained with crime ! 

SANU XII. 
Tune — " Happy clown." 

Hid from himself, now by the dawn 
He starts as fresh as roses blown; 
And ranges o'er the heights and lawn 

After his bleating flocks. 
Healthful and innoccntl^^ gay. 
He chants and whistles oiit the day; 
Untaught to smile, and then betray, 

Like courtly weather-cocks. 

Life hajipy, from ambition free, 

Envy, and vile hypocrisy, 

Wlici-c trutli and love with joys agree, 

Unsullied with a crime; 
Unmoved witli what disturbs the great. 
In i)ropping of their pride and state, 
He lives, an<l, unafraid of fate, 

Contented spends his time. 

Now tow'rds good Symon's house I'll bend my 

way, 
And see what makes yon gamboling to-day; 



All on the green, in a fair wanton ring, 

My youthful tenants gaily dance and Sing. 

[Etit. 

SCENE XL 

It's S.vmon's house, please to step in, 

Au' vissy't round au' round : 
There's nought superfluous to gi'e pain. 

Or costl.v to be found. 
Yet a' is clean: a clear peat ingle 

Glances amidst the floor ; 
The green horn spoons, beech higgles mingle 

On skelfs foregainst the door. 
While the young brood sport m the green. 

The auld anes think it best, 
Wi' the linnvn cinv to clear their een, 

Snuff, crack, an' tak' their rest. 

Symon, Glaud, and Elspa. 

Gland. We anes were young oursels. — I like to 
see 
The bairns bob rovmd wi' other merrylie. 
Troth, Symon, Patie's grown a strapan lad, 
An' better looks than his I never bade ; 
Amang our lads he bears the gree awa', 
An' tells his tale the clev'rest o' them a'. 

Ehpa. Poor man ! — he's a great comfort to us 
Vaith; 
God mak' him gude, an' hide him aye frae skaith. 
He is a bairn, I'll say't, weel worth our care. 
That ga'e us ne'er vexation late or air. 

Gland. I tr^w, gudewife, if I be not mista'en. 
He seems to be wi' Peggy's beauty ta'en. 
An' trotli, my niece is a right dainty wean, 
As ye weel ken : a bonnier needna be, 
Nor better, — be't she were nae kin to me. 

i^jpn. Ha, Glaud ! I doubt that ne'er will be a 
match; 
My Patie's wild, an' will be ill to catch ; 
An' or he were, for reasons I'll no tell, 
I'd rather be mixt wi' the niools niysel. 

Glaud. What reason can ye ha'e? There's 
nane, I'm sure, 
Unless ye may cast up that she's but poor: 
But gif the lassie marry to my mind, 
I'll be to her as my ain Jenny kind. 
Fourscore o' breeding ewes o' my ain birn, 
Five kye that at ae milking fills a kii-n, 
I'll gi'e to Peggy that day she's a bride; 
By an' attour, gif my gnde luck abide, 
Ten lambs at spaining-time as lang's I live. 
An' twa quey cawfs, I'll yearly to them give. 

JilKpa. Ye offer fair, kind Glaud ; but dinna 
speer 
What may be is nae fit j^e yet .should hear. 

Sjpn. Or this day aught-days, likely, he shall 
learn 
That our denial disna slight his bairn. 

Gland. Weel, nae mair o't; — come, gie's the 
other bond; , 

We'll drink their healths, whatever way it end. 
{Thnr limlths gae round. 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



ii; 



Sym. But, will ye tell me, Glaud, by some 'tis 
said. 
Your niece is but a fundliiig, that was laid 
Down at your hallen-side ae mom in May, 
Right clean rowed up, an' bedded on dry hay? 
(jlkmd. That clatterin' Madge, my titty, tells 
sic flaws. 
Whene'er our Meg her cankered hunaour gaws. 

Elder Jennt. 

Jen. father, there's an' auld man on the 
green. 
The fellest fortune-teller e'er was seen: 
He tents our loofs, an' syne whups out a book. 
Turns o'er the leaves, an' gie's our brows a look ; 
Syne tells the oddest tales that e'er ye heard : 
His head is gray, an' lang an' gray his beard. 
Sijm. Gae bring him in, we'll hear what he can 
say; 
Nane shall gae hungry by my house the day. 

[Exit Jenny. 
But for his telling fortunes, troth, I fear, 
He kens nae mair o' that than my gray mare. 
Glaud. Spae-men ! the truth o' a,' their saws I 
doubt ; 
For greater liars never ran thereout. 

Jenny returns, hrinfjlncj in Sir Willi.vm; m'th 
them Patie. 

St/m. Ye're welcome, honest carle; here tak' a 

seat. 
Sir Wil. I gi'e ye thanks, gudeman, I'se no be 

blate. 
Glaud [drinh~\. Come, here's t ye, friend. — 

How far came ye the day i 
SirM'il. I pledge ye, neibour: — e'en but little 
way; 
Rousted wi' eild, a wee piece gate seems lang; 
Twa mile or three's the maist that I dow gang. 
Sym, Ye're welcome here to stay a' night wi' 
me. 
An' tak' sic bed an' board as we can gi'e. 

Sir Wil. That's kind unsought. — WeeL gin ye 
ha'e a bairn 
That ye like weel, an' wad his fortune learn, 
I shall employ the farthest o' my skill 
To spae it faithfully, be't good or ill. 

Sym. [pointiny to Patik]. Only that lad: — 
alake ! I ha'e nae mae. 
Either to mak' me joyfu' now, or wae. 

Sir Wil. Young man, let's see your hand; — 

what gars ye sneer ? 
Pat. Because your skill's b\it little worth, I fear. 
Sir Wil. Ye cut before the point, but, billy, 
bide, 
I'll wager there's a mouse-mark on your side. 
Ehpa. Betouch-us-too ! an' weel I wat that's 
true; — 
Awa, awa ! the deil's o'er grit wi' you ; — 
Four inch aneath his oxter is the mark, 
Scarce ever seen since he first wore a sark. 



Sir Wil. I'll tell yc mair: if this j'oung lad be 
spar'd 
But a short while, he'll be a braw rich laird. 
Ehjia. A laird! hear ye, gudeman — what think 

ye now ? 
Sym. I dinna ken 1 — Strange auld man, what 
art thou ? 
Fair fa' your heart, it's gude to bode o' wealth; 
Come, turn the timmer to laird Patic's health. 

[Patie's /lealtkyaes round. 
Pat. A laird o' twa g-ude whistles an' a kent, 
Twa curs, my trusty tenants on the bent, 
Is a' my great estate — an' like to be: 
Sae, cunning carle, ne'er break j'our jokes on me. 
Sym. Whisht, Patie, let the man look o'er your 
hand, 
Aft-times as broken a shiji has come to land. 

[Sir William looh a little at Patie's /land, 
then counterfeits falling into a trance, ivldle 
they endeacour to lay him right. 

El spa. Preserve's! — the man's a warlock, or 
possest 
Wi' some nae good, or second sight at least: 
Where is he now { — 

Glaud. He's seeing a' that's done 
In ilka place, beneath or yont the moon. 

Elspa. These second-sighted fouk (his peace 
be here ! ) 
See things far aff, an' things to come, as clear 
As I can see my thumb. — Wow ! can he tell 
(Speer at him, soon as he comes to himsel). 
How soon we'll see Sir William? Whisht, he 

heaves. 
An' speaks out broken words, like ane that raves. 
Sym. He'll soon grow better. — ELspa, haste ye, 
gae 
An' fill him up a tass o' uapieba). 

Sir William starts np, and speals. 

A Knight, that for a Lion fought, 

Against a herd of bears, 
Was to lang toil and trouble brought. 

In which some thousands shares. 
But now again the Lion rares. 

And joy spreads o'er the plain: 
The Lion has defeat the bears, 

The Knight returns again. 
That Knight, in a few da}-s, shall bring 

A shepherd frae the fauld. 
And shall present him to his King, 

A subject true and bauld. 
He Mr. Patrick shall be call'd:— 

All you that hear me now. 
May well believe what I have tald. 

For it shall happen true. 

Sym. Friend, may your spacing happen soon 
an' weel ; 
But, faith, I'm redd you've bargained wi' the deil, 



116 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



To tell some tales that fouks wad secret keep; 
Or, do j-oii get them tald you in your sleep '( 
Sir M'il. Howe'er I got them, never fash your 
beard, 
Xor come I to read fortimes for reward; 
But I'll lay ten to ane wi' ony here, 
That all I prophesy shall soon appear. 

Sj/m. You prophesying fouks are odd kind men! 
Tliey're here that ken, an' here that disna ken. 
The wimpled meaning o' your unco tale, 
AN^hilk soon will mak' a noise o'er muir an' dale. 
(r la lid. It's nae sma' sport to hear how Sym 
believes. 
An' tak'st for gospel what the spaeman gives 
0' flawing fortunes, whilk he evens to Pate: 
But what we wish we trow at ony rate. 
Sir IVil. Whisht! doubtfu' carle; for ere the 
sun 
Has driven twice down to the sea. 
What I have said, ye shall see done 

In part, or nae mair credit me. 
Ghiiid. Weel, be't sae, friend ; I shall say 
naething mair; 
But I've twa sonsie lasses, j'oung an' fair, 
Plump ripe for men: I wish ye cou'd foresee 
Sic fortunes for them, might prove joy to me. 
Sir W'H. Nae mair through secrets can I sift 

Till darkness black the bent: 
I ha'e but ance a daj^ that gift; 

8ae rest a while content. 
Slim. Elspa, cast on the claith, fetch butt some 
meat. 
An' o' your best gar this auld stranger eat. 

Sir Wil. Delay a while j'oin- hospitable care; 
i'd rather enjoy this evening, calm an' fair, 
Around yon ruined tower, to fetch a walk 
Wi' you, kind friend, to have some private talk. 
Sym. Soon as you please I'll answer your 
desire: — 
An', Gland, you'll tak' your pipe beside the fire;— 
We'll but gae round the place, an' soon be back, 
Syne .sup together, an' tak' our pint, and crack. 
<llavd. I'll out a while, an' see the young anes 

pi'iy; 

My heart's still light, albeit my locks be gray. 

\E.>:eant. 

SCENE III. 

Jenny pretends an errand hame; 

Voiins Roger draps the rest, 
To whisper out his mcltinj; flame. 
An" tliow Ills lass's l>reast. 
Behind a bush, weel hid frae sight, they meet. 
Sec, Jenny's laughing; Roger's like to greet. 
Poor Shepherd! 

U<)(;i:r and Jknnv. 

Uwj. Dear .Icnny, 1 wad speak t'ye, wad ye let; 
.\ii' yet I ergh, ye're aye sac sconifu' set. 

.Iin. An' what wad Roger say, if he cou'd speak? 
Am I obliged to guess what ye're to seek? 



Rog. Yes, ye may guess right eith for what I 
grien, 
Baith by my soiwice, sighs, and langing een. 
An' I maun out wi't, though 1 risk your scorn: 
Ye're never frae my thoughts, baith e'en an' mor 
Ah! cou'd I lo'e ye less, I'd happy be; 
But happier far, cou'd ye but fancy me. 

Jen. And wha kens, honest lad, but what I may? 
Ye canna say that e'er I said you nay. 

B.og. Alake! my frightened heart liegins to fail, 
Whene'er I mint to tell ye out my tale. 
For fear some tighter lad, mair rich than I, 
Has win your love, an' near your heart may lie. 

Jen. I lo'e my father, cousin Meg I love; 
But to this day nae man my mind could move : 
Except my kin, ilk lad's alike to me; 
An' frae ye a' I best had keep me free. 

Pm). How lang, dear Jenny ? — sayna that again ; 
What pleasure can ye tak' in giving pain ? 
I'm glad, however, that ye yet stand free; 
"\\1ia kens but ye may rue, an' pity me ? 

Jen. Ye ha'e my pity else, to see you set 
On that wliilk mak's our sweetness soon forget. 
Wow ! but we'i'e bonny, gude, an' evei-y thing; 
How sweet we breathe whene'er we kiss or sing ! 
But we're nae sooner fools to gi'e consent. 
Than we our daffin an' tint power repent; 
When prisoned in four wa's, a wife right tame. 
Although the first, the greatest drudge at hame. 

Rog. That only happens when, for sake o' gear 
Ane wales a wife as he wad buy a mare; 
Or when dull parents bairns together bind 
O' different tempers, that can ne'er prove kind. 
But love, true downright love, engages me 
(Though thou shou'dst scorn) still to delight in 
thee. 

Jen. What sugar'd words frae wooers' lips can 
fa'! 
But girning marriage comes an' ends them a'. 
I've seen, wi' shining fair, the morning rise. 
An' soon the sleety clouds mirk a' the skies. 
I've seen the siller spring a while rin clear. 
An' soon in mossy puddles disappear! 
The bridegroom may rejoice, the bride may smile; 
But soon contentions a' their joys beguile. 

Rog. I've seen the morning rise wi' fairest light, 
The day unclouded, sink in calmest night. 
I've seen the spring rin wimpling through the 

plain. 
Increase, an' join the ocean without stain; 
The bridegroom may be blyth, the bride may 

.smile; 
Rejoice through life, an' a' your fears beguile. 

Jen. Were I but sure ye lang wad love maintain. 
The fewest words my easy heart cou'd gain: 
For I maun own, since now at last you're free, 
Although I joked, I lo'ed your company; 
An' ever liad a warmness in my breast, 
Tliat made ye dearer to me than the rest. 

Rug. I'm happy now ! o'er happy ! baud my head ! 
This gush o' pleasure's like to be my dead. 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



117 



Come to my arms! or strike mel I'm a' fired 
Wi' wond'ring love! let's kiss till we be tired. 
Kiss, kiss! we'll kiss the sun an' starns away, 
An' ferly at the quick return o' day! 
Jenny! let my arms about thee twine. 
An' briss thy bonny breasts an' lips to mine. 

SANG XIII. 
Tune — " Leith Wynd." 

Jenny. 

Were I assured you'd constant prove, 

You should nae mair complain; 
The easy maid beset wi' love. 

Few words will quickly gain: 
For I must own, now since you're free. 

This too fond heart o' mine 
Has lang- a black-sole true to thee, 

Wished to be paired wi' thine. 

Roijer. 
I'm happy now, ah ! let my head 

Upon thy breast recline; 
The pleasure strikes me near-hand dead; 

Is Jenny then sae kind ! 
let me briss thee to my heart ! 

An' round my arms entwine: 
Delightfu' thought ! we'll never part; 

Come, press thy mouth to mine. 

Jen. Wi' equal joy my easy heart gi'es way, 
To own thy weel-tried love has won the day. 
Now, by thae warmest kisses thou hast tane. 
Swear thus to lo'e me, when by vows made ane. 

Rog. I swear by fifty thousand yet to come. 
Or may the first ane strike me deaf an' dumb, 
There sail not be a kindlier dawted wife. 
If ye agree wi' me to lead your life. 

Jen. Weel I agree: niest to my parent gae. 
Get his consent; he'll hardly say ye nay. 
Ye ha'e what will commend ye to him weel, 
Auld folks, like them, that want aye milk an' meal. 



I'line — ■" O'er Bogie." 

Weel, I agree, ye're sure o' me; 

Niest to my father gae; 
Mak' him content to gi"e consent, 

He'll hardly say ye naj^: 
For ye ha'e what he wad be at, 

And will commend ye weel. 
Since parents auld think love grows cauld, 

When bairns want milk an' meal. 

Should he deny, I carena by. 

He'd contradict in vain; 
Though a' my kin had said an' sworn, 

But thee I will ha'e nane. 
Then never range, nor learn to change, 

Like those in high degree; 
An' if you prove faithfu' in love, 

You'll find nae fau't in me. 



I R<"J. My faulds contain twice fifteen forrow 
nowt. 
As mony newcal in my byres rout; 
Five packs o' woo' I can at Lammas sell, 
Shorn frae my bob- tail bleaters on the fell; 
Gude twenty pair o' blankets for our bed, 
Wi' meikle care, mj' thrifty mither made. 
Ilk thing that mak's a heart.some house an' tight 
Was still her care, my father's great delight. 
They left me a', whilk now gi'es joy to me, 
Because I can gi'e a', my dear, to thee: 
An' had I fifty times as meikle mair, 
Nane but my Jenny should the samen skair. 
My love an' a' is yours; now hand them fast. 
An' guide them as ye like, to gar them last. 

Jen. I'lldomj'be.st. Butseewha comes this way, 
Patie an' Meg: besides, I mauna stay. 
Let's steal frae ither now, an meet the mom; 
If we be seen we'll drie a deal o' scorn. 

Rog. To where the saugh-tree shades the men- 

nin-pool, 

I'll frae the hill come down, when day grows cool. 

Keep tryst, an' meet me there: there let us meet. 

To kiss an' tell our love; there's nought sae .sweet! 

YE.ceunt. 

SCENE IV. 

This scene presents the Knight and Sym, 

M ithiu a gall'ry o' the place. 
Where a' looks ruinous an' grim; 

Nor has the baron shawn his face. 
But joking wi" his shepherd leal. 

Aft speers the gate he kens fu' weel. 

Sir William and Symon. 

.S(V 117/. To whom belongs this house so much 
decayed ? 

Sjim. To ane that lost it, lending generous aid 
To bear the head up, when rebellious tail 
Against the laws o' nature did prevail. 
Sir William Worthy is our master's name, 
Whilk fills us a' wi' joy now he's come hame. 

(Sir AVilliam draps his masking beard; 

Simon, transported, Fees 
Tlie welcome knight, wi' fond regard. 

An' grasps him round the knees. ) 

My master! my dear master! Do I breathe 
To see him healthy, strong, an' free frae skaith ! 
Returned to cheer his wishing tenants' sight ! 
To bless his son, my charge, the warld's delight ! 

SivWil. Rise, faithful Symon; in my arms enjoy 
A place thy due, kind guardian of my boy : 
I came to view thy care in this disguise. 
And am confirmed thy conduct has been wise; 
Since still the .secret thovi'st securely sealed, 
And ne'er to him his real bii-th revealed. 

Sjim. The due obedience to your strict command 
Was the first lock; niest my ain judgment fand 
Out reasons plenty; since, without estate, 
A youth, though sprung frae kings, looks bauch 
an' blate — 



118 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Sir Wil. And often vain and idly spend their 
time, 
Till, grown unfit for action, past their prime, 
Hang on their friends, which gives their souls a 

cast 
That tm-ns them downright beggars at the last. 

St/m. Now, weel I wat, sir, ye ha'e spoken true; 
For there's laird Kyttie's son, that's lo'ed by few. 
His father steght his fortune in his wame, 
An' left his heir nought but a gentle name. 
He gangs about, soman frae place to place, 
As scrimpt o' manners as o' sense an' grace: 
Oppressing a', as punishment o' their sin, 
That are within his tenth degree o' kin; 
Rins in ilka trader's debt, wha's sae unjust 
To his ain family as to gi'e him trust. 

Sir 117/. Such useless branches of a common- 
wealth 
Should be lopt off, to give a state more health, 
Unworthy bare reflection. Sj'mon, run 
O'er all yom- observations on my son : 
A parent's fondness easily finds excuse, 
But do not, with indulgence, truth abuse. 

Sj/m. To speak his praise, the langest simmer 
day 
Wad be o'er short, could I them right disjjlay. 
In word an' deed he can sae weel behave. 
That out o' sight he rins afore the lave; 
An' when there's ony quarrel or contest, 
Patrick's made judge, to tell whase cause is best; 
An' his decreet stands gude: he'll gar it stand; 
Wha dares to grumble finds his correcting hand. 
\Vi' a firm look, an' a commanding way. 
He gars the proudest o' ovu' herds obey. 

Sir 1 1 7/. Your tale much pleases. My good 
friend, proceed. 
What learning has he? Can he write and read' 
Si/iJi. Baith wonder weel; for, troth, I didna 
spare 
To gi'e him, at the school, eneugh o' lair; 
An' he delights in books. He reads an' speaks, 
Wi' fouks that ken them, Latin words an' Greeks. 
Sir Wi/. Where gets he books to read? and of 
what kind ? 
Though some give light, some V)lindly lead the 
blind. 
Si/m. Whene'er he drives our sheep to Edin- 
burgh port. 
Ho buys .some books o' history, sangs, or sport: 
Nor does he want o' them a rowth at will, 
An' carries ay a poutchfu' to the hill. 
About ane Shakspero, an' a famous Ben, 
He aftcii sjicaks, an' ca's them licst o' men. 
How sweetly Hawthorndcn an' Stirling sing; 
An' anu ca'd Cowley, loyal to his king, 
He kens fu' weel, an' gars their verses ring. 
1 Honietinics thought he made ower great a phrase 
AV)out fine poems, histories, an' plays: 
Wlien 1 reproved him ance, a book he brings, 
"Wi* this," quoth he, "on braes I crack wi' 
kings." 



Sir Wil. He answered well; and much ye glad 
my ear. 
When such accounts I of my shepherd hear. 
Reading such books can raise a peasant's mind 
Above a lord's that is not thus inclined. 

Sj/m. What ken we better, that sae sindle look. 
Except on rainy Sundays, on a book ? 
When we a leaf or twa half read, half spell, 
Till a' the rest sleep round, as weel's oursel. 
Sir Wil. Well jested, Symon. But one ques- 
tion more 
I'll only ask ye now, and then give o'er. 
The youth's arrived the age when little loves 
Flighter around young hearts, like cooing doves: 
Has nae young lassie, with inviting mien 
And rosy cheeks, the wonder o' the green. 
Engaged his look, an' caught his youthful heart? 
Si/m. I feared the warst, but kend the sma'est 
part, 
Till late I saw him twa three times mair sweet 
Wi' Gland's fair niece, than I thought right or 

meet. 
I had my fears, but now ha'e nought to fear, 
Since, like yoursel, your son will soon aj^pear. 
A gentleman, enrich'd wi' a' thae channs, 
May bless the fairest, best-born lady's arms. 
Sir Wil. This night must end his unambitious 
fire. 
When higher views shall greater thoughts inspu'e. 
Go, Symon, bring him quickly here to me; 
None but yourself shall our first meeting see. 
Yonder's my horse and servants nigh at hand; 
They come just at the time I gave command. 
Straight in my own apparel I'll go dress: 
Now ye the secret may to all confess. 

S>/vi. Wi' how much joy I on this errand flee. 
There's nane can ken that is no downright me. 

[E.vit Sym(1N. 

Sir Willi.vm .wlus. 

Whene'er the event of hope's success appears. 
One happy hour cancels the toil of years; 
A thousand toils are lost in Lethe's stream, 
And cares evanish like a morning dream; 
When wished-for pleasures rise like morning 

light, 
The pain that's past enhances the delight. 
These joys I feel, that words can ill express, 
I ne'er had known, without my late distress. 
But from his rustic business and love, 
I must, in haste, my Pati-ick soon remove, 
To courts and camps that may his soul improve, 
Like the rough diamond, as it leaves the mine, 

Only in little breakings shows its light. 
Till artful polishing has made it shine: 

Thus education makes the genius bright. 

S.VNG XV. 
Time—" Wat ye wha I met yestreen?" 

Now from rusticity and love. 

Whose flames but over lowly burn, 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



119 



My Gentle Shepherd must he drove, 
His soul must take another turn. 

As the rough diamond from the mine, 
In breakings only shows its light, 

Till polishing has made it shine, 

Thus learning- makes the genius bright. 

[Exit. 

ACT FOURTH.— SC EXE I. 

The scene described in former page. 
Gland's onset.— Enter Slause an" Madfje- 

Mause and Madgio. 

Madge. Our laird's come hame ! an' owns young- 
Pate his heir. 

Mause. That's news indeed! — 

Madge. As true as ye stand there. 
As they were dancing a' in Symon's yard, 
Sii- William, like a warlock, wi' a beard 
Five nieves in length, an' white as driven snaw, 
Amang us cam', cried. Hand ye mcrrij a ! 
We ferly'd meikle at his unco look, 
While frae his pouch he whirled out a book. 
As we stood round about him on the green, 
He viewed us a', but fixt on Pate his een; 
Then pawkily pretended he could spae. 
Yet for his pains an' skill wad nacthing ha'e. 

Mause. Then sure the lasses, an' ilk gaining 
coof, 
Wad rin about him, an' baud out their loof. 

Madge. As fast as flaes skip to the tate o' woo, 
Whilk slee tod-lowrie bauds without his mou, 
When he, to drown them, an' his hips to cool, 
In simmer days slides backward in a pool: 
In short, he did for Pate braw things foretell, 
Without the help o' conjuring or spell. 
At last, when weel diverted, he withdrew, 
Pu'd aff his beard to Symon: Symon knew 
His welcome master; round his knees he gat. 
Hung at his coat, an' syne, for Ijlj'thness, grat. 
Patrick was sent for: happy lad is he! 
Symon tald ELspa, Elspa tald it me. 
Ye'll hear out a' the secret story soon : 
An' troth, it's e'en right odd, when a' is done. 
To think how Symon ne'er afore wad tell, — 
Na, no sae meikle as to Pate himsel. 
Our Meg, poor thing, alake! has lost her jo. 

Mause. It may be sae, wha kens.' an' may he no. 
To lift a love that's rooted is great pain: 
Even kings ha'e tane a queen out o' the plain; 
An' what has been before may be again. 

Madge. Sic nonsense! love tak' root, but tocher 
gude, 
'Tween a herd's bairn an' ane o' gentle bluid ! 
Sic fashions in King Bruce's days might be. 
But siccan ferlies now we never see. 

Mause. Gif Pate forsakes her, Bauldy she may 
gain : 
Yonder he comes, an' wow but he looks fain! 
Nae doubt he thinks that Peggy's now his ain. 



Madge. He get her! slaverin' doof ! it sets him 
weel 
To yoke a pleugh where Patrick thought to teel. 
Gif I were Meg, I'd let young master see 

Mause. Ye'd be as dorty in your choice as he; 
An' sae wad I. But, whisht! here Bauldy comes. 

Enter Bauldy, singing. 



Jocky said to Jenny, Jenny, wilt thou do't.' 
Ne'er a fit, quo' Jenny, for my tocher gude. 
For my tocher gude, I winna marry thee. 
E'en's ye like, quo' Jocky, I can let ye be. 

Mause. Weel liltit, Bauldy; that's a dainty sang! 
Bald. I'se gi'e ye't a: it's better than it's lang. 

[Sings again. ^ 

I ha'e gowd an' gear, I ha'e land eneugh, 
I ha'e sax guid owsen ganging in a pleugh; 
Ganging in a pleugh, an' linkin' o'er the lee, 
An' gin ye winna tak' me, I can let ye be. 

I ha'e a good ha'-house, a barn, an' a bjTe; 
A peat-stack 'fore the door, will mak'a rantin' fire; 
I'll mak' a rantin' fire, and merry sail we be, 
An' gin ye winna tak' me, I can let ye be. 

Jenny said to Jocky, Gin ye winna tell. 
Ye sail be the lad, I'll be the lass mysel; 
Ye're a bonny lad, an' I'm a lassie free ; 
Ye'ro welcomer to tak' me, than to let me be. 

I trow sae; lasses will come to at last. 

Though for awhile tliey maun their snaw-ba's cast. 

Mause. Weel, Bauldy, how gaes a' ? — 

Baul. Faith, unco right: 
I hope we'll a' sleep sound but ane this night. 

Madge. An' wha's the unlucky ane, if we may 
ask ? 

Baul. To find out that is nae difficult task: — 
Poor bonny Peggy, wha maun think nae mair 
On Pate turned Patrick, an' Sir William's heir. 
Now, now, gude Madge, an' honest Mause, stand 

be, 
While Meg's in dumps, put in a word for me. 
I'll be as kind as ever Pate could prove. 
Less wilfu', an' aye constant in my love. 

Madge. As Neps can witness, an' the bushy 
thorn. 
Where mony a time to her your heart was sworn. 
Fy! Bauldy, blush, an' vows o' love regard; 
What ither lass will trow a mansworn herd ] 
The curse o' Heaven liings aye aboon their heads. 
That's ever guilty o' sic sinfu' deeds. 
I'll ne'er advise my niece sae gray a gait; 
Nor will she be advised, fu' weel I wnt. 

Baul. Sae gray a gait ! mansworn ! an' a' the 
rest ! 
Ye lied, auld roudcs! an", in faith, had best 



lao 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Eat in your words; else I shall g-ar ye stand, 
Wi' a het face, afore the haly band. 
Madge. Ye'll gar me stand ! ye shevelling-gabbit 
brock ! 
Speak that again, an', trembling, dread my rock, 
An' ten sharp nails, that, when my hands are in, 
Can flyp the skin o' yer cheeks out o'er yer chin. 
Baul. I tak' ye witness, Manse, ye heard her 
say 
That I'm mansworn. I winna let it gae. 

Madge. Ye're witness, too, he ca'd me bonny 
names. 
An' should be served as his gude breeding claims. 
Ye filthy dog!— 

[Fkeg to his hair like a fury. A stout battle. 
Mause endeavours to redd them. 
Alause. Let gang your grips ! Fy, Madge ! howt, 

Bauldy, leen ! 
I wadna wish this tulzie had been seen. 
It's sae daft-like. — 

[Bauldy gets out of Madge's dutches with a 
bleeding nose. 
Madge. It's dafter like to thole 
An ether-cap like him to blaw the coal. 
It sets him weel, wi' vile unscrapit tongue. 
To cast up whether I be auld or young; 
They're aulder yet than I ha'e married been. 
An', or they died, then- bairns' bairns ha'e seen. 
Mause. That's true; — an', Bauldy, ye was far 
to blame. 
To ca' Madge aiight but her ain christened name. 
Baul. My lugs, my nose, an' noddle find the 

same. 
Madge. Auld roudes ! filthy fallow, I sail 

auld ye ! 
Mause. Howt, no ! ye'll e'en be friends wi' 
honest Bauldy. 
(!ome, come, shake hands; this maun nae farder 

gae. 
Yc maun forgi'e'm ; I see the lad looks wae. 
Baid. In troth now, Mause, I ha'e at Madge 
nac spite; 
Hut she abusing first was a' the wyte 
O' what has happened, an' should therefore crave 
My pardon first, an' shall acquittance have. 
Meulge. I crave your pardon! gallows-face, gae 
greet, 
An' own your faut to her that ye wad cheat; 
(lae, or be blasted in your health an' gear. 
Till ye learn to perfonn as weel as swear. 
Vow, an' loup back! was e'er the like heard tell? 
Switli, tak' him, deil; he'.s o'er lang out o' hell! 
Ikial. [running tijf]. His presence be about us! 
curst wore ho 
Tliat were condernnod for life to live wi' thee. 

[E.nt Bauldy. 
Madge [laughing]. I t'link I've towzcd his hari- 
galds a wee; 
llo'll no Hoon grien to tell his love to mc. 
Hc'h hut a rascal, that wad mint to serve 
A loHsic sac; he does Imt ill deserve. 



Mause. Ye towin'd him tightly. I commend 
ye for't; 
His blooding snout ga'e me nae little sport: 
For this forenoon he had that scant o' grace, 
An' breeding baith, to tell me to my face. 
He hoped I was a witch, an' wadna stand 
To lend him, in this case, my helping hand. 

Madge. A witch ! how had j'e patience this to 
bear. 
An' leave him een to see, or lugs to hear? 

Mause. Auld withered hands, an' feeble joints 
like mine, 
Obliges fouk resentment to decline; 
Till aft it's seen, when vigour fails, then we 
Wi' cunning can the lake o' pith supplie. 
Thus I pat aff revenge till it was dark, 
Syne bade him come, an' we should gang to wark. 
I'm sure he'll keep his tryst; an' I cam' here 
To seek your help, that we the fool may fear. 

Madge. An' special sport we'll ha'e, as I protest; 
Ye'll be the witch, an' I sail play the ghaist. 
A linen sheet wound round me, like ane dead, 
I'll cawk my face, an' grane, an' shake my head. 
We'll fleg him sae, he'll mint nae mair to gang 
A conjuring, to do a lassie wrang. 

Mause. Then let us gae; for see, it's hard on 
night. 
The westlin clouds shine red wi' setting light. 

[Exeunt. 

SCENE II. 

AVhen birds begin to nod upon the bough. 

An" the green swaird grows damp wi' falling dew. 

While gude Sir William is to rest retired, 

The Gentle Shepherd, tenderly inspired, 

AValks through the broom wl' Roger ever leal, 

To meet, to comfort Meg, an' tak' fareweel. 

Patie and Roger. 

ll(i(/. Wow but I'm cadgie, an' my heart loups 
' light! 
Oh, Maister Patrick ! ay, your thoughts were right. 
Sure gentle fouk are farder seen than we, 
That naething ha'e to brag o' pedigree. 
My Jenny now, wha brak' my heart this morn. 
Is perfect yielding, sweet, an' nae mair scorn. 
I spak' my mind; she hoard. I spak' again; 
She smiled. I kissed, I wooed, nor wooed iu vain. 

Pat. I'm glad to hear't. But oh ! my change 
this day 
Heaves \ip my joy, an' yet I'm sometimes wae. 
I've found a father gently kind as brave, 
An' an estate that lifts me 'boon the lave. 
Wi' looks a' kindness, words that love confest. 
He a' the father to my soul exprest. 
While close he held me to his manly breast. 
"Such were the eyes," he said, "thus smiled the 

mouth 
Of thy loved mother, blessing of my youth. 
Who set too soon!" An' while he prai.se bestowed, 
Adown his gracefu' cheeks a torrent flowed. 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



121 



My new-bom joys, an' this his tender tale, 
Did, mingled thus, o'er a' my thoughts prevail; 
That speechless lang, my late ken'd sire I viewed, 
While gushing tears my panting breast bedewed. 
Unusual transports made my head turn round, 
Whilst I mysel', wi' rising raptures, found 
The happy son o' ane sae much renowned. 
But he has heard! — Too faithful Symon's fear 
Has brought my love for Peggy to his ear, 
Which he forbids. Ah! this confounds my peace, 
While thus to beat, my heart shall sooner cease. 

Roij. How to advise ye, troth, I'm at a stand; 
But were't my case, ye'd clear it up aff hand. 

Pa(. Duty, an' haflins reason, plead his cause: 
But what cares love for reason, rules, an' laws ? 
Still in my heart my shepherdess excels, 
An' part o' my new happiness repels. 

SANG XVII. 
Tune — " Kirk wad let me be." 

Duty an' part o' reason 

Pleads strong on the parent's side, 
Which love so superior ca's treason; 

The strongest must be obeyed: 
For now, though I'm ane o' the gentry. 

My constancy falsehood repels, 
For change in my heart has no entry. 

Still there my dear Peggy excels. 

liog. Enjoy them baith: Sii' William will be 
won. 
Your Peggy's bonny; you're his only son. 

Pat. She's mine by vows, an' stronger ties o' 
love ; 
An' frae these bands nae change my mind shall 

move. 
Ill wed nane else; through life I will be true: 
But still obedience is a parent's due. 

/?«(/. Is not our master an' yoursel to stay 
Amang us here ? or, are ye gawn away 
To London court, or ither far aff parts. 
To leave your ain poor us wi' broken hearts ? 

Pal. To Edinburgh straight to-morrow we 
advance; 
To London niest, an' afterwards to France, 
Wliere I maun stay some years an' leani to dance, 
An' twa-tlu-ee other monkey tricks. That done, 
I come hanie strutting in my red-heeled .slioon. 
Then it's designed, when I can weel behave, 
That I maun be some petted thing's dull slave. 
For twa-three bags o' cash, that, I wat weel, 
I nae mair need nor carts do a third wheel. 
But Peggy, dearer to me than my breath. 
Sooner than hear sic news, shall hear my death. 

Rog. "They wha ha'e just eneugh can soundly 
sleep; 
The o'ercome only fashes fouk to keep:" 
(lude Maister Patrick, tak' your ain tale liame. 

Pat. What was my morning thought, at night's 
the same: 
The poor an' rich but differ in the name. 



Content's the greatest bliss we can procure 
Frae 'boon the UfL; without it kings are poor. 

Rog. But an estate like yours jdelds braw con- 
tent, 
Wlien we but pick it scantly on the bent: 
Fine claiths, saf t beds, sweet houses, an' red wine, 
Gude cheer, an' witty frien's, whene'er ye dine; 
Obeysant sei-vants, honour, wealth, an' ease, — 
Wha's no content wi' thae are ill to please. 

Pat. Sae Roger thinks, an' thinks no far ami.s.s: 
But mony a cloud hings hov'ring o'er the bliss. 
The passions rule the roast; an', if they're sour, 
Like the lean kye, will soon the fat devour. 
The spleen, tint honour, an' affronted pride, 
Stang like the shai-pest goads in gentry's side. 
The gouts an' gravels, an' the ill disease, 
Are frequentest wi' fouk o'erlaid wi' ease: 
While o'er the muir the shepherd, wi' less care. 
Enjoys his sober wish, an' halesome air. 

Rog. Lord, man ! I wonder aye, an' it delights 
My heart, whene'er I hearken to your flights. 
How gat ye a' that sense, I fain wad hear, 
That I may easier disappointments bear ? 

Pat. Frae books, the wale o' books, I gat some 
skill ; 
Thae best can teach what's real gude an' ill. 
Ne'er grudge, ilk year, to ware some stanes o" 

cheese. 
To gain thae silent friends, that ever please. 

Rog. I'll do't, an' ye sail tell me whilk to buy: 
Faith, I'se ha'e books, though I should sell my 

kye. ^ 
But now let's hear how you're designed to move. 
Between Sir William's will an' Peggy's love. 

Pat. Then here it lies: his will maun be obeyed. 
My vows I'll keep, an' she shall be my bride; 
But I some time this last design maun hide. 
Keep ye the secret close, an' leave me here; 
I sent for Peggy. Yonder comes my dear. 

Rog. Pleased that ye trust me wi' the secret, I, 
To wyle it frae me, a' the deils defy. 

[E.i'it Roger. 

Patik solas. 

Wi' what a struggle maun I now impart 
My father's will to her that hands my heart ! 
I ken she lo'es, an' her .saft saul will sink. 
While it stands trembling on the hated brink 
0' disappointment. Heaven .support my fair, 
An' let her comfort claim j'our tendei- care ! 
Her eyes are red ! — 

Enter PiXiCY. 

My Peggj', why in tears '] 
Smile as ye wont, allow nae room for feai-s : 
Though I'm nae niair a shepherd, j'ct I'm thine. 

Pig. I dania think sae high. I now repine 
At the unhappy chance that made na me 
A gentle match, or still a herd kept thee. 
Wha can, withouten pain, see frae the coast 
The ship that bears his a' like to be lost ? 



122 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



Like to he carried by some reiver's hand, 
Far frae his wishes, to some distant land ? 
Pat. Ne'er quaiTel Fate, whilst it wi' me 

remains 
To raise thee up, or still attend thae plains. 
ily father has forbid our loves, I own ; 
But love's supei-ior to a pai-ent's frown. 
I falsehood hate: come, kiss thy cares away; 
I ken to love as weel as to obey. 
Sir William's gen'rous; leave the task to me, 
To mak' strict duty an' true love agree. 

Pey. Speak on ! speak ever thus, an' still my 

grief ; 
But short I daur to hope the fond relief. 
New thoughts a gentler face will soon inspire, 
That wi' nice air swims round in silk attire; 
Then I, poor me ! wi' sighs may ban my fate. 
When the young laird's nae mair my heartsome 

Pate; 
Nae mail' again to hear sweet tales exprest. 
By the blythe shepherd that excelled the rest; 
Nae man- be envied by the tatthng gang, 
WTien Patie kissed me, when I danced or sang. 
Nae mair, alake ! we'll on the meadow play. 
An' rin half breathless round the rucks o' hay; 
As aft-times I ha'e fled frae thee right fain, 
An' fa'n on purpose, that I might be ta'en. 
Nae mair around the foggy knowe I'll creep. 
To watch an' stare upon thee while a.sleep. 
But hear my vow, 'twill help to gi'e me ease: 
May sudden death, or deadly sair disease, 
An' warst o' ills attend my wretched life. 
If e'er to ane, but you, I be a wife ! 

SANG XVIII. 
Tane—" Wae's my heart that we sliouUl suiuler." 
Speak on, sjieak thus, an' still my grief, 

Haud up a heart that's sinking under 
Thae fears, that soon will want relief, 

When Pate maun frae his Peggy sunder: 
A gentler face, an' silk attire, 

A lady rich, in beauty's blossom, 
Alake, poor me ! will now conspire 

To steal thee frae thy Peggy's bosom. 

Nae mair the .shepherd, wha excelled 

The rest, whase wit made them to wonder. 
Shall now his Peggy's praises toll : 

Ah ! I can die, but never sunder. 
Ye meadows where we aften strayed, 

Ye banks whore we were wont to wander, 
Swcct-scentod rucks round which we play'd. 

You'll lose your sweets when we're asiuider. 

Again, ah ! shall I never creep 

Around the knowe wi' silent duty. 
Kindly to watch thee while a.sleoj). 

An' wonder at tliy manly beauty? 
Hear, Heaven, while solemnly I vow, 

Thougl) tliou .shoulilst ]>rove a wandering lover, 
Through life to thee I shall jirove true, 

Nor be a wife to any other ! 



Paf. Sure Heaven approves; an' be assured 
o' me, 
I'll ne'er gang back o' what I've sworn to thee: 
An' time, though time maun interpose a while, 
An' I maun leave my Peggy an' this isle; 
Yet time, nor distance, nor the fairest face, 
If there's a fairer, e'er shall fill thy place. 
I'd hate my rising fortune, should it move 
The fair foundation o' our faithfu' love. 
If at my feet were crowns an' sceptres laid. 
To bribe my saul frae thee, delightfu' maid ! 
For thee I'd soon leave thae inferior things, 
To sic as ha'e the patience to be kings. — 
Wherefore that tear ? Believe, an' calm thy mind. 

Pel/. I greet for joy to hear thy words sae kind. 
When hopes were sunk, an' nought but mu-k 

despair 
Made me think life was little worth my care. 
My heart was like to burst; but now I see 
Thy generous thoughts will save thy love for me. 
Wi' patience, then, I'll wait ilk wheeling year, 
Hope time away, till thou wi' joy appear; 
An' a' the while I'll study gentler charms, 
To mak' me fitter for my traveller's amis: 
I'll gain on uncle Glaud; he's far frae fool, 
An' will not grudge to put me through ilk school. 
Where I may manners learn. 



Tu lie — ' 'Tweed-side. " 

When hope was quite sunk in despair. 

My heart it was going to break; 
My life appeared worthless my care, 

But now I will save't for thy sake. 
Where'er my love travels by day. 

Wherever he lodges by night, 
W^i' me his dear image shall stay. 

An' my saul keep him ever in sight. 

Wi' patience I'll wait the lang year. 

An' study the gentlest o' charms; 
Hope time away, till thou appear. 

To lock thee for aye in these arms. 
Whilst thou wast a shepherd, I prized 

Nae higher degree in this hfe; 
But now I'll endeavour to rise 

To a height that's becoming thy wife. 

For beauty, that's only skin deep. 

Must fade like the go wans in May; 
But inwai-dly rooted, will keep 

For ever without a decay. 
Nor age, nor the changes o' life, 

Can quench the fair fire o' love. 
If virtue's ingrained in the wife, 

An' the husband has sense to approve. 

Pal. That's wisely said; 
An' what he wares that way shall be weel paid. 
Though, without a' the little helps o' art. 
Thy native sweets might gain a prince's heart. 



ALLAN RAMSAY 



123 



Yet now, lest in our station we offend. 

We must learn modes to innocence unkend; 

Affect at times to like the thing we hate, 

An' drap serenity to keep uj) state; 

Laugh when we're sad, speak when we've nought 

to say. 
An', for the fashion, when we're Wythe, seem 

wae; 
Pay compliments to them we aft ha'e scorned. 
Then scandalize them when their backs are turned. 

Peff. If this is gentry, I wad rather he 
What I am still; but I'll be aught wi' thee. 

Pat. Nae, nae, my Peggy, I but only jest 
Wi' gentry's apes; for still, amangst the best. 
Good manners gi'e integrity a bleeze, 
"When native virtues join the arts to please. 

Peff. Since wi' nae hazard, an' sae sma' expense. 
My lad frae books can gather siccan sense, 
Then why, ah! why should the tempestuous sea 
Endanger thy dear life, an' frighten me ? 
Sir William's cniel, that wad force his son, 
For watna-whats, sae gi'eat a risk to run. 

Pat. There is nae doubt but travelling does 
imi>rove; 
Yet I wad shun it for thy sake, my love. 
But soon as I've shook aff my landart cast 
In foreign cities, hame to thee I'll haste. 

Pe;/. Wi' every setting day an' rising morn, 
I'll kneel to Heaven, an' ask thy safe return. 
Under that tree, an' on the Suckler brae, 
Whei-e aft we wont, when bau-ns, to rin an' play; 
An' to the Hissel-shaw, where first ye vowed 
Ye wad be mine, an' I as eithly trowed, 
I'll aften gang, an' tell the trees an' flowers, 
Wi' joy, that they'll bear witness I am yours. 

SANG XX. 
Tune — "Bush aboon Traquair. 

At setting day, an' rising morn, 

Wi' saul that still shall love thee, 
I'll ask o' Heaven thy safe return, 

Wi' a' that can improve thee. 
I'll visit aft the birken bush, 

Where first thou kindly tald me 
Sweet tales o' love, an' hid my blush, 

Whilst round thou didst iiifald me. 

To a' our haunts I will repaii', 

To gi'eenwood, shaw, or fountain; 
Or where the simmer-day I'd share 

Wi' thee upon yon mountain. 
There will I tell the trees an' flowers, 

Frae thoughts unfeigned an' tender. 
By vows your mine, by love is yours 

A heart that cannot wander. 

Paf. My dear, allow me, frae thy temples fair, 
A shining ringlet o' thy flowing hair. 
Which, as a sample o' each lovely charm, 
I'll aften kiss, an' wear about my arm. 



Per/. Were't in my power, wi' better boons to 
please, 
I'd gi'e the best I could wi' the same case; 
Nor wad I, if thy luck had fa 'en to me, 
Been in ae jot less generous to thee. 

Paf. I doubt it no; but since we've little time. 
To ware't on words wad border on a crime: 
Love's safter meaning lietter is e.xprest, 
When it's wi' kisses on the heart imprest. 

[Exeunt. 



ACT FIFTH.— SCENE I. 

.See how poor Bauldy stares, like ane possest, 
An' roars up Symon frae his kiudlj- rest: 
Bare-legg'd, wi' night-cap, an' unbuttoned coat. 
See, the auld man comes forward to the sot. 

Stmon and Bauldy. 

Si/m. What want ye, Bauldy, at this earl\- 
hour. 
While drowsy sleep keeps a' beneath it's power ? 
Far to the north the scant approaching light 
Stan's equal 'twixt the morning an' the night. 
What gars ye shake, an' glow'r, an' look sae wan? 
Your teeth they chitter, hair like bristles stan'. 

Baal. len' me soon some water, milk, or ale! 
My head's grown dizzy, legs wi' shaking fail ; 
I'll ne'er dare venture out at night my lane ! 
Alake ! I'll never be mysel again ! 
I'll ne'er o'erjjut it, Symon ! Oh, Symon ! Oh ! 

[Stmox ya-cs him a diiuL-. 

Si/m. AYhat ails thee, gowk ! to mak' sae loud 
ado ? 
You've waked Sir William; he has left his bed. 
He comes, I fear, ill -pleased : I hear his tread. 

Enter Sir William. 

Sir W)l. How goes the night? Does daylight 
yet appear .' — 
Symon, you're vei-y timeously asteer. 

S>/in. I'm sorry, sir, that we've disturbed your 
rest; 
But some strange thing has Bauldy 's sp'rit op- 

prest : 
He's seen some vntch, or warsled wi' a ghaist. 

Banl. ay, dear sir, in troth it's very true, 
An' I am come to mak' my plaint to you. 

Sir Wil. [smilinr/'\. I lang to hear't. 

Bauf. Ah, sir! the witch ea'd Mause, 
That wins aboon the mill amang the haws, 
First promised that she'd help me, wi' her- art, 
To gain a bonny thrawart lassie's heart. 
As she had trysted, I met wi' her this nisrht; 
But may nae friend o' mine get sic a fright I 
For the curst hag, instead o' doing me gnde, 
(The very thought o't's like to freeze my bluid !) 
Raised up a ghaist, or deil, I kenna whilk. 
Like a dead corse, in sheet as white as milk; 



124 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



Black hands it had, an' face as wan as death. 
Upon me fast the witch an' it fell baith, 
An' gat me down; while I, like a great fool, 
Was laboured as I used to be at school. 
My heart out o' its hool was like to loup, 
I pithless grew wi' fear, an' had nae houp, 
TOl wi' an elritch laugh they vanished quite 
SjTie I, haff dead wi' anger, fear, an' spite, 
Crap up, an' fled straught frae them, sir, to you, 
Houping your help to gi'e the deil his due. 
I'm sure my heart will ne'er gi'e o'er to dunt, 
Till in a fat tar-barrel Mause be bi-unt. 

Sir Wil. Well, Bauldy, whate'er's just shall 
granted be. 
Let Mause be brought this morning down to me. 

Baul. Thanks to your honour, soon shall I 
obey; 
But first I'll Roger raise, an' twa three mae, 
To catch her fii'st, ere she get leave to squeal, 
An' cast her cantrips that bring up the deil. 

[Kdt 

Sir 117/. Troth, Symon, Bauldy 's more afraid 

than hvu-t; 
The witch and ghaist have made themselves good 

sport. 
What sill}' notions crowd the clouded mind 
That is through want of education blind ! 

S;i/m. But does your honour think there's nae 

sic thing, 
As witches raising deils up through a ring. 
Syne playing tricks? A thousand I could tell, 
Could never be contrived on this side hell. 

Sir 1(7/. Such as the devil's dancing in a muir, 
Amongst a few old women, crazed and poor, 
Who are rejoiced to see him frisk and loup 
O'er braes and bogs, with candles in his dowp; 
Appearing sometimes like a black -horned cow, 
Aft-times like bawty, bawdrans, or a sow. 
Then with his train through airy paths to glide. 
While they on cats, or cIdwus, or broom-staffs 

ride; 
Or in an egg-shell skim out o'er the main, 
To drink their leader's health in France or Spain; 
Then oft, by night, bumljaze hard-hearted fools, 
By tumbling down their cupboards, chairs, and 

stools. 
Whate'er's in spells, or if there witches be. 
Such whimsies seem the most absurd to me. 
Si/iii. It's true cneugh, we ne'er heard that a 

witch 
Had either meikle sense, or yet was rich; 
But Mause, though poor, is a sagacious wife. 
An' lives a quiet an' very honest life. 
That gars me think this hobbleshew that's past. 
Will end in nacthing but a joke at last. 
,SVc M'i/. I'm sure it will. But see, increasing 

light 
Commands the imps of darkness down to night. 
Hid raise my .servants, and my Iiorse prei>are, 
Whilst I walk out to take the morning air. 



SANG XXI. 
Tune — 'Bonny gvay-ey'd morn." 

The bonny gray-eyed morn begins to peep, 

And darkness flies before the rising ray ; 
The hearty hynd starts from his lazy sleep, 

To follow healthful labours of the day; 
Without a guilty sting to wrinkle his brow. 

The lark and the linnet tend his levee, 
And he joins their concert driving his plough. 

From toil of grimace and pageantry free. 

While flustered with wine, or maddened with loss 

Of half an estate, the prey of a main. 
The drunkard and gamester tumble and toss, 

Wishing for calmness and slumber in vain. 
Be my portion health and quietness of mind. 

Placed at a due distance from jmrties and state. 
Where neither ambition, nor avarice blind. 

Reach him who has happiness linked to his fate. 

[£xeit>il. 

SCENE II. 

While Peggy laces up her bosom fair, 
Wi' a blue snood Jenny binds up her hair: 
Glaud, by his moraiug ingle, tak's a beek, 
The rising sun shines motty through the reek ; 
A pipe his mouth, the lasses please his een, 
An' now an' then his joke maun intervene. 

Glaud, Jknny, and Peggy. 

(llaud. I wish, my bairns, it may keep fair till 
night; 
Ye dinna use sae soon to see the light. 
Nae doubt, now, ye intend to mix the thrang. 
To tak' your leave o' Patrick or he gang. 
But do ye think, that now, when he's a laird. 
That he poor landwart lasses will regard ? 

Jen. Though he's young master now, I'm very 
sure 
He has mair sense than slight auld friends, 

though poor. 
But yesterday, he ga'e us mony a tug, 
An' kissed my cousin there frae lug to lug. 

Gland. Ay, ay, nae doubt o't, an' he'll do't 
again ; 
But be advised, his company refrain: 
Before, he as a shejiherd sought a wife, 
Wi' her to live a chaste an' fi-ugal life; 
But now, grown gentle, soon he will forsake 
Sic godly thoughts, an' brag o' being a rake. 

]'e<j. A rake I what's that? Sure, if it means 
aught ill. 
He'll never be't, else I ha'o tint my skill. 

G'land. Daft lassie, ye ken nought o' the att'air; 
Anc young, an' gude, an' gentle's unco rare. 
A rake's a graceless spark, that thinks nae shame 
To do what like o' us thinks sin to name. 
Be wary then, I say, an' never gi'e 
Encouragement, or bourd wi' sic as he. 



ALLAN RAMSAY 



125 



P>f). Sir William's virtuous, ati' o' gentle blood; 
An' may no Patrick, too, like him, be good? 
Glaud. That's true; an' mony gentry mae than 
he, 
As they are wiser, better are than we. 
But thinner sawn: they're sae puft up wi' pride, 
There's mony o' them mocks ilk haly guide, 
That shaws the gate to heaven. I've heard mysel 
i^ome o' them laugh at doomsdaj', sin, an" hell. 
Jeii. Watch o'er us, father! heh! that's very 
odd; 
Sure, him that doubts a doomsday, doubts a God! 
Okmd. Doubt! why, they neither doubt, nor 
judge, nor think. 
Nor hope, nor fear; but curse, debauch, an' 

drink: 
But I'm no saying this, as if I thought 
That Patrick to sic gates will e'er be brought. 
Peg. The Lord forbid ! Nae, he kens better 
things. 
But here comes aunt: her face some ferly brings. 

Enter Madge. 

Madge. Haste, haste ye; we're a' sent for o'er 

the gate. 
To hear, an' help to redd some odd debate 
'Tween Mause an' Bauldy, 'bout s me witchcraft 

spell. 
At Symon's house: the knight sits judge himsel. 
Glaud. Lend me my staff. Madge, lock the 

outer door. 
An' liring the lasses wi' ye: I'll step before. 

[Exit Glaud. 
Madge. Poor Meg! Look, Jenny, was the like 

e'er seen ? 
How bleared an' red wi' greeting look her een! 
This day her brankan wooer tak's his horse, 
To stiiit a gentle spark at Edinburgh cross; 
To change his kent, cut frae the branchy plane, 
For a nice sword an' glancing-headed cane; 
To leave his ram-horn spoons, an' kitted whey. 
For gentler tea, that smells like new-won hay; 
To leave the green-sward dance, whan we gae 

milk. 
To rustle 'mang the beauties clad in silk. 
But Meg, poor Meg ! maun wi' the shepherds 

stay. 
An' tak what God will send, in hodden-gray. 
Peg. Dear aunt, what need ye fash us wi' your 

scorn ? 
It's no my faut that I'm nae gentler born. 
Gif 1 the daughter o' some laird had been, 
I ne'er had noticed Patie on the green. 
Now, since he rises, why should I repine ? 
If he's made for another, he'll ne'er be mine; 
An' then, the like has been, if the decree 
Designs him mine, I yet his wife may be. 

Madge. A bonny story, troth! But we delay: 
Prin up your aprons baith, an' come away. 

[E.veunt. 



SCENE III. 

Sir William fills the twa-armed chair. 

While Symou, Roger, Glaud, au' Mause 
Attend, an' wi" loud laughter hear 

Daft Bauldy bluntly plead his cause : 
For now it's telled him that the taws 

Was handled by revengfu' Madge, 
Because he brak gude-breeding's laws, 

An' wi' his nonsense raised their rage. 

Sir William, Patie, Roger, Symon, Glai'd, 
Bauldy, and Mause. 

Sir Wil. And was that all? Well, Bauldy, yj 
was served 
No otherwise than what ye well deserved. 
Was it so small a matter, to defame 
And thus abuse an honest woman's name? 
Besides your going about to have betrayed, 
By perjury, an innocent young maid. 

Baid. Sir, I confess my faut, through a' the 
steps. 
An' ne'er again shall be unti-ue to Neps. 

Mause. Thus far, sir, he obliged me, on the 
score, 
I ken'd na that they thought me sic before. 

Ban I. An't like your honour, I believed it weel; 
But, troth, I was e'en doilt to seek the deil. 
Yet, wi' your honour's leave, though she's nae 
witch. 

She's baith a slee an' a revengefu' , 

An' that my some-place finds. But I had best 
Haud in my tongue, for yonder comes the ghaist. 
An' the young bonny witch, whase rosy cheek 
Sent me, without my wit, the deil to seek. 

Enter Madge, Peggy, and Jenny. 

Sir Wil. {looking at Peggy.] Whose daughter's 
she, that wears th' aiu-ora gown, 
With face so fair, and locks a lovely bro\vn ? 
How sparkling are her eyes! — What's this I find ? 
The girl brings all my sister to my mind ! 
Such were the features once adonied a face. 
Which death too soon deprived of sweetest 

grace. — 
Is this your daughter, Glaud ? 

Gland. Sir, she's my niece; 
An' yet she's not: but I should liaud my peace. 

Sir Wil. This is a contradiction. What d'j'e 
mean ? 
She is, and is not ! Pray thee, Glaud, explain. 

Gland. Becausel doubt, if I should mak'ap^>car 
What I ha'e kept a secret thirteen year — 

Mause. You may reveal what I can fully clear. 

Sir Wil. Speak soon — I'm all impatience ! 

Pat. Sae am I ! 
For much I hope, an' hardly yet ken why. 

Gland. Then, since my master orders, I obey: — 
This bonny foundling, ae clear morn o' May, 
Close by the lee-side o' my door I found, 
A' sweet, an' clean, an' carefully hapt round 



126 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



In infant weeds, o' rich an' gentle make. 

What could they be, thought I, did thee forsake? 

\yha, wai'se than bmtes, could leave exposed to 

au- 
Sae much o' innocence, sae sweetly fair, 
Sae helpless young ? for she appeared to me 
Only about twa towmonds auld to be. 
I took her in my amis; the bairnie smiled 
■\Vi' sic a look, wad made a savage mild. 
I hid the story. She has passed sinsyne 
As a poor orphan, an' a niece o' mine: 
Nor do I rue my care about the wean. 
For she's weel worth the pains that I ha'e ta'en. 
Ye see she's bonny; I can swear she's gude, 
An' am right sure she's come o' gentle bluid; 
0' wham I kenna. Naething I ken mair, 
Than what I to your honour now declare. 
Sir Wil. This tale seems strange ! 
/■'((/. The tale delights my eai- ! 
Sir U'il. Command your joys, young man, till 

truth appear. 
Manse. That be my task. Now, sir, bid a' be 
hush : 
Peggy may smile; thou hast nae cause to blush. 
Lang ha'e I wished to see this happy day, 
That I might safely to the truth gi'e way; 
That I may now Su- William Worthy name. 
The best an' nearest friend that she can claim. 
He saw't at first, an' wi' quick eye did trace 
His sister's beauty in her daughter's face. 

Sir Wil. Old woman, do not rave; prove what 
you say: 
It's dangerous in affairs like this to play. 

Pat What reason, sir, can an auld woman have 
To tell a lie, when she's sae near her grave ? 
But how, or why, it should be ti-uth, I grant, 
I every thing that looks like reason want. 

Oiuue.t. The story's odd! We wish we heard 

it out. 
Sir Wil. Make haste, good woman, and resolve 
each doubt. 

[M-vusn (joex forward, leadiinj Peggy to 
Sir Willia.m. 
MaHSP. Sir, view me weel: has fifteen years sae 
j>loughed 
A wrinkled face, that you ha'e aften viewed. 
That here I, as an unknown stranger, stand, 
Wha nursed her mother that now hands my hand? 
Yet sti-ongcr proofs I'll gi'e, if you demand. 
Sir Wil. Ha! honest nurse, where were my 
eyes before ? 
I know thy faithfulness, and need no more; 
Yet, from the labyrinth to lead out my mind, 
Say, to expo.se her, who was so unkin(l ? 

[SiK William cmhraa.i Pkcsgy, ai(d mahn her 

.sit I,, I hi III. 

Yes, surely, thou'rt my niece; truth must prevail. 
But no more words, till Mause relate her tale. 
Put. (iude iiur.se, gae on; nae music's haff sae 
fine, 
Or can gi'e pleasure like thae words o' thine. 



Mause. Then it was I that saved her infant life, 
Her death being threatened by an uncle's wife. 
The story's lang; but I the secret knew, 
How they jjursued, wi' avaricious view, 
Her rich estate, o' wliich they're now possest: 
All this to me a confidant confest. 
I heard wi' horror, an' wi' trembling dread, 
They'd smoor the sakeless orphan in her bed. 
That very night, when all were sunk in rest. 
At midnight hour the floor I saftly prest. 
An' staw the sleeping innocent away, 
Wi' whom I travelled some few miles ere day. 
A' day I hid me. Whan the day was done, 
I kept my journey, lighted by the moon. 
Till eastward fifty miles I reached these plains, 
Where needf u' f)lenty glads j'our cheerfu' swains. 
Afraid of being found out, I, to secure 
My charge, e'en laid her at this shepherd's door. 
An' took a neighbouring cottage here, that I, 
Whate'er should happen to her, might be by. 
Here honest Gland himsel, an' Symon, may 
Remember weel how I that very day 
Frae Roger's father took my little cruve. 

Gland. [««' tears of joi/ happing doini his heard.^ 
I weel remember' t. Lord reward your love ! 
Lang ha'e I wished for this; for aft I thought 
Sic knowledge some time should about be brought. 

Pat. It's now a crime to doubt: my joys are full, 
Wi' due obedience to my parent's will. 
Sir, wi' j)aternal love, survey her charms, 
Alt' blame me not for rushing to her arms. 
She'smine by vows;an' wad, though still unknown, 
Ha'e been my wife, when I my vows durst own. 

Sir Wil. My niece, my daughter! welcome to 
my care. 
Sweet image of thy mother, good and fair ! 
Equal with Patrick. Now my greatest aim 
Shall be to aid your joys and well-matched flame. 
My boy, receive her from your father's hand, 
With as good will as either would demand. 

[Patie and Peggy embrace, and kneel to 
Sir William. 

Pat. Wi' as much joy this blessing I receive. 
As ane wad life that's sinking in a wave. 

Sir Wil. \;raises t/iem.] I give you both my bless- 
ing. May your love 
Produce a happy race, and still improve. 

Pe;/. My wishes are complete; my joys arise. 
While I'm haff dizzy wi' the blest surprise. 
An' am I then a match for my ain lad. 
That for me so much generous kindness had? 
Lang may Sir W^illiam bless thae happy plains, 
Happy while Heaven grant he on them remains ! 

Pat. Be lang our guardian, still our master be; 
We'll only crave what you shall please to gi'e: 
The estate be yours, my Peggy's ane to me. 

Gland. I hope your honour now will tak' amends 
0' them that .sought her life for wicked ends. 

Sir ]\'il. The base unnatural villain soon shall 
know 
That eyes above watch' the affairs below. 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



127 



I'll strip him soon of all to her pertains, 
And make him reimburse bis ill-got gains. 

Pey. To me the views o' wealth an' an estate 
Seem light, when put in balance wi' my Pate: 
For his sake only I'll aye thankfu' bow. 
For sic a kindness, best o' men, to you. 

Sym. What double blytheness wakens up this 
day! 
I hope now, sir, you'll no soon haste away. 
Shall I unsaddle j-our horse, an' gar prepare 
A dinner for ye o' hale country fare ? 
See how much joy unwTinkles every brow; 
Our looks hing on the twa, an' doat on you. 
E'en Bauldy, the bewitched, has quite forgot 
Fell Madge's taws, an' pawky Mause's plot. 

Sir Wil. Kindly old man ! remain with you 
this day ': 
I never from these fields again will straJ^ 
Masons and wrights my house shall soon repair, 
And busy gardeners shall new planting rear, 
ily father's hearty table j^ou soon shall see 
Restored, and my best friends rejoice with me. 

Sym. That's the best news I heard this twenty 
year ! 
New day breaks up, rough times begin to clear. 

Glaad. God save the King, an' save Sir 'William 
lang, 
T' enjoy their ain, an' raise the shepherds' sang. 

Roy. Wha winna dance? Wha will refuse to 
sing? 
What shepherd's whistle winna lilt the spring? 

Baul. I'm friends wi' Mause — wi' very Madge 
I'm 'greed. 
Although the}' skelpit me when woodly fleid: 
I'm now fu' blythe, an' fran'dy can forgive. 
To join an' sing, " Lang may Sir W^illiam live !" 

Madye. Lang may he live ! An', Bauldy, leam 
to steek 
Your gab awee, an' think before ye speak; 
An' never ca' her auld that want's a man. 
Else ye may yet some witch's fingers ban. 
This day I'll wi' the youngest o' ye rant. 
An' brag for aye that I was ca'd the aunt 
0' our young lady, my dear bonny baini ! 

Peg. Nae ither name I'll ever for you learn. 
An', my gude nurse, how shall I gratefu' bo 
For a' thy matchless kindness done for me? 

Manse. The flowing pleasures o' this happy 
day 
Does fully a' I can require repay. 

Sir fVil. To faithful Symon, and, kind Glaud, 
to you. 
An' to your heu's, I give, in endless feu, 
The mailens ye possess, as justly due. 
For acting like kind fathers to the pair, 
Who have enough besides, and these can spare. 
Mause, in my house, in calmness, close your days. 
With nought to do but sing your Maker's praise. 

Omnes. The Lord o' Heaven return your hon- 
our's love, 
Confirm your joys, an' a' your blessings roove ! 



[Patie, preseutiny ROGER lo SiR Willi.v.m. 

Pat. Sir, here's my trusty friend, that always 
shared 
My bosom secrets, ere I was a laird : 
Gland's daughter, Janet (Jenny, think nae shame) 
Raised, an' maintains in him a lover's flame. 
Lang was he dumb; at last he spak' an' won, 
An' hopes to be our honest uncle's son. 
Be pleased to speak to Glaud for his consent, 
That nane may wear a face o' discontent. 

Sir Wil. My son's demand is fair. Glaud, let 
me crave 
That trusty Roger may your daughter have, 
W^ith frank consent; and, while he does remain 
Upon these fields, I make him chamberlain. 

(Uaud. You crowd your bounties, sir. What 
can we say. 
But that we're dyvours that can ne'er repay ' 
3Yhate'er your honour wills, I sail obey. 
Roger, my daughter, wi' a blessing, tak', 
An' still our master's right your business mak'. 
Please him, be faithfu', an' this aiild gray head 
Sail nod wi' quietness down amang the dead. 

lioy. I ne'er was gude o' speaking a' my days, 
Or ever lo'ed to mak' owre great a fraise; 
But for my master, father, an' my wife, 
I will employ the cares o' a' my life. 

Sir Wil. My friends, I'm satisfied j'ou'll all 
behave. 
Each in his station, as I'd wish or crave. 
Be ever virtuous, soon or late j'ou'll find 
Reward, an' satisfaction to your mind. 
The maze of life sometimes looks dark an' wild; 
And oft when hopes are highest we're beguiled. 
Oft when we stand on brinks of dark despair. 
Some happy turn, wth joy, dispels our care. 
Now, all's at right, who sings best let me hear. 

Pey. "When you demand, I readiest should 
obej' : 
I'll sing you ane, the newest that I ha'e. 

SANG XXII. 
Tune — " Corii-riggs are bonny." 

My Patie is a lover gay. 

His mind is never muddy; 
His breath is sweeter than new haj'. 

His face is fair an' ruddy. 
His shape is handsome, middle size: 

He's comely in his walking; 
The shining o' his een surprise; 

It's heaven to hear him talking. 

Last night I met him on a bauk, 

Whare yellow corn was growing; 
There mony a kindh' word he spak', 

That set my heart a-glowing. 
He kissed an' vowed he wad be mine. 

An' lo'ed me best o' ony; 
That gars me like to sing sinsjnie, 

com-riggs are bonny ! 



12S 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



Let lasses o' a silly mind 

Refuse what maist thej-'re wanting; 
Since we for yielding were designed. 

We chastely should be granting. 
Then I'll comply, an' marry Pate, 

An' syne my cockernony. 
He's free to touzle air or late. 

Where com-riggs are bonny. 

[Ki-eunt omnes. 



THE VISION. 

liodown the bents of Banquo brae, 
My lane I wandered waif and wae. 

Musing our main mischance; 
How by the foes we are undone, 
That stole the sacred stane^ frae Scone, 

And led us sic a dance: 
While England's Edwards take our towers, 

And Scotland first obeys; 
liude ruffians ransack royal boAvers, 
And Baliol homage pays; 

Through feidom, our freedom 

Is blotted with this score, 
What Romans', or no man's, 
I'ith could e'er do before. 

The air grew rough with bousteous thuds, 
IJauld Boreas branglit outthrow the clouds, 

Maist like a drunken wight; 
The thunder crack'd, and flauchts did rift 
Krae the black vizard of the lift; 

Tiie forest shook with fright: 
Xae birds aboon their wing e.xten'. 
They dought not bide the blast: 
Ilk beast bedeen bang'd to their den. 
Until the storm was past: 
Ilk creature in nature 

That had a spunk of sense. 
In need tiien, with speed then. 
Metliought cried, " In Defence!' 

To see a morn in May sae ill, 

I deem'd dame Nature was ganc will 

To roar with reckless reil; 
Wiicrefore to put me out of pain, 
.\iid sconce my .scap and shanks frae rain, 

I bore inc to a bicl, 
I'p a high craig that hungit alaft. 

Out owre a canny cave, 
A curious crove of nature's craft, 

Which to me shelter gave: 
There vexed, perplexed, 
1 lean'd me down to weep; 

' This fitone is preserved in Westniineter Abbey. 



In brief there, with grief there, 
I dotter'd owre on sleep. 

Here Somnus in his silent hand 
Held all my senses at command, 

While I forgot my care; 
The mildest meed of mortal wights. 
Who pass in peace the private nights, 

That, waking, finds it I'are; 
So in soft slumbers did I lie. 
But not my wakerife mind. 
Which still stood watch, and could espy 
A man with aspect kind, 

Eight auld-like, and bauld-like, 

With beard three-quarters scant, 
Sae brave-like, and grave-like. 
He seem'd to be a sanct. 

Great daring darted frae his eye, 
A broadsword shogled at his thigh, 

On his left arm a targe; 
A shining .spear fill'd his right hand. 
Of stalwart make in bone and braun. 

Of just proportions large; 
A various rainbow-coloured plaid 

Owre his left spaul he threw, 
Down his braid back, frae his white head. 
The silver wimplers grew; 
Amazed, I gazed. 

To see, led at command, 

A strampant and rampant 

Fierce lion in his hand. 

Which held a thistle in his paw. 
And round his collar grav'd I saw 

This poesy, pat and plain: 
''JS^'emo me impmje lacess — 
J-Jt." In Scots, " Nane shall oppre.-is 

Me, unpunished Avith pain!" 
Still shaking, I durst naething say. 

Till he, with kind accent. 
Said, "Fere! Let not thy heart affray, 
I come to hear thy plaint; 
Thy groaning, and moaning, 

Hath lately reach'd mine ear; 
Debar then, afar then. 
All cirine.ss or fear. 

'■ For I am one of a liigh station. 
The Avarden of this ancient nation. 

And cannot do thee Avrang." 
I vizyt him then round about. 
Syne, Avith a resolution stout, 

Speir'd, Avherc liad he been sae lang"/ 
(juoth he, "Although I some forsook, 

Because they did me slight. 
To hills and glens 1 me betook, 

To them that loves my right; 



I 



I 



ALLAN RAMSAY. 



129 



Whose minds yet, inclines yet, 
To dana the rapid spate, 

Devising, and prizing. 
Freedom at ony rate. 

"Our traitor peers their tyrants treat. 
Who gibe them, and their substance eat. 

And on their honour stamp. 
They, pair degenerates, bend their backs. 
The victor, Longsiianks, proudly cracks 

He has blawn out our lamp. 
While true men, sair complaining, tell 

With sobs their silent grief. 
How Baliol their rights did sell. 
With small hope of relief. 
Regretting, and fretting, 
Aye at his cursed plot, 
AVho rammed, and crammed. 

That bargain down their throat. 

"Brave gentry swear, and burghers ban; 
Revenge is muttered by each clan 

That's to the nation true. 
The cloisters come to cun the evil, 
Mailpayers wish it to the devil. 

With its contriving crew. 
The hardy would -witii hearty wills 

Upon dire vengeance fall; 
The feckless fret owre heughs and hills. 
And echo answers all; 
Repeating, and greeting, 

With mony a sair alace, 
For blasting, and casting, 
Our honour in disgracel" 

"Wae's me!" quoth I, "our case is bad; 
And mony of us are gane mad, 
Sin' this disgraceful paction. 
We're fell'd and harried now by force, 
And hardly help for't, that's yet worse. 

We are sae forfairn wi' faction. 
Then has he not good cause to grumble. 

That's forc'd to be a slave? 
Oppression does the judgment jumble, 
And gars a wise man rave. 

May chains then, and pains then, 

Infernal be tiieir hire, 
Who dang us, and flang us. 
Into tills ugsome mirel" 

Then he. with bauld forbidding look, 
.\nd stately air, did me rebuke, 

For being of sprite sae mean. 
Said he, "It's far beneath a Scot 
To use weak curses, when his lot 

May .sometime sour his spleen. 
He rather should, niair like a man, 

Some brave design attempt. 



Gif it's not in his pith, what then? 
Rest but a while content; 
Not fearful, but cheerful, 

And wait the will of fate, 

Which minds to, designs to, 

Renew your ancient state. 

"I ken some mair tlian ye do ail 
Of what shall afterward befall 

In mair auspicious times; 
For often, far above the moon. 
We watching beings do convene, 

Frae round earth's utmost climes; 
Where every warden represents 

Clearly his nation's case, 
Gif famine, pest, or sword torments. 
Or villains high in place, 
Who keep aye, and heap aye, 

Up to themselves great store. 
By rundging. and spunging. 
The leal laborious poor." 

"Say then," said I, "at your high state, 
Learn'd ye aught of auld Scotland's fate, 

Gif e'er she'll be hersell?" 
With smile celest, quoth he, "I can; 
But it's not fit a mortal man 
Should ken all I can tell: 
But part to thee I may unfold. 
And thou mayst safely ken. 
When Scottish peers slight Saxon gold, 
And turn true-hearted men: 
When knavery, and slavery. 

Are equally despis'd, 
And loyalty, and royalty, 
Universally are priz'd, — 

"When all your trade is at a stand. 
And cunyie clean for.sakes the land. 

Which will be very soon; 
Will priests without their stipends preach; 
For naught will lawyers causes stretch? 

Faith! that's na easy done! 
All this, and mair, maun come to pass 

To clear your glamonr'd sight, 
.\nd Scotland maun be made an ass 
To set her judgment right. 

They'll jade her, and blad her. 
Until she break her tetiicr; 
Though auld she is, yet bauld she is, 
And tough like barkcil leather. 

"But mony a corpse shall breathless lie, 
And wae shall mony a widow cry, 

Or all run right again; 
O'er Cheviot, prancing proudly north. 
The foes .shall take the field near Forth, 

And think the dav their ain. 
9 



130 



ALLAN EAMSAY. 



But burns that day shall nm with blood 

or them that now oppress, 
Their carcases be corbies' food 
By thousands on the grass. 
A king then, shall reign then, 

Of wise renown and brave, 
■\Vhose puissance, and sapience, 
Shall right restore and save." 

"The view of freedom's sweet!" quoth I. 
'• O say, great tenant of the sky, 

How near's that happy time?" 
"We ken things but by circumstance; 
Nac mair," quoth he, " I may advance, 

Lest I commit a crime." 
"Whate'er ye please, gae on," quoth I, 

" I shall not fash ye more, 
Say how and where ye met, and why. 
As ye did hint before." 

With air then, sae fair then, 

That glanc'd like rays of glory, 
Sae god-like and odd-like. 
He thus resumed his story. 

"Frae the sun's rising to his set. 
All the prime rate of wardens met, 

In solemn bright array. 
With vclucles of ether clear, 
Such as we put on when we appear 

To souls row'd up in clay; 
There in a wide and splendid hall, 
Reared up with shining beams, 
Whoseroof-trees were of rainbows all, 
And paved with starry gleams. 
That prinkled, and twinkled, 
]5rightly beyond compare, 
!Mucli famed, and named. 
The Castle in the Air. 

■Ill midst of which a table stood, 
\ spacious oval red as blood, 

.Made of a fire-flaucht; 
Arounil the dazzling walls were drawn, 
With rays by a celestial liaun, 

Full many a curious draught. 
Inferior beings flew in haste, 
Without guide or director, 
.Millions of miles, through the wild waste, 
To i)ring in bowls of nectar. 
Then roundly, and soundly. 

We drank like Roman gods. 
When Jove sae, does rove sae, 
'I'liat Mars and Bacchus nods. 

'■ When I'liii'luis' head turns light as cork, 
.\iid N'e|)tnne leans upon his fork, 

.\n<l limping Vulcan blethers; 
When I'luto glowers as he were wild. 



And Cupid (Love's wee winged child) 

Falls down and fyles his feathers; 
When Fan forgets to tune his reed. 

And flings it careless by; 
And Hermes, wing'd at heels and head, 
Can neither stand nor lie: 

When staggering, and swaggering, 

They stoiter home to sleep; 
While sentries, and entries. 
Immortal watches keep. 

'•Thus we took in the high brown li(iuor, 
.\nd bang'd about the nectar bickei-; 

But ever with this odds — 
We ne'er in drink our judgments drench. 
Nor scour about to seek a wench. 

Like these auld bawdy gods; 
But frankly at each other ask 

What's proper we should know. 
How each one has performed the task 
Assigned to him below. 

Our minds, then, sae kind then, 

Are fixed upon our care. 
Aye noting, and plotting, 

What tends to their weelfare. 

••Oothus and Vandal baith look'd bluft" 
While Gallus sneered and took a snuflf". 

Which made Almaine to stare; 
1 atinus bade him nothing fear, 
But lend his hand to holy weii', 

And of cow'd crowns tak' care. 
Batavius, with his puddock-face, 
Looking asquint, cried, ' Pish! 
Your monks are void of sense or grace, 
I had lever fight for fish; 

Your school-men are fool-men, 
Carv'd out for dull debates. 
Decoying, and destroying, 

Baith monarchies and states.' 

" Iberius, with gurly nod. 

Cried, ' Hogan,^ yes, we ken your god. 

It's herrings ye adore !' 
Heptarchus, as he used to be. 
Cannot with his ain thoughts agree, 

But varies back and fore. 
One while he says it is not right 

.\ monarch to resist ; 
Next breath all royal power will slight, 
And passive homage jest. 
He hitches, and fitches. 

Between the hie ami hoc, 
Aye geeiiig. and fleeing. 
Round like a weather-cock. 

1 A nuuie of coiitsnipt for the Dutch. 



ALLAN EAMSAY, 



131 



'•■ I still support my precedence 
Aboon them all, for sword and sense, 

Though I have lain right lown ; 
Which was bei-ause I bore a grudge 
At some fool Scots who liked to drudge 

To princes not their own. 
Some thanes their tenantspyk'd and squccz'd 

And purs'd up all their rent. 
Syne waliop"d to far courts, and bleez'd 
Till riggs and shaws were spent. 
Syne byndging, and whyndging, 

Wlien thus reduced to howps, 
They dander, and wander, 
About, puir lick-ma-dowps! 

'' But now it's time for me to draw 
ily shining sword against club-law, 

And gar my lion roar; 
He shall or lang gie sic a sound. 
The echo shall be beard around 

Europe, frae shore to shore. 
Tiien let them gather all their strength, 

And strive to work my fall ; 
Though numerous, yet at the length 
I will o'ercome them all ; 

And raise yet, and blaze yet, 

j\Iy bravery and renown, 
By gracing, and placing. 
Aright the Scottish crown. 

" AVhen my brave Bruce the same shall weir 
Upon his royal head, full cleir 

The diadem will shine; 
Then shall your sair oppression cease. 
His interest yours he will not fleece, 

Xor leave you e'er incline: 
Though millions to his purse be lent, 

You'll ne'er the puirer be. 
But rather richer while it's spent 
Within the Scottish sea. 
Tlie field then, shall yield then. 
To honest husbands' wealth; 
Good laws then, shall cause then, 
A sickly state have health." 

While thus he talk'd methought there came 
A wonder-fair ethereal dame. 
And to our warden said — 
" Great Caiedon! I come in search 
Of you frae the high starry arch, 

The council wants your aid. 
Frae every quarter of the sky. 

As swift as whirlwind, 
With spirits' speed the chieftain^hie; 
Some great thing is designed. 
Owre mountains, by fountains. 

And round each fairy ring, 
I've chased ye: haste ye, 
They talk about your king I" 



With that my liand, methought, he shook. 
And wished I happiness might brook 

To eild by night and day; 
Syne, quicker than an arrow's flight, 
He mounted upwards frae my sight, 

Straight to tiie Milky Way. 
M\' mind him followed through the skies, 

I'ntil tlie briny stream 
For joy ran trickling frae mine eyes, 
And wak'd me frae my dream. 
Then peeping, half sleeping, 
Frae furth my rural bield, 
It eased me, and pleased me, 
To see and smell the field. 

For Flora, in her clean array. 
New washen with a shower of Jlay, 

Looked full sweet and fair; 
While her clear husband frae above, 
Shed down his rays of genial love. 

Her sweets perfum'd tlie air. 
Tlie winds were hush'd, the welkin clear'd, 

The glooming clouds were fled, 
And all as saft and gay appear'd 
As ane Elysian shed ; 

Whilk heezed, and bleezed. 
My heart with sic a fire, 
As raises these praises. 
That do to heaven a.spire. 



LOCHABER NO MORE.i 

Farewell to Lochaber, and farewell my Jean, 
Where heartsome with thee I've mony day been: 
For Lochaber no more, Lochaber no more, 
We'll maybe return to Lochaber no more. 
These tears that I shed they are a' for my dear. 
And no for the dangers attending on wear; 
Though borne on rough seas to a far blood}' shore. 
Maybe to return to Lochaber no more. 

Though hurricanes rise, and rise every wind. 
They'll ne'er make a tempest like tliat in my 

mind ; 
Though loudest of thunder on louder waves roar. 
That's naething like leaving my love on the shore. 
To leave thee behind me my heart is sair pain'd; 
By ease that's inglorious no fame can be gain'd; 
And beauty and love's the reward of the brave. 
And I must deserve it before I can crave. 



1 The Lass of Patie's Mill, the Yellow-haii-'d Ladiiie, 
Farewell to Lochaljer, ami some othei-s, must be allowtU 
equal to any, and even superior, in point of pastoral 
simplicity, to most lyric jiroductions either in the 
Scottish or any other language. — Joseph RiisoH. 



132 



ALLAN EAMSAY 



Then glory, my Jeany, maun plead my excuse; 
Since honour commands me, how can I refuse ? 
Without it I ne'er can have merit for thee. 
And without thy favour I'd better not be. 
I gae then, my lass, to win honour and fame. 
And if I should luck to come gloriously hame, 
I'll bring a heart to thee -n-ith love running o'er, 
And then I'll leave thee and Lochaber no more 



THE LAST TIME I GAME O'ER THE 

]\ioon. 

The last time I came o'er the moor 

I left my love behind me; 
Ye powers! what pain do I endure, 

Wlieii soft ideas mind me! 
Soon as the ruddy morn displayed 

The beaming day ensuing, 
I met betimes my lovely maid, 

In fit retreats for wooing. 

Beneath the cooling shade we lay, 

Gazing and chastely sporting; 
We kissed and promised time away, 

Till night spread her dark curtain. 
I pitied all beneatli tlie skies. 

E'en kings, when slie was nigh me; 
In raptures I beheld lier eyes, 

Wliicli could but ill deny me. 

Should I be called where cannons roar, 

Where mortal steel may wound me; 
Or cast upon some foreign shore, 

Where dangers may surround me; 
Yet hopes again to see my love. 

To feast on glowing kisses, 
Shall make my cares at distance move, 

In prospect of such blisses. 

In all mysoul there's not one place 

To let a rival enter; 
Since she excels in every grace, 

In lier my love shall centre. 
Sooner tiie seas sliall cease to flow. 

Tlieir waves the Alps shall cover, 
On Greenland ice shall ro.scs grow, 

Before I cease to love her. 

The next time I go o'er tlie moor, 

Siie sliall a lover find me; 
.\nil that my faith is firm and pure, 

Though I left her behind me: 
TIkmi Hymen's .sacred bonds shall chain 

My iicart to her fair bosom; 
There, while my being docs remain. 

My love more fresh shall blossom. 



THE LASS OF PATIE'S MILL.^ 

The lass of Patie's Mill, 

So bonny, blythe, and gay, 
In spite of all my skill, 

Slie stole my heart away. 
When tedding of the hay. 

Bareheaded on the green, 
Love 'midst her locks did play. 

And wanton'd in her een. 

Her arms, white, round, and smooth, 

Breasts rising in their dawn. 
To age it would give youth 

To press them with his hand. 
Thro' all my spirits ran 

An ecstacy of bliss, 
When I such sweetness fan' 

Wrapt in a balmy kis.s. 

Without tlie help of art, 

Like flowers that grace the wild, 
Slie did her sweets impart. 

Whene'er she spoke or smil'd. 
Her looks they were so mild. 

Free from affected pride. 
She me to love beguil'd; 

I wish'd her for my bride. 

had I all the wealth 

Hopetoun's high mountains fill, 
Insur'd lang life and health, 

And pleasure at my will ; 
I'd promise and fulfil. 

That none but bonny she. 
The lass of Patie's Mill, 

Should share the same with me. 



I 



BESSIE BELL AND MARY GRAY. 

Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, 

They are twa bonnie lasses. 
They bigged a bow'r on yon burn brae. 

And theeked it ower wi' rashes. 

1 Burns in a letter to Mr. Thompson gives the follow 
iiig history of the song. He says that Allan Banisay 
was reaiiiing .at Loudoun Castle, being on a visit to the 
Earl of Loudoun, and one forenoon riding or walking 
out together, they passed a sweet romantic spot on 
Irvine water, still called Patie's Mill, where a brninie 
lass was " tedding hay bareheaded on the green." The 
earl observed to Allan that it would be a fine theme for 
a song. Ramsay took the liint, and lingering behind 
he composed the first sketch of the Lassof Patie's Mill, 
which ho produced that day at dinner. 



KOBEET CRAWFOED. 



I3;i 



Fair Bessy Bell 1 lo'ed yestreen, 
And thought I ne'er could alter, 

But Mary Gray's twa pawky een, 
They gar my fancy falter. 

Now Bessy's hair's like a lint tap; 

She smiles like a May morning, 
When Phoebus starts frae Thetis' lap, 

The hills wi' rays adorning: 
White is her neck, saft is her hand, 

Her waist and feet's fu' genty, 
Wi' ilka grace she can command, 

Her lips, wow! they're dainty. 

And Mary's locks are like the craw. 

Her een like diamonds glances: 
Slie's aye sae clean redd up, and braw, 

She kills whene'er she dances: 
lily the as a kid, wi' wit at will. 

She blooming, tight, and tall is: 
And guides her airs .sae gracefu' still, 

O Jove! she's like tliy Pallas. 

Dear Be.esy Bell and ilary Gray, 

Ye unco sair oppress us. 
Our fancies jee between ye twa, 

Ye are sie bonnie lasses: 
Waes me, for baith I eanna get. 

To ane by law we're stented : 
Then I'll draw cuts, and take my fate, 

And be wi' ane contented. 



THE YELLOW-HAIR'D LADDIE. 

In April, when primroses paint the sweet plain, 

And summer approaching rejoiceth the swain, 
The yellow-hair'd laddie would oftentimes go 
To woods and deep glens where the hawthorn- 
trees grow. 

There, under the shade of an old sacred thorn. 
With freedom he sung his loves, evening and 

morn : 
He sung with so soft and enchanting a sound. 
That sylvans and fau-ies, unseen, danced around. 

The shepherd thus sung: " Though young Maddie 

be fair, 
Her beauty is dash'd with a scornful proud air: 
But Susie was handsome, and sweetly could sing; 
Her breath's like the breezes perfumed in the 

spring. 

" Tliat Maddie, in all the gay bloom of her youth. 
Like the moon, was inconstant, and never spoke 

truth; 
But Susie was faithful, good-humour'd, and free. 
And fair as the goddess that spi-ung from the sea. 

"That mamma's fine daughter, with all her great 

dower, 
Was awkwardly airy, and frequently sour." 
Then sighing, he wished, would but parents agree. 
The witty sweet Susie his mistress might be. 



BOBEET CRAWFOED. 



BoKN 1090 — Died 1733. 



Robert Crawford, author of the beautiful 
pastoral ballad of "Tweedside," was born about 
the year 1690. He was a cadet of the family of 
Drumsoy, and is sometimes called William 
Crawford of Auchinames, a mistake in part 
arising from Lord Woodhouselee misapplying 
an expression in one of Hamilton of Bangour's 
letters regarding a Will Crawford. His father, 
Patrick Crawford (or Crawfurd), was twice 
married, first to a daughter of a Gordon of 
Turnberry, by whom he had two sons — Thomas, 
and Robert the poet: second to Jean, daughter 
of Crawford of Auchinames, in Renfrewshire, 
by whom he had a large family. Hence the 
mistake of making the poet belong to the 



Auchinames family. He was on terms of 
intimacy with Allan Ramsay and William 
Hamilton of Bangour, He assisted the former 
in "the glory or the shame" of composing new 
songs for many old Scottish melodies, which 
appeared in Ramsay's Tea- table Miscellany, 
published in the year 1724, and is one of the 
"ingenious young gentlemen" of whom the 
editor speaks as contributors to his Mi>^cellanij. 
Crawford is said to have been a remarkably 
handsome man, and to have spent many years 
in Paris, Mr, Ramsay of Ociitertyre, in a 
letter to Dr. Blacklock. dated Oct. 27, 1787, 
says: "Yon may tell Mr. Burns when you see 
him that Colonel Edmonston told me t'other 



134 



EOBEET CEAWFOED. 



(iay that his cousin Colonel George Crawfurd 
was no poet, but a great singer of songs : but 
that his eldest brother Robert (by a former 
marriage) had a great turn that way, having 
written the words of 'The Bush aboon Tra- 
quair' and 'Tweedside.' Tliat the Mary to 
whom it was addi-essed was Mary Stewart, of 
the Castlemilk family, afterwards wife of Mr. 
John Belches. The colonel (Edmonston) never 
saw Robert Crawford, though he was at his 
burial fifty-five years ago. He was a pretty 
young man, and lived long in France." Ac- 
cording to Sir "Walter Scott, the Mary celebrated 
in "Tweedside" was of the Harden family, a 
descendant of another famed beauty, Mary 
Scott of Dryhope, in Selkirkshire, known by 
the name of "the Flower of Yarrow. " Harden 
is an estate on the Tweed, about four miles 
from i\Ielrose. Mr. Ramsay's letter fixes Craw- 
ford's death in the year 1732, while according 
to information obtained by Robert Burns from 
another source, he was drowned in coming 
from France in 1733. Such are the few details 
we possess concerning one of Scotland's sweetest 
singers. 

Of the many beautiful songs written by 
Crawford the most celebrated are "Tweedside" 
and "The Bush aboon Traquair." Speaking 
of the last-mentioned lyric. Dr. Robert Cham- 
bers, a native of Peebles, says: — "'The Bush 
aboon Traquair' was a small grove of birches 



that formerly adorned the west bank, of the 
Quair water, in Peeblesshire, about a mile from 
Traquair House, the seat of the Earl of Tra- 
quair. But only a few spectral-looking remains 
now denote the spot so long celebrated in the 
popular poetry of Scotland. Leafless even in 
summer, and scarcely to be observed upon the 
bleak hill-side, they form a truly melancholy 
memorial of what must once have been an 
object of great pastoral beauty, as well as the 
scene of many such fond attachments as that 
delineated in the following verses." Crawford, 
who has genuine poetical fancy and great 
sweetness of expression, gives us many beauti- 
ful images of domestic life. His pipe, like the 
pipe of Ramsay, is 

"A dainty whistle with a pleasant sound," 

and it summons to modest love and chaste joy. 
Like the voice of the cuckoo, it calls us to the 
green hills, the budding trees, and the rivulet 
bank; to the sound of water and the sight of 
opening flowers. "The true muse of native 
pastoral," .says Allan Cunningham, "seeks not 
to adorn herself with unnatural ornament; 
her spirit is in homely love and fireside joy; 
tender and simple, like the religion of the land, 
she utters nothing out of keeping with the 
character of her people and the aspect of the 
soil — and of this spirit, and of this feeling, 
Crawford is a large partaker." 



THE BUSH ABOON TEAQUAIR 



Hear me, ye nymphs, and every swain, 

I'll tell how I'eggy grieves me: 
Tho' thus I languish, thus complain, 

Alasl .she ne'er believes me. 
My vows and sighs, like silent air. 

Unheeded, never move licr; 
At the bonnic bush aboon Traquair, 

'Twas there I first did love her. 

That day slie smiled, and nnide me glad. 

No maid .sceni'd ever kinder; 
I tliouglit myself tlie luckiest lad, 

So sweetly there to find her. 
I tried to soothe my amorous flame 

in words that I thought tender; 
If more there pa.ss'd, I'm not to blame, 

I meant not to (jfl'ciid lier. 



Yet now she scornful flees the plain. 

The fields we then frequented; 
If e'er we meet, she shows disdain. 

She looks as ne'er acquainted. 
The bonnie bush bloom'd fair in May, 

In sweets I'll aye remember; 
But now her frowns make it deca\'. 

It fades as in December. 

Ye rural powers, who hear my strains. 

Why thus should Peggy grieve me? 
Oh! make her partner in my pains. 

Then let her smiles relieve me. 
If not, my love will turn despair, 

My passion no more tender, 
I'll leave the bush aboon Traquair, 

To lonelv wilds I'll wander. 



EGBERT CRAWFORD. 



i;35 



ONE DAY I HEARD MARY. 

One day I heard Mary say, How shall I leave thee? 
Stay, dearest Adonis, stay; why wilt thou grieve 

me? 
Alas ! my fond heart will break, if thou should 

leave me: 
I'll live and die for thy sake, yet never leave thee. 

Say, lovely Adonis, say, has Mary deceived thee? 
Did e'er her young heart betray new love, that 

has grieved thee ? 
My constant mind ne'er shall stray, thou may 

believe me. 
I'll love thee, lad, night and day, and never leave 

thee. 

Adonis, my charming youth, what can relieve 

thee? 
Can Mary thy anguish soothe ? This breast shall 

receive thee. 
My passion can ne'er decay, never deceive thee; 
Delight shall drive pain away, pleasure revive 

thee. 

But leave thee, leave thee, lad, how shall I leave 

thee? 
Oh! that thought makes me sad; I'll never leave 

thee! 
Where would my Adonis fly? why does he grieve 

me? 
Alas ! my poor heart wiU die, if I should leave thoe. 



LEADER HAUGHS AND YARROW. 

The morn was fair, saft was the air. 

All nature's sweets were springing; 
The buds did bow with silver dew, 

Ten tliousand birds were singing; 
When on the bent with blythe content. 

Young Jamie sang his marrow, 
Nae bonnier lass e'er trod the grass 

On Leader Haughs and Yarrow. 

How sweet her face, where every grace 

In iieav'nly beauty's planted ! 
Her smiling een and comely mien, 

Tiiat nae perfection wanted. 
I'll never fret nor ban my fate, 

But bless my bonnie marrow: 
If her dear smile my doubts beguile, 

My mind shall ken nae sorrow. 

Yet though she's fair, and lias full share 

Of every charm enchanting, 
Each good turns ill, and soon will kill 

Poor me, if love be wanting. 



0, bonnie lass! have but tlic grace 

To til ink ere ye gae further, 
Your joys maun Hit if you commit 

The crying sin of murder. 

My wand'ring ghaist will ne'er get rest. 

And day and nigiit aflrigiit ye; 
But if ye're kind, with joyful mind, 

I'll study to delight ye. 
Our years around, with love thus crown'd, 

From all things joy sliall borrow: 
Thus none shall be more blest than we, 

On Leader Haughs and Yarrow. 

0. sweetest Sue! 'tis only you 

Can make life worth my wishes, 
If equal love your mind can move, 

To grant this best of blisses. 
Thou art my sun, and tiiy least frown 

Would blast me in the blossom: 
But if thou shine and make nie thine, 

I'll flourish in thv bosom. 



TWEEDSIDE. 

What beauties does Flora disclose! 

How sweet are her smiles upon Tweed! 
Yet Mary's, still sweeter than those. 

Both nature and fancy exceed. 
Nor daisy nor sweet-blushing rose. 

Not all the gay flowers of the field. 
Not Tweed gliding gently through tiiose. 

Such beauty and pleasure does yield. 

The warblers are heard in the grove. 

The linnet, the lark, and the thrush, 
The blackbird and sweet-cooing dove, 

AVith music enchant ev'ry bush. 
Come, let us go forth to the mead, 

Let us see how the primroses spring: 
We'll lodge in some village on Tweed, 

And love Avhile the feather'd folks sing. 

How does my love pass the long day? 

Does JIary not tend a few sheep? 
Do they never carelessly stray, 

While happily she lies asleep? 
Should Tweed's murmurs lull her to rest 

Kind nature indulging my bliss. 
To relieve the soft pains of my breast, 

I'd steal an ambrosial kiss. 

'Tis she does the virgins excel. 

No beauty with her may compare: 

Love's graces all round her do dwell. 
She's fairest where thousands arc fair. 



136 



EGBERT CRAWFORD. 



Say, charmer, where do thy flocks stray? 

Oh! tell me at noon where they feed? 
Shall I seek them on sweet winding Tay, 

Or the pleasanter banks of the Tweed? 



MY DEARIE, IP THOU DEE. 

Love never more shall give me pain, 

My fancy's fixed on thee, 
Xor ever maid my heart shall gain. 

My Peggy, if thou dee. 
Thy beauty doth such pleasure give. 

Thy love's so true to me. 
Without thee I can never live, 

My dearie, if thou dee. 

If fate shall tear thee from my breast. 

How shall I lonely stray: 
In dreary dreams the night I'll waste, 

In sighs the silent day. 
I ne'er can so much virtue find, 

Nor such perfection see; 
Then I'll renounce all womankind. 

My Peggy, after thee. 

No new-blown beauty fires my heart 

With Cupid's raving rage; 
But thine, which can such sweets impart, 

Must all the world engage. 
'Twas this, that like the morning sun, 

(iave joy and life to me; 
And when its destin'd day is done 

With Peggy let me dee. 

Ye powers that smile on virtuous love, 

And in such pleasure share; 
You who its faithful flames ap[)rove. 

With pity view the fair: 
Restore my Peggy's wonted charms. 

Those charms .so dear to me ! 
Oh ! never rob them from these arms — 

I'm lost if Peggy dee. 



DOUN THE BURN, DAVIE. 

Wiieii trees did Inid, luid fields were green. 

And hrooin bloom'd fair to see; 
When Mary was complete fifteen, 

.\nd love laugh'd in her e'c; 
Hlylhc Davie's blinks her heart did move 

To speak her mind thus free; 
(Jang doiiu the burn, Davie, love, 

.And I will follow thee. 



Now Davie did each lad surpass 

That dwelt on this burnside; 
And Mai-y was the bonniest lass. 

Just meet to be a bride : 
Her cheeks were rosie, red, and white; 

Her een were bonnie blue; 
Her looks were like the morning bright. 

Her lips like dropping dew. 

As doun the burn they took their way, 

And through the flow'ry dale; 
His cheek to hers he aft did lay, 

And love was aye the tale; 
With, Mary when shall we return, 

Sic pleasure to renew? 
Quoth Mary, Love, I like the burn. 

And aye will follow you.^ 



WHEN SUMMER COMES. 

When summer comes, the swains on Tweed 

Sing their successful loves; 
Around the ewes and lambkins feed, 

And music fills the groves. 

But my lov'd song is then the broom 

So fair on Cowdenknowes; 
For sure so sweet, so soft a bloom 

Elsewhere there never grows. 

There Colin tun'd his oaten reed, 

And won my yielding heart; 
No shepherd e'er that dwelt on Tweed 

Could play with half such art. 

He sung of Tay, of Forth, and Clyde, 

The hills and dales all round. 
Of Leader-haughs and Leader-side — 

Oh! how I bless'd the sound! 

Yet more delightful is the broom 

So fair on Cowdenknowes; 
For sure so fresh, so bright a bloom 

Elsewhere there never grows. 

Not Teviot braes, so green and gay. 
May with this broom compare; 

Not Yarrow banks in flow'ry May, 
Nor the bush aboon Traquair. 

More pleasing far are Cowdenknowes, 

My peaceful, happy home 
Where I was wont to milk my ewes. 

At ev'n among the broom. 



' Tlie last stanza was added by Burns. — Ed. 



ALEXANDER ROSS. 



137 



Ye powers that haunt the woods and plains, 
Where Tweed with Teviot flows, 

Convey me to tlie best of swains, 
And my lov'd Cowdenknowes. 



PEGGY, I MUST LOVE THEE. 

Beneath a beech's grateful sliade 

Young Colin lay complaining; 
He sigli'd and seem'd to love a maid, 

Without hopes of obtaining; 
For thus the swain iudulg'd his grief: 

Though pity cannot move thee, 
Though tliy hard heart gives no relief. 

Yet, Peggy, I must love thee. 

Say, Peggy, what has Colin done. 

Tiiat thou thus cruelly use him .' 
If love's a fault, 'tis that alone 

For which you should excuse him: 



'Twas thy dear self first rais'd this flame. 
This fire by which I languish; 

'Tis thou alone can quench tlie same, 
And cool its scorching unguisii. 

For thee I leave the sportive plain. 

Where every maid invites me; 
For thee, sole cause of all my pain, 

For thee that only slights me: 
This love that fires my faithful heart 

By all but thee's commended. 
Ohl would thou act so good a part. 

My grief migiit soon be ended. 

That beauteous breast, so soft to feel, 

Seem'd tenderness all over. 
Yet it defends thy heart like steel 

Gainst thy despairing lover. 
Alas! tho' it should ne'er relent, 

Nor Colin's care e'er iiiove thee, 
Yet till life's latest breath is spent. 

My Peggy, I must love thee. 



ALEXANDER ROSS 



Born 1699 — Died 17S4. 



Alexander Ross was born at Torphins, in 
the parish of Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeen- 
shire, April 13, 1699. He was the son of 
Andrew Ross, a small farmer in easy circum- 
stances, and received his education at Maris- 
chal College, Aberdeen, where he took the 
degree of Master of Arts in 1718. Soon after 
leaving the university he was engaged as tutor 
in the family of Sir William Forbes, of Craig- 
ievar and Fintray, and then as teacher at the 
parish school of Aboyne, subsequently at that 
of Laurencekirk. In 1726 he married Jane 
Catanach, the daughter of an Aberdeenshire 
farmer, and descended by her mother from the 
old family of Duguid of Auchinhove. In 1732 
he was appointed schoolmaster of Lochlee, a 
wild and thinly-peopled district in Forfar- 
shire, where he spent the remainder of his 
simple and uneventful life in the discharge of 
the duties of his humble office. It was not 
until he had resided here for thirty-six years, 
that, in the year 1768, when he was nearly 
seventy, Ross appeared before the public as a 



poet. So early as his sixteenth year he had 
commenced writing verse; a translation from 
the Latin of Buchanan, composed at that age, 
having been published by his grandson, the 
Rev. Alexander Thomson, in a memoir of the 
poet, prefixed to an edition of his first work 
" Helenore, or the Fortunate Shepherdess," 
printed at Dundee in 1812. This beautiful pas- 
toral poem and some songs, among which were 
"The Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow," and 
"Woo'd and Married and a'," was first pub- 
lished at Aberdeen in 1768. A second edition 
appeared in 1778, dedicated to the Duchess of 
Gordon, and the work has since been fre- 
quently reprinted. On its first publication a 
letter highly laudatory of the poem appeared 
in the Aberdeen Journal, under the fictitious 
signature of Oliver Oldstile, accompanied by 
an epistle in verse to the author, from the pen 
of the poet Dr. Beattie, being the hitter's only 
attempt in the Scots vernacular. We append 
the first stanza, of which there are sixteen in 
the epistle: — 



138 



ALEXANDER ROSS. 



" O Ross, thou wale of hearty cocks, 
Sae crouse and cauty with thy jokes! 
Thy hamely auld-warld muse provokes 

Me for awhile 
To aj e our guid plain couutra folks 

lu verse and stile." 

In the north of Scotland, where the Buehan 
dialect is spoken, "The Fortunate Shep- 
herdess" continues to be as popular as the 
productions of Ramsay and Burns, while some 
of his lyrics are universal favourites. In 1779, 
when eighty yeai-s of age, he was invited by 
the Duke and Duchess of Gordon to visit them 
at Gordon Castle. He accepted the invitation, 
extended to him through his friend Dr. Beattie, 
remaining at the castle some days. Says his 
grandson and biographer, "he was honoured 
with much attention and kindness both by 
the duke and duchess, and was presented by 
tlie latter with an elegant pocket-book, con- 
taining a handsome present, when he returned 
to Lochlee, in good health and with great 
.satisfaction." The next year he lost his wife, 
who died at the advanced age of eighty-two, 
and to whose memory he erected a tombstone 
with a poetical epitaph. He himself did not 
long survive her: on May 20th, 1784, " worn 
out with age and infirmity, being in his eighty- 
sixth year, he breathed his last, with the com- 



posure, resignation, and hope becoming a 
Christian." He left in manuscript eight small 
volumes of poems and other compositions, an 
account of which is given in Campbell's Intro- 
diCction to the History of Poetry in Scotland. 

Ross's reputation must, however, rest upon 
his "Fortunate Shepherdess," and the songs 
which were published with it, rather than upon 
his unpublished writings, which his friend 
Beattie advised should be suppressed. Burns 
has written of our author, "Our true brother 
Ross of Lochlee was a wild warlock;" and the 
celebrated Dr. Blacklock, says Irving, "as I 
have heard from one of his pupils, regarded it 
(•'The Fortunate Shepherdess') as equal to 
the pastoral of Ramsay." On the first appear- 
ance of Ross's i^rincipal poem Beattie pre- 
dicted — 

" And ilka Mearns and Angus bairn 
Thy tales and sangs by heart shall learn." 

The prediction has been verified, and a hope 
which he expressed in one of his unpublished 
poems has been fully realized: — 

" Hence lang, perhaps, lang hence m.ay quoted be, 
My hamely proverbs lined wi' blythesome glee; 
Some reader then may say, ' Fair fa' ye, Ross,' 
When, aiblins, I'll be lang, lang dead and gane, 
An' few remember there was sic a name." 



THE ROCK AND THE WEE PICKLE TOW. 



There was an auld wife had a wee pickle tow, 
And she wad gao try the spinnin' o't; 

She louted her doun, and her rock took a-low, 
And that was a bad beginnin' o't. 

She sat and she grat, and she flat and she flang, 

And she threw and she blew, and she wriggled 
and wrang, 

And she ehokit and boakit, and cried like to mang, 
Alas ! for the di'eaiy beginnin' o't. 

I've wanted a sark for these aught years and ten, 
And this was to be the beginnin' o't; 

But I vow I shall want it for as lang again, 
Or ever I try the spinnin' o't. 

For never since ever they ca'd as they ca' mc. 

Did sic a mishap and niishantcr befa' me; 

But ye shall ha'o leave baith to hang and to draw me 
The ncist time I try the spinnin' o't. 

I've keepit my house now these threescore years, 
Ami aye I kept frae the spinnin' o't; 

But how r wa.s sarkit, foul fa' them that speirs, 
For it minds me upo' the beginnin' o't. 



But our women are now-a-days a' grown sae braw, 
That ilkane maun ha'e a sark, and some ha'e twa — 
The warlds were better where ne'er ane ava 
Had a rag, but ane at the beginnin' o't. 

In the days they ca' yore, gin axild fouks had lint 
won 

To a sm-coat, hough-syde, for the winnin' o't. 
Of coat-raips weel cut by the cast o' then- bum. 

They never socht mair o' the spinnin' o't. 
A pair o' graj' hoggers weil cluikit benew, 
Of nae other lit but the hue of the ewe, 
With a pan- o' rough muUions to scuff through 
the dew, 

Was the fee they socht at the beginnin' o't. 

But we maun ha'e linen, and that maun ha'e we, 
And how get we that but by spinnin' o't ? 

How can we ha'e face for to seek a great fee, 
E.xcept we can help at the winnin' o't ? 

And we maun ha'e pearUns, and mahbies, and 
cocks. 

And some other things that the ladies ca' smocks; 



ALEXANDER ROSS. 



139 



And how get we that, gin we tak' na our rocks, 
And pow what we can at the spiuum' o't? 

'Tis needless for us to mak' our remarks, 
Frae our mither's miscookin' the spinnin' o't. 

She never kenn'd oeht o' the gueed o' the sarks, 
Frae this aback to the beginnin' o't. 

Twa-three ell o' plaiden was a' that was socht 

By oxir auld-warld bodies, and that bude be 
bought; 

For in ilka town siccan things wasna wrocht — 
Sae little they kenned o' the spinnin' o't. 



THEY SAY THAT JOCKEY. 

They say tliat Joe-kcy'Ii speed weel o't, 

They say that Jockey'll speed weel o't. 
For he grows brawer ilka day; 

I hope we'll ha'e a bridal o't: 
For yester-night, nae farther gane. 

The hack house at the side-wa' o't, 
He there wi' Meg was mirdin' seen; 

I hope we'll ha'e a bridal o't. 

An we had but a bridal o't, 

An we had but a bridal o't, 
We'd leave the rest unto good luck. 

Although there might betide ill o't. 
For bridal days are merry times, 

And young fouk like the coming o't. 
And scribblers they bang up their rhymes. 

And pipers play the bumming o't. 

Tlie lasses like a bridal o't. 

The lasses like a bridal o't : 
Their braws maun be in rank and file. 

Although that they sliould guide ill o't. 
The boddoni of the kist is then 

Turn'd up into the inmost o't : 
The end tliat held the keeks sae clean. 

Is now become the teemest o't. 

The bangster at the thresliing o't. 

The bangster at the threshing o't. 
Afore it comes is fidgin fain. 

And ilka day's a clashing o't : 
He'll sell his jerkin for a groat. 

His linder for another o't, 
And ere he want to clear his shot. 

His sark'll pay the totlier o't. 

The pipers and the fiddlers o't, 
The pipers and the fiddlers o't. 

Can smell a bridal unco far, 

And like to be the middlers o't: 



Fan thick and tliree-fauld they convene, 

Ilk ane envies the tother o't. 
And wishes nane but him alane 

May ever see another o't. 

Fan they ha'e done wi' eating o't. 

Fan they ha'e done wi' eating o't, 
For dancing they gae to the green, 

-Vnd aiblins to the beatin o't: 
He dances best that dances fast, 

And loups at ilka reesing o't. 
And claps his hands frae hough to Iiough, 

And furls about the freezings o't. 



"VVOO'D AND MAEIUED AND A'. 

Tiie bride cam' out of the byre, 

.\n' as she dighted her cheeks! 
" .Sirs, I'm to be married the night, 

And ha'e neither blankets nor sheets; 
Ha'e neither blankets nor sheets. 

Nor scarce a coverlet too; 
The bride that has a' thing to borrow 
Has e'en right mickle ado." 
Woo'd and married and a', 
Married and woo'd and a'. 
And was she na very weel afl'. 
That was wood and married and a'? 

Out spake the bride's father. 

As he cam' in frae the pleugh ; 
" O hand your tongue, my dochter. 

And ye's get gear eneugh; 
The stirk stands i' th' tether. 

And our bra' bawsint yade 
Will carry ye hame your corn; 

What wad ye be at, ye jade >" 

Out spake the bride's mither, 

"What deil needs a' this ju-idc: 
I had nae a plack in my pouch 

Tiiat night I was a bride; 
Jly gown was linsy-woolsy. 

And ne'er a sark ava' : 
An' ye lui'e ribbons an' buskins, 

Mae than ane or twa." 

Out spake the bride's brither, 

.\s he cam' in wi' the kye; 
" Poor AVillie wad ne'er ha'e ta'en ye, 

Had he kent ye as weel as I : 
For ye're baith proud and saucy, 

And no for a poor man's wife; 
Gin I canna get a better, 

Ise ne'er tak' ane i' mv life." 



140 



ALEXANDEE EOSS. 



Out spake the bride's sister, 

As she cam' in frae the byre; 
" gin I were but married, 

It's a' that I desire! 
But we poor fouk maun live single, 

And do the best we can : 
I dinna ken what I shou'd want, 

If I cou'd get but a man." 



WHAT AILS THE LASSES AT ME. 

I am a young bachelor winsome, 

A farmer by rank and degree, 
And few I see gang out more handsome 

To kirk or to market than me. 
I've outsiglit and insight, and credit. 

And frae onie eelist I'm free; 
I'm weel enough boarded and bedded, — 

AVhat ails the lasses at me? 

My bughts of good store are na scanty,- 

My byres are weel stock'd wi' kye; 
Of meal in my girnels tiiere's plenty. 

And twa or three easements forby. 
A horse to ride out when they're weary. 

And cock wi' the best they can see ; 
And then be ca't dautie and deary, — 

I wonder what ails them at me? 

I've tried them, baith highland and low- 
land. 

Where I a fair bargain could see; 
The black and the brown Avere unwilling. 

The fair anes were warst o' the three. 
With jooks and wi' scrapes I've addressed 
them. 

Been with them baith modest and free: 
But whatever way I caressed them. 

They were cross and were canker'd wi' me. 

Tiiere's wratacks, and cripples, and cran 
shanks. 

And a' the wandoghts that I ken, 
Nae sooner they smile on the lasses, 

Than they are ta'en far enough ben. 
But when I speak to them that's stately, 

1 find them aye ta'en wi' the gee, 



And get the denial fu' flatly; — 

What think ye can ail them at me? 

I have a gude ofl["er to make them. 

If they would but hearken to me; 
And that is, I'm willing to take them. 

Gin they wad be honest and free. 
Let her wha likes best write a billet, 

And send the sweet message to me; 
By sun and by moon I'll fulfil it, 

Though crooked or crippled she be. 



THE BRAES OF FLAVIANA. 

Of all the lads that be 

On Flaviana's braes, 
'Tis Colin bears the gree. 

An' that a thousand ways; 
Best on the pipe he plays. 

Is merry, blyth, an' gay, 
"An' Jeany fair," he says, 

" Has stown my heart away. 

" Had I ten thousand pounds, 

I'd all to Jeany gee, 
I'd thole a thousand wounds 

To keep my Jeany free: 
For Jeany is to me. 

Of all the maidens fair. 
My jo, and ay shall be, 

With her I'll only pair. 

"Of roses I will weave 

For her a flow'ry crown, 
All other cares I'll leave. 

An' busk her haffets round ; 
I'll buy her a new gown, 

Wi' strips of red an' blew, 
An' never mair look brown. 

For Jeany'll ay be new. 

' ' My Jeany made reply, 

Syn ye ha'e chosen me, 
Then all my wits I'll try, 

A loving wife to be. 
If I my Colin see, 

I'll lang for naething mair, 
Wi' him I do agree 

In weal an' wae to share 1" 



EOBEET BLAIR. 



141 



EOBEET BLAIE 



Born 1699 — Died 1746. 



The gifted author of "The Grave" was a son 
of the Eev. David Blair, one of the ministers 
of Edinburgh, and grandson of the Eev. Kobert 
Bhiir, chaplain to Charles I., and one of the 
most zealous and distinguished clergymen of 
the period in which lie lived. Eobert was born 
in the year 1699 at Edinburgh; was educated 
for the church at the university of his native 
city, and afterwards travelled for pleasure and 
improvement on tlie Continent. In January, 
1731, he was ordained minister of Athelstane- 
ford, in East Lothian, where he passed the 
remainder of his life, "bosomed in the shade." 
He was an animated preacher, an accomplished 
scholar, and a botanist and florist, as well as 
a man of scientific and general knowledge. 
His fii'st poem was one dedicated to the memory 
of Mr. William Law, professor of moral philo- 
sophy in the University of Edinburgh — whose 
daughter Isabella he afterwards married — 
which was first published in Dr. Anderson's 
collection. Possessing a private fortune inde- 
pendent of his stipend as a parish minister, 
Blair, we are told, lived in the style of a coun- 
try gentleman, associating with tlie neigh- 
bouring gentry, among whom were Sir Francis 
Kinloch, and the lamented Colonel Gardiner, 
who was killed at the battle of Prestonpans 
in 1745; — both Blair's warmest friends. 

It was Gardiner who appears to have been 
the means of his opening a correspondence 
with the celebrated Isaac Watts — a name 
never to be uttered without reverence by any 
lover of pure Christianity or by any well-wisher 
of mankind — and Dr. Doddridge, on the subject 
of " The Grave." February 25, 1741-42, Blair 
addresses a letter to the latter, the following 
extract from which contains interesting infor- 
mation as to the composition and publication 
of his poem: — "About ten months ago Lady 
Prances Gardiner did me the favour to ti'ans- 
mit to me some manuscript hymns of yours, 
with which I was wonderfully delighted. I 
wish I could on my part contribute in any 
measure to your entertainment, as you have 



sometimes done to mine in a very high degree. 
And that I may show how willing I am to do 
so, I have desired Dr. Watts to transmit to you 
a manuscript poem of mine, entitled ' The 
Grave,' written, I hope, in a way not unbe- 
coming my profession as a. minister of the 
gospel, though the greatest part of it was com- 
posed several years before I was clothed with 
so sacred a character. I was urged by some 
friends here, to Avhom I showed it, to make it 
public; nor did I decline it, provided I had 
the approbation of Dr. Watts, from whom I 
have received many civilities, and for whom I 
had ever entertained the highest regard. Yes- 
terday I had a letter from the doctor signif}-- 
ing hik approbation of the piece in a manner 
most obliging. A great deal less from liim 
would have done me no small honour. But, 
at the same time, he mentions to me that he 
had offered it to two booksellers of his acquaint- 
ance, who, he tells me, did not care to run the 
risk of publishing it. They can scarcely think, 
considering how critical an age we live in with 
respect to such kind of writings, that a person 
living 300 miles from London could write so 
as to be acceptable to the fashionable and 
polite. Perhaps it may be so, though at tlie 
same time I must say, in order to make it 
more generally liked, I was obliged sometimes 
to go cross to my own inclinations, well know- 
ing that whatever poem is written upon a seri- 
ous argument must, upon that very account, 
be under peculiar disadvantages: and, tliere- 
fore, proper arts must be used to make sucli a 
piece go down with a licentious age, which 
cares for none of these things. I beg pardon 
for breaking in upon moments precious as 
yours, and hope you will be so kind as to give 
me your opinion of the poem." 

It was first printed in London, "for Mr. 
Cooper," in 1743, and again in Edinburgh in 
1747. Blair died of a fever, February 4, 
1743, and was succeeded at Athelstaneford by 
John Home, the author of "Douglas." He 
left a numerous family; and his fourth son, 



142 



ROBERT BLAIR. 



a distinguished lawyer — Robert Blair of Avon- 
toun — rose to be Lord-president of the Court 
of Session. A handsome obelisk was erected 
to the memory of the poet at Athelstane- 
ford in 1857. "The Grave" is a complete 
and powerful poem, now esteemed as one of 
the standard classics of English poetical. liter- 
ature. Pinkerton says "it is the best piece of 
blank verse we have save those of Milton;'' 
while Southey carelessly stated in his L'ife of 
Cowper that it was the only poem he could 
call to mind which had been composed in 
imitation of the "Night Thoughts." "The 
Grave" was written prior to the " Night 
Thoughts," and has no other resemblance to 
the work of Young than that it is of a serious 
devout cast, and is in blank verse. This poem, 
which the two wise booksellers "did not care 
to run the risk of publishing," proved to be 
one of the most popular productions of the 
eighteenth century. 

The only exception that can be taken to 
Blair's poem — which contains many corusca- 
tions of true genius, many images characterized 
by a Shaksperian force and picturesque fancy, 
as when he says men see their friends 

" Drop off like leaves in autumn, yet launch out 
Into fantastic schemes, which the long livers 
In the world's hale and undegenerate days 
Would scarce have leisure for;" ' > 

or in his two lines concerning suicides: — 

" The common damned sliun their society, 
And look upon themselves as fiends less foul" — 



is, that the author has in some instances had 
the good taste to enrich his memory with 
many fine expressions and thoughts from other 
poets, the appropriation of which he failed to 
acknowledge. A single instance will suffice: 
Man, sick of bliss, tries evil, and as a result — 

" The good he scorned 
Stalked off reluctant, like an ill-used ghost, 
Not to return; or if it did, in visits, 
Like those of angels, short and far betieeen." 

The idea w'as borrowed from Norris of Bemer- 
side, who, prior to Blair, wrote a poem, "The 
Parting," which contains the following stanza: 

" How fading are the joys we dote upon; 
Like apparitions seen and gone; 

But those who soonest take their flight. 
Are the most exquisite and strong, 

Like angels' visits slioii. and bright — 
Mortality's too weak to bear them long." 

The simile seems to have been appropriated 
from Blair by Thomas Campbell, in his " Plea- 
sures of Hope," with one slight verbal alter- 
ation : 

" What tho\igh my winged houi's of bliss have been 

Like angel visits, few- and far between." 

"But," adds a critic, "however much Blair 
may have been indebted to his reading for the 
materials of his poem, it must still be allowed 
that he has made a tasteful use of them; nor 
can any plagiarism-hunter ever deprive him 
of the honour of having contributed largely 
from his own stores to our poetical wealth." 



THE GRAVE.1 

" The house appointed for all living." — Job. 



"Whilst some affect the sun, and .'lome the shade, 
Some flee the city, some the hermitage; 
Their aims a.s various as the roads they take 
In journeying through life; — the task bo mine 
To i)aint the gkiomy horrors of the tomb; 
Th' a] (pointed place of rendezvous, where all 
These travellers meet. — Thy succours 1 implore, 
Eternal King! whose potent arm sustains 
The keys of hoU and death. -The grave, dread 

thing ! 
-Men shiver when thou'rt named : Nature, appall'd. 



' CanipV)ell in hiH"F;«sayon Engli-h Poetry" remarks: 
"Tli« cljjhteentli century has produced few speoimena 
of blank verse of no familiar and simple a character as 



Shakes off her wonted firmness. — Ah! how dark 
Thy long-extended realms, and ruefid wastes ! 
Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark 

night. 
Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun 
"Was rolled together, or had tried his beams 
Athwart the gloom profound. — The sickly taper. 
By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty 

vaults, 
Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy slime. 
Lets fall a supernumerary horror, 

that of "The Grave." It is a popular poem, not merely 
because it is religious, but because its language and 
imagery are free, natural, and picturesque." — Ed. 



EGBERT BLAIR. 



143 



And only serves to make thy night more ii-ksome. 
Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, 
(I'heerless, unsocial plant ! that loves to dwell 
'Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs and worms ; 
AMiere light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades, 
Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports) 
Embodied, thick, perfomi their mystic rounds. 
No other merriment, dull tree, is thine. 

See j'onder hallow'd fane ! the pious work 
Of names once famed, now dubious or forgot. 
And buried 'midst the wreck of things which 

were; 
There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead. 
The wind is up: hark ! how it howls ! Methinks 
Till now, I never heard a sound so dreary: 
Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul 

bird, 
Rook'd in the spire, screams loud; the gloomj' 

aisles, 
Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of 

'scutcheons. 
And tatter'd coats of aiTns, send back the sound. 
Laden with hea^aer airs, from the low vaults. 
The mansions of the dead. — Roused from their 

slumbers, 
In grim array the grisly spectres rise, 
Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen. 
Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night. 
Again the screech-owl shrieks : ungracious sound ! 
I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill. 

Quito round the pile, a row of rev'rend elms, 
( Coeval near with that, ) all ragged show, 
Long lash'd by the rude winds : some rift half down 
Their branchless tninks: others so thin a top. 
That scarce two crows could lodge in the same 

tree. 
Strange things, the neighbours say, have hap- 
pen' d here: 
Wild sluieks have issued from the hollow tombs; 
Dead men have come again, and walk'd about; 
And the great bell has toll'd, unrinig, untouch'd. 
(Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossiping, 
When it draws near to witching time of night. ) 

Oft, in the lone churchyard at night I've seen, 
By glimpse of moonshine, chequering tlu-o' the 

trees, 
The school-boy, with his satchel in his hand, 
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up. 
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones, 
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown,) 
That tell in homely phrase who lie below. 
Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears, 
The sound of something purring at his heels; 
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him, 
Till, out of breath, he overtakes his fellows; 
Who gather romid, and wonder at the tale 
Of horrid app.-irition, tall and ghastly. 
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand 



O'er some new-open'd grave; and, strange to tell! 
Evanishes at crowing of the cock. 

The new-made widow, too, I've sometimes spied, 
Sad sight! slow mo\'ing o'er the prostrate dead: 
Listless, she crawls along in doleful black, 
Wliile bursts of sorrow gush from either eye, 
Fast-falling down her now untasted cheek. 
Prone on the lowly grave of the dear man 
She drops; while busy meddling memory, 
In barbarous succession, musters up 
The past endearments of their softer hours. 
Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks 
She sees him, and, indulging the fond thought, 
Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf. 
Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way. 

Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder 
Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one! 
A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. 
Friendship ! mysterious cement of the soul ! 
Sweetener of life, and solder of society! 
I owe thee much. Thou hast deserved from me 
Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. 
Oft have I proved the labom-s of thy love. 
And the wami efforts of the gentle heart. 
Anxious to please. Oh! when my friend and I 
III some thick wood have wander 'd heedless on. 
Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down 
Upon the sloping cowshp-cover'd bank. 
Where the pure limpid stream has shd along 
In grateful errors through the underwood, 
Sweet murmuring; methought, the shiill-tongued 

tlirush 
Mended his sohg of love; the sooty blackbird 
Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note; 
The eglantine smell'd sweeter, and the rose 
Assumed a dye more deep; whilst eveiy flow'r 
Vied with its fellow-plant in luxury 
Of dress. — Oh! then, the longest summer's day 
Seem'd too, too much in haste; still the full lieart 
Had not imparted half; 'twas happiness 
Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed, 
Not to return, how painful the remembrance I 

Dull grave! thou spoil'st the dance of youthful 
blood, 
Strik'st out the dimple from the cheek of mhth, 
And ev'ry smirking feature from the face; 
Branding our laughter with the name of madness. 
Where are the jesters now? The men of health 
Complexionally pleasant ? Where the droll 
Whose ev'ry look and gesture was a joke 
To clapping theatres ami shouting crowds, 
And made ev'n thick-lipp'd musing melancholy 
To gather up her face into a smile 
Before she was aware ? Ah ! sullen now, 
And dumb as the green tnrf that covers them. 

"Wliere are the mighty thun<lerliolts of war .' 
The Roman Ca'sars, and the Grecian chiefs. 



144 



EOBEET BLAIR. 



The boast of story? Where the hot-brained 

youth, 
Who the tiara at his pleasure tore 
From kings of all the then discover'd globe ; 
And cried, forsooth, because his arm was hara- 

per'd, 
And had not room enough to do its work? 
Alas ! how slini, dishonourably slim ! 
And cramm'd into a space we blush to name, 
Proud royalty I how alter'd in thy looks ! 
How blank thy features, and how wan thy hue! 
Son of the morning ! whither art thou gone ? 
Where hast thou hid thy many-spangled head, 
And the majestic menace of thine eyes, 
Felt from afar ? Pliant and powerless now. 
Like new-bora infant wound up in his swathes, 
Or victim tumbled flat upon his back. 
That tln-obs beneath the sacrificer's knife: 
Mute must thou bear the strife of httle tongues, 
And coward insults of the base-bom crowd. 
That gruilge a privilege thou never hadst, 
But only hoped for in the peaceful gi'ave. 
Of being unmolested and alone. 
Arabia's gums, and odoriferous drugs, 
And honours by the herald duly paid 
In mode and forai, ev'n to a very scruple; 
O cruel irony ! these come too late ; 
And only mock whom they were meant to honour. 
Surely, there's not a dungeon-slave that's buried 
In the highway, unshrouded and uncoffin'd. 
But lies as soft, and sleeps as sound as he. 
Sorry pre-eminence of high descent. 
Above the baser born, to rot in state ! 

But see ! the well-plumed hearse comes nod- 
ding on, 
Stately and slow; and properly attended 
By the whole sable tribe, that painful watch 
The sick man's door, and live upon the dead, 
By letting out their persons by the h .ur 
To mimic sorrow when the heart's not sad ! 
How rich the trappings, now they're all unfurl'd 
And glitt'ring in the sun ! Triumphant entries 
Of conquerors, and coronation pomps, 
In glory scarce exceed. Great gluts of people 
Retard th' unwieldy show; whilst from the case- 
ments 
And houses' tops ranks behind ranks, close 

weflged, 
Hang bellying o'er. "But tell us, why this waste? 
Why this ado in earthing up a carcass 
That's fallen into disgrace, and in the nostril 
Smells horrilile? — Ye undertakers, tell us, 
'Mids all the gorgeous figures you exhibit. 
Why is the principal conceal'd for which 
Yoii make this mighty stir?— 'Tis wisely done: 
What would offend the eye in a good picture 
The i)aintor casts discreetly into shades. 

I'roud lineage, now Low little thou appear'st ! 
Below the envy of the private man ! 



Honour, that meddlesome, oflficious ill, 
Pursues thee e'en to death, nor there stops short. 
Strange persecution ! when the grave itself 
Is no protection from rude sufferance. 

Absurd ! to think to overreach the grave, 
And from the wreck of names to rescue ours I 
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame 
Die fast away: only themselves die faster. 
The far-famed sculptor, and the laurel'd bard, 
Those bold insurancers of deathless fame. 
Supply their little feeble aids in vain. 
The tap'ring pyramid, th' Egyptian's pride, 
And wonder of the world, whoso spiky top 
Has wounded the thick cloud, and long out-liv'd 
The angry shaking of the winter's storm; 
Yet spent at last by th' injuries of heaven, 
Shatter'd with age, and furrow'd o'er with years. 
The mystic cone, with hieroglyphics crusted, 
At once gives way. lamentable sight ! 
The labour of whole ages lumbers down, 
A hideous and misshapen length of ruins. 
Sepulchral cohimns wrestle, but in vain. 
With all-subduing Time; her cank'ring hand, 
With calm, deliberate malice wasteth them: 
Worn on the edge of days, the brass consumes. 
The busto moulders, and the deep-cut marble, 
Unsteady to the steel, gives up its charge. 
Ambition, half -convicted of her folly, 
Hangs down the head, and reddens at the tale. 

Here all the mighty troublers of the earth, 
Who swam to sov'reign rule through seas of 

blood; 
Th' oppressive, sturdy, man-destroying villains, 
Who ravaged kingdoms and laid empires waste. 
And in a cruel wantonness of power 
Thinn'd states of half their people, and gave up 
To want the rest; now, hke a storm that's 

spent. 
Lie hush'd, and meanly sneak behind thy covert. 
Vain thought ! to hide them from the gen'ral 

scorn 
That haunts and dogs them, like an injur'd ghost 
Implacable. Here, too, the petty tyrant. 
Whose scant domains geographer ne'er noticed, 
And, well for neighb'ring gi'ounds, of arm as 

short. 
Who fixed his iron talons on the poor. 
And gripp'd them like some lordly beast of prej'. 
Deaf to the forceful cries of gnawing hunger. 
And piteous, plaintive voice of misery; 
(As if a slave were not a shred of nature, 
Of the same common nature as his lord;) 
Now tame and humble, like a child that's whipp'd, 
Shakes hands with dust, and calls the womi his 

kinsman; 
Nor pleads his rank and birthright. Under 

ground 
Precedency's a jest; vassal and lord. 
Grossly familiar, side by side consume. 



EGBERT BLAIR. 



145 



When self-esteem, or others' adulation, 
Would cunningly jjersuade us we are something 
Above the common level of our kind; 
The grave gainsays the smooth -complexion'd 

flatt'ry. 
And with blunt truth ac(£uaints us what wc are. 

Beauty ! thou pretty plaything, dear deceit. 
That steals so softly o'er the stripling's heart. 
And gives it a nev\' pulse unknown before. 
The grave discredits thee; tliy charms expunged, 
Thy roses faded, and thy lilies soil'd. 
What hast thou more to boast of ? Will thy lovers 
Flock round thee now, to gaze and do thee homage? 
Methinks I see thee with thy head low laid. 
Whilst, surfeited upon thy damask cheek. 
The high-fed worm, in lazy volumes roll'd. 
Riots unscared. For this, was all thy caution ? 
For tliis thy painful labours at thy glass? 
T' improve those chai-ms, and keep them in repair, 
For which the spoiler thanks thee not. Foul 

feeder ! 
Coarse fare and carrion please thee full as well, 
And leave as keen a relish on the sense. 
Look how the fair one weeps ! the conscious tears 
Stand thick as dew-drops on the bells of flowers: 
Honest eff u.sion ! the swollen heart in vain 
Works hard to put a gloss on its distress. 

Strength, too — thou surly, and less gentle boast 
Of those that laugh loud at the village ring ! 
A fit of common sickness pulls thee down 
With greater ease than e'er thou didst the strip- 
ling 
That rashly dared thee to th' unequal fight. 
What groan was that I heard? deep groan indeed! 
With anguish heavy laden; let me trace it; 
From yonder bed it comes, where the strong man. 
By stronger arm belabour'd, gasps for breath 
Like a hard-hunted beast. How his great heart 
Beats thick! his roomy chest by far too scant 
To give the lungs full play ! what now avail 
The strong-built sinewy limbs, and well-spread 

shoulders ? 
See how he tugs for life, and lays about him, 
Mad with his pain! Eager he catches hold 
Of what comes next to hand, and grasps it hard, 
Just like a creature drowning ! hideous sight ! 
Oh ! how his eyes stand out, and stare full ghastly. 
Whilst the distemper's rank and deadly venom 
Shoots like a burning arrow cross his bowels, 
And drinks his marrow up. Heard you that 

groan ? 
It was his last. See how the great Goliath, 
Just like a child that brawl'd itself to rest. 
Lies still. — What mean'st thou then, mighty 

boaster. 
To vaunt of nerves of thine ! What means the 

bull, 
L^nconscious of his strength, to play the coward. 
And flee before a feeble thing like man; 



That, knowing well the slackness of his arm, 
Trusts only in the well-invented knife? 

With study pale, and midnight vigils spent. 
The star-surveJ^ng sage, close to his eye 
Applies the sight-invigorating tube; 
And travelling thro' the boundless length of space, 
Jlarks well the courses of the far-seen orbs, 
That roll with regular confusion there, 
In ecstasy of thought. But ah ! proud man. 
Great heights are hazardous to the weak head; 
Soon, very soon, thy firmest footing fails; 
And down thou dropp'st into that darksome place, 
Where nor device nor knowledge ever came. 

Here the tonguo-v^rrior lies, disabled now, 
Disarm'd, dishonour'd, like a wretch that's gagg'd, 
And cannot tell his ails to passers by. 
Great man of language, whence this mighty 

change ? 
This dumb despair, and drooping of the head ? 
Though strong persuasion hung upon thy lip, 
And sly insinuation's softer arts 
In ambush lay about thy flowing tongue: 
Alas ! how chop-fall'n now ! Thick mists and 

silence 
Rest, like a weary cloud, upon thy breast 
Unceasing. — Ah! where is the lifted arm. 
The strength of action, and the force of words, 
The well-turn'd period, and the well-tuned voice. 
With all the lesser ornaments of phrase? 
Ah! fled for ever, as they ne'er had been! 
Razed from the book of fame; or, more provoking. 
Perchance some hackney, hunger-bitten scribbler 
Insults thy memory, and blots thy tomb 
With long flat narrative or duller rhjTnes, 
With heavy halting pace that drawl along; 
Enough to rouse a dead man into rage. 
And waiTn w ith red resentment the wan cheek. 

Here the great masters of the healing art. 
These mighty mock defrauders of the tomb! 
Spite of their juleps and catholicons. 
Resign to fate. Proud ^Esculapius' son! 
Where are thy boasted implements of art. 
And all thy well-cramm'd magazines of health? 
Nor hill, nor vale, as far as ship could go. 
Nor margin of the gravel-bottom'd brook, 
Escaped thy rifling hand: from stubborn shrubs 
Thou wrung'st their shy retiring virtues out. 
And vex'd them in the fire; nor fly, nor insect, 
Nor writhy snake, escaped thy deep research. 
But why this apparatus? why this cost? 
Tell us, thou doughtj"- keeper from the gi'ave! 
Where are thy recipes and cordials now, 
With the long list of vouchers for thy cures ? 
Alas! thou speak'st not. — The bold impostor 
Looks not more sillj' when the cheat's found out. 

Here, the lank-sided miser, worst of felons! 
Who meanly stole (discreditable shift!) 
10 



146 



EGBERT BLAIR. 



From back and belly too, their proper cheer; 
Eased of a tax it irk'd the wretch to pay 
To his own carcass, now lies cheaply lodged; 
By clam'rous appetites no longer teased, 
Nor tedious bills of charges and repairs. 
Bnt ah! where are his rents, his comings in? 
Ay! now you've made the rich man poor indeed: 
Robb'd of his gods, what has he left behind ! 
cursed lust of gold ! when for thy sake 
The fool throws up his int'rest in both worlds! 
Fu-st starved in this, then damu'd in that to 
come. 

How shocking must thy summons be, Death ! 
To him that is at ease in his possessions; 
Who, counting on long years of pleasure here, 
Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come! 
In that dread moment, how tlie frantic soul 
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement, 
Rxms to each avenue, and shrieks f r help. 
But shrieks in vain! How wishfully she looks 
On all she's leaving, now no longer hers! 
A httle longer, yet a little longer, 
Oh ! might she stay to wash away her stains. 
And fil; her for her passage! — Maurnful sight! 
Her verj' ej'es weep blood; — and every groan 
She heaves is big with horror. But the foe. 
Like a staunch murd'rer, steady to his purpose, 
Pursues her close through every lane of life, 
Nor misses once the track, but presses on; 
Till, forced at last to the tremendous verge, 
At once slie sinks to everlasting ruin. 

Sure, 'tis a serious thing to die! my soid! 
What a strange moment must it be, when near 
Tliy journey's end thou hast the gulf in view! 
That awful gulf no mortal e'er repass'd 
To tell what's doing on the other side. 
Nature runs back, and shudders at the sight, 
And every life-string bleeds at thoughts of part- 
ing; 
For part they must: body and soul must part; 
Fond couple ! link'd more close than wedded jjair. 
T/iis wings its way to its Almighty Source, 
The witness of its actions, now its judge: 
T/iu/ droi)s into the dark and noisome grave. 
Like a disabled pitclier of no use. 

If deatli were nothing, and nought after death; 
If, when men died, at once they ceased to be, 
Ucturning to the barren womb of nothing 
Whence first they spmng; then might the 

debauchee 
UntrcmV)ling mouth tlie heavens ; then might 

the dninkard 
Reel over liis full bowl, an<l when 'tis drain'd 
Fill up another to tlie brim, and laugh 
At the poor bugbear Death ; then might the 

wretch 
That's wcar>' of the world, and tired of life, 
At once give each inquietude the slip, 



By stealing out of being when he pleased. 
And by what way; whether by hemp or steel; 
Death's thousand doors stand oj^en. Who could 

force 
The ill-pleased guest to sit out his full time. 
Or blame him if he goes? Sure he does well 
That heli:)s himself as timely as he can. 
When able. But if there's an hereafter, — 
And that there is, conscience, uninfluenced, 
And suffer'd to speak out, tells ev'ry man, — 
Then must it be an awful thing to die; 
More horrid yet to die by one's own hand! 
Self-murder! name it not; our island's shame, 
That makes her the reproach of neighb'ring 

states. 
Shall nature, swerving from her earliest dictate. 
Self-preservation, fall by her own act ? 
Forbid it, Heav'n! Let not, upon disgust. 
The shameless hand be foully crimson'd o'er 
With blood of its own lord. Dreadful attempt! 
Just reeking from self-slaughter, in a rage. 
To rush into the presence of our Judge; 
As if we challenged him to do his worst. 
And matter'd not his wrath! Unheard-of tor- 
tures 
Must lie reserved for such: these herd together; 
The common damn'd shim their society, 
And look upon themselves as fiends less foul. 
Our time is fix'd, and all our days are number'd; 
How long, how short, we know not: this we know. 
Duty requires we calmly wait the summons. 
Nor dare to stir till Heaven shall give p)ermission ; 
Like sentries that must keep their destined stand. 
And wait th' ap}iointed hour, till they're relieved. 
Those only are the brave that keep their ground, 
And keep it to the last. To run away 
Is but a coward's trick: to run away 
From this world's ills, that at the very worst 
Will soon blow o'er, thinking to mend ourselves 
By boldly vent'ring on a world unknown. 
And plunging headlong in the dark; 'tis mad: 
No frenzy half so desperate as this. 

Tell us, ye dead; will none of you, in pity 
To those you left behind, disclose the secret ? 
Oh! that some courteous ghost would blab it out; 
What 'tis you are, and we must shortly be. 
I've heard, that souls departed have sometimes 
Forewarn'd men of their death: 'twas kindly 

done 
To knock and give the alarm. But what means 
This stinted charity? — 'Tis but lame kindness 
That does its work by halves. Why might you 

not 
Tell us what 'tis to die ? Do the strict laws 
Of your society forbid your speaking 
Upon a point so nice? I'll ask no more; 
Sullen, like lamps in sepulchres, your shrine 
Enlightens but yourselves: Well— 'tis no matter; 
A very little time will clear up all, 
And make us learn'd as you are, and as close. 



EOBEET BLAIR. 



14: 



Death's shafts fly thick: — Hero falls the village 
swain, 
And there his j)ami)er'd lord. — The cup goes 

round, 
And who so artful as to put it by ? 
'Tis long since death had the majority; 
Yet, strange ! the living lay it not to heart. 
See yonder maker of the dead man's bed. 
The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle! 
Of hard unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole 
A gentle tear; with mattock in his hand. 
Digs thro' whole rows of kindred and acquain- 
tance. 
By far his juniors. — Scarce a skull's east up, 
But well he knew its owner; and can tell 
Some passage of his life. Thus hand in hand 
The sot has walk'd with death twice twenty 

years; 
And yet ne'er younker on the green laughs 

louder, 
Or clubs a smuttier tale: — When drunkards meet. 
None sings a merrier catch, or lends a hand 
More willing to his cup. Poor wretch! he minds 

not, 
That soon some trusty brother of the trade 
Shall do for him what he has done for thousands. 

On this side, and on that, men see their friends 
Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch out 
Into fantastic schemes, which the long livers 
In the world's hale and undegen'rate days 
Could .scarce have leisure for. — Fools that we are, 
Never to think of death and of ourselves 
At the same time; as if to learn to die 
Were no concern of ours. more than sottish! 
For creatures of a day, in gamesome mood, 
To frolic on eternity's dread brink, 
Unapprehensive; when, for aught we know, 
The very first swollen surge shall sweep us in. 
Think we, or think we not, time hurries on 
With a resistless, unremitting stream; 
Yet treads more soft than e'er did midnight 

thief, 
That slides his hand under the miser's pillow, 
And carries off his prize. What is this world ? 
Wliat but a spacious bui-ial-field unwall'd. 
Strewed with death's spoils, the spoils of animals, 
Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones. 
The very turf on which we tread once lived; 
And we that live must lend our carcasses 
To cover our own offspring; in their turns 
They too must cover theii-s. 'Tis here all meet. 
The shivering Icelander, and sun-burnt Moor; 
Men of all climes, that never met before; 
And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the Chris- 
tian. 
Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder. 
His sovereign's keeper, and the people's scourge. 
Are huddled out of sight. Here lie abash'd 
The great negotiators of the earth. 
And celebrated masters of the balance. 



Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts. 
Now vain their treaty -skill; Death scorns to 

treat. 
Here the o'erloaded .slave flings down his burthen 
From his gall'd shoulders; and, when the stern 

tyrant. 
With all his guards and tools of pow'r about him. 
Is meditating new unheard-of hard.ships, 
Mocks his .short arm, and, (juick as thought, 

escapes 
Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest. 
Here the warm lover, leaving the cool shade, 
The tell-tale echo, and the bubbling stream, 
(Time out of mind the fav'rite seats of love,) 
Fast by his gentle mistress lays him down, 
Unblasted by foul tongue. Here friends and 

foes 
Lie close, unmindful of their former feuds. 
The lawn-robed prelate, and plain presbyter, 
Erewhile that stood aloof, as shy to meet. 
Familiar mingle here, like sister streams 
That some rude interposing rock has split. 
Here is the large-limb'd peasant; here the child 
Of a span long, that never saw the sun. 
Nor press'd the nipple, strangled in life's porch. 
Here is the mother, with her sons and daughters: 
The barren wife, and long-demurring maid. 
Whose lonely unappropriated sweets 
Smiled like yon knot of cowslips on the cliff, 
Not to be come at by the willing hand. 
Here are the prude severe, and gaj^ coquette. 
The sober widow, and the young green virgin, 
Cropp'd like a rose before 'tis fully blown. 
Or half its worth disclosed. Strange medley here ! 
Here garrulous old age winds vip his tale; 
And jovial youth, of lightsome vacant heart, 
Whose every day was made of melody, 
Hears not the voice of mirth. — The shrill- tongued 

shrew. 
Meek as the turtle-dove, forgets her chiding. 
Here are the wise, the generous, and the brave: 
The just, the good, the woi-thless, the profane: 
The downright clown, and perfectly well-bred: 
The fool, the chui-l, the scoundrel, and the mean; 
The supple statesman, and the patri t stern; 
The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time. 
With all the lumber of six thousand j'cars. 

Poor man ! how happy once in thy first state. 
When yet but warm from thj' great Maker's hand. 
He stamp'd thee with his image, and, well plea.sed. 
Smiled on his last fair work. — Then all was well: 
Sound was the body, and the soul serene: 
Like two sweet instruments ne'er out of tune. 
That plaj' their several parts. Nor head , nor heart 
Offer'd to ache; nor was there cause they should: 
For all was pure within : no fell remorse. 
Nor anxious castings up of what might lie. 
Alarmed his peaceful bosom. Summer seas 
Show not more smooth when kissed bj- southern 
winds. 



148 



EOBEET BLAIR. 



Just ready to expire. Scarce importuned, 
The generous soil, with a luxuriant hand, 
Offer'd the various produce of the year. 
And everj-thing most perfect in its kind. 
Blessed, thrice blessed days! but ah! how short! 
Bless'd as the pleasing dreams of holy men, 
But fugitive, like those, and quickly gone. 
slippery state of things ! What sudden turns! 
What strange vicissitudes, in the first leaf 
Of man's sad history! To-day most happy, 
And ere to-morrow's sun has set, most abject. 
How scant the space between these vast extremes! 
Thus fared it with our sire: not long he enjoy'd 
His paradise. — Scarce had the happy tenant 
Of tlie fair spot due time to prove its sweets 
Or sum them up, when straight he must be gone. 
Ne'er to return again. — And must he go ! 
Can nought compound for the first dire offence 
Of erring man? Like one that is condemn 'd. 
Fain would he trifle time with idle talk. 
And parley with his fate. But 'tis in vain. 
Not all the lavish odours of the place, 
Offer'd in incense, can procure his pardon, 
Or mitigate his doom. A mighty angel, 
W^ith flaming sword, forl>ids his longer stay; 
And drives the loiterer fortli; nor must he take 
One last and farewell round. At once he lost 
His glory and liis God. If mortal now. 
And sorel}'maim'd, no wonder! Man has sinn'd; 
Sick of his bliss, aiid bent on new adventures, 
E\il he would needs try; nor tried in vain. 
( Dreadful experiment ! Destructive measure ! 
Where the worst thing could happen is success.,) 
Alas ! too .well he sped ; the good he scorn'd 
Stalk'd off reluctant, like an ill-used ghost. 
Not to return; or if it did, its vi.«its. 
Like those of angels, short and far between: 
Whilst the black demon, with his hell-'scap'd train. 
Admitted once into its better room. 
Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone; 
Lording it o'er the man ; who now, too late. 
Saw the ra.sh error which he could not mend — 
An error fatal not to him alone. 
But to his future sons, his fortune's heirs. 
Inglorious bondage ! Human nature groans 
Beneath a vassalage .so vile and cruel. 
And its vast body bleeds through every vein. 

What havoc hast thou made, foul monster, sin! 
Greatest and first of ills ! The fmitful parent 
Of woes of all dimensions ! But for thee 
Sorrow had never been. All-noxious thing, 
Of vilest nature ! Other sorts of evils 
Are kindly circumscribed, and have their bounds. 
Tlie fierce volcano, from its burning entrails 
That beJclies molten stone and globes of fire, 
Involved in pitchy clouds of smoke and stench, 
Mars the adjacent fields, for some leagues round, 
And there it stops. The big-swollen inundation. 
Of mischief more difTusive, raving loud. 
Buries V hole tracts of country, threat'ning more; 



But that too has its shore it cannot pass. , 
More dreadful far than those! sin has laid waste, 
Not here and there a country, but a world; 
Despatching, at a wide-extended blow, 
Entire mankind; and, for their sakes, defacing 
A whole creation's beauty with rude hands; 
Blasting the fruitful grain and loaded branches. 
And marking all along its way with ruin. 
Accursed thing ! Oh! where shall fancy find 
A proper name to call thee by, expressive 
Of all thy horrors ! pregnant womb of ills ! 
Of temper so transcendantly malign. 
That toads and serpents of most deadly kind. 
Compared to thee, are harmless. Sicknesses 
Of every size and symptom, racking pains. 
And bluest plagues, are thine! See how the fiend 
Profusely scatters the contagion round ! 
Whilst deep-mouth'd slaughter, bellowing at her 

heels, 
Wade§ deejj in blood new-spilt; yet for to-morrow 
Shapes out new work of gi-eat uncommon daring. 
And inly pines till the dread blow is struck. 

But, hold! I've gone too far; too much discover'd 
My father's nakedness and nature's shame. 
Here let me pause — and drop an honest tear. 
One burst of filial duty and condolence. 
O'er all those ample deserts Death has spread, 
This chaos of mankind. great man-eater ! 
Whose ev'ry day is carnival, not sated yet ! 
Unheard-of epicure, without a fellow ! 
The veriest gluttons do not always cram; 
Some intervals of abstinence are sought 
To edge the apj^etite: thou seekest none. 
Methinks the countless swarms thou hast de- 

vour'd. 
And thousands that each hour thou gobblest up. 
This, less than this, might gorge thee to the full. 
But, ah ! rapacious still, thou gap'st for more; 
Like one, whole days defrauded of his meals, 
On whom lank hunger lays her skinny hand. 
And whets to keenest eagerness his cravings. 
As if diseases, massacres, and poison, 
Famine, and war, were not thy caterers. 

But know, that thou must render up the dead. 
And with high interest too. — They are not tliine, 
But only in thy keeping for a season. 
Till the great promised day of restitution ; 
When loud diffusive sound from brazen ti-ump 
Of strong-lung'd cherub, shall alami thy captives, 
And rouse the long, long sleepers into life. 
Daylight and liberty. — 
Then must thy gates fly open, and reveal 
The mines that lay long forming underground. 
In their dark cells immured; but now full ripe, 
And pure, as silver from the ci-ucible. 
That twice has stood the torture of the fire 
And inipiisition of the forge. We know 
The illustrious Deliverer of mankind, 
The Son of God, thee foil'd. Him in thy power 



EOBEET BLAIR. 



149 



Thou couldst not hold; self- vigorous he rose, 
And, shaking otf thy fetters, soon retook 
Those spoils his voluntary peldiug lent: 
(Sure pledge of our releasement from thy thrall!) 
Twice twenty days he sojourn'd here on earth, 
And show'd himself alive to chosen witnesses, 
By proofs so strong that the most slow-assenting 
Had not a scruple left. This ha\'ing done, 
He mounted up to heaven. Methinks I see him 
Climb the aerial heights, and glide along 
Athwart the severing clouds; but the faint eye, 
Flung backwards in the chase, soon drops its 

hold. 
Disabled quite, and jaded with pursuing. 
Heaven's portals wide expand to let him in; 
Nor are his friends shut out: as a great prince 
Not for himself alone procures admission. 
But for his train: it was his royal will, 
That where he is there should his followers be. 
Death onlj^ lies between, a gloomy path ! 
Made yet more gloomy by our coward fears ! 
But nor untrod, nor tedious; the fatigue 
Will soon go off. Besides, there's no by-road 
To bliss. Then why, like ill-conditioned childi'en. 
Start we at transient hardships in the way 
That leads to purer air and softer skies. 
And a ne'er-setting sun .' Fools that we are I 
We wish to be where sweets unwith'ring bloom, 
But straight our wish revoke, and will not go. 
So have I seen, upon a summer's even, 
Fast by the riv'let's brink, a youngster play: 
How wishfully he looks to stem the tide ! 
This moment resolute, next unresolved: 
At last he dips his foot; but, as he dips. 
His fears redouble, and he runs away 
From th' inoffensive stream, unmindful now 
Of all the flowers that paint the further hank. 
And smiled so sweet of late. Tlirice-welcome 

death ! 
That, after many a painful bleeding step. 
Conducts us to our home, and lands us safe 
On the long-wish'd-for shore. Prodigious change! 
Our bane tum'd to a blessing; death, disann'd, 
Loses its fellness quite. All thanks to Him 
Who scourg'd the venom out. Sure the last end 
Of the good man is peace. How calm his exit ! 
Night dews fall not more gently to the ground, 
Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft. 
Behold him in the evening-tide of life, 
A life well spent, whose early care it was 
His riper years should not upbraid his green: 
By unperceived degrees he wears away; 
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting ! 



High in his fai h and hope, look how he reaches 
After the prize in view ! and, like a bird 
That's hamper'd, struggles hard to get away; 
Whilst the glad gates of sight ai'e wide expanded 
To let new glories in, the first fair fi-uits 
Of the fast-coming harvest. Then, then, 
Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears, 
Shrunk to a thing of nought. how he longs 
To have his pas.sport .sign'd, and be dismissed! 
'Tis done, and now he's happy. The glad soul 
Has not a wish uncrown'd. E'en the lag flesh 
Rests too in hope of meeting once again 
Its better half, never to sunder more. 
Nor shall it hope in vain: the time draws on 
When not a single spot of burial earth, 
^Mlether on land or in the spacious sea, 
But must give back its long-committed dust 
Inviolate: and faithfully .shall these 
Make up the full account; not the least atom 
Fmbezzled or mislaid of the whole tale. 
Each soul shall have a body ready furnish'd; 
And each shall have his own. Hence, ye pro- 
fane! 
Ask not how this can be. Sure the same pow'r 
That rear'd the piece at first, and took it down. 
Can reassemble the loose scatter'd parts. 
And put them as they were. Almighty God 
Has done much more; nor is his arm irapair'd 
Thro' length of days; and what he can he will: 
His faithfulness stands bound to see it done. 
When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'ring 

dust, 
Not unattentive to the call, shall wake; 
And ev'ry joint possess its proper place, 
With a new elegance of form, unknown 
To its first state. Nor shall the conscious soul 
Mistake its partner; but, amidst the crowd 
Singling its other half, into its anus 
Shall rush, with all the impatience of a man 
That's new come home, and, having long been 

absent. 
With haste iiins over every different room, 
In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy meeting! 
Nor time, nor death shall ever part them more. 

'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night; 
We make the grave our bed, and then arc gonci 

Thus, at the shut of even, the weaiy bird 
Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake 
Cow'rs down, and dozes till the dawn of day; 
Then claps his well -fledged wings, autl beai's 
away. 



150 



JAMES THOMSON. 



JAMES THOMSON 



BoKN 1700 — Died 1748. 



The parish of Ednam, near Kelso, Roxburgh- 
shire, has the honour of having given birth to 
the poet of "The Seasons." He was the son 
of the Ke\\ Thomas Tiiomson, minister of that 
parish, and was born September 11, 1700; 
being one of nine children. His mother's 
name was Beatrix Trotter, the co-heiress of a 
small estate called Widiiope. A few years 
after his birth his father removed to the parish 
of Southdean in the same county, a primitive 
and retired district of the Cheviots. Here he 
spent his boyish years, and at an early age 
gave indications of poetic genius. The follow- 
ing lines written by Thomson when a school- 
boj" of fourteen show how soon his manner 
was formed: — • 

"Now I surveyed my native faculties. 
And traced my actions to tiieir teeming source; 
Now I explored the universal frame, 
Gazed I'ature tlirough, and with interior light 
Conversed witli angels and unbodied saints 
Tliat tread the courts of the eternal King ! 
Gladly I would declare in lofty strains 
The power of Godliead to the sous of men. 
But thought is lost in its immensity; 
Imagination wastes its strength in vain. 
And fancy tires and turns within itself. 
Struck with the amazing depths of Deity! 
Ah! my Lord God ! in vain a tender youth. 
Unskilled in arts of deep philosopliy. 
Attempts to search the bulky mass of matter. 
To trace tlie rules of motion, and pursue 
The pliantom Time, too subtle for Iiis grasp; 
Yet may I from thy apparent works 
Form some idea of their wondrous Author." 

After receiving the usual course of school 
education at the neighbouring town of Jed- 
burgli, Thomson was sent to the University of 
Edinburgii, and induced by the wishes of his 
family and friends to study for the ministry; 
but he soon relin(]uished his views of the 
church, and devoted himself to literature. In 
tlic second year of iiis attendance at the uni- 
versity he lost his fatiier, when his motiier 
realized as much as slie could from her inherit- 
ance, and removed with her family to Edin- 
burgh. Wliilc at college he acted for some 
time as tutor to Lord IJinning, .'on of the Earl 



of Haddington, and the author of the song 
"Robin and Nanny;"' to whom he had proba- 
bly been introduced by his mother's friend 
Lady Grizzel Baillie, mother-in-law to his 
lordship, and whose "Memoirs"' posse-ss so 
much interest; who, finding the young poet 
unlikely to do well in any other pursuit, advised 
him to try his fortune in London as a man of 
letters, and promised him such assistance as 
she could render. Accordingly in the spring 
of 1725 he took leave of his mother, whom he 
was never more to behold, and proceeded by 
sea to London. On arriving at the metropolis 
he sought out his college friend David Mallet, 
who then acted as preceptor to the two sons of 
the Marquis of Montrose. Here he wrote the 
poem of "Winter," which was purchased 
through the friendly intervention of Mallet by 
a bookseller named Millar, for the small sum 
of three guineas; and was published in 17*26, 
and dedicated to Sir Spencer Compton. Though 
unnoticed for some time it gradually attained 
that estimation in which it has ever since been 
held, and procured for the author the friend- 
ship of numerous men of letters. Among 
others his acquaintance was sought by Dr. 
Rundle, afterwards Bishop of Derry, who re- 
commended him to the Lord-chancellor Talbot, 
from whose patronage he afterwards derived 
the most essential benefit. 

In 1727 he brought out "Summer;" three 
editions of "Winter" having appeared the 
previous year, and inscribed it to Mr. Doding- 
ton, afterwards Lord Melcombe. The same 
year he produced "A Poem on the Death of 
Sir Isaac Newton," and his "Britannia," a 
poetical appeal designed to rouse the nation to 
the assertion of its rights against the Spaniards, 
for their iutcrrujitions to British trade. In 
the beginning of 1728 appeared "Spring," 
addressed to the Countess of Hertford, after- 
wards Duchess of Somerset, which procured 
the poet an invitation to pass a summer at 
Lord Hertford's country-seat. In 1730 his 
".Vutumn" was issued in a quarto edition of 



JAMES THOMSON. 



151 



his works, in which "The Seasons" are placed 
in their natural order. It was published by 
subscription at a guinea a copy. Among the 
387 subscribers was Alexander Pope (to whom 
Thomson had been introduced by JIallet), who 
took three copies. In the same year was pro- 
duced at Drury Lane his tragedy of "Sophon- 
isba," the success of which was not at all com- 
mensurate with the expectation which had been 
raised. The public discovered that splendid 
diction and poetic imagery, on the faith of 
which all their anticipations of a good play 
were founded, did not necessarily imply a high 
degree of dramatic talent. Slight accidents, 
too, as Dr. Johnson has remarked, will operate 
upon the taste of pleasure. There is a feeble 
line in the tragedy — 

O, Sophonisba ! Sophoiiisba, O ! 

which gave rise to a waggish parody — 

O, Jemmy Thomson! Jemmy Thomson, O! 

and for a while was echoed through London. 

Having been selected as the travelling com- 
panion of the Hon. Charles Talbot, eldest son 
of the lord-chancellor, he made a tour on the 
Continent with that young gentleman, visiting 
most of the courts of Europe. With what 
pleasure the poet must have passed or sojourned 
among classic scenes which he had often viewed 
in imagination! They spent some time during 
November, 1731, at Rome, and Thomson no 
doubt indulged the wish expressed in one of 
his letters, "to see the fields where Virgil 
gathered his immortal honey, and tread the 
same ground where men have thought and 
acted so greatly. " On his return the chancellor 
appointed him his secretary of briefs, which 
was almost a sinecure. Soon after he published 
his poem of "Liberty," which, though but 
coldly received, he himself tliought the best 
of all his writings. 

By the death of Lord Talbot, Thomson lost 
his post of secretary. A poem by our author, 
dedicated to the memory of the chancellor, is 
one of the most enviable tributes ever paid 
by poetry to the virtues of the judicial office. 
Thomson was reduced once more to depend- 
ence on his talents for support, and preferring 
rather to trust to the chapter of accidents 
than to change his style of life, which joined 
to elegance some degree of luxury, became in- 



volved in debt, and exposed himself more than 
once to tlie gripe of the law. One of these 
occasions furnished Quin, the eminent actor, 
with an opportunity of displaying at once 
his generous disposition and iiis friendship for 
genius. Being informed that the author of 
" The Seasons" was in confinement for a debt 
of about £70, he hastened to the place, although 
personally unacquainted with the poet, and 
desired to be introduced to him. On being 
admitted to Thomson he said, " Sir, you don't 
know me, I believe; but my name is Quin." 
The poet replied that though he could not 
boast of the honour of a personal acquaintance, 
he was no stranger either to his name or his 
talents, and invited him to take a seat. Quin 
then told him tiiat he had come to sup with 
him, but that, as he presumed, it would have 
been inconvenient to have had the supi)er pre- 
pared in the place they were in, he liad taken the 
liberty of ordering it to be sent from an adja- 
cent tavern. The supper accordingly soon made 
its appearance, with a liberal supply of good 
wine. After the cloth had been removed, and 
the bottle had moved briskly between them, 
Quin took occasion to explain the cause of his 
visit by saying "it was now time to enter 
upon business." Thomson, supposing that he 
desired his poetical assistance in some dramatic 
matter, expressed his readiness to do anything 
in his power to serve him. " Sir," said Mr. 
Quin, "you mistake my meaning. Soon after 
I had read your 'Seasons' I took it into my 
head that as I had something in the world to 
leave behind me wiien I died, I would make 
my will; and among the rest of my legatees, 
I set down the author of 'The Seasons' for 
one hundred pounds; and to-day, hearing that 
you were in this place, I thought I might as 
well have tlie pleasure of jiaying tiie money 
myself as to order my executors to pay it, 
when, perhaps, you might have less need of it. 
And this, Mr. Thomson, is the business I 
came about." Saying which, he laid before 
him a bank-note for £100, and without giving 
the astonished bard time to express his grati- 
tude, took his leave. 

By the good offices of Mr. (afterwards Lord) 
Lyttlcton, Thomson about this time was intro- 
duced to the Prince of Wales ; and being ques- 
tioned as f the state of his affiiirs. he answered 
"that they were in a more poetical posture 



152 



JAMES THOMSON. 



than formerly." which induced Frederick to 
bestow upon him a pension of £100. In 1738 
Thomson produced a .second tragedy, entitled 
"Agamemnon," which, although not very fav- 
ourably received, brought him a handsome 
sum. In the year following he offered to the 
stage another tragedy called "Edward and 
Eleonora," but the dramatic censor withheld 
his sanction fronj its representation in conse- 
quence of its political complexion. In 1740, 
in conjunction with Mallet, he composed "The 
Masque of Alfred," by command of the prince, 
for the entertainment of his court at Clief- 
den, his summer residence. In this piece ap- 
peared the national song of " llule Britannia," 
written by Thomson. In 1745 the most suc- 
cessful of his plays, entitled " Tancred and 
Sigismunda," founded on a story in " Gil 
Bias," was brought out, and received with 
great applause; and it is still occasionally per- 
foimed. His friend Lyttleton being now in 
office, procured for him tiie situation of sur- 
veyor-general of the Leeward Islands, with a 
salary of £300, the duties "of which were per- 
formed by deputy. In 1746 appeared his ad- 
mirable poem of " The Castle of Indolence," 
which exhibits tiiroughout a high degree of 
moral, poetical, and descriptive power. 

Thomson was now in comparative affluence, 
and his beautiful cottage at Kew Lane, near 
Riclimond, was the scene of social enjoyment 
and lettered ease; his house was elegantly fur- 
nished, as is seen by the sale catalogue of his 
effects prepared after his death, which enumer- 
ates tlie contents of every room, and fills eight 
pages of print. While engaged in the pre- 
paration of another tragedy for the stage the 
poet was seized with an illness which termin- 
ated his career. One summer evening, in 
walking home from London, as was his cus- 
tom, he overheated himself by the time he 
had readied Hammersmith, and imprudently 
taking a boat to go the rest of the way by 
water lie caught cold; next day he was in a 
high fever, and, after a short illness, died 
August 27, 1748. He was buried in the 
church at Hichniond, where the Earl of Bnchan 
many years afterwards erected a tablet to his 
memory. In 17f!2 a monument was erected 
to him in the I'octs' Corner of Westminster 
Abbey. His (nigody of "Coriolanus," which 
he left Ix'liiiiil him, was brought on the 



stage for the benefit of his sisters, to whom 
through life he had always shown the most 
brotherly affection. In 1843 a " Poem to the 
Memory of Mr. Congreve, inscribed to Her 
Grace Henrietta, Duchess of ]\Iarl borough," 
was reprinted for the Percy Society of London, 
as a genuine though unacknowledged produc- 
tion of Thomson, first pul)lished in 1729. As 
there appears to be no doubt of the genuine- 
ness of this poem, possessing as it does all of 
the characteristics of his style, we give it a 
place among our selections from the poet of 
"The Seasons." 

Perhaps no poet Avas ever more deeply mourned. 
The celebrated Collins, -who had also chosen 
Eichmond for his place of residence, and be- 
tween whom and Thomson the most tender 
intimacy existed, mourned his loss in the ode 
beginning — 

" In j'oiider grave a Druid lies." 
With this ode Collins bade adieu to Richmond; 
which, without his lamented friend, had for 
his gentle spirit no longer any charms. 

" But tliou, lorn stream! whose sullen tide 
No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend, 
Now waft me from tlie gieen hill's side, 
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend. 

" And see, the faiiy valleys fade, 

Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view! 
Yet once again, dear parted shade, 
Meek nature's child, again adieu!" ■ 

Of Thomson's " Seasons," which has kept 
its place as an English classic for upwards of 
a centurj', Dr. Johnson has said: — "As a writer 
Thomson is entitled to one praise of the highest 
kind — his mode of thinking, and of expressing 
his thoughts, is original. His blank verse is no 
more the blank verse of Milton or of any other 
poet, than the rhymes of Prior are the rhymes 
of Cowley. His numbers, his pauses, his dic- 
tion are of his own growth, without transcrip- 
tion, without imitation. He thinks in a pecu- 
liar train; and he always thinks as a man of 
genius: he looks round on nature and on life 
with the eye which nature only bestows on a 
poet, the eye tliat distinguishes in everything 
presented to its view whatever there is on 
which imagination can delight to be detained, 
and with a mind that at once comprehends the 
vast and attends to the minute. The reader 
of 'The Seasons' wonders that he never saw 
before w'liat Thomson shows him, and that he 



JAMES THOMSON. 



153 



never j'et felt wliat Thomson impresses. His 
descriptions of extended scenes and general 
effects bring before ns the whole magnificence 
of nature, whether pleasing or dreadful. The 
gaiety of spring, the splendour of summer, the 
tranquillity of autumn, and the horrors of 
winter, take, in their turn, possession of the 
mind. The poet leads us through the appearance 
of things as they are successively varied by the 
vicissitudes of the year; and imparts to us so 
much of his own enthusiasm that our thoughts 
expand with his imagery, and kindle with his 
sentiments. Nor is the naturalist without his 
share in the entertainment; for he is assisted 
to recollect and to combine, to arrange his dis- 
coveries, and to amplify the sphere of his con- 
templation." 

We cannot better conclude this sketch than 
in the words of an "Address to the Shade of 
Thomson," written by Burns on crowning the 
poet's bust at Ednaui with a wreath of bays, — 



and the prophetic truth of whose words every 
revolving season only tends to confirm: — 

" Wliile virgin Spring, by Eden's flood, 
Unfolds lier tender mantle green, 
Or pranks the sod in frolic mood, 
Or tunes Eolian .strains between; 

" While Summer, witli a matron grace, 
Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade; 
Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace 
The progress of the spiky blade; 

" While Autumn, benefactor kind, 
By Tweed erects her aged head; 
And sees, with self-appi-oving mind. 
Each creature on her boiuity fed; 

" While maniac Winter rages o'er 

The hills whence classic Yairow flows. 
Rousing the turbid toirent's roar, 
Or sweeping, wild, a waste of suows: 

"So long, sweet poet of the year. 

Shall bloom that wreath tliou well hast won; 
While Scotia, with exulting tear. 
Proclaims that Thomson w;is her son." 



SHOWERS IN SPRING. 

(from the seasons.^) 

The north-east spends hi.s rage; he now, shut up 
Within his iron cave, the effusive south 
Warms the wide air, and o'er tlie void of heaven 
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers dis- 
tent. 
At first, a dusky wreath they seem to rise, 
Scarce staining ether, but by swift degrees. 
In heaps on heaps tlie doubling vapour sails 
Along the loaded sky, and, mingling deep. 
Sits on the horizon round, a settled gloom; 
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed. 
Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind, 
And full of every hope, and every joy; 
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the breeze 
Into a perfect calm, that not a breath 



1 Are then "The Seasons" and "The Task" great 
poems? Yes. Wliy? We shall tell you in two separate 
articles. But we ])resume you do not need to be told 
that that poem must be great which was the first to 
paint the rolling mystery of the year, and to show tlpat 
all its Seasons were but the varied God? The idea was 
original and sublime; and the fulfilment thereof so 
comjilete that, some OUOO yeai-s having elapsed between 
the creation of the world and that of tlie poem, some 
60,000, we prophesy, will elapse between the ap]>ear- 
ance of that ix)em and the publication of anotlier, 
equally gi-eat, on a subject external to the mind, equally 
magnificent. — Pr.)/(S.«.vor Wilson. 



Is heard to quiver through the closing woods, 
Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves 
Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods, diffused 
In glassy breadth, seem, through delusive lapse, 
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all, 
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks 
Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye 
The falling verdure. Hushed in short suspense. 
The plumy people streak their wings with oil, 
To throw the lucid moistm'e trickling off. 
And wait the approaching sign, to strike at once 
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales, 
And forests seem impatient to demand 
The promised sweetness. Man superior walks 
An:ftd the glad creation, musing praise. 
And looking lively gratitude. At last. 
The clouds consign their treasin-es to the fields, 
And, softly shaking on the dinq)led pool 
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow 
In large effusion o'er the freshened world. 
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard 
By such as wander through the forest-walks, 
Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves. 



SUMMER EVENING. 

(fko.m the seasons.) 

Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees. 
Just o'er the verge of da}-. The shifting clouds 
Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train, 



154 



JAMES THOMSON. 



In all their pomp attend his setting throne. 
Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And now, 
As if his weary chariot sought the bowers 
Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs 
(So Grecian fable sung), he dips his orb; 
Now half immersed; and now a golden curve 
Gives one bright glance, then total disappears. 

Confessed from j'onder slow - extinguished 
clouds, 
All ether softening, sober Evening takes 
Her wonted station in the middle air; 
A thousand shadows at her beck. First this 
She sends on earth; then that of deeper dye 
Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still, 
In cu-cle foOowing cu-cle, gathers round, 
To close the face of things. A fresher gale 
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream. 
Sweeping with shadow j- gust the fields of corn: 
\Miile the quail clamours for his running mate. 
Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze, 
A whitening shower of vegetable down 
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care 
Of nature nought disdains: thoughtful to feed 
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year. 
From field to field the feathered seeds she wings. 

His folded flock secure, the shej)herd home 
Hies merry -hearted ; and by turns relieves 
The ruddy milkmaid of her brimming pail; 
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart — 
Unknowing what the joy-mixed anguish means — 
Sincerely loves, by that best language shown 
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds. 
Onward they pass o'er many a panting height. 
And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where 
At fall of eve the fairy people throng. 
In various game and revelry, to pass 
The summer night, as village stories tell. 
But far about they wander from the grave 
Of him whom his ungentle fortune urged 
Against his own sad breast to lift the hand 
Of impious violence. The lonely tower 
Is also shunned ; whose mournful chambers hold — 
So night-stmck fancy dreams — the yelling ghost. 

Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge. 
The glowwoi-m lights his gem; and thro' the dark 
A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields 
The world to Night; not in her winter robe 
Of massy Stygian woof, l)ut loose arrayed 
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray. 
Glanced from the imperfect surfaces of things, 
Flings lialf an image on the straining eye; 
Wliilc wavering woods, and villages, and streams. 
And rocks, and mountain tops, that long retained 
The ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene, 
Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to heaven 
Thence wean- vision turns; where, leading soft 
The silent hoin-s of love, with purest ray 
Sweet Venus sliines; and from her genial ri.se, 
Wlien daylight sickens till it springs afresh. 
Unrivalled reigns, the fairest lamp of night. 



AUTUMN EVENING SCENE. 
(from the seasons.) 

But see the fading many-coloured woods. 
Shade deepening over shade, the country round 
Imbrown; a crowded umbrage dusk and dun. 
Of every hue, from wan declining green 
To sooty dark. These now the lonesome muse. 
Low whispering, lead into their leaf-strown walks. 
And give the season in its latest view. 

Meantime, light-shadowing all, a sober calm 
Fleeces unbounded ether: whose least wave 
Stands tremulous, uncertain where to turn 
The gentle current: while illumined wide. 
The dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun. 
And through their lucid veil his softened force 
Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the time. 
For those whom virtue and whom nature charm, 
To steal themselves from the degeneiate crowd. 
And soar above this little scene of things: 
To tread low-thoughted vice beneath their feet; 
To soothe the throbbing passions into peace; 
And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks. 

Thus solitary, and in pensive guise. 
Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead. 
And through the saddened grove, where scarce 

is heard 
One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's toil. 
Haply some widowed songster pours his plaint. 
Far, in faint warblings, through the tawny cop: e; 
While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks. 
And each wild throat, whose artless strains so late 
Swelled all the music of the swarming shades. 
Robbed of their tuneful souls, now shivering sit 
On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock: 
With not a brightness waving o'er their plumes. 
And nought save chattering discord in their note 
let not, aimed from some inhuman eye. 
The gun the music of the coming year 
Destroy; and hamiless, unsuspecting harm, 
Lay the weak tribes a miserable prey 
In mingled murder, fluttering on the ground ! 

The pale descending year, yet pleasing still, 
A gentler mood inspires; for now the leaf 
Incessant rustles from the mournful grove; 
Oft startling such as studious walk below. 
And slowly circles through the waving air. 
But should a quicker breeze among the boughs 
Sob, o'er the sky the leafy deluge streams; 
Till choked, ami matted with the dreary showei'. 
The forest walks, at every rising gale. 
Roll wide the withered waste, and whistle bleak. 
Fled is the blasted verdure of the fields; 
And, sluomk into their beds, the flowery race 
Their sunny robes resign. E'en what remained 
Of stronger fruits falls from the naked tree; 
And woods, fields, gardens, orchards all around. 
The desolated prospect thrills the soul. 



JAMES THOMSON. 



155 



Tlic western sun withdraws the shortened day, 
And humid evening, gliding o'er tlie sky. 
In her chill progress, to the ground condensed 
The vapours throw. Where creeping waters ooze. 
Where marshes stagnate, and whei-e rivers wind, 
Cluster the rolling fogs, and swim along 
The dusky -mantled lawn. ^Meanwhile the moon, 
Full-orbed, and breaking through the scattered 

clouds. 
Shows her broad visage in the crimsoned east. 
Turned to the sun dii-ect her spotted disk. 
Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales descend. 
And caverns deep, as optic tube descries, 
A smaller earth, gives us his blaze again. 
Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day. 
Now thro' the passing clouds she seems to stoop. 
Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime. 
Wide the pale deluge floats, and streaming mild 
O'er the skied mountain to the shadowy vale. 
While rocksand floods reflect thequiveringgleam; 
The whole air whitens with a boundless tide 
Of silver radiance trembling round the world. 

The lengthened night elapsed, tlie morning 
shines 
Serene, in all her dewy beauty bright. 
Unfolding fair the last autumnal day. 
And now the mounting sun dispels the fog; 
The rigid hoar-frost melts before his beam; 
And hung on every spray, on every blade 
Of grass, the myriad dew-drops twinkle round. 



A WINTER LANDSCAPE. 

(from the se.vsons.) 

Through the hushed air the whitening shower 

descends, 
At first thin-wavering, till at last the flakes 
Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day 
With a continual flow. The cherished fields 
Put on their winter robe of purest white: 
'Tis brightness all, save where the new snow melts 
Along the mazy current. Low the woods 
Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid sun, 
Faint from the west, emits his evening ray. 
Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill. 
Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide 
The works of man. Drooping, the labourer-ox 
Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands 
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven. 
Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around 
The winnowing store, and claim the little boon 
Which Providence assigns them. One alone, 
The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, 
Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, 
In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves 
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man 
His annual visit. Half afraid, he first 



Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights 
On the warm hearth; then hopping o'er the floor. 
Eyes all the smiling family askance, 
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is: 
Till more familiar grown, the table crumbs 
Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds 
Pour forth their browni inhabitants. The hare, 
Though timorous of heart, and liard beset 
By death in various forms, dark snares and dogs, 
And more unpitying men, the garden seeks. 
Urged on by fearless want. The bleating kine 
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening 

earth, 
With looks of dumb despair; then, sad dispersed, 
Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow. 



As thus the snows arise, and foul and fierce 
All winter drives along the darkened air, 
In his own loose revolving fields the swain 
Disastered stands; sees other hills ascend, 
Of unknown joyless brow, and other scenes. 
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain; 
Nor finds the river nor the forest, hid 
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on 
From hill to dale, still more and more astray, 
Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps. 
Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts 

of home 
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth 
In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul ! 
What black despair, wliat horror fills his heart I 
When for the dusky spot, which fancy feigned 
His tufted cottage rising through the snow, 
He meets the roughness of the middle waste, 
Far from the track and blest abode of man; 
While round him night resistless closes fast, 
And every tempest howling o'er his head, 
Renders the savage wilderness more wild. 
Then tlu-ong the busy shapes into his mind 
Of covered pits, unfathomably deep, 
A dire descent ! beyond the power of frost; 
Of faithless bogs, of precipices huge 
Smoothed up with snow; and what is land un- 
known, 
What water of the still unfrozen spring, 
In the loose marsh or solitary lake, 
Where the fresh fountain from tlie bottom boils. 
These check his fearful steps, and down he sinks 
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift. 
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, 
Mi.\ed with the tender anguish nature shoots 
Through the wmng bosom of the dying man, 
His wife, his children, and his friends, unseen. 
In vain for him the officious wife prepares 
The fire fair blazing, and the vestment warm: 
In vain his Uttle children, peeping out 
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire 
With tears of artless innocence. Alas ! 
Nor wife nor children more shall he behold. 
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve 
The deadly winter seizes, shuts up sense. 



156 



JAMES THOMSON. 



And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold, 
Lays him along the snows a stiffened corse, 
Stretched out, and bleaching in the northern 
blast. 



HYMN OF THE SEASONS. 

These, as they change, Almighty Father, these 
Are but the varied God. The rolling year 
Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring 
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. 
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm; 
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles; 
And every sense and eveiy heart is joy. 
Then comes thy glory in the Summer months, 
"With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun 
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year: 
And oft thy voice in dreadfvd thunder speaks. 
And oft at dawTi, deep noon, or falling eve, 
Bj- brooks and groves in hollow-whispering gales. 
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined. 
And spreads a common feast for all that lives. 
In Winter awful thou ! with clouds and stoi-ms 
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled. 
Majestic darkness ! Ou the whirlwind's wing 
Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore, 
And humblest nature with thy northern blast. 

Mysterious round ! what skill, what force 
divine. 
Deep-felt, in these appear ! a simple train. 
Yet so delightful mi.xed, with such kind art. 
Such beauty and beneficence combined; 
Shade unperceived, so softening into shade; 
And all so forming a hannonious whole, 
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. 
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaz3, 
Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand 
That, ever busj', wheels the silent spheres; 
Works in the secret deep; shoots steaming thence 
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring; 
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day; 
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth, 
And, as on earth this grateful cliange revolves. 
With transport touclies all the springs of life. 

Nature, attend I join, every living soul 
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky. 
In adoration join; and ardent raise 
One general song ! To him, ye vocal gales. 
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness 

breathes. 
Oh! talk of him in solitary glooms, 
Where o'er the rock the scarcely waving pine 
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe. 
And ye, who.sc bolder note is heard afar, 
Who shake the astonished world, lift high to 

heaven 
The impetuotia song, and sayfrom whom you rage. 
His i)r.aisc, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills; 
Ami let mc catch it as I muse along. 



Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profoimd; 
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze 
Along the vale; and thou majestic main, 
A secret world of wonders in thyself, 
Sound his stupendous praise, whose greater voice 
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. 
Soft roll your incense, herbs, and traits and flow'rs. 
In mingled clouds to him whose sun exalts, 
Whose breath iJerfumes you, and whose pencil 

paints. 
Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave to him; 
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart. 
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. 
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep 
Unconscious lies, etfuse your mildest beams; 
Ye constellations, while your angels strike, 
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. 
Great source of day ! best image here below 
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, 
From world to world, the vital ocean round. 
On nature write with every beam his praise. 
The thunder rolls; be hushed the prostrate world. 
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. 
Bleat out afresh, ye hills; ye mossy rocks 
Retain the sound; the broad responsive low. 
Ye valleys, raise; for the great Shepherd reigns. 
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come. 
Ye woodlands all awake; a boundless song 
Burst from the groves; and when the restless day. 
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep. 
Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm 
The listening shades, and teach the night his 

praise. 
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles; 
At once the head, the heart, the tongue of all, 
Crown the great hymn ! in swarming cities vast. 
Assembled men to the deep organ join 
The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear. 
At solemn pauses, through the swelling base; 
And as each mingling flame increases each. 
In one united ardour rise to heaven. 
Or if you rather choose the rm"al shade, 
And find a fane in every sacred grove. 
There let the shepherd's lute, the virgin's lay. 
The prompting seraph, and the poet's Ijtc, 
Still sing the GoD of Seasons as they roll. 
For me, when I forget the darling theme. 
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray 
Russets the plain, inspiring autumn gleams, 
Or winter rises in the blackening east — 
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more. 
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat! 

Should fate command me to the farthest verge 
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes. 
Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun 
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam 
Flames on the Atlantic isles, 'tis nought to me; 
Since God is ever present, ever felt, 
In the void waste as in the city full; 
And where he vital breathes, thei-e must be joj'. 
When even at last the solemn hour shall come. 



I 



JAMES THOMSON. 



157 



And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, 
I cheerful will obey; there, with new powers, 
Will rising wonders sing. I cannot go 
Where universal love not smiles around, 
Sustaining all j-on orVxs and all their suns; 
From seeming evil still educing good, 
And better thence again, and better still, 
In infinite progression. But I lose 
Mj'self in Him, in light ineffable I 
Come then, expressive silence, muse his praise. 



THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE. i 
(extract. ) 

O mortal man, who livest here by toil. 

Do not complain of this thy hard estate; 
That like an ennnet thou must over moil. 

Is a sad sentence of an ancient date; 
And, certes, there is for it reason great; 

For, though sometimes it makes thee weep 
and wail, 
And curse thy star, and earlj' drudge and late, 

Withouten that would come a heavier bale. 
Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale. 

In lowlj- dale, fast by a river's side, 

W^itli woody hill o'er hill encompassed round, 
A most enchanting wizard did abide, 

Than whom a fiend more fell is nowhere found. 
It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground: 

And there a season atween June and May, 
Half px'anked with spring, with summer half 
imbrowned, 
A Ustless climate made, where, sooth to say. 
No Uving wight could work, ne cared even for 
play: 

Was nought around but images of rest : 
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns be- 
tween; 
And flowery beds that slumbEU'ous influence 
kest. 
From poppies breathed ; and beds of pleasant 
green, 

' Lord Byron said, "The ' Seasons' of Thomson would 
have been better in rhyme, althongh still inferior to his 
' Castle of Indolence;' " and William Hazlitt remarked, 
''It has been supposed by some that the 'Castle of 
Indolence' is Thomson's best poem: but that is not the 
case. He has in it, indeed, poured out the whole soul 
of indolence, diffuse, relaxed, supine, dissolved into a 
voluptuous dream; and surrounded himself with a set 
of objects and companions in entire unison with the 
listlessness of his own temper. . . . But still there 
are no passages in this e.xquisite little production of 
sportive ease and fancy eq^ial to the best of those of the 
'Seasons.'" — Ed. 



Where never yet was creeping creature seen. 
Meantime unnumbered gUttering streamlets 
played. 
And hurled everywhere their waters sheen. 
That, as they bickered through the sunny 
glade. 
Though restless still themselves, a lulling mur- 
mur made. 

Joined to the prattle of the purling rills 

W^ere heard the lowing herds along the vale. 
And flocks loud bleating from the distant hills. 

And vacant shepherds piping in the dale: 
And now and then sweet Philomel would wail. 

Or stock-doves 'plain amid the forest deep, 
That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale; 

And still a coil the grasshopper tlid keep; 
Yet all these sounds yblent inclined all to sleep. 

Full in the passage of the vale above, 
A sable, silent, solemn forest stood. 
Where nought but shadowy forms were seen to 
move. 
As Idlesse fancied in her dreaming mood: 
And up the hills, on either side, a wood 

Of blackening pines, aye waving to and fro. 
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the lilood; 
And where this valley winded out below 
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely 
heard, to flow. 

A pleasing land of drowsy-head it was. 

Of dreams that wave before the half-shut ej-e : 
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass. 

For ever flushing round a summer sky: 
There eke the soft delights that witchingly 

Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast. 
And the calm pleasures alwaj's hovered nigh; 

But whate'er smacked of noyance or unrest 
Was far, far off e.xpelled from this delicious nest. 

The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease, 

Where Indolence — for so the wizard hight — 
Close hid his castle mid embowering trees. 
That half shut out the beams of Phoebus 
bright. 
And made a kind of checkered day and night. 

Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate. 
Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight 
Was placed; and to his lute, of cruel fate 
And labour harsh complained, lamenting man's 
estate. 

Thither continual pilgrims crowded still. 

From all the roads of earth that pass there bj^; 
For, as they chanced to breathe on neighbour- 
ing hill. 
The freshness of this valley smote their eye, 
And drew them ever and anon more nigh ; 
Till clustering round the enchanter false 
they hung. 



158 



JAMES THOMSON. 



Ymolten with his syren melody; 

While o'er the enfeebling lute his hand he 
flung, 
And to the trembling chords these tempting 
verses sung : 

" Behold ! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold ! 

See all but man with unearned pleasure gay : 
See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, 

Broke from her wintry tomb in prime of 
May! 
What youthful bride can equal her array! 

Who can with her for easy pleasure vie ! 
From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray, 

From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly. 
Is all she has to do beneath the radiant sky. 

" Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, 

The swamiing songsters of the careless grove, 
Ten thousand throats ! that from the flowering 
thorn 

Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love. 
Such grateful kindly raptures them emove: 

They neither plough nor sow; ne, fit for flail. 
E'er to the barn the nodding sheaves they drove; 

Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale. 
Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale. 

" Outcast of nature, man ! the wretched thrall 

Of l)itter dropping sweat, of sweltry pain. 
Of cares that eat away thy heart with gall. 

And of the vices an inhuman train, 
That all proceed from savage thirst of gain: 

For when hard-hearted Interest first began 
To poison earth, Astrrea left the plain; 

Guile, violence, and murder seized on man. 
And, for soft milky streams, with blood the rivers 
I'an ! 

" Come, ye who still the cumbrous load of life 

Push hard up liill; but as the furthest steep 
You trust to gain, and put an end to strife, 

Down tluinders back the stone with mighty 
sweep, 
And hurls your labours to the valley deep, 

For ever vain; come, and, withouten fee, 
I in oblivion will your sorrows steep. 

Your cares, your toils, will steep you in a sea 
Of full delight: come, yo weary wights, to me! 

" With me you need not rise at early dawn, 

To pass the joyless day in various stounds; 
Or, loutiiig low, on upstart fortune fawn. 

And sell fairlionour for some paltry jmunds; 
Or through tlie city take yoin- dirty rounds, 

To cheat, and dun, and lie, and visit pay. 
Now flattering base, now giving secret wounds; 

Or prowl in courts of law for Innnan ])rcy. 
In venal senate thieve, or rob on broad higliway. 

" No cocks, with me, to rustic labour call. 
From village on to village sounding clear: 



To tardy swain no shrill-voiced matrons squall; 
No dogs, no babes, no wives, to stun your ear; 
No hammers thump; no horrid blacksmith fear; 
Ne noisy tradesmen your sweet slumbers 
start, 
With sounds that are a misery to hear: 
But all is calm, as would delight the heart 
Of Sybarite of old, all nature, and all art. 

"Here nought but candour reigns, indulgent 
ease. 
Good-natured lounging, sauntering uji and 
down : 
They who are pleased themselves must always 
please ; 
On others' ways they never squint a frown. 
Nor heed what haps in hamlet or in town; 

Thus, from the source of tender indolence, 
With milky blood the heart is overflown, 
Is soothed and sweetened by the social sense; 
For interest, envy, pride, and strife are banished 
hence. 

" Wliat, what is virtue but repose of mind, 

A pure ethereal calm, that knows no storm; 
Above the reach of wild ambition's wind, 

Above the passions that this world deform. 
And torture man, a proud malignant worm? 

But here, instead, soft gales of passion play, 
And gently stir the heart, thereby to form 

A ijuicker sense of joy — as breezes stray 
Across the enlivened skies, and make them still 
more gay. 

"The best of men have ever loved repose: 

They hate to mingle in the filthy fray; 
Where the soul sours, and gradual rancour 
grows, 

Imbittered more from peevish day to day. 
Even those whom Fame has lent her fairest ray. 

The most renowned of worthy wights of yore. 
From a base world at last have stolen away: 

So Scipio, to the soft Cumrean shore 
Retiring, tasted joy he never knew before. 

"But if a little exercise you choose. 

Some zest for ease, 'tis not forbidden here. 
Amid the groves you may indulge the muse. 

Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year; 
Or softly stealing, with your watery gear. 

Along the brook, the crimson-spotted fry 
You may delude; the whilst, amused, you hear 

Now the hoarse stream, and now the zephyr's 
.sigh. 
Attuned to the birds, and woodland melody. 

"Oh, grievous folly! to heap up estate. 

Losing the days you see beneath the sun; 
When, sudden, comes blind unrelenting fate. 
And gives the untasted portion you have 
won, 



JAMES THOMSON. 



159 



With ruthless toil, and many a wretch undone, 

To those who mock you gone to Pluto's reign. 

There with sad ghosts to pine, and shadows 

dun : 

But sure it is of vanities most vain. 

To toil for what you here untoiling may obtain." 

He ceased. But still their trembling ears 
retained 
The deep vibrations of his 'witching song; 
That, by a kind of magic power, constrained 
To enter in, pell-mell, the listening throng. 
Heaps poured on heaps, and yet they slipped 
along. 
In silent ease; as when beneath the beam 
Of summer moons, the distant woods among, 
Or by some flood all silvered with the gleam, 
The soft -embodied fays through airy portal 
stream. 

Strait of these endless numbers, swarming round 

As thick as idle motes in sunny ray, 
Not one eftsoons in view was to be found. 

But eveiy man strolled off his own glad way. 
Wide o'er this ample court's blank area, 

With all the lodges that thereto pertained; 
No living creature could be seen to stray; 

While solitude and perfect silence reigned: 
80 that to think you dreamt you almost was 
constrained. 

As when a shepherd of the Hebrid isles, 

Placed far amid the melancholy main — 
Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles, 

Or that aerial beings sometimes deign 
To stand embodied to our senses plain — 

Sees on the naked hill, or valley low, 
The whilst in ocean Phcebus dips his wain, 

A vast assembly moving to and fro; 
Then all at once in air dissolves the v.ondrous 
shovr. 

The doors, that knew no shrill alanning bell, 
■ Ne cursed knocker plied by villain's hand. 
Self-opened into halls, where, who can tell 

What elegance and grandeur wide expand. 
The pride of Turkey and of Persia land ? 

Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets 
spread. 
And couches stretched aroinid in seemly band; 
And endless pillows rise to projD the head; 
So that each spacious room was one full-swelling 
bed. 

And everywhere huge covered tables stood, 
With wines high flavoured and rich viands 
crowned; 

Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food 
On the green bosom of this earth are found. 

And all old ocean genders in his round; 
Some hand unseen these silently displayed, 



Even undemanded by a sign or sound; 

You need but wish, and, instantly obeyed. 
Fair ranged the dishes rose, and thick the glasses 
played. 

The rooms with costly tapestry were hung, 
Where was inwoven many a gentle tale; 
Such as of old the rural poets sung, 

Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale: 
Reclining lovers, in the lonely dale, 

Poured forth at large the sweetly tortured 
heart; 
Or, sighing tender passion, swelled the gale. 
And taught charmed echo to resound their 
smart; 
While flocks, woods, streams, around, repose and 
peace impart. 

Those pleased the most, where, liy a cunning 
hand, 
Depainted was the patriarchal age; 
Wliat time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land, 
And pastured on from verdant stage to stage, 
Where fields and fountains fresh could best 
engage. 
Toil was not then. Of nothing took they 
heed, 
But with wild beasts the sylvan war to wage. 
And o'er vast plains theii* herds and flocks 
to feed; 
Blest sons of nature they I true golden age indeed! 

Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls, 

Bade the gay bloom of vernal landscapes rise, 
Or autumn's varied shades imbrown the walls; 
Now the black tempest strikes the astonished 
eyes. 
Now down the steep the flashing toiTent flies; 
The trembling sun now plays o'er ocean blue, 
Antl now rude mountains frown amid the skies; 
AVhate'er Lorraine light-touched with soften- 
ing hue. 
Or savage Rosa dashed, or learned Poussin drew. 

A certain music, never known before. 

Here lulled the pensive melancholy mind, 
Full easily ol)tained. Behoves no more, 

But sidelong, to the gently waving wind, 
To lay the well-tuned instrument reclined ; 

From which with airy fljdng fingers light, 
Beyond each mortal touch the most refined, 
The god of winds drew sounds of deep 
delight; 
Whence, with just cause, the harp of ^-Eolus it 
hight. 

Ah me! what hand can touch the string so fine? 

Who up the lofty diapason roll 
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine, 

Then let them down again into the soul ? 



160 



JAMES THOMSON. 



Now rising love they fanned; now pleasing dole 
They breathed, in tender musings, through 
the heart; 
And now a graver sacred strain they stole, 
As when seraphic hands a hjTim impart : 
Wild warbling nature all, above the reach of art! 

Such the gay splendour, the luxurious state 

Of caliphs old, who on the Tigris shore. 
In mighty Bagdad, populous and great. 

Held their bright court, where was of ladies 
store; 
And verse, love, music, still the garland wore; 
When sleep was coy, the bard in waiting 
there 
Cheered the lone midnight with the muse's lore; 
Composing music bade his dreams be fair, 
And music lent new gladness to the morning air. 

Near the pavilions where we slept, still ran 
Soft tinkling streams, and dashing waters 
fell. 
And sobbing breezes sighed, and oft began — 
So worked the wizard — wintry storms to 
swell. 
As heaven and earth they would together mell ; 
At doors and windows threatening seemed 
to call 
The demons of the tempest, growling fell. 
Yet the least entrance found they none at 
all; 
Whence swectei grew our sleep, secure in massy 
hall. 

And hither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams. 

Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace; 
O'er which were shadowy cast Elysian gleams, 
That played in waving lights, from place to 
place. 
And shed a roseate smile on nature's face. 
Not Titian's pencil e'er could so array, 
* So fierce with clouds, the pure ethereal space ; 
Ne could it e'er such melting forms display, 
As loose on flowery beds all languishingly lay. 

No, fair illusions! artful phantoms, no! 

My muse will not attempt your fairy land ; 
She has no colours that like you can glow; 

To catch yoiu" vivid scenes too gross her hand. 
But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band 
Than these same guileful angel - seeming 
.sprights. 
Who thus in dreams voluptuous, soft, and 
bland, 
Poured all the Ai-abian heaven upon her 
nights, 
.And blest them oft besides with more refined 
delights. 

They were, in sooth, u most enchanting train, 
Even feigning virtue; skilful to unite 



With evil good, and strew with pleasure pain. 
But for those fiends whom blood and broils 
delight, 
Who hurl the wretch, as if to hell outright, 
Down, down black gulfs, whei'e sullen waters 
sleep; 
Or hold him clambering all the fearful night 
On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep; 
They, till due time should serve, were bid far 
hence to keep. 

Ye guardian spirits, to whom man is dear, 
From these foul demons shield the midnight 
gloom; 
Angels of fancy and of love be near. 

And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom; 
Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome, 

And let them virtue with a look imjsart: 
But chief, awhile, lend us from the tomb 
Those long-lost friends for whom in love we 
smart. 
And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt woe the 
heart. 



TO THE MEMORY OF MR. CONGREVE. 

What art thou. Death ! by mankind poorly feared, 
Yet period of their ills. On thy near shore 
Trembling they stand, and see through dreaded 

mists 
The eternal port, irresohite to leave 
This various misery, these air-fed dreams 
Which men call life and fame. Mistaken minds! 
'Tis reason's prime aspiring, greatly just; 
'Tis happiness supreme, to venture forth 
In qxiest of nobler worlds; to try the deeps 
Of dark futurity, with Heaven our guide. 
The unerring hand that led us safe through time; 
That planted in the soul this powerful hope. 
This infinite ambition of new life. 
And endless joys, still rising, ever new. 

These Congreve tastes, safe on the ethereal 

coast. 
Joined to the numberless immortal quire 
Of spirits blest. High-seated among these, 
He sees the public fathers of mankind. 
The greatly good, those universal minds 
Who drew the sword, or planned the holy scheme, 
For liberty and right; to check the rage 
Of blood-stained tyranny, and save a world. 
Such, high-born Marlbro', be thy .sire divine 
With wonder named; fair freedom's champion he, 
]^y Heaven approved, a conqueror without guilt: 
And such on earth his friend, and joined on high 
By deathless love, Godolphin's patriot worth, 
Just to his country's fame, yet of her wealth 
With honour frugal; above interest great. 
Hail, men immortal ! social virtues, hail! 



JAMES THOMSON. 



ini 



Fii-st heirs of praise ! But I, with weak essaj', 
Wrong the superior theme; while heavenly choirs, 
In strains high warbled to celestial harps, 
Resound your names; and C'ongreve's added voice 
In heaven exalts what he admired below. 
With these he mixes, now no more to swerve 
From reason's purest law; no more to please. 
Borne by the torrent down a sensual age. 
Pardon, loved shade, that I, with friendly blame, 
Slight note thy error; not to wrong thy worth, 
Or shade thy memory— far from ni}^ soul 
Be that base aim — but haply to deter. 
From flattering the gross vulgar, future pens 
Powerful like thine in every grace, and skilled 
To win the listening soul with virtuous charms. 



TELL ME, THOU SOUL. 

Tell me, tliou soul of lier I love, 
Ah! tell me whither art thou fled; 

To what deliglitful world above, 
Appointed for the happy dead? 

Or dost thou free at random roam, 

And sometime.^ sliare thy lover's woe; 

Wliere, void of thee, his cheerless home 
Can now, alas ! no comfort know ? 

Oh! if thou hover'st i-ound my walk, 
While under every well-known tree, 

I to tiiy fancy'd shadow talk, 
And every tear is full of thee: 

Siiould then the weary eye of grief. 
Beside some sympathetic stream, 

In slumber find a short relief, 

Oh! visit thou mv soothinu' dream. 



FOR EVER, FORTUNE. 

For ever. Fortune, wilt thou prove 
An unrelenting foe to love? 
-A ad when we meet a mutual heart 
Come in between and bid us part? 
Bid us sigh on from day to day. 
And wish and wish the soul away. 
Till youth and genial years are flown. 
And all the life of love is gone? 

But busy, busy still art thou 
To bind the loveless, joyless vow — 
The heart from pleasure to delude, 
Aiul join the gentle to the rude. 



For once, Fortune, hear my prayer, 
And I ab.solve thy future care; 
All other blessings I resign — 
Make but the dear Amanda mine. 



HARD IS THE FATE. 

Hard is the fate of him who loves, 

Yet dares not tell his trembling pain, 
But to the sympathetic groves, 

But to the lonely list'ning plain! 
Oh, when she blesses next your shade, 

Oh, when her footsteps next arc seen 
In flow'ry tracks along the mead, 

In fresher mazes o'er the green; 

Ye gentle spirits of tlie vale. 

To whom the tears of love are dear, 
From dying lilies waft a gale. 

And sigh my sorrows in her ear ! 
Oh, tell her what she cannot blame, 

Though fear my tongue must ever bind: 
Oh, tell her that my virtuous flame 

Is as her spotless soul refin'd ! 

Not her own guardian-angel eyes 

With chaster tenderness his care, 
Not purer her own wishes rise, 

Not holier her own thoughts in prayer. 
But if at first her virgin fear 

Should start at love's suspected name. 
With that of friendship soothe her ear — 

True love and friendship are the same. 



RULE BRITANNLV. 

When Britain first at Heaven's command 
Arose from out the azure main. 

This was the charter of the land. 

And guardian angels sung the strain: 

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules tiie waves! 
Britons never shall be slaves. 

The nations not so blest as thee, 
Alust in their turn to tyrants fall. 

Whilst thou shalt flourisli great and free, 
The dread and envy of them all. 
Rule Britannia, &c. 

Still more majestic shalt thou rise. 

More drea(lful from each foreign stroke; 
As the loud blast that tears the skies, 
Serves but to root thy native oak. 
Rule Britannia. &c. 
11 



162 



DAVID MALLET. 



Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame; 

All their attempts to bend thee down 
AVill but arouse thy generous flame, 

And work their woe and thy renown. 
Rule Britannia, &c. 

To thee belongs the rural reign: 

Thy cities shall with commerce shine; 

All shall be subject to the main, 
And every shore it circles thine. 
Rule Britannia, &c. 

The Muses, still with freedom found. 
Shall to thy happy coast repair; 

Blest isle, with matchless beauty crowned. 
And manly hearts to guard the fair. 
Rule Britannia, &c. 



AGAINST THE CRUSADES. 

(from EDWARD AND ELEONORA.) 

T here attend him, 
In expeditions which I ne'er approved, 
In holy wars. Your pardon, reverend father. 
I must declare I think such wars the fi'uit 



Of idle courage, or mistaken zeal; 
Sometimes of rapine, and religious rage, 
To every mischief prompt. 

Sure I am, 'tis madness. 
Inhuman madness, thus from half the world 
To drain its blood and treasure, to neglect - 
Each art of peace, each care of goveniment; 
And all for what? By spreading desolation, 
Rapine, and slaughter o'er the other half; 
To gain a conquest we can never hold. 
I venerate this land. Those sacred hills. 
Those vales, those cities, trode by saints and pro- 
phets. 
By God himself, the scenes of heavenly wonders, 
Inspire me with a certain awful joy. 
But the same God, my friend, pervades, sustains. 
Surrounds, and fills this universal frame; 
And every land, where spreads his vital presence. 
His all-enlivening breath, to me is holy. 
Excuse me, Theald, if I go too far: 
I meant alone to say, I think these wars 
A kind of persecution. And when that — 
That most absurd and cruel of all vices, 
Is once begun, where shall it find an end? 
Each in his turn, or has or claims a right 
To wield its dagger, to return its furies, 
And first or last they fall upon ourselves. 



DAVID MALLET. 



Born 1700 — Died 1765. 



David Mallet is believed to have been a 
descendant of the clan Macgrcgor, so celebrated 
for its misdeeds and its misfortunes. When, 
under the chieftainship of Rob Roy, the race 
was proscribed by an act of parliament, and 
the few Aviio escaped from the fearful massacre 
of Glcncoe were compelled to hide themselves 
in the Lowlands under fictitious names, the 
ancestor of the poet assumed that of Malloch. 
Ilia father kept a publicdiouse at CricfF, in 
Pertlishire, where David was born about tlie 
year 1700. F. Dinsdale, the editor of "Bal- 
lads and Songs l)y David JIallet," states that 
lie belonged to the Mallochs of Dunrochan, an 
old and respectable family of Perthshire, who 
were concerned in the rebellions of 1715 and 
1745, and were thereby reduced to poverty. 
Wliero David received the rudiments of iiis 
education is not known, but probably at the 
parish school of Crieff. We know that he 



studied under Professor Ker of Aberdeen, and 
then at the University of Edinburgh. In 1723 
he was recommended by the professors as a 
tutor to the two sons of the Duke of Montrose, 
with whom lis the same year proceeded to 
London, and soon after made the tour of 
Europe. On his return he continued to reside 
with his noble pupils, and from his station in 
so illustrious a family gained admission into 
the most polished circles of society. 

In 1724 Mallet published in Hill's peri- 
odical named The Plain Dealer his ballad of 
" William and Margaret," which, with one or 
two lyrics, have given him more fame than all 
his elaborate productions. It at once won for 
him a place among the poets of the day, and 
he soon numbered among his friends Pope, 
Young, and other eminent men, to whom his 
assiduous attentions, his agreeable manners, 
and literary taste recommended him. In the 



DAVID IVIALLET. 



163 



year 1726, in tlic list of subscribers to Savage's 
Miscellanies appeared the name of David 
Mallet, and from that time forward lie was 
known by that name, "for there is not one 
Englishman," he said, '"that can pronounce 
Malloch." Dr. Johnson writes, " By degrees, 
having cleared his tongue from his native 
pronunciation, so as to be no longer distin- 
guished as a Scot, he seemed inclined to dis- 
encumber himself from all adherences of his 
original, and took upon him to change his 
name from Scotch Malloch to Englisli Mallet, 
without any imaginable reason of preference 
which the eye or ear can discover.'' 

In 1728 he published his poem "The E.k- 
cursion," written in imitation of the blank 
verse of bis classmate and friend Thomson, 
the defects of who.se style are servilely followed, 
without the least api^roach to bis redeeming 
graces and beauties. In 1733 appeared his 
poem on " Verbal Criticism," and he was soon 
after appointed under secretary to the Prince 
of Wales, Avith a salary of £200 a year. In 
1739 his tragedy of "Mustaplia" was pro- 
duced, owing its temporary success to some 
satirical allusions to the king and Sir Robert 
AValpole, which were probably written to please 
his patron the Prince of Wales, then at the 
head of the opposition. In 1740, by command 
of the prince, he wrote, in conjunction with 
Thomson, the masque of "Alfred," ■which 
was twice performed in the gardens at Clief- 
den. In this dramatic composition, which was 
afterwards altered by ^Mallet, and produced 
at Drury Lane in 1751, the national song 
of "Rule Britannia" fir.st appeared; a song 
Avhich, as Southey said, will l)e the political 
hymn of Great Britain as long as she main- 
tains her political power. Whether Avritten 
by Thomson or Mallet is not known with 
any degree of certainty. The lyric seems to 
breathe the higher inspiration and more manly 
spirit of Thomson. 

A second marriage which Mallet entered 
into with a lady of considerable fortune ren- 
dered our authors circumstances compara- 
tively opulent; and his disposition being indo- 
lent, seven years elapsed without anything 
appearing from his pen. In 1747 he published 
his longest poem, "The Hermit, or Amyntor 
and Theodora." On the death of Pope, 
Mallet, wlio was givatly indebted to him for 



many kindnesses, was employed by Lord Bol- 
ingbroke to defame the character of his friend, 
a task which, to his shame be it said, he per- 
formed with great malignity in the preface to 
the revised edition of Bolingbroke's Patriot 
King, Pope's only offence being that he had 
allowed the first version of that work to be 
surreptitiously printed. The unprinciided poet 
was rewarded by a bequest of all Bolingbroke's 
writings, the publication of which led to a 
prosecution on account of the immorality and 
infidelity contained in them. It was on the 
noble author and his editor that Dr. Johnson 
uttered one of his most pointed conversational 
memorabilia: " Sir, he was a scoundrel and a 
coward ; a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss 
against religion and morality; a coward because 
he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but 
left a half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman to 
draw the trigger after his death." ^Lillet's 
next act of perfidy was to direct the public 
indignation, for the disgrace brought on the 
British arms at Minorca, towards Admiral 
Byng; and accordingly, while that unfortunate 
officer was on his trial, he wrote a letter of 
accusation, under the signature of "A Plain 
JIan," which, printed on a large sheet, was cir- 
culated with great industiy by the Xewci.stle 
administration. "The price of blood," says 
Dr. Johnson, "was a pension." Mallet ac- 
cepted a legacy of £1000 left by the Duchess 
of Marlborough at her death, as the price of a 
life of her illustrious husband, of which he 
never wrote the first line. Besides this be- 
quest he received a considerable sum annually 
from the second duke to induce him to go on 
with the work, which Mallet continually re- 
presented to be nearly completed. On Lord 
Bute becoming premier he wrote " Truth in 
Rhyme," and the tragedy of "Elvira," with 
the design of promoting the political views of 
the new administration. He was rewarded by 
being appointed keeper of the book of entries 
for ships in the port of London, a position 
worth £400 per annum. He enjoyed this 
appointment little more than two years, dying 
in London April 21, 1765. 

Both Mallet and his second wife — little or 
nothing is known of the first — profes.<ed to 
be freethinkers or deists; and tiie lady is said 
to have surprised some of her frientis by 
enforcing her dogmas in a trulv authoritative 



164 



DAVID MALLET. 



style, prefacing them with an exclamation of — 
"Sir, we deists." When Gibbon the historian 
was dismissed from Oxford for embracing 
Popery he took refuge in Mallet's house, and 
was rather scandalized, he says, than reclaimed 
by the philosophy of his host. Wilkes men- 
tions that the vain and fantastic wife one day 
lamented to a lady that her husband suffered 
III reputation by his name being so often con- 
founded with Smollett; the lady wittily an- 
swered, "Madam, there is a short remedy: let 
your husband keep his own name." There is 
a good anecdote told of the way in which 
IMallet tricked Garrick into the performance 
of hi.s play of "Elvira," that great actor being 
oppo-sed to its representation. He made him 
believe that in the Life of Bfnrlhorour/h, with 
which he always pretended to be so busy, he 
had not failed to make honourable mention of 
Garrick's name. The vanity of the theatrical 
hero was flattered by the compliment, and 
there was nothing at that moment which he 
would not do "to serve his good friend 
Mr. Mallet." When Pope published his "Essay 
on Man, ' but concealed the authorship. Mallet 
entering one day, Pope asked him what there 



was nev.'. Mallet told him that the newest piece 
was somethivri called an "Essay on Man," which 
he had inspecte 1, and seeing the utter inability 
of the author, who had neither skill in writing 
nor knowledge of the subject, had tossed it 
away; whereupon the little poet, who has been 
said to have resembled an interrogation point, 
to punish Mallet's self-conceit, told him he 
wrote it. 

In conclusion, we will quote the words of 
Dr. Johnson, Avho says, "Mallet's conversa- 
tion Avas elegant and easy ; his works are 
such as any writer, bustling in the world, 
showing himself in public, and emerging occa- 
sionally, from time to time, into notice, might 
keep alive by his personal influence; but which, 
conveying but little information, and giving 
no great pleasure, must soon give way as the 
succession of things produces new topics of 
conversation and other modes of amusement." 

A new edition of IMallet's ballads and songs, 
with notes and illustrations and a memoir of 
the author by Frederick Dinsmore, was pul)- 
lished in 1857. The work bears evidence on 
every page that its preparation was a labour of 
love. 



WILLIAM AND MAEGARET.^ 



'Twas at the silent solemn hour 
When night and morning meet. 

In glided ^Margaret's grimly ghost. 
And stood at William's feet. 

Her face was like an .\pril morn 

Clad in a wintry cloud; 
.\nd clay-cold was her lily hand, 

That held her sable shroud. 

So shall the fairest face appear 
When youth and years are flown; 

SiK-h is the robe that kings must wear 
When death has reft their crown. 

Her bloom was like the springing flower. 

That sips the silver dew; 
The rose was budded in her cheek, 

Just opening to the view. 

But love had, like the canker-worm. 

Consumed her early prime; 
The rose grew i)ale, and left her check — 

Siic died before her time. 



Awake! she cried, thy true love calls. 
Come from her midnight grave; 

Now let thy pity hear the maid 
Thy love refused to .save. 

This is the dark and dreary hour 
When injured ghosts complain; 

When yawning graves give up their dead, 
To haunt the faithless .swain. 

Bethink thee, William, of thy fault. 
Thy pledge and broken oath; 

.And give me back my maiden-vow, 
And give me back my troth. 

Why did you promise love to me, 
And not that promise keep? 

1 In the other songs of Mallet there is more polisli 
mid iinich prettiiiess, and a fine subdued modesty of 
language and thought, which make them favourites with 
all lovers of gentle and nnimpassioiied verse; but we 
have no more Williams and Margarets — Allan Can- 
ninghinn. 



DAVID MALLET. 



ltJ5 



Why did you swear my eyes were bright, 
Yet leave those eyes to weep? 

How could you say my face was fair, 

And yet that face forsake? 
How could you Avin my virgin heart, 

Yet leave that heart to break! 

Why did you say my lip was sweet, 

And made the scarlet pale .' 
And why did I, young witless maid I 

Believe the flattering tale.' 

That face, alasl no more is fair. 

Those lips no longer red; 
Dark are my eyes, now closed in death. 

And every charm is fled. 

The hungry worm my sister is; 

This winding-sheet 1 wear: 
And cold and weary lasts our night. 

Till that last morn appear. 

But, hark! the cock has warned me hence; 

A long and last adieu ! 
Come see, false man, how low she lies, 

Who died for love of you. 

The lark sung loud; the morning smiled 

With beams of rosy red; 
I'aie William quaked in every limb. 

And raving left his bed. 

He hied him to the fatal place 

Where JMargaret's body lay; 
And stretched him on the green-grass turf 

That wrapt her breathless clay. 

And thrice he called on Margaret's name, 
And thrice he wept full sore; 

Then laid his cheek to her cobl grave, 
And word spake never morel 



THE BIRKS OF INVERMAY.i 

The smiling morn, the breathing spring, 

Invite the tunefu' birds to sing; 

.Vnd, while they warble from the spray, 

Love melts the universal lay. 

Let us, Amanda, timely wise, 

Like thein, improve the hour that flies; 

And in soft raptures waste the day 

Among the birks of Invermav! 



1 Three other stanzas sometimes apiie.uwith Mallet's 
song, which was a great favourite with ])i>or Fergussoii. 
They are generally attributed to the Rev. Alexander 
Brjce, 1713-1780.— Ed. 



For soon the winter of the year. 
And age, life's winter, will appear; 
At this thy living bloom will fade. 
As that will strip the verdant shade. 
Our taste of pleasure then is o'er, 
The feathered songsters are no more; 
And when they drop and we decay. 
Adieu the birks of Invermav! 



A FUNERAL HYMN. 

Ye midniglit shades, o'er nature spread! 

Dumb silence of the drear^' iiour! 

In honour of tli' approaching dead, 

Around your awful terrors pour. 

Yes, pour around. 

On this pale ground. 
Through all this deep surrounding gloom. 

The sober thought, 

Tlie tear untaught. 
Those meetest mourners at a tomb. 

Lo! as the surpliced train draw near 
To this last mansion of mankind, 
The slow sad bell, the sable bier, 
In holy musings wraj) the mind! 

And while their beam. 

With trembling stream 
Attending tapers faintly dart, 

Each mouldering bone, 

Each sculptured stone, 
Strikes mute instruction to the heart ! 

Now let the sacred organ blow, 
AVith solemn pause, and sounding slow; 
Now, let the voice due measure keep. 
In strains that sigh, and words that weep; 
Till all the vocal current blended roil. 
Not to depres.s, but lift the soaring .soul— 

To lift it to the Maker's praise. 

Who first informed our frame with breath. 
And, after some few stormy days. 

Now, gracious, gives us o'er to death. 

No king of fears 

In him appears. 
Who shuts the scene of human woes: 

Beneath his shade 

Securely laid, 
The dead alone find true repose. 

Then, while we mingle dust with dust. 

To One, supremely good and wise, 
Raise hallelujahs! God is just, 

And man most happy when he dies! 
His winter i)ast, 
Fair .spring at last 



166 



ALEXANDER MACDONALD. 



Receives him on her flower}' shore; 
AVhei-e pleasure's rose 
Immortal blows, 

And sin and sorrow are no more! 



AS SYLVIA IN A FOREST LAY. 

As Sylvia in a forest lay. 

To vent her woe alone: 
Her swain Sylvander came that way, 

And heard her dying moan: 
Ah! is my love, she said, to you 

So worthless and so vain? 
Why is your wonted fondness now 

Converted to disdain? 

You vow'd the light should darkness turn, 

Ere you'd forget your love: 
In shades now may creation mourn, 

Since you unfaithful prove. 
Was it for this I credit gave 

To ev'ry oath you swore ! 
But ah! it seems they most deceive 

Who most our charms adore. 

'Tis plain your drift was all deceit, 

The practice of mankind ; 
Alas! I sec it, but too late, 

My love had made me blind. 
For you. delighted I could die: 

But oh! with grief I'm iill'd, 
To think that credulous, constant, I 

Should by yourself be kill'd. 

This said — all breathless, sick, and pale. 

Her itcad upon her hand. 
She found her vital spirits fail, 

And senses at a stand. 
Sylvander then began to melt: 

But ere the word was given, 
Tiie heavy hand of death she felt. 

And sigh'd her soul to heaven. 



A YOUTH ADORX'D WITH EVERY ART. 

A youth, adorn'd with every art 
To warm and win the coldest heart. 

In secret, mine possest: — 
The morning bud that fairest blows. 
The vernal oak that straightest grows. 

His face and shape exprcst. 

In moving sounds he told his tale. 
Soft as the sighings of the gale 

That wakes the flowery year. 
What wonder he could charm with ease. 
Whom happy nature form'd to please. 

Whom love had made sincere. 

.\t morn he left me — fought, and fell, 
Tiie fatal evening heard his knell. 

And saw the tears I shed : 
Tears that must ever, ever fall; 
For, ah I no sighs the past recal, 

No cries awake the dead! 



YE WOODS AND YE MOUNTAINS 
UNKNOWN. 

Ye woods and ye mountains unknown, 

Beneath whose dark shadows I stray, 
To the breast of my charmer alone 

These sighs bid sweet echo convey. 
Wherever he pensively leans, 

By fountain, on hill, or in grove, 
His heart will explain what she means. 

Who sings both from sorrow and love. 

More soft than the nightingale's song, 

waft the sad sound to his ear; 
And say, tho' divided so long, 

The friend of his bosom is near. 
Then tell him what years of delight, 

Then tell him what ages of pain, 
I felt when I liv'd in his sight! 

1 feel "til I see him airain! 



ALEXANDEK MACDONALD 



Born 1701 - Dikd 1780. 



Alexander Macdonald, second son of the 
episcopal clergyman of Ardnamurchan, was 
liorn at Daliiea, in Moidart, in the first year 
i)f the eighteenth century. His father wished 



him to follow his own profession, and gave 
him a classical education, while the Clanranald 
of that day desired young Alexander, of whom 
great ho])cs were entertained, to be educated 



ALEXANDEE MACDONALD. 



167 



for the bar. Like many a wayward son of 
the Muse he disappointed both liis chief and 
his father. While at college he inconsiderately 
married Alary Macdonald, on whom he had 
composed several songs ; and without com- 
pleting his course, he, to support himself and 
his young wife, became a teacher. It is said 
that he was first employed as such by the 
Society for the Propagation of Christian Know- 
ledge ; afterwards as parochial schoolmaster 
at Ardnamurchan, residing in a romantic 
situation on the Sound of Mull, directly oppo- 
site to Tobermory. While in this agreeable 
position he prepared a vocabulary for the use 
of Gaelic schools, the first work of the kind in 
the language. It was published at Edinburgh 
in 1741. When Prince Charles landed he laid 
down the ferule and took up the sword. He was 
the Tyrt«us of the Highland army, and his 
warlike strains aroused the greatest enthusiasm 
among the followers of the ill-fated Stuart. 

At the close of the rebellion, in which he 
bore an officer's commission, Macdonald and 
his elder brother Angus escaped pursuit, and for 
a time sought shelter in the woods and caves 
of Borradale, in the district of Arasaig. After 
a time Jacobite friends invited the poet to 
Edinburgh to take charge of the education of 
their children. While residing in the metro- 



polis he prepared for the press and published 
by subscription a volume of Gaelic poems, con- 
taining nearly all his best productions. Re- 
turning to his native district he attempted 
farming, but liis efforts, as in the case of a 
greater Scottish bard— Robert Burns — were 
not attended with .success, and for several 
years before his death at Santaig, about 1780, 
he was chiefly dependent for support on the 
liberality of his more prosperous relations. 

Some Gaelic scholars esteem Macdonald's 
" Blessing of the Biorlinn " as equal to Ossian's 
poems of the same length, and pronounce the 
force of thought and energy of poetical ardour 
with which he 

" Hurls tlie Biorlinn thiongh the cold glens," 
unsurpassed, if indeed it has been equalled, 
by any modern Highland poet. His poem in 
praise of Jlorag contains many lofty and im- 
passioned lines, and his Odes to Spring and 
Winter are indicative of high poetic power. 
Collections of his poems were published in 
1751 and 1764, and a third volume of his 
poetry appeared in 1802. It is asserted by 
Mackenzie that but a small portion of this 
bard's poems have been preserved in print. His 
son Ronald, having published a volume, and 
not meeting with encouragement for a second, 
destroyed all his father's manuscripts. 



THE LION OF MACDONALD. 



Awake, thou first of creatures ! indignant in their 

frown, 
Let the flag unfold the features that the heather^ 

blossoms crown; 
Arise, and lightly mount thy crest, while flap thy 

flanks in air, 
And I will follow thee the best that I may dow 

or dare. 
Yes, I will sing the Lion King, o'er all the tribes 

victorious ; 
To living thing may not concede thy meed and 

actions glorious; 
How oft thy noble head has woke thy valiant 

men to battle, 
As panic o'er their spirit broke, and i-ued the foe 

their mettle. 

Is there thy praise to underrate, in verj" thought 
presuming 

1 The MacJoiialii badge is a tiift of heather. 



O'er crested chieftaincj'^ thy state, thou of 

right assuming ? 
I see thee, on thy silken flag, in rampant^ glory 

streaming. 
As life inspired their firmness thj' planted hind 

feet seeming. 
The standard-tree is proud of thee, its lofty sides 

embracing, 
Anon unfolding to give forth thy grandeur any 

space in. 
AfoUowingof thetrustiest arecluster'd hj-thj'side, 
And woe, their flaming visages of crimson, who 

shall bide? 

The heather and the blossom are pledges of their 

faith, 
And the foe that shall assail them is destined to 

the death. 

■■' The clan claimed the right wing of the buttle. 
3 A lion rani])aiit is the Macdonald cognizance. 



168 



ALEXANDER MACDONALD. 



Was not a deai-th of mettle among thy native kind, 
They were foremost in the battle, nor in the chase 

behind. 
Their arms of fire wreak'd out their ire, their 

shields emboss'd with gold — 
And the thrusting of their venom'd points upon 

the foeman told; 
deep and large was every gash that marked 

their manlj^ vigour, 
And irresistible the flash that lighten'd round 

theii- trigger; 
And woe, when play'd the dark blue blade, the 

thick-backVl, sharp Ferrara, 
Though pUed its might by stripling hand, it cut 

into the marrow. 

Clan Colla,^ let them have their due, thy true and 

gallant following, 
Strength, kindness, grace, and clannishness their 

lofty spirit hallowing. 
Hot is their ire as flames aspire, the whu-ling 

March winds fanning them; 
Yet search their hearts, no blemish'd parts are 

found, all eyes though scanning them. 
They rush elate to stern debate, tlie battle call 

has never 
Found tardy cheer or craven fear, or grudge the 

prey to sever. 
Ah, fell their wrath! The dance of death^ sends 

legs and arms a flying, 
And thick the life-blood's reek ascends of the 

downfallen and the dying. 

Clandonuil, still my darling theme, is the prime 

of every clan; 
How oft the heady war in has it cha.sed where 

thousands ran. 
ready, bold, and venoniful, these native war- 
riors brave, 
Ijikc adders coiling on the hill, they dart with 

stinging glaive; 
Nor wants their course the si)ccd, the force — nor 

wants their gallant stature 
This of the rock, that of the flock that sldm 

along the water. 
Like whistle-shriek the blows they strike, as the 

torrent of the fell ; 
So tierce they gush, the moor-flames' rush their 

ardour symbols well. 

fjandonuil's root,'' when crowd each shoot of 

.sapling, branch, and stem, 
What forest fair shall e'er compare in stately 

pride with them ? 
Their gathering might what legion wight in 

rivalry has dar'd. 
Or to ravisli from their Lion's face a bristle of his 

beard ? 



What limbs were wrenched, what furrows 

drench'd, in that cloud-burst of steel. 
That atoned the provocation, and smok'd from 

head to heel; 
While cry and slu'iek of terror break the field of 

strife along, 
And stranger notes are wailing the .slaughterVl 

heaps among. 

When, from the kingdom's breadth and length, 

might other muster gather, 
So flush in spirit, firm in strength, the stress of 

arms to weather? 
Steel to the core, that evermore to expectation 

true. 
Like gallant deer-hounds from the slip, or like 

an arrow flew. 
Where deathful strife was calling, and sworde<l 

files were closed, 
Was sapping breach the wall in of the ranks that 

stood oppos'd, 
And thirsty brands were hot for blood, and quiver- 
ing to be on. 
And with the whistle of the blade was sounding 

many a groan. 

0, from the sides of Albyn, full thousands would 

be proud, 
The natives of her mountams gi'ay, around the 

tree to crowd; 
Where stream the colours flying, and frown the 

features grim 
Of yonder emblem Lion, with his staunch and 

crimson'* limb. 
Up, up, be bold, ciuick be unroll'd the gathering 

of your levy, 5 
Let every step bound forth a leap, and every 

hand l:>e heavy; 
The furnace of the melee, where burn your swords 

the best. 
Eschew not; to the rally, where blaze your stream- 
ers, haste! 
That silken sheet, by death - strokes fleet and 

strong defenders mann'd. 
Dismays the flutter of its leaves the chosen of the 

land. 



1 Coll, or Colla. i» a cdmnion name in the clan. 

2 The " iiiiro cliatta." or battle dance. 

•' The clan conKisted of several sopts, as Clanranald 
Glengarry, Keppocli, &c. 



ADDRESS TO THE MORNING. 

Son of the young Morn ! that glancest 

O'er the hills of the east with thy gold-yellow 
hair, 
How gay on the wild thou advancest 

Whore the streams laugh as onward they fare. 
And the trees, yet bedewed by the shower, 

Elastic their light branches raise. 
While the melodists sweet they embower. 

Hail thee at once with their lays. 

* The Macdonald armorial bearings are giiles. 
5 Tiinoe Charles Edward was then exjiected. 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



1G9 



But where is the dim night duskily gliding 

On her eagle wings from thy face .' 
Where now is darkness abiding, 

In what cave do bright stars end their race, 
"When fast, on their faded steps bending, 

Like a hunter you rush through the sky. 
Up those lone lofty moiuitains ascending. 

While down yon far summits they fly .' 

Pleasant thy path is, great lustre, wide gleaming 
Dispelling the storm with thy rays; 



And graceful thy gold ringlets streaming, 

As wont, in the westering blaze. 
Then the blind mist of night ne'er deceiveth. 

Nor sends from the right course astray; 
The strong tempest, all ocean that grieveth, 

Can ne'er make thee bend from thy way. 

At the call of the wild morn appearing, 
Thy festal face wakens up bright. 

The shade from all dark places clearing, 
But the bard's eye that ne'er sees thy light. 



WILLIAM HAMILTON 



Born 1704 — Died 1754. 



William Hamiltox of Bangour, one of the 
first lyric poet.s who souglit to communicate a 
classic grace and courtly decorum to Scottish 
.song, was born of an ancient Ayrshire family 
in the year 1704. He received a liberal edu- 
cation, and earlj' in life cultivated a taste for 
poetr}', having before he was twenty assisted 
Allan Eamsay in his Tea- table Miscellany. 
His first and best strains were dedicated to 
lyrical poetry, and he soon became distin- 
guished for ills poetical talents. He was the 
delight of tlie fashionable circles of his native 
county, possessing, as he did, rank, education, 
and various accomplishments, and was known 
as "the elegant and amiable Hamilton." In 
1745 he took the side which most young men 
of generous temperament were apt to take in 
those days — he joined the standard of Priiice 
Charles Edward, and became the poet-laureate 
of the Jacobite army by celebrating their first 
success at Prestonpans, in the ode of "Glads- 
muir." AVhen the cause of the >Stuarts was 
lost by the battle of Culloden, Hamilton, after 
many hardships and perils among the moun- 
tains and glens of the Highlands, succeeded 
in effecting his escape to France. His exile, 
however, was short. He had many friends and 
admirers among the royalists at home, who 
soon obtained a pardon for the rebellious poet, 
and he was restored to his native country and 
his paternal estate. His health was always 
delicate, and a pulmonary complaint soon 
compelled him to seek a more genial climate. 



He proceeded to the Continent, and took up 
his residence at Lyons, France, where he con- 
tinued to reside until a lingering consumption 
ended his career, March 25, 1754, in the fiftieth 
year of his age. His body was brought back 
to Scotland, and interred in that once great 
Walhalla, the Abbey Church of Holyrood. The 
poet was twice married into families of dis- 
tinction; and by his fii'st wife, a daughter of 
Sir James Hall of Dunglass, he left a son, who 
succeeded to his estate. 

A volume of his poems was, without his con- 
sent or name, published at Glasgow in 1748; 
another edition of his works was issued at 
Edinburgh in 1760; but the latest and most 
complete edition, including several poems pre- 
viously unpublished, and edited by James 
Paterson, appeared in 1850. "Jlr. Hamilton's 
mind," says Lord Woodiiouselec in his Life of 
Lord Kaimes, " is pictured in his verses. 
They are the easy and careless effusions of an 
elegant and a chastened taste; and the senti- 
ments they convey are the genuine feelings of 
a tender and susceptible heart, which per- 
petually owned the dominion of some favourite 
mistress, but wiiose passion generally evapor- 
ated in song, and made no serious or permanent 
impression." Of Hamilton's poems not de- 
voted to love, the most deserving of notice is 
"The Episode of the Thistle," which is an 
ingenious attempt, in blank verse, by a well- 
devised fable, to account for the national em- 
blem of Scotland: — 



170 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



" How oft beneath 
Its mai'tial iufluence have Scotia's sons, 
Through every age, with daiiiitless valour fouglit 
On every hostile ground ! While o'er their breast, 
Companion to the silver star, blest type 
Of fame unsullied and superior deed. 
Distinguished ornament ! tlieir native plant 
Surrounds the sainted cross, with costly row 
Of gems emblaz'd, and flame of radiant gold 
A sacred mark, their glory and their pride." 

There i.s anotlier fragmentaiy poem by 
Hamilton, an extract from which appears 
among our selections. It is called "The Maid 
of Gallowshiels," and is an epic of the heroic- 
comic kind, intended to celebrate a contest 
between a piper and a fiddler for the fair maid 
of Gallowshiels. The only poem which he 



wrote in his native dialect is " The Braes of 
Yarrow," which has been almost universally 
acknowledged to be one of the finest ballads 
ever written. Wordsworth was signally im- 
pressed with it, as appears from his trio of 
beautiful poems of " Yarrow Unvisited," 
"Yarrow Vi.sited," and "Yarrow Revisited." 
Mr. Hamilton of Bangour, who made the first 
translation from Homer in blank verse, is 
sometimes mistaken for and identified with 
another poet of the same name — William 
Hamilton of Gilbi'rtjield, in Lanarkshire, who 
was a friend and correspondent of Allan Uam- 
say, and the author of a modern version of 
Harry the Minstrel's poem on Sir William 
Wallace. 



THE BEAES OF YAEROW.^ 



"Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny, bonny bride. 
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow! 

Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny, bonny bride. 
And think nae mair on the Braes of Yarrow. "' 

"Where gat ye that I)onny, bonny bride? 

AVhere gat yc that winsome marrow?" 
" I gat iier where I darena weel be seen, 

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Weep not, weep not, my bonny, bonny bride, 
Weep not, weep not, my winsome marrow! 

Nor let thy heart lament to leave 

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow." 

" Why does she weep, thy boimy, bonny bride? 

Why does .she weep, thy winsome marrow? 
And why dare yc nae mair weil be seen 

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow?" 

"Lang maun she Aveep, lang maun she, maun 
she weep, 

Lang maun she weep with dule and sorrow, 
And lang maun I nae mair weil be seen 

Pouing tiie birks on the Jiraes of Yarrow. 

For she has tint licr lover, lover dear, 
Her lover dear, the cause of sorrow, 

.\nd I hae slain the comeliest swain 

That e'er jwucd birks on the Braesof Yarrow. 

Why runs thy stream, O Yarrow, Yarrow, red? 

Why on thy braes heard the voice of sorrow? 
And why yon melancliolious weeds 

Hung on the bonnv l>irks of Yarrow? 



What's yonder floats on the rueful, rueful flude? 

What's yonder floats? dule and sorrow! 
'Tis he, the comely swain I slew 

Upon the duleful Braes of Yarrow. 

Wash, wash liis wounds, his wounds in tears. 
His wounds in tears with dule and sorrow. 

And wrap his limbs in mourning weeds, 
And lay him on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Then build, then build, ye sisters, sisters sad, 
Ye sisters sad, his tomb with sorrow ; 

And weep around in waeful wise. 

His hapless fate on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Curse ye, curse ye, his useless, useless shield, 
My arm that wi'ought the deed of sorrow; 

The fiital spear that pierced his breast, 

His comely breast, on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Did I not warn thee not to lue. 

And warn from fight, but to my sorrow; 

O'er rashly bauld, a stronger arm 

Thou met'st, and fell on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Sweet smells tlie birk, green grows, green 
grows the grass. 
Yellow on Yarrow's bank the gowan. 



1 Among the many admirers of this pathetic jioem 
may be nieniioned the name of Wordswortli, who calls 
it the exquisite ballad of Hamilton, and in his own 
immortal lines makes frequent allusions to it. There 
is a much older composition witli the same title, which 
appears to liave been the prototype of all the ballads 
iu celebration of the tragedy of the Yarrow. — Eu. 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



171 



Fair hangs the apple frae tlie rock. 
Sweet the wave of Yarrow flowan. 

Flows Yarrow sweet? as sweet, as sweet flows 
Tweed, 

As green its grass, its gowan as yellow, 
As sweet smells on its braes the birk. 

The apple frae the rock as mellow. 

Fair was thy love, fair, fair indeed thy love. 
In flowery bands thou him didst fetter: 

Though he was fair and well beloved again 
Than me he never lued thee better. 

Busk ye, then busk, my bonny, bonny bride, 
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow. 

Busk ye, and lue me on the banks of Tweed, 
And think nae mairon the Braes of Yarrow." 

"How can I busk a bonny, bonny bride, 
How can I busk a winsome marrow, 

How lue him on the banks of Tweed, 

That slew my love on the Braes of Yarrow? 

Yarrow fields! may never, never rain, 
Nor dew thy tender blossoms cover; 

For there was basely slai^i my love. 
My love, as he had not been a lover. 

The boy put on his rol)es, his robes of green, 
His purple vest, 'twas my ain sewing; 

Ah! wretched me! I little, little kenned 
He was in these to meet his ruin. 

The boy took out his milk-white, milk-white 
steed, 

Unheedful of my dule and sorrow; 
But ere the to-fall of the night 

He lay a corpse on the Braes of Yarrow. 

Much I rejoiced that waeful, waeful day; 
, I sang, my voice the woods returning, 
But lang ere night the spear was flown 
That slew my love, and left me mourning. 

What can my barbarous, barbarous father do, 
]5ut with his cruel rage pursue me? 

My lover's blood is on thy spear. 

How canst thou, barbarous man, then woo me? 

My happy sisters may be, may be proud; 

With cruel and ungentle scofhn, 
May bid me seek on Yarrow Braes 

My lover nailed in his coffin. 

My brother Douglas may upbraid, upbraid. 
And strive with threatening words to move 
me; 

Jly lover's blood is on thy spear. 

How canst thou ever bid me love thee? 



Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of love. 
With bridal sheets my body cover; 

Unbar, ye bridal maids, the door, 
Let in the expected husband lover. 

But who the expected husband, husband is? 

His hands, methinks, arebatlied inslaughter. 
Ah, mel what ghastly .spectre's yon 

Comes, in his pale sliroud, bleeding after? 

Pale as he is, here lay him, lay him down, 
O lay his cold head on my pillow; 

Take afl", take aft" these bridal weeds, 

And crown my careful lieati with willow. 

Pale though thou art, yet best, yet best beloved, 
could my warmth to life restore thee! 

Ye'd lie all night between my breasts, — 
No youth lay ever there before thee. 

Pale, pale, indeed, lovely, lovely youth, 
Forgive, forgive, so foul a slaughter. 

And lie all night between my breasts, 
No youth shall ever lie there after." 

"Peturn, return, mournful, mournful bride, 
Peturn and dry thy useless sori'ow: 

Thy lover heeds nought of thy sighs, 

He lies a corpse on the Braes of Yarrow." 



TO THE COUNTESS OF EGLINTON.i 

Accept, Eglinton ! the rural lays 
That, bound to thee, thy poet humbly pays. 
The Muse, that oft has raised her tunefid strains, 
A freipient guest on Scotia's blissful plains; 
That oft has sung, her listening youth to move, 
The chaiTiis of beaut}-, and the force of love; 
Once more resumes the still successful lay. 
Delighted through the verdant meads to stray. 
O! come, invoked I and, pleased, with her repair 
To breathe the balmy sweets of purer air; 
In the cool evening, negligently laid, 
Or near the stream, or in the rural shade, 
Propitious hear, and as thou hcar'st a[)prove, 
The Gentle Shepherd's tender tale of love. 

Instructed from these scenes, what glowing fires 
Inflame the breast that real love inspires ! 
The fair shall read of ardours, sighs, and tears. 
All that a lover hopes, and all he fears: 
Hence, too, what passions in his bosom rise ! 
"SA'hat dawning gladness sparkles in Ids eyes I 
When first the fair one, piteous of his fate, 
Cured of her scorn, and vanquished of her hate. 



' This poem, so laudatory of the celebrated Ayrshire 
beauty, was appended to "TheGeiitle Shepherd."— Ei>. 



172 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



With willing mind, is bounteous to relent, 
And blushing beauteous, smiles the kind consent ! 
Love's passion here, in each extreme, is shown, 
In Charlotte's smile, or in Maria's frown. 

With words like these, that failed not to engage. 
Love courted Beauty in a golden age; 
Pm-e and untaught, such Nature tirst inspii'ed. 
Ere yet the fair affected phrase desu-ed. 
His secret thoughts were undisguised with art. 
His words ne'er knew to differ from his heart: 
He speaks his love so artless and sincere, 
As thy Eliza might be pleased to hear. 

Heaven only to the rural state bestows 
Conquest o'er life, and freedom from its woes: 
Secure alike from en-\y and from care, 
Nor raised by hope, nor yet depressed by fear; 
Nor want's lean hand its happiness constrains, 
Nor riches torture with ill-gotten gains. 
No secret guilt its steadfast peace destroys. 
No wild ambition intennipts its joys. 
Blest still to spend the hours that Heaven has lent, 
In humble goodness, and in calm content: 
Serenely gentle, as the thoughts that roll, 
Sinless and pure, in fair Humeia's soul. 

But now the rm-al state these joys has lost; 
Even swains no more that innocence can boast: 
Love speaks no more what beauty may believe. 
Prone to betray, and practised to deceive. 
Now Happiness forsakes her blest retreat, 
The peaceful dwelling where she fixed her seat; 
The pleasing fields she wont of old to grace. 
Companion to an upright sober race; 
When on the sunny hill, or verdant plain, 
Fi-ee and familiar with the sons of men. 
To crown the pleasures of the blameless feast. 
She uninvited came, a welcome guest; 
p]re yet an age, grown rich in impious arts, 
Briljed from their innocence uncautious hearts. 
Then gnidging hate and sinful pride succeed. 
Cruel revenge, and false unrighteous deed. 
Then dowerless beauty lost the power to move; 
The rust of lucre stained the gold of love: 
Bounteous no more, and hospitably good. 
The genial hearth first blushed with strangers' 

blood: 
The friend no more upon the friend relies, 
And semblant falsehood jiuts on truth's disguise: 
Tlie peaceful household filled with dire alaiTns; 
The ravished virgin mourns her slighted charms: 
The voice of impious mirth is heard around, 
In guilt they feast, in guilt the bowl is crowned: 
IJnpmii.shed violence lords it o'er the plains, 
And hapj)ineHH forsakes the guilty swains. 

Oil I IIapj)iness, from hunian search retired. 
Where art thou to be found, by all desired? 
Nun, sober and devout, why art thou fled, 
'I'o hide in shades thy meek contented head? 



Virgin! of aspect mild, ah! why, unkind, 
Fly'st thou, displea.sed, the commerce of mankind? 
! teach our steps to find the secret cell. 
Where, with thy su-e Content, thou lov'st to dwell. 
Or, say, dost thou a duteous handmaid wait 
Familiar at the chambers of the great ? 
Dost thou pursue the voice of them that call 
To noisy revel and to midnight ball ? 
O'er the full banquet, when we feast our soul. 
Dost thou inspire the mu-th, or mix the bowl ? 
Or, with the industrious planter dost thou talk. 
Conversing freely in an evening walk ? 
Say, does the miser e'er thy face behold. 
Watchful and studious of the treasured gold ? 
Seeks knowledge, not in vain, thy much-loved 

power. 
Still musing silent at the morning hour ? 
May we thy presence hope in war's alarms. 
In Stair's wisdom, or in Erskine's charms ? 

In vain our flattering hopes our steps beguile. 
The flying good eludes the searcher's toil: 
In vain we seek the city or the cell, 
Alone with Virtue knows the power to dwell: 
Nor need mankind despair these joys to know. 
The gift themselves may on themselves bestow: 
Soon, soon we might the precious blessing boast. 
But many passions mu^t the blessing cost; 
Infernal malice, inly pining hate. 
And envy, grieving at another's state; 
Revenge no more must in our hearts remain 
Or burning lust or avarice of gain. 

When these are in the human bosom imi'sed, 
Can peace reside in dwellings so accursed ! 
Unlike, Eglinton ! thy happy breast. 
Calm and serene, enjoys the heavenly guest; 
From the tumultuous rule of passions freed. 
Pure in thy thought, and spotless in thy deed: 
In virtues rich, in goodness unconfined. 
Thou shin'st a fair example to thy kind ; 
Sincere and equal to thy neighbour's name, 
How swift to praise ! how g-uiltless to defame ! 
Bold in thy presence Bashfulness apjjears. 
And backward Merit loses all its fears. 
Supremely blessed by Heaven, Heaven's richest 

grace 
Confessed is thine — an earl 3' blooming race; 
Whose pleasing smilesshall guardian Wisdom arm. 
Divine Instruction ! taught of thee to charm: 
What transports .shall they to thy soul impart 
(The conscious transports of a parent's heart). 
When thou bchold'st them of each grace possest. 
And sighing youths imploring to be blest ! 
After thy image formed, with charms like thine, 
Or in the visit, or the dance, to shine: 
Thrice happy ! who succeed their mother's praise 
The lovely Eglintons of other days. 

Meanwhile, peruse the following tender scenes, 
And listen to thy native poet's strains: 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



173 



In ancient garb the home-bred Muse appears, 

The g-arb our Muses wore in former years. 

As in a glass reflected, here behold 

How smiling Goodness looked in days of old; 

Nor blush to read, where Beauty's praise is shown, 

Or virtuous Love, the likeness of thy owni : 

While 'midst the various gifts that gracious 

Heaven 
To thee, in whom it is well-pleased, has given, 
Lot this, Eglinton, delight thee most, — 
T' enjoy that innocence the world has lost. 



THE MAID OF GALLOWSHIELS. 

(extract.) 

Now in his artful hand the bagpipe held, 
Elate, the piper wide survej's the field. 
O'er all he throws his quick discerning eyes. 
And views theu' hopes and fears alternate rise. 
Old Glenderule, in Gallowshiels long fam'd 
For works of skill, the perfect wonder fram'd; 
His shining steel first lopp'd, ^^^th dexterous toil, 
From a tall spreading elm the branchy spoil. 
The clouded wood he next divides in twain. 
And smoothes them equal to an oval plane. 
Six leather folds in still connected rows 
To either plank confoi-med, the sides compose; 
The wimble perforates the base with care, 
A destin'd passage opening to the air; 
But once inclosed within the narrow space. 
The opposing valve forbids the backward race. 
Fast to the swelling bag, two reeds combin'd. 
Receive the blasts of the melodious wind. 
Round from the twining loom, with skill divine 
Embost, the joints in silver circles shine; 
In secret prison pent, the accents lie, 
Until his arm the lab'ring artist ply: 
Then duteous they forsake their dark abode, 
Fellows no more, and wing a sep'rate road. 
These upward through the narrow channel glide 
In ways unseen, a solemn murmuring tide; 
Those thro' the narrow part, their journey tend 
Of sweeter sort, and to the earth descend. 
O'er the small pipe at equal distance, lie 
Eight shining holes o'er which his fingers fly. 
From side to side the aeiial spirit bounds; 
The flpng fingers form the passing sounds. 
That, issuing gently thro' the polish'd door, 
Mix with the common air, and charm no more. 
This gift long since old Glenderule consign'd, 
The lasting witness of his friendly mind, 
To the fam'd author of the piper's line. 
Each empty space shone rich in fair design : 
Himself appears high in the sculptur'd wo.d, 
As bold in the Harlean field he stood. 
Serene, amidst the dangers of the day. 
Full in the van you might behold him play; 



There in the humbler mood of peace he stands, 
Before him pleas'd are seen the dancing bands, 
In mazy roads the flying ring thej' blend, 
So lively fram'd they seem from earth t' ascend. 
Four gilded straps the artist's arm surround. 
Two knit by clasps, and two V)y buckles bound. 
His artful elbow now the youth essays, 
A tuneful squeeze to wake the sleeping lays. 
With lab'ring bellows thus the smith inspires, 
To frame the polish'd lock, the f rge's fires; 
Conceal'd in ashes lie the flames below; 
Till the resounding lungs of bellows blow; 
Then mounting high, o'er the ilhunin'd room 
Spreads the brown light, and gilds the dusky 

gloom ; 
The bursting sounds in narrow prison pent, 
Rouse, in their cells, loud rumbling for a 

vent. 
Loud tempests now the deafen'd ear assail ; 
Now gently sweet is breath'd a sober gale: 
As when the hawk his mountain nest forsakes. 
Fierce for his prey his mstling wings he shakes; 
The ail- impell'd by th' unharmonious shock. 
Sounds clattering and abrupt through all the 

rock. 
But as she flies, she shapes to smoother pace 
Her winnowing vans, and swims the aerial space. 



WHY HANGS TH.\.T CLOUD? 

Why hangs that cloud upon thy brow, 

Tiiat beauteous iieav'n, erewhile serene? 
Whence do these storms and tempests blow, 

What may this gust of passion mean? 
Xim\ must then mankind lose that ligiit 

Which in thine eyes was wont to shine, 
And lie obscure in endless night, 

For each poor silly speech of mine? 

Dear maid, how can I wrong thy name. 

Since 'tis acknowledged, at all hands, 
That could ill tongues abuse thy fame, 

Thy beauty can make large amends. 
Or if I durst profanely try 

Thy beauty's powerful charms t' upbraid, 
Thy virtue well might give the lie, 

Nor call thy beauty to its aid. 

For Yenus, every heart t' ensnare, 

With all her charms has deck'd thy face, 
And Pallas, with unusual care. 

Bids wisdom heighten every grace. 
Who can the double pain endure? 

Or who must not resign the field 
To thee, celestial maid, secure 

With Cupid's bow and Talks' siiicld? 



174 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



If then to thee such pow'r is given, 

Let not a wretoh in torment live, 
But smile, and learn to copy Heaven, 

Since we must sin ere it forgive. 
Yet pitying Heaven not only does 

Forgive th' offenderand the ofieuce, 
But even itself appeas'd bestows, 

As the reward of penitence. 



AH, THE POOR SHEPHEKD. 

All. the poor shepherd's mournful fate, 

When doomed to live and doomed to languish, 
To bear the scornful fair one's hate, 

Xor dare disclose his anguish! 
Yet eager looks and dying sighs 

My secret soul discover, 
While rapture, trembling through mine eyes. 

Reveals how much I love her. 
The tender glance, the reddening cheek, 

O'erspread with rising blushes, 
A thousand various ways they speak, 

A thousand various wishes. 

For, oh! that form so heavenly fair, 

■ Those languid eyes so sweetly smiling, 
That artless blush and modest air. 

So fatally beguiling; 
Thy every look and every grace 

So charm whene'er I view thee, 
Till death o'ertake me in the chase. 

Still will my hopes pursue thee. 
Then, when my tedious hours are past. 

Be this last blessing given, 
liOw at thy feet to breathe my last, 

And die in sight of heaven. 



STREPHON'S PICTURE. 

Ye gods ! was Strephon's picture blest 
With tlic fair heaven of Chioe's breast? 
Jlove softer, thou fond tlutt'ring heart, 
Oh, gently tlirob — too fierce tiiou art. 
Tell me, thou brightest of thy kind. 
For Stroi)hon was tlic bliss design'd ? 
For Strephon's .sake, dear charming maid. 
Didst thou prefer his wand'riiig shade? 

And thou, bless'd shnde, that sweetly art 
Lodged so near my Chloc's heart, 
Vnr nic the tender hour improve, 
And .softly tell how dear I love. 



Ungrateful thing ! it scorns to hear , 
Its wretched master's ardent pray'r, 
Ingrossing all that beauteous heav'n, 
That Ciiloe, lavish maid, has given. 

I cannot blame thee : were I lord 
Of all the wealth those breasts aflbrd, 
I'd be a miser too, nor give 
An alms to keep a god alive. 
Oh smile not thus, my lovely fair, 
On these cold looks, that lifeless air; 
Prize him whose bosom glows with fire, 
With eager love and soft desire. 

'Tis true thy charms, powerful maid, 
To life can bring the silent sliade: 
Thou canst surpass the painter's art, 
And real warmth and flames impart. 
But oh! it ne'er can love like me, 
I've ever loved, and loved but thee: 
Then, charmer, grant my fond request, 
Say thou canst love, and make me blest. 



YE SHEPHERDS AND NYMPHS. 

Ye shepherds and njanjjhs that adorn the gay 

plain, 
Approach from your sports, and attend to my 

strain; 
Amongst all your number a lover so true 
Was ne'er so undone with such bliss in his \'iew. 
Was ever a nymph so hard-hearted as mine! 
She knows me sincere, and she sees how I pine: 
She does not disdain me, nor frown in her wrath; 
But calmly and mildly resigns me to death. 

She calls me her friend, but her lover denies; 
She smiles when I'm cheerful, but hears not my 

sighs. 
A bosom so flinty, so gentle an air. 
Inspires me vnth hope, and yet bids me despair. 
I fall at her feet, and implore her with tears; 
Her answer confounds, while her manner endears; 
When softly she tells me to hope no relief, 
My trembling lips bless her in sjiite of my grief. 

By night while I slumber, still haunted with 

care, 
J start up in anguish, and sigh for the fair: 
The fair sleeps in peace; may she ever da so! 
And only when dreaming imagine my woe. 
Then gaze at a distance, nor farther aspire, 
Nor think she should love whom she cannot 

admire: 
Hush all thj' complaining; and, dying her slave, 
Commend her to heav'n, and thyself to the grave. 



WILLIAM HAMILTON. 



175 



ALAS! THE SUNNY HOURS ARE 
PAST. 

Alas! the sunny hours are past; 
The cheating scene, it will not last; 
Let not the flatt'rer, Hope, persuade, — 
Ah! must I say that it will fade! 
For see the summer flies away, 
Sad emblem of our own decay! 
Grim winter, from the frozen north. 
Drives swift his iron chariot forth. 

His grisly hands, in icy chains, 
Fair Tweeda's silver stream constrains, 
Cast up thy eyes, how bleak, how bare, 
He wanders on the tops of Tare ! 
]}ehold, his footsteps dire are seen 
Confest o'er ev'ry with'ring green; 
Griev'd at the sight, thou soon shalt see 
A snowy wreath clothe ev'ry ti-ee. 

Frequenting now the streams no more. 
Thou fliest, displeas'd, the frozen shore: 
When thou shalt miss the flowers that grew. 
But late, to charm tiiy ravish'd view; 
Then shall a sigh thy soul invade, 
And o'er thy pleasures cast a shade; 
Shall 1, ah, horrid! shalt thou say. 
Be like to this some other day! 

Ah! wlien the lovely white and red 
From tiie pale ashy cheek are fled: 
When wrinkles dire, and age severe, 
Make beauty fly, we know not where, — 
Unhappy love ! may lovers say. 
Beauty, thy food, does swift decay; 
AVhen once that short-liv'd stock is spent. 
What is't thy famine can prevent? 

Lay in good sense with timeous care. 
That love may live on wisdom's fare; 
Tho' ecstacy with beauty dies. 
Esteem is born when beauty flies. 
Happy the man whom fates decree 
Their richest gift in giving thee ! 
Thy beauty shall his youth engage. 
Thy wisdom shall delight his age. 



YE SHEPHERDS OF THIS PLE.\SANT 
VALE. 

Ye shepherds of this pleasant vale. 
Where Yarrow streams along. 



Forsake your rural toils, and join 
In my triumphant song. 

She grants, she yields; one heavenly smile 

Atones her long delays. 
One happy minute crowns the pains 

Of many sutt'ering days. 

Raise, raise the victor notes of joy, 
These suflJ"ering days are o'or; 

Love satiates now his boundless wish 
From beauty's boundless store: 

No doubtful hopes, no anxious fears, 

This rising calm destroy; 
Now ever}' prosi)ect smiles around. 

All opening into joy. 

The sun with double lustre .shone 

That dear consenting hour. 
Brightened each hill, and o'er each vale 

New coloured every flower: 

The gales their gentle sighs withheld. 

No leaf was seen to move. 
The hovering song.sters round ivere mute. 

And wonder hushed the grove. 

The hills and dales no more resound 

The lambkins' tender cry; 
Without one murmur Yarrow stole 

In dimpling silence by: 

All nature seemed in still repose 

Her voice alone to hear. 
That gently rolled the tuneful Avave 

She spoke, and blessed my ear. 

Take, take Avhate'er of bliss or joy 

You fondly fancy mine; 
Whate'er of joy or bliss I boast, 

Love renders wholly thine: 

The woods struck up to the soft gale, 
The leaves were seen to move. 

The feathered choir resumed their voice, 
And wonder filled the grove; 

The hills and dales again resound 

The lambkins' tender cry. 
With all his murmurs Yarrow trilled 

The song" of triumph by: 

Above, beneath, around, all on 

Was verdure, beauty, song: 
I snatched her to my trembling breast, 

All nature joyed along. 



176 



JOHN ARMSTRONG. 



JOHN AEMSTEONG. 



Born 1709 — Died 1779. 



JoHN^ Armstrong. M.D. , author of the well- 
knowa poem " The Art of Preserving Health," 
was born, it is believed, in 1709, in the parish 
of Castleton, Roxburghshire. He completed 
his education at the University of Edinburgh, 
and having chosen the medical profession, he 
took his degree as physician in 1732, and soon 
after repaired to London, where he became 
known by the publication of several fugitive 
pieces and medical essays. In 1735 he pub- 
lished " An Essay for Abridging the Study of 
Medicine," being a humorous attack on quacks 
and quackery, in the style of Lucian. Two 
years afterwards appeared • •' The Economy of 
Love," for which poem he received £50 from 
Andrew Millar, the bookseller. It was an 
objectionable production, and greatly inter- 
fered with his practice as a physician. He sub- 
sequently expunged many of the youthful lux- 
uriances with which the first edition abounded. 
In 1744 his principal work was published, 
entitled " The Art of Preserving Health," one 
of the best didactic poems in the English 
language, and the one on which his reputation 
mainly rests. It is certainly the most suc- 
cessful attempt in the English language to 
incorporate material science with poetry. 

In 1746 Armstrong was appointed physician 
to the Hospital for Sick and Lame Soldiers, 
and in 1751 he published his poem on " Be- 
nevolence," followed by an "Epistle on Taste, 
addressed to a Young Critic." His next work, 
issued in 1758, wasprose, — "Sketchesor Essays 
on Various Subjects, by Lancelot Temple, 
Esq.," in two parts, which evinced considerable 
humour and knowledge of the world. Its sale 
was wonderful, owing chiefly to a fable of the 
day, that the celebrated .lohn Wilkos, then in 
the zenith of Ids popidarity, had assisted in its 
production. In 1760 Dr. Armstrong received the 
appointment of physician to the army in Ger- 
many, where in 1761 he wrote "Day, a Poem, 
an epistle to John Wilkes, Esq.," liis friend- 
KJiil) f(ir whom did not long continue, owing to 
his publishing the piece, which was intended 



for private perusal. Having in two unlucky 
lines happened to hit off" the character of 
Churchill as a " bouncing mimic" and " crazy 
scribbler," the author of the "Rosciad" re- 
solved to be revenged, and in his poem called 
"The Journey," thus retaliated on the doctor, 
by twenty stabs at the reputation of a man 
whom he had once called his friend, and had 
joined with all the world in admiring as a 
writer: — - 

■" Let them with Armstrong, taking leave of sense, 
Read musty lectures on Benevolence; 
Or con the p iges of his gaping Da)', 
Where all his former fame was tlirown away. 
Where all but barren labour was forgot, 
And the vain stiffness of a letter'd Scot ; 
Let them with Armstrong pass the term of light, 
But not one hour of darkness; when the night 
Suspends this mortal coil, when mem'ry wakes, 
When for our past misdoings conscience takes 
A deep revenge, when by reflection led 
She draws his curtains, and looks comfort dead. 
Let ev'ry muse be gone; in vain he turns, 
And tries to pray for sleep; an yEtna bums, 
A more than iEtna, in his coward breast, 
And guilt, witli vengeance arm'd, forbids to rest; 
Though soft as plumage from young Zephyr's wing, 
His couch seems h.ard, and no relief can bring; 
Ingratitude hath planted daggers there, 
No good man can deserve, no brave man bear." 

At the peace of 1763 Armstrong returned to 
London, and resumed his practice, but not with 
his former success. In 1770 he collected and 
published two volumes of his "Miscellanies," 
containing the works already enumerated: the 
"Universal Almanack," a new prose piece; and 
the " Forced Marriage," a tragedy. The year 
following he took "a short ramble through 
some parts of France and Italy," in company 
with Fuseli the painter, publishing on their 
return an account of their journey, entitled 
"■ A Short Ramble, by Lancelot Temple." His 
last publication was his Medical Essays, in 
1773. Dr. Armstrong died September 7, 1779. 
in the seventieth year of his age. In Tliom- 
son's "Castle of Indolence," to which Arm- 
strong contributed four stanzas, describing the 
diseases incidental to sloth, he is depicted as 



JOHN ARMSTEONG. 



1" 



the shy and splenetic personage, who "quite 
detested talk." His portrait is drawn in 
Thomson's happiest manner: 

" With him was sometimes joined in silent walk 
(Profoundly silent, for tliey never spoke), 
One shyer still, who quite detested talk; 
Oft stung by spleen, at once awaj- he broke, 
To groves of pine and broad o'ershadowing oak; 
There, inly thrilled, he wandered all alone. 
And on himself his pensive fury wroke; 
Nor ever uttered word, save, when first shone. 
The glittering star of eve— 'Thank Heaven, the day is 
done!' " 

The poet was of a somewliat querulous tem- 
per, and his friend Thomson remarked of him, 
" The doctor does not decrease in spleen; but 
there is a certain kind of spleen that is both 
humane and agreeable, like Jacques's in the 
play." 

Armstrong's style, according to the judg- 
ment of Dr. Aitken, is "distinguished by its 
simplicity — by a free use of words which owe 



their strength to their plainness — by the re- 
jection of ambitious ornaments, and a near 
approach to common phraseology. His sen- 
tences are generally short and easy; his sense 
clear and obvious. The full extent of his 
conceptions is taken in at the first glance; and 
there are no lofty mysteries to be nnra veiled 
by a repeated perusal. He thinks boldly, feels 
strongh', and therefore expresses himself poeti- 
cally. AVhen the subject sinks his style sinks 
with it ; but he has for the most part excluded 
topics incapable either of vivid description or 
of the oratory of sentiment. He had from 
nature a musical ear, whence his lines are 
scarcely ever harsh, though apparently without 
study to render them smooth. On the whole, 
it may not be too much to assert, that no writer 
in blank verse can be found more free from 
stiffness and affectation, more energetic with- 
out harshness, and more dignified without 
formality." 



PESTILENCE OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY, 

(from the art of preservixg health. 1) 



Ere yet the fell Plantagenets had spent 
Their ancient rage at Bosworth's purple field ; 
While, for which tyrant England should I'eceive, 
Her legions in incestuous murders mixed, 
And daily horrors; till the fates were drunk 
With kindred blood by kindred hands prof used: 
Another plague of more gigantic arm 
Arose, a monster never kriowai before, 
Reared from C'ocytus its portentous head; 
This rapid fury not, like other pests, 
Pursued a gradual com-se, but in a day 
Rushed as a storm o'er half the astonished isle, 
And strewed with sudden carcasses the land. 

First through the shoulders, or whatever part 
Was seized the first, a fervid vapour sprung; 
With rash combustion thence, the quivering spark 
Shot to the heart, and kindled all within. 
And soon the surface caught the spreading fires. 
Through all the j'ielding pores the melted blood 
Gushed out in smoky sweats; but nought assuaged 
The torrid heat within, nor aught relieved 
The stomach's anguish. With incessant toil, 
Desperate of ease, impatient of their pain, 
They tossed from side to side. In vain the stream 
Ran full and clear, they burnt and thirsted still. 



' Tills poem has been warmly commended by Cauip- 
Viell and other eminent authorities Warton praises 
it for classical correctness. Dr. Beattie predicted that 



The restless arteries with rapid blood 

Beat strong and frequent. Thick and pantingly 

The breath was fetched, and with huge labour- 

ings heaved. 
At last a heavy pain oppressed the head, 
A wild delirium came: their weeping friends 
Were strangers now, and this no home of theirs. 
Harassed with toil on toil, the sinking powers 
Lay prostrate and o'erthrown ; a ponderous sleep 
Wrapt all the senses up: they slept and died. 

In some a gentle horror crept at first 
O'er all the limbs; the sluices of the skin 
Withheld their moisture, till, by art provoked. 
The sweats o'ei-flowed, but in a clanmiy tide; 
Now free and copious, now restrained and slow; 
Of tinctures various, as the temperature 
Had mixed the blood, and rank with fetid streams: 
As if the pent-up humours bj- delay 
Were growni more fell, more putrid, and malign. 
Here lay their hopes (though little hope re- 
mained). 
With full effusion of perpetual sweats 
To drive the venom out. And here the fates 
Were kind, that long they lingered not in pain. 
For, who survived the sun's diumal race, 

it would make .Armstrong known and esteemed by 

posterity, but adds, 'And [ presume he will be more 

esteemed if all his other wurks peri.li with liini."— Ef. 

12 



i; 



JOHN ARMSTEONG. 



Rose from the dreary gates of hell redeemed; 
Some the sixth hour oppressed, and some the 

third. 
Of many thousands, few untainted 'scaped; 
Of those infected, fewer 'scaped alive; 
Of those who lived, some felt a second blow; 
And whom the second spared, a third destroyed. 
Frantic with fear, they sought by flight to shun 
The fierce contagion. O'er the mournful land 
The infected citj- poured her hurrying swarms: 
Roused bj' the flames that fired her seats around, 
The infected country rushed into the town. 
Some sad at home, and in the desert some 
Abjured the fatal commei'ce of mankind 
In vain; where'er they fled, the fates pursued. 
Others, with hopes more specious, crossed the 

main. 
To seek protection in far-distant skies; 
But none they found. It seemed the general air, 
From pole to pole, from Atlas to the east. 
Was then at eimiity with English blood; 
For but the race of England all were safe 
In foreign climes; nor did this fuiy taste 
The foreign blood which England then contained. 
AVbere should they fly.' The circumambient 

heaven 
Involved them still, and every breeze was bane. 
"\\T)ere find rehef .' The salutary art 
Was mute, and, startled at the new disease. 
In fearful whi.spers hopeless omens gave. 
To Heaven, with suppliant rites they sent their 

prayers; 
Heaven heard them not. Of every hope deprived. 
Fatigued with vain resources, and subdued 
With woes resistless, and enfeebling fear. 
Passive they sunk beneath the weighty blow. 
Nothing but lamentable sounds was heard. 
Nor aught was seen but ghastly views of death. 
Infectious horror ran from face to face. 
And i)ale despair. 'Twas all the business then 
To tend the .sick, and in their turns to die. 
In heaps they fell; and oft one bed, they say, 
The sickening, dying, and the dead contained. 



RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLING. 
(from the art of preserving health.) 

But if the breathless chase o'er hill and dale 
Exceed your strength, a sport of less fatigue, 
Not le.ss delightful, the prolific .stream 
Affords. The crj'stal rivulet, that o'er 
A stony channel rolls its rapid maze. 
Swarms with the silver fry: such through the 

bouufls 
Of ft.ostoral Stafford runs the bniwling Trent; 
Such Kdun, sprung from C'umljrian mountahis; 
such 



The Esk, o'erhung with woods; and such the 

stream 
On whose Arcadian banks I first drew air; 
Liddel, till now, except in Doric lays. 
Tuned to her murmurs by her love-sick swains. 
Unknown in song, though not a purer stream 
Through meads more flowery, more romantic 

groves, 
Rolls towards the western main. Hail, sacred 

flood! 
May still thy hospitable swains be blest 
In 'rural innocence, thy mountains still 
Teem with the fleecj- race, thy tuneful woods 
For ever flourish, and thy vales look gay 
With painted meadows and the golden grain. 
Oft with thj' blooming sons, when Ufe was new. 
Sportive and petulant, and charmed with toys, 
In thy transjjarent eddies have I laved; 
Oft traced with patient steps thy fauy banks. 
With the well-imitated fly to hook 
The eager trout, and with the slender line 
And yielding rod solicit to the shore 
The struggling panting prey, while venial clouds 
And tepid gales obscured the ruffled pool, 
And from the deeps called forth the wanton 

swaiTns. 
Formed on the Samian school, or those of Ind, 
There are who think these pastimes scarce 

humane ; 
Yet in my mind (and not relentless I) 
His life is pure that wears no fouler stains. 



ADDRESS TO THE NAIADS. 

(fik)m the art of preserving health.) 

Now come, ye Naiads, to the fountains lead. 
Now let me wander through j^our gelid reign. 
I burn to view th' enthusiastic wilds 
Bj' mortal else initrod. I hear the din 
Of waters thund'ring o'er the ruin'd cliffs. 
With holy reverence I approach the rocks 
"Whence glide the streams renowned in ancient 

song. 
Here from the desert down the rumbling steep 
First springs the Nile; here bursts the sounding 

To 
In angry waves; Euphi-ates hence devolves 
A mighty flood to water half the East; 
And there in Gothic solitude reclined 
The cheerless Tanais pours his hoary urn. 
W^hat solemn twilight! what stupendous shades 
Enwrap these infant floods! through every nerve 
A sacred horror thrills, a pleasing fear 
Glides o'er mj' frame. The forest deepens round : 
And more gigantic still th' impending trees 
Stretch their extravagant arms athwart the 

gloom. 
Are these the confines of some fairy world ? 



MES. ALISON COCKBURN. 



179 



A land of genii ? Say beyond these wilds 
AVhat unknown nations ? If indeed beyond 
Aught habitable lies. And whither leads, 
To what strange regions, or of bliss or pain. 
That subterraneous way ? Propitious maids, 
I 'onduct me, while with fearful steps I tread 
This trembling ground. The task remains to 

sing 
Yoiu" gifts (so Paeon, so the powers of health 
Command), to praise your ciystal element: 
The chief ingredient in Heaven's various works; 
Whose flexile genius sparkles in the gem, 
(irows firm in oak, and fugitive in wine. 
The vehicle, the source of nutriment 
And life, to all that vegetate or live. 
O comfortable streams! with eager lips 
And trembling hand the langiiid thirsty quaff 



New life in you; fresh \ngour fills their veins. 
No warmer cups the rural age.s knew; 
None wamier sought the sii-es of human kind. 
Happy in temperate peace! their eijual days 
Felt not th' alternate fits of feverish mirth, 
And sick dejection. Still serene and pleased 
They knew no pains but what the tender soul 
With pleasure yields to, and would ne'er forget. 
Blest with divine immunity from ails. 
Long centuries they Uved; their only fate 
Was ripe old age, and rather .sleep than death. 
Oh! could those worthies from the world of gods 
Return to \'isit their degenerate .sons, 
How would they scorn the joys of modem time, 
With all our art and toil improved to pain ! 
Too happy they! but wealth brought luxury. 
And luxiu-y on sloth begot disease. 



MES. ALISON COCKBUEN 



Born 171-2 — Died 1794. 



Alison* or .\licia Rutherford, the authoress 
of a song which has immortalized her name, 
was a daughter of Robert Rutherford of Fairna- 
lee ill Selkirkshire, where she was born Octo- 
ber 5, 1712. But few details concerning her 
youth have been preserved. It is knoAvn that 
she was a great beauty, and that a youthful 
lover, to whom she was deeply attached, died 
at the age of twenty-two. Her beautiful lyric, 
'• The Flowers of the Forest," is believed to 
liave been written before lier marriage, in 
March, 1731, to Patrick Cockburn of Ormiston, 
a son of the lord justice-clerk of Scotland, who 
had been called to the Scotch bar a few years 
before. Mrs. Cockburn'sname was thenceforth 
linked with all tiiat was brilliant in Edinburgh 
society, and, according to Sir Walter Scott, she 
helped to mould and direct the social life of the 
old aristocratic parlours of that city, as the De 
Rambouillets and tlie Dudevants had in tho.se 
of Paris. Mrs. Cockburn survived her hus- 
band more than forty years, dying in her own 
house in Crichton Street, Edinburgh, Novem- 
ber 22, 1794, and was buried in Buccleuch 
Churchyard, where also rest the remains of 
David Herd, and Blacklock the blind poet. 
She was the authoress of several poems and 
parodies, and appears to have written an 



epitaph for herself, as in some directions about 
her funeral she add.s, "Shorten or correct tlie 
epitaph to your taste." Scott when a youth 
wrote a poem whicli drew from Mrs. Cockburn 
the following among other lines: — 

"If such the accents of thy early jouth, 
When playful fancy holds the place of truth, 
If so divinely sweet thy numbers flow. 
And thy young heart nielta with such tender woe; 
What praise, what admiration shall be thine, 
AVhen sense mature with science shall combine 
To raise thy geuiiis and thy taste refine !" 

]\Irs. Cockburn's A'ersion of "The Flowers of 
the Forest," written in a turret of the old 
family mansion of Fairnalee, is most justly 
admired for its great beauty and tenderness. 
Allan Cunningham says, '• 1 havecla.ssed these 
two {wetesses (Miss Elliot and Mrs. Cockburn) 
together, not from the resemblance of their 
genius, for that was essentially different, but 
from the circumstance of their having sung 
on the same subject, and with much the .same 
success — the fall of the youth of Selkirk on the 
field of Flodden. The fame of both songs lias 
been widely diffused. They were imagined for 
a while to be old compositions, but tiiere was 
no need to call antiquity to the aid of two 
such touching songs; and I iiave not heard that 



180 



ROBERT MACKAY. 



even an antiquary withdrew his admiration on 
discovering them to he modern. They are each 
of them remarkable for elegiac tenderness: 
with one it is the tenderness of human nature, 
with the other that of allegory, yet the allegory 
is so simple and so plain that it touches tiie 
most illiterate heart; and though it expresses 
one thing by means of another all must under- 
stand it. Nature, however, is the safest com- 



panion in all that seeks the way to the heart, 
and with nature the song of Miss Elliot begins 
and continues. The history which tradition 
relates of these songs is curious; each has an 
origin after its kind, and one may almost read 
in them the readiness with which honest nature 
submits to the yoke of poetry, compared to the 
labour of reducing what Spenser calls a 'dark 
conceit' to the obedience of verse." 



THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST.^ 



I've seen the smiling 

Of Fortune beguiling; 
I've felt all its favours, and found its decay; 

Sweet was its blessing, 

Kind its caressing; 
But now it is fled —fled far away. 

I've seen the forest 

Adorned the foremost. 
With flowers of the fairest, most pleasant and gay : 

Sae bonnie was tlieu- blooming I 

Their scent the air perfuming ! 
But now they are vpithered and a' wede away. 



I've seen the morning 

With gold the hills adorning, 
And loud tempest storming before the mid-day. 

I've seen Tweed's silver streams, 

Shining in the sunny beams. 
Grow drumly and dark as he rowed on his way. 

Oh, fickle Fortune ! 

Why this cruel sporting? 
Oh, why still perplex us, poor sons of a day? 

Nae mair your smiles can cheer me, 

Nae mair your frowns can fear me; 
For the flowers of the forest are a' wede away. 



EOBEET MACKAY 



Born 1714 — Died 1778. 



This celebrated Gaelic bard, whose proper 
name has yielded to the more familiar one of 
Rob Donn, i.e. Brown Robert (from the colour 
of his hair), was born in 1714 at Durness, in 
the heart of that extensive district in tlie 
north of Scotland which, having been inhabited 
from a period beyond the reach of history by 
the Mackays, has always been designated, in 
common parlance, as " the country of the Tyord 
Kcay," thcchicf of that ancient clan, and wliic'h 
may probably continue to be ho designated for 
ages to come, although tiie whole of it has now 
passed into tlie hands of the princely house of 
SlaflTord and Sutherland. Although Robert's 
talents excited much attention, even in early 
childiiood, he never received a particle of what 
is (too exclusively) called education — he never 
knew ills alphabet; but the habit, inherited from 



his Highland mother, of oral recitation, enabled 
him before attaining manhood to lay up a pro- 
digious amount of such lore as had from time 
immemorial constituted the intellectual wealth 
of his countrymen. Mackay's mastery of High- 
land traditions, ballads, and oran of all sorts, 
was extraordinary; and his knowledge of the 
Holy Scriptures Avas equally remarkable, al- 
though, be it remembered, that at the time he 
lived no Gaelic Bible had been printed. 

The poet, in his youth, tended cattle on 
the hillside; and when he had advanced suffi- 
ciently in years and strength it became part 
of his business to assist in driving droves of 
Highland cattle to the markets of the sojith 

1 Kttrick ForeBt. "The Forest" was tlie name given 
to a great i)art of the cotnity of Selkirk, nuU a iiortion 
of PeeblesBliire and Clydesdale. — Ed. 



ROBERT MACKAY. 



181 



of Scotland and England. His witty sayings, 
meantime, his satires, his elegies, and, above 
all, his love songs, had begun to make him 
famous not only in his native glen, but where- 
over the herdsmen of a thousand hills could 
carry an anecdote or a stanza, after their an- 
nual peregrinations to such scenes as the Tryst 
of Falkirk or the Fair of Kendal. Donald, 
lord Ileay, a true-hearted chief, now claimed 
for himself the care of the rising bard of the 
clan, and Mackay was invested witli an office 
■which more than satisfied his ambition, ar 1 
carried with it abundant respect in the eyes of 
his fellow-mountaineers. He became homan 
or cow-keeper to the chief, a calling which 
must not be confounded with that of a cowherd. 
Of these he had many under him : his business 
was to account for the safety and increase of 
the herds, and he became bound to make certain 
annual returns of dairy produce, stipulated for 
by contract. 

Mackay, having recovered from a disappoint- 
ment in love, now married most happily, and 
liis household soon became noted for its reli- 
gious observances and habits of piety. He 
was a faithful homan, and his master esteemed 
him highly; but the bard's inveterate love of 
the mountain chase entangled him, like a much 
greater bard, in trouble, and tlie connection 
was broken off, though happily without any 
interruption of good-will on either side. After 
being employed for some time by Colonel 
Mackay, to whose estate the poet removed with 



his wife and children, he entered the military 
service in the year 1759, Of his army life it is 
related that although he enlisted in the Suther- 
land Highlanders as a private soldier, Mackay 
was never called upon to take part in any 
troublesome duties, l)ut, as the bard of the 
regiment, was expected to celebrate, in case of 
opportunity, their warlike achievements, leav- 
ing guard and drill to whom they concerned. 
Tiie poet died in 1778, and was honoured with 
a funeral like tliat of a high cliief; the proudest 
and simplest of the clan stood together with 
tears in every eye when he was laid in the 
churchyard of his native parish: and a granite 
monument of some mark and importance has 
been erected over his remains, at the expense 
of a certain number of enthusiastic Mackays, 
with inscriptions in Gaelic, Greek, English, 
and Latin. 

Twoscore years after the death of the cele- 
brated bard of Lord Eeay's country his poems 
were collected and published at Inverness, 
accompanied by a memoir from tlie pen of the 
Rev. Dr. Mackay, successively minister of 
Laggan and Dunoon. Of this volume a re- 
viewer remarks, referring to the .songs among 
our selections, " Eude and bald as these things 
appear in a verbal translation, and rough as 
they might possibly appear even if tlie originals 
were intelligible, we confess we are disposed to 
think they would of themselves justify Dr. 
Mackay in placing this herdsman-lover among 
the true sons of song," 



THE SONG OF WINTER. 



At waking so eai-ly 

Was snow on the Ben, 
And the glen of the hill in 
The storm-drift so chilling. 
The linnet was stilling 

That couch'd in its den: 
And poor robin was shrilling 
In soiTow his strain. 

Every grove was expecting 
Its leaf shed in gloom; 

The sap it is draining, 

Down rootwards 'tis straining. 

And the bark it is waning 
As dry as the tomb. 

And the blackbird at morning 
Is shrieking his doom. 



Cease thriving the knotted, 

The stunted birk sliaw, 
While the rough wind is blowing, 
And the drift of the snowing 
Is shaking, o'ertiirowing, 

The cop.se on the law, 

'Tis the season when nature 

Is all in the sere, 
When her snow-showers are hailing. 
Her rain-.sleet as.sailing. 
Her mountain winds wailing, 

Her rime-frosts severe, 

'Tis tlio sea.son of leanness, 
Unkindness, and ciiill; 



182 



EOBEET MACKAY. 



Its whistle is ringing, 

An ieiness bringing, 

■\Vhere the brown leaves are clinging 

In helplessness still; 
And the snow-rush is delving 

With furrows the hill. 

The sun is in hiding, 

Or frozen its beam, 
On the pealcs where lie lingers, 
On the glens where the singers,^ 
With their bills and small lingers, 

Are raking the stream, 
Or picking the midstead 

For forage — and scream. 

Wlien darkens the gloaming, 

Oh, scant is their cheer .' 
All benumbed is their song in 
The hedge they are thronging, 
And for shelter still longing 

The mortar- they tear; 
Ever noisily, noisily 

Squealing their care. 

The running stream's chieftain^ 

Is trailing to hind. 
So shabby, so grimy, 
So sickly, so slimy. 
The spots of his prime lie 

Has rusted with sand; 
Crook snouted his crest is 

That taper'd so grand. 

llow mournful in winter 

The lowing of kine; 
How lean-back'd they shiver. 
How draggled their cover. 
How tiieir nostrils run over 

With drippings of brine, 
So .scraggy and crining 

In the cold frost thy pine, 

'Tis Hallowmas time, and 

To mildness farewell ! 
Its Inislles are low'ring 
With darkness; o'erpowering 
Are its waters aye showering 

With onset .so fell; 
Soem the kid and the yearling 

As rung their death-knell. 

Every out-lying creature, 

How sincw'd soe'cr, 
Seeks tlie refuge of shelter: 
The race of the antler. 



' Birds. - The siJea of the cottages. " .Salmon. 



Tliey snort and tiiey falter, 

A-cold in their lair; 
And the fawns they are wasting 

Since their kin is afar. 

Such the songs that are saddest 

And dreariest of all ; 
I ever am eerie 
In the morning to cheer yel 
When foddering, to cheer the 

Poor herd in the stall — 
While each creature is moaning 

And sickening in thrall. 



HOxME SICKNESS.* 

Easy is my pillow press'd. 
But oh! I cannot, cannot rest; 
Northwards do the shrill winds blow- 
Thither do my musings go ! 

Better far with thee in groves 

Where the young deers sportive roam, 
Than where, counting cattle droves, 

I must sickly sigh for home. 
Great the love I bear for her 

When the north winds wander free; 
Sportive kindly is her air. 

Pride and folly none hath she! 

Were I hiding from my foes. 

Ay, though fifty men were near, 
I should find concealment close 

In the shieling of my dear. 
Beauty's daughter! oh, to see 

Days when homewards I'll repair; 
Joyful time to thee and me — 

Fair girl with the waving hair ! 

Glorious all for hunting then. 

The rocky ridge, the hill, the fern, 
Sweet to drag the deer that's slain 

Downwards by the piper's cairn ! 
By the west field 'twas I told 

Jly love, with parting on my tongue; 
Long she'll linger in that fold, 

With the kine assembled long! 

Dear to me the woods I know. 
Far from Crieff my musings arc; 



* Ujioii cue occasion Mackay's attendance on hia 
enii)lo.ver's cattle business detained him a wliole .vexr 
from iiome. During this period be composed tliese 
lines one sleepless night which he spent at Ciieff, in 
Pertlishire.— Ed. 



DUGALD BUCHANAN. 



183 



Still with sheep my memories go, 

On our heath of knolls afar: 
Oh, for red-streak'd rocks so lone! 

Where in spring the young fawns leap; 
And the crags where winds have blown — - 

Cheaply I should find my sleep. 



DISAPPOINTED LOVE.i 

Heavy to me is the shieling, and the hum that 

is in it, 
Since the ear that was wont to listen is no more 

on the watch. 
Where is Isabel, the courteous, the conversable, 

a sister in kindness ? 
Where is Anne, the slender-browed, the tun-et- 

breasted, whose glossy hair pleased me when 

yet a boy ? 
Heich! xchat an hour icas my rehirning! 
Pain such as that sunset brought, what araileth me 

to tell it ? 

I traversed the fold, and upward among the 

trees — 
Each place, far and near, wherein I was wont to 

salute my love. 
When I looked down from the crag, and beheld the 

fair-haii'ed stranger dall3'ing with hi.s bride, 
1 wished that I had never revisited the glen of 

my th'eams. 
Such things came into viy heart, as that sun teas 

going doicn, 
A pain of irhic/i I shall never he rid, what araileth 

me to tell it ? 

My sleep is disturbed — busy is foohshness within 
me at midnight. 

The kindness that has been between us, — I can- 
not shake off that memory in visions. 



Thou callest me not to thy side; but love is to me 

for a messenger. 
There is strife icithin me, and I toss to be at libertg; 
And ever the closer it clings, and the delusion is 

grou-ing to me as a tree. 

Anne, yellow-haired daughter of Donald, surely 
thou knowest not how it is with me — 

That it is old love, imrepaid, which has worn 
down from me my strength; 

Tliat when far from thee, beyond many moun- 
tains, the wound in my heart was throbbing, 

Stirling and searching for ever, as when I sat 
beside thee on the turf. 

No>r, then, hear me this once, if for ever I am to bf 
trithout thee — 

Ml/ spirit is broken — give me one i:iss ere I leave 
this land! 

Haughtily and scornfully the maid looked upon 

me; 
Never will it be work for thy fingers to unloose 

the band from my curls; 
Thou hast been absent a twelvemonth, and six 

were seeking me diligentlj', 
Was thy superiority so high that there should be 

no end of abiding for thee ? 
Ha! lui! Ita! — Itast t/iou at last become sick? 
Is it love that is to give deat/i to thee ? Surely t/ie 

enemy has been in no haste. 

But how shall I hate thee, even though towards 

me thou hast become cold / 
When my discoui-se is most angiy concerning thy 

name in thine absence, 
Of a sudden thine image, with its old deamess, 

comes visibly into my mind, 
And a secret voice whispers that love will yet 

prevail ! 
A nd I become surety for it anew, darling. 
And it spiings up at tliat hour lofty as a tower. 



DUGALD BUCHANAN 



BoKX 1716 — Died 1768. 



DuGALD Buchanan, a Gaelic poet of dis- 
tinction, and justly celebrated as a writer of 
hymns, was born at Strathire, in the parish of 
Balquhidder, Perthshire, in 1716. His father, 

1 On the poet's return to Strathmore after a prolonged 
.•ibsetice lie found that a fair maiden to whom his troth 
liad been plighted of yore was on the ere of lieing mar- 
ried to a young carpenter, who had profited by his 



who was a farmer and miller, gave him such 
education as he could afford, and tliat appears 
to have been more than was commonly taught at 
country schools at that time. Young Dugald 



sojourn in the south. This song describes Maekay'.-< 
feelings on the discovery of his damsel's infidelity. The 
airs of "Home Sickness" and "Disappointed Love" 
are his own, and are said to be very beautiful.— Ed. 



18-4 



DUGALD BUCHANAN. 



led a rather irregular life for many years, but 
at length reformed, and in 1755 the Society 
for Propagating Christian Knowledge appointed 
him schoolmaster and catechist at Kinloch 
Kannoch. In this secluded spot he laboured 
with diligence during the remainder of his 
days; and here he wrote various poems and 
hymns, which latter will render liis name as 
lasting as the Gaelic in which they were written. 
Besides his sacred poems and lyrics, he wrote a 
diary, which has been published with a memoir 
of the author. He possessed a most felicitous 
style, and it is to be regretted that his poetical 
writings, which resemble those of Cowper, 
have never been properly translated. His 
"Day of Judgment," displaying great power 
of imagination, is among the most popular 
poems in the language; "The Dream" con- 
tains useful lessons on the vanity of human 
pursuits; and "The Skull" is a highly poetic 
composition. 

He rendered very essential service to the 
Rev. James Stewart of Killin in translating 
the New Testament into Gaelic, and accom- 
jianied that gentleman to Edinburgh in 1766, 
for the purpose of supervising its publication. 
During his sojourn in the Scottish capital he 
attended the university classes in natural 
philosophy, anatomy, astronomy, and divinity. 
.\mong the men of distinction to whom Bu- 
chanan was introduced in Edinburgh was the 
celebrated David Hume, who kindly invited 
him to his house. While discussing the merits 
of various authors the historian observed that 
it was impossible to imagine anything more 
sublime than some of the passages in Shak- 
s[)ere, and in support of his assertion that they 
were far superior to any contained in the liible 
he quoted the magnificent lines from "The 
Tempest" — 

" The clouil-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
Tlie solemn teniples, the great glolie itself, 
Yea, all whicli it inherits, shall dissolve, 
And, like the V>aseles8 fabric of a vision, 
Leave not a wreck behind." 

The poet admitted the great beauty and sub- 
limity of the lines, but said that he could fur- 
nish a passage from the New Testament still 
more sublime, and recited the following verses: 
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that 
sat on it, from whose face the earth and the 
licavcn fled away; and there was found no 



place for them. And I saw the dead, small 
and great, stand before God; and the books 
were opened: and another book was opened, 
which was the book of life. . . . And the 
sea gave up the dead which were in it; and 
death and hell delivered up the dead which were 
in them; and they were judged every man ac- 
cording to their works." 

Buchanan's beautiful hymns, which are sung 
in every Highland cottage, were first published 
in 1767. Since that time upwards ^i fifteen 
editions have been issued. " It may be truly 
said," remarks a recent writer,^ "that we 
have one hymn-writer, Dugald Buchanan, that 
has never yet been surpassed by any hymn- 
poet of any country, ancient or modern. The 
great characteristic of our hymns is their de- 
votional and evangelical tone. A heterodox 
mist, or even an unscriptural or doubtful 
expression, is never met with. They have, 
however, one great fault in common — their 
length. The same fault characterizes all the 
popular songs of the Celts. The singing of 
fifty or one hundred stanzas with our an- 
cestors seemed a common and quite a feasible 
thing. Dugald Buchanan is perhaps the only 
modern (Gaelic) poet that possesses much sub- 
limity : many verses of his minor pieces, and 
nearly the whole of his ' Day of Judgment,' are 
dramatically vivid and very sublime." Soon 
after the publication of his little volume of 
hymns the poet returned to his useful and 
pious labours at Rannoch, where he died, June 
2, 1768. His many friends there desired that 
Ills remains should be buried among them, but 
his wife and children preferred that he should 
be interred in the burial-place of his ancestors 
at Little Leny, near Callander. A meeting 
was held there more than a century after the 
poet's death by the Dugald Buchanan Memo- 
rial Committee, when a large number of 
influential gentlemen were present. Sugges- 
tions were made about establishing a Dugald 
Buchanan bursary, and about placing a tomb- 
stone in Little Leny churchyard over the poet's 
grave, but the committee agreed to restrict 
their operations for the present to the erection 
of a monument in Strathire, where the poet 
was born and bred. 



1 Remarks on Scottish Gaelic Literature, by Nigel 
M'Neill, luveruess, 1873. 



I 



DUGALD BUCHANAN. 



185 



THE SKULL. 



As I sat by the grave, at the brink of its cave 
Lo ! a featureless skull on the ground : 

The symbol I clasp, and detain in my grasp. 
While I turn it around and around. 

Without beauty or grace, or a glance to express 

Of the by-stander nigh a thought; 
Its jaw and its mouth are tenantless both. 

Nor passes emotion its throat. 

No glow on its face, no ringlets to grace 

Its brow, and no ear for my song; 
Hush'd the caves of its breath, and the finger of 
death 

The raised features hath flatten'd along. 

The eyes' wonted beam, and the eyelids' quick 
gleam — 

The intelligent sight, are no more; 
But the worms of the soil, as they wriggle and coil, 

Come hither their dwellings to bore. 

No lineament here is left to declare 

If monarch or chief wert thou ; 
Alexander the Brave, as the portionless slave 

That on dunghill expires, is as low. 

Thou delver of death, in my ear let thy breath 

Who tenants my hand unfold; 
That my voice may not die without a reply, 

Though the ear it addresses is cold. 

Say, wert thou a may, of beauty a ray. 
And flatter'd thine eye with a smile { 

Thy meshes didst set, like the links of a net. 
The hearts of the youth to wile ? 

Alas! every charm that a bosom could wami 
Is changed to the grain of disgust ! 

Oh! fie on the spoiler for daring to soil her 
Gracefulness all in the dust ! 

Say, wise in the law, did the people with awe 
Acknowledge thy rule o'er them — 

A magistrate true, to all dealing their due. 
And just to redress or condemn ? 

Or was righteousness sold for handfuls of gold 
In the scales of thy partial decree; 

While the poor were unheard when their suit 
they preferr'd, 
And appeal'd their distresses to thee ? 

Sny, once in thine hour, was thy medicine of power 

To extinguish the fever of ail ? 
And seem'd, as the pride of thy leech-craft e'en 
tried. 

O'er omnipotent death to prevail .• 



Alas ! that thine aid should have ever betray'd 
Thy hope when the need was thine own; 

What salve or annealing sufficed for thy healing 
When the hours of thy portion were flown i 

Or, wert thou a hero, a leader to glory, 
While araiies thy truncheon obey'd; 

To \-ictory cheering, as thy foemen careering 
In flight, left their mountains of dead? 

Was thy valiancy laid, or unliilted thy blade, 
"WTien came onwards in battle arraj^ 

The sepulchre-swaiTiis, ensheathed in their arms. 
To sack and to i-ifle their prey ? 

How they joy in their spoil, as thy body the while 

Besieging, the reptile is vain, 
And her beetle-mate bUnd hums his gladness to 
find 

His defence in the lodge of thy brain ! 

Some dig where the sheen of the ivorj- has been. 
Some, the organ where music repair'd; 

In rablile and rout they come in and come out 
At the gashes their fangs have bared. 

Do I hold in my hand a whole lordship of land, 

Represented by nakedness here ? 
Perhaps not unkind to the helpless thy mind, 

Nor all miimparted thy geai'; 

Perhaps stern of brow to thy tenantry thou ! 

To leanness then- countenances grew — 
'Gainst their crave for respite, when thy clamoiu- 
for right 

Retpiired, to a moment, its due; 

While the frown of thy pride to the aged denied 
To cover their head from the chill. 

And humbly they stand, with their bonnet in hand , 
As cold blows the blast of the hill. 

Thy serfs may look on, unheeding thy frown. 
Thy rents and thj' mailings unpaid ; 

All praise to the stroke their bondage that broke ! 
While but claims their obeisance the dead. 

Or a head do I clutch whose devices were such 
That death must have lent them his sting — 

So daring they were, so reckless of fear, 
As heaven had wanted a king? 

Did the tongue of the lie, while io couch'd like a 
spy 

In the haunt of thy venomous jaws, 
Its slander display, as poisons its prey 

The devilish snake in the grass? 



186 



DUGALD BUCHANAN. 



That member unchain'd by strong bands is re- ] 
strain'd, I 

The inflexible shackles of death; 
And its emblem, the trail of the worm, shall pre- 
vail 
Where its slaves once harbour'd beneath. 

And oh ! if thy scorn went down to thine urn, 
And expired with impenitent groan; 

To repose where thou art is of peace all thy part, 
And then to appear — at the throne ! 

Like a frog, from the lake that leapeth, to take 
To the Judge of thy actions the way, 

And to hear from his lips, amid nature's eclipse, 
Thj^ sentence of teiTnless dismay. 

The hardness thy bones shall environ. 
To brass-links the veins of thy frame 

Shall stiffen, and the glow of thy manhood shall 
grow 
Like the anvO that melts not in flame ! 

But wert thou the mould of a champion bold 
For God and his truth and his law? 

Oh I then, though the fence of each limb and 
each sense 
Is broken — each gem with a flaw — 

Be comforted thou ! For rising in air 

Thy flight shall the clarion obey; 
And the shell of thy dust thou shalt leave to be 
ciiish'd, 

If they will, by the creatures of prey. 



THE DREAM. 

As lockfasted in slumber's arms 

I lay and dream'd (so dreams our race 

Wlicn every spectral object ciiarms, 
To melt, like shadow, in the ciiase), 

A vision came; mine ear coiifcss'd 

It.s solemn sounds: " Tliou man distrauglitl 

Say, owns the wind thy iiand's arrest, 
Ur (ills tlic world thy crave of tliouglitf 

"Since fell transgression ravaged Iiere, 
.\nd reft man's garden -joys away, 

He weeps iiis unavailing tear. 

And straggles, like a lamii astray. 

" With siii-illing Iilcat for eonifort, iiic 
To every pinfol<l, humankind ; 

\\\ I there the fostering teat is dry, 
Tiic stranger mother proves unkind. 



" No rest for toil, no drink for drought, 
For bosom-peace the shadow's wing — 

So feeds expectancy on nought. 
And suckles every lying thing. 

" Some M'oe for ever w-reathes its chain, 
And hope foretells the clasp undone; 

Relief at liandbreadth seems: in vain 
Thy fetter'd arms embrace — 'tis gone! 

"Not all that trial's lore unlearns 
Of all the lies that life betrays, 

Avails, for still desire returns — 
The last day's folly is to-day's. 

"Thy wish has prosper'd; — has its taste 
Survived the hour its lust was drown'd; 

Or yields thine expectation's zest 
To full fruition, golden-crown'd? 

" The rosebud is life's symbol bloom— 
'Tis loved, 'tis coveted, 'tis riven; 

Its grace, its fragrance, find a tomb, 
AVhen to the grasping hand 'tis given. 

" Go, search the world whei'ever woe 
Of high or low the bosom wrings. 

There, gasp for gasp, and throe for throe. 
Is answer'd from the breast of kings. 

" From every hearth-turf reeks its cloud. 
From every heart its sigh is roll'd; 

The rose's stalk is fang'd — one shroud 
Is both the sting's and honey's fold. 

" Is wealth thy lust — does envy pine 

Where high its tempting heaps are piled ! 

Look down, behold the fountain shine. 
And, deeper still, with dregs defiled! 

"Quickens thy breath with rash inhale, 
And folds an insect in its toil ] 

The creature turns thy life-blood pale. 
And blends thine ivory teeth with soil. 

"When high thy fellow-mortal soars. 
His state is like the topmast nest — 

It swings with every blast that wars, 
And every motion shakes its crest. 

" And if the world for once is kind, 

Yet ever has the lot its bend; 
Wliere fortune has tiie crook inclined. 

Not all thy strength or art shall mend. 

" For as the sapling's sturdy stalk, 
Whose double twist is crossly strain'd, 

Such is thy fortune — sure to baulk 

At this extreme what there was gained. 



ADAM SKIEVING. 



187 



" When heaven its gracious manna hail'd, 
Twas vain who iioarded its supply, 

Not all his miser care avail'd 

His neighbour's portion to outvie. 

"So, blended all that nature owns, 

So, warp'd all liopes that mortals bless — 

With boundless wealth, the sufferer's groans; 
With courtly luxury, distress. 

" Lift up the balance — heap with gold, 
Its other shell vile dust shall fill ; 

And were a kingdom's ransom told. 

The scales would want adjustment still. 

" Life has its competence — nor deem 
Tiiat better than enough were more; 

Sure it were phantasy to dream 
Witii burdens to assuage thy sore. 

" It is the fancy's whirling strife 

That breeds thy pain — to-day it craves. 

To-morrow spurns — suffices life 

When passion asks what passion braves? 



"Should appetite her wish achieve, 

To herd witli brutes her joy would bound; 

Pleased other paradise to leave, 
Content to pasture on the ground. 

" But pride rebels, nor towers alone 
Beyond that confine's lowly sphere — 

Seems as from the eternal throne 
It aim'd the sceptre's self to tear. 

" Tis thus we trifle, thus we dare: 
But, seek we to our bliss the way, 

Let us to Heaven our path refer. 
Believe, and worship, and obey. 

" That choice is all — to range beyond 
Nor must, nor needs; provision, grace, 

In these he gives, who sits entlirone<l. 
Salvation, competence, and peace." 

The instructive vision pass'd away. 
But not its Avisdom's dreamless lore; 

No more in shadow-tracks I stray. 
And fondle shadow-shapes no more. 



ADAM SKIEVING. 



BoR^f 1719 — Died 1803. 



Adam Skirving, a wealthy farmer of Had- 
dingtonshire, was born in the year 1719, and 
educated at Preston Kirk, in East Lothian. 
He long held the farm of Garleton, near Had- 
dington, on the road to Gosford. Skirving 
was a very athletic man, and excelled in all 
manly sports and exercises. He died in April, 
1803, and was buried in the church of Athel- 
staneford, Avhere his merits are recorded in a 
metrical epitaph : — 

" In feature, in figure, agility, mind, 
And liiippy wit rarely surpass'd. 
With lofty or low could be plain or refined, 
Content beaming bright to the last." 

Skirving composed in 1745 two songs, which 
have for more than a hundred years held a place 
in the hearts of his countrymen, and in nearly 
every collection of Scottish minsti-elsy. Among 
the various personages referred to in one of 
these, was a certain Lieut. Smith, an Irish- 



man, who displayed much pusillanimity in the 
battle of Preston, or, as the poet calls it, 
Tranent Muir. He, however, challenged Skir- 
ving for the manner in which he was spoken 
of. "Gang back," said the rustic poet to 
the officer who brought the message, "and tell 
Lieut. Smith that I ha'e nae leisure to come 
to Haddington; but tell him to come here, and 
I'll tak' a look o' him, and if I think I'm fit 
to fecht, I'll fecht him; and if no — I'll do as 
he did — I'll rin awa." 

Skirving's other lyric, "' Johnnie Cope," 
doubtless owes much of its popularity to its 
spirit-stirring air. Perhaps no song in exist- 
ence has so many variations. Sir John Cope, 
as is well known, made a precipitate retreat 
from the field, followed by his dragoons, and did 
not draw rein till he reached Dunbar. He was 
tried by court-martial for his "foul flight," as 
Colonel Gardiner called it, but was acquitted. 
The Muses, however, did not ac(iuit him; but 



188 



ADAM SKIEVING. 



have immortalized his cowardly and disgrace- 
ful retreat from the field of battle, called 
according to the different local positions of the 
conflicting parties, Gladsmuir, Prestonpans, 
and Tranent Muir. Of the three generals 
whom the presence of mind and great personal 



bravery of Prince Charles, aided by the impetu- 
ous charge of the clans, defeated, a punning 
rhymster made the following ludicrous but 
accurate epigram: — 

Cope could not cope, nor Wade wade thro' the snow, 
Nor Hawley haul his cannon on the foe. 



TEANENT MUIR.^ 



The Chevalier, being void of fear, 

Did march up Birsle brae, man, 
And through Tranent, e'er he did stent. 

As fast as he could gae, man; 
While General Cope did taunt and mock, 

\Vi' mony a loud huzza, man; 
But e'er next morn proclaim'd tlie cock, 

We heard anither craw, man. 

The brave Lochiel, as I heard tell, 

Led Camerons on in cluds, man; 
Tiie morning fair, and clear. the air. 

They loos'd with devilish thuds, man; 
Down guns they threw, and swords they drew. 

And soon did chase them aff, man; 
On Seaton Crafts they buft their chafts. 

And gart them rin like daft, man. 

The volunteers prick'd up their ears. 

And vow gin they were crouse, man; 
]5ut when tiie bairns saw't turn to earn'st, 

Tliey were not worth a louse, man; 
JIaist feck gade hame — 0, fy for shame I 

Tiiey'd better stay'd awa', man, 
Than wi' cockade to make parade, 

And do nae good at a', man. 

And Simpson keen, to clear tlie een 

Of rebels far in wrang, man, 
Did never strive wi' pistols five, 

But gallop'd wi' the thrang, man: 
lie turn'd his back, and in a crack 

Was cleanly out of sight, man; 
And thought it best; it was nae jest 

Wi' Highlanders to fight, man. 

'Mangst a' the gang nane bade the bang 
But twa, and aiie was tanc. man; 

For Campbell rade, l»ut Myric staid, 
And Hair he i):iid the kain, man; 

Fell skclps he got, was waur tluiu shot, 
Frae the sharp-cdg'd claymore, man; 

Two objectionable verBes— the third and fifth -of 
tliiH song are omitted. — Ed. 



Frae many a spout came running out 
His reeking-het red gore, man. 

But Gard'ner brave did still behave 

Like to a hero bright, man; 
His courage true, like him were few. 

That still despised flight, man; 
For king and laws, and country's cause, 

In honour's bed he lay, man; 
His life, but not his courage, fled, 

While he had breath to draw, man. 

And Major Bowie, that worthy soul. 

Was brought doun to the ground, man; 
His horse being shot, it was his lot 

For to get mony a wound, man : 
Lieutenant Smith, of Irish birth, 

Frae whom he call'd for aid, man. 
Being full of dread, lap o'er his head, 

And wadna be gainsaid, man. 

He made sic haste, sae spurr'd his beast, 

'Twas little there he saw, man; 
To Berwick rade, and safely said. 

The Scots were rebels a', man: 
But let that end, for well 'tis kend 

His use and wont to lie, man; 
The Teague is naught, he never fought, 

When he had room to flee, man. 

And Cadell drest, amang the rest. 

With gun and good claymore, man, 
On gelding gray he rode that way. 

With pistols set before, man; 
The cause was good, he'd spend his blood. 

Before that he would yield, man; 
But the niglit before, he left tiie core. 

And never fac'd the field, man. 

But gallant Roger, like a soger. 

Stood and bravely fought, man; 
I'm wae to tell, at last he fell, 

15ut mae doun wi' iiim brought, man: 
At ])oint of death, wi' his last breath, 

(Some standing round in ring, man), 
< )n's back lying flat, he wav'd his hat, 

And cry'd, God save the king, man. 



JOHN WILSON. 



189 



Some Highland rogues, like hungry clogs, 

Neglecting to pursue, man. 
About they fac'd, and la great haste 

Upon the booty flew, man; 
And they, as gain for all their pain, 

Are deek'd \vi' spoils of war, man, 
Fu' l)auld can tell how her nainsell 

Was ne'er sae pra before, man. 

At the thorn-tree, which you may see 

Bewest the meadow-mill, man. 
There mony slain lay on tlie plain, 

The clans pursuing still, man. 
Sic unco' hacks, and deadly whacks, 

I never saw tiie like, man; 
Lost hands and heads cost them their deads, 

That fell near Preston-dyke, man. 

That afternoon, when a' was done, 

I gaed to see the fray, man; 
But had I wist what after past, 

I'd better staid awa', man; 
On Seaton .sands, wi' nimble hands. 

They pick'd my pockets bare, man; 
But I wish ne'er to drie sic fear, 

For a' tlie sum and mair, man. 



JOHNNIE COPE. 

Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar: — 
Charlie, meet me an ye daur. 
And I'll learn you the art o' war. 

If you'll meet wi' me i' the morning. 

Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wanking yet? 



Or are your drums a-beating yet? 
If ye were wauking, I wad wait 

To gang to the coals i' the morning. 

When Charlie look'd the letter upon. 
He drew his sword the scaljbard from: 
Come follow me, my merry merry men, 
And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the 
morning. 

Now, Johnnie, be as good's your word. 
Come let us try both fire and sword; 
And dinna flee away like a frighted bird. 
That's chased frae its nest in the morning. 

When Johnnie Cope he heard of this, 
He tiiought it wadna be amiss 
To ha'e a horse in readiness?, 
To flee awa' in the morning. 

Fy now, Johnnie, get up and rin, 
The Iligiiland bagpipes mak' a din; 
It is best to sleep in a hale skin. 
For 'twill be a bluidy morning. 

"When Johnnie Cope to Dunbar came, 
Tliey speer'd at iiim, Where's a' your men? 
The deil confound me gin I ken. 
For I left them a' i' the morning. 

Now, Johnnie, troth ye are na blate. 
To come wi' the news o' your ain defeat, 
And leave your men in sic a strait, 
Sae early in the morning. 

Oh ! faith, quo' Johnnie, I got sic flogs 
AVi' their claymores and philabegs; 
If I face them again, deil break my legs — 
So I wish you a' gude morning. 



JOHN WILSON. 



Born- 1720 — Died 17S9. 



The author of "The Clyde," a descriptive 
poem of considerable merit, was born in the 
parish of Lesmahagow, in Lanarkshire, June 
30, 1720. He was the son of a small farmer, 
who, to maintain his family, was obliged to 
divide his labours between the anvil and 
plough — a practice not uncommon in Scot- 
land in former times. John was sent to the 
grammar-school of Lanark, where he remained 
until his fourteenth year, when the death of 



his father compelled him to withdraw. He 
had made such rapid progress in his studies 
that even at this early age he was able to begin 
instructing others, and from this period till 
he arrived at manhood he maintained him- 
.self by private teaching. In 17-16 lie was 
appointed schoolmaster in his native parish, 
and in this situation he continued many years. 
His first production as an author was a "Dra- 
matic Essay," Mhich he afterwards expanded 



190 



JOHN WILSON. 



into the " Earl Douglas," a tragedy. This he 
published at Glasgow in 1764, with his poem 
of "The Clyde." 

In the year 1767, on a vacancy occurring in 
the grammar-school of Greenock, AYilson was 
offered the situation of master on the singular 
condition, it is said, that he should abandon 
"the profane and unprofitable art of poem- 
making." With this Gothic proposition the 
poor poet, having a wife and children to main- 
tain, was compelled to comply. He was in a 
situation not dissimilar to that of the bard of 
" Bara's Isle," who, to save his Mora from 
death, made a fire of his harp: — 

" Dark grows the night! and cold and sliarp 
Beat wind and hail, and drenching rain; 
Nought else remains.— 'Ill burn my harp!' 
He cries, and breaks his harp in twain." 

To avoid the temptation of violating his pro- 
mise, whicli lie esteemed sacred, he took an 
early opportunity of destroying iiis unfinished 
manuscripts. After this he never ventured to 
replace the forbidden lyre, though the memory 
of its departed sounds often filled his heart 
with sadness. Sometines, when the conver- 
sation of friends restored the vivacity of these 
recollections, he would carelessly pour out 
some extemporaneous rhymes; but the inspir- 
ation passed away, and its fleeting nature 
palliated the momentary transgression. Wilson 
died June 2, 1789, in the sixty-ninth year of 
his age. 

A few poetic fragments that had escaped the 
flames were found among his papers. These 
were chiefly hasty effusions on temporary sub- 
jects, or juvenile paraphrases of passages of 
Scripture. An improved edition of "The 
Clyde," wiiich lie liad prepared for the press 



before being appointed master of the Greenock 
school, was published by Dr. Leyden in the 
first volume of Scottish Descriptive Poems, to 
which he prefixed a memoir of the author. 
Wilson had two sons, both of whom gave 
great promise of poetical talents. "James tlie 
eldest," says Dr. Leyden, "was a young man 
of more than ordinary abilities, displayed a 
fine taste for both poetry' and drawing, and, 
like his father, possessed an uncommon share 
of humour. He went to sea, and after distin- 
guishing himself in several naval engagements, 
was killed Oct. 11, 1776, in an action on Lake 
Champlain, in which his conduct received such 
ajjprobation from his commanding officer, that 
a small pension was granted by the government 
to his father. George, who died at the age of 
twenty-one year.s, was distinguished for his 
taste and classical erudition as well as his 
poetical talents." 

It is somewhat remarkable that the Greenock 
magistrates, in placing an embargo on the 
muse of Wilson, did so in contravention of one 
of the acts of the General Assembly, that 
venerable body having in 1645 enacted that, 
"for the remedy of the great decay of poesy, 
no schoolmaster be admitted to teach a 
grammar-school in burghs, or in other con- 
siderable parishes, but such as, after examin- 
ation, shall be found skilful in the Latin 
tongue, not only for prose, but also for verse." 
Of this law, however, the enlightened bailies 
and skippers of Greenock were (as well as the 
poet), of course, quite ignorant when they 
issued their interdict against the cultivation 
of poetry. Our readers will peruse with pleasure 
the subjoined opening lines of "The Clyde," 
together with the brief extracts which follow, 
taken from the same fine descriptive poem. 



THE CLYDE. 



(extract. ) 



Thy arching groves, Clyde, thy fertile plains. 
Thy towns and villas, claim my filial strains. 
Ye Powers! who o'er these winding dales pre- 
side, 
Wlio shako the woods, who roll the river's tide; 
Who wake the sylvan song, whose jicncils pour 
Tl)c forms of V)eauty o'er each painted flower; 
Insi)irc the numbers, let the verse display 



The charms that grace the imitative lay. 
When gently flows the stream, then let the song 
In softest, easiest numbers glide along: 
When swell'd with rains, o'er rocks it rages fierce. 
Swell, rage, and war, and thunder in my verse. 
And thou ! to whom indulgent Heaven con- 
signed 
The 1)0 wer to bless, tlie fair angelic mind; 



JOHN WILSON. 



191 



Formed thy soft breast to melt at human woe, 
GeneroTis to cherish worth, and wise to know; 
Each finer passion of the breast to move, 
To awe with virtue, and inspii-e with love; 
With native goodness all mankind to chai-m; 
"With love thy noble Hyndf ord's soul to wai-m : 
This tribute of a humble muse regard, 
Who scorns to flatter, or to court reward; 
Who, proud to mark ■with partial eye the fair, 
Still makes their virtue, and theu- charms her 

care; 
But chiefly joys to pour her peaceful strains 
On Clyde's delightful banks and fruitful plains. 
From one vast mountain bursting on the day, 
Tweed, Clyde, and Annan urge their separate 

way. 
ToAnglia's shores bright Tweed and Annan run. 
That seeks the rising, this the setting sun; 
Where raged the Border war, and cither flood 
Now blushed with Scottish, now with English 

blood ; 
Both lands by tiu-ns their heroes lost deplore; 
But blest Britannia knows these woes no more. 

Clyde far from scenes of strife and horror fled. 
And through more peaceful fields his waters led; 
But ere he issued from their deep abodes. 
He sagely thus addressed his brother floods: 
" Full well you know the imperial mandate given, 
His salutary law who rules in heaven ! 
That, hasting hence, our waters seek the day. 
And from a thousand fountains force their way. 
Pour on the plain, and genial moisture yield 
To verdant pasture, and to golden field; 
Nurse the fair flowers which on our margins rise, 
And forests proud which sweep the lofty skies; 
See populous cities on our banks extend, 
And tlii'ough their crowded gates their thousands 

send; 
Full mighty fleets on our fair bosoms ride, 
Loading with war or wealth our laboui'ing tide; 
Round spacious islands stretch our silver arms. 
And in our caverns feed the scaly swaiTus. 
Then in the ocean poured, our journey run, 
Forced by rude winds, or courted by the sun, 
Oiu" waters, from the brine, disdainful rise, 
Throxigh air aspire, and sail along the skies; 
On deluged plain, or parched pasture, pour 
In sounding tempest or in silent shower; 
Adorn the fields, mature the golden grain. 
And blot from fields of death the sanguine stain; 
Or load with low'ring mists the mountain's brow, 
Sink through the soil, and feed the springs below; 
Or, darkly from the bottom of the deep, 
Along the beds of sand in silence creep; 
Through earth's dark veins work out their wind- 
ing way, 
And fresh to light from countless fountains play. 
Heaven's generous purpose let us glad assist. 
For general good. To jield is to be blest." 
The river said; and with impetuous force 
Rent the huge hills, and nished along his course. 



Along his infant stream, on either side 
The lofty hills, m clouds, their summits hide; 
In whose vast bowels, treasured dark and deep 
Exhaustless mines of lead in secret sleep. 
But man, audacious man I whose stubborn pride 
Free gifts disdains, and longs for all denied, 
Mid central earth, bids hardy hands combine 
To drag the metal from its parent mine; 
Wliich, forced to light, forais the destructive ball. 
At whose dire touch fleets sink and armies fall; 
Seas blush with blood, while floats the crimson 

field; 
Walls sink to dust, to rapine cities jield. 
Nor death alone to fated realms it brings: 
It to the cistern guides the distant springs; 
The lofty palace or the temple crowns. 
Or, raised on high, a sage or hero frowns. 
Yet, mortals, fear the first of ci-imes, be wise; 
Prize what Heaven gives, forbear what Heaven 

denies; 
Who numerous flocks o'er every mountain pours, 
And makes the fleece and harmless bearer yours; 
Burdened with milk, o'er all the hills they bleat, 
Or, clad with wool, they crop the pasture sweet. 



THE CLYDE PERSONIFIED. 

To whom the parent flood — "My children deai". 
The festive sounds of peace salute mine ear. 
Henceforth our peaceful ports, from insult free, 
Anchor'd secure, their loaded fleets shall see; 
And, to my honour, happy world shall know. 
They to a sou of mine their safety owe. 
Great Bute! who, wann with patriot zeal, arose 
To still wild war, and give the world repose; 
And having done the good his heart desir'd. 
Scorning reward, to shades obscure retu-'d. 
For all he valued was already given, 
Approven of his soul, his prince, and Heaven ! 
He calmly smil'd. Eclips'd ambition rav'd. 
To see a imr/d bi/ icvrtk supefior sav'd! 



MAIJY QUEEN OF SCOTS. 

By Crookston Castle waves the still green yew, 
The first that met the royal Clary's -sicw. 
When, bright in charms, the youthful princess led 
The graceful Daniley to her throne and bed: 
Emboss'd in silver, now its Viranches green 
Transcend the myrtle of the Paphian gi-een. 
But dark Langside, from Crookston view'd afar. 
Still seems to range in pomp the rebel war; 
Here, when the moon rides dimly through the 

sky. 
The peasant sees broad dancing standards fly. 



192 



JOHN SKINNER. 



And one bright female form, with sword and 

crown, 
Still grieves to view her banners beaten down. 



STAG -HUNTING. 

Not so the stately stag, of harmless force; 

In motion graceful, rapid in his course. 

Nature in vain his lofty head adorns 

With formidable groves of pointed horns. 

Soon as the hound's fierce clamour strikes his ear. 

He throws his arms behind, and owns his fear; 

Sweeps o'er the unprinted grass, the wind out- 

liies; — 
Hounds, horses, hunters, horns, still sound along 

the skies; 
Fierce as a storm they pour along the plain; 
Their lively chief, still foremost of the train. 
With unremitting ardcur leads the chase; — 
He, trembling, safety seeks in every place; 



Drives tln-ough the thicket, scales the lofty steep; 
Bounds o'er the hills, or darts through valleys 

deep; 
Phmges amid the river's cooling tides, 
While strong and quick he heaves his jjanting 

sides. 
He from afar his lov'd companions sees. 
Whom the loud hoop that hurtles on the breeze 
Into a crowded phalanx firm had cast; 
Their armed heads all outward round them plac'd : 
Some desperate band, surrounded, thus appears, 
Hedg'd with protended bayonets and spears: 
To these he flies, and begs to be allow'd 
To share the danger with the kindred crowd; 
But must, by general voice excluded, know 
How loath'd the sad society of woe. 
The cruel hovinds pour rovmd on every hand; 
Desperate, he turns to make a feeble stand : 
Big tears on tears roll down his hai-mless face; 
He falls, and sues in vain, alas! for grace: 
Pitied and prized, he dies. The ponderous prey 
The jolly troop in triumph bear away. 



JOHN SKINNEE 



Born 1721 — Died 1807. 



IvEV. John Skinner, a poptilar poet and 
ecclesiastical historian, was born October 3, 
1721, at Balfour, in the parish of Birse, Aber- 
deenshire. His fatlicr was schoolmaster of that 
parisli, and his motlier was tlie widow of Donald 
Farquharson, Esq. of Balfour. At the age of 
thirteen John entered the University of Aber- 
deen, where lie pursued his studies with dili- 
gence and great success. After he graduated 
he became assistant in the parish schools of 
Kenmay and Monymusk. In 1740 he went 
to Shetland in the capacity of a private tutor. 
Returning to Aberdeenshire lie was ordained a 
presbyter of the l^vpiscopal Church, and called 
to the parish of Jjongsidc. A few years later, 
after tiie troubled period of the rebellion of 
174.5, hi.s cliapcl was destroyed by the soldiers 
of the Duke of Cumberland; and on the plea 
of h\n having transgressed tlic law by preaching 
to more than four persons without subscribing 
to the oath of allegiance, lie was during six 
months kejit a prisoner in .\bcrdecn jail. 

From early youth Skinner had composed 
verses in the Scottish dialect, but his entering 



the ministry checked for a time his poetical 
propensities. His subsequent productions, 
which include all of his popular songs, were 
written to please his friends or to gratify the 
members of his family. In a letter to Burns, 
dated 1787, he says: — "While I was young 
I dabbled a good deal in these things; but on 
getting the black gown I gave it pretty much 
over, till my daughters grew up, who, being 
all good singers, plagued me for words to 
some of their favourite tunes, and so extorted 
these effusions wliich have made a public ap- 
pearance l)eyond my expectations, and contrary 
to my intentions; at the same time, I hope 
there is nothing to be found in them unchar- 
acteristic or unbecoming the cloth, which I 
would always Avish to see respected." 

A poetical epistle addressed by him to Eobcrt 
Burns, in commendation of his talents, was 
termed by the .Ayrshire bard as " the best 
poetical compliment he had ever received." It 
led to a regular correspondence, which was 
carried on to the gratification of both parties. 
They, however, never met. Burns, who some- 




W \ 




ET:grav-ed>.y-T.T.colT:o- 



i) liu C ll\i 



JOHN SKINNER. 



193 



how failed to inform liimself as to his friend's 
locality l)efore going on his northern tour, had 
the mortification of learning on his return 
that he had been in his immediate neighbour- 
hood without having seen him. To his son, 
Bishop Skinner, he afterwards said: "I would 
liave gone twenty miles out of my way to visit 
the author of ' TuUochgorum.' " After minis- 
tering at Longside for sixty-five years, Mr. 
Skinner gave up his parish, and went to reside 
with his son, the Bishop of .Aberdeen, where 
he died June 16, 1807, twelve days after liis 
arrival. 

Besides his poetical works, which appeared 
in a volume with the th\e Aiuusements of Lel- 
Hure Hours, or Poetical Pieces, cldefly in the 
Scottish Dialect, Mr. Skinner was tlie author 
of ^u Ecclesiastical Historij of Scotland, from 
the first apj'-earance of Christianity in that 
Kingdom, issued in 1788; and several theolo- 
gical treatises and numerous compositions in 
Latin verse, which were publislied, together 
witli a memoir of the author, under the edi- 
torial supervision of his son the bishop in 1809. 
Fifty years later an edition of his poems ap- 
peared at Peterhead, with a memoir from the 
pen of H. G. Reid. 

A writer in Frazer's Magazine gives a beau- 
tiful picture of Skinner and his cottage at Lin- 
shart, near Longside, which he occupied for 
sixty -five years. He says: "Tliereare old people 
still alive who have conversed witii him. lie was 
a man of the same cheerful, happy tempera- 
ment as Ross; a skilful player on the violin, 
and vocalist enough to be able to sing his own 
songs. During part of his ministry, he, in 
common with his brethren, refused to take the 
oath of allegiance to the house of Hanover; 
they were Jacobites to a man, and suffered 
some persecution in consecjuence. It was ille- 
gal for more than four persons to assemble in 
one place for worship. We have been told that 
Skinner evaded this law by reading the service 
at an open window in his cottage to the people 
assembled outside. The cottage at Linshart, 



which he occupied for sixty-five years, has now 
tiisappeared. He thus alludes to it in one of 

his songs: — 

' And though not of stone and lime, 
It will last us a' our time; 
And I hope we shall never need another.' 

In this cottage he reared a numerous family, to 
whom he thus refers: — 

' What though we canna boast of our gninens, O! 
We have plenty of Jockeys and Jeanies, O! 
And these, I'm certain, are 
More desirable by far 
Than a pock full of poor yellow steenies, O!' 

It was well that he thought so, as few of ' the 
poor yellow steenies' ever came his way. It 
is doubtful whether his income ever reached 
that of Goldsmith's village pastor; but a shil- 
ling in those days went a long way. With the 
salary of a footman he had the soul of a gen- 
tleman, the genius of a poet, and the learning 
of a scholar; the poor cottage at Linshart was 
ennobled by his presence. He lived to see his 
son bishop of his diocese. He was a pure- 
minded, pure-hearted noble old man, with a 
soul overflowing with love to God and content- 
ment with his lot, without one spark of reli- 
gious bigotry. A pleasing proof of this may 
be related: — On one occasion he was passing 
with a friend close to a Dissenting place of 
worship, and on hearing the sound of the 
psalmody reverently took off his hat. ' What ! ' 
said his friend, 'are you so fond of the \\\\'\- 
burghers?' There was much of dignity and 
Christian charity in the old man's answer— 
'Sir, I respect and love any of my fellow- 
Christians who are engaged in singing to the 
glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.' It was the 
same in politics. He had taken his side: from 
principle he had thrown in his lot with the 
losing party; but the sympathies of his .soul 
were not cribbed by narrow creeds or political 
exclusiveness. He loved the wiiole human 
race, and was as dear to the Presbyterians 
around him as to his own little flock." 



TULLOCHGORUM. 



Come gie's a sang, ^lontgomery cried. 
And lay your disputes all aside. 
What signifies "t for folks to chide 



For what was done before them; 
Let Whig and Tory all agree, 
Whig and Tory, Whig and Tory, 



194 



JOHN SKINNER. 



"Whig and Tory all agree, 
To drop their Whig-mig-morum; 
T.et Whig and Tory all agree 
To spend the night wi' mirth and glee, 
And cheerful sing alang wi" me 
The Reel o" Tulluchgorum. 

O Tnllochgomm's my delight, 

It gars ns a' in ane unite, 

And ony siimph that keeps a spite. 

In conscience I abhor liim; 
For blithe and cheery we'll be a', 

Blythe and cheery, blythe and cheery, 
Blythe and cheery we"ll be a', 
And make a happy quorum; 
For blythe and cheery we'll be a" 
As lang as we hae breath to draw. 
And dance, till we be like to fa". 
The Keel o' TuUochgorum. 

AThat needs there be sae great a fraise 
Wi' dringing dull Italian lays? 
I wadna gie our ain Strathspeys 

For half a liunder score o' them. 
They're dowf and dowie at the best, 
Dowf and dowie, dowf and dowie, 
Dowf and dowie at the best, 

Wi' a' their variorum; 
They're dowf and dowie at the best. 
Their o/to/'/w and a' the rest. 
They canna please a Scottish taste, 

Compared wi' TuUochgorum. 

Let worldly worms their minds oppress 
Wi' fears o' want and double cess, 
And sullen sots themsells distress 

Wi' keeping up decorum: 
Shall we sae sour and sulky sit, 
Sour and sulky, sour and sulky, 
Sour and sulky shall we sit. 
Like old philosophorum"? 
Shall we sae sour aud sulky sit, 
Wi' neither sense, nor mirth, nor wit. 
Nor ever try to shake a lit 

To the Heel o' TuUochgorum. 

^lay choicest blessings aye attend 
I'kch honest, open-hearted friend, 
And calm and (piict be his end, 

And a' tiiat's good watch o'er him; 
May peace and plenty be his lot. 
Peace and plenty, peace and plenty, 
Peace and plenty be his lot, 

And dainties a great store o' them; 
May peace and plenty be his lot, 
I'nstMin'd by any vicious spot, 
And may he never want a groat, 
That's fond o' TuUochgorum ! 



But for the sullen, frumpish fool, 
That loves to be oppression's tool, 
May envy gnaw his rotten soul, 

And discontent devour him; 
May dool and sorrow be his chance, 
Dool and sorrow, dool and sorrow, 
Dool and sorrow be his chance, 
And nane say, Wae's me for him ! 
May dool and sorrow be his chance, 
Wi' a' the ills that come frae France, 
AVha e'er he be that winna dance 
The lieel o' TuUochgorum.^ 



THE EWIE Wr THE CROOKIT HORN. 

Were T but able to rehearse 
;My ewie's praise in proper verse, 
I'd sound it forth as loud and fierce 

As ever piper's drone could blaw ; 
The ewie wi' the crookit horn, 
Wha had kent her might hae sworn 
Sic a ewe was never born, 

Here about nor far awa': 
Sic a ewe was never born, 

Here about nor far awa'. 

I never needed tar nor keel 
To mark her upo' hip or heel, 
Her crookit horn did as weel 

To ken her by amo' them a'; 
She never threatened scab nor rot, 
But keepit aye her ain jog-trot, 
Bailh to the fauld and to the cot. 

Was never sweir to lead nor caw: 
Baith to the fauld and to the cot, &c. 

Cauld nor hunger never dang her, 
Wind nor wet could never wrang her, 
Anes she lay an ouk and langer 

Furth aneath a wreath o' snaw; 
Whan ither ewies lap the dyke. 
And ate the kail for a' the tyke, 



I 



1 Tills extremely popular song owes its oiigiii to the 
following incident. In the course of :i visit Skinner 
was making to a friend, a dispute arose among the 
guests on the subject of Whig and Tory i olitics, which, 
becoming somewhat too exciting for the comfort of the 
latly of the house, she, in order to bring it to a close, 
requested our author to suggest appropriate words for 
the air of "TuUochgorum." Mr. Skinner rtadily com- 
])lied, and before leaving the house produced what 
Burns characterized as ' ' the best Scotch song ever Scot- 
land saw." The lady's name at whose request it was 
written was Mrs. Montgomery, hence theallusiou in the 
first stanzi. V.d. 



JOHN SKINNER, 



195 



My ewie never play'd the like, 

But teesed about the liarn \va': 
My ewie never play'd the like, &c. 

A better or a thriftier beast 

Nae honest man could weel iiae wist. 

For, silly thing, she never mist 

To hae ilk year a lamb or twa: 
The first she had I gae to Jock, 
To be to him a kind o' stock, 
And now the laddie has a flock 

0' mair nor thirty head awa': 
And now the laddie has a flock, &c. 

I lookit aye at even' for her. 

Lest misiianter should come o'er her, 

Or the fowmart might devour her, 

Gin the beastie bade awa'; 
IMy ewie wi' the crookit horn 
AVell deserved baith girse and corn, 
Sic a ewe was never born. 

Hereabout nor far awa': 
Sic a ewe was never born, &c. 

Yet last ouk, for a' my keeping, 
(Wha can speak it without greeting]) 
A villain cam' when I was sleeping, 

Sta' my ewie, horn, and a'; 
I sought her sair upo' the morn. 
And down aneath a buss o' thorn 
I got my ewie's crookit horn, 

But my ewie was awa': 
I got my ewie's crookit horn, &c. 

0! gin I had the loon that did it. 
Sworn I have as well as said it. 
Though a' the warld should forbid it, 

I wad gie his neck a thra'; 
I never met wi' sic a turn 
As this sin' ever I was born. 
My ewie, wi' the crookit horn, 

Silly ewie, stowu awa": 
My ewie, wi' the crookit horn, &c. 

0! had she died o' croup or cauld. 
As ewies do when they grow auld. 
It wad na been, by mony fauld. 

Sae sair a heart to nane o's a'; 
For a' the claitli that we hae worn, 
Frae her and hers sae aften shorn, 
The loss o' her we could hae borne, 

Had fair strae-death ta'en her awa': 
The loss o' her we could hae borne, &c. 

But thus, poor thing, to lose her life 
Aneath a bleedy villain's knife, 
I'm really fleyt that our gudewife 

Will never win aboon't ava: 
0! a' ye bards beucrtii Kinghorn, 



Call your muses up and mourn 
Our ewie, wi' the crookit horn, 

Stown frae's, and fell'd and a'! 
O.ir ewie, wi' the crookit horn, &c. 



A SONG ON THE TIMES. 

When I began the world first. 

It was not as 'tis now; 
For all Avas plain and simple then, 

And friends were kind and true: 
Oil! the times, the weary, weary times! 

The times that I now see; 
I think the world's all gone wrong. 

From w'hat it used to l)e. 

There were not then high capering heads, 

Prick'd up from ear to ear. 
And cloaks and caps were rarities 

For gentle folks to wear: 
Oh! the times, the weary, weary times! &c. 

There's not an npstart mushroom now 

But what sets up for taste; 
And not a lass in all the land 

But must be lady-dressed: 
Oh! the times, the weary, weary times! &c. 

Our young men married then for love, 

So did our lasses too; 
And children loved their parents dear, 

As children ought to do: 
Oh! the times, the weary, weary times! &c. 

For oh! the times are sadly changed — 

A heavy change indeed ! 
For truth and friendship are no more. 

And honesty is fled: 
Oh! the times, the weary, weary times! &c. 

There's nothing now prevails but pride. 

Among both high and low: 
And strife, and greed, and vanity 

Is all that's minded now: 
()li! the times, the weary, weary times! &c. 

When I look through the world wide, 

How times and fashions go. 
It draws the tears from both my eyes. 

And fills my heart with woe: 
Oh! the times, the weary, weary times! 

The times that I now see: 
I wish the world were at an end, 

For it will not mend for me! 



196 



JOHN SKINNEE. 



JOHN 0' BADENYON.i 

When first I cam' to be a man 

Of twenty years or so, 
I thought myself a handsome youtli. 

And fain the world would know: 
In best attire I stept abroad, 

With spirits brisk and gay, 
And here and there and every wliere 

AVas like a morn in May; 
Xo care I had, no fear of want. 

But rambled up and down, 
And for a beau I miglit have pass'd 

In country or in town; 
I still was pleased where'er I Avent, 

And when I was alone, 
I tuned my pipe and pleased myself 

\Vi' John o' Badenyon. 

Now in the days of youthful prime 

A mistress I must find, 
For love, I heard, gave one an air, 

And e'en improved the mind: 
On Phillis fair above the rest 

Kind fortune fixed my eyes. 
Her iiiercing beauty struck my heart, 

And she became my choice; 
To Cupid now, with hearty prayer, 

I offur'd many a vow; 
And danced and sung, and sigh'd and swore, 

As other lovers do; 
15ut when at last I breathed my flame, 

I found her cold as stone; 
1 left the girl, and tuned my pipe 

To John o' Badenyon. 

\Vli(Mi hire had thus my heart beguiled 

With foolish hoi)es and vain; 
'Vo/ricndshiji's port I steer'd my course. 

And laughed at lovers' pain; 
A friend I got by lucky chance, 

'Twas something like divine, 
An iionest friends a precious gift. 

And sucii a gift was mine: 
And now whatever might betide 

A happy man was I : 



i"An excellent Bong." says B\n-iis; niid Allan C'uii- 
iiiiigliiini writes, "Tliere is something of the sermon in 
til ill clever song: the .intlior jmts his hero through a 
legiilar course of worldly jmisuits, and witlidmwa Iiim 
from love, friendshii), jwlitics, and philo-sophy, with 
tlie resolution of finding consolation in his own hosora. 
When the song was comiiosed Jolm Wilkes was in the 
full career of his short-lived popularity; ami honest 
t^k inner, incensed jmjbably at the repeated insults 
which the dem.agogiie offered to Scotland, remembered 
him in song." Ed. 



In any strait I knew to whom 

I freely might apply. 
A strait soon came: my friend I try'd; 

He heard, and spurn'd my moan; 
I hied me home, and tuned my pipe 

To John o' Badenyon. 

^rethought 1 should be wiser next, 

And would n, patriot turn. 
Began to doat on Johnny Wilkes, 

And cry up Parson Home. 
Their manly spirit I admired, 

And praised their noble zeal, 
Who had with flaming tongue and pen 

Maintain'd the public weal; 
But e'er a month or two had pass'd 

I found myself betrayed; 
'Twas se?/and pcu'ti/, after all, 

For a' the stir they made; 
At last I saw the factious knaves 

Insult the very throne, 
I cursed them a', and tuned my pipe 

To John o' Badenyon. 

AVhat next to do I mused awhile, 

Still hoping to succeed; 
I pitched on books for company, 

And gravely tiied to read; 
I bought and borrow'd everywhere, 

And studied night and day, 
Kor miss'd what dean or doctor wrote 

That happen'd in my Avay; 
Philosophy I now esteemed 

The ornament of youth. 
And carefully through many a page 

1 hunted after truth. 
A thousand various schemes I tried. 

And yet was pleased with none; 
I threw them by, and tuned my pipe 

To John o' Badenyon. 

And now, ye youngsters everywhere, 

That wish to make a show, 
Take heed in time, nor fondly hope 

For liajipiness below; 
What you may fancy pleasure here 

Is but an emptj' name. 
And (jirls, a,ndjriends, and booh^ also, 

You'll find them all the same. 
Then be advised, and warning take 

From such a man as me; 
I'm neither pope nor cardinal. 

Nor one of high degree; 
You'll meet displeasure everywhere; 

Then do as I have done, 
E'en tune your pipe, and please yourselves 

With .John o' Badenvon. 



JOHN SKINNEE. 



197 



THE STIPENDLESS PARSON. 

How happy a life does the parson possess 
Who would be no greater, nor fears to he less; 
Who depends on his book and his gown for sup- 

l^ort, 
And derives no preferment from conclave or 

court ! 

Deny down, &c. 

Without glebe or manse settled on him by law. 
No stipend to sue for, nor vic'rage to draw; 
In discharge of his office he holds him content. 
With a croft and a garden, for which he pays 
rent. 

Deny down, &c. 

With a neat little cottage and furniture plain. 
With a spare room to welcome a friend now and 

then; 
With a good-humour'd wife in his fortune to 

share, 
And ease him at all times of family care. 
Deny down, &c. 

With a few of the fathers, the oldest and best. 
And some modern extracts pick'd out from the 

rest; 
With a Bible in Latin, and Hebrew, and Greek, 
To afford him instruction each day of the week. 
Deny down, &c. 

What childi'en he has, if any are given. 
He thankfully trusts to the kindness of Heaven ; 
To religion and virtue he trains them while young. 
And with such a pro\'ision he does them no 
wrong. 

Deny down:, &c. 

With labour below, and with help from above, 
He cares for his flock, and is blessM with their 

love; 
Though his living, perhaps, in the main may be 

scant. 
He is sure, while they have, that he'll ne'er be 
. in want. 

Deny down, &c. 

With no worldly projects nor hurries perplex'd. 
He sits in his closet and studies his text; 
And while he converses with Moses or Paul, 
He envies not bishop, nor dean in his stall. 
Deny down, &c. 

Not proud to the poor nor a slave to the great. 
Neither factious in church nor pragmatic in state, 
He keeps himself quiet within his own sphere. 
And flnds work sufficient in preaching and prnyer. 
Deny down, &c. 

In what little dealings he's forced to transact. 
He determines with plainness and candour to act; 



And the great point on which his ambition is set 
Is to leave at the last neither riches nor debt. 
Derry down, &c. 

Thus calmly he steps through the valley of life; 
Unencumber'd with wealth and a stranger to 

strife; 
On the bustlings around him unmoved he can 

look. 
And at home always pleased with his wife and 

his book. 

Derry down, &c. 

And when, in old age, he drops into the grave, 
This humble remembrance he wishes to have: 
" By good men respected, bj^ the evil oft tried, 
Contented he lived, and lamented he died !" 
Derry down, Lc. 



THE MAN OF ROSS. 

AVlien fops and fools together prate, 
O'er punch or tea, of this or that, 
AVhat silly, poor, unmeaning chat 

Does all their talk engross I 
A noble theme employs my lays, 
And thus my honest voice I raise 
In well-deserved strains to praise 

The worthy JIan of Ross. 

His lofty soul (would it were mine .') 
Scorns every selfish, low design, 
And ne'er was known to repine 

At any earthly loss: 
But still contented, frank, and free 
In every state, wliate'er it be, 
Serene and staid we always see 

The wortiiy JIan of Ross. 

Let misei's ling their worldly store. 
And gripe and pinch to nnike it more; 
Their gold and silver's shining ore, 

He counts it all but dross: 
"Tis better treasure he desires; 
A surer stock iiis passion fires. 
And mild benevolence inspires 

The worthy Alan of Ross. 

When want assails the widow's cot, 
Or sickness strikes the poor man's hut. 
Wiien blasting winds or foggy rot 

Augment the farmer's loss; 
Tiie sufl'erer straight knows wlicre to go 
With all his wants and all his woe; 
For glad experience leads him to 

The worth v Man of Hoss. 



198 



THOMAS BLACKLOCK. 



This Man of Ross I'll daily sing, 
With voL-al note and lyric string. 
And duly, when I've drank the king, 

He'll be my second toss. 
May Heaven its choicest blessings send 
On such a man, and such a friend; 
And still may all tiiat's good attend 

The worthy ilan of Itoss. 



Now, if you ask about his name. 
And where he lives with such a fame 
Indeed, I'll say you are to blame; 

For truly, inter rios, 
'Tis wliat belongs to you and me. 
And all of higii or low degree 
In every spliere to try to be 

The wortiiy Man of Koss. 



THOMAS BLACKLOCK, 



Born 1721 — Died 1791. 



Thomas Blacklock, the blind poet and 
divine, was born at Annan, Dumfriesshire, 
Xovember 10, 1721. Before he was six months 
old he was deprived of his sight by the smallpox. 
As he grew up his father, a poor biucklayer, 
educated him at home, and read to him instruc- 
tive and entertaining books, particularly Spen- 
ser,Milton, Pope, Prior.and Addison. Theblind 
boy became enthusiastically fond of poetry, his 
special favourites being Allan Eamsay and 
Thomson. He began to compose poetry when 
he was twelve years of age, and one of his early 
pieces is preserved in the collection published 
after his dcatii. AVhen twenty years old some 
of his poetical compositions came under the 
notice of Dr. John Stevenson, an eminent phy- 
sician of Edinburgh, who kindly invited him 
to that city, with tiie benevolent design of 
improving his genius by a liberal education. 
Young Blacklock arrived in Edinburgh in 
1741, and after attending a grammar-school 
for a short time he was enrolled as a student 
at the university, where he remained until the 
lireaking out of the rebellion, wlien he retired 
to tiie residence of a sister in Dumfries. 

At the close of tiie civil commotions Black- 
lock returned to Edinburgh, and pursued his 
studies at college for six years longer. He was 
licensed as a jireacherof the gospel in 1759, and 
tlirce years afterwards married the daughter of 
Mr. Johnston, a surgeon in Dumfries. Tlie 
year of his marriage he was presented to tiie 
cliurch-living of Kirkcudbright, although at 
the time labouring under the loss of eye- 
sight. It is related tiuit when lie was preach- 



ing one of his trial discourses an old woman 
who sat on the pulpit .stairs inquired whether 
he was a reader of his sermons. "He canna 
be a reader, for he's blind," responded her 
neighbour. " I'm glad to heart," rejoined 
the old wife; " I wish theyAvere a' blin'." In 
1746 Blacklock published at Glasgow a volume 
of his poems, which was reprinted with addi- 
tions in 1754 and 1756. The last edition 
attracted the attention of the Eev. Jo.sepli 
Spence, professor of poetry at Oxford, who 
wrote an account of Blacklock's life and writ- 
ings, with the design of introducing his name 
and character to the English public. 

The parishioners of Kirkcudliright having 
refused, on account of his blindness, to ac- 
knowledge him as their pastor, a lawsuit was 
commenced, whicli after two years was com- 
promised by Blacklock retiring upon a moderate 
annuity. He then removed to Edinburgh, and 
added to his income by receiving as boarders 
into his house a number of young gentlemen, 
Avliom he assisted in their. studies. This system 
he continued until 1787, when age and in- 
creasing infirmities compelled him to give it 
up. In 1763 he received the degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from JIarischal College, Aberdeen. 
" The Graham," a heroic ballad in four cantos, 
was published in 1774, but was excluded from 
Mackenzie's collection of his works, as being 
inferior to liis other poems. 

Dr. Blacklock was one of the first to appre- 
ciate the genius of Robert Burns; and it was 
owing to a letter from him to the Ilev. Dr. 
Laurie, minister of Loudoun, that Burns in 



THOMAS BLACKLOCK. 



199 



ITovembei', 1786, relinquished tlie design of 
leaving his native land for Jamaica, and re- 
solved to try his ibrUme in Edinburgh. On 
his arrival in the metropolis the doctor treated 
him with great kindness, and introduced him 
to many of his literary friends Bhieklock 
died at Edinbui-gh, July 7, 1791, and was 
buried in the ground of St. Cuthbert's chapel 
of ease. A monument was erected to his 
memory, with a Latin inscription written by 
his friend Dr. Beattie. In 1793 a quarto 
edition of his poems, with a memoir by Henry 
Mackenzie, was published in Edinburgh. In 
addition to his poems Dr. Blacklock wrote 
several theological treatises; an ingenious and 
elegant article on "Blindness" for the Ency- 
clopedia Britannica; and two dissertations, 
entitled " Paraclesis, or Consolations deduced 
from Natural and Revealed Religion," one of 
them original, the other translated from a work 
ascribed to Cicero. "In his person," says 
Alexander Campbell, "Dr. Blacklock exceeded 
not the middle size, but his erect posture gave 
an air of dignity mingled with perfect simpli- 
city; and a peculiar involuntary motion, the 
effect of habit, added not a little to interest the 
beholder, as it usually accompanied the glow 
of his feelings in conversation." "To his 



accomplishments," continues the .same writer, 
"he added a taste for music, and he excelled 
in singing the melodies of hiscountrj'. I have 
heard him often bear a part in a chorus with 
much judgment and precision. Ilis knowledge 
of the scientific part of music was by no means 
inconsiderable." 

Of Dr. Blacklock, of whom it was said that 
he never lost a friend or made a foe, Robert 
Heron remarks: — " There was, perhaps, never 
one among all mankind whom you might more 
truly have called an angel upon earth. He was 
guileless and innocent as a child, yet endowed 
with manly sagacity and penetration. His heart 
was a perpetual springof overflowing benignity: 
his feelings were all tremblingly alive to the 
sense of the sublime, the beautiful, the tender, 
the pious, and the virtuou.s. Poetry was to 
him the dear solace of perpetual blindness; 
cheerfulness even to gaiety was, notwithstand- 
ing that irremediable misfortune, long the 
predominant colour of his mind. In his latter 
years, when the gloom might otherwise have 
thickened around him, hope, faith, devotion, 
the most fervent and sublime, exalted his 
mind to heaven, and made him maintain his 
wonted cheerfulness in the expectation of a 
speedy dissolution." 



ODE TO AURORA ON MELISSA'S 
BIRTH-DAY.i 

Of time and nature eldest born. 

Emerge, thou rosy-fingered morn; 

Emei'ge, in purest dress arrayed. 

And chase from heaven night's envious shade, 

That 1 once more may i)lcased survey, 

And hail Melissa's natal day. 

Of time and nature eldest born, 
Emerge, thou rosy-fingered morn; 
In order at the eastern gate 
The hours to draw thy chariot wait: 
Whilst Zephyr on his balmy wings. 
Mild nature's fragrant tribute l)rings, 
With odours sweet to strew thy way, 
And grace the bland revolving day. 

1 Of this ode Mackenzie says : — " A compliment and 
triijute of affection to the tender assiduity of an excel- 
lent wife, which I have not anywhere seen more happily 
conceived or more elegantly expressed." — Ed. 



But, as thou lead'st the radiant sphere, 
That gilds its birth and mai'ks the year, 
And as his stronger glories rise, 
Difl^used around the expanded skies, 
Till clothed with beams serenely bright, 
All heaven's vast concave flames with light; 

So when through life's protracted day, 
Jlelissa still pursues her way. 
Her virtues with thy splendour vie, 
Increasing to the mental eye; 
Though less conspicuous, not less dear, 
Long may they Bion"s prospect cheer; 
So shall his heart no more rcjiine. 
Blessed with her rays, though robbed of thine. 



ABSENCE. 

Ye rivers so limpid and clear, 

Who reflect, as in cadence you flow. 

All the beauties that vary the year, 

All the flow'rs on vour margins that grow! 



200 



THOMAS BLACKLOCK. 



How blest on your banks could I dwell. 
Were Marg'ret the pleasure to share, 

And teach your sweet echoes to tell 

With what fondness I doat on the fair. 

Ye harvests, that wave in the breeze. 

As far as the view can extend! 
Ye mountains, umbrageous with trees, 

Whose tops so majestic ascend! 
Your landscape what joy to survey, 

Were Marg'ret with me to admire ! 
Then the harvest would glitter, how gay. 

How majestic the mountains aspire! 

In pensive regret whilst I rove, 

Tiie fragrance of flow'rs to inhale; 
Or catch as it swells from the grove 

The music that floats on the gale. 
Alas! the delusion how vain! 

Nor odours nor harmony please 
A heart agonizing with pain, 

AV' liich tries ev'ry posture for ease. 

If anxious to flatter my woes. 

Or the languor of absence to cheer. 
Her breath I would catch in the rose, 

Or her voice in the nightingale hear. 
To cheat my despair of its prey. 

What object her charms can as.sume! 
How harsh is the nightingale's lay, 

How insipid the rose's perfume! 

Ye zephyrs that visit my fair, 

Ye sunbeams around her that play. 
Does her .sympathy dwell on my care? 

Does she number the hours of my stay? 
First perish ambition and wealth. 

First perish all else that is dear. 
Ere one sigh should escape her by .stealth, 

Ere my absence should cost her one tear. 

When, when shall her beauties once more 

This desolate bosom surpri.se? 
Ye fates! tiie blest moments restore 

Wlicu I bask'd in the beams of her eyes; 
When with sweet emulation of heart. 

Our kindness we .struggled to show; 
But the more tliat we strove to impart. 

We felt it more ardcntlv "low. 



BENEATH A GREEN SHADE. 

Beneath a green shade a lovely young .swain 
Ac ovoninfi' reclino<l to discover liis pain; 
So .sad, yet so sweetly, he warbled bis woe, 
'J'he wiiid.s ceased to breathe and the fountain t< 
flow; 



Rude winds wi' compassion could hear him com- 
plain, 
Yet Chloe, less gentle, was deaf to his strain. 

How happy, he cried, my moments once flew. 
Ere Chloe's bright charms first flash'd in my view I 
Those eyes then wi' pleasure the dawn could 

survey; 
Nor smiled the fair morning mair cheerful than 

they. 
Now scenes of distress please only my sight; 
I'm tortured in pleasure, and languish in light. 

Through changes in vain relief I pursue. 
All, all but conspii-e my griefs to renew; 
From sun.shine to zephyrs and shades we repair — 
To sunshine we fly from too piercing an air; 
But love's ardent fire burns always the same. 
No winter can cool it, no summer inflame. 

But see, the pale moon, all clouded, retii-es; 
The breezes grow cool, not Strephon's desires : 
I fly from the dangers of tempest and wind, 
Yet nourish the madness that preys on my mind. 
Ah, wretch! how can life be worthy thy care? 
To lengthen its moments but lengthens despair. 



THE WEDDING-DAY. 

One night as young Colin lay musing in bed, 
With a heart full of love, and a vapourish head. 
To wing the dull hours, and his sorrows allay, 
Thus sweetly he sang of his wedding-day: 
" What would I give for a wedding-day ! 
Who would not wish for a wedding-day ! 
Wealth and ambition, I'd toss ye away. 
With all ye can boast, for a wedding-day. 

"Should Heaven bid my wishes with freedom 

implore 
One bliss for the anguish I suffered before. 
For Jes.sie, dear Jessie, alone would I pray. 
And grasp my whole wish on my wedding-day! 

Blessed be the approach of my wedding-day! 

Hail, my dear nymph, and my wedding-day! 

Earth smile more verdant, and heaven shine 
more gay ! 

For happiness dawns with my wedding-day. " 

But Luna, who equally sovereign presides 

O'er the hearts of the ladies and flow of the tides, 

Unhapi^ily changing, soon changed his wife's 

mind : 
fate, could a wife prove so constant and kind ! 
" Why was I bom to a wedding-day ! 
Cursed, ever cursed, be my wedding-day. 
CJolin, poor Colin, thus changes his lay, 
And dates all his plagues from his wedding- 
day. 



TOBIAS GEOEGE SMOLLETT. 



201 



Ye bachelors, warned by the shepherd's distress, 
Be taught from your freedom to measure your 

bliss, 
Nor fall to the witchcraft of beauty a prey. 
And blast all your joys on your wedding-day. 

Horns are the gift of a wedding-day; 

Want and a scold crown a wedding-dny; 

Happy and gallant who, wise when he may. 

Prefers a stout rope to a wedding-day ! 



ANNA. 

Shepherdf5, I have lost my love. 
Have you seen my Anna, 
Pride of ev'ry shady grove 
Upon the banks of Banna? 
I for her my home forsook, 
Near yon misty mountain ; 
Left my flock, my pipe, my crook, 
Green-wood shade and fountain. 

Never shall I see them more. 

Until her returning; 

All the joys of life are o'er. 

From gladness changed to mourning. 

Whither is my charmer flown, 

Shepherds, tell me whither'? 

Ah, woe for me! perhaps siie's gone. 

For ever and for ever! 



LMPORTANCE OF EARLY PIETY. 

In life's gay morn, when sprightly youth 

With vital ardour glows, 
And shines in ail the fairest charms 

Which beauty can disclose: 
Deep on thy soul, before its pow'r.s 

Are yet by vice enslav'd. 
Be thy Creator's glorious name 

And character engrav'd. 



For soon the shades of grief shall cloud 

The sunshine of thy days; 
And cares, and toils, in endless round 

Encompass all thy ways. 
Soon shall tliy heart the woes of age 

In mournful groans deplore. 
And sadly muse on formerjoys, 

That now return no more. 



TERRORS OF A GUILTY CONSCIENCE. 

Cursed with unnumbered groundless fears, 
How pale yon shivering wretch appears! 
For him the daylight shines in vain. 
For him the fields no joys contain; 
Nature's whole charms to him are lost, 
No more the woods their music boast; 
No more the meads their vernal bloom, 
No more the gales their rich perfume: 
Impending mists deform the sky. 
And beauty withers in his eye. 
In hopes iiis terrors to elude. 
By day he mingles with the crowd, 
Yet finds his soul to fears a prey, 
In busy crowds and open day. 
If night his lonely walks surprise. 
What horrid visions round him rise! 
The blasted oak which meets his way, 
Shown by the meteor's sudden ray. 
The midnight murderer's lone retreat. 
Felt Heaven's avengfut bolt of late: 
The clashing chain, the groan profound, 
Loud fro7n yon ruined tower resound; 
And now the spot he seems to tread 
Where some self-slaughtered corse was laid; 
He feels fixed earth beneath him bend. 
Deep murmurs from her caves ascend; 
Till all his soul, by fancy swayed, 
Sees livid phantoms crowd the shade. 



TOBIAS a. SMOLLETT. 



Born 1721 — Died 1771. 



Tobias George Smollett, an eminent his- 
torian, novelist, and poet, was born in Dal- 
quhurn House, near the village of Renton, 
Dumbartonshire, in the year 1721. His father 
dying while he was very young, his education 



was undertaken by his grandfather Sir James 
Smollett. After completing his rudimentary 
studies at the neighbouring sciiool of Dum- 
barton, he was sent to the University of Glas- 
gow, where he studied medicine. His wish 



202 



TOBIAS GEOEGE SMOLLETT. 



was to be a soldier, but he was opposed in this 
desire by his grandfather, who having already 
permitted his elder brother James to enter the 
army, thought he could better advance the in- 
terests of the younger in some other course of 
life. At the eariy age of eighteen Smollett's 
capabilities for poetry began to manifest them- 
selves; and besides writing several keen and 
skilful satires, he composed "The Regicide," 
a tragedy founded on the assassination of King 
James I. In 1740 his grandfather died, without 
having made any provision for the mother of 
our autlior or her family; and thus thrown on 
his own resources, Smollett resolved to proceed 
to London and obtain a position in the army 
or navj'. He succeeded in .securing the ap- 
pointment of surgeon's mate on board of a 
man-of-war, and sailed in the unfortunate ex- 
pedition to Carthagena. Disgusted with his 
situation he left the service while the ship Avas 
in tlie West Indies, and resided for some time 
in Jamaica, where he became attached to Miss 
Ann Lascelles, an accomplished lady, whom he 
afterwards married. 

Eeturning to London in 1746, Smollett's 
feelings of patriotism led liim to write the 
beautiful and spirited poem of " The Tears of 
Scotland," describing the barbarities com- 
mitted in the Higiilands by the English forces 
under the command of the " Butcher Cum- 
berland" after the battle of Culloden. He 
originally finished the poem in six stanzas; 
when, some one representing that such a dia- 
tribe against the government niiglit injure 
his prospects, he sat down and added the still 
more pointed invective of the sevcntii stanza: — 

" Wliile tlie warm blood bedews my veins, 
And unimpaired remembrance reigns, 
Resentment of my country's fate 
■Within my filial breast shall beat ; 
And, spite of her insulting foe. 
My symp.athizing verse shall flow; 
Mouni, hapless Caledonia, mourn 
Thy banislied peace, thy laui'els torn." 

The same year Smollett published " .\d- 
vice," a satirical poem, in tlie manner of Ju- 
venal; and ai)0ut the same time compo.sed tiie 
opera of "Alceste," which, in conscciucnce of 
some ill-timed satires on llich the manager, 
shared the same fate as his tragedy of "The 
llegicide." In 1748 appeared "The Adven- 
tures of Koderick i'andom," wliidi soon be- 



came the most popular novel of tlie age; and 
this was followed in 1751 by " The Adventures 
of Peregrine Pickle." This was also verj' 
successful, and was translated into French. 
Having obtained the degree of M. D. he set- 
tled at Bath, with the intention of practis- 
ing medicine, but not meeting with success 
he returned to London, and a.ssumed tiie 
character of a professional author, working for 
the booksellers in the various departments of 
compilations, translations, criticisms, and mis- 
cellaneous essays. In 1753 he published the 
"Adventures of Count Fathom," followed in 
1755 by his translation of Don Quixote. The 
version of Motteux is now generally preferred 
to that of our author, though Smollett's is 
marked by his characteristic humour and ver- 
satility of talent. 

This task finished, Smollett set out on a visit 
to his native land. His fame had preceded 
him, and his reception by the literary magnates 
of Scotland was cordial and flattering. He 
was also gratified by meeting his surviving 
parent on arriving at Scotston in Peeblesshire, 
where his mother resided with her daughter 
Mrs. Telfer. It was arranged that he should 
be introduced as a gentleman who was inti- 
mately acquainted with her .son. The better 
to support his assumed character he endea- 
voured to preserve a very serious countenance, 
approaching to a frown; but while his mother's 
eyes were rivetted with the instinct of affection 
upon his countenance, he could not refrain 
from smiling ; she immediately sprang from 
her chair, and throwing her arms around his 
neck, exclaimed, "Ah! my .son, my soni" She 
afterwards told him that if lie had kept his 
austere looks and continued to (jlooin, she 
might have been deceived; but "your old 
roguish smile," she added, "betrayed you at 
once." 

On his return to London Smollett undertook 
the editorship of the (Jritkal lievieiv, and was 
soon afterwards convicted of a libel on Admiral 
Knowles, one of the commanders at Cartha- 
gena; sentenced to pay a fine of £100, and to 
be confined in prison for three months. During 
his incarceration he composed the "Adventures 
of Sir Launcelot Greaves." His "History of 
England from the earliest times to the Treaty 
of Aix-la-Chapelle," in four quarto vols., was 
published in 1758, and is said to have been 



TOBIAS GEOEGE SMOLLETT. 



203 



written ia fourteen months, a remarkable in- 
stance of literary industry. Its success induced 
him to write a continuation of it to 1754. He 
next visited the Continent to seek consolation 
in travel for the loss of his only daughter, and 
on hisi'eturn he published his " Travels through 
France and Italj'," a work which was severely 
criticized by Sterne in his Sentimental Journey. 
"Yet be it said," remarks Sir Walter Scott, 
"without offence to the memory of the witty 
and elegant Sterne, it is more easy to assume 
in composition an air of alternate gaiety and 
sensibility, than to practise the virtues of 
generosity and benevolence which Smollett 
exercised during his whole life, though often, 
like his own JIatthew Bramble, under the dis- 
guise of peevishness and irritability. Sterne's 
writings show much flourish concerning virtues 
of which his life is understood to have pro- 
duced little fruit: the temper of Smollett was 

' Like a lusty winter, 
Frosty, Ijut kiinUy.'" 

Declining health induced Smollett to make 
a second visit to Scotland, and on his return 
he endeavoured to obtain from government an 
appointment as consul at some Mediterranean 
port. Failing in this he set out early in 1770 
with Mrs. Smollett for the Continent, whence 
he never returned. During his sojourn near 



Leghorn, in a cottage which his countryman 
Dr. Armstrong the poet had engaged for him, 
he wrote his "Expedition of Humphrey Clin- 
ker," the most rich, varied, and agreeable of 
all his novels, which had just been committed 
to the public when he expired, October 21, 
1771, at Monte Nuovo, near Leghorn, leaving 
his widow, the Xarci-ssa of "Koderick Ran- 
dom," nearly destitute, in a foreign land. A 
monument was raised over his grave at Leg- 
horn by his faithful friend Dr. Armstrong; and 
in 1774: a Tuscan column was erected to his 
memory hy his cousin, Smollett of Bonhill, 
on the banks of the Levcn, near the house, ia 
which he was born. So long as his odes to 
"Leven Water" and to '• Independence" exist 
Smollett can never fail to be admired as a poet, 
nor can a feeling of regret be avoided that lie 
did not devote more of his genius to poetic 
compositions. We cannot take leave of this 
distinguished Scotchman — distinguished as a 
historian, as a novelist, and as the author of 
lines which possess the masculine strengili of 
Dryden — without alluding to a passage in his 
novel of "Peregrine Pickle," that passage so 
inexpressibly touching where the Jacobite 
exiles stand every morning on the coast of 
France to contemplate the blue hills of their 
native land, to which thev are never to return I 



THE TEAES OF SCOTLAND. 



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

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

What boots it then in every clime, 
Through the wide spreading waste of time, 



Thy martial glory, crowned with praise, 
Still shines witii undiminished blaze? 
Thy toweri'ng spirit now is broke, 
Thy neck is bended to the yoke. 
What foreign arms could never (itiell. 
By civil rage and rancour fell. 

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

Oh! baneful cause, oh! fatal morn, 
Accur-sed to ages yet unborn! 
The sons agaiu.st their father stood, 
The parent siied his children's blood. 



204 



TOBIAS GEOEGE SMOLLETT. 



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

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

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



ODE TO IXDEPENDEXCE. 



Thy spirit, Independence, let me share, 
Lord of the lion-heart and eagle-eye; 
Thy steps I follow, with my bosom bare, 
Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky. 
Deep in the frozen regions of the North, 
A goddess violated brought thee forth, 
Immortal Liberty, whose look sublime 
Hath bleached the tyrant's cheek in every vary- 
ing clime. 
What time the iron-hearted Gaul, 
With frantic superstition for his guide, 
Amicd witli the dagger and the pall, 
The sons of Woden to the field defied; 
The ruthless hag, by Weser's flood. 
In Heaven's name urged the infernal blow; 
And red tlie stream began to flow: 
The vanquished were baptized with blood ! 

ANTISTKOPHE. 

The Saxon prince in horror fled. 
From altars stained with human gore, 
And Liberty his routed legions led 
In safety to the bleak Norwegian shore. 
There in a cave asleep she lay. 
Lulled by the hoarse-resounding main, 
When a liold savage passed that way, 
Impelled by destiny, his name Disdain. 
Of ample front the portly chief appeai'ed: 
The hunted V)ear suftplied a shaggy vest; 
'I'lic drifted snow bung on his yellow beard, 
And his broad shoulders braved the furious blast. 



He stopt, he gazed, his bosom glowed. 

And deeply felt the impression of her charms; 

He seized the advantage fate allowed. 

And straight compressed her in his vigorous arms. 



The curlew screamed, the Tritons blew 

Their shells to celebrate the ravished rite; 

Old Time exulted as he flew; 

And Independence saw the light. 

The light he saw in Albion's happy plains, 

Where under cover of a flowering thorn. 

While Philomel renewed her warbled strains. 

The auspicious fi-uit of stolen embrace was born — 

The mountain Dryads seized with joy 

The smiling infant to their charge consigned; 

The Doric Muse caressed the favourite boy; 

The hermit Wisdom stored his opening mind. 

As rolling years matured his age. 

He flourished bold and sinewy as his sire; 

While the mild passions in his breast assuage 

The fiercer flames of his maternal fire. 

ANTISTUOPHE. 

Accomplished thus, he winged his way, 

And zealous roved from pole to pole. 

The rolls of right eternal to display. 

And warm with patriot thought the aspiring soul. 

On desert isles 'twas he that raised 

Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave, 

Where Tyranny beheld amazed 

Fair Freedom's temple, where he marked her 

grave. 
He steeled the blunt Batavian's arms 
To burst the Iberian's double chain; 
And cities reared, and planted farms. 
Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain. 
He, with the generous rustics, sat 
On Uri's rocks in close divan; 
And winged that arrow sure as fate. 
Which ascertained the sacred rights of man. 



Arabia's scorching sands he crossed. 

Where blasted Nature pants supine, 

Conductor of her tribes adust. 

To Freedom's adamantine shrine; 

And many a Tartar horde forlorn, aghast ! 

He snatched from under fell Oppression's wing, 

And taught amidst the dreary waste 

The all-cheering hymns of Liberty to sing. 

He virtue finds, like precious ore. 

Diffused through every baser mould ; 

Even now he stands on Calvi's rocky shore, 

And turns the dross of Corsica to gold: 

He, guardian genius, taught my youth 

Pomp's tinsel livery to despise; 

My lips by him chastised to Truth, 

Ne'er paid that homage which my heart denies. 



I 



TOBIAS GEORGE SMOLLETT. 



205 



ANTISTROPHE. 

Those sculptured halls my feet shall never tread, 
Where varnished Vice and Vanity, combined 
To dazzle and seduce, their banners spread, 
And forge vile shackles for the free-born mind. 
While Insolence his wrinkled front upreai's, 
And all the flowers of spurious Fancy blow; 
And Title his ill-woven chaplet wears, 
Full often wreathed around the miscreant's brow: 
Where ever-dimpling Falsehood, pert and vain, 
Presents her cup of stale profession's froth; 
And pale Disease, with all his bloated train, 
Torments the sons of gluttony and sloth, 



In Fortune's car behold that minion ride, 
With either India's glittering spoils oppressed; 
So moves the sumpter-nude in harnessed pride, 
That bears the treasure which he cannot taste. 
For him lot venal bards disgrace the bay, 
And hireling minstrels wake tlie tinkling string; 
Her sensual snares let faithless Pleasure lay. 
And jingling bells fantastic Folly ring: 
Disquiet, Doubt, and Dread shall intervene; 
And Nature, still to all her feelings just, 
In vengeance hang a damp on every scene 
Shook from the baleful pinions of Disgust 

ANTISTUOPHE. 

Nature I'll court in her sequestered haunts, 
By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell; 
Where the poised lark his evening ditty chants, 
And Health and Peace and Contemplation dwell. 
There, Study shall with Solitude recline, 
And Friendship pledge me to his fellow-swains, 
And Toil and Temperance sedately twine 
The slender cord that fluttering life sustains; 
And fearless Poverty shall guard the door. 
And Taste unspoiled the frugal table spread. 
And Industry supply the humble store. 
And Sleep unbribed his dews refreshing shed; 
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite. 
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night; 
And Independence o'er the day preside, 
Propitious power! my patron and my pride. 



THY FATAL SHAFTS. 

Thy fatal shafts unerring move; 

I bow before thine altar. Love ! 

I feel thy soft resistless flame 

Glide swift through all my vital frame ! 

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



My fait' ring tongue attempts in vain 
In soothing murmurs to complain; 
My tongue some .secret magic tics. 
My murmurs sink iu broken sighs! 

Condeihn'd to nunse eternal care, 
j And ever drop tlie silent tear, 

T'nheard I mourn, unknown I sigh, 
Unfriended live, unpitied die! 



BLUE-EYED ANNE. 

When the rough North forgets to howl, 
And ocean's billows cease to roll; 
AVhen Lybian sands are bound in frost, 
And cold to Nova Zembla's lost: 
When heavenly bodies cease to move, — 
My blue-eyed Anne I'll cease to love. 

No more shall flowers tJie meads adorn, 
Nor sweetness deck the rosy tiiorn. 
Nor swelling buds proclaim the spring. 
Nor parching iieats the Dog-star bring, 
Nor laugliiiig lilies paint tiie grove, — 
When blue-eyed Anne I'll cease to love. 

No more shall joy in hope be found. 
Nor pleasures dance their frolic round, 
Nor love's light god inhabit earth. 
Nor beauty give the passion birth, 
Nor heat to summer-sunshine cleave, — 
When blue-eyed Nanny I'll deceive. 

When rolling seasons cease to change, 
Inconstancy forgets to range; 
When lavish May no more shall bloom, 
Nor gardens yield a rich perfume; , 

When nature from her sphere shall start, 
I'll tear my Nanny from my heart. 



WHEN SAPPHO TUN'D THE RAPTUR'D 
STRAIN. 

When Sappho tun'd the raptur'd strain. 
The list'ning wretch forgot his pain: 
With art divine the lyre she strung. 
Like thee she play'd, like tiiec she sung. 

For Avhile she struck the quivering wire, 
The eager breast was all on fire; 
And when she join'd the vocal lay, 
The captive soul was charm'd aAvay! 

But had she added A\\\ to these. 
Thy softer, chaster power to please, 



206 



SIR GILBERT ELLIOT. 



Thy beauteous air of sprightly youth, 
Thy native smiles of artless truth; 

She ne'er had pined beneatii disdain, 
She ne'er had play'd and sung in vain; 
Despair her soul had ne'er possess'd 
To dash on rocks the tender breast. 



ODE TO LEADEN WATER. 

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

Pure stream, in whose transparent wave 
My youthful limbs I wont to lave; 
No torrents stain thy limpid source. 
No rocks impede thy dimpling course. 



Tliat sweetly warbles o'er its bed, 

AVith white, round, polisiied pebbles spread; 

AVhile, lightly poised, the scaly brood 

In myriads cleave thy crystal flood; 

The springing trout in speckled pride; 

Tlie salmon, monarch of the tide; 

The ruthless pike, intent on war; 

The silver eel and mottled par. 

Devolving from thy parent lake 

A charming maze thy waters make. 

By bowers of birch, and groves of pine, 

And edges flowered with eglantine. 

Still on thy banks so gaily green, 
May numerous flocks and herds be seen; 
And lasses chanting o'er the pail. 
And shepherds piping in the dale; 
And ancient faith that knows no guile, 
And industry embrowned with toil; 
And hearts resolved, and hands prepared. 
The blessings they enjoy to guard ! 



SIE GILBEET ELLIOT 



Born 1722 — Died 1777. 



Sir Gilbert Elliot, third baronet of Minto, 
Avas born in Roxburghshire in the year 1722. 
He was the eldest son of the Sir Gilbert who, 
Lord Woodliousclee says, "was taught the Ger- 
man flute in France, and was the first to intro- 
duce that instrument into Scotland in 1725;" 
and grandson of the first baronet, a Lord of 
Session, known by the title of Lord ^linto. 
(Jur poet was educated for the Scottish bar, 
and in 1763 was made treasurer of tlie navy. 
Til roe years afterwards he succeeded liis father, 
the second baronet, in the title and estates, 
and subser|nently obtained the reversion of the 
oftice of keeper of the signet in Scotland. He 
was a man of considerable political and literary 
ability, and was distinguished as a speaker in 
parliament, as well as highly accomplished and 
sagacious in parliamentary business. He died 
at Marseilles in 1777. Some lines which he 
wrote on the occasion of his father's death are 
curiously applicable to hi.s own : — 

" His mind refitied and strong, no sense impaired, 
Niir feeling of liuiiiiiiiity, nor taste 
Of social life; so e'en liis latest liour 
III sweet doiiied;ic cheerfulness was inssed; 



Sublimely calm his lipened spirit fled. 

His family surrounding, and his friends; 

A wife and daughter closed his eyes: on them 

Was tiu'iied his latest gaze: and o'er his gi'ave 

Tlieir father's grave — his sons the green turf spread.'' 

Sir Gilbert's eldest son, for some time Gover- 
nor-general of India, was raised to the peerage 
by the title of the Earl of Minto; and his 
sister. Miss Jane Elliot, was the authoress of 
the old set of "The Flowers of the Forest." 
His philosophical correspondence with David 
Hume is quoted with commendation by Dugald 
Stewart in his PliUosophy of the Human Mind, 
and in his "Dissertation" prefixed to the 
seventh edition oHheJSncyclojiedia Britannka. 
He was the author of the following lines on 
the death of Colonel James Gardiner, and of 
what Sir AValter Scott calls "the beautiful 
pastoral song" beginning — 

" My sheep I neglected, I lost my sheep-hook." 

"The song," says a critic, "which has given 
the name of Sir Gilbert Elliot a place among 
our lyric poets is one of great beauty; and the 
sheep-hook and the fresh garlands are forgotten 



SIE GILBERT ELLIOT. 



207 



in the strain of natural sorrow produced by 
neglected moments and unrequited love. It 
is one of the last and the best efforts of the 
pastoral muse. I know not whether to account 
it good fortune or design which made the 
name of the heroine sound so like that of the 
family residence; but I am willing to believe 
in the prophetic strain which makes the cliffs 
echo, for many a later year, the song of ' My 
Sheep I neglected.' 

' On Minto crags the moonbeams glint, 
Wliere Barnliil] hewM his bed of flint, 
Who flung his outlaw'd limbs to rest 
AVliere falcons hang their giddy nest, 
'Mid cliffs from whence his eagle eye 
For many a league his prey could spy; 



Cliffs doubling on their echoes borne 

The terroi-s of the robber's horn. 

Cliffs which for many a later year 

The warbling Doric reed shall hear, 

When some sad swain shall teach the grove 

Ambition is no ctire for love.' 

As if it had not been enough for Sir Gilbert 
Elliot and his sister to write two of our favour- 
ite lyrics, and enjoy the credit of sucli compo- 
sitions, by special grace and good fortune they 
have also each obtained a separate and lasting 
compliment in verse — the first in the 'Lay of 
tlie Last ilinslrel," and tlie latter in ' iLir- 
mion :' 

' One of those flowers whom plaintive lay 
In Scotland mourns as ■ wede away.'" 



AMYNTA.i 

My sheep I neglected, I lost my sliecp-hook, 
And all the gay haunts of my youth I forsook; 
No more for Amynta fresh garlands I wove: 
For ambition, I said, would soon cure me of 
love. 
Oh! what had my youth with ambition to do? 
Why left I Amynta? why broke I my vow? 
Ob! give me my sheep, and my slieep-hook 

restore. 
And I'll wander from love and Amynta no 
more. 

Through regions remote in vain do I rove, 
.\nd bid the wide ocean secure me from love! 
fool ! to imagine that aught could subdue 
A love so well-founded, a passion so true ! 

Alas ! 'tis too late at thy fate to repine; 
Poor shepherd, Amynta can never be thine'; 
Thy tears are all fruitless, thy wishes are vain. 
The moments neglected return not again. 



'TWAS AT THE HOUR OF DARK 
M1DNIGHT.2 

'Twas at the hour of dark midnight, 
Before the first cock's crowing, 

I First published in Yair's Charmer, issued at Edin- 
btirgh in 1749; it afterwards appeared in Herd's and 
other collections, and is written to the tune of an old 
air called " My Apron Dearie," which is to be found in 
Johnson's Mas luu and Thomson's •S'e/ct? Mtlodks.—'Eti. 



When westland winds shook Stirling's tow'rs, 
With hollow murmurs blowing; 

When Fanny fair, all woe-begone, 
Sad on her bed was lying. 

And from the ruin'd tow'rs she heard 
The boding screech-owl crying. 

" dismal night !" she said, and wept, 

" night presaging sorrow: 
dismal night!" she said, and wept, 

" But more I dread to-morrow. 
For now the bloody hour draws nigh. 

Each host to Preston bending; 
.\t morn shall sons their fathers slay, 

With deadly hate contending. 

" Even in the visions of the night 

1 saw fell death wide sweeping; 
And all the matrons of the land 

And all the virgins weeping."' 
,\nd now she heard the massy gates 

Harsh on their hinges turning; 
And now through all the castle heard 

The woeful voice of mourning. 



Aghast she started from her bed, 

The fatal tidings dreading; 
" <) speak," she cried, '■ my father's 

I see, I see him bleeding!" 
"A pale corpse on the sullen shore, 

At morn, fair maid. I left him; 
Even at the threshold of his gate 

The foe of life bereft him. 



slaii 



- Colonel Gardiner, the hero of this song, one of the 
very few which are extant not on the Stuart side, was 
killed at the battle of Piestonpans in 1745. He was 
cut down by a Highbinder armed with a scythe blade, 
after his soldiers had biiselv deserted him. — Ed. 



208 



JOHN HOME. 



" Bold, in the battle's front he fell, 

AVith many a wound deformed: 
A braver kniglit, nor better man, 

Tins fair isie ne'er adorned." 
Willie thus he spaive. the grief-struck maid 

A deadly swoon invaded; 
Lost was the lustre of her eyes, 

And all her beauty faded. 



Sad was the sight, and sad the new.s, 

And sad was our complainin;^; 
But oh I for thee, my native land, 

What woes are still remaining! 
But wliy complain? tlie hero's soul 

Is high in lieaven shining: 
May Providence defend our isle 

From all our foes designing. 



JOHN HOME 



Born 1722 — Died 1808. 



John Home, an eminent dramatic poet, and 
a lineal descendant of Sir John Home of Cow- 
denknowes, was born at Leith, Sept. 22, 1722. 
He was educated at the University of Edin- 
burgh, and in April, 1745, was licensed to 
preach in the Church of Scotland. During 
the same year he joined a volunteer company 
on the side of the government, and was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Falkirk, but succeeded 
with some others in making his escape from 
Doune Castle, where he was confined. The 
poet's imprisonment, and that of his brother 
ba?'ds Buchanan. Skinner, and Smollett, must 
have escaped the memory of Professor Wilson 
when he wrote, " No Scottish poet was ever in 
a jail." In 1746 Home was ordained minister 
of Athelstaneford, made vacant by the death 
of the author of " The Grave." Having written 
the tragedy of " Agis," he proceeded to London 
in 1749, and offered it to David Garrick, at 
that time manager of Drury Lane, who refused 
it. The disappointed autlior, with the feeling 
natural to such a situation, wrote the following 
lines on the tomb of Shakspcre in Westminster 
Abbey:— 

" Im.nge of Sliakspere ! to tliis place 1 come, 
To ease my bursting boaoiii at tliy t(mil> ; 
For neither Greek nor Roman poet flied 
My fancy first — thee cliiefly I admireii; 
And, d.ay and night revolving still thy page. 
1 hoped, like thee, to sliake the Britisli stage: 
But cold neglect is now iriy only meed, 
And heavy falls it on so proud a head. 
If powers above now listen to my lyre, 
Charm them to grant, indulgent, my desire; 
Let petrifaction stop tlii.s falling tear. 
And fix my form for ever marble here." 



Si.x years later, having written the tragedy 
of "'Douglas," founded upon the beautiful old 
ballad of "Gil Morris," Home again visited 
London, and offered it to Garrick, who pro- 
nounced the play totally unfitted for the stage. 
It was, however, performed at the Edinburgh 
Canongate Theatre, December 14, 1756, with 
the most gratifying success, in the presence 
of a large audience, among whom were the 
delighted author and several other ministers. 
For this flagrant violation of clerical pro- 
priety Home's friends were subjected to the 
censures of the church, which he himself 
only escaped by resigning his living. But 
the tragedy nevertheless became very popular 
with the general public, who continued and 
still continue to receive it with enthusiasm. 
It is related that during one of the early re- 
presentations in Edinburgh, when the feelings 
of the audience burst forth as usual at the 
conclusion of Nerval's speech, a voice from the 
gallery shouted out the triumphant query, 
" Whaur's yer Shakspere noo?" In 1757 
Home again visited London, and through the 
influence of the Earl of Bute had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing "Douglas" brought out by Gar- 
rick with distinguished success, followed soon 
after by "Agis," with the great English tra- 
gedian and i\Irs. Gibber playing the princi- 
pal characters. His " Siege of Aquileia" was 
also represented on the London stage, but, 
owing to a lack of interest in the action, failed 
to win public favour. In 1760 Home printed 
his three tragedies in one volume, with a dedi- 
cation to the Prince of Wales, whose society 



JOHN HOME. 



209 



lie had enjoyed through the favour of Lord 
Bute, preceptor to the prince; and who, after 
his accession to the throne, granted hiui a 
pension of £300 a .year, which, in addition to 
an equal sum from his sinecure office of con- 
servator of Scots privileges at Campvere, in 
Zealand, likewise bestowed upon him, enabled 
the poet to repose with tranquillity upon his 
prospects of dramatic fame. 

The following letter, which we are not aware 
has ever been in print, contains the original 
order for Home's pension, and is also interest- 
ing owing to its placing the writer's character 
in a most amiable and endearing ligiit. It 
was addressed by George III. to the Earl of 
Bute: — 

"My dearest Friend, — In looking over the 
list we made together, I feel myself still in debt 
particularly to poor Home: no office occurs to 
me that I think fit for him; I therefore desire 
you will give him £300 per annum out of my 
privy purse, which mode will be of more utility 
to him, as it will come free from the burden 
of taxes and infamous fees of office. I have a 
double satisfaction in giving Home this mark 
of my favour, as I know the execution of it 
will be as agreeable to my dearest friend as the 
directing it is to myself " . . . 

Home was the author of eight additional 
tragedies and comedies, composed during his 
residence in London, which terminated in 1779, 
when he went to reside in Edinburgh, and 
thenceforth lived in the enjoyment of the 
highest literary society of that city. Careless 



of mone}-, he delighted in entertaining large 
companies of friends, and often had more 
guests than his house could conveniently ac- 
commodate. His latest work was a "History 
of the Rebellion of 1745" — a transaction of 
which he was entitled to say pars fid. But 
the work disappointed public expectation, and 
was certainly not what was looked for from 
one who was not only an actor in the scene, 
but the author of a tragedy like "Douglas." 
An explanation may perhaps be found in the 
fact that the author was a pensioner of George 
III., and that the MS. was submitted before 
publication for correction by the reigning 
family. Home died September 5, 1808, aged 
nearly eighty-six years, and was buried in the 
churchyard of his native place, where also 
repose the remains of his friend Jame.'^ Sihbald, 
and that "inheritor of unfilled renown" Itobert 
Nicoll. As a dramatic poet Home deserves tiic 
credit of having written with more fervid feel- 
ing, and less of stiffness and artificiality, than 
the other poets of his time; his genius in this 
respect approaching to that of his contemporary 
Collins. Wis. Dramatic iro?-i-s were published 
at Edinburgh in 1798, in two 12mo vols.; and 
in 1822 another edition appeared in the same 
city, entitled " The Works of John Home, Esq. , 
now first collected, to which is prefixed an 
account of his Life and Writings by Henry 
Mackenzie," in three 8vo vols. To this admir- 
able work we refer the reader for further par- 
ticulars connected with the literary labours of 
our author. 



DOUGLAS. 



DRAMATIS' PERSON.^. 

Lord Randolph. Gles.\lvon. Norval (Douglas). 
Ladv Randolph. Anxa. 



Prisoner. Servants, &c. 



ACT I. 

Scene I. — The Court of a Castle, surrounded vitit 
mods. 

Enter Lady Randolph. 

Lud>j R. Ye woods and wilds, whose melan- 
choly gloom 
Accords with my soul's sadness, and draws forth 
The voice of sorrow from my bursting heart, 
Farewell awhile: I will not leave you long: 
For in your shades I deem some spirit dwells, 



Who, from the chiding stream, or groaning oak. 
Still hears and answers to Matilda's moan. 
Oh! Douglas, Douglas! if departed ghosts 
Aj-e e'er permitted to review this world. 
Within the circle of that wood thou art. 
And with the passion of inmiortals hear'st 
My lamentation: hear'st thj^ wretched wife 
Weep for her husband slain, her infant lost. 
My brother's timeless death I seem to mourn 
Who perish'd with thee on this fatal day. 
To thee I lift my voice; to thee address 
The plaint which mortal ear has never heard. 
14 



210 



JOHN HOME. 



Oh! disregard me not; thougb I am call'd 
Another's now, my heart is wholly thine. 
Incapable of change, affection lies 
Buried, my Douglas, in thy bloody grave. 
But Randolph comes, whom fate has made my 

lord, 
To chide my ang-uish, and defraud the dead. 

Enter LoED RANDOLPH. 

Lord R. Again these weeds of woe! say, dost 
thou well 
To feed a passion which consumes thy life ? 
The living claim some duty; vainly thou 
Bestow'st thy cares upon the silent dead. 

Liuhj R. Silent, alas! is he for whom I mourn: 
Childless, without memorial of his name, 
He only now in my remembrance lives. 
This fatal day stirs my time-settled sorrow, 
Troubles afresh the fountain of my heart. 

Lord R. When was it pure of sadness ? These 
black weeds 
Express the wonted colour of thy mind. 
For ever dark and dismal. Seven long years 
Are pass'd, since we were join'd by sacred ties: 
Clouds all the while have hung upon thy brow, 
Nor broke, nor parted by one gleam of joy. 
Time that wears out the trace of deepest anguish. 
As the sea smooths the prints made in the sand. 
Hath past o'er thee in vain. 

Lady R. If time to come 
Should prove as ineffectual, yet, my lord. 
Thou canst not blame me. When our Scottish 

youth 
Vied with each other for my luckless love, 
Oft I besought them, I implored them all 
Not to assail me with my father's aid. 
Nor blend their better destiny with mine: 
For melancholy had cctngeal'd my blood, 
And froze affection in my chilly breast. 
At last my sire, rous'd with the base attempt 
To force me from him, which thou rend'rest vain. 
To his own daughter bow'd his hoary head. 
Besought me to commiserate his ago. 
And vow'd he should not, could not, die in peace, 
Unless he saw me wedded, and secur'd 
From violence and outrage. Then, my lord, 
In my extreme distress, I call'd on thee, 
Thee I bespakc, profess'd my strong desire 
To lead a single, .solitary life, 
And begg'd thy nobleness not to demand 
Her for a wife whose heart was dead to love. 
How thou persistedst after this thou know'st. 
And must confess that I am not unjust. 
Nor more to thee than to my myself injurious. 

Lord R. That I confess; yet ever must regret 
The grief I cannot cure. Would thou wert not 
Compos 'fl of grief and tenderness alone, 
But hadst a spark of other passions in thee, 
Pride, anger, vanitj% the strong desire 
Of adniinition, dear to wom.inkiiid; 
These might conleml with and allay thy grief. 



As meeting tides and currents smooth our frith. 

Ladji R. To such a cause the human mind oft 
owes 
Its transient calm, a calm I envy not. 

Lord R. Sure, thou art not the daughter of Sir 
Malcolm: 
Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment: 
For when thy brother fell, he smil'd to hear 
That Douglas' son in the same field was slain. 

Ladji R. Oh ! rake not up the ashes of my 
fathers: 
Implacable resentment was their crime, 
And grievous has the expiation been. 
Contending with the Douglas, gallant lives 
Of either house were lost: my ancestors 
Compell'd, at last, to leave their ancient seat 
On Teviot's pleasant banks; and now of them 
No heir is left. Had they not been so stem, 
I had not been the last of all my race. 

Lord R. Thy grief wrests to its purposes my 
words. 
I never ask'd of thee that ardent love 
Which in the bi'easts of Fancy's children bums; 
Decent affection and complacent kindness 
Were all I wish'd for; but I wish'd in vain: 
Hence, with the less regret my eyes behold 
The storm of war that gathers o'er this land : 
If I should perish by the Danish sword, 
Matilda would not shed one tear the more. 

Ladji R. Thou dost not think so : wof ul as I am, 
I love thy merit, and esteem thy virtues. 
But whither goest thou now ? 

Lord R. Straight to the camp. 
Where every warrior on the tip-toe stands 
Of expectation, and impatient asks 
Each who arrives, if he is come to tell 
The Danes are landed. 

Ladi/ R. Oh ! may adverse winds. 
Far from the coast of Scotland drive their fleet ! 
And every soldier of both hosts return 
In peace and safety to his pleasant home ! 

Lord R. Thou speak'st a woman's, hear a war- 
rioi-'s wish: 
Right from then- native land, the stormy north. 
May the wind blow, till every keel be tix'd 
Immovable in Caledonia's strand! 
Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion, 
And roving armies shun the fatal shore. 

Lad;/ R. War I detest : but war with foreign 
foes, 
AVhose manners, language, and whose looks are 

strange. 
Is not so horrid, nor to me so hateful. 
As that which with our neighbours oft we wage. 
A river here, there an ideal line. 
By fancy drawn, divides the sister kingdoms. 
On each side dwells a people similar. 
As twins are to each other, valiant both. 
Both for their valour famous through the world. 
Yet will they not unite their kindred arms. 
And, if they nmst have war, wage distant war. 



JOHN HOME. 



211 



But with each other fitrht in cruel conflict. 
Gallant in strife, and noble in their ire, 
The battle is their pastime. They go forth 
Gay in the morning, as to summer sport; 
When ev'ning comes, the glory of the morn, 
The youthful warrior, is a clod of clay. 
Thus fall the prime of either hapless land ; 
And such the fruit of Scotch and English wars. 
Lwd R. I'll hear no more: this melody would 
make 
A soldier drop his sword, and doff his arms, 
Sit down and weep the conquests he has made: 
Yea, like a monk, sing rest and peace in heaven 
To souls of warriors in his battles slain. 
Lady, farewell: I leave thee not alone; 
Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light. 

[Exit. 
Enter Anxa. 

Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's 
love: 
Urg'd by affection, I have thus presumed 
To interrupt your solitary thoughts; 
And warn you of the hours that you neglect, 
And lose in sadness. 

Lu'lii R. So to lose my hours 
Is all the use I wish to make of time. 

Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my 
state : 
But sure I am, since death first prey'd on man. 
Never did sister thus a brother moiani. 
What had your sorrows been if you had lost. 
In early youth, the husband of your heart ? 

LadyR. Oh! 

A una. Have I distress'd you with officious love. 
And ill-tim'd mention of your brother's fate? 
Forgive me, lady; humble the' I am. 
The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune: 
So fervently I love you, that, to dry 
These piteous tears, I'd throw my life away. 

Ladji R. What pow'r dii-ected thy unconscious 
tongue 
To speak as thou hast done ? to name — 

Anna. I know not: 
But since my words have made my mistress 

tremble, 
I will speak so no more; but silent mix 
My tears with hers. 

Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent. 
I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be. 
Henceforth, th' instructed partner of my woes. 
But what avails it .< can thy feeble pity 
Roll back the flood of never-ebbing time ? 
Compel the earth and ocean to give up 
Their dead alive ? 

Anna. What means my noble mistress? 

Lady R. Didst thou not ask what had my sor- 
rows been, 
If I in early youth had lost a husband ? 
In the cold bosom of the earth is lodg'd. 
Mangled with wounds, the husband of my youth; 



I And in some cavern of the ocean lies 
My child and his. 

A nna. Oh ! lady, most rever'd ! 
The tale wrapp'd up in your amazing words 
Deign to unfold. 

Lady R. Alas ! an ancient feud. 
Hereditary evil, was the source 
Of my misfortunes. Ruling fate decreed 
That my brave brother should in battle save 
The life of Douglas' son, our house's foe: 
The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship. 
To see the vaunted sister of his friend, 
Impatient Douglas to Balarmo came. 
Under a borrow'd name. — My heart he gain'd; 
Nor did I long refuse the hand he begg'd: 
My brother's presence authoriz'd our marriage. 
Tliree weeks, three little weeks, with wings of 

down. 
Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was call'd 
To fight his father's battles: and with him. 
In spite of all my tears, did Malcolm go. 
Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire was 

told 
That the false stranger was Lord Douglas' son. 
Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword. 
And question'd me. Alone, forsaken, faint, 
Kneeling beneath his sword, falt'ring, I took 
An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would 
Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity! 
Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave 
Thy onward path ! although tlie earth should 

gape. 
And from the gulf of hell destiniction ciy. 
To take dissimulation's winding way. 

Anna. Alas! how few of woman's fearful kind 
Durst own a truth so hardy! 

Lady R. The first truth 
Is easiest to avow. This moral learn. 
This precious moral from my tragic tale. — 
In a few days, the dreadful tidings came 
That Douglas and my brother both were slain. 
My lord ! my life ! my husband ! — might}' God ! 
What had I done to merit such affliction ': 

Anna. My dearest lady! many a tale of teai-s 
I've listen'd to; but never did I hear 
A tale so sad as this. 

Lady R. In the first days 
Of my distracting grief, I found myself 
As women wish to be who love their lords. 
But who durst tell mj- father ? The good priest 
Who join'd our hands, my brother's ancient tutor. 
With his lov'd Malcolm, in the battle fell: 
They two alone were privy to the marriage. 
On silence and concealment I resolv'd. 
Till time should make my father's fortune mine. 
That very night on which my son was born 
My nurse, the only confidant I had, 
Set out with him to reach her sister's house: 
But nurse, nor infant, have I ever seen. 
Or heard of, Anna, since that fatal hoin-. 
Mv murder'd child!— had thv fond mother fear'd 



212 



JOHN HOME. 



The loss of thee, she had loud fame defy'd, 
Despis'd hex- father's rage, her father's grief. 
Arid wander'd with thee tliro' the scorning world. 

Anna. Not seen or heard of! then, perhaps, 
he lives. 

Ladi/ R. No. It was dark December: wind 
and rain 
Had beat all night. Across the Carron lay 
The destin'd road; and in its swelling flood 
My faithful servant perish'd with my child. 

hapless son ! of a most hapless sire ! — 
But they are both at rest; and I alone 

Dwell in this world of woe, condemn'd to walk, 
Like a guilt-troubled ghost, my painful rounds; 
Nor has despiteful fate permitted me 
The comfort of a solitary sorrow. 
Though dead to love, I was compell'd to wed 
Randolph, who snatch'd me from a villain's arms; 
And Randolph now possesses the domains 
That, by Sir Malcolm's death, on me devolv'd; 
Domains, that should to Douglas' son have g-iv'n 
A baron's title and a baron's power. 
Such were my soothing thoughts, while I bewail'd 
The slaughter'd father of a son unborn. 
And when that son came, like a ray from heav'n. 
Which shines and disappears; alas, my child ! 
How long did thy fond mother grasp the hope 
Of having thee, she knew not how, restor'd ! 
Year after yeai' hath worn her hope away; 
But left still undiminish'd her desire. 
Anna. The hand that spins th' uneven thread 

of life, 
Jlay smooth the length that's yet to come of 

youi-s. 
Ladii R. Not in this world: I have consider'd 

well 
Its various evils, and on whom they fall. 
Alas ! how oft does goodness wound itself. 
And sweet affection prove the spring of woe? 
Oh ! had I died when my lov'd husband fell ! 
Had some good angel op'd to me the book 
Of Providence, and let me read my life. 
My heart had broke, when I beheld the sum 
Of ills, which, one by one, I have endur'd. 
Anna. Tliat God, whose ministers good angels 

are, 
Hath shut the book in mercy to mankind. 
But we must leave this theme: Glenalvon comes; 

1 saw him bend on you his thoughtful eyes, 
And hitherwards he slowly stalks his way. 

Ladii R. I will avoid him. An ungracious 
l)erson 
Is doubly irk.some in an hour like this. 
Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Randolph's 

heir? 
Ludii R. Because he's not the heir of Ran- 
dolph's virtues. 
Subtle and shrewd, ho offers to mankind 
An artifici.'il iniiige of himself; 
Aiirl lie vvitli case can vary to the taste 
Of diircront men its features. Self-denied, 



And master of his appetites, he seems: 
But his fierce nature, like a fox chain'd up, 
Watches to seize, unseen, the wish'd-for prey: 
Never were vice and virtue pois'd so ill. 
As in Glenalvon's unrelenting mind. 
Yet he is brave and politic in war. 
And stands aloft in these unruly times. 
Why I describe him thus, I'll tell hereafter : 
Stay and detain him till I reach the castle. 

{Exit Lady Randolph. 
Anna. Oh! happiness, where art thou to be 
found ? 
I see thou dwellest not with birth and beauty, 
Tho' grac'd with grandeur, and in wealth arrayed : 
Nor dost thovi, it would seem, with vu'tue dwell; 
Else had this gentle lady miss'd thee not. 

Enter Glenalvon. 

Glen. What dost thou muse on, meditating 

maid ? 
Like some entranc'd and visionary seer, 
On earth thou stand'st, thy thoughts ascend to 

heaven. 
Anna. Would that I were e'en as thou say'st, 

a seer. 
To have my doubts by heavenly vision clear'd ! 
Glen. What dost thou doubt of? what hast 

thou to do 
With subjects intricate? Thy youth, thy beauty. 
Cannot be question'd : think of these good gifts. 
And then thy contemplations will be pleasing. 

A nna. Let woman view yon monument of woe, 
Then boast of beauty: who so fair as she? 
But I must follow : this revolving day 
Awakes the memory of her ancient woes. 

{Exit Anna. 
Glen, (alone). So! — Lady Randolph shuns me; 

by-and-by 
I'll woo her as the lion woos his bride. 
The deed's a doing now that makes me lord 
Of these rich valleys, and a chief of pow'r. 
The season is most apt; my sounding steps 
Will not be heard amidst the din of arms. 
Randolph has liv'd too long: his better fate 
Had the ascendant once, and kept me down: 
When I had seiz'd the dame, by chance he came, 
Rescu'd and had the lady for his labour: 
I 'scap'd unknown: a slender consolation ! 
Heav'n is my witness that I do not love 
To sow in i>eril, and let others reap 
The jocund harvest. Yet, I am not safe; 
By love, or something like it, stung, inflam'd. 
Madly I blabb'd my passion to his wife. 
And .she has threaten'd to acquaint him of it. 
The way of woman's will I do not know : 
But well I know the baron's wrath is deadly. 
I will not live in fear: the man I dread 
Is as the Dane to me: ay, and the man 
Who stands betwixt mc and my chief desire. 
No bar but he: she has no kinsman near; 
No brother in his sister's quarrels bold: 



t 



JOHN HOME. 



213 



And for the righteous cause, a stranger's cause, 
I know no chief that will defy Glenalvon. [HJ.rif. 

ACT II. 

Scene I. — Enter Sen-tiulx and a Stmn(/er at one 
iloof, and Lady Randolph and Ann.\ at an- 
other. 

Ladji R. What means this clamour? Stranger, 
speak secure; 
Hast thou been wrong'd? Have these rude men 

presum'd 
To vex the weary traveller on his way ? 

ht Sere. By us no stranger ever suffer'd wTong: 
This man with outcry wild has call'd us forth; 
So sore afraid he cannot speak his fears. 

Enter Lord Randolph and a young Man, with 
(heir sirords drawn and Moody. 

Lady li. Not vain the stranger '.s fears! how 

fares my lord '{ 
Lord R. That it fares well, thanks to this gal- 
lant youth. 
Whose valour sav'd me from a wretched death ! 
As down the winding dale I walk'd alone, 
At the cross way, four armed men attack'd me; 
Rovers, I judge, from the licentious camp, 
Wlio would have quickly laid Lord Randolph low, 
Had not this brave and generous stranger come, 
Like my good angel in the hour of fate, 
And, mocking danger, made my foes his own. 
They turn'd upon him: but his active arm 
Struck to the ground, from whence they rose no 

more, 
The fiercest two; the others fled amain, 
And left him master of the bloody field. 
Speak, Lady Randolph, upon beauty's tongue 
Dwell accents pleasing to the brave and bold. 
Speak, noble dame, and thank him for thy lord. 
Lady R. My lord, I cannot speak what now I 
'feel. 
My heart o'erflows with gratitude to Heaven, 
And to this noble youth, who all unknown 
To you and yours, deliberated not. 
Nor paus'd at peril, but humanely brave. 
Fought on your side, against such fearful odds. 
Have you yet learn'd of him whom we should 

thank ? 
Whom call the saviour of Lord Randolph's life? 
Lord R. I ask'd that question, and heanswer'd 
not: 
But I must know who my deliverer is. 

(To the Sfranr/er.) 
St ran. A low-born man, of parentage obscure. 
Who nought can ^oast of but his desire to be 
A soldier, and to gain a name in arms. 

Lord R. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is en- 
nobled 
By the great King of kings ! thou art ordain'd 
And stamp'd a hero by the sovereign hand 



Of nature ! Blush not, flower of modesty 
As well as valour, to declare thy birth. 

Stran. My name is Norval: on the Grampian 

hills 
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain, 
Whose constant cares were to increase his store. 
And keep his only son, myself, at home. 
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd 
To follow to the field some warlike lord: 
And Heav'n soon granted what my sire deny'd. 
This moon which rose last night, round as my 

shield. 
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when, by her hght, 
A band of fierce barbarians from the hills 
Rush'd like a torrent down upon the vale, 
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds 

fled 
For safety and for succour. T alone, 
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows, 
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd 
The road they took, then hasted to my friends; 
Whom with a troop of fifty chosen men, 
I met advancing. The pursuit I led. 
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe. 
Wo fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was 

drawn, 
An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief. 
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear. 
Returning home in triumjih, I disdain'd 
The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard 
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers 
To lead theii' warriors to the Carron side, 
I left my father's house, and took with me 
A chosen servant to conduct my steps:— 
Yon trembling cowai-d, who forsook his master. 
Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these 

towers. 
And, Heaven-directed, came this day to do 
The happy deed that gilds my humble name. 

Lord R. He is as vrise as brave. Was ever tale 
With such a gallant modesty rehears'd:' 
My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now 
A nobler list, and in a monarch's sight 
Contend with princes for the prize of fame. 
I will present thee to oui- Seotti.sh king, 
Whose valiant spirit ever valom* lov'd. 
Ha, my Matilda! wherefore starts that tear? 

Lady R. I cannot say: for various affections. 
And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell; 
Yet each of them may well command a tear. 
I joy that thou art safe, and I admire 
Him and his fortunes who hath wrought thy 

safety; 
Yea, as my mind predicts, with thine his own. 
Obscure and friendless, he the amiy sought. 
Bent upon peril, in the range of death; 
Resolv'd to limit for fame, and with his sword 
To gain distinction which his birth den}''d. 
In this attempt, unknown he might have peri.sh'd. 
And gain'd, with all his valour, but oblivion. 
Now grac'd by thee, his vii-tue serves no more 



214 



JOHN HOME. 



Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope, 
He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown 
Are brought within the compass of his sword. 
On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke, 
And bless'd tl.e wonder-working Lord of heaven. 

Lord R. Pious and grateful ever are thy 
thoughts; 
ily deeds shall follow where thou poinfst the 

way. 
Next to myself, and equal to Glenalvon, 
In honour and command shall Norval be. 

Xurr. I know not how to thank you. Eude I 
am 
In speech and manners; never till this hour 
Stood I in such a presence: yet, my lord. 
There's something in my breast which makes me 

bold 
To say, that Norval ne'er will shame thy favour. 

Lady R. (to Norval). I will be sworn thou wilt 
not. Thou shalt be 
ilj' knight; and ever, as thou didst to-day. 
With happy valour guard the life of Randolph. 

Lord R. Well hast thou spoke. Let me forbid 
reply. 

(To Norval.) 
We are thj^ debtors still; thy high desert 
O'ertops our gratitude. I must proceed, 
As was at first intended, to the camp. 
Some of my train I see are speeding thither. 
Impatient, doubtless, of their lord's delay. 
Go with me, Norval, and thine eyes shall see 
The chosen wamors of thy native land, 
Who languish for the fight, and beat the air 
"With brandish'd swords. 

Norv. Let us begone, my lord. 

Lo)-d R. (to Lady R.) About the time that the 
declining sun 
Shall his broad orbit o'er yon hills suspend. 
Expect us to return. This night once more 
Within these walls I rest; my tent I pitch 
To-morrow in the field. Prepare the feast. 
Free is his heart who for his country fights; 
He in the eve of battle may resign 
Himself to social pleasure; sweetest then, 
When danger to a soldier's soul endears 
TJie human joy that never may return. 

[Exeunt Randolph and Norval. 

ScENK II. — Lady Randolph and Anna. 

Lady R. His parting words have struck a fatal 
truth. 
Oh, Douglas ! Douglas ! tender was the time, 
Wiiun we two parted, ne'er to meet again ! 
How many years of anyuish and despair 
Ha.s Heaven armex'd to those swift passing hours 
Of love and fondness ! Then my bosom's flame 
(Jft, a.s blown back by the rude breath of fear, 
Retum'd, and with redoubled ardour blaz'd. 

Anna. May gracious Heav'n pour the sweet 
balm of peace 
Into the wounds that fester in your breast ! 



For earthly consolation cannot cure them. 

Lady It. One only cure can Heav'n itself be- 
stow — 
A grave : that bed in which the weary rest. 
Wretch that I am ! Alas ! why am I so ? 
At every happy parent I repine! 
How bless'd the mother of yon gallant Norval ! 
She for a living husband bore her pains. 
And heard him bless her when a man was bom. 
She nurs'd her smiling infant on her breast; 
Tended the child, and rear'd the pleasing boy: 
She, with affection's triumph, saw the youth 
In grace and comeliness surpass his peers: 
Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son, 
And to the roaring waters gave my child. 

Anna. Alas! alas! why will you thus resume 
Your grief afresh ? I thought that gallant youth 
Would for awhile have won you from your woe. 
On hini intent you gazed, with a look 
Much moi'e delighted than your pensive eye 
Has deign'd on other objects to bestow. 
Ltuly R. Delighted, say'st thou? Oh! even 

there mine eye 
Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow; 
I thought that had the son of Douglas liv'd. 
He might have been like this young gallant 

stranger. 
And pair'd with him in features, and in shape, 
In all endowments, as in years, I deem. 
My boy with blooming Norval might have num- 

ber'd. 
Wliilst thus I mus'd, a spark from fancy fell 
On my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness 
For this young stranger, wand'ring from his 

home, 
And like an orphan cast upon my care. 
I will protect thee (said I to myself) 
With all my power, and grace with all my favour. 
Anna. Sure, Heav'n will bless so generous a 

resolve. 
You must, my noble dame, exert your power: 
You must awake: devices will he fram'd. 
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval. 
Lady R. Glenalvon's false and crafty head will 

work 
Against a rival in his kinsman's love, 
If I deter him not : I only can. 
Bold as he is, Glenalvon will beware 
How he pulls down the faVnic that I i-aise. 
I'll be the artist of young Nerval's fortune. 
'Tis pleasing to admire : most apt was I 
To this affection in my better days; 
Though now I seem to you shrunk up, retir'd 
Within the narrow compass of my woe. 
Have you not sometimes seen an early flow'r 
Open its bud, and spread its silken leaves. 
To catch sweet airs, and odours to bestow; 
Then, by the keen blast nipt, pull in its leaves. 
And, though still living, die to scent and beauty.' 
Emblem of me: affliction like a storm 
Hath kill'd the forward blossom of my heart. 



JOHN HOME. 



215 



Enter Glenalvon. 
Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble 

Randolph ? 
Lady R. Have you not heard, Glenalvon, of 

the base 

Glen. I have: and that the villains may net 
'scape, 
"With a strong band 1 have begirt the wood. 
If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken. 
And torture force from them th' important 

secret. 
Whether some foe of Randolph hir'd their 
swords, 

Or if 

Lady R. That care becomes a kinsman's love. 
I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. 

[EjU Anna. 
Glen. To him your counsels always are com- 
mands. 
Lady R. I have not found so : thou art known 

to me. 
Glen. Known? 
Ludy R. Ay, known! 
And most certain is my cause < f knowledge. 
Glen. What do you know? By the most blessed 
cross. 
You much amaze me. No created being, 
Yourself except, durst thus accost Glenalvon. 
Lady R. Is guilt so bold ? and dost thou make 
a merit 
Of thy pretended meekness? This to me, 
Who, with a gentleness which duty blames. 
Have hitherto conceal'd what, if divulg'd. 
Would make thee nothing; or, what's worse than 

that. 
An outcast beggar, and unpitied too: 
For mortals shudder at a ciime hke thine. 

Glen. Thy virtue awes me. Fu'st of woman- 
kind ! 
Permit me yet to say, that the fond man 
Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's 

bounds. 
If he is brought by love to misery. 
In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn, 
Unpitied cannot be. Pity's the alms 
Which on such beggars freely is bestow'd: 
For mortals know that love is still their lord. 
And o'er their vain i-esolves advances still: 
As fire, when kindled by our shepherds, moves 
Thro' the dry heath before the fanning wind. 
Lady R. Reserve these accents for some other 
ear; 
To love's apology I listen not. 
Mark thou my words: for it is meet thou should'st. 
His brave deliverer, Randolph here retains. 
Perhaps his presence may not please thee well: 
But at thy peril, practise aught against him; 
Let not thy jealousy attempt to shake 
And loosen the good root he has in Randolph; 
Whose favourites I know thou hast supplanted. 



Thou look'st at me as if thou fain wouldst pry 
Into my heart. 'Tis open as my speech. 
I give this early caution, and put on 
The curb, before thy temper breaks away. 
The friendless stranger my protection claims: 
His friend I am, and be not thou his foe. \^Erii. 

Scene III.— Glenalvon remains. 

Glen. Child that I was, to start at my own 

shadow. 
And be the shallow fool of coward conscience! 
1 am not what I have been; what I should be. 
The darts of destiny have almost pierc'd 
My marble heart. Had I one grain of faith 
In holy legends, and religious tales, 
I should conclude there was an arm above 
That fought against me, and malignant turn'd. 
To catch myself, the subtle snare I set. 
Whj', rape and murder are not simple means! 
Th' imperfect rape to Randolph gave a spouse; 
And the intended murder introduc'd 
A favourite to hide the sun from me; 
And worst of all, a rival. Burning hell ! 
This were thy centre, if I thought she lov'd him! 
'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands 

me. 
And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me. 
In his behalf. And shall I thus be brav'd ? 
Curb'd, as she calls it, by dame Chastity? 
Infernal fiends, if any fiends there are. 
More fierce than hate, ambition, and revenge. 
Rise up and fill my bosom with your fires 
And policy remorseless! Chance may spoil 
A single aim: but perseverance must 
Prosper at last. For chance and fate are words: 
Persistive wisdom is the fate of man. 
Darkly a project peers upon my mind. 
Like the red moon when rising in the east, 
Cross'd and divided by strange-colour'd clouds. 
I'll seek the slave who came with Norval hither, 
And for his cowardice was spurn'd from him. 
I've known a follower's rankled bosom breed 
Venom most fatal to his heedless lord. [Exit. 

ACT 111. 
Scene I. — A Court, dr., as before. 
Enter Anna. 
Thy vassals. Grief ! great nature's order break. 
And change the noon-tide to the midnight hour. 
Whilst Lady Randolph sleeps I will walk forth 
And taste the air that breathes on yonder bank. 
Sweet may her slumbers be ! Ye ministers 
Of gracious Heav'n, who love the human race. 
Angels and seraphs, who delight in goodness ! 
Forsake your skies, and to her couch descend : 
There from her fancy cliase those dismal forms 
That haunt her waking; her .sad spirit charm 
With images celestial, such as please 
The blest above upon their golden beds ! 



216 



JOHN HOME. 



Enter Servant. 
Sere. One of the vile assassins is secur'd, 
We found the villain lurking in the wood: 
With dreadful imprecations, he denies 
All knowledge of the crime. But this is not 
His first essay: these jewels were eonceal'd 
In the most secret places of his garment; 
Behke the spoils of some that he has murder'd. 
Anna. Let me look on them. Ha! here's a 
heart, 
The chosen crest of Douglas' valiant name! 
These are no vulgar jewels. Guard the wretch. 

[E.iit Anna. 

Enter Servants vith a Prisoner. 
Prh. I know no more than does the child 
unborn 
Of what you charge me with. 

1st Sen\ You say so, sir! 
But torture soon shall make you speak the truth. 
Behold the lady of Lord Randolph comes: 
Prepare yourself to meet her just revenge. 

Scene ll.—En.'er Lady Randolph and Anna. 

A nna. Summon your utmost fortitude before 
You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame, 
Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret. 
Which, in a moment, from your lips may fly. 

Lad)i R. Thou shalt behold me, with a des- 
perate heart. 
Hear liow my infant perish'd. See, he kneels. 

( The Prisoner kneels. ) 

Pris. Hoav'n bless that countenance so sweet 
and mild ! 
A judge like thee makes innocence more bold. 
Oh, save me, lady, from these cruel men, 
"Who have attack'd and seiz'd me; who accuse 
Me of intended murder. As I hope 
For mercy at the judgment-seat of Heaven, 
The tender lamb, that never nipp'd the grass. 
Is not more innocent than I of murder. 

Ladi/ R. Of this man's guilt what proof can ye 
produce ? 

1st Scrr. We found him lurking in the hollow 
glen. 
When view'd and call'd upon, ama/.'d ho fled. 
We overtook him, and iiiquir'd from whence. 
And what he was: he said he came from far. 
And was upon his journey to the camp. 
Not satisfy 'd with tliis, we search 'd his clothes. 
And found these jewels; vvho.se rich value plead 
.Most iKjwerfully against him. Hard he seems. 
And old in villany. Permit us to tiy 
His 8tub>)oniness against the torture's force, 

I'ris. Oh, gentle lady, by your lord's dear life. 
Which these weak hand.s, I .swear, did ne'er 

assail ; 
And by your children's welfare, spare my age! 
(A't not the iron tear my ancient joints, 
And my gray liiiirs bring to the grave with pain. 



Lady R. Account for these: thine own they 
cannot be; 
For these, I say; be steadfast to the truth; 
Detected falsehood is most certain death. 

(Anna removes the Servants and returns.) 

Pris. Alas! I'm sore beset! let never man, 
For sake of lucre, sin against his soul ! 
Eternal justice is in this mo.st just! 
I, guiltless now, must former guilt reveal. 

Ladij R. Oh, Anna, hear. — Once more I charge 
thee speak 
The truth direct : for these to me foretell 
And certify a part of thy narration: 
With which if the remainder tallies not. 
An instant and a dreadful death abides thee. 

Pris. Then, thus adjur'd, I'll speak to thee as 
just 
As if you were the minister of Heaven, 
Sent down to search the secret sins of men. 
Some eighteen years ago, I rented land 
Of brave Sir Malcolm, then Balarmo's lord; 
But, falling to decay, his servants seiz'd 
All that I had, and then turn'd me and mine 
(Four helpless infants and their weeping mother) 
Out to the mercy of the winter winds. 
A little hovel by the river's side 
Received us: there hard labour, and the .skill 
In fishing, which was formerly my sport. 
Supported life. Whilst thus we poorly liv'd. 
One stormy night, as I remember well. 
The wind and rain beat hai'd upon our roof: 
Red came the river down, and loud and oft 
The angry spirit of the water .shriek'd. 
At the dead hour of night was heard the cry 
Of one in jeopardy. I rose, and ran 
To where the circling eddy of a pool. 
Beneath the ford, us'd oft to bring within 
My reach whatever floating thing the stream 
Had caught. The voice was ceas'd; the person 

lost: 
But looking sad and earnest on the waters. 
By the moon's light I saw, whirl'd round and 

round, 
A basket; soon I drew it to the bank, 
And nestl'd curious there sa\ infant lay. 

Lady R. Was he alive ? 

Pris. He was. 

Laxly R. Inhuman that thou art! 
How couldst thou kill what waves and tempests 
spar'd ? 

Pris. I was not so inhuman. 

Lady R. Didst thou not '! 

Anna. My noble mistress, you arc mov'd too 
much : 
This man has not the aspect of stern murder: 
Let him go on, and you, I hope, will hear 
Good tidings— of your kinsman's long-lost child. 

Pris. The needy man who has known better 
days, 
One whom distress has spited at the world. 
Is he whom tempting fiends would pitch upon 



JOHN HOME. 



21: 



To do such deeds as make the prosperous men 
Lift up their hands and wonder who could do 

them. 
And such a man was I; a man declin'd, 
Who saw no end of black adversitj': 
Yet, for the wealth of kingdoms, I would not 
Have touch'd that infant with a hand of harm. 

Liuhi R. Ha! dost thou say so? Then perhajjs 
he lives! 

Pris. Not many days ago he was alive. 

Lmhj R. Oh! God of heav'n! Did he then die 
so lately ? 

Pris. I did not say he died; I hope he Uves. 
Not many days ago these eyes beheld 
Hmi floui'ishing in youth, and health, and beautJ^ 

Lad;! R. Where is he now ? 

J'ris. Alas! I know not where. 

Lacbj R. Oh, fate! I fear thee still. Thou 
riddler, speak 
Direct and clear; else I will search thy soul. 

Anna. Permit me, ever honour'd ! keen impa- 
tience, 
Though hard to be restrain 'd, defeats itself. — 
Pursue thy story, with a faithful tongue, 
To the last hour that thou didst keep the child. 

Pris. Fear not my faith, tho' I must speak my 
shame; 
Within the cradle where the infant lay. 
Was stovv'd a mighty store of gold and jewels; 
Tempted by which we did resolve to hide. 
From all the world, this wonderful event. 
And like a peasant breed the noble child. 
That none might mark the change of our estate. 
We left the country, travell'd to the north! 
Bought flocks and herds, and gradually brought 

forth 
Our secret wealth. But God's all-seeing eye 
Beheld our avarice, and .smote us sore. 
For one by one all our own children died. 
And he, the stranger, sole remaiu'd the heir 
Of what indeed was his. Fain, then, would I, 
Who with a father's fondness lov'd the boy. 
Have trusted him, now in the dawn of youth, 
With his own secret; but my anxious wife, 
Foreboding evil, never would consent. 
Meanwhile, the stripling grewin years and beauty; 
And, as we oft observ'd, he bore himself, 
Not as the offspring of our cottage blood; 
For nature will break out; mild with the mild, 
But with the froward he was fierce as fire. 
And night and day he talk'd of war and arms. 
I set myself against his warlike bent; 
But all in vain : for when a desperate band 
Of robbers from the rugged mountains came — 

Laihj R. Eternal Providence! What is thy 
name ? 

Pris. My name is Norval; and my name he 
bears. 

Lad]i R. 'Tis he! 'tis he himself ! It is my son! 
Oh! sovereign mercy! 'twas my child I saw. 
No wonder, Anna, that my bosom burn'd. 



Anna. Just are your transports: ne'er was 
woman's heart 
Prov'd with such fierce extremes. High fated 

dame ! 
But yet remember that you are beheld 
By servile eyes : your gestures may be seen 
Impassion'd, strange ; perhaps your words o'er- 
heard. 

Ladtj R. Well dost thou counsel, Anna: Heav'n 
bestow 
On me that wisdom which my state requires. 

Anna. The moments of deUberation pass. 
And soon you must resolve. This useful man 
Must be dismiss'd in safety, ere my lord 
Shall with his brave deliverer return. 

PrU. If I, amidst astonishment and fear, 
Have of j-our words and gestures rightly judg'd. 
Thou art the daughter of my ancient master: 
The child I rescued from the flood is thine. 

Ladji R. With thee dissimulation now were 
vain. 
I am, indeed, the daughter of Sir Malcolm; 
The chUd thou rescued from the flood is mine. 

Prix. Bless'd be the hour that made me a poor 
man; 
My i>overty has sav'd my master's house! 

Ludji R. Thy words surprise me : sure thou 
dost not feign: 
The tear stands in thine eye : such love from thee 
Sir Malcolm's house deserv'd not; if aright 
Thou told'st the story of thine own distress. 

Pris. Sir Malcolm of our barons was the flower; 
The fastest friend, the best and kindest master. 
But, ah! he knew ,not of my sad estate. 
After that battle, where his gallant son, 
Your own brave brother, fell, the good old lord 
Grew desperate and reckless of the world; 
And never, as he erst was wont, went forth 
To overlook the conduct of his servants. 
By them I was thrust out, and them I blame: 
May Heav'n so judge me as I judg'd my master! 
And God so love me as I love his race ! 

Ladji R. His race shall yet reward thee. On 
thy faith 
Depends the fate of thy lov'd master's house, 
liememb'i-est thou a little lonely hut. 
That like a holj^ hermitage appears 
Among the cliffs of Carron ? 

Pris. I remember 
The cottage of the cliffs. 

Ladji R. 'Tis that I mean: 
There dwells a man of venerable age, 
Who in my father's service spent his youth : 
Tell him I sent thee, and with him remain, 
Till I shall call ujion thee to declare 
Before the king and nobles what thou now 
To me hast told. No more but this, and thou 
Shalt live in honour all thy futui-e days; 
Thy son so long shall call thee father still. 
And all the land shall bless the man who sav'd 
The .son of Douglas, and Sir Malcolm's heir. 



218 



JOHN HOME. 



Remember well my words: if thou should'st meet 
Him whom thou eall'st thy son, still call him so ; 
And mention nothing of his nobler father. 

Pris. Fear not that I shall mar so fail- an 
harvest, 
By putting in my sickle ere 'tis ripe. 
Why did I leave my home and ancient dame ? 
To find the youth, to tell him all I knew. 
And make him wear these jewels on his arms: 
AVliieh might, I thought, be challeng'd, and so 

bring 
To light the secret of his noble birth. 

(Lady Randolph goes tou-ards the Sei-vants.) 
Lad// B. This man is not the assassin you sus- 
pected, 
Tho' chance combin'd some likelihoods against 

him. 
He is the faithful bearer of the jewels 
To their light owner, whom in haste he seeks. 
'Tis meet that you should put him on his way, 
Since your mistaken zeal hath dragg'd him hither. 
[Exeaiit Stranger and Servants. 

Scene HI.— Lady Randolph aud Anna. 

Ladi/ R. My faithful Anna, dost thou share 
my joy? 
I know thou dost. Unparallel'd event ! 
Reaching from heav'n to earth, Jehovah's arm 
Snatch'd from the waves, and brings to me my 

son! 
Judge of the widow, and the orphan's Father! 
Accept a widow's and a mother's thanks 
For such a gift! What does my Anna think 
Of the young eaglet of a valiant nest ? 
How soon he gazed on bright and burning arms, 
Spurn'd the low dunghill where his fate had 

thrown him. 
And tower'd up to the region of his sires ? 

Anna. How fondly did your eyes devour the 
boy! 
Mysterious nature, with the unseen cord 
Of powerful instinct, di-eW you to your own. 

Lady It. The ready story of his birth believ'd, 
Suppress'd my fancy quite; nor did he owe 
To any likeness my so sudden favour: 
But now I long to sec his face again, 
E.xamine every feature, and find out 
The lineaments of Douglas, or my own. 
But most of all, I long to let him know 
Who his true parents are, to clasp his neck. 
And tell him all the story of his father. 

Anna. With wary caution you must bear your- 
self 
In public, lest your tenderness break forth. 
And in observers stir conjectures strange. 
For, if a clierub, in the shape of woman, 
Should walk this world, yet defamation would, 
Tiikc a vile cur, bark at the angel's train; - 
To-day the baron started at your tears. 

Ladi/ /i. He did so, Anna! well thy mistress 
knows, 



If the least circumstance, mote of offence. 
Should touch the baron's eye, his sight would be 
With jealousy disorder'd. But the more 
It does behove me instant to declare 
The birth of Douglas, and assert his rights. 
This night I purpose with my son to meet, 
Reveal the secret, and consult with him: 
For wise he is, or my fond judgment errs. 
As he does now, so look'd his noble father; 
Array'd in nature's ease; his mien, his speech, 
Were sweetly simple, and full oft deceiv'd 
Those trivial mortals who seem always wise. 
But when the matter match'd his mighty mind, 
Up rose the hero : on his piercing eye 
Sat observation; on each glance of thought 
Decision follow'd, as the thunder-bolt 
Pursues the flash. 

Anna. That demon haunts you still: — 
Behold Glenalvon. 

Lad.!/ li. Now I shun him not. 
This day I brav'd him in behalf of Norval: 
Perhaps too far: at least my nicer fears 
For Douglas thus interpret. YExit Anna. 

Enter Glenalvon. 

Glen. Noble dame ! 
The hov'ring Dane at last his men hath landed: 
No band of pirates; but a mighty host, 
That come to settle where their valour conquers: 
To win a country, or to lose themselves. 

Lad If R. But whence comes this intelligence, 
Glenalvon ? 

Glen. A nimble courier, sent from yonder camp. 
To hasten up the chieftains of the north, 
Inform'd me as he pass'd that the fierce Dane 
Had on the eastern coast of Lothian landed, 
Near to that place where the sea i-ock immense. 
Amazing Bass, looks o'er a fertile land. 

Ladif R. Then must this western army march 
to join 
The warlike troops that guard Edina's towers? 

Glen. Beyond all question. If impairing time 
Has not effac'd the image of a place. 
Once perfect in my breast, there is a wild 
Which lies to westward of that mighty rock. 
And seems by nature formed for the camp 
Of water-wafted armies, whose cliief strength 
Lies in firm foot, unflank'd with warlike horse: 
If martial skill directs the Danish lords, 
There inaccessible their army lies 
To our swift scouring horse; the bloody field 
Must man to man and foot to foot be fought. 

Ladji R. How many mothers shall bewail their 
sons ! 
How many widows weep their husbands slain ! 
Ye dames of Dermiark ! ev'n for you I feel. 
Who, sadly sitting on the sea-boat shore. 
Long look for lords that never shall return. 

(rleii. Oft has th' unconcpier'd Caledonian sword 
Widow'd the north. The children of the slain 
Come, as 1 hope, to meet their fathers' fate. 



I 



JOHN HOME. 



219 



The monster war, with her infernal brood, 
Loud-yelling fury, and life-ending pain. 
Are objects suited to Glenalvon"s soul. 
Scorn is more grievous than the pains of death : 
Reproach, more piercing than the pointed sword. 
iMchi li. I scorn thee not, but when I ought 
to scorn: 
Nor e'er reproach, but when insulted ^•irtue 
Against audacious vice asserts herself. 
I own thy worth, Glenalvon ; none more apt 
Than I to praise thy eminence in arms, 
And be the echo of thy martial fame. 
No longer vainly feed a guilty passion: 
Go and pursue a lawful mistress. Glory. 
Upon the Danish crests redeem thj" fault. 
And let thy valour be the shield of Randolph. 
Glen. One instant stay, and hear an alter'd 
man. 
When beauty pleads for virtue, vice, abash'd. 
Flies its own colours, and goes o'er to ^Trtue. 
I am j'our convert; time will show how truly: 
Yet one immediate proof I mean to give. 
That youth for whom your ardent zeal to-day, 
Somewhat too haughtily, defy'd your slave, 
Amidst the shock of armies I'U defend. 
And turn death from him with a guardian 

arm. 
Sedate by use, my bosom maddens not 
At the tumultuous uproar of the field. 

Lwhj It. Act thus, Glenalvon, and I am thy 
friend : 
But that's thy least reward. Believe me, sir, 
The truly generous is the truly wise; 
And he who loves not others, lives uubless'd. 

\ExU Lady Randolph. 
Glen, (alone). Amen ! and virtue is its own re- 
ward ! — 
I think that I have hit the very tone 
In which she loves to speak. Honey'd assent. 
How pleasant art thou to the taste of man. 
And women also; flattery direct 
Rarely disgusts. They little know mankind 
Who doubt its operation; 'tis my key. 
And opes the wicket of the human heai-t. 
How far I have succeeded now, I know not. 
Yet I incline to think her stormy virtue 
Is lull'd awhile: 'tis her alone I fear: 
Whilst she and Randolph live, and live in faith 
And amity, uncertain is my tenure. 
Fate o'er my head suspends disgrace and death. 
By that weak hair, a peevish female's will. 
I am not idle; but the ebbs and flows 
Of fortune's tide cannot be calculated. 
That slave of Nerval's I have found most apt: 
I show'd him gold, and he has pawn'd his soul 
To say and swear whatever I suggest. 
Nerval, I'm told, has that alluring look, 
'Twixt man and woman, which I have observ'd 
To charm the nicer and fantastic dames, 
Who are, like Lady Randolph, full of virtue. 
In raising Randolj^h's jealousy I may 



But point him to the truth. He seldom errs 
Who thinks the worst he can of womankind. 

[Erit. 

ACT IV. 

Scene \.— Flourish of Trumpets. 

Enter Lord Randolph attended. 

Lord R. Summon a hundred horse, by break of 
day. 
To wait oui" pleasure at the castle gate. 

Enter L.UJY Randolph. 

L,adii R. Alas! my lord, I've heard luiwelcome 
news : 
The Danes are land 3d. 

Lord R. Ay, no inroad this 
Of the Northumbrian bent to take the spoil: 
No sportive war, no tournament essay 
Of some young knight resolv'd to break a spear, 
And stain with hostile blood his maiden arms. 
The Danes are landed; we must beat them back 
Or live the slaves of Denmark. 

Ladji R. Dreadful times! 

Lord R. The fenceless villages are all forsaken: 
The trembling mothers and their children lodg'd 
In wall-girt towers and castles; whilst the men 
Retu-e indignant. Yet, like broken waves. 
They but retire more awful to retiu-n. 

Lad 11 R. Immense, as fame reports, the Dan- 
ish host. 

Lord R. Were it as numerous as loud fame 
reports. 
An army knit like ours would pierce it through: 
Brothers, that shrink not from each other's side, 
And fond companions, fill our warlike files: 
For his dear offspring, and the \\'ife he loves, 
The husband, and the fearless father arm. 
In vulgar breasts heroic ardour burng. 
And the poor peasant mates his daring lord. 

Lad)/ R. Men's aiinds are temper'd, like their 
swords, for war; 
Lovers of danger, on destruction's brink 
They joy to rear erect their daring forms: 
Hence early graves; hence the lone widow's life, 
And the sad mother's grief-embittered age. 
Where is our gallant guest? 

Lord R. Down in the vale 
I left him, managing a fiery steed, 
Whose stubboi'nness had foil'd the strength and 

skill 
Of every rider. But, behold, lie comes 
In earnest conversation with Glenalvon. 

Enter Glenalvon and Norval. 

Glenalvon! with the lark arise; go forth, 
And lead my troops that lie in yonder vale: 
Private I travel to the royal camp: 
Norval, thou goest witli me. But say, young man, 



220 



JOHN HOME. 



Where didst thou learn so to discourse of war, 
And in such terms as I o'erheard to-day ? 
War is no village science, nor its praise 
A language taught among the shepherd swains. 
JVoiT. Small is the skill my lord delights to 

praise 
In him he favours. — Hear from whence it came. 
Beneath a mountain's brow, the most remote 
And inaccessible, by shepherds trod. 
In a deep cave, form'd by no mortal hand, 
A hermit hv'd, a melancholy man, 
Who was the wonder of our wand 'ling swains. 
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself, 
Did they report him; the cold earth his bed, 
Water his drinli, his food the shepherds' alms. 
I went to see him, and my heart was touch'd 
With reverence and pity. Mild he spake, 
And, ent'ring on discourse, such stories told 
As made me oft revisit his sad cell. 
For he had been a soldier in his youth; 
And fought in famous battles, when the peers 
Of Europe, bj- the bold Godfredo led. 
Against the usurping Infidel display'd 
The blessed cross, and won the Holy Land. 
Pleas'd with my admiration, and the fire 
His speech struck from me, the old man would 

shake 
His years away, and act his young encounters: 
Then, having shown his wounds, he'd sit him 

down. 
And all the Hve-long day discovirse of war. 
To help my fancy, in the smooth green turf 
He cut the figures of the marshall'd hosts; 
Describ'd the motions, and explain'd the use 
Of the deep column, and the lengthen'd line. 
The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm. 
For all that Saracen or Christian knew 
Of war's vast art, was to this hermit known. 

Lord It. Why did this soldier in a desert hide 

Those qualities that should have grac'd a camp ? 

N(irc. That too, at last, I learn'd. Unhappy 

man ! 
Returning homewards, by Messina's port. 
Loaded with wealth and honours bravely won, 
A rude and boist'rous captain of the sea 
Fastcn'd a quarrel on him. Fierce they fought: 
The stranger fell, and with his dying breath ■ 
Declar'd his name and lineage. Mighty God I 
The .soldier cried. My brother! Oh! my brother! 
Ladij R. His brother ! 
Norv. Yes : of the same parents born ; 
His only brother. They exchang'd forgiveness; 
And happy in my mind was he that dy'd : 
For many deaths has the survivor suffer'd. 
In the wild desert, on a rock he .sits. 
Or on some nameles.s stream's untrodden banks, 
And nnninates all day his dreadful fate. 
At times, alas! not in his perfect mind ! 
Holds dialogues with his lov'd brothei-'s gho.st: 
And oft each night forsakes his sullen couch, 
To make Had orison.s for him he slew. 



Ladij R. To what mysterious woes are mortals 
born ! 
In this dire tragedy were there no more 
Unhappy persons ? did the parents live ? 
iVoJT. No; they were dead: kind Heav'n had 
clos'd their eyes 
Before their son had shed his brother's blood. 
Lord R. Hard is his fate; for he was not to 
blame : 
There is a destiny in this strange world, 
Which oft decrees an undeseiwed doom: 
Let schoolmen tell us why. — From whence these 
sounds? [Trumpets at a distance,. 

Enter an Officer. 

Off. My lord, the trumpets of the troops of 
Lorn ; 
Their valiant leader hails the noble Randolph. 

Lord R. Mine ancient g^uest, does he the war- 
riors lead ? 
Has Denmark rous'd the brave old knight to arms.- 

Off'. No; worn with warfare, he resigns the 
sword. 
His eldest hope, the valiant John of Lorn, 
Now leads his kindred bands. 

Lord R. Glenalvon, go. 
With hospitality's most strong request 
Entreat the chief. [Exit Glenalvon. 

Off'. My lord, requests are vain. 
He urges on, imiDatient of delay. 
Stung with the tidings of the foe's approach. 

Lord R. May victory sit on the warrior's plume. 
Bravest of men! his flocks and herds are safe; 
Remote from war's alarms his pastures lie, 
By mountains inaccessible secur'd : 
Yet foremost he into the plain descends, 
Eager to bleed in battles not his own. 
Such were the heroes of the ancient world: 
Contemners they of indolence and gain: 
But still for love of gloi-y and of arms 
Prone to encounter peril, and to lift 
Against each strong antagonist the spear. 
I'll go and press the hero to my breast. 

[E.vit Randolph. 
(Lady Randolph and Norval remain.) 

Ladji R. The soldier's loftiness, the pride and 
pomp 
Investing awful war, Norval, I see. 
Transport thy youthful mind. 

Norr. Ah! should they not? 
Bless'd be the hour I left my father's house! 
I might have been a shepherd all my daj's. 
And stole obscurely to a peasant's grave. 
Now, if I live, with mighty chiefs I stand; 
And if I fall, with noble dust I lie. 

LMdy R. There is a gen'rous spirit in thy breast, 
That could have well sustain'd a prouder fortune. 
This way with me; under yon spreading beech. 
Unseen, unheard, by human eye or ear, 
I will amaze thee with a wondrous tale. 

Norc. Let there be danger, lady, with the secret, 



JOHN HOME. 



221 



That I may hug it to my grateful heart, 

And prove my faith. Command my sword, my life : 

These are the sole possessions of poor Nerval. 

Ladif R. Kiiow'st thou these gems? 

{S/tuics iheJeKels.) 

Noro. Durst I believe mine eyes, 
I'd say I knew them, and they were my father's. 

Lady R. Thy father's, say'st thou { Ah! they 
were thy father's ! 

Norv. I saw them once, and curiously inquir'd 
Of both my parents, whence such splendour came? 
But I was check'd, and more could never leani. 

Lady R. Then learn of me, thou art not Ner- 
val's son. 

JVorc. Not Nerval's son I 

Lady R. Nor of a shepherd sprung. 

JVorv. Lady, who am I, then? 

Lady R. Noble thou art; 
For noble was thy su-e! 

Norv. I will believe — 
Oh! tell me further. Say, who was my father? 

Lady R. Douglas! 

JS^orv. Lord Douglas, whom to-daj^ I saw? 

Lady R. His younger brother. 

J.V0/T. And in yonder camp? 

Lady R. Alas! , 

Norv. You make me tremble — Sighs and tears! 
Lives my brave father ? 

Lady R. Ah! too brave indeed! 
He fell in battle ere thyself was born. 

Xorv. Ah! me, unhappy! Ere I saw the light? 
But does my mother live ? I may conclude, 
From my own fate, her portion has been sorrow. 

Lady R. She lives; but wastes her life in con- 
stant woe, 
Weeping her husb)and slain, her infant lost. 

Norv. You that are skill'd so well in tlie sad 
story 
Of mj^ unhappy parents, and with tears 
Bewail their destiny, now have compassion 
Upon the offspring of the friend you loved. 
Oh! tell me who and where my mother is ! 
Oppress' d by a base world, perhaps she bends 
Beneath the weight of other ills than grief ; 
And, desolate, implores of Heaven the aid 
Her son should give. It is, it must be so — 
Your countenance confesses that she's wi-etched. 
Oh, tell me her condition! Can the sword — 
Who shall resist me in a parent's cause ? 

Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woe! — My son, 
my son! 
I am thy mother, and the wife of Douglas. 

{Falls upon his neck.) 

Norv. heav'n and earth, how wondrous is 
my fate I 
Ai-t thou my mother! Ever let me kneel! 

Lady R. Image of Douglas. Fruit of fatal love! 
All that I owe thy sire, I pay to thee. 

Norv. Respect and admiration still possess me. 
Checking the love and fondness of a son. 
Yet I was filial to my humble pai'cnts. 



But did my sire surpass the rest of men, 
As thou excellest all of womankind ? 

Lady R. Arise, my son. In nre thou dost 
behold 
The poor remains of beauty once admir'd: 
The autumn of my days is come already; 
For sorrow made my summer haste awaj'. 
Yet in my prime I equall'd not thy father: 
His eyes were like the eagle's, yet, sometimes, 
Liker the dove's: and, as he pleas'd, he won 
All hearts with softness, or with spirit aw'd. 

Norr. How did he fall ? Sure, 'twas a bloody 
field 
When Douglas died. Oh! I have much to a.sk. 

Lady R. Hereafter thou shalt hear the length- 
en'd tale 
Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes: 
At present this: — thou art the rightful heir 
Of j'onder castle, and the wide domains 
Which now Lord Randolph as my husband holds. 
But thou shalt not be WTong'd; I have the power 
To right thee still: before the king I'll kneel. 
And call Lord Douglas to protect his blood. 

Norr. The blood of Douglas will protect itself. 

Lady R. But we shall need both friends and 
favour, boy. 
To wrest thy lands and lordship from the gripe 
Of Randolph and his kinsman. Yet I think 
My tale will move each gentle heai't to pity. 
My life incline the virtuous to believe. 

Norr. To be the son of Douglas is to me 
Inheritance enough. Declare my bu-th, 
And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune. 

Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and 
injustice 
Await the poor man's valour. Oh, my son, 
The noblest blood in all the land's abash'd, 
Having no lacquey but pale poverty. 
Too long hast thou been thus attended, Douglas. 
Too long hast thou been deem'd a peasant's child. 
The wanton heir of some inglorious chief 
Perhaps has scorn'd thee, in the youthful sports, 
Whilst thy indignant spirit swell'd in vain ! 
Such contumely thou no more shalt bear: 
But how I purpose to redress thy wrongs 
Must be hereafter told. Prudence directs 
That we should part before yon chiefs return. 
Retire, and from thy rustic follower's hand 
Receive a billet, which thy mother's care. 
Anxious to see thee, dictated before 
This casual opportunity arose 
Of private conference. Its purport mark: 
For as I there appoint, we meet again. 
Leave me, my son, and fi-ame thy manners still 
To Norval's, not to noble Douglas' state. 

Norv. I will remember. Where is Nerval now? 
That good old man. 

Lady R. At hand concealed he lies, 
An useful witness. But beware, my son, 
Of yon Glenalvon; in his guilty breast 
Resides a villain's shrewdness, ever prone 



222 



JOHN HOME. 



To false conjecture. He hath griev'd my heart. 

^'ori: Has he, indeed? Then let yon false 
Glenalvon beware of me. [Exit Douglas. 
(Lady Randolph remains.) 

Lad)! R. There burst the smother'd flame. 
Oh! thou all-righteous and eternal King! 
Who Father of the fatherless art call'd, 
Protect my son!— Thy inspiration, Lord, 
Hath fill'd his bosom with that sacred fire, 
Which in the breast of his forefathers burn'd; 
Set him on liigh like them that he may .shine, 
The star and glory of his native land ! 
Then let the minister of death descend, 
And bear my wiUing spirit to its place. 
Yonder they come. How do bad women find 
Unchanging aspects to conceal their guilt? 
When I, by reason and by justice urged, 
Full hardly can dissemble with these men 
Li nature's pious cause. 

Eater Lord Randolph and Glenalvon. 

Lord R. Yon gallant chief. 
Of arms enamour'd, all repose disclaims. 

Ladji R. Be not, my lord, by his example sway'd : 
Arrange the business of to-morrow now, 
And, when you enter, speak of war no more. [Exit. 

(Lord Randolph and Glenalvon remain.) 

Lord R. 'Tis so, by Heav'n ! her mien, her 
voice, her eye. 
And her impatience to be gone, confirm it. 

Glen. He parted from her now : behind the 
mount. 
Amongst the trees, I saw him glide along. 

Lord R. For sad sequester'd virtue she's re- 
nown'd ! 

Glen. Most true, my lord. 

Lord R. Yet this distinguish'd dame 
Invites a youth, th' acquaintance of a day. 
Alone to meet her at the midnight hour. 
This assignation {shows a letter), the assassin freed, 
Her manifest affection for the youth. 
Might breed suspicion in a husband's brain, 
Whose gentle consort all for love had wedded; 
Much more in mine. Matilda never lov'd me. 
Let no man, after me, a woman wed, 
Whose heart he knows he has not: tho' she brings 
A mine of gold, a kingdom for her dowry. 
For let her seem, like the night's shadowy queen. 
Cold and contemplative — he cannot trust her; 
She may, she will bring shame and sorrow on 

him; 
The worst of sorrows, and the worst of shames ! 

Glen. Yield not, my lord, to such afflicting 
thoughts; 
But let the spirit of an liusband sleep. 
Till your own senses make a sure conclusion. 
This billet must to blooming Norval go: 
At the next turn awaits my trusty .spy; 
Til give it him refitted for his master. 
In the close thicket take your secret stand; 



The moon shines bright, and your o-wu eyes may 

judge 
Of their behaviour. 

Lord R. Thou dost counsel well. 

Glen. Permit me now to make one slight e.ssay. 
Of all the trophies which vain mortals boast, 
By wit, by valour, or by vnsdom won, 
The first and fairest, in a young man's eye, 
Is woman's captive heart. Successful love 
With glorious fumes intoxicates the mind; 
And the proud conqueror in triumph moves, 
Air-borne, exalted above vulgar men. 

Lord R. And what avails this maxim ? 

Glea. Much, my lord ! 
Withdraw a little: I'll accost young Norval, 
And with ironical, derisive counsel 
Explore his spirit. If he is no more 
Than humble Norval, by thy favour rais'd, 
Brave as he is, he'll shrink astonished from me: 
But if he be the favourite of the fair, 
Lov'd by the first of Caledonia's dames, 
He'll turn upon me, as the lion turns 
Upon the hunter's spear. 

Lord R. 'Tis shrewdly thought. 

Glen. When we grow loud, draw near. But let 
my lord 
His rising wrath restrain. [Exit Randolph 

'Tis strange, by Heav'n ! 
That she should run full tilt her fond career. 
To one so little known. She, too, that seem'd 
Pure as the winter stream, when ice, emboss'd. 
Whitens its course. Even I did think her chaste. 
Whose charity exceeds not. Precious sex ! 
Whose deeds lascivious pass Glenalvon's thoughts! 
(Douglas appears.) 
His port I love; he's in a proper mood 
To chide the thunder, if at him it roar'd. {Aside. ) 
Has Norval seen the troops ? 

Dou</. The setting sun. 
With yellow radiance, lighten'd all the vale; 
And, as the warriors mov'd, each polish'd helm, 
Corslet, or spear, glanc'd back his gilded beams. 
The hill they climb'd, and halting at its top, 
Of more than mortal size, tow'ring they seem'd. 
An host angelic, clad in burning arms. 

Glen. Thou talk'st it well : no leader of our host 
In sounds more lofty speaks of glorious war. 

Dong. If I shall e'er acquire a leader's name, 
My speech will be less ardent. Novelty 
Now prompts my tongue, and youthful admira- 
tion 
Vents itself freely; since no part is mine 
Of praise, pertaining to the great in arms. 

Glen. You wrong yourself, brave sir; your mar- 
tial deeds 
Have rank'd you with the great: but mark me, 

Norval; 
Lord Randolph's favour now exalts your youth 
Above his vet'rans of former service. 
Let me, who know these .soldiers, counsel you. 
Give them all honour; seem not to command; 



JOHN HOME. 



223 



Else they will scarcely brook your late-sprung 

power, 
Which nor alliance props, nor birth adorns. 

Douij. Sir, I have been accustom'd all my days 
To hear and speak the plain and simple truth: 
And though I have been told that there are men 
Who borrow friendship's tongue to speak their 

scorn, 
Yet, in such language I am little skill'd; 
Therefore, I thank Glenalvon for his counsel, 
Although it sounded harshly. Why remind 
Me of my birth obscure ? Why slur my power 
With such contemptuous terms \ 

Ulen. I did not mean 
To gall your pride, which now I see is great. 

Jboug. My pride ! 

Glen. Suppress it, as you wish to prosper. 
Your pride's excessive. Yet, for Randolph's 

sake, 
I will not leave you to its rash direction. 
If thus you swell, and frown at high-bom men, 
Will high-born men endure a shepherd's scorn.' 

Doiiij. A shepherd's scorn ! 

Glen. Yes; if you presume 
To bend on soldiers these disdainful eyes. 
As if you took the measure of their minds, 
And said in secret. You're no match for me; 
What will become of you ? 

Doug. If this were told ! — {Aside.) 

Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous self? 

Glen. Ha ! dost thou threaten me ? 

Doag. Didst thou not hear? 

Glen. Unwillingly, I did; a nobler foe 
Had not been question'd thus. But, such as thee — 

Doug. Whom dost thou think me? 

Glen. Nerval. 

Dong. So I am; 
And who is Nerval in Glenalvon's eyes ? 

Glen. A peasant's son ; a wandering beggar-boy : 
At best, no more; even if he speaks the tinith. 

Dong. False as thou art, dost thou suspect my 
'truth? 

Glen. Thy truth! thou'rt alia lie; and false as 
hell 
Is the vain-glorious tale thou told'st to Randolph. 

Dong. If I were chain'd, unami'd, and bed-rid 
old, . 
Perhaps I should revile: but, as I am, 
I have no tongue to rail. The humble Nerval 
Is of a race who strive not but with deeds. 
Did I not fear to freeze thy shallow valour. 
And make thee sink too soon beneath my sword, 
I'd tell thee — what thou art. I know thee well. 

Ghn. Dost thou not know Glenalvon, born to 
command 
Ten thousand slaves like thee? 

Dong. Villain, no more ! 
Draw, and defend thy life. I did design 
To have defied thee in another cause; 
But Heav'n accelerates its vengeance on thee. 
Now, for my own and Lady Randolph's wrongs. 



Enter LORD R.vXDOLPH. 

Lord R. Hold ! I command you both. The man 
that stirs 
Makes me his foe. 

Dong. Another voice than thine 
That threat had vainly sounded, noble Randolj)!!. 

Glen. Hear him, my lord; he's wondrous con- 
descending ! 
Mark the humility of shepherd Nerval I 

Doug. Now you may scoff in safety. 

(Sheat/ies liis sword.) 

Lord R. Speak not thus, 
Taunting each other; but unfold to me 
The cause of quarrel, then I judge betwixt you. 

Dong. Nay, my good lord, though I revere you 
much, 
My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment. 
I blush to speak: I will not, cannot speak 
Th' opprobrious words that I from him have 

borne. 
To the Uege lord of my dear nfftive land 
I owe a subject's homage; but, ev'n him. 
And his high arbitration, I'd reject. 
Within my bosom reigns another lord; 
Honour, sole judge, and umpire of itself. 
If my free speech offend you, noble Randolph, 
Revoke your favours, and let Norval go 
Hence, as he came: alone, but not dishonour'd. 

Lord R. Thus far I'll meditate with impartial 
voice : 
The ancient foe of Caledonia's land 
Nov? waves his banners o'er her frighted fields. 
Suspend your purpose, till your country's aiins 
Repel the bold invader; then decide 
The private quarrel. 

Glen. I agree to this. 

Doug. And I. 

Enter Servant. 

Se.rv. The banquet waits. 
Lord R. We come. \Exxt Randolph. 

Glen. Norval, 
Let not our variance mar the social hour, 
Nor wrong the hospitality of Randolph. 
Nor frowning anger, nor yet wrinkled hate, 
Shall stain my countenance. Smooth thou thy 

brow ; 
Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame. 
Dong. Think not so lightly, sir, of my resent- 
ment ; 
When wc contend again, our strife is mortal. 

\E.veunt. 

ACT V. 

Scene l.—The Wood. 

Enter DOUGLAS. 

Dong. This is the place, the cetitre of the gi-ove ; 

Here stands the oak, the monarch of the wood. 

How sweet and solemn is this midnight scene! 



224 



JOHN HOME. 



The silver moon, vmcloudcd, holds her way 
Thro' skies, where I could count each little star. 
The fanning west wind scarcely stirs the leaves; 
The liver, rushing o'er its pebbled bed, 
Imposes silence with a stilly sound. 
In such a place as this, at such an hour, 
If ancestry can be in aught believ'd, 
Descending spirits have convers'd with man, 
And told the secrets of the world unknown. 

Erttev Old Norval. 
Old N. 'Tis he; but what if he should chide me 
hence ? 
His just reproach I fear. 

(Douglas turns and sees kim.) 
Forgive, forgive; 

Canst thou forgive the man, the selfish man. 
Who bred Sir Malcolm's heir a shepherd's son ? 

Doug. Kneel not to me; thou art my father still: 
Thy wish'd-for presence now completes my joy. 
Welcome to me; my fortunes thou shalt share, 
And, ever honour'd, with thy Douglas live. 
Old X. And dost th.u call me father? Oh I my 
son, 
I think that I could die, to make amends 
For the great wrong I did thee. 'Twas my crime 
Which, in the wilderness, so long conceal'd 
The blossom of thy youth. 

Donrj. Not worse the fruit. 
That in the wilderness the blossom blow'd. 
Amongst the shepherds, in the humble cot, 
I learn'd some lessons which I'll not forget 
When I inhabit yonder lofty towers. 
I, who was once a swain, will ever prove 
The poor man's friend: and, when my vassals 

bow, 
Norval shall smooth the crested pride of Douglas. 
Old N. Let me but live to see thine exaltation ! 
Yet grievous are my fears. Oh! leave this place. 
And those unfriendlj^ towers. 

DoiKj. Why should I leave them? 

Old N. Lord Randolph and his kinsman seek 

your life. 
Doiirj. How know'st thou that? 
Old N. I will inform you how. 
When evening came, I left the secret place 
Appointed for me l>y your mother's care. 
And fondly trod in each accustom'd path 
That to the castle leads. Whilst thus I rang'd, 
I was alarm'd with unexpected sounds 
Of earnest voices. On the persons came : 
Unseen I lurk'd, and overheard them name 
Each other as they talk'd; Lord Randolph this. 
And that Glenalvon: still of you they spoke. 
And of the lady: threatening was their speech, 
Tho' but imperfectly my ear could hoar it. 
'Twa.s strange, they said ; a wonderful discov'ry ; 
And, ever and anon, they vow'd revenge. 
I)i)nif. Revenge ! for what ? 
Old. N. For being what you are, — 
Sir Malcolm's heir. How else have you offended \ 



When they were gone, I hied mo to my cottage. 
And there sat musing how I best might find 
Means to inform you of their wicked pui-pose. 
But I could think of none; at last, perplex'd, 
I issLi'd forth, encompassing the tower 
With many a wary step and wishful look. 
Now Providence hath brought you to my sight. 
Let not your too courageous spirit scorn 
The caution which I give. 

Doug. I scorn it not. 
My mother warn'd me of Glenalvon's baseness; 
But I will not suspect the noble Randolph. 
In ovir encounter with the vile assassins 
I mark'd his brave demeanour; him I'll trust. 
Old N. I fear you will, too far. 
Dong. Here, in this place, 
I wait my mother's coming; she shall know 
What thou hast told; her counsel I will follow; 
And cautious ever are a mother's counsels. 
You must depart; your presence may prevent 
Our interview. 

Old N. My blessing rest upon thee ! 

Oh! may Heav'n's hand, which sav'd thee from 
the wave, 

And from the sword of foes, be near thee still : 

Turning mischance, if aught hangs o'er thy head. 

All upon mine ! [Exit Old Norval. 

Doug. He loves me like a parent; 

And must not, shall not, lose the son he loves; 

Altho' his son has found a nobler father. 

Eventful day! how hast thou chang'd my state! 

Once on the cold and winter-shaded side 

Of a bleak hill, mischance had rooted me, 

Never to thrive, child of another soil; 

Transplanted now to the gay sunny vale. 

Like the green thorn of May my fortune flow'rs. 

Ye glorious stars! high heav'n's resplendent host; 

To whom I oft have of my lot complain'd. 

Hear and record my soul's unalter'd wi.sh; 

Living or dead, let me but be renown'd ! 

May Heav'n inspire some fierce gigantic Dane 

To give a bold defiance to our host ! 

Before he speaks it out, I will accept; 

Like Douglas conquer, or like Douglas die. 

Enter Lady Randolph. 

Ladg R. My son! I heard a voice— 

Doug. The voice was mine. 

Lady It. Didst thou comi^lain aloud to nature's 
ear, 
That thus in dusky .shades, at midnight hours. 
By stealth, the mother and the son should meet? 
(Embracing him.) 

Ihiug. No; on this happy day, this better birth- 
day, 
My thoughts and words are all of hope and joy. 

Ladg It. Sad fear and melancholy still divide 
The empire of my breast with hoj)o and joy. 
Now hear what I advise. 

I>ovg. First, let me tell 
What may the tenor of your counsel change. 



JOHN HOME. 



225 



Ladji R. My heart forebodes some evil ! 

I)on(j. 'Tis not good. — 
At eve, unseen by Randolph and Glenalvon, 
The good old Norval, in the grove, o'orheard 
Their conversation: oft they mention'd nie 
With dreadful thi-eat'nings; you they sometimes 

namVl. 
'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discov'rj-; 
And ever and anon they vow'd revenge. 

Ladii R. Defend us, gracious God! we are be- 
tray 'd: 
They have found out the secret of thy birth: 
It must be so. That is the great discovery. 
Sir Malcolm's heir is come to claim his own; 
And they will be reveng'd. Perhaps, e'en now, 
Arm'd and prepar'd for murder, they but wait 
A darker and more silent hour, to break 
Into the chamber whei'e they think thou sleep'st. 
This moment; this, Heav'n hath ordain'd to save 

thee! 
Fly to the camp, my son! 

JJoiii/. And leave you here ? 
No; to the castle let us go together, 
Call up the ancient servants of your house. 
Who in their j'outh did eat your father's bread: 
Then tell them loudly, that I am youi' son. 
If in the breasts of men one spark remains 
Of sacred love, fidelity, or pity. 
Some in your cause wU arm. I ask but few 
To drive those spoilers from my father's house. 

Ladi/ R. Oh! nature, nature! what can check 
thy force? 
Thou genuine offspi-ing of the daring Douglas! 
But rush not on destmction: save thj'self, 
And I am safe. To me they mean no harm. 
Thy stay but risks thy precious life in vain. 
That winding path conducts thee to the river. 
Cross where thou seest a broad and beaten wny; 
Which, nmning eastward, leads thee to the camp. 
Instant demand admittance to Lord Douglas; 
Show him these jewels, which his brother wore. 
Thy look, thy voice, will make him feel the truth; 
Which I, by certain proofs, will soon confirm. 

Dovg. I yield me and obey; but yet, my lieart 
Bleeds at this parting. Something bids me stay. 
And guard a mother's life. Oft have I read 
Of wondrous deeds by one bold arm achiev'd. 
Our foes are two; no more: let me go forth. 
And see if any shield can guard Glenalvon. 

Ladji R. If thou regai'd'st thj- mother, or 
rever'st 
Thy father's memory, think of this no more. 
One thing I have to say before we part; 
Long wert thou lost; and thou art found, mv 

child. 
In a most fearful season. War and battle 
I have gi-eat cause to dread. Too well I see 
Which way the current of thy temper sets; 
To-day I've found thee. Oh, my long lost hopel 
If thou to giddy valour giv'st the rein. 
To-morrow I may lose my son for ever. 



The love of thee, before thou saw'st the light, 
Sustain'd my life when thy brave father fell. 
If thou slialt fall, I have nor love nor hope 
In this waste world ! My son, remember me! 

Dooy. What shall I say • how can I give you 
comfort? 
The God of battles of my life dispose, 
As may be best for you ! for whose dear .sake 
I will not bear myself as I resolv'd. 
But yet consider, as no vulgar name, 
That which I boast sounds amongst martial men 
How will inglorious caution suit my claim ': 
The post of fate, unshrinking, I maintain. 
My country's foes must witness who I am. 
On the invaders' heads I'll prove my birth. 
Tin friends and foes confess the genuine strain. 
If in this strife I fall, blame not your son; 
Who, if he hve not honour'd, must not live. 

Lady R. I \vi\\ not utter what my bosom feels: 
Too well I love that valour which I warn. 
Farewell, my son! my counsels are but vain: 
And, as high Heav'n hath will'd it, all must be. 
Gaze not on me; thou wilt mistake the path; 
I'll point it out again. YE.dt uith DoUGL.\s. 

Enter LoRD Randolph and Glenalvon. 

Lord R. Not in her presence. 
Now 

Glen. I'm prejiar'd. 

Lord R. No : I command thee, stay. 
I go alone; it never shall be said 
That I took odds to combat mortal man. 
The noblest vengeance is the most complete. 

[Erit. 

Glen. Demons of death, come settle on my sword. 
And to a double slaughter guide it home' 
The lover and the husband both must die. 

Lord R. (behind). Draw, villain! draw. 

Doug . {behind). Assail me not. Lord Randolph; 
Not as thou lov'st thyself. (Clashing of i->rord.<.) 

Glen. Now is the time. [Erit. 

Enter Ladt Randolph. 

Ladji R. Lord Randolph, hear me; all shall be 
thine own: 
But spare, — oh! .spare my son! 

Enter Douglas, with a .word in each hand. 

Doug. My mother's voice ! 
I can protect thee still. 

Lad)/ R. He lives, he lives! 
For this, for this, to Heaven eternal praise! 
But sure, I saw thee fall. 

Doug. It was Glenalvon. 
Just as my ami had master'd Randolph's sword. 
The villain came behind me; but I slew liim. 

Zrtf/v ^. Behind thee! Ah! thou'rt wounded ! 
Oh! my child, 
How pale thou look'st! and -shall I lose thee now? 

Dovg. Do not despair: I feel a little faintness; 
I hope it will not last. (Leans u/on his sword.) 
15 



226 



JOHN HOME. 



Ladji R. There is no hope! 
And we must part; the hand of death is on thee. 
Oh, my beloved child! Oh, Doiiglas, Douglas! 
(Douglas (/roirt'/i^ nvre and more faint.) 
Doufj. Too soon we part; I have not long been 
Douglas. 
Oh, destiny, hardly thou deal'st with me; 
Clouded and hid, a stranger to myself, 
In low and poor obscurity I hv'd. 

Lady R. Has Heav'n preserv'd thee for an end 

'like tliis/ 
Dovg. Oh! had I fall'n as my brave fathers fell; 
Turning, with fatal arm, the tide of battle! 
Like them, I should have smil'd and welcom'd 

death ; 
But thus to perish by a villain's hand. 
Cut off from nature's and from glory's coui'se, 
Which never mortal was so fond to iiin. 
LadifR. Hear, Justice, hear! stretch thy aveng- 
ing arm. (Douglas /«//»•.) 
Dong. Unknown, I die; no tongue shall speak 
of me. — 
Some noble spirits, judging by themselves. 
May 3'et conjecture what I might have prov'd, 
And think life only wanting to my fame; 
But who shall comfort thee? 
Ladif R. Despair, despair! 
Dong. Oh, had it pleased high Heaven to let 
me live 
A little while! — My eyes, that gaze on thee, 
(irow dim apace. My mother! — my mother! 

{hies.) 

Enter Lord Randolph and Anna. 

Lord R. Thy words, thy words of truth, have 
pierc'd my heart. 
I am the stain of knighthood and of arms. 
Oh ! if my brave deliverer sur\'ive 
The traitor's sword 

Au7ia. Alas! look there, my lord. 

Lord R. The mother and her son. How curs'd 
am I! 
Was I the cause? No; I was not the cause. 
Yon matchless villahi did seduce my soul 
To frantic jealousy. 

Anna. My lady lives. 
The agoiiy of grief hath but supprcss'd 
A while her powers. 

Lord R. But my deliverer's dead ! 
The world did once esteem Lord Randolph well, 
Sincere of heart, for spotless honour fam'd; 
And, in my early days, I glory gain'd 
Beneath the holy banner of the cross. 
Now pa.ss'd the noon of life, slianie comes upon 

me! 
Reproach, and infamy, and jinblic hate 
Are near at hand: for all mankinil will think 
That Randolph basely stabl)'d Sir Malcolm's heir. 

Ladi/ R. (riT.orcring). Where am I now.' Still 
in tliis wretched world ! 
Grief cannot break a heart so hard as mine. 



My youth was worn in anguish: but youth's 

strength. 
With hope's assistance, bore the brunt of sorrow; 
And train'd me on to be the object now 
On which Omnipotence displays itself. 
Making a spectacle, a tale of me, 
To awe its vassal, man. 

L'>rd R. Oh ! misery, 
Amidst thy raging grief I must proclaim 
My innocence ! 

Lmhi R. Thy innocence ! 

Lord R. My guilt 
Is innocence, comjaar'd with what thou think 'st it. 

Ladi/ R. Of thee I think not: what have I to do 
With thee, or anything? My son! my son! 
My beautiful ! my brave ! how proud was I 
Of thee and of thy valour! My fond heart 
O'ertlow'd this day with transport, when I thought 
Of growing old amidst a race of thine, 
Who might make up to me their- father's child- 
hood. 
And bear my brother's and my husband's name. 
Now all my hopes are dead ! A little while 
W^as I a wife! a mother not so long! 
What am I now ? — I know. But I shall be 
That only whilst I please: for such a son 
And such a husband drive me to my fate. 

(Runs OHt. ) 

Lord R. Follow her, Anna: I myself would 
follow. 
But in this rage she must abhor my presence. 

{Exit Anna. 

Enter OLD NoRVAL. 

Old X. I heard the voice of woe! Heav'n guard 
my child ! 

iMrd R. .\lready is the idle gaping crowd. 
The spiteful vulgar, come to gaze on Randolph. 
Begone. 

Old N. I fear thee not. I will not go. 
Here I'll remain. I'm an accomplice, lord. 
With thee in murder. Yes, my sins did help 
To crush down to the ground this lovely plant. 

noblest youth that ever yet was born ! 
Sweetest and best, gentlest and bravest spirit. 
That ever blest the world ! Wretch that I am, 
Who saw that noble spirit swell and rise 
Above the narrow limits that confin'd it ! 

Yet never was by all thy virtues won 
To do thee justice, and reveal the secret, 
Which, timely known, had rais'd thee far above 
The villain's snare. Oh, I am punish'd now ! 
These are the hairs that should have strew'd the 

ground. 
And not the locks of Douglas. 

Lord R. I know thee now: thy boldness I for- 
give: 
My crest is fallen. For thee I will appoint 
A place of rest, if grief will let thee rest. 

1 will reward, although I cannot punish. 
Curs'd, curs'd Glenalvon, he escap'd too well, 



DUNCAN MACINTYEE. 



22: 



Tho' slain and baffled by the hand he hated. 
Foaming with rage and fury to the last, 
Cursing his conqueror, the felon died. 

Re-enter Anna. 

A una. My lord ! my lord ! 

Lord R. Speak ! I can hear of horror. 

Anna. Horror, indeed! 

Lord R. Matilda 

Anna. Is no more: 
She ran, she flew like Hghtning up the hill, 
Nor halted till the precipice she gain'd, 
Beneath whose low'ring top the river falls 
Ingulf'd in rifted rocks: thither she came, 
As fearless as the eagle lights upon it, 
And headlong down — 

Lord R. 'Twas I, alas ! 'twas I 
That fill'd her breast with fury; drove her d^wn 
The precipice of death! Wretch that I am ! 



Anna. Oh, had you scon her last despairing 
look. 
Upon the brink she stood, and cast her eyes 
Down on the deei^: then lifting up her head 
And her white hands to heaven, seeming to say — 
Why am I forc'd to this? She plung'd herself 
Into the empt}^ au-. 

Lord R. I will not vent, 
In vain complaints, the passion of my soul. 
Peace in this world I never can enjoy. 
These wounds the gratitude of Randolph gave: 
They speak aloud, and with the voice of fate 
Denounce my doom. I am resolv'd. I'll go 
Straight to the battle, where the man that makes 
Me turn aside must threaten worse than death. 
Thou, faithful to thj- mistress, take this ring, 
Full warrant of my power. Let eveiy rite 
With cost and pomp upon their funerals wait; 
For Randolph hopes he never shall return. 

[Exeunt. 



DUNCAN MACINTYEE 



Born 1724 — Died 1812. 



DoNACHA Ban, or Fair-haired Duncan — a 
name given to him in his youth, when he was 
noted for his personal beauty — was born in 
Druimliaghart(Glenorchy), Argyleshire, March 
20, 1724. He was employed in early life as a 
forester by the Earl of IJreadalbane, and upon 
tiie breaking out of the rel)ellion in 1745 went 
to tlie field as one of his followers, joining the 
Breadalbane regiment of fencibles, which led 
liini to take part, much against his will (for 
he was a stout adherent of the Stuarts), in 
the battle of Falkirk. In the retreat be 
liad the misfortune to lose liis sword. Of that 
buttle the Gaelic bard has given a minute 
description in an admirable song, whicli forms 
tiie first in his collection of poems, first pub- 
lisiied at Edinburgh in 1768. For above one- 
half of his long and eventful career he dwelt 
among his native hills, haunting " Coire 
Cheathaich" at all hours, and composing bis 
mountain music, and sometimes ti'avelling 
ahout the country collecting subscriptions to 
his poems. During these Highland e.vpedi- 
tions he was always dressed in the Highland 
garb. His poems were republished in 1790; 
and a third edition, with some additional 



pieces, appeared in 1804. For six years he 
was sergeant in the Breadalbane Feneibles, 
and when that regiment was disbanded in 1799 
he procured, through the influence of the Earl 
of Breadalbane, his constant friend through 
life, a place in the City Guard of Edinburgh, 
those poor old veterans so savagely described 
by Fergusson in " Leith Races": — 

" Their stumps, erst used to pliilabegs, 
Are dight in spatterdaslies, 
Whase barkent liides scarce feud their legs 
Fra weet and weary splashes 

O dirt that day:" 

He was then seventy-five years of age. About 
this time he composed a quaint long rhyme in 
praise of Dunedin or Edinburgh, in which he 
described the Castle, Holyrood Abbey, &e. , 
his sharp hunter's eye taking in everything as 
he wandered through the streets of tlie city. 
In 1802 Duncan visited his home in the High- 
lands, and there composed, in his seventy- 
eighth year, the most beautiful of all his 
poems, "The Last Farewell to the Hill.*." 
Another of his compositions, pronounced by 
Robert Buchanan, who translated it, his mas- 
tcr-piece, is a description of the great corri at 



228 



DUNCAN MACINTYEE. 



Glenorchj', where the poet in early life loved 
to roam. The venerable Highlander died in 
Edinburgh, ilay, 1812, and was buried in the 
Grayfriars' churchyard. A noble monument 
has been erected to his memory in Glenorchy. 
Macintyre's biographer, in Re\d' a B'Mlotheca 
ScotoCeltka, says: "All good judges of Celtic 
poetry agree that nothing like the purity of 
his Gaelic and the style of his poetry has 
appeared in the Highlands since the days of 
Ossian." Another full and sympathetic ac- 
count of the gifted Duncan may be found 
in The Land of Lome, by Buchanan, who 
writes: "What Burns is to the Lowlands of 
Scotland, Duncan Ban is to the Highlands, 
and more: for Duncan never made a poem, 
long or .short, which was not set to a tune, and 
lie first sang them himself as he wandered like 
a venerable bard of old. . . . His fame 
endures wherever the Gaelic language is spoken, 
and his songs are sung all over the civilized 
world. Without the bitterness and intellectual 
power of Burns, he possessed much of his ten- 
derness; and as a literary prodigy, who could 
not even Avrite, he is still more remarkable 



than Burns. Moreover, the old simple-hearted 
forester, with his fresh love of nature, his 
shrewd insight, and his impassioned speecii, 
seems a far completer figure than the Ayrshire 
ploughman, who was doubtless a glorious 
creature, but most obtrusive in his independ- 
ence. Poor old Duncan was never bitter. 
The world was wonderful, and he was content 
to fill a humble place in it. He had ' an 
independent mind,' but was quite friendly 
to rank and power wherever he saw them ; for, 
after all, what were they to Coire Cheathaich, 
with its natural splendours? What was the 
finest robe in Dunedin to the gay clothing on 
the side of Ben Dorain? . . In the life of 
Burns we see the light striking through the 
storm-cloud, lurid, terrific, yet always light 
from heaven. In the life of Duncan Ban 
there is nothing but a gray light of peace 
and purity, such as broods over the mountains 
when the winds are laid. Burns was the 
mightier poet, the gi'ander human soul; but 
many who love him best, and cherish his 
memory most tenderly, can find a place in 
their hearts for Duncan Ban as well." 



THE BAED TO HIS MUSKET. 



Oh! mony a turn of woe and weal 

]May happen to a Highlan' man : 
Though he fall in love he soon may feel 

He cannot get the fancied one. 
The first I loved in time that's past 

I courted twenty years, ochone! 
But she forsook me at the last, 

And Duncan then was left alone. 

To Edinbro' I forthwith hied, 

To seek a sweetheart to my mind, 
An' if I could, to find a bride 

For the fause love I left behind: 
Said Ca])tain Campbell of the Guard. 

" I ken a widow secretly, 
An' I'll try, as she's no that ill faur"d. 

To i)ut her, Duncan, in your way." 

As was liis wont, I trow, did he 
Fulfil his welcome promise true, 

He gave the widow unto nic. 

And all her portion with her too; 

And wiiosoc'er may ask her name, 
And her surname also may desire, 



They call her Janet — great her fame — 
An' 'twas George who was her grandsire. 

She's quiet, an' afKible, an' free, 

No vexing gloom or look at hand, 
As high in rank and in degree 

As any lady in the land; 
She's my support and my relief. 

Since e'er she join'd me, anyhow; 
Great is the cureless cause of grief 

To him who has not got her now! 

Nic-Coiseam^ I forsaken quite, 

Although she liveth still at case — 
An' allow the crested stags to fight 

And Avander wheresoe'er they please; 
A young wife I have chosen now. 

Which I repent not anywiiere, 
I am not wanting wealth, 1 trow. 

Since ever I espoused the fair. 

I pass my word of honour bright — 
Most excellent I do her call; 

' A favourite fowling piece to wliich he composed 
ivuother song. — Ed. 



DUNCAN MACINTYRE, 



229 



In lier I ne'er, in any light, 

Discover'd any fault at all. 
She is stately, fine, an' straight, an' sound, 

Without a hidden fault, my friend; 
In her defect I never found, 

Nor yet a blemish, twist, or bend. 

AVhen needy folk are pineh'd, alas! 

For monej' in a great degree; 
Ah! George's daughter — generous lass — 

Ne'er lets my pockets empty be; 
She keepeth me in drink, and stays 

By me in ale-houses and all, 
An" at once, without a word, she pays 

For every stoup I choose to call ! 

An' every turn I bid her do 

She does it with a willing grace; 
She never tells me aught untrue. 

Nor story false, with lying face; 
She keeps my rising family 

As well as I could e'er desire, 
Although no labour I do try, 

Nor dirty work for love or hire. 

I labour'd once laboriously, 

Although no riches I amass'd; 
A menial I disdain'd to be, 

An' keep my vow unto the last; 
I have ceased to labour in the Ian', 

Since e'er I noticed to my wife, 
That the idle and contented man 

Endureth to the longest life. 

'Tis my musket — loving Avife, indeed — 

In whom I faithfully believe, 
She's able still to earn my bread, 

An' Duncan she will ne'er deceive; 
I'll have no lack of linens fair, 

An' plenty clothes to serve my turn, 
An' trust me that all worldly care 

Now srives me not the least concern. 



MARY, THE YOUNG, THEFAIE-HAIR'D. 

Jly young, my fair, my fair-hair'd ^lary. 

My life-time love, my own ! 
The vows I heard, when my kindest dearie 

Was bound to me alone, 
By covenant true, and ritual holy, 

Gave happiness all but divine: 
Nor needed there more to transport me wholly. 

Than the friends that hail'd thee mine. 

'Twas a Slonday morn', and the way that parted 
Was far, but I rivall'd the wind. 



The troth to plight with a maiden true- 
hearted. 

That force can never unbind. 
I led her apart, and the hour that we reckon'd 

While I gain'd a love and a bride, 
I heard my heart, and could tell each second. 

As its pulses struck on my side. 

I told my ail to the foe that pain'd me, 
And said that no salve could save: 

She heard the tale, and her leech-craft it 
sain'd me. 
For herself to my breast she gave. 

For ever, my dear, I'll dearly adore thee 

For chasing away, away. 
My fancy's delusion, new loves ever choosing, 

And teaching no more to stray. 

I roam'd in the wood, many a tendril survey 
ing. 

All shapely from branch to stem. 
My eye, as it look'd, its ambition betraying 

To cull the fairest from them; 
One branch of perfume, in blossom all over, 

Bent lowly down to my hand. 
And yielded its bloom, that hung high from 
each lover. 

To me, the least of the band. 

I went to the river, one net cast I threw in. 

Where the stream's transparence ran, 
Forget shall I never, how the beauty I drew in. 

Shone bright as the gloss of the swan. 
Oh, happy the day that crown'd my affection 

AVith such a prize to my share! 
My love is a ray, a morning reflection, 

Beside me she sleeps, a star. 



COIRE CHEATHAICH; 

OR, THE GLEX OF THE MIST. 

My beauteous com! where cattle wander — 

My misty corri! my darling dell! 
Mighty, verdant, and covered over 

With \vild flowers tender of the sweetest smell : 
Dark is the green of thj' grassy clothing, 

Soft swell thy hillocks most green and deep, 
The cannach blowing, the darnel growing, 

W'hile the deer troop past to the misty steep. 

Fine for wear is thy beauteous mantle, 

Strongly -woven and ever new. 
With rcugh grass o'er it, and, brightly gleaming, 

The grass all spangled with diamond ilew; 



230 



DUNCAN MACINTYRE. 



It's round my corri, my lovely com, 

Where rushes thicken and long reeds blow; 

Fine were the harvest to any reaper 

Who thi-Qugh the marsh and the bog could go. 

Ah, that's fine clothing 1 — a great robe stretching, 

A gi'assy carpet most smooth and green. 
Painted and fed by the rain from heaven 

In hues the bravest that man has seen — 
'Twixt here and Paris, I do not fancy 

A finer raiment can ever be — 
May it grow for ever! — and, late and early. 

May I be here on the knolls to see! 

Around Ruadh-Arisidh what ringlets cluster! 

Fair, long, and crested, and closely twined. 
This way and that they are lightly waving 

At every breath of the movintain wind. 
The twisted hemlock, the slanted rye-grass, 

The juicy moor-grass, can all be found; 
And the close-set groundsel is greenly gi'owing 

By the wood where heroes are sleeping sound. 

In yonder ruin once dwelt MacBhaidi, 

'Tis now a desert where winds are shrill ; 
Yet the well-shaped brown ox is feeding by it. 

Among the stones that bestrew the hill. 
How fine to see, both in light and gloaming, 

The smooth Clach-Fionn, so still and deep, 
And the houseless cattle and calves most peaceful, 

Grouped on the brow of the lonely steep. 

In every nook of the mountain pathway 

The garlic-flower may be thickly found — 
And out on the sunny sloi^es around it 

Hang berries juicy, and red, and round — 
The penny-royal and dandelion. 

The downy cannach, together lie — 
Thickly they grow from the base of the mountain 

To the topmost crag of his crest so high. 

And not a crag but is clad most richly, 

For rich and silvern the soft moss clings; 
Fine is the moss, most clean and stainless. 

Hiding the look of unlovely things; 
Down in the hollows beneath the summit, 

Where the verdure is growing most rich and 
deep. 
The little daisies are looking upward. 

And the yellow primroses often peep. 

Round every well and evei-y fountain 

An eyebrow dark of the cress doth cling; 
And tlie sorrel sour gathers in clusters 

Around the stones whence the waters spring; 
With a splash, and a plunge, and a mountain 
murmur 

The gurgling waters from earth up lea]), 
And pause, and hasten, and whirl in circles. 

And rush, and loiter, and whirl, and creep! 

Out on the ocean comes the salmon, 
Hteoring with crooked no.se he hies. 



Hither he darts where the waves are boiling — 
Out he springs at the glistening flies! 

How he leaps in the whirling eddies! 

With back blue-black, and fins that shine, 

Spangled with silver, and speckled over. 
With white tail tipping his frame so fine! 

Gladsome and grand is the misty corri, 

And there the hunter hath noble cheer; 
The powder blazes, the black lead rattles 

Into the heart of the dun-brown deer; 
And there the hunter's hound so bloody 

Around the hunter doth leap and play. 
And madly rushing, most fierce and fearless, 

Springs at the throat of the stricken prey. 

Oh, 'twas gladsome to go a-hunting. 

Out in the dew of the sunny morn! 
For the great red stag was never wanting. 

Nor the fawn, nor the doe with never a hom. 
And when rain fell, and the night was coming, 

From the open heath we could swiftly fly. 
And, finding the shelter of some deep grotto. 

Couch at ease till the night went by. 

And sweet it was, when the white sun glimmered. 

Listening under the crag to stand — 
And hear the moor-hen so hoarsely croaking. 

And the red-cock muiinuring close at hand; 
While the little wren blew his tiny trumpet. 

And threw his steam off blythe and strong. 
While the speckled thrush and the redbreast gaily 

Lilted together a pleasant song! 

Not a singer but joined the chorus. 

Not a bird in the leaves was still. 
First the laverock, that famous singer. 

Led the music v?ith throat so shrill; 
From tall tree branches the blackbird whistled, 

And the gi'ay-bird joined with his sweet " coo- 
coo;" 
Everywhere was the blythsome chorus. 

Till the glen was murmuring through and 
through. 

Then out of the shelter of every corri 

Came forth the creature whose home is there ; 
First, proudly stepping, with branching antlers, 

The snorting red-deer forsook his lair; 
Through the sparkling fen he rushed rejoicing, 

Or gently played by his heart's delight — 
The hind of the mountain, the sweet brown 
princess. 

So fine, so dainty, so staid, so slight! 

Ihider the light green branches creeping 
The brown doe cropt the leaves unseen, 

While the proud buck gravely stared around him, 
And stamped his feet on his couch of green ; 

Smooth and speckled, with soft pink nostrils, 
With beauteous head, lay the tiny kid; 



DUNCAN MACINTYRE. 



231 



All apart in the dewy rushes. 

Sleeping unseen in its nest, 'twas hid. 

My beauteous corri I my misty corri ! 

What light feet trod thee in joy and pride. 
AMiat strong hands gathered thy precious trea- 
sures, 

"What great hearts leaped on thy craggy side ! 
Soft and round was the nest they plundered. 

Where the brindled bee his honey hath — 
The speckled bee that flies, softly humming, 

From flower to flower of the lonely stratll. 

There thin-skinned, smooth, in clustering 
bunches, 

With sweetest kernels as white as Creatii, 
From branches green the sweet juice drawing, 

The nuts were growing beside the stream^ 
And the stream went dancing menily onward, 

And the ripe, red rowan was on its brim, 
And gently there, in the wind of morning. 

The uew-leaved sapUng waved soft and slim. 

And all around the lovely corri 

The TN-ild birds sat on their nests so neat, 
In deep, warm nooks and tufts of heather, 

Sheltered by knolls from the wind and sleet; 
And there from their beds, in the dew of the 
morning. 

Uprose the doe and the stag of ten, 
And the tall cliffs gleamed, and the morning 
reddened. 

The Coire Cheathaich — the Misty Glen ! 



THE LAST ADIEU TO THE HILLS. 

Yestreen I stood on Ben Dorain, and paced its 
dark-gray path; 

Was there a hill I did not know — a glen or grassj^ 
strath ? 

Oh I gladly in the times of old I trod that glori- 
ous ground, 

And the white dawn melted in the sun, and the 
red-deer cried around. 

How finely swept the noble deer across the morn- 
ing hill, 

^Vhile fearless played the fawn and doe beside 
the runiiing rill; 

I heard the black and red cock crow, and the 
bellowing of the deer — 

I think those are the sweetest sounds that man 
at dawn may hear. 

Oh ! wildly, as the bright day gleamed, I climlied 

the mountain's breast. 
And when I to my home retiunied, the sun was 

in the west; 



'Twas health and strength, 'twas life and joy, to 

wander freely there, 
To drink at the fresh mountain stream, to breathe 

the mountain aii-. 

And oft I'd shelter for a time within some shieUng 

low, 
And gladly sport ih wohian's smile, and woman's 

kindness know. 
Ah ! 'twas not likelj- one could feel for long a joy 

so gay ! 
The ho\ir of parting came full soon — I sighed, and 

went away. 

And now the cankered withering wind has struck 

my hmbs at last; 
My teeth are rotten and decayed, my sight is 

failing fast; 
If hither now the chase should come, 'tis little I 

could do; 
Though I were hungermg for food, I could not 

now pursue. 

But though my locks are hoar and thin, my beai'il 

and whiskers white. 
How often have I chased the stag with dogs full 

swift of flight ! 
And yet, although I could not join the chase if 

here it came, 
The thought of it is charming still and sets my 

heart on flame. 

All! much as I have done of old, how ill could I 

wend now. 
By glen, and strath, and rocky path, up to the 

mountain's brow ! 
How ill could 1 the merry cup quaff deep in social 

cheer I 
How ill could I sing a song in the gloaming of the 

year ! 

Those were the merry days of spring, the thought- 
less times of youth; 

'Tis fortune watches over us, and helps our need, 
forsooth; 

Believing that, though poor enough, contentedly 
I live. 

For George's daughter, every day, my meat and 
drink doth give.' 

Yestreen I wandered in the glen; what thoughts 

were in my head ! 
There had I walked with friends of yore — where 

are those dear ones fled ? 
I looked and looked; where'er I looked was 

naught bvit sheep ! sheep I sheep ! 
A woeful change was in the hill ! World, thy 

deceit was deep ! 

' "George's danglitev" was the musket carried >>.v 
him as a member of tlie city guard and servant of 
King George. The vahie of liis "mejit auJ drink" was 
fivepeuce or sixpence a day. — Ed. 



232 



JOHN LAPEAIK. 



From .side to side I turned mine eyes — Alas! my 

soul was sore — 
The mountain bloom, the forest's pride, the old 

men were no more. 
Naj', not one antlered stag was tliere, nor doe so 

soft and slight, 
No bird to fill the hunter's bag — all, all were fled 

from sight ! 



Farewell, ye forests of the heath! hills where the 

bright day gleams ! 
Farewell, ye grassy dells ! farewell, ye .springs 
I and leaping streams ! 

Farewell, ye mighty solitudes, where once I loved 

to dwell — 
Scenes of my spring-time and its joys — for ever 

fare you well ! 



I 



JOHN LAPEAIK, 



Born 1727 — Died 1807. 



JoHX Lapraik, author of the .song " When 
I upon thy bosom lean," was born in the year 
1727, and died at Muirkirk, where he latterly 
kept the village post-office, in 1807. In 1788 
he published at Kilmarnock a volume of 
poems, but none of them equalled the one 
mentioned above. "This song," says Burns, 
"was the work of a facetious old fellow, 
John Lapraik, late of Dalfram, near Muirkirk : 
which little property he was obliged to .sell in 
con.sequence of some connection as security for 
some persons concerned in that villainous 
bubble the Ayr Bank. He has often told me 
that he composed this song one day when his 
wife had been fretting o'er their misfortunes." 
It will be recollected that Burns, hearing these 
beautiful line.s sung at a "country rocking," 
was so much taken with them that he addressed 
a poetical epistle to Lapraik, which opened up 



a correspondence between them. The poet 
says Avitli exquisite delicacy — 

" Tliere was ae sang amang the rest, 
Abuoii ihem a' it i^leased me best, 
Tliat some kind husband had addrest 

To some sweet wife: 
It thriU'd the heart-stringa through the breast, 

A' to the life. 

I've scarce heard aught describe sae weel 
What generous manly bosoms feel; 
Thought I, Can this be Pope or Steele, 

Or Beattie's wark ? 
They tauld me 'twas an odd kind chiel 

About Muirkirk." 

The "old Scottish bard " whom Burns so highly 
complimented, although greatly his senior, 
outlived him many years, and died at the great 
age of fourscore years. Lapraik's other pro- 
ductions prove that he had little claims to the 
title of poet. 



MATEIMONIAL HAPPINESS. 



When T upon thy bosom lean. 

And foudly clasp thee a' my aiu, 
I glory in the sacred ties 

That made us ane, wha ance were twain 
A mutual flame inspires us bailh, 

The tender look, the mcltin' kiss: 
Even years shall ne'er destroy our love, 

But only gi'e us change o' bliss. 

Ila'e I a wisli? it's a' for tlice! 

I ken tliy wisii is me to ]ilease. 
Our moments pass sae smootii away, 

That numbers on us look and gaze; 



"Weel pleased they see our happy days, 
Nor envy's sel' finds aught to blame; 

And aye, when weary cares arise, 
Thy bosom still shall be my hame. 

I'll lay me there and tak' my re.st: 

And if that aught disturb my dear, 
I'll bid lier laugh her cares away. 

And beg her not to drop a tear. 
Ila'c I a joy? it's a' her ain! 

United still her heart and mine; 
They're like the woodbine rountl the tree. 

That's twined till death shall them disjoin. 



JANE ELLIOT 



233 



JANE ELLIOT 



BoR\ 1727 — Died 1805. 



Miss Jane or Jean Elliot, the authoress 
of the finest of the various versions of "The 
Flowers of the Forest," was the second daughter 
of Sir Gilbert Elliot, second baronet of Minto, 
and was born at Alinto House in Teviotdale 
in the year 1727. Daring the rebellion of 
1745, when her father was forced to conceal 
himself among Minto Crags from an enraged 
party of Jacobites, she received and entertained 
the officers at Minto House, and, by her 
e.'ctreme composure and presence of mind, 
averted the danger to which he wa.s exposed. 
Miss Elliot had many admirers, but she never 
married. From 1782 to 1804 she resided in 
Brown's Square, Edinburgh, and is said to 
Lave been the last lady in that city who, after 
the ei'a of the fly, kept standing in her hall a 
private sedan-chair. Miss Elliot stole back, 
when nearly fourscore, to bonnie Teviotdale, 
and died either at ilinto House, or Mount 
Teviot the residence of her younger brother 
Admiral Elliot, March 29th, 1805. 

The pathetic dirge for the stalwart sons 
of Selkirkshire slain at Flodden Field, iliss 
Elliot's only composition, was written in 1756, 
and when first published it passed for an old 
ballad, and long remained anonymous. Burns 
was among the first to pronounce it a modern 
production, saying, "This fine ballad is even 
a more palpable imitation than Hardyknute. 
The manners are indeed old, but the language 
is of yesterday;" and Sir Walter Scott, who 
was among the first to bring it home to Jean 
Elliot's door, remarked: " The manner of the 



ancient minstrels is so happily imitated, that 
it required the most positive evidence to con- 
vince me that the song was of modern date." 
Allan Cunningham preferred it to Mrs. Cock- 
burn's version ; but both are e.\tremely beau- 
tiful, and in singing the latter is generally 
preferred. "The Forest" was the name given 
to a district which comprehends the county 
of Selkirk and a portion of Peeblesshire and 
Clydesdale, and which was noted for its archers. 
These were almost to a man slain at the dis- 
astrous battle of Flodden, and upon this event 
the song is founded. Cunningham writes: 
" The song of Miss Elliot Avas composed from 
the impulse of some ancient ver.ses ; and if 
there be such a thing as the transmigration of 
poetic soul, it has happened hei'e. The most 
acute antiquary could not, I think, single out, 
except by chance, the ancient lines which are 
woven into the song, the simulation is so per- 
fect. The line with which it commences — ■ 

" ' I've heard the lilting at our yowe-milking,' 
is old, and so is the often recurring line which 
presses on our hearts the desolation of the 
Forest. Now, admitting these lines to be old, 
can we say that the remainder of the song has 
not in every line, in language, and image, and 
sentiment, the same antique hue, and spirit, 
and sound? The whole comes with a cry in 
our ears as from the snrvivora of Flodden 
Field ; and flhen it is sung we owe little to 
imagination when we associate it with the 
desolation of the Forest, and hear iu it the 
ancient wail of its maids and matrons." 



THE FLOWEES OF THE FOREST. 



I've heard the lilting at our yowe-milking, 
Lasses a-lilting before the dawn o' day: 

But now they are moaning in ilka green loaning — 
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away. 

At buchts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are 
scorning, 
The lasses are lonely, and dowie, and wae; 



Nae daffin', nae gabbin', but sighing and sabbing. 
Ilk ano lifts her leglen, and hies her away. 

In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now arc 
jeering. 

The bandsters are lyart, and runklcd, and gray; 
At fair or at preaching nae wooing, nae Heeching — 

The Flowers of the Forest are a' wcde away. 



234 



JAMES MACLAGGAN. 



At e'en, at the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming, 
'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play; 

But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie — 
The Flowers of the Foi-est are a' wede away. 

Dule and wae for the order, sent our lads to tlie 
Border! 
The English, for ance, by guile wan the day; 



The Flowers of the Forest, that foucht aye the 
foremost, 
The prime o' our land, are cauld in the clay. 

We hear nae mair lilting at our yowe-milking, 
Women and bairns are heartless and wae; 

Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning — 
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away. 



JAMES MACLAGGAN 



Born 1728 — Died 1805. 



The Eev. James !MacLaggan was born in 
the year 1728 at Ballechin, in the parish of 
Logierait, Perthshire. He was educated at 
the University of St. Andrews, and after being 
licensed as a preacher he was appointed to the 
chapel-of-ease at Amulree (made a parish in 
1871), Perthshire, and subsequently to the 
chaplaincy of the 42d Regiment, his commis- 
sion bearing date June 15, 1764. He accom- 
panied the regiment to the United States, and 
was present in several engagements during the 
war of 1776-82. After discharging the duties 



of military chaplain for twenty-five years, he 
was presented to the parish of Blair-Athole, 
where he died in 1805. He published anony- 
mously a collection of Gaelic songs; and during 
his service with the regiment he composed a 
number of war lyrics and poems, many of 
which still remain in manuscript. He was a 
thorough Gaelic scliolar, and recovered, while 
settled in the Highlands, from the recitation 
of various persons, large portions of the 
poetry of Ossian prior to Macpherson's pub- 
lications. 



SONG OF THE ROYAL HIGHLAND REGIMENT. 



For success a prayer, with a farewell, bear 

To the warriors dear of the muir and the valley — 
The lads that convene in their plaiding of green, 

With the eurtal coat, and the sweeping eil-e. 
In their belts array'd, where the dark blue blade 

Is hung, with the dirk at the side; 
"When the sword is at large, and uplifted the 
targe, 

Ha ! not a foe the boys will aliido. 

The followers in peril of Ian the Earl, 

The race of the wight of hand; 
Sink the eyes of the foe, of the friend's mounts 
the glow, 
When the Murdocli's high blood takes com- 
mand. 
With Loudon to lead ye, the wi.se and the steady. 

The duntig in fight and the glorious. 
Like the lightning ye'll iiish, with the sword's 
Viright flash, 
And return to your mountain victorious. 



Oh, sons of the lion I your watch is the wild- 
lands, 
The garb of the Highlands is mingled with 
blue. 
Though the target and bosses are bright in the 
Highlands, 
The axe in your hands might be blunted well, 
too. 
Then forward — and see ye be huntsmen true, 

And, as erst the red-deer felling. 
So fell ye the Gaul, and so strike ye all 
The tribes in the backwoods dwelling. 

Where ocean is roaring, let top-sails be towering, 

And sails to the motion of helm be flying; 
Though high as the mountain, or smooth as the 
fountain, 
Or fierce as the boiling floods angrily crying; 
Though the tide with a stroke be assailing the 
rock, 
Oh, once let the pibroch's wild signal be heard, 



WILLIAM FALCONEE. 



23.-) 



Then the waves will come bending in dimples 
befriendini,'', 
And beckoning the friends of their country on 
board. 
The ocean-tide's swelling, its fury is quelling, 
In salute of thunder proclaiming your due; 
And, methinks.that the hum of a welcome is come. 
And is wai'bling the Jorram to you. 

When your levy is landed, oh, bright as the pearls 
Shall the strangers who welcome you, gladly 
and greeting 
Speak beautiful thoughts; aye, the beautiful g-irls 
From their eyes shall the tears o'er the ruby 
be meeting, 
And encounter ye, praying, from the storm and 
the slaying, 
"From the stranger, the enemy, save us, oh, 
save! 
Fi'om rapine and plunder, 0, tear us asunder, — 
Our noble defenders are ever the brave !" 



" If the fondest yc of ti-ue lovers be," 

So cries each trembling beauty, 
" Be bold in the tight, and give transport's 
delight 
To your friends and the fair, by your duty." 
"Oh, yesi" shall the beautiful hastily cry; 
"Oh, yes!" in a word, shall the valiant reply; 
By our womanly faith we pledge you for both, 
For where'er we contract, and where'er we be- 
troth. 
We vow with the daring to die !" 

Faithful to trust is the lion-like host 

Whom the dawn of their youth doth inure 
To hunger's worst ire, and to action's bold 
fire. 

And to ranging the wastes of the moor. 
Accustom'd so well to each enterprise snell, 

Be the chase or the warfare their quarry; 
Aye ever they fight the best for the right, 

To the strike of the swords when they hurry. 



WILLIAM FALCONEE 



BdKX 1732 — Died 1769. 



William Falconer, an ingenious poet, the 
son of a poor barber wlio had two other chil- 
dren, both of whom were deaf and dumb, was 
born at Edinburgh, February 11, 1732. He 
went early to .sea as an apprentice on board a 
Leith merchant vessel ; and before he was 
eighteen rose to the situation of second mate 
in the Britannia, a vessel in the Levant trade, 
which was wrecked off Cape Colonna, in the 
Jlediterranean, only Falconer and two others 
being saved. In 1751 he was again living 
in Edinburgh. The earliest production of Iiis 
muse was a monody on the death of Frederick 
Prince of Wales, followed by several minor 
pieces, none of which attracted attention. He 
appears to have continued in the merchant 
service until 1757, but little is really known of 
the life of Falconer during this period. It is 
stated, on doubtful authority, that he had 
joined the royal navy, and was one of tlie few 
persons saved from the wreck of the ill-fated 
ship Ramilies in 1760. But the period must 
have been one of considerable leisure and 
meditation, for all at once he burst from ob- 
scurity in a manner wliioli placed him in the 



front rank of Scottisli poef.^. This was tlie 
" Shipwreck, in three cantos, by a Sailor," first 
published by Millar in 1762, and dedicated to 
Edward, duke of York, brother to George III. 
His epic was preceded by the following appro- 
priate motto: — 

''qiiae ipse miserrinia vidi, 
Et q\ioruin pars nia^iia fui. ' 

The shipwreck which Falconer selected for 
Ills theme was that in which he had been a 
sufferer on board tlie Britannia, wrecked off 
the coast of Greece, and in this way he im- 
parted a train of interesting recollections and 
images to his poem. The disaster occurred 
near Cape Colonna, one of tiie fairest j)or- 
tions of the beautiful shores of Greece. "In 
all Attica," says Lord Byron, "if we except 
Atliens itself and Marathon, there is no 
scene more interesting than Cape Colonna. To 
the antiquary and artist, sixteen columns arc 
an inexhaustible source of observation and 
design; to the philosopher, the supposed scene 
of some of Plato's conversations will not be 
unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck 
witli the beauty of the prospect over ' isles that 



233 



WILLIAM FALCONER. 



I 



crown the .Egean deep;' but for an Englishman 
Colonna has yet an additional interest as the 
actual spot of Falconers 'Shipwreck.' Pallas 
and Plato are forgotten in the recollection of 
Falconer and Campbell — 

' Here in the dead of night by Loiina's steep 
The seamau's cry was heard along the deep.'" 

The reception which the " Shipwreck" re- 
ceived from the public was in the highest 
degree flattering to the author, and it was 
universally hailed as an accession to English 
poetrj'. The Duke of York, to wliom it was 
dedicated, shared in the general admiration, 
and obtained for Falconer the position of mid- 
shipman on board the Boyal George: but he 
was subsequently transferred to the Glory, a 
frigate of 32 guns, on board of which he held 
the position of purser. Soon after he married 
a Miss Hicks, daughter of the surgeon of 
Sheerness Yard. After the peace of 1763 the 
Glory was laid up, and the poet retired on 
half-pay. The commissioner of the dockyard 
generously ordered the captain's cabin to be 
fitted up for his residence, and in this charac- 
teristic retreat for a sailor poet he was enabled 
for a time to enjoy all the luxury of literary 
pursuits, undisturbed by the din of the world 
and free from many of its cares. In 1764 he 
presented the public with a new edition of his 
poem, considerably improved and enlarged, 
containing upwards of 1000 additional lines. 
In 1769, at which period he was residing in 
London, he published his "Universal Marine 



Dictionary," a work of the greatest practical 
utility, which speedily came into general use 
in the navy; and soon after issued a third 
edition of the "Shipwreck," with considerable 
improvements. 

Having been appointed purser to the Aurora, 
which was ordered to India, the frigate sailed 
September 30, 1769, and was never heard of after 
touching at the Cape of Good Hope in the 
succeeding December, having foundered, as is 
supposed, in the Mozambique Channel. No 
" tuneful Arion" was left to commemorate this 
calamity, the poet having perished under the 
circumstances he had formerly described in the 
case of his companions in the Britannia. The 
poetical reputation which Falconer enjoyed 
while living has not diminished after a lapse 
of more than a hundred years. The hope of 
immortality which he ventures to express in 
the introduction to his "Shipwreck" bids fair 
to be realized; his name, this 

"... tragic story from the wave 
Of dark oblivion haply yet may save." 

Since the time of Falconer's death various 
editions of his poems have been issued in Great 
Britain and the United States, two of which 
were accompanied by memoirs, written by the 
Rev. J. S. Clarke (1804) and Rev. John Mit- 
ford (1836), the latter appearing in Pickering's 
series of the Aldine Poets. An elegant illus- 
trated edition of the "Shipwreck," with a 
memoir by R. Carruthers?, appeared in 1868. 



TH*E SHIPWEECK. 



I.XTRODCCTION. 

While jarring interests wake the world to arms. 
And fright the paleful vale with dire alarms; 
While Albion bids the avenging thunders roll 
Along her vassal deep from pole to pole; 
Sick of the scene, where war with ruthless hand 
Spreads desolation o'er the bleeding land; 
Sick of the tumult, where the trumpet's breath 
Bids ruin smile, and drowns the groan of death I 
"I'is mine, retir'd beneath this cavern hoar, 
That stands all lonelj' on the sea-beat shore, 
Far other tlicmea of dcei) distress to sing 
Than ever trembled from the vocal string. 
No potnp of battle swells th' exalted strain, 
Nor gleaming arms ring dreadful on the plain: 



But, o'er the scene while pale remembrance weeps. 
Fate with fell triumph rides upon the deeps. 
Where hostile elements conflicting rise. 
And lawless surges swell against the skies, 
Till hope expires, and peril and dismay 
Wave their black ensigns on the watery waj'. 

Immortal train, who guide the maze of song, 
To whom all science, arts, and arms belong; 
Who bid the trumpet of eternal fame 
Exalt the warrior's and the poet's name. 
Or in lamenting elegies express 
The varied pang of excpiisite distress: 
If e'er with trembling hope I fondly stray'd, 
In life's fair morn, beneath your hallowed .shade, 
T(j hear the sweetly-mournful lute complain, 
And melt the heart with ecstasy of pain; 



WILLIAM FALCONER. 



237 



Or listen, vrhile th' enchantinp: voice of love, 
While all Elysium warblcrl through the grove; 
Oh! by the hollow blast that moans around, 
That sweeps the mild harp with a plaintive sound ; 
By the long surge that foams thro' j-onder cave, 
Whose vaults remurmur to the roaring wave; 
With living colours give my verse to glow, 
The sad memorial of a tale of woe I 
A scene from dumb oblivion to restore, 
To fame unknown, and new to epic lore ! 

Alas ! neglected by the sacred Nine, 
Their suppliant feels no genial ray di\"ine! 
Ah ! will they leave Pieria's happy shore. 
To plough the tide where winter's tempests roar? 
Or shall a youth approach their hallow'd fane. 
Stranger to Phoebus and the tuneful train ! 
Far from the Muses' academic grove, 
'Twas liis the vast and trackless deep to rove. 
Alternate change of climates has he known. 
And felt the fierce extremes of either zone, 
AVTiere polar skies congeal th' eternal snow. 
Or equinoctial suns for ever glow. 
Smote by the freezing or the scorching blast, 
"A ship-boy on the high and giddy mast,"^ 
From regions where Peruvian billows roar, 
To the bleak coasts of savage Labrador. 
From where Damascus, pride of Asian plains I 
Stoops her proud neck beneath tyrannic chains, 
To where the Isthmus,- lav'd by adverse tides, 
Atlantic and Pacific seas diWdes. 
But while he measur'd o'er the painful race. 
In fortune's wild illimitable chase. 
Adversity, companion of lus way ! 
Still o'er the victim himg with iron sway; 
Bade new distresses every instant grow. 
Marking each change of place ^\^th change of woe. 
In regions where th' Almighty's chastening hand 
With li-vid pestilence afflicts the land; 
Or where pale famine blasts the hopeful year, 
Parent of want and niiserj' severe ! 
Or where, all dreadful in th' embattl'd line. 
The hostile ships in flaming combat join; 
Wheie the torn vessel wind and wave assail. 
Till o'er her crew distress and death prevail. 
Such joyless toil in early youth endured. 
The expanding dawn of mental day obscured. 
Each genial passion of the soul oppressed. 
And quenched the ardour kindling in his breast. 
Then let not censure, with malignant joy. 
The harvest of his humble hope destroy ! 
His verse no laurel ■wi-eath attempts to claim, 
Nor sculptur'd brass to tell the poet's name. 
If terms uncouth, and jan-ing phrases, wound 
The softer sense with inharmonious sound. 
Yet here let listening sympathy prevail, 
While conscious truth unfolds her piteous tale ! 

And lo ! the pow'r that wakes th' eventful song 
Hastes hither from Lethean banks along: 
She sweeps the gloom, and rushing on the sight, 



' Shakspere s Henrv IV. act iii. 



- Darieu. 



Spreads o'er the kindling .scene propitious light ! 

In lier right hand an ample roll appears. 

Fraught with long annals of preceding years; 

With every wise and noble art of man. 

Since first the cu-cling hours their course began : 

Her left a silver wand on high display'd, 

"Wliose magic touch dispels oblivion's shade. 

Pensive her look ; on radiant wings that glow, 

Like Juno's birds, or Iris' flaming bow. 

She sails ; and, swifter than the coui-se of light, 

Directs her rapid, intellectual flight. 

The fugitive ideas she restores, 

And calls the wandering thought from Lethe's 

shores. 
To things long past a second date she gives. 
And hoary time from her fresh youth receives. 
Congenial sister of immortal Fame, 
She shares her power, and ^leniory is her name. 

tirst-bom daughter of primeval time ! 
By whom, transmitted down in every clime, 
The deeds of ages long elaps'd are known. 
And blazon'd glories spread from zone to zone ; 
Whose magic breath dispels the mental night. 
And o'er th' obscur'd idea pom-s the light ! 
Say ! on what seas, for thou alone canst teU, 
What du-e mishap a fated ship befell, 
Assail'd by tempests, girt with hostile shores: 
Arise ! approach ! unlock thy treasur'd stores ! 
Full on my soul the dreadful scene display. 
And give its latent horrors to the day. 

CANTO FIRST. 

The Argument— I. Retrospect of the Vo3';ige — Arrival 
at Candia— State of that Island — Season of the Year 
described. — II. Character of tlie Master, and liis Offi- 
cers, .Mbert, Rodmond, and Arion — Palenion, Son 
to the Owner of the Ship — Attauliment of Palenion 
to Anna, the daugliter of Albert — Noon — III. Pale- 
mon's History. — IV. Sunset — Midnight — Ariou'a 
Dream — Unmoor by Moonlight — Moniiug — Sun's 
Azimuth taken — Beautiful Appearance of the Ship, 
as seen by the Natives from the Shore. 

I. A ship from Egj^t, o'er the deep impelled 
By guiding winds, her course for Venice held: 
Of famed Bntannla were the gallant crew. 
And from that isle her name the vessel drew; 
The wayward steps of Fortune, that delude 
Full oft to ruin, eager they pursued; 
And, dazzled hj her visionary glare, 
Advanced incautious of each fatal snare, 
Though warned full oft the slippery tract to shun, 
Yet Hope, with flattering voice, beti-aycd tliemcn. 
Beguiled to danger thus, they left behind 
The scene of peace, and social joy re-signed. 
Long absent they from friends and native home 
The cheerless ocean were inured to roam; 
Yet Heaven, in pity to severe distress, 
Had crowned each painful voyage with success; 
Still, to compensate toils and hazards past. 
Restored them to maternal plains at last. 



238 



WILLIAM FALCONER. 



Thrice had the sun, to rule the varying year, 
Across the equator rolled his flaming sphere, 
Since last the vessel spread her ample sail 
From Albion's coast, obsequious to the gale; 
She o'er the spacious flood, from shore to shore, 
Unwearying wafted her commercial store; 
The richest ports of Afric she had viewed, 
Thence to fair Italy her course pursued; 
Had left behind Trinacria's burning isle, 
And visited the margin of the Nile: 
And now, that winter deepens round the Tpole, 
The circling voyage hastens to its goal : 
They, blind to fate's inevitable law. 
No dark event to blast their hope foresaw, 
But from gay Venice soon expect to steer 
For Britain's coast, and dread no perils near; 
Inflamed by hope, their throbbing hearts elate, 
Ideal pleasures vainly antedate: 
Already British coasts appear to rise. 
The chalky cliffs salute their longing eyes; 
Each to his breast, where floods of rapture roll, 
Embracing strains the mistress of his soul; 
Nor less o'erjoyed, with sympathetic truth. 
Each faithful maid exjjects the approaching 

youth. 
In distant souls congenial passions glow, 
And mutual feelings mutual bliss bestow: 
Such shadowy happiness their thoughts employ; 
Illusion all, and visionary joy ! 

Thus time elapsed, while o'er the patMess tide 
Their ship through Grecian seas the pilots guide. 
Occasion called to touch at Candia's shore, 
AVhich, blest with favouring winds, they soon 

explore; 
The haven enter, borne before the gale. 
Despatch their commerce, and prepare to sail. 

Eternal powers ! what ruins from afar 
Mark the fell track of desolating war: 
Here arts and commerce with auspicious reign 
Once breathed sweet influence on the happy plain ; 
While o'er the lawn, with dance and festive song, 
Young Pleasure led the jocund hours along. 
In gay luxuriance Ceres too was seen 
To crown the valleys with eternal green: 
For wealth, for valour, courted and revered. 
What Albion is, fair Candia then appeared. — 
Ah! who the flight of ages can revoke.' 
The free-born spirit of her sons is broke; 
They bow to Ottoman's imperious yoke. 
No longer fame the drooping heart inspires. 
For i-teni oppression quenched its genial fires: 
Though still her fields, with golden harvests 

crowned, 
Supply the barren shores of Greece around. 
Sharp penury attlicts these wretched isles, 
There hojic ne'er daw^ns, and pleasure never smiles. 
The vassal wretch contented drags his chain. 
And hears his famished babes lament in vain. 
Tliese eyes have seen the dull reluctant soil 
A seventh year mock the weary labourer's toil. 
No blooming Venus, on the desert shore 



Now views with triumph captive gods adore; 
No lovely Helens now with fatal charms 
Excite the avenging chiefs of Greece to arms; 
No fair Penelopes enchant the eye. 
For whom contending kings were proud to die; 
Here sullen beauty sheds a twilight ray. 
While sorrow bids her vernal bloom decay: 
Those charms, so long renowned in classic strains. 
Had dimly shone on Albion's happier plains ! 

Now in the southern hemisiihere the sun 
Through the bright Virgin and the Scales had 

run. 
And on the Ecliptic wheeled his winding way. 
Till the fierce Scorpion felt his flaming ray. 
Four days becalmed the vessel here remains, 
And yet no hopes of aiding wind obtains; 
For sickening vapours lull the air to sleep, 
And not a breeze awakes the silent deep: 
This, when the autumnal equinox is o'er. 
And Phoebus in the north declines no more, 
The watchful mariner, whom Heaven informs. 
Oft deems the prelude of approaching storms. — 
No dread of storms the master's soul restrain, 
A captive fettered to the oar of gain : 
His anxious heart, impatient of delay, 
Expects the winds to sail from Candia's bay. 
Determined, from whatever point they rise, 
To trust his fortune to the seas and skies. 

Thou living ray of intellectual fire, 
Whose voluntary gleams my verse inspire, 
Ere yet the deepening incidents prevail, 
Till roused attention feel our plaintive tale. 
Record whom chief among the gallant crew 
The unblest pursuit of fortune hither drew: 
Can sons of Neptune, generous, brave, and bold. 
In pain and hazard toil for sordid gold? — 

They can, for gold too oft with magic art 
Subdues each nobler impulse of the heart: 
This crowns the prosperous villain with applause. 
To whom in vain sad merit pleads her cause; 
This strews with roses life's perplexing road. 
And leads the way to pleasure's soft abode; 
This spreads with slaughtered heaps the bloody 

plain , 
And pours adventurous thousands o'er the main. 

II. The stately ship, with all her daring band, 
To skilful Albert owned the chief command. 
Though trained in boisterous elements, his mind 
W^as yet by soft humanity refined; 
Each joy of wedded love at homo he knew, 
Abroad, confessed the father of his crew ! 
Brave, liberal, just ! the calm domestic scene 
Had o'er his temper lireathed a gay serene: 
Him science taught by mystic lore to trace 
The planets wheeling in eternal race; 
To mark the ship in floating balance held, 
By earth attracted, and by seas repelled; 
Or point her devioustrack through climes un- 
known 
That leads to every shore and every zone. 



WILLIAM FALCONER. 



239 



He saw the moon through heaven's blue concave 

glide, 
And into motion charm the expanding tide, 
While earth impetuous round her axle rolls. 
Exalts her watery zone, and sinks the poles; 
Light and attraction, from their genial source, 
He saw still wandering with diminished force; 
While on the margin of declining day 
Night's shadowy cone reluctant melts away. 
Inured to peril, with unconquered soul, 
The chief beheld tempestuous oceans roll: 
O'er the wild surge, when dismal shades preside, 
His equal skill the lonely bark could guide; 
His genius, ever for the event prepared, 
liose with the storm, and all its dangers shared. 

Redmond the next degree to Albert bore, 
A hardy son of England's farthest shore. 
Where bleak Northumbria pours her savage train 
In sable squadrons o'er the northern main; 
That, with her pitchy entrails stored, resort 
A sooty tribe to fair Augusta's port : 
Where'er in arnbush lurk the fatal sands, 
They claim the danger, proud of skilful bands; 
For while with darkling course their vessels sweep 
The winding shore, or plough the faithless deep. 
O'er bar! and shelf the watery path they sound 
With dexterous arm, sagacious of the ground: 
Fearless they combat every hostile wind, 
Wheehng in mazy tracks, with course inclined. 
Expert to moor wliere terrors line the road, 
Or win the anchor from its dark abode; 
But drooping and relaxed in climes afar, 
Tumultuous and undisciplined in war. 
Such Redmond was; 1 y learning unrefined 
That oft enlightens to corrupt the mind. 
Boist'rous of manners; trained in early youth 
To scenes that shame the conscious cheek of truth ; 
To scenes that nature's struggling voice control, 
And freeze compassion rising in the soul : 
Where the grim hell-hounds, prowling round the 

shore. 
With foul intent the stranded bark explore; 
Deaf to the voice of woe, her decks they board, 
While tardy justice slumbers o'er her sword. 
The indignant Muse, severely taught to feel, 
Shrinks from a theme she blushes to reveal. 
Too oft example, armed with poisons fell. 
Pollutes the shrine where Mercy loves to dwell: 
Thus Redmond, trained by this unhallowed crew. 
The sacred social passions never knew. 
Unskilled to argue, in dispute j'et loud, 
Bold without caution, without honours proud; 
In art unschooled, each veteran rule he prized, 

1 A bar is known, in liy(lrogra}iliy, to be a mass of 
earth or sand tliat has been collected by the sm-ge of 
the sea at the entrance of a river or haven, so as to render 
the navigation diffioilt and often dangerous. A ulielf, 
or shelve, so called from the Saxon "schylf," is a name 
given to ciny dangerous sliallons, sand-banks, or rocks 
lying immediately under the surface of the water. 



And all improvement haughtily despised. 
Yet, though full oft to future perils blind. 
With skill superior glowed his daring mind, 
Through snares of death the reeling bark to gniide, 
When midnight .shades involve the raging tide. 

To Redmond next in order of command 
Succeeds the youngest of our naval band: 
But what avails it to record a name 
That courts no rank among the sons of fame; 
Whose vital spring had just begun to bloom 
When o'er it sorrow spread her sickening gloom ? 
While yet a stripling, oft with fond alai-ms 
His bosom danced to nature's boundless charms; 
On him fair science dawnetl in happier hour, 
Awakening into bloom young fancj''s flower: 
But frowning fortune with untimely blast 
The blossom withered, and the dawn o'ercast. 
Forlorn of heart, and by severe decree 
Condemned reluctant to the faithless sea. 
With long farewell he left the laurel grove 
Where science and the tuneful sisters rove, 
Hither he wandereil anxious to explore 
Antiquities of nations now no more; 
To penetrate each distant realm unknown. 
And range excursive o'er the untravelled zone. 
In vain; — for rude Adversity's command 
Still on the margin of each famous land. 
With unrelenting ire his steps opposed. 
And every gate of hope against him closed. 
Permit my verse, ye blest Pierian train ! 
To call Arion this ill-fated swain; 
For like that bard unhappj', on his head 
Malignant stars their hostile influence shed. 
Both in lamenting numbers o'er the deep 
With conscious anguish taught the harp to weep; 
And both the raging surge in safety bore 
Amid destruction, panting to the shore. 
This last, our tragic story from the wave 
Of dark oblivion haply yet may save; 
With genuine sympathy may j-et complain, 
While sad remembrance bleeds at every vein. 

These, chief among the ship's c nducting train, 
Her path explored along the deep domain; 
Trained to command, and range the swelling sail 
Whose varying force conforms to every gale. 
Charged with the commerce, hither also came 
A gallant youth, Palemon was his name: 
A father's stern resentment doomed to prove, 
He came the victim of unhappy love! 
His heart for Albert's beauteous daughter bled, 
For her a sacred flame his bosom fed : 
Nor let the wretched slaves < f folly scorn 
This genuine passion. Nature's eldest l»rn ! 
'Twas his with lasting anguish to complain, 
AVhile blooming Anna mourned the cause in vain. 

Graceful of form, by nature taught to please, 
Of power to melt the female breast with ease; 
To her Palemon told his tender tale. 
Soft as the voice of summer's evening gale : 
His soul, where moral truth si»oiitancous grew. 
No guilty wish, no cruel passion knew: 



240 



WILLIAM FALCONER. 



Thoug-h tremblingly alive to Nature's laws, 

Yet ever firm to Honour's sacred cause; 

O'erjoyed, he saw her lovely eyes relent, 

The blushing maiden smiled with sweet consent. 

Oft in the mazes of a neighbouring grove 

Unheard they breathed alternate vows of love: 

By fond society their passion grew, 

Like the young blossom fed with vernal dew; 

While their chaste souls possessed the pleasing 

pains 
That Truth improves, and Virtue ne'er restrains. 
In evil hour the officious tongue of Fame 
Betrayed the secret cf their mutual flame. 
With grief and anger struggling in his breast 
Palemon's father heard the tale confessed; 
Long had he listened with suspicion's ear, 
And learnt, sagacious, this event to fear. 
Too well, fair youth! thy liberal heart he knew; 
A heart to nature's warm impressions true: 
Full oft his wisdom strove with fruitless toil 
W^ith avarice to pollute that generous soil; 
That soil, impregnated with nobler seed, 
Refused the culture of so rank a weed. 
Elate with wealth in active commerce won. 
And basking in the smile of fortune's sun; 
(For many freighted ships from shore to shore. 
Their wealthy charge by his appointment bore;) 
With .scorn the parent ej'ed the lowly shade 
That veiled the beauties of this charming maid. 
Indignant he rebuked the enamoured boy. 
The flattering promise of his future joy; 
He soothed and menaced, anxious to reclaim 
This hopeless passion, or divert its aim : 
Oft led the youth where circling joys delight 
The ravished sense, or beauty charms the sight. 
With all her powers enchanting Music failed. 
And Pleasure's siren voice no more prevailed. 
Long with unequal art in vain he strove 
To quench the ethereal flame of ardent Love: 
The merchant, kindling then with proud disdain, 
In look and voice assumed a harsher strain. 
In absence now his only hope remained; 
And such the stern decree his will ordained: 
Deep anguish, while Palemon heard his doom. 
Drew o'er his lovely face a saddening gloom ; 
High beat his heart, fast flowed the unbidden 

tear. 
His bosom heaved with agony severe; 
In vain with bitter sorrow he repined. 
No tender pity touched that sordid mind — 
To thee, brave Albert! was the charge consigned. 
The stately ship, forsaking England's shore. 
To regions far remote Palemon bore. 
Incapable of change, the unhappy youth 
Still loved fair Anna with eternal truth; 
Still Anna's image swims before his sight 
In fleeting vision through the restless night; 
From clime to clime an exile doomed to roam, 
His heart still panted for its secret home. 

The moon had circled twice her wayward zone. 
To him since young Arion first was known; 



Who wandering here through many a scene re- 
nowned. 
In Alexandria's port the vessel found; 
Where, anxious to review his native shore. 
He on the roaring wave embarked once more 
Oft by pale Cynthia's melancholy light 
W^ith him Palemon kept the watch of night, 
In whose sad bosom many a sigh suppressed 
Some painful secret of the soul confessed : 
Perhaps Arion soon the cause divined. 
Though shunning still to pi-obe a wounded mind ; 
He felt the chastity of silent woe. 
Though glad the balm of comfort to bestow. 
He, with Palemon, oft recounted o'er 
The tales of hapless love in ancient lore, 
Eecalled to memory by the adjacent shore: 
The scene thus present and its story known. 
The lover sighed for sorrows not his own. 
Thus, though a recent date their friendship bore, 
Soon the ripe metal owned the quickening or?; 
For in one tide their passions seemed to roll, 
By kindred age and sympathy of soul. 

These o'er the inferior naval train preside. 
The course determine, or the commerce guide: 
O'er all the rest, an undistinguished crew, 
Her wing of deepest shade Oblivion drew. 

A sullen languor still the skies oppressed. 
And held the unwilling ship in strong arrest: 
High in his chariot glowed the lamp of day. 
O'er Ida flaming with meridian ray. 
Relaxed from toil, the sailors range the shore. 
Where famine, war, and storm are felt no more; 
The hour to social pleasure they resign. 
And black remembrance drown in generous wine. 
On deck, beneath the shading canvas spread, 
Redmond a rueful tale of wonders read. 
Of dragons roaring on the enchanted coast; 
The hideous goblin, and the yelling ghost: 
But with Arion, from the sultry heat 
Of noon, Palemon sought a cool retreat — 
And lo ! the shore with mournful prospects 

crowned. 
The rampart torn with many a fatal wound. 
The ruined bulwark tottering o'er the strand. 
Bewail the stroke of war's tremendous hand: 
What scenes of woe this hapless Isle o'erspread ! 
AVhere late thrice fifty thousand warriors bled. 
Full twice twelve summers were yon towers 

assailed. 
Till barbarous Ottoman at last prevailed; 
While thundering mines the lovely plains o'er- 

turned. 
While heroesfell, and domes and temples burned. ^ 

III. But now before them happier scenes arise, 
Elysian vales salute their ravished eyes; 

' Tliese lines alhxde to the memorable siege of Caii- 
(lia, wliidi was taken from tlie Venetians by the Turks 
ill 16(i0; being tlien considered as impregnable, and 
I esteemed the most formidable fortress in the universe. 



WILLIAM FALCONEE. 



241 



Olive and cedar formed a grateful shade, 
Where light with gay romantic eiror strayed. 
The myrtles here with fond caresses twine, 
There, rich with nectar, melts the pregnant vine : 
And lo! the stream renowned in classic song, 
Sad Lethe, glides the silent vale along. 
On mossy banks, beneath the citron grove. 
The youthful wanderers found a wide alcove; 
Soft o'er the fairy region languor stole, 
And with sweet melancholy charmed the soul. 
Here first Palemon, while his pensive mind 
For consolation on his friend reclined, 
In pity's bleeding bosom poured the stream 
Of love's soft anguish, and of grief supreme — 
"Too true thy words! by sweet remembrance 

taught. 
My heart in secret bleeds with tender thought; 
In vain it courts the solitary shade, 
By every action, every look betrayed. 
The pride of generous woe disdains appeal 
To hearts that unrelenting frosts congeal: 
Yet sure, if right Palemon can divine. 
The sense of gentle pity dwells in thine. 
Yes! all his cares thy sympathy shall know, 
And prove the kind companion of his woe. 

"Albert thou know'st wdth skill and science 
graced; 
In humble station though by fortune placed, 
Yet never seaman more serenely brave 
Led Britain's conquering squadrons o'er the wave : 
Where full in view Augusta's spires are seen. 
With flowery lawns and waving woods between, 
A peaceful dwelling stands in modest pride, 
Where Thames, slow winding, rolls his ample tide. 
There live, the hope and pleasure of his life, 
A pious daughter and a faithful wife. 
For his return with fond officious care 
Still every grateful object these prepare; 
Whatever can allure the smell or sight. 
Or wake the drooping spirits to delight. 

"This blooming maid in Virtue's path to guide. 
The admiring parents all their care applied; 
Her spotless soul, to soft affection trained, 
No vice untuned, no sickening folly stained: 
Not fairer grows the lily of the vale 
Whose bosom opens to the vernal gale: 
Her eyes, unconscious of their fatal charms, 
Thrilled every heart with exquisite alarms; 
Her face, in beauty's sweet attraction dressed. 
The smile of maiden innocence expressed ; 
While health, that rises with the new-liorn day, 
Breathed o'er her cheek the softest blu.sh of May: 
Still in her look complacence smiled serene; 
She moved the charmer of the rural scene! 

"'Twas at that season when the fields resume 
Their loveliest hues, arrayed in vernal bloom ; 
Yon ship, rich freighted from the Italian shore, 
To Thames' fair banks her costly tribute bore: 
While thus my father saw his ample hoard 
From this return, with recent treasures stored; 
Me, with affairs of commerce charged, he sent 



To Albert's humble mansion : soon I went ! 

Too soon, alas! unconscious of the event. 

There, struck with sweet sm-prise and silent awe. 

The gentle mistress of my hopes I saw; 

There, wounded first by Love's resistless arms. 

My glowing bosom throbbed with strange alarm.s: 

My ever-charming Anna! who alone 

Can all the frowns of cruel fate atone; 

Oh! while all-conscious memory holds her power. 

Can I forget that sweetly-painful hour 

When from those eyes, with lovely lightning 

fraught. 
My fluttering spirits first the infection caught ? 
When, as I gazed, my faltering tongue betrayed 
The heart's quick tumults, or refused its aid; 
W'hile the dim light my ravished eyes forsook, 
And every limb unstrung with terror .shook. 
With all her powers dissentuig Reason strove 
To tame at first the kindling flame of Love: 
She strove in vain; — subdued by charms divine. 
My soul a victim fell at beauty's shrine. 
Oft from the din of bustling life I strayed. 
In happier .scenes to see my lovely maid; 
Full oft, where Thames his wandering cm-rent 

leads. 
We roved at evening hoiu- through flowery 

meads; 
There, while my heart's soft angtiish I revealed. 
To her with tender sighs my hope appealed: 
While the sweet nymph mj' faithful tale believed. 
Her snowy breast with secret tumult heaved; 
For, trained in rural scenes from earliest youth. 
Nature was hers, and innocence, and truth. 
She never knew the city damsel's art, 
Whose f roth J' pertness charms the vacant heart. — 
My suit prevailed ! for Love infoi-med my tongue. 
And on his votary's lips persuasion hung. 
Her eyes with conscious sympathj' withdrew. 
And o'er her cheek the rosy current flew. 
Thrice happy hours! where with no dark allay 
Life's fairest sunshine gilds the vernal day : 
For here the sigh that soft affection heaves, 
From stings of sharper woe the soul relieves. 
Elysian scenes! too happy long to last. 
Too soon a storm the .smiling dawn o'crcast; 
Too soon some demon to my father bore 
The tidings that his heart with anguish tore. 
My pride to kindle, with di.s.suasive voice 
Awhile he laboured to degrade ray choice; 
Then, in the whirling wave of Pleasure, sought 
From its loved object to divert my thought. 
With equal hope he might attempt to bind 
In chains of adamant the lawless wind; 
For Love had aimed the fatal shaft too sure, 
Hope fed the wound, and absence knew no cure. 
With alienated look each art he saw 
Still baffled by superior Nature's law. 
His anxious mind on various schemes revolved, 
At last on cruel exile he resolved : 
The rigorous doom was fixed; alas! how vain. 
To him of tender anguisli to complain. 
16 



242 



WILLIAM FALCONER. 



His soul, that never love's sweet influence felt, 
By social sympathy could never melt; 
With stem command to Albert charge he gave 
To waft Palemon o'er the distant wave. 

" The ship was laden and prepared to sail, 
And only waited now the leading gale: 
'Twas ours, in that sad period, first to prove 
The heai-t-felt torments of despairing love; 
The impatient wish that never feels repose, 
Desire that with perpetual current flows, 
The fluctuating pangs of hope and feai', 
Joys distant still, and sorrows ever near. 
Thus, while the pangs of thought severer grgw, 
The western breezes inauspicious blew. 
Hastening the moment of our last adieu, 
The vessel parted on the falling tide. 
Yet time one sacred hour to love supplied; 
The night was silent, and adva^cirig fast. 
The moon o'er Thames her silver mantle east; 
Impatient hope the midnight path explored. 
And led me to the nymph my soul adored, 
Soon her (juick footsteps struck my listening ear, 
She came confessed ! the lovely maid drew near] 
Bu: ah I what force of language can inipart 
The impetuous joy that glowed in either hpart? 
01 ye whose melting hearts are foitned to prove 
The trembling ecstasies of genuine love; 
When with delicious agony the thought 
Is to the verge of high delirium wrought; 
Your secret sympathy alone can tell 
What raptures then the throbbing bosonj swell; 
O'er all the nerves what tender tumults roll. 
While love with sweet enchantment melts the soul, 
" In transport lost, by trembling hope ini- 

pressed, 
The blushing wgin sunk upon my breast. 
While hers congenial beat with fond alarms; 
Dissolving softness! paradise of charms! 
Flashed from our eyes, in warm transfusion flew 
Our blending spirits, that each other drew ! 
bliss supreme! where Virtue's self can melt 
With joys that guilty Pleasure never felt; 
FoiTnecl to refine the thought with chaste desire, 
And kindle sweet Affection's purest fire. 
'Ah! wherefore should my hopeless love, (she 

cries. 
While .sorrow bursts with interrupting sighs,) 
For ever destined to lament in vain, 
Such flattering, fond ideas entertain ? 
My heart, through scenes of fair illusion, strayed 
To joys decreed for some superior maid. 
'Tis mine abandoned to severe distress ' 
Still to complain, and never hope redres-s — 
Go then, dear youth! thy father's rage atone, 
And let this tortured bosom beat alone. 
The hovering anger yet thou may'st appease; 
Go then, dear youth, nor tomjit the faithless seas. 
Find out some happier maid, whose equal chai-ms, 
With fortune's fair jr, joys, may bless thy arms: 
Where, smiling o'er thee with indulgent ray, 
Trosperity shall hail each new-born day: 



Too well thou know'st good Albert's niggard fate 
111 fitted to sustain thy father's hate. 
Go then, I charge thee by thy generous love. 
That fatal to my father thus may prove; 
On me alone let dark affliction fall, 
Whose heart for thee will gladly suffer all. 
Then haste thee hence, Palemon, ere too late, 
Nor rashly hope to brave opposing fate.' 

' ' She ceased ; while anguish in her angel-face 
O'er all her beauties showered celestial grace; 
Not Helen, in her bridal charms arrayed, 
Was half so lovely as this gentle maid. 
' O soul of all my wishes ! (I replied) 
Can that soft fa