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SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 




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There's the clerk wha can lak a bit kiss 'hint the door, 
And gladden us a' wi' his sang and his lore, 
The honors o' sang, o' guid auld Scottish sang. 
To him and to his may they ever belang. 

John Craio/ord. 





IN AMERICA, 



WITH 



BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL NOTICES 



BY 



JOHN D. ROSS, 

Editor of '■'■Celebrated Songs of Scotland." 



NEW YORK: 

PAGAN & ROSS, PUBLISHERS, 

352 PEARL STREET. 

1889 



J J J > > J J 
> J J J 1 J > 



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year iSSS, by 

PAGAN & ROSS, 
in the ofTice of the Librarian of Congress, at Wasliington. 



I'RESS OP 

William Pagan, Jr., 

352 Ptarl Street. 

NRW VORK. 





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PR 
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1 



TO 

I The Hon. Chief Justice, David McAdam, 

OF NEW YORK CITY, 

tn A lover of Literature, and the antlior ol various works, 

O THESE ninr^K SKF/r(MIKS of t^COTTlSII POETS TN AMF.llTCA 

CO 

;sz are respectfully and with permission 

rj 

"^ Dedicated. 



(TJ 



410789 



It is an ungenerous silence which leaves all the fair words of honestly- 
earned praise to the writer of obituary notices and the marble-worker. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 



POETS REPRESENTED IN THIS WORK. 



Ainslio, Hew, ...... e^ 

Crcrar, Duncan MacGrcgor, - - • - - 29 

Crichton, James D. - - - - - . 104 

Harper, Dr. John M. - - - - . - g8 

Henderson, Daniel Mclntyre, - - . . g© 

Kennedy, James, - - - - . - 3^^ 

Latto, Thomas C. ----- - q 

Lyle, William, • - - - - - - 68 

MacColl, Evan, ------ 20 

McCallum, Major-Gen. Donald Craig, - - - . 171 

M'Lachlan, Alexander, - - - - - 152 

McLean, Andrew, - - - - - - 84 

Massie, Dr. John, - - - - - - 212 

Moffat, Prof. James C. - - - - - - 47 

Murray, William, - - - - - - 161 

Patterson, John, - - - - - - - 178 

Ramsay, Donald, ...... 202 

Sturoc, Hon. William Cant, - - - - - 60 

Taylor, Malcolm, Jr. - - - - - - 144 

Telford, William, - - - - - - 1S7 

Wanless, Andrew, - - - - - - 125 

Whittct, Robert, - - - - - - - no 

Wilson, William, -....- 77 

Wingficld, Alexander, - - - - - - 136 

\Vood, William MacDunald, - - - - - 117 



i 



SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



THOMAS C. LATTO. 

I left him in a giccn old age 
And looking like the oak, worn but still steady, 
Amidst the elements, while younger trees 
Fell fast around him. 

I RECENTLY paid a visit to Mr. Thomas C. Latto, the distinguished 
author of many of the most humorous Scottish lyrics of the present 
century. The shades of evening were silently wrapi)ing the snow-clad 
world in darkness as I entered the threshold of his comfortable home 
and, with a feeling more of veneration than gladness, grasped the hand 
which he invitingly extended to welcome me. My visit was neces- 
sarily of brief duration, but it shall live in my memory and be cherished 
as one of those rare events only met with at long intervals in the jour- 
ney of life. It was the first time that I had stood in the presence of 
the author of many of the most familiar songs of my boyhood; songs 
which had charmed and delighted me with their exuberant humor, 
and which now intertwine themselves and nestle among the happiest 
recollections of my early years. Nor was this the most important 
feature to me, in connection with my visit to the talented song-writer 
and poet. Here was one who had mingled with many of the illus- 
trious men whose very names I had revered from infancy, and whose 
works had been a beacon of enjoyment and delight to me for so many 
long years! Men who had made themselves famous by the treasures 
they had added to, and by which they had enriched, the general 
literature of Scotland, and then laying aside their pen, had 
passed from the world and joined one another in "the land of the 
leal." It was therefore with more than ordinary interest that I listened 
to the conversation of Mr. Latto, and as he proceeded and recollec- 
tions of by-gone days and events became awakened in his mind, I 
could notice that his eyes brightened and his face seemed to glow with 
a singular pleasure. He certainly had a wonderful store of reminis- 



10 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

cences and anecdotes of men and books, which he related in a style 
peculiarly his own. These included James Hogg, the author of " The 
Queen's Wake;" Professor ^^'illiam Edmonstoune Aytoun, author of 
" Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers " (to whom Mr. Latto acted as private 
secretary for four years); Allan Cunningham, the editor of Burns's 
works; Professor John Wilson ("Christopher North"), of Noctes 
Ambrosianae fame; James Ballantine, author of "Castles in the Air;" 
Macaulay, Talford, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. S. H. Whitman, "the bright- 
est woman of New England " and the well-known defender of Edgar 
A. Poe, David Macbeth Moir (" Delta "), author of " Mansie Waugh;" 
Henry Scott Riddell, author of "Scotland Yet," besides Charles Gray, 
David Vedder, Robert Gilfillan, Hew Ainslie, Alexander Smart, Robert 
Nichol, and many others equally famous, all of whom he had known 
and with whom he had associated or corresponded. Truly, such of 
his reminiscences as he imparted to me were of an interesting and 
profitable nature, and if he could only he induced to publish a collec- 
tion of them in book form the literary world would be greatly enriched 
thereby. He was, in early life, a prominent contributor to Whistle 
Binkie, the Ladies' Own Journal, Blackie's Book of Scottish Song, the 
Glasgow Citizen, Blackwood's Magazine, and many other standard 
works and publications, and his recollection of his contemporaries at 
this date would undoubtedly prove not only interesting but valuable 
reading. His own reputation as a poet had already been established, 
and his poem on Sir Walter Scott, which appeared in Blackwood's 
Magazine about this time, drew from the editor of that ])ublication the 
acknowledgment that " Of all the poetical tributes which had been laid 
on the tomb of the great magician, that of Latto was the most graceful 
and the most original." 

Mr. Latto is now well advanced in years. He was born at Kings- 
barns, Fifeshire, on the first of December, 1818, and received the best 
l)art of his education at St. Andrew's University. He was noted 
among his schoolmates as being of a very reserved and retiring dis- 
position, and strange to say these traits are characteristic of him even 
to this day. While his name and his wriiings are well known through- 
out the United States and Canada very few Scotsmen even in this city 
are aware of the fact that their gifted countryman has resided for a 
number of years in a pleasantly situated cottage in the suburbs of 
Brooklyn. After engaging in one or two mercantile pursuits, both in 
Edinburgh and Glasgow, Mr. Latto decided to take up his residence 



THOMAS C. LATTO. ii 



in this ( ounlry. He arrived here in 1851, and since then has supported 
himself and his family to a great extent by his untiring literary labors. 
In the midst of these labors, howe\cr, tlic nuise has been his constant 
and fascinating comijanion, and he has continued to contribute to the 
press both of Great Britain and America many sterling gems of poetry 
and song on a variety of subjects. His most jjopular songs are his 
humorous ones, and of tlicse, "Sly Widow Skinner," "When we 
Were at the Schule " and "The Kiss Ahint the Door," are i>robably 
the most widely known. They have been sung in nearly every part 
of tlic world, certainly in every part where Scotsmen have found a 
resting place. The following is a copy of "The Kiss Ahint the Door," 
with an additional stanza (the fourth) which Mr. Latto has added to 
the song so as to render it more complete: 

There's meikle bliss in ae fond Iciss, 

Whyles mair than in a score; 
Hut wae betak' the stowin smack 

I took ahint the door. 

O laddie, whisht! for sic a fricht 

I ne'er was in afore; 
Fu' brawl}- did my mithcr hear 

The kiss ahint the door. 
The wa's are thick — ye needna fear; 

But, gin they jeer and mock, 
I'll swear it was a startit cork, 

Or wyte the rusty lock. 

There's meikle bliss, etc. 

We stappit ben, while Maggie's face 

Was like a lowin' coal; 
An' as for me, I could ha'e creept 

Into a mouse's hole. 
The mither look't — safT's how she look't — 

Thae mithers are a bore, 
An' gleg as ony cat to hear 

A kiss ahint the door. 

"Ehere's meikle bliss, etc. 

Tlie douce gudeuian, tho' he was there, 

As weel micht be in Rome, 
Fm by the tire he fulled his pipe, 

An' never fasht his ihooni; 



12 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

But, titterin' in a corner, stood 

The gawky sisters four — 
A winter's nicht for me the)' micht 

Ha'e stood ahint the door. 

There's meikle bliss, etc. 

Wee Rab, that sneck-the-woodie imp, 

Could scarcely hide his glee, 
As owre his sclate he botched an' shook, 

Thrang at his " Rule o' Three." 
That lang-drawn whistle that he wheept 

Was herald o' mischance; 
lie kent the music was begun 

An' wha was gaun to dance. 

There's meikle bliss, etc. 

" How daur ye tak' sic freedoms here?" 

The bauld gudewife began; 
Wi' that a foursome yell gat up — 

I to my heels and ran. 
A besom whiskit by my lug, 

And dishclouts half a score; 
Catch me again, tho' fidgin' fain, 

At kissin' 'hint the door. 

There's meikle bliss, etc. 

"The Kiss" was made the subject of a painting by an eminent 
Scottish artist, and exhibited in the Royal Academy at Edinburgh 
some few years ago. 

" When we were at the Schule " originally appeared in " Blackie's 
Book of Scottish Song," without the author's name being attached to 
it, but in the index of authors it is properly credited to him. Some 
twenty years ago an article appeared in the New York Weekly Dis- 
patch, claiming that the song was written by a John Paterson, whose 
widow was then living in Grand Street. It seems that this party had 
been in the habit of singing it for many years as one of his own ])ro- 
ductions; but the matter having been brought to the notice of Mr. 
Latto, he had no difficulty in proving that Paterson was laboring under 
a hallucination. We api)end a copy of this celebrated song, of which 
it was said by the Rev. George Gilfillan " Every line is a memory. In 
the whole compass of Scottish lyrical poetry there is nothing more 
graphic or delightful." 



THOMAS C. LATTO. 13 



WHEN WE WERE AT THE SCHULE. 



The laddies plague me for a sang, 

I e'en maun play the fule; 
I'll sing them ane aboot the days 

When we were at the schule. 
TliDugh noo the frosty pow is seen, 

Whaur ance wav'd gowden hair. 
An' mony a blytliesome heart is cauld, 

Sin' first we sported there. 

When we were at the schule, my frien', 
When we were at the schule; 

An' O, sae merry pranks we play'd, 
When we were at the schule. 

Yet muckle Jock is to the fore, 

That used our lugs to pu', 
An' Rob, the pest, an' Sugar Pouch, 

An' canny Davie Dow. 
O do ye mind the maister's hat, 

Sae auld, sae bare an' brown. 
We carried to the burnie's side 

An' sent it soomin' down? 

When we were at the schule, etc. 

We thocht how clever a' was plann'd, 

When, wliatua voice was that? 
A head is raised aboon the hedge, 

" I'll thank ye for my hat!" 
O weel I mind our hingin' lugs. 

Our het an' tinglin' paws, 
weul I iniiid his awfu' look. 

An' weel I mind the taws! 

When we were at the schule, etc. 

O do ye mind at countin' time. 

How watchfu' lu' has lain. 
To catcli us steal frae ithers' slates 

An' jot it on our ain? 
An how we fear'd at writin' hour, 

His glunrhes an' his glooms. 
How mony times a day he said. 

Our fingers a' were thooms? 

When we were at the schule, etc. 



14 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

I'll ne'er forget the day ye stood, 

('Twas manfu' like,) yoursel', 
An' took the pawmies an' the shame, 

To save wee Johnnie Bell; 
The maister fand it out belj've, 

He took 3-6 on his knee. 
An" as he gaz'd into your face, 

The tear was in his e'e. 

When we were at the schule, etc. 

But mind ye lad, yon afternoon, 

How fleet ye skipp'd awa'. 
For ye had crack't auld Jenny's pane, 

When playin' at the ba'. 
Nae pennies had we; Jenny grat; 

It cut us to the core; 
Ye took ye're mither's hen at nicht 

An' left it at her door. 

When we were at the schule, etc. 

An' sic a steer his granny made, 

When talepyet Jamie Rae 
We dookit roarin' at the pump. 

Syne row'd him down the brae. 
But how the very maister leuch, 

When leein saddler Wat 
Cam' in an' threep't that cripple Tam 

Had chas'd an' kill'd his cat. 

When we were at the schule, etc. 

Ah, laddies, ye may wink awa', 

Truth maunna aye be tauld; 
I fear the schules o' modern days 

Are just sic like's the auld. 
An' are na we but laddies yet, 

Wha' get the name o' men? 
How sweet at ane's fireside to live 

Thae happy days again; 

When we were at the schule, my frien', 
When we were at the schule, 

An' fling the snawba's owcr .ngain 
We Hang when at the schule. 

Mr. Latto's pathetic compositions are of the very highest order. 
They contain the genuine ring of llie true poet, and in each instance 
are clothed in great beauty and tenderness. Here is one which was 



THOMAS C. LATTO. 15 



published in Blackie's Book of Scottish Song as far back as 1845. 
For sweetness and sim])licity it is eciiial to anything of its kind ever 
published, and if we mistake not it is one of the author's special 
favorites : 

THE BONNIE BLIND LASSIE THAT SITS I" THE SUN. 



O hark to the strain that sac sweetly is ringin', 

And echoing cleady o'er lake and o'er lea, 
Like some fairy bird in the wilderness singin", 

It thrills to my heart, yet nae minstrel I sec, 
Round yonder rock, knittin', a dear ciiild is sillin', 

Sac toilin' her pitifu' pittance is won, 
Hersel' tho' we see nae, 'tis mitherless Jeanie — 

The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun. 

Five years syne come autumn she cam' wi' her mithcr, 

A sodger's puir widow, sair wasted an' ganc: 
As brown fell the leaves, sae wi' them did she wither 

And left the sweet child on the wide woild her lane. 
She left Jeanie wcepin', in His holy keepin' 

Wha shelters the lamb frae the cauld wintry win", 
We had little siller, yet a' were gude till her. 

The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun. 

An' blythe now an' chcerfu' frae mornin' to e'enin' 

She sits thro' the simmer, an' gladdens ilk ear, 
Baith auld and young daut her, sae gentle and winnin', 

To a' the folks round, the wee lassie is dear. 
Braw leddies caress her, wi' bounties would press her. 

The modest bit darliii' their notice would shun, 
For though she has naething, proud-hearted this wee thing. 

The bonnie blind lassie that sits i' the sun. 

The hue l>r. J<jlin I'rown, aiitlujr of " Rah and His Friends," once 
said, "Among the song-birds of Scotland, Latto ha.i a true note of his 
own," and a writer in llie Caledonian Mercury concluded a criticism 
of his poems by saying: " Here are not only the germs of true poetry, 
but the bud, the blossom and the very flower of song," opinions which 
every true lover of the lyrical muse must heartily endorse. The fol- 
lowing song, written a few' months ago, will prove that Mr. Latto has 
lost none of his ])oelical fervor even at this date. The title is the 
familiar proverb — 



i6 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



"WE NEVER MISS THE WATER TILL THE WELL RINS DRY." 



Be lookin' out for fell auld age in sunn}- days o' 3'outh; 

Keep rain draps that 36 dinna need ere comes the autumn drouth; 

Let aye some pennies ye can spare be cannily laid by; 

"We never miss the water till the well rins dry." 

The wee bit stockin' fittie, that has its private neuk, 
Comes just as handy in the end as weel-lined pocket beuk; 
Tak' tent an' no be wasterfu', the winter's drawing nigh; 
" We never miss the water till the well rins dry." 

But be na mean an' greedy, I canna thole the coof, 
Wha sees the beggar at his door an' doubles up his loof; 
O dinna let him gang his wa's wi' muttcr'd bitter cry: 
" We never miss the water till the well rins dry." 

There's plenty gude within this warld fu' quietl}' to be done, 
Wark needfu' to be hurried through an' mair to be begun; 
But charity maun hae the means nor pity lack supply; 
" We never miss the water till the well rins dry." 

There's just ae water I wad hint that ne'er shortcoming knows; 
The mair ye quaff' o't, aye the mair your pitcher overflows — 
Tiie water o' the well o' life; come, drink your fill an' Uy\ 
Its brim is gurgling ever bright; its fount is never dry. 

Few poets have written so many noble and meritorious sonnets as 
Mr. Latto has dene, and scarcely a day passes without his adding one 
or more of these to his already large collection. We quote three of 
his latest inspirations in this respect: 

ALLAN RAMSAY. 



Not all the poets dree'd a wretched lot; 
Among them there is one that I can name, 
Whose happiness was equal to his fame — 

Just " Honest Allan," the illustrious Scot. 

Genial old man! his cliicfest glory is, 
Before declining in the vale of years 
He stood wiihout a rival 'mong his peers; 

"One Half of Round Eternity" was his; 

" Lochaber" and the " Lass o' I'alie's Mill," 

The "Gentle Shepherd" and his "Peggy" sweet 
Can yet all Scottish hcaits with rapture fill. 

Still do our milkmaids his blythc strains repeat; 
Good cause had he for his complacent smiles — 
His country's choice as Laureate of llie Isles. 



THOMAS C. LATTO. 17 



ROHERT FERGUSSON. 



Poor ill-starr'd Roljcrt! I have grieved for ilicc, 
Kind, joyous, fired witli genius' generous glow, 
And, save tlie jjcndulum too fast would go — 

Eiuljodinient of inirtli's wild witcliery; 

From Ramsay's lays oft snatcliing inspiration, 
Indeed, improving upon lionest Allan, 
He kytlied \\\U) the daintiest " rhyming callan'," 

Helping e'en Hums to his immortal station. 

The " Daft Days" will receive the meed of praise, 
Until the " Holy Fair" with age grows dim; 

The " Farmer's Ingle" shed its cheery blaze, 

While Robin's " Cottars " chant their evening hymn; 

High Priest of Nature! nobler was the tone 

Caught up by thee from lowly Fergusson. 

ROHERT BURNS. 



Dying at thirty-eight, two feverish years 
He snatched, in which to pour those deathless lays 
That 'tis in vain to emulate or praise, 

So surely have they distanced all compeers; 

It is a marvel, did wc but reflect 

How many cultured failures struck the lyre, 
Till at one swoop his mountain-muse of fire 

Hailed him as God's anointed — sole elect. 

And now where is the man, save he alone, 
With immortality's bright singing robe; 

Whose songs are sung to earth's remotest zone — 
Whose birthday is a joy throughout the globe ? 

A simple ploughman from the braes of Ayr 

Enjoys a triumph that no king can share. 

Recently Mr. LiUto has taken a special liking to making transla- 
tions from tlie Danish, Swedish and Icelandic poets, and such of 
these translations as he has given to the press have been very favor- 
ably commented ui)on. As one writer remarks, " They are marked 
by the same vigor of execution, felicitous grace of diction and genial 
human sympathy that early won for him the place he holds among 
modern Scottish poets." It is only a few years since he mastered the 
Scandinavian langua^es, and on this account is entitled to more than 
the usual amount of credit for his labors in this direction. Here is 
one of his latest translations: 



SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



THE NATIVITY. 

\_Frovi the Danish 0/ Oeienscklager.'] 

Each spring, when mists float o'er the plain, 
The infant Jesus is born again; 
Angels in river, in grove and in air, 
Look for the Saviour; he is there. 
Nature, as silent the blossoms ope, 
Bedecks herself in the green of hope. 

Before the innocent shepherds' sight, 
Who look to the sky in the Syrian night, 
God's angels take thro' the fields their way: 
They hover and glide in the moon's pale ray, 
Singing, " To-day is born the child 
Of Spring — of Mary, the meek and mild. 

The drink he quaffs is of purest dew; 
That tender smile to the godhead flew; 
To heaven he stretches his childish hands 
And the earth is wreathed as with rosy bands; 
His prattle the zephyr, his cradle the straw. 
His eyes the bluest earth ever saw. 

To Bethlehem ! ye herds of the green hillside. 
That your souls maybe soften'd and sanctified: 
Awhile from j-our cares and toils withdraw 
To look on the child in the lowly straw, 
That so his holy smile this day 
May raise your hearts from earth away." 

Up swept the seraphs like meteor tlamc, 
But the shepherds held onward to Bethlehem, 
And lo ! what a marvelous change is wrought. 
On hearts with troublous doublings fraught, 
For they turn again from the pasture sod, 
Kneel down to the child and believe in God. 

And The star darts light from the azure dome. 
To point to the King of the Orient's home; 
Bright rays of glory stream from the choir, 
And the shepherds sink humbly, then back retire 
Blessing the Saviour's holy face 
That smiles in his mother's fond embrace. 
And still there rise from the grim black mould 
Redekmkrs in purple, and velvet and gold, 
Half of the meadowland, half of the air. 
Babes of the wilderness, fragile and fair, 
Their chalices charged with a ra])lure intense — 
The fragrance of myrrh and of frankincense. 



THOMAS C. LATTO. 



19 



Mr. Latto is a man with a large and Christian heart, a benevolent 
nature, a sound judgment and a taste for literature and all that is 
good and beautiful. Added to these cjualities he is greatly esteemed 
by those who know him personally as a genial comjjanion, a cultured 
scholar, and a friend to whom they can point with pride. He posses- 
ses one of the finest jjrivate libraries in Brooklyn, a library that is 
filled with rare and curious literary treasures, and over the door of 
which might be truly inscribed, "A Paradise for Book-worms." May 
he live for m;iny years in tlic full enjoyment of the gifts which nature 
has bestowed on him, and the well-deserved reputation which his 
works have gained for him. 



EVAN MacCOLL. 

Age sits with decent grace upon his visage 
And worthily becomes his silver locks; 
He wears the marks of many years well spent, 
Of virtue, truth well tried and wise experience. 

Evan MacColl, a poet who, for more than half a century, has 
charmed the lovers of Gaelic poetry throughout the world, has now 
reached the venerable age of eighty years. He was born on Septem- 
ber 21, 1808, at Kenmore, Lochfyne-side, Argyleshire, and was the 
youngest but one of a family of six sons and two daughters. His 
father was a man of many excellent qualities and of considerable 
learning, but he was especially noted among his neighbors for his rich 
store of Celtic song. His mother, a descendant from the Camerons 
of Cowall, was well versed in the legendary and fairy lore pertaining 
to the Highlands. She was a charitable and kindly-disposed woman, 
and she infused a moral and religious influence into the hearts and 
thoughts of her children which has never departed. The MacColl 
family, although thrifty and industrious, was by no means a rich one, 
and Evan began at an early age and continued for many years after- 
ward to lend assistance in the labors connected with farming and 
fishing. At odd times he attended school. 

These, however, must have been happy and memorable years to our 
author, as amidst their toils and hardships many of his most celebrated 
Gaelic lyrics were composed. Mr. John Mackenzie, in his "Beauties 
of Gaelic Poetry and lives of the Gaelic Bards," informs us that " at a 
very early age he displayed an irresistible thirst for legendary lore and 
Gaelic poetry, but, from the seclusion of his native glen, and other 
disadvantageous circumstances, he had but scanty means for fanning 
the latent flame that lay dormant in his breast. He, however, greedily 
devoured every volume he could procure and when the labors of the 
day were over would often resort to some favorite haunt where, in the 
enjoyment of that solitude which his father's fireside denied him, he 
might be found taking advantage of the very moonlight to pore over 



EVAN MAC COLL. 21 



the minstrelsy of liis native country until lassitude or the lunir of re- 
pose compelled him to return limiu-." I'.y the time he had reached his 
twenty-third year his wonderful Gaelic productions had made his name 
famous throughout Scotland and in many parts of England. 

In 1S31 his father, with the unmarried members of the family, emi- 
grated to Canada. Evan, however, could not be induced to accompany 
them. In 1836 he published his first volume, under the title of " The 
Mountain Minstrel." It contained ])oems and songs, both in Gaelic 
and Englisli, and was warmly received \)\ the ]iul)lic and the jiress. 
In 1838 appeared his " Clarsach nam Beann " and a second edition of 
his first work, which was followed by a third edition in 18^19 In 1H39 
he was appointed to a clerkship in the customs at Li\eri)ool. Ten 
years later he obtained a six months' leave of absence to enable him 
to visit his friends in Canada and recuperate his health, and while 
there was induced to exchange his position at Liverpool for a more 
remunerative one in the provincial customs of Upper Canada. He 
settled in Kingston in 1850 and remained at his post until he was 
superannuated in 1886. His muse has been exceedingly fruitful dur- 
ing- his long residence in Canada, and we are not sur])rised that many 
of his productions have been inspired by the recollection of the scenes 
and incidents connected with his boyhood's home. Here is one of 
his best known lyrical pieces on this subject: 

THE HILLS OF THE HEATHER. 



Give the swains of Italia 'mong myrtles to rove, 

Give the proud, sullen Spaniard his bright orange grove, 

Give gold-sanded streams to the sons of Chili, 

Hut, O, give the hills of the heather t<j me ! 

Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens, 

Whose heads cleave the welkin, whose feet press the glens; 

What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee? 

The red heather hills of the Highlands for nie ! 

The hills whose wild echoes delight to prolong 

The soul-stirring pibroch, the streams' gushing song. 

Storm-vexed and mist-mantled though often they be, 

Still dear are the hills of heather to me. 

Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens, 

That fondly look down on the clan-peopled glens; 

Whit Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee? 

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me I 



22 SCOTTISH POETS W AMERICA. 

Your carses may boast of their own fertile farms, 

Yet give me the glens shielding well in their arms 

Blue lakes grandly glassing crag, cliff, tower and tree — 

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me ! 

Then drink we a health to the old Highlands Bens, 

Their deer-haunted corries and hazel-wood dens; 

What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee? 

The red heather hills of the Highlands for me ! 

'Tis there 'neath the tartan beat hearts the most leal — 
Hearts warm as the sunshine, yet firm as the steel; 
There only this heart can feel happy or free; 
The red heather hills of the Highlands for me ! 
Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens; 
Glad leaving to England her flats and her fens; 
What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee? 
The red heather hills of the Highlands for me ! 

Numerous other notable quotations might be made from our author's 
works, touching the scenes of his boyhood, or showing the genuine 
warmth of his love for the fatherland. They are grand and impres- 
sive at all times, and seldom fail to awaken pleasant memories in the 
mind of the reader. How grand and realistic for instance is his de- 
scription of the river Beauly as it surges from the Highlands down to 
the Lowlands: 

'Tis grand thy crystal flood to view 

Benvaichard's borders leaving, 
Nor less to see the Strath below 
Thy fuller tfow receiving; 
But grander far 
To see thee where 
Its narrowing bounds thou'rt cleaving 
Through rocky ridges opening wide 
In very terror of thy tide. 

Now through the Druim's dark gorges deep 
\ Methinks I see thee going. 

Half hid 'mid woods that love to keep 
Fond watch upon thy llowing; 
From rock to rock, 
With flash and shock, 
And fury ever growing — 
A giant fettered, it is true. 
Yet bound all barriers to subdue. 



EVAN MAC COLL. 23 



The patriotism with which MacCoU is imbued, however, is some- 
thing altogether apart from liis love for Scotland. The land wherein 
reposes tlic dust of his ancestors is the most sacred portion of the 
globe to him, and he stands ever ready, both with ])en and voice, to 
u])hold its dignity and honor. A good illustration of this spirit may 
be found in the reply which he sent one morning to a certain professor 
who had, in a ])ublic sjjcech delivered the previous evening, ventured 
the assertion that "Scotchmen must admit their country to liave been 
once conciuered: ' 

Scotland, a conquered land ! Learned sage, 
Pray tell us how, and in what age? 
Not so read /historic page. 

Thou canst not deem a mere invasion — 
A brief disputed occupation — 
To be the conquest of a nation? 

Think'st thou the homage of a knave 
Binding on those he would enslave? 
Let Baliol answer from his grave ! 

Scotland a conquered land ! Ho, ho I 
Proud Edward found it was not so 
When dying — vainly still her foe. 

No pandering, then, to Saxon pride ! 
Pretensions b}- our sires defied 
Shall we not also cast aside ? 

Forgct'st thou Carun's crimsoned stream? 
Is Bannockburn a myth or dream ? 

And Wallace a mere minstrel theme? 

Thou spcak'st of Cromwell ? Be it so; 
Cromwell was never Scotland's foe — 
How then her conqueror, prithee, show? 

Her friend and freedom's, north he came; 
Her noblest sons backed well his aim, 
And scotched misrule in Cromwell's name. 

Hold up thy head, then, Scotia ! When 

Thy sons forget that they are men 

Thou may'st be conquered — not till then ! 

MacCoU's language is poetic in every sense of the word. His poetry 
is a realm of fascinating, intellectual beauties, always bright, and jnire, 
and original. Few, indeed, are the poems which he has written that 



24 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

are not studded with rare and striking metaphors, thus showing with 
what a luxuriant, poetic imagination he is endowed. We listen in 
wonderment while his muse joins in the joyous carol of the lark, or 
hovers over the roaring cataract, the mighty woods, the shady glens, 
and the heather-clad hills of his native land. We watch him as he 
traces with his magic pen the scenes and incidents of his early life, and 
they become familiar and endeared to us. He conjures up the legends 
and romances which cling like the ivy to the battlements and crumb- 
ling walls of the once famous castles and strongholds of the Highlands, 
and the grandeur and glory — the victories and defeats — the supersti- 
tions and crimes of a by-gone age become vividly portrayed and re- 
called to our minds. He casts his spell, like Burns, over many of the 
commonest objects of every-day life, and they assume a new beauty 
and importance. He pictures to us the various beauties of nature, 
shows us the brighter side of life, sings to us of mirth, love, patriotism, 
duty, humanity and piety, and as we wander among his poetical pro- 
ductions we are made to realize that we are for the time being com- 
muning with the innermost thoughts of one who is a true poet. The 
following is a translation by the late Lachlan MacLean (Glasgow) of 
one of his most renowned poems: 

THE CHILD OF PROMISE. 



Thy life was like a morning cloud, 

Of rosy hue at break of day; 
The envious sun appears, and soon 

The rival glory molts awa}-. 

Thy life was like May's sunny beams 

By shadows brushed o'er field and flower; 

Or like the bow of heaven that sheds 
Its glory in a fleeting shower. 

Thy life was like new-fallen snow, 
Gracing some sea-beach lately bared; 

The tide returns with heedless flow — 
The sky-born guest hath disappeared. 

Thy life was like some tuneful harp 

Abruptly stopped when sweetest strung; 

Or like "the talc of other years" 
To expectation half unsung. 



EVAN MAC COLL. 25 



Tliy life was like a passing gleam 

Of moonlight on ihc troubled main, 
Or like some blissful dream which he 

Who dreams, may never dream again. 

O child of promise bright ! although 

'Twere wrong to grudge to heaven its own, 

Our tears, withal, will often flow 

To think thy sun so soon gone down. 

Our author reveals to us his intimacy with nature through many of 
h:s finest poems. Embodied in liis " May Morning in Glen-Shira," 
for instance, we ha\e the following delightful description of the month 
of May: 

O May ! thou'rt an enchantress rare — 
Thy presence maketh all things fair; 
Thou wavest but thy wand, and joy is everywhere. 

Thou coniest and the clouds are not — 
Rude Boreas has his wrath forgot. 
The gossamer again is in the air afloat. 

The foaming torrent from the hill — 
Thou changest to a gentle rill 
A thread of liquid pearl, that faintly murmurs still. 

Thine is the blossom-laden tree. 
The meads that white with lambkins be, 
Thine, too, the netherworld that in each lake we sec. 

Cheer'd by thy smile, the herd-boy gay 
Oft sings the rock-repeated lay, 
And wonders who can be the mocker in his way. 

Thou givest fragance to the breeze, 
A gleaming glory to the seas. 
Nor less thy grace is seen in yonder emerald leas. 

Many valuable testimonials of esteem and respect have been tendered 
to Mr. MacColl during his lifetime, one in particular taking the form 
of a very fine portrait of himself, presented by his townsmen. The 
noblest one, however, and the one which will outlast all the others, is 
a ])oem by his friend, Mr. Duncan MacGregor Crerar, a gentleman 
known among his countrymen as the Breadalbane Bard, on account of 



26 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

the many beautiful poems which he has written on the classical and 
historical scenes of his native Perthshire. The poem was first pub- 
lished in the Celtic Magazine, Inverness, Scotland, and has since been 
characterized as "a tribute to the genius of the poet which reflects 
equal lustre on the subject and the singer." We quote it here as we 
feel confident that it will always be mentioned in connection with 
MacColl's poems: 

TO EVAN MacCOLL. 



My greeting to thee, Bard revered, 

Sweet minstrel of Loch Fj-ne ! 
Heaven bless, and shield, and prosper aye, 

Mo charaid ! thee and thine. 
May time deal ever tenderly, 

MacColl, with thine and thee ! 
Long may thy tuneful Highland harp 

Throb sweetest minstrels)-. 

The sterling virtues of the Gael, 

Their deeds of bravery, 
Their guileless hearts so warm and true, 

Who can portray like thee ? 
And sweetly dost thou sing the charms. 

The gracefulness divine, 
Of Highland maids, in speech endeared — 

Thy mother tongue and mine. 

" lona " " Staflfa," and " Loch Awe," 

" Loch Lomond " and " Loch Fyne," 
The "Brandcr Pass" and " Urquhart's Glen," 

Thou grandly doth outline. 
Thy " Child of Promise," beauteous gem, 

A plaintive, soothing psalm; 
Thy " Falling Snow" brings to the heart 

A sweet, a holy calm. 

Thine own " Glenshira," by thy Muse, 

Is now a classic land: 
Its scenes of grandeur have been limned 

With skill by Royal iiand. 
O bless her, princess of our race ! 

That rose without a thorn. 
So dearly cherisiied in our hearts, 

Tlie loved Louise of Lome. 



EVAN Af AC COLL. 27 



Tliinc odes, thy sonnets, and thy songs 

All rich in mtlodie, 
Shall with delight be read and sung 

While Awe flows to the sea. 

Hard beloved ! in boyhood's morn 
I sang thy mountain lays: 

With joy perused tliy poesie 
'Mong famed Breadalbane's braes. 

1 dreamed not then the rich delight 
My future had in store — 

Thy noble friendship, treasured dear, 

Within alTection's core. 
The liappy cii/idhs to thy home. 

The charming converse there; 
Thy Highland hospitality. 

How cordial, and Ikjw rare ! 

Though fair Canadia, now thy home, 

Be full of charms to thee; 
Thy heart oft yearns to see Arg3'll, 

And thine own " Rowan Tree." 
My wishes warm to tlue I waft, 

Charmed songster of Loch Fyne; 
And oh, may heaven's blessings rest, 

My friend on thee and thine ! 

We cannot conclude our sketch of this eminent poet in a more 
appropriate manner than by repeating the words of his friend and 
biograplier, Mr. Charles Sangster. 

"Mr. MacColl," he writes in 1873, "is considerably past the middle 
of life, but bids fair to weather the storm of existence for many years 
to come. In private life he is, both by precept and example, all that 
could be desired. He has an intense love for all that is really good 
and beautiful, and a true and manly scorn for all that is false, time- 
serving and hypocritical; there is no narrow-mindedness, no bigotry 
in his soul. Kind and generous to a fault, he is more than esteemed, 
and that deservedly, by all who properly know him. In the domestic 
circle, all the warmth in the man's heart — the full glow of genuine 
feeling and affection — is ever uppermost. He is a thoroughly earnest 
man, in whose daily walk and conversation, as well as in his actions, 
Longfellow's ' Psalm of Life ' is acted out in verity. In his friend- 
ships, he is sincere; in his dislikes, equally so. He is thoroughly 



28 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Scottish in his leanings, his national love burns with intensity. In 
poetry he is not merely zealous, but enthusiastic, and he carries his 
natural force of character in all he says and does. Consequently he 
is not simply a wooer, but a worshiper of the muse. Long may he 
live, the * Bard of Lochfyne,' to prostrate his entire heart and soul in 
the Temple of the Nine." 

An English edition of MacCoU's poetical works was published by 
Messrs. Hunter, Rose & Co., Toronto, in 1883. Attached to this 
volume is an excellent biographical essay by the editor of the Celtic 
Magazine, Alexander Mackenzie, F. S. A. To the latter we beg to 
acknowledge our indebtedness for much of the information herein 
stated in connection with the life of our author. A new edition of his 
poems with a number of additional pieces has just been published, 
and to this we would kindly refer such of our readers as may desire to 
become better acquainted with the writings of the gifted Eoghan 
MacColla. 




DUNCAN MacGREGOR CRERAR. 

Whoe'er amidst the sons 
Of reason, valor, liberty and virtue 
Displays distinguished merit, is a noble 
Of nature's own creating. 

Scotland is proud, and justly so, of the many eminent men of 
letters which she has given to the world. Since the year 1375, when 
John Barbour produced his great historical poem, "The Bruce," down 
to the present time, her history is replete and sparkles with the illus- 
trious names ot her many talented sons who have won both honor and 
renown through their literary abilities. Nor has it been in one par- 
ticular branch that these gifted individuals have labored so earnestly, 
and thus gained for Scotland a pre-eminence in literature second to 
no other nation. All branches have been represented and enriched 
by the magical touch of their pens, from the quaint and primitive 
looking almanac of by-gone days to the large and wonderful encyclo- 
pedias of modern times. But it is certainly through their contribu- 
tions to the poetical literature of their country that the greatest number 
of Scotsmen have acquired an enviable and well merited reputation, 
and as the names of the various Scottish poets and their works are 
familiar to all of our readers, we siiall not occupy unnecessary space 
by quoting or referring to them at any length here. The traditions 
and history, the scenery and associations of Scotland, are all favorable 
to the cultivation of the muse, and as is well known many of the finest 
gems of poetry and song in our language have emanated from the 
Bards of that country. Many of these Bards from time to time have 
strayed from their native hills and glens and settled down in the new 
world. Among others Mr. Duncan MacGregor Crerar, the honorable 
Secretary of the liurns Society of this city, is worthy of special atten- 
tion. Mr. Crerar is a poet of acknowledged ability and of wide repu- 
tation. In Scottish circles he is always referred to as "The Breadal- 
bane Bard." His style is marked by earnestness of moral purpose and 
a purity of diction which sometimes rises into religious fervor, and 



30 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

often takes the form of embalming in verse the virtues and talents of 
his fellow men whose characteristics have won his esteem, or who by 
moral or intellectual superiority have gained his friendship. In the 
latter quality the numerous sonnets which he has produced of an 
elegiac or complimentary nature, each of them a gem in itself, might 
furnish a volume, and we feel assured that the publication of these 
melodious embodiments of thought would place Mr. Crerar as an 
acknowledged superior to any living poet in America in this depart- 
ment of literature. Although Mr. Crerar has been many years in 
America, and is thoroughly cosmopolitan in his habits of thought and 
modes of expression, his muse ever looks back lovingly to the father- 
land. The home of his youth has become sanctified by separation, 
and the majestic scenery of his native Perthshire rises before his im- 
agination in all the vividness of its reality. The purple glory of the 
heather-clad hills, the flash of loch and stream, the warble of the wild 
birds, the bloom of dewy flowers, seem to pass in a ceaseless panorama 
before him. The associations of youth have thus furnished the theme 
of some of his sweetest lyrics, as for instance in his 

CALEDONIA'S BLUE BELLS. 



Hail, bonnie Blue Bells ! ye come hither to me 
With a brother's warm love from far o'er the sea; 
Fair llowerets I ye grew on a calm, sacred spot — 
The ruins alas ! of ni}' kind father's cot, 

Caledonia's Blue Bells, O bonnie Blue Bells ! 

What memories dear of that cot ye recall, 
Though now there remains neither rooftrec nor wall ! 
Alack a-day ! lintel and tlireshold are gone, 
While cold 'neatii the weeds lies the hallowed hearthstone! 
Caledonia's Blue Bells, O bonnie Blue Bells ! 

'Twas a straw-roofed cottage, but love abode there. 
And peace and contentment aye breathed in its air; 
With songs from the mother, and legends from sire, 
How blithe were we all round the cheerie peat fire ! 
Caledonia's Blue Bells, O bonnie Blue Bells! 

Our sire long asleep, his fond mcni'ry endeared; 
The mother still spared us, beloved and revered; 
Sweet Blue Bells with charmeil recollections entwined 
Of scenes in my childhood forever enshrined. 

Caledonia's Blue Bells, O bonnie Blue Bells! 



DUNCAN MAC GKEGOK CKEHAR. 31 



Mr. John Laird Wilson, the well-known New York critic, speaking 
of the above lyric, said: "The accompanying song speaks for itself, 
It needs no praise of ours. Coming warm from the heart, it finds its 
way to the heart. Breathing i)iety, patriotism, filial and brotherly 
love, it touches all the best chords of our common humanity. It has 
in it the warmth of Highland blood, the flavor of Breadalbane heather, 
the freshness of tlie mountain breeze. We congratulate Mr. Crerar 
on this fresh revelation of true poetic genius; and we advise him to 
throw aside his excess of modesty, and to trust the public with a fuller 
and more adecjuate manifestation of his powers. 'Caledonia's 151ue 
Bells ' will win for its author many friends; but we, who know what is 
in store for us, impatiently await better things." 

Among Mr. Crerar's other poems in connection with the associations 
of his youth we would mention " My Bonnie Rowan Tree " and "The 
Eirlic Well." The subjects of these poems are very simple, but the 
poems are clothed in such beautiful and touching language that we 
linger over them with feelings of love and respectful admiration. His 
two beautiful poems addressed to the Marquis and Marchioness of 
Breadalbane are also worthy of special notice. We take sincere pleas- 
ure in re-printing those two pieces here, as the first is a well-deserved 
compliment to a nobleman who is one of the most progressive and 
liberal-minded Scotsmen of the day, and the other is a just tribute of 
respect to the many sterling (jualities and accomplishments of a 
talented and kind-hearted lady: 

TO THE MOST HONOURABLE THE MARQUIS OF BREADALBANE. 



Beloved Breadalbane ! greetings waft I thee, 

On this thy dear, thine honoured natal day; 

That Heaven long spare thee, earnestly I pray 
Full many, many glad returns to see. 
Thy rule is wise o'er vast domains and wide. 

Rife in good actions for thy people's weal; 

Each duty shared by helpmate kind and leal 
Whose work and walk are ever at thy side. 
Rule wisely on, for noble is the race 

O'er whom your governance holds loving sway; 
Yours their deep gratitude for acts of grace, 

Their warmest blessings crown you every dayl 
How ricti, how sweet, and joyous the reward, 
Your people's jovg and their sincere regard! 



32 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



TO ALMA, MARCHIONESS OF BREADALBANE. 



Lady beloved ! My warmest thanks to thee 

For thy most gracious gift — thine image dear — 
I waft across the wide Atlantic sea, 

With gladdened heart and gratitude sincere. 
Here beauteously and faithfully portrayed 

Thy graceful form and lovelj' classic face; 
O noble lad}', thou art winsome, fair, 

And genial, kind, and full of heaven-born grace * 

Nor do I thank thee less for friendly words 

And warm regard for thine so far away; 
No distance can undo the cords of love 
That bind us to the home of childhood's day. 
Sweet as the fragrance of fresh heather bloom. 

The praises reach us of thine acts benign; 
Thy charming courtesy and kindness rare 

We in our hearts will treasure and enshrine. 

O wife devoted of Breadalbane's Lord ! 

True Freedom's cause a friend has found in thee; 
'Twas thine own hand that bravely raised the flag 

Which led our Perthshire on to victorie. 
Heaven bless you both with peace, and spare you long 

To kindly rule your every strath and glen; 
No land is richer in romance and song; 

No men are braver than Breadalbane men ! 

Mr. Crerar has been particularly fortunate in securing the friend- 
ship of nearly all of the distinguished literary Scotsmen who have 
visited America during the last twenty years. George MacDonald, 
William Black, the Earl of Rosebery, Alexander Strahan, Marchioness 
of Breadalbane, Prof. James Geikie, Prof. John Stuart Blackie, and 
many others are among his hosts of admirers and correspondents. 
Mrs. William Black, among many other tokens of kindly remembrance 
sent him, on one occasion, a spray of white- heather, which immedi- 
ately called forth the following lines: 



DUNCAN MACGKEGOR CRERAR. 35 



A SPRAY OF WHITE HEATHER. 



1 l(jviii;;l\- 1,'rfct thee, swccl spray of wliiie licalhcr, 

With a heartfelt emotion I would not conceal ! 
Thou coni'sl from a friend true in shade and bright weather, 

Wiio in kintlness is waini as in friendship she's leal. 

Good fortune and luck aye attend nie together, 
Is the wish tiiou dost bring from the donor to me, 

Charmed tnibleni of both I bonnie spray of white heather, 
From the land of my fathers far over the sea. 

Fair token, thou'rt chaste as the heart of the sender, 

Hringing fond recollections of life's early day — 
Of kin, friends, and country, and ties the most tender, 

Ere from kin, friends, and country I wandered away. 

Good fortune and luck aye attend me together, 
Is the wish thou dost bring from the donor to me. 

Charmed emblem of both ! bonnie spray of white heather, 
From the land of my fathers far over the sea. 

I never may see, pretty spray of white heather, 

Caledonia's loved glens and her mountains so grand; 

I may ne'er again with the dear ones forgather, 

But my blessings on them and my dear native land! 

Good fortune and luck aye attend me together. 
Is the wish thou dost bring from the donor to me, 

Charmed emblem of both ! bonnie spray of white heather. 
From the land of my fathers far over the sea. 

Thou gift of a friend ! I will treasure thee dearly, 
Till my journey shall end in that long peaceful rest, 

When some loving hand mine had oft pressed sincerely 
]May with tenderness place thee, sweet spray, on my breast. 

Good fortune and luck aye attend me together, 
Is the wish thou dost bring from the donor to me. 

Charmed emblem of both ! bonnie spray of white heather. 
From the land of my fathers far over the sea. 

Although Mr. Crerar excels in pieces of an elegiac nature, he has 
written many short pieces full of a joyous hopefulness looking on the 
brighter side of life and a sweet assurance of a glad hereafter. Of 
these his "To-morrow " is probably the best: 



34 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



TO-MORROW. 



Away with grief; dull care, away; 

Away with canker, pain and sorrow; 
Where black clouds scowl and frown to-day, 

The sun will brightly shine to-morrow. 
The weary heart, when sore depressed, 

Too oft, alas ! will trouble borrow. 
But joy will banish what distressed, 

And e)'es that wept will smile to-morrow. 

Why should we grieve though friends forsake — 

If one is left that's true and thorough 
In adverse hours, who will partake 

And share our woe or weal to-morrow ? 
No peaceful place of rest is this. 

Here no immunity from sorrow. 
But an enduring home and bliss 

Await above when comes the morrow! 

It would give us sincere pleasure to present a few of Mr. Crerar's 
sonnets to our readers, but we will confine ourselves to the one already 
given and the two following. They are entitled " To Robert Gordon, 
Esq.," and "To WilUam Black, Poet and Novelist." Mr. Gordon was 
long and well known as one of the leading bankers in our community. 
He returned to his native shores a few years ago, hence the lines: 

TO ROBERT GORDON, ESQ. 



Farewell, dear friend, since farewell it must be; 
Our hearts are heavy, and our tears are flowing, 
For sorrowfully grieve we at thy going. 

As true aflfection's grasp we give to thee. 

We grudge thee not to our loved fatherland. 
Whither our warmest wishes with thee go: 
Thy record pure; thou leav'st behind no foe. 

Undimmed thine honour, and unstained thy hand! 

We'll miss from circle charmed and curling fray 
Thy cheerie voice and ever genial face; 

Thy name will cherished be when far away, 
Thou worthy son of Kenmure's noble race. 

Forget us not: remember auld lang sync. 

Heaven's blessing rest, leal friend, on thee and thine! 



DUNCAN MACGREGOR CRERAR. 35 



TO WILLIAM BLACK, POET AND NOVELIST. 



'Tis thine to wickl a chaste and charm6d pen 

That thrills and gladdens hearts in every clime, 

With story modern or of olden time. 
Congenial comrade, faithfullest of men! 
Thy leaves are redolent of heather breeze; 

With deft skill thou pourtray'st each beauteous scene, 

Glen, strath, and loch, and setting sun serene. 
In inland shire or lonely Hebrides. 
The people thou creat'st bear Nature's mould. 

Endowed with dignity and grace are they; 

Life's march they cheer with some sweet Scottish lay, 
Or psalm, or ballad of the years of old. 
Write ever on, loved friend, for at thy gate 
Admiring millions do thy lines await! 

Probably the finest of all Mr. Crerar's i)roductions is his poem on 
Robert Burns. This poem was comi)osed for and read at one of the 
annual dinners of the Burns Society of this city. It was afterward 
published in book-form by Marcus Ward & Co., and received quite 
an ovation from the press and public. As one writer remarks : — " It 
has the true ring of poetry, and within a comparatively small space it 
hits off" the salient features of Burns' character and commemorates 
the principal subject of his works. " We quote two verses as a speci- 
men of the whole: 

"He touched our country's ancient harp 

With truest patriotic fire; 
Forth thrilling came soul-stirring strains, 

Man's nobler actions to inspire. 
The cottar's fireside, 'neath his spell, 

Becomes at once a hallowed shrine; 
His hymn to Mary swells the heart, 

And fills the eye his Auld Lang Syne." 
* * * * 

"Not to his native land alone 

His genius and his fame belong. 
In other climes is treasured dear 

His matchless legacy of song. 
His melodies have echoing gone 

To continents and isles afar; 
They cheer and gladden hearts alike 

'Neath Southern Cross and Polar Star." 



36 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Prof. John Stuart Blackie, in one of his letters to Mr. Crerar, ?ays: 
" I am now among ' Yarrow's Braes and Ettricks Shaws ' tasting a 
little rural quiet and pastoral rest. I have read your Songs with 
peculiar pleasure. 'Caledonia's Blue Bells', 'A Spray of White Heath- 
er', and 'Tomorrow' being my special favorites. It is delightful to see 
with what pious joy the Highlanders cherish the heroic traditions, and 
the sweet memories of their country when far across the sea. Next to 
the Bible, popular song is the great moral force that makes rich the 
blood of the world; and a man that keeps a singing bird in his heart, 
holds a claim even more potent on occasions to disarm the Devil than 
a text of Scripture." Among the other well-known poems by Mr. 
Crerar, we would specially refer to the following: " Mementos of My 
Father's Grave," "A Christmas Greeting to Mr. and Mrs. James 
Brand," "My Hero True Frae Bennachie," "A Guid New Year," 
addressed to Mr. Thomas Davidson Brown, " To Mr. William Drjsdale 
of Montreal," " The Victory Won," "In Memoriam : Jane Jardine 
Marsh," "Gone Before," and the three exquisite pieces — "A Full 
Blown Flower," "A Bridal Greeting," and " The Orange Wreath for 
Heaven's Crown," which are now bound together and issued (pri- 
vately) as an " In Memoriam Souvenir " of the late Mrs. Fuller, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Watson. Before closing our selec- 
tions and extracts from the contributions of Mr. Crerar to the poetical 
literature of our time, we desire to present to our readers a poem 
composed on the occasion of the death of Mr. David Kennedy, the 
Scottish vocalist. He died at Stratford, Ontario, on the thirteenth of 
October, 1886. 

SUNG INTO HEAVEN ! 



Sung into heaven ! meet end to thy long day; 
Rare songster ! who sang Scottish song and lay 
In earth's four quarters, and on every sea, 
Hearts ever gladdening with thy minstrelsic. 
Thine was a magic power to soothe or thrill, 
The eye with joy or sorrow's tears to fill, 
To kindle love, rouse patriotism's fire, 
When to impassioned strains attuned thy lyre. 
How sweetly blended with thy melodic. 
The charmed notes of thy gifted family, 
A group, alas, we never more shall see! 
Proud of the name and fame thy genius won, 
Our native Perthshire, mourns her minstrel son; 



DUNCAN MACGREGOR CRERAR. 37 

Foss, fanned by breezes from Loch Tiimmel's shore — 

Thy brave sires' cradlc-lanil in da^s of yore — 

Rroad Scotland, and all lands that thou did'st see, 

Join now in one grand coronach to thee. 

To her who was thy helpmate leal throui,'h life, 

Thy faithful, loving, and beloved wife, 

And to thy comely, sweet-voiced children dear, 

All with one heart waft sympathy sincere. 

Sung into heaven ! by thine own filial band; 

Thy blessing, parting kiss, and grasp of hand; 

Sung into heaven ! in a sweet, holy calm. 

Thine own voice melting in the farewell psalm! 

Duncan MacGre^or Crerar was born at Ainiilree, Glenquaich, 
Perthshire, December 4, 1837. He received a good education, and was 
destined by liis parents for the ministry. These intentions, however, 
were abandoned on the death of his father. In 1857 lie went to 
Canada, where he engaged for a number of years in mercantile pursuits. 
He also served for some time in the active militia on the frontier, and 
in recognition of his valuable services, the Canadian Government, 
when under the direction of his warm friend, the Honorable Alexander 
MacKenzie, gazetted him Honorary Lieutenant f)f the company 
wiili whi( h he served. For many years lie lias been engaged on a 
large poem which is now completed, and about to be published. 
One of his friends says : " This poem will have immense attraction for 
lovers of the beautiful in nature, but particularly those who are famil- 
iar with the matchless scenery, the family histories and the legendary 
lore of Perthshire." In conclusion we would state that Mr. Crerar is 
one of the most genial of men, kind, sympathetic and generous in all 
his actions. In his own ipiict, unobtrusive way, and unknown to the 
world, he has rendered assistance to many wlien they found the clouds 
of adversity hovering over them: and there are few men similarly cir- 
cumstanced who can boast of so large and so sincere a following of 
friends. 



410789 



JAMES KENNEDY. 

To whom the lyre nnd laurels have been given, 

With all the trophies of triumphant song — 

He won them well, and may he wear them long! 

Mr. Kennedy was born at Carsegownie, Forfarshire, in the year 
1848. According to a memoir of him which appears in "Modern 
Scottish Poets," he '"is of Celtic origin, being descended through his 
father from the Kennedys of Lochaber, and through his mother — from 
whom he inherits his literary taste and poetic temperament — from the 
Mackintoshes of Glenshee. We also learn from the same source that 
after the suppression of the rebellion, 1745-6, "A branch of the Ken- 
nedys settled in Forfarshire and sought employment in the extensive 
quarries of that county. Their descendants chiefly followed the same 
occupation, and the poet's father rose to be a moderately successful 
contractor. Dying, when barely past the meridian of life, his widow 
was left burdened with the task, of rearing a family of ten children, of 
whom James was the seventh, and some of whom were in infancy." 
Mr. Kennedy studied at the village school for a few years and at the 
age of twelve began the battle of life on his own account as a farmer's 
boy. A few years later he removed to Dundee, where he entered 
upon an apprenticeship as a machinist. At this time he was an enthu- 
siastic athlete and was credited with being a Hercules for his size. 
The casket of medals now in his possession bears witness to the many 
wonderful feats both of skill and of strength which he performed. 
Apart from the celebrity which he acquired as an athlete, however, he 
became interested in the agitation then in progress for the bettering 
of the agricultural classes in Scotland, and was soon known as one of 
the most active promoters of the cause. It also seems to have been 
about this time that he discovered his ability at verse-making. He 
had written a few pieces of a lyrical nature, and these had been 
accorded a jjrominent ])lace in the columns of one of the local jour- 
nals. This had encouraged and stimulated him to make greater efforts, 



JAMES KENNEDY. 39 



and he decided to begin a diligent course of study in the different 
branches of English education. He also devoted whatever time he 
could spare in carefully reading the works of Ramsay, P^ergusson, Burns, 
Scott, and the other master poets of Scotland, and as a result his mind 
gradually conformed to their style of composition. As time wore on 
he became a regular and popular i)oetical contributor to a number of 
newspapers and magazines, and when he had reached his twentieth 
birthday his fame as a poet of more than ordinary ability had been 
firmly established in many parts of Scotland. He began to contem- 
plate a visit to America, however. He believed that there was a larger 
and a more remunerative field here for the better class of mechanics 
than there was in any part of Great Britain, and he resolved to put his 
belief to a practical test, for a time at least. Acting on a sudden 
impulse he appeared before his friends one morning and bade them 
good bye, and ere the shades of that evening had fallen, he was being 
wafted from the land of his forefathers to the shores of the new world. 
We can easily imagine that it was not without the deepest emotion 
that he gazed, for what might be the last time, on the stern outlines 
of his native land as they slowly receded from his sight. To him the 
fatherland was the one fair spot on earth, and his love for it was akin 
to that for his Bible. It was the land of which he so proudly sings : 

Where the rowans hang like lustres 

Red within the shady dells; 
And the sweet blaeberry clusters 

Blue among the heather-bells; 

Where the laverock and the lintic 

Sing their lilts o' pure delight; 
And the robin whistles canty 

To the warbling ycUow-yite; 

Where the deeds o' martial glory 

Hallow like hill and dale; 
Where the wild, romantic story 

Casts its charm o'er ilka vale. 

Where sweet poesy pipes her numbers 

Till the minstrel's airy dream 
Haunts the wild where echo slumbers, 
Sings in ilka crystal stream; 

Where true manhood dwells serenel}-, 

Moulded in heroic grace. 
And fair virtue, meek but queenly, 

Beams in woman's anycl face. 



40 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

He landed in New York early in 1869, and for the next three years 
travelled extensively throughout the States, and worked in many of 
the principal locomotive shops in the country. Returning to New 
York in the Summer of 1872 he settled down here, and a few months 
afterward published his first great poem, a metrical romance, which 
was favorably received by the American people, and of which a large 
edition was rapidly sold. He also resumed his studies, and we learn 
from the work already mentioned that " by attending the New York 
Evening High School, and while still following the calling of a machinist, 
he made the most laudable efforts to remedy the deficiencies of his 
early education. In a few years he graduated in the regular literary 
course. In 1875 he was awarded the first prize for English composi- 
tion. In 1876 he was commended both for excellence in oratory and 
for rapid progress in the study of the Latin language. His periodical 
contributions to the press, both of Scotland and America, demonstrated 
his growing culture. His language was rapidly becoming more vigorous 
and pure, and his thought more elevated." At this time Mr. Kennedy 
was united in marriage by the late Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, to Miss 
Isabella Lowe, an estimable young lady from his native hills, and one 
who has since proved herself a true helpmate to him in every sense of 
the word. The first great grief that overshadowed their lives was in 
the death of their first born, an affectionate and robust little boy who 
passed to the unseen world about his third year. On this sad occasion 
Mr. Kennedy produced one of his finest and most touching little poems. 
We can all appreciate the heavy sorrow, while many of us no doubt, 
at some period of our lives, could have re-echoed the wish expressed 
in the verses entitled 

WEE CHARLIE. 



" I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." — II. Samuel, 
i2th c. Z3d V. 

O gin my heart could hac its wiss 

Within this weary warld o'care, 
I'd ask nae glow o' balmy bliss 

To dwell around me evcrmair. 
For joy were mine beyond compare, 

And O how happy would I be, 
If heaven would grant my earnest prayer, 

An' bring wee Charlie back to me. 



JAMES KENNEDY. 41 



He cam' like sunshine when the buds 

Burst into blossoms sweet an' gay, 
He dwell like sunshine when the duds 

Are vanish'd frae the eye o' day. 
He pass'd as dayiicht fades away 

An' darkness spreads owre land and sea, 
Nae wonder thouj^h in ^''''-'f I P^ay, 

O brinji; wee Charlie back to me. 

When pleasure brings her hollow joys, 

Or mirth awakes at friendship's ca', 
Or art her varied power employs 

To make dull time look blythe an' braw. 
How feckless seem they ane an' a' 

When sad remembrance dims my c'e; 
O tak' thae idle joys awa 

An' bring wee Charlie back to me. 

But vain's the cry, he maunna cross 

Frae where he dwells in bliss unseen 
Nor need I mourn my waefu' loss, 

Nor muse on joys that micht hae been. 
When cauld death comes to close my een 

Awa beyond life's troublous sea. 
In everlasting joy serene. 

They'll bring wee Charlie back to me. 

It has truly been said that " Mr. Kennedy's lyre is not an instrument 

of one string. He passes with apparent ease from touching pathos to 

broad humor, and sings with scarcely greater fervor of Caledonia than 

of the Union's 'bright flag's starry fold' with its 'blended crimson, 

blue and gold.' " In the realm of descriptive poetry he is unrivalled 

by any of his contemporaries. He portrays natural scenery in the 

most delightful and graphic of language, and many of his passages 

become linked to our memory by their simple beauty and truthful 

delineations of nature. In some instances they almost seem like a 

mirror reflecting back with wonderful reality the scenes amid which 

we passed our boyhood's days. Noran Water, for instance, is an 

excellent descriptive poem. It is too long for quotation here, but an 

idea of its many beautiful passages may be gathered from the following 

extract : 

O Noran ! how I see thee dance 

By heath-clad hills, alone, unseen. 
Save where the lonely eagle's glance 

Surveys thee from his crag serene. 



42 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Forever joyous thou dost seem. 
Still sportive as a child at play, 

Who, lost in pleasure's careless dream, 
Makes merry music all the day. 

By fairj' nooks I see thee flow, 

Nor pausing in th}' artless song 
Till where the fir trees spreading low 

Obscure thy stream their arms among. 
There, sweet amid the shady gloom, 

Thou hear'st the blackbird chant his lay, 
Thou see'st the pale primroses bloom, 

And silent ling'rest on thy way; 

Then forth thj- waters dazzling come 

Where sweet-brier scents the balmy breeze. 
And where the wild bees softl}^ hum 

Faint echo of thy harmonies. 
Green spik\' gorsc thy banks adorn. 

Gold tassell'd broom thy fringe-work weave. 
While feather'd choirs from dewy morn 

Make melody till dewv eve. 



Then on by pleasant farms that breathe 

Of calm contentment's happ\- clime. 
Or laughing where the ivy's wreath 

Clings round the ruins of olden time 
And on where stateh' mansions rise. 

Or lowly gleams the cottage hearth; 
Unchanged thy smile still meets the skies, 

Unchanged still rings thy song of mirth. 

Mr. Kennedy is possessed of a large and manly heart, and he looks 
with undisguised enjoyment upon the humorous side of human nature. 
What he terms his character sketches are full of genuine wit, and 
provoke bursts of laughter whenever they are read. They are all the 
more enjoyable by having a pleasing and wholesome moral attached 
to each. In addition to these he has written many short i)ieces of a 
humorous and satirical nature. In this respect those of our readers 
who are familiar with the peculiarities and expressiveness of the 
Scottish dialect will greatly appreciate the following : 



JAMES KENNEDY. 43 



ST. ANDREW AND THE HAGGIS. 



Ae time Saunt Andrew — honest carl, 
When on his travels llimigh the warl, 
He fand himsel' in great distress 
In Macedonia's wilderness, 
Grim hiin<(cr jjnawcd his wame williin, 
The cauld sleet soaked him to the skin; 
An' bufleted \vi' winds unruly 
He lookit like a tattie doolj-; 
An' trauchled ae way or anither 
Tint cowl and bauchles a'lhegither, 
An' skelp'd on barefit though the gloom 
In patient, perfect martyrdom. 

A' shivering like a droukit mouse, 
He halted at the half-way house. 
An' spreading out his open palms 
Fu' meekly beggit for an alms. 
The landlord steer'd na frae the bit, 
But e'ed the Saunt frae head to fit. 
An' said : — "You idle, gangrel crew. 
Coarse crumbs should sair the like o'you 
I set ye doun this bill o'fare: 
The shakin's o' the rneal-pock there, 
Some harigalds, an' sic' like trash. 
That puir fowk use for makin' hash. 
Tak' them, an' mixed wi' creeshie dreep. 
Boil in the stammack o' a sheep; 
An' gin your greedy gab be nice, 
There's ingans an' a shak' o' spice: — 
Fa' to, — mak' guid use o'your time. 
An' ken the rift o' stappit wame." 

The Saunt in silence — shivering, cauld. 
Made up the mess as he was tauld; 
An' bent him canny owre the pot, • 
An' render'd thanks for a' he got; 
An' ate his meal wi' cheerfu' grace. 
An' never thraw'd his honest face ! 

An' .aye sin' syne, on Andrew's nicht 
We see this extraordinar' sicht, — 
How social Scots owre a' the warl' 
Will leave the fu' cog an' the barrel, 
An' smack their lips, an' rive like mad. 



44 SCOTTISrf POETS W AMERICA. 

At sic a dish as Andrew had. 
An' 'gainst the pangs o' flesh and bluid 
They'll roose It up an' ca' it guid, 
Though feeling in their hearts' ain gloom 
Some pangs o' Andrew's martyrdom ! 

Among Mr. Kennedy's smaller poems his "Address to the Mosqui- 
toes," "Auld Scotia in the Field," " Bonnie Noranside " and "Angus 
Rankin's Elegy " are specially worthy of notice, while his verses 
entitled the " The Songs of Scotland " surpass everything hitherto 
written in verse in connection with that subject. Of his larger poems, 
"The Southern Cavalier" is decidedly the best. It is a remarkable 
piece of poetical fact and fiction blended together, and through which 
there rings, says the Fifeshire Journal " an honest echo of the passion 
and beauty of Tennyson's ' Maud,' " Mr. Kennedy numbers among his 
personal friends many of the most prominent scholars and authors of 
the day. Among the latter is Mr. Robert Buchanan, the eminent poet 
and novelist. They have a very sincere regard for each other's merits, 
and during Mr. Buchanan's sojourn in this country, some three years 
ago, the two poets spent many happy and profitable hours in each 
other's company. A few days after Mr. Buchanan sailed for home, 
Mr. Kennedy indulged his muse in the following lament, which, by the 
way, was widely quoted by the British press: 

LAMENT 

On the occasion of the departure of Robert Buchanan, 
the British poet, from America. 

My muse fu' dowie faulds her wing, 

An' nought but sabs an' sighs she'll bring: 

An' sad-eyed sorrow bids me sing, 

Her tears to draw, 
How, like a pilgrim journeying, 

Our bard's awa ! 

O Rab was bright an' warm an' free, 
Like sunlight on a simmer sea ! 
He aye was fu" o' mirth an' glee 

An' wit an' a'; 
An' graced wi' gifts of poesy — 

But Rab's awa ! 



jAAfKS A'PIJ^NEDV. 45 



O blitlie it was I trow to trace 
The sweet saul in his manly fare, 
His blue een sparklinjj kindly grace 

On ane an' a'; 
Rab dearly lo'ed the human race — 

Hut Rab's awa ! 

The puir newspaper chields may mourn, 
If Rab should never niair return; 
His words cam like a bick'rin burn 

An' tilled them a': 
He did them mony a friendly turn — 
But Rab's awa ! 

Play-actor billies round him hung, 
An' listen'd to his silv'ry tongue. 
That sweet as ony clair'net rung 

In house or ha': 
He was the pride o' auld an' young — 

But Rab's awa ! 

The lang-haired literary louns 
That live real puir in muckle touns, 
Will miss him for the royal boons 

He shower'd on a,' — 
Gold dollar bits as big's half crowns, — 

But Rab's awa ! 

O when he met wi* men o' spirit. 
Real clever chields o' modest merit, 
Owre oysters an' a glass o' claret, — 

O then — hurrah ! 
The very earth they did inherit, — 

But Rab's awa ! 

That day he gaed on board the ship. 
He gied my hand a kindly grip. 
An' while a tremor shook his lip, 

Said — "Tell them a' 
Tliey'll never frae my memory slip 

When I'm awa." 

Quo' I wi' heart as saft as jeel, 

"Braw be your chance in fortune's wheel. 

May seas slip past your sliding keel 

Wi' canny jaw, 
An' may the bodies use ye weel 
When far awa." 



46 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Sin syne I muse on fortune's quirk: 
She shines, then leaves me in the mirk; 
I canna sleep nor wreat nor wirk, 

Nor ought ava, — 
I'm doited as a daunder'd stirk 

Sin Rab's awa. 

But whiles round friendship's wreathed urn, 
Hope's vestal fires fu' brightly burn; 
An' though the vanish'd joys I mourn 

That blossomed braw, 
Wha kens but Rab ma}' yet return ? — 

Though Rab's awa ! 

In addition to his poetical works, Mr, Kennedy is the author of a 
serial story, entitled "Willie Watson," and he has written numerous 
articles on various subjects. He re-visited Scotland in 1883, and was 
warmly welcomed by many eminent persons who had become acquainted 
with him through his works. His latest volume of poetry, entitled 
" Poems on Scottish and American Subjects," has passed through two 
e.Ktensive editions, and we understand that he is now engaged in the 
preparation of a new and larger edition of his poetical writings. He 
is employed by the Elevated Railroad Companies and has charge of a 
section of their works. A welcome guest at every Scottish social 
gathering, he is also a capital extemporary speech-maker on these 
and other occasions. He is a resident of this city, and, surrounded 
by the members of his family, enjoys the comforts and pleasures of a 
happy home. Life did not run smoothly with him at the beginning, 
but he met its vicissitudes with courage and good will, and to use the 
language of another poet, " Out of it all has conne the plain fact that 
he can now sit under his own vine and fig-tree with no one to make 
him afraid." 

Since the foregoing sketch was written, Mr. Chas, T. Dillingham, 
New York, has published " The Deeside Lass, and Other Poems," by 
Mr. Kennedy. Of this work, W. D. Latto, Editor of The Peoples 
Journal^ says : " I have read ' The Deeside Lass ' with much interest 
and admiration. The composition is good. The best bit in the poem 
is the interview between the ' Dominie and the Minister.' The 
description of their toddy drinking and their 'cracks' is first-rate;" 
and J. Logic Robertson, author of " Horace in Hamespun," writes: 
"I have read 'The Deeside Lass ' with pleasure, chiefly because of 
the freshness of the style. The descriptive parts of the poem are very 
good. The best bits of characterization are Lady Meg and Black 
Tam. Lady Meg's piety is refreshing. Tam is a splendid character." 



PROF. JAMES C. MOFFAT. 

— The warrior's name, 
Tlio' pralcd and chim'd on all the tongues of fame, 

Sounds less luirnionious to the ffratcful mind 
Than his, who fashions and improves mankind. 

At Glencree, in the South of Scotland, on the thirtieth day of May, 
1811, there was born of poor but honest and industrious parents a 
child, who in course of time grew up, and at an early age began the 
battle of life as a shepherd's boy. Tending his flocks day by day 
among the hills and glens, far from his home and his friends, he was 
thus led into a closer companionship with nature in all her wonderful 
beauties than he would otherwise have been, and soon he began to 
discover that there were 

" Books in ihc running brooks, 
Sermons in stones, 
And good in everything." 

Gradually his mind expanded, and imperceptibly a desire for 
knowledge and an earnest wish to become something better and nobler 
than what he was naturally took possession of his heart. Up to his 
sixteenth year he had received little, or, at all events, a very imperfect 
education, but at this age he apprenticed himself to a printer, not with 
a view of learning that trade, but simply as a means of obtaining access 
to books. His duties here occupied his attention for ten hours each 
day, yet so willing a scholar was he that during his spare hours in the 
course of a few years he had mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew, a little 
of Persian and several other European languages. Such in brief was 
the boyhood of James C. Moffat, the now venerable and greatly 
respected Professor of Clum li History in the Theological Seminary 
at Princeton. In 1833 he emigrated to America, and shortly after his 
arrival in New York, through the advice and assistance of a few friends, 
entered the junior class at Princeton College and graduated in 1835. 
Pie was then offered and accepted a position as private tutor to two 



48 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

young gentlemen who were about to study at Yale College, and one of 
whom afterwards ranked among the most eminent Greek scholars in 
Europe. We now quote from the Princeton Review : "At the end of 
about two years Mr. Moffat returned to Princeton as Greek tutor, in 
which capacity he continued till September, 1839, when he accepted 
the appointment to the Professorship of Greek and Latin in Lafayette 
College, then under the presidency of Dr. Junkin. In the Spring of 
1841 he removed with Dr. Junkin to Miami University, O., where he 
had been called to the department of Latin, and subsequently Modern 
History was added to his work. 

" In the Spring of 1851 he was licensed to preach the Gospel, and 
from September of next year he taught Greek and Hebrew in a 
theological school which had a short existence in Cincinnati. Having 
been elected to the Professorship of Latin and History at Princeton, 
he returned to that place in the Spring of 1853. Upon the resignation 
of Dr. Carnahan and the election of Dr. McLean to the presidency, 
several changes were made in the faculty and Dr. Moffat was transferred 
to the Chair of Greek, which he held for a period of seven years, 
retaining still the lectureship of history until a professor was appointed 
to that department. In 1861 he was elected by the General Assembly 
to the Chair of Church History in the Theological Seminary at 
Princeton." With Church History he retained Greek Literary History 
until 1877. Having thus as briefly as possible outlined the career of 
Professor Moffat, let us now turn our attention to him as a poet. 
After a careful perusal of his poetical works, we unhesitatingly 
pronounce his right to take a high rank not only among Scottish- 
American poets but among the poets of America. The principal 
features of his poetry are a graceful and melodious versification, a 
purity of language, the originality and perfect justness of his reflections, 
and a contemplative seriousness that reminds us of the meditative 
pathos of Wordsworth. His muse has no eye for frivolity ; to her 
" Life is real, life is earnest," and we have not seen even among his 
earlier and shorter pieces any absence of that stately dignity which is 
such a characteristic of the work of his mature years. Of his many 
published volumes the first of a poetical kind published in this country 
and entitled "A Rhyme of the North Countrie," (Cincinnati, 1847), 
the prelude to the principal i>oem in the work gives us a key at once 
to the mainspring of his poetic feelings — the love of the fatherland, 
which he thus apostrophises : 



PKOF. JAMES C. MOFFA T. 49 

Wild land of poesy, when free 
From daily cares to youth and thee 
My thoughts return, what visions lie 
Like evening clouds before my eye ! 
The winding stream, the mountain glen 
And sunny lawn appear again ; 
While every spot its legend brings 
Of love and past beloved things. 

The prelude introduces to us the story of the heir of a Scottish 
house whose worldly circumstances have been reduced, but who wins 
the love of a high-born lady, and in a heroic endeavor to win fortune 
and fame, undertakes the command of an expedition to the Polar 
regions. Years pass and no news of the hero until a wandering sailor 
tells the story of the finding of a lost ship and a frozen crew in the 
northern seas. The descriptive passages in the work are particularly 
fine, the versification elegant and melodious. Take, for instance, the 
hero's last look at the home of his beloved: 

The moon is on the eastern height 

His silver on the seas, 
But fairer to the poet's sight 
The glimmering of that humble light 

Among the ancient trees ; 
For it has shone on one possessed 

Of human life's most envied boon 
And prized more dearly to his breast 

Than all the rest beneath the moon ; 
And at this lovely place and hour 
When nothing but that ancient tower 

Upon the wooded steeps above 
Can thought of human life impart, 
Its gentle rays come on his heart 

Like messengers of love. 

The description of the Polar regions, the attitudes of the frozen 
crew, with the accompan)ing weird natural phenomena, are admirable 
examples of invention and graphic description to which no brief selec- 
tion could give an adequate illustration. We pass, however, to notice 
his happy faculty of writing short poems, chiefly of a moral or didactic 
kind. They embrace a variety of subjects, but the most striking are 
those which contain a survey of the beautiful in nature ; a subject with 
which he ever links a broad human sympathy. As an illustration of 
this let us quote a little poem which he composed during a visit to 
Europe immediately after the Franco-German war : 



50 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



TO THE RHINE AT COLOGNE. 



We've met, old Rhine, among the hills. 

And thou wast young and playful then, 
Disporting with the wanton rills 

And rushing wild from glen to glen. 

I've met thee in a fuller stream, 

Where still the haughty Alps arose, 
Flowing in majesty supreme, 

And gathering tribute from their snows. 

When brooks with loud complaining din, 

Harassed and tortured in the race. 
Through rocks and gorge, o'er ledge and lin. 

Sought refuge in thy strong embrace. 

And here, in thy maturer age. 

In tranquil force and grandeur spread, 
Conferring traffic's heritage 

Upon the lands thy floods have made, 

Diffusing far on every hand. 

Thy gifts and energies benign, 
I bow before thy wide command. 

And hail thee monarch, mighty Rhine. 

So may the people, through whose coasts 

Thy far-assembled waters wind, 
Their strong but long-divided hosts. 

Of honest worth and fertile mind. 

Endowed with learning's richest dower. 

Harmoniously at length combine 
Into one vast benignant power. 

As thou art here, imperial Rhine. 

Many of the professor's short poems are of a religious kind, and as 
such display an abiding faith in God's goodness to men. "A Cry in 
Battle " may be taken as a specimen of this: 

A CRY IN BATTLE. 



There is a war which I must wage, 

A victory I must win ; 
A fiend has cast the mortal gage. 

And dares me from within. 



PROF. JAMES C. MOFFA T. 51 

His hate is vigilant and keen, 

His forces manifold ; 
His strategy is broad, unseen, 

His charge sustained and bold. 

Insidious craft have I to meet, 

Whose arts deceive the eye ; 
To fight is to provoke defeat, 

Yet I must win or die. 

Great Son of God, whose piercing glance 

Through all designs can see, 
My hope for victory in defence 

I rest alone on thee. 

Again, many of his short poems lake a lyrical form, and of these his 
Tamers of the Ground " is probably the most widely known. 

TAMERS OF THE GROUND. 



There is conquest of force in taming the horse 

Till he brooks to be driven and bound, 
But prouder by far the victories are 

Of the men who tame the ground — 
Who tame the ground and its wilful powers, 

And determine the work it must do. 
Till it leaves its own, and executes ours. 

With obedience docile and true. 

For they are true workers together with God, 

In maturing the earth to his plan. 
And in teaching her dull and unmeaning sod 

To glow with the thinking of man — 
Who compel her rude life to surrender the wold, 

The marsh and the jungle to yield 
To him who can out of her deserts unfold 

The wealth of the fruit-bearing field. 

Delights there may be on the restless sea, 

Though treacherous, barren and bare ; 
But the grateful land ever blesses the hand 

That tends it with wi.sdom and care. 
Then health to the heroes, who tame the ground, 

And hold ii in bountiful thrall. 
For they lap the earth with their conquests around 

Enriching, benignant to all. 



S2 SCOTTISH POETS TN AMERICA. 

The greatest, however, of the learned professor's poems is "Alvvyn: 
A Romance of Study," published by Messrs. Anson D. F. Randolph 
& Co., of this city, in 1875. It is a lengthy work of seven cantos, 
written in the Spenserian stanza, and deals chiefly in an analysis of 
the mind of a student passing through the various studies of the 
acquired knowledge of the ages. This subject, simple as it may 
appear, opens a wonderful panorama of facts and fancies, which pass 
transfigured before the intellectual eye, and illustrate not only the 
vast scholarship of the author but his intimate knowledge of natural 
phenomena. The endless array of pictures that pass before us are 
drawn from every conceivable source, from the lovely grandeur of far- 
spreading seas, from the wild sublimity of mountains, from the shroud- 
ed stillness of the white North, from the dazzling brilliancy of tropical 
forests, from the heart of man and from all animate nature. The effect 
of each new experience of observation is finely pointed out in the 
growing intellectual power of the hero of the poem, and the incentive 
to study and a true conception of the power of knowledge with the 
highest reverence and faith in revealed religion, may be gathered as 
the general effect of the whole work. Indeed the religious sentiment 
is ever held, and justly so, as the highest attribute of man. The effect 
of forests in this sentiment is grandly expressed in the first canto: 



And much he sought the forest dense and old, 
A strange unhuman charm resided there ; 

And in the sombre twilight, damp and cold, 
Which bade the venturous foot of man forbear, 
He found attractions such as dangers wear. 

An awful thought that the Almighty God, 

Such as he reigned ere man was made, and ere 

Christ was revealed, still had his dread abode, 

In these old shades, to him was like a wizard's rod. 

Majestic trees, earth's ancient garniture, 
Primeval forests, which so fondly cling 

To the wild places, which your life secure 
From the destrtjying enemy, ye bring 
Conceptions of creation's early spring. 

Ere man's viccgerency had yet begun. 

And when in herb and stream and living thing. 

In heat and cold and cloud and golden sun 

God solitary reigned and all his will was done. 



PROF. JAMES C. MOFFA T. 53 

Not only does this intimacy with nature form one of the chiefest 
beauties of the work, but through this quahty we are led to a higher 
appreciation of such men of eminence, whose works are touched upon 
in this masterly poem. Even when we cannot follow the learned 
professor into his perfect knowledge of the work of the Greek and 
Roman poets and philosojihers we feel a closer intimacy with them 
after seeing the kaleidoscojjic reflex of their works such as is here 
presented on every hand. Take Cicero for instance : 

"Most fertile genius of the Roman name, 

Whose glowing tones of eloquence bestow 

But half thy green inheritance of fame ; 

Pure statesman hero, toiling to reclaim 

A sinking countr)' and a vicious age, 

Who lived a life scarce faction dared to blame, 

And nobly died to stem the tyrant's rage — 

Hail freedom's martyr, hail benign eclectic sage !" 

If space permitted, we would be pleased to analyze this poem to its 
close, but we can only add that as a whole it is one of most remarkable 
ever published in America. In finish of versification it certainly has 
no superior. It gives added sanction and stability to the power of 
knowledge and to the faith and practice of true religion as constituting 
the highest law of the moral universe. 

Besides his poetical works, Prof. Moffat is the author of a Life of 
Dr. Chalmers, published in Cincinnati, 1853; Introduction to the 
Study of /Kesthetics, 1856; Comparative History of Religions, 2 vols., 
187 1-3; Song and Scenery, or a Summer Ramble in Scotland, 1S74; 
Church History in Brief, 1885; and he has contributed about seventy 
historical articles to the Princeton Review and other periodicals. In 
conclusion, we cannot close our brief comments on the poet-professor 
without alluding to the exalted estimate in which he is held as a man. 
His pure and noble life carries with it the royal reward of a heart still 
sweet and young. The shepherd's boy with the keen eye and the bright 
smile is still there; the journeymen printer, with the quick hand and 
the kind word for a fellow workman, is still there. Add to this the 
talented scholarly jirofessor, the profound theologian; and through 
this combination of manly and noble (pialities, the light of poesy 
shines as sunshine among the forest leaves, blessing and beautifying 
the whole. 



HEW AINSLIE. 

His life was gentle; and the elements 

So mixed in him, that nature might stand up 

And say to all the world "this luas a man.' 

Hew AiNSLiE is entitled to a prominent place among Scottish- 
American poets. Early imbued with a taste for the ballad and song 
literature of his country, he contributed much to it that was both 
valuable and beautiful, and his name shall descend to posterity 
enshrined among the galaxy of sweet singers who have made the land 
of the mountain and the flood famous among nations as a land of 
poetry and song. Hew Ainslie was born at Bargeny Mains, in the 
parish of Dailly, Ayrshire, on the fifth of April, 1792. His father at the 
time held a responsible position on the estate of Sir Hew Dalrymple, 
and, being in possession of sufficient means, resolved upon giving his 
son a better education than that usually accorded to boys in Scotland 
at that date, A private tutor was accordingly procured, who prepared 
him in the elementary branches of study at home, after which he was 
sent to the parish school at Ballantrae, and later on to the Ayr Acade- 
my. He remained at the latter place until he reached his fourteenth 
year, when failing health compelled him to discontinue his studies and 
return home. Gen. James Grant Wilson, in his excellent work, " The 
Poets and Poetry of Scotland," tells us that " Sir Hew was at this time 
engaged in an extensive plan for the improvement of his estate, under 
the direction of the celebrated landscape gardener, White, and a 
number of young men from the South. Young Ainslie joined this 
company, as he says, * to harden my constitution and check my over- 
growth. Among my planting companions I found a number of 
intelligent young men, who had got up in a large granary a private 
theatre, where they occasionally performed for the amusement of the 
neighborhood the 'Gentle Shei)hcrd,' ' Douglas,' etc., and in due lime 
I was, to my great joy, found tall enough, lassie-looking enough, and 
flippant enough to take the part of the pert 'Jenny;' and the first 



HE IV AINSLIE. 55 



relish I got for anything like sentimental song was from learning and 
singing the songs in that pastoral — an Id ballads that my mother sung — 
and she sung many and sang them well — having been all the poetry I 
cared for. For three years, ^\hich was uj) to the time we removed to 
Roslin, I remained in this employment, accpiiring a tough, sound con- 
stitution, and at the same time some knowledge of nursery and floral 
culture." Shortly after this however he was sent to Glasgow, where 
he entered upon the study of law, but this proving too uncongenial an 
occupation for one possessing his temperament, he soon resigned his 
position and returned to his home. Another situation was procured 
for him in the Register House, Edinburgh, and here he performed his 
duties faithfully for a number of years. He also acted for some time 
as the amanuensis of the celebrated Professor Dugald Stewart. At 
the age of twenty he married, and ten years later, finding that his salary 
was inadequate for the maintenance of his family, he resolved to 
emigrate to America. He certainly expected that he would better 
his condition by coming to this country, and yet it was with a very 
sorrowful heart that he bade farewell to his native land. 

THE LAST LOOK OF HOME. 



Our sail has ta'en the blast, 
Our pennant's to the sea, 

And the waters widen fast 
'Twixt the fatherland and me. 

Then, Scotland, fare thee well — 
There's a sorrow in that word 

This aching heart could tell, 
But words never shall record. 

The heart should make us veil 
From the heart's elected few — 

Our sorrows when we ail — 
Would we have them suffer too? 

No, the parting hour is past ; 

Let its memory be brief ; 
When we monument our joys 

We should sepulchre our grief. 

Now yon misty mountains fail, 
As the breezes give us speed — 

On, my spirit, with our sail, 
There's a brighter land ahead. 



56 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



There are wailings on the wind, 

There are murmurs on the sea, 
But the fates ne'er proved unkind 

Till they parted home and me. 

He arrived here on the twenty-second of July 1822, and shortly 
afterwards purchased a small farm at Hoosick, Rensselaer County, 
N. Y. This proved an unwise speculation for him however, and after 
struggling with it for nearly three years, he was glad to retire from it. 
Then Robert Owen's settlement at New Harmony, Ind., was tried and 
pronounced a failure. A few years later he removed to Cincinnati, 
where he entered into partnership with Messrs. Price & Wood, 
brewers, and henceforth his lot may be said to have fallen in pleasant 
places. Success followed nearly all his future movements, and, being 
prosperous, he was happy and contented. But amidst this prosperity 
his thoughts would ever turn to scenes of bygone days, and he would 
find time to sing of 

THE LADS AN' THE LAND FAR AWA'. 



When I think on the lads an' the land I ha'e left, 
An' how love has been lifted, an' friendship been reft; 
How the hinnie o' hope has been jumbled wi' ga', 
Then I sigh for the lads an' the land far awa'. 

When I think on the days o' delight we ha'e seen, 
When the flame o' the spirit would spark in the een ; 
Then I say, as in sorrow I think o' ye a'. 
Where will I find hearts like the hearts far awa ? 

When I think on the nights we ha'e spent hand in hand, 
Wi' mirth for our sowther, and friendship our band, 
This world gets dark, but ilk night has a daw' ! 
And I yet may rejoice in the land far awa' ! 

In 1864 Mr. Ainslie resolved to pay a visit to Scotland. With what 
eagerness and joy he crossed the Atlantic for this purpose, may be 
judged by the following lines, entitled "A Hameward Sang." His 
love for Scotland must indeed have been stamped very deeply on his 
heart when, on nearing it after an absence of over forty years, his 
imagination gave him the impression that the trees seemed to look 
upon him with fond recognition, while even the very brutes had a 
social look about them and seemed to welcome him back to his early 
home. 



I/EIV AINSLIE. 57 



A HAMEWARD SANG. 



Each whirl o' the wheel. 

Each step brings mc nearer 
The hamc o' my youth — 

Every object grows dearer, 
The hills and the huts, 

The trees on that green, 
Losh ! they glour in my face 

Like some kindly auld fricn'. 

E'en the brutes they look social, 

As gif they would crack ; 
And the sang o' the bird 

Seems to welcome me back. 
Oh, dear to our hearts 

Is the hand that first fed us, 
An' dear is the land 

An' the'cottage.that bred us. 

An' dear are the comrades 

Wi' whom we once sported; 
But dearer the maiden 

Whose love we first courted. 
Joy's image may perish. 

E'en grief die away ; 
But the scenes o' our youth 

Are recorded for aye. 

He remained for some years in Scotland and on the continent, 
enjoying the friendship of many of the most eminent men of letters of 
the time. Returning to America he took up his abode permanently 
with his eldest son George, at Louisville, Ky. Mr. Ainslie was a poet 
in the truest sense of the word. His love for Scotland no doubt 
stimulated his muse to sing forth her praises in songs which will ever 
retain a place in the hearts of his countrymen, but apart from this he 
has left us numerous ballads and lyrical pieces which we would not 
willingly let die. Many of these are of a very pathetic nature, and, in 
addition to their being very beautiful, they contain excellent senti- 
ments expressed in the simplest of words. Take for instance his 

DOWIE IN THE HINT 0' HAIRST. 



It's dowie in the hint o' hairst, 

At the wa'-gang o' the swallow, 
When the wind grows cauld, and the burns grow bauld, 

And the wuds are hingin' yellow ; 



58 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

But oh, it's dowier far to see 

The wa'-gang o' her the heart gangs wi', 

The dead-set o' a shinin' e'e — 

That darkens the weary warld on thee. 

There was mickle love atween us twa — 

Oh, twa could ne'er be fonder ; 
And the thing on yird was never made, 

That could ha'e gart us sunder. 
But the way o' Heaven's aboon a' ken, 
And we maun bear what it likes to sen' — 
It's comfort, though, to weary men, 
That the warst o' this warld's waes maun en'. 

There's mony things that come and gae, 

Just kent, and just forgotten ; 
And the flowers that busk a bonnie brae, 

Gin anither year lie rotten. 
But the last look o' that lovely e'e, 
And the dying grip she ga'e to me, 
They're settled like eternitie — 
Oh, Mary ! that I were wi' thee. 

"Perhaps," says Mr. Thomas C. Latto, "the finest of Hew Ainslie's 
songs is the ' Bourocks o' Bargeny,' which I transcribe from the manu- 
script of the good old Bard, now lying on my desk. He copied it for 
me at my request October i6, 1868, and felt much gratified when I 
expressed my opinion that, though the theme had been attempted 
several times, notably by Robert Chambers in ' Young Randal ' and by 
Robert Nicoll in * Bonny Bessie Lee,' it had never been handled with 
greater delicacy and success than in his own simple lines. The Bou- 
rocks (/. e. Cotter houses) o' Bargeny is indeed a gem. 

'I left ye, Jeanie, bloomin' fair 

'Mang the bourocks o' Bargeny, 
I've found ye on the banks o' Ayr, 

But sair ye're alter'd, Jeanie. 
I left ye like the wanton lamb 

That plays 'mang Hadyed's heather ; 
I've found ye noo a sober dame — 

A wife and eke a mither. 

I left ye 'mang the leaves sae green 

In rustic weed befittin'; 
I've found ye buskit like a queen 

In painted chaumcr sittin". 
Ye're fairer, statelier, I can see ; 

Yc'rc wiser nae dou't Jeanie, 
But oh ! I rather met wi' thee 

'Mang the bourocks o' Bargeny ! ' " . * 



HEW A IN SUE. 59 



In 1822 Mr, Ainslic published his first work, viz. : "A pilgrimage to 
the Land of Burns." Several large editions of this work have been 
issued and sold. In 1855 he published "Scottish Songs, Ballads and 
Poems," and this also received a cordial welcome from the public and 
press. Three different editions of his collected writings have since 
been publshed and disposed of. Many of his earlier poems are to be 
found in the publications of the Messrs. Chambers, of Edinburgh, 
and in " Whistle Binkie," "Gems of Scottish Song," etc. Mr. Ainslie 
died at Louisville, Ky. , at the venerable age of eighty-six. From an 
obituary notice which appeared a few days after his death written by 
Mr. Latto, we clip the following : — " A truer Scotchman than Hew 
Ainslie never trod the heather. In person tall, stately and agile even 
in advanced years, his face was the index of his character — frank, open, 
honest, genial and manly. He looked the personification of Wallace 
wight or Bruce the bold, and in a personal encounter he would have 
been a match for half a dozen ordinary men. His head was beautifully 
set on his square shoulders and his broad, lofty brow betokened a rare 
and transcendent genius. At one of the meetings of the Burns Club, 
Brooklyn, E, D., it was stated that Ainslie, before he left Scotland for 
the first time, had had the honor of kissing Burns' ' bonny Jean' by the 
banks of the Nith, on the spot where he had composed one of his 
deathless lyrics. Full of years and of honors, it must be consoling to 
his family in their bereavement to know that his long life closed so 
peacefully, but never can his place be filled in the hearts of those 
who, like the writer, knew and loved him." 




HON. WILLIAM CANT STUROC. 

The general voice 
Sounds him for courtesy, behavior, language, 
And every fair demeanor, an example ; 
Titles of honor add not to his worth, 
Who is himself an honor to his title. 

William Cant Sturoc was born in the old town of Arbroath in the 
year 1822. He was the twelfth child of a family of thirteen, and as his 
parents' circumstances in life were not of the best, it became neces- 
sary to put him to work at a comparatively early age. His education 
therefore while not altogether neglected, can truly be said to have been 
of a limited description. During the short time however that he 
remained at school it is interesting to note that he was credited with 
being " a persistent, dogged, unconquerable boy, with a sharp, inquisi- 
tive turn of mind, bold and self-reliant, and a leader among his school- 
mates." He learned the trade of a whcel-wright with his father, but so 
determined was he during those early years of his life to better his ed- 
ucation and to push himself forward in the world, that before he had 
reached the age of twenty he had read through and studied as carefully 
as possible nearly all of the English classics. To-day he can pause 
and look back with complacent satisfaction on the heroic and laud- 
able struggles of his youth, and he inay feel proud of the fact that apart 
from the honors which his merits have won for him in various fields, 
he now stands prominently before the world as one of the finest speci- 
mens of the self-made men of the present century. In 1846 he resolved 
to emigrate to Canada. He arrived in Montreal in May of that year, 
and while supporting himself during the succeeding four years by his 
trade, eagerly embraced every opportunity that presented itself whereby 
he could add to the knowledge which he had already acquired. He 
became a frequent contributor to Canadian newspapers and magazines, 
and many of his articles written at this date show that he possessed 



HON. WILLIAM CANT STUROC. 6i 



considerable literary ability, besides a sound discriminating judgment. 

Life in Canada however soon failed to please him. In 1 850 he crossed 
over to the United States and took up his abode in Sunapee, N. H. 

Here he became ac(iuainted with the late Hon. Edmund Burke, and 
by him was induced to commence the study of law. Zealously apply- 
ing himself to his new task he was rewarded in 1855 by being admitted 
to practice as an attorney in the courts of New Hampshire. Since 
that time he has made Sunapee his home, and while attaining the high- 
est degree of eminence in his profession, has also acquired an honor- 
able reputation as an orator, a poet and one of the ablest statesmen in 
New Hampshire. By his gentle demeanor, his genial disposition and 
his numerous acts of Christian kindness he has gained the respect and 
the love of all classes. His home and surroundings are thus described 
in a recent issue of the Granite Monthly :— "Along the banks of Sugar 
River, on the shore of the lake, and crowning surrounding hillsides 
cluster fifty or sixty dwelling-houses, interspersed among which rise 
the spires of three church edifices, the roofs of a hotel, post-office, five 
stores, school-house, and the town hall. Some of the residences are 
elegant and commodious and compare favorably with the same class 
of structures in larger villages. The oldest and one of the best-looking 
dwelling-houses is the one owned by the Hon. William Cant Sturoc, 
in the heart of the village. We found that gentleman at home in his 
library, a man fifty-seven years of age, looking what he is, the educated, 
hospitable, ardent Scotchman. The blood of Bruce and Wallace is 
in his veins, the fire of Burns and Scott in his brain. Next to his 
adopted country he loves Scotland, and he has often breathed that 
affection in exquisite verse. It is a pleasure to hear him read Burns 
and other Scotch poets. As a lawyer and politician, he has no little 
distinction. He was the democratic candidate for State Senator in 
district number ten in 1876. His proudest title, however, is that of the 
' Bard of Sunapee.' " The following is his well-known descriptive 
poem entitled 

LAKE SUNAPEE. 



Once more, my muse ! from rest of many a )'ear, 
Come forth again and sing, as oft of yore ; 

Now lead my steps to where the crags appear 
In silent grandeur, by the rugged shore, 

That skirts the margin of thy waters free, 

Lake of my mountain home, loved Sunapee ! 



62 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Meet invocation ! to the pregnant scene, 
Where long ere yet the white man's foot did roam, 

Strode wild and free the daring Algonquin ; 
And where, perchance the stately Metacom 

Inspired his braves, with that poetic strain 

Which cheer'd the Wampanoags, but cheer'd in vain. 

Clear mountain mirror ! who can tell but thou 
Hast borne the red man, in his light canoe 

As fleetly on thj' bosom as e'en now 

Thou bear'st the pale face o'er thy waters blue ; 

And who can tell but nature's children then 

Were rich and happy as the mass of men ? 

Sweet Granite "Katrine" of this mountain land ! 

Oh jewel set amid a scene so fair ! 
Kearsage, Ascutney, rise on either hand, 

While Grantham watches with a lover's care. 
And our dark "Ben" to Croydon sends in glee, 
A greeting o'er thy silvery breast. Lake Sunapee ! 

How grand, upon a moonlit eve, to glide 
Upon thy waters, twixt the mountains high 

And gaze within thy azure crystal tide. 

On trembling shadows of the earth and sky ; 

While all is silent, save when trusty oar 

Awakes an echo from thy slumbering shore. 

Oh, lovely lake, I would commune with thee ! 

For in thy presence naught of ill is found ; 
That cares which wed the weary world to me, 

May cease to harass with their carking round. 
And I a while 'midst Nature's grandeur stand. 
On mount of rapture 'twixt the sea and land. 

For where shall mortals holier ground espy, 

From which to look where hope doth point and gaze. 

Than from the spot that speaks a Diety, 
In hoary accents of primeval praise ? 

And where shall man a purer altar find, 

From which to worship the Almighty Mind ? 

Thy past is curtained by as deep a veil 

As shrouds the secrets which we may not reach ; 

And then, 'twere wisdom, when our quest doth fail. 
To read the lessons whicli thou noiii dost teach ; 

And in tliy face, on which wi; If)ok to-daj'. 

Sec hopes to cheer us on our onward way. 



HON. WILLIAM CANT STUKOC. 63 

Roll on, sweet lake ! and if perchance thy form 
Laves less of earth than floods of Western fame ; 

Yet still we love thee, in the calm or storm, 
And call thee ours by many a kindly name. 

No patriot heart but loves the scenes that come, 

O'er memory's sea to breathe a tale of "Home." 

And when the winter in its frozen thrall 

Binds up thy locks in braids of icy wreath, 
Forget we not thy cherish'd name to call, 

In fitting shadow of the sleep of death ! 
But morn shall dawn upon our sleep, and we, 
As thou in spring-time wake, sweet "Sunapec !" 



Mr. Sturoc has been an ardent and successful wooer of the muses since 
his earliest years. He has given to the world many excellent poems 
and lyrical pieces, which have been awarded the highest praise from 
the press and literary men in general, but his extreme modesty and 
unwillingness to exhibit his talents in this respect before the public, 
has in a great measure retarded his popularity as a poet, both in America 
and in Great Britain. "The little fugitive crumbs," he says, "which I 
have cast carelessly upon the waters have been received on both sides 
of the Atlantic with more favor than they really deserve, yet, though 
'owre the seas an' far awa', I always take a warm and hearty interest in 
all that concerns Scotland." There is however, a notable difference 
between his early poems and those of a more matured i)eriod of his 
life. Take for instance one of his pieces which appeared in the Glasgow 
Citizen in 1845. ^^ begins, 

My Katie is a winsome flower, 
As ever bloomed in cot or ha'. 
An' heaven forbid its dewy leaves, 
Should ere untimely fade or fa,' etc. 

There is hardly a line in this i:)roduction that is in any way worthy 
to stand beside the beautiful lines which he gave to the world later on 
under the title of " Mary " and which we herewith append. An American 
paper noticing this poem at the time of its first publication very justly 
remarked that " It stamped its author, not only as a ripe scholar, but as 
possessing rare poetic gifts." 



64 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



MARY, 



I saw a vision in my boyish days, 

So bright, so pure, that in my raptur'd dreaming, 
Its tints of emerald and its golden rays 

Had more of heavenly than of earthly seeming ; 
The roseate valley and the sun-light mountain 

Alike, enchanted as by wand of fairy, 
Breathed out as from a high and holy fountain. 

On flower and breeze, the lovely name of Mary. 

That youthful vision, time has not eflfaced, 

But year by year the cherish'd dream grew deeper, 
And memory's hand, at midnight hour oft traced, 

Once more, the faithful vision of the sleeper ; 
No chance or change could ever chase away 

This idol thought, that o'er my life would tarry. 
And lead me, in the darkest hours, to say — 

"My better angel is my hoped-for Mary." 

The name was fix'd — a fact of fate's recording — 

And swayed by magic all this single heart ; 
The strange decree disdained a novel wording. 

And would not from my happy future part ; 
As bright 'twas writ, as is the milky way — 

The bow of promise is a sky unstarry — 
That sheds its light and shone with purest ray 

Through cloud and tempest round the name of Marj'. 

Burns hymn'd his "Mary" when her soul had pass'd 

Away from earth, and all its sin and sorrow ; 
But mine has been the spirit that hath cast 

A gleam of sunshine on each blessed morrow ; 
And crown'd at last, this trusting heart hath been, 

With fruits of faith, that nought on earth could vary. 
For I have lived until my eyes have seen 

The vision real, in the form of Mary. 

A special feature of Mr. Sturoc's poetry is the simplicity of language 
used by him. He places his thoughts before us in a clear and concise 
style, and his words, beautiful and appropriate in each instance, seem 
to flow as naturally from him as do the streams and rills down the sides 
of the mountains and the glens of his native land. Take the following 
" song " as a specimen of this : 



HON. WILLIAM CANT ST U ROC. 65 

I kcn'na gin the lanesome birds. 

When winter's snaws fa' dreary, O. 
Forget their canty summer hames 

In woods and glens sae cheery, O. 

But weel I ken this heart o' mine, 

Tho' fortune gars me wander O, 
Boats leal to ilka youthfu' scene 

An' distance makes me fonder, O. 

For in my dreams, by day or nicht, 

Tho' wealth and beauty bind me O, 
I'm wafted far owre sea an' land, 

To friends I left behind me O, 

An' there I see ilk wceUkent face. 

An' hear sweet voices many O. 
But dearest'still the smile and word 

O' charming, winsome Jenny O 

In nearly all of our author's poetry we find an underlying reference 
and unquestionable love for the land of his boyhood. 

This is more to be wondered at when we take into consideration the 
fact that it is now more than forty years since he left Scotland. Time 
however has in no way changed her to him; and her history, traditions, 
scenery and people are ever before his mind. In some cases his enthusi- 
asm for the fatherland becomes uncontrollable, and his muse bursts forth 
into patriotic strains as noble and as grand as those which emanated 
from Henry Scott Riddell and others. The following poem, for in- 
stance, written not very long since, will always be accorded a prominent 
place in Scottish minstrelsy : 

MY NATIVE SCOTTISH HILLS. 



Though cold and bleak my native land, 

Thoughjwint'ry are its looks, 
The mountains towering, dim and grand, 

Though "ice-bound" are its brooks ; 
Yet still my heart with fotvdest pride. 

And deepest paisions thrills, 
As, gazing round me, far and wide, 

I miss my native hills ! 

The spreading prairies of the West 
May yield their richest store ; 

And other tongues may call them blest, 
And chant their praises o'er ; 



66 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



But I shall sing, in humble song. 

Of mountains, lochs and rills — 
The scenes my childhood dwelt among — 

My native Scottish hills. 

Oh native land ! Oh cherished home, 

I've sailed across the sea. 
And, though my wandering steps may roam, 

My heart still turns to thee ! 
My thoughts and dreams are sweet and bright 

With dew which loves distills ; 
While every gleam of golden light 

Falls on the Scottish hills. 

And, when my mortal race is run, 

And earth's vain dreams are o'er, 
And, far beyond the setting sun, 

I see the other shore — 
Oh, may my resting place be found 

Secure from all life's ills. 
Some cheerful spot of hallow'd ground 

Among the Scottish hills. 

A sincere religious sentiment, well worthy of note, also pervades 
many of Mr. Sturoc's musings. However much his public career may 
have brought him in contact with the world there is no misdoubting 
the Christianity of the heart that can sing 

So what we have of gifts and graces given. 

Are only lent us for life's little day ; 
Nor shall we do the high behest of heaven 

If gifts are hidden, or be cast away ; 
And whom the hand of destiny hath sealed. 

As seer and singer for his fellows all, 
'Tis his to scatter o'er earth's fertile field 

The seeds that drop at inspiration's call 



Then let me sing ! O worldlings, let me sing ! 

Mayhap my warblings with their notes of cheer 
Will heal some heart that cherishes a sting 

Or wake the hopeless from their sleep of fear ! 
And thus I give what first to me is given ; 

My licart still grasping at the good and true. 
And trust the rest to high and holy heaven. 

Which measures doing by the power to do. 



HON. WILLIAM CANT STUROC. 67 

The Manchester Daily Mirror afid American, in an article describing 
our author says: " He has many of the elements of the genuine 
orator. He is one of the best debaters in the legislature — better than 
a majority in Congress whose names appear daily in the papers during 
the sessions of that body. He is deliberate in utterance, makes himself 
heard by all tlie house, and speaks with earnestness and to the point. 
In July, 1867, he received from Dartmouth College the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts, He holds a commission as Justice of the 
Peace and as Notary Public from the Governor of N. H. His de- 
mocracy is of the Jeffersonian type and his faith in constitutional 
liberty as firm as the granite hills." Mr. Sturoc keeps up a regular 
correspondence with his many literary friends, both in this country 
and Scotland, and frecjuently receives a rhyming epistle from some of 
liis poetical contemporaries. The following brief but complimentary 
one is by Mr. Duncan MacGregor Crerar, and is addressed 

"TO WILLIAM CANT STUROC, ON RECEIVING HIS PORTRAIT." 



My wishes warm I waft to thee, 

Beloved bard of Sunapee ! 

I prize, and will as years roll on, 

Perhaps, dear friend, when thou art gone, 

This welcome gift, this portrait true 

Of thee, ta'en at three score and two ; 

Those kindly eyes and locks of gray 

Will call up many a byegone day 

Made glad by letters charmed from thee, 

Belov6d bard of Sunapee ! 

Heaven grant thee strength and spare thee long 

To sing thy tunesome woodland song. 

Till dell and dingle, lake and corrie. 

Join in the strain and sound thy glory ! 

Mr. Sturoc, while getting on in years, is still hale and hearty. His 
intellect is as clear to-day as it has been in years gone by, and we trust 
as he gradually lays aside the cares of public life that he will continue 
to charm us with more of that genuine poetry which he has already 
produced, and which he is still capable of producing. 



WILLIAM LYLE. 

The fame that a man wins himself, is best; 
That he may call his own. Honors put on him 
Make him no more a man than his clothes do, 
Which are as soon ta'en off. 

William Lyle, whom the Dundee Weekly News extols as being 
"one of the sweetest toned of Uving poets resident in America," was 
born at Edinburgh in the year 1822. His father having died at a 
comparatively early age, the entire responsibility and care of the boy 
devolved upon his mother, a noble Scottish woman who, with limited 
means and a sincere faith in God's goodness, earnestly strove to per- 
form the duty allotted to her. 

Our author received the rudiments of his education at the Lancas- 
terian school of his native city, and at the age of twelve removed with 
his mother to Glasgow, where a few years afterward he became 
apprenticed to a potter. He was always a bright, observing boy, and 
being possessed of good common sense he soon became conscious of 
the fact that his education was very deficient in many respects. He 
therefore began to apply himself diligently to study and to the reading 
of standard books. In addition to this he enrolled himself as a scholar 
in one of the evening schools, and soon had the satisfaction of know- 
ing that he was making rapid progress in the cultivation of his intel- 
lectual faculties. He also made rapid progress in learning the various 
branches of the trade at which he was occupied, and as soon as his 
apprenticeship was finished he readily obtained a position as journey- 
man at a salary which enabled him to better himself in many ways. 
In 1850 he became united in marriage to Miss Jessie VVylie, third 
daughter of Mr. Robert Wylie of Kincardine on the Forth. She was 
an intt'llij.^ent and fascinating young lady, and her loving nature and 
sweet companionship stimulated him to brave, and eventually over- 
come, many of the obstacles which beset his pathway in life at the 
time. She was the first to inspire his muse, and he has acknowledged 



WILLIAM LYLE. 69 



her worth and his love for her in many of his finest pieces. Under 
the title of " Queen Janet," he sings: 

Beside a wee burn there stan's a wee cot, 

An' a bonny wee lassie in it ; 
Gin the gowd were mine that gilds a king's lot, 

I wad pairt wi' it a' this minute 
If there I raicht bide fur aye by the side 

O' the bonny wee lassie in it. 

Red roses speel roon' its auld-fashioned door, 

Less sweet than the roses within it ; 
Outside the birdies mak' sic an uproar — 

Inside is the song o' the linnet. 
The birds in the glen are jealous, I ken, 

O' the bonniest lassie in it. 

Richt past it the burnie rins tae the sea— 

Losh me ! hoo my love wad ootrin it, 
Gin I thochther heart was waitin' for me, 

Wi' her twa witchin' een abune it. 
The song I wad sing wad make the wuds ring 

An' fairies wad help me tae spin it. 

Saft blaw the win's o' winter's cauld day 

Aroon' that wee cot an' wha's in it ; 
An' when its my aln, as sometime it may 

(For I'll play my best cards tae win it). 
I'll sit mysel' doon an' think I've a crown 

In the true love of my Queen Janet ! 

In 1862 Mr. Lyle was offered and accepted a position in England, 
and while there published a number of meritorious poems which com- 
manded a great deal of attention. One in particular, of considerable 
length, was entitled " The Grave of Three Hundred," and had refer- 
ence to the great Barnsley Mine disaster. This poem was published 
in book form and had a very extensive sale. It was dedicated by per- 
mission to the late Lord Lytton, and copies were presented to and 
accepted by her majesty Queen Victoria. Some years later our author 
decided to emigrate to America. On his arrival here, he took up his 
residence in Rochester, N. Y.. where he has since remained, and where 
he has long held a position of trust and responsibility. Like all other 
Scottish poets in America, while upholding the dignity and grandeur 
of his adopted country, he is intensely enthusiastic on the subject of 



70 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

his native land. His whole soul is completely wrapped up in his ad- 
miration for her, and he never seems to tire of singing her praises. 
Take the following as a specimen of his muse in this particular: 

THE LAND OF THE HEATHER 



Come sing me the songs of old Scotland, 

If ye would be merry awhile, 
And strike the wild harp of her minstrels, 

If ye would my sorry beguile. 
O chant the wild lays of her heroes, 

Whose blood has baptized every vale, 
And sing me the songs of her martyrs, 

That oft lent a joy to the gale. 

Hurrah for the land of the heather! 

The dear little land of the North, 
Where true hearts and brave ones together, 

Tell mankind what freedom is worth. 

The earth is enriched with her lessons, 

And time is embalming her name : 
Disgrace never tarnished her tartans, 

Or mantled a brow with its shame. 
Bright gold may not burst from her valle)-s, 

Nor silver be washed from her streams, 
But there is a gold in her glory — 

Her valor all silver outgleams. 

Three cheers for the land of the heather ! 

The dear little land of the North, 
Where true hearts and brave ones together 

Tell mankind what freedom is worth. 

Through all the archives of the nations, 

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

Wherever her claymore has fought. 
O, hearts from the birthplace of freedom 

Forget not the soil ye have trod, 
Through time and through distance remember 

The noble old land and her God. 

Hurrah for the land of the heather! 

The dear little land of the North, 
Where true hearts and brave ones together 

Tell mankind what freedom is worth. 



WILL/AM LYLE. 71 



Tlie above is but one probably out of a hundred poems which we 
might mention, written by Mr. Lyle, each of which sparkles with 
references of the warmest nature to Scotland. Even a sprig of 
heather sent to him by a friend, calls forth the following affectionate 
sentiments: 

Bonnie wcc sprig o' the dear purple hc.Tthcr, 

Fresh frae the auid iaii' my heart lo'cs sae weel ; 

Twa|cronies hae met when we've come thcgither ; 
Auld love revived wi' a kiss I maun seal. 

Ye come like a warlock, wi' queer thochts surroonded 
Ye bring tae my heart lang syne simmer days, 

Ere life's angry storms my young dreams confoonded. 
When freedom an' I ran wild on the braes ! 

Ye speak o' the ploys by the rock and the river ; 

Ye tell me o' frien's lang deid an' awa ; 
Ye mind me o' music noo silent for ever ; — 

I wadna be true if tears didna fa'. 

Puir withered stranger, lang miles frae yer mithcr, 
Ye needna be ftcyed though far frae yer hame ; 

Fortune is kind — ye ha'e met wi' a brither, 
Wha never looks cauld on ane o' yer name. 

Bide near my heart, braw son o' the mountain. 

For his sake wha sent ye, an' for yer ain ; 
The bluid o' a Scot maun be cauld at the fountain 

When he can look on sic a gift wi' disdain. 

Yes, bide near my heart, an' aften ye'll cheer mc, 
When fortune's hard thumps frae the warl' I dree ; 

In fancy I'll dream that I hae a frien' near me, 
Though your hame an' mine is ower the wide sea. 

Bonnie blue sprig, ye'll be dawtied an' nourished. 

An' no ae strip frae yer plume shall be torn ; 
Ye'll keep the wish warm that I hae long cherished, 

Tae see the auld Ian' whaur we twa were born. 

They say sometimes the spirit will linger 

Near the lo'ed places when life is nae mair ; — 

If sae, can ye blame the heart o' the singer, 

That breathes sic wish in its sang an' its prayer? 

Mr. Lyle is a voluminous writer of poetry besides being the author 
of a number of tales and sketches. During the twelve years which the 
New York Scotsman was in existence scarcely a week elapsed without 



72 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

a. new poem being contributed by him to its pages. He has already 
composed material enough to fill six large volumes and he still con- 
tinues to write with unabated vigor and zeal. He is thus well and 
favorably known to the Scottish residents both in this country and 
Canada, and he has hosts of admirers on the other side of the Atlantic 
as all of his principal poems have been extensively copied by the 
Scottish press. His themes are numerous, and his poems, considering 
the very large number of them, display considerable power and origin- 
ality of thought. Humor and pleasing sarcasm also form a special 
characteristic of many of his compositions. A good illustration of 
these latter qualities may be found in the poem entitled: 

A CRACK Wr BOBBY INGERSOLL. 



Noo, Rab, my lad, I want tae say 
A word or twa in frien'ly way 

Tae ye, my chiel. 
Ilk ither week ye mak' a din 
About the clergy and their sin — 
A' praying folks through thick and thin 

Ye thump them weel. 

Ye've got a notion in yer pow 
That there can be nae after lowe — 

That there's nae hell. 
Ye mak' some folks believe it's sae. 
An' crack yer jokes tae them — for pay; 
But whaur )^e get yer logic frae 

I cannna tell. 

Noo, if there be nae hell tae dreid. 
Whatever mak's ye fash j'er held. 

An' guid time spen' ? 
Beside there's ae thing puzzles me, 
Tae after life ye'll no agree : 
Hae ye been ower the lake tae see — 

Hoo dae ye ken ? 

It's this way, Rab, as sure as death — 
We are na'gaun tae pin our faith 

Tae your coat tail. 
Ye may hae notions in yer brain — 
Juist keep them there — they're a' 3'er ain 
Aye, whcn'yc try sic tae explain, 

Yer sure tae fail. 



WILLIAM LYLE. 73 



When braggin' o' yer duty dune, 
Yer suppin' wi' a mucklc spune, 

For mair than you 
Hac loved their brithcrs juist as wecl, 
Wha ne'er denied there was a dcil, 
And wi' their bluid this truth did seal- 

Thc Bible's true. 



Rab, heids are heids, ye ken yersel', 
An' heids as guid as yours can tell 

Juist what they think : 
Maybe the worthies we could name 
Tac sense had quite as soond a claim 
As ye hae; and for honest fame 

Were nae sma' drink. 



Sae haud ye, man, an' dinna squeeze, 
Yer conscience for twa-thrce bawbees 

Gie us a rest ! 
Gin ye think Jonah gulped the whale, 
Sae let it be — baith held and tail ; 
But losh ! man, Rab, let ilk ane sail 

As he thinks best. 



Our author has been connected for a number of years with the 
Scottish Society of Rochester. He takes a deep interest in everything 
pertaining to the welfare of this patriotic organization, and no member 
is better known or more highly respected than he is. It has been 
customary with him for many years past to present the society with 
an original and always able and pleasing poetical address, on the 
occasion of its annual observance of the birthday of Robert Burns, 
and he has thus worthily borne the title of Poet Laureate of the 
society, an honor which his brother members conferred upon hirn 
many years since in recognition of his talents. These addresses are 
of considerable length, and if they were collected together and pub. 
lished in book form they would make a very interesting and unique 
little volume. We cannot conclude our brief sketch of Mr. Lyle and 
his works without referring in the highest terms to his English com- 
positions. They are certainly ecpial to his poems in the Scottish dia- 
lect, and prove that he possesses true poetic genius. The following 
poem in this respect will speak for itself: 



74 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



THE MURDER AT HOLYROOD. 



Night's ebon curtain fell once more 
On quaint Edina, Lothian's pride; 

Again the pointed gables wore 
The mystic robes of eventide. 

And stood up gaunt and grim and hoar, 
Like spectral giants, side by side. 

The narrow streets were still and lone. 

No taper with its fitful glare 
From odd projecting casement shone, 

Or struggled with the murky air, 
While now and then the night guard's tone 

In query curt cried, " Wha gangs there ?" 

Dark, silent city, little dream 

Your honest burghers while thej' sleep 
That horrid murder's daggers gleam 

In ruthless hands, and curses deep 
Will mar the peace of happy themes 

When morn shall rise on eyes that weep. 

At Holyrood — sweet royal name — 
In stately room, of fashion old. 

Lit by lambient spirit flame. 

Sat Scotland's Queen, and, roundly told, 

All of the friends her lot could claim, 
Alas, how few were in the fold. 

A plaintive air from skillful hand, 
Remembered her of happy days 

In sunny France, the summer land. 
Ere sorrow fell upon her ways, 

While beauteous lips in concert planned 
To meet the minstrel's witching lays. 

To some hearts come when skies are glad, 
And Nature smiles her sweetest smile, 

A premonition, softly sad. 

Like shadow from some unseen isle. 

Thus oft our thoughts in gloom are clad, 
With sunshine overhead the while. 

A presence seemed to fill that room 

No one could name and none could see, 

A creeping terror, and a gloom 

Lip feared to mention. Minstrelsy, 

However sweet, had sound of doom. 
And nameless sorrow soon to be. 



WILLIAM LYLE. 75 



Hush, hark, a ring of rattling mail 

Steals on the startled ear and then 
The crash of timber, cheeks grow pale 

And hearts beat high — it comes again! 
Eft soon that sound has told its tale — 

The room is filled with armoured men. 

Sprang the fair Sovereign from her scat: 
" What means this outrage ? how my lords. 

Have ye no shame? or is it meet 
To face your Queen with flashing swords ? 

Douglas! on guard, these traitors greet! 
Death with this treason well accords." 

Swift the stern Ruthven crossed his blade 
With youthful Douglas, whose slim steel. 

Unused to war's more trenchent trade. 
Snapped at the hilt, ere he could feel 

The gash the sullen earl had made. 
Or note his doublet's bloody seal. 

"'Tis not with striplings we would war," 
Cried Murray, as he viewed the fight. 

" This popinjay and his guitar 

Must no more blast the nation's sight. 

Madame, stand back, for by my star, 
And God's own Son, he dies to-night." 

Then hauberks Hashed, on floor and stair 
Gleamed naked swords behind whose blades 

Each bosom was a tiger's lair, 

Where vengeance lurked in stygian shades. 

" Hound," the fierce Ruthven howled, "prepare; 
Scotland is tired of masquerades." 

Then flashed the Stuart's pallid face, 
She bounded dogs and prey between. 

So meekest hearts to grandeur brace 
When danger shows and wrong is seen. 

Stamping her foot with royal grace, 
She stood there every inch a queen. 

" Caitiffs and curs, this boy shall feel 
Through our own heart your traitor blows. 

Unhand me, Darnley! thus you seal 

Your marriage vow, thus treason grows. 

Guards, without there. This last appeal 

Is from your Queen, whose friends are foes." 



76 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



"Lords of the Covenant, is hate 

A tenant of the church you own ? 
We've heard you all of mercy prate. 

Is this its outcome? this its tone ? 
Mother of God, look on our fate — 

For thou art more than crown or throne." 

Few words were said, few were to say, 

'Twas chance and thrust with lightning speed; 

Poor Rizzio fell, his doublet grey 

Dabbled in blood. Oh, hellish deed; 

Man becomes demon when his sway 
Is held in common with his creed. 

Drag the dead minstrel from the place 
He loved so well, by his Queen's side. 

Cold dews of death o'erspread his face; 
Winds tell his mother of her pride — 

Tell her his name bore no disgrace, 
But men were cruel, and he died. 

The sun arose o'er Arthur's throne 

In liquid floods of golden brown. 
Poor hunted Mary sat alone. 

And viewed the dead with mournful frown. 
She knew it not, but she had gone 

One step nearer the martyr's crown. 

Thus every time the sun shall rise, 
Its rays will fall on varied scenes; 

Some hearts give song and some give sighs, 
While some are kings and some are queens, 

Some from hovels send weary cries, 
Nor recks the sun what all this means. 



Mr. Lyle is at present arranging for the publication of a new volume 
of poems which his friends have at length induced him to place before 
the public. It will be entitled " The Martyr Queen and Other Poems," 
from which " The Murder at Holyrood " is an extract, and we feel 
assured that the little volume will receive a hearty welcome from all 
true lovers of Scottish poetry. Its publication will undoubtedly add 
to the fame of its author, although this is hardly necessary, as he 
has already earned a reputation for himself of which he may justly 
feel proud. 



WILLIAM WILSON. 

A truer, nobler, trustier heart, 

More loving or more loyal, never beat 

Within a human breast. 

" Having summered and wintered it for many long years with your 
dear father, I ought to know something of the base and bent of his 
genius, though, as he hated all shams and pretensions, a very slight 
acquaintance with him showed that independence and personal man- 
hood, *as wha daur meddle wi' me,' were two of his strong features; 
while humor, deep feeling and tenderness were prominent in all he 
said or wrote. * * i loved him as a man, a poet and a brother, and 
I had many proofs that my feelings were reciprocated." So wrote 
Hew Ainslie of William Wilson in a letter addressed to General James 
Grant Wilson, the esteemed editor of " The Poets and Poetry of Scot- 
land" and of the "Cyclopaedia of American Biography." William 
Wilson was born at Crieff on the twenty-fifth of December, 1801. Ha 
was educated with great care, and early began to take an interest in 
poetical matters; indeed, many of his own verses, written before he 
had reached his tenth year, prove that even at this tender age he was 
possessed of superior i)oetical talents. He is aaid to have inherited 
these gifts from his mother, a patriotic Scottish lady who ever delighted 
in singing the old Jacobite sjngs and ballads, which she did with much 
sweetness and pathos. At the age of twenty-two Mr, Wilson removed 
to Dundee, where he edited for some liiue the Literary Olio, and 10 
which he contributed largely, both in poetry and prose. He afterwards 
went to Edinburgh and entered into business on his own account as a 
commission agent. While there he is credited with having contributed 
no less than thirty-two valuable jjoems in less than three years to the 
Edinburgh Literary Journal^ a well-known publication then under the 
editorship of Henry Glassford Bell, late Sheriff of Lanarkshire. 



78 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Through his connection with this periodical he was brought into con- 
tact with nearly all of the prominent Hterary men of the time, and 
among others with Robert Chambers, then a young man just beginning 
his wonderful literary career, with whom he formed a warm friendship 
which was only terminated by death. He was also a great favorite 
with Mrs. Grant, of Laggan, who claimed the privilege of naming his 
eldest son, by his second marriage with a member of an old Border 
family, after her husband, the Rev. James Grant. This lady the 
young poet first saw while on a visit to his friend the " Ettrick Shep- 
ard," who delighted in his spirited singing of old Scottish songs and 
ballads. 

In 1833 Mr. Wilson emigrated to America and took up his residence 
in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Here he established a book-selling and pub- 
lishing business, which he conducted with great success for nearly 
thirty years. For a portion of this period he had for a partner a 
brother of Bishops Alonzo and Horatio Potter, and for a few years 
before his death, his son, General Wilson. But during all these years 
he continued to pour foith his heart in song, and many of his finest 
pieces were composed at brief intervals amid the cares and anxieties 
of this busy portion of his life. Many of these compositions were 
given to the world anonymously, and in this manner did not at once 
attain the popularity which they afterward achieved. They are now 
classed with the more illustrious of Scottish poems, however, and Mr. 
Wilson has long since been accorded a prominent place among the 
bards of his country. He was indeed a true Scottish poet, simplicity, 
tenderness, pathos or humor being characteristic of all his writings. 
Apart from his poems, however, his lyrical compositions have made 
him a universal favorite with his countrymen everywhere. Few Scots- 
men, even in America, for instance, are unacquainted with his 

AULD JOHNNY GRAHAM. 



Dear aunty, what think ye o' auld Johnny Graham ? 

The carle sae pawkic and slee ! 
He wants a bit wifie to tend his bein liame, 

And the bodie has ettled at me. 

Wi' bonnet sae vaiinty, an' owerlay sae clean. 
An' ribbon that waved boon his bree, 

He cam' doun the cleiigh at the gloamin' yestreen, 
An' rappit, an soon specrt for me. 



WILLIAM WILSON. 79 



I bade him come ben whare my minnie sac thrang 

Was birlin' her wheel eidentlie, 
An", foul fa' the carle, he was na' that lang 

Ere he tauld out his errand to me. 

" Ilech, Tibb)', lass ! a' yon braid acres o' land, 

Wi' ripe craps that wave bonnilic. 
An', mciklc mair gear shall be at yer command, 

Gin ye will look kindly on me. 

" Yon licrd o' fat owscn that rout i' the glen, 

Sax naigies that nibble the lea ; 
The kye i' the sheugh, and the sheep i' the pen, 

I'se gie a', dear Tibby, to thee. 

" An', lassie, I've goupins o' gowd in a stockin', 

An' pcarlin's wad dazzle yer e'e ; 
A mettl'd, but canny young yaud for the yokin' 

When ye wad gae jauntin' wi' me. 

" I'll hap ye and fend ye, and busk ye and tend ye. 

And mak' ye the licht o' my e'e ; 
I'll comfort and cheer ye, and daut ye and dear ye, 

As couthy as couthy can be. 

I've lo'ed ye, dear lassie, since first, a bit bairn, 

Ye ran up the knowc to meet me ; 
An' dcckit my bonnet wi' blue-bells an' fern, 

Wi' mcikle glad laughin' an' glee. 

" An' noo woman grown, an' niensefu' an' fair. 

An' gracefu' as gracefu' can be — 
Will ye tak' an auld carle wha ne'er had a care 

For woman, dear Tibby, but thee?" 

Sae, aunty, ye see I'm a' in a swither. 

What answer the bodie to gie — 
But aften I wish he wad tak' my auld mither, 

And let puir young Tibby abee. 

Another of Mr. Wilson's lyrical compositions which has won tor 
itself a well-merited popularity is the one entitled "Jean Linn." This 
was not only a favorite with the author but was also admired and 
highly spoken of by Dr. Robert Chambers, N. P. Willis, Hew Ainslie 
and other prominent authorities. 



So SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



JEAN LINN. 



Oh, baud na' 3'er noddle sae hie ma doo! 
Oh, baud na' j'cr noddle sae hie! 
The days that hae been may be yet again seen. 
Sae look na' sae lightly on me, ma doo ! 
Sae look na' sae lightly on me ! 

Oh, geek na' at hame hodden gray, Jean Linn. 
Oh, geek na' at hame hodden gray ! 
Yer gutcher and mine wad thocht themsels fine 
In cleidin' sae bein, bonnie May, bonnie May — 
In cleidin' sae bein bonnie May. 

Ye mind when we won in whinglee, Jean Linn, 
Ye mind when we won in whinglen, 
Your daddy, douce carle, was cotter to mine 
An' our herd was yer bonnie sel', then Jean Linn, 
An' our herd was yer bonnie sel', then. 

Oh, then ye were a' thing to me, Jean Linn ! 

Oh, then ye Avere a' thing to me ! 

An' the moments scour'd by like birds through the sk}-, 

When tentin' the owsen wi' thee, Jean Linn, 

When tentin' the owsen wi' thee. 

I twined ye a bower by the burn, Jean Linn, 

I twined ye a bower by the burn, 

But dreamt na' that hour, as we sat in that bower, 

That fortune wad tak' sic a turn, Jean Linn, 

That fortune wad tak' sic a turn. 

Ye busk noo in satins fu' braw, Jean Linn, 
Ye busk noo in satins fu' braw! 
ler daddy's a laird, mine's i' the kirkj-ard, 
An' I'm yer puir ploughman, Jock Law, Jean Linn, 
An' I'm yer puir ploughman Jock Law. 

While Mr. Wilson wrote largely in his mother tongue, he has also 
given us many valuable gems of English poetry. Of these his "Rich- 
ard Coeur De Lion " is the best. This is the piece which Mr. William 
Cullen Hryant claimed to be "more spirited than any of the ballads 
of Aytoun." 



WILLIAM WILSON. 8i 



RICHARD CCEUR DE LION. 



Brightly, brightly tlic moonbeam shines, 

On the castle turret-wall; 
Darkly, darkly, the spirit pines 

Deep, deep in its dungeon's thrall. 
He hears the screech-owl whoop reply 

To the warden's drowsy strain, 
And thinks of home, and heaves a sigh, 

For his own bleak hills again. 

Sweetly, sweetly the spring flowers spread, 

When first he was fettered there ; 
Slowly, slowly the sere leaves fade, 

Yet breathes he that dungeon's air. 
All lowly lies his banner bright, 

That formost in battle streamed. 
And dim the sword that in the fight 

Like midnight meteor gleamed. 

But place his foot upon the plain, 

That banner o'er his head, 
His good lance in his hand again, 

With Paynim slaughter red, 
The craven hearts that round him now, 

With coward triumph stand. 
Would ((uail before that dauntless brow, 

And the death-Hash of that hand. 

Among Mr. Wilson's other short pieces his " Sweet Lammas Moon," 
"A Welcome to Christopher North," "Jeanie Graham," "Sabbath 
Morning in the Woods," and " Britania " are worthy of special notice. 
The following extract in connection with our author is taken from the 
"Autobiography and Memoirs of Robert and William Chambers:" — 
"Among the persons to whom my brother applied for materials for 
the work ( ' Popular Rhymes of Scotland ' ) was William Wilson, a 
young man of about his own age who had similar poetical and archa;- 
logical tastes, and for a time edited a literary periodical in Dundee. 
Between the two there sprung up an extraordinary friendship which 
was not weakened by Wilson some years later emigrating to America. 
The letters which passed between them bring into view a number of 
particulars concerning my brother's literary aims and efforts. Writing 
in January, 1824, to Wilson, whom he always addresses as 'Dear 
Willie,' he refers gratifyingly to the * Traditions,' and the manner 



82 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

which the book had brought him into notice. 'This little work is 
taking astonishingly, and I am getting a great deal of credit by it. It 
has also been the means of introducing me to many of the most 
respectable leading men of the town, and has attracted to me the 
attention of not a few of the most eminent literary characters. What 
would you think, for instance, of the venerable author of the * Man of 
Feeling ' calling on me in his carriage to contribute his remarks in 
MS. on my work! The value of the above two great advantages is 
incalculable to a young tradesman and author like me. It saves me 
twenty years of mere laborious plodding by the common walk, and 
gives me at twenty-two all the respectability which I could have 
expected at forty.'" Mr. Wilson died at Poughkeepsie on the twenty- 
fifth of August, i860. The last of his work were the following verses, 
written in a feeble and faltering hand a few days before his death: 

WANING LIFE AND WEARY. 



Waning life and weary, 

Fainting heart and limb, 
Darkening road and drear}-, 
Flashing eyes grow dim ; 
All betokening nightfall near, 
Day is done and rest is dear. 
Slowly stealing shadows 

Westward lengthening still 
O'er the dark brown meadows. 
O'er the sunlit hill. 

Gleams of golden glory 

From the opening sk.v, 
Gild those temples hoary — 

Kiss that closing eye : 
Now drops the curtain on all wrong — 

Throes of sorrow, grief and song. 

But saw ye not the dying 

Ere life passed away. 
Faintly smiled while eying 

Yonder setting day : 

And, his pale hand signing 

Man's redemption sign — 
Cried, with forehead shining. 

Father, I am thine ! 
And so to rest he (luictly hath passed. 

And sleeps in Christ, the Comforter, at last. 



WILLIAM WILSON. 83 



A few years after Mr. Wilson's death a portion of his poems were 
published in a small volume, with a memoir by Mr. Benson J. T.ossing. 
A second and enlarged edition appeared in 1875, and this has since 
been followed by a third edition. Many of his poems made their first 
appearance in I^lackwood's Magazine or Chambers' Journal, and selec- 
tions from his writings appeared in Whistle liinkie, The Modern Scot- 
tish Minstrel, Blackie's Book of Scottish Song, The Cabinet, and in 
Longfellow's " Poems and Places." In concluding the brief memoir 
attached to his father's poems in " The Poets and Poetry of Scot- 
land," CJeneral Wilson says: — "The idea of this work originated with 
William Wilson, but urgent demands upon his time, together with 
failing health, interfered with its execution. The task devolved upon 
his son, who has as an act of filial duty, no less than a labor of love, 
endeavored to complete his father's unfulfilled literary project." 
Granting that the completion of this work was "an act of filial duty 
and a labor of love," it is still due to General Wilson to say that he 
has given us one of the best and most valuable books on the subject 
of Scottish poets and poetry which has so far been published. 



ANDREW M CLEAN. 

Tho' modest, on his unembarrassed brow 
Nature hath written: — Gentleman. 

Mr. Andrew McLean, the eminent Brooklyn journalist, is also a 
poet of sterling merit. He is a native of Renton, in Dumbartonshire, 
where he was born in 1848. After studying for a few years at the 
village school of Alexandria he became apprenticed to a carpenter, 
and remained at this trade until he was nearly fourteen years of age. 
It cannot be said, however, that he took much interest in this occupa- 
tion; certainly it did not in any manner harmonize with his tastes; and 
we may judge from the following verses that it afforded him consider- 
able relief when Saturday night approached and the work of the week 
was nearly over. Then his thoughts left the bench and the workshop, 
and he rejoiced that : 

The wearisome week is over, 

With its burden of fret and toil ; 
To-morrow I'll smell the clover 

And tread the daisied soil, 
And chant a tune as I lightly go 
More merry than any the greenwoods know. 

Where the streamlets glint and shimmer. 

Through shadows of maple gloss, 
And strolling sunbeams glimmer 

On fern and rambling moss, 
An hour I'll spend and drink the balm 
That the brooklets brew in the woodland's calm. 

He began to liavc a desire for some kind of occupation where 
energy, determination and ambition were requisite qualities to success, 
and where the services of one i)ossessing these would command 
recognition and advancement. Wc are not surprised therefore to find 



AN DUE W MCLEAN. 85 



him at this time eagerly gazing beyond the Atlantic to the shores of 
the new world and resolving to strike out for himself and begin life 
anew under the flag of the great republic. He had hardly reached his 
fifteenth year when he left his home and proceeded to Glasgow. Here 
he gladly entered into an engagement with the captain of an American 
vessel to perform certain duties, for which he was to be allowed a free 
passage across to New York. The recollection many years afterward 
of this eventful period of his life inspired his muse, and in spirit he 
became a boy again with a farewell song on his lips to his native land: 

Deep crimson heather bloom, 
Rich yellow blushing broom, 
Sweet, fragrant Scotch bluebell, 
Farewell ! farewell ! 

Song-hearted, throbbing lark, 
Gray cushat crooning dark, 
Shy, plaintive "bonnet blue," 
Adieu! adieu ! 

Broad-bosomed, silver lake, 
Leven's rippling, sunny wake. 
Grim, grizzly mountains high, 

Good-b)e ! good-bye ! 

Scenes that I loved and roved among : 
Rocks that echoed my earliest song ; 
Birds I knew in the nesting days ; 
Flowers I plucked by the woodland ways ; 
Lake of silver and sunny stream — 
Beauteous all as a sinless dream ; 
I say farewell, good-bye, adieu. 
But life shall end ere I part from you ; 
Ye are present wheresoever I be. 
Thy life is mine; I am part of thee. 

Arriving here during the excitement of the war, McLean entered 
the navy and served with distinction and honor until its close. On 
his return he took up his residence with some friends in Brooklyn, 
and after spending some time as a student in a commercial college, 
he decided to adopt journalism as a profession. He obtained a 
position on a daily as a reporter, and it did not take long for the 
management of the paper to discover that they had made a valuable 
acquisition to their staff. He proved himself an original and terse 
writer on all subjects. After serving in one or two other positions he 



S6 SCOTTISH POETS /AT AMERICA. 

became assistant editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. On the death 
of Mr. Kinsella he became editor-in-chief; but in 1886 he severed his 
connection with the Eagle and started what is now not only the 
recognized organ of the Democratic party in Brooklyn, but a first- 
class evening newspaper generally, namely, the Brooklyn Citizen. Mr. 
McLean is cerlainly a hard and conscientious worker in the newspaper 
field, and the public has not been slow to recognize his talents in this 
respect. " The true Scottish ' grit ' of McLean is proved by his 
antecedents," writes one of his literary friends. " He is an eloquent 
and effective public speaker, and the skill and ability he has displayed 
in conducting an influential daily are generally conceded. Engaged 
as he is, he has but few leisure hours to devote to poetry; and yet 
such is the energy of the man that he has actually written much — 
no small portion of which bears the stamp of poetical genius." The 
following is one of his best known poems: 

THE JEWELS OF BLARNEY. 



'Tis told us pleasantl}', by the simple peasantry 

Whose hearts ne'er wander tho' their words may stray, 
How an earl's daughters into Blarney's waters 

Cast all their jewels on a hapless da)' ; 
There to be pendant till some late descendant, 

Finding from war and bigotr)' release, 
Shall bid the fairies on whom the care is, 

Bring them to deck his coronet in peace. 

There's another story, presaging glory, 

And something better, which the peasants tell : 
For witching reasons, in happy seasons, 

When the earth is under the new moon's spell, 
Come flocks all white, from the breast of night, 

Calmly to graze near the pearly strand ; 
So that favored eyes may at least surmise 

That a spotless future awaits the land. 

These old traditions and superstitions 

Yield a moral that fits our time and place — 
They've a counterpart in each human heart 

That throbs with the heat of an ancient race; 
The Bigot's word and Oppression's sword 

Made a lake far deeper than Blarney knows. 
And in its water (iood Will's fair daughters 

Once buried jewels more rare than those. 



ANDREW MCLEAN. 87 



Clancarty's carl ne'er owned a pearl 

To compare with tlic Kf" of hrotlicrhood ; 
Nor in any mine dolh a diamond shine 

Like the soul that longs for another's good. 
No glittering schist, or soft amcthysl 

Can rival the beams of a friendly eye ; 
The emerald fades and llic topaz shades 

In the Hashing light of a purpose high. 

On a new made plain I observe again 

The Blarney Hocks with their spotless dress, 
And a shepherd near, from the fairy sphere, 

Maketh signs wliic li my heart is swift to guess : 
Our Age is the heir to the jewels fair 

That Good Will buried in evil days, 
And wc shall sec in our own land free 

The diadem on his forehead blaze. 

Let us sing old songs and bury old wrongs. 

And draw from the past, not gloom but cheer ; 
The angry moods of our fathers' feuds 

Should be given no place in our gatherings here : 
Let our children boast when our healths they toast 

At the festal boards of the years to come, 
That their fathers' choice was for friendship's voice. 

And in favor of striking rancor dumb. 

Mr. McLean is a poet of excellent fancy and power. His com- 
positions, as a rule, evince a true sympathy with nature, and there is 
a tenderness and melody, besides a quaint simplicity, displayed in 
all of them. Many of them also contain pleasing and thoughtful 
ideas, expressed in the choicest of language. Take for instance his 
poem entitled : 

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. 



Sweet songs of old ! they tluiil to-day, 
With undiminished gladness, 

Our hearts beneath their heads of gray 
And under brows of sadness. 

Again they bring the bounding joy 
Wc knew among the heather 

When, sunny girl and ardent boy. 
We roved and sang together. 



88 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

What Ponce de Leon sought in vain, 

Youth's sparkling, never failing fountain, 

We find in ever)' witching strain 

Of lightsome deeds by vale and mountain. 

Oh youth behind the mask of years ! 

Oh subtle singing rare magician, 
When e'er thy voice the spirit hears. 

She conquers age and scorns transition. 

Away the latter sorows flee 

And hither troop to take their places, 
The radicnt eyes the fleckless glee 

Of garnered days and gathered graces. 

In ever}- note a glor)' lives ; 

In every cord pure love vows tremble ; 
At every call the singing gives 

A thousand happy thoughts assemble. 

To age we give the meed of age. 

But when the tuneful breeze is blowing 
Affection leaves the wrinkled cage. 

And, eagle like, her pinions showing, 

(^utsoars the dusk, the gray of grief. 

The changing winds of seasons rolling 
To revel in the high relief 

Of spheres beyond the world's controlling 

Thrice blessed be the songs of old. 

And blessed be the tongues that sing them. 

And blessed be the hearts that fold 
Their sweetness wluii the minstrels bring them. 

In 1878 Mr, McLean published a small volume of his poems. The 
principal ])oem in the collection is the one entitled '* Tom Moore." 
This was written for and read by the author, at the celebration, by the 
St. Patrick's Society of Brooklyn, of the ninety-ninth anniversary of 
the poet's birth. According to the "argument" the poem ])roceeds 
to disclose a council held in Elysium by Irishmen before the birth of 
Moore, at which. Heaven having signified a willingness to grant their 
country whatever single gift they should agree upon, it was resolved 
to ask for a poet, who should win the admiration of the world and 
glorify the Emerald Isle. In the course of the debate the (jualities 
and purposes of his song are determined by various speakers. It is 



ANDREW MCLEAN. 89 

also shown that the misapprehensions of this life so cease in the light 
of the upi)er world that old enemies find themselves one in sympathy. 
Taken altogether the poem is certainly a very able and spirited one. 
It is, of course, too long for cpiotation here and it has to be read 
through to thoroughly appreciate its many beautiful passages and 
similies. Among the smaller i)oems in the volume "A Glimpse of 
April Sun " is particularly fine. 

Hail, gladsome gleam of April sun ! 

Thou glance from Nature's kindly eye ; 
Bright i)ledge of boisterous weather done ; 

Fair flowery fragrant prophecy. 

Thy radiance to the bluebird shows 

The gentleness he loves to sing, 
When winds that wanton with the rose • 

Forsake the rose to fan his wing. 

The various creatures of the woods 

Are gladdened by thy early grace. 
As I am glad when angry moods, 

Pass cloud-like from an old friend's face. 

Socially, Mr. McLean is one of the best of men. He is possessed 
of a warm, confiding and generous nature, and he has won the esteem 
and friendship of all parlies with uhom he has come in contact. 
While he is the author of nearly one hundred poems, not one of which 
he may be ashamed to own, still he is extremely modest in his own 
estimation of his poetical abilities, and it is seldom that his poems 
when printed for the first time have the proper signature attached to 
them. 




DANIEL McINTYRE HENDERSON 



Here too dwells simple truth; plain innocence; 
Unsullied beauty, sound unbroken youth; 
Patient of labor, with a little pleased; 
Health ever blooming, unambitious toil; 
Calm contemplation and poetic ease. 



The west of Scotland has been the birthplace of many eminent 
poets, and among these Mr. Daniel Mclntyre Henderson, the subject 
of our present sketch, is destined to occupy a prominent place at no 
distant date. He was born at Glasgow on the tenth of July, 185 1, but 
in 1 86 1 his family removed to Blackhill Locks, a short distance from 
the city, and a place where there was little or no society. The situa- 
tion, however, had its charms for our youthful poet. He was compelled 
to walk to and from the city each day, first for educational, and later 
on in life for social and literary advantages, and he attributes to this 
largely the fact that the thoughts of a naturally reflective mind began 
to shape themselves in rhyme. As with nearly all modern Scottish 
poets. Burns became his earliest model, and many of his boyhood's 
musings were inspired by reading and studying certain poems of the 
master bard. As soon as his education was finished he was sent to 
learn the wholesale drapery business, but he soon left this occupation, 
and after filling one or two other positions became bookkeei)er to the 
Scottish Permissive Bill and Temperance Association. Since that 
time he has taken an active part in all temperance and religious move- 
ments, and some of the beautiful hymns now sung in our churches are 
from his ])en. We append a specimen of his religious poetry, written 
in his mother-tongue : 



DANIEL MCINTYRE HENDERSON. 91 

on, LIPPEN AN' BE LEAL. 

(A Paraphrase). 

(3h, lippcn an' be leal ! 

The Fallicr's bairns are ye — 
A' that He does is weel, 

And a' that's guid He'll gie ! 

The birds they ken nae cark. 

They fear nae cauld nor weet — 
His e'e's ower a' His wark, 

They dinna want for meat. 

Think o' the bonnie flow'rs, 

Wi' slender, gracefu' stem, 
Drinkin' the summer show'rs — 

The Father cares for them ! 

The lilies o' the field 

At God's ain biddin' bloom ; 
His bosom is their beild, 

His breath is their perfume. 

And if He minds the llow'rs, 

And decks them oot sac braw. 
He'll care for you and yours — 

Then trust Him wi' your a'. 

The Father's bairns are ye — 

A' that He does is weel, 
And a' that's guid He'll gie — 

Oh, lippen an' be leal ! 

Mr. Henderson composed a considerable number of poems before 
coming to this country, and it is to be regretted that none of these 
have been preserved. He tells us that when he resolved to leave Scot- 
land he also resolved to " cpiit rhyming," as he had reached the con- 
clusion that he was not a poet, a wonderful conclusion, by the way, 
for one of the rhyming fraternity to reach. Landing in Baltimore in 

1873 he obtained a position as bookkeeper with Messrs. R. Renwick 
& Sons, the well-known furniture mauufacturers, with whom he still 
remains. Memories of home soon revived the poetic spirit, and in 

1874 appeared " Flowers frae Hame," an exquisite lyrical piece, which 



92 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

was at once set to music by the late Mr. Archibald Johnson, of New- 
York, and became decidedly popular. Soon afterward appeared his 
"Scotland Mine," a poem which proved that however much he had 
become attached to the land of his adoption, his heart still beat loyally 
toward the land of his birth. 

Oh, Scotland mine, my mother-land, 

How grand, how fair art thou ; 
The sunbeams play about thy feet, 

The lightnings round thy brow. 
How stout of arm, how fierce of speech, 

In battle and in storm ; 
But to thy children, bosom-nursed. 

How tender-souled and warm. 

My mother-land, how bare thy form, 

How wild thy heart of flame. 
Till kindly snows and mists and dews 

With gentlest soothing came: 
And now in nature's greenest robe, 

A queen I see thee stand ; 
The fairest, grandest child of earth. 

My own, my mother-land. 

In 1880 Baltimore celebrated its sesqui-centennial, A feature of 
the occasion was a parade of the Scottish societies, with delegates 
from New York, Philadelphia and other cities, Mr. Henderson con- 
tributed an ode in connection with the event which was widely copied 
and favorably noticed. An epistle, also written about this time to 
the late Mr. David Kennedy, the Scottish vocalist, was greatly prized 
by him, especially the verses : 

We want to hear the guid auld sangs that carry back the mind 
To the faces and the friendships, and the hame scenes o' lang syne 
We want to hear the Doric braid and lauch and greet by turns 
As ye sing the sangs o' Tannahill and oor ain brither Burns ! 

Sac yc'll come back, Davy Kennedy, and niak' oor hearts rejoice 
Wi' your cheerie face, j'our cantic ways, and the music o' your voice, 
And if the warl' could spare you, we'd keep you for a year, 
And you'd hae concerts nichily, and we'd a' be there to hear. 

Of a different nature, and rich in humorous sentiment, is Mr. Hen- 
derson's now famous epistle to Mr. Andrew Carnegie. It was written 



DANIFJ. AfC/iVTVRF. HENDERSON. 93 

a few years ago and published in the New York Scotsman, from 
whence it was copied into quite a number of American and liritish 
newspapers. There is certainly a great deal of truth and honestly 
deserved praise comi)ressed in the verses, and we doubt not that Mr. 
Carnegie looked upon the ])oem as one of the kindliest compliments 
ever paid to him. 

ElMSTLE TO ANDREW CARNEGIE. 



Oh, Andrew Carnegie, it's wecl to be you ! 
To hae siller and sense is the lot o' but few ! 
Ye hae gear and the grace for guid to employ it, 
And leisure yc hae and the heart to enjoy it — 
Lang life to ye, Andrew Carnegie ! 

Auld Scotland, oor mither, is prood o' your birth, 
As she blesses her bairns abraid ower the earth ; 
And America's prood ye hae fa'en to her lot, 
Her typical man, and oor typical Scot — 

Lang life to ye, Andrew Carnegie ! 

Ye ken what liard wark is, ye've earned you ain bread. 
And wrocht your way up wi' your liands and your head. 
And true to yoursel' through it a' ye hae been ; 
Thougli your wallet grew fat, your lieait didna grow lean ; 
Lang life to ye, Andrew Carnegie ! 

And noo, through your l)ounty, your ain native toun 
Has its storehouse o' knowledge, and's prood o' the boon, 
And hearts are made glad ilka side o' the sea. 
By the heart that can feel, and the han' that can gie — 
Lang life to yc, Andrew Carnegie ! 

It's oh to be you, to sae cannily slip 
Awa' roun' the warl' in a cosey bit ship, 
Or merrily rattle owre Britain's braid Ian' 
Wi' the wale o' guid chiels in a snug four-in-han' ! — 
Lang life to ye, Andrew Carnegie ! 

I vow, should the fates or the fairies decree. 
That anither, and no my ainsel' I maun be, 
Gin luiiic were the choice, takin' a' things thegither, 
I'd be Andicw Carnegie, witiiool ony swither ! 
Lang life to ye, Andrew Carnegie ! 

In 1876 Mr. Henderson re-visited Scotland and while there was 
united in marriage to Miss Alice Ashcroft, a refined and talented young 



94 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

lady who has since proved herself well worthy of the love which he 
bestowed upon her. " Their American home," to use the words of 
another well-know^n author, " now rings with the music of children's 
voices." Death, liowever, once crossed their happy threshold and 
robbed them of one of their treasures. Note the resigned, yet hope- 
ful and Christian spirit in which the following verses are written, in 
connection with the event. 

Rest thee, rest thee, bonnie doo, 
In the Faither's keepin' ; ' 

Nocht shall fear or fret thee noo 
In the kirkyard sleepin ! 

Rest thee, bonnie bairnie rest, 

Wakin's waefu', sleep is best. 

Rest thee, rest thee, bonnie doo, 

White, white is thy plaidie, 
Sae He gie'th snaw like 'oo', 

Warm and lown to hide thee ! 
Rest, my bonnie bairnie, rest, 
Wakin's waefu', sleep is best. 

Rest thee, rest thee, bonnie doo. 

Bide the simmer bringin' 
Gowan's white and bell's o' blue. 

And the birdies singin'. 
Rest thee, bonnie bairnie, rest. 
Wakin's waefu', sleep is best. 

Rest thee, rest thee, bonnie doo, 

A)'e we'll mind oor dearie. 
A' the gowden simmer through, 

A' the winter dreary. 
Rest thee, bonnie bairnie, rest, 
Wakin's waefu', sleep is best. 

Rest thee, rest thee, bonnie doo, 

Sair has been oor sorrow. 
Oh to greet the bairn we loe 

In Heaven's glecsomc niorrf)w. 
There, my bairnie, wakin's blest, 
There, my bairnie, wakin's rest. 

The same sad occasion also gave rise to an incident which tended 
in some measure to soothe the feelings of the bereaved parents : 



DANIEL MC IN TYRE HENDERSON. 95 



OUR NEIGHBOR'S PITY. 



That day our little one lay dead, 

And wc were sad and sore of heart, 
And all the joy of life seemed fled, 

Our neighbor sought to ease the smart. 
Oh ! strange, sweet power of sympathy ! 

That grief should find assuagement thus ! 
Our sorrow seemed the less to be, 

The more we thought, she pities us ! 

And then she said, how blest was she, 

Since God had still denied her prayer, 
Nor set a baby on her knee ; 

For such a gift meant such a care ! 
Our pain was stilled by sad surprise ; 

New feelings in our heart did stir. 
We looked into our neighbor's eyes. 

And pitied her — and pitied her. 

Mr. Henderson is a studious reader of nearly all kinds of literature. 
The life, character and writings of ihc late Dr. David Livingstone con- 
stitute him his nineteenth century hero. Carlyle, however, is his 
favorite prose writer, and Browning and Lowell his favorite poets. His 
own poems are carefully and skillfully written, and show that he is 
l)ossessed of a cultured literary taste His style is natural and unre- 
strained, and the characteristics of a true son of song are manifested 
in all of his writings. Many of his i)ieces have a soft, melodious 
cadence with them whicli is very pleasing. Take for instance his 
piece entitled "A Song of Love." 

Love's season is but brief, 

So they say. 
It opens like the leaf, 

To decay ; 
Ah ! wlII, I only know 
The long years come and go 
But 'tis leaf time with Love ahvay ! 

A silver cloud is Love, 

So they say. 
That tloats a while above. 

Then away ; 
Ah ! well, the years have brought, 
Their freight of care and thought. 
Yet I build in the clouds to-day. 



c6 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Uncertain as the sea, 

So they say, 
Love ever will be free, 

Well-a-day ! 
The years have come and gone, 
Life's ebb and flow go on, 
But the sea is the same for aye. 

If loves do fade e'er long, 

As they say, 
Yet Love is true and strong, 

And will stay. 
The leaf and cloud and tide 
Through all the years abide — 
Is not Love longer lived than the}-? 

Among the various sonnets which Mr. Henderson has composed, 

the one enlilled " Thomas Carlyle " is decidedly the best. It is a 

scholarly production, and bears on its face the imprint of the work of 

a master. Tliere have been numerous sonnets published on the same 

subject, but the jjresent is the finest that has come under our notice 

so far : 

THOMAS CARLYLE. 

(I'uried at Ecclcfechan). 

Yes, it was meet tliat there he should be laid ; 

Tlie ^real and wise beside the good and just — 

They were his kindred ! Nature's " dust to dust." 
The tinal law had honor when they made 
His bed, noi with the cliisel, but the spade. 

Not in the Abbey, but the kirkj-ard lone. 

His mother-mould takes tenderlv her own, 
And o'er him spreads her green, all sheltering plaid. 
God made from out the dust of Scottish earth 

A man whose spirit was th' Almiglity's breath : 

The moorland breezes shouted at his birth. 
And blew brave music through him till his death ! 
Knox, Wallace, Burns, — priest, patriot, and bard, 
Woke once again, sleep now in yon kirkyard. 

With these few selections from the poetical writings of Mr. Hender- 
son we take our leave of him. That he is possessed of true poetical 
gifts none will dispute, and we refer those of our readers, who desire 
to obtain a collection of his writings, to the volume just published by 
Messrs. Cushings & Bailey, Baltimore, entitled " Poems, Scottish and 



DANIEL MC IN TYRE HENDERSON. 97 

American." Reviewing this work T/ie Critic (New York), says: 
"Happy the \)(i^\. that is born in Scotland. Perhaps it is because 'the 
interesting ' abounds tliere; from whatever cause a natural grace and 
ease, a true feeling for the music of verse, a close sympathy with 
nature, and a warm humanity, seem the birthright of the singer sprung 
from Scottish soil. All these characteristics are to be found in the 
collection of ' Poems, Scottish and American,' by D. M. Henderson. 
It is a pleasure to meet a little book so sincere, so satisfying within its 
limits. The poet longs, under the bright Southern sky, for the song 
of the skylark, entering the Holy of Holies in the far blue above; he 
notes, with the keen eye that reads the sweet meanings of nature, the 
significance of the giant poplar ' maimed, but a giant still,' 'rustling 
a thankful psalm,' as it aspires to heaven from the feverish turmoil of 
the city. Perfect in its way is the tenderness of 'Rest thee, Bonnie 
Doo,' a lullaby to the bonnie bairnie warm-folded under the ' white 
plaidie ' of winter by Him who giveth snow like wool. Worthy of a 
compatriot of Burns are the simple song ' Jeanie, lass, I lo'e thee,' and 
the arch lines 'Seekin' Sympathy.' In a loftier tone is the poem on 
Carlyle. It is not needful that we should have an unqualified admira- 
tion for that teacher, in order to appreciate the ring of Mr. Hender- 
son's verses." 




f^%: 



DR. JOHN M. HARPER. 

Such sweet, such melting strains! 
Their soft harmonious cadence rises now, 
And swells in solemn grandeur to its height! 
Now sinks to mellow notes — now dies away — 
But leaves its thrilling memory on my ear! 

Sweet as the note of a bird in the wildwood, strongly imbued with 
patriotism, fervent in religious sentiment, eloquent in thought, pure in 
expression, and noble in purpose; such form a few of the character- 
istics of the muse of Dr. John M. Harper, the Canadian educationist 
and author. Many of his principal poems are of considerable length, 
displaying both skill and talent in their construction, while glittering 
through all of them, like stars in a clear midnight sky, are metaphors 
of rare and striking beauty. His themes, as may readily be inferred, 
embrace a wide variety of subjects, and we hesitate somewhat in 
deciding as to which of his pieces are the most suitable to include in 
our brief sketch, the better to enable our readers to form a just esti- 
mate of his intrinsic merits as a poet. In his poem, entitled " In 
Memoriam," for instance he says: 

Man's strength is weakness in the face of God's; 

His stinted powers are weaker than his will; 
He plans; and yet his boldest plan forbodcs 

The human weakness that may not fulfil. 
'Tis near his loved ones dying that he knows — 
When seeking strength from every hope that blows, 

When all the tendrils of his being thrill — 
That God is fate, and death his messenger, 
That Christ of perfect peace is still the harbinger. 

Ephemeral shine the brightest of our joys, 

Amid the clouds that lloat across our sky; 
They're but the golden star-dust heaven employs 

To beautify man's life and destiny. 
A shadow here is but no shadow there: 
There is no light where all is bright and fair: 

Joys quenched reveal the living joys that lie 
Around us — while a light as sweet as dawn 
Plays peaceful round the shadows of the hope that's gone. 



DR. JOHN M. HARPER. 99 



Lines Jikc these are not the idle musings of a mere rhymist, they are 
the finely conceived ideas of a cultured imagination and intellect, in 
other words they are the work of a true poet. Among Dr. Harper's 
finest efforts are a group of i)oems artistically tied together under the 
poetical title of " Lays of Auld Lang Syne." Such poems as "The 
Burgh's Hells," "Sacrament Sunday," "Auld Jeames and his Crack," 
"Johnstone Landward," and many others are included in the group, 
the whole forming as fine a collection of Scottish poetry as one would 
wish to read. The introduction to the group is as follows: 

My n.itivc land, .i debt of song I pay, 

A debt of love, that lieth on my soul, 
When memory draws the veil of bygone day, 

And olden music greets the lifting scroll. 
A tribute to thy freedom's faith I bring: 

The piety that scents thy glebe I sing; 
Thy purple hills whose silver mists unroll 

The waving gold of dawn; thy pleasant plains 
And hawthorn banks and braes where hamlet 
meekness reigns. 

The first mentioned poem of this group is after the manner of 
Burns's " Twa Dogs," and consists of over four hundred and fifty lines, 
which run smoothly and harmoniously from the beginning to the end. 
The preface to the poem explains the purpose of the writer thus: "A 
little while ago the lieges of Johnstone, in discussing the true owner- 
ship of the fine bell that hangs in the steeple of the parish church, 
were found indulging in that wMrmth of expression which seems to 
arise so naturally in discussions over local affairs. In this case there 
were two well-defined parties, the one claiming, from facts connected 
with the purchase of the former occupants of the steeple, that the 
present bell is the property of the town, the other claiming that its 
ownership is vested solely in the trustees of the church. Now that 
the storm is over the following verses have been written with the 
simple intention of crystallizing the discussion. If the Doric or Scot- 
tish dialect be, indeed, dying out, as some declare it is, the writer, in 
making use of it as a literary medium, can only urge, as an excuse for 
his temerity, the fact that much of the discussion must necessarily 
have been conducted in Lowland Scotch." The poem then opens 
with a description of the vale of Cart, and from this we obtain a pretty 
fair idea of our poet's descriptive powers: 



iob SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



'Tvvas at the gloaming of a springtide day, 

While sunset's golden locks were fringed with gray 

Beyond the western slopes of Cartha's vale, 

Beyond the isles that echo ocean's wail, 

While yet o'erhead the silvery shadows fell 

To shroud the glory of the day's farewell— 

I sought the silent path whose slope commands 

The view of burgh built on Houstoun's lands— 

To spend an hour with nature in repose 

Or weave a silken thought in rhyme or prose. 

The moon, all radiant at the sun's retreat 

In time drew near her beauty's zenith-seat, 

And threw her modest veil around the scene 

That peaceful glowed amid the electric sheen. 

The giddy stars like courtiers unrestrained 

Danced on the floor of heaven, chaotic-stained, 

As if tliey thought their merry rays alone 

Shed light enough to lustre midnight's throne. 

Amid the silence of midnight the prologue of the poem is rung out 
by the new bell in this manner: 

With a brave-hearted roll my tongue dares to toll 

And dirl a dread of the past ; 
With the present still here, I shall ring out a cheer 

That no memory-cloud shall o'ercast ; 
Neither grumble nor groan, neither malice nor moan 

Shall hinder my cheer-ringing mirth. 
In the morn of my pride, all care I'll deride 

As 1 roll out the joy of my birth. 

Let other bells weep generations asleep. 

As for me I shall ever ring joy ; 
As I throb in my steeple, I'll stir up the people 

Full moments of mirth to employ. 
So hurrah ! as I swing, as I joyously ring 

The burghers their lives to fulfil, 
Let me banish all fear as their spirits I cheer 

With tones that all honest hearts thrill. 

Afterward there appear before the poet's vision the ghosts of the 
two old bells discussing the new bell and its prospect in life. The 
following is a good example of the pith of the Scottish dialect, and 
illustrates to what a wonderful extent Dr. Harper is master of his 
mother tongue: 



DR. JOHN M. JIARPER. lOi 

Guid e'en, auld grannie, ncebour mine, 
I nccdna spccr wliat ^^ars ye whine, 
Or glower sae angry thro' your mutch 
As if the steeple were some witch — 
As if ye'd grip'd yon gommeril's throat 
And chirt frac him iiis dying note ; 
For trutii to tell, his giddy bouncing 
Would set auld Job himsel' aflouncing, 
But ne'er ye fash your thumb, guidwife, 
He's but a menscless nyaffin cuif, 
A trashtrie-tritler fu' o' win'. 
That kens nae glory save in din. 
For us, our day is past, 'tis true, 
For lang's the time since we were new ; 
But then experience is nae vice 
Gin sense it bring as virtue's price ; 
And if auld age has cracked us baith 
Or forced us else to don ghost's graith, 
Our record's guid and weel worth hearing 
By a' that hae for guid a caring ; 
While as for boastin' Tarn up yonder 
He'll nocht be but a nine day's wonder. 

The two old beldames converse for some time in the most friendly 
manner, until disagreeing upon some point of local history their con- 
versation breaks out into angry words. 'I'he Insi of the ghost's words 
are very human : 

Ha I ha ! you drab, wha's angry noo ? 
Mayhap ye've gi'en my grunt a grue ; 
You wise folk canna bear defeat 
But burn your temper wi' its heat, 
Tarn yonder's daft, but ye are crazy. 
Philosophy hath made ye hazy I 

And the piece winds up with the writer's words: 

No more I heard beyond a dreadful whish 
As if the ghosts did then their anger push 
To close attack. An eerie moment passed. 
And then I shuddering rose, downcast 
With fears, and shivering in the midnight cold. 
Determined ne'er again to be so bold 
As wander near the haunts of spirit bells 
That show the weakness human hate reveals. 



102 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Glancing over the smaller poems in the group, " To a Sprig of 
Heather " comes peeping forth, sweet in its simple beauty, and charm- 
ing us with its fragrance of other days. 

My bonnie spray o' pink and green, 

That breathes the bloom o' Scotia's braes, 
Your tiny blossoms blink their e'en, 

To gie me glimpse o' ither days — 
The days when youth o'er-ran the hills, 

A-daffin' wi' the life that's free, 
'Mid muirland music, and the rills 

That sing their psalm o' liberty. 

Your wee bit threads o' crimpit fringe 

Ance shed their fragrance in the glen, 
Whaur silence hears the burnie bringe, 

And o'er the the scaur its prattle sen': 
And now your bonnie tlow'rets blink. 

To mind me o' the burnie's sang. 
To move my heart perchance to think 

O' mirth that thro' the bygane rang. 

E'rewhile the hillside breezes kiss'd 

The dew-drops frae your coronet, 
Or made you smile as thro' the mist 

The peep o' day dispelled the wet : 
And now your bloom's the token sweet 

O' freenship in a brither's heart. 
That smiles to see our cares retreat, 

When freenship acts a brither's part. 

Nor must we overlook another little poem which is hidden behind 
the "Sprig of Heather." It is entitled " Woo'd and Wed," and it is 
seldom that we come across a piece so brief and yet so daintily clothed 
in the sweet language of the true poet. This, with the former piece 
and many others of our author's lyrics, lias been set to music. 

The east wind blustered in her car, 

The daisy shuddering drooped her head, 
Such wooing pinched her heart with fear, 

She closed her eye and said : 
" No lover true would think to harm 

A wee bit thing like modest me ; 
I'll crouch me down and keep me warm 

Till summer sets me free." 
* « * * 



DR. JOHN M. HARPER. 103 

Tlic zcph)'r whispered though her hair, 

The daisy blushing coyly smiled, 
She thought to say, " IIow do you dare?" 

His sighs lier tlioughts beguiled. 
He kissed her crown, and crimson lips, 

Her tresses trembled on his crest, 
But dew-drops stained her petal tips 

When yEol drove him west. 



The bloom of autumn woo'd her heart, 

The daisy gave her heart away. 
Such loves as theirs true joys impart, 

Their life was golden day, 
No thought how long such love could last, 

'Twas his upon her heart to lie, 
Her matron hopes no shadow cast 

That love would ever die. 

Among Dr. Harper's more serious pieces we have a special liking 
for the one entitled " The Old Graveyard." There is something of 
the quaintness and pathos of Wordsworth embodied in each verse, the 
poem altogether being full of those human sym]jalliies that make tlie 
world of one kin. We append it herewith: 

THE OLD GRAVEYARD. 



The summer's day is sinking fast. 

The gloaming weaves its pall. 
As shadows weird the willows cast 

Beyond the broken wall. 
And the tombstones gray like sentinels rise. 
To guard the dust that 'ncath them lies. 

The whispering breezes solenui bear 

A requiem knell-intoned. 
As the steeple's throbs alarm the air. 

And through the valle)' sound, 
To bid the wear}' seek repose. 
When dies the day at twilight's close. 

Then silken silence murmurs rest, 
And the peace that reigns supreme 

Seems but awaiting God's behest. 
To wake it from its dream. 

While yet it soothes the hearts that weep 

Lament for those that lie asleep. 



104 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

The moon, deciphering virtue's claims 

To deeds of duty done 
Illumes anew the graven names, 

That time hath not o'ergrown, 
Though the deeds of all are in the book, 
Where time hath never dared to look. 

Five generations slumber here, 

Beneath these crowding mounds. 
And still their spirits hover near. 

As memory makes its rounds — 
When widowed love here finds retreat. 
And sympathetic echoes meet. 

The first to find their rest were those 

Who saw the hamlet's birth. 
When hum of industrj' arose, 

To blend with rural mirth — 
When progress first beheld its dawn. 
Near by the river's virgin lawn. 

But now the glebe a surfeit knows 

Though scarce a century old. 
And undisturbed the rank grass grows 

Above the tear dewed mould. 
While men in thousands claim it theirs, 
Where lie their kindred and their tears. 

And oft 'tis here we learn to die. 

As sorrow sifts the soul, 
When love's sweet longings seem to sigh. 

And with our grief condole — 
To make us feel what joy it is 
To know that death makes all things his. 

For if tradition reads its lore 

In lines of dismal light. 
Our higher hopes the tints restore 

To dissipate the night — 
To courage us to think of death 
A change beatified by faith. 

Among our poet's sonnets, of which, by the way, there are a very 
great number, we come upon many that are of the very highest order 
of merit. Such, for instance, are the following: 



DK. JOHN M. HARPER. 105 



TO THE TRUE POET. 



Sweet as the sheen the dew-drops sip at dawn 
Thy purity of song hath laved my heart, 

The rhythm of its light hath inward shone 
To bid the sliadows from my soul depart. 

As soars the lark be)'ond the fragrant mead 
To bear the breath of wild flowers to the skies, 
'Tis his to greet the sphere that purifies 

Earth's sweetness with its own; and scattering seed 
Of scented tnitli upborne upon the wing 

Of song, 'tis thine to seek an upper light 

Beyond life's clouds, while we upgazing sing 

A timid greeting to thy venturous flight, 

And long to bathe our being in the air 

Where none but thee and such sweet singers dare. 

LAW AND LOVE. 



How pleasant 'tis to watch the sweet-mouthed tide 

Wave over wavelet kiss the golden sands, 
Where, coyly moored, the dancing skiffs deride 

Its silvery crest or where the chubby hands 
Of childhood dare its frolic and embrace — 

To find too late its foam a sackcloth wreath. 
Even so in life, when charmed with virtue's face, 

We often learn how danger lurks beneath 
For venturous love that heeds not law's restraint. 

When morning's sweetness, noonday steals away 
And night distils from beauty's breath the taint 

That marks the bloom of nature, nature's prey, 
'Tis then we ask why law hath love betrayed 
Or why in vain our love to law hath prayed ? 

Dr. Harper is President of the Quebec St. Andrew's Society, an 
association which has long and faithfully performed its mission of 
caring for the needy. He is the author of several odes and poems in 
connection with the anniversary of their patron saint, and these have 
been highly spoken of and are warmly received by his countrymen 
everywhere. We give as a specimen of his work in this connection 
one of his poems which is written in the Doric and entitled : 



lo6 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



ST. ANDREW'S DAY. 



St. Andrew's Cross — nae Cross of Fire 
That bids the sons of Celtic sire 

Their cla3'mores furious draw — 
With sympathetic scroll unfurled, 
Hath borne its summons roun' the world, 

To greet us ane and a'; 
For Scotland yet anither year 

Hath added to her fame, 
And friends forgather far and near 

In honor of her name ; 

And cheerfu' nor fearfu' 

Of hindrance to our mirth, 

We time then our rhyme then 
In honour of her worth. 

A-lowe with s3'mphonies of hame 
Our modest daffin' thinks nae shame 

To woo the winsome past ; 
Our noblest joy's an honest pride 
In sires, whase deeds heroic guide 

Our faith still firm and fast ; 
The liberty our forbears prized, 

Though wounded oft and torn, 
Now wears content its scars, baptized 

With tears for those forlorn. 

And binds a", to kinds a' 

A helping hand to len' — 

To strengthen and brengthen 
The britherhood of men. 

To baud our hearts in humble vein 
Fate whiles may single out our ain 

To sere with sorrow's fire, 
Or, in disdain, may make a ba' 
Of some puir brither, gin he fa' 

In Clootie's treacherous mire ; 
But Scotia ne'er can lose her pride, 

Though fate should seem her foe, 
Gin Scotsmen share, whate'er betide. 

Their joy with ithers' woe, 

To praj' for, ilk' day for 

The weaker of our kind, 

Sustaining, ne'er paining 

The broken hearts they bind. 



DR. JOHN M. HARPER. 107 

The echoes of a strife at times 

Blends discord with the Sabbath chimes 

Of some sweet highland glen, 
When lording's heel presumes to bruise 
The liberty that aye embues 

God's bairns to make them men ; 
But manhood dares its poean raise 

To sanctify the strife, 
And puts to shame the tyrant's craze 

That mars the sweets of life ; 

For blot ne'er, true Scot ne'er 
Shall thole upon the shield 

That broadly and proudly 

Protects the puir man's bield. 

A tribute to our patron saint I 
Love for the hearts that never faint 

In doing deeds of love ! 
Their pibroch is compassion's call 
That sweetens hate and poortith's thrall: 

Their gospel's from above : 
Theirs is the anthem Andrew taught — 

Fair virtue's holiest hymn ; 
Theirs is the love that life begot 

When liberty burned dim : 

Our pride tlien may bide then 
By Scotia's proudest aim — 

To care for and dare for 

The love that hallows hame. 

The subject of our sketch also holds tl\e honorable position of Vice- 
President of the Quebec Literary and Historical Society. He has paid 
many a glowing tribute in verse to the genius of Burns, and we regret 
that these addresses are generally of so lengthy a character that we are 
unable to reproduce one here. We presume that it is unnecessary for 
us to refer to his love for "The Land of the Tartan." He reveres 
its every nook and corner, and is an authority on all matters pertain- 
ing to its history, customs or literature. The land where the sw^ord of 
freedom has flashed in the hands of Wallace and Bruce, where the 
voices of Knox, Guthrie and Chalmers have rung out with gospel 
truths that have echoed around the world, the birthplace of poets, 
philosoi)hers, statesmen and luindreds of intellectual celebrities, shall 
only become obliterated from his thoughts when life itself becomes 
extinct: 



loS SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Hurrah for auld Scotland, the land o' the heather, 
Whase fragrance has scented our hearts fond o' hame, 

Tis meet when her bairns in their friendships forgether 
To lilt the sweet memories that halo her name. 

Hurrah for auld Scotland, the land o' the thistle, 
Whase motto we hold as the shield o' her fame; 

Let us sing mid our cheer o' the men and the muscle 
That flushed freedom's foes wi' terror and shame. 

Yes, hip, hip hurrah! for the land o' our forbears, 
Whase brave deeds bedizzen ilk muirland and glen! 

Let us think o' their hardships mid life's many warfares 
And face all our foes like brave-hearted men. 

John Murdoch Harper was born at Johnstone, in Renfrewshire on 
the tenth of February, 1845. He was reared amid comfortable sur- 
roundings and early gave evidence of being in possession of bright 
intellectual qualities. He received the rudiments of his education at 
the parish school, from whence he went to the Glasgow E. C. Training 
College, which he entered as a Queen's scholar of the first rank. He 
left Scotland for Canada in 1867, and after several years' residence in 
his adopted land became a graduate of Queen's University. A few 
years later the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred upon 
him by the Illinois University. Since that time he has devoted him- 
self to educational pursuits, and he has achieved both honor and dis- 
tinction throughout the Dominion of Canada as an instructor and head 
of educational institutions. He is at present Inspector of Superior 
Schools for the Province of Quebec, having been for several years 
Rector of the Quebec High School, and for a season interim Professor 
of Mathematics in Morrin College. He is also Secretary of the Board 
of School Commissioners and Superintendent ot the Quebec City 
Schools. 

He has written and compiled various school text books and in con- 
nection with general literature he is the author of historical and bio- 
graphical sketches, essays, novels, elc, all of which have been pub- 
lished from time to time. He was for many years editorial writer for 
no less than three weekly newspapers, and he is now literary editor of 
tae Educational Record of Quebec. Encomiums of a flattering nature 
have frec^uently been passed on his i)ovvers as a lecturer and public 
speaker. He numbers among his personal friends many prominent 



DR. JOHN M. HARPER. 109 

authors and scholars of the day, and with one of his sonnets of 
sympathy to a brother poet we will conclude our sketch: 

A MOTHER'S CROWN. 

Inscribed, with warm sympathy, to Duncan MacGregor Crcrar, on 
the occasion o( his mother's death. 

A psalm of sympathy our hearts intone 

To soothe the wail of sorrow's anthem weird 
That wrings the soul of filial love. She's gone! 

She sleeps the sleep fair virtue never feared, 
Howe'er the solemn change draws tears from him 

Who was not near to see her fall asleep. 
The lamp of love and sweetness ne'er waxed dim 

That lit tlie chamber of her life, when deep 
Within her children's souls she sought to plait 

The golden threads of truth — to beautify 
With woof of faith the yawning warp of fate. 

And on it fresco liowers that never die. 
Her sleep immortalizes love. The crown 

She wears, eternal shines a wreath of light. 
The lustre of her saintship streameth down 

In diamond rays to diive away our niglit 
Of doubt — to beckon us from frailt)''s fears, 
And melt in love the mist of mortal tears. 



--»<-e>§^^^<^— 



ROBERT WHITTET. 

While he lives, 
To know no bliss but that which virtue gives, 
And when he dies, to leave a lofty name, 
A light, a landmark on the cliffs of fame. 

When Robert Whittet in 1882 published his "Brighter Side of 
Suffering and Other Poems," he added a work to the poetical litera- 
ture of America which will perpetuate his memory for many years to 
come. Taken in whole or in part, it is a beautiful and finely conceived 
production, and it deserves special consideration at our hands, as it 
forms the longest poem so far issued by a Scottish American poet. 
Rich in metaphorical language, it is also sweet in expression, while a 
deeply religious sentiment, and a quiet, philosophic pathos pervades 
its every page. "In point of composition," says a well-known Scot- 
tish writer, " it has all that spontaneity and unbroken connection 
which are true indications of a full emotional nature, and a mind cul- 
tured to a fine vocal utterance. * * * The most casual 
reader cannot fail to be struck with the range of subjects suggested in 
every page of Mr. Whittet's book, his wealtli of imagery, his keen 
moral perception, and above all, that fine spiritual eye that sees good 
in everything, and marks his principal work as one of a kind which we 
not only enjoy as a rich intellectual treat, but as one that tends to 
lighten the burdens of life, by painting in colors of unfading bright- 
ness the better side of human suffering." 

The poem which gives the title to ilic work occupies two hundred 
and fifty-one pages, and is divided into seven chapters. Chapter one 
is entitled "Suffering in Nature," and, after describing the various 
beauties of nature, shows how these only attain a higher type of beauty 
by passing through the process of decay. Chai)ter second is devoted 
to "National Liberty, the Fruit of Suffering," and illustrates how 



ROBERT VVIIITTET. iii 

liberty, both civil and religious, have been secured through suffering. 
Chapter three refers to " Suffering in the individual life of man," which, 
being universal, creates a common sympathy. Chapters four and five 
deal with "Suffering in individual experience;" chapter six with "The 
highest concejjtion of suffering" — suffering for others — and chapter 
seven is a summary of the whole, and proves that the suffering and 
unsatisfactory nature of the present life implies a better life to come. 
As none are exempt from suffering, so none are forgotten in God's 
arrangements to enjoy the fruit of suffering in a future state of perfect 
happiness. 

It will readily be seen from this brief synopsis of the work that it is 
one of considerable imjiortance. It is of too lengthy a nature to allow 
of our making sufficient ([uotations from it that would convey to the 
reader a true idea of its meritorious character, and we will therefore 
content ourselves with one extract from chapter four. Here the 
author demonstrates how God's purposes are accomplished alike in 
the babe and in the life of three-score-and-ten: 

But ah! what varied ends, what varied years, 

Are strangely meted out as each one's line! 

The baby life, that, like a sunbeam's glint 

Is cast one moment o'er the household heart, 

As if the angelic messengers who brought 

Tarried one moment at the open door 

Until a greeting and a parting — both 

Enwrapped in one fond kiss — were given, and then 

Took back the gift that hope had thought would stay! 

And our fathers, bent with reverent age, 

Have only had a larger handful given 

Of that unmeasured time they've but begun — 

The first gray dawn of immortality; 

Their guardians but a little longer wait, 

To let earth's greetings be enjoyed awhile, 

And farewell be a little oftcner said: 

But yet infinite wisdom, that can find 

Its ends accomplished in each atom's breath. 

Whose cloud-capped mountains are of sand-grains Viuilt, 

And ocean but a dew-drop multiplied, 

Has furnished all He first designed within 

The babe's short span, or three-score 3'ears and ten. 

Mr. Whittet dedicates his work to "My wife, whose loving self- 
sacrifice has met and warded many of our mutual sufterings, and to 



112 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



our children, whose dutiful affection has been a solace in seasons of 
care and anxiety." In a pleasing prefatory prelude, which another 
poet characterizes as being " musical as the warble of a wild bird at 
the dawn," he says: 

One linnet's note the more or less 

Within the wildwood's minstrelsy, 
Can neither raise nor aught depress 

The sense of joyous revelrj'. 

And yet each linnet from the spray 

His swelling notes melodious flings, 
And pipes his own sweet roundelay 

Heedless of how another sings. 

He has a song 'tis his to sing 

And that he sings right earnestly, 
And waiteth not for anything 

To urge his heart to minstrelsy. 

The skylark sings where bliss belongs, 

That song an ampler field be given; 
Takes to the clouds his seraph songs — 

Throws half to earth and half to heaven. 

And some sweet songster, near alight 

On thorny perch, amid the throng. 
Gives to the passing heart delight. 

And cheers it with a joyous song. 

So are the songs that poets sing 

Within secluded quiet retreat, 
But single echoed notes, that bring 

Their quota for a choir complete. 

Each pipes his own peculiar strain, 

On artful lute or simple reed, 
And sings, and sings, and sings again. 

To satisfy his own heart's need. 

Yet may some raptured thought out-reach 

Far, far the poet's dream above, 
And some faint wavering heart beseech 

To deeds of grace, and hope, and love. 

To sing has given one heart employ, 

And thus did end enough fulfil; 
but if, resung, another's joy 
. Is more enlarged, 'twere better still. 



^ROBERT WHITTET. 113 

And so, self pleased, I give the song 
That's kept my own past clear and bright, 

If that, perchance, some other tongue 
May lift the lilt, and find delight. 

Interwoven in " 'I'he IJrighler Side of Suffering " arc smaller poems 

of great beauty and worth. We give as a specimen of these the one 

entitled: 

HOME LOVE. 



Oh! love is like a summer day, 

When sunny pleasures crowd; 
Wlu n brightest shines the silver ray 

Nearer the thunder cloud; 
But mother's love and father's care. 

Where'er our footsteps roam. 
Still make our hearts the sunshine share 
Of love, sweet love at home! 
O home-love! sweet home-love! 
There's no love like home-love; 
Though all else may faithless prove, 
Leahy's aye in home-love. 

O'er the prairie waste the wanderer 

Plods with laggard step alone; 
On the billow toss'd, the mariner 

Treads his watch, even starlight gone; 
And from whence, to such ones weary. 

Can a sweeter comfort come. 
Than to know that hearts sit dreary, 
For their sakes, far, far, at home? 
O home-love! sweet home-love! 
There's no love like home-love; 
Wander where our footsteps may, 
We cherish still our home-love. 

The bustling world to some is joy, 

Or dreams of golden gain — 
What loved ones gone would deem a toy, 

Perhaps estecin as pain! 
When to the mind, 'mid care and strife, 

No resting-place can come. 
The balm for every ill of life 
Is surest found at home. 
O home-love! sweet home-love! 
There's no love like home-love; 
The sweetest rest for aching breast 
Is the couch of home-love. 



114 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



As where the purest light is given 

The brighter are the flowers, 
So when the life is likest heaven 

The purest jo}' is ours; 
And thoughts of highest bliss are bound 

B}' heaven's unclouded dome, 
And most of heaven on earth is found 
Around the hearth at home. 
O home-love! sweet home-love! 
There's no love like home-love; 
The purest — best — the sweetest zest, 
Is surely found in home-love. 

But ah! beside the love of heaven, 

Earth's best we dare not name, 
For there the lovers' hearts, unriven, 

Are changeless and the same; 
But still earth's dearest, tcnderest tics 
Nearest to heaven's standard come, 
Where'er the barb of grief and sighs 
Are solaced best — at home! 

home-love! sweet home-love! 
The purest love is home-love; 
Though all else may faithless prove 
Faithful aye is home-love. 



Passing from " The Brighter Side of Suffering " we find that the 
rest of the volume (one hundred and thirty-three pages) comprises a 
collection of poems by the author on various subjects. Among thenu 
'Foibles," "The Kirk and State," "A Union Question," "Thought," 
"After the Funeral," "The Ingle Side," "The Daisies," and numer- 
ous others, are all readable and talented compositions. There are 
also a few sonnets displaying considerable merit. Take the following 
one for instance: 

MY BOOKS. 



I have had friends whose friendship died away. 

And some, diseased by selfishness, a day 

Was all their little life of love; some wane 

Or wax as circumstances move; the main 

Of all arc fickle as the cloud-swept skies, 

Or mists that o'er the mountain-tops arise; 

But I have friends within my own home bower 

Whose love no season witiiurs: yet, no flower 

Can match tlicir sweetness; thcir's is far above 

The wayward constancy of human love: 

They are my teachers unto trutii sublime, 

And give for patterns hero-men of lime; 

Riglit noble friends are they — my books — whose bloom 

Sheds joy o'er life from manhood to the tomb. 



ROBERT WIIITTET. 115 



In addition to his English poems, Mr. Whittct has wisely included 
in his volume a number of his pieces that are written in the Doric. 
They are all of a graceful and tender character. Referring to them 
in his preface he says : " To his friends on the American side of the 
Atlantic the writer owes an apology for having inserted so many pieces 
written in the Scottish dialect. He trusts they may deem it a suffi- 
cient excuse that, though resident among them a good many years, 
and the recipient of many kindnesses, yet the recollections of the old 
home and the friends that are very dear, and the idiom of his boyhood 
still remains the most expressive, and he loves it and everything 
Scottish with all tlic stubborn tenacity of his countrymen. He has, 
however, toned down much of the peculiar orthography, that they may 
be the more easily intelligible to the American reader." We quote as 
a specimen of these Scottish musings: 

THE FROZEN BURN. 



O whare is the wee brook that danced through the valley, 
Wlia's muiiiuir at uhiainiti' sae sweet was to me ? 

Or whare are the gowans that decked a' the alley, 
And gae us, when bairnies, in summer sic glee? 

O cauld cam' the rude blast that blew frae the wild hills, 
And keen bit the hoar frost and iiurce drave the snaw. 

And they plucked a' the sweet flowers that basket the wee rills. 
And sealed up the burnie's wee wavelets and a'. 

But spring soon will come wi' its buds and its blossoms; 

The waving young leaflets will dead ilka tree, 
The birdies' sweet love note will thrill frae their bosoms. 

And this snaw-covered desert an Eden will be. 

The wee flowers will peep up their heads by the burnic, 
And its waters will dance in the sunbeams again, 

Ilk thing that has life in't will flourish and charm ye. 
When the life now entombed shall have burst its ice chain. 

Sac man, like the burnie when summer is glowing. 
Glides on in his rapture, free, lightsome and gay; 

But life has its winter, and toward us 'tis flowing, 
And soon will its rude breath freeze us in the clay. 

But there is a summer the soul kens is comin'. 
When life to those temples anew will be given; 

Then fret nae, but cheer ye, and comfort your gloamin' — 
The grave has but planted the flowerets for heaven. 



ii6 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



The volume concludes with a series of poems, entitled " Sabbath 
Day Communings." These are the outpourings of a sincerely Chris- 
tian spirit, and they form as fine a collection of short religious pieces 
as we have ever read. The concluding one is as follows: 

HOME SHOULD BE BEAUTIFUL. 



God has reserved for us a home — 

His heaven — when earthly things are done, 

Its golden streets, its rainbow dome. 

He keeps secure till life has run; 

And while time's gliding moments roll 

Ceaseless to the glorious goal, 

He girds us daily witli His love; 

He's made our earth a joyous bower, 

Full plenish6d with fruit and tfower, 

And over all revealed — (that we 

May strive to copy faithfully) — 

The pattern of His home above! 

Then be it ours, while life is given, 

To make earth's home like that of heaven! 

Mr. Whittet is a native of Perth, where he was born in 1829. On 
completing his education he was sent to learn the printing trade, and 
after working for some years in Aberdeen and Edinburgh returned to 
Perth, where he set up in business for himself. Though in this reason- 
ably successful, yet the strain of excessive competition was always a 
jarring element to his sensibilities, and induced a desire for relief^ 
which developed into a determination to emigrate and seek a quieter 
life in rural occupation in this country. In 1869 he purchased a plan- 
tation of some four hundred acres in Virginia, close by the old city of 
Williamsburg, and in scenes made historic by the struggles of the first 
settlers on this great continent; but the venture proved — as one less 
possessed of the sentiment of an ideal life might have expected — a 
disaster, and he regretfully retreated to his old occupation, in the city 
of Richmond, where he still labors, mostly in printing and publishing, 
under contract, the papers and literattire for tlie Sunday-schools of 
the Presbyterian Church South. This business has since become 
more largely developed, and Mr. Whittet is now well known through- 
out the South as the senior partner in the publishing firm of Messrs^ 
Whittet & Shepperson. He is a warm-hearted Scotsman, and he has 
won his way to the front by his energy, perseverance and sturdy Scot- 
tish independence. He has been blessed witli poetical gifts of the 
highest order, and he holds an uniiueslionable right to the title of a 
true poet. 



WILLIAM MACDONALD WOOD. 

Though triy as mirth, as curious though sedate; 
As elegance polite, as power elate; 
Profound as reason, and as justice clear; 
Soft as compassion, yet as truth severe. 

The Brooklyn Daily Times has enjoyed a prosperous career since 
it was established in 1848. Its present editor, Mr. William Macdonald 
Wood, is a native of Edinburgh. He was born in 1847. Hi^ father, 
James Wood, followed the occupation of a printer, and seems to have 
been possessed of a deeply religious nature, as we learn that, while not 
an ordained minister, he frequently officiated as a preacher of the 
gospel in Kirkcaldy. His mother, Susanna Macdonald, was descended 
from an ancient Highland family. She was a woman of strong 
intellectual faculties, and our author is said to have inherited many of 
her distinguished qualities. Mr. Wood, after receiving what in those 
days was considered an excellent education, began the battle of life on 
his own account by becoming an apprentice to a publishing firm in his 
native city. Life, however, in Edinburgh seemed too slow for his 
ideas. At the age of twenty-one he emigrated to this country, and 
after travelling somewhat extensively through the South settled in New 
Orleans. Here he readily obtained employment, and shortly after- 
ward began contributing a series of articles on various subjects to the 
Jidinburgh Review which attracted considerable attention and brougiit 
his name i)romineiitly before the literary celebrities of the lime then 
domiciled in the Scottish metroi)olis. He does not seem to have taken 
kindly to Southern life, however, although one of his friends writes 
that "the balmy, delicious climate and summer pomp of the South 
slill lingers pleasantly in his memory." In a few years he came North 
and took up his residence in Brooklyn. Obtaining a minor position 
on the Ti/ncs, his abilities as a journalist were soon recognized, and 
he was rapidly advanced until at length he was offered and accejjted 
the post of managing editor. Mr. Wood composed verses from his 



ii8 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

boyhood, and many of his early musings evince considerable talent 
and skill. Take as a specimen of this: 

ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM. 



Not by the sounding name that science wrote 
For thee, fair Yarrow, do I hold thee dear; 

Yet that is precious, even as mothers gloat 
O'er honors that their darling children wear. 

Fair child of summer! with thy thousand le.aves 
Bordering with living green the dust brown street, 

While through the emerald fringe thy blossom weaves, 
Thick clustering stars for beauty's garland meet. 

In many a land — beneath the tropic's blaze, 
On Northern hills where snow-fed torrents foam — 

Thy flowers have answered back my wearied gaze 
And thrilled me with soft memories of home. 

And that dear stream, in whose song-honored name 
Thou, Yarrow, art baptized and consecrate; 

Its steep, birch-shadowed banks remembrance claim 
Where rock-throned Newark sits in lonely stale. 

Oh, fairest stream! Not broader in thy course 

Than Bushkill Creek, by amorous willows kissed, 

And given to gloom and darkness at the source 
By llowerless crags envcilcd in tearful mist. 

Fond memory hears th}- hidden music rise 

Through dense wove branches from the deep ravine. 

While Newark's silent towers before me rise 
(Not like its Jerse}' antitype, I ween). 

Even there, as here, my wayside blossoms gleam, 
Flinging their odors to the hill-born gale. 

Drinking their glory of their patron stream, 
And giving beauty to the birchen dale. 

As in the shell the land-bound sailors hear 

The sullen roaring of the distant sea. 
So Yarrow's glen, St. Mary's lonely mere. 

Are i)ictiircd, Yarrow, in thy llowers to me. 

And if thy flowers, neglected and unsought, 

Are crushed beneath the ploughman's heedless tread 

True lover liands shall strew, with tciuler thought. 
Thy blossoms o'er the summer's dying bed. 



WILLIAM MACDONALD WOOD. 119 

As might be expected from one whose abilities have secured for him 
the responsible j^osition of editor of a daily newspaper, Mr. Wood's 
writings prove that he is possessed of highly cultured literary 
tastes. His ])oems display marked strength, a fanciful imagination, 
({uiet humor, and keen descriptive powers, while, in addition to these, 
we find a s])irit of true Christian piety hovering over and beautifying 
the whole of his work. Although the largest number of his pieces are 
written in the English language, he has given us cpiite a few which 
prove that, however cosmopolitan he may have become in his 
ideas, he still retains a warm place in his heart for his " auld 
mither tongue." The following lyrical production is a good illustra- 
tion of this: 

OLD AND NEW. 



dinna sing thae jingling sangs 

That tempt the graceless feet, 
Wi' solemn words in daft array, 

Like guisers on the street; 
But to the grand auld measures 

That fill the kirks at hamc, 
Sing the sweet sangs that David sang 

To strains that he micht claim. 

At least let thae licht sangs be still 

On the holy Sabbath day, 
Nor thrum sic evil dancin' rants 

When to your God ye pray, 
111 do sic wanton thrains 

Become the holy name, 
O sound His praise in the grand old strains 

That fill the kirks at hamc. 

O grannie, let the bairnies sing 

As fit their lichtsome mood, 
Nor let the gloom O Sinai cloud 

Their gowan-busket road, 
Sweet were the auld kirk aniliems, 

Where lyart elders knelt; 
Yet thinkna heaven disdain'd to hear 

The laverock's gladsome lilt. 

Aft have our torn an' tempted hearts 

Tlirill'd to the psalmist's lyre, 
An' kenned the sins an' griefs our ain 

That did his strains inspire; 



I20 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

But the sangs that pleased the Master, 

When this cauld world He trod, 
Were the glad hosannas o' the weans 

That hailed Him as their God. 

Bethink ye how our faith was wrocht 

In persecution's fires 
When on the covenant anvil stern 

God fashioned out our sires 
The hills that drank their life-bluid 

Echo their martyr psalms, 
Each misty moor their children till 

Their ragged faith embalms. 

But they have fa'en on summer days, 

Thae slips o' the auld tree; 
Tho' covenant bluid is in their veins 

Nae covenant fires they dree 
Theirs are lauchin' blossoms, 

The fragrant sweet-blown flowers 
O' the faith bedewed wi' martyr blood 

On Scotland's heathery moors. 

Then, grannie, let the bairnies sing 

As suits their gleesome mood; 
Nor let our Sinai cloud the path 

Their God wi' flowers has strewed. 
When David's waes beset them 

Like us, his psalms they'll sing; 
But let the loud hosannas rise 

That hail the children's king. 

Among our author's various poems we also find a number of what 
we miglit term domestic pieces. These are written in simple and 
choice language, easily understood and long remembered. While they 
contain some very thoughtful and touching i)assages, they also possess 
the rare feature of never soaring into impossibilities. Such a one is 
"Wedded Love." It was written many years ago, but it has stood the 
test of time, and remains one of Mr. Wood's most admired pieces. 

WEDDED LOVE. 



Tradition says, when Stradivarius wrought — 

The idol of Cremona's golden days 

When Art's inspired evangels hymned his praise 
And as a shrine his dingy workshoj) sought — 



WILLIAM MACDONALD WOOD. 121 



The Master, slowly fashioning piece to piece, 
Surveyed with doubt and self-distrustful shame 
The unaccorded and iintcmpcrcd frame 

Till Time's acclaim gave to his doubts surcease. 

But still he wrought, with patient, tender skill. 
Singing his soul into each instrument. 
And, as the mellowing seasons came and went. 

These, ripening, grew responsive to his will. 

For, wedded part to part in union strong, 

Veined through with throbbing tides of harmony 
The parts forgot their old identity, 

Merged in one glorious avalanche of song. 

So, wife of mine; returning seasons prove 

That year by year our hearts the closer grow, 

The old self fades as round our spirits flow 
The all sufTusing symphonies of love. 

Eight years ago, O dearer life of mine! 

Alono with God we stood and joined our troth, 
Alone, though loving kinsfolk hailed our oath, 

No presence felt we, love, save mine and thine. 

We loved, as youth and maiden love, when all 
Of heaven is cssenced in the loved one's smile. 
Nor conscious doubt, nor dream of hidden wile 

Bade its dark shadow o'er our nuptial fall. 

Yet, looking back across those happy years, 
Scemeth not, loved one, fondly as we stood 
On that March day, our love unripe and crude, 

Waiting the mellowing touch of mingled tears ? 

Heart grows to heart, and soul to soul, alone 
When touched by common joys and common woes. 
But self dies hard, and struggles as he goes 

Though fading into bliss before unknown. 

Our thoughts, O wife, are but the thought of one; 

Our tears have flowed, our smiles as one flashed forth, 
The years but prove to each the other's worth, 

And true love ripens with each rising sun. 

Probably the finest of all Mr. Wood's productions, however, is his 
poem on the famous Scottish divine, Thomas Guthrie, who died in 
1873. The subject afforded him considerable scope for the exercise 



122 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

of his poetical powers, and he certainly made good use of the same. 
There is not a verse in the poem which could not stand as a true 
picture of Dr. Guthrie in some phase, and altogether they form, in our 
judgment, one of the finest eulogies ever pronounced on this noble and 
God-serving hero. 

THOMAS GUTHRIE. 



Here is one whom ye may mourn, 

A man, whatever title others claim, 

This ever shall his name adorn — 

In every fibre of his burly frame; 

In his broad, vehement speech, ablaze with thought 

In every noble work his strong hands wrought, 

Staunch, stubborn manhood, fit expression sought. 

What was he? this gray-haired man, 

Lying so still, though wet with burning tears, 

Washed with orphan tears, yet wan — 

Scarred with the hurricanes of storm-filled years? 

An iron veteran, battle-worn and grim. 

Yet love bends over him with soft eyes dim. 

And hosts of homeless children weep for him. 

He was a prophet of the Lord, 

His lips aglow with coal from God's own altar, 

And all the gold of fashion's horde 

Was vain to tempt his steps to swerve or falter 

From the steep path alone by duty lighted. 

Bravely he went to seek the souls benighted, 

Till even his tempters followed him delighted. 

A man of wondrous eloquence, 

Melting proud schoolmen with his glowing zeal, 

And shaping intellect and sense. 

As on his forge the workman shapes the steel; 

Yet, scorning, like the Galilean Cliicf, the praise 

And costly offerings of the host he sways 

And caring more the outcast poor to raise. 

Even as his wandering Master took 

Lepers and thieves and others in His care, 

Unheeding Piiariscc's rebuke. 

So Guthrie tiod dark allc}' and vile stair, 

And vice sliraiik witiicred from his words of fire, 

And men, uplifted, shunned the drunkard's mire, 

And the neglected children found a sire. 



WILLIAM MACDONALD WOOD. 123 



Honor to Tlionias Gutliric's name! 

His hearty voice is heard no more on earth, 

But we arc richer with his fame, 

And lieaven is richer with liis love and mirth. 

Write on his tomb that Scotland never gave 

To earth a man more noble, kindly, brave, 

Than this who rests from toil in Guthrie's grave. 

Among the other not;il)lc poems of this talented Scottish poet we 
might mention "My Joy is Taken," "The Gaelic Race," "The 
Children's Festival," and his much admired tribute to the genius of 
John Howard Payne, the author of thai imperishable lyric, " Home, 
Sweet, Home." One of his most cherished aspirations is the desire to 
compose a set of words to the air of Yankee Doodle, as he considers 
that by its audacious aggressive unconventional measure, this air con- 
stitutes itself the true American national anthem. He has "tried his 
hand," as he says, on this once or twice, with more or less success. 
The following will give an idea of his work in this direction: 

Hail, O Fatherland, to thee! 

Hail, thou restless giant! 
Marching on from sea to sea, 

Strong and self-reliant. 
Laurelled with a hundred years 

Whence no shames assail thee. 
Proudly still with songs and cheers 

We, thy children, hail thee. 

With a thousand tongues we come 

In one anthem blended; 
Faction's feeble voice is dumb. 

Ancient feuds are ended. 
Gothic force and Gaelic fire 

Mingling here unhindered; 
One and all wc hail thee, sire, 

Clasping hands of kindred. 

Hail to thee, America! 

Lift thy banner stainless; 
Land of freedom, land of law, 

Kingless land and chainless. 
Lo! the nations far that bear 

Brand of fetters feudal, 
Lift their hearts in hope to hear 

The song of Yankee Doodle. 



124 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Mr, Wood commands the respect of a very large circle of literary 
and other friends. In his pleasant home at Manhasset, L. I., the sur- 
roundings of which he likens to " a region transplanted from the 
Lothian uplands," he lives at peace with the world, and serene and 
happy in the midst of his family and his books. Mr, Thomas C. Latto 
writes that " under a very gentle exterior there is a true manliness, a 
tender feeling, a warm love of country, native and adopted, and a 
genial wit and humor that would hardly be suspected by those who do 
not know him thoroughly." He has never ventured on the publica- 
tion of a volume, but it would afford his numerous friends a sincere 
pleasure were they to see the announcement made that he was about 
to issue a collection of his poems in book form. 




ANDREW WANLESS. 

Whose song gushed from his heart, 
As showers from the clouds of summer 
Or tears from the eyelids start. 

Mr. Wanless is a deservedly popular Scottish poet. He has now 
been before the public as an author for upwards of forty years, and 
during that time he has published many beautiful and valuable poems 
that will live and be admired long after the present generation has 
passed away. On the publication of his second volume of poems, he 
presented a copy to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, and in due time 
received the following acknowledgment of the same. " Lieut. Gen. 
Sir T. M. Eiddulph has received the Queen's commands to thank Mr. 
A. Wanless for sending his volume of Poems and Songs, which Her 
Majesty has been graciously pleased to accept. Buckingham Palace, 
Septemper 2, 1876." Mr. Wanless is now getting well on in years. 
In an epistle to his friend, Mr. James McKay, of Detroit, he says : 

"I'm getting uiico auld and still, 
And glow'ring ower life's dreary cliflT; 
'Twill no be lang or I play whiff, 

And close my e'en, 
And sail awa in death's dark skifT 

To the unseen. 

"Yet still I needna grunt and grane, 
I'm no just in the warld alane, 
I've wife and bairns to ca' my ain. 

And when I dee 
Nae stranger cauld wi' heart o' stane 

Will close my e'e !" 

In a short autobiographical sketch of our author, to which we have 
had access, we find him saying: — "I was born in Longformacus, Ber- 
wickshire, May 25, 1824, This is near the classic Tweed and among 



126 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

the Lammermoor hills, the scene of Sir Walter Scott's * Bride of 
Lammermoor.' The same locality is also mentioned in the * Heart of 
Midlothian,' when Jennie Deans, on her visit to London, informed 
the Duke of Argyle tliat she had an aunt residing in Longformacus, 
' Wha was a grand maker of ewe-milk cheese.' My father studied and 
graduated from the famous University of Edinburgh. He was the 
parochial teacher of the parish in which he lived for more than fifty 
years. I have a vivid recollection of his intense grief when the tidings 
of the death of Sir Walter Scott first reached him. He was an ardent 
admirer of the wonderful ability of the famous ' Wizard of the North.' 
The mind of my mother, however, was strongly tinctured with Cal- 
vanistic doctrines, and she regarded the matter in a very different 
light. ' Houts, guid man,' said she, 'he's wcel awa'. He was just 
fillin' the heads o' the folks fu' o' downright havers! ' " Young Wanless 
was sent to school at an early age, and received the usual education 
which was supposed, at that time, to fit a lad for almost any business 
calling. He gives us a pleasant gliinpse of his boyhood days when he 
says, " My keenest pleasure, in early life, was found in wandering 
about my native land, visiting romantic haunts and burnsides. I was 
always of a studious and retiring disposition, enjoying the society of 
nature more than that of man. As 1 said in rhyme years afterwards: 

' When floods cam' gushing down the hill 
And swelling wide the wee bit rill, 
As sure as death — I mind it still — 

In some lone nook, 
I'd stand and learn poetic skill 

Frae nature's book. 

'A snow-drop on its bielded bed 
Would raise its modest virgin head, 
My very heart to it was wed 

With nature's chain; 
And tears o' joy would o'er it shed, 

I was sac fain! 

' And when the bonnic spring would come. 
When bees around the flowers would bum. 
And Unties were nae Linger dumb 

The woods amang, 
'Twas there, wi' them, I learned to hum 

My wee bit sang.'" 



ANDREW IVAN LESS. 127 

After leaving school Mr. Wanless was sent to Dunse where he 
entered upon a seven years' apprenticeship as a bookbinder. On com- 
pleting his term of service he removed to Edinburgh, where he pro- 
cured a position as foreman in a large bookbinding establishment. 
"In Edinburgh," he tells us, "I frequently met and conversed with 
Professor Wilson (Christopher North), Hugh Miller, Robert Chambers, 
Francis Jeffrey, Lord Cockburn, and many other famous literary and 
scientific men of their day. I also attended the School of Arts, where I 
acquired a knowledge of French and various other fancy accomplish- 
ments which have never been of practical benefit. My mind then, and 
pretty nuuh ever since, found room only for contemi)lalion of the 
songs of the old Scotch Bards." 

In 1 85 1 he emigrated to Canada, and taking up his residence in 
Toronto entered into business on his own account as a bookbinder. 
This turned out an unfortunate adventure for him, as his shop was 
burned one day and he was left without a penny. While in Toronto 
he contributed a large number of poems to the press, and published a 
volume which was warmly received by the public, and is now entirely 
out of print. In 1861 he removed to Detroit, where he once more 
set up in business, this time as a bookseller. Since then he has been 
successful in all respects, and is now one of the best known and 
most respected citizens of Detroit. "My career in this city is too 
well known to justify elaboration," he writes. "I have lived a quiet, 
peaceful life, and sincerely trust I have made few enemies. I have 
gradually surrounded myself with a large collection of old book<;, both 
standard and miscellaneous in character. I have seen many changes 
in the city, and have seen those whom I had learned to love droj) 
out of the long race one by one. In 1873 I published another volume 
of poems which met with such favor that a second edition was 
demanded a year later. I have travelled extensively in this country 
and in Canada, reading before Scotch audiences. I have now a book 
in manuscript which is nearing con)pletion, which I have called ' The 
Droll Book of Original Scotch Anecdotes.' I possess a remarkable 
memory for the folk lore with which I was familiar during my early 
years. I should have told you that I have been married twice and 
have a family of six children, all bonnie lasses." From his comfort- 
able home in Detroit he has sent forth the majority of his finest poems. 
One of these, " Our Mither Tongue," was read before the St. Andrew's 
Society, Detroit, November 30, 1870. It at once achieved popularity 



128 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

both in America and Scotland, and to day is probably one of his 
widest-known j^ieces. 

OUR MITHER TONGUE. 



It's monie a day since first we left 

Auld Scotland's rugged hills — 
Her hcath'ry braes and gow'ny glens, 

Her bonnie winding rills — 
We lo'ed her in the bj'-gane time, 

When life and hope were young, 
We lo'e her still, wi' right guid will. 

And glorj' In her tongue! 

Can we forget the summer days 

Whan we got leave frae schule. 
How we gade birrin' down the braes 

To daidle in the pool? 
Or to the glen we'd slip awa 

Where hazel clusters hung, 
And wake the echoes o' the hills — 

Wi' our auld mither tongue. 

Can we forget the lonesome kirk 

Where gloomy ivies creep ? 
Can we forget the auld kirk yard 

Where our forefather's sleep ? 
We'll ne'er forget that glorious land. 

Where Scott and Burns sung — 
Their sangs arc printed on our hearts 

In our auld mither tongue. 

Auld Scotland! Land o' mickle fame! 

The land where Wallace trod, 
The land whose heartfelt prnisc ascends 

Up to the throne of God; 
Land where the martyrs sleep in peace. 

Where infant freedom sprung, 
Where Knox in tones of thunder spoke 

In our auld mither tongue. 

Now Scotland dinna ye be blatc 

'Mang nations crouscl)' craw. 
Your callants are nae donnert sumphs. 

Your lasses bang them a' 
The glisks o' heaven will never fade, 

That hope around us flung — 
When first we breath'd the tale o' love 

In our auld mither tongue. 



ANDREW WANLESS. 129 

O ! let us ne'er forget our hame, 

Auld Scotland's hills and cairns, 
And let us a' where'er we be, 

Aye strive " to be guid bairns," 
And when we meet wi' want or age 

A-hirpIing owre a rung, 
We'll lak' their part and cheer their heart 

Wi' our auld mithcr tongue. 

Mr. Wanless's poems have a genuine ring that is not to be mistaken. 
They are deep in thought, exquisite in fancy, tender in sentiment, 
rich in humor, and not a few of them are of a very pathetic nature, 
although it must be admitted that it is only on rare occasions that he 
introduces anything of a gloomy or sorrowful character. Probably 
the best of all his pieces, in this connection, is the one entitled " My 
Bonnie Bairn," which we herewith append. It is a very touching piece 
of poetry and will always be ranked as one of his finest inspirations. 

MY BONNIE BAIRN. 



In my auld hame we had a flower 
A bonnie bairnie sweet and fair, 
There's no a flower in yonder bower 
That wi' my bairnie could compare. 

There was nae gloom about our house 
His merrj' laugh was fu' o' glee; 
The welfare o' my bonnie bairn 
Was mair than worlds wealth to me. 

And aye he'd sing his wee bit sang, 
And o' he'd make my heart sae fain, 
When he would climb upon my knee 
And tell me that he was my ain. 

The bloom has faded frae his cheek 
The light has vanished frae his e'e. 
There is a want baith but and ben 
Our house nae mair is fu' o' glee. 

I'll ne'er forget the tender smile 
That flitted o'er his wee bit face. 
When death came on his silent wing. 
And clasp'd him in his cold embrace. 



I30 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

We laid him in the lonesome grave. 
We laid him doon wi' mickle care; 
'Twas like to break my heart in twain, 
To leave my bonnie darling there. 

The silent tears unbidden came. 
The waefu' tears o' bitter woe. 
Ah! little, little, did I think. 
That death would lay my darling low. 

At midnight's lone and mirky hour, 
When wild the angry tempests rave 
My thoughts — they winna bide away — 
Frae my ain bairnie's wee bit grave. 

The lyrical productions of our author are all refined and musical. 
" The very language, as he uses it," said the Nezv York Scotsman, 
*' makes him tender, brave, superstitious, patriotic and charitable. It 
has a charm to him, and he casts its spell over his readers. In many 
points he resembles Burns, in the pathos of his love songs, in his sub- 
mission to and communion with the mysterious influences of nature, 
and in his tender regard for the humbler forms of life." Among his 
finest productions are " Home Recollections," "A Sabbath Morning 
in Scotland," " Sandy Gill," " Lammermoor," ** Turning the Key,'' 
" The Creelin'," " War and Peace," " Caledonian Games on Belle 
Isle," inscribed to J. B. Wilson, Esq., " Tam and Tib," " Nan o' 
Lockermacus," " The Second Sight," " Jean and Donald," " Craigie 
Castle," " The Lang Tailor o' Whitby," his epistle " To A. H. Wing- 
field, Esq." (the author of the beautiful ballad, " There's Crape on the 
Door") and " The Scott Centenary," a poem which has many admirers, 
and which has been extensively re-printed by the British and Canadian 
press. At the time when it was first published the Edinburgh Scots- 
man remarked that a single line in it, viz., "And Scotland lives in 
Bannockburn," contained a whole volume. 

THE SCOTT CENTENARY. 



A hundred years have rolled away, 
This morn brought in the natal day, 
Of one whose name shall live for aye. 

Beside flic clear and winding'Forth 
Was born the " Wizard of the North," 
The muses circled round'his bed 
And placed their mark upon his head; 



ANDREW WAN LESS. 131 



And Nature sang a grand refrain 
As Genius claimed his wondrous brain, 
For every bird in bush or braite, 
Beside the silv'ry stream or lake, 
Sang blylhly on their leafy throne, 
In honor of the "great Unknown!" 

The thistle raised its drooping head, 
The lark forsook his heather bed, 
Shook from his wing the dcwdrop moist, 
And on the golden cloud rejoic'd; 
The classic Tweed took up the lay, 
The Yarrow sang by bank and brae. 
And Ettrick danc'd upon her way. 
The daisies by the crystal wells 
Smiled sweetly to the heather bells; 
And rugged craig and mountain dun 
Exulted he was Scotia's son! 

Time sped, and from that brilliant brain 
There issued many a martial strain; 
He sang of knight and baron bold, 
Of king and clown in days of old, 
Though dead and gone, and passed away- 
Forgotten in the mould'ring clay — 
We read, we trow, his magic brain 
Brings back the dead to life again! 
He sang of men who ne'er would yield 
In border fray or battle field. 
Yes! on the page of endless fame 
He wrote of many a deed and name; 
How patriot heroes dared to die 
For God, for right and liberty! 

Wc see the beacon on the hill, 
The slumb'ring earth no more is still, 
For borne upon the midnight gale 
The slogan's heard o'er hill and dale, 
The din of battle and the cry 
That echoed through the vaulted sky. 
As warriors fell and rose and reel'd. 
And died on Flodden's fatal field! 

The minstrel loved auld Scotland's hills, 
Her gow'ny braes and wimpling rills, 
He loved the land that gave him birth — 
A land beloved o'er all the earth; 



132 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

There stood the brave in weal or woe, 
Who never crouched to foreign foe — 
Who stood in battle like a rock, 
And snapped in twain the t)Tant's yoke! 

O ! Scotland, thou art dear to me! 
Thou land of song and chivalry! 
There Scott and Burns and man}- more. 
Did pencil nature to the core — 
There Wallace held the foe in scorn, 
And Scotland lives in Bannockburn! 
And every patriot, far or near, 
In foreign land, or Scotia dear, 
In castle proud, or lowly cot, 
Reveres the name of Walter Scott. 

Mr. Wanless, from his very earliest years, has been strongly imbued 
with a love for the ancient traditions and folk-lore of his native land, 
and he has skilfully woven a few of the former into very tender 
ballads. Nearly all of his pieces are written in the Scottish dialect. 
He possesses an intimate knowledge of the Doric, and he uses it in 
all its purity and simplicity. Among the few pieces which he has 
composed in connection with American subjects, his poem on the late 
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was both timely and appropriate. 

When reason was banished, and treason arose, 

And brother 'gainst brother dealt death-dealing blows, 

And the words came as one from the lips of the brave — 

" The flag of our fathers forever must wave; " 

And a hero arose in the midst of our woe, 

" Forward! " he cried " we must vaquish the foe;" 

But there's gloom on the earth, and there's gloom in the skies. 

And the light burns dim in the room where he lies. 

The foe is advancing — every effort they strain, 

But back they are hurled again and again, 

And the shout of the Victor is heard in the air: 

" While Liberty lives we shall never despair ;" 

And the hero looks round on the death-striken field, 

" We must conquer or die, but we never will yield," 

But there's gloom on the earth, and there's gloom in the skies, 

And the light burns dim in the room where he lies. 



ANDREW WANLESS. 133 



The sword's in the scabbard, the warfare is o'er, 

May the din of the battle be heard never more; 

And now through the length and the breadth of the land, 

May brother meet brother with heart and witl> hand; 

May the past be forgot and may bitterness cease, 

And the watchword be ever: "Come let us have peace!" 

But there's gloom on the earth, and there's gloom in the skies. 

And the light has gone out in the room where he lies. 

No sketch of Mr. Wanless and his writings would be complete with- 
out referring specially to his patriotic feelings and unconquerable love 
for the land that gave him birth. His muse has been used for no 
mercenary purposes, but simply, as he informs us in the preface to one 
of his published volumes, " To recall the scenes of our early years, to 
bring up in imagination the braw lads and bonnie lasses that we for- 
gathered with in the days of the lang syne, and attempt to describe, on 
this side of the Atlantic, the wimpling burns, the gowany braes, the 
bonnie glens, the broomy dells, and the heather-clad mountains of our 
native land: the land where Wallace and Bruce wielded the patriotic 
sword, and where Ramsay, Burns, Scott, Tannahill and many more 
sang the songs of love and liberty." Nor do the feelings of the gifted 
Bard become in any way changed while age begins to twine the white 
locks around his venerable forehead. Only a few weeks ago he com- 
posed the following : 

WHA DARE MIDDLE ME? 



Scotland! how glorious is the theme. 

That in the days by gone, 
Your patriot sons undaunted stood 

And battled for their own. 
Time after time the foe advanced 

Your rights to trample down, 
To blot your name forever out. 

And grasp your royal crown. 

Your sons could never bow the knee, 

Nor brook the' tyrant's chains, 
Nature had written on your hills — 

" Here freedom ever reigns." 
Sons of the brave! your hearts were one. 

That Scotland must be free, 
Now far and near the cry is heard — 

" Wha dares to middle me?" 



134 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Forward! see Scotland's gallant sons 

Dash on to meet the foe, 
Their strong right hand grasps freedom's sword 

And freedom guides the blow. 
Their bows are bent, their swords are keen, 

And with their matchless might, 
Strongly they stand to crush the wrong, 

And battle for the right. 

The battle rages fierce and fell, 

Till o'er the deadly fray. 
The welkin rings — " the victory's won! " 

Scotland has won the day. 
While heather blooms on Scotland's hills, 

And while her thistles wave. 
Freedom will flourish on her soil. 

And guard the warrior's grave! 

Every verse of this song burns with intense patriotism for the land 
of his birth, and it is entitled to stand side by side with Henry Scott 
Riddell's immortal song " Scotland Yet." The Scottish language is 
peculiarly adapted to touch and enoble the finer feelings of our nature. 
In view of this, and in conclusion, we quote from our author's writings 
the two following kindly and homely lyrics, the last of which, it may 
be stated, appeared in a late issue of the Detroit Free Press: 

ROBIN. 



I hae a bird, a bonnie bird. 

And Robin is its name, 
'Twas sent to me, wi' kindly words, 

Frae my auld Scottish hame. 
And when it cam' unto my hand 

It looked sae dull and wae, 
Nae doot it miss'd the flow'ry glen. 

The burnie and the brae. 

There's mair than you, my bonnie bird, 

Hae cross'd the raging main, 
Wha mourn the blythc, the happy days, 

They'll never see again. 
Sweet bird! come sing a sang to me, 

Unmindfu' o' our ills; 
And let us think we're ance again 

'Mang our ain heather hills. 



ANDREW WANLESS. 135 



The joyfu' hours o' nameless bliss, 

O, come ye back to me; 
My love, my lost, again we meet 

Aneath the trysting-trec. 
O, sing to me, my bonnie bird. 

And ilka note o' thine 
Will conjure up the gladsome days- 

Tlie joys o' auld lang sync. 



COME HAME. 



My love, my beautiful, my own, 

I'm sitting a' alane; 
O, how I long to hear your step 

And welcome you again. 
There's neathing now looks bright to me. 

The sunshine's left my.ha', 
There's nae ane now to cheer my heart 

Since ye hae gane awa'. 

The sun's'ganc doon ayont the hill, 

And night steals slowly nigh — 
'Tis gloomy'night, the weary winds 

Around me moan and sigh. 
My love! at midnight's silent hour 

I saw thee come to me, 
I saw thee in thy youthful bloom 

Come tripping o'er the lea. 

I woke to find it but a dream, 

A vision of the night — 
Come hamc, come hamc, my darling, come, 

Come hamc my heart's delight. 
O, come again, my life, my love. 

And fill my heart with glee. 
The whisp'ring winds no more will sigh 

When ye come back to me. 



ALEXANDER H. WINGFIELD. 

Over the harp, from earliest years belov'd, 
He threw his fingers hurriedl)^ and tones 
Of melancholy beaut)' died away, 
Upon its strings of sweetness. 

" In these days," writes Mr. Wingfield, " the notion prevails that 
poetry, like miracles, has ceased, and it requires a certain amount of 
courage for an individual unknown to fame to come forward and say, 
varying the memorable expression of a great painter, that he too is a 
poet. This is the age not only of mechanical invention, supposed to 
be the very antithesis of poetry, but — more dreadful still — of criticism; 
the terrors of which makes timorous poets pause. Homer and Milton 
stood in no dread of reviewers; though, to do justice to our own time, 
it must be added that they were at certain disadvantages for want of 
publishers. We are most of us conscious of a belief that poetry was 
to be looked for as a matter of course in days gone by, when shepherds 
piped by the banks of classic streams, and when scholars assembled in 
acndemic groves; or when in more recent times our own poets found 
inspiration by lake and mountain, around some 

' Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,* 

or in meditative ([uiet and solemn stillness of the country churchyard. 
But can poetry be born amid the noisy rattle of the loom, the birr of 
wheels, the clang of hammers, the screaming whistle and thundering 
rush of the locomotive.'" In answer to this we unhesitatingly reply 
yes, and in confirmation of our opinion we have only to point to the 
volume which Mr. AVingficld published a few years ago, a volume that 
is re])lcle with poems and lyrical pieces of a very high order of merit, 
and all of which were composed amidst the din and clatter of the 
Great Western Railway boiler shop at Hamilton, Ontario. There are, 
indeed, many excellent specimens both of Scottish and English verse 
in this volume, and each piece seems to have been composed with a 
special pui])Ose in view which necessitated their being carefully thought 
out before being committed to the world. Mr, Wingfield, however, 



ALEXANDER WINGFIELD. 137 

is very modest in regard to tlie merit of his different poems. " If 
there be poetry in them," he says, "it is such as comes from homely, 
natural inspiration, unaided either by varied reading or literary leisure. 
As I have really felt, or believed, or imagined, so have I written; and 
whatever faults of expression there may be in my efforts, there is no 
failure in honesty of intention. Having neither read much nor 
travelled far, nor been able to put the world of nature and of history 
under contribution, I have found my subjects chiefly among the 
familiar scenes and every-day experiences of my own humble walk in 
life; taking such color and impression of them as residence in a busy 
city like Hamilton could not fail to present." His muse has thus 
dwelt on various subjects and to show the kindly nature of the man 
and his feelings toward even the smallest of God's creatures, we pie- 
sent our readers with his well-known address of welcome to the 
sparrows: 

Ye'rc welcome, wee sparrows, yc're welcome to me; 
Vou mak me as happy as e'er I can be ; 
When I hear you chirp, chirpin', an' see ye sae tame. 
You just aye look to me like kenn'd faces frae hamc. 

There are some canna bear ye, an' say that ye steal, 
An' fecht wi' your neebors at times like the deil; 
An' they hope ye may meet wi' a' sorts o' ill luck, 
But I like ye— ye're emblems of true British pluck. 

D'ye ever turn hame-sick at nicht wlien at rest 
(The lot of an exile is ne'er very blest); 
D'ye think o' the times ye've had fleein' aroun' 
Wi' the cronies you left, baith in kintra an' toon ? 

D'ye e'er min' the hedge-rows, whaur often at e'en. 

Ye hae woo'd yuur blithe mates near whaur Burns woo'd his Jean; 

An' ye heard the sweet sang o' the lark in tiie morn, 

As he rose up dew-winged frae his nest 'mang the corn? 

D'ye min' the green hawthorns an' red shinin' ha's, 
That you feasted on aft by the auld castle wa's ? 
I doubtna, wee birdies, ye whiles mourn like me, 
For the hame ye hae left far awa owre the sea. 

Ye gar me think o' days when a bairn at the schulc, 
I hae hunted an' chased you wi' hearty guid-will; 
When ye tlecd frae my steps away up on the trees, 
I hae staned you wi' vigor — I winna tell lees. 



I3S SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



I hae harriet your nests wi* the rest o' my chums, 

An' hae often enticed ye wi' wee bits of crums 

To come down frae your 3-oung ones, baith early an' late, 

An' then trapp'd ye wi' glee wi' three bricks and a slate. 

But those times are changed noo — altho', to my min', 
I have never seen happier anes e'er sin syne; 
For the wrangs I hae dune ye in life's early day. 
Fain, fain wud I noo wi' some kindness repay. 

I am wae when I think o' the lang winter days 
Ye'll be happin aroun' on your wee, frozen taes; 
Guid kens whaur ye'll get your bit pickin's ava. 
When the earth is laid under its mantle o' sna'. 

I'm no blest wi' owre much ; I've but little to spare ; 
Yet, there's naethin' I hae but wi' you I wud share ; 
If ye e'er fin' your way %vhaur my wee hoosie stan's. 
You are aye sure o' something at least frae my ban's. 

Thro' the cauld winter days may ye meet wi' nae harm ; 
May ye aye fin' a beild to jouk in frae ilk storm ; 
May the raven's Provider tak care of ye a'. 
Till the blithe simmer comes an' the •winter's awa. 

Mr. Wingfield expresses his sentiments in clear and chaste language, 
and while through many of his poems there runs a rich vein of innocent 
humor, or of manly independence which makes them enjoyable at all 
times, still, it is in his serious pieces we think that his poetical powers 
are disj^layed to the greatest advantage. All of these musings are 
simple and full of words of sympathy. They are written from the 
heart, and they appeal directly to the heart, and in no instance do we 
discover in their composition a mere straining after effect. Take his 
"Crape on the Door," for instance. It has truly been said that who- 
ever could compose lines like the follov/ing was capable of greater 
efforts, and we yet look for something from Mr. Wingfield that will 
place his name among the poets who have achieved a world-wide 
fame: 

CRAPE ON THE DOOR. 



There's a liitlc white cottage that Stan's 'mong the trees, 
Whaur llic huniming bird comes to sip sweets wi' the bees, 
Wliaur the bright morning-glories grow up o'er the caves. 
And Ihe.wce birdies nestle among the green leaves. 
But there's something around it to-day that seems sad — 
It has'na that look o' contentment it had; 
There is gloom whaur there used to be sunshine before; 
Its windows are darkened — there's crape on the door. 



ALEXANDER WING FIELD. 139 



There is crape 011 the door — all is silent within; 

There are nae merry children there making a din; 

For the anc that was merriest aye e' them a' 

Is laid out in robes that look white as the sna'. 

Hut yestcrdiiy morn, when the sun shone so bright; 

Nae step bounded frec'er — nae heart was mair light; 

When the gloamin' cam' round, a' his playing was o'er, 

He was drowned in the Inirn — sae there's crape on the door. 

Nae mair will he skip like a lamb o'er the lea, 

Or pu' the wild flowers, or gang chasin' the bee; 

He'll be miss'd by the bairns when they come hame frae schule. 

For he met them ilk day coming down o'er the hill. 

Beside his wee coffin his lone mother kneels, 

And she breathes forth a prayer for the sorrow she feels; 

Her puir widowed heart has been scared to the core, 

For not lang^sinsyne there was crape on the door. 

Her sobs choke her utt'rance, though she strives, but in vain 

To stifle her grief, or her tears to restrain; 

Yet she lovingly murmurs, " I winna repine ; 

Thy will be done Father ; Thy will and not mine; 

Though my trials are great, yet I winna complain; 

For I ken that the Lord has but ta'en back His ain, 

To dwell wi' the angels above evermore 

Whaur there's nae sin nor sorrow, nor crape on the door." 

Among our author's other serious pieces, "The Last Farewell," 
«' The Widow's Wail," "Wee Tot," "Our Wee Jeannie " and "Not 
Lost, but Gone Before," are all ])oenis of a beautiful and touching 
nature, and prove that he is possessed of a tender and Christian heart. 
The last named piece was composed on the death of a favorite child, 
and as it has been considerably spoken of we reprint it here: 

NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE. 



We've nae wee Lily noo, Maggie, 

We've nae wee Lily noo; 
Death's laid his cauld, damp, icy, han' 

Upon her bonnie broo, 
That broo whaur gowden curls played, 

Aboon her een o' blue. 

'Twas destined sae to be, Maggie, 

'Twas destined sae to be; 
That God should tak' awa the gift 



I40 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

He gied to you and me ; 
'Twas hard to part wi't ; sorrow's a)'e 
A bitter thing to dree. 

She looked some like yoursel, Maggie, 

She looked some like yoursel ; 
How much I lo'ed her, nana but He 

Wha kens our hearts can tell. 
We will not murmur at His will. 

He doeth all things well. 

We'll miss her unco sair, Maggie, 

We'll miss her unco sair ; 
But she has gane whaur grief and pain 

Will never reach her mair ; 
Whaur flowerets bloom and shed perfume 

In Heaven's garden fair. 

We will not mourn her noo, Maggie, 

We will not mourn her noo; 
She isna lost, but gane before — 

Just hidden frae our view ; 
She's better afT than she could be, 
Were she still here wi' you. 

We'll meet wi' her again, Maggie, 

We'll meet wi' her again, 
When we hae passed thro' death's dark vale. 

And crossed o'er Jordon's plain ; 
'Mang ither lammies in Christ's fauld 

We'll see our ain wee wean. 

Passing from Mr. Wingfield's serious pieces, we come upon many 
displaying a humorous sentiment, to which is not unfrequently com- 
bined a little well-directed satire. There is not a word or a line in 
any of these pieces, however, that could offend the taste or hurt the 
feelings of any one. This in itself is deserving of note. "That he 
has penned nothing," says the Hamilton Evening Tifnes, "that can 
lower or vulgarize life in any of its relations, nor even pandered to 
irreligion or sensuality, is something to feel honestly proud of, for, in 
these days of sensationism, even poets of mark not unfrequently 
sacrifice morality and purity in their craving for a certain kind of 
popular sympathy." A good specimen of his humorous writings is: 



ALEXANDER WING FIELD. 141 



A SIIILLIN' OR TWA. 



Friendship has charms for tiie leal an' the true, 
There's naething can beat it the hale warl thro', 
But ye'll gey aften fin' that the best friend ava 
Is that white-headed callan a shillin' or twa'. 
Eh, man, it's a fine thing, a shillin' or twa, 
Ilech, man, it's a gran' thing, a shillin' or twa'. 
It keeps up your spirits, it adds to your merits, 
If ye but inherit a shillin' or twa. 

It's surprisin' how much you'll be thocht o' by men, 
You'll get credit for wisdom altho' ye hae nane, 
Tho' yc'r but a dunce ye'll be honored by a'. 
When they ken that ye hue a bit shillin' or twa. 
Eh, man, it's a line thing, a shillin' or twa, 
Hech, man, it's a gran' thing, a shillin' or twa, 
Ye'll ne'er ken what it means to want plenty of frien's 
Gin ye glamour their e'en wi' a shillin' or twa. 

But it alters the case when your pouches are toon. 
An' your credit's a' gane an' nae wab in the loom, 
Be sure then ye'll get the cauld shoulder frae a', 
If ye ask for the lend o' a shillin' or twa. 
Eh, man, it's a fine thing, a shillin' or twa, 
Hech, man, it's a gran' thing, a shillin' or twa. 
But there's no mony then that will haud out their han' 
An' say, "here, my man, there's a shillin' or twa." 

There are some that for siller wud swap their auld shoon, 
There are some that wud cheat for't it and ne'er ca't a sin, 
An' there are some sae devoid o' morality's law. 
Wud shake han's wi' the deil for a shillin' or twa. 
Eh, man, it's a fine thing, a shillin' or twa, 
Hech, man, it's a gran' thing, a shillin' or twa, 
To become rich an' great, an' hae Uunkeys to wait, 
When ye drive out in state affyour shillin' or twa. 

But we scorn the fause loon that for vain worldly pelf 

Wud wrang ither folks to get riches himself, 

Aye live an' let live, an' do justice by a', 

An' may you ne'er want for a shillin' or twa. 

Eh, man, it's a fine thing, a shillin' or twa, 

Hech, man, it's a gran' thing, a shillin' or twa, 

I've aften been scant o't, and weel kcn't the want o't. 

But now, Gudc be ihank't for't, I've a shiilin' or twa. 



142 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



From a poet like Mr. Wingfield we naturally look for many pieces 
chronicling the deeds or extolling the virtues of his native land, and 
our expectations in this respect are largely realized. He is continually 
singing of her hills and glens, woods and streams, people, history and 
religion. While he says: 

Oh, Canada! I lo'e thee weal! 

Altho' nae son o' thine 
Within thy wide domain there beats 

Nae truer heart than mine. 

Yet the home of his infancy is ever in his thoughts, and it seems 
impossible for him to resist the temptation to write about her. Here 
is one of his numerous pieces on this subject: 

THE CALEDONIAN. 



There's a land where the heather and thistle wave, 

Where the foot of a slave ne'er trod, 
Where the blue bells bloom o'er her martyrs' grave 

And hallowed is that sod. 
There's a land whose sons are staunch and brave, 

Whose hills are lofty and grand, 
Whose shores are kissed by the blue sea wave, 

And Scotia is that land. 

'Tis an honored place that same proud land, 
Tlie home of the Caledonian. 

There's a land whose bards have struck their lyres 

To none but the loftiest strains, 
Whose inspiring tones would call forth lire 

From the dullest coward's veins. 
There's a land where noble Wallace fell, 

The first in freedom's van. 
Whose name still sounds like a magic spell — 

And Scotia is that land. 

'Tis teaming with heroes that mountain land, 
The home of the Caledonian. 

All other lands the palm must yield 

To Scotia's daughters fair; 
And in the tented battle-field 

Her sons are foremost there; 
Her tartan-plaided warriors 

Have climbed the steeps of fame; 
Their daring deeds the wide world o'er 

Have earned a deathless name. 

'Tis a nation of heroes — den)' it who can. 
The home of the Caledonian. 



ALEXANDER WING FIELD. 143 



The Scotsman need not blush to own 

The land lliat gave him birtli 
For her name is known from zone to zone 

As the noblest spot on earth. 
Should the foot of a foe e'er dare to tread 

On that little land of the free, 
The thistle would raise his stately head 

Saying " You mauna meddle wi' me." 

It's a sturdy plant that guards our land 
The pride of the Caledonian. 

Alexander H. Wingfield was born in 1828, at Blanlyre, Lanark- 
shire, Scotland, in a house situated a few doors from the one in which 
Dr. Livingston, the celebrated African traveller, first saw the light. 
His parents removed to Glasgow when he was six weeks old, and he 
received little or no education, as he was sent to work in a cotton 
factory before he had reached his tenth birthday. He may therefore 
claim, and deserves credit for being in all respects a self-made man. 
In 1847 he emigrated to America and settled in Auburn, N. Y., but 
three years later he went to Hamilton, Ont., where he worked as a 
mechanic for eighteen years on the Great Western Railway. For the 
past eleven years he has held a responsible position in the Canadian 
Customs Department. His name is now a familiar one throughout 
Canada. That his muse had lung been appreciated by the public 
may be surmised when we state that within ten days after the first 
copy of his book was ready the expense of the whole work was i)aid 
out of the sale of it, and the entire edition, consisting of fifteen hun- 
dred copies, was disposed of in the short space of stven weeks. The 
book is now out of ])rint, and stray copies are eagerly picked up at 
advanced prices wherever they are offered for sale. He does not 
seem to have composed much of late, and in concluding our sketch 
we would say to him in the words of his illustrious friend, Mr. Andrew 
Wanlass: 

"Though grief has racked you to, the core, 
Take up your harp — sing as in yore; 
Ye still liac monie joys in store — 

I hope and pray 
That crape may ne'er hang on your door 

For monie a day!" 



MALCOLM TAYLOR, Jr. 

I've scanned the actions of his daily life 
With ail the industrious malice of a foe ; 
And nothing meets mine eyes but deeds of honor. 

Malcolm Taylor, Jr., poet and dramatist, is a native of Dundee, 
where he was born in 1850. Coming to this country with the other 
members of his family in his tenth year, he was given a careful educa- 
tion, and his boyhood glided peacefully into manhood surrounded by 
all the pleasures and comforts of a happy and moral home. On com- 
pleting his studies he was sent to learn the plumbing trade, but this 
proving distasteful to him, he abandoned it and entered into com- 
mercial engagements which suited him better. 

There are few Scotsmen in this city better known or more respected 
than Malcolm Taylor, senior, the father of our poet. He is blessed 
with very fine musical qualities, and his singing of many of the old 
Scotch songs is a rare treat even to those persons who do not hail 
from the land of the mountain and the flood. Previous to his select- 
ing a home for his family in the new world he was precenter of one of 
the principal churches in Dundee, besides being leader for many 
years of the Dundee Choral Union. 

Our author at an early age gave ample evidence of possessing true 
poetic gifts. His mind, even at school, was completely wrajiped up 
in i)oetical matters, and his sole ambition at one time was to become 
a great poet. We have had the pleasure of reading a number of his 
early musings, and there is no doubt that they display genuine talent 
not only in their versification, but also in their ideas and general con- 
struction. They are bright and musical, and always of a i)lcasing 
character. Take the following one, for instance It was written in 
his fourteenth year and published in a well-known New York weekly 
newspaper: 



MALCOM TA YLOK, JR. 145 



LOVE'S QUESTIONING. 



Do you love me? Tell — 

Does your hcarl swift beat 
And your bosom swell 

When I talk so sweet? 
Docs a sudden thrill 

Of estatic bliss 
Your whole body fill 

When our lips they kiss? 

Do you love me? Tell — 

In your memory 
Does there always dwell 

Pleasant thoughts of me? 
Do hours like days seem 

When I am not nigh? 
Of me do you dream 

When in sleep you lie ? 

Do you love me? Tell — 

Do you love sighs heave 
When I say farewell ? 

And then when I leave, 
Do you linger still 

The doorstep upon. 
Watching me until 

From sight I am gone ? 

Do you love me? Tell — 

When you hear the chime 
Of a marriage bell, 

Long you for the time 
When we too shall stand 

At the altar's side. 
Linking hand in hand. 

Having love's knot tied? 

Do you love me? Tell — 

Love mc fond and true? 
In your looks I spell. 

What tells mc you do; 
But, just to be heard, 

Whisper in my ear 
That one simple word 

I so long to hear. 



146 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Do you love me ? Tell — 

Why still are you dumb? 
Known the answer well, 

But yet let it come. 
Do you love me? Speak — 

Darling now confess! 
Ah! that blushing cheek! 

Your reply is — " Yes." 

Nor was it in his English compositions alone that Mr. Taylor, 
through his early efforts, gave promise of one day attaining a prominent 
position among the poets. He seems to have written many pieces in 
his mother tongue which obtained considerable popularity for him 
among his countrymen. Here is a little Scottish lyric which he com- 
posed in his fifteenth year and which proves that even at that age he 
possessed an intimate knowledge of the Doric : 

BONNIE GIRZIE O' GLENBRAE. 



Leeze me, lassie, but I lo'e thee, 

And my thochts run like a sang, 
As the burn adoon the corrie, 

Louping wi' sheer joy alang. 
Gin ye knew their sang by hairt, love. 

And would lilt the simple lay, 
Oh, how happy wad it mak' me, 

Bonnie Girzie o' Glenbrae. 

'Mang the lave thee only lo'e I, 

And my hairt is like a bloom, 
As a gowan on the haugh-side, 

Bursting wi' love's pure perfume; 
Wad ye wear my modest posy 

On thy bosom, blest for aye. 
It would yield its inmost spirit, 

Bonnie Girzie o' Glenbrae. 

Wad ye sing my thochts, my dawtie, 

Yours wad lilt fond symphony; 
Wad yc wear my hairt-bloom ever, 

Yours wad fellow-blossom be; 
Sweet wi' joy and love enduring, 

Song and bloom wad blend alway, 
Liviii' niciody and fragrance — 

Bonnie Girzie o' Glenbrae. 



MALCOM TA YLOR, JR. I47 

On comparing ihc above pieces with any of our author's more recent 
productions we will at once notice the advancement which he has 
made. He has certainly cultivated his talents very carefully and the 
result is that his muse is now vigorous, inspiring and scholarly. In 
addition to this there is a love of nature and a purity of feeling 
embodied in and adding a lustre to all of his later work that is not to 
be found in any of his earlier compositions. Take a poem entitled 
" Hyacinth," which he composed a few years ago and we will readily 
note the difference: 

In the body-bulb buried low, and hid 

From tlic glint of human eye, and sun, 
Like a lifeless corse 'neath a coirm-lid, 

Longing to rise, with freedom won, 
Lies tlie Hyacinth, awaiting the birth 

From a dormant state, which is as death, 
Till Nature's Christ comes on the earth. 

And resurrects it with living breath. 

As a vague, dim hint of a day to come. 

In time now looms, from the dark, dank mold, 
A tip of green, striving, slow and dumb. 

With feeble force its powers to unfold; 
And soon on the surface spread vernal arms. 

That embrace the air and caress the light. 
Till the centre stalk feels life's fond charms. 

And rises in majestic might. 

Then a cluster of stars shoot into view, 

Petaled Pleiades to gem the ground, 
And lend their sheen of tender hue 

To illume the varied scene around;' 
Whilst the eyes and lips of the budding head 

The smiles and breath of love give free, 
On the air the wealth of its soul to shed, 

To live in the mind eternally. 

Thus the poet's soul, innate and cold. 

Awaits the call of Nature's God 
To burst from its gyves of human mold. 

And peer above the insensate sod. 
First, looming up, one struggling thought 

Finds expression, as the hint of green; 
Then his mind, with ardent feelings fraught. 

Aspires to reach to heaven serene. 



148 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Soon his fancies teem to a budding head, 

And crown his brain, as a group of stars. 
Their lustre rare around to shed, 

To charm the sense in rhythmic bars; 
While his thoughts, like arms, stretch wide apart. 

The sum of love and life to embrace, 
And his lips and tongue give voice to his heart 

In a song that time cannot efface. 

Mr. Taylor revisited Scotland in 1874, and while there contributed 
numerous articles and poems to the NeiuYork Scotsman. One of the 
latter, a lengthy poem, entitled "Mountain Musings," appeared in 
serial form and was universally admired. Another lengthy descriptive 
poem which he composed in the Highlands, entitled " In the Wilder- 
ness," was published in Hutnan Nature, a well-known London 
literary magazine, and commanded a great deal of praise from the 
critics of the English metropolis. A brief excursion through Ayrshire 
further inspired his muse and called forth a very fine poem on Robert 
Burns, from which we make two extracts : 

Now let me, with my pen's weird wand, forsooth. 

Waive by the windings of his young life path, 

The petty trials he had, as each child hath, 
Till soon we see him as a reaper youth; 
When, bending low beside some winsome Ruth 

To bind with wheaten gyves the levelled swath. 

Or gathering up the golden aftermath. 
He tried to sing the love he felt in truth; 

Then woke the poet's spirit in his form. 
Moved was his hand to touch the latent chords 
That longed to give expression fair in words 

To what his heart felt in affection warm; 
And as he told his love in lilted line 
He wooed the willing Coila, muse divine. 



And now behold him. Fashion's pampered child! 
The Pet of wealth! The social board around 
His favored friends did reverence profound, 

While he, with his own songs, the time beguiled 

Till, with that Circe, Pleasure's draught grown wild 
Our laverock Rab soon had his sad rebound 
And, faulty, fell back to the common ground. 

To sink from sight, in poverty exiled; 



MALCOLM TA YLOJi, JR. 149 



But though was smirched with shame in touching dross 
The form that housed liis soul, above mere pelf; 
Yet crushed not was the tjelter part of self; 

From human failings suflcring no loss 
His songs lived on and lingered, still sublime, 
Throuh all the echoing corridors of Time. 

In 1878 Mr. Taylor was united in marriage to Mrs. R. E, Scher- 
merhorn, an accomplished lady who had already won distinction for 
herself as the first lady attorney of the city of Rochester. During the 
following five years he resided at their magnificent house, Cascade, on 
the beautiful shore of Owasco Lake, in central New York. While 
located here he ventured into the dramatic field, and many of the 
plays which he has since written have met with phenomenal success. 
His "Auld Robin Gra}-," a dramatization of the celebrated ballad of 
that name, was pronounced by Mr. James H. Stoddart, the eminent 
actor, to be one of the finest Scotch pastoral plays that he had ever 
read. The above, with some of his other dramas, such as " The 
Afflicted Family," "Rags and Boules," and "Aar-u-a-goos " have been 
published, and are played with great success throughout the United 
States each season. Through the channel of his dramatic writings 
our author gradually drifted into the theatrical profession, and he now 
holds a prominent and resposible position in one of the best paying 
theatres in central New York. While cultivating the good graces of 
Thalia and Melpomene, however, he did not altogether forget his old 
love. While he may have neglected his muse for the time being, yet 
the following recently composed sonnets will prove that she still 
lingers within his reach willing to be wooed by him at all times: 

LOVE'S SUMMER. 



You ask me am I lonely? Not at all 
Though thick the dun October clouds may loom 
And wild winds cry around the wail of doom 
That summer's vernal foliage finds its fall, 
I mourn not, having thee. If, like a pall, 
The storm docs gather close about, in gloom 
To shroud me, livened by the June-like bloom 
That seems to spring up at thy cheery call. 
The earth, that otherwise would serve to load 
My heart with heaviness, at prospects sad, 
Now seems a very paradise, so glad 
My spirit is. With thee to walk the road, 
Though knowing that it led to regions dark, 
Still would I on such journey fain embark. 



I50 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



And vvh}'? Because the light from out thine eyes 

Makes shining bright the scene with sunny smiles, 

And thy rich laugh, like bird-trill, still beguiles 
The passing hour with music, while fast flies 
Each feathery warbler unto warmer skies, 

Each blush-rose that my word-warmth without wiles 

Brings into bloom upon thy cheek, denials 
To no great purpose, as fair flowers apprize 
Me that my love finds soil within thy breast; 

Hence in thy presence summer ever stays. 

Since smile, and laugh, and blush, always 
Are sun, and bird, and flower to me most blest, 

And this is why, in seasons dark or bright, 

I in thy company still find delight. 

Among Mr. Taylor's poems not already referred to, "A Four-Leaf 
Clover," " Six Kisses," and " The Violet's Death " are worthy of 
special mention on account of their meritorious character. The two 
latter are poems of considerable length, but they contain many noble 
passages, together with numerous lines of genuine poetry. His verses 
addressed to " Auld Kirk Alloway " are in excellent taste and will 
always be kindly remembered by Scotsmen in connection with this 
illustrious old ruin. We quote a few verses: 

The wild rose decks your broo in spring, 
Aroun' your form the ivies cling 
Like memories dear, while Unties sing 

Their leal love's praise, 
As Rab did his, meandering 

On Doon's green braes. 

* * * * 

Your wa's still stan', though roofless lang, 
And wi' carse, crumblin' cild nae Strang, 
Sin' syne j-our bell in peal has rang, 

Fu' mony a wight 
Has joined the dust frae whence he sprang. 

An' gane frae sight. 

» * * * 

As lang's the lays th^ ploughman sung 
To chords o' Coila's lyre, love-strung, 
Repeated are by human tongue, 

Fame to prolong, 
Ye will be known foremaist among 

The kirks o' song. 



I 



MALCOLM TAYLOR, JR. 151 

When time is done, tlic poem divine, 
Ilk age a verse, ilk year a line, 
In nac ae stanza will there shine 

A brichter name. 
Than his, wha gicd ye, ruined shrine 

Your storied fame. 

Sac fear nac, though you're fallin' fast 

Ye will be to oblivion cast, 

For while the mind o' man does last. 

In comin' day 
Yc'II live in glory o' tlic past. 

Kirk Alloway! 

It will readily be seen from these specimens of the poetical writings 
of Mr. Taylor tliat he possesses all the qualifications of a very fine 
])oet. He is just entering upon the prime of manhood, and we feel 
confident that if he would concentrate his powers upon some one sub- 
ject he would yet produce a poem worthy of his youthful ambition, and 
which would entitle him to rank among the most eminent of Scottish 
poets. 



ALEXANDER M'LACHLAN. 

Creative Genius ! from thy hand 

What shapes of order, beauty, rise, 
When waves thy potent, mystic wand 

To people ocean, earth and skies ! 

Alexander M'Lachlan holds a prominent position in the circle 
of Scottish bards who have made for themselves a home in the new 
world. A native of Johnston, in Renfrewshire, Scotland, he was born 
in the year 1820. His father, a mechanic to trade, was possessed of 
considerable poetic talent, and the son at an early age became strongly 
imbued with his spirit and soon established a reputation for himself in 
the neighborhood as a writer of rather intelligent verses. His educa- 
tion, however, amounted to very little, and it certainly speaks well for 
him now that he is in nearly all respects a self-educated man. As a 
boy he was fond of reading, and he early acquired a thorough acquaint- 
ance with history and general literature. His father died while return- 
ing from a visit to Canada, leaving a Avidow and four small children 
uni)rovided for. Alexander was first sent to work in a cotton factory, 
but soon left this occupation and became a tailor's apprentice. While 
a young man he took an active interest in the Chartist movement, and 
many of his early efforts in verse were full of sympathy and encourage- 
ment for those who were struggling for more freedom. In 1840 he 
emigrated to Canada and went to work on a farm. He was thus 
engaged for many years, during which time, however, he gave vent to 
his thoughts and reflections in poems of so beautiful and valuable a 
character that they stamped him as no ordinary man, and sent his 
name ringing throughout the Dominion. In 1855 he vv;)s induced to 
publish a small collection of his poems. It met with a ready sale and 
was followed in 1858 by another volume entitled "Lyrics," which was 
also accorded a favorable reception. Three years later appeared his 
" Emigrant and Other Poems," and in 1874 "Poems and Songs," a 
large 8vo volume, containing nearly all of his poetical writings up to 
that date. The opening poem in the last named volume is entitled 



ALEXANDER M'LACIILAN. 153 

"God," and is probably llic fiiicbt i)icce of poetry which Mr. 
M'Lachlan has written. It at once gives us an idea of his powers as 
a poet, and, as one writer remarks, " is ecjual in grandeur and sub- 
limity to the best efforts of the greatest Anglo-Saxon or Celtic poets." 
We quote a few stanzas: 

God of the great old solemn woods, 
God of the desert solitudes, 

And trackless sea: 
God of the crowded city vast, 
God of the present and the past, 

Can man know Thee ? 

God of the blue sky overhead. 

Of the green earth on which we tread, 
Of time and space: 

God of the worlds which Time conceals, 

God of the worlds which Death reveals 

To all our race. 

From out thy wrath the earthquakes leap 
And shake the world's foundation deep, 

Till Nature groans: 
In agony the mountains call, 
And ocean bellows throughout all 

Her frightened zones. 

But when thy smile its glory sheds, 
The lilies lift their lovely heads, 

And the primrose rare: 
And the daisie decked with pearls 
Richer than the proudest earls 

On their mantles wear. 

These thy preachers of the wild-wood, 
Keep they not the heart of childhood 

Fresh within us still ? 
Spite of all our life's sad story, 
There are gleams of thee and glory 

In the daffodil. 

And old Nature's heart rejoices. 
And the rivers lift their voices, 

And the sounding sea: 
And the mountains old and hoary 
With their diadems of glory, 

Shout, Lord, to Thee! 



154 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

The mysterious in nature seems to be a fascinating subject for our 
author, and one at which his muse loves to draw inspiration. On such 
occasions his writings are eloquent and profound and they display a 
large amount of sound philosophical reasoning. He is extremely 
earnest in purpose and no one can fail to observe the sincere longing 
with which his heart is filled for a knowledge of the unseen. There 
is a great deal more than poetry in his verses entitled " Mystery ": 

Mystery! mystery! 

All is a mystery, 
Mountain and valley, woodland and stream; 

Man's troubled history, 

Man's mortal destiny 
Are but a phase of the soul's troubled dream. 

Mystery! mystery! 

All is a mystery! 
Heart-throbs of anguish and joy's gentle dew, 

Fall from a fountain 

Beyond the great mountain. 
Whose summits forever are lost in the blue. 

Mystery! mystery! 

All is a mystery! 
The sigh of the night winds, the song of the waves: 

The visions that borrow 

Their brightness from sorrow, 
The tales which flowers tell us, the voices of graves. 

Mystery! mystery! 

All is a mystery! 
Ah, there is nothing we wholly see through! 

We are all weary. 

The night's long and dreary — 
Without hope of morning O what would we do? 

In another poem, entitled " Who Knows ?" we have verses similar 
to the following : 

From deep to deep, from doubt to doubt, 

While tlic night still deeper grows; 
Who knows the meaning of this life ? 

Wlicn a voice replied, Who knows ? 

Shall it always be a mystery ? 

Are there none to lift the veil ? 
Knows no one aught of the land wc left, 

Or the port lo which wc sail ? 



ALEXANDER M' LA CI/LAN. 155 

Poor shipwrecked mariners driven about 

By every wind that blows; 
Is there a haven of rest at all ? 

And a voice replies, Who knows ? 

O why have we lonf(injrs infinite 

And aflections deep and high; 
And glorious dreams of immortal things. 

If they are but born to die? 

Are they but will-o'-wisps that gleam 

Where the deadly nightshade grows ? 
Do they end in dust and ashes all ? 

And the voice still cried, Who knows? 

No poet was ever blessed with a finer conception of the beauties of 
external nature, however, than the subject of our sketch. He has a 
happy faculty for describing rural scenes, and his poems entitled 
'' Spring," " Indian Summer," " Far in the Forest Shade," " The Song 
of the Sun " and "The Hall of Shadows " are replete with descriptive 
passages of the very highest order of merit. Mingling with his poetry 
is the rich perfume of buds and blossoms, the warble of the birds, the 
murmur of the brook, the hum of insects and the rustle of autumn 
leaves. He loves them all with the love of a poet, and his muse is 
ever ready and delights in proclaiming their beauties, whether in the 
field or the forest, the highway or the hillside. The following may be 
taken as a specimen of his descriptive pieces: 

MAY. 



O sing and rejoice! 

Give to gladness a voice, 
Shout a welcome to beautiful May! 

Rejoice with the flowers, 

And the birds 'mong the bowers, 
And away to the green woods away! 

O, blithe as the fawn 

Let us dance in the dawn 
Of this life-giving, glorious day! 

'Tis briglit as the tirst 

Over Eden that burst — 
O, welcome, young, joy-giving May! 

The cataract's horn 
Has awakened the morn, 
Her tresses are dripping with dew 



156 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

O hush thee, and hark! 

'Tis her herald the lark 
That's singing afar in the blue, 

It's happ)' heart's rushing, 

In strains wildly gushing, 
That reach to the revelling earth: 

And sinks through the deeps 

Of the soul till it leaps 
Into raptures far deeper than mirth. 

All nature's in keeping! 

The live streams are leaping 
And laughing in gladness along; 

The great hills are heaving, 

The dark clouds are leaving, 
The valleys have burst into song. 

We'll range through the dells 

Of the bonnie blue bells. 
And sing with the streams on their way 

We'll lie in the shades 

Of the flower-covered glades, 
And hear what the primroses say. 

O crown me with flowers, 

'Neath the green spreading bowers, 
With the gems and the jewels May brings; 

In the light of her eyes. 

And the depth of her dyes, 
We'll smile at the purple of kings. 

We'll throw off our years, 

With their sorrows and tears. 
And time will not number the hours 

We'll spend in the woods 

Where no sorrow intrudes. 
With the streams, and the birds, and the flowers. 

Home and the affections also claim a particular niche in our author's 

heart, and he has given us many very fine poems on these subjects. 

He begins one: 

" Where'er we may wander, 

Whate'er be our lot 

The heart's first affections, 

Still cling to the spot 

Where first a fond mother, 

With rapture has prest, 
Or sung us to slumber 
^ In peace on her breast." 



ALEXANDER M'LACIILAN. I57 



But the finest specimen of all, is his well-known poem entitled, " Old 
Hannah," a poem so real and yet so exquisite in construction and 
finish that no one but a true poet could have conceived and written it. 



OLD HANNAH. 



'Tis Sabbath morn, and a holy balm 
Drops down on the heart like dew 

And the sunbeams gleam 

Like a blessed dream 
Afar on the mountains blue, 
Old Hannah's by her cottage door, 
In her faded widow's cap; 

She is sitting alone 

On the old gray stone, 
With the Bible in her lap. 

An oak is hanging above her head, 
And the burn is wimpling by; 

The primroses peep 

From their sylvan keep, 
And the lark is in the sky. 
Beneath that shade her children played, 
But they're all away with Death, 

And she sits alone 

On that old gray stone, 
To hear what the Spirit saith. 

Her years are o'er threescore and ten. 
And her eyes are waxing dim. 

But the page is bright 

With a living light, 
And her heart leaps up to Him 
Who pours the mystic harmony 
Which the soul can only hear: 

She is not alone 

On the old gray stone, 
Tho' no earthly friend is near. 

There's no one left to love her now; 
■ But the eye that never sleeps 
Looks on her in love 
From the heavens above, 
And with quiet joy she weeps; 
For she feels the balm ol bliss is pour'd 
In her lone heart's deepest rut; 
And the widow lone 
On the old gray stone 
Has a peace the world knows not. 



158 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



There are no weak of frivolous pieces to be found in Mr, M'Lach- 
lan's latest volume. There is life and energy and strength, and true 
poetry in all that he writes, and it proceeds from him naturally and 
gracefully at all times. He has had the highest encomiums passed 
on his powers as a poet by men who were well able to judge of his 
abilities. Says the Rev. Dr. Dewart: — "As long ago as 1864, in my 
' Selections from Canadian Poets', 1 said of Mr. M'Lachlan: ' It is no 
empty laudation to call him the Burns of Canada. In racy humor, in 
natural pathos, in graphic portraiture of character, he will compare 
favorably with the great peasant bard ; while in moral grandeur and 
beauty he frequently strikes higher notes than ever echoed from the 
harp of Burns.' After nearly a quarter of a century I am prepared to 
stand by this estimate still." 

No notice of our author would be complete without referring to his 
lyrical pieces. These embrace many that are written in the Scottish 
dialect, and which have added considerably to his fame as a poet. 
There is a wealth of poetic feeling and language, simplicity and 
tenderness in such songs as " Lovely Alice," " My Love is Like the 
Lily Flower," and " Mary White," that is not to be met with in the 
Scottish song of to-day. We quote the following as a specimen of 
his Doric. The title has long since become a familiar proverb with 
the Scottish people : 

WE'RE A" JOHN TAMSON'S BAIRNS. 



O, come and listen to my sang, 

Nae matter wha ye be, 
For there's a human sympathy 

That sings to you and me; 
For as some Icindly soul has said — 

All underneath the starns, 
Despite of country, clime and creed, 

Are a' John Tamson's bairns. 

The higher that we sclim the tree 

Mair sweert are we to fa', 
And, spite o' fortune's heights and houghs, 

Death equal-aquals a'; 
And a' the great and mighty anes 

Wha slumber 'neath the cairns 
They ne'er forgot, though e'er so great, 

We're a' John Tamson's bairns. 



ALEXANDER M'LACIILAN. 159 

Earth's heroes spring frac high and low, 

There's beauty in ilk place, 
There's nac inouupoly o' worth 

Amang the human race; 
And genius ne'er was o' a class, 

Hut, like the moon and starns, 
She sheds her kindly smile alike 

On a' Jolin Tamson's bairns. 

There's nae monopoly o' pride — 

For a' wi' Adam fell — 
I've seen a joskin sae transformed, 

He scarcely kent himsel'. 
The langer that the wise man lives, 

The mair he sees and learns, 
And aye the deeper care he takes 

Owre a' John Tamson's bairns. 

There's some distinction, ne'er a doubt, 

'Tween Jock and Master John, 
And yet it's maistly in the dress, 

When everything is known; 
Where'er you meet him, rich or poor, 

The man o' sense and barns, 
By moral worth he measures a' 

Puir auld John Tamson's bairns. 

There's ne'er been country yet nor kin 

But has some weary flaw, 
And he's the likest God aboon 

Who loves them ane and a'; 
And after a' that's come and gane, 

What human heart but yearns, 
To meet at last in light and love, 

Wi' a' John Tamson's bairns. 

Among the poems not already referred to, "The Halls of Holy- 
rood," " Martha," " The Settler's Sabbath Day, ' " Napoleon on St. 
Helena," *' Wilson's Grave " and " Up and be a Hero " prove them- 
selves the work of a master poet. In each instance the diction is pure, 
the rhyme easy and flowing, and the ideas original and choice. 

" His ' Britannia' and ' Garibaldi,' " says Dr. Daniel Clark, "stir us 

as would the clarion notes of a bugle call on a battlefield. His ' Lang 

Heided Laddie' shows his quiet humour, versatility, and good- 

ntended sarcasm. His ' Balaclava' does not lose by comparison with 



i6o SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA, 



Macaulay's ' Lays of Ancient Rome,' or Aytoun's ' Historic Ballads of 
Scottish Chivalry.' " 

One other poem, which we are unable to quote on account of its 
length, deserves special mention, viz : " Old Adam." This is one of 
his most admired productions. The description of the old man, his 
peculiarities, sympathies and desires, are all graphically set forth, and 
form a picture which is at once interesting and true to life. 

" He was nae thing that stood apart 
Frae universal nature: 
But had a corner in his heart 
For every living creature." 

In conclusion we would allude to the fact that at a public meeting 
recently held in Toronto it was unanimously resolved, as a mark of 
respect to the genius of Mr. M'Lachlan, to purchase and present him 
with the valuable farm upon which he now resides. And surely the 
poet is worthy of such distinguished recognition at the hands of his 
admirers. The talents entrusted to his keeping have been nobly 
employed, and have yielded an abundant harvest. He has accom- 
plished the work he was sent to perform, and after he passes to 
his reward, his good works will keep his memory revered and honored 
among the sons of song on earth. 



WILLIAM MURRAY. 

I live not like the many of my kind ; 

Mine is a world of feelings and of fancies ; 
Fancies, whose rainbow-empire is the mind — 

Feelings, that realize their own romances. 

William Murray was born on the twenty-fifth of May, 1834, at 
Finlarig, Breadalbane, Perthshire, in an old-fashioned house close by 
the old castle of Finlarig, built by Black Duncan, head of the then 
house of Breadalbane. His father, Peter Murray, held the position of 
liead gardener to the Breadalbane estates for a period extending over 
thirty-five years. He was an intelligent, straightforward, God-fearing 
man, and to this day is kindly remembered by all who knew him. He 
early noticed the bright faculties with which his son was endowed, and 
he spared no expense in providing him with as careful and as complete 
an education as was to be procured in the Highlands of Scotland at 
the time. Shortly after finishing his studies our author resolved to 
strike out in the world on his own account, and emigrating to Canada 
found himself occupying a subordinate position in a mercantile 
establishment in Toronto just as he was entering upon the twenty- 
first year of his age. He has always been industrious and earnest, 
and fortune has showered her favors on him, as he is now well to do 
in every sense which that term implies. He has been connected for a 
great many years with the well-known and extensive dry goods house 
of Messrs. A. Murray & Co., Hamilton, Ontario. Mr. Murray's birth- 
place is situated in one of the most picturesque positions in the High- 
lands, and his muse takes a si)ecial delight in winging her way back 
and describing the magnificent and historical scenes amid which he 
first saw the light. In this connection his poem entitled " My 
Birthplace," and inscribed to Mr. Even MacColl, is perhaps the finest 
of all his productions. It contains numerous lines of true poetry, 
together with many beautiful similes, the diction is good and pure, 
while as a descriptive poem it will compare favorably with the work 



l62 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



of many of the author's brother bards. We make the following 
extracts from it : 

When first my eyes awoke to light, 
The Grampian hills were full in sight; 
The Dochart and the Lochay joined, 
Repose in deep Loch Tay to find. 

» * * * 

Not far beyond lies Fortingall 
The scene of many a bloody brawl; 
But chiefly, here the Roman shield 
Was driven shattered from the field: 
Here Caesars chivalry first felt 
The metal of the Highland celt, 
And with his finger in his mouth 
Enquired the shortest passage south! 

Now, rise with me to yonder hill, 
Watered by many a crystal rill. 
Covered by Scotia's darling heather. 
With here and there a hill bird's feather, 
And fox glove's mazy tangled knots. 
Holding its own until it rots, 
And, to the sportsman ever dear, 
The grouse and blackcock crouching near, 
The lark rejoicing up on high, 
The eagle swooping through the sky. 
But best of all to grazier's eye, 
The hardy black sheep passing by, 
Nibbling away with sharp white teeth 
Their perfumed provender, the heath. 
And never deem their journey high 
Till hidden in the misty sky. 

* * * * 

But worse than blameful would I be. 
Were human friends forgot by me — 
Those friends who cheered my early years, 
Increased my joys and soothed my fears. 
Who nursed me, taught me and caressed mc. 
And when I left them, sighed and blessed mc! 
However primitive their talk, 
Unstudied and untrained their walk — 
Altiiu" they wore the simple plaid 
Which their own thrifty hands had made. 
And were content with Highland bonnets, 
Higliland whiskey, Highland sonnets — 



WILLIAM MURRAY. 163 



They were a noble race of men 
Whose like we ne'er shall see again — 
Their faults I hardly wish to hide, 
Their virtues I admire with pride. 

« * * • 

Yes, while I here, far from these scenes, 
May value all that money means, 
A something says, with thrilling tones, 
" In Scotland you must lay your bones," 

Another very fine poem by Mr. Murray is the one entitled " Rob Roy," 
written for the New York Scotsman some years ago. This is a com- 
position of considerable length, but it is well written, the interest is 
sustained throughout, and it conveys to us a graphic picture of the 
life and times of this celebrated Highland chieftain : 

As he proudly stood arrayed 
In his graceful kilt and plaid, 
With a power to be obeyed 

In his kingly face, 
The MacGregor looked the head 

Of a noble race. 

Noble race it truly was, 
Notwithstanding Saxon laws, 
And the chief who leads its cause 

Rules it heart and soul. 
See him! every breath he draws 

Claims supreme control. 

True, bold Rob, in hours of sleep, 
Sometimes captured Lowland sheep 
Which the owners couldn't keep. 

Lacking strength and skill; 
Or some cattle he might sweep 

From some Lowland hill. 

He believed that sheep and cattle 
Gave a kind of charm to battle, 
Which improved a hero's mettle 

And (which wasn't worse) 
While they helped his nerves to settle, 

They improved his purse. 

'Twas the simple ancient plan , 

Taught by every genuine clan. 



i64 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

To recover from each man 

What the other lost; 
Nor did one or other scan 

Closely what it cost. 



Clansmen all, the story's told, 
Many years have come and rolled 
Since we first in Scotland old, 

With a boyish joy, 
Heard of all the doings bold 

Of the brave Rob Roy. 

Thank the Lord the times are changed; 
Every wrong has been avenged; 
On the side of right'^are ranged 

People, Crown and Law — 
All from each, no more estranged. 

Strength and glory draw. 

Celt and Saxon now are one, 
Fights and feuds are past and gone. 
And o'er Scotia's mountains lone 

Shedding peace and joy, 
Queen Victoria fills the throne 

Of the bold Rob Roy. 

Although frequently pressed by his friends to publish a collection 
of his poems in book form our author, thus far, has refrained from doing 
so. This is not the result of a want of confidence in himself or a fear 
as to what the verdict of the public might be at such a step. It is 
simply because he lacks ambition, or more properly speaking perhaps, 
is too unassuming in regard to his own merits. While he admits in a 
recent poetic epistle addressed to the writer that — 

" We rhymers richly relish praise. 
And when a nurse like you displays 

In such attire, 
The bairns which from our brains wc raise, 

We go on fire — ' 

still it is a well-known fact that, while he is the author of a 
sufficient number of poems to fill two good-sized volumes, many of 
his pieces have appeared in magazines and newspapers without his 
name or even his initials being attached to them. He has been 



WILLIAM MURRA Y. 1^.5 



actively engaged in business for many years, but in the midst of this 
busy portion of his life he has had moments of genuine inspiration, 
moments in which an irresistible force has compelled him to lay bare 
his heart and feelings in poems, epistles and lyrical pieces of acknowl- 
edged merit. He writes in a graceful and easy style and his muse 
generally alights on subjects which are interesting as well as instruc- 
tive. His poems are skillfully worked out and contain thoughts and 
expressions which prove that he possesses a fine literary taste. His 
"Caledonians and the Romans," "Epistle from St. Andrew," "Our 
Ain Snug Little House," "Canada to Uncle Sam " and "The Scottish 
Plaid " are very creditable productions in all respects and will always 
be accorded a loyal welcome by admirers of the Scottish muse. 'I'he 
last-named piece contains no less than forty-six verses and illustrates 
the mastery which our author still retains over his native Doric : 

The plaid amang our auld forbears 
Was lo'ed owre a' their precious wares. 
Their dearest joys wad be but cares 
Withoot the plaid. 

And when the auld guidman was deid, 
'Twas aye by a* the hoose agreed. 
That to his auldest son was fee'd 
Mis faither's plaid. 

Ah! gin auld plaids could speak or sing, 
Our lieids and hearts wad reel and ring 
To hear the thrillin' tales that cling 
To Scotia's plaid. 

To hear hoo Scottish men and maids, 
'Mang Scotland's hills and glens and glades, 
Baith wrocht and focht wi' brains and blades 
In thae auld plaids. 

The star o' Scotland ne'er will set, 
If we will only ne'er forget 
The virtues in our sires, that met 
Aneath the plaid. 

Amang the Scottish sichts I've seen 
Was ane that touched baith heart and ccn; 
A shepherd comin' oure the green 
Wi' crook and plaid, 

And i' the plaid a limpin' lamb. 
That on the hill had lost its dam, 
And, like some trustfu' bairnie, cam, 
Row'd i' the plaid 



i66 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Anither sicht I think I see, 
The saddest o' them a' to me — 
The Scottish martyrs gaun to dee 
r their auld plaids. 

But let's rejoice, the times are changed, 
The mart3TS hae been a' avenged — 
An English princess has arranged 
To wear the plaid. 

In addition to the poems referred to, Mr. Murray has written many 
pieces which gives us a glimpse of himself and his daily life. These 
evince true poetic talent and can be read with pleasure and profit by 
all. We can readily trace his own disposition and character, for 
instance, in the following verses : 

MY FRIEND. 



Reserve for me on earth 
The man to call my friend; 

In whom both mental worth 
And heavenly wisdom blend. 

The man who has a heart 
To sympathize with grief, 

And break misfortune's dart 
With counsel and relief. 

The man whose voice will never 
Unrighteousness defend. 

But scorneth to discover 
The weakness of a friend. 

The man who stamps to dust 
Vile slander ere it grows, 

And who is true and just 
Alike to friend and foes. 

The man who worlds can trace. 
And yet in whom we find, 

Combined with cultured grace, 
Humility of mind. 

The man who's not ashamed. 
Though lord of every school, 

However wise and famed. 
To own himself a fool. 



WILLIAM MURRAY. iCy 



Or, in a word, the man, 

Beneath affliction's rod, 
Or, liigh in fortune's van, 

Who glorifies his God. 

Standing apart, so to speak, from his other pieces, and beautiful in 
their workmanship and design, are the numerous religious poems and 
paraphrases which our author has composed from time to time. These 
form a cluster of fine spiritual thoughts, and serve to show that the 
seeds of piety which were implanted in his heart in youth-time have 
retained their possession and are now bearing good fruit. We (juote 
as a specimen of these religious musings the one entitled: 

RETURN A GENTLE ANSWER. 

A SERMON IN RHYME. 
" A soft answer turneth away wrath." — Proverbs. 

" Return not ill for ill," be thine 
To imitate thy Lord divine; 
Though wrathful lips provoke, let mine 
Return a gentle answer. 

The world may sneer: "perchance," it says, 
" Such softness suited earlier days. 
We now must study 'manlier' ways — " 
Return a scornful answer. 

Receive not lessons from the world, 
Its wrath but rises to be hurled 
Where bafHed pride's dark champion gnarled 
Receives his awful answer. 

The Master's lessons are the best, 
And they alone will stand the test 
When death, each mortal's final guest, 
Demands his solemn answer. 

" Reviled, He ne'er reviled again," 
Not even from dread Calvary's pain, 
Where innocence for guilt was slain, 
Escaped a vengeful answer. 

Is thy reward of little worth? 

Grasp if thou canst its glorious girth; 

Who are the heirs of this wide earth ? 

"The meek?" is Christ's own answer. 



168 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

And " Blessed-God's own children!" those 
Who barter benefits for blows, 
And peace establish among foes: 
Their actions are their answer. 

When angry words arise, forbear 
To fan the flame of fury there, 
And show the scorner that you dare 
Return a gentle answer. 

Withhold the fuel from the flame, 
And soon its fierceness will turn tame; 
So wrath unfed by angry blame 
Will soon to reason answer. 

And haply he who was thy foe, 

Receiving winsome words for woe. 
Ashamed, with gratitude may glow 
To thee for thy kind answer. 

Meek, mild, yet manly in thy life. 
Assist to lessen sin and strife. 
Allay contention's tumults rife 
With th' oil of a soft answer. 

And on thy happy head shall fall 

The joy which shall belong to all 

Who at the blessed Master's call 

Are ready with their answer. 

Acrostics, as a general rule, are of little value to anyone, but our 
nuthor who seems to have a particular liking for this fantastic style of 
composition, has written a few which are worthy of perservation. 
Such, for instance, is the one 

TO WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE. 

On the occasion of his visit to the Earl and Countess of 
Breadalbanc, at Taymouth Castle, Oct. 1883. 

Welcome to Taymouth, grandest of grand men! 
I liken thcc to a Breadalbanc ben. 
Leaving the hillocks at thy feet below. 
Looking abroad beneath a crown of snow. 
In thcc Breadalbanc honors all who claim, 
A share in thine and Britain's matchless fame. 
Monarchs tlieir merits still may faintly plead. 



WILLI A Af MURRA Y. 169 



England's great Gladstone is a king indeed. 
William the Norman conquered with the sword, 
A greater William conquers with a word, 
Resistless as the thunderbolt that cleaves 
The storm cloud which around Schihallion heaves. 

God bless thee, noble chanii)ioii of right! 
Lions nor Launcclots can withstand thy might. 
Angels in legions arc upon thy side, 
Demons and dastards from thy halberd hide. 
Scotland remembers whence thy brilliant blood, 
The Highlands claim thee from before the Hood. 
O'er all the rolling world thy fame resounds. 
Nor even can the bards define its bounds, 
Enjoy Breadalbane's famous house and grounds. 

Mr. Murray has been elected for a succession of years as one of the 
Bards of the Hamilton St. Andrew's Society, and is now senior Bard of 
the Caledonian Society. As such it becomes his pleasant duty each 
year to present to those associations original poems in connection 
with the anniversary of the birthday of Robert Burns, St. Andrew's 
day, etc. These compositions, of course, contain a great deal of 
what is merely of local interest, but there are also embodied in their 
lines many happy and patriotic allusions to Scotland which are 
especially pleasing to those who hail from the "Land of Cakes." 
Among the smallest poems which we have met with on the Ayrshire 
Bard is the following : 

A LINE ON BURNS. 



His like we ne'er again will find, 

Such kings have no successors; 
But of the treasures of his mind 

All nations are possessors; 
And while the vault of heaven glows 

And earth endures below it, 
So long resplendent lives and grows 

The fame of Scotland's poet. 

On December i, 1888, Mr. Murray addressed the following words 
of welcome to His Excellency, The Right Honorable Lord Stanley 
of Preston, Governor-General of Canada, on the occasion of his first 
visit to Hamilton, Ontario: 



I70 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



A WELCOME TO HIS EXCELLENCY. 



Welcome to Hamilton, Lord Stanley! First, 

Because you represent our Gracious Queen — 
The first and best of sovereigns — who has nursed, 

What Earth's old orb till now has never seen, 
A family of free nations, blest with all 

That loyal hearts can ask or love bestow; 
Ready to rally round her throne at call, 

And guard her empire 'gainst its fiercest foe. 

And, secondly, we welcome you because 

You are yourself entitled to esteem. 
As one of that great race whose lives were laws 

To knights and nobles, and whose glories gleam 
Not only in old England's mightiest wars. 

But also 'mong her Senate's brightest stars. 

In conclusion, we would state that while Mr. Murray has never 
tasted of matrimonial joys his lot in life is by no means an unhappy 
one. He enjoys a large circle of friends, is respected by all, and is 
ever ready to lend assistance wherever and whenever required. He is 
the author of many poems which deserve to be better known than 
they now are, and we hope that he will yet be induced to place a 
collection of his writings in a permanent form before the public. 




MAJOR-GEN. DONALD CRAIG McCALLUM. 

He drew his light from that he was amidst 
As doth a lamp from air which hath itself 
Matter of light, altho' it show it not. 

Donald Craig McCallum was a native of Jolinstone, in Ren- 
frewshire, and was born in 1815. His parents originally came from 
CanipbclUon in Argyleshire, and his father followed the occupation 
of a tailor. In 1832 the entire family emigrated to America and took 
up their residence at Rochester, N. V. Our author first mastered the 
tailoring trade, and then, for some reason, becoming dissatisfied with 
it, crossed over to Canada and went to work to learn the trade of a 
carpenter with a firm at Lundy's Lane. During the term of his 
apprenticeship we learn that " he attended night school and made 
great progress in geometry and mathematical studies generally. He 
gave much of his leisure time also to the study of architecture, and 
soon became a capable and skilful designer." Having completed his 
apprenticeship and studies he returned to Rochester, where he suc- 
cessfully conducted a business on his own account for a number of 
years. In 1851 he invented what is known as the "inflexible arch 
truss bridge," and was afterwards engaged in superintending the con- 
struction of various bridges and railroads. During the war he was 
made director and general manager of military railroads with the rank 
of Colonel, United States Army, and history will always shed a lustre 
on his name on account of the valuable services which he rendered to 
the nation at that period. We quote the following from Mr. John 
Laird Wilson's excellent biography of him : — " It had become evident 
to all that a great struggle was about to take place at Chattanooga. 
Stanton was anxious that there should be no failure, and that Grant 
should deal Bragg a final and crushing blow. To make matters more 
secure it was deemed advisable to reinforce Grant. The great cpies- 
tion, however, was how to get the troops transferred from the Rapidan 



in SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



to Stevenson, Ala., in time to be of service. It was a distance of 
twelve hundred miles. It was the opinion of General Halleck that 
the task was next to impossible — that the transfer of so many men with 
all the appurtenances of war could, certainly, not be accomplished in 
less than six weeks. McCallum was sent for and appealed to. The 
transfer, he thought, might be accomplished in seven days. Halleck 
pronounced it impossible. It could not be done ! McCallum made 
his conditions. He must have absolute control of the railroads and 
be permitted to seize engines and cars wherever he could hnd tliem. 
The conditions were granted. The trains were set in motion, and 
within the time specified the task was accomplished. As a feat of 
military railroading that transfer of the Eleventh and Twelfth corps 
of the Army of the Potomac stands unparalleled in history. McCal- 
lum's services on this occasion were rewarded with the rank of major- 
general. His services were equally conspicuous and equally valuable 
during the Sherman campaigns, and it is not too much to say that but 
for McCallum and his department the march to the sea might have 
proved a failure." One is scarcely prepared to believe after reading 
the above that General McCallum was a poet of no mean order of 
merit. Indeed, many of his poems are of a very high order of merit, 
and entitle him to an honorable niche among the more prominent of 
the minor Scottish bards. There is something manly and real and 
thoughtful in all that he has written, and his muse never alighted on 
anything which she did not beautify and make more valuable. In 
1870 he issued a small volume of his poems, and this has long since 
been out of print. The volume opens with the following quotation 
from one of Mr. James Russell Lowell's beautiful poems : 

It may be glorious to write 

Thoughts that shall glad the two or three 
High souls like those far stars that come in sight 

Once in a century. 

But better far it is to speak 

One simple word wliich now and then 
Shall waivcn their free nature in the weak 

And friendless sons of men. 

To write some earnest verse or line, 

Which seeking not the praise of art, 
Shall make a clearer faith and manhood shine 

In the untutored heart. 



MAJORGEN. DONALD CRAIG MCCALLUM. 173 

lM)lknving these lines are many very fine poems, not a few of which 
have already acquired considerable popularity. " llic Water Mill," 
for instance, is known in all English-speaking countries, and is no 
doubt the poem on which the author's reputation as a poet will last. 
The General was very proud of this production, and was fre<iuently 
pained by seeing weak and frivolous imitations of it, bearing the 
sauie title, and going the rounds of the press. We quote herewith 
the poem from the author's copy : 

THE WATER MILL. 



Oil, listen to the water niiil, tiiruugii all the live-lung daj-, 
As the clicking ul the wliuel wears hour by h(;ur awa)'. 
How languidly the anlumn wind dotu stir ilie withered leaves, 
As on tlie tield the reapers sing while binding up the sheaves. 
A solemn proverLi strikes my mind, and, as a spell, is cast, 
" Tlie mill will never grind again with water that is past." 

Soft summer winds revive no more leaves strewn o'er earth and main; 

The sickle never more will reap the yellow-garnered grain. 

The rippling stream Hows ever on, aye, tranquil, deep and still. 

But never glideth back again to busy water mill. 

The solemn proverb speaks to all with lueaniug deep and vast, 

"The mill will never grind again wiih water that is past." 

Uh! clasp the provertj to thy soul, dear loving heart and true, 
Vox golden years are fleeting by and youth is passing too. 
Ah! learn to make the most ol liie, nor lose one happy day; 
For time will ne'er return sweet joys, neglected — turowii away; 
Nor leave one lender word unsaid — tliy kindness sow broadcast, 
■'The null will never grind again with watet that is past." 

Oh! the wasted hours of life that have swiftly drifted by; 
Alas! the good we might have done, all gone without a sigh. 
Love that we might once have saved by a single kiudl)' word — 
Thoughts conceived but ne'er expressed, perishing unpenned, unheard, 
Oh! take the lesson to thy soul, forever clasp it fast, 
"The mill will never grind again with water tliat is past." 

Work on while yet the sun doth shine, thou man of strength and will, 

The streamlet ne'er doth useless glide by clicking water mill; 

Nor wait until to-morrow's light beams briglitly on thy way, 

For all that thou can'st call thine own lies in the phrase " io-d.-iy." 

Possessions, power and blooming health must all be lost at last, 

" The mill will never grind again with water that is past," 



t74 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Oh! love thy God and fellow-man — this comprehendeth all, 
High Heaven's universal plan, here let us prostrate fall; 
The wise, the ignorant may read this simple lesson taught. 
All mystery or abstruse creed compared therewith are naught. 
On! brothers on! in deeds of love, for life is fleeting fast. 
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past." 

Embodied in the General's compositions are many very fine descrip- 
tive passages which prove him to have been a keen observer and an 
intense admirer of the beauties of external nature. Here and there 
in his poems we come upon many notable word pictures which pho- 
tograph themselves upon our minds and make us wish that he had 
devoted a few more of his leisure hours to this particular style of com- 
position. In his poem entitled "The Warning Voice," for instance, 
we find the following lines wedged in between a mass of theological 
and philosophical facts and reasonings : 

"'Twas early autumn: 
The rustling leaves arose and fell upon 
The gentle winds, resplendent in decay. 
More beautiful in death than life were they; 
O'er rugged rocks the streamlet wildly dashed, 
Anon, in ripplings o'er its pebbly bed, 
Sighed to the sombrous woods its plaintive song." 

From what is perhaps the most peculiar of all our author's pieces, 
" The Madman's Reverie," we quote the following as a specimen of 
his command of language and force of expression : 

Ha! ha! prate not to me of hope. 
While damned souls in darkness grope! 
Who ne'er hath seen blest happy hour. 
That fate did not o'ertake, devour! 
Yea! followed on as demon would 
A soul condemned, bereft of good! 
Relentless as his brother Death 
To claim his own! List what he saith: 

" When born, thy fate was in me bound, 
I've followed thee the world around, 
I've shown thee pleasure, but to dash 
It from thee with swift thrilling crash! 
Ha! curses on thy lips I hail 
As glorious triumphs! Do not fail 
To gorge thy soul in gloom and hate, 
This is thy doom — thy curs6d fate!" 



MAJOR-GEN. DONALD CRAIG MCCALLUM. 175 

Quite a large number of the General's compositions display a hiph 
moral tone of thought, and as religious poems are exrcllcnt creations. 
They contain suggestions which appeal to our better feelings, and no 
one who reads them can for a moment doubt that he was a man who 
honored his Maker in sincerity and truth at all times. Many of these 
poems are in manuscript only, but from among those printed in the 
volumereferred to we select the following as a sjjccimen of the whole : 

BE KIND TO THE ERRING. 



Be kind to the erring, the humble, the meek, 
'Tis coward alone who would trample the weak. 
Ye know not how deeply the past they deplore, 
In charity cover their sins evermore. 

Be kind to the erring, the lowly, the sad, 
Oft circumstance ruleth, whose chain driveth mad; 
Ah! boast not thy virtue, but con thy heart o'er. 
Communion with self crusheth pride evermore. 

Commune with thyself, think how reckless thou art, 
Enriching thy coflfers to wither thy heart, 
Take warning by thousands on yonder dark shore, 
Remember thy soul must exist evermore. 

Love good for good only, nor measure thy gain, 

Such motives are sordidi)' selfish and vain. 

Strewing blessings all round thee, with heart gushing o'er 

Flowing on to the ocean of love evermore. 

Religion is nothing, pretensions are vain. 
If works are still wanting, ah! where is thy gain ? 
As bark cast away on some desolate shore — 
As wreck on the deep thou art gone evermore. 

Thy days fleet away as a meteor's gleam. 
Flashing bright for a moment they fade as a dream; 
Yea! dream though it be, yet on far distant shore 
Shall in thunders re-echo the past evermore. 

As flowers dost thou blossom, mere thing of a day, 
As breath of the flower thou wilj vanish away; 
Let love be thy motto this gloomy life o'er, 
Then in sunshine of love wilt thou bask evermore. 

Mr. Wilson, who has carefully read over General McCallum's un- 
published writings, places a very high estimate on his powers as a poet. 



176 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

" His works," he says, *' are not mere jingles of meaningless rhymes. 
On the contrary, they are the outpouiings of a soul in which poetry 
and philosophy are strangely and wonderfully combined — a soul 
deeply in love with all that is true and beautiful and good, in harmony 
with all that is noblest, purest, sweetest in the universe of God. Mc- 
Callum wrote poetry for the same reason that the lark sings — he could 
not he]]) it. He wrote poetry not because he wished to be a poet, but 
because he was obedient to the spirit that was in him." Among the 
finest of his published poems not already referred to are " The Creed 
of Life," "A Dream," "Soldiers Song of Freedom," "An O'er True 
Tale," "Solemn Thoughts," and "The Rainy Day." These are ele- 
vating, pure and poetic in every sense. As a specimen of his lyrical 
powers we quote one of the numerous songs which he composed in 
his mother tongue : 

SONG— BESSIE DEAR. 



O Bessie dear, I ne'er can tell 

The love I have for thee; 
O meet me in yon fair}' dell, 

Down by the hawthorne tice. 
Down by the hawthorne tree, my dear, 

The warbling burnie rins; 
O come, my dearie — dinna fear — 

The bravest heart aye wins, 

The bravest heart a)'e wins, my dear, etc. 

Thy rosy lips, thy gowden hair, 

Doth haunt me all the while; 
Thou drivest me to keen despair 

By thy sweet angel smile. 
The lily in yon flow'ry dale, 

Nae purer is than thee; 
The sparkling gem doth surely pale 

Beneath thy bonnie e'e. 

Beneath thy bonnie e'e, my dear, etc. 

As magnet to the pole, my dear, 

Sae true's my love for thee — 
Where'er I roam, be't far or near — 

On land or raging sea. 
Then come my dearie — dinna wait — 

Thou'rt world and a' to me; 
O meet me at the trysting gate 

Down by the hawthorne tree, 

Down by the hawthorne tree, my dear, etc. 



MAJORGEN. DONALD CRAIG MC GALIUM. 177 

" General McCalliim had a commanding presence," writes Mr. Wil- 
son. " In his younjfer years, with iiis hnig black hair falling in curls on 
his shoulders and his magnificent beard resting in wavy folds on his 
manly breast, over six feet in height, erect of stature, light and grace- 
ful in all his movements, he must have been a handsome and attractive 
man. Even in these later years he was a conspicuous figure in any 
company; and he was in the habit of receiving the respect which his 
presence commanded. Now that he is gone those who knew him 
best will miss him most. His memory will long be green in many a 
chosen circle ; but we shall not soon see his like again." 

A day or two before the General jjassed away (December 27, 1878) 
Mr, Wilson called at his residence and was admitted into the sick 
chamber. The dying man knew that his end was fast approaching, 
and, taking hold of his friend's hand, he said : " John, after I am 
gone will you see that my memory is taken care of ?" " I will, General," 
answered Mr. Wilson, softly, and shortly afterwards withdrew. Nor 
was the promise forgotten ; and one of the most beautiful and tasteful 
of the many articles which Mr. Wilson continued to contribute to the 
Nexu York Scotsman^ even after he had retired from the editorship of 
that paper, was the one on the life and work of his late friend, Major- 
General Donald Craig McCallum. 



JOHN PATTERSON. 

We live in deeds, not years — in thoughts, not breaths — 
In feelings, not in figures on a dial; 
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives 
Who thinks most — feels the noblest — acts the best. 

Mr. John Patterson, the subject of our present sketch, is the 
author of a number of beautiful poems and lyrical pieces. While he 
is by no means a voluminous writer of poetry, nor makes any claim 
to the title of poet, yet the various effusions which he has published 
from time to time prove him to be possessed of fine intellectual quali- 
ties and true poetic gifts. His muse is simple but melodious, full of 
feeling, pure in expression and deeply imbued with piety and a love 
for all that is noble and good. Mr. Patterson was born at Inverness 
in 1831. His father was a seafarmg man, and his ancestors had fol- 
lowed the same occupation for many generations. The family con- 
sisted of four sons and three daughters, all of whom were early sent 
to school and received a good common English education. On com- 
pleting their studies the sons were apprenticed to useful trades, the 
one selected for our author being that of a compositor or printer. He 
had no particular liking for this trade at the time, but he applied him- 
self diligently to master it, and before the term of his apprenticeship 
had expired was complimented on his being a skilful and competent 
workman. At the age of twenty-two, and with a view of bettering his 
condition in life, he left Inverness and proceeded to Glasgow, where 
he took passage for New York. " I left Glasgow," he writes, " in the 
autumn of 1853, and after a passage of sixty-six days, in an old packet- 
ship, with about two hundred others, arrived at Staten Island. During 
the voyage tyjihoid fever broke out among the passengers, several of 
whom died and were buried at sea. About a week before we landed 
I was stricken with it, and on our arrival had to be taken to Quaran- 
tine Hospital, which was then on Staten Island, and where I remained 
for two months." On his recovery he readily obtained employment 



JOHN PATTERSON. 179 



at his trade, and has been in comfortable circumstances ever since. 
Prosperity, however, never obliterated or dimmed the recollection of 
his boyhood's Highland home, and after an absence of nearly twenty 
years in this country, he composed the following lines in connection 
with it: 

SWEET HOME OF MY YOUTH. 



Sweet home of my youth, near the murmuring rills 
That are nursed in the laps of the North Scottish hills, 
Ere the gray streaks of morning the songster arouse 
From his leaf-curtained cot to his matinal vows, 
My thoughts cling to thee, and lovingly press, 
Sweet home of my youth, on the banks of the Ness. 

When the gay king of light dofTs his gladdening crown, 
And mantles the land with his evening frown; 
When night's sombre cov'ring the earth's overlaid, 
And nature is mourning the day that is dead, 
Then lov'd thoughts of thee do I fondly caress, 
Sweet home of my youth, on the banks of the Ness. 

Though thy little Hower-garden twice ten times has lost 
Its bright summer garb since thy threshold I've cross'd; 
Though Atlantic's wide waters our fortunes divide; 
Still, not time nor space from my memory can hide 
Or dampen the love I am proud to confess 
For the home of my youth, on the banks of the Ness. 

These lines were given a prominent place in the columns of the 
New York Scotsmatiy and commanded considerable attention from the 
readers of that paper. In 1856 Mr. Patterson was united in marriage 
to Miss Mary Gertrude Treanor, an amiable and intelligent young lady 
who crowned his life with happiness and comfort for eighteen years. 
She died in 1874, leaving him with a family of six children, three sons 
and three daughters. How deeply he mourned her loss may be sur- 
mised from the tender sentiments expressed in his poem, " Fireside 
Reflections," and from the fact that he has remained faithful to her 
memory ever since: 

FIRESIDE REFLECTIONS. 



Hopes are crushed and hearts are breaking 

Every day and every hour; 
Prospects blighted — joys forsaking 

Those who knew their vital power. 



1 80 SCOTTISH POETS W AMERICA. 



Vacant chairs around the table — 
(Household gravestones grim and cold)— 

Tell that death in garments sable, 
Entered homes that bloomed of old, 

And stole away the sweetest flower 

In the family bouquet's vase; 
Our kind Father's priceless dower — 

The jewel with the brightest rays. 

Tones familiar hushed forever; 

Form beloved absent here; 
But on Mem'ry's mirror ever. 

Ever present, ever near — 

Near where mildewed hearts are sinking, 

Whisp'ring words of hope and love: 
If you'd be joys eternal drinking, 

Seek them only from above. 

Another little poem composed about this time and entitled "To a 
Dead Pet Canary Bird," also displays the tender and sympathetic 
feelings possessed by our author. The little songster had been for 
many years a special favorite with Mrs. Patterson, and its death 
awakened many sad memories in the grief-stricken household: 

TO A DEAD PET CANARY BIRD. 



Alas! poor thing. 

No more thou'lt fling 
To space or time thy notes away; 

Thy song, so sweet, 

Shall never greet 
Expectant ears the livelong day. 

When I was sad, 

To make me glad, 
(A notion wove on Fancy's loom), 

Thy siren voice, 

With trills so choice, 
Would help dispel the damp'ning gloom. 

But deeper cause 

Than sensual laws 
Endear'd to me that form of thine; 

Thou loved that one. 

Now dead and gone, 
Whose life was long entwined with mine. 



JOHN PATTERSON. i8i 



Her winning words 

E'en little birds 
Could never hear and timid be; 

No covert net 

Their footsteps met 
When they alighted on her knee. 

Prompt at her call 

Thou'd forfeit all 
The comforts of thy wire-bound land; 

And food and drink 

Seem'd best, I think, 
To thee when taken from her hand. 

Alas! alas! 

All pleasures pass, 
All earthly joys must have an end; 

On Death's long scroll 

All names enroll; 
Man, beast, and bird all there are penn'd. 

Each of our author's sons now occupies a position of trust in New 
York city. His eldest daughter, Mary Gertrude, acts as housekeeper, 
while the second one, Isabella Forbes, being a graduate of the Nor- 
mal College of the class of 1884, is a teacher in one of the public 
schools of this city, and the third one, Catherine, having a particular 
taste for music, has acquired considerable success as a teacher of the 
piano-forte. Many of Mr. Patterson's musings are of a religious char- 
acter and prove that he received a very careful religious training in 
his youth. As a specimen of these pieces we quote: 

GOD HELP THE POOR. 



God help the poor! when sleet and snow 

Around their dwellings fold 
Their cheerless garb, and rough winds blow 

Into their homes so cold. 

God help the poorl when children cry 

For bread and there is none; 
Oh! listen to their hungry sigh 

And hear their feeble moan. 

God help the poor! with hunger press'd, 
When Want's repeated knocks 

The bolted door of the wealth-caress'd 
With haughty silence mocks. 



i82 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

God help the poor! whose naked feet 

Pursue their weary tread 
Throughout the cold and dreary street 

In quest of daily bread. 

God help the poor of every land, 

Of every sect and clime; 
Suppl}', Lord, with Thy loving hand, 

Their wants from time to time. 

God help the poor! for Thou art kind, 

Th)' love doth never end; 
In Thee, oh Lord, they'll always find 

An ever-faithful friend. 

There are few more patriotic American citizens than our present 
author, and yet he has a warm heart for everything pertaining to Scot- 
land. He has been an active member of the New York Caledonian 
Club for over twenty years, and in addition to this he contributes 
occasional letters and poems to the home papers, thus keeping up his 
connection and his interest in the welfare of the fatherland. In his 
poem entitled " Dreaming," he says: 

The love of a Scot for the land of his birth 

Is not like a skiff that's upset by a squall; 
'Tis like the stanch ship that sails 'round the earth, 

And sets at defiance the Storm King's thrall. 

'Tis a well-spring of joy in far-away lands; 

A bright ray of hope in a cycle of gloom; 
A pyramid firm 'mid life's shifting sands; 

'Mong affection's green leaves a rose-bush in bloom. 

" Dreaming" is one of the longest, and, in our opinion, the finest of 
all Mr. Patterson's productions. Taken altogether it is an excellent 
poem, containing numerous fine passages and many pleasing pictures 
of home. It was first published in the Netv York Scotsman, and is 
dedicated, " To George Gilluly, Esq., President of the Greenpoint 
(L. I.) Burns Club, a townsman and school fellow of the author, as a 
token and manifestation of the uniform friendship that has always 
existed between them." 

The cruelties inflicted by the late evictions throughout the High- 
lands of Scotland have not escaped the notice of Mr. Patterson. " I 
was brought up," he writes, "at my mother's knee to believe that God 



JOHM PATTERSON. 183 



was just, that all men were equal in His sight, and that He made the 
earth for the children of men." He was greatly incensed some time 
since on reading the following extract from a lecture on the "Leck- 
nielm Evictions " by the Rev. Mr. McMillan, Free Church minister 
of Ullapool: "To strike terror into their hearts, first of all two 
houses were pulled down, I might say, about the ears of their respect- 
ive occupants, without any warning whatever, except one of the short- 
est kind. The first was occupied by a deaf pauper woman, about 
middle life, living alone for years in a bothy of her own, apart from 
the other houses altogether. * * * Act the second is this: Mrs. 
Campbell was a widow with two children. After the decease of her 
husband she tried to support herself by serving in families as a serv- 
ant. * * * She returned to Leckmelm in failing health. Her 
father had died since she left, and the house in which he lived and 
died, and in which in all likelihood he reared his family, was now ten- 
antless. Here widow Cam])bell turned aside for a while, until some- 
thing else would, in kind providence, turn up. But the inexorable edi( t 
had gone forth to erase her habitation from the ground. Her house 
was pulled down about her ears." This latter incident formed the sub- 
ject of one of our author's most touching poems: 



WIDOW CAMPBELL'S APPEAL. 



Wild cries of distress from the Highlands are ringing 

In the ears of humanity, plaintive but shrill; 
As their echoes resound, in despair they arc bringing 

To the warm heart of manhood a blood-chilling thrill. 
A widow, in anguish, her dire case is pleading — 

Her weak knees impressing the frost-bitten moss; 
But no look of pity, he listens, unheeding — 

The Laird of Leckmelm, in the county of Ross. 

"To let me remain in the home of my fathers, 

Is all that I ask in the land of my birih; 
And I'll save from the pence my industry gathers 

Enough for the rental you think it is worth. 
Then change your decree, and I'll bless you forever, 

And your kindness for aye on my heart will engross — " 
Her words might have softened his blood-hound, but never 

The Laird of Leckmelm, in the county of Ross. 

"Look there!"— to the churchyard she pointed a finger— 
" It's there where my husband, my Donald, is laid, 



i84 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



And oft, while the shadows of evening linger, 
There mourning I sit hy his grass-covered bed. 

Oh, then, from his grave cause me not to be parted; 
To be near him, though dead, slightly deadens my loss." 

All who heard were in tears but that stony-hearted 
Rich Laird of Leckmelm, in the county of Ross. 

" Oh, stop for a minute! there's one plea remaining — 

If that is unheeded, no more will I say — 
My children! my children! — my courage is gaining — 

My fatherless children you'll not drive away. 
Your features bespeak that your heart has relented; 

Oh, thanks be to Him who has died on the cross." 
" My fiat is published, nor have I repented," 

Hiss'd the Laird of Leckmelm, in the county of Ross. 

As a specimen of Mr. Patterson's intimate acquaintance with the 
Doric and the appropriate manner in which he makes use of it, we 
quote a few verses from his "Auld Rabbie Hard:" 

There lived ae man in oor guid toon 
Wham I, a 'cute, auld-farrant loon, 

Observit weel, 
Whase creed an' deed were wide asunder. 
An' are, nae doot, 'less Death did hinder, 

Divergent still. 

This man was rich in warldly good, 
An' he amang his cronies stood 

In estimation; 
For base-born churls roun' rich folks bum, 
As bees roun' hawthorn blossoms hum, 

In ev'ry nation. 

Gie me the frien' that's nae amiss. 
When Fortune taks her fareweel kiss 

An' coorts anither; 
That frien' to me will aye be dear, 
Tho' life's wee day be dark or clear. 

Aye dear as brither. 

The carl was ca'd Auld Rabbie Hard, 
Which was nae joke, if we regard 

His miser habits; 
But when a wean — years lang gane hame — 
The parson to him gied the name — 

Robert Grabbits. 



JOHN PATTERSON. 185 

» » ■* ♦ 

Wlicn Rabbic up life's brae did lair. 
An' on the way Iwal iiiilestaiies niair 

Had left behind, 
He found himsel' a thrifty miller, 
Wi' walie pouches fill'd wi' siller — 

An' mair to grind. 

Siller, siller, was a' he socht. 
An' when he got it, a' his thocht 

Was then to baud it; 
His hainin', hairtless, selfish life, 
E'en if I were the miser's wife, 

I couldna laud it. 

Robert Waters, Esq., Principal of the West Hoboken public school, 
writes: "I made the accpiaintance of Mr. John Patterson while I was 
yet a lad working, like himself, at 'the case ' in a New York printing 
office, and, strange enough to me, he has remained all these years at 
the same business, while I have wandered away from the craft, run- 
ning over various foreign countries and striking out into an entirely 
different sphere of life. * * * j never suspected him of dabbling 
in poetry until one day, while visiting him at his house, he said to me, 
' What do you think of this? here are some rhymes which I have been 
stringing together,' and he read to me a poem written in the Scottish 
dialect, which I remember as strongly reminding me of Burns, both in 
manner and spirit, and which was so good that it at once gave me a 
higher opinion of the man. The poem showed me that he had some tal- 
ent in the rhyming line, so I advised him to study and try to bring to 
bear whatever power lay in him. What strikes me as a prominent 
trait of the man is his over humble estimate of his own abilities, which 
is the reason that he has always filled so humble a position in the 
world. But in this I am perhaps wrong, for what position in the world 
is, in reality, superior to that of an American workman ? * * But if 
he has not been active in advancing his own interests he has not been 
backward in furthering those of others. I recollect it was he that 
first set me agoing in a literary or lecturing way, for when I returned 
from Europe he induced me to give an account of my wanderings to 
the Caledonians in the New York Caledonian club-house, and I well 
remember his glee and kindly greeting after my half successful per- 
formance was done. John Patterson has an open hand and a waim 
heart to every Scotsman that comes in his way, and I am only afraid 



1 36 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

that his generous hospitality and brotherly kindness are not always 
appreciated as they ought to be," 

Among Mr. Patterson's published poems not already referred to, 
"My Native Land," "Lines on First-footing Mr. Donald Grant," 
" Santa Glaus," "The Coming Morrow" and " Christmas is Coming," 
are well worthy of special notice. He has also numerous pieces in 
manuscript, and we trust that he will continue to exercise his talents 
until he produces something that will entitle him to a prominent place 
among modern Scottish poets. 



WILLIAM TELFORD. 

As wine, that with its own wcif;ht runs, is best. 
And counted niucii more noble than the rest, 
So is the poetry, whose generous strains 
Flow without servile study, art or pains. 

Mr. William Telford, a respected resident for many years of 
Smith, Peterboro, Ontario, and a Scottish poet of more than local 
fame, was born at Leithohn, Berwickshire, Scotland, on the sixth of 
January, 1828. He was sent to school in his seventh year, but on 
account of a long and serious illness which prostrated his father and 
left him incapable of providing for his family as he had hitherto done, 
he was compelled to quit his studies at the age of ten, and join his 
brothers at work digging drains, we are told in winter, and rendering 
whatever assistance he could in a brick and tile yard in summer. 
" But the severe labor he was forced to perform," writes his biogra- 
pher, " did not crush out his inspirations for mental improvement. 
He rose superior lo his prosaic environments, and the words of the 
poet Gray, applied to genius, extinguished in undevelopment, could 
not be applied to him: 

Chill penury repressed their noble rage, 
And froze the genial current of the soul! 

He triumphed over conditions which would have brought discour- 
agement, or plodding content, with ignorance, to a less aspiring soul. 
Day after day, in the rare intermissions of arduous toil, he strove, 
though but a child, with the energy and determination of a man, to 
improve his mental condition. He had neither books nor means to 
procure them, and he had consequently to rely on the kindness of 
neighbors, who syinpathised with his aspirations, and the scanty sup- 
ply of books their cottage shelves contained, and in the long winter 
evenings he was to be seen sitting in the ingle-nook of his mother's 
cottage poring over some old volume. In prose, the books to which 
he had access were such works as Bunyan's * Pilgrim's Progress,' 



IS8 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



Baxter's 'Saint's Rest,' 'Man's Four-fold Estate,' ' Josephus' His- 
tory,' 'Hervey's Meditations,' 'Afflicted Man's Companion,' and 
such works— one would think, the least alluring in their ponderous 
sanctity to the lively temperament of youth. In poetry. Burns was 
his chief delight, although Pope, Moore, Montgomery, Tannahill, and 
other poets were conned by him with diligent delight. In his younger 
years the knowledge of grammar was to him as a sealed book, and 
the first dictionary he bought was for the use of his eldest son in 
school." In 1850 Mr. Telford emigrated to Canada, and has followed 
bucolic pursuits with marked success ever since. During these many 
years, however, he has found constant enjoyment in the companionship 
of the muse. He has wooed her at all times and under all circum- 
stances, although he says that he never lost one hour's work with 
poetry. When a poetic idea came to him in the day time, he brooded 
over and cherished it until the evening meal was past, when he would 
sit down and endeavor to weave it into a poem. A few months ago 
he collected his pieces together and published them in a large 8vo vol- 
ume. Nearly one thousand copies of this book have already been 
sold, showing conclusively that the author has a large circle of friends 
and readers who appreciate his talents and worth. Mr. Telford intro- 
duces himself to his patrons in the beginning of the volume thus: 

Look not for language, lofty or refined, 

Within this book, you no such thing will find; 

I never stood in high school class or college, 

God, books and nature, true sources of my knowledge 

If high your learning, kindly condescend — 

Some pity show to your less learned friend; 

Your high attainments, use not to deride, 

While criticising lean to mercy's side. 

Education is seldom obtained by stealth, 
Learning requires no small amount of wealth. 
My humble parents wished and nobly tried, 
To give to me what poverty denied. 
Many bright gems lies buried in the dust, 
Many heaven-sent gifts for lack of learning rust; 
Many golden talents lie in heads obscure, 
Because the parents and the sons were poor. 

Following these lines are numerous gems of poetry and song, both 
in the English and in the author's mother tongue, and of which he 



WILLIAM TELFORD. i8q 



may justly feel proud. Tlicse are replete with beautiful ideas and 
suggestions and they embrace a large variety of subjects, both ( oin- 
monplace and otherwise. 'I'ake the following as a specimen of his 
serious writings. Tht" thoughts embodied in the poem flashed through 
his mind one day while he was engaged in sowing grain in one of his 
fields: 

I AM SOWING. 



I am sowing, will I reap it? 

That is more than I can say, 
Before these seeds can germinate 

I may have passed away. 

I linow my life is fleeting fast, 
Those hands with which I sow 

May both be clasped in Death's embrace 
Ere the first green blade grow. 

I am scattering, who will gather? 

'Tis a mystery dark to me; 
Long before the full ear openelh 

In the cold grave I may'be. 

As I watch the small seed falling 

Upon the fruitful ground, 
Ah, alas! while they are growing 

I may sleep beneath the mound. 

I am sowing, yes, and trusting, 
But my hopes may all be vain; 

Perhaps my hands will never bear 
The sheaves of golden grain. 

I may sow, another reap it, 
'Tis the common fate of man; 

Death regards no times nor seasons, 
But destroys each hope and plan. 

It is seed-time now, when harvest comes 

Will I be there to reap ? 
Or will death, that dreaded reaper 

Close my eyes in their last sleep ? 

Will I reap? No man can answer. 

It is God alone that knows; 
Mysterious all His ways and He 

Doth none to man disclose. 



igo SCOTTISH POETS IN' AMERICA. 

But there was a greater seed-time, 

And we are the seeds then sown; 
By God's own hand we sprang to life, 

Sustained, perserved and grown. 

There will be as great a harvest, 

We must all be present then; 
When His angels will be reapers, 

And the grain the soills of men. 

Many of Mr. Telford's finest productions have been inspired by 
the love which he possesses for the beauties of nature. Indeed this 
may be said to be a special characteristic of his muse as it asserts 
itself more or less in all of his writings. In addition to this his 
descriptive powers are remarkably keen. Among the poems in which 
those two qualities blend harmoniously together, and which we have 
read with sincere pleasure and prolit, are '' The Fall of the Leaf," 
"An Address to Spring," "The Scenery of Scotland," "The First 
Day of April," " 'I'he Pioneer's Retrospect" and " Thoughts on the 
Season ot Death." We quote a few stanzas from the latter piece: • 

I would not die in Autumn, with all summer beauties past, 
Faded foliage, leatless branches, swaying with the northern blast, 
Hoar frost shining, chilling breezes, drizzling rain and blinding sleet, 
Frost-nipped herbage, leaves of yellow, crisping underneath our feet, 
Gloomy season, bright sun clouded, every leaf stript from the tree, 
Herb and plant, brignt tiowers of summer, 1 don't wish to die with thee. 
Some that loved me might feel anxious to strew garlands o'er their dead, 
Alas! they find but withered tiowers wherewith to grace my coffin lid. 

Die in Winter! surely never! how I shudder at the thought. 

Shall my life's decisive battle in the winter time be fought? 

Not one glimpse of summer's beauty, not one beam of sunlit ray 

Sent to cheer my spirit as it leaves its prison-house of clay. 

As from the hearse to open grave move my pall -bearers sad and slow 

In silence bear my lifeless body over wreaths of drifted snow. 

Death brings its terror at all times — in winter it adds gloom. 

To sleep the first night's sleep of death beneath a snow-clad tomb. 

If I possessed the keys of death I would not die in Spring, 
When nature bursts its wintery bonds and birds begin to sing, 
The ice-bound lake begins to wave, the frozen streams to flow, 
Tlie radiant beams of April sun, the balmy breezes blow, 
With bud and blossom, early llowers, burst forth to life anew, 
The snow-drop white, the violet, shows its variegated hue; 
Cut me not down, 'mid fresh bloomed llowers permit me just to stay. 
To gaze upon their richest bloom before I pass away. 



WILLIAM TELFORD. 191 



Oh, Tliou lliat riiltth life and death, supreme on earth and sky, 
Oh, grant to mc my earnest wish, in Summer let me die. 
Amidst all beauty earth aflbrds, each field and forest ^reen; 
Nature in dazzling splendor, robed to brighten up death's scene; 
Push wide my bedroom door ajar, raise up the windows high, 
Let the sweet fragrance of the flowers blow o'er me as I die; 
They tell me there are flowers above, fade not with heat or cold, 
Then let me gaze on those below till brighter I behold. 

Another portion of our autlior's numerous writings relate to Scot- 
land, or are in connection with Scottish subjects, such as the anniver- 
sary of Robert Burns, St. Andrew's Night, addresses to the Sons of 
Scotia, the members of the Peterborough, St. Andrew's Society, etc. 
Many of these are strikingly patriotic in their expression, while others 
are overflowing with love and admiration for the old land. "A Nicht 
Like Hame," " Grand Here to Gather," " Auld Scotia as It was and 
is," " Help Your Brither Scot" and "The Land o' Cakes," are all 
noble poems in this respect. The following piece may be taken as a 
specimen. It was inspired by a present of a small bunch of heather 
from his friend, Mr. John Cameron, and is one of the shortest of his 
compositions: 



SCOTIA'S HEATHER. 



Yes he brought it. I have got it, 
Can you guess what it might be? 

It's the' heather John did gather 
On Auld Scotia's hills for me. 

First he pu'ed it, then he viewed it. 
With its blossoms' varied hue, 

Paper folded, therein rolled it, 
Saying, " Bill, this is for you." 

When I took it, how I lookel 
At the sprig I so well knew, 

Silent blessed it, almost kissed it. 
For the sake of where it grew. 

When I showed it, yes, they knew it, 
Every Scotchman which I met; 

Fast they held it and they smelled it, 
O, its scent they won't forget. 

Wc adore it, true Scots wore it. 
In their Highland caps of yore 

Their foes feared it, as they nearcd it. 
Highland blood the heather bore. 



192 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

Time has tried it, blood has dyed it, 

Yes the best in Scotland shed, 
They prayed on it, and laid on it, 

Oft the martyr's dying bed. 

You may prize it, or despise it 

As your inclination be 
Don't annoy it or destroy it, 

'Tis a precious gem to me. 

Yes, I have it, I will save it 

While its twigs will hang thegithcr 
Time will move them, but I love them. 

Both Auld Scotia and her heather. 

Conspicuous among Mr. Telford's longer poems are the following: 
"Don't Mortgage Your Farm," "A Poor Scholar; or, My Own Diffi- 
culties," " The Age of Sham," " A True Husband's Wish," "A Voice 
From Behind the Plough;" his various epistles to the late Mr. David 
Kennedy, the Scottish vocalist, and his two very excellent poems on 
the late President Garfield. These poems exhibit considerable origi- 
nality and power. They are not encumbered with any useless or 
unnecessary lines, and the language used is at all times select and 
appropriate. Take a few verses from one of the last-named poems 
for instance: 

Endowed with talents bright and numerous too, 
Rapid expanding as in years he grew. 
His 3'oulhful soul sought not an empty name, 
Increase of knowledge was his greatest aim. 

His plans and^hopes oft left him in despair, 
His means were scarce, he little wealth did share, 
Bravely he struggled up life's adverse road 
Till every barrier underneath he trod. 

As wild waves wash the pebbles to the beach, 
What he had learned he stood prepared to teach, 
Not to gain honor nor to hoard up pelf. 
But earn an honest living for himself. 

But soon the teacher's rod he laid aside, 

And grasped the sword to hold his country's pride; 

His daring bravery, in command displayed, 

A Majoi-Ccneral he was promptly made. 



WILLIAM TELFORD. 193 



Onward he pressed with persevering tread, 
Till earth's highest honors graced his noble head: 
Esteem and favor, gained on every hand, 
Placed him head ruler o'er his native land. 

* » » ♦ 

The land he ruled is draped in mourning o'er 
And great men wept that seldom wejjt before, 
Their grief is light, though tears bedim their eyes, 
Compared with those bound by endearing ties. 

* * * # 

Son, husband, father, ruler is no more. 

His honored name shines brighter than before; 

The name of Garfield and his tragic end 

To men unborn, in history will descend. 

The few specimens of Mr. Telford's muse which we have here pre- 
sented to our readers are sufficient, we think, to prove that he is 
endowed with poetic gifts of a very high order. When we consider 
the disadvantages which he has had to contend with, chiefly arising 
from a deficient education, the many years of incessant and laborious 
toil through which he has passed; the trials, privations and griefs 
which have fallen to his lot, especially in the early years of his life ; 
when we consider these facts we cannot but wonder that he has had 
the inclination, or found the opportunity, to compose so many beau- 
tiful and meritorious poems as he has done. His life from boyhood 
has certainly been a busy and eventful one, but he has conquered all 
obstacles and is now in more than comfortable circumstances. While 
we have not touched, to any extent, on his religious musings, the few 
pieces of this nature which we have perused prove him to be a sin- 
cerely religious man and his writings altogether give evidence that he 
has always made the noblest use of the talents created in him. 




JAMES D. CRICHTON. 

He does alot for every exercise 

A several hour; for sloth, the nurse of vices, 

And rust of action is a stranger to him. 

The stamp of true poetry is imprinted on many of the poetical pro- 
ductions of James D. Crichton, the present Assistant Librarian of the 
Brooklyn Library. A man inheriting literary tastes and talents from 
each of his parents, possessing a classical education, besides being 
endowed with fine intellectual qualities which manifest themselves in 
all of his writings, he certainly gives promise of occupying in the near 
future a conspicuous place among the lights of the literary world. 
His muse, which is vigorous and scholarly, never becomes fascinated 
with trivial subjects. When she casts her spell over him she inspires 
him with nobler ideas on noble themes, and he sings in obedience to 
her command in a lofty strain, and in language which is at once poetic 
and choice and clear. A fair specimen of his poetry may be found 
in his poem entitled "Longfellow," written in 1875: 

LONGFELLOW. 



True poet thou! No defter hand 

Hath swept the lyre since time begun, 
Poet and preacher both in one; 

With Jovc-like front, serene and grand 

Tiiou towerest o'er the puny throng. 
The petty singers of our day; 
And not a heart but owns thy sway 

That listens to thy witching song. 

Not thine that false and slavish creed; 

The utterance of a selfish heart; 

Which bids the poet take no part 
To stem the march of worldly greed, 
Which bids the poet hold his tongue 



JAMES D. CRICIITON. I95 

Or only sing of trivial themes, 

Of idle fancies, sensuous dreams. 
Or twist the rij^ht to seem the wrong; 
Which bids iiim sell fur man's api)lause 

His birthright of divine protest, 

Against all ills that stand confess'd 
In the clear light of God's pure laws; 
Which bids him bend to shams his knee, 

And give for jewels painted glass, 

And with unruffled features pass 
A brother man in misery; 
Such soulless creed thou dost despise, 

Thou dost not closa thy loving heart 

To human woe, or sit apart 
Lull'd in an " earthy paradise." 

But like the old Miltonic psalm 

Still echoing down the aisles of time 

Thy teachings, simple yet sublime, 
Hush the heart's murmur into calm. 
The charm of truth is in thy verse, 

Of purpose strong and firm and high — 

Like finger pointing to the sky — 
And oft thou lovest to rehearse 
That man lives not for self alone. 

And that life is not lived again. 

And biddest us forget the pain 
Nor for the past make idle moan; 
So shall we rise on wings of love 

Giving our best to God and man, 

So shall we pass thro' life's brief span, 
And servants here, be sons above. 

Mr. Crichton was born at Edinburgh on the twenty-second of Jan- 
uary, 1847. His father, Andrew Crichton, was a younger son of a 
landed proprietor in Nithsdale. At the age of thirteen he walked to 
Edinburgh, entered himself as a student at the university there, and 
never cost his father a penny afterwards. Educated for the ministry, 
he (piickly perceived that in those days of patronage preferment was 
slow and uncertain. He therefore wisely turned his attention to jour- 
nalism, contributed to the various magazines of the day, became 
editor of the Edinlmrgh Advertiser, and afterwards of the Edinburgh 
Evening Post. He was also the author of numerous works (about 
forty in all), biographical and historical— his histories of Arabia and 



196 SCOTTISH POEtS IN AMERICA. 

Scandinavia, publislied in Constable's Miscellany, are still standard — 
and in recognition of his literary merits he received the degree of 
LL. D. from the University of St. Andrew's. He died in 1855, when 
our author was only eight years of age. 

Mr. Crichton's mother was Jane Gordon, youngest daughter of the 
Rev. John Duguid, Parish Minister of . Evie and Kendall, Orkney. 
Accomplished in classical literature, modern languages and mathemat- 
ical lore, she was, he informs us, his earliest and best teacher; and to 
her he is indebted for a love of nature and a knowledge of botany 
which even yet makes the most solitary rambles both attractive and 
instructive. He was educated at the Queen's Street (Edinburgh) 
Institute, and when fourteen years of age passed to the Edinburgh 
University. At that time it was intended that he should take out a 
few classes preparatory to beginning the study of medicine. But the 
loss of the little means which the family possessed, by a bank failure, 
put an end to this scheme, and forced him to find employment, and 
make a living for himself. His college course was thus interrupted 
and finally broken off, as he was often absent in different parts of 
Scotland, and even in Ireland, fulfilling engagements as a teacher. 
Whatever spare time he could afford was devoted to study and striving 
to acquire a knowledge of modern languages, so that he might be 
enabled to enjoy the master-pieces of foreign literature in their own 
tongues. In Edinburgh he latterly formed a good teaching connection 
and was engaged in preparing pupils for the public schools. On the 
death of his mother, in 1873, he went to London, where he was 
employed for some years in private tuition. He was also engaged by 
Dr. Charles Rogers, the Secretary and founder of the Royal Historical 
Society, to prepare indexes of the Society's publications and to assist 
him in the translation of Latin charters. He also prepared the first 
catalogue of the Society's library. For these valuable services he was 
admitted in 1879 a fellow of the Society. After a year's experience 
fn the bookselling establishment of the Messrs. Sotheran & Co., he 
left England, and, with his wife and child, came to America. Here 
he was first employed at the Brooklyn Library specially to compile a 
catalogue of the German works. After the death of Mr. Noycs, the 
late Librarian, he was appointed Assistant Librarian, a position which 
he still worthily fills. As to his poetry he says that he has always had 
a taste that way inherited from his mother, who sung in a sweet and 
facile manner. Many of his musings contain both original and peculiar 



James d. ck/chto^. tg? 



ideas, and remind us very forcibly of the writings of the late gifted 
Alexander Smith. 'I'ake " The (larden of the Muses," for instance: 

THE GARDEN OF THE MUSES. 



I was in Elfinland last night, 
H there be any truth in dreams; 

The air was full of sunny light 
And music of a thousand streams, 

I saw the muse's garden fair. 

Where poets are for plants set round; 

My wand'ring footsteps halted there, 
Such glaniourie my senses bound. 

There Shakespeare towers, an aloe sweet. 
That bloom'd but once on stately stem; 

Dante and Homer, compeers meet. 
Toss high their laurel'd diadem. 

Dan Chaucer, as the ivy, twines 

Around the pedestal of time; 
And northern bards like northern pines 

Rear stems carv'd o'er with lunic rhyme. 

A tuft of wormwood stands for Pope 
(Forgive vex'd shade, th' irreverent fun). 

And Milton as a heliotrope 

Turns blue eyes open'd to the sun! 

There Byron burns a passion-flower. 
And Spenser is a pensive pansy; 

Keats morning-glory lasts one hour. 
Grave Herbert is a bunch of tansy. 

There Shelley blooms without a stain, 

A lily by a crystal brook, 
Hemans and Landon, violets twain. 

Cower modestly in mossy nook. 

And Wordsworth as the woodbine creeps. 
And Lamb is hyssop for fair dames, 

Hogg as a mountain-daisy peeps, 
Swinburne a tiger-lily flames! 

But King of all the garden there, 
See Burns o'ertop the flowery throng. 

And scatter fragrance on the air, 
The red red rose of Scottish song. 



igS SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



" Burns' Poems," it may here be remarked, was one of the first books 
placed in our author's hands as soon as he had learned to read. They 
of course charmed and delighted him, and many of the finest poems 
and songs were committed to memory, Ramsay, Scott, Hogg, Lady 
Nairne and Tannahill were also read and studied in many a ramble 
around the neighborhood of Edinburgh, and the beauties embodied 
in their compositions became indelibly imprinted on his mind. He 
thus — unconsciously perhaps — drank in a love for his mother 'tongue 
which has never left him, and which he makes excellent use of in many 
of his poems. As a specimen of these Scottish musings we quote the 
following : 

SONG— THE EMIGRANT SHEPHERD'S LAMENT. 



O gie me back my lowland cot, 
My shepherd's plaid and lowly lot, 
When ower the hills I used to stray 
And herd the sheep the lee-lang day. 

Wi' Hector rinnin' at my heel 

Nae king on earth could happier feel, 

My sceptre but a hazel wand, 

My kingdom but a strip o' land. 

Whiles in my dreams I see the loch, 
The steadin' wi' its boor-tree haugh, 
The auld gray hills like shrouded ghosts 
O' giant and lang buried hosts! 

How sweet at morn to see the mist 
Roll air the peaks the sunlight kiss'd. 
How saft at eve the dew-draps fell 
When Mary met me in the dell! 

Wae's me that fate us twa has twined, 
And I sair' strangers ower the sea; 
Their hearts are leal., their words are kind. 
But lass, it is'na hame to me! 

Quite a large number of Mr. Crichton's poems are written in a soft, 
melodious measure, which certainly adds considerably to their merit. 
Especially is this the case with such pieces as have been inspired by 
the love of nature with which he is imbued. A good example of this 
(luality may be found in his poem entitled 



JAMES D. CRICIirON. i^q 



SUMMER. 

Summer is coming to forest and fell, 

To river and mountain, to thorpe and lea; 
The leaves are green in the woodland dell, 

There's a glitter of gold on the sunlit sea; 
Nature thrills to the fairy spell, 

Hark to the bee, with its joyous hum 
And the gladsome songs of the birds that tell 

Summer is coming, summer is come! 

Summer is coming with bud and with bloom 

To chase from the earth cold winter's gloom 
For though the promise of spring be fair, 

The chill touch of winter lingers there. 
Summer is coming, her warm breath glows. 

The snow drop yields to the blushing rose, 
There's a quicker pulse in the dancing rill 

And a brighter green on the sun-kiss'd hill! 

Summer is coming, the children play 

In the grassy meadows the livelong day; 
They gather the gowans and pansies fair, 

For a rustic posy to deck their hair. 
And the speckled trout from the waters deep 

Pursues the fly with a bolder leap; 
And the voices of Nature long hush'd and dumb 

Proclaim in their chorus, summer is come! 

Among our author's finest productions not already noticed are 
"The Death of Evremonde," " Roslin," "Auld Fir Tree," "Only a 
Faded Flower," " Power of Love," " Dreams " and " Man." These 
are all poems of a superior caste and entitle him to a prominent place 
among modern Scottish poets. The last named poem consists of 
ninety-six lines, and is a very creditable piece of work in all respects. 
We quote a few lines : 

Say then, why was I born. 
If that there be no morn, 
No waking of the dead. 
No life when this life's lied. 
No light behind the gloom. 
No sound beyond the tomb ? 
It cannot be that man 
Should live his little span 



200 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

And all his joys and tears 
And all the hopes and fears 
Into his life that press 
Should end in nothingness! 
That man divinely plann'd 
The work of God's own hand — 
Should perish like the brute, 
And lie quiescent, mute, 
Returned to kindred earth 
From which he took his birth. 

Apart from his original compositions Mr. Crichton deserves special 
credit for the numerous excellent translations which he has made from 
time to time. These include Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, 
Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and German master-pieces. Many of 
them are of considerable length, and were they published together in 
book form they would make a volume which couM not fail to be both 
interesting and valuable to the lovers of poetical literature. "Versifi- 
cation," he writes, "has been to me a solace in times of care and 
anxiety. I do not claim any merit for my own compositions, but in 
translations I have always tried to preserve the metre and give the 
spirit, and, as far as possible, the actual phraseology of the original." 
In our opinion the finest of all his work in this direction is his trans- 
lation of " Lenore," from the German of G. Burger, This piece con- 
sists of two hundred and fifty-six lines and is undoubtedly the best 
translation ever attempted of this celebrated poem. We quote one of 
his shortest translations, to enable our readers to judge of his ability 
for this particular kind of work: 

CUPID'S VISIT. 

GREEK OF ANACREON. 

In the lonely hours of midnight, 
Wiien the Bear was fast declining 
To the right hand of the Herdsman, 
And the many tribes of mankind. 
Wearied out with toil, lay sleeping, 
Eros came, and, standing outside. 
Tapped upon the bolted door. 

" Who is there," I cried, "that knockcth, 
Breaking in upon my dreaming?" 
And Love only answered, "Open — 



JAMES D. CRICIITON. 201 



I am but a child, so fear not, 

Wet and weary, I am forcfed 

Through the moonless night to wander." 

Hearing this I took compassion, 
And uprising, straightway opened, 
Lamp in hand, the door. Heforc nic 
Stood a little winged urchin, 
With a tiny bow and quiver. 

Quick beside the hearth I set him, 
And he chafed his palms together, 
Wringing from his locks dank moisture. 
But, where'er the cold was banished, 
" Come," quoth he, "and let us find out 
If the wet hath hurt my bowstring." 

Saying this the bow he bendeth, 
And within my heart his arrow 
Like a gadtly sharply stingeth. 
Then, with laughter loud uplcaping, 
" Friend," said he, "congratulate me. 
For the bow is all uninjured. 
But thy heart keen pain must suffer." 

Mr. Crichton enjoys the friendship of many eminent men of letters. 
Prominent among these is the venerable Scottish poet and song-writer, 
Mr. Thomas C. Latto. To this gentleman the writer is indebted for 
many of the biographical facts herein stated ; also for his being the 
first to point out to him the valuable character and the numerous 
beauties which adorn the writings of our present author. 




DONALD RAMSAY. 

For his chaste muse, employed by heaven-taught lyre, 
None but the noblest passions to inspire; 
Not one immoral, one corrupted thought, 
One line which, dying, he could wish to blot. 

Mr. Donald Ramsay is a notable example of the many Scotsmen 
who have risen from the ranks through their intelligence and perse- 
verance, and now occupy prominent and important positions in the 
United States. He is a native of Glasgow, having been born there 
on March 12, 1848. His father, Donald Ramsay, was a native of 
Isley, and his mother. Flora Cameron, of Morvin, in Argyleshire. Both 
belonged to that thrifty, hard-working class of people, so common in 
Scotland. His father served as a ploughman in his early years, but on 
his settling in Glasgow he had to content himself with an inferior 
position in life, yet, strange as it may seem, managed to bring up his 
little family comfortably on a salary of fifteen shillings a week. Mr. 
Ramsay's earliest recollections are of Glasgow Green and the butter- 
cups and gowans which he was wont to gather there. Mingling with 
these are the recollections of the pleasant walks which his father was 
in the habit of taking him on Sabbath mornings along the banks of 
the river Clyde, or out to the well-known " Auld Ruglin Brig." The 
latter place seems to have possessed special attractions for him, as 
many years after he had emigrated to this country he made it the sub- 
ject of his muse in a poem which displays considerable feeling, besides 
giving us a fair specimen of his descriptive powers. We quote the 
poem here, feeling assured that it will prove interesting to such of our 
readers as hail from the west of Scotland: 

AULD RUGLIN BRIG. 



The early home, the hawthorn tree, 
The bridge that spans the river, 

The green lanes where we used lo be, 
Shall be forgotten never. 



DONALD RAMSAY. 203 



And though I wander far and wide, 

My memory ne'er shall scorn 
Auld Ruglin Hrig, that spans the Clyde, 

In the land where 1 was born. 

Auld Ruglin Brig, whose buttresses 

Are each a garden plot; 
The wonder of my childish years, 

That sweet, delightful spot. 
The echo, in the arches low, 

Oft made my young heart bound. 
When I have stood in wonderment 

And listened to the sound. 

Auld Ruglin Brig, where many a night 

I've stood and watched the river 
Flow gently in the calm moonlight, 

When scarce a leaf did quiver; 
And where I've stood when winter's blasts 

Did rend the oak asunder, 
And swollen Hoods gushed loud and fast 

And filled the arches under. 

And where I've watched the gloamin' close 

The long bright summer's day, 
And doubted not that fairies dwelt 

On ("athkin's bonnie braes. 
Auld Ruglin Brig and Cathkin braes 

And Clyde's meandering stream, 
Ye shall be subject of my lays 

As ye are of my dreams. 

The early home, the hawthorn tree, 

The bridge that spans the river, 
And the green holms where we used to be 

Shall be forgotten never. 

Mr. Ramsay's school days began in his seventh year and terminated 
ere he had reached the age of ten. He confesses that he made no 
distinguished record as a scholar. He was not a favorite with the 
schoolmaster, and he availed himself of every possible excuse that 
presented itself to prevent his attending school. Wandering about 
the outskirts of the city, stealing rides on canal boats and watching 
the glass-blowers or pottery men was more congenial to him than poring 
over his lessons. "And so," he says, " when I was big enough to cam 



i04 SCOTTISH POETS tN AMERICA. 

half-a-crown a week, I gladly exchanged the school-room for the work- 
shop." He started as a boy-of-all-work in the establishment of Messrs. 
J. W. Robertson & Co., valentine manufacturers, and in this way 
became a printer. 

His employment with this firm lasted about seven years, during 
which time many changes had come to him. Sickness and death had 
visited his home and carried oft" his father and three of his brothers, 
leaving him to take care of his mother and two younger brothers. His 
mother was of a cheerful disposition and worked hard and nobly to 
keep out of debt. She was truly independent, he says, and would 
have starved rather than ask assistance of her friends. He had how- 
ever become imbued with a desire for learning, and a wish to improve 
his condition in life. His work had brought him into contact with all 
sorts of books, and he had acquired an extensive knowledge of various 
departments of literature. There were a number of second-hand 
bookstalls in Glasgow, and he became a regular frequenter of them. 
It was seldom that he had the means to purchase such books as he took 
a fancy for, but he sometimes picked up a cheap copy of Thomson, or 
Shenstone, or Prior, and in this way soon became possessed of a good 
collection of standard works. It was also during this period of his life 
that he began to court the muses. " I naturally rhymed a little now 
and then," he writes, "and sometimes a funny epitaph or epigram, or 
a song for an occasion gave me an opportunity to show a talent for 
rhyming. We had a weekly paper in Glasgow called the Fenny Post, 
to which 1 frequently sent a song or short poem, and my happiest days 
were those in which I waited in anticipation of seeing my lines in the 
' Poet's Corner.' I was afraid to have my name appear, and signed 
myself ' Clutha ' so that my companions could not tease me, and I 
had all the i)leasure to myself." In 1866 he went to Dublin, thence 
to Liverpool, working for some time in each of those cities at his trade. 
In 1868 he concluded to try his fortune in the new world, and so set 
sail for New York. But Scotland never parted with a truer or more 
sorrowful son than she did when he waved a final adieu to her shores. 
" I was indeed pained," he writes, "at leaving my native land. My 
dear mother's warm and last kiss was on my lips, my two brothers 
stood on the pier, and as we slowly sailed away the words of a song 
I had written some years before in a juvenile way, for a friend about to 
cross the Atlantic, came back to me: 



DONALD RAMSA Y. 205 



Farewell sweet river Clyde, 

, Pensive and slow 

D<jwii thy dear stream I glide 

Muurnful I go. 
On to the ocean wide 

O'er the broad sea, 
O, thou sweet winding Clyde! 

Farewell to tlice. 
Oft 1)11 thy velvet banks 

boyhood and man 
Thoughtful I've wandered 

Or happy I've ran, 
Gathered the gowans bright, 

Careless and free; 
O, thou sweet winding Clyde, 

Farewell to thee!" 



After landing in New York he proceeded to Boston, where he has 
since remained, wiili the exception of one year which he spent in Min- 
nesota on account ot his health. 'I'lie poetical writings of Mr. Ram- 
say are numerous and of excellent quality. They are invariably pure 
and elevating, even while depicting some humorous phase of life or 
character. Besides showing a complete mastery over rhyme and 
rhythm they prove him 10 be possessed of a poetic imagination, a true 
love of nature, a correct taste, and a tender and sympathetic sense of 
feeling. Many of his smaller compositions are truly pathetic, both in 
incident and language. Take the following little piece as a specimen: 

THE SHADOWS. 



Green arc the fields and fair the skies, 
And bright is the world to-day; 

But over my home a shadow lies 
And it will not go away. 

And my heart is held with a fearful dread; 

For my love lies pale on a weary bed. 

Over the lawn my little boy. 

Chases a buttcrtly, 
His laugh has a ring of careless jcy 

And happiness beams from his eye; 
Ah, me! it is well that he cannot see 
The awful shadow that frightens me. 



2o6 SCOTTISH POETS IN' AMERICA. 

The doctor is gone, I have closed the door, 

And what were. the words he[said ? 
Alas! I have thought them o'er and o'er, 

And they weigh on my heart like lead. 
And I sit.me down in, dark despair 
And the awful shadow lingers there. 

Our author's introdiiction_to the writings of Robert Burns is thus 
amusingly referred to by himself. He says: " There was a genial old 
man named Gemmell that kept a small stationery shop on George 
street where the school children used to buy pencils, etc., and he had 
a circulating library composed mostly of cheap editions, sixpenny and 
shilling volumes. I had heard of Burns, but not much, and when I 
was about twelve years old, one rainy night I produced my penny 
(always in advance) and was handed down the wonderful volume, I 
ran with it out into the street, but could not wait until I reached home, 
I opened it under the first lamp that I came to, and in a short time 
became so deeply interested in the ' Twa Dogs ' that the book was 
almost spoiled by the rain." Since that time he has become the pos- 
sessor of many fine editions of Burns, and he occasionally makes a 
leisure hour pass pleasantly by composing a sonnet or a poem, either 
on or in connection with some incident in the life of the Ayrshire 
Bard. A short specimen of these delightful musings may be given: 

THE DAISY. 



Last night, while holding converse with a friend, 

A man of rare intelligence and worth, 

He beckoned me aside and smiling, said: 

" I'll show you something which, perhaps, you know." 

He then produced a volume, pocket-worn, 

And opening it, displayed between the leaves 

A wee red-tipped daisy culled afar. 

In classic field in Scotland. What was it 

That made him prize this little foreign flower? 

A hundred years ago the ploughman Burns 
Laid waste a little daisy in the cartli; 
But there uprose from out the poet's soul, 
A sympathetic prayer, showing the bigness 
Of a human heart that sympathized 
Even with a modest daisy crimson-tipped. 



DONALD RAMSAY. 207 



And so we hold the little flower up, 
And look at one of God's wee instruments 
That touch the cords of tenderness in man 
And make us feel that we are mortal all. 

Mr. Ramsay is exceedingly partial towards his mother tongue, and 
uses it, certainly to advantage, on every possible occasion. Indeed, 
the majority of his best poems are written in the Doric. Many of 
them are decidedly beautiful in conception, and form pleasant read- 
ing, even while in some cases a thread of sorrow is woven into them. 
The following piece will give an idea of his work in this direction: 

JEANNIE BELL. 

A SCOTTISH IDYL. 

Fair Jeannic Bell! a sweet braw lass was she, 

As ever stept upon the fresh green grass, 
A happy innocence sparkled in her e'e. 

An' her sweet voice nae birdie's could surpass. 

At early morning on the dewy gowan lee. 

When scent o' hawthorn filled the balmy air. 
An' happy warblers sang frae ilka tree. 

I aft did sit and wait for Jcannie there. 

The bark o' Rover, tauld me o" her comin'. 
An' ower the brae, like morning sun she cam', 

Wi' some sweet tune she felt a joy in hummin'. 
An' at her feet a snaw white wee pet Iamb. 

I felt the glamour o' her witchin' glance; 

She smiled and passed, but did not speak to me. 
For I was shy, and only looked askance, 

Happy to meet her on the golden lee. 

0, Thou! ivJio thucllcst beyond caiih and air. 

To whose great la-iV stibsei~A(nt are all Powers, 
I thank Thee, that J've seen a form so fair! 

So angel like, upon this earth of ours. 

The summer passed, the flowers a' bloomed and died. 

The blast o' winter shook the leafless tree, 
I wandered pensively by llowiiig Clyde, < 

But bonnie Jcannie 1 could'na see. 



2o8 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

I longed to see the sweet return o' spring, 
The pleasing sunshine an' the fresh green grass, 

Frae ilka tree to hear the birds a' sing. 
But mair than a', to see mj- bonnie lass. 

My hopes were crushed, for soon the tidings spread 

My Jeannie faded, died, and was nae mair, 
I could na greet, I only bowed my head 

An' turned awa, wi' something like despair. 

Wi' sad, sad hearts they laid her in the clay, 

An' lingered lang till gloamin' shadows fell, 
Wi' lanesome hearts, they hameward bent their way, 

Nae mair to see their bonnie Jeannie Bell. 

When a' were gane, I stood beside the mound, 

Forget that kirk)-ard scene, I never can, 
I bowed my head in sorrow to the ground, 

A truer tear ne'er fell frae cheek o' man. 

The songs of Scotland naturally contain numerous charms for our 
author and he loves to dwell on the grandeur and inspiring qualities 
of those renowned compositions. In a poem addressed to the late 
Mr. David Kennedy he says: 

The auld Scotch sangs I lo'e them weel, 

Sae tender and sae real, man, 
They touch oor heart an' mak us feel 

As only Scots can feel, man, 
They waukin thocts o' ither days, 

An' scenes oor childhood saw, man, 
Again we wander ower the braes 

In Scotland far awa', man. 

Again by Clyde's sweet banks sae green, 

Or thro' the silent grove, man, 
At gloamin', wi' some bonnie Jean, 

In memory we rove, man, 
An' then their witty sparks o' fire 

Oor very souls they raise, man, 
Frae life's puir diggin' in the mire. 

To sweeter, brighter days, man. 

That he understands the true value and ini])ortance of a good lyric 
is very evident from the remarks which he makes in an epistle 



DONALD RAMSA V. 309 



addressed to his warm friend and brolhcr-poct, Mr. Duncan Mac- 
Grcgor Crcrar, on his first reading the latter's verses entitled "My 
Hero True Frae Benachie:" 

TO DUNCAN MacGREGOR CRERAR, POET 



I saw a sang in Scottish dress, 
O' some bit lassie's sair distress, 
Sic wacfu'ness it did express 

It touched the vera heart o' me. 
Quo' I wha wrote this bonnie sang? 
Was't Stevenson or Andrew Lang? 
Frae some true poet's heart it sprang, 

This plaintive Highland melody. 

My interest grew an' lookin' nearer, 
There stood the name MacGrti^or Crenir, 
Ah then! the wee bit sang grew dearer, 

And it was quite a joy to me. 
An incident sac sweetly told. 
In Scottish verse o' classic mould 
Does honor to our country old 

And to the lad frae Benachie. 

Oh, wad that pleasant sangs an' rhymes 
Had mair acceptance o' these times, 
O' heartless trade and selfish crimes. 

An' social disability. 
What future has the millionaire, 
With a' his wark and a' his care? 
The writer o' a sang has mair 

At interest with posterity. 

Two short specimens of Mr. Ramsay's own lyrical productions will 
be appreciated here: 

LOVE'S WHISPER. 



Somebody whispered to me yestreen, 

Somebody whispered to me; 
And my heart gaed a flutter, and tlew away clean 

As somebody whispered to me, 
And the rose, that 1 fand in my tangled hair, 
Was a token o' love I wccn. 



210 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 

An airm gaed roun' my waist yestreen, 
An airm sae Strang, an' true; 

An' I laid my heid on his breast yestreen, 
For, what could a puir thing do? 

An' my heart is his forever mair, 

An' naething will come between. 



BONNIE MAY MacALISTER. 



Bonnie May MacAlister! 

I remember when 

You were only eight years old, 

And I was only ten. 

And, in our childish rambles, 

How much I thought of you, 

While playing on the banks o' Clyde, 

Whaur red-tipped gowans grew. 

A misty cloud hangs 'tween our lives, 
For twenty years and more. 
On separate paths, diverging wide, 
Along thro' life we've bore. 
And you are wedded long ago; 
But do you think of when 
You were only eight years old, 
And I was only ten. 

Do smiles of happiness still lurk 
Within those eyes so rare ? 
Or has the hard world's weary work 
Strained them with anxious care ? 
I trust that you have seen more joys 
Than he who knew )'ou when, 
You were only eight years old, 
And I was only ten. 

Our atithor is senior partner in tlie Heliotype Printing Con)pany, 
and occupies the position of manager and treasurer. He is a life 
member of the Scot's Charitable Society, and is extensively and favor- 
ably known throughout Boston and its vicinity. His home is among 
the prettiest of those situated in the romantic little village of Roslin- 
dale, and his muse frccjuenily becomes enraptured with the quiet place 
and its surroundings : 



DONALD RAMSAY. 2il 



When shadows creep across the square, 

And slanting rays of evening sun 
Light up my walls with sudden glare, 

My day's toil in the city's done. 
My pen is wiped, my books are closed, 

And all the cares that they entail 
Are laid aside, while I have dosed 
A half hour's ride to Roslindale. 
The quiet haunts of Roslindale, 
The green hillsides of Roslindale, 
The shady nook, the murmuring brook, 
The pleasing look of Roslindale, 

Mr. Ramsay was married in 1872 to Miss Maggie Rust, daughter of 
William Rust, Escj., of Roxbury, Mass. In 1879, his Maggie died, leav- 
ing two boys — Willie and Allen — who still survive. It was during her 
sickness that the poem, " The Shadows," was written. In 1883, he was 
again married to Miss Lillian Whitefield, daughter of Edwin White- 
field, Esq., artist and author. She is an accomplished and delightful 
lady of high education and culture. They have been blessed with 
one child, a bright little girl, now four years of age, named Flora, who, 
we need hardly assure our readers, is an ever-increasing joy and 
delight to her estimable parents. 

In concluding our sketch it may not be out of place to introduce to 
our readers an acrostic which Mr. Ramsay worked out of his wife's 

name: 

Love found rne in a dreary waste, 
In which was nothing cheering. 
Love led me to a maiden chaste, 
Listless I followed fearing. 
In her I found a cheerful ray, 
And night changed to a sunny day, 
No cloud at all appearing. 



DR. JOHN MASSIE. 

I know thee not — I never heard thy voice; 

Yet, could I choose a friend from all mankind, 
Thy spirit high should be my spirit's choice. 

Thy heart should guide my heart, thy mind my mind. 

Dr. John Massie, Colborne, Ontario, has long since established an 
enviable reputation for himself as the author of a considerable num- 
ber of poems of a superior order of merit. He is spoken of by one 
of his friends as a genial, generous, cultivated gentleman, learned and 
honorable in all his dealings with his fellow-men. His writings prove 
him to be a perfect master of Doric speech, and, while many of his 
finest and best-known poems are cast in that mould, there are also 
those among his English productions which display both talent and 
skill and entitle him to a foremost position among his brother bards. 
His style is vigorous, terse and attractive at all times, and his verse is 
generally musical and rich in true touches of nature. Many excep- 
tionally fine thoughts are woven into his earlier poems, although, on 
the whole, his latter productions are the best. In connection with 
this it might be stated that his "Jubilee Poem," consisting of twenty- 
five stanzas, and published last year, was widely copied by the Cana- 
dian and British press and received the indorsement of many eminent 
critics as being " the finest set of verses which appeared on this illus- 
trious occasion." Two stanzas will give a general idea of the poem: 

One wish, one thought intense, one impulse strong, 

Hatii governed all thy long, eventful reign; 
Imbued thy days of sadness and of song 

With sweetest sympathy for all thy train; 

And strengthened thy strong heart and nerved thy brain 
To do the work an empire lays on thee; 

Tis love for thine own people doth sustain 
The pillars of thy throne. Love makes them free. 
And guides thy ship of state o'er Time's tempestuous sea. 



t>R. JOHN MASSIE. 113 



And as a face smile lit, wakes up a smile, 

Or bright, contagious laughter glads the eye, 
Or joy gets joy, or cheerfulness, like oil. 

Lays all the troubled waters, making dry 

The cheek tear dewed; or skylark soaring high 
Lifts up man's heart, impelling him to sing; 

We watch the eagle's tlight and wish to Hy, 
And feel within, the spirit's quivering wing; 
So thy kind heart, love lit, lights every living tiling. 

Dr. Massie was born in Frazerburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on 
the eighth of April, 1833. llis father's name was also John, and his 
mother was Isabel Falconer, a native of Stnchen. The family emi- 
grated to Canada and settled m Kingston just as our author was enter- 
ing upon his fourth birthday. A few years later they went out into 
the wilderness of Canadian woods, settling on a " bush farm " in the 
then new township of Seymour, situated about twenty-five miles 
northwest from Belleville, liut previous to this there were trouble- 
some times in the province. The rebellion of 1837 broke out and 
Mr. Massie, the poet's father, who removed to Belleville in the autumn 
of 1837, where he remained for one year and nine months, was the 
first man to enlist in the militia at Belleville to help maintain law and 
order. When all was (juiet again and peace brooded over the land 
he returned to Kingston and devoted much of his spare time in aiding 
those who were anxious to learn vocal music. Among his more jirom- 
inent pupils was the Hon. Oliver Mowat, Premier of Ontario. On 
his leaving for his wild wood farm in the new settlement he was the 
recipient of many gratifying testimonials from his pupils and others. 
Our author at this time was about nine years of age, and soon had 
ample experience of tlie life of a Canadian pioneer in all its phases. 

'' The country was so wild," he writes, '* and roads so few that we 
had to follow a 'blaze,' /'. ^., a mark made on the trees, in order to 
reach the locality of our future home." Here, however, he gained that 
knowledge of the lives of the brave, and too often neglected, women 
who cheerfully accompany tiieir husbands into the wilds of the forests 
in a noble effort to secure independence and a home. Such women 
were no doubt in his thoughts — perhaps his own mother, who was a 
lovable, gentle, devoted woman of quiet patient industry and remark- 
ably strong common sense — when years afterwards in one of his 
poems he wrote the following truthful lines; 



2f4 SCOTTISH POETS IJV AMERICA. 

The record of the buried lives 
Of helpful, hopeful, patient wives; 
Who thoughtful still of every need 
Of every creature's wants took heed, 
With cheerful true self-abnegation, 
Content with their laborious station, 
Heroic mothers of a nation. 

Dr. Massie remained with his parents until his twenty-sixth year, 
when he went to the village of Castleton as teacher of the public 
school. His own education had been acquired by what he terms 
odds and ends, after leaving Kingston. He had however absorbed 
knowledge from books, periodicals, newspapers, etc. When other lads 
were enjoying themselves in the usual youthful pleasures and games 
he was poring over Burns. Scott, Campbell, Cowley, Milton, Shaks- 
peare, Moore, etc., and storing his mind with his native country's his- 
tory and song. '' Robertson's History of Scotland," " Rollins' An- 
cient History," other histories and different works as he could obtain 
them, were all carefully read and studied over, but above all he loved 
Scotland's Bard — her Burns — and among both his early and later pro- 
ductions are several very able and readable pieces on the subject of 
his favorite poet: 

Praise to the Bard, whose mighty hand 
Has placed our loved, our native land. 

On fame's celestial height. 
To be through time's most distant page 
For every dim succeeding age 

A blazing beacon light. 

Who knits all human hearts as one 
And charms all lands beneath the sun 

With music from above; 
And all our minds with wisdom stored, 
And bound us with a golden cord 

Of sympathy and love. 

Who taught us independence true 

And rung the changes through and through 

His own immortal rhymes; 
And gathers as of kindred blood, 
In one fraternal brotherhood 

All peoples of all climes. 



DR. JOHN MASSIE. 215 



Who taught the lords of lofty domes 
That worth may dwell in lowly homes 

And noble patriot pride, 
And points the preat Creator's plan 
Till man's humanity to man 

Shall stem oppression's tide. 

Shall drain the springs of sorrow dry, 
And wipe the tear from every eye, 

And raise the drooping soul; 
And all the brotherhood of man 
Shall bow to God's and nature's plan 

In one eternal whole. 

In the autumn of 1858 our author attended an examination of 
teachers at the High School of Colhorne and succeeded in securing a 
second-class county certificate, after which he taught school for a year 
very successfully, (juite a number of advance pupils attending his 
classes. The next year, however, owing to frequent and severe head- 
aches, he left teaching and returned home to the old farm, where he 
spent a year working, studying, and courting the muses. And this 
period we may say ended his youthful career or labors as a poet, for 
after teaching another year he began the study of medicine, and grad- 
uated in March, 1S65, at Queen's University, Kingston, with great 
credit. 

His college vacations produced a few stray |)icces, but his time was 
now too much occujjied with the actualities, trials and responsibilities 
of existence to allow even an api)roach to the state of mind and feel- 
ing which finds vent in poetic thought and expression; and for a period 
extending over many years thereafter he composed not a solitary line 
of poetry. Indeed it is only within the last few years that he has 
strung anew his old and long neglected harp, which vibrates now in 
mellowed and softer, yet richer tones. A number of small poems, 
odes, songs, addresses and fragmentary pieces have appeared in rapid 
succession from his pen of late, and so hearty has been the reception 
accorded to these that he is now seriously contemj^lating the publica- 
tion of a selection from his wrilinj.s in book form at an early date. 
They are certainly all worthy of the attention which has been 
bestowed upon them. Take the following piece as a specimen of the 
peculiar subjects on which liis muse sometimes alights, and the simple 
but expressive manner in which he places his thoughts before us: 



2i6 SCOTTISH POETS IN AMERICA. 



ODE TO THE OWL. 



Hoot awa houlet alane on the tree 
Hout-awa bird! Are )'Ou hooting at me? — 
Or is it a change in the weather you bring, 
Or do you rejoice in the birth o' the spring. 
Or wailing the past sadly mourn o'er thy lot 
Till the depths o' the forest re-echo thy note ? 

When the music of birds and the humming of bees 
Are hushed on the breast of the evening breeze; 
When nature is laid on the lap of repose. 
And harmony reigns in the bosom of foes; 
When the world is asleep and the last ray of light 
Is swept from the earth by the besom of night, 
Thou art seen on the wing (though we cannot well see, 
For thy daylight is darkness, ours darkness to thee). 
Thou art seen on the wing, by the pale moonlight, 
To flit like a ghost on the shadow of night; 
Or, perched on a tree, art heard nightly to croon 
Thy sorrowful tale to the wandering^moon. 

Oh, child of the night! cease to echo along 
The mournful " to-whoo " of thy midnight song; 
Or the sprites of the night will assemble to hear, 
And the elves of the wood will be caught in a tear. 
Dost thou mourn in sad numbers a lover's disdain, 
And pour out thy passion in amorous stiain? 
Ah! surely thy notes are the language of care, 
Commingled with tenderness, love and despair! 

Mayhap the sole friend of thy bosom hath fled 
And left thee to mourn o'er the bones of the dead; 
Or the feathery brood that so often were prest 
With a motherly tenderness clo'^e to thy breast. 
Have fled thee ungrateful and left thee to][mourn 
O'er thy woes and thy sorrows alone and forlorn. 

Hoot awa houlet — thy song on the tree, 
Is woe to my soul, and is tears to my e'e, 
For my lot may be dark, and like thee I may mourn, 
O'er the joys of the past that can never return; 
Forsaken by friends and forgotton by foes, 
I may sink in the arms of unconcious repose; 
May read the last lesson_of life's rugged page, 
With no one to soothe in the sorrow of age. 



DR. JOHN MA SSI E. 217 



Oil, child of tlie night, on thy sentinel tree; 
\VI13' not take a lesson of patience from thee! 
Why pine o'er the blights of ephemeral clay! 
Why weep o'er the transient woes of a day! 
For the' dark be my youth yet my end may be calm, 
And the evening of life bathe my sorrows in balm, 
And the spirit long pent in its casket of clay, 
Spread its pinions aloft, and go smiling away. 



" Wedded Love," " On the Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada 
in i860" (one hundred and eighty lines), "The Old Maid's Com- 
plaint" and the epistle to Kingston's bard (Mr. Evan MacColl) are 
excellent poems on their several subjects, and display true poetic 
insi)iraiion in their composition. Nor can we omit to refer in the 
very higlicst terms to the Doctor's numerous lyrical pieces. These 
include "The Willow Tree," "Aggie's Tryst," "Will ye Gang to the 
Highland Hills," "Jenny's Resolve," "Annie's Awa," etc. Had he 
written nothing else, these alone would have entitled him to a jjrom- 
inent place among living Scottish poets. We (juote the last-named 
piece to show how eminently qualified he is for this style of compo- 
sition: 

ANNIE'S AWA. 



There's wae hearts for Annie; but less that she's gane, 
Than just lluu wc never may see her again; 
Frae the luinie o' her childhood, kind neighbors and a'. 
And the leal hearts that lo'ed her, she's far, far awa': 

Oh! Annie's awa', kind Annie's awa'; 

We'll ne'er see anither like Annie awa*. 

The lentless wee lammies now toyte o'er the lea, 
Wi' a waesome-likc face, and a pityfu' e'e; 
E'en Collie seems lost-like, " his back's to the wa'," 
Tlicy've a' lost a frien' in young .-Vnnie awa'; 

Sweet Annie awa', kind Annie awa'; 

We'll ne'er see anither like Annie awa'. 

The poor little birdies, sae wont to be gay, 
Now sit 'mang the branches, a' sangless and wae; 
Nae mair their saft warblings arc heard i' the shaw, 
Their wee hearts are burstin' for Annie awa": 

Young Annie awa', kind Annie awa'; 

We'll ne'er see anither like Annie awa'. 



2i8 SCOTTISH POETS IK AMERICA. 

At kirk, and at bridals, nae mair can we see 
The light and the love o' her bonnie black e'e 
But the tear ma}- be seen, o' hearts broken in twa, 
And the calm o' deep sorrow for Annie awa'. 

Young Annie awa', kind Annie awa'; 

We'll ne'er see anither like Annie awa'. 

Ah! life's bl)-thest morning may darken ere noon, 
And the sun o' it's simmer gang wearily doon; 
The fairest o' flow'rets be mantled in snaw; 
O! Fortune! deal kindly wi' Annie awa": 

Young Annie awa', kind Annie awa'; 

We'll ne'er see anither like Annie awa', 

In April, 1866, our poet Doctor was united in marriage to Miss 
Ada J. Marvyn, niece and adopted daughter of the Rev. James 
Hughes and wife, of Colborne. She is a woman of good education 
and fine literary ability. One daughter, now seventeen, and one son, 
now twelve years of age, remain to them out of a family of five. The 
daughter, Edith Falconer Massie, seems to inherit her parents' literary 
talents, as she was awarded the first prize in 1S87 for an original 
work of fiction offered by the proprietor of the Montreal Witness. 
And so we leave our author happy in the enjoyment of a comfortable 
home and a large circle of friends. He is now in possession of that 
peace and leisure required for the exercising of his poetic gifts, and 
we look forward with sincere pleasure to the publication of a collection 
of his poems in book form. He certainly deserves to be successful 
in such an undertaking, and we have no hesitancy in predicting a 
favorable reception of his volume at the hands of the public and the 
press. 




NOW HEADY, PRICE S2.50. 

IN ONE LARGE 8vo. VOLUME, 400 PAGES, CLOTH, GILT TOP. 

CELEBRATF.D 

SONGS OP SCOTLAND, 

FROM KIiXG JAMES V to HENRY SCOTT RIDDELL, 

Edited with Memoirs. Notes, Glossary and an Index. 

— i:v— 

JOHN D. ROSS, 

A uthor of ^'■Scottish Poets In A inerica." 



EXTRACTS FROM PRESS NOTICES, ETC. 



* ♦ It is an excellent and very complete collection, printed In larce and \eg\\j\e 
type. The notes and biographical ineinorunda are valuable.— J\Vu' Ymi, Sun. 

* * It is a larj-'e and liaiidsomely iMHind Ijook of about 400 patr<'s and Is dedicated 
tf» General (Irant, with Ills pcrnilssion jriven in 188-t. Every lover of Scotch aontcs, and 
tills comprises every song-lover, should have a copy of this work.— JN'eir York Sutulnu 

New. 

* * This collection Includes the best songs from the time of James V to Henry 
Scott Kiddell— about four hiiniired double-column pages. It Is a very good and 
valuable selection, and if it has any faults they are not those of omission.— Jif/idii 
JJauthiiiKi ill the A'( ic I'o/A iro/Zi/. 

* ♦ There are something like TOO songs In the collection and it is needles* to ^ay 
that such a gathering which includes some of the latest song innker-; of the Scots 
country is calculated to rouse an enthuslam equal to that In^iilred by the gathering of 
the Clans. An important and novel feature i-^ the giving of a history of nearly everv 
song that is included. A table of Orst lines and a glossary are appended.— -Vi ir Yoii; 
Star. 




In adding anotlier to the long list of collections of Scottish B<mKs, which range 
from the voluniinous publications of ('hatnbers, Cunningham, Scott. liamsay, etc., to 
the little liooU in the (Jolden Treasury, Mr. Uoss has apparently de>lred to bring 
together the largest possible numlter of pieces in a cheap form. • • His book Is to be 
praised for its comprehensiveness, its good Index, and the general adequacy of the 
historical and biographical notices.— A'eu) York Triliuitf. 



♦ * It extends to about 400 large pages and embraces all, or nearly all, of the 
firlncipai pieces for which Scotland Is so famous. There are copious notes explanatory 
f)f the songs and descriptive of the lives of the authors. The whole forms a conveident 
and excellent collection of Scottish songs.— /{/•i"i/,7j/;( Eaoh'. 

"▼ * * Mr. Uoss' collection is a good one for popular reading, ami his Memoirs and 
Notes, as far as we have been able to examine them, leave but little to be desired. — 
Mail and Express. 



' • There is room for Mr. Ross' book in America at least; for he has pat into one 
well printed book, with sufficient explanatory memoirs and notes, the bulk of what 
nils four volumes of Allen Cunningham's standard collection and two vols by Prof 
Aytoun. The book is printed in double column pages, in large, clear type, is bound in 
dark green cloth, and is dedicated to General Grant. * * Here are all the old familiar 
favorites that have traveled round the world and been sung in peasants' cottages and 
'*!"'?L^5i"'*^'..'i!^''*l^i"^ rooms half a century and more. Here, also, are those of the most 
"' " " """^ ' ' "" L'he 




inferred, noticeably complete.— BrnoMyn Citizen. 



* * It contains upwards of seven hundred of the most famous Scottish Song^ 
written from the time of James V to the present, a period of three hundred and fifty 
years. No song of any popularity has been omitted, and it is safe to say that so fine a 
collection of t.ue lyric poetry is nowhere else to be found. The lyrics of Scotland 
stand alone in iheir beauty, simplicity and true poetic expression. The printer, artist 
and binder have united to make this volume a gem. In their several departments tiiey 
have done weW.^Fralerhtnn (N. B.) Capital. 

To Mr. John D. Ross, the compiler of " Celebrated .-^ongs of Scotland," edited with 
memoirs and notes, and published in a handsome volume of nearly four hundred pages 
the American people owe a considerable debt of gratitude. He has culled, like a true 
editor, the choicest flowers from the poetic fields of four centuries. ♦ ♦ Mr. Ross 
prefaces the majority of his selections with admirable little sketches of their authors 
or remarks upon the subject matter of their verse. The book should have a place in 
the library of every American lover of poetry of the heart. Whittier loves it, and 
General Grant has stamped it with his se&l.—Sundatj Jnurnal {New York). 

^ „ ^ New York, Jan. 1, 1887. 

Dear Mr. Ross : 

You have certainly conferred on me one of the choice pleasures of my life in my 
possession of your book. Celebrated Songs of Scotland. You have met my wisn and 
pursuit of many years, in this masterly collection and compilation, for now I have in 
one volume the rhymes, songs and sentiments that have exalted Scotland to the 
world's love. To me she has been from boyhood the home of song and heroism, and 
your book comes to me as a concentrated delight, and 1 can sincerely congratulate you 
on a success that does you credit as a worthy " Son of Scotland." 

Very respectfully yours, 

DANiEL "EDWARD RFAN. 

FROM JOHN C. WHITHER. 

Oak' Knoll, Danvers, Mass., 

2d Mo. 28, 1887. 
John D. Rdss, Esq., 

Dear Friend :— Thy Admiraljle Collection of the Songs of Scotland came to Ames- 
bury in my absence. I have now had an opportunity to fully examine it, and do not 
hesitate to pronounce it the best and most complete book of the kind which has yet 
been published. It contains all the well-known songs which are to be found in other 
collections, and introduces us to song writers whose names had never reached us 
before. 

I have spent many happy hours over it, and it has deepened the admiration and 
love which I have ever felt for the Scottish singers. Rut for illness I should have 
sooner expressed the satisfaction which thy work has given me. 

I am, very truly, thy friend, 

JOHN G. WHITTIER. 



FROM JAMES KENNEDY. 




WILLIAM PAGAN, Jr., & SON, Publishers, 
352 Pearl Street, 

NEW YORK CITY. 

C^^ Sent by mail, postpaid, on receipt of price. 



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