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Full text of "The works of Michael Bruce; ed. with memoir and notes"




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BOOKS BY THE 

REV. ALEXANDER B. GROSART, 



KINROSS. 



I. ORIGINAL. 

I. Small Sins. Third Edition, with Additions, royal i6mo, 

cloth antique, price is. 6d. Pp. iig. 

' There is in it both genius and judgment, good writing, good learning, and good gospel.' 
— Dr Joh.\ Brown, author of ' Rab and his Frietids,' &^c. i^c, in the Scotsman, 
June 4, 1863. 

' Mr Grosart's noble sermon. '—Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, appended to an extract from it in 
his ' I llttstrated Almanack ' for 1864. 

' The theology of the book is puritanic ; the thinking, masculine and weighty ; the illus- 
trations picturesque, and drawn from a wide range of observation and reading ; and the 
appeals to the conscience are often both unexpected and very pungent. The authors bril- 
liancy (and there is not a little of it; is like a rifle-flash, which tells that a bullet is on its 
way.' — Tlie Freetnan. 

' With all the writer's brilliant opulence of imagery, there is no lack of plain, direct speak- 
mg to the conscience.' — British and Foreign Evangelical Reviczu [Quarterly), July 1863. 

2. Jesus Mighty to Save; or, Christ for all the World, and all 

the Worid for Christ. Third Edition, with Additions, royal i6mo, cloth antique, 
price 2S. yin preparation. 

'Not only is the author an excellent scholar in the languages belonging to his profession, 
and posse.ssed of more than ordinary insight into modern literature, but he appears to have 
acquired .a knowledge of the old English and Scottish divinity, especially of the puritan 
order, which is as rare as it is rich and profitable. The p.age everywhere sparkles with 
diamonds gathered from these mines. And when you sit down to read his books through, 
you find that this knowledge is only the vesture of a thinking power, worthy of such associa- 
tion, and still more of a spiritual purpose, which endears the writer insensibly but steadily 
as you go along.' — The Spectator. 

3. The Prince of Light and the Pri7ice of Darkness in Conflict ; or. 

The Temptation of Je.sus. Newly Translated, Explained, Illustrated, and Applied. 
Crown 8vo, pp. xxxiv. and 360. Price 5s. \_Nevj Edition iji preparation. 

' It is exhaustive of the subject, and yet, like every book from an original mind, it is 
suggestive after all. . , . The whole is treated with full learning, as well as with clear 
native discernment.'— Thomas Aird, Esq., in the Dumfries Herald, March 4, 1864. 

' It will win for itself a place, and that a permanent one.' — British and Foreign 
Evangelical Revie^u, April 1864. 

4. The Lambs All Safe ; or. The Salvation of Children. Third 

Edition, with considerable Additions. i8mo, cloth antique, price is. 
W quaint, pithy, and godly little book, on a scriptural basis.' — Evangelical Christendom. 

5. DroToned: What if it had been 7?ie ? A Sermon in Memorial 

of the Death by drowning in Lochleven of Mr John Douglas, precentor. Third 
Edition (3000), crown 8vo, price 4d. 

6. The Blind Beggar by the Wayside ; or, Eaith, Assurance, and 

Hope. 32mo, Third edition, price ijd. For enclosure in letters. 

7. Materials for a Minister's Conversations with Lnt ending Com- 

municants for the First Time. {Speedily. 

II. EDITED. 

8. The Works, with Memoir, Introduction, and Notes, of Richard 

SiBBES, D.D., Master of Katherine Hall, Cambridge, and Preacher of Gray's Inn, 
London. 7 vols. 8vo, cloth antique iNichol's 'Puritan Divines';. 
' We regard Mr Grosart as a prince of editors.' — The Eclectic Review October). 

a 



a BOOKS BY THE REV. A. B. GROSART. 

9. Lo}-d Bacon not the Author of ' The Christian Paradoxes : 

Being a Reprint of 'Memorials of Godliness,' by Herbert Palmer, B.D. ; wit! 
Introduction, Memoir, Notes, and Appendices. 

Prhitcd for Private Circulation {Old English Type). 

100 Copies, Large Paper, thick extra, to range with Spedding's Works of Bacon : -wit) 

Photographic Portrait of Palmer. Half morocco, cloth. Price los. 6d. ( Very feii 

remain.] 150 Copies, Small Paper, post 8vo, cloth. Price 3s. 6d. (All disposed of.) 

In an introduction I give account of the remarkable little discovery that it has fallen to m< 
to make: to wit, the non-Baconian, and actual, author.ship of ' The Paradoxes.' I describe 
the different editions. Thereafter will be found illustrations of the evil influence agaifis 
Bacon of his supposed authorship of these 'Paradoxes' as misunderstood, more especially 
in France and Germany ; and also of how the real authorship sweeps away the aboundinj 
guess-work as to their meaning and design. In a Memoir of Herbert Palmer, I have 
brought together, from all accessible sources, in print and manuscript, such facts anc 
memorials as remain. 

10. Selections from the Unpublished Writings of Jotiathai 

Edwards, of America ; with Introduction and Fac-similes. 

1. A Treatise on Grace. 3. Directions for Judging of Persons' 

2. Selections of Annotations. Exi^eriences. 

4. Sermons. 

Printed for private circulation : One Vol. royal 8vo, cloth, to range with Williams' anc 

American editions of the 'Works.' Price 6s. 6d. plain, 7s. 6d. toned paper. 

■*»* The impression is strictly limited to 300 copies; 2.^0 plain, and 50 toned. The tonei 

all taken up, and few remain of tlte plain unsubscribed for. 

11. The Works of Michael Bruce, with Memoir and Notes 

Crown 8vo. Price 3s. 6d. 

12. Me7noir of Henry Airay, D.D. {prefixed to reprint of hi^ 

Commentary on Philippians). 410. 

13. Memoir of Thomas Caj't7vright, B.D. [prefixed to reprint Oj 

his Commentary on Colossians). 410. 

14. Memoir of John King., T>.T)., Bishop of London [prefixed tc 

his Commentary on Jonah). 410. 

15. Memoir of John Bainolds, D.D. [prefixed to his Commen 

taries on Obadiah and Haggai). 4to. 

*** Nos. 12 to 15 in NichoVs Series of ''Puritan Coimneniaries.' Memoirs o_ 
Torshell, Stock, Bernard, atid Fuller to follow. 

16. Unknown Book by Richard Baxter., Author of ' The Sainf. 

Everlasting Rest.' 'The Grand Question Resolved, — What must we do to bi 
Saved? Instructions for a Holy Life: By the late Reverend Divine, M 
Richard B.\xter. Recommended to the Bookseller a few days before hi 
Death, to be immediately printed for the good of souls. London : Printed for Tho 
Parkhurst at the Bible and Three Crowns in Cheapside. 1692.' \_I>i prepa?-ation 

This priceless little tractate by the great Nonconformist was unknown to Calamy, an( 
appears to have been overlooked by all Baxter's biographers. It has all its saintly author' 
best characteristics — richly scriptural, fervent to passion of entreaty, pungent, pointed 
and unmistakeable. Our copy was formerly in the famous collection of Dr Bliss, wh( 
deemed it apparently uniqtte. It is proposed to reprint it in a limited private impression 
The price will be 3s. 6d. Prefixed will be an Introduction, containing an annotate! 
Bibliographical and Anecdotical Catalogueyn>w^ actual copies of the numerous books an( 
tractates of Baxter, much more full than any extant, and purged from errors. 

*** Persons ^fishing copies of the private ly-pri>ited and unpjiblished books, viz. Kos. g 
10, and 16, ivill please address Mr Grosart. 







3 



?^ 



^ 



THE WORKS 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 



* ©tor^jtsi to ret) ar HclitatiU, 
©ujpposi tTiat tija It itoc^t iot fafifll. 
Il^an jSulD gtor^tiS t^at isutljfast tocr, 
anB t^a toar gain on guH matter, 
i^af tioutitn ytcgang tn Jftrinff* • • • 
ijrfjarfor 3[ toalB fane set m^ toill, 
(B'tf mp tott mtc^t guffiig tfiartin, 
Co put in tortt ane sut^fagt ;Stor^, 
'SL^at it Icist ap furtf) in memory, 
©a t|)at na t^nt of lentj it let, 
Ji3a ger it IDalp it forgtct.' 

John Barbour: Tlie Bms: 
Spalding Club Edition. 



FACSIMILES OF B 

1 Letter Irom Gatmej Bridge. - 2 Si^n: 

n-*^^ In-t^ /j>r^ O'-C/ <^<^t.^,'%^ iM^ * 



f//^Z/ qiUcJiu/ ^ 



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;e's hand writing. 

,es m EdinJb-iirgli IPniYersitj Aliiim. 






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THE WORKS 



MICHAEL BRUCE 

EDITED, 

WLitl ^cmoir anti Bottfi, 

BV THE 

REV. ALEXANDER B. GROSART, 

KINROSS. 



' With gentle Bruce, flinging melodious blame 
On the Future for an uncompleted name.' 

D.wiD Gr.w, '/« i/i£ Shadcniis.' 



EDINBURGH: 

WILLIAM OLIPHANT AND CO. 

LONDON : HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO. 

1865. 



MUKRAV AND GIBB, I'RINTEKS, EDINBURGH. 



Co tit 99cm orp 



"CJe ncij. Olltniam S^tic'ktl^ie, 2). 25., 

B A L G E D I E, 



Jfirist tlinntcator 

OF THE CLAIM FOR 

^ic^acl OBruce, 

TO THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE 

* S)Sc to t^e (B'uc^&oo,* 

AND OTHER POEMS; 

I INSCRIBE THIS EDITION OF THE 
POET HE REVERED. 

ALEXANDER B. GROSART. 




Preface, 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 
ix 



Memoir, 



PART I. 



PART II. 

Introduction to the Poems: Logan Controversy, 'Ode to the 
Cuckoo,' and Paraphrases, ...... 

Appendix TO Memoir: Letters, ...... 



"5 



POEMS. 



Ode to the Cuckoo, 



HvMNS AND Paraphrases — 
I. The Complaint of Nature, 
II. The Lord God Omnipotent, 

III. The Call of Wisdom, . 

IV. Heavenly Wisdom, . 
V. Atoning Sacrifice, 

VI. Simeon Waiting, 
VII. Sorrow not as without Hope 
VIII. The Enthroned High Priest, 
IX. Dying in the Lord, 
X. Trust in Providence, . 
XI. Advent of the Messiah, 
XII. The Approaching Saviour, 

Revised Hymn — 

The Millennium, 

Elegy in Spring, 



123 

127 
130 
131 
133 
134 
135 
136 

137 
X33 

139 
140 

144 

145 
149 



vm 



CONTENTS. 



Miscellaneous Pieces — 

Weaving Spiritualized, 

Inscription on a Bible, 

The Last Day, 

Lochleven, .... 

Sir James the Ross : An Historical Ballad, 

Ode : To a Fountain, 

Danish Ode, .... 

Danish Ode, .... 

To Paoli, .... 

The Eagle, Crow, and Shepherd : A Fable, 

The INIusiad : A Minor Epic Poem, 

Anacreontic : To a Wasp, 

Alexis : A Pastoral, . 

Damon, Menalcas, and Meliboeus : An Eclogue, 

Philocles : An Elegy on the Death of Mr William 

Daphnis : A Monody, 

Verses on the Death of the Rev. Wm. M'Ewen, 

To John Millar, M.D., 

An Epigram, .... 

Pastoral Song, 

Lochleven No More, 

Fragments of Satires, 

The Poet's Petition for 'a Table,' . 

Eclogue : In the Manner of Ossian, 

The Vanity of our Desire of Immortality here 

Notes, ...,-• 



Drj'burgh, 



155 
is6 
157 
176 
197 
205 
207 
208 
2og 
214 

215 
219 
220 
223 
227 
230 
234 
23s 
236 
235 

237 
238 
Z40 
241 

244 

249 



PREFACE. 




T is well-nigh an hundred years since Michael 
Bruce closed, in little beyond his twenty- 
first year, as fine an example of ' The Gentle 
Life' as can be found anywhere. About 
three years afterwards a little volume of his 'Poems' 
was published under the anonymous editorship of his 
college associate, John Logan, subsequently known as 
the Rev. John Logan of Leith. I tell the story of 
this publication in its own place, — a story than which, 
as there is in relation to Bruce no more pathetic, so in 
relation to Logan there is no more dishonourable, chapter 
in the history of Literature. Apart from his impudent 
theft of the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ' and the Hymns and 
Paraphrases, we have to lament the loss of Bruce's 
Correspondence, which, in order to carry out his after- 
claims, this 'friend" took all care to secure, even to 
single letters, as shown in our Memoir. The scanty 
original materials for a ' Life ' were thus in the outset 
made scantier ; for John Logan deliberately destroyed 
fevery scrap of the Bruce Letters and other mss. ' wyled ' 
into his possession, over and above the quarto volume 



-c^. 



^/. 



Y 



X PREFACE. 

of his transcribed ' Poems,' on which the young Poet 
worked so yearningly when he knew that 

. . . * All that tender bloom about his eyes 
Was Death's own violets, which his utmost rite 
It is to scatter, when the red rose dies.' — [Hood.] 

Since the original edition of the Poems in 1770, there 
have been at least other twelve editions. The worthiest 
was edited by the late Dr Mackelvie in 1 837, — fully 
one-half of the volume consisting of a ' Life of the 
Author from Original Sources.' The ' Life ' won for 
its right-hearted and manly author the praise and 
gratitude of all the leading literary authorities. Long 
' out of print,' a new edition of the ' Poems ' has been a 
desideratum, as witnessed by the enhanced price fetched 
by chance-occurring copies of Dr Mackelvie's edition, 
and by the immediate sale, so as to put it also ' out of 
print,' of a humble little edition published in Belfast. 

Had Dr Mackelvie's health not failed him, he would 
in all probability have re-issued his edition with revision. 
Now that he is gone, I have undertaken the ' labour of 
love ;' and while awarding the original Biographers (Drs 
Anderson and Mackelvie) all honour and all acknow- 
ledgment when quoted or in any way used, it will be 
found that our Memoir and handling of the Logan con- 
troversy concerning the ' Ode ' and Paraphrases, are 
based upon independent researches that have resulted 
in the recovery of new data, and in placing what was 
already known in new lights. In some passages of 
the Memoir I cherish an hope of having spoken w^ords 
of cheer to young men now battling with Bruce's diffi- 
culties, or sorer. 



PREFACE. 



XI 



In Part I. I bring together the facts of the ' Life ' of 
Bruce ; and in Part IL, in an Introduction to the 
' Poems,' I establish his claims to the ' Ode to the 
Cuckoo ' and the Hymns and Paraphrases. ' Time 
brings the truth to light.' 

' Interdum vitia prosunt hominibus 
Sed tempore ipso tamen apparet Veritas.' — [PiIjEDRUS.] 

The Notes explain local allusions and other points. 

I have to acknowledge the kind interest shown in 
our undertaking by many correspondents, who will find 
some of their information and suggestions used. To 
David Laing, Esq., LL.D., of the Signet Library, Edin- 
burgh ; Henry Flockhart, Esq. of Annafrech ; and 
Robert Arnot, Esq. of Portmoak, I return special 
thanks. 

ALEXANDER B. GROSART. 
First Manse, Kinross, 

December ■2.(>th, 1864. 

%* 250 copies on large paper, toned (crown 4to, cloth 
antique), with original photographs of the scenes of the Memoir 
and Poems ^ are being prepared. The price ids. 6d. 



' I owe thee the far-beac ning memories 
Of the young dead, who, having crossed the tide 
Of Life where it was narrow, deep, and clear, 
Now cast their brightness from the further side, 
On the dark-flowing hours I breast in fear.' 

Lord Houghton. 



^art ffix^U 



MEMOIR. 



' He shall be strong to sanctify the poet's high vocation. 
And bow the meekest Christian down in meeker adoration ; 
Nor ever shall he be, in praise, by wise or good forsaken, ' 
Named softly as the household name of one whom God hath taken.' 

Mrs E. B. Browning. 



MEMOIR. 




2^5^ CCB is a name of renown in Scotland ; 
and just as, over the Atlantic, all the Rogerses 
are ingenious in tracing their lineage to John 
Rogers, the proto-martyr of The Refor- 
mation, so every one who bears it, ' gentle and simple,' 
is eager to claim descent from the victor of Bannockburn. 
There appear to have been many branches — full of seed 
— from an ancient parent-trunk of Bruces. The name 
is met with to this day in well-nigh every county of ' the 
land of the mountain and the flood.' In the native shire 
of Michael Bruce, and its borders, from Leslie to Stir- 
ling, and from Perth to ' fair Edina,' it is to be found, 
as well in the charter-chest of the towered and moated 
Manor, as in ' the huts where poor men lie.' ' The Bruce ' 
of whom John Barbour sang in no unworthy Iliad, 
sleeps in the cathedral church of Dunfermline ; while 
down toward the Forth, among ' immemorial trees,' is the 
family seat of the Earls of Elgin, whose proudest memory 
is, that they are of ' the blue blood ' of the regal Bruges. 
Farther West, the Bruces of Kennet, in their contendings 

A 



a THE WORKS OF 

for baronage, show many a dim old roll. Within Kin- 
ross-shire itself, the Bruces of Arnot — on whose property 
stands the shattered ' Peel ' referred to by our Poet — 
have lately asserted their claim to represent, through Sir 
John Bruce Hope, Bart., a long line of the name, by 
disinterring from the mossed vaults in the ' Juld Kirk- 
yard' of the Parish, ranges of coffins in musty velvet and 
faded gold, and rearing over them, in the very bathos of 
ostentation, a ' Tomb,' that in its hideous largeness and 
newness — not a sprig of ivy even on its nakedness — 
spoils the sequestered beauty of this fairest and most 
tranquil of ' God's Acres.' I do not know that it were 
possible to connect the name of the 'sweet singer,' 
whose short Life-Story it is our purpose to tell in this 
Memoir, with any of these inheritors of royal and lordly 
descent. Sooth to say, I can't greatly lament this ' Miss- 
ing Link ; ' for Michael Bruce wears his unfading 
' crown' of violets — their bits of blue, intense as heaven's 
own azure, and their fragrance never to be exhaled — 
from what he was and has left behind him, not from 
what his 'forbears ' gave him. Yet it is not unmeet to 
enroll his lowly name among The Bruges : 

^ Of him I think this buk to ma. 
Now God gif gras that I may sa 
Tret it and bring it till ending 
That I say nocht bot suthfast thing.' ' 

Ennesswood, or as Sir Robert Sibbald spells it, ' IGnask- 
wood,'^ or as * the common people ' pronounce it now, 

' John Barbour: The Brus, as on title-page, p. 4. 

- The History, Ancient and Modern, of the Sheriffdoms of Fife and Kinross, 
with a description of both, and of the Firths of Forth and Tay, etc. etc. By 
Sir Robert Sibbald, M.D. A new edition. Cupar-Fife, 1803. 8vo, p. 284. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 3 

' Kanaskit,' is a fair-placed village in the Parish of Port- 
moak, a parish locally known — and therein is gathered 
up probably old ecclesiastical tradition — as ' The Bishop- 
shire.' Couched at the feet of ' The Lomonds ' — hills 
green to the top — it overlooks pleasantly ' Lochleven,' 
and shares a Landscape that is touched with a quiet 
beauty, in its well-cultured fields, brightened with the 
flash of streams ; its shy, bosky nooks, vocal with the 
' singing of birds ;' its ' Walks ' in hill and dale, abiding 
in undesecrated primitiveness ; and its bits of antique 
ruralness that Gainsborough had worshipped : shares also 
memories of The Picts and The Culdees and St Moak, 
of Mary Stuart and Sir Walter Scott's ' Abbot,' of 
The Covenanters and of good Ebenezer Erskine/ It 
neighbours Scotland-well, another village, which still 
possesses its full-flowing ' Spring,' with its floor of 
silver-white sand, the ' Fans Scotia ' of ancient Charters, 
if not of Tacitus himself ; noticeable likewise as having 
been among the last places in Scotland that had the 
peculiar form of street with a raised footpath in the 
centre, which illustrates the proverb of ' keeping the 
croon (" crown ") o' the causey.' - 

Kinnesswood is lovingly sketched in ' Lochleven : ' 

' Behold the village rise 
In rural pride, 'mong intermingled trees ! 
Above whose aged tops the joyful swains, 
At eventide descending from the hill, 

' Cf. for 'Culdees' and 'St Moak,' Sibbald, as above sub noininibus, and Dr 
Jamieson: for Mary Stuart, any of the innumerable 'Lives:' for the 'Cove- 
nanters,' any of the early Histories and Biographies : and for Ebenezer Erskine, 
his 'Life,' by Eraser. The finest scenes of Scott's 'Abbot' are laid in and around 
' Lochleven.' 

* On Scotland-well, cf Sibbald, as before, pp. 282 seq. Dr Mickelvie told me 
of the 'causey,' as above. 



4 THE WORKS OF 

With eye enamour 'd, mark the many wreaths 
Of pillar 'd smoke, high curling to the clouds." 

Within this village, in a house that survives grey and 
ruinous, in one of the lanes that strike ofFfrom the main 
street and ascend the hill, Michael Bruce was born on 
March 27th, 1746,^ within less than a couple of weeks 
of the Battle of CuUoden, The frontage of the house 
presents two storeys, or, Scotice, ' flats :' the upper was 
tenanted by the Bruces, and, entered from behind 
through a small garden, it shows as only one 'storey' 
there, owing to the declivity of the site. It is a weather- 
worn, * eerie ' looking place enough at this day -, but 
from the accounts of the older inhabitants of the village, 
which again corroborate those of Lord Craig and of Dr 
Huie on their visits in 1779^ and 1831,'^ it must have 
looked sunnier and 'bonnier' even comparatively recently. 
The roof was thatched, and the vernal days found the 
' fow ' or ' fowat ' spreading out its tropical-like leaves 
along the ' rigging ' and patches of moss, showing now 
the sheen of emerald and now in their dewiness the 
richer glow of the mottling on a bee's wing ; while the 
* window' — seen in our photograph ^ — had a honeysuckle 
twined around it, that no doubt gladdened the * sick heart' 
of the dying lad in after years with the rich odour of 
its pensile blossoms and hum of invited bees. The swal- 

' In the 'Life' of Bruce in Chambers' 'Eminent Scotsmen,' this description 
is quoted with enthusiastic praise. 

^ Bruce's own letters inform us of his birth-date. See onward: also 'Life,' 
by Dr Anderson, in his 'Works of the British Poets.' Vol. xi. p. 273. 

3 Lord Craig in 'Mirror,' No. 36. 1779. 

'' Dr Huie in 'The Olive Branch,' a golden little book published in 1831. 

5 The photographs will be given in the large paper copies of our book, being 
prepared. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 5 

lows kneaded their nests in the latticed window-corner, 
and the sill was visited o' winter mornings by the robin 
with his ruff of red. 

His father was Alexander Bruce ; his mother 
Anne Bruce, which was her maiden name as well, 
though not previously related, ' I would I were a 
weaver,' says Falstaff: *I could sing psalms."^ The 
mighty Knight's wish was doubly gained by Master 
Michael. His father was a * weaver ; ' his cradle was 
rocked beside the clicking loom ; and, though in far 
other sense than Sir John intended, ' psalms ' were sung 
in devout praise in his house. For over and above his 
possession of his full share of shrewd, •' common sense ' — 
most un~common of all sense — Alexander Bruce was 
a man of much individuality and sterling worth and 
weight of Christian character — of the old Scottish type : 
less loquacious than its modern counterfeit, but all the 
truer from its silent ' witnessing ' rather than fussy con- 
sciousness. He was a * Seceder ' and ' elder ' in his 
Congregation ; and as an evidence of the breadth of his 
opinions at a narrow period, nor less of his independence 
of judgment, he adhered to Thomas Mair of Orwell, 
when that misunderstood and holy man was ejected 
from the Anti-Burgher Synod for holding that ' there is 
a sense in which Christ died for all men.' ^ Both Mr 
and Mrs Bruce were connected with his Congregation, 
and reckoned it no burden to go Sabbath after Sabbath 
to Milnathort,^ — a daily journey to and fro of fully ten 

' I. Henry IV. ii. 4. ^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 5. 

3 David Pearson {of whom more in the sequel) drew up a memoir of Alexander 
Bruce, which appeared in the Edinburgh ' Missionary Chronicle ' for 1797. It is 
well worthy perusal ^ 



6 THE IfVRKS OF 

miles. AxNE Bruce, again, was a genuine ' mother in 
Israel,' vigilant, loving, fmgal, *^ent;* and having been 
spared long after her husband, and nearly all her chil- 
dren, she mellowed beautifully as she wore her crown 
of silver hairs, and exemplified the * hoary head found 
in the way of righteousness' (Prov. xvi. 31). Thus 
the lines of Cowper, that can no more grow trite from 
often quotation than can a Rose or \Tolet, express his 
lineage : 

* My boast is not that I deduce my both 
From loins aithroo'd, and rulers of the earth ; 
But higher fer my proud pretens-ions rise. 
The son of parents pass'd into the skies.' ' 

The Poet of * The Cuckoo ' was thus bom into just 
such a ' fireside ' as a few years later his brother-bards 
Robert Tannahill and Robert Nicoll, not to name 
others. Of course your ' gentleman ' and * fine lady,' 
who have nothing but compasaon for the ' poor If'eavfr,* 
and to whom the very thought of a * Loom ' calls up 
visions of wretchedness and M-ant, deem it a sad start 
in life. But I don't at all agree with them : I very 
thoroughly disagree. A ' godly' parentage weighs down 
mere outward splendour-, and ^ dailj bread' sweetened 
by honest earning is not to be scorned because of the 
absence of dainties and luxuries to gratify every whim 
of appetite. The men of Scotland who have made thdr 
deepest mark on their generation, have worked their way 
upward from just such levels ; and in my own personal 
knowledge of how much of love and comfort, of plea- 
sant laughter, of kindly helping one another, of real 

' •Passing' whDe he lived: 'passed' after be bad 'gooebeftHt' 



MIC H.I EL BRUCE. 7 

happiness, all transfigured with ' that liq;ht th.it never 
was on sea or land,' but comes from Above, are to 
be found under lowly roofs, — and how far a small sum, 
well-guided, and unbroken by 'strong drink' or other 
(k'shly indulgences, goes, — and how the 'bit' always 
' comes' for each new ' mouth,' with the great Father's 
blessing over all, that seems still miraculously to ' in- 
crease ' the ' loaves and few small fishes ' and to leave 
' baskets over,' — and what stores of knowledge are con- 
trived to be laid up, and how the fiimily ' pew ' is un- 
failingly paid for, and never the * penny ' wanting for 
the ' plate' o' Sundays, or white money for any special 
appeal, — I must regard the pity as misdirected, and the 
sentimcntalism as unmanly whimpering. The old Cove- 
nant-promise is, ' His bread shall be given him : his 
water shall be sure,' a-i our daily petition left us by The 
Master runs, * Give us this day our d/ii/y bread.' Let a 
man have these — ' Bread and Water,' — necessaries, not 
dainties ; and if he have a man's brain and a man's 
heart, and the Christian's faith and hope, he will prove 
stronger than his circumstances, and will conquer, un- 
less perchance there be taint i' the blood, as in early- 
ailing Mich AMI. Bruce. I make these remarks because 
too much has been made of the 'indigence,' etc. etc., 
of Bruce. Thousands are born into, and are bravely 
and truthfully and purely living through, the same pres- 
sure and ' fight •,' and they are the bone and muscle of 
the body politic, ay, and are ever and anon showing 
that God gives intellect and genius impartially. Me- 
thinks, instead of patronizing pity, the best tiling possible 
tor not a few of your gloved and jewelled ' Upper 



8 THE WORKS OF 

Classes' (so-called), were enforced winning of ' bread,' 
even to the tanning of their brow by sweat, and rough- 
ening and enlarging of their hands by labour. 

We have no pedigree of the ' ICinnesswood ' Bruces, 
whence to trace the Christian name of ' Michael.' I have 
con-suited old records, and registers not a few, including 
the Baprism-Book of my own congregation, which goes 
back to the very commencement of ' The Secession,' 
and embraces the entire county, and far beyond -, but 
while there are many Bruces, there is no ' Michael ' in 
one of them. Neither do the present representatives of 
the Poet (descendants of a sister) know of any one 
from whom the name might be selected. It has struck 
me, that in all likelihood good Alexander Bruce chose 
the Christian name of the child from ' Michael Bruce,' the 
famous Covenanter-preacher, whose burning ' Sermons,' 
once scattered in quaint chap-books, were much read 
by the godly peasantry of Scotland and of the North 
of Ireland.^ 

* Michael ' was a delicate infant. He was the ' fifth ' 

^ The following are the titles of a few of these : — 

1. The Rattling of the Dry Bones ; or, a Sermon preached in the night-time at 
Chapel-yard, in the parish of Carluke, Clydsdale, May 1672. Ezek. xxxviii. 7, 8. 
4to. 

2. Soul-Confirmation : a Sermon preached in the parish of Cambusnethan, in 
Clyds-dai). [Acts xiv. 22.] 410, 1709. 

3. Six dreadful alarms in order to the right improving of the Gospel ; so [mis- 
print for 'or'] the substance of a sermon. Matt. vii. 24. 4to. 

4. The duty of Christians to live together in religious communion, recommended 
in a sermon preached at Belfast, January 5, 1724-5, before the sub-Synod, on 
Rom. XV. 7. 8vo. Belfast, 1725. 

5. A sermon preached by Master Michael Bruce, in the Tolbooth of Edin- 
burgh, the immediate Sabbath after he received the sentence of exile for Virginia. 
Ps. c.xl. 12, 13. 4to. I have over and over come upon the 'Sermons' of this 
' Michael Bruce ' in our County, — a circumstance that speaks of their circulation 
in the district, and so is confirmatory of our supposition concerning the Poet's 
Christian name. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 9 

of a family of eight. While ' Saunders ' — that is, his 
* father ' — plied his shuttle, and ' Annie,' his ' mother,' 
or as Doric lips call her, ' mither,' having put all to 
rights exactly as inimitably photographed by Robert 
Burns in ' The Cottar's Saturday Night,' sat down at 
the • Spinning-Wheel,' and worked away at materials for 
winter underclothing 'Jor a' the bairns,' ever and anon 
lilting some old snatch of song, or perchance a ' Psalm ' 
of David, — Mary Miller, an adopted orphan, took charge 
of the sickly little thing. All as still to be seen repeated 
in an hundred lowly but happy Scottish ' hames' 

Children were earlier sent to school long ago than 
now : partly because of their pair of hands being all too 
soon needed to add to the family purse as ' herds,' if 
boys ; as ' servant-maids,' if girls. ^ Alexander Bruce 
had taken special pains with * Michael ' himself : so 
much so, that when he ' toddled,' before he had reached 
his fourth year, to the village school, which was then 
taught by a Mr Dun, of whom there are still faint 
memories in the ' Bishopshire,' he could take with him 
the Bible as his first lesson-book. ' The Master,' says 
Dr Mackelvie, reporting the account of those who had 
been his playmates, ' was surprised at what he con- 
sidered the stupidity of his parents, in furnishing their 
child with the sacred volume instead of the Shorter 
Catechism.' ' His surprise, however, was transferred 
from the parents to the child, when, upon asking him to 

' My worthy friend, Mr David Marshall, of the Lochlcven Fishings, Kinross, 
has put into my hands an old receipt, in the handwriting of Dr James Stedraan 
of Whinfield to his grandfather, also Mr David Marshall, by which it appears 
that down to 1807 even 'girls' acted as 'herds:' said receipt including I2S. 'to 
his daughter Mary' as ' her fee as Herd.' 



lo THE WORKS OF 

show what he could do, he commenced reading with 
fluency at the place pointed out to him.'^ Poor, dear 
little fellow, better far had he run about the hills awhile, 
ruddying his small cheeks on their breezy slopes ! 

* At the end of the first week,' the same Biographer 
continues, * he was considered by his instructor to have 
been long enough among the easy lessons of The Gos- 
pels ; and was therefore enjoined to bring with him, upon 
his return, the book read by the more advanced class.' ^ 
Another anecdote has been preserved, witnessing to his 
precocious attainments. The father and Michael, then a 
mere child, having visited a book-stall at one of the 
Market-Fairs in the village, the poems of Sir David 
^..Lindsay of the Mount were inquired for. The vendor 
of books did not chance to have the volume ; but learn- 
ing that it was asked for the child before him, he was 
so surprised that he should wish it, that he turned up a 
little volume, entitled * A Key to the Gates of Heaven ' 
(so tradition tells, but probably it was good old Thomas 
Brooks' * Privy Key of Heaven •,' or perchance Scudder's 
'Key of Heaven, or the Lord's Prayer Opened'), and 
promised to let him have it on condition that he would 
read a portion of it upon the spot ; which being done to 
his satisfaction immediately, he awarded him the prize.^ 

His progress through the other branches of school- 
learning was equally rapid. A scrap of one of his few 
letters that have survived the spoliation of Logan — of 
which in the sequel — informs us that he could ' write ' 
when in his sixth year. ' I could write,' he says, ' or at 
least scratch, my name, with the year 1 75 2 below it. In 

' As before, p. 12. * /Mil. "^ Ibid. pp. 6, 7. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. ii 

that year I learnt the elements of pencraft -, and now, 
let me see, 1752 from 1766 leaves fourteen, — a goodly 
term for one to be a scholar.'^ Nay, gentle Michael, 
not * fourteen years ' a scholar, at least not ' fourteen 
years ' at School : for thy ' often infirmities ' compelled 
frequent absences. Very touching are the reminiscences 
of the apt boy. He was slender ; breast narrow, high- 
shouldered, neck long ; his skin v/hite, even pallid and 
' glistering ; ' his cheeks flushing into red rather than 
ruddy ; his hair golden, and inclined to curl. These 
traits are gathered from various agreeing sources.^ 

Besides his detention by illness, there was the further 
abstraction of the summer months of six years, during 
which, according to the * use and wont ' of persons in 
his circumstances, he acted as a 'Herd' among the 
' Lomond ' hills, that rise behind his native village. 
Perhaps these summers in the open air, following ' the 
sheep ' through strath and across ' brae,' in devious 
wanderings, gave him what of the brief lease of years he 
got. I meet with no lads so brawnily healthy, so full 
of gleesomeness, so ready for sport or ' trick,' as ' Herds.' 
I have met with some, too, who revealed, through their 
stammering, bashful speech, a brain at work under 
the shock of sunburnt hair ; eyes out of which a soul 
looked not altogether unvisited of speculation. If one 
might recall delicate * Michael,' as he went about his 
daily task, there should doubtless be many a ' daunder ' 
along the ' Glen Vale ' to be followed ; many a musing 

' Letter to Mr David Pearson ; Mackelvie, as before, pp. 12, 13. 

^ Mackelvie, as before, p. 13 : confirmed to myself by a grandniece from her 
mother. No portrait has been preserved. Pity that it should be so, while we 
have the wrenched and bloated face of Logan, that none cares for. 



la THE WORKS OF ^ . • . 

pause among the huge stones of ' Richard Cameron's 
pulpit;' interrogations of sky, and earth, and his own 
deepening nature, and of ' The Book.' These are not 
surmises merely. The Proprietor of Upper ICinneston, 
a small estate upon the south-west declivity of the 
' Lomond Hills,' used to tell in his old age how 
' Michael ' was wont to recount many a wondrous story, 
and put many a strange question, when he carried his 
little ' meal ' to him, — a service he was always forward 
to undertake for the sake of having a * crack ' with the 
' auld-farrant ' Herd -, ^ while his ' Lochleven ' is evi- 
dently a reproduction of his youthful wanderings and 
' visions ' transfigured with the hues of poetry — the in- 
effable light that streams out upon everything which 
genius looks on. Like the shepherd-boy David ' of old,' 
even thus early there was a shadow of awe upon his 
young spirit ; and he delighted to turn the conversation 
to sacred things.^ If at any time it happened that his 
father was absent at the usual hour for ' family worship,' 
— and in the godly weaver's home ' prayer was the 
key o' the morning and the lock o' the nicht,' as the 
old Scottish proverb runs, — Michael, by the common 
consent of the household, took his place. ' It has 
been stated to the present writer,' Dr Mackelvie ob- 
serves, ' by a person who was once present upon an 
occasion of this kind, and who was well qualified to 
judge of what was becoming in such circumstances, 
that he was impressed for the moment with a sense 
of incongruity in a child acting as the domestic " mini- 
ster " in a family in which there were, at the time, 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 15. ^ Ibid. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 13 

both an adult man and a matron ; but that, before the 
boy had concluded the service, he was so struck with 
the propriety of his language, the variety of scriptural 
allusions, the suitableness of the petitions, and the so- 
lemnity of the manner, that he could hardly permit him- 
self to believe that the boy whom he saw before him 
really uttered the prayer which he heard.' ^ 

Spite of the hindrances from sickness and ' herding,' 
Michael had no difficulty in making up lost ground at 
school ; and indeed it was commonly seen that his class- 
fellows soon lagged behind him. All who were his 
associates at school agreed in ascribing an unaccountable 
* weight ' and influence to all he said and did. It was a 
common saying, that Michael's word was of as great 
authority as the Master's. The quarrelsome were 
alDashed by his look ; the injured fled to him for 
help ; he was the decider of all disputes. It is un- 
speakably touching to find the loving way in which 
Arnot, and Pearson, and Birrel, and others of his 
school-mates, in long after years, spoke of him. At 
home the same indefinable deference was paid to him. 
He was a pet, but not spoiled. ' He was,' finely re- 
marks his Biographer, already quoted, ' the Joseph of the 
family, without provoking the envy of his brethren.'^ 

Altogether, not without reason has he been regarded 
as one who might have sat for Beattie's * Minstrel : ' 

. . . ' Poor Edwin was no vulgar boy, 
Deep thought oft seemed to fix his infant eye ; 
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaud, nor toy, 
Save one short pipe of rudest minstrelsy. 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 16. " Ilu'd. 



14 THE WORKS OF 

Silent when glad, affectionate though shy, 

And now his look was most demurely sad, 

And now he laughed aloud, yet none knew why ; 

And neighbours stared, and sighed, and blessed the lad ; 

Some deemed him wondrous wise, and some believed him mad.' ' 

All this will have prepared the reader for a decision 
which was arrived at, not without prayer, when Michael 
was in his eleventh year, viz., that he should be edu- 
cated for the OjfHce of the holy ' ministry,' — a worthy 
ambition of many of the very humblest ranks in Scot- 
land, and which has furnished some of the sturdiest 
heads and most devout hearts, as well as the most 
efficient ' workers,' in all the Churches. Let those who 
wish to see how, when there is a ' will,' there opens 
up a ' way,' read the ' Life ' of Dr Robertson, the late 
inestimable Leader of the recent ' Endowment Scheme ' 
of the ' Kirk of Scotland,' as admirably and faith- 
fully written by the Rev. A. H. Charteris, now of 
Glasgow;^ and in reading it, they will read of just 
such an upward struggle as Michael Bruce had to 
maintain, though without the thews and vis of the 
peasant-son of Aberdeenshire. Again, I must protest 
against misdirected sentiment and pity in this matter. A 
lad who has manhood and Chrisdanhood is all the better 
of such ' hardness ' and contending. It is mere puling 
and unmanly weakness, to make a to-do about the self- 
denial, the vexations, the ' worry,' the inequalides, that 
have to be endured by those who go out into the 
world's arena from the humble hut, and wholly thrown 
upon their own resources. The discipline welds the 

' Book I. Stanza xvi. - One vol. Svo. Blackwood. 



MICHJEL BRUCE. 15 

character, if there be substance in it — strengthens, not 
weakens ; and the issue, under the divine blessing, 
makes success all the finer and nobler. As a rule, your 
' young men ' who have had parents to do all for them, 
turn out inferior stuff, and in the work-a-day world go 
down where the poverty -inured advances buoyant to 
the conflict. Michael Bruce had neither less nor more 
to contend with than hundreds of others at the present 
day. Not his ' indigence,' not his ' hardships,' barbed 
the arrow that laid him low ; but his infirm, ' con- 
sumptive' constitution — a heritage that had worked to 
the same mournful end had he been dandled on the 
knee of fortune. To hear some men speak, one would 
suppose that there are no away-goings on ' the far 
journey' by Michael Bruces, whose cradles were 
rocked in palaces, and who through their whole days 
were fenced and guarded, that ' the winds of heaven 
might not visit their cheeks too roughly.' As with his 
life-start from a ' weaver's ' house, — not lowlier than 
that in Henley Street, Stratford-on-Avon, — so with his 
life-progress, by far too much has been made of Bruce's 
difficulties. 

Having decided to ' prepare ' for college, Michael, in 
association with the children of ' portioners ' in the 
parish, and a son of the village teacher, Mr Dun, who 
was an excellent classic, 'gave himself' to the acquisi- 
tion of Latin. The tradition is, that he was always 
' dux ' in the class, and that Latin came to him as had 
his mother-tongue. One of his * fellows ' was a son of 
Mr David Arnot, proprietor of Portmoak. They were 
as twin-brothers ; but their friendship was prematurely 



1 6 THE WORKS OF 

broken up by the death of William while at school. 
He is the ' Daphnis ' of an elegy written four years sub- 
sequently. Our photograph shows his ' grave ' in the 
lonely churchyard, on the margin of * Lochleven.' The 
removal of this youth, who seems to have been a sin- 
gularly interesting ' boy,' moved Bruce deeply. The 
father was a man of fine character, of rare sagacity, 
and, in Ijis circumstances, of rarer culture. To him it 
was Michael Bruce was indebted for his first introduc- 
tion to Shakespeare, Pope, Young, and other of the 
great names of our country. The death of William, so 
far from sundering Mr Arnot and the now ' student,' 
appears to have drawn them-closer and kindlier together. 
To the end they corresponded ; and many an unosten- 
tatious ' present ' witnessed to the thoughtfulness and 
tenderness of ' the laird's ' regard. All honour to the 
memory of the Arnots of Portmoak ! 

When Michael had reached his fifteenth year, the 
' village class ' was broken up ; one of its members, as 
we have seen, being dead ; one, young Dun, had left for 
College ; and others were variously entered on their 
various avocations. The question was, to which Uni- 
versity he should go. It is said that his first intention 
was to offer himself as a candidate for a ' bursary ' or 
scholarship in St Andrews ; but a companion of his 
own having been excluded from the competition, Bruce, 
suspecting that his connection with ' The Secession ' 
Church had operated against him, resolved, rather than 
hazard rejection, not to apply. His thoughts were next 
directed to Edinburgh. In the interval he employed 
himself at leisure hours in transcribing large portions 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 17 

of Mlton and of Thomson -, and he was * imping 
his wing for larger flight' than he had yet indulged. 
While he was still somewhat uncertain as to the future 
after leaving the village school, a letter came to his 
father, informing him that a relative had died, and be- 
queathed him 200 merks Scots (;^li, 2s. 2d.).^ It was 
received as a direct ' gift ' from God. It was at once 
' separated ' to Michael's use ; and he proceeded to 
enrol himself as a student in the University of Edin- 
burgh. His unfailing friend, Mr Arnot of Portmoak, 
declared his readiness to render what assistance lay in 
his power ; and the monthly ' chest,' as it passed from 
Kinnesswood to Edinburgh, showed that he did not 
fail of his promise ; for there went in it now a little 
* kit ' of sweet butter, and now a dozen new-laid eggs, 
even well-nigh all the presents to David at Mahanalm — 
' honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine' 
(2 Sam. xvii. 29). 

Dr Mackelvie states his inability, from the loss of his 
college tickets, to give the classes attended by Bruce ; 
but an examination of the Matriculation Album of the 
University has furnished us with his first entry, viz., 
under date 17th December 1762, in the ' Greek' class, 
under Professor Robert Hunter. His signature is ex- 
ceedingly neat and careful, and contrasts with others 
on the same page. Along with him there appear the 
names of ' John Logan ' and ' William Dryburgh.' 
Under date 1 763 his signature again appears, — John 
Stevenson, Professor 'Rationalis Philosophic,' i.e. of Logic, 
— and once more Logan and Dryburgh are found on 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 29. 
B 



1 8 THE WORKS OF 

the same page. His signature this time is larger than in 
1762, but is equally neat, as our frontispiece fac-similes 
beneath the Letter show. 

The enrolment in what is now called the ' Matricula- 
tion Album' of the University must then have been 
voluntary, not, as now, compulsory ; as, while it is 
known that Bruce attended four years or sessions, the 
above two are the only occurrences of his signature. 
Moreover, a final search and scrutiny revealed that neither 
Mr George Henderson of Turf hills, afterwards the Rev. 
George Henderson, of what is now the United Pres- 
byterian congregation ' Greyfriars,' Glasgow,^ nor Mr 
George Lawson, afterwards Professor Lawson, of Sel- 
kirk, — a prodigy of learning, and a venerable man,^ — 
enrolled themselves. The name of Mr David Greig, 
afterwards the Rev. David Greig of Lochgelly, appears 
in 1764 in the ' Greek' class. The only other notice- 
able ' students ' of the period that I have come upon 
are 'Dugald Stewart' (1765 and 1767), afterwards the 
eminent Professor of ' Moral Philosophy ' in the Uni- 
versity ; and 'William Smellie' (1762), one of the stur- 
diest of Scotdsh thinkers.3 

There are very few memorials of Bruce's progress 
and position in the University ; but the above fellow- 

^ We have been favoured vv'ith the use of a copy of a privately printed vohime 
in memoriani of this good man. It is called, ' Discourses of the Rev. George 
Henderson, Minister of the Associate Congregation, Shuttle Street, Glasgow ; 
with a Prefatory Notice by his son, George Henderson. For private distribu- 
tion. Glasgow, 1859.' He died on 5th December 1784. 

^ The ' Life ' of Lawson has been at last written by Dr John Macfarlane of 
London, i vol. crown 8vo. 1862. 

3 I have to acknowledge the kindness of Mr Smith, Secretary of the University, 
in allowing me to go through the ' Registers' of the period, and for the permission 
to take our fac-similes. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 19 

Students, Henderson and Greig and Lawson, were wont 
in after years to speak of him with enthusiasm. 

Dr Anderson thus summarizes his course from 
contemporaries : — ' He applied himself to the several 
branches of literature and philosophy with remarkable 
assiduity and success. Of the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages he acquired a masterly knowledge ; and he 
made eminent progress in Metaphysics, Mathemarics, and 
Moral and Natural Philosophy. But the Belles Lettres 
was his favourite pursuit, and poetry his darling study.' "^ 

It is remembered that Bruce became a member of a 
literary society that met once a-week during the sitdng 
of the College. The laws of the association required 
each member to read an essay in turn to the meedng. 
But IV'Iichael preferred verse to prose ; and his poem of 
' The Last Day,' — only in occasional lines successful, — 
is understood to have been one of his exercises. His 
Fable of * The Eagle, Crow, and Shepherd,' as ex- 
plained in the place, was another. 

"We catch a vanishing glimpse of his bookish tastes 

in another fragment of a letter to his friend Mr Arnot : 

— [Edinburgh, November 27, 1764.] 'I daily meet 

with proofs that money is a necessary evil. When in 

an auction, I often say to myself. How happy should 

I be if I had money to purchase such a book ! How 

well should my library be furnished ! " Nisi obstat res 

angusta domi." 

' *' My lot forbids, nor circumscribes alone 

My growing virtues, but my crimes confines.'" 

He proceeds : ' Whether any virtues would have ac- 

' As before, p. 274. 



ao THE WORKS OF 



companled me in a more elevated station, is uncertain ; 
but that a number of vices, of which my sphere is 
incapable, would have been its attendants, is unquestion- 
able. The Supreme Wisdom has seen this meet, and 

I the Supreme Wisdom cannot err." 

Let there be no ' whimpering ' over ' indigence,' etc. 
etc. etc., again, from this text. All who have them- 
selves been students know how ' tempting ' a book auc- 
tion is ; and how spendthriftly often one is led to buy 
and buy that which a little self-denial had enabled us to 

V resist with gain, not loss. 

That Michael Bruce had this ' weakness,' is evidenced 
by the singularly beautiful copies of the classics — nearly 
all Elzevirs — and other books which he secured ; and 
specially from his committing to the furtive care of Mr 
Arnot of Portmoak his copies of Shakespeare and of 
Pope, which he wished hidden from his worthy father, 
not because they were Shakespeare and Pope, but 
because he had indulged his Bibliomania in purchasing 
' splendid copies ' of what were already available to him, 
either in his own home-shelves or at his friend's of 
Portmoak.^ All his books that remain are beautiful 
copies, of the finest editions. I have his fair vellum- 
bound ' Greek Testament,' in selected sections ; and the 
Rev. Thomas Swan of Muirton has his Lactantlus, 
with this inscription on the title-page : ' Michael Brusius 



' As before, pp. 274, 275. 

^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 5, 6, has conclusively removed the charge of 
' illiberality' from Alexander Bruce, as made in the 'Penny Cyclopaedia,' in the 
Memoir of Bruce. ' The fear of a discover)' ' intimated, is explained above ; and 
the young 'Poet'sJ>enckani will not be hardly regarded by those who know the 
luxury of the indulgence. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. ai 

jure emptionis tenet hunc librum. Edin'' Martli lo"l° 
17*^3"°' ;' ^Iso ^is Josephus, by Stoer. 

Like many other students in his circumstances, then, 
as now, at the close of each Session of College, he had 
to look out for employment, toward replenishing his 
purse, and preparing for the demands of another Winter. 
In the earlier Summers he resided chiefly with Mr 
Arnot, and Mr White of Pittendreich ; and was con- 
stantly engaged, spite of depression of spirits and head- 
ache, in wooing the Muses. 

Later, under date 'March 27,' dies ?mtalis I765, we 
find him on the outlook for a School. Writing from 
Edinburgh to Mr Arnot, he says : ' I am in great con- 
cern just now for a school. When I was over last, 
there was a proposal made by some people of these 
parts to keep one at Gairney Bridge. How it may 
turn out I cannot tell.'^ 

The ' School ' herein referred to had been commenced 
by Mr John Brown, afterwards Professor John Brown, 
of Haddington — clarum et venerabile nomen. It had gone 
down after his departure, on entering upon his ministry.^ 
But it was re-established, and Bruce entered upon its 
duties. Our photograph shows it as it now appears, in 
all probability little changed ; just such a rustic nest 
as William Shenstone saw at Hales Owen, and made 
immortal in his ' Schoolmistress.' The present Writer 
has the pleasure of conducting public worship once a 
month within it, besides a Sunday School established ; 
and long may the spot so hallowed by memories of the 

' See Appendix A to our Memoir for another and hitherto unpublished letter of 
Bnice's. 
^ See Life of Dr Brown ; and Dr Mackclvie, as before, p. 47. 



2% THE WORKS 0^ 

' Founders ' of ' The Secession,' — who held their first 
Presbytery in a little ' Hostelry ' here, now removed, — 
of John Brown of Haddington, of Michael Bruce, 
and of John Burt, — the last a ' man of God,' who kept 
a Sunday School here for many years, and the savour 
of whose name is as ' ointment poured ^orth ' to this 
day, — abide as it at present is.^ 

We have various interesdng glimpses of Bruce while 
engaged at ' Gairney Bridge ' School. First of all, there 
is still in the possession of the Laird of Anacroich, or 
Annafrech (Henry Flockhart, Esq.), a versified petition 
from the Poet to his ancestor. Here it is, with Dr Mac- 
kelvie's remarks : — 

* The school was kept in an old cottage which hap- 
pened to be previously untenanted. A few deals laid 
on blocks of wood sufficed for forms, and an old table 
served as writing-desk. This latter article of furniture 
Was so frail, that before the first month transpired, in 
which it had been so used, it was damaged beyond repair. 
Upon this disaster the poet addressed the following letter 
to Mr Flockhart, proprietor of the lands of Annafrech, 
who took the active management of the school : — 

'"Sir, — The following will inform you that we are 
in a tahleless condition (if you will excuse the novelty of 
the word), which I desire you to take into consideration. 
I was about to say a great many fine things on the sub- 
ject, but I find they are all slipt out of my head. To 
your wife and brother make the compliments of, — 
yours sincerely, Michael Bruce.'" 

^ John Burt was an elder of what is now known as the First United Presby- 
terian congregation, Kinross. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 23 



THE FALL OF THE TABLE. 

' Within this school a table once there stood — 
It was not iron — No ! 'twas rotten wood. 
Four generations it on earth had seen — 
A ship's old planks composed the huge machine. 
Perhaps that ship in which Columbus hurl'd 
Saw other stars rise on another world, — 
Or that which bore, along the dark profound. 
From pole to pole, the valiant Drake around. — 
Tho' miracles long since were said to cease. 
Three weeks — thrice seven long days — it stood in peace ; 
Upon the fourth, a warm debate arose. 
Managed by words and more emphatic blows ; 
The routed party to the table fled. 
Which seemed to offer a defensive shade. 
Thus, in the town, I've seen, when rains descend, 
Where arched porticoes their shades extend. 
Papists and gifted Quakers, Tories, Whigs, 
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs — 
Men born in India, men in Europe bred. 
Commence acquaintance in a mason's shed. 
Thus they ensconc'd beneath the table lay, — 
With shouts the victors rush upon the prey, — 
Attack'd the rampart where they shelter took. 
With firing battered, and with engines shook. 
It fell. The mighty ruins strew the ground. 
It fell ! The mountains tremble at the sound. 
But to what end (say you) this trifling tale ? 
Perhaps, sir, man as well as wood is frail. — 
Perhaps his life can little more supply, 
" Than just to look about us and to die." ' 

'Gairnie Bridge, 
yune 17, 1765.' 

' I have had Dr Mackelvie's version compared with the original MS. through 
the kindness of Mr Flockhart. A number of mistakes have been thereby cor- 
rected. I am much indebted to Mr Flockhart in allowing a fac-simile to be taken 
of the Letter prefixed to the above petition. 



24 THE MVRKS OF 

From his gentle disposition his friends feared that 
Bruce lacked the necessary firmness for the discipline of 
a School. Accordingly his fellow-student and friend 
Dryburgh wrote him certain counsels, which we may 
read : — 

* Now that you have taken up a school, I beg to 
remind you that you are a pedagogue — neither be too 
gentle nor too severe. The one treatment is as bad as 
the other ; but if there be any difference, I think indul- 
gence the worse of the two. But, on the other hand, 
there are many who, professing to whip blockheads, 
ought to undergo a similar punishment for being one 
themselves — to whom the words of Solomon, which 
Dean Swift once chose for his text, may be very well 
applied, "Stripes are for the back of fools."' These 
sentiments were still further enforced in a letter sent 
him, about the same time, by his more experienced 
friend Arnot. 'The energies of the young,' says he, 
' will be sure to lie dormant, if they be not roused by 
those to whom their training is entrusted, as most soils 
are barren without cultivation. But there is much need 
of prudence, for, as some ground requires the stronger 
plough, another plot may be managed by an easy hand. 
With some, force must be used ; forbearance must be 
employed towards others. You have the advantage of 
spurring them up by emulation, which seldom fails, but 
which, at the same time, does not always succeed. By 
this common impulse I could not be affected.'^ 

It appears that these excellent ' counsels ' were very 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 52 ; and see Appendix B to our Memoir for the 
entire Letter, along with another, from the original MS. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 25 

much thrown away, in so far as the ' rod ' and ' taws ' 
were concerned, as Bruce never could be induced to 
use either. 

The school was not large. About two months after 
its re-establishment, there were only twenty-eight pupils. 
A ' Dialogue ' written by the poet-teacher has been 
preserved ; and while there are in it evident humorous 
touches, verging on caricature, it is nevertheless plain 
that the fees were trifling, and not very willingly paid 
by certain of the parents. One is gladdened to find that 
the cloud of melancholy which brooded over him was not 
without its silver lining of a quiet, ' pawky ' mirthfulness. 
It is pleasant to think of the worn face, ' sicklied o'er 
with the pale cast of thought,' illumined by the gentle 
smile that accompanies felt power of insight into cha- 
racter, especially pretimce. Here is the ' Dialogue : ' — 

' As I was about to enter on my labours for the 
week, an old fellow like a Quaker came up and ad- 
dressed me thus : — 

' Q. Peace be with you, friend. 

* M. Be you also safe. 

* Q. I have brought my son Tobias to thee, that thou 
mayest instruct him in the way that he should go. 

' M. He is welcome. 

' Q^. Our brother Jacob telleth me that thou showest 
thyself a faithful workman, hearing thy scholars oftener 
in a day than others, because thou hast few. 

* M. I presume I do. 

' Q. Verily therein thou doest well ; thou shalt not 
lose thy reward ; it shall be given thee with the faithful 
in their day. 



a6 THE WORKS OF 

' M. Ay, but, friend, I need somewhat in present 
possession. 

' Q. I understand you ; thou wouldst have the prayers 
of the faithful. 

' M. Ay, and something more substantial ; in short, 
my friend, I must have two shillitigs per quarter for 
teaching your son Tobias. 

' Q. Ah ! friend, I perceive thou lovest the mammon 
of unrighteousness ; let me convince you of your sin. 

' M. Certainly, since thou seemest to be a most right- 
eous man, who deemeth the servant worthy of his hire. 

* Q. Hearken unto my voice ; Ezekiel, who was also 
called Holdfast, took but sixpence in the quarter, as 
thou callest it. He was a good man, but he sleepeth ; 
the faithful mourned for him. He catechized the chil- 
dren seven times a-day. He was one of the righteous, 
yea, he was upright in his day, save in the matter 
of 

' M. I still think that the labour you expect me to 
bestow upon your son Tobias is worth two shillings a 
quarter. 

' Q. Two shillings ! verily, friend, thou art an extor- 
tioner ; yea, thou grindest the face of the poor, thou 
lovest filthy lucre. Thou hast respect unto this present 
world. — Catera destmtJ'^ 

' Ella ' had laid up the quaint little paper in an inner 
place of that wizard Memory of his, and produced it, 
with added puns and quips, to ' set the table in a roar.' 
But while Bruce had apparently slender pecuniary re- 
compense for his ' teaching,' otherwise he was comfort- 

' Dr Maokelvie, as before, pp. 54, 55. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 27 

ably situated. It had been agreed that, in addition to 
the school fees, and in place of salary, he was to reside 
and receive free-board with the more ' bien ' parents 
of the children. Accordingly, he went to Classlochie, 
a farm then possessed by a Mr Grieve, — a man of 
excellent Christian character, who was so ' taken ' by 
his guest, that he would not hear of his leaving him 
to go elsewhere during the whole period he taught at 
Gairney Bridge. 

We revisited the ' farm ' the other day, and found it to 
be a pleasant residence. It was conveniently near * the 
school,' and the roads leading to and out from it are 
like the English lanes of Miss Mitford's ' Our Village ' 
itself, — odorous hedgerows on either side, and many a 
fair wild-flower nestling at the roots. The * Gairney ' 
glints in silvery windings through the fields on its way 
to ' Lochleven.' Eastward was his own native I^nness- 
wood. Southward rises Benarty, darkened with plan- 
tations — pine and spruce, and sprinkling of birch, with 
scintillating bark and quivering leafage, tenderly green 
in spring, and many-dyed in autumn as a New England 
' wood ' in the Indian summer. All round about were 
good neighbours ; and every ' farmer's ingle ' gave 
hospitable welcome to the shy, gentle Student-Teacher. 
Tradition garners memories of visits at ' The Brackleys ' 
and ' Cavilstone,' ' Annafrech ' and ' Turf hills.' 

In each of these * farms ' were to be found fine 
specimens of the old type of Scottish * laird -, ' some 
naturally ' wild,' perchance, but subdued and well-nigh 
reverential in the presence of Michael. 

But the old, old story came in to play its part also in 



a8 THE WORKS OF 

the residence at Classlochie. Mr Grieve had a daughter 
— Magdalene ; and the young Poet loved her fondly, 
but with * silent love.' She is the ' Eumelia ' of his 
' Lochleven,' and the ' fair maid ' of his ' Lochleven no 
more.' Magdalene Grieve survived her lover, and 
became the wife of Mr David Low, proprietor of Cleish 
Mill and Wester Cleish, in the neighbourhood. She 
was wont to speak of Bruce with touching affection, 
but always declared that he had never ' asked ' her. Ex- 
cessive modesty, and a presentiment that his days were 
numbered, have been assigned as reasons for his leaving 
unspoken a love that seems to have been burning in its 
shy passionateness, and enduring to the end of his brief 
life. A stanza, by a well-known local character, in- 
tended to immortalize this love-story, is still in circula- 
tion in the county. It is as follows : 

' In Cleish Kirk-yard lies Magdalene Grieve, 
A lass [sweetheart] o' Bruce the Poet ; 
And Tammie Walker made this verse, 
To let the v^orld know it.' ' 

While at Gairney Bridge, he contemplated the publi- 
cation of a volume of ' Poems ; ' but this I leave to be 
spoken of in the second division of our Memoir, in the 
Introduction to his ' Poems.' One short and hitherto 
unpublished letter to Mr Arnot, dated from Gairney 
Bridge, may fitly close our account of his connection 
therewith. It is as follows : — 

'My Dear Sir, — I have sent the letter which you have 
undertaken to carry spite of disappointments. It is open, 
but I believe the pleasure of reading it will not pay the 

' Communicated by Mr David Marshall, as before. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 29 

trouble of carrying it. I do not choose to send a blank 
cover : therefore this (as I shall endeavour to fill it up 
somehow) shall never be called in question as to its 
letter-ality, that is to say, a return shall be due in law, 
and that [such as] it shall pass for an identical letter. 

' I have been reading Shaftesbury's Characteristics, and 
shall transcribe for vou what I think the best note I have 

J 

found in it ; and it's this : 

'"It seems to me remarkable in our learned and elegant 
apostle, that he accommodates himself, according to his 
known character, to the humour and natural turn of the 
Ephesians, by writing to his converts in a kind of 
architect-style, and almost with a perpetual allusion to 
building, and to that majesty, order, and beauty of which 
this temple was a masterpiece -, as Eph. ii. 20-22 ; and 
so iii. 17, 18, etc., and iv. 1 6, etc." This is not a bad 
remark from one whom, notwithstanding my deference 
for the moderns, I look upon as little better than a deist. 

' I was about to entertain you with a character, not 
altogether unknown to you, of a talker or story-teller -, 
but I do not choose, merely for a little diversion, to deserve 
the reprehension of any person living. 

* I would have seen you this day (only I was troubled 
with a pain in the head), and perhaps I may see you as 
soon as this. I am yours affectionately, 

' Michael Bruce. 

'Gairny Bridge, May 25, 1765. 

' P.S. — You may put to a date to the letter when you 
close it.'' 

' From the original, kindly sent me with others from the present Mr Amot of 
Portmoak, or, as Bruce spells it invariably, 'Portmoag.' 



30 THE WORKS OF 

Having finished his * four years ' of attendance at the 
University, he was now at that stage in his curriculum 
of study which naturally led to his passing from the 
University to what was then, and sdll is, designated 
the * Theological Hall,' entrance into which constituted 
him a ' student of divinity,' as distinguished from a 
' student of humanity.' There was a difficulty in the 
way, to wit, that along with his father and mother, 
and other relatives and friends, he had hitherto attended 
the Rev. Thomas Mair, who, after his ejection from the 
Anti-Burgher Synod, stood alone. He had indeed applied 
for admission to the ' Moral Philosophy ' class of the 
Anti-Burgher Synod at Alloa ; but his connection with 
Mair was deemed an insuperable barrier. He turned 
next to the Burghers, or Associate Synod, with whose 
attitude toward what was called the ' Burgess Oath ' he 
sympathized, rather than with the narrower ' Antls.' He 
was accordingly admitted to the fellowship of the Church 
by the Rev. John Swanston of Enross, who had been 
recently appointed Professor of Theology by the Synod, 
and Into whose classes he was afterwards enrolled as a 
student. At the ' Hall,' which was held in the large room 
of what is now the ' Lochleven Inn ' in Kinross, and of 
which our photograph gives a faithful presentment, he 
had, as fellow-students, George Henderson of Turfhills, 
David Greig, George Lawson, Ar. Bennet, and An- 
drew Swanston, with others who in after years emi- 
nently filled the pulpits of the Burgher Synod. 

Professor Swanston was a man of no ordinary kind, 
full, wise, scholarly, evangelical in his opinions, but rising 
above mere orthodoxy, fatherly In his superintendence. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 31 

and above all, attractive as a Christian to the young : in 
his whole ' walk and conversation ' emphatically ' com- 
mending ' Christ, and ' adornhig the doctrine.' 

From the outset the Professor was drawn to Michael 
Bruce, who got * far ben' into his large loving heart, and 
was treated rather as a young brother or son than a mere 
Church member or student. That delicacy of constitution 
which he inherited, it is believed, from his father, showed 
itself very mournfully during his first Session at the Hall ; 
so much so, that good Professor Swanston advised the 
ailing lad to give over study altogether for a time. But 
he persevered, fought on, though wounded and bleeding 
inwardly. For he was wounded : ' He had weakened his 
strength in the midst of his days.' 

The arrangements made for the * students,' if a primi- 
tive, was an exceedingly agreeable one for them. In the 
congregation of the Professor there were a number of 
Proprietors of lesser or larger ' Farms,' and otherwise 
well-to-do. These received the young men into their 
several houses in the character of friends, without any 
remuneration further than the satisfaction of thereby 
rendering service to the future ministers of their beloved 
Church. In accord with this arrangement, Bruce resided, 
during his attendance at the Hall, with Mr Henderson, 
the * Laird ' of Turf hills, whose son George we have 
already had occasion to mention as his associate at the 
University, and who is celebrated in * Lochleven ' under 
the name of * Lelius.' 

The compact little estate of Turfhills, which is still in 
direct succession held by Hendersons, had come down 
through many generations of the name, long known in 



3 a THE WORKS OF 

the county as freeholders, and of the old stock of 
Covenanters. It is told in the family, that Michael 
Henderson, in 17 15, came forward in Kinross to sup- 
port the government of George 11. ; and that thereby 
he excited the rage of the rebels then in the town, so 
much so, that he had to take refuge in the Castle of 
Edinburgh until Mar's rebellion was put down. Again 
in 1745, when the second Rebellion under Prince 
Charles brought a host of Highlanders to the low 
country, James Henderson rescued a neighbour from a 
savage attack of two of these Highlanders, and con- 
ducted them to Kinross, where they were reprimanded 
by their officers, and the plunder restored. In the 
evening, a messenger despatched from the town an- 
nounced that a party of Highlanders were on their way 
to avenge their comrades. Thus warned, ' the Laird ' 
fled to Stirling, where he remained until the Stuarts were 
finally scattered at Culloden. There are other traditions 
of ' hairbreadth escapes,' of Christina Arnot of Arlary, 
wife of James Henderson, and her infant son, afterwards 
the Rev. George Henderson. The Hendersons were 
not only loyal to the Government, not only ' honoured 
the King,' but at a cold ' moderate ' period 'feared God.' 
At the time of the noble stand for the ' true Evangel,' 
made by the Erskines and their compeers, as was to be 
expected, James Henderson adhered to them ; and at 
the very first meeting at ' Gairney Bridge ' was chosen 
as an ' elder.' All the preliminary ' meetings ' — and they 
were numerous — were held at Turf hills ; so much so, that 
one room in the mansion-house — shown in our photo- 
graph — was known as * the Presbytery's room.' Many 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 23 

a heartfelt prayer, many ' wrestlings ' for the welfare of 
Scotland, many burning words to Christ for souls, and 
to souls for Christ, were spoken from one of the open 
' windows,' — hundreds, even thousands, coming from 
' far and near ' to hang upon the lips of such men as 
Ebenezer Erskine of Stirling, Ralph Erskine of Dun- 
fermline, Thomas Mair of Orwell, James Fisher of 
Kanclaven, William Wilson of Perth, and Alexander 
Moncrieff of Abernethy, — a noble band, to whom Scot- 
land owes more than ever will be known until 'the 
great Day.' 

It was into this Family — one of the old stamp of 
* godliness,' kingly men and mother-of-Lemuel-like 
women — that Michael Bruce was received. It must 
have had peculiar attractions to him. There were the 
traditions of * The Covenanters ; ' there was a heredi- 
tary taste for baljad-lore and the * auld manners ' of 
' auld langsyne •,' there was generous hospitality ; there 
was a fellow-student like-minded ; and above all and 
about all as an atmosphere, real godliness of no austere 
but contrariwise joyous sort.^ Altogether, whether in 
the outset with Mr Arnot of Portmoak, and Mr White 
of Pittendreich, or while at Gairney Bridge with Mr 
Grieve of Classlochie, or while at the Hall with this 
grand old Scotchman and his no less noble wife — be- 
fore whom we bare instinctively the head — James Hen- 
derson and Christian Arnot, — Michael Bruce seems 

' I have gathered the details of the text from the volume in meiuoriain of the 
Rev. George Henderson, already mentioned ; and from the MS. 'Records' of Pro- 
fessor Swanston's congregation, now in my possession, as the minister thereof, 
together with gleanings from the History of ' The Secession,' and the Lives of the 
several Leaders in that great evangelical movement. 



34 THE WORKS OF 

to have been singularly fortunate in his circumstances. 
I must regard it as sheer nonsense to sentimentalize over 
' pressure of indigence,' and the like. Sure we are, the 
student-Poet had been the first to reject such misdirected 
commiseration. At no time, as it appears to us, had 
Michael Bruce to struggle with a tithe of the difficulties 
which many of his contemporaries had : not to. speak of 
the present day, wherein brave-hearted, large-faithed 
young men are doing stout battle up ' the hill Difficulty,' 
with none to cheer save * the great Taskmaster.' It 
looks to us unmanly exaltation of circumstances over 
the man, to make such a to-do about them, even had they 
been very much more adverse. It seems to us to under- 
value the divine * discipline ' of self-denial, — the glorious 
necessity, through a trustful poverty that is not ignoble, 
of reposing on the Fatherhood of God. 

While at Turf hills it is traditionally remembered that 
Michael Bruce and George Henderson, and other fellow- 
students, were wont to take frequent walks along ' the 
Erk-gate ' to the ' Auld lirk-Yard ' of the Parish — 
shown in our photograph ; and to recite their Hall ' Ser- 
mons ' and other exercises on a small elevation near 
Turf hills, called ' The ICippit Knowe.' 

At the close of the Hall in i'j66, Bruce was again on 
the outlook for a * School ' — that of Gairney Bridge not 
being sufficiently remunerative. Besides, a sad 'back- 
sliding ' of his substitute while he himself was attending 
the prelections of Professor Swanston, distressed him ex- 
ceedingly, and rendered the place distasteful. One was 
offered him at Forrest Mill, then a lorn and ill-favoured 
place, about fifteen miles south-west of Kinross, and a 



MICHAEL BRUCE. ^^ 

few miles from Tillicoultry. We paid a recent pilgrim- 
visit to the spot ; and from inquiries made and faint 
memories revived, can understand that to one so predis- 
posed to consumpdon, and, spite of resistance, apt to be 
overcome with melancholy,, it was a poor exchange for 
Gairney Bridge and Classlochie. The ' School ' was 
low-ceiled, earthen-floored, chill, musty, close. Outside, 
dreary spaces of moor flushed with 'heather,' skirted 
with sombre pines, — the 'wild ' of his 'Elegy in Spring.* 
Society uncongenial ; children dense, stupid, backward. 
The only ray of sun-light was the wistful care of him 
by a daughter of the family with whom he lodged, whose 
name was Mill. 

Tradition has it, that Bruce, in fording the Devon on 
horseback on his way to Forrest Mill, was thrown, and 
though not hurt in limb was wet 'all through,' and arrived 
drenched, so that he had at once to be put a-bed. He 
soon rose and began his ' School ;' and it is told of IVliss 
Mill, that she saw that it was as well ' warmed ' as 
might be before the Teacher entered, and that ' boards. ' 
were placed on the ground where his feet rested, to keep 
them from the clammy floor. But all was in vain. 

* Disease ' was working out to the last issue ; all the 
more touching, that it was what the great Poet has called 

* Concealment,' which, ' like a worm i' the bud, feeds on 
the damask cheek.' And yet ' Concealment ' is scarcely 
either the word or thing, inasmuch as Bruce seems 
from the outset to have looked forward to early dying.' 

' I woMld return thanks to the present Teacher at Forrest Mill, Mr Alexander 
Fortune, for his kind attention in the above visit, in tracing out traditional scenes 
connected with Bruce. 



36 THE WORKS OF 

A few of his ' Letters ' from ' Forrest Mill ' have been 
preserved, and put into my hands. They are none the 
less pathetic from their slight out-flashings of humour. 
First of all : I am fortunate enough to have recovered 
one complete Letter that has hitherto only been given 
in fragments/ The opening allusion is to ' stocking- 
knitting,' which was then practised by males as well as 
females, as Geikie has immortalized : — 

* Dear Friend, — What has happen'd to you, that I 
don't hear from you ? Surely you have forgot me. 
No, I cannot think so, for I measure your friendship 
by my own ; and barely to say I love you, were poor 
to my soul's measuring. 

' I rather think my evil genius has hindered you from 
wridng, or what you may have written from reaching 
me. Well, be it so. For once I shall consider I have 
more time than you. But I beseech, request, and com- 
mand (d' ye see ?) that you set apart a night every week 
for writing to me. Out of my sovereign, royal bounty, 
I will allow you the others, at least four of them, for 
seeing the l[assie1s, always providing that you carry your 
stocking with you to enable you to purchase candles. 
But, trifling apart, write as often as your situation will 
allow. I have not many friends, but I love them well. 
Scarce one enjoys the smiles of this world in every respect, 
and in every friend I suffer. Death has been among 
the few I have. Poor Dryburgh ; but he's happy. I 
expected to have been his companion through life, and 
that we should have stept into the grave together. But 

^ I am indebted for it to the Rev. William M'Laren of Blairlogie, who discovered 
it among some family papers. 



MICHAEL BPJJCE. 37 

Heaven has seen meet to dispose of him otherwise. 
And there's my dear Geordie, perhaps at this moment 
(for I have not heard from him of late) in the grasp of 
death. May " the good will of Him who dwelt in the 
bush " be with him ! Alas, that I can do no more than 
wish ! But who in this case can do more ? What 
think you of this world, Davie ? I think it very little 
worth. You and I have not a great deal to make us fond 
of it ; and yet I would not change my condition with the 
most wealthy unfeeling fool in the universe, if I were to 
have his dull hard heart into the bargain. But to have 
done. Farewell, my rival in immortal hope, my com- 
panion (I trust) for eternity. Though far distant, I take 
thee to my heart. Souls suffer no separation from the 
obstruction of matter or distance of place. Oceans may 
roll between us, and climates interpose -, in vain, the 
whole material creation is no bar to the winged mind. 
Farewell, through boundless ages, fare-thou-well. The 
broad hand of the Almighty cover thee. Mayst thou 
shine when the sun is darkened. Mayst thou live, and 
triumph when time expires. It is at least possible lue 
may meet no more in this foreign land, this dreary apart- 
ment of the universe of God. But there is a better 
world, in which may we meet to part no more. — Adieu. 
Remember your sincerest friend, 



* Michael Bruce. 



'To Mr David Pearson, Easter Balgedie.' 



All his ' correspondence ' that remains runs in the 
same vein : nor is the veining superficial like the painted 



38 THE f^'ORKS OF 

imitative marble ; rather is it interpenetrative as in the 
stone itself. Writing to Mr Pearson again, he says : 

' The next letter you receive from me, t/" ever you re- 
ceive another, will be dated I'] 6']. . . . I lead a melan- 
choly kind of life in this place. I am not fond of com- 
pany. But it is not good that man be still alone ; and 
here I have no company but what is worse than solitude. 
If I had not a lively imagination, I believe I should fall 
into a state of stupidity and delirium. I have some 
evening scholars, the attending on whom, though few, 
so fatigues me, that the rest of the night I am quite dull 
and low-spirited. Yet I have some lucid intervals, in the 
time of which I can study pretty well.' ^ 

Another ' Letter,' of a somewhat earlier date, to his 
friend Arnot of Portmoak is tinged with even a deeper 
despondency :^ 

' Dear Sir, — It is an observation of some of your 
philosophers, that it is much better for man to be ignorant 
of, than to know the future incidents of his life-, for, 
says one, if some men were beforehand acquainted with 
the terrible miseries that await them, they would be as 
miserable in fearing (and I believe more so) than in suffer- 
ing. Again, when we are in expectation of any good, 
we paint all the agreeable to ourselves, and dwell in 
fancy on it ; nor can we be convinced, but by experience, 
that everything here is of a mixed nature. When this 
so long expected convenience arrives, we can scarce 
believe it [is] what we hoped for, and, in truth, it is 

' Dr Anderson, as before, p. 277. 

^ The original is now before me, and it is given for the first time accurately and 
in its complete form. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 39 

very different. Many a disappointment of this kind have 
I met with. "What I enjoyed of anything was always 
in the hope of it. I expected to be happy here, but I 
am not ; and my sanguine hopes are the reason of my 
disappointment. The easiest part of my life is past, and 
I was never happy. I sometimes compare my condition 
with that of others, and imagine if I was in theirs I should 
be well. But is not everybody thus ? Perhaps he whom 
I envy thinks he would be glad to change with me, and 
yet neither would be better for the change. Since it is 
so, let us, my friend, moderate our hopes and fears, 
resign ourselves to the will of Him who " doth all 
things well," and who hath assured us that He careth 
for us ; and rejoice in hope of the glory that is to be 
revealed, and which will infinitely surpass our greatest 
expectations. 

. . . . " Hoc res est una 
Solaque qui facere possit et servare beatum." 

Things are not very well in this world, but they are 
pretty well. They might have been worse ; and, as 
they are, may please us who have but a few short days 
to use them. This scene of affairs, tho' a very per- 
plexed, is a very short one, and in a little all will 
be cleared up. Let us endeavour to please God, our 
fellow-creatures, and ourselves. In such a course of 
life we shall be as happy as we can be in such a 
world as this. Thus, you who cultivate your farm with 
your own hands, and I who teach a dozen blockheads 
for bread, may be happier than he who, having more 
than he can use, tortures his brain to invent new methods 



40 THE WORKS OF 

of killing himself with the superfluitie. But whither do 
I ramble ? I forget that I am telling you what you 
know better than I do. But I must say something. I 
hope to hear from you an account of your journey to 
Edinr., &c. 

' I have wrote a few lines of a descriptive poem, cut 
titulus est ' Lochleven.' You may remember (as Mr 

M r says) you hinted such a thing to me; so I have 

set about it, and you may expect a dedication. I hope it 
will soon be finished, as I every week add two lines, 
blot out six, and alter eight. You shall hear the plan 
when I know it myself. My compl*^- to the family. 
Farewell. — I am, yours, etc. 

' Michael Bruce. 

' Forrest Mill, ^tt/y zSi/i, 1766.' 

One leaf only of another Letter from ' Forrest Mill ' 
remains. The reference in the opening sentences is pro- 
bably to the famous or infamous treatise of De Mande- 
ville, ' The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices Public 
Benefits.' This Letter — which is now published for the 
first time — is also addressed to Mr Arnot of ' Portmoag.' 
. . . ' I think it a most dry unentertaining 
oddity, wanting that which makes a number of bad 
books too agreeable, I mean beauty of language. Many 
have erred in their pictures of human nature, on the 
favourable side, but he on the opposite. I look on it as 
an attempt to prove that even God Himself, who rules 
in the kingdoms of the earth, cannot promote the wealth 
and strength of a nation, but by the means of luxury and 
profusion, in all their most detestable branches. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 41 

' In his representations of men he differs very little from 
the Candidiis of Voltaire, and the too witty Dr Swift's 
Hughnims. But surely the contempt of the world is not 
a greater virtue than the contempt of our fellow-creatures 
is a vice. Dr Young has said it, and it is truth. 

* Make my compliments to your Family, and believe me 
yours, etc., 

' Michael Bruce. 

' Forrest Mill, Deer, loth, 1766. 

* P.5. — I design to be at Kinross, Sabbath next, from 
whence I will send this. I will probably fetch Rollin to 
Gair[ney] Br[idge], and engage J. Campbell to carry 
him to you. By him you will write to me.' 

Bruce's sickness, with its accompanying day-gloom, 
was not all that he had to contend with. His weakness 
was such that he slept but little, and his condition alto- 
gether was very much a reproduction of Job's : * When 
I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease 
my complaint ; then thou scarest me with dreams, and 
terrifiest me through visions ' (Job vii. 1 3, 14). Perhaps 
' terrify ' is not the exact word ; but one of his ' Visions ' 
has been preserved in a Letter to his life-long friend 
Pearson. Taking a stanza of his own tender and ex- 
quisitely-touched * Elegy in Spring ' as a motto, — the 
' Elegy ' having also been composed at * Forrest Mill,' — 
he proceeds : 

* If morning dreams presage approaching fate. 
And morning dreams, as poets tell, are true, 
Led by pale ghosts, I enter death's dark gate, 
And bid this hfe and all the world adieu. 



4a THE WORKS OF 

' A few mornings ago, as I was taking a walk on an 
eminence which commands a view of the Forth, with 
the vessels sailing along, I sat down, and taking out my 
Latin Bible, opened by accident at a place in the book of 
Job, ix. 23, " Now my days are passed away as the 
swift ships." Shutting the book, I fell a-musing on this 
affecting comparison. Whether the following happened 
to me in a dream or waking reverie, I cannot tell ; but 
I fancied myself on the bank of a river or sea, the oppo- 
site side of which was hid from view, being involved in 
clouds of mist. On the shore stood a multitude, which 
no man could number, waiting for passage. I saw a 
great many ships taking in passengers, and several per- 
sons going about in the garb of pilots, offering their 
service. Being ignorant, and curious to know what all 
these things meant, I applied to a grave old man, who 
stood by, giving instructions to the departing passengers. 
His name, I remember, was the Genius of Human Life. 
" My son," said he, ** you stand on the banks of the 
stream of 'Time. All these people are bound for JSter- 
nity, that * undiscovered country from whence no tra- 
veller ever returns.' The country is very large, and 
divided into two parts : the one is called the Land of 
Glory, the other the Kingdom of Darkness. The 
names of those in the garb of pilots are Religion, Virtue, 
Pleasure. They who are so wise as to choose Religion 
for their guide, have a safe though frequently a rough 
passage ; they are at last landed in the happy climes 
where sighing and sorrow for ever flee away. They have 
likewise a secondary director. Virtue, but there is a 
spurious virtue who pretends to govern by himself; but 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 43 

the wretches who trust to him, as well as those who 
have Pleasure for their pilot, are either shipwrecked, or 
are cast away in the Eangdom of Darkness. But the 
vessel in nvhichyoti must embark approaches ; you must begone. 
Remember what depends upon your conduct." No 
sooner had he left me, than I found myself surrounded 
by those pilots I mentioned before. Immediately I for- 
got all that the old man said to me, and seduced by the 
fair promises of Pleasure, chose him for my director. 
We weighed anchor with a fair gale ; the sky serene, 
the sea calm. Innumerable little isles lifted their green 
heads around us, covered with trees in full blossom ; 
dissolved in stupid mirth, we were carried on, regardless 
of the past, of the future unmindful. On a sudden the 
sky was darkened, the winds roared, the seas raged ; 
red rose the sand from the bottom of the troubled deep. 
The angel of the waters lifted up his voice. At that 
instant a strong ship passed by -, I saw Religion at the 
helm. " Come out from among these," he cried. I 
and a few others threw ourselves out into his ship. 
The wretches we left were now tost on the swelling 
deep. 'J'he waters on every side poured through the 
riven vessel. They cursed the Lord ; when, lo ! a 
fiend rose from the deep, and, in a voice like distant 
thunder, thus spoke : " I am Abaddon, the first-born 
of death ; ye are my prey ; open thou, abyss, to receive 
them." As he thus spoke they sunk, and the waves 
closed over their heads. The storm was turned into a 
calm, and we heard a voice saying, " Fear not, I am 
with you. When you pass through the waters, they 
shall not overflow you." Our hearts were filled with 



44 THE WORKS OF 

joy. I wa^ engaged in discourse with one of my new 
companions, when one from the top of the mast cried 
out, " Courage, my friends, I see the fair haven, the 
land that is yet afar off." Looking up, I found it was 
a certain friend who had mounted up for the benefit 
of contemplating the country before him. Upon seeing 
you, I was so affected that I started and awaked. Fare- 
well, my friend, farewell." 

There must have been ' lucid intervals,' as he himself 
designates them — re-luming of life's lamp of Hope — 
seeing that his long poem of ' Lochleven ' was com- 
posed while resident in ' Forrest Mill,' as appears from 
the letter to Arnot of July 26th, 1766. But at last the 
weaker went * to the wall.' The ' lean fellow ' who 
' beats all conquerors,' threw him in the wrestle. As 
he felt the shaft rankle, not without blood flowing, the 
young heart yearned for home — for a mother's hand, 
a mother's face, a mother's kiss, a mother's love. And 
giving up ' The School,' he hied him slowly eastward 
' on foot.' He walked the full twenty miles, resting 
only for a little at Turfhills. He reached the humble 
dwelling, not unwilling to live, but prepared to 'die.' 

For a little while, through a few weeks, he was able 
to go out into ' the garden,' reclining on a ' bank of 
soft grass,' which until recently was pointed out. Having 
also procured a quarto volume of wridng paper, he with 
pathetic earnestness daily transcribed his 'Poems' therein, 
including his ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' 'Hymns ' and 'Para- 

' Dr Anderson, as before, pp. 277, 278. I have said that the 'Elegy' was 
composed at Forrest Mill, and this because the letter to his friend Pearson, which 
contains a stanza from it, must have been written there. Pearson was resident in 
Kinnesswood ; there could be no occasion for letters after Bruce had returned home. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 45 

phrases,' and ' Elegy in Spring,' and in short all that he 
deemed worthy of preservation. Latterly he was alto- 
gether confined to bed. There his one inseparable com- 
panion was his little pocket Bible, from which he was 
wont to commit portions to memory, repeating and 
commenting upon them to visitors very sweetly and 
modestly. 

One day his old College and Hall friend, George 
Lawson — who being appointed to occupy the pulpit of 
the deceased Thomas Mair — hastened to Kinnesswood 
to see him. He found him in bed, very pale, his eyes 
large and lustrous, but delighted to see his unexpected 
visitor. Mr Lawson observed to him that he was glad to 
find him so cheerful. ' And why,' said he, with noble 
trustfulness, ' should not a man be cheerful on the verge 
of heaven ? ' an answer which reminds us of the Poet's 
picture of the Christian's death-bed : — 

* The chamber where the good man meets his fate 
Is privileged beyond the common walks 
Of virtuous life, quite on the 'verge of hea'ven.' 

' But,' said his friend, ' you look so emaciated, I am 
afraid you cannot last long.' Quickly, and with a flash 
of the humour of his healthful days, he answered, ' You 
remind me of the story of the Irishman who was told 
that his hovel was about to fall ; and I answer with him, 
Let it fall, it is not mine ; ' or perhaps his words were, 
' it is not me.' ' * Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace 
whose mind is stayed upon Thee.' He maintained this 
cheerfulness throughout his illness, overcast only for 
a moment by the sudden death of his beloved minister 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 77, 78. 



46 THE WORKS OF 

and professor, Swanston ; lingered for a couple of 
months, ' wearin' awa' to the land o' the leal ;' and in the 
night-time, when ' deep sleep falleth upon men,' slept 
the deeper sleep, being found in the morning of 5th 
July 1767, dead, aged twenty-one years and three 
months. * He was not, for God took him.' 

* Beivildered reader ! pass nvithout a sighy 
In a proud sorrow ! There is life with God 
In other kingdoms of a sweeter air. 
In Eden every flower is blown. Amen.' ' 

It is his own request. His Bible — which is still lovingly 
preserved — was found upon his pillow, a corner of the 
leaf turned down at Jer. xxii. lo, ' Weep ye not for 
the dead, neither bemoan him.' His father was * chief 
mourner.' The world heeded not the weeping that day 
in the ' weaver's ' home of Ennesswood. You look in 
vain in the magazines and newspapers for so much as 
an announcement of his death. But ' devout men 
carried him to his grave, and made great lamentation 
over him' (Acts viii. 2). Our photograph shows the 
monument that now marks the spot in the churchyard of 
what was the first charge of Ebenezer Erskine. Pil- 
grims from ' far Lands ' sdll find their way to it. Not 
a Summer but some are observed reading the inscription, 
and mayhap plucking a few spires of grass or an early 
primrose from the mound. A very gentle, very modest, 
very pure, very holy, very beautiful, very genuine, very 
gifted Life had here its premature close. And a Sky-Lark 
that rose, with broken wing, from his grave when last 
we visited it, supplies us with at once an emblem of his 

' David Gray, as before. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 47 

Life, and a guarantee of his Fame. Of his Life : for 
his delicate constitution was as a * broken wing ' to his 
heaven-aspiring spirit. Of his Fame : for it needeth not 
' great things,' no Sinai thunder, but a ' still small voice,' 
to win an abiding place among the ' sweet singers ' who 
last. The ' Psalm ' outlives the Epic ; the snatch of true 
' Song ' what was intended to compel immortality. 
We may draw near, and read the Inscription on the 
monument : — 

TO THE 

MEMORY OF 

MICHAEL BRUCE, 

WHO WAS BORN AT KINNESSWOOD IN 1746, 

AND DIED WHILE A STUDENT 

IN CONNECTION WITH THE SECESSION CHURCH, 

In the 2isi Year of his Age. 

MEEK AND GENTLE IN SPIRIT, SINCERE AND UNPRETENDING IN HIS CHRISTIAN 
DEPORTMENT, REFINED IN INTELLECT, AND ELEVATED IN CHARACTER, HE WAS 
GREATLY BELOVED BY HIS FRIENDS, AND WON THE ESTEEM OF ALL ; WHILE 
HIS GENIUS, WHOSE FIRE NEITHER POVERTY NOR SICKNESS COULD QUENCH, 
PRODUCED THOSE ODES UNRIVALLED FOR SIMPLICITY AND PATHOS WHICH HAVE 
SHED AN UNDYING LUSTRE ON HIS NAME. 

' Early, bright, transient, cJuiste as morning dew. 
He sparkled, and exhaled, and went to heaven.' 

Alexander Bruce survived his son Michael for a 
few years only ; but Mrs Bruce, his mother, lived on 
until 1798. In her old age, while ' poor,' she continued 
' stedfast' in her ' faith,' and received with touching gra- 
titude certain small annual sums which admirers of the 
Poet sent her. It is told that, regularly as these little 



48 THE WORKS OF MICHAEL BRUCE. 

payments arrived, she was seen, with basket on arm, 
going from house to house of still lowlier neighbours ; 
and on being asked what she was about, said, in the 
largeness of her heart, * When Heaven is raining so 
plentifully upon me, I may let two or three drops fa' on 
my puir neighbours.' A fine trait of the grateful old 
* body ' is also remembered, which may be given in Mr 
Birrel's words. When acknowledging a little money 
sent for her, he says, ' My brother-in-law has put up a 
stone chimney for Ann, and a hallajid of brick, which 
makes her little cot much more cleanly and comfortable 
than it was. She insists upon having a window cut out 
in the south wall, in order that she may see Lochleven 
and Stirling ; for she says, that though she never saw 
either Mr Harvey or Mr Telford, yet she likes to see 
the airt they come frae ; and this window must be cut 
out, though it should be at her own expense.' ' 

Toward the beginning of Autumn, while the fields 
were mellowing to Harvest, one of her acquaintances 
chancing to * look in ' upon her, found the venerable 
Saint seated in her arm-chair, with her head leaning a 
little back, and her open Bible on her knee. She had 
tranquilly ' fallen on sleep.' Her ' spectacles ' were re- 
moved, and placed upon the Bible. Did she think that 
another help was needed to illumine ' the dark valley .'' ' 
' Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a 
shock of corn cometh in in his season' (Job v. 26). 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. i6o, i6i. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE POEMS. 



INTRODUCTION TO THE POEMS. 



JOHN LOGAN — ODE TO THE CUCKOO — HYMNS OR PARAPHRASES. 




FEEL that it is a pity to perturb so meek and 
gentle a life as was that of Bruce with con- 
troversy. But unfortunately the first editor of 
his Poems so dealt with the Mss. entrusted 
to him, and subsequently so asserted for himself the 
authorship of the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' and the well- 
known ' Paraphrases ' or ' Hymns,' that no choice is left. 
I have gone over the whole of the evidence pro and con 
after Dr Mackelvie, with a ' single eye ' to ascertain the 
truth — nothing more, nothing less, nothing else ; and 
the result has been a conviction of the utter untenable- 
ness of the claims of Logan. I use no stronger word 
at present. 

I would narrate the facts, adduce the evidence, and 
fortify our conclusions ; and I am mistaken egregiously 
if any capable of weighing * proof ' will refuse acquies- 
cence in the last. 

We have first to narrate and examine the facts — general 
and specific. From fragments of letters that survive, it 
has been ascertained, that while at Gairney Bridge, Bruce 



5Z THE WORKS OF 

had himself intended to publish a volume of his * Poems.' 
With reference to the scheme, his old school-fellow and 
fellow-student Dun thus wrote him, under date ' Edin- 
burgh, January 25th, 1766:' — 'I received yours, and 
am surprised that you say you have nothing to write. 
Have the Muses forsaken you ? Have the tuneful sisters 
withdrawn from the banks of Lochleven ? It is impossible 
you can have offended them. No ! they will yet exalt 
your name as high as ever they did Addison's or Pope's. 
My dear friend, / lotig to see you appear in public. I 
hope I shall be freed from suspense ere long. Do not 
fail to do it soon.'^ Again, in a letter from his fellov/- 
student, subsequently Professor Lawson, dated * Bog- 
house, Feb. 20, 1766,' there is an incidental allusion to 
the extent of his materials for such a volume as was 
projected. 'Pray, inform me,' he says, ' when Mr 
Swanston proposes to begin his course of lectures, and 
whether you design to attend them. I would have 
been glad to have seen your criticism on Moir's pam- 
phlet, or some of your new compositions, unless so large 
that they cannot be conveyed.'' " Another letter from Bruce 
himself to his friend Pearson, in which he had enclosed 
his ballad of ' Sir James the Ross,' confirms the same 
abundance of materials : ' Let me see some of your 
papers,' he writes -, ' at least a little more of something 
new ; for really I cannot afford such cartloads of stuff as 
you have every day from me, if it were to my brother, at 
the rate you return.' ^ 

We have thus far two facts : ( i ) That Bruce himself 
contemplated the publication of a volume of Poems ; 

^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 57, 58. " Ibid. p. 58. 3 Ibid. 



MICHJEL BRUCE. 52, 

(2) That even before 'Lochleven' was written — it not 
having been begun until fully half a year subsequently — 
there were ample materials. Hence, as Logan received 
the whole of his manuscripts, there was not the shadow of 
need for ' making up ' what he called, as we shall see, a 
' miscellany.' 

Attendance at the ' Theological Hall,' his transference 
to ' Forrest Mills,' and his increasing illness, combined 
with his naturally shrinking temperament, explain the 
delay and ultimate non-publication of the volume under 
his own auspices. But that to the deep-shadowed close 
he ' hoped against hope,' that he might still be spared to 
' make a book,' is evident from his careful revision of all 
his papers, and copying out of them into a large quarto 
volume, obtained for the express purpose, as stated in 
our Memoir, and of which volume more in the sequel.^ 

He 'died,' his year 'ending in May,' and his young 
purpose unfulfilled. He had not been gone many months 
when Logan, who was at the time a tutor in the family 
of Sir John Sinclair, Bart., came to Kinnesswood ; and 
having called upon the parents of the deceased Poet, 
expressed the deepest interest in his fame, and by the 
representations made, prevailed u^^on Alexander Bruce 
to furnish him with all Michael's mss., which he knew, 
it appeared, were prepared for the press -, as also all 
letters hy and to him, and particularly those which he — 
Logan — had himself addressed to him. 

Besides delivering up to him the quarto volume of 
carefully transcribed ' Poems,' in guileless, unsuspecting 
compliance with Logan's additional request, every person 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 77 ; and our Memoir, pp. 44, 45. 



54 7H£ fFORKS OF 

who had ever been known to correspond with the 
Poet was importuned to furnish him with his letters 
and poetry. I have to state that, in addition to Dr 
Mackelvie's testimony, based upon personal inquiries 
at those who had been so ' importuned,' — for various 
survived even up to 1837, — there are living at this day 
sons and grandchildren who over and over heard their 
several relatives repeat precisely the same statement. I 
have to specify representatives of the Hendersons of 
Turf hills, Arnots of Portmoak, Flockharts of Annafrech, 
Lawson of Selkirk, Grcig of Lochgelly, and many others. 

Before leaving the Village, Logan assured Mr and Mrs 
Bruce, that every paper with which they had entrusted 
him, or might send, should be carefully returned ; and 
that he had no doubt of realizing from the publication of 
their son's ' Poems ' such a sum as would maintain them 
in comfort during the remaining part of their lives. 
These are the exact words preserved to this day — to use 
a fine expression — by oral tradition ; the tradition being 
mostly from first to second hand. So that once more 
it is apparent he contemplated such a volume as the 
abundant materials warranted, not the small thing uld- 
mately published and ' made up ' by him into a ' mis- 
cellany.' 

Anxiously was the publication looked for by the 
household of Kinnesswood, and by the circle of admirers 
who cherished the lamented Poet's winsome memory. 
One year passed, and then another, without the slightest 
intimation of what was being done. Wearied and wist- 
ful, Alexander Bruce addressed a letter to Logan, request- 
ing information as to progress. No answer was returned. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. ss 

The first letter was succeeded by several others,, with 
the same result. At length in 1770, three years after 
the papers had been delivered to him under the circum- 
stances narrated, a slight volume appeared, containing 
seventeen poems [not nineteen, as Dr Mackelvie states '3 , 
under the title, ' Poems, on Several Occasions, by Michael 
Bruce.' No name of Editor was given, nor any state- 
ment of how the Mss. had come into his possession -, 
but Logan let it be known in society that he was the 
Editor. 

The following, in the form of a ' Preface,' was prefixed 
to the volume : — 

' Michael Bruce, the Author of the following Poems, 
lives now no more but in the remembrance of his friends. 
He was born in a remote village in Kinross-shire, and 
descended from parents remarkable for nothing but the 
innocence and simplicity of their lives. They, however, 
had the penetration to discover in their young son a 
genius superior to the common, and had the merit to 
give him a polite and liberal education. From his 
earliest years he had manifested the most sanguine love 
of letters, and afterwards made eminent progress in many 
branches of literature. But poetry was his darling 
study ; the poets were his perpetual companions. He 
read their works with avidity, and with a congenial 
enthusiasm ; he caught their spirit as well as their man- 
ner ; and though he sometimes imitated their style, he 
was a poet from inspiration. No less amiable as a man 
than valuable as a writer ; endued with good nature 
and good sense ; humane, friendly, benevolent ; he loved 

' Sec p. 95. 



56 THE WORKS OF 

his friends, and was beloved by them, with a degree of 
ardour that is only experienced in the sra of youth and 
innocence. 

* It was during the summer vacations of the college 
that he composed the following Poems. If images of 
nature that are beautiful and new ; if sentiments, warm 
from the heart, interesting, and pathetic ; if a style, 
chaste with ornament, and elegant with simplicity ; if 
these, and many other beauties of nature and of art, are 
allowed to constitute true poetic merit, the following 
Poems will stand high in the judgment of men of taste. 

' After the author had finished his course of philosophy 
at Edinburgh, he was seized with a consumption, of 
which he died, about the 2 1st year of his age. 

* During that disease, and in the immediate view of 
death, he wrote the elegy which concludes this collection ; 
the latter part of which is wrought up into the most 
passionate strains of the true pathetic, and is not perhaps 
inferior to any poetry in any language. 

' To make up a miscellany, some poems, wrote by 
different authors, are inserted, all of them original, and 
none of them destitute of merit. The reader of taste 
will easily distinguish them from those of Mr Bruce, 
without their being particularized by any mark. 

' Several of these Poems have been approved by per- 
sons of the first taste in the kingdom ; and the Editor 
publishes them to that small circle for whom they are 
intended, not with solicitude and anxiety, but with the 
pleasurable reflection that he is furnishing out a classical 
entertainment to every reader of refined taste.' 

Of this ' Preface ' as a whole, the^ Biographer of 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 57 

Logan, in the ' Lives of the Scottish Poets ' (3 vols. 
l2mo, Boys, London, 1822), remarks : 

' Had he [Logan] been only as scrupulously just to 
the literary fame, as he. has been liberal of praise to the 
personal character of Bruce, their names could never 
have been mentioned in conjunction but with undivided 
applause. As Editor of Brace's works, however, he has 
been guilty of an infidelity which, as it is of a sort which 

POISONS THE VERY WELL-SPRINGS OF LITERARY HISTORY, 

cannot be too severely condemned.' 

But we must return specifically upon two of the state- 
ments made in this ' Preface ' in their order. 

1. 'To make tip a miscellany, some poems, wrote by 
different authors, are inserted.' 

The words ' make up a miscellany ' would imply, that 
there were not materials for even so small a volume as 
was thus at last issued. We have found this to be the 
reverse of the truth ; and further, facts will go to show 
why part of the Bruce Mss. was kept back. 

2. ' All of them [i.e. the 'poems by different authors 
inserted '] [are] original, and none of them destitute of 
merit. The reader of taste will easily distinguish them 

from those of Mr Bruce, "without their being particularized by 
any mark.' 

The only other author ever specified by Logan was 
Sir James Foulis, Bart., to whom the ' Vernal Ode ' is 
ascribed by Dr Anderson. But letting this pass, could 
anything have been more preposterous than to assign 
as a reason for not putting an asterisk or other mark 
against the pieces not by Bruce, that ' the reader of 
taste ' should ' easily distinguish them from those of Mr 



58 TH£ WORKS OF 

Bruce,' — nothing whatever of Bruce's having previously 
appeared in print, whereby his style might be known ? 
Logan's conduct in this has been called ' disingenuous ' 
by one, and ' dishonourable ' by another, and ' villain- 
ous ' by a third/ I state the fact in his own ipsissima 
verba ; and leave it to make its own impression. 

Again : In the face of this declaration, that the 
' reader of taste ' should so recognise the superior merit 
of those of Bruce's over the others, what are we to 
think of the after-claim made upon what was admittedly 
the gem of the little collection, viz. the ' Ode to the 
Cuckoo,' which every ' reader of taste ' had at once 
singled out as placing Michael Bruce among the rare 
band of true Poets ? 

Further : There were seventeen pieces in all only ; and 
if Logan's own claims, and claims made for him, were 
to be admitted — which never for a moment can we do — 
fully the half of the volume, or ten separate poems, and 
278 lines of ' Lochleven ' itself, must be assigned to him ; 
and all this in a volume issued by himself as ' Poems by 
Michael Bruce.'' Logan seems to have had a secret 
sense of the incongruity, inasmuch as he included only 
ONE of all the nine, and nothing of ' Lochleven ' — the 
one, however, being the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ' — in his 
own volume published in 1781, though, as we shall see, 
in this volume he committed other and aggravated spolia- 
tion upon the withheld mss. of Bruce. 

Some time after the volume which we have been de- 
scribing was published, its Editor sent six copies of it, 

' The third is the Rev. Peter Mearns of Coldstream, in his Lecture on ' The 
Poet of Lochleven,' Kelso, 1863 ; painstaking and sympathetic. 



MICHJEL BRUCE. 



59 



■without one word explanatory of either the delay or the 
' making up ' of a ' miscellany,' to Alexander Bruce 
at Eannesswood. Copies had previously reached the 
village, and it was instantly the ' talk ' of the community, 
— then, as to this day, marked by no little discernment 
and intelligence and godliness, — that there should be 
next to nothing in the book indicative of the profoundly 
Christian character of the Poet, — what, above everything, 
had impressed all who had intercourse with him. Ex- 
cept the ' Elegy in Spring,' there was scarcely a line 
that breathed of ' divine things.' There was universal 
wonder ; and all the more that many of the Villagers 
could repeat verses that breathed the most seraphic de- 
votion, which they knew to have been his productions, 
but none of which were included in the volume, nor 
any explanation given why they were not. When the 
volume was put into old Bruce's hands, he went over its 
contents, and, bursting into tears, exclaimed, ' Where 
are my son's Gospel Sonnets .''' — a significant phrase, the 
meaning of which will appear by and by, when we come 
to consider the ' Hymns or Paraphrases.' 

Feeling indignant and injured, the good old man re- 
solved upon recovering his son's MSS. from Logan, and 
publishing them himself. Toward this he scraped together 
a few shillings which were due to him, and set out for 
Edinburgh. He found his way to the house of Sir John 
Sinclair, where he was informed that Logan had left 
the Family some time before ; but he was kindly directed 
to a Bailie Logan's in Leith Wynd. Thither he pro- 
ceeded. Logan was not there at the moment. While 
strolling about, in order to wait his return, the old man 



6o THE WORKS OF 

met and recognised him in Leith Walk, told him his 
errand, and charged him with having kept back the 
larger portion and the best portion of his son's poems, — 
having in his eye the * Gospel Sonnets,' already named, 
which were his own special favourites. Logan took 
him to his lodgings, where he delivered to him a few 
loose papers, containing the first sketch of ' Lochleven,' 
* The Last Day,' and ' Lochleven No More,' expecting 
that he would be satisfied with these. But Alexander 
Bruce's heart was set above everything on the ' Gospel 
Sonnets,' — on his boy's devotional pieces, — and insisted 
upon having the large quarto manuscript volume, con- 
taining the collection of carefully transcribed and com- 
pleted ' Poems,' in Michael's own handwriting. Logan 
professed inability to place his hands upon it, but pro- 
mised to make a search. Ill as he was able to bear 
the expense, the old man remained over another night. 
When he returned the following day, Logan was not 
prepared to deliver up the book, and expressed his fears 
' that the serva?its had singed fowls %vith it.' The poor 
old father was utterly dejected ; and when — constrained, 
no doubt, by his poverty — he sought some account of 
the profits derived from the publication, he received not 
one penny, nor any satisfaction. One can't but admire 
at the unblushing audacity which sought to make the 
old man believe that a ' large fully bound quarto volume ' 
could have been so used by ' servants,' as if it had been 
some loose waste paper ! 

Alexander Bruce returned to Kinnesswood ' cast 
down ' and broken in heart. The shock caused his 
wound from the death of his beloved Michael to bleed 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 61 

afresh. He soon afterwards became exceedingly ' weak,' 
and died on July 19th, 1772. 

I have told the facts of the reception of the volume 
in the Village, and by the Poet's father, on the authority 
of the painstaking, conscientious, and as-on-oath Narra- 
tive of Dr Mackelvie. But I have had every ' jot and 
tittle ' of it confirmed and re-confirmed by conversadons 
with the sons and daughters and grandsons and grand- 
daughters of the Villagers, who had over and over heard 
every detail from old Mr Bruce himself, from Mrs Bruce, 
from the brother of the Poet, James, who lived until 
18 14; from Mr David Pearson, Mr John Birrel, Mr 
David Bickerton, Mr David Arnot, and from many 
others who remembered and told their friends the facts. 
There is not a syllable of our account but rests 

ON THE authority OF EYE AND EAR WITNESSES OF 
UNCHALLENGEABLE INTEGRITY. 

So much for Logan's general conduct in relation to the 
Bruce mss. Thus far, we think, it will not be gainsaid 
that he acted in a singularly heartless and unworthy 
manner. 

Now we enter upon the authorship of the ' Ode to 
the Cuckoo,' that Ode which won the praise of Edmund 
Burke, and can never ' die.' 

Here worse remains behind what we have already 
told: — In 1 78 1 appeared a thin 8vo volume,' entitled 
* Poems. By the Rev. Mr Logan, one of the Ministers 
of Leith. London : Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand. 
MDCCLXxxi.' It is now before us. There is no ' Pre- 
face,' and not a single ' Note ' or ' Explanation.' Never- 
theless, the very first poem in the volume is the ' Ode 



62 THE WORKS OF 

to the Cuckoo,' which was, as we have seen, the choice 
jewel of that vokime which he had himself published 
as ' Poems on Several Occasions. By Michael Bruce.' 
From the date of publication of Bruce's ' Poems ' up 
to the publication of this volume, Logan never had 
hinted his own claim to the ' Ode ; ' neither in his 
interview with Alexander Bruce nor in any way pub- 
licly. But when ' every reader of taste ' had selected 
it as the poem of the ' Poems,' lo ! he claimed it ; 
and there have been found those credulous enough to 
admit the flagrant and impudent claim. On what autho- 
rity ? From what evidence ? On the simple ipse dixit 
of the claimant ! Which is much as though a Liar 
or a Thief were to be declared ' honourable ' on his 
own unsupported testimony. Let this fact be grasped. 
For Logan there is merely his publication of the ' Ode ' 
— with a few ' corrections ' that it won't be difficult to 
show were not ' improvements ' — in his volume of 178 1 ; 
and his brazening-out of that by subsequent necessary 
adherence to his claim. ^ This is the sum and substance 
of the evidence in his behalf, — if evidence it may be 
called, where the accused is at once and in one, arraigned 
criminal, witness, jury, and judge ; and behind all, a 
character even then ' blown ' upon, as shall more fully 
appear in the sequel. 

' The earliest assertion of another's claim than Bruce's to the authorship of the 
' Ode to the Cuckoo' that I have met with, is the following: In the 'Weekly 
Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement' — the well-known Periodical of the Ruddimans, 
in which Robert Fergusson first published the most of his poems — for May 5th, 
1774 (vol. xxiv. p. 178), there appeared a version of it, showing verbal changes. 
It is signed R. D. In the next number, among answers to correspondents, there 
was this sharp rebuke : ' We little imagined our good friend B. M. was capable 
of imposition. The little Poem he sent us, under the signature R. D., inserted 
p. 178, proves a literary theft, and is the production of a gentleman in this 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 63 

It never has been ventured to be affirmed, either as 
from Logan or by Logan's friends, e.g. his executor, Dr 
Thomas Robertson, of Dalmeny (of whom more anon), 
that the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ' was seen in his handwriting 
earlier than 1 7 67 ; and l']6'J luas the very year in nvhich 
he obtained the MSS. of Michael Bruce. Here is the cautious 
language of his eulogist, Dr Robertson, in his Life of 
Logan prefixed to his ' Sermons :' — ' The only pieces 
which Logan himself ever acknowledged, in his conver- 
sations with the compiler of this biographical sketch, were 
the story of Levina, the Ode to Paoli, and the Cuckoo. 
The last was handed about and highly extolled among 
his literary acquaintances in East Lothian, long before its 
publication, probably (though not certainly) in 1 767, as 
he did not reside there at all in 1 768, and very little in 
1769. This fact, and his inserting it as his own in a 
small volume eleven years afterwards, seem pretty de- 
cisive of his claims.' ' Credat Judaus ! Only first seen 
in 1767, and yet 1 767 was the year of his reception of 
Bruce's MSS. ; not to say that, as a correspondent of the 
Poet, he might even have received and ' shown ' it earlier, 
though it is nowhere attempted to be proved he did 
this. The claim on such a miserable chance probability, 
' not certainly,' is — monstrous ; and as the strength of a 

neighbourhood, already in print. He ought to challenge and chastise the thief ' 
(p. 224). Nothing more seems to have come out of it ; and of course we are 
unable to say who R. D. or B. M. was ; and equally are we left in the dark 
concerning the ' gentleman in the neighbourhood,' i.e. of Edinburgh. If it was 
Logan himself, — and Leith answers to the de.scription, — it is singular enough that 
he did not give his name. Arc we to suppose that, though Bruce was dead six 
years, he was only feeling his way toward his ultimate claim? Certainly he was 
wary enough not to act upon the irate Editor's advice ; and still other seven 
■years elapsed before he gave the ' Ode ' to the public as his own. 

' Quoted by Dr Mackelvie from Life prefixed to Logan's 'Poems,' pp. no, in. 



64 THE WORKS OF 

chain is measured, not by its strongest but by its weakest 
part, this link failing, the after publication shares its 
worthlessness.^ 

As this is the one point that has been put for Logan, 
I wish to give it in every way in which it has been pre- 
sented. A Mrs Hutcheson, then wife of a Mr John 
Hutcheson, merchant, Edinburgh, and cousin to Logan, 
assured Dr Anderson that she saw the * Ode to the 
Cuckoo,' in her relative's handwriting, ^before it was 
pr'mted.' Very possible, nay, most probable. But then 
it was not printed until 1 7 70, or about three years after 
Bruce's mss. had come into Logan's possession. Dr 
Anderson has accordingly very properly remarked upon 
the statement : ' If the testimonies of Dr Robertson 
and Mrs Hutcheson went the length of establishing the 
existence of the ode in Logan's handwriting in Bruce's 
lifetime, or before the mss. came into Logan's posses- 
sion, they might be considered decisive of the contro- 
versy. The suppression of Bruce's MSS., it must he 
owned, is a circumstance unfavourable to the pretensions 
of Logan :^ No wonder that the good Doctor begins 
with an ' if ; ' but never has it been attempted to be 
shown, as it can't be too earnestly reiterated, that the 
' Ode ' was in existence in Logaiis handwriting before 
the Bruce mss. were secured by him. In all the many 
Letters of Logan that are extant, not one sentence has 
been produced, vindicating or establishing in any way 

' A friend reminds us of a pat anecdote : An old fellow got into trouble before 
the Sheriff about some debt he owed or did not owe. When he came home from 
seeing the Sheriff, a neighbour asked him how he had got on : ' How did I get 
on, ye fule ? It was left to my ain oath.' Anybody who knew him could have 
told exactly how much his oath was worth. 

^ Life prefixed to Logan's ' Poems,' p. 1030. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 65 

his claim. Absolutely nothing has been adduced, be- 
yond his adherence to his claim, after publishing the Ode 
in his volume of 1 78 1. Most strange, that not one of 
all those * literary acquaintances,' of whom Dr Robertson 
of Dalmeny speaks, ever was or has been found to so 
much as turn the Doctor's ' probably ' as to 1767 into 
'certainty.' I7<^7 was too damning a coincidence with 
the reception of the Bruce mss. to bear investigation.^ 

It must be stated, finally, in relation to Logan's 
claim, that when, in 1781— 82, a few admirers of Bruce 
resident in Stirling were preparing a reprint of the 
volume of 1770, he attempted to hinder it by procuring 
a 'Bill of Suspension and Interdict' against the 'printers 
and publishers.' The whole proceedings are given, with 
superabundant details, by Dr Mackelvie, whither I refer 
the reader.^ It is sufficient for our purpose to note 
these Jour things : — 

' David Laing, Esq., LL.D., of the Signet Library, Edinburgh, has kindly- 
favoured me with a copy of the first edition of Brace's 'Poems' (1770), in which 
some anonymous former possessor of the volume has marked the pieces usually 
claimed for Logan as his ; and of course the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ' is one of 
them. But this is of no vahie whatever, seeing it only shows that the writer, 
whoever he may have been, accepted Logan's own statement. Dr Laing has 
also sent me copy of a letter by Dr Robertson of Dalmeny, containing nearly the 
same list ; but we have seen all that /le had to adduce [supra). In short, wher- 
ever I have come upon any attempt at evidence in favour of Logan, an examina- 
tion has invariably resolved it into his own publication and self-assertion. 

On submitting this sheet to an accomplished literary friend, he wrote me, 
' Once in my life I composed a little thing of six or eight stanzas, which a college 
acquaintance, who wished to be thought a poet, got from me in MS., and wrote 
out in his own way, altering three or four words. I afterwards met it in his 
handwriting, and with his name at the hottotn ; and I believe it got into a news- 
paper or small magazine as his. I should have had difficulty in establishing a 
claim to my own property had it been worth while doing so. But when a man 
publishes a thing as his, after the real writer is in his grave, he is merely a thief, 
with stolen goods in his hands, declaring that he got them honestly, — knowing 
that the main witness against him can't be produced.' 

^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 127-142. 



66 THE WORKS OF 

(l.) Logan had the audacity to designate himself pro- 
prietor of the ' Poems,' and to base his right to prevent 
any reprint on a falsehood, viz. that Michael Bruce 
had * left his works to his charge ;' or as elsewhere, * Mr 
Logan was entrusted by Michael Bruce, previous to his 
death, with these very poems.' This instruction to his 
Law-agent he never attempted to prove, nor could he, 
as our Narrative must satisfy. 

(2.) Logan professed to be himself designing a 'new 
and elegant edition ' of the ' Poems ' — for his own benefit. 
This too when old Mrs Bruce, mother of the Poet, was 
in extreme penury ; and although, with the exception 
of six copies of the volume in 1770, neither she nor the 
family had ever reaped a penny of advantage from the 
publication. 

(3.) Decision was given against Logan, setting aside 
his alleged ' rights,' and holding his ' statements ' as 
disproved. 

Then — what escaped Dr Mackelvie — 

(4.) The Stirling volume, which is a verbatim reprint 
of that of 1770, WAS PUBLISHED. It is now before us : 
' Poems on Several Occasions. By Michael Bruce. 5/w 
me, liber, ibis in urbem. Ovid. Edinburgh : Printed by 
J. Robertson for W. Anderson, bookseller, Stirling. 

MDCCLXXXII.' (l2mO, pp. I27).' 

Significant surely it is, that, notwithstanding his neces- 
sary disappointment with the * decision ' against him, and 
his anger with the Publishers, John Logan allowed 
this volume to go forth into the world without a single 

^ Our copy has the book-plate of the amiable Lord Craig, who in ' The Mirror 
was the earliest to call attention to the merits of Bnice. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 67 

public word claiming either the 'Ode to the Cuckoo' 
or the other poems ascribed to him. Even in his 
' pleadings ' he grounded his ' rights ' to prohibit, on his 
' proprietorship,' and in so far as ' authorship ' was con- 
cerned was suspiciously unspecific, designating himself 
generally ' in a great measure the author of the collec- 
tion of the poems in question.' Never once did he attempt, 
through all the Trial, to prove that he luas himself the author 
of the ' Ode ;' and his own agent in the prosecution, the 
late venerable Alexander Young, Esq., W.S., Edin- 
burgh, thus wrote Dr Mackelvie : ' Logan certainly 
never said to me that he was the author.' ^ 

Turn we now to the evidence for Bruce's author- 
ship. If the Bible rule hold good, that ' out of the 
mouth of two or three witnesses shall everything be 
established,' then this will be so ' established,' and 
beyond. 

I, 2. David Pearson and Alexander Bruce. — In 
answer to inquiries addressed to him by Dr Ander- 
son, one of Michael Bruce's most indmate associates and 
friends, viz. Mr David Pearson of Easter Balgedie, 
thus wrote inter alia, with special reference to the 
' Ode : ' — ' When I came to visit his father [Alexander 
Bruce] a few days after Michael's death, he went and 
brought forth his poem-book [i.e. the quarto volume 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 140. In a letter addressed to Dr Mackelvie upon 
the publication of his edition of Bruce, Mr Young, though Logan's own agent, 
thus gave his estimate of Bruce and Logan : ' I really am at a loss to express to 
you my approbation of the manner in which you have executed the work, and 
the justice you have done to the- talents and memory of a most extraordinary 
youth, more es/>ecially by rescuing them from the fangs of a poisonous reptile.' 
Cf. ' Sermons by the late William Mackelvie, D.D. ; with Memoir of the 
Author by John Macfarlane, LL.D., London. 1864.' (Oliphant), pp. 31, 32. 



68 THE nVRKS OF 

already referred to, into which the Poet had transcribed 
carefully all his productions deemed fit for the press], 
and read the " Ode to the Cuckoo" and "The Musiad," 
at which the good old man was greatly overcome." 
To the same effect he further wrote : [' Kinnesswood, 
August 29, 1795.'] — ' I need not inform you concerning 
the bad treatment that his [Bruce's] poems met with from 
the Rev. Mr Logan, when he received from his father 
the whole of his manuscripts, published only his own 
pleasure, and kept back those poems that his friends 
would most gladly have embraced, and since published 
many of them in his own name. The Cuckoo and 
THE Hymns in the end of Logan's Book are as- 
suredly Mr Bruce's productions.'^ Now, David 
Pearson, who gives this explicit ' testhnony^ — and there 
are many persons still alive who over and over heard him 
make the same unvarying statement, — was first of all an 
' apprentice' with Alexander Bruce, then a 'journeyman,' 
and throughout the bed-fellow of Michael. Manuscripts 
that remain show him to have had also a taste for 
poetry, a taste which the elder Bruce encouraged, and 
which he and our Poet mutually stimulated in one 
another. The friendship between David and Michael 
was of the most intimate kind. It was their delight to 
read every now and then their ' new pieces ' as they 
came fresh from the mint, though Bruce's absence at 
Forrest Mill latterly prevented their seeing or showing 
all they produced, which, however, was supplemented 



' Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 117, 118. The 'original letter' of Pearson was 
entrusted to Dr Mackelvie by the daughter of Dr Anderson. 
" Dr Anderson, as before, p. 274. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 69 

by Correspondence of the most ardent and confiding 
character. The Letter given by us (pp. 34—36) is one 
of the few spared from the spoliation of John Logan, 
when, as explained, he sought every possible ms. to 
and from Bruce. Besides all this, David Pearson was 
a man of shrewd and noticeable intelligence, of literary 
instincts, and of the same tender religious character with 
Michael ; and through life was regarded as of sterling 
integrity, unquestionable truthfulness, and rare worth. 
When he died, in a ' good old age,' the whole Village 
mourned as for a father. Dr Anderson, in his Life of 
Logan, describes him as ' a man of strong parts, and of 
a serious, contemplative, and inquisitive turn, who had 
improved his mind by a diligent and solitary perusal of 

such books as came within his reach This 

worthy and respectable man is now living at Easter Bal- 
gedie.' Such is our first twofold witness and witness- 
ing Alexander Bruce and David Pearson. And it may 
be added, that over and above his distinct and unfor- 
getable remembrance of old Alexander Bruce reading 
from the well-known quarto volume the ' Ode to the 
Cuckoo,' David Pearson was wont to tell with the same 
certainty that he kne^u the poem to be Michael's, for 
that he had repeatedly read and heard it in Bruce's life- 
time. This I have had confirmed not once or twice, 
but at least six times, by present representatives of the 
Villagers, and of county families with whom Pearson 
was wont to converse on the subject. He always, it 
must be added, in common with Mr Birrel and all 
others of the circle of the Bruces' relatives and acquaint- 
ances, adhered to the version of the ' Ode ' as first 



70 THE WORKS OF 

given in the Poems published in 1770 (of which more 
by and by). 

3. John Birrel. — Another 'witness,' — who died in 
1837, as Dr Mackelvie's edition of Bruce was passing 
through the press, — viz. Mr John Birrel, gave the very 
same unhesitating * testimony ' from personal knowledge. 
He was the junior by a few years of Bruce and Pearson, 
but was very early in life admitted into the friendship of 
both. He was specially ' the friend ' trusted in every- 
thing by Alexander Bruce, and he learned from him 
again and again the facts that have been stated. The 
elder Bruce died on 19th July 1772, nearly ten years 
before Logan published his own volume, or in any public 
way claimed the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ;' so that he never 
had occasion to be interrogated as to its debated author- 
ship. But Mr Birrel, in common with David Pearson, 
recalled the tears of the old man as he would now and 
again take up the little volume of 1 770, and read the 
' Ode to the Cuckoo,' and the ' Elegy,' and ' Lochleven,' 
when he was wont to recall the circumstances under 
which these and other pieces were composed. It was 
to Mr Birrel that Alexander Bruce gave over the 
few loose mss. that Logan had returned to him on his 
sad visit to Edinburgh. In ' a letter to Dr Anderson 
f ' Kinnesswood, Aug. 3 1 , 1 795 '] , he thus gives a narrative 
of the FACTS : ' Some time before the poet's father died, he 
delivered to me the book containing the first draught of 
some of Michael's poems, his sermons, and other papers, 
desiring I would keep them, saying, " I know of none 
to whom I would rather give them than you, for you 
* mind ' me more of my Michael than anybody," — a com- 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 71 

pliment which I never deserved, and which in modesty 
I should conceal. Some years after I entered upon 
terms with Mr Morison of Perth to sell the mss. for 
the benefit of auld Annie [Mrs Bruce], who was in 
very destitute circumstances. But in the meantime Dr 
Baird wrote for them, with a view to republish Michael's 
poems, with any others that could be procured of his. 
I sent them to him gladly, hoping soon to see the whole 
in print, and the old woman decently provided for in 
consequence. The finished hook of Michael'' s poems luas 
given to Mr Logan, ivho never returned them. Many a 
time, with tears trickling down his face, has old Alex- 
ander told me how much he was disappointed. He came 
unexpectedly and got all the papers, letters, and the 
books away, without giving him time to take a note of 
the titles, or getting a receipt for the papers,' etc' There 
follows the reception by Logan of the father, as already 
fully told. In another Letter to Dr Anderson, after 
specially calling upon David Pearson, he informs him 
that he ' does not remember of seeing the Ode to the 
Fountain, The Vernal Ode, Ode to Paoli, Chorus of 
Elysian Bards, or the Danish Odes, until he saw them 
in print. But the rest of the publication [i.e. of 1 770] 
he DECIDEDLY ascribes to Michael, and in a most parti- 
cular manner the ' Cuckoo,' ' Salgar and Morna,' and 
the other * Eclogue.' The ' decidedly ' here is inter- 
preted to us by what David Pearson himself wrote to 
Dr Anderson -, and from a man so upright, so truthful, 
so guarded, so venerable, it was as an oath. 

In the course of our researches for this edition of 

' Dr Anderson, as before, pp. 1029, 1030. 



7 a THE WORKS OF 

Bruce, a number of interesting letters of Mr Birrel have 
been put into our hands ; and otherwise I have had 
fresh light shed upon his circumstances and character. 
All go to show that he must have been thoroughly 
well-educated, of literary and specially poetic tastes, and, 
in the fullest sense of the term — a ' god/y man.' From the 
outset on to his white-headed old age, Mr Birrel gave 
the same unvarying statement to all who introduced the 
subject, and to Dr Mackelvie from within the shadows 
of the ' Valley of Shadows ;' and such ' testimony ' from 
such a man in such circumstances, and speaking from 
his own immediate personal knowledge, and as having 
also read the ' Ode ' in the Poet's volume of transcribed 
pieces, cannot be set aside by the audacious claim of 
Logan himself, made without a syllable of explanation 
or of evidence. 

Thus far we have adduced three unchallengeable 
' witnesses,' viz. : 

Alexander Bruce, father of the Poet; 

David Pearson and) • ^ j j 4. 

„ V associates and correspondents. 

John Birrel, j 

All of these had ' heard ' and ' read ' the ' Ode ' during 
the lifetime of Bruce, and before Logan had ever been 
heard of. All of them had "seen ' it in the ms. volume 
carefully prepared by the dying Poet ; and out of this 
volume, within a few days after his death, David 
Pearson had heard the Ode ' read ' by Bruce's father, as 
one of his favourite pieces. The volume which con- 
tained it and many other ' Poems,' was, as we have 
seen, guilelessly entrusted to, or rather, by false pre- 
tences secured by, John Logan ; and, as we have also 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 73 

seen, he destroyed it, thus removing the one grand 
evidence against his claim. 

Fortunately, at least one other copy, not improbably 
two, of the ' Ode' in Bruce's handwriting had been 
preserved ; and we have the * testimony ' of two ' wit- 
nesses,' who will not be suspected, to having seen the 
manuscript, viz. Dr Davidson of Enross, and Principal 
Baird of Edinburgh. These in order : 

(i.) Dr Davidson of Kinross. — Dr Mackelvie hav- 
ing applied to the Lord Chief Commissioner Adam, of 
Blairadam, who had made investigations into the ques- 
tion, was informed by his Lordship, that Dr Davidson, 
Professor of Natural and Civil History, Marischal Col- 
lege, Aberdeen, had stated to him, that his father [Dr 
Davidson of ICinross] told him that he had seen a letter 
from Michael Bruce, in which he said, ' You will think 
me ill employed, for I am writing a poem about a gowk ' 
{Anglice, cuckoo).' 

On communicating with Professor Davidson, Dr Mac- 
kelvie received this more detailed and thoroughly satis- 
factory account : — 

' The information you have received from the Lord 
Chief Commissioner is in every respect correct ; but in 
addition to what my father told me (as stated in his 
Lordship's letter), he also told me that the letter con- 
taining the poem was in the possession of a Mr Bickerton, 
residing either at ICinnesswood or Scotlandwell, but, at 
this distance of time, I cannot certainly recollect which. 
But soon after this, I was paying a visit to Colonel 
Douglas of Strathenry ; when passing through ICinness- 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 114. 



74 s THE WORKS OF 

wood,! met a Mr Birrel [already noticed], an acquaintance 
of my father's, who introduced me to Mr Bickerton, who 
showed me the poem written upon a very small quarto page, 
with a single line below it, nearly in the words as stated by 
the Lord Chief Commissioner, and signed Michael Bruce. 
The words were, as nearly as I can recall them, "You will 
think I might have been better employed than writing 
about a gowk." If I recollect right, the word Glasgow 
was written on one corner of the paper, but no date. The 
handwriting was small and cramped, and not very legible ; 
but as I had not seen Bruce's handwriting, I could not 
positively say that the handwriting was his, although Mr 
Bickerton assured me that it was. I cannot be perfectly 
certain in what year I saw the manuscript, but, from 
some circumstances which occurred about that period, I 
am inclined to believe that it was in the year 1786 or 
thereby. I ma}'' observe, that there were some slight 
differences between the manuscript which I saw and the 
copy published in Logan's poems. The word *' attend- 
ant" was used in place of "companion-," and several 
other variations, but of no importance. I shall be most 
happy if what I have stated can be of any use to you in 
your projected edition ; and if there are any dubious 
points in Bruce's life which would require to be cleared 
up, perhaps I might be able to give you some informa- 
tion, as my father and 1 had many conversations regarding 
hifn; and he had good opportunities of knowing him, 
from being his medical attendant.' ^ 

There are two or three points in this letter which call 
for remark. 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 114, 115. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 75 

1. I have to state that Miss Davidson, daughter of 
Dr Davidson of Kinross, and sister of Professor David- 
son, who lived and died in Kinross, is still remembered 
by various of the older residents in the town to have 
made the very same statement on the same authority, viz. 
her father, who never for a moment doubted that Bruce 
was the author of the ' Ode.' 

2. In confirmation of Dr Davidson's incidental recol- 
lection that the paper on which the ' Ode ' was written 
was ' a very small quarto ' page, it is to be noted 
that all Bruce's letters which have been preserved are 
written upon half of a sheet of foolscap, folded double, 
which makes exactly such a page as is described. The 
fac-simile prefixed to our volume is also written on the 
same kind and size of paper. 

3. The Mr Bickerton mentioned by Professor David- 
son is still remembered by many in the village and 
county, as having been a school-fellow and associate of 
Bruce, and afterwards a correspondent. He was a man 
of kindred character and worth with Pearson and 
Birrel ; and he gave identically the same account of 
Logan's visit and conduct with theirs. 

It is greatly to be lamented that the manuscript was 
lost by Mr Bickerton, who never ceased to grieve over 
it, in common with Mr Birrel and Mr Pearson. /;/ the 
very same ivay the origiftal MS. of the ^ Elegy in Spring^ 
has gone amis sitig from the family papers of the Hendersons of 
Turfhills. 

(2.) Principal Baird. — When Dr Anderson published 
the 'Poems' of Logan, in his well-known Collection of 
the British Poets, he assigned the ' Ode ' to him. After- 



76 THE WORKS OF 

wards, in applying to David Pearson for information, 
while preparing a ' Life ' of Bruce, that worthy man 
cordially entered into a correspondence with the Doctor ; 
but in a little Memoir of Bruce, which he drew up, and 
which was submitted to Dr Anderson, reflected somewhat 
' sfiellf on the giving of the ' Ode' to Logan. The Doctor's 
letter to Pearson, in reply, is given by Dr Mackelvie.^ 

The following extract is important : ' I have since 
seen your account of Bruce, which, so far as it goes, 
is pleasing and interesting. I hope, however, you will 
do me the jusdce to cancel the sentence relating to me. 
I do not complain of its coldness, but of its unfairness. 
In my narrative 1 followed Dr Baird's authority in ascrib- 
ing the " Ode to the Cuckoo " to Logan, who had indeed 
himself claimed it, and, till I saw Mr Birrel, I had no 
doubt of his being the indisputable author of it.' On all 
this Dr Mackelvie has these remarks and facts : — 

' The reader will observe that Dr Anderson, accord- 
ing to his own account, had assigned the " Ode to the 
Cuckoo " to Logan, upon Dr Baird's authority. Now 
it is necessary to inform him that, in the year following 
that in which he gave Dr Anderson the sancdon of his 
authority for assigning this Ode to Logan, Dr Baird 
published a new edition of Bruce's Poems in behoof of 
the poet's mother, in which he inserted the " Ode to 
the Cuckoo " without note or comment ; thus awarding 
to Bruce what he had formerly claimed for his friend 
Logan, and what he was aware Logan had claimed for 
himself. The reason for this apparent inconsistency on 
the part of Dr Baird, in whose commendadon we have 

^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. ii6, 117. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 77 

5^et much to say, is explained in a letter to Mr John 
Birrel, from Mr John Hervey, merchant, Stirling, with 
whose character, and connection with this publication, 
the reader will be made acquainted in a subsequent 
stage of this narrative. " He " (Dr Baird) " has found 
the Cuckoo to be Michael Bruce's, and has the original 
in his own handivriting^ ' ^ 

In all probability, the ms. formerly in possession of 
Mr Bickerton was identical with that which Principal 
Baird had obtained, though it is not known how it 
reached him. It may have been another copy. It is 
exceedingly to he desired that the Baird family papers should 
yield up this prize. 

The Mr Hervey referred to, promoted, and indeed was 
the moving agent in, the publication of Dr Baird's edition 
of Bruce's ' Poems.' He was the bosom friend of Mr 
Birrel ; and two of the latter's letters to Mr Telford, 
banker, Stirling, which have been kindly forwarded to 
us, express very touchingly his grief for his death. 

Besides all this indubitable ' testimony,' direct and in- 
direct, from personal knowledge, and from those who 
had seen the ' Ode ' in Bruce's handwriting, there falls 
to be added this, that Professors Swanston and Lawson, 
the Rev. George Henderson of Glasgow, the Rev. David 
Greig of Lochgelly, and all the fellow-students of Bruce 
at the University, and afterwards at the ' Theological 
Hall ' in Kinross, over and over stated, on grounds of 
personal knoiuledge, that the ' Ode ' to the ' Cuckoo ' 
was the composition of Michael Bruce. All the re- 
presentatives of these persons confirmed this to Dr 

' Dr Mackclvie, as before, p. 117. 



78 THE HVRKS OF 

Mackelvie ; and I have had it repeatedly re-confirmed 
to myself. 

Further, we have the unhesitating ' testimony ' of a 
man greatly revered in his generation, to wit, Mr 
Bennet of Gairney Bridge. He was the grandson of 
Ebenezer Erskine's friend, the ' Laird ' of Gairney, and 
son of good Mr Bennet, Associate minister of St An- 
drews. He was a fellow-student and intimate friend of 
Bruce's. He received ' Licence,' but never having re- 
ceived a ' Call,' he settled down on ^his paternal acres, 
and filled most exemplarily the office of ' Elder ' in the 
congregation of which the present Writer is minister. 
He is still remembered as having often attested Bruce's 
authorship ; and Lord Commissioner Adam thus inci- 
dentally refers to his testimony, in the letter to Dr 
Mackelvie already quoted : ' I ought to have mentioned 
that Mr Bennet of Gairney Bridge, the Seceding clergy- 
man, told me that he believed, or rather thai he knew, 
that Bruce was the author of the " Cuckoo." ' ' 

Two additional things only remain to be added : — 

1. That during Bruce's lifetime, and before the * Ode ' 
was published — which was not until 1770 — many of the 
young men of the Village who were the Poet's contem- 
poraries, could and did repeat it, from copies furnished by 
himself, as he was wont to furnish of any of his pieces 
that might be sought. Besides the ' witnesses ' already 
cited, there are those now living who perfectly remember 
their grandfathers and grandmothers so repeating it. 

2. That it is still remembered in ICinnesswood that old 
Mrs Bruce, mother of the Poet, having gone along with 

^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 113. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 79 

a number of the Villagers to see a ' Cuckoo,' which had 
been shot by one of them, — a thing of rare occurrence 
from the shyness of the bird, — remarked, ' Will that be 
the bird our Michael made a sang about ?' the good old 
* body ' meaning the well-known ' Ode.' 

Such is our case against Logan and for Bruce. On 
the one hand, for Logan, there is his publication of the 
' Ode,' with a few verbal changes, in his own volume 
of 1 78 1, but without note or explanation or subsequent 
proof ; ^ and without a solitary witness to its existence in 
his handwriting, prior to the Bruce Mss. coming into 
his possession. On the other hand, there are for Bruce : 
( I ) The ' Ode,' known to many of the Villagers be- 
fore publication ; (2) read by Alexander Bruce out of 
the quarto MS. volume; (3) heard and read by two 
associates and correspondents, David Pearson and John 
Birrel ; (4) possessed in Bruce's manuscript by Mr 
Bickerton ; (5) that ms. seen by Dr Davidson ; (6) 
another ms. copy in Bruce's handwriting, possessed by 
Principal Baird ; and (7) the still well-remembered 
' testimony ' of the County of Kinross, of those who per- 
sonally knew the Poet. Besides, as against Logan : ( i ) 
'The destruction of Bruce's carefully prepared quarto volume of 
Poems, luhich is attested to have contained the ' Ode ;' (2) 
its publication by himself as Bruce's, in the volume of 
1770. I gather up the whole in the emphatic verdict of 
another, well-fitted by genius and culture to judge, and, 

' We shall see in the sequel the worth or worthiessness of Logan's claim from 
publication, in other relations. We shall see that he similarly ' published ' as his 
own, in the same volume, and on the strength of like mere slight verbal changes, 
what was printed before he was born, over and above his appropriation of the 
Bruce MSS. 



8o THE WORKS OF 

as an Englishman, removed beyond national and local 
prejudices : — 

' This beautiful Ode first appeared in the posthumous 
Poems of Michael Bruce, Edinburgh, 1770. It was, 
however, subsequently claimed by the editor of the 
volume, the Rev. John Logan, among whose poems it 
was afterwards printed. It is here unhesitatingly assigned 
to the author, under whose name it was first given to 
the public, on the following grounds : First, No one of 
Logan's unquestioned pieces makes the slightest approach 
to it in beautiful simplicity. Second, Were such literary 
frauds to be tolerated, and editors of posthumous poems 
allowed to claim and possess without title the best pieces 
in such volumes, thus taking the benefit of their own 
laches, no posthumous work would appear without sus- 
picion of being interpolated, and no author's fame resting 
on such works would be safe." 

In addition to the external evidence submitted, there 
has recently been discovered a singular internal confir- 
mation of the Bruce authorship of the ' Ode.' In a 
rich and racy Paper in the ' North British Review ' 
for February 1864, entitled 'Bibliomania,' we read as 
follows : — 

' No 6 is a copy of the poems of the Rev. John 
Logan, which formerly belonged to John Miller, Esq., 
of Lincoln's Inn. Over against the Ode to the Cuckoo, 
Mr Miller has inserted a slip of paper containing the 
following curious piece of information : " The follow- 
ing note relative to the Ode to the Cuckoo was found 

' The ' Poetic Wreath,' consisting of select Passages from the English Poets from 
Chaucer to Wordsworth. London : Chapman and Hall. 1836. 8vo. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 8i 

among the papers of Dr Grant, one of Logan's execu- 
tors : — 

* Alas, sweet bird ! not so my fate, 
Dark scowling skies I see 
Fast gathering round, and fraught with woe 
And wintry years to me.' 

I find that, after the stanza * sweet bird,' he had written 
the above -, but as he did not express a wish to have it 
inserted, I have omitted it. And it is perhaps too solemn 
for the tone of the rest of the poem, but it is expressive 
of that predictive melancholy which was with him con- 
stitutional." 

* Now, of course, Dr Grant must have been much 
better qualified to judge than we are as to Logan's " pre- 
dictive melancholy." But it is at least remarkable that 
the Ode to the Cuckoo should thus be ascertained to have 
included a stanza so strikingly characteristic of Michael 
Bruce, who is on other grounds strongly suspected to 
have been the real author of the poem. The singularly 
close parallelism of the above with the well-known 
lines : — 

** Now spring returns, but not to me returns 
The vernal joy my better years have known," etc., 

must necessarily strike every one. The stanza we have 
now given has never, so far as we know, been printed 
before ; and it is a little unaccountable that it should not 
have reached the hands of Dr Mackelvie, who published 
a carefully edited edition of Bruce's poems about thirty 
years ago, and who, as we remember, mentions that he 
had applied to Mr Miller of Lincoln's Inn for any infor- 

F 



8i THE WORKS OF 

mation that might be in his possession, bearing upon the 
question as to the authorship of the several poems which 
have been variously attributed both to Bruce and Logan.' ' 

It is plain that Mr Miller — into whose possession the 
Logan and Grant mss. came — must have discovered this 
stanza and note subsequently to his correspondence with 
Dr Mackelvie. It may be well to state, that after a pro- 
tracted correspondence, evidencing a keen and lawyer- 
like penetration and sifdng of evidence, Mr Miller 
finally wrote : ' My own firm persuasion is, that the Ode. 
is Bruce's, though Logan may have changed some of the 
words or expressions,'^ 

No one will disagree with the writer of ' Bibliomania,' 
as to the recovered stanza being characteristic of Bruce ; 
and Logan's suppression of it points to a shrewd dis- 
cernment thereof. The touching lines reflected the very 
circumstances of the young ailing Poet as he felt himself 
struggling with a ' consumptive ' constitution. At the 
most, he could only live ' in weakness ' and in pain ; and 
was looking forward to going away prematurely. Such 
were his blended fears and hopes. John Logan was 
too ' riotous ' a ' liver ' to be visited by such * predictive 
melancholy,' spite of his credulous ' executor's ' observa- 
tion. 

' Having thus vindicated the claims of Bruce to the 
authorship of the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' it may not be 
unmeet that we give it here as originally published in 
1770, and as subsequently altered by Logan in 1781. 
We place them opposite one another : — 

' North British Review, February 1S64. 
- Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 121. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 



83 



I. 

1770. As Bruce wrote it- 



II. 
1781. As Logan amended it — 



Hail, beauteous Stranger of the wood ! 

Attendant on the spring ! 
Now heaVn repairs thy rural seat, 

And woods thy welcome sing. 



Hail, beauteous Stranger of the grove ! 

Thou Messenger of Spring ! 
Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat, 

And woods thy welcome sing. 



Soon as the daisy decks the green, 
Thy certain voice we hear: 

Hast thou a star to guide thy path, 
Or mark the rolling year ? 



What time the daisy decks the green, 
Thy certain voice we hear ; 

Hast thou a star to guide thy path, 
Or mark the rolling year? 



Delightful Visitant ! with thee 

I hail the time of flow'rs. 
When heav'n is fiU'd with music sweet 

Of birds among the bow'rs. 



Delightful Visitant ! with thee 
I hail the time of flowers, 

And hear the sound of music sweet 
From birds among the bowers. 



The schoolboy, wand'ring in the wood 

To pull the flow'rs so gay, 
Starts, thy curious voice to hear. 

And imitates thy lay. 

V. 

Soon as the pea puts on the bloom. 

Thou fly's! thy vocal vale, 
An annual guest, in other lands, 

Another spring to hail. 

VI. 

Sweet bird ! thy bow'r is ever green, 

Thy sky is ever clear ; 
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song. 

No winter in thy year ! 

VII. 

O could I fly, I'd fly with thee : 
We'd make, with social wing. 

Our annual visit o'er the globe, 
Companions of the Spring. 



The school-boy, wandering thro' the wood 

To pull the primrose gay. 
Starts, the new voice of Spring to hear, 

And imitates thy lay. 

What time the pea puts on the bloom 

Thou flicst thy vocal vale. 
An annual guest in other lands. 

Another Spring to hail. 

Sweet Bird ! thy bower is ever green, 

Thy sky is ever clear ; 
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song. 

No winter in thy year ! 

O could I fly, I'd fly with thee ! 

We'd make, with joyful wing. 
Our annual visit o'er the globe, 

Companions of the .Spring. 



For reasons that will appear in the sequel, it is neces- 
sary to take particular notice of the successive alterations 
in the text of 1781 from that of 1770. 

First of all, in stanza first, line first, for Bruce's 
' wood,' Logan substitutes * grove,' no doubt because of 



84 THE WORKS OF 

the occurrence of the former in line fourth. It is to be 
noticed that * wood ' is the local name still, for the plan- 
tation on the hill-sides -, and also that in * Lochleven ' 
' wood ' occurs repeatedly. 
In line second we read — 

*Thou Messenger of Spring,' 

for Bruce's 

' Attendant on the Spring.' 

As the Cuckoo comes with, not precedes, 'Spring,' the 
original ' Attendant ' is the more nicely accurate. 

It is noticeable also — for it is in these little things 
craft is shown — that Logan had a motive to make the 
change of ' Messenger ' for ' Attendant ' on the Spring, 
inasmuch as he thereby removed a suspicious parallelism 
with the opening of * Lochleven,' — 

* Beauty . . . where she treads, 
Attendant on her steps, the blushing Spring 
And Summer vi^ait.' . . . 

In stanza second, for Bruce's vivid ' Soon as,' Logan 
gives ' What time ;' in stanza third, for Bruce's 

' When heav'n is filled w^ith music sweet 
Of birds among the bowers,' 

which fills up the vision of the dawning Season — first 
the * daisy ' and the ' cuckoo,' then the whole flush of 
flowers and the whole quire of ' singers ' in the wood- 
lands — we have Logan's 

* And hear the voice of music sweet 
From birds among the bowers ; ' 

the ' and ' being in contradiction to the 'hail !' addressed 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 85 

to the advancing brlnger of flowers and birds, and trans- 
forming the future into the present. 

In stanza fourth, line first, for Bruce's ' in ' there is 
'thro'-,' and for his ' To pull the flow'rs so gay,' the 
more definite ' To pull the primrose gay,' — Logan here 
giving the one improving touch that can be accepted. 
* In the wood ' occurs twice in * Lochleven.' 

In line third, Logan makes a change which no one 
will approve, and on which we may hear Lord Mac- 
kenzie : ' Will you allow me,' he wrote to Dr Mackelvie, 
' to suggest that, when you republish the " Ode to the 
Cuckoo," you should consider whether the original read- 
ing of the line ought not to be restored, namely, 

" Starts thy curious voice to hear," 
instead of 

" Starts the new voice of Spring to hear." 

" Curious " may be a Scotticism, but it is felicitous. It 
marks the unusual resemblance of the note of the 
cuckoo to the human voice, the cause of the " start " and 
" imitation " which follow : whereas the " New voice of 
Spring " is not true •, for many voices in Spring precede 
that of the cuckoo, and it is not peculiar and striking, 
nor does it connect either with the start or imitation' ' 

In stanza fifth, line first, we have again Bruce's * Soon 
as' exchanged for ' What time.' 

Logan leaves untouched stanzas fifth and sixth, the 
latter the finest of the whole,- and only in stanza seventh, 
line second, for Bruce's 'social' reads 'joyful.' Such 
are the entire ' words or expressions ' (to use Mr Miller's 

' Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 240. 



86 THE fi'ORKS OF 

phrase, ante) ' changed ' by Logan ; and I apprehend it 
may be safely left with every reader capable of insight, 
to judge whether the hand that made these alterations 
was the hand of a genuine ' Makkar ' — whether they do 
not answer to the drivellings of ' Runnymede.' Two 
things seem very clear : the altered copy is less truthful 
and is less poetical. It is the 'lesser' blessing the 
* greater ' — the backward way. With therefore the one 
exception of the specification of the ' primrose,' I know 
not that any one will accept Logan's alterations as im- 
provements. Even the * primrose ' lacks that accuracy 
characteristic of Bruce, inasmuch as schoolboys don't 
ramble 'in the woods' to 'pull' one flower in particular, 
be it ' primrose ' or any other, but are apt to seize upon 
all that offer ; and again, in the present day at least, in 
the county of Kinross, I have found the cuckoo pre- 
ceding the full yellowing of the ' primrose ' banks in the 
bosky glades. 

Logan is not the only one who has ' tinkered ' this 
exquisite ode. Dr M'Culloch, in the third volume of 
his series of school-books, imagines that he improves the 
original of 

' Starts thy curious voice to hear,' 
by reading 

' Stands still to hear thy two-fold shout/ 

an attempt to import Wordsworth into Bruce. 

That the version of 1770 represents the 'Ode' as it 
came from Bruce, will appear from these three things : — 

I. The Villagers had so 'learned it by heart ' pre- 
vious to publication. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 87 

2. Messrs Pearson, Birrel, Bickerton, Arnot, and all 
Bruce's contemporaries, so gave it. 

3. Principal Baird, who had in his possession a copy 
in the handwridng of Bruce, so printed it, thus deli- 
berately refusing Logan's version. 

Before passing on to another flagrant illustration of 
Logan's appropriation of the Bruce Mss. in the ' Hymns ' 
or ' Paraphrases,' the Reader will no doubt be glad to 
have placed before him other three addresses to the 
* Cuckoo,' two of surpassing subtlety of thought and 
music of wording ; and the other interesting for com- 
parison, as having appeared in 1 77 7, i.e. after Bruce's 
volume, but prior to Logan's, and showing knowledge, 
especially in the penuldmate stanza, of the former. 

We take them in order. First of all, the anojiymous 
' Ode ' of the old Magazine. 



ODE TO THE CUCKOO. 
Sein/er eadevi. 

See ! the vernal flow'rets bloom, 
Wove in Flora's silken loom, 

Gay linnet of the Spring ! 
See ! the halcyon skims the lake, 
And the lizard leaves the brake, 

"W here countless warblers sing ! 

Come, dear Cuckovv ! come away ! 
April wanes ! — 'twill soon be May ! 

Too short thy pleasing reign ! 
Come, and with iinvary'd note, 
Perch beside my little cot, 

And soothe me once again ! 



88 THE WORKS OF 

Silver willows shed perfume. 
Sweeter than Arabia's gum, 

Along the marshy rill ; 
Shepherds pipe the rural lay, 
As their lamjjkins frisk and play 

Upon the pendant hill. 

Whisp'ring pleasure everywhere. 
Genial zephyrs fan the air, 

In mazy, mystic sport ! 
Insect swarms begin to live; 
Jocund nymphs their chaplets weave ; 

And Venus holds her court ! 

Sunshine moments dost thou prize ? 
Lo ! unclouded as the skies ; 

At work the active bees ! 
Nature bids thee come with speed, 
Revel in the laughing mead, 

Or wanton on the trees ! 

Oh ! like thee, the bird I love, 
I, on ev'ry new remove 

Fresh scenes of joy would know ; 
And when gath'ring storms appear 
(Left the baneful hemisphere). 

To kinder regions go. 

Mine this hope, when grizzly death 
Asks the tribute of my breath. 

The debt I'll freely pay ; 
And, unbody'd, take my flight 
Far beyond the staiTy height. 

Where beams eternal day ! ' 

It seems like placing a ' gowan ' beside a passion- 
flower, with its awful lines and stains, to follow this 

' Ruddiman's 'Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement,' May 22, 1777. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 89 

with Wordsworth's witching and exquisitely-touched 
' Ode,' to which, for perfectness of thought, of feeling, 
of metaphor, of word-painting, and of melody, — there is 
nothing of its kind that approaches it ; nevertheless the 
comparison is interesting, and more especially in refer- 
ence to Bruce's ' Ode.' For just as — to return to our 
symbol — we detect in the mystic passion-flower the very 
same tints, and spots, and ' freckles ' as are found in the 
lowlier blossomings of the woodland, so in his profounder 
strain there are self-revealing recollections of the young 
Scot's simpler lines. It is known that the great Poet 
of the Lakes admired exceedingly Bruce's ' Ode ' and 
' Elegy.' Next then is Wordsworth's : — 

O blithe New-comer ! I have heard, 

I hear thee, and rejoice. 
O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee Bird, 

Or but a wandering Voice ? 

While I am lying on the grass, 

Thy two-fold shout I hear ; 
From hill to hill it seems to pass. 

At once far off, and near. 

Though babbling only to the Vale 

Of sunshine and of flowers, 
Thou bringest unto me a tale 

Of visionary hours. 

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring ! 

Even yet thou art to me 
No bird, but an invisible thing, 

A voice, a mystery ; 



90 THE WORKS OF 

The same whom in my schoolboy days 

I listen'd to ; that Cry 
Which made me look a thousand ways, 

In bush, and tree, and sky. 

To seek thee did I often rove 

Through woods and on the green ; 
And thou.wert still a hope, a love ; 

Still long'd for, never seen. 

And I can listen to thee yet ; 

Can lie upon the plain 
And listen, till I do beget 

That golden time again. 

blessed Bird ! the earth we pace 
Again appears to be 

An unsubstantial, faery place. 
That is fit home for Thee ! 

Lastly, there is the quaint, antique-toned ' Lines ' of 
Bruce-like David Gray, which remind us of those in- 
stantaneous photographs that give the breaking ' froarie ' 
curl of the wave, the soft wreathing of autumnal mist, 
in their fine telling of the shock of illusion, as the actual 
dissolved the visionary : — 

Last night a vision was dispell'd. 

Which I can never dream again ; 
A wonder fiom the earth has gone, 

A passion fi'om my bi-ain. 

1 saw upon a budding ash 

A cuckoo, and she blithely sung 
To all the valleys round about, 

While on a branch she swung. 
Cuckoo, cuckoo ; I look'd around. 

And like a dream fulfill'd. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 91 

A slender bird of modest brown, 

My sight with wonder thrill'd. 
I looked again and yet again ; 

My eyes, thought I, do sure deceive me; 
But when belief made doubting vain, 

Alas ! the sight did grieve me. 
For twice to-day I heard the cry, 

The hollow cry of melting love ; 
And twice a tear bedimm'd my eye, — 

I sawij the singer in the grove ; 
I saw him pipe his eager tone. 

Like any other common bird. 
And, as I live, the sovereign cry 

Was not the one I always heard. 
O why within that lusty wood 

Did I the fairy sight behold ? 
O why within that solitude 

"Was I thus blindly overbold ? 
My heart, forgive me ! for indeed 

I cannot speak my thrilling pain ; 
The wonder vanish'd from the earth, 

The passion from my brain. ' 

Having successfully, it is believed, vindicated Bruce's 
claim to the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' — having shown that 
Logan acted the part of Bathyllus to Virgil, or, if we 
may be pardoned saying it, the part of the * Cuckoo ; ' 
for in truth one must retort upon him the old Latin pro- 
verb, ' astutior coccyge,' seeing that if she steal another's 
nest, she at least lays her own eggs, and adheres to her own 
mononote, but John Logan usurped nest and eggs, and 
the ' sweet singing' of the bird whose little all he robbed, 
— we have now similarly to narrate and examine the facts 

' The Luggie, and other Poems. By David Gray. With a Memoir by James 
Hedderwick, and a Prefatory Notice by R. M. Milnes, M.P. (Lord Houghton). 
(Macmillan) 1862. i2mo. Pp. 108, 109. 



91 THE M'ORKS OF 

concerning Logan's misappropriation of the Bruce mss. 
in the well-known Paraphrases and Hymns. 

It has already been told how surprised and disap- 
pointed the Villagers were when the little volume of 
1770 reached them, and was found to contain none of 
the Poet's religious pieces. "We daresay none of our 
readers will have forgotten the broken-hearted excla- 
mation of his good old father, ' Where are my son's 
Gospel Sonnets?' The volume of 178 1 gave an all 
too plain explanation of the mystery and of the sup- 
pression ; for at its close there appeared nine ' Hymns ' 
that were instantly recognised as substantially the * Gos- 
pel Sonnets,' or poedcal renderings of passages of Scrip- 
ture, of Michael Bruce — some of them revisions of 
already exisdng Hymns, and others wholly his own, as 
will immediately be shown. 

That the villagers and old Mr Bruce should thus in- 
stantly have missed the sacred poems of Bruce in 1770, 
and that the former — for Bruce senior was now dead — 
should with equal decision have recognised them in the 
so-called 'Poems by the Rev. Mr Logan,' in 1781, is 
explained by the facts which now fall to be stated. 
Here I would do all honour to Dr Mackelvie, by allow- 
ing him first of all to present these 

' Short and simple annals of the poor,' 

merely stadng for myself, that through venerable sur- 
viving representatives of those whose ' forbears ' were 
wont to sing these very ' Hymns ' long before they ever 
appeared in print, and o' winter nights to recall the 
memory of Bruce and * auld langsyne,' I have taken no 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 93 

small pains to re-verify every little detail. The follow- 
ing is Dr Mackelvie's narrative : — 

* The circumstance which first led our poet to write 
hymns has been rendered memorable in Kjnnesswood by 
its contributing, at the same time, to form a taste for 
sacred music among its inhabitants, for which they are 
still celebrated. About the period to which our narrative 
refers, a farmer of the name of Gibson settled in the 
village with his family, all the members of which were 
fond of church music ; and one of them, afterwards a 
preacher in connection with the Established Church, 
took delight in teaching this art to such of the villagers 
as would receive his instructions. Among the youths 
who benefited by his lessons was one John Buchan, 
who, after residing in several towns with a view to im- 
prove himself in his profession as a mason, returned to 
his native village, where he taught church music, and 
introduced a number of new tunes which he had learned 
in the places he had visited. Till then, " the old eight," — 
which were, " French, Dundee, Stilt or York, Newton, 
Elgin, London, Martyrs, Abbey," — as they are now 
emphatically called, were considered the only tunes 
which it was lawful to sing in country congregations, 
and, consequently, were all that it was deemed neces- 
sary or proper to learn ; but in town churches a few 
others had begun to be added to the number (among 
these were " St David's, St Paul's, St Thomas's, St 
Ann's"). In the summer of 1 764, Michael Bruce joined 
Buchan's class. At the time of his doing so, the fol- 
lowing doggerel rhymes, among others, were sung by 
the pupils when practising in school : — 



94 THE IVORKS OF 

* ' O mother, dear Jerusalem, 

When shall I come to thee ? 
When shall my sorrows have an end, 
Thy joys when shall I see ? " 

• '' The Martyrs' tune, above the rest, 
Distinguish'd is by fame ; 
On their account I'll sing this 
In honour of their name." 

*' Fair London town, where dwells the King, 
On his imperial throne, 
With all his court attending him. 
Still waiting him upon." 

Buclian, knowing Bruce to be both a poet and a scholar, 
requested him to furnish the class with verses which 
might be substituted for those we have quoted, which 
he considered as desritute of sentiment, and calculated to 
produce a ludicrous effect when sung to solemn airs. 
With this request Bruce complied, and wrote a number 
of hymns, several verses of which, in consequence of 
being- often sung in these rehearsals, became familiar to 
the inhabitants of the parish. The following have been 
attested to the writer as among the number : — 

' ' O happy is the man who hears 
Instruction's warning voice ; 
And who celestial wisdom makes 
His early, only choice." 

'* Few are thy days, and full of woe, 
O man of woman born ; 
Thy doom is written, Dust thou art. 
And shalt to dust return." 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 95 

' ' The beam that shines from Zion hill 
Shall lighten every land ; 
The King that reigns in Salem's towers 
Shall all the world command."" 

We have now to make a few remarks upon the 
Hymns or Paraphrases, as they belong to the two 
classes indicated in the outset, viz. revised hymns 
already existing, and hymns wholly original. 

I. Revised Hym;is a/ready existing. These are the first 
and fifth in Logan's volume of 178 1, and form the 
second and eighteenth of the ' Paraphrases ' of the 
Church of Scotland in universal use among us, and 
largely in the United States of America." 

It will startle many to be informed, that these two 
Hymns had been printed, substantially, in 1 745 ; and 
that the one — viz. ' O God of Bethel ' — belongs to the 
saintly Dr Doddridge of Northampton, in whose posthu- 
mous ' Hymns, founded on Various Texts in the Holy 
Scriptures,' published by Orton in 1 755, it duly ap- 
pears. To the proof : — Through the kindness of the 
Rev. Dr Johnston, of the United Presbyterian Church, 
Limekilns, I have now in my possession a copy of the ad 
interim edition of the ' Paraphrases.' Its title-page is as 
follows : — 



' Dr Mackelvie, as before, pp. 99-102. 

' Dr Laing, in his edition of Baillie, has given a most valuable account of the 
different editions of the metrical 'Psalms.' The same, and something more, were 
acceptable, concerning the ' Paraphrases.' We have before us what appears to 
have been a Mrd edition of the volume referred to on next page: — 'Aber- 
deen : Printed by F. Douglas, mdcclxv.' Three ' Hymns' are added from Dr 
Watts. 



96 



THE WORKS OF 



TRANSLATIONS 

AND 

PARAPHRASES 

OF 

SEVERAL PASSAGES 

OF 

SACRED SCRIPTURE, 

Collected and prepared 

By a Committee appointed by the General 

Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 

And, by the Act of last Assembly, transmitted to 
Presbyteries for their Consideration. 

EDINBURGH, 

Printed by Robert Fleming and Company, 
Printers to the Church o( Scotland. 

MDCCXLV. 

In this interesting little volume, at pages 49, 50, as 
the twenty-eighth, and 74, 75 as the forty-fourth re- 
spectively, the hymns in question are found. It may be 
well to give them verbatim et literatim ; and over against 
them Logan's versions : — 



1745. 

I. Isaiah ii. 2-6. 



Logan. 1781. 



In latter Days, the Mount of God, 
His sacred House, shall rise 

Above the Mountains and the Hills, 
and strike the wond'ring Eyes. 

II. 
To this the joyful Nations round 

all Tribes and Tongues shall flow ; 
Up to the House of God, they'll say, 

to JacoVs God, we'll go. 



Behold ! the mountain of the Lord 

In latter days shall rise, 
Above the mountains and the hills, 

And draw the wondering eyes. 

To this the joyful nations round 
All tribes and tongues shall flow ; 

Up to the Hill of God, they'll say, 
And to His house we'll go. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 



97 



To us He'll point the Ways of Truth ; 

the sacred Path we'll tread : 
Froin Salem and from Zion-'RWl 

His Lord shall then proceed. 

IV. 

Among the Nations and the Isles, 
as Judge supreme, He'll sit ; 

And, vested with unbounded pow'r, 
will pimish or acquit. 



The beam that shines on Zion Hill 

Shall lighten every land ; 
The King who reigns in Zion towers 

Shall all the world command. 



No Strife shall rage, nor angry feuds 
disturb these peaceful years ; 

To plow-shares then they'll beat their 
swords, 
to Pruning-hooks their Spears. 

VI. 

Then Nation shan't 'gainst Nation rise, 
and slaughter'd Hosts deplore : 

They'll lay the useless Trumpet by, 
and study War no more. 



No strife shall vex Messiah's reign. 

Or mar the peaceful years ; 
To ploughshares soon they beat their 
swords. 

To pruning-hooks their spears. 

No longer hosts encountering hosts. 

Their millions slain deplore ; 
They hang the trumpet in the hall. 

And study war no more. 



O come ye, then, of Jacob's House, 
our Hearts now let us join : 

And, walking in the Light of GoD, 
with holy Beauties shine. 



Come then — O come from every land. 
To worship at His shrine ; 

And, walking in the light of God, 
With holy beauties shine. 



1745- 
IL Gen[esis] xxviii. 20, 21, 22. 
I. 
O God of BetJtel, by whose Hand 

thine Israel still is fed ! 
Who thro' this weary pilgrimage 
hast all our Fathers led. 



Logan. 1781. 
The Prayer of Jacob. 

O God of Abraham ! by whose hand 

Thy people still are fed ; 
Who through this weary pilgrimage 

Hast all our fathers led ! 



To thee our humble vows we raise ; 

to thee address our Pray'r : 
And in Thy kind and faithful Breast 

deposit all our care. 



Our vows, our prayers, we now present 
Before Thy throne of grace : 

God of our Fathers, be the God 
Of their succeeding race ! 



If Thou, through each perplexing Path, Through each perplexing path of life, 

wilt be our constant Guide ; Our wandering footsteps guide ; 

If thou wilt daily Bread supply. Give us by day our daily bread, 

and Raiment wilt provide ; And raiment fit provide ! 



98 THE WORKS OF 

IV. 

If Thou wilt spread Thy Wings around, O spread Thy covering wings around, 

'til these our wand'rings cease. Till all our wanderings cease. 

And at our Father's lov'd Abode And at our Father's loved abode 

our souls arrive in Peace ; Our feet arrive in peace ! 
V. 

To Thee, as to our CoVnant God, Now with the humble voice of prayer 

we'll our whole selves resign ; Thy mercy we implore ; 

And count that not our Faith alone, Then, with the grateful voice of praise, 

but all we have, is Thine. Thy goodness we'll adore ! 

On comparing the text of 1745 with that of Dr 
Doddridge (1755), the only departures are in stanza 
first, line first, where for ' Bethel ' we read ' Jacob ; ' and 
in stanza fourth, line first, where for ' wings ' we read 
' shield.' 

Thus the Rev. John Logan published as his own, in 
his volume of 178 1, without a syllable of explanation, 
two Hymns that, as we have seen, were {substantially) 
printed in 1 745, when he was non-existent ; and in 1755, 
when, if not ' puking in the nurse's arms,' he was at 
most a child, having been born in 1748. The question 
then arises. How came Logan to have the effrontery to do 
this ? The answer is simple : Having Bruce's mss. beside 
him, he adopted the grand third stanza of the first: 

* The beam that shines from Zion hill 
Shall lighten every land ; 
The King who reigns in Salem tow'rs 
Shall all the world command j ' 

and also the verbal changes, which with true poetic 
instinct Bruce had made, and thereupon laid claim to the 

WHOLE.^ 

' It is quite within probability that Bruce had written an entire and original 
paraphrase of the passage, Isaiah ii. 2-6, and that Logan took from it the one 
stanza which lingered in the memory of the villagers of Kinnesswood, 

' The beam that shines,' etc. 
Be this as it may, in addition to the two paraphrases above, which Logan pub- 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 



99 



All this reflects back light upon Logan's similar 
audacious claim to the ' Ode to the Cuckoo.' As we 
found, there were slight alterations, — not improvements, 
save one, — on the text of 1770 in the volume of 1 781 -, 
and on the strength or weakness and worthlessness of 
these, lo, he claimed the ' Ode ' itself ! We have here 
all unintentionally revealed his principle or no-principle 
of authorship. Apart altogether from Bruce, it will be 
admitted that Logan had not the shadow of title to pub- 
lished as his own in 1781, on the strength of his verbal changes on the text of 1745, 
there is another — viz. the 48th of our collection of ' Paraphrases,' which also was 
claimed by Logan and bears his name — that nevertheless was, in like manner, 
(substantially) printed in the little volume of 1745. I place the two side by side. 



1745. Romans viii. 31, to the end. 
I. 
Now let our souls ascend above 

The fears of guilt and woe : 
God is for us, our Friend declared ; 
Who then can be our foe ? 



1781. 48th P.^RAPHRASE. 

Let Christian faith and hope dispel 
The fears of guilt and woe ; 

The Lord Almighty is our friend, 
And who can prove a foe ? 



He who his Son, most dear and lov'd, 

For us gave up to die. 
Will he withhold a lesser gift. 

Or ought that's good deny? 



He who his Son, most dear and lov'd, 

Gave up for us to die, 
Shall he not all things freely give 

That goodness can supply? 



Behold all blessings seai'd in this. 
The highest pledge of love ; 

All grace and peace on earth below. 
And endless life above ! 



Behold the best, the greatest gift. 

Of everlasting love ! 
Behold the pledge of peace below. 

And perfect bliss above ! 



Who now shall dare to charge with guilt Where is the judge who can condemn, 
\Vhom God hath justified ? Since God hath justified ? 

Or who is he that shall condemn. Who shall charge those with guilt or crime 

Since Christ the Saviour dy'd? For whom the Saviour dy'd? 



He died, — but He is risen again. 
Triumphant from the grave ; 

And pleads for us at God's right hand, 
Omnipotent to save. 

VI. 

Then who can e'er divide us more 
From Christ, and love divine? 



The Saviour dy'd, but rose again 
Triumphant from the grave ; 

And pleads our cause at God's right hand, 
Omnipotent to save. 

Who then can e'er divide us more 
From Jesus and his love. 



loo THE WORKS OF 

lish these hymns as his own ; but when it is shown, as 
Dr Mackelvie has done, that the stanza which is the 
* perfect chrysolite ' of its Hymn, was familiarly sung by 
the Villagers in 17154, or sevettteen years before it was 
printed by Logan, and that similarly the two Hymns, with 
the 'verbal changes' upon the text of 1745 and 1 755, 
were regularly used in the village-singing under the cir- 
cumstances recorded, it is difficult to restrain one's indigna- 
tion against Plagiarism so base and Audacity so supreme. 
We claim for Bruce, then, the stanza, the lines, and 
the felicitous verbal changes of these two Hymns. Had 

Or what dissolve the sacred band Or break the sacred chain that binds 

That joins our souls to him ? The earth to heav'n above ? 

VII. 

Let troubles rise, and dangers roar, Let troubles rise, and terrors frown. 

And days of darkness fall ; And days of darkness fall ; 

Through him all terrors we'll defy, Through him all dangers we'll defy. 

And more than conquer all. And more than conquer all. 

VIII. 

Nor death, nor life, nor heaven, nor hell. Nor death nor life, nor earth nor hell. 

Nor time's destroying sway, Nor time's destroying sway. 

Can e'er efface us from his Heart, Can e'er efface us from his heart, 

Or make his Love decay. Or make his love decay. 

IX. 

Each future period this will bless. Each future period that will bless. 

As it has bless'd the past : As it has bless'd the past ; 

He lov'd us from the first of time, He lov'd us from the first of time, 

And loves us to the last. ' He loves us to the last. 

Such is another example of the audacity, of Logan in claiming as his own what 
was, with the exception of verbal alterations, in print before his birth. It may be 
stated that a singularly interesting, if over-violent and controversial, series of 
papers on ' The Paraphrases,' appeared in the ' Free Church Magazine ' for 1847 ; 
which papers were fiercely assailed in Macphail's ' Edinburgh Ecclesiastical 
Journal ' and in ' Tail's Magazine ' of the same year. The discussion sprang out 
of an alleged discovery of the Robert Burns authorship of ' The Paraphrases,' 
which the ' Evangelicals' were disposed to push over-much against the ' Moderates.' 
The Manuscript turned out to be, it is understood, Logan's, and shows that he 
had much to do with the preparation of the ' Paraphrases,' as finally issued in 
1 781. Beyond doubt, what led him to his 'Paraphrase' studies were the Bruce 
Mss., and above all the 'Gospel Sonnets,' so shamelessly and heartlessly sup- 
pressed and destroyed, as told atite. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. loi 

he himself lived to publish his Hymns, ' he would un- 
doubtedly have recorded that in these instances his were 
only improved versions of older hymns ; just as Burns 
acknowledged the old songs ; which were so amended 
by him, that no one cares to remember the original 
verses." So much for the revised hymns, already sub- 
stantially existing in 1 745 and 1755, and Logan's impu- 
dent publication of them as his oivn. Dr Robertson of 
Dalmeny earlier, and Chambers in his ' Cyclopedia of 
English Literature ' later, lay stress on Logan's publica- 
tion of the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ' as his otun in the 
volume of 178 1 -, but here in the very same volume he 
is found publishing as his own Hymns that we have seen 
were printed substantially before he was born. The 
man capable of doing the one is self-convicted as capable 
of doing the other ; and he did it. Surely Phsedrus 
may here be cited : 

' Quicunque turpi fraude semel innotuit, 
Etiamsi verum dicit, amittit fidem.' 

I would thus render the couplet, 

' He who is known, once, a base fraud t' have done, 
E'en speaking truth, believed is by none.' 

2. Hymns nvholly original. These are the 2d, gd, 
4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th in Logan's volume. The 
whole evidence for the Bruce authorship of the ' Ode 
to the Cuckoo ' belongs equally to them. They are the 
' Gospel Sonnets ' to which old Mr Bruce referred 
when he gave them this name, in allusion to the people's 
classic, the ' Gospel Sonnets ' of Ralph Erskine, which, 

' The Rev. Peter Mearns, as before, p. 19. 



loz THE WORKS OF 

— as having been composed in part while meditating in a 
* plantation ' on the hill-side above the Manse of Port- 
moak, then occupied by Ebenezer Erskine, — were lov- 
ingly read and sung in the ' Bishopshire ; ' they are what 
Bruce the elder regarded as the jewels of the quarto 
volume entrusted to Logan ; they are the * sacred 
pieces' immediately missed by the Villagers when the 
volume of 1770 reached ; they were personally com- 
mitted to memory ('learned by heart' is the expressive 
Scotticism) by David Pearson, John Birrel, the Bicker- 
tons, Arnots, Hendersons, and indeed the whole 
Community between 1 764 and 1767, or seventeen years 
before Logan published them ; or, reckoning froin 1767, 
fourteen years. There were extant so recently as 1837 
written copies of all, and bearing these dates, as Dr 
Mackelvie discovered almost immediately after his edi- 
tion of the ' Poems ' was issued, — as over and over he 
assured me, and as I have since had confirmed by per- 
sons of indisputable integrity.' And, further, James 
Bruce, brother of the poet, — who lived until 18 14, and 
was a man of sterling worth, — declared in the most 
solemn manner, from his own personal knowledge, 
' that all the Paraphrases published in Logan's name 

^ Having had frequent conversations with the late Dr Mackelvie on the whole 
subject of the Poems of Bruce, I was impressed with the amount of labour be- 
stowed by him in verifying every minutia of his book ; and I had the promise 
from him, as well of above dated copies as of at least two (already published) 
letters, part of 'Lochleven,' and other Mss. of Bruce. " But his great infirmities 
latterly made attention to any such things painful, and I forbore urging him. 
With that kindling eye which all who knew him will remember, he said, ' Every 
one of the eleven paraphrases belongs to Bruce — every one ; and if I ever print 
the poems again, they'll all go in.' From one so judicious and conscientious this 
was weighty ; but independent of it, we have all the above witness-bearing to 
superadd to Logan's proved self-appropriation of the two Hymns printed before 
he was bom. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 103 

were written by his brother Michael ; that he had often 
read them, heard them often repeated, and frequently 
sung portions of them in Buchan's class long before the 
addition to the Assembly's collection was heard of,' i.e. 
the final Collection of the present Paraphrases, which 
was published in 1781.^ Finally, be it kept in mind, 
Logan destroyed the MS. quarto volume into ivhich Bruce had 
transcribed the whole, and which would no doubt have 
shown whatever was old in the revised Hymns, and 
what were Bruce's own entirely. Besides other ' sacred 
pieces,' Hymns and Paraphrases are known to have 
been included in the volume ; so that we can appeal to 
the emphasis of good David Pearson : 'They may as 
well ascribe to Logan the framing of the universe as 
the writing of these poems.' ^ 

The only reservation which it is necessary to make 
is, that Logan appears to have made ' verbal changes.' 
This seems to have been a principle with him, in order 
to satisfy his ' dregs of conscience ' in his claim there- 
upon to the entire authorship. His own procedure has 
put it out of our power to get at any ' improvements ' 
that he may have made. If we may judge from his 
'improvements' in 1 78 1 of the 'Ode to the Cuckoo' 
of 1770, these can't have been great. One admires at 
the Logan-like assurance of one of his Biographers, 
who boasts of personal intimacy, — on the whole matter : 
' Bruce might have left hymns in a more or less polished 

* Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 104 ; and let any one disposed to undervalue his 
testimony, or that of Pearson and Birrel and the others, recall Cicero's words, 
' Idoneus quidem mea sententia, prsesertim quum et ipse eum audiverit, ut scribal 
de mortuo ; ex quo nulla suspicio est, amicitiae causa, eum esse mentitum.' 

^ Dr Mackelvie, as before, p. 105. 



I04 THE WORKS OF 

state, and these hymns might have been altered, em- 
bellished, and published by Logan as his own." What 
a supposition ! What an admission ! What a com- 
mentary upon his ' publishing as his oivti ' the first and 
fifth of the Hymns with his (stolen) ' alterations ' and 
' embellishments ! ' ' O Shame, where is thy blush ?' 

Confirmatory of all the external evidence, we have in 
regard to one of the Paraphrases — viz. The Complaint 
of Nature, selected stanzas of which make the eighth 
of the Collection now in use — striking internal evidence. 
We have only to place three stanzas — the seventh, 
eighth, and ninth — in juxtaposition with a fragment in 
Bruce's handwriting, which has been preserved, in order 
to trace one mind in both : — 

*■ When chill the blast of winter blows, 
Away the summer flies ; 
The flowers resign their sunny robes, 
And all their beauty dies. 

' Nipt by the year, the forest fades ; 
And, shaking to the wind. 
The leaves toss to and fro, and streak 
The wilderness behind. 

' The wmter past, reviving flowers 
Anew shall paint the plain ; 
The woods shall hear the voice of spring. 
And flourish green again.' 

Now for the fragment in prose : — 
' The hoar-frost glitters on the ground, the frequent 
leaf falls from the wood, and tosses to and fro driven in 

' Life of Logan, prefixed to his Poems. Bell and Bradfute, 1812. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 105 

the wind. The summer is gone with all her flowers ; 

summer ! the season of the muses. 

^' Yet not the more 

Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt, 
Clear Spring, or shadie grove, or sunnie hill."' 

' It was on a calm morning, while yet the darkness 

strove with the doubtful twilight, I rose and walked out 

*' Under the opening eyelids of the mom."" 

Compare also these stanzas from Bruce's ' Elegy ' : — 

' Loos'd from the bands of frost, the verdant ground 
Again puts on her robe of cheerful green. 
Again puts forth her flow'rs, and all around 
Smiling the cheerful face of Spring is seen. 
Thus have I walk'd along the dewy lawn, 
My frequent foot the blooming wild hath worn ; 
Before the lark I've sung the beauteous dawn. 
And gather'd health from all the gales of morn. 
And even when winter chilled the aged year, 
I wander 'd lonely o'er the hoary plain ; 
Tho' frosty Boreas warned me to forbear, 
Boreas, with all his tempests, wam'd in vain.' 

Internal evidence is not very much to be depended on, 
as the present Writer has had occasion to prove, while 
this is being passed through the press, in the case of 
' The Paradoxes' of Herbert Palmer -,- but in combina- 
tion with such seven-fold external evidence as has been 
adduced, it is an element not to be despised. It is a 
misrepresentation of matter of fact in Chambers' Cyclo- 
paedia of English Literature — whoever may be responsible 

' Dr Mackelvie failed to observe these two quotations from Milton (Paradise 
Lost, book iii. lines 26-28; and Lycidas, line 26). By reading 'shadow' for 
' shady ' also, the sense is confused. 

^ See ' Lord Bacon not the Author of "The Christian Paradoxes," being a re- 
print of " Memorials of Godliness " by Herbert Palmer, B.D. With Introduction, 
Memoir, and Notes, by the Rev. A. B. Grosart. For private circulation. 1864. 



io6 THE WORKS OF 

for it — that Dr Mackelvie rested his claim for Bruce to the 
authorship of this Paraphrase upon the ' resemblances ' 
presented. Having given irrefragable external proof, 
these * resemblances ' were added ; and the interweaving 
of the lines from Paradise Lost and Lycidas, instead of 
weakening, strengthens the evidence in favour of Bruce, 
knowing as we do how lovingly he studied Milton/ 

Without the shadow of hesitation, then, in retro- 
spect of the evidence adduced, the 'Ode to the 
Cuckoo,' and the hymns and paraphrases appropri- 
ated by Logan, together with one of the two revised 
hymns, are included in the Works of Michael Bruce"; 
from which may no sacrilegious hand ever withdraw 
them. Such may suffice. I wish tondere non deghibere ; 
and indeed it were to waste so fine a thing as righteous 
anger, to add much more on the literary delinquencies 
of John Logan. I pause not, therefore, to show — which 
might easily be done — how, in his no doubt ' elegant ' 
Sermons, he has appropriated Sherlock, and Blair, and 
Zollikofer, and numerous others. They were published 
posthumously ; and he must have the benefit of that. 
Neither do I enter into his astounding candidature for 

' It is somewhat vexatious to find Mr Robert Chambers so very ' shifty ' in re- 
lation to Bruce. In his Correspondence with Dr Mackelvie he is all acquiescence ; 
and on the appearance of the Doctor's edition in 1837, an admirable paper appeared 
in his Joitrnal {'Ho. 292, September 2, 1837), unhesitatingly recognising Bruce's 
claims, and with cordial admiration giving the ' Ode to the Cuckoo ' as his ; and 
lo ! in his ' Cyclopaedia of English Literature,' without a tittle of further evidence, 
one way or another, it is carelessly inserted under Logan, with the extra- 
ordinary statement that Logan's authorship never was questioned during his life- 
time, whereas his most earnest defenders could only urge that he asserted his 
' innocence,' — a word that involves not merely questioning but accusation, such as 
we know to have been over and over made during his lifetime. One regrets such 
slips, from the very love and gratitude cherished for this 'lealest' and truest of 
Scotland's sons. I don't refer to the Life in ' Eminent Scotsmen,' as it was written 
by a Mr Hogg. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 107 

one of the Chairs of the University, on the basis of a 
course of * Lectures ' which were afterwards shown not 
to have been his own, by their publication, unchallenged, 
during his own lifetime, by Dr William Rutherford. 
His ' Defence ' of Hastings, his ' Runnymede,' and other 
ventures, lie beneath the ' small dust ' of oblivion. We 
will not disturb them. 

Concerning the man as a man and as a minister of the 
gospel, it is impossible to speak without reprobation. His 
life was unwholesome, unclean, base and embased ; for it 
were to speak * smooth things ' where rough truth is de- 
manded, to describe the flagitious course of this clerical 
Champion (for he might have sat to M. About), this 
clerical scapegrace of mean and meagre nature and un- 
true to the very core, — by the euphemisms of gentle Dr 
Anderson, e.g. ' deviations from the modes of the world, 
and violations of professional decorum, which offended 
his parishioners, and made it eligible for him to discon- 
tinue the exercise of his clerical function,' though even 
he had to write, ' He grew burdensome to himself, and 
with the usual weakness of men so diseased, eagerly 
snatched that temporary relief which the bottle sup- 
plies." We spare the remainder ; for we could not 
quote, without reproof, apology so misplaced. ' And yet 
we have pity for the prematurely old and desolate wretch, 



' As before, in Life of Logan. Chambers, in his ' Biographical Dictionary of 
Eminent Scotsmen,' under Logan (Division VL), furnishes one of a hundred 
illustrations of his miserable condition even early : ' An aged parishioner of Mr 
Logan mentioned to a friend of the editor of this work, that he was present in 
church one day, when the conduct of the reverend gentleman was such as to in- 
duce an old man to go up, and, in no very respectful language, call upon the 
minister to descend from the pulpit which he disgraced. Such an anecdote, if 
read immediately after perusing one of the elegant discourses of Logan, would 



io8 THE WORKS OF 

trembling with the trembling of fourscore within his 
fortieth year. If his Biographers tell true, one catches 
a glimpse of him in an attitude of, at the least, remorse- 
ful penitence. He is said, away in one of the lanes of 
London, whither he had skulked, to have called in the 
neighbours' children, and gathering one or two about his 
knees, to have got them to read the Bible to him. It 
brims one's eyes with tears to read of it. It moves to pity : 
it excites hope. ' God forbid ' that we should hold even 
of one so * fallen,' of one so false to such shy genius, and 
such saintly worth, as that of Michael Bruce, — not to say 
to trust so sacred, — there could not be divinely given 
'turning' and the divine 'cry' right through the gathering 
dark, Christ- ward. But while 'judging not' of his soul's 
destiny, — in the interests of Literature and of Right, 
John Logan must be branded as heartlessly false to a 
dead young friend, and be spoiled of the lustrous-eyed fea- 
thers with which, at another's cost, he — as sooty a bird 
as ever ventured among ' sweet singers ' — decked himself. 
Of the other ' Poems ' published in 1770, the follow- 
ing have been claimed for Logan : — ' Damon, Menalcas, 
and Meliboeus : an Eclogue -,' ' Pastoral Song,' to the 
tune of 'The Yellow-hair'd Laddie ;' 'Eclogue in the 
manner of Ossian -,' 'Ode to a Fountain-,' the two 
' Danish Odes ; ' ' Chorus, of Anacreontic to a Wasp ; ' 

form a singular illustration of the propinquity which sometimes exists between 
the pure and impure, the lofty and the degraded, in human character' (p. 492). 

I must add, that in the course of my literary researches I have been brought 
pretty near to Logan, by his own letters, by letters of contemporaries, by 
anecdotes, and other data ; and I know not that a more false life has ever been 
lived, — the worst of all falsity moreover, seeing it is a serving the devil while wear- 
ing Christ's livery. It may be needful, some day, to reveal all, though personally 
I should prefer silence, save only where Bruce's claims come in for defence. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 109 

the tale of ' Levina ' in ' Lochleven ;' and the ' Ode to 
Paoli : ' that is to say, of the entire seventeen pieces which 
composed the little volume, eleven are to be appro- 
priated to Logan ; one at least, ' the Vernal Ode,' to Sir 
James Foulis, Bart.; and, according to the 'Preface,' some 
others to ' other gentlemen.' And yet, while thus leav- 
ing, say FIVE short pieces to Bruce, out of the seventeen, 
the volume was published as 

POEMS 

ON 

SEVERAL OCCASIONS 

BY 

MICHAEL BRUCE.' 

It were no great loss though it could be shown that 
all the pieces named were not Bruce's. But inasmuch 
as ( I ) Logan did not place any of them in his volume of 
1 78 1, or in any of the editions published during his life- 
time ; and inasmuch as (2) He nowhere publicly claimed 
any of them, though, as we have seen, swift to re-claim 
the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' and to publish as his own the 
* Hymns ;' and inasmuch as (3) The fragments of Bruce's 
Mss. preserved after the spoiling of Logan, show the 
germs of ' Levina ' in * Lochleven,' and traces of various 
of the others, confirmed by Pearson and Birrel ; and 
inasmuch as (4) Dr Anderson, spite of Dr Robertson's 
letter, in which above list is enumerated (dated Septem- 
ber 19th, 1795), and for which I am indebted to Dr 
Laing of the Signet Library, — assigns nearly all to Bruce, 

' It is a Law-maxim of Coke, ' Cum duo inter se pugnantia reperiuntur in tcsta- 
mento, ultimum ratum est.' The principle holds here. The volume is a 'deed,' 
not a 'Will,' and the 'first' statement, not the last, is binding. That first was — 
that Bruce was the author of all the Poems. 



no THE WORKS OF 

and excludes the whole from Logan ; and finally, inas- 
much as (5) Other Editors have unhesitatingly given all 
to Bruce, — the whole, save the ' Vernal Ode ' of Sir 
James Foulis, will be found in our edition. 

In estimating the position of Michael Bruce among the 
minor Poets of our Country, three things must be remem- 
bered. 

1. That the ' Ode to the Cuckoo' and the * Hymns,' 
being proven to be his, we have in them a token of what, 
had years been given him, he might and would have done. 

2. That the quarto volume into which he had trans- 
cribed all his Poems under the shadow of departure, was 
DESTROYED by Logan. It probably contained many 
such gems as those named. I strongly suspect that the 
ballad of the ' Braes of Yarrow,' and the Tale com- 
mencing, ' Where pastoral Tweed, renown'd in song,' 
were, in substance, from his Muse, not Logan's. 

3. That he died only three months beyond his_,twenty- 
first year. This explains the immaturity of his taste, and 
his echoes of Milton and Thomson, Gray and Collins, 
and Young and other poets. 

But as it is, this volume of the ' Works ' of our Poet 
deserves a place among the genuine ' Makkars.' Even 
in his barest productions, as , ' Lochleven ' and ' The " 
Last Day,' there are bits of description not at all un- 
worthy of the master, Thomson. Thus, — 



' Fair from his hand behold the village rise, 
In rural pride, 'mong intermingled trees ! 
Above whose aged tops the joyful swains, 
At even-tide descending from the hill, 
With eye enamoured, mark the many wreaths 



MICHAEL BRUCE. iii 

Of pillared smoke, high-curling to the clouds. 
The streets resound with Labour's various voice, 
Who whistles at his work. Gay on the green, 
Young blooming boys, and girls with golden hair. 
Trip nimble-footed, wanton in their play. 
The village hope. All in a reverend row. 
Their grey-haired grandsires, sitting in the sun. 
Before the gate, and leaning on the staff. 
The well-remembered stories of their youth 
Recount, and shake their aged locks with joy. 

How fair a prospect rises to the eye. 
Where Beauty vies in all her vernal forms. 
For ever pleasant, and for ever new ! 
Swells the exulting thought, expands the soul. 
Drowning each ruder care : a blooming train 
Of bright ideas rushes on the mind. 
Imagination rouses at the scene ; 
And backward, through the gloom of ages past. 
Beholds Arcadia, like a rural queen. 
Encircled with her swains and rosy nymphs. 
The mazy dance conducting on the green. 
Nor yield to old Arcadia's blissful vales 
Thine, gentle Leven ! Green on either hand 
Thy meadows spread, unbroken of the plough. 
With beauty all their own. Thy fields rejoice 
With all the riches of the golden year. 
Fat on the plain, and mountain's sunny side. 
Large droves of oxen, and the fleecy flocks. 
Feed undisturb'd ; and fill the echoing air 
With music, grateful to the master's ear. 
The traveller stops, and gazes round and round 
O'er all the scenes, that animate his heart 
With mirth and music. Ev'n the mendicant, 
Bowbent with age, that on the old grey stone. 
Sole sitting, suns him in the public way, 
Feels his heart leap, and to himself he sings.' 

There are, too, lines that reveal the poet's eye and the 

poet's ear. Thus, how exquisitely imitative is this of 



iij THE WORKS OF 

the startled ' crane,' winging its laboured flight to its 
hiding-place among the reeds of the Lake : — 

* In the dusky air 
The slow-winged crane mov'd heavily o'er the lee, 
And shrilly clamour'd as he sought his nest.' 

Then how delicate this is : 

* Twilight trembles o'er the misty hills.' 

Here are two fine pictures, of a village beauty and of a 
mountain stream : 

' She reddened like the morning, under veil 
Of her own golden hair.' 

' A rivulet pure 
Bursts from the ground, and through the crumbled crags 
Tinkles amusive.' 

There is grandeur in this ' spectacle ' in the ' Last Day : ' 

' Heard'st thou that crash ? 
There fell the tow'ring Alps.' 

The ballad of ' Sir James the Ross ' may compare 
with ' Hardynute ' and ' Owen of Carron.' 

There are epithets also, that, though grown familiar 
now, were uncommon then. They lie like the gleaming 
dew, lucent as it, and as sparkling. One is memorable, 
* eyeless darkness,' which might take its place in Mac- 
beth. Is it a reminiscence of the ' eyeless night ' of 
Shakespeare (King John v. 6) that certain asinine edi- 
tors misread ' endless ?' Another, ' The ifiexorable doors 
of death,' may bear comparison with Mrs Clive's so 
much admired ' insuperable threshold.' But his ' unfail- 
ing crown ' is the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' and his Hymns 
that for well-nigh a century have interpreted the praises 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 113 

of Scotchmen to Him who has assured us that ' whoso 
praiseth, glorifieth Him.' Stanzas and lines of the latter 
are interwoven with our language. I have seen a vast 
Multitude in ' this England ' of ours, and also over the 
Atlantic, stirred as by an electric thrill of emotion — the 
hearts of many moved as the heart of one — by the 
climax of a missionary appeal being barbed with the 
grand Millennial stanza : — 

' The beam that shines from Zion hill 

Shall lighten every land ; 
The King who reigns in Salem's tow'rs 

Shall all the world command.' 

I have found lines also of these Hymns carved on tomb- 
stones in far-away * God's Acres ' and in many lan- 
guages — if not in the very words, certainly closely ren- 
dering the thought. Who may number the tear-wet 
eyes that have been turned Upward by this — to select 
only another stanza ? 

' A few short years of evil past, 
We reach the happy shore, 
Where death-divided friends at last 
Shall meet to part no more.' 

And then there is his ' Elegy in Spring,' so brave, so 
sonorous, so sunny-hearted spite of coming night, so in- 
stinct with unconscious pathos as the eye is introverted 
upon the * dim taper,' so assured and yet so tender in 
its hope, so dove-like mournful, and so dove-like Zion- 
haunting, so covetous of the green grave by ' Lochleven,' 
beside his boy-friend Arnot, and so lofty in its anticipa- 
tion, after the long rest of ' the eternal day.' It will 
do us all good to read the closing stanzas, and to pause 
upon the italicized lines : — . 

H 



114 'J'HE WORKS OF MICHAEL BRUCE. 

' Now spring returns : but not to me returns 
The vernal joy my better years have knovvrn ; 
Dim in my breast life's dying taper burns ^ 

And all the joys of life with health are flown. 

* Starting and shiv'ring in th' inconstant wind, 

Meagre and pale, the ghost of what I was, 
Beneath some blasted tree I lie reclined. 

And count the silent moments as they pass : 

*■ The winged moments, whose unstaying speed 
No art can stop, or in their course arrest ; 
Whose flight shall shortly count me 'with the deady 
And lay me do^wn in peace wi)ith them at rest. 

^ Oft morning-dreams presage approaching fate ; 
And morning-dreams, as poets tell, are true. 
Led by pale ghosts, I enter death's dark gate. 
And bid the realms of light and life adieu. 

* I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of wo ; 

I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore, 

The sluggish streams that slowly creep below. 

Which mortals visit, and return no more. 

' Farewell, ye blooming fields ! ye cheerful plains ! 
Enough for me the churchyard's lonely mound. 
Where melancholy with still silence reigns. 

And the rank grass waves o'er the cheerless ground. 

' There let me wander at the shut of eve. 

When sleep sits deivy on the labourer s eyes : 
The world and all its busy follies leave. 

And talk with Wisdom where my Daphnis lies. 

' There let me sleep forgotten in the clay^ 

When death shall shut these iveary, aching eyes ; 
Rest in the hopes of an eternal day. 

Till the long night is gone, and the last mom arise.' 

Surely, with all abatements, there is only another 
English ' Elegy ' to be placed beside it. 

Alexander B. Grosart. 



APPENDIX TO MEMOIR. 
A. — See Page 21. 

Letter of Michael Bruce to 'Mr David Arnott of Portmoag ^' from 
the family MSS. of the present Mr Amot of Portmoak. 

Dear Sir, — You may remember you were inquiring, the last 
time I had the pleasure of your company, who the Hutchin- 
sonians are. Perhaps you know. I then did not ; but have 
since learnt something of them. Mr Hutchinson, from whom 
they take their name, was an English gentleman, skilled in the 
Hebrew ; and denied that the vowels or points belonged to the 
language. His reason for this was thought to be a disposition to 
criticise on the sacred writings, in which he has been followed by 
some in our own Nation. When once they have discarded the 
vowel-points, they may give very different readings, and conse- 
quently significations, to many words. But what he was most 
famous for was, that he published a work in two volumes, 
called, I think, Principia Mosas, a kind of commentary on the 
Old Testament, but particularly the Pentateuch and Psalms. 
The most part of the Old Testament, but especially these afore- 
said, he holds [to be] symbolical, and in every sentence finds 
meanings which none but himself and some of his followers can 
see. Every part of the Psalms, he says, refers to the Messiah ; or, 
to use the words of an honest enthusiast of him, * he finds the 
Saviour in every word.' The whole work is a confused piece of 
absurdity (they say who have read it), filled with trifling allegories 
and far-fetched conceits. To give one instance: The flaming 
sword placed at the gate of Paradise, according to him, was ap- 
pointed to show the way to the tree of life, not to guard the 
way. It is said there are few passages of Scripture in which, 



ii6 THE nVRKS OF 

either in the translation he has not found some concealed mean- 
ing, or altered the translation for the sake of an allegory. You 
will let me know if this agrees with any hints you have met with 
of these people.' 

There is a manuscript of Longinus, lately found in the Library 
of the Benedictine Monks at Rome, containing a comparison of 
some passages of Holy Writ, with some [of] the heathen poets. 
I lately saw some extracts from it. Homer, says this judicious 
critic, ' makes the forest tremble at the approach of the Deity ; 
but the Jewish poet says, " The earth did melt like wax at Thy 
Presence;" and indeed in every respect their Jehovah is superior 
to our Jupiter.' And so he goes on in a great number of passages, 
always giving the preference to the Book of God." 

I saw Mrs Wallace this day, and received a letter to you. 
She has not yet got the escritore or glass, but is to use diligence. 
I design to make one last effort on R. Hill, before I give up my 
commission, to resume it no more. I have not got Shep. Par.3 
It was sold before I came over, not above a shilling. I ask your 
pardon for not sending your seeds before now. They were 
bought two weeks ago, but neglected to be sent by a forgetful- 
ness in your affectionate Michael Bruce. 

Edinburgh, AJ>ril lo, 1765. 

P.S. — I remember one who shall be nameless here, in a letter to 
a young man, has these words, ' Si mihi, nil novi publici, etc., 
rescribis ; nil boni vel jucundi, etc., communicas ; vel tui fastidii 
vel ignavias, si non aegritudinis argumentum habebo : et tui a me 
nil amplius audiendi voluntas."* Pray could such an one fail in 
the same article ? You may believe I am not a little chagrined 
on being so cruelly disappointed. I have sent the seeds and Mrs 
W.'s letter. — 1 1 o'clock night. 

^ For a list of the Writings of this singular laic Theologian, see AUibone's 
' Dictionary of British and American Authors,' sub jwmine, where will also be 
found various authorities on Hutchinsonianism. — G. 

^ Longinus quotes Moses in his famous work, De Suilimitate ; and it must be 
to some MS. of this work Bruce refers. — G. 

3 Probably Thomas Sheppard's ' Parable of the Ten Virgins,' a well-known New 
England Puritan book. — G. 

'^ This is no doubt a quotation from one of Mr Arnott's own Latin letters. See 
as to these under B. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 117 

B. — See Page 24. 

Two Letters from Mr David Arnott^ Portmoagj to Bruce. 

I. From the Latin; for Amott and Bruce were wont to inter- 
change Latin epistles, — a somewhat noticeable thing in rela- 
tion to a small Scottish ' Laird ' of the eighteenth century. 
The Latin is somewhat canine^ it must be conceded ; and 
therefore we prefer giving a translation to the rugged origi- 
nal. From the present Mr Arnot of Portmoak's Family mss. 

My Dear Sir, — I lately received your letter, in which you 
inquire respecting the health of our family. I have to say, in 
reply, that it is now as well as could be wished ; but, alas, how 
frail is it ! and in this dubious path of life how liable every fleet- 
ing moment to fail us ! I am now desirous, in my turn, to hear 
that you are well, and successfully advancing in your studies. I 
hope and trust that you are still persisting in the course and pur- 
suing the track which leads to the summit of learning, and con- 
sequently to honours. For there is no difficulty which labour 
may not obviate. Avail yourself of the opportunity which is now 
in your power. If neglected, it will never return. For as in the 
river wave presses upon wave, so in reference to Time does day 
upon day.' And as nothing is more shameful than the squander- 
ing away of time, so many, seriously, though too late, deplore 
it as a loss beyond all calculation. If in this spring-time of life 
you sow the seeds of learning, you have ground to expect here- 
after a most abundant harvest, — a harvest agreeable to your 
parents, and honourable to yourself. Thus is it, my dear sir, 
that ' he who would make the gain must take the pain.' '^ Give 
to your studies whatever you take from sleep or recreation. 
This path has been trod by all who have ever rendered themselves 
illustrious for their distinguished learning. Degenerate souls steal 
their own time and that of others. They are a dishonour to 
their family and their country. Avoid them as you love yourself, 
and keep them at a distance. But, above all, let piety have the 

' 'Truditur dies die.' Horace (Car. ii. i8), ' Urget diem noxet dies noctem.' — G. 
^ ' Qui c nuce nucleum esse vult frangat nucem.' Plautus. — G. 



ii8 THE WORKS OF 

ascendant in your heart and pursuits ; and modesty, without 
which I value as nothing, whatever may be mastered by laborious 
application. These are the gi-oundwork of all true learning, by 
which whatever is reared on them upholds and proclaims its own 
stability. Without piety, what are learned men but bladders 
inflated with wind ; whereas the humble, endued with virtue, are 
agreeable to themselves and useful to others. 

It was out of my power last week to answer your letter with 
regai-d to the book, and equally impossible is it for us to recall 
your letter. But what an abundance of books is there in the 
world ! In these, however, a systematic method should be ob- 
served, whether in consulting, reading, or purchasing, — not such 
books as are good, but such as are the best. 

Enclosed you will receive a memorandum. When you have 
perused the letters to R. Hill and J. Thomson, you will peruse 
their object and connection. These letters deliver to them 
sealed. Farewell, and regard me with affection. 

David Arnott. 

PORTMOAG, y««. 24, 1763. 

II. We give here the entire Letter of this guide and friend of our 
poet. It is taken fi-om a scroll-copy, also preserved among 
the family MSS. of the present Mr Arnot of Portmoak. It 
will be noticed that the opening ' Sir,' and other antique 
touches, recall the gracely stateliness of the correspondence 
of our forefathers, especially when addressing those in lower 
social grade, as was Bruce to this worthy ' Laird.' The 
present Letter was written in acknowledgment of * Daphnis : 
a Monody ' on the death of young Arnott. 

Sir, — I owe an answer to your' most elegant lines, which you 
must account to be delayed hitherto, and not neglected. Neither 
are you to impute it to my want of love to you, nor regard for 
you, but to the fulness of my confidence in you, and the fre- 
quent occasions of seeing you, which now seem to be at an end 
in so far. On which account I am made to inquire where you 
now dwell, and what you are now conversant about, and whether 
or not this storm has freezed your pen, your hands, and feet, 
that we neither see you nor hear from you. As I said, I own my 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 119 

obligations to you for the regard you show for me and the 
deceast in yoiu: elegant composition, procured without any 
merit or good offices from me ; and I no less admire your sin- 
gular vein and happy turn, whereby you're pleased and able not 
only to play the poet, but strenuously to imitate and equal those 
writers of this kind, in style, numbers, phrase, etc., whose fame 
will never decay. Learned sir, I desire and hope you will pro- 
ceed with your essays, and that exercise and use may perfect him 
whom nature will have to be a poet. 

' Sublimi feriam sidera vertice." 

Nothing hinders great attempts so much as delay. You now 
profess the study of di\inity , and is not this divinity ? None 
can compose a learned, a grave and instructing poem, save he 
that is above humanity. But I stop, knowing that they who 
are most deserving are the least fond of praise; and I know 
nothing new which I can now impart to you, either for instruc- 
tion or amusement. 

Being abroad lately, I heard (you'll readily have feared it ere 
now) of Mr D[ryburg]h, — his being infected seemingly with his 
brother's mortal disease. A pain in his leg and a loss of appetite 
have seized him ; he goes not out. What may hinder you from 
making a step down to see him ? Alas ! had we our senses 
about us, we would see all our earthly relations and comforts fast 
decaying. But, alas ! man wishes life, that 

' secandam marmora 

Local sub ipsum funus et sepulcri immemor struit domos.'^ 

I know you'll be fearing the loss of him ; for it often happens 
that, as a whirlpool swallows up the rich ship in a surprize, so 
doth death such as have the better genius and learning above 
their years, beyond our expectation and before our desire.^ But 
[illegible . . .] pray impart to me something that may be in- 
structive in the now common calling of education or otherwise, 

' Horace. — G. 

' This is an inaccurate quotation or accommodation from Horace (Car. ii. i8), 
whose words are — 

' Tu secanda marmora 
Locas sub ipsum funus et, sepulcri 

Immemor, struis domos,' etc. — G. 

3 This fellow-student of Bruce died immediately after this date. See Eleg^ 
thereupon. — G. 



I20 THE WORKS OF MICHAEL BRUCE. 

as you have now the prize put into your hand of getting experi- 
ence, etc.; and wherein I can serve you, command me. I am 
sensible that the charge of the education of children, as it is 
honourable, so it is heavy. Philip, king of Macedonia, had this 
view of it, and understood how much it serves the interest of 
virtue, when, in the letters he sent with his son to Aristotle, he 
testified how much he was indebted to the gods, not so much 
for a son being born to him, as for his being bom at such a time, 
when he might be privileged with such a teacher. 

As man is the most noble creature, so much the more pains 
are to be employed in cultivating of him. Surely the geniuses 
of youth will lie dormant as to all glorious and praiseworthy 
actions, if they be wanting which should rub them up, as the 
most fruitful soils will be barren without cultivation. But here 
there is sinrely much need of prudence, for as some ground re- 
quires the stronger plough, so another plot will be manured with 
an easy hand ; and some think that there are none of such an 
evil, hard, and obstinate disposition, but they may be made 
tractable by serious and sedulous bringing up, if so be they 
understand themselves to be loved by them who educate and 
instruct them. The dispositions of some, when more roughly 
handled, or too much kept in, turn desperate, even as the ex- 
halations, when pent up within the clouds, turn into thunder. 
With some, force must be used ; forbearance will do with the 
most. As in disease, they are the surest and safest medicines 
which draw out or correct the noxious blood. By little and 
little you have the advantage of spurring them up by emulation, 
which seldom fails. This in some measure I want. But whither 
am I carried ? Observing my little [illegible . . .] esteem for you, 
I suspect [= expect ?] my boy (?) to join with you in reading. 
Geordie readily will ; and you'll begin with Mr Wood ' when 
he comes over. I am very willing to join with you as far as 
opportunity answers. 

May He who in all things gives the increase, cherish, ripen, and 
preserve you in your laboui's and studies. 

[David Arnott.] 

' Probably the once celebrated Edinburgh teacher of elocution ; who was 
also manager of the Theatre, and the friend of Fergusson. — G. 



0tit to ti^e Cucltoo, 



NOTE. 

The letters a, b, c, etc., refer to the respective Notes at close of the 
volume. Those throughout bearing the initials M'K, are from Dr Mac- 
kelvie. For all the others, in the body of the book and in these Notes, 
having my initial, I am responsible. G. 



ODE: 

TO THE CUCKOO. 



I. 



Hail, beauteous Stranger of the wood ! 

Attendant on the Spring ! 
Now heav'n repairs thy rural seat, 

And woods thy welcome sing. 



II. 



Soon as the daisy decks the green, 

Thy certain voice we hear : 
Hast thou a star to guide thy path, 

Or mark the rolling year ? 

III. 
Delightful visitant! with thee 

I hail the time of flow'rs, 
When heav'n is fiU'd with music sweet 

Of birds among the bow'rs. 

IV. 

The schoolboy wand'ring in the wood 

To pull the flow'rs so gay, 
Starts, thy curious voice to hear. 

And imitates thy lay. 

' See Memoir, pp. 83-86, for the so-called 'improvements' of Logan; and for 
account of the seventh stanza, now for the first time inserted. — G. 



124 THE WORKS OF MICHAEL BRUCE. 

V. 

Soon as the pea puts on the bloom, 

Thou fly'st thy vocal vale, 
An annual guest, in other lands, 

Another Spring to hail. 

VI. 

Sweet bird ! thy bow'r is ever green, 

Thy sky is ever clear; 
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song. 

No winter in thy year ! 

VII. 

Alas ! sweet bird ! not so my fate, 

Dark scowling skies I see 
Fast gathering round, and fraught with woe 

And wintry years to me. 

VIII. 

O could I fly, I'd fly with thee: 
We'd make, with social wing. 

Our annual visit o'er the globe. 
Companions of the Spring. 



'^^mn^ antr ^atapfjrases- 



THE COMPLAINT OF NATURE. 

Few are thy days and full of woe, 

O man of woman bom ! 
Thy doom is written, dust thou art, 

And shalt to dust return. 

Determin'd are the days that fly 
Successive o'er thy head ; 

The number'd hour is on the wing, 
That lays thee ^vith the dead. 

Alas ! the httle day of life 

Is shorter than a span; 
Yet black with thousand hidden ills 

To miserable man. 



Gay is thy morning, flattering Hope 

Thy sprightly step attends ; 
But soon the' tempest howls behind, 

And the dark night descends. 

' The Eighth Paraphrase in the well-known 'Translations and Paraphrases,' 
issued by the Church of Scotland, consists of selected verses from this poem. It 
is hymn second in Logan's volume of 1781. See Memoir, pp. 104-106. The initial 
stanza was one of those preserved in the Villagers' memories long previous to 
publication in 1781, by Logan, the 'Complaint' having been sung in Buchan's 
music-class in 1764. Cf. Memoir, pp. 93, 94, loi, and 103. — G. 



128 THE WORKS OF 

Before its splendid hour the cloud 
Comes o'er the beam of light ; 

A Pilgrim in a weary land, 
Man tarries but a night. 

Behold ! sad emblem of thy state, 
The flowers that paint the field; 

Or trees, that crown the mountain's brow, 
And boughs and blossoms yield. 

When chill the blast of Winter blows, 

Away the Summer flies. 
The flowers resign their sunny robes, 

And all their beauty dies. 

Nipt by the year the forest fades; 

And shaking to the wind, 
The leaves toss to and fro, and streak 

The wilderness behind. 

The Winter past, reviving flowers 
Anew shall paint the plain. 

The woods shall hear the voice of Spring, 
And flourish green again. 

But man departs this earthly scene. 

Ah ! never to return ! 
No second Spring shall e'er revive 

The ashes of the urn. 

Th' inexorable doors of death 
What hand can e'er unfold 1 

Who from the cearments of the tomb 
Can raise the human mold ? 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 1x9 

The mighty flood that rolls along 

Its torrents to the main, 
The waters lost can ne'er recall 

From that abyss again. 

The days, the years, the ages, dark 

Descending do\\Ti to night. 
Can never, never be redeem'd 

Back to the gates of light. 

So Man departs the living scene, 

To Night's perpetual gloom ; 
The voice of Morning ne'er shall break 

The slumbers of the tomb. 

Where are our Fathers 1 Whither gone 

The mighty men of old 1 
' The Patriarchs, Prophets, Princes, Kings, 

In sacred books inroll'd. 

' Gone to the resting-place of man, 

The everlasting home, 
Where ages past have gone before, 

Where future ages come.' 

Thus Nature pour'd the wail of woe, 

And urged her earnest cry; 
Her voice in agony extreme 

Ascended to the sky. 

Th' Almighty heard: then from His throne 

In majesty He rose; 
And from the Heaven, that open'd wide, 

His voice in mercy flows. 
I 



I30 THE WORKS OF 

' When mortal man resigns his breath, 
And falls a clod of clay, 

The soul immortal wings its flight, 
To never-setting day. 

' Prepar'd of old for wicked men 
The bed of torment lies; 

The just shall enter into bliss 
Immortal in the skies." 



II. 

THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT.^ 

Who can resist th' Almighty arm 

That made the starry sky 1 
Or who elude the certain glance 

Of God's all-seeing eye ? 

From Him no cov'ring vails our crimes ; 
" Hell opens to His sight ; 
And all Destruction's secret snares 
Lie full disclosed in light. 

Firm on the boundless void of space 

He poised the steady pole. 
And in the circle of His clouds 

Bade secret waters roll 

While nature's universal frame 

Its Maker's power reveals. 
His throne, remote from mortal eyes, 

An awful cloud conceals. 

' See Note [a) at close of the Volume for the ' Paraphrase' from ' The Com- 
plaint.' — G. 
^ The ninth of the 'Translations and Paraphrases,' as before: Jobxxvi. 6-14. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 131 

From where the rising day ascends, 

To where it sets in night, 
He compasses the floods with bounds, 

And checks their threat'ning might. 

The pillars that support the sky- 
Tremble at His rebuke ; 

Through all its caverns quakes the earth. 
As though its centre shook. 

He brings the waters from their beds, 

Although no tempest blows, 
And smites the kingdom of the proud 

Without the hand of foes. 

With bright inhabitants above 

He fills the heav'nly land, 
And all the crooked serpent's breed 

Dismay'd before Him stand. 

Few of His works can we survey ; 

These io.^ our skill transcend : 
But the full thunder of His pow'r 

What heart can comprehend ? 



III. 

THE CALL OF WISDOM.' 

In streets, and op'nings of the gates, 

"Where pours the busy crowd. 
Thus heav'nly Wisdom lifts her voice. 

And cries to men aloud : 

' The tenth of the ' Translations and Paraphrases,' as before : Prov. i. 20-31.— G. 



IS2 THE WORKS OF 

How long, ye scomers of the truth, 

Scornful will ye remain 1 
How long shall fools their folly love, 

And hear my words in vain ? 

O turn, at last, at my reproof ! 

And, in that happy hour, 
His bless'd effusions on your heart 

My Spirit down shall pour. 

But since so long, with earnest voice, 

To you in vain I call, 
Since all my counsels and reproofs 

Thus ineffectual fall ; 

The time will come, when humbled low, 

In Sorrow's evil day. 
Your voice by anguish shall be taught, 

But taught too late, to pray. 

When, like the whirlwind, o'er the deep 

Comes Desolation's blast : 
Prayers then extorted shall be vain, 

The hour of mercy past. 

The choice you made has fix'd your doom ; 

For this is Heaven's decree, 
That with the fruits of what he sow'd 

The sinner fill'd shall be. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 133 



IV, 



HEAVENLY WISDOM. 

O HAPPY is the man who hears 

Instruction's warning voice, 
And who celestial Wisdom makes 

His early, only choice. 

For she has treasures greater far 

Than East or West unfold. 
And her reward is more secure 

Than is the gain of gold. 

In her right hand she holds to view 

A length of happy years ; 
And in her left, the prize of Fame 

And Honour bright appears. 

She guides the young, with innocence. 

In Pleasure's path to tread, 
A crown of glory she bestows 

Upon the hoary head. 

According as her labours rise. 

So her rewards increase. 
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, 

And all her paths are peace.^ 

' This is the eleventh of the ' Translations and Paraphrases,' as before. It is 
Hymn fourth in Logan's volume of 1781. See Memoir, pp. 92-95, 101-104. 
Prov. iii. 13-17. — G. 

' See Note {d) at close of the Volume for variations. — G. 



134 THE WORKS OF 

V. 

ATONING sacrifice/ 

Thus speaks the heathen : How shall man 

The Power Supreme adore ! 
With what accepted ofPrings come 

His mercy to implore ? 

Shall clouds of incense to the skies 

With grateful odour speed ? 
Or victims from a thousand hills 

Upon the altar bleed ? 

Does justice nobler blood demand 

To save the sinner's life 1 
Shall, trembling, in his offspring's side 

The father plunge the knife ? 

No : God rejects the bloody rites 

Which blindfold zeal began ; 
His oracles of truth proclaim 

The message brought to man. 

He what is good hath clearly shown, 

O favour'd race ! to thee ; 
And what doth God require of those 

Who bend to him the knee 1 

Thy deeds, let sacred justice rule ; 

Thy heart, let mercy fill ; 
And, walking humbly with thy God, 

To Him resign thy will. 

' This is the thirty-first of the ' Translations and Paraphrases,' as before : 
Micah vi. 6-9. See Memoir, pp. 92-95, 101-104. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 135 

VL 
SIMEON WAITING.' 

When Jesus, by the Virgin brought, 

So runs the law of Heaven, 
Was offer'd holy to the Lord, 

And at the altar given ; 

Simeon the Just and the Devout, 

Who frequent in the fane 
Had for the Saviour waited long, 

But waited still in vain ; 

Came Heaven-directed at the hour 

When Mary held her son; 
He stretched forth his aged arms, 

While tears of gladness run : 

With holy joy upon his face 

The good old father smiled, 
While fondly in his wither'd anus 

He clasp'd the promis'd child. 

And then he lifted up to Heaven 

An earnest asking eye; 
My joy is full, my hour is come, 

Lord let thy servant die. 

At last my arms embrace my Lord, 

Now let their vigour cease ; 
At last my eyes my Saviour see. 

Now let them close in peace ! 

' This, altered, makes the thirty-eighth Paraphrase, as before. It is Hymn 
eighth in Logan's volume. See Memoir, pp. 101-104. See Note (c) for the Ver- 
sion as it now appears. — G. 



136 THE WORKS OF 

The star and glory of the land 
Hath now begun to shine; 

The morning that shall gild the globe 
Breaks on these eyes of mine ! 



VII. 
SORROW NOT AS WITHOUT HOPE.' 

Take comfort, Christians, when your friends 

In Jesus fall asleep ; 
Their better being never ends ; 

Why then dejected weep? 

Why inconsolable, as those 

To whom no hope is given ? 
Death is the messenger of peace, 

And calls the soul to heaven. 

As Jesus died, and rose again 

Victorious from the dead ; 
So his disciples rise, and reign 

With their triumphant Head. 

The time draws nigh, when from the clouds 

Christ shall with shouts descend. 
And the last trumpet's awful voice 

The heav'ns and earth shall rend. 

Then they who live shall changed be, 

And they who sleep shall wake ; 
The grave shall yield their ancient charge, 

And earth's foundations shake. 

' This is the fifty-third of the ' Translations and Paraphrases,' as before : i 
Thess. iv. 13-28. See Memoir, pp. 101-104. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 137 

The saints of God, from death set free, 

With joy shall mount on high ; 
The heav'nly host, with praises loud 

Shall meet them in the sky. 

Together to their Father's house 

With joyful hearts they go ; 
And dwell for ever with the Lord, 

Beyond the reach of woe. 

A few short years of evil past, 

We reach the happy shore. 
Where death-divided friends at last 

Shall nieet, to part no more. 



VIII. 
THE ENTHRONED HIGH PRIEST.' 

Where high the heavenly temple stands 
The house of God not made with hands, 
A great High Priest our Nature wears. 
The Patron of mankind appears. 

He who for men in mercy stood, 
And pour'd on earth His precious blood, 
Pursues in Heaven His plan of Grace, 
The Guardian God of human race. 

Tho' now ascended up on high, 
He bends on earth a brother's eye. 
Partaker of the human name. 
He knows the frailty of our frame. 

' This is the fifty-eighth of the 'Translations and Paraphrases,' as before. See 
Memoir, pp. 101-104. — G. 



138 THE WORKS OF 

Our fellow-sufferer yet retains 
A fellow-feeling of our pains ; 
And still remembers in the skies 
His tears, and agonies, and cries. 

In every pang that rends the heart, 
The Man of Sorrows had a part ; 
He sympathises in our grief. 
And to the sufferer sends relief 

With boldness, therefore, at the throne 
Let us make all our sorrows known, 
And ask the aids of heavenly power, 
To help us in the evil hour. . 



IX. 
DYING IN THE LORD.' 

The hour of my departure's come; 
I hear the voice that calls me home : 
At last, O Lord ! let trouble cease, 
And let thy servant die in peace. 

The race appointed I have run; 
The combat's o'er, the prize is won; 
And now my witness is on high, 
And now my record's in the sky. 

Not in mine innocence I trust ; 
I bow before thee in the dust; 
And through my Saviour's blood alone 
I look for mercy at Thy throne. 

' This forms ' Hymn V.' of the five Hymns appended to the ' Translations and 
Paraphrases,' as before. See Memoir, pp. 101-104. Every one will feel how- 
it breathes the very spirit of our young dying Poet ; and also how incongruous it 
is with Logan's. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 139 

I leave the world without a tear, 
Save for the friends I held so dear ; 
To heal their sorrows, Lord, descend, 
And to the friendless prove a friend. 

I come, I come, at Thy command, 
I give my spirit to Thy hand ; 
Stretch forth Thine everlasting arms, 
And shield me in the last alarms. 

The hour of my departure's come : 
I hear the voice that calls me home : ' 
Now, O my God ! let trouble cease ; 
Now let Thy servant die in peace. 



X. 

TRUST IN PROVIDENCE.' 

Almighty Father of mankind, 

On Thee my hopes remain; 
And when the day of trouble conies, 

I shall not trust in vain. 

Thou art our kind Preserver, from 

The cradle to the tomb; 
And I was cast upon thy care, 

Even from my mother's womb. 

In early days thou wast my guide, 

And of my youth the friend ; 
And as my days began with Thee, 

With Thee my days shall end. 

' This is Hymn third in Logan's volume of 1781. See Memoir, pp. 101-104. — G- 



I40 THE WORKS OF 

I know the Power in whom I trust, 
The arm on which I lean; 

He will my Saviour ever be, 
Who has my Saviour been. 

In former times, when trouble came. 
Thou didst not stand afar; 

Nor didst thou prove an absent friend 
Amid the din of war. 

My God, who causedst me to hope, 
Wlien life began to beat. 

And when a stranger in the world, 
Didst guide my wandering feet; 

Thou wilt not cast me off, when age 

And evil days descend ; 
Thou wilt not leave me in despair. 

To mourn my latter end. 

Therefore in life I'll trust to Thee, 

In death I will adore; 
And after death will sing thy praise, 

When time shall be no more. 



XI. 
ADVENT OF THE MESSIAH.' 

Behold ! th' Ambassador divine, 
Descending from above, 

' This, somewhat altered, makes the twenty-third of the ' Translations and 
Paraphrases,' as before. It is Hymn sixth in Logan's volume of 1781. See 
Memoir, pp. 101-104. — G. 

We give this Hymn as it appears in the final Version of the ' Paraphrases,' as 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 141 

To publish to mankind the laAv 
Of everlasting love ! 

On Him in rich effiision pour'd 

The heavenly dew descends ; 
And truth di\ine He shall reveal, 

To earth's remotest ends. 

No trumpet-sound, at His approach. 

Shall strike the wondering ears ; 
But still and gentle breathe the voice 

In which the God appears. 

By His kind hand the shaken reed 

Shall raise its falling frame ; 
The dying embers shall revive, 

And kindle to a flame. 

The onward progress of His zeal 
Shall never know decline, 

in all probability it furnishes a specimen of Logan's ' improvements ' upon what 
he found in the Bruce MSS., while the text, as above, represents more nearly 
what Bruce wrote. The same holds of our text of what is the eighth Paraphrase, 
compared with 'The Complaint of Nature ' (pp. 127-130, and note a); the eleventh 
Paraphrase, compared with ' Heavenly Wisdom' (p. 133) ; the thirty-eighth Para- 
phrase, compared with 'Simeon Waiting' (pp. 135, 136); and the fifty-eighth 
Paraphrase, compared with 'The Enthroned High Priest' (pp. 137, 138) : — 

Behold my Servant ! see Him rise The feeble spark to flames He'll raise ; 

Exalted in my might ! The weak will not despise ; 

Him have I chosen, and in Him Judgment He .shall bring forth to truth, 

I place supreme delight. And make the fallen rise. 

On Him, in rich effusion pour'd. The progress of His zeal and pow'r 

My Spirit shall descend ; Shall never know decline, 

My truths and judgments He shall show Till foreign lands and distant isles 
To earth's remotest end. Receive the law divine. 

Gentle and still shall be His voice. He who erected heaven's bright arch. 
No threats from Him proceed ; And bade the planets roll. 

The smoking flax He shall not quench. Who peopled all the climes of earth, 
Nor break the bruised reed. And form'd the human soul. 



144 7HE WORKS OF 

Till foreign lands and distant isles 
Receive the law divine. 



He who spread forth the arch of Heaven, 

And bade the planets roll, 
Who laid the basis of the earth, 

And form'd the human soul. 

Thus saith the Lord, ' Thee have I sent, 

A Prophet from the sky. 
Wide o'er the nations to proclaim 

The message from on high. 

' Before thy face the shades of death 

■ Shall take to sudden flight, 
The people who in darkness dwell 
Shall hail a glorious light ; 



Thus saith the Lord, Thee have I rais'd, And future scenes, predicted now, 

My Prophet thee install ; Shall be accomplish'd too. 

In right I've rais'd thee, and in strength 

I'll succour whom I call. Sing to the Lord in joyful strains ! 

Let earth His praise resound, 
I will establish with the lands Ye who upon the ocean dwell, 

A covenant in thee, And fill the isles around ! 

To give the Gentile nations light, 

And set the pris'ners free : O city of the Lord ! begin 

The universal song ; 
Asunder burst the gates of brass ; And let the scatter'd villages 

The iron fetters fall ; The cheerful notes prolong. 

And gladsome light and liberty 

Are straight restor'd to all. Let Kedar's wilderness afar 

Lift up its lonely voice ; 
I am the Lord, and by the name And let the tenants of the rock 

Of great JEHOVAH known ; With accents rude rejoice ; 

No idol shall usurp My praise, 

Nor mount into My throne. Till 'midst the streams of distant lands 

The islands sound His praise ; 
Lo ! former scenes, predicted once, And all combin'd, with one accord, 

Conspicuous rise to view ; JEHOVAH'S glories raise. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 

' The gates of brass shall 'sunder burst, 

The iron fetters fall ; 
The promis'd jubilee of Heaven 

Appointed rise o'er all. 

' And lo ! presaging Thy approach, 
The Heathen temples shake, 

And trembling in forsaken fanes. 
The fabled idols quake. 

* I am Jehovah : I am One : 
My name shall now be known ; 

No Idol shall usurp my praise, 
Nor mount into my throne.' 

Lo, former scenes, predicted once, 

Conspicuous rise to view ; 
And future scenes, predicted now, 

Shall be accomplish'd too. 

Now sing a new song to the Lord ! 

Let earth His praise resound ; 
Ye who upon the ocean dwell, 

And fill the isles around. 

O city of the Lord ! begin 

The universal song ; 
And let the scattered villages 

The joyful notes prolong. 

Let Kedar's wilderness afar 

Lift up the lonely voice ; 
And let the tenants of the rock 

With accent rude rejoice. 



M3 



144 THE WORKS OF 

O from the streams of distant lands 

Unto Jehovah sing ! 
And joyful from the mountain tops 

Shout to the Lord the King ! 

Let all combined vnth. one accord 
Jehovah's glories raise, 

Till in remotest bounds of earth 
The nations sound his praise. 



XII. 
THE APPROACHING SAVIOUR.' 

Messiah ! at Thy glad approach 

The howling wilds are still ; 
Thy praises fill the lonely waste, 

And breathe from every hill. 

The hidden fountains, at Thy call. 

Their sacred stores unlock ; 
Loud in the desert sudden streams 

Burst living from the rock. 

The incense of the Spring ascends 

Upon the morning gale ; 
Red o'er the hill the roses bloom 

The lilies in the vale. 

Renew'd, the earth a robe of light, 

A robe of beauty wears ; 
And in new heavens a brighter Sun 

Leads on the promised years. 

' This is the seventh Hymn in Logan's volume of 1781. See Memoir, pp. 101-104. 
-G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 145 

The kingdom of Messiah come, 

Appointed times disclose ; 
And fairer in Emmanuel's land 

The new Creation glows. 

Let Israel to the Prince of Peace 

The loud Hosannah sing ! 
With Hallelujahs and with hymns, 

O Zion, hail thy King ! 



REVISED HYMN. 

THE MILLENNIUM.^ 

Behold ! the mountain of the Lord 

In latter days shall rise. 
Above the mountains and the hills, 

And draw the wondering eyes. 

To this the joyful nations round 

All tribes and tongues shall flow. 
Up to the Hill of God they'll say. 

And to his house we'll go. 

The beam that shines on Zion hill 

Shall lighten every land ; 
The King who reigns in Zion towers 

Shall all the world command. 

' This is the eighteenth of the ' Translations and Paraphrases,' as before. See 
Memoir, pp. 95-101. This revised Hymn is included among Bruce's, because the 
third stanza is indubitably his, and because of felicitous verbal alterations on the 
older Version. His part in this fine Hymn may be likened to Kirke-AVhite's sup- 
plement to Waller's Song. — G. 

K 



146 rHE WORKS OF MICHAEL BRUCE. 

No strife shall vex Messiah's reign, 

Or mar the peaceful years, 
To ploughshares soon they beat their swords, 

To pruning-hooks their spears. 

No longer hosts encountering hosts, 

Their millions slain deplore ; ' 

They hang the trumpet in the hall. 

And study war no more. 

Come then — O come from every land, 

To worship at his shrine ; 
And, walking in the light of God, 

With holy beauties shine. 

*** We do not insert — 'O God of Bethel' — the second Paraphrase here, be- 
cause, as shown in our Memoir, it is taken almost bodily from Doddridge. The 
verbal changes are very slight. Neither do we include the twenty-fifth, twenty- 
seventh, nor twenty-eighth, inasmuch as, though ascribed partially to Logan, 
and in all likelihood derived as the others were from the Bruce MSS., these 
were revised and altered by Dr John Morrison of Canisbay, and it is now im- 
possible to distinguish their several portions. — G. 



eiegg in Opting. 



ELEGY: 

WRITTEN IN SPRING. 

'Tis past : the iron North has spent his rage ; 

Stern Winter now resigns the length'ning day; 
The stormy howhngs of the winds asswage, 

And warm o'er ether western breezes play. 

Of genial heat and cheerful light the source, 
From southern climes, beneath another sky, 

The sun, returning, wheels his golden course ; 
Before his beams all noxious vapours fly. 

Far to the north grim Winter draws his train 
To his own clime, to Zembla's frozen shore; 

Where, thron'd on ice, he holds eternal reign ; 

Where whirlwinds madden, and where tempests roar. 

Loos'd from the bands of frost, the verdant ground 
Again puts on her robe of cheerful green. 

Again puts forth her flow'rs ; and all around. 
Smiling, the cheerful face of Spring is seen. 

Behold! the trees new-deck their wither'd boughs; 

Their ample leaves the hospitable plane. 
The taper elm, and lofty ash, disclose ; 

The blooming hawthorn variegates the scene. 



15 o THE WORKS OF 

The lily of the vale, of flow'rs the Queen, 
Puts on the robe she neither sew'd nor spun : 

The birds on ground, or on the branches green, 
Hop to and fro, and glitter in the sun. 

Soon as o'er eastern hills the morning peers, 
From her low nest the tufted lark upsprings; 

And, cheerful singing, up the air she steers ; 

Still high she mounts, still loud and sweet she sings. 

On the green furze, cloth'd o'er with golden blooms 
That fill the air with fragrance all around. 

The linnet sits, and tricks his glossy plumes. 
While o'er the wild his broken notes resound. 

While the sun journeys down the western sky, 

Along the greensward, mark'd with Roman mound, 

Beneath the blithesome shepherd's watchful eye. 
The cheerful lambkins dance and frisk around. 

Now is the time for those who wisdom love, 
Who love to walk in Virtue's flow'ry road. 

Along the lovely paths of Spring to rove, 
And follow Nature up to Nature's God. {d) 

Thus Zoroaster studied Nature's laws ; 

Thus Socrates, the wisest of mankind ; 
Thus heav'n-taught Plato trac'd th' Almighty cause, 

And left the wond'ring multitude behind. 

Thus Ashley gather'd Academic bays ; 

Thus gentle Thomson, as the Seasons roll. 
Taught them to sing the great Creator's praise, 

And bear their poet's name from pole to pole. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 151 

Thus have I walk'd along the dewy lawn ; 

My frequent foot the blooming wild hath worn ; 
Before the lark I've sung the beauteous dawn, 

And gather'd health from all the gales of morn. 

And, even when Winter chill'd the aged year, 
I wander'd lonely o'er the hoary plain ; 

Tho' frosty Boreas vvarn'd me to forbear, 
Boreas, with all his tempests, warn'd in vain. 

Then, sleep my nights, and quiet bless'd my days ; 

I fear'd no loss, my Mind was all my store ; 
No anxious wishes e'er disturb'd my ease ; 

Heav'n gave content and health — ^I ask'd no more. 

Now Spring returns : but not to me returns 
The vernal joy my better years have known ; 

Dim in my breast life's dying taper burns. 
And all the joys of life with health are flown. 

Starting and shiv'ring in th' inconstant wind, 
Meagre and pale, the ghost of what I was. 

Beneath some blasted tree I lie reclin'd, 
And count the silent moments as they pass : 

The -Ranged moments, whose unstaying speed 
No art can stop, or in their course arrest ; 

Whose flight shall shortly count me with the dead, 
And lay me down in peace with them that rest. 

Oft morning-dreams presage approaching fate ; 

And morning-dreams, as poets tell, are true, {e) 
Led by pale ghosts, I enter Death's dark gate, 

And bid the realms of light and life adieu. 



15 z THE WORKS OF MICHAEL BRUCE. 

I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of wo ; 

I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore, 
The sluggish streams that slowly creep below, 

Which mortals visit, and return no more. 

Farewell, ye blooming fields ! ye cheerful plains ! 

Enough for me the church-yard's lonely mound, 
Where Melancholy with still Silence reigns, 

And the rank grass waves o'er the cheerless ground. 

There let me wander at the shut of eve, 

When sleep sits dewy on the labourer's eyes, 

The world and all its busy follies leave, 

And talk with Wisdom where my Daphnis lies. 

There let me sleep forgotten in the clay. 

When death shall shut these weary aching eyes, 

Rest in the hopes of an eternal day. 

Till the long night's gone, and the last morn arise. 



fi^i^ctllamou^ ©ints* 



MISCELLANEOUS PIECES. 

WEAVING SPIRITUALIZED. (/) 

A WEB I hear thou hast begun, 
And know'st not when it may be done- 
So death uncertain see ye fear — 
For ever distant, ever near. 

See'st thou the shuttle quickly pass — 
Think mortal life is as the grass, — 
An empty cloud — a morning dream — 
A bubble rising on the stream. 

The knife still ready to cut off 
Excrescent knots that mar the stuff, 
To stem affliction's rod compare — 
'Tis for thy good, so learn to bear. 

Too full a quill oft checks the speed 
Of shuttle flying by the reed — 
So riches oft keep back the soul, 
That else would hasten to its goal. 



156 THE WORKS OF 

Thine eye the web runs keenly o'er 
For things amiss, unseen before, — 
Thus scan thy Hfe — mend what's amiss- 
Next day correct the faults of this. 

For when the web is at an end, 
'Tis then too late a fault to mend — 
Let thought of this awaken dread, — 
Repentance dwells not with the dead. 



INSCRIPTION ON A BIBLE. 

'Tis very vain for me to boast 
How small a price my Bible cost, 
The day of judgment will make clear 
'Twas very cheap — or very dear, {g) 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 157 



THE LAST DAY. 



His second coming, who at first appeared 
To save the world, but now to judge mankind 
According to their works ; — the trumpet's sound, — 
The dead arising, — the wide world in flames, — 
The mansions of the blest, and the dire pit 
Of Satan and of woe, O Muse ! unfold. 

O Thou ! whose eye the future and the past 
In one broad view beholdest — from the first 
Of days, when o'er this rude unformed mass 
Light, first-bom of existence {/i), smiling rose, 
Down to that latest moment, when thy voice 
Shall bid the sun be darkness, when thy hand 
Shall blot creation out, — assist my song ! 
Thou only know'st, who gav'st these orbs to roll 
Their destin'd circles, when their course shall set ; 
When ruin and destruction fierce shall ride 
In triumph o'er creation. This is hid, 
In kindness unto man. Thou giv'st to know 
The event certain : angels know not when.^ 

'Twas on an autumn's eve, serene and calm, 
I walked, attendant on the funeral 
Of an old swain : around, the village crowd 
Loquacious chatted, till we reach'd the place 
Where, shrouded up, the sons of other years 

' For occasion of this Poem, see p. 19 of Memoir. — G. 
- Matt. xxiv. 36.— M'K. 



158 THE WORKS OF 

Lie silent in the grave. The sexton there 
Had digg'd the bed of death, the narrow house 
For all that live, appointed. To the dust 
We gave the dead. Then moralizing, home 
The swains return'd, to drown in copious bowls 
The labours of the day, and thoughts of death. 

The sun now trembled at the western gate ; 
His yellow rays stream'd in the fleecy clouds. 
I sat me down upon a broad flat stone ; 
And much I mused on the changeful state 
Of sublunary things. The joys of life, 
How frail, how short, how passing ! As the sea, 
Now flowing, thunders on the rocky shore ; 
Now lowly ebbing, leaves a tract of sand. 
Waste, wide, and dreary : so, in this vain world, 
Through every varying state of life, we toss 
In endless fluctuation ; till, tir'd out 
With sad variety of bad and worse. 
We reach life's period, reach the blissful port. 
Where change aflects not, and the weary rest. 

Then sure the sun which lights us to our shroud. 
Than that which gave us first to see the light. 
Is happier far. As he who, hopeless, long 
Hath rode th' Atlantic billow, from the mast, 
Skirting the blue horizon, sees the land, 
His native land approach; joy fills his heart, 
And swells each throbbing vein : so, here confin'd. 
We weary tread life's long long toilsome maze ; 
Still hoping, vainly hoping, for relief. 
And rest from labour. Ah ! mistaken thought : 
To seek in life what only death can give. 
But what is death ? Is it an endless sleep. 
Unconscious of the present and the past. 
And never to be waken'd 1 Sleeps the soul ; 



MICHAEL BRUCE. ij9 

Nor wakes ev'n in a dream 1 If it is so, 

Happy the sons of pleasure ; they have Hv'd 

And made the most of Hfe ; and foohsh he, 

The sage, who, dreaming of hereafter, grudg'd 

Himself the tasting of the sweets of life. 

And call'd it temperance ; and hop'd for joys 

More durable and sweet, beyond the grave. 

Vain is the poet's song, the soldier's toil ! 

Vain is the sculptur'd marble and the bust ! 

How vain to hope for never-dying fame. 

If souls can die ! But that they never die, 

This thirst of glory whispers. Wherefore gave 

The great Creator such a strong desire 

He never meant to satisfy ? These stones. 

Memorials of the dead, with rustic art 

And rude inscription cut, declare the soul 

Immortal. Man, form'd for eternity. 

Abhors annihilation, and the thought 

Of dark oblivion. Hence, with ardent wish 

And vigorous effort, each would fondly raise 

Some lasting monument, to save his name 

Safe from the waste of years. Hence Csesar fought ; 

Hence Raphael painted ; and hence Milton sung. 

Thus musing, sleep oppress'd my drowsy sense. 
And wrapt me into rest. Before mine eyes, 
Fair as the mom, when up the flaming east 
The sun ascends, a radiant seraph stood, 
Crown'd with a wreath of palm : his golden hair 
Wav'd on his shoulders, girt with shining plumes ; 
From which, down to the ground, loose-floating trail'd, 
In graceful negligence, his heavenly robe : 
Upon his face, flush'd Nvith immortal youth. 
Unfading beauty bloom'd ; and thus he spake : 

' Well hast thou judged ; the soul must be immortal ! 



i6o THE WORKS OF 

And that it is, this awful day declares ; 

This day, the last that e'er the sun shall gild : 

Arrested by Omnipotence, no more 

Shall he describe the year : the moon no more 

Shall shed her borrow'd light. This is the day 

Seal'd in the rolls of Fate, when o'er the dead 

Almighty Power shall wake and raise to life 

The sleeping myriads. Now shall be approv'd 

The ways of God to man, and all the clouds 

Of Providence be clear'd (?) : now shall be disclos'd 

Why vice in purple oft upon a throne 

Exalted sat, and shook her iron scourge 

O'er virtue, lowly seated on the ground : 

Now deeds committed in the sable shade 

Of eyeless darkness, shall be brought to light ; 

And every act shall meet its just reward.' 

As thus he spake, the morn arose ; and sure 
Methought ne'er rose a fairer. Not a cloud 
Spotted the blue expanse ; and not a gale 
Breath'd o'er the surface of the dewy earth. 
Twinkling with yellow lustre, the gay birds 
On every blooming spray sung their sweet lays. 
And prais'd their great Creator : through the fields 
The lowing cattle graz'd ; and all around 
Was beauty, happiness, and mirth, and love. — 
' All these thou seest (resum'd the angelic power) 
No more shall give thee pleasure. Thou must leave 
This world ; of which now come and see the end.' 

This said, he touch'd me, and such strength infus'd. 
That as he soared up the pathless air, 
I lightly followed. On the awful peak 
Of an eternal rock, against whose base 
The sounding billows beat, he set me down. 
I heard a noise, loud as a rushing stream, 



MICHAEL BRUCE. i6i 

"When o'er the rugged precipice it roars, 
And foaming, thunders on the rocks below. 
Astonished, I gaz'd around ; when lo ! 
I saw an angel down from Heaven descend. 
His face was as the sun ; his dreadful height 
Such as the statue, by the Grecian plan'd, 
Of Philip's son, Athos, with all his rocks, 
Moulded into a man (/) : One foot on earth, 
And one upon the rolling sea, he fix'd. 
As when, at setting sun, the rainbow shines 
Refulgent, meting out the half of Heav'n — 
So stood he ; and, in act to speak he rais'd 
His shining hand. His voice was as the sound 
Of many waters, or the deep-mouth'd roar 
Of thunder, Avhen it bursts the riven cloud. 

And bellows through the ether. Nature stood 

Silent, in all her works : while thus he spake : — 

' Hear, thou that roll'st above, thou radiant sun ! 

Ye heavens and earth, attend ! while I declare 

The will of the Eternal. By his name 

Who lives, and shall for ever live, I swear 

That time shall be no longer." 

He disappear'd. Fix'd in deep thought I stood, 

At what would follow. Straight another sound ; 

To which the Nile, o'er Ethiopia's rocks 

Rushing in one broad cataract, were nought. 

It seem'd as if the pillars that upheld 

The universe, had fall'n ; and all its worlds, 

Unhing'd, had strove together for the way, 

In cumbrous crashing ruin. Such the roar ! 

A sound that might be felt ! It pierc'd beyond 

The limits of creation. Chaos roar'd ; 

And heav'n and earth retum'd the mighty noise. — 

' Rev. X. 5, 6.— M'K. 
L 



i6z THE WORKS OF 

' Thou hear'st,' said then my heav'nly guide, ' the sound 
Of the last trumpet. See, where from the clouds 
Th' archangel Michael, one of the seven 
That minister before the throne of God, 
Leans forward ; and the sonorous tube inspires 
With breath immortal. By his side the sword 
Which, like a meteor, o'er the vanquish'd head 
Of Satan hung, when he rebellious rais'd 
War, and embroil'd the happy fields above.' 

A pause ensued. The fainting sun grew pale, 
And seem'd to struggle through a sky of blood ; 
While dim eclipse impair'd his beam : the earth 
Shook to her deepest centre ; Ocean rag'd. 
And dash'd his billows on the frighted shore. 
All was confusion. Heartless, helpless, wild. 
As flocks of timid sheep, or driven deer, 
Wandering, th' inhabitants of earth appear'd : 
Terror in every look, and pale affright 
Sat in each eye {k) ; amazed at the past. 
And for the future trembling. All call'd great. 
Or deem'd illustrious, by erring man, 
Was now no more. The hero and the prince, 
Their grandeur lost, now mingled with the crowd ; 
And all distinctions, those except from faith 
And virtue flowing : these upheld the soul. 
As ribb'd with triple steel. All else were lost ! 

Now, vain is greatness ! as the morning clouds, 
That, rising, promise rain : condens'd they stand, 
Till, touch'd by winds, they vanish into air. 
The farmer mourns : so mourns the helpless wretch, 
Who, cast by fortune from some envied height. 
Finds nought within him to support his fall. 
High as his hopes had rais'd him, low he sinks 
Below his fate, in comfortless despair. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 16 

Who would not laugh at an attempt to build 
A lasting structure on the rapid stream 
Of foaming Tigris (/), the foundations laid 
Upon the glassy surface ? Such the hopes 
Of him whose views are bounded to this world : 
Immers'd in his own labour'd work, he dreams 
Himself secure ; when, on a sudden down, 
Tom from its sandy ground, the fabric falls ! 
He starts, and, waking, finds himself undone.' 

Not so the man who on religion's base 
His hope and virtue founds. Firm on the Rock 
Of ages his foundation laid, remains, 
Above the frowns of fortune or her smiles ; 
In every varying state of life, the same. 
Nought fears he from the world, and nothing hopes. 
With unassuming courage, inward strength 
Endu'd, resign'd to Heaven, he leads a life 
Superior to the common herd of men, 
Whose joys, connected with the changeful flood 
Of fickle fortune, ebb and flow with it. 

Nor is religion a chimera : Sure 
'Tis something real. Virtue cannot live. 
Divided from it. As a sever'd branch 
It withers, pines, and dies. Who loves not God, 
That made him, and preserv'd, nay more — redeem'd, 
Is dangerous. Can ever gratitude 
Bind him who spurns at these most sacred ties ? 
Say, can he, in the silent scenes of life. 
Be sociable 1 Can he be a friend 1 
At best, he must but feign. The worst of brutes 
An atheist is ; for beasts acknowledge God. 
The lion, with the terrors of his mouth, 

' Matt. viii. 24.— M'K. 



J 



1 64 THE ffVRKS OF 

Pays homage to his Maker ; the grim wolf, 
At midnight, howhng, seeks his meat from God. 
Again th' archangel raised his dreadful voice. 
Earth trembled at the sound. ' Awake, ye dead ! 
And come to judgment.' At the mighty call, 
As armies issue at the trumpet's sound, 
So rose the dead. A shaking first I heard,' 
And bone together came unto his bone. 
Though sever'd by wide seas and distant lands. 
A spirit liv'd within them (m). He who made, 
Wound up, and set in motion, the machine, 
To run unhurt the length of fourscore years, 
Who knows the structure of each secret spring ; 
Can He not join again the sever'd parts. 
And join them with advantage? This to man 
Hard and impossible may seem ; to God 
Is easy. Now, through all the darken'd air, 
The living atoms flew, each to his place, 
And nought was missing in the great account, 
Down from the dust of him whom Cain first slew. 
To him who yesterday was laid in earth. 
And scarce had seen corruption ; whether in 
The bladed grass they cloth'd the verdant plain. 
Or smil'd in opening flowers ; or, in the sea, 
Became the food of monsters of the Deep, 
Or pass'd in transmigrations infinite 
Through ev'ry kind of being. None mistakes 
His kindred matter ; but, by sympathy 
Combining, rather by Almighty Pow'r 
Led on, they closely mingle and unite 
But chang'd : for subject to decay no more. 
Or dissolution, deathless as the soul, 

' Ezek. xxxvii. 7.— M'K. 



MICH J EL BRUCE 165 

The body is ; and fitted to enjoy 
Eternal bliss, or bear eternal pain. 

As when in Spring the sun's prolific beams 
Have wak'd to life the insect tribes, that sport 
And wanton in his rays at ev'ning mild. 
Proud of their new existence, up the air, 
In devious circles wheeling, they ascend, 
Innumerable ; the whole air is dark : 
So, by the trumpet rous'd, the sons of men. 
In countless numbers, cover'd all the ground, 
From frozen Greenland to the southern pole ; 
All who ere liv'd on earth. See Lapland's sons. 
Whose zenith is the pole ; a barb'rous race ! 
Rough as their storms, and savage as their cHme, 
Unpolish'd as their bears, and but in shape 
Distinguish'd from them : Reason's dying lamp 
Scarce brighter burns than instinct in their breast. 
With wand'ring Russians, and all those who dwelt 
In Scandinavia, by the Baltic Sea ; 
The rugged Pole, with Prussia's warlike race : 
Germania pours her numbers, where the Rhine 
And mighty Danube pour their flowing urns. 

Behold thy children, Britain ! hail the light : 
A manly race, whose business was amis. 
And long uncivilised ; yet, train'd to deeds 
Of virtue, they withstood the Roman power. 
And made their eagles droop. On Morven's coast, 
A race of heroes and of bards arise ; 
The mighty Fingal, and his mighty son, 
Who launch'd the spear, and touch'd the tuneful harp ; 
With Scotia's chiefs, the sons of later years. 
Her Kenneths and her Malcoms, warriors fam'd ; 
Her generous Wallace, and her gallant Bruce. 
See, in her pathless wilds, where the grey stones 



1 66 THE WORKS OF 

Are raised in memory of the mighty dead. 

Annies arise of Enghsh, Scots, and Picts ; 

And giant Danes, who, from bleak Noi-way's coast, 

Ambitious, came to conquer her fair fields, 

And chain her sons : But Scotia gave them graves !— 

Behold the kings that fill'd the English throne ! 

Edwards and Henries, names of deathless fame, 

Start from the tomb. Immortal William ! see. 

Surrounding angels point him from the rest, 

Who saved the State from tyranny and Rome. 

Behold her poets ! Shakspeare, fancy's child ; 

Spenser, who, through his smooth and moral tale, 

Y-points fair virtue out ; with him who sung 

Of man's first disobedience.' Young lifts up 

His awful head, and joys to see the day. 

The great, th' important day, of which he sung. 

See where imperial Rome exalts her height ! 
Her senators and gowned fathers rise ; 
Her consuls, who, as ants without a king, 
Went forth to conquer kings ; and at their wheels 
In triumph led the chiefs of distant lands. 
Behold, in Cannae's field, what hostile swarms 
Burst from th' ensanguin'd ground, where Hannibal 
Shook Rome through all her legions : Italy 
Trembled unto the Capitol. If fate 
Had not withstood th' attempt, she now had bow'd 
Her head to Carthage. See, Pharsalia pours 
Her murder'd thousands ! who, in the last strife 
Of Rome for dying liberty, were slain. 
To make a man the master of the world. 

All Europe's sons throng forward ; numbers vast ! 
Imagination fails beneath the weight. 

' Milton.— G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 167 

What numbers yet remain ! Th' enervate race 

Of Asia, from where Tanais rolls 

O'er rocks and dreary wastes his foaming stream, 

To where the Eastern Ocean thunders round 

The spicy Java ; with the taAvny race 

That dwelt in Afric, from the Red Sea, north, 

To the Cape, south, where the rude Hottentot 

Sinks into brute ; mth those, who long unknown 

Till by Columbus found, a naked race ! 

And only skill'd to urge the sylvan war, 

That peopled the wide continent that spreads 

From rocky Zembla, whiten'd with the snow 

Of twice three thousand years, south to the Straits 

Nam'd from Magellan, where the ocean roars 

Round earth's remotest bounds. Now, had not He, 

The great Creator of the universe, 

Enlarg'd the wide foundations of the world, 

Room had been wanting to the mighty crowds 

That pour'd from every quarter. At his word. 

Obedient angels stretch'd an ample plain. 

Where dwelt his people in the Holy Land, 

Fit to contain the whole of human race 

As when the autumn, yellow on the fields, 

Invites the sickle, forth the farmer sends 

His servants to cut down and gather in 

The bearded grain : so, by Jehovah sent. 

His angels, from all corners of the world. 

Led on the living and awaken'd dead 

To judgment ; as, in th' Apocalypse, 

John, gather'd, saw the people of the earth. 

And kings, to An-nageddon. Now look round 

Thou whose ambitious heart for glory beats ! 

See all the wretched things on earth call'd great. 

And lifted up to gods ! How little now 



1 68 THE WORKS OF 

Seems all their grandeur ! See the conqueror, 

Mad Alexander, who his victor arms 

Bore o'er the then known globe, then sat him down 

And wept, because he had no other world 

To give to desolation ; how he droops ! 

He knew not, hapless wretch ! he never leam'd 

The harder conquest — to subdue himself. 

Now is the Christian's triumph, now he lifts 

His head on high ; while down the dying hearts 

Of sinners helpless sink : black guilt distracts 

And wrings their tortur'd souls ; while every thought 

Is big with keen remorse, or dark despair. 

But now a nobler subject claims the song. 
My mind recoils at the amazing theme : 
For how shall finite think of infinite ? 
How shall a stripling, by the Muse untaught, 
Sing Heaven's Almighty, prostrate at whose feet 
Archangels fall 1, Unequal to the task, 
I dare the bold attempt : assist me Heaven ! 
From Thee begun, with Thee shall end my song ! 

Now, down from th' opening finnament, 
Seated upon a sapphire throne, high rais'd 
Upon an azure ground, upheld by wheels 
Of emblematic structure, as a wheel 
Had been Avithin a wheel, studded with eyes 
Of flaming fire, and by four cherubs led ; 
I saw the Judge descend. Around Him came 
By thousands and by millions. Heaven's bright host. 
About Him blaz'd insufferable light. 
Invisible as darkness to the eye. 
His car above the mount of Olives stay'd 
Where last with his disciples He convers'd. 
And left them gazing as He soar'd aloft. 
He darkness as a curtain drew around ; 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 169 

On which the colour of the rainbow shone, 

Various and bright ; and from within was heard 

A voice, as deep-mouth'd thunder, speaking thus : 

' Go, Raphael, and from these reprobate 

Divide my chosen saints ; go separate 

My people from among them, as the wheat 

Is in the harvest sever'd from the tares : 

Set them upon the right, and on the left 

Leave these ungodly. Thou, Michael, choose, 

From forth th' angelic host, a chosen band, 

And Satan with his legions hither bring 

To judgment, from Hell's caverns ; whither fled. 

They think to hide from my awaken'd wrath, 

Which chas'd them out of Heaven, and which they dread 

More than the horrors of the pit, which now 

Shall be redoubled sevenfold on their heads.' 

Swift as conception, at his bidding flew 
His ministers, obedient to his word. 
And, as a shepherd, who all day hath fed 
His sheep and goats promiscuous, but at eve 
Dividing, shuts them up in different folds : 
So now the good were parted from the bad ; 
For ever parted ; never more to join 
And mingle as on earth, where often past 
For other each ; ev'n close Hypocrisy 
Escapes not, but, unmask'd, alike the scorn 
Of vice and virtue stands. Now separate, ' 

Upon the right appear'd a dauntless, firm. 
Composed number : joyful at the thought 
Of immortality, they forward look'd 
With hope unto the future ; conscience, pleas'd. 
Smiling, reflects upon a well-spent life ; 
Heaven dawns within their breasts. The other crew. 
Pale and dejected, scarcely lift their heads 



I70 THE WORKS OF 

To view the hated hght : his trembling hand 
Each lays upon his guihy face ; and now, 
In gnawings of the never-dying worm, 
Begins a hell that never shall be quench'd. 

But now the enemy of God and man, 
Cursing his fate, comes forward, led in chains. 
Infrangible, of burning adamant, 
Hewn from the rocks of Hell ; now too the bands 
Of rebel angels, who long time had walk'd 
The world, and by their oracles deceiv'd 
The blinded nations, or by secret guile 
Wrought men to vice, came on, raging in vain, 
And struggling with their fetters, which, as fate, 
Compell'd them fast. They wait their dreadful doom. 

Now from his lofty throne, with eyes that blaz'd 
Intolerable day, th' Almighty Judge 
Look'd down awhile upon the subject crowd. 
As when a caravan of merchants, led 
By thirst of gain to travel the parch'd sands 
Of waste Arabia, hears a lion roar. 
The wicked trembled at his view ; upon 
The ground they roll'd, in pangs of wild despair, 
To hide their faces, which not blushes mark'd 
But livid horror. Conscience, who asleep 
Long time had lain, now lifts her snaky head, 
And frights them into madness ; while the list 
Of all their sins she offers to their view : 
For she had power to hurt them, and her sting 
Was as a scorpion's. He who never knew 
Its wound is happy, though a fetter'd slave, 
Chain'd to the oar, or to the dark damp mine 
Confin'd ; while he who sits upon a throne. 
Under her frown, is wretched. But the damn'd 
Alone can tell what 'tis to feel her scourge 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 171 

In all its horrors, with her poison'd sting 

Fix'd in their hearts. This is the Second Death. 

Upon the Book of Life He laid his hand, 
Clos'd with the seal of Heaven ; which op'd, He read 
The names of the Elect. God knows His own.' 
' Come (looking on the right. He mildly said). 
Ye of my Father blessed, ere the world 
Was moulded out of chaos — ere the sons 
Of God, exulting, sung at Nature's birth : 
For you I left my throne, my glory left. 
And, shrouded up in clay, I wear)' walk'd 
Your world, and many miseries endur'd : 
Death was the last. For you I died, that you 
Might live with me for ever, and in Heav'n sit 
On thrones, and as the sun in brightness, shine 
For ever in my kingdom. Faithfully 
Have ye approv'd yourselves. I hungry was. 
And thirsty, and ye gave me meat and drink ; 
Ye clothed me, naked ; when I fainting lay 
In all the sad variety of pain. 
Ye cheer'd me with the tenderness of friends ; 
In sickness and in prison, me reliev'd. 
Nay, marvel not that thus I speak : whene'er. 
Led by the dictates of fair charity, 
Ye help'd the man on whom keen poverty 
And wretchedness had laid their meagre hands, 
And for my sake, ye did it unto me.'^ 

They heard with joy, and, shouting, rais'd their voice 
In praise of their Redeemer ! Loos'd from earth. 
They soar'd triumphant, and at the right hand 
Of the great Judge sat down ; who on the left 
Now looking stern, with fury in His eyes. 
Blasted their spirits, while His arrows fix'd 

' 2 Tim. ii. 19.— M'K. ' Matt. xxv. 41-45.— M'K. 



I7Z THE WORKS OF 

Deep in their hearts, in agonizing pain 
Scorched their vitals, thus their dreadful doom 
(More dreadful from those lips which us'd to bless) 
He awfully pronounc'd. Earth at His frown 
Convulsive trembled ; while the raging deep 
Hush'd in a horrid calm his waves. ' Depart,' 
(These, for I heard them, were his awful words !) 
' Depart from me, ye cursed ! Oft have I strove. 
In tenderness and pity, to subdue 
Your rebel hearts ; as a fond parent bird, 
When danger threatens, flutters round her young. 
Nature's strong impulse beating in her breast. 
Thus ardent did I strive : But all in vain. 
Now will I laugh at your calamity. 
And mock your fears : as oft, in stupid mirth, 
Harden'd in wickedness, ye pointed out 
The man who labour'd up the steep ascent 
Of virtue, to reproach. Depart to fire 
Kindled in Tophet for th' arch enemy. 
For Satan and his angels, who, by pride, 
Fell into condemnation ; blown up now 
To sevenfold fury by th' Almighty breath. 
There, in that dreary mansion, where the light 
Is solid gloom, darkness that may be felt,' 
Where hope, the lenient {n) of the ills of life. 
For ever dies ; there shall ye seek for death. 
And shall not find it : for your greatest curse 
Is immortality. Omnipotence 
Eternally shall punish and preserve.' 

So said He ; and. His hand high lifting, hurl'd 
The flashing lightning, and the flaming bolt. 
Full on the wicked : kindling in a blaze 

^ ' Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the 
land of Egypt, even darkness which may be feh.' — Ex. x. 21. — M'K. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 173 

The scorched earth. Behind, before, around, 

The trembhng \\Tetches, burst the quiv'ring flames. 

They tum'd to fly ; but wrath divine pursu'd 

To where, beyond creation's utmost bound. 

Where never ghmpse of cheerful hght arriv'd. 

Where scarce e'en thought can travel, but, absorb'd. 

Falls headlong down th' immeasurable gulf 

Of Chaos — wide and wild, their prison stood 

Of utter darkness, as the horrid shade 

That clouds the brow of death. Its op'ned mouth 

Belch'd sheets of livid flame and pitchy smoke. 

Infernal thunders, with explosion dire, 

Roar'd through the fiery concave ; while the waves 

Of liquid sulphur beat the burning shore, 

In endless ferment. O'er the dizzy steep 

Suspended, wrapt in suffocating gloom, 

The sons of black damnation shrieking hung. 

Curses unutterable filled their mouths. 

Hideous to hear ; their eyes rain'd bitter tears 

Of agonizing madness, for their day 

Was past, and from their eye repentance hid 

For ever ! Round their heads their hissing brands 

The Furies wav'd, and o'er the whelming brink 

Impetuous urg'd them. In the boiling surge 

They headlong fell. The flashing billows roar'd ; 

And hell from all her caves return'd the sound. 

The gates of flint, and tenfold adamant. 

With bars of steel, impenetrably firm. 

Were shut for ever : The decree of fate, 

Immutable, made fast the pond'rous door. 

' Now turn thine eyes,' my bright conductor said : 
' Behold the world in flames ! so sore the bolts 
Of thunder, launch'd by the Almighty arm, 
Hath smote upon it. Up the blacken'd air 



174 'niE WORKS OF 

Ascend the curling flames, and billowy smoke ; 

And hideous crackling, blot the face of day 

With foul eruption. From their inmost beds 

The hissing waters rise. Whatever drew 

The vital air, or in the spacious deep 

Wanton'd at large, expires. Heard'st thou that crash ? 

There fell the tow'ring Alps, and, dashing down, 

Lay bare their centre. See, the flaming mines 

Expand their treasures ! no rapacious hand 

To seize the precious bane. Now look around : 

Say, Canst thou tell where stood imperial Rome, 

The wonder of the world ; or where, the boast 

Of Europe, fair Britannia, stretch'd her plain, 

Encircled by the ocean 1 All is wrapt 

In darkness : as (if great may be compar'd 

With small) when, on Gomorrah's fated field, 

The flaming sulphur, by Jehovah rain'd. 

Sent up a pitchy cloud, killing to life. 

And tainting all the air. Another groan ! 

'Twas Nature's last : and see ! th' extinguish'd sun 

Falls devious through the void ; and the fair face 

Of Nature is no more ! With sullen joy 

Old Chaos views the havoc, and expects 

To stretch his sable sceptre o'er the blank 

Where once Creation smil'd : o'er which, perhaps 

Creative energy again shall wake. 

And into being call a brighter sun. 

And fairer worlds ; which, for delightful change, 

The saints, descending from the happy seats 

Of bliss, shall visit. And, behold ! they rise. 

And seek their native land : around them move. 

In radiant files, Heaven's host. Immortal wreaths 

Of amaranth and roses crown their heads ; 

And each a branch of ever-blooming palm 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 1 75 

Triumphant holds. In robes of dazzhng white, 
Fairer than that by wintry tempests shed 
Upon the frozen ground, array'd, they shine, 
Fair as the sun, when up the steep of Heav'n 
He rides in all the majesty of light. 

But who can tell, or if an angel could. 
Thou couldst not hear, the glories of the place 
For their abode prepar'd 1 Though oft on earth 
They struggled hard against the stormy tide 
Of adverse fortune, and the bitter scorn 
Of harden'd villany — their life a course 
Of warfare upon earth ; these toils, when view'd 
With the reward, seem nought. The Lord shall guide 
Their steps to living fountains, and shall wipe 
All tears from ev'ry eye. The wintry clouds 
That frown'd on life, rack up. A glorious sun. 
That ne'er shall set, arises in a sky 
Unclouded and serene. Their joy is full : 
And sickness, pain, and death, shall be no more. 

Dost thou desire to follow 1 does thy heart 
Beat ardent for the prize 1 Then tread the path 
Religion points to man. What thou hast seen, 
Fix'd in thy heart retain : For, be assur'd. 
In that last moment — in the closing act 
Of Nature's drama, ere the hand of fate 
Drop the black curtain, thou must bear thy part. 
And stand in thine own lot ' 

This said, he stretch'd 
His wings, and in a moment left my sight. 

' Dan. xii. 13.— M'K. 



176 THE WORKS OF 



LOCHLEVEN; 



The Lake described in the following Poem is situated in the county of Kinross, 
about twenty-seven miles north of Edinburgh, and seventeen south of Perth. In 
magnitude and grandeur it is inferior to Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine, and in 
picturesque beauty to several of the Highland lakes. It is, nevertheless, a noble 
expanse of waters, of about ten miles circumference, variegated with several 
islands, and lying in the bosom of verdant hills, and in the midst of well-cultivated 
fields. Portions of shore-land, gained by a partial draining of the Lake, are 
covered with spruce and pine, and hide within them many fair sylvan nooks, as 
do also the Islands. 

The western quarter is by much the most picturesque, and is accordingly the 
portion generally chosen by the artist as the proper subject for the pencil. It 
besides contains the Castle, from which, as once having been the prison of Mary 
Queen of Scots, the lake chiefly derives its celebrity. 

Lochleven is famed for its trout, the high flavour and the bright colour of which 
are said to arise chiefly from small red shell-fish, which abound in the lake, and 
constitute their food. Its chief celebrity, however, as already hinted, arises from 
its historical associations ; and this Sir Walter Scott, by his novel of The Abbot, 
has tended greatly to increase. Some of these associations are alluded to in the 
poem, and are now more amply detailed in the Notes. It is to be borne in mind, 
that the writer of this poem is describing the scene as it presented itself to him 
seventy years ago, and that, although in all its essential elements it is still the 
same, yet in several of its characteristics it is considerably changed, the lake itself 
having been reduced in size, and the adjoining lands greatly improved. 

This Lake is to be distinguished from another of the same name situated on the 
western coast of Scotland, which is an arm of the sea, in the vicinity of the far- 
famed Glencoe, separating the county of Argyle on the south from Inverness-shire 
on the north. That this latter lake has sometimes been mistaken for the former, 
is shown by MacCulloch, as quoted by Chambers : ' I was much amused,' says he, 
' by meeting here with an antiquary and virtuoso, who asked me where he should 
find Lochleven Castle. He had been inquiring among the Highlanders, and was 
very wrathful that he could obtain no answer. I was a little at a loss myself at 
first, but soon guessed the nature of the blunder. He had been crazing himself 
with Whittaker and Tytler, and Robertson and Chalmers, like an old friend of 
mine, who used to sleep with the controversies under his pillow, and had come all 
the way from England to worship at the shrine of Mary, stumbling, by some 
obliquity of vision, on the wrong Lochleven.' — M'K. and G. 

Hail, native land ! where on the flow'ry banks 
Of Leven, Beauty ever-blooming dwells; 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 177 

A wreath of roses, dropping with the dews 
Of Morning, circles her ambrosial locks 
Loose-waving o'er her shoulders ; where she treads, 
Attendant on her steps, the blushing Spring 
And Summer wait, to raise the various flow'rs 
Beneath her footsteps ; while the cheerful birds 
Carol their joy, and hail her as she comes. 
Inspiring vernal love and vernal joy. 

Attend, Agricola!' who to the noise 
Of public life preferr'st the calmer scenes 
Of solitude, and sweet domestic bliss, ' 

Joys all thine own ! attend thy poet's strain, 
Who triumphs in thy friendship, while he paints. 
The past'ral mountains, the poetic streams, 
Where raptur'd Contemplation leads thy walk, 
While silent Evening on the plain descends. 

Between two mountains, whose o'er^vhelming tops, 
In their swift course, arrest the bellying clouds, 
A pleasant valley lies. Upon the south, 
A narrow op'ning parts the craggy hills ; 
Thro' which the lake, that beautifies the vale. 
Pours out its ample waters. Spreading on. 
And wid'ning by degrees, it stretches north 
To the high Ochil, from whose snowy top 
The streams that feed the lake flow thund'ring down. 

The twilight trembles o'er the misty hills, 
Trinkling with dews ; and whilst the bird of day 
Tunes his etherial note, and wakes the wood, 
Bright from the crimson curtains of the mom. 
The sun appearing in his glory, throws 
New robes of beauty over heav'n and earth. 

' Mr David Amot. See Memoir, p. i6 and elsewhere. — G. 
M 



178 THE WORKS OF 

O now, while Nature smiles in all her works, 
Oft let me trace thy cowshp-cover'd banks, 
O Leven ! and the landscape measure round. 
From gay Kinross, whose stately tufted groves 
Nod o'er the lake, transported let mine eye 
Wander o'er all the various checquer'd scene. 
Of wilds, and fertile fields, and glitt'ring streams. 
To ruin'd Arnot ;' or ascend the height 
Of rocky Lomond,^ where a riv'let pure 
Bursts from the ground, and through the crumbled crags 
Tinkles amusive. From the mountain's top, 
Around me spread, I see the goodly scene ! 
Inclosures green, that promise to the swain 
The future harvest ; many-colour'd meads ; 
Irriguous vales, where cattle low, and sheep 
That whiten half the hills ; sweet rural farms 
Oft interspers'd, the seats of past'ral love 
And innocence ; with many a spiry dome 
Sacred to heav'n, around whose hallow'd walls 
Our fathers slumber in the narrow house. 
Gay, beauteous villas, bosom'd in the woods. 
Like constellations in the starry sky, 
Complete the scene. The vales, the vocal hills, 
The woods, the waters, and the heart of man, 
Send out a gen'ral song ; 'tis beauty all 
To poet's eye, and music to his ear. 



' The ruins of a castle on the Lomond Hills, and which appears to have been 
at one time at the eastern extremity of the Lochleven, as Kinross is at the western. 
Its position in this respect has been ahered by the reduction of the lake. Kinross 
and Arnot are mentioned by the poet to define the limits of the scene he intends to 
describe. — M'K. 

^ The range of hills which rises behind Kinnesswood, affording the best view of 
the lake. Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, of Upper Urquhart, has lately attempted to 
show, and with great plausibility, that the Lomond Hills are the Mens Grmnpucs 
of Tacitus. See TraTisactions of the Society of Antiqicaries of Scotland, Part L' 
vol. iv. 1830.— M'K. 



MICHJEL BRUCE. 179 

Nor is the shepherd silent on his hill, 
His flocks around ; nor schoolboys, as they creep, 
Slow pac'd, tow'rds school ; intent, with oaten pipe 
They wake by turns wild music on the way. 

Behold the man of sorrows hail the light ! 
New risen from the bed of pain, where late, 
Toss'd to and fro upon a couch of thorns, 
He wak'd the long dark night, and wish'd for morn. 
Soon as he feels the quick'ning beam of heav'n, 
And balmy breath of May, among the fields 
And flow'rs he takes his morning walk : his heart 
Beats with new life ; his eye is bright and blithe ; 
Health strews her roses o'er his cheek ; renew'd 
In youth and beauty, his unbidden tongue 
Pours native harmony, and sings to Heav'n. 

In ancient times, as ancient Bards have sung. 
This was a forest. Here the mountain-oak 
Hung o'er the craggy cliff, while from its top 
The eagle mark'd his prey ; the stately ash 
Rear'd high his nervous stature, while below 
The twining alders darken'd all the scene.' 
Safe in the shade, the tenants of the wood 
Assembled, bird and beast. The turtle-dove 
Coo'd, amorous, all the livelong summer's day. 
Lover of men, the piteous redbreast plain'd, 

' In the first draught of the poem the following lines, which we think more beauti- 
ful than some that have been retained, were added to this part of the description : — 
' Beneath their covert slept the ruffian wolf 
And fox invidious, with the lesser brood 
That feed on life, or o'er the frighted wild 
Pursue the trembling prey. Here, too, unscathed 
By man, the graceful deer trip'd o'er the lawn. 
Nor heard the barking of the deep-mouth'd hound 
Nor sounding horn, nor fear'd the guileful net.' — M'K. 



i8o THE WORKS OF 

Sole-sitting on the bough. Blithe on the bush, 

The blackbird, sweetest of the woodland choir, 

Warbled his liquid lay; to shepherd-swain 

Mellifluous music, as his master's flock. 

With his fair mistress and his faithful dog, 

He tended in the vale: while leverets round, 

In sportive races, through the forest flew 

With feet of -wind; and, vent'ring from the rock, 

The snow-white coney sought his ev'ning meal. 

Here, too, the poet, as inspir'd at eve 

He roam'd the dusky wood, or fabled brook 

That piece-meal printed ruins in the rock. 

Beheld the blue-eyed Sisters of the stream. 

And heard the wild note of the fairy throng 

That charm'd the Queen of heav'n, as round the tree 

Time-hallow'd, hand in hand they led the dance, 

With sky-blue mantles glitt'ring in her beam. 

Low by the Lake, as yet without a name, 
Fair bosom'd in the bottom of the vale, 
Arose a cottage, green with ancient turf, 
Half hid in hoary trees, and from the north 
Fenc'd by a wood, but open to the sun. 
Here dwelt a peasant, rev'rend with the locks 
Of age, yet youth was ruddy on his cheek ; 
His farm his only care ; his sole delight 
To tend his daughter, beautiful and young, 
To watch her paths, to fill her lap with flow'rs, 
To see her spread into the bloom of years. 
The perfect picture of her mother's youth. 
His age's hope, the apple of his eye ; 
Belov'd of Heav'n, his fair Levina grew 
In youth and grace, the Naiad of the vale. 
Fresh as the flow'r amid the sunny show'rs 



MICHAEL BRUCE. i8i 

Of May, and blither than the bird of dawn, 
Both roses' bloom gave beauty to her cheek, 
Soft-temper'd with a smile. The light of heav'n. 
And innocence, illum'd her virgin-eye. 
Lucid and lovely as the morning star. 
Her breast was fairer than the. vernal bloom 
Of valley-lily, op'ning in a show'r ; 
Fair as the morn, and beautiful as May, 
The glory of the year, when first she comes 
Array'd, all-beauteous, with the robes of heav'n, 
And breathing summer breezes ; from her locks 
Shakes genial dews, and from her lap the flow'rs. 
Thus beautiful she look'd ; yet something more, 
And better far than beauty, in her looks 
Appear'd : the maiden blush of modesty ; 
The smile of cheerfulness, and sweet content ; 
Health's freshest rose, the sunshine of the soul ; 
Each height'ning each, efifus'd o'er all her form 
A nameless grace, the beauty of the mind. 

Thus finish'd fair above her peers, she drew 
The eyes of all the village, and inflam'd 
The rival shepherds of the neighb'ring dale. 
Who laid the spoils of Summer at her feet. 
And made the woods enamour'd of her name. 
But pure as buds before they blow, and still 
A virgin in her heart, she knew not love ; 
But all alone, amid her garden fair, 
* From mom to noon, from noon to dewy eve,'' 
She spent her days ; her pleasing task to tend 
The flow'rs ; to lave them from the water-spring ; 
To ope the buds with her enamour'd breath. 
Rank the gay tribes, and rear them in the sun. 

• Milton : P. L. Book i. p. 743.— G. 



i82 THE WORKS OF 

In youth the index of maturer years, 

Left by her school-companions at their play, 

She'd often wander in the wood, or roam 

The wilderness, in quest of curious flow'r. 

Or nest of bird unknown, till eve approach'd. 

And hemm'd her in the shade. To obvious swain. 

Or woodman chanting in the greenwood glen, 

She'd bring the beauteous spoils, and ask their names. 

Thus ply'd assiduous her delightful task. 

Day after day, till ev'ry herb she nam'd 

That paints the robe of Spring, and knew the voice 

Of every warbler in the vernal wood. 

Her garden stretch'd along the river-side. 
High up a sunny bank : on either side, 
A hedge forbade the vagrant foot ; above, 
An ancient forest screen'd the green recess. 
Transplanted here by her creative hand, 
Each herb of Nature, full of fragrant sweets. 
That scents the breath of summer ; every flow'r, 
Pride of the plain, that blooms on festal days 
In shepherd's garland, and adorns the year. 
In beauteous clusters flourish'd ; Nature's work, 
And order, finish'd by the hand of Art. 
Here gowans, natives of the village green. 
To daisies grew. The lilies of the field 
Put on the robe they neither sow'd nor spun. 
Sweet-smelling shrubs and cheerful spreading trees, 
Unfrequent scatter'd, as by Nature's hand. 
Shaded the flow'rs, and to her Eden drew 
The earliest concerts of the Spring, and all 
The various music of the vocal year : 
Retreat romantic ! Thus from early youth 
Her life she led ; one summer's day, serene 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 183 

And fair, without a cloud : like poet's dream 
Of vernal landscapes, of Elysian vales, 
And islands of the blest ; where, hand in hand, 
Eternal Spring and Autumn rule the year, 
And Love and Joy lead on immortal youth. 

'Twas on a summer's day, when early show'rs 
Had wak'd the various vegetable race 
To life and beauty, fair Levina stray'd. 
Far in the blooming wilderness she stray'd 
To gather herbs, and the fair race of flow'rs. 
That Nature's hand creative pours at \n\\, 
Beauty unbounded ! over Earth's green lap. 
Gay without number, in the day of rain. 
O'er valleys gay, o'er hillocks green she walk'd. 
Sweet as the season, and at times awak'd 
The echoes of the vale, with native notes 
Of heart-felt joy, in numbers heav'nly sweet ; 
Sweet as th' hosannahs of a Form of light, 
A sweet-tongu'd Seraph in the bow'rs of bliss. 

Her, as she halted on a green hill-top, 
A quiver'd hunter spied. Her flowing locks, 
In golden ringlets glitt'ring to the sun. 
Upon her bosom play'd : her mantle green. 
Like thine, O Nature ! to her rosy cheek 
Lent beauty new ; as from the verdant leaf 
The rose-bud blushes with a deeper bloom, 
Amid the walks of May. The stranger's eye 
Was caught as with etherial presence. Oft 
He look'd to heav'n, and oft he met her eye 
In all the silent eloquence of love ; 
Then, wak'd from wonder, with a smile began : 

Fair wanderer of the wood ! Wliat heav'nly Pow'r, 



1 84 THE WORKS OF 

Or Providence, conducts thy wand'ring steps 
To this wild forest, from thy native seat 
And parents, happy in a child so fair? 
A shepherdess, or virgin of the vale, 
Thy dress bespeaks; but thy majestic mien, 
And eye, bright as the morning-star, confess 
Superior birth and beauty, born to rule : 
As from the stormy cloud of night, that veils 
Her virgin-orb, appears the Queen of heav'n, 
And with full beauty, gilds the face of night. 
Whom shall I call the fairest of her sex, 
And charmer of my soul 1 In yonder vale. 
Come, let us crop the roses of the brook. 
And wildings of the wood : Soft under shade. 
Let us recline, by mossy fountain-side. 
While the wood suffers in the beam of noon. 
I'll bring my love the choice of all the shades ; 
First fruits ; the apple ruddy from the rock ; 
And clust'ring nuts, that burnish in the beam, 

wilt thou bless my dwelling, and become 
The owner of these fields ? I'll give thee all 
That I possess, and all thou seest is mine.' 

Thus spoke the youth, with rapture in his eye. 
And thus the maiden, with a blush began : 
' Beyond the shadow of these mountains green, 
Deep-bosom'd in the vale, a cottage stands, 
The dwelling of my sire, a peaceful swain ; 
Yet at his frugal board Health sits a guest, 
And fair Contentment crowns his hoary hairs, 
The patriarch of the plains : ne'er by his door 
The needy pass'd, or the way-faring man. 
His only daughter, and his only joy, 

1 feed my father's flock ; and, while they rest, 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 185 

At times retiring, lose me in the wood, 

Skill'd in the virtues of each secret herb 

That opes its virgin bosom to the Moon. 

No flow'r amid the garden fairer grows 

Than the sweet hly of the lowly vale, 

The Queen of flow'rs — But sooner might the weed 

That blooms and dies, the being of a day. 

Presume to match with yonder mountain oak. 

That stands the tempest and the bolt of heav'n, 

From age to age the monarch of the wood 

! had you been a shepherd of the dale. 
To feed your flock beside me, and to rest 
With me at noon in these delightful shades, 

1 might have list'ned to the voice of love, 
Nothing reluctant ; might with you have walk'd 
Whole summer-suns away. At even-tide. 
When heav'n and earth in all their glory shine 
With the last smiles of the departing sun ; 

When the sweet breath of Summer feasts the sense. 
And secret pleasure thrills the heart of man ; 
We might have walk'd alone, in converse sweet, 
Along the quiet vale, and woo'd the Moon 
To hear the music of true lovers' vows. 
But fate forbids, and fortune's potent frown, 
And honour, inmate of the noble breast. 
Ne'er can this hand in wedlock join with thine. 
Cease, beauteous stranger ! cease, beloved youth ! 
To vex a heart that never can be yours.' 

Thus spoke the maid, deceitful : but her eyes. 
Beyond the partial purpose of her tongue. 
Persuasion gain'd. The deep-enamour'd youth 
Stood gazing on her charms, and all his soul 
Was lost in love. He grasped her trembling hand, 



1 86 THE WORKS OF 

And breath'd the softest, the sincerest vows 

Of love : ' O virgin ! fairest of the fair ! 

My one beloved ! Were the Scottish throne 

To me transmitted thro' a scepter'd line 

Of ancestors, thou, thou should'st be my Queen, 

And Caledonia's diadems adorn 

A fairer head than ever wore a crown.' 

She redden'd like the morning, under veil 
Of her own golden hair. The woods among. 
They wander'd up and down with fond delay. 
Nor mark'd the fall of ev'ning ; parted then. 
The happiest pair on whom the sun declin'd. 

Next day he found her on a flow'ry bank, 
Half under shade of willows, by a spring. 
The mirror of the swains, that o'er the meads. 
Slow-winding, scatter'd flow'rets in its way. 
Thro' many a winding walk and alley green. 
She led him to her garden. Wonder-struck, 
He gaz'd, all eye, o'er th' enchanting scene : 
And much he praised the walks, the groves, the flow'rs. 
Her beautiful creation ; much he prais'd 
The beautiful creatress ; and awak'd 
The echo in her praise. Like the first pair, 
Adam and Eve in Eden's blissful bow'rs. 
When newly come from their Creator's hand. 
Our lovers liv'd in joy. Here, day by day. 
In fond endearments, in embraces sweet, 
That lovers only know, they liv'd, they lov'd. 
And found the paradise that Adam lost. 
Nor did the virgin, with false modest pride. 
Retard the nuptial morn : she fix'd the day 
That bless'd the youth, and open'd to his eyes 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 187 

An age of gold, the heav'n of happiness 
That lovers in their lucid moments dream. 

And now the Morning, like a rosy bride 
Adorned on her day, put on her robes, 
Her beauteous robes of light : the Naiad streams. 
Sweet as the cadence of a poet's song, 
Flow'd down the dale : the voices of the grove. 
And ev'ry winged warbler of the air. 
Sung over head, and there was joy in heav'n. 
Ris'n with the dawn, the bride and bridal-maids 
Stray'd thro' the woods, and o'er the vales, in quest 
Of flow'rs, and garlands, and sweet- smelling herbs. 
To strew the bridegroom's way, and deck his bed. 

Fair in the bosom of the level Lake 
Rose a green island, cover'd Avith a spring 
Of flow'rs perpetual, goodly to the eye, 
And blooming from afar. High in the midst. 
Between two fountains, an enchanted tree 
Grew ever green, and every month renew'd 
Its blooms and apples of Hesperian gold. 
Here ev'ry bride (as ancient poets sing) 
Two golden apples gather'd from the bough. 
To give the bridegroom in the bed of love. 
The pledge of nuptial concord and delight 
For many a coming year. Levina now 
Had reach'd the isle, with an attendant maid. 
And puU'd the mystic apples, pull'd the fmit ; 
But wish'd and long'd for the enchanted tree. 
Not fonder sought the first created fair 
The fruit forbidden of the mortal tree. 
The source of human woe. Two plants arose 
Fair by the mother's side, with fruits and flow'rs 



!8 THE (VORKS OF 

In miniature. One, with audacious hand, 
In evil hour she rooted from the ground. 
At once the island shook, and shrieks of woe 
At times were heard, amid the troubled air. 
Her whole frame shook, the blood forsook her face, 
Her knees knock'd, and her heart within her dy'd. 
Trembling and pale, and boding woes to come. 
They seized the boat, and hurried from the isle. 

And now they gain'd the middle of the lake. 
And saw th' approaching land : now, wild with joy. 
They row'd, they flew. When lo ! at once efifus'd, 
Sent by the angry demon of the isle, 
A whirlwind rose : it lash'd the furious Lake 
To tempest, overturn'd the boat, and sunk 
The fair Levina to a wat'ry tomb. 
Her sad companions, bending from a rock, 
Thrice saw her head, and supplicating hands 
Held up to heav'n, and heard the shriek of death : 
Then over-head the parting billow closed, 
And op'd no more. Her fate in mournful lays, 
The Muse relates ; and sure each tender maid 
For her shall heave the sympathetic sigh. 
And happ'ly my Eumelia,' (for her soul 
Is pity's self,) as, void of household cares, 
Her ev'ning walk she bends beside the Lake, 
Which yet retains her name (o), shall sadly drop 
A tear, in mem'ry of the hapless maid. 
And mourn with me the sorrows of the youth, 
Whom from his mistress death did not divide. 
Robb'd of the calm possession of his mind. 
All night he wander'd by the sounding shore. 
Long looking o'er the lake, and saw at times 

' That is, Magdalene Grieve. See Memoir, pp. 27, 28. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 189 

The dear, the dreary ghost of her he lov'd ; 
Till love and grief subdu'd his manly prime, 
And brought his youth with sorrow to the grave. 

I knew an aged swain, whose hoary head 
Was bent with years, the village-chronicle, 
Who much had seen, and from the former times 
Much had received. He, hanging o'er the hearth 
In winter ev'nings, to the gaping swains, 
And children circling round the fire, would tell 
Stories of old, and tales of other times. 
Of Lomond and Levina he would talk ; 
And how of old, in Britain's evil days, 
When brothers against brothers drew the sword 
Of civil rage, the hostile hand of war 
Ravag'd the land, gave cities to the sword, 
And all the country to devouring fire. 
Then these fair forests and Elysian scenes, 
In one great conflagration, flam'd to heav'n. 
Barren and black, by swift degrees arose 
A muirish fen ; and hence the lab'ring hind, 
Digging for fuel, meets the mould'ring trunks 
Of oaks, and branchy antlers of the deer. 

Now sober Industry, illustrious Power ! 
Hath rais'd the peaceful cottage, calm abode 
Of Innocence and Joy : now, sweating, guides 
The shining ploughshare ; tames the stubborn soil ; 
Leads the long drain along th' unfertile marsh ; 
Bids the bleak hill with vernal verdure bloom. 
The haunt of flocks: and clothes the barren heath 
With waving harvests, and the golden grain. 

Fair from his hand, behold the village rise, 



I90 THE WORKS OF 

In rural pride, 'mong intermingled trees ! 
Above whose aged tops, the joyful swains 
At even-tide, descending from the hill. 
With eye enamour'd, mark the many wreaths 
Of pillar'd smoke, high-curling to the clouds. 
The street resounds with Labour's various voice. 
Who whistles at his work. Gay on the green. 
Young blooming boys, and girls with golden hair, 
Trip nimble-footed, wanton in their play. 
The village hope. All in a rev'rend row, 
Their grey-hair'd grandsires, sitting in the sun, 
Before the gate, and leaning on the staff. 
The well-remember'd stories of their youth 
Recount, and shake their aged locks with joy. 

How fair a prospect rises to the eye, 
Where beauty vies in all her vernal forms. 
For ever pleasant, and for ever new ! 
Swells th' exulting thought, expands the soul, 
Drowning each ruder care : a blooming train 
Of bright ideas rushes on the mind. 
Imagination rouses at the scene. 
And backward, thro' the gloom of ages past. 
Beholds Arcadia, like a rural Queen, 
Encircled with her swains and rosy n)miphs. 
The mazy dance conducting on the green. 
Nor yield to old Arcadia's blissful vales 
Thine, gentle Leven ! green on either hand 
Thy meadows spread, unbroken of the plough, 
With beauty all their own. Thy fields rejoice - 
With all the riches of the golden year. 
Fat on the plain and mountain's sunny side, 
Large droves of oxen, and the fleecy flocks 
Feed undisturb'd, and fill the echoing air 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 191 

With music, grateful to the master's ear. 
The trav'ller stops, and gazes round and round 
O'er all the scenes, that animate his heart 
With mirth and music. Even the mendicant, 
Bowbent with age, that on the old grey stone. 
Sole sitting, suns him in the public way. 
Feels his heart leap, and to himself he sings. 

How beautiful around the Lake outspreads 
Its wealth of waters, the surrounding vales 
Renews, and holds a mirror to the sky, 
Perpetual fed by many sister-streams. 
Haunts of the angler ! First, the gulfy Po, 
That thro' the quaking marsh and waving reeds 
Creeps slow and silent on. The rapid Queech, 
Whose foaming torrents o'er the broken steep 
Burst do\\Ti impetuous, with the placid wave 
Of flow'ry Leven, for the canine pike 
And silver eel renown'd. But chief thy stream, 
O Gairny ! sweetly winding, claims the song. 
First on thy banks the Doric reed I tun'd, 
Stretch'd on the verdant grass ; while twilight meek, 
Enrob'd in mist, slow-sailing thro' the air. 
Silent and still, on ev'ry closed flow'r 
Shed drops nectareous ; and around the fields 
No noise was heard, save where the whisp'ring reeds 
Wav'd to the breeze, or in the dusky air 
The slow-wing'd crane mov'd heav'ly o'er the lee, 
And shrilly clamour'd as he sought his nest. 
There would I sit, and tune some youthful lay. 
Or watch the motion of the living fires, 
That day and night their never-ceasing course 
'Wlieel round th' eternal poles, and bend the knee 
To Him the Maker of yon starry sky, 



192 THE WORKS OF 

Omnipotent ! who, thron'd above all heav'ns, 
Yet ever present through the peopl'd space 
Of vast Creation's infinite extent, 
Pours hfe, and bliss, and beauty, pours Himself, 
His own essential goodness, o'er the minds 
Of happy beings, thro' ten thousand worlds. 

Nor shall the Muse forget thy friendly heart, 

O Lelius (/) ! partner of my youthful hours ; 

How often, rising from the bed of peace, 

We would walk forth to meet the summer morn. 

Inhaling health and harmony of mind ; 

Philosophers and friends ; while science beam'd 

With ray divine as lovely on our minds 

As yonder orient sun, whose welcome light 

Reveal'd the vernal landscape to the view. 

Yet oft, unbending from more serious thought. 

Much of the looser follies of mankind, 

Hum'rous and gay, we'd talk, and much would laugh ; 

While, ever and anon, their foibles vain 

Imagination offer'd to our view. 

Fronting where Gairny pours his silent urn 
Into the Lake, an island lifts its head {q). 
Grassy and wild, with ancient ruin heap'd 
Of cells ; where from the noisy world retir'd 
Of old, as same reports. Religion dwelt 
Safe from the insults of the dark'ned crowd 
That bow'd the knee to Odin ; and in times 
Of ignorance, when Caledonia's sons 
(Before the triple-crowned giant fell) 
Exchang'd their simple faith for Rome's deceits. 
Here Superstition for her cloister'd sons 
A dwelling rear'd, with many an arched vault ; 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 193 

Where her pale vot'ries at the midnight-hour, 
In many a mournful strain of melancholy, 
Chanted their orisons to the cold moon. 
It now resounds with the wild-shrieking gull, 
The crested lapwing, and the clamorous mew. 
The patient heron, and the bittern dull, 
Deep-sounding in the base, with all the tribe 
That by the water seek th' appointed meal. 

From hence the shepherd in the fenced fold, 
'Tis said, has heard strange sounds, and music wild ; 
Such as in Selma (r), by the burning oak 
Of hero fallen, or of battle lost, 
Warn'd Fingal's mighty son, from trembling chords 
Of untouch'd harp, self-sounding in the night. 
Perhaps ih' afflicted Genius of the Lake, 
That leaves the wat'ry grot, each night to mourn 
The waste of time, his desolated isles 
And temples in the dust : his plaintive voice 
Is heard resounding tliro' the dreary courts 
Of high Lochleven Castle, famous once, 
Th' abode of heroes of the Bruce's line {s) ; 
Gothic the pile, and high the solid walls, 
With warlike ramparts, and the strong defence 
Of jutting battlements, an age's tpil ! 
No more its arches echo to the noise 
Of joy and festive mirth. No more the glance 
Of blazing taper thro' its windows beams, 
And quivers on the undulating wave : 
But naked stand the melancholy walls, 
Lash'd by the wintry tempests, cold and bleak. 
That whistle mournful thro' the empty halls. 
And piece-meal crumble down the tow'rs to dust 
Perhaps in some lone, dreary, desert tower, 

N 



194 THE WORKS OF 

That time has spar'd, forth from the window looks, 
Half hid in grass, the solitary fox (/) ; 
While from above, the owl, musician dire ! 
Screams hideous, harsh, and grating to the ear. 

Equal in age, and sharers of its fate, 
A row of moss-grown trees around it stand. 
Scarce here and there, upon their blasted tops, 
A shrivell'd leaf distinguishes the year ; 
Emblem of hoary age, the eve of hfe, 
When man draws nigh his everlasting home, 
Within a step of the devouring grave ; 
When all his views and tow'ring hopes are gone, 
And ev'ry appetite before him dead. 

Bright shines the morn, while in the ruddy east 
The sun hangs hov'ring o'er the Atlantic wave. 
Apart, on yonder green hill's sunny side, 
Seren'd with all the music of the morn, 
Attentive let me sit ; while from the rock, 
The swains, laborious, roll the limestone huge, 
Bounding elastic from th' indented grass. 
At every fall it springs, and thund'ring shoots, 
O'er rocks and precipices, to the plain. 
And let the shepherd careful tend his flock 
Far from the dang'rous steep ; nor, O ye swains ! 
Stray heedless of its rage. Behold the tears 
Yon wretched widow o'er the mangled corpse 
Of her dead husband pours, who, hapless man ! 
Cheerful and strong went forth at rising morn 
To usual toil ; but, ere the evening hour, 
His sad companions bare him Hfeless home. 
Urg'd from the hill's high top, with progress swift, 
A weighty stone, resistless, rapid came, 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 195 

Seen by the fated wretch, who stood unmov'd, 
Nor turn'd to fly, till flight had been in vain ; . 
WTien now arriv'd the instrument of death, 
And fell'd him to the ground. The thirsty land 
Drank up his blood : such was the will of Heav'n. 

How wide the landscape opens to the view ! 
Still as I mount, the less'ning hills decline, 
Till high above them northern Grampius lifts 
His hoary head, bending beneath a load 
Of everlasting snow. O'er southern fields 
I see the Cheviot hills, the ancient bounds 
Of two contending kingdoms. There in fight 
Brave Percy and the gallant Douglas bled, 
The house of heroes, and the death of hosts ! 
Wat' ring the fertile fields, majestic Forth, 
Full, deep, and wide, rolls placid to the sea. 
With many a vessel trim and oared bark 
In rich profusion cover'd, wafting o'er 
The wealth and product of far distant lands. 

But chief mine eye on the subjected vale 
Of Leven pleas'd looks down ; while o'er the trees. 
That shield the hamlet with the shade of years. 
The tow'ring smoke of early fire ascends. 
And the shrill cock proclaims th' advanced morn. 

How blest the man ! who, in these peaceful plains, 
Ploughs his paternal field ; far from the noise. 
The care, and bustle of a busy world.' 
All in the sacred, sweet, sequester'd vale 
Of Solitude, the secret primrose-path 
Of rural life, he dwells ; and with him dwells 

' Cf. Horace, Ode 2.— G. 



196 THE WORKS OF 

Peace and Content, twins of the sylvan shade, 

And all the Graces of the golden age. 

Such is Agricola, the wise, the good, 

By nature formed for the calm retreat, 

The silent path of life. Learn'd, but not fraught 

With self-importance, as the starched fool ; 

Wlio challenges respect by solemn face. 

By studied accent, and high-sounding phrase. 

Enamour'd of the shade, but not morose. 

Politeness, rais'd in courts by frigid rules, 

With him spontaneous grows. Not books alone, 

But man his study, and the better part ; 

To tread the ways of virtue, and to act 

The various scenes of life with God's applause. 

Deep in the bottom of the flow'ry vale. 

With blooming sallows' and the leafy twine 

Of verdant alders fenc'd, his dwelling stands 

Complete in rural elegance. The door, 

By which the poor or pilgrim never pass'd, 

Still open, speaks the master's bounteous heart. 

There, O how sweet ! amid the fragrant shrubs 

At ev'ning cool to sit ; while, on their boughs. 

The nested songsters twitter o'er their young, 

And the hoarse low of folded cattle breaks 

The silence, wafted o'er the sleeping Lake, 

Whose waters glow beneath the purple tinge 

Of western cloud ; while converse sweet deceives 

The stealing foot of time. Or where the ground. 

Mounded irregular, points out the graves 

Of our forefathers, and the hallow'd fane. 

Where swains assembling worship, let us walk. 

In softly-soothing melancholy thought, 

As Night's seraphic bard, immortal Young, 

' Query — 'willows'? — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 197 

Or sweet-complaining Gray ; there see the goal 
Of human life, Avhere drooping, faint, and tir'd, 
Oft miss'd the prize, — the weary racer rests. 

Thus sung the youth, amid unfertile wilds 
And nameless deserts, unpoetic ground ! 
Far from his friends he stray'd, recording thus 
The dear remembrance of his native fields, 
To cheer the tedious night ; while slow disease 
Prey'd on his pining vitals, and the blasts 
Of dark December shook his humble cot.' 



SIR JAMES THE ROSS. 

AN ANCIENT HISTORICAL BALLAD. 

Of all the Scottish northern chiefs, 

Of his high warlike name, 
The bravest was Sir James the Ross, 

A knight of meikle fame. 

His growth was as the tufted fir 
That crowns the mountain's brow, 

And waving o'er his shoulders broad 
His locks of yellow flew. 

The chieftan of the brave clan Ross, 

A finn undaunted band ; 
Five hundred warriors drew the sword 

Beneath his high command. 

' See Memoir, pp. 33, 34 seg'. : the 'unfertile wilds' above, are the same with 
the "-wild' of the Elegy in Spring, which is another confirmation that it was com- 
posed at Forrest Mill, not at Kinnesswood. See Memoir, p. 38. — G. 



198 THE WORKS OF 

In bloody fight thrice had he stood 
Against the Enghsh keen, 

'Ere two-and-twenty op'ning springs 
This blooming youth had seen. 

The fair Matilda dear he lov'd, 

A maid of beauty rair, 
Even Marg'ret on the Scottish throne 

Was never half so fair. 

Lang had he woo'd, lang she refus'd, 
With seeming scorn and pride ; 

Yet aft her eyes confess'd the love 
Her fearful words deny'd. 

At last she bless'd his well-try'd faith, 

Allow'd his tender claim ; 
She vow'd to him her virgin heart, 

And own'd an equal flame. 

Her father, Buchan's cruel lord, 
Their passion disapproval, 

And bade her wed Sir John the Graham, 
And leave the youth she lov'd. 

Ae night they met as they were wont. 

Deep in a shady wood, 
Where on the bank beside the burn, 

A blooming saugh-tree stood. 

Conceal'd among the underwood 

The crafty Donald lay. 
The brother of Sir John the Graham, 

To hear what they would say. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 199 

When thus the maid began : — My sire 

Your passion disapproves, 
And bids me wed Sir John the Graham, 

So here must end our loves ! 

My father's will must be obey'd, 

Nought boots me to withstand ; 
Some fairer maid in beauty's bloom 

Shall bkss thee with her hand. 

Matilda soon shall be forgot. 

And from thy mind defac'd ; 
But may that happiness be thine 

Which I can never taste. 

What do I hear ? Is this thy vow ? 

Sir James the Ross reply'd, 
And will Matilda wed the Graham, 

Tho' sworn to be my bride ? 

His sword shall sooner pierce my heart 

Than reave me of thy charms ! 
Then clasp'd her to his beating breast, 

Fast lock'd within her arms. 

I spake to try thy love, she said, 

I'll ne'er wed man but thee ; 
The grave shall be my bridal bed, 

'Ere Graham my husband be. 

Take then, dear youth, this faithful kiss 

In witness of my troth, 
And every plague become my lot, 

That day I break my oath. 



200 THE WORKS OF 

They parted thus ; the sun was set, 

Up hasty Donald flies, 
And turn thee, turn thee, beardless youth, 

He loud insulting cries. 

Soon turn'd about the fearless chief, 
And soon his sword he drew, 

For Donald's blade before his breast 
Had pierc'd his tartans through. 

This for my brother's slighted love, 
His wrongs sit on my arm : 

Three paces back the youth retir'd. 
And sav'd himself frae harm. 

Returning swift, his hand he rear'd 
Frae Donald's head above, 

And thro' the brains and crashing bones 
His sharp edg'd weapon drove. 

He stagg'ring reel'd, then tumbled down, 
A lump of breathless clay ; 

So fall my foes ! quoth valiant Ross, 
And stately strode away. 

Thro' the green wood he quickly hy'd 

Unto Lord Buchan's hall ; 
And at Matilda's window stood, 

And thus began to call : 

Art thou asleep, Matilda dear ! 

Awake, my love, awake ; 
Thy luckless lover calls on thee, 

A long farewel to take. 



MICHJEL BRUCE. aoi 

For I have slain fierce Donald Graham, 

His blood is on my sword ; 
And distant are my faithfiil men, 

Nor can assist their lord. 

To Skye I'll now direct my way. 

Where my two brothers bide. 
And raise the valiant of the Isles 

To combat on my side. 

O, do not so ! the maid replies. 

With me till morning stay, 
For dark and dreary is the night, 

And dangerous is the way : 

All night I'll watch you in the park ; 

My faithful page I'll send 
To run and raise the Ross's clan. 

Their master to defend. 

Beneath a bush he laid him down. 

And wrapt him in his plaid, 
While trembling for her lover's fate, 

At distance stood the maid. 

Swift ran the page o'er hill and dale, 

Till in a lowly glen 
He met the furious Sir John Graham, 

With twenty of his men. 

"Where go'st thou, little page 1 he said ; 

So late who did thee send ? 
I go to raise the Ross's clan 

Their master to defend. 



302 THE WORKS OF 

For he has slain fierce Donald Graham, 

His blood is on his sword, 
And far, far distant are his men 

That should assist their lord. 

And has he slain my brother dear ? 

The furious Graham replies ; 
Dishonour blast my name ! but he 

By me 'ere morning dies ! 

Tell me, where is Sir James the Ross 1 

I will thee well reward. 
He sleeps into Lord Buchan's park ; 

Matilda is his guard. 

They spurr'd their steeds in furious mood. 

And scour'd along the lea, 
They reach'd Lord Buchan's lofty tow'rs 

By dawning of the day. 

Matilda stood without the gate. 
To whom thus Graham did say ; 

Saw ye Sir James the Ross last night, 
Or did he pass this way ? 

Last day at noon, Matilda said, 
Sir James the Ross pass'd by. 

He furious prick'd his sweaty steed, 
And onward fast did hy. 

By this he is at Edinburgh cross, 
If horse and man hold good. — 

Your page then ly'd, who said he was 
Now sleeping in the wood. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 203 

She wrung her hands and tore her hair, 

Brave Ross ! thou art betray'd, 
And ruin'd by those very means 

From whence I hop'd thine aid. 

By this the vahant knight awak'd, 

The virgin's shriek he heard ; 
And up he rose and drew his sword, 

When the fierce band appear'd. 

Your sword last night my brother slew, 

His blood yet dims its shine, 
But 'ere the setting of the sun 

Your blood shall reek on mine. 

You word it well, the chief return'd, 

But deeds approve the man ; 
Set by your men, and hand to hand 

We'll try what valour can. 

Oft boasting hides a coward's heart,' 

My weighty sword you fear, 
Which shone in front of Floden field. 

When you kept in the rear. 

With dauntless step he forward strode, 

And dar'd him to the fight ; 
But Graham gave back and fear'd his arm. 

For well he knew its might. 

Four of his men, the bravest four. 

Sunk down beneath his sword ; 
But still he scom'd the poor revenge, 

And sought their haughty lord. 

' Audendo magnus tegitur timor. — Lucan. 



204 THE WORKS OF 

Behind him basely came the Graham, 
And pierc'd him in the side, 

Out spouting came the purple tide. 
And all his tartans dy'd. 

But yet his sword quat not the grip, 
Nor dropt he to the ground. 

Till thro' his en'my's heart his steel 
Had forc'd a mortal wound. 

Graham like a tree with wind o'erthrown, 
Fell breathless on the clay, 

And down beside him sunk the Ross, 
And faint and dying lay. 

The sad Matilda saw him fall, 

spare his life ! she cried, 

Lord Buchan's daughter begs his life, 
Let her not be deny'd 1 

Her well known voice the hero heard, 
He rais'd his half-clos'd eyes, 

And fix'd them on the weeping maid, 
And weakly thus replies : 

In vain Matilda begs the life 

By death's arrest deny'd ; 
My race is run — 'Adieu, my love ! 

Then clos'd his eyes and dy'd. 

The sword yet warm, from his left side 

With frantic hand she drew ; 
I come, Sir James the Ross, she cried, 

1 come to follow you. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 205 

She lean'd the hilt against the ground, 

And bar'd her snowy breast ; 
Then fell upon her lover's face, 

And sunk to endless rest(?^).' 



ODE : TO A FOUNTAIN. 

O Fountain of the wood ! whose glassy wave 
Slow-welling from the rock of years, 
Holds to heav'n a mirror blue, 
And bright as Anna's eye, 

With whom I've sported on the margin green : 
My hand with leaves, with lilies white, 
Gaily deck'd her golden hair, 
Young Naiad of the vale. 

Fount of my native wood ! thy murmurs greet 
My ear, like poets heavenly strain : 
Fancy pictures in a dream 
The golden days of youth. 

O state of innocence ! O paradise ! 
In Hope's gay garden. Fancy views 
Golden blossoms, golden fruits, 
And Eden ever green. 

Where now, ye dear companions of my youth ! 
Ye brothers of my bosom ! where 
Do ye tread the walks of life. 
Wide scatter'd o'er the world 1 

' See Note u for this Ballad as 'improved' by Logan. — G. 



2o6 THE WORKS OF 

Thus winged larks forsake their native nest, 
The meriy minstrels of the morn ; 
Now to heav'n they mount away, 
And meet again no more. 

All things decay ; the forest like the leaf; 
Great kingdoms fall ; the peopled globe, 
Planet-struck, shall pass away ; 
Heav'ns with their hosts expire : 

But Hope's fair visions, and the beams of Joy, 
Shall cheer my bosom : I will sing 
Nature's beauty, Nature's birth. 
And heroes on the lyre. 

Ye Naiads ! blue-eyed sisters of the wood ! ' 
Who by old oak, or storied stream, 
Nightly tread your mystic maze. 
And charm the wand'ring Moon, 

Beheld by poet's eye ; inspire my dreams 
With visions, like the landscapes fair 
Of heav'n's bliss, to dying saints 
By guardian angels drawn. 

Fount of the forest ! in thy poet's lays 

Thy waves shall flow : this wreath of flow'rs, 
Gather'd by my Anna's hand, 
I ask to bind my brow. 

' Cf. ' Lochleven,' page i8o, line 13 — 

' Beheld the blue-eyed Sisters of the stream.' 
This, together with the evident allusion in stanza 3d to the ' Fount' called ' Scot- 
land IVell,' incidentally confirms the Bruce authorship of this Ode. See Memoir, 
p. 170. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 207 



DANISH ODE. 



The great, the glorious deed is done ! 
The foe is fled ! the field is won ! 
Prepare the feast, the heroes call ; 
Let joy, let triumph fill the hall ! 

The raven claps ' his sable wings ; 
The Bard his chosen timbrel brings ; 
Six virgins round, a select choir, 
Sing to the music of his lyre. 

With mighty ale the goblet crown ; 
With mighty ale your sorrows drown ; 
To-day, to mirth and joy we yield ; 
To-morrow, face the bloody field. 

From danger's front, at battle's eve, 
Sweet comes the banquet to the brave ; 
Joy shines with genial beam on all. 
The joy that dwells in Odin's hall. 

The song bursts living from the lyre. 
Like dreams that guardian ghosts inspire ; 
When mimic shrieks the heroes hear, 
And whirl the visionary spear. 

Music's the med'cine of the mind ; 
The cloud of Care give to the wind ; 
Be ev'ry brow with garlands bound, 
And let the cup of Joy go round. 

' Originally misprinted, and so continued, 'clasps.' — G. 



2o8 THE WORKS OF 

The cloud comes o'er the beam of light ; 
We're guests that tarry but a night : 
In the dark house, together press'd, •" 
The princes and the people rest. 

Send round the shell," the feast prolong. 
And send away the night in song ; 
Be blest below, as those above 
With Odin's and the friends they love. 



DANISH ODE. 

In deeds of arms, our fathers rise. 
Illustrious in their offspring's eyes : 
They fearless rush'd through Ocean's storms, 
And dar'd grim Death in all its forms ; 
Each youth assum'd the sword and shield. 
And grew a hero in the field. 

Shall we degenerate from our race. 
Inglorious, in the mountain chase 1 
Arm, arm in fallen Hubba's right ; 
Place your forefathers in your sight ; 
To fame, to glory fight your way. 
And teach the nations to obey. 

Assume the oars, unbind the sails ; 
Send, Odin ! send propitious gales. 
At Loda's stone, we will adore 
Thy name with songs, upon the shore ; 
And, full of thee, undaunted dare 
The foe, and dart the bolts of war. 

' The ancient Danes and Scots drank in shells. ' To rejoice in the shell,' is a 
phrase used in Ossian for drinking freely. — M'K. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 209 

No feast of shells, no dance by night, 
Are glorious Odin's dear delight : 
He, king of men, his armies led, 
Where heroes strove, where battles bled ; 
Now reigns above the morning-star. 
The god of thunder and of war. 

Bless'd who in battle bravely fall ! 
They mount on wings to Odin's Hall ; 
To Music's sound, in cups of gold, • 
They drink new wine with chiefs of old ; 
The song of bards records their name, 
And future times shall speak their fame. 

Hark ! Odin thunders ! haste on board ; 
Illustrious Canute !^ give the word. 
On Avings of wind we pass the seas, 
To conquer realms, if Odin please : 
With Odin's spirit in our soul. 
We'll gain the globe from pole to pole. 



TO PAOLI. 

' Paoli's father was one of the patriots who effected their escape from Corsica 
when the French reduced it to obedience. He retired to Naples, and brought up 
this, his youngest son, in the NeapoUtan ser\'ice. The Corsicans heard of young 
PaoH's abilities, and soh'cited him to come over to his native country and talce the 
command. He found all things in confusion : he formed a democratical govern- 
ment, of which he was chosen chief, and took such measures both for repressing 
abu.ses and moulding the rising generation, that if France had not interfered, 
Corsica might, at this day, have been as free and flourishing and happy a com- 
monwealth as any of the Grecian States in the days of their prosperity. A 
desperate struggle was made against the French usurpation. They offered to 
confirm Paoli in the supreme government, only on condition that he would hold 

' Canute, sumamed the Great, King of Denmark, and upon the death of 
Edmund, proclaimed King of England, a.d. 1017.— M'K. 

O 



2IO THE WORKS OF 

it under their government. This he refused. They then set a price upon his 
head. During two campaigns he kept them at bay ; they overpowered him at 
length ; he was driven to the shore, and having escaped on shipboard, took refuge 
in England.' — Southev's Life of Nelson. — M'K. 

What man, what hero shall the Muses sing, 
On classic lyre or Caledonian string ?(z') 

Whose name shall fill th' immortal page % 
Who, fir'd from heav'n with energy divine, 
In sun-bright glory bids his actions shine 
First in the annals of the age % 

Ceas'd are the golden times of yore \ 

The age of heroes is no more ; 
Rare, in these latter times, arise to fame 
The poet's strain inspir'd, or hero's heav'nly flame. 

What star arising in the southern sky, 
New to the heav'ns, attracting Europe's eye. 

With beams unborrow'd shines afar? 
Who comes, with thousands marching in his rear, 
Shining in arms, shaking his bloody spear, 
Like the red comet, sign of war % 

Paoli ! sent of Heav'n, to save 

A rising nation of the brave ; 
Whose firm right hand his angels arm, to bear 
A shield before his host, and dart the bolts of war. 



*-> 



He comes ! he comes ! the saviour of the land 
His drawn sword flames in his uplifted hand, 

Enthusiast in his country's cause ; 
Whose firm resolve obeys a nation's call. 
To rise deliverer, or a martyr fall 
To Liberty, to dying laws. 
Ye sons of Freedom ! sing his praise ; 
Ye poets ! bind his brows with bays ; 



MICHAEL BRUCE. an 

Ye scepter'd shadows ! cast your honours down, 
And bow before the head that never wore a crown. 

^Vho to the hero can the palm refuse ? 
Great Alexander still the world subdues, 

The heir of everlasting praise. 
But when the hero's flame, the patriot's light ; 
When virtues human and divine unite ; 
When olives twine among the bays, 

And, mutual, both Minerva's shine ; 

A constellation so divine, 
A wond'ring world behold, admire, and love. 
And his best image here, th' Almighty marks above. 

As the lone shepherd hides him in the rocks, 
Whtn high heav'n thunders ; as the tim'rous flocks 

From the descending torrent flee : 
So flies a world of slaves at War's alarms. 
When Zeal on flame, and Liberty in anns. 
Leads on the fearless and the free, 
Resistless ; as the torrent flood, 
Hom'd like the moon, uproots the wood, 
Sweeps flocks, and herds, and harvests from their base,' 
And moves th' eternal hills from their appointed place. 

Long hast thou labour'd in the glorious strife, 
O land of Liberty ! profuse of life, 
And prodigal of priceless blood. 

' ' Red, from the hills, innumerable streams 
Tumultuous roar ; and, high above its banks. 
The river left ; before whose rushing tide 
Herds, flocks, and harvests, cottages and swains. 
Roll mingled down.' 

Thomson's Autuiiin. — M'K. 



212 THE WORKS OF 

Where heroes bought with blood the martyr's crown, 

A race arose, heirs of their high renown, 

Who dar'd their fate thro' fire and flood : 
And Gaffori^ the great arose, 
Whose words of pow'r, disarm'd his foes ; 

And where the fihal image smil'd afar. 

The sire turned not aside the thunders of the war. 

O Liberty ! to man a guardian giv'n. 

Thou best and brightest attribute of Heav'n ! 

From whom descending, thee we sing. 
By nature wild, or by the arts refin'd. 
We feel thy pow'r essential to our mind ; 
Each son of Freedom is a king. 

Thy praise the happy world proclaim, 

And Britain worships at thy name, 
Thou guardian angel of Britannia's isle ! 
And God and man rejoice in thy immortal smile ! 

Island of beauty ! lift thy head on high ; 
Sing a new song of triumph to the sky ! 
The day of thy deliv'rance springs ! 

' ' Gaffori was a hero worthy of old times. His eloquence was long remembered 
with admiration. A band of assassins was once advancing against him. He 
heard of their approach, went out to meet them, and with a serene dignity which 
overawed them, requested them to hear 'him. He then spoke to them so forcibly 
of the distresses of their country, her intolerable wrongs, and the hopes and views 
of their brethren in arms, that the very men who had been hired to murder him 
fell at his feet, implored his forgiveness, and joined his banners. While he was 
besieging the Genoese in Corte, a part of the garrison perceiving the nurse with 
his eldest son, then an infant in arms, straying at a little distance from the camp, 
suddenly sallied, and seized them. The use they made of their persons was in 
conformity to their usual execrable conduct. When Gaffori advanced to batter 
the walls, they held up the child directly over that part of the wall at which the 
guns wore pointed. The Corsicans stopt ; but Gaffori stood at their head, and 
ordered them to continue the fire. Providentially, the child escaped, and lived to 
relate, with becoming feeling, a fact so honourable to his father.' — Southey's 
L ife of Nelson. —U ' K. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. ai, 

The day of vengeance to thy ancient foe. 
Thy sons shall lay the proud oppressor low, (w) 
And break the head of tyrant kings. 

Paoli ! mighty man of war ! 

All bright in arms, thy conqu'ring car 
Ascend ; thy people from the foe redeem, 
Thou delegate of Heav'n, and son of the Supreme ! 

Ruled by th' eternal laws, supreme o'er all. 
Kingdoms, like kings, successive rise and fall. 

When Caesar conquer'd half the earth. 
And spread his eagles in Britannia's sun, 
Did Caesar dream the savage huts he won 
Should give a far-famed kingdom birth 1 

That here should Roman freedom 'light ; 

The western ]\Iuses wing their flight ; 
The Arts, the Graces find their fav'rite home ; 
Our armies awe the globe, and Britain rival Rome ? 

Thus, if th' Almighty say, ' Let Freedom be,' 
Thou, Corsica ! thy golden age shalt see. 

Rejoice with songs, rejoice with smiles ; 
Worlds yet unfound, and ages yet unborn. 
Shall hail a new Britannia in her morn. 

The Queen of arts, the Queen of isles : 

The Arts, the beauteous train of Peace, 

Shall rise and rival Rome and Greece ; 
A Newton Nature's book unfold sublime ; 
A Milton sing to lieav'n, and charm the ear of Time ! 



214 THE WORKS OF 



THE EAGLE, CROW, AND SHEPHERD. 

A FABLE.' 

Beneath the horror of a rock, 
A shepherd careless fed his flock. 
Souse from its top an eagle came, 
And seiz'd upon a sporting lamb ; 
Its tender sides his talons tear, 
And bear it bleating thro' the air. 

This was discover'd by a crow, 
Who hopp'd upon the plain below. 
' You ram,' says he, ' becomes my prey ;' 
And, mounting, hastens to the fray. 
Lights on his back — when lo, ill-luck ! 
He in the fleece entangled stuck ; 
He spreads his wings, but can't get free, 
Struggling in vain for liberty. 

The shepherd soon the captive spies, 
And soon he seizes on the prize. 
His children curious croud around, 
And ask what strange fowl he has found 1 
' My sons,' said he, ' warn'd by this wretch, 
Attempt no deed above your reach : 
An eagle not an hour ago, 
He's now content to be a crow.' 

' See Memoir, p. 19. — G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 215 



THE MUSIAD : A MINOR EPIC POEM. 

IN THE. MANNER OF HOMER. A FRAGMENT. 

In ancient times, ere traps were fram'd. 
Or cats in Britain's isle were known ; 

A mouse, for pow'r and valour fam'd, 
Possess'd in peace the regal throne. 

A farmer's house he nightly storm'd, 

(In vain were bolts, in vain were keys ; ) 

The milk's fair surface he deform'd, 

And digg'd entrenchments in the cheese. 

In vain the farmer watch'd by night, 
In vain he spread the poison'd bacon 5 

The mouse was wise as well as wight, 
Nor could by force or fraud be taken. 

His subjects follow'd where he led. 
And dealt destruction all around ; 

His people, shepherd-like, he fed ; 
Such mice are rarely to be found ! 

But evil fortune had decreed, 

(The foe of mice as well as men,) 

The royal mouse at last should bleed, 
Should fall — ne'er to arise again. 

Upon a night, as authors say, 
A luckless scent our hero drew. 

Upon forbidden ground to stray. 
And pass a narrow cranny through. 



2i6 THE WORKS OF 

That night a feast the farmer made, 
And joy unbounded fiU'd the house ; 

The fragments in the pantry spread 
Afforded bus'ness to the mouse. 

He ate his fill, and back again 
Return'd ; but access was deny'd. 

He search'd each corner, but in vain ; 
He found it close on every side. 

Let none our hero's fears deride ; 

He roar'd (ten mice of modern days. 
As mice are dwindl'd and decay'd. 

So great a voice could scarcely raise.) 

Rous'd at the voice, the farmer ran, 
And seiz'd upon his hapless prey. 

With entreaties the mouse began, 
And pray'rs, his anger to allay. 

' O spare my life,' he trembling cries ; 

' My subjects will a ransom give. 
Large as thy Avishes can devise. 

Soon as it shall be heard I Hve.' 

' No, wretch !' the farmer says in wrath, 
'Thou dy'st; no ransom I'll receive.' 

' My subjects will revenge my death,' 
He said ; 'this dying charge I leave.' 

The farmer lifts his armed hand, 

And on the mouse inflicts an wound. 

What mouse could such a blow withstand 1 
He fell, and dying bit the ground. 



AlICHAEL BRUCE. 217 

Thus Lambris fell, who flourish'd long, 

(I half forgot to tell his name ; ) 
But his renown lives in the song, 

And future times shall speak his fame. 

A mouse, who walk'd about at large 
In safety, heard his mournful cries ; 

He heard him give his dying charge. 
And to the rest he frantic flies. 

Thrice he essay'd to speak, and thrice 
Tears, such as mice may shed, fell down. 

' Revenge your monarch's death,' he cries, 
His voice half-stifl'd with a groan. 

But having re-assum'd his senses, 
And reason, such as mice may have, 

He told out all the circumstances 

With many a strain and broken heave. 

Chill'd with sad grief, th' assembly heard ; 

Each dropp'd a tear, and bow'd the head : 
But symptoms soon of rage appear'd, 

And vengeance for their royal dead. 

Long sat they mute : at last up rose 
The great Hypenor, blameless sage ! 

A hero born to many woes ; 

His head was silver'd o'er with age. 

His bulk so large, his joints so strong. 

Though worn with grief, and past his prime. 

Few rats could equal him, 'tis sung. 
As rats are in these dregs of time. 



2i8 THE nVRKS OF 

Two sons, in battle brave, he had, 
Sprung from fair Lalage's embrace ; 

Short time they grac'd his nuptial bed, 
By dogs destroy'd in cruel chase. 

Their timeless fate the mother wail'd, 
And pined with heart-corroding grief : 

O'er every comfort it prevail'd, 

Till death advancing brought relief 

Now he's the last of all his race, 
A prey to wo : he inly pin'd ; 

Grief pictur'd sat upon his face ; 
Upon his breast his head reclin'd. 

And, ' O my fellow-mice !' he said, 
' These eyes ne'er saw a day so dire, 

Save when my gallant children bled. 
O wretched sons ! O wretched sire ! 

' But now a gen'ral cause demands 
Our grief, and claims our tears alone ; 

Our monarch, slain by wicked hands. 
No issue left to fill the throne. 

' Yet, tho' by hostile man much wrong'd. 
My counsel is, from arms forbear. 

That so your days may be prolong'd ; 
For man is Heav'n's peculiar care.' 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 219 



ANACREONTIC : TO A WASP. 

THE FOLLOWING IS A LUDICROUS IMITATION OF THE USUAL ANACREONTICS ; THE 
SPIRIT OF COMPOSING WHICH WAS RAGING, A FEW YEARS AGO, AMONG ALL THE 
SWEET SINGERS OF GREAT BRITAIN. 

/ 

Winged wand'rer of the sky ! 
Inhabitant of heav'n high ! 
Dreadful Avith thy dragon tail, 
Hydra-head, and coat of mail ! 
Why dost thou my peace molest 1 
Why dost thou disturb my rest 1 
When in May the meads are seen, 
Sweet enamel ! white and green ; 
And the gardens, and the bow'rs, 
And the forests, and the flow'rs, 
Don their robes of curious dye. 
Fine confusion to the eye ! 

Did I chase thee in thy flight 1 

Did I put thee in a fright ? 

Did I spoil thy treasure hid 1 

Never — never — never — did. 

Envious nothing ! pray beware ; 

Tempt mine anger, if you dare. 

Trust not in thy strength of wing ; 

Trust not in thy length of sting. 

Heav'n nor earth shall thee defend ; 

I thy buzzing soon will end. 

Take my counsel, while you may ; 

Devil take you, if you stay. 

Wilt — thou — dare — my — face — to — wound ? — 

Thus, I fell thee to the ground. 

Down amongst the dead men, now 

Thou shalt forget thou ere wast thou. 



210 THE HVRKS OF 

Anacreontic Bards beneath, 
Thus shall wail thee after death. 

CHORUS OF ELYSIAN BARDS. 

' A Wasp, for a wonder. 

To paradise under 

Descends : See ! he wanders 

By Styx's meanders ! 

Behold, how he glows. 

Amidst Rhodope's snows (x) 

He sweats, in a trice. 

In the regions of ice ! 

Lo ! he cools, by God's ire. 

Amidst brimstone and fire ! 

He goes to our king, 

And he shows him his sting. 

(God Pluto loves satire, 

As women love attire ; ) 

Our king sets him free, 

Like fam'd Euridice. 

Thus a wasp could prevail 

O'er the Devil and hell, 
A conquest both hard and laborious ! 

Tho' hell had fast bound him, 

And the Devil did confound him. 
Yet his sting and his wing were victorious.' ()') 



ALEXIS. 

A PASTORAL. 

Upon a bank with cowslips cover'd o'er, 
Where Leven's waters break against the shore ; 



MICHAEL BRUCE. zi: 

What time the village sires in circles talk, 

And youths and maidens take their evening walk ; 

Among the yellow broom Alexis lay, 

And view'd the beauties of the setting day. 

Full well you might observe some inward smart. 
Some secret grief hung heavy at his heart. 
Wliile round the field his sportive lambkins play'd, 
He rais'd his plaintive voice, and thus he said : 

Begin, my pipe ! a softly mournful strain. 
The parting sun shines yellow on the plain ; 
The balmy west-wind breathes along the ground ; 
Their evening sweets the flow'rs dispense around ; 
The flocks stray bleating o'er the mountain's brow, 
And from the plain the answ'ring cattle low ; 
Sweet chant the feather'd tribes on every tree. 
And all things feel the joys of love, but me. 

Begin, my pipe ! begin the mournful strain. 
Eumelia meets my kindness with disdain.' 
Oft liave I try'd her stubborn heart to move, 
And in her icy bosom kindle love : 
But all in vain-^ere I my love declar'd, 
With other youths her company I shar'd ; 
But now she shuns me hopeless and forlorn. 
And pays my constant passion with her scorn. 

Begin, my pipe ! the sadly-soothing strain. 
And bring the days of innocence again. 
Well I remember, in the sunny scene 
We ran, we play'd together on the green. 

' See Memoir, p. 28. — G. 



22 2 THE WORKS OF 

Fair in our youth, and wanton in our play, 
We toy'd, we sported the long summer's day. 
For her I spoil'd the gardens of the Spring, 
And taught the goldfinch on her hand to sing. 
We sat and sung beneath the lover's tree ; 
One was her look, and it was fix'd on me. 

Begin, my pipe ! a melancholy strain. 
A holiday was kept on yonder plain ; 
The feast was spread upon the flow'ry mead. 
And skilful Thyrsis tun'd his vocal reed ; 
Each for the dance selects the nymph he loves. 
And every nymph with smiles her swain approves : 
The setting sun beheld their mirthful glee, 
And left all happy in their love, but me. 

Begin, my pipe ! a softly mournful strain. 
O cruel nymph ! O most unhappy swain ! 
To climb the steepy rock's tremendous height, 
And crop its herbage is the goat's delight ; 
The flowery thyme delights the humming bees, 
And blooming wilds the bleating lambkins please ; 
Daphnis courts Chloe under every tree : 
Eumelia ! you alone have joys for me ! 

Now cease, my pipe ! now cease the mournful strain. 
Lo, yonder comes Eumelia o'er the plain ! 
Till she approach, I'll lurk behind the shade, 
Then try with all my art the stubborn maid : 
Though to her lover cruel and unkind. 
Yet time may change the purpose of her mind. 
But vain these pleasing hopes ! already see, 
She hath observ'd, and now she flies from me ! 



MICHAEL BRUCE. zi-. 

Then cease, my pipe ! the unavaiUng strain. 
Apollo aids, the Nine inspire in vain : 
You, cruel maid ! refuse to lend an ear ; 
No more I sing, since you disdain to hear. 
This pipe Amyntas gave, on which he play'd : 
' Be thou its second lord,' the dying shepherd said. 
No more I play, now silent let it be ; 
Nor pipe, nor song, can e'er give joy to me. 



DAMON, MENALCAS, AND MELIBCEUS. 

AN ECLOGUE. 

DAMON. 

Mild from the shower, the morning's rosy light 
Unfolds the beauteous season to the sight : 
The landscape rises verdant on the view ; 
The little hills uplift their heads in dew ; 
The sunny stream rejoices in the vale ; 
The woods with songs approaching summer hail : 
The boy comes forth among the flow'rs to play ; 
His fair hair glitters in the yellow ray. 
Shepherds, begin the song ! while, o'er the mead. 
Your flocks at will on dewy pastures feed. 
Behold fair nature, and begin the song ; 
The songs of nature to the swain belong, 
Who equals Cona's bard in sylvan strains, {z) 
To him his harp an equal prize remains ; 
His harp, which sounds on all its sacred strings 
The loves of hunters, and the wars of kings. 

MENALCAS. 

Now fleecy clouds in clearer skies are seen ; 
The air is genial, and the earth is green : 



2 24 THE WORKS OF 

O'er hill and dale the flow'rs spontaneous spring, 
And blackbirds singing now invite to sing. 

MELIBCEUS. 

Now milky show'rs rejoice the springing grain ■ 
New-opening pea-blooms purple all the plain ; 
The hedges blossom white on every hand ; 
Already harvest seems to clothe the land. 

MENALCAS. 

AVhite o'er the hill my snowy sheep appear, 
Each with her lamb • their shepherd's name they bear. 
I love to lead them where the daisies spring, 
And on the sunny hill to sit and sing. 

MELIBCEUS. 

My fields are green with clover and with corn ; 
My flocks the hills, and herds the vales adorn. 
I teach the stream, I teach the vocal shore, 
And woods to echo that ' I want no more.' 

MENALCAS. 

To me the bees their annual nectar yield ; 
Peace cheers my hut, and plenty clothes my field. 
I fear no loss : I give to Ocekn's wind 
All care away, a monarch in my mind. 

MELIBCEUS. 

My mind is cheerful as the linnet's lays ; 
Heav'n daily hears a shepherd's simple praise. 
What time I shear my flock, I send a fleece 
To aged Mopsa, and her orphan niece. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 225 

MENALCAS. 

Lavinia, come ! here primroses upspring ; 
Here choirs of Hnnets, here yourself may sing ; 
Here meadows worthy of thy foot appear : 
O come, Lavinia ! let us wander here ! 

MELIBCEUS. 

Rosella, come ! here flow'rs the heath adorn ; 
Here ruddy roses open on the thorn ; 
Here willows by the brook a shadow give ; 
O here, Rosella ! let us love to live ! 

MENALCAS. 

Lavinia's fairer than the flow'rs of May, 
Or Autumn apples ruddy in the ray : 
For her my flow'rs are in a garland wove, 
And all my apples ripen for my love. 

MELIBCEUS. 

Prince of the wood, the oak majestic tow'rs ; 
The lily of the vale is queen of flow'rs : 
Above the maids Rosella's charms prevail. 
As oaks in woods, and lilies in the vale ! 

MENALCAS. 

Resound, ye rocks ! ye little hills ! rejoice ! 
Assenting woods ! to Heaven uplift your voice ! 
Let Spring and Summer enter hand in hand ; 
Lavinia comes, the glory of our Land ! 

MELIBCEUS. 

Whene'er my love appears upon the plain. 
To her the wond'ring shepherds tune the strain : 



2 26 THE WORKS OF 

' Who comes in beauty like the vernal mom, 

When yellow robes of light all heaven and earth adorn.' 

MENALCAS. 

Rosella's mine, by all the Pow'rs above ; 
Each star in heav'n is witness to our love. 
Among the lilies she abides all day ; 
Herself as lovely, and as sweet as they. 

MELIBCEUS. 

By Tweed Lavinia feeds her fleecy care, 
And in the sunshine combs her yellow hair. 
Be thine the peace of Heav'n, unknown to kings, 
And o'er thee angels spread their guardian wings ! 

MENALCAS. 

I followed Nature, and was fond of praise ; 
Thrice noble Varo has approved my lays ; 
If he approves, superior to my peers, 
I join th' immortal choir, and sing to other years. 

MELIBCEUS. 

My mistress is my Muse : the banks of Tyne 
Resound with Nature's music, and Avith mine ; 
Helen the fair, the beauty of our green. 
To me adjudg'd the prize when chosen queen. 

DAMON. 

Now cease your songs : the flocks to shelter fly, 
And the high sun has gain'd the middle sky. 
To both alike the poet's bays belong, 
Chiefs of the choir, and masters of the song. 
Thus let your pipes contend, with rival strife. 
To sing the praises of the pastoral life : 



MICHJEL BRUCE. 227 

Sing Nature's scenes with Nature's beauties fir'd ; 
Where poets dream'd, where prophets lay inspir'd. 
Even Caledonian queens have trod the meads, 
And scepter'd kings assum'd the shepherd's weeds : 
Th' angelic choirs, that guard the throne of God, 
Have sat Avith shepherds on the humble sod. 
With us renew'd the golden times remain. 
And long-lost innocence is found again. 



PHILOCLES: 

AN ELEGY, ON THE DEATH OF MR WILLIAM DRYBURGH. 

Wailing, I sit on Leven's sandy shore. 
And sadly tune the reed to sounds of woe ; 

Once more I call Melpomene ! once more 
Spontaneous teach the weeping verse to flow ! 

The weeping verse shall flow in friendship's name, 
W^hich friendship asks, and friendship fain would pay ; 

The Aveeping verse, which worth and genius claim. 
Begin then. Muse ! begin thy mournful lay. 

Aided by thee, I'll twine a rustic wreath 

Of fairest flow'rs, to deck the grass-grown grave 

Of Philocles, cold in the bed of death. 

And mourn the gentle youth I could not save. 

Where lordly Forth divides the fertile plains. 
With ample sweep, a sea from side to side, 

A rocky bound his raging course restrains, 
For ever lashed by the resounding tide. 

' See Memoir, pp. 17, 24, 36. — G. 



22 8 THE PVORKS OF 

There stands his tomb upon the sea-beat shore/ 
Afar discerned by the rough sailor's eye, 

Who, passing, weeps, and stops the sounding oar, 
And points where piety and virtue he. 

Like the gay pahii on Kabbah's fair domains, 
Or cedar shadowing Carmel's flowery side ; 

Or, hke the upright ash on Britain's plains, 

Which waves its stately arms in youthful pride : 

So flourished Philocles : and as the hand 

Of ruthless woodman lays their honours low,^ 

He fell in youth's fair bloom by fate's command. 
'Twas fate that struck, 'tis ours to mourn the blow. 

Alas ! we fondly thought that Heaven designed 
His bright example mankind to improve : 

All they should be, was pictured in his mind ; 
His thoughts were virtue, and his heart was love. 

^ ' His remains lie on the south side, and near the top of the west burying- 
ground in this parish. The spot is marked by a neat and rather handsome stone, 
which does not, however, seem to have been erected to his memory, as the in- 
scription relating to his father occupies the front and principal part of the stone, 
while that relating to himself and a half brother, whose name was Lister, a 
minister of the Secession in Dundee, occupies the back, and was probably put on 
at a later period than the other.' — Letter from Rev. W. A. Pettigreiv, Dysart, 
to Dr Mackelvie. 

^ 'Ac veluti summis antiquam in montibus ornum, 
Cum ferro accisam crebrisque bipennibus, instant 
Eruere agricolce certatim ; ilia usque minatur, 
Et tremefacta comam, concusso vertice, nutat.' 

Virgil, Mneid II. 

' Rent like a mountain ash, which dar'd the winds, 
And stood the sturdy strokes of lab'ring hinds. 
About the roots the cruel a.\e resounds : 
The stumps are picrc'd with oft repeated wounds, 
The war is felt on high, the nodding crown 
Now threats a fall, and throws the leafy honours down.' 

Dryden's Translation. — M'K. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 229 

Calm as a summer's sun's unruffled face, 

He looked unmoved on life's precarious game, 

And smiled at mortals toiling in the chase 
Of empty phantoms — opulence and fame. 

Steady he followed Virtue's onward path, 

Inflexible to Error's devious way ; 
And firm at last, in hope and fixed faith, 

Thro' Death's dark vale he trod without dismay. 

The gloomy vale he trod, relentless Death ! 

Where waste and horrid desolation reign. 
The tyrant, humbled, there resigns his wrath ; 

The wretch, elated, there forgets his pain ; 

There sleep the infant, and the hoary head ; 

Together lie the oppressor and the oppressed ; 
There dwells the captive, free among the dead ; 

There Philocles, and there the weaiy rest. 

The curtains of the grave fast drawn around, 
'Till the loud trumpet wakes the sleep of death, 

With dreadful clangour through the world resound. 
Shake the firm globe, and burst the vaults beneath. 

Then Philocles shall rise, to gloiy rise. 
And his Redeemer for himself shall see ; 

With Him in triumph mount the azure skies : 
For where He is, His followers shall be. 

Whence then these sighs 1 and whence this foiling tear 1 

To sad remembrance of his merit just, 
Still must I mourn, for he to me was dear. 

And still is dear, though buried in the dust. 



2^,o THE WORKS OF 



DAPHNIS: A MONODY. 



TO THE MEMORY OF MR WILLIAM ARNOT, SON OF MR DAVID ARNOT, 
OF PORTMOAK, NEAR KINROSS. 

[A Letter froni Bruce, sending this M onody to Mr Amot (or Arnott) senior, is now 
before us. It begins : — ' Dear Sir,- — Walking lately by the churchyard of your 
town, which inspires with a kind of veneration for our ancestors, I was struck 
with these beautiful lines of Mr Gray, in his " Elegy written ina Country Church- 
yard," 

" Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid. 
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;" 

and immediately I called to mind your son, whose memory will be ever dear unto 
me ; and, with respect to that Place [Heaven], put the supposition out of doubt. 
I wrote the most part of this poem the same day, which I should be very sorry if 
you look upon as a piece of flattery : I know you are above flattery ; and if I know 
anything of my own mind, I am so too. It is the language of the heart ; I think 
a lie in verse and prose the same. The versification is irregular, in imitation of 
Milton's Lycidas.' Then follows the Monody, as printed here. Comparison with 
previous texts will show in them departures from what Bruce wrote, that are not 
improvements, as well as new lines and epithets, and other lesser details. Under 
the title is a quotation from Horace, ' Quis desiderio sit pudor, aut modus, tam 
cani capitis.' After the poem he adds, ' I have sent a line from Mr Henderson to 
Mr Dryburgh. You may [enjclose mine in it as this seems to be largest, and de- 
liver them with as much ease as one. Excuse this trouble from yours sincerely, . 
Michael Bruce.' It is dated ' Gairny-Bridge, May 29th, 1765,' and there is a 
P.S. : ' This will give you an idea of George's way of writing.' — G.] 

No more of youthful joys, or love's fond dreams ; 

No more of morning fair, or ev'ning mild ; 

While Daphnis lies among the silent dead 

Unsung ; though long ago he trode the path, 

The dreary road to death, 

Which soon or late each mortal foot must tread. 

He trode the dark uncomfortable wild 

By Faith's fair light, and Truth's unsullied beams ; 

By Love, whose image gladdens mortal eyes, 

And keeps the golden key that opens all the skies. 

Assist ye Muses ! — and ye will assist : 

For Daphnis, whom I sing, to you was dear : 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 231 

Ye loved the boy, and on his youthful head 

Your kindest influence shed. — 

So may I match his lays, who to the l}Te 

Wailed his lost Lycidas by wood and rill : 

So may the Muse my grov'ling mind inspire 

With high poetic fire ; 

As thy sad loss, dear youth, with grief do [I deplore] 

To sing a farewell to thy ashes blest ;' 

To bid fair peace be to thy gentle shade ; 

To scatter flowerets, cropt by Fancy's hand, 

In sad assemblage round thy tomb, 

If watered by the Muse, to latest time to bloom. 

Oft by the side of Leven's crystal Lake, 

Trembling beneath the closing lids of light. 

With slow short-measured steps we took our walk : 

Then the dear youth would talk 

Of argument, far, far above his years ; 

Or young compeers ; 

And high would reason : he could reason high ; 

Till from the east the silver Queen of Night 

Her journey up heaven's steep began to make. 

And Silence reigned attentive in the sky. 

O happy days ! — for evdr, ever gone ! 

WTien o'er the flow'ry green we ran, we play'd 

With blooms bedropt by youthful Summer's hand : 

Or, in the willow's shade, 

Upon the echoing banks of the fair Lake 

We mimic castles built among the sand. 

Soon by the sounding surge to be beat down. 



' Lines, 'To sing,' etc., on to 'time to bloom,' not in the MS. as sent to Mr 
Amot senior. — G. 



23 z THE WORKS OF 

Or sweeping wind ; when, by the sedgy marsh, 

Or rushy pool we wand'red in our play. 

And heard the heron and the wild duck harsh, 

Or sweeter lark tune her melodious lay, 

At highest noon of day. 

Among the antic moss-grown stones we'd roam. 

With ancient hieroglyphic figures wrought ; 

Winged hour-glasses, bones, and spades, and sculls, 

And obsolete inscriptions, by the hands 

Of other years. Ay me ! I little thought 

That where we play'd he soon should fill a tornb.' 

Where were ye. Muses ! when the leaden hand 

Of Death, remorseless, clos'd your Daphnis' eyes ? 

For sure ye heard the weeping mother's cries ; — 

But the dread pow'r of Fate what can withstand ? 

Young Daphnis smil'd at Death ; the tyrant's darts 

As stubble counted. What was his support ? 

His conscience, and firm trust in Him whose ways 

Are truth ; in Him who sways 

His potent sceptre o'er the dark domain 

Of death and hell ; who holds in streight'ned rein 

Their banded legions ; ' Thro' the darksome vale 

He'll guide my steps ; He will my heart sustain ; 

I trust His plighted word, it will not fail ;' 

He, smiling, said, and died! — 

Hail, and farewell, blest youth ! Soon hast thou left 
This evil world. Short was thy thread of life : 
And quickly by the envious Sisters shorn. 
Thus have I seen a rose with rising morn 

^ The farm of Portmoak stands on the margin of Lochleven. The parish church 
formerly stood beside it, and a portion of the old burying-ground still remains in 
which young Amot is interred. — M'K. [See photograph. — G.] 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 233 

Unfold its fragrant bloom, sweet to the smell, 
And lovely to the eye ; when a keen wind 
Has tore its leaves, and laid its green head low, 
Strip't of its sweets : ev'n so, 
So Daphnis fell ! long ere his prime he fell ! 
Nor left he on these plains his peer behind ; 
These plains, that mourn their loss, of him bereft, 
No more look gay, but desert and forlorn. 
No song is heard, mute is the sylvan strife. 

Now cease your lamentation, shepherds, cease : 

For Daphnis whom you weep, and whom you lov'd, 

A better life, and in a fairer clime, 

Now lives. No sorrow enters that blest place ; 

But songs of love and joy for ay resound : 

And music floats around,' 

By fanning zephyrs from the spicy groves, 

And flowers immortal wafted ; asphodel 

And amaranth, unfading, deck the ground, 

With fairer colours than, ere Adam fell, 

In Eden bloomed. There, haply he may hear 

This artless song. Ye powers of verse ! improve," 

And make it worthy of your darling's ear, 

And make it equal to the shepherd's love. 

Thus, in the shadow of a frowning rock. 
Beneath a mountain's side, shaggy and hoar, 
A homely swain, tending his little flock, 
Tun'd to the Doric reed his rural lay. 



Instead of what follows, the original MS. runs — 
'And music floats around 
On aromatic gales bom ! and improv'd, 
There haply hears with pity my sad rhyme — 
Rhyme ! Ah, how inferior to my love ! ' — G. 



2 34 THE ff^ORKS OF 

Rude and unletter'd in the Muse's lore, 
Till in the west sunk the descending day ; 
Then rising, homeward slowly held his way.i {ai7) 



VERSES 

ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. \VM. m'eWEN.^ 

M'EwEN gone ! and shall the mournful Muse 

A tear unto his memory refuse 1 

Forbid it all ye powers that guard the just, 

Your care his actions, and his life your trust. 

The righteous perish ! is M'Ewen dead 1 

In him Religion, Virtue's friend, is fled. 

Modest in strife, bold in religion's cause, 

He sought true honour in his God's applause. 

What manly beauties in his works appear, 

Close without straining, and concise though clear. 

Though short his life, not so his deathless fame. 

Succeeding ages shall revere his name. 

Hail, blest immortal, hail ! while we are tost, 

Thy happy soul is landed on the coast, 

That land of bliss, where on the peaceful shore 

Thou view'st with pleasure, all thy dangers o'er ; 

Lain in the silent grave, thy honour'd dust 

Expects the resurrection of the just. 

' See Note {aa) at end for 'various readings.' — G. 

^ Author of ' A Treatise on the Scripture Types, Figures, and Allegories,' and 
' Essays on various subjects.' He died suddenly at Leith, in the twenty-eighth 
year of his age, and .seventh of his ministry. — M'K. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 235 



TO JOHN MILLAR, M. D. 

ON RECOVERY FROM A DANGEROUS FIT OF ILLNESS. — (WRITTEN IN THE NAME 
OF MR DAVID PEARSON.) 

A RUSTIC youth (he seeks no better name) 
Ahke unknown to fortune and to fame, 
Acknowledging a debt he ne'er can pay, 
For thee, O Millar ! frames the artless lay : 
That yet he lives, that vital warmth remains, 
And life's red tide bounds briskly thro' his veins ; 
To thee he owes. His grateful heart believe, 
And take his thanks sincere, 'tis all he has to give. 
Let traders brave the flood in thirst of gain. 
Kept with disquietude as got with pain ; 
Let heroes, tempted by a sounding name, 
Pursue bright honour in the fields of fame. 
Can wealth or fame a moment's ease command 
To him, who sinks beneath affliction's hand ? 
Upon the wither'd limbs fresh beauty shed ; 
Or cheer the dark, dark mansions of the dead 1 



' Dr Millar was a surgeon in Kirkaldy, Uvelve miles from Kinnesswood, whence 
he had come repeatedly to visit David Pearson, who had an ulcer in his leg, and 
whose poverty prevented him from giving this skilful physician his well-earned 
remuneration. Pearson applied to his friend Bruce to express his acknowledg- 
ments in verse, which he did. The above is only a small part of the letter of 
thanks taken down by Mr Birrel, according as Pearson was able to repeat it. 
The original was given by Pearson into Logan's own hand. It ended with the 
following lines : — 

' For tuneful Garth is gone, and mighty Mead, 
Pope's Arbuthnot lies slumbering with the dead ; 
And when at last (far distant be the day) 
Remorseless Death shall mark thee for his prey. 
May thy free spirit mount the climes above, 
And join thy consort in the land of love.' — M'K. 
J 



236 THE WORKS OF 



AN EPIGRAM. 



AViTH Celia talking, Pray, says I, 

. Think you, you could a husband want. 
Or would you rather choose to die 

If Heav'n the blessing should not grant 1 

Awhile the beauteous maid look'd down, 
Then with a blush she thus began : 

' Life is a precious thing I own. 
But what is life— without a man ? ' 



PASTORAL SONG. 

TO THE TUNE OF THE YELLOW-HAIR'd LADDIE. 

In May when the go wans appear on the green, 
And flow'rs in the field and the forest are seen ; 
Where lilies bloom'd bonny, and hawthorns upsprung. 
The Yellow-hair'd laddie oft whistled and sung. 

But neither the shades, nor the sweets of the flow'rs, 
Nor the blackbirds that warbled on blossoming bow'rs. 
Could pleasure his eye, or his ear entertain ; 
For love was his pleasure, and love was his pain. 

The shepherd thus sung, while his flocks all around 
Drew nearer and nearer, and sigh'd to the sound : 
Around as in chains, lay the beasts of the wood, 
With pity disarmed, with music subdu'd. 

Young Jessy is fair as the spring's early flower, 
And Mary sings sweet as the bird in her bower : 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 237 

But Peggy is fairer and sweeter than they ; 

With looks hke the morning, with smiles like the day. 

In the flower of her youth, in the bloom of eighteen, 
Of virtue the goddess, of beauty the queen : 
One hour in her presence an sra excels 
Amid courts, where ambition with miserj^ dwells. 

Fair to the shepherd the new-springing flow'rs. 
When May and when morning lead on the gay hours : 
But Peggy is brighter and fairer than they ; 
She's fair as the morning, and lovely as May. 

Sweet to the shepherd the wild woodland sound. 
When larks sing above him, and lambs bleat around ; 
But Peggy far sweeter can speak and can sing, 
Than the notes of the warblers that welcome the Spring. 

When in beauty she moves by the brook of the plain, 
You would call her a Venus new sprung from the main : 
When she sings, and the woods with their echoes reply, 
You would think that an angel was warbling on high. 

Ye Pow'rs that preside over mortal estate ! 
Whose nod ruleth Nature, whose pleasure is fate, 
O grant me, O grant me the heav'n of her charms ! 
May I live in her presence, and die in her arms ! 



LOCHLEVEN NO MORE. 

TO THE TUNE OF 'LOCHAnER NO MORE.' 

Farewell to Lochleven and Gairny's fair stream, 
How sweet, on its banks, of my Peggy to dream ; 
But now I must go to a far distant shore, 
And I'll may-be return to I^ochleven no more. 



238 THE WORKS OF 

No more in the Spring shall I walk with my dear, 
Where gowans bloom bonny, and Gairny runs clear ; 
Far hence must I wander, my pleasures are o'er. 
Since I'll see my dear maid and Lochleven no more. 

No more do I sing, since far from my delight. 
But in sighs spend the day, and in tears the long night ; 
By Devon's dull current stretch'd mourning I'll lie, 
While the hills and tlie woods to my mourning reply. 

But wherever I wander, by night or by day. 
True love to my Peggy still Avith me shall stay ; 
And ever and aye my loss I'll deplore, 
Till the woodlands re-echo Lochleven no more. 

Though from her far distant, to her I'll be true. 
And still my fond heart keep her image in view : 

could I obtain her, my griefs were all o'er, 

1 would mourn the dear rnaid and Lochleven no more. 

But if Fate has decreed that it ne'er shall be so. 
Then grief shall attend me wherever I go ; 
Till from life's stormy sea I reach death's silent shore. 
Then I'll think upon her and Lochleven no more."^ 



FRAGMENTS OF SATIRES. 

' There was a piece entitled " Ftmgus ;," and the writer has reason to believe 
that there were a number of satires ; for, on a slip of paper in his possession, there 
is this note in the poet's handwriting, " Add to Satire first ; " and then these lines 
follow.'— M'K. 

I. 

Or shall we weep, or grow into the spleen. 
Or shall we laugh at the fantastic scene, 

' This Song appeared in a somewhat inaccurute form in ' The Weekly Maga- 
zine or Edinburgh Amusement,' vol. iii. p. 306, March 9, 1769. It is not deemed 
worth while to notice the variations. It was composed on leaving ' Gairaey 
Bridge' for Forrest Mill.— G. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 239 

To see a dull mechanic, in a fit, 

Throw down his plane, and strive to be a wit. 

Thus -wrote De Foe, a tedious length of years, 

And bravely lost his conscience and his ears, 

To see a priest eke out the great design, 

And tug with Latin points the halting line. 

Who Avould not laugh, if two such men there were 1 

Such there have been— I don't say such there are. 

II, 
'Last week I made a visit to Portmoak, the parish 
where I was bom, and being accidentally at the funeral 
of an aged rustic, I was invited to partake of the usual 
entertainment before the interment. We were conducted 
into a large bam, and placed almost in a square, 

When lo ! a mortal, bulky, grave, and dull. 
The mighty master of the sevenfold skull, 
Arose like Ajax. In the midst he stands — 
A well filled bicker loads his trembling hands. 
To one he comes, assumes a visage new — 
' Come ask a blessing John? — 'tis put on you.' 
' Bid Mungo say,' says John, with half a face. 
Famed for his length of beard and length of grace. 
Thus have I seen, beneath a hollow rock, 
A shepherd hunt his dogs among his flock — 
' Run collie, Battie, Venture.' Not one hears. 
Then rising, runs himself, and running swears. 

In short, Sir, as I have not time to poetize, the grace is 
said, the drink goes round, the tobacco pipes are lighted, 
and, from a cloud of smoke, a hoary-headed rustic 
addressed the company thus: — *Weel, John {i.e. the 
deceased), noo when he's gone, was a good, sensible 
man, stout, and healthy, and hale ; and had the best 



240 THE WORKS OF 

hand for casting peats of onybody in this kintra side. 
Aweel, Sirs, we maun a' dee — Here's to ye.' I was 
struck with the speech of this honest man, especially with 
his heroic application of the glass, in dispelling the 
gloomy thoughts of death.' 

THE poet's petition FOR ' A TABLE.' 

Within this school a table once there stood — 

It was not iron — No ! 'twas rotten wood. 

Four generations it on earth had seen — 

A ship's old planks composed the huge machine. 

Perhaps that ship in which Columbus hurl'd 

Saw other stars rise on another world, — 

Or that which bore, along the dark profound, 

From pole to pole, the valiant Drake around. — 

Tho' miracles long since were said to cease, 

Three weeks — thrice seven long days — it stood in peace ; 

Upon the fourth, a warm debate arose, 

Managed by words, and more emphatic blows ; 

The routed party to the table fled, 

Which seemed to offer a defensive shade. 

Thus, in the town, I've seen, when rains descend. 

Where arched porticoes their shades extend. 

Papists and gifted Quakers, Tories, Whigs, 

Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs — 

Men born in India, men in Europe bred. 

Commence acquaintance in a mason's shed. 

^ This unseemly procedure, which was once common at funerals in the country, 
but now happily falling into disuse, seems to have strongly impressed the mind of 
our poet, for he introduces it also into his 'Last Day,' with implied disapproba- 
tion — 

' To the dust 

We gave the dead. Then, moralizing, home 

The swains returned, fc drozvii in copiozcs tenuis 

The labours of the day, and thoughts of death.'— M'K. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 241 

Thus they ensconc'd beneath the table lay, — 
With shouts the victors rush upon the prey, — 
Attack'd the rampart where they shelter took. 
With firing battered, and with engines shook, 
It fell. The mighty ruins strew the ground. 
It fell ! The mountains tremble at the sound. 
But to what end (say you) this trifling tale 1 
Perhaps, sir, man as well as wood is frail ; 
Perhaps his life can little more supply, 
' Than just to look about us and to die.' 

EGLOGUE. 

IN THE MANNER OF OSSIAN. 

O COME, my love ! from thy echoing hill ; thy locks on 
the mountain wind ! 

The hill-top flames with setting light ; the vale is 
bright with the beam of eve. Blithe on the village green 
the maiden milks her cows. The boy shouts in the wood, 
and wonders who talks from the trees. But Echo talks 
from the trees, repeating his notes of joy. Where art 
thou, O Morna ! thou fairest among women ? I hear not 
the bleating of thy flock, nor thy voice in the Avind of the 
hill. Here is the field of our loves ; now is the hour of 
thy promise. See, frequent from the harvest-field the 
reapers eye the setting sun : but thou appearest not on 
the plain. — 

Daughters of the bow ! Saw ye my love, with her little 
flock tripping before her ? Saw ye her, fair moving over 
the heath, and waving her locks behind like the yellow 
sun-beams of evening 1 

Q 



i4a THE WORKS OF 

Come from the hill of clouds, fair dweller of woody 
Lmiion ! 

I was a boy when I went to Lumon's lovely vale. 
Sporting among the willows of the brook, I saw the 
daughters of the plain. Fair were their faces of youth ; 
but mine eye was fixed on Morna. Red was her cheek, 
and fair her hair. Her hand was white as the lily. Mild 
was the beam of her blue eye, and lovely as the last smile 
of the sun. Her eye met mine in silence. Sweet were 
our words together in secret. I litde knew what meant 
the heavings of my bosom, and the wild wish of my heart. 
I often looked back upon Lumon's vale, and blest the 
fair dwelling of Morna. Her name dwelt ever on my lip. 
She came to my dream by night. Thou didst come in 
thy beauty, O maid ! lovely as the ghost of Malvina, when, 
clad with the robes of heaven, she came to the vale of 
the Moon, to visit the aged eyes of Ossian king of harps. 

Come from the cloud of night, thou first of our 
maidens ! come 

The wind is down ; the sky is clear : red is the cloud 
of evening. In circles the bat wheels over head ; the 
boy pursues his flight. The farmer hails the signs of 
heaven, the promise of halcyon days : Joy brightens in 
his eyes. O Morna ! first of maidens ! thou art the joy 
of Salgar ! thou art his one defire ! I wait thy coming on 
the field. Mine eye is over all the plain. One echo 
spreads on every side. It is the shout of the shepherds 
folding their flocks. They call to their companions, each 
on his echoing hill. From the red cloud rises the even- 
ing star.— But who comes yonder in light, like the Moon 
the queen of heaven ? It is she I the star of stars ! the 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 243 

lovely light of Lumon ! Welcome, fair beam of beauty, 
for ever to shine in our valleys ! 



MORNA. 

I come from the hill of clouds. Among the green 
rushes of Balva's bank, I follow the steps of my beloved. 
The foal in the meadow frolics round the mare : his 
bright mane dances on the mountain wind. The leverets 
play among the green ferns, fearless of the hunter's horn, 
and of the bounding grey-hound. The last strain is up 
in the wood. — Did I hear the voice of my love 1 It was 
the gale that sports with the whirling leaf, and sighs in 
the reeds of the lake. Blessed be the voice of winds 
that brings my Salgar to mind. O Salgar ! youth of the 
rolling eye ! thou art the love of maidens. Thy face is a 
sun to thy friends : thy words are sweet as a song : thy 
steps are stately on thy hill : thou art comely in the 
brightness of youth ; like the Moon, when she puts oft" 
her dun robe in the sky, and brightens the face of night. 
The clouds rejoice on either side : the traveller in the 
narrow path beholds her, round, in her beauty moving 
througli the midst of heaven. Thou art fair, O youth of 
the rolling eye ! thou wast the love of my youth. 



SALGAR. 

Fair wanderer of evening ! pleasant be thy rest on our 
plains. I was gathering nuts in the wood for my love, 
and tlie days of our youth returned to mind ; when we 
played together on the green, and flew over the field with 
feet of wind. I tamed the blackbird for my love, and 
taught it to sing in her hand. I climbed the ash in the 
cliff of the rock, and brought you the doves of the wood. 



244 THE WORKS OF 

MORNA. 

It is the voice of my beloved ! Let me behold him 
from the wood-covered vale, as he sings of the times of 
old, and complains to the voice of the rock. Pleasant 
were the days of our youth, like the songs of other years. 
Often have we sat on the old grey stone, and silent 
marked the stars, as one by one they stole into the sky. 
One was our wish by day, and one our dream by night. 

SALGAR. 

I found an apple-tree in the wood. I planted it in my 
garden. Thine eye beheld it all in flower. For every 
bloom we marked, I count an apple of gold. To-morrow 
I pull the fruit for you. O come, my best beloved. 

MORNA. 

When the gossamer melts in air, and the furze 
crackle in the beam of noon, O come to Cona's sunny 
side, and let thy flocks wander in our valleys. The heath 
is in flower. One tree rises in the midst. Sweet flows 
the river by its side of age. The wild bee hides his 
honey at its root. Our words will be sweet on the sunny 
hill. Till grey evening shadow the plain, I will sing to 
my well-beloved. 



THE VANITY OF OUR DESIRE OF IMMORTALITY HERE : 

A STORY IN THE EASTERN MANNER. 

Child of the years to come, attend to the words of 
Calem ; — Calem, who hath seen fourteen kings upon the 
throne of China, whose days are a thousand four hundred 
thirty and nine years. 

Thou, O young man ! who rejoicest in thy vigour ; the 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 245 

days of my strength were as thine. My possessions were 
large, and fair as the gardens of Paradise. • My cattle 
covered the vallies ; and my flocks were as the grass on 
Mount Tirza. Gold was brought me from the ocean, 
and jewels from the Valley of Serpents. Yet I was un- 
happy ; for I feared the sword of the angel of Death. 

One day, as I was walking through the woods which 
grew around my palace, I heard the song of the birds : 
but I heard it without joy. On the contrary, their cheer- 
fulness filled me with melancholy. I threw myself on a 
bank of flowers, and gave vent to my discontent in these 
words : ' The time of the singing of birds is come, and 
the voice of the turtle is heard. These trees spread their 
verdant branches above me, and beneath the flowers 
bloom fair. The whole creation rejoices in its existence. 
I alone am unhappy. Why am I unhappy 1 What do I 
want ? Nothing. But what avail my riches, when in a 
little I must leave them ? What is the life of man 1 His 
days are but a thousand years ! As the waves of the 
ocean ; such are the generations of man : The foremost 
is dashed on the shore, and another comes rolling on. 
As the leaves of a tree ; so are the children of men : 
They are scattered abroad by the wind, and other leaves 
lift their green heads. So, the generations before us are 
gone ; this shall pass away, and another race arise. How, 
then, can I be glad, when in a few centuries I shall be 
no more 1 Thou Eternal, why hast thou cut off the life of 
mani and why are his days so few?' 

I held my peace. Immediately the sky was black with 
the clouds of night. A tempest shook the trees of the 
forest : the thunder roared from the top of Tirza, and the 
red bolt shot through the darkness. Terror and amaze- 
ment seized me ; and the hand of him before whom the 
sun is extinguished, was upon me. ' Calem,' said he 



246 THE WORKS OF 

(while my bones trembled), * I have heard thee accusing 
me. Thou desirest life ; enjoy it. I have commanded 
Death, that he touch thee not.' 

Again the clouds dispersed ; and the sun chased the 
shadows along the hills. The birds renewed their song, 
sweeter than ever before I had heard them. I cast mine 
eyes over my fields, while my heart exulted with joy. 
'These,' said I, 'are mine for ever!' But I knew not 
that sorrow waited for me. 

As I was returning home, I met the beautiful Selima 
walking across the fields. The rose blushed in her 
cheeks ; and her eyes were as the stars of the morning. 
Never before had I looked with a partial eye on woman. 
I gazed ; I sighed ; I trembled. I led her to my house, 
and made her mistress of my riches. 

As the young plants grow up around the cedar ; so my 
children grew up in my hall. 

Now my happiness was complete. My children mar- 
ried ; and I saw my descendants in the third generation. 
I expected to see them overspread the kingdom, and 
that I should obtain the crown of China. 

I had now lived a thousand years ; and the hand of 
time had withered my strength. My wife, my sons, and 
my daughters, died ; and I was a stranger among my 
people. I was a burden to them ; they hated me, and 
drove me from my house. Naked and miserable, I wan- 
dered ; my tottering legs scarce supported my body. I 
went to the dwellings of my friends ; but they were gone, 
and other masters chid me from their doors. I retired to 
the woods ; and, in a cave, lived with the beasts of the 
earth. Berries and roots were my meat ; and I drank of 
the stream of the rock. I was scorched with the sum- 
mer's sun ; and shivered in the cold of Avinter. I was 
weary of life. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 247 

One day I wandered from the woods, to view the 
palace which was once mine. I saw it ; but it was low. 
Fire had consumed it : It lay as a rock cast down by an 
earthquake. Nettles sprung up in the court ; and from 
within the owl scream'd hideous. The fox looked out at 
the windows : the rank grass of the wall waved around 
his head. I was filled with grief at the remembrance of 
what it, and Avhat I had been. ' Cursed be the day,' I 
said, ' in which I desired to live for ever. And why, O 
Thou Supreme! didst thou grant my request? Had it 
not been for this, I had been at peace ; I had been asleep 
in the quiet grave ; I had not known the desolation of 
my inheritance ; I had been free from the weariness of 
life. I seek for death, but I find it not : my Hfe is a curse 
unto me.' 

A shining cloud descended on the trees ; and Gabriel 
the angel stood before me. His voice was as the roaring 
stream, while thus he declared his message : ' Thus saith 
the Highest, What shall I do unto thee, O Calem 1 What 
dost thou now desire ? Thou askedst life, and I gave it 
thee, even to live for ever. Now thou art weary of living ; 
and again thou hast opened thy mouth against me.' 



NOTES. 



Note (d) — P. 130. 

Paraphrase from Complaint of Nature.— The following is the 
text of this Paraphrase (Job xiv. 1-15) as it is given in the 
' Translations and Paraphrases ' of the ' Kirk of Scotland : ' — 



Few are thy days, and full of woe, 

O man, of woman bom ! 
Thy doom is written, ' Dust thou art, 

And shalt to dust return.' 

Behold the emblem of thy state 
In flow'rs that bloom and die, 

Or in the shadow's fleeting form, 
That mocks the gazer's eye. 

Guilty and frail, how shalt thou stand 
Before thy sov'reign Lord ? 

Can troubled and polluted springs 
A hallow'd stream afford ? 

Determin'd are the days that fly 

Successive o'er thy head ; 
The number'd hour is on the wing 

That lays thee with the dead. 

Great God ! afllict not, in thy wrath. 

The short allotted span 
That bounds the few and weary days 

Of pilgrimage to man. 



Yet soon reviving plants and flow'rs 

Anew shall deck the plain ; 
The woods shall hear the voice of Spring, 

And flourish green again. 

But man forsakes this earthly scene, 

Ah ! never to return : 
Shall any foll'wing spring revive 

The ashes of the urn ? 

The mighty flood that rolls along 

Its torrents to the main. 
Can ne'er recall its waters lost 

From that abyss again. 

So days, and years, and ages past, 

Descending down to night. 
Can henceforth never more return 

Back to the gates of light ; 

And man, when laid in lonesome grave. 
Shall sleep in Death's dark gloom, 

Until th' eternal morning wake 
The slumbers of the tomb. 



All nature dies, and lives again : O may the grave become to me 

The flow'r that paints the field, The bed of peaceful rest. 

The trees that crown the mountain's brow. Whence I shall gladly rise at length, 
And boughs and blossoms yield, And mingle with the blest ! 



Resign the honours of their form 
At Winter's stormy blast, 

And leave the naked leafless plain 
A desolated waste. 



Cheer'd by this hope, with patient mind, 
I'll wait Heav'n's high decree, 

Till the appointed period come, 
When death shall set me free. 



25 o THE WORKS OF 



Note (b) — P. 133. 

Heavenly Wisdom. — The version of this Paraphrase, as it appears 
in the ' Translations and Paraphrases,' presents some noticeable 
variations. In the second stanza, line first, for 'has,' it reads 
'hath;' and line third, for 'reward,' reads 'rewards;' and for 
our text in line fourth, 

' Than all their stores of gold.' 

In the second stanza, second line, for 'years,' reads 'days;' and 
for our text what follows : — 

' Riches, with splendid honours join'd, 
Are what her left displays.' 

In the third stanza, line second, for ' path,' reads 'paths.' 

We have in these changes, no doubt, another illustration of 
Logan's course in claiming authorship. In his own volume of 
1781 he had given Bruce's Hymn from Bruce's MS. volume «j 
his o^vn. Qualms of conscience seem in the interval to have 
visited him ; and so, to satisfy these, he makes the above (so-called) 
' improvements ' in giving it to the volume of ' Translations and 
Paraphrases,' and then he felt as free to claim its authorship as 
after the same self-deceiving process with Doddridge's and the 
rest of Bruce's. See our Memoir, pp. 95-100 ; and also for the 
very same thing in the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' pp. 83-86. — G. 



Note (r)— P. 135. 

Simeon Waiting. — The following is the text of this Paraphrase 
(Luke ii. %^-ii) as it is given in the 'Translations and Para- 
phrases : ' — 

Just and devout old Simeon liv'd ; Nor did he wait in vain ; for, lo ! 

To him it was reveal'd, Revolving years brought round, 

That Christ, the Lord, his eyes should see In season due, the happy day. 

Ere death his eyelids seal'd. Which all his wishes crown'd. 

For this consoling gift of Heav'n When Jesus, to the temple brought 
To Israel's fallen state, By Mary's pious care. 

From year to year with patient hope As Heav'n's appointed rites requir'd. 
The aged saint did wait. To God was offer'd there. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 251 

Simeon into those sacred courts Mine eyes have thy salvation seen, 

A heavn'ly impulse drew ; And gladness fills my heart. 

He saw the Virgin hold her son, 

And straight his Lord he knew. At length my arms embrace my Lord, 

Now let their vigour cease ; 
With holy joy upon his face At last my eyes my Saviour see. 

The good old father smil'd; Now let them close in peace. 

Then fondly in his wither'd arms 

He clasp'd the promis'd child : This great salvation, long prepar'd. 

And now disclos'd to view, 
And while he held the heav'n-born Babe, Hath prov'd thy love was constant still, 

Ordain'd to bless mankind. And promises were true. 

Thus spoke, with earnest look, and heart 

Exulting, yet resign'd : That Sun I now behold, whose light 

Shall heathen darkness chase ; 
Now, Lord ! according to thj^ word, And rays of brightest glory pour 

Let me in peace depart ; Around thy chosen race. 

Our remarks in Note b apply equally to this Paraphrase, as a 
comparison will show. — G. 



Note (<•/) — P. 150. 

* And follow Nature up to Nature s God.' — Pope had said : 

' Slave to no sect, who takes no private road. 
But looks thro' Nature up to Nature's God.' 

Essay on Man. — G. 



Note {e) — P. 151. 

* Oft morning dreams presage approaching fate ^ — Horace tar- 
nishes one example : 

' Atqui, ego cum Grsecos facerem, natus mare citra, 
Versiculos, vetuit me tali voce Quirinus 
Post mediam noctem visus, cum somnia vera.' 

Satires, x. — G. 



Note (/)— P. 155- 

Weaving Spiritualized.— This subject appears to have been 
suggested to Bruce by Ralph Erskine's * Smoking Spiritualized.' 



252 THE WORKS OF 

The Lines are circulated amongst the villagers of Kinnesswood, 
in manuscript, with whom it is popular ; and from a copy be- 
longing to one of them the above is transcribed, with a few verbal 
alterations. — M'K. 



Note (g) — P. 156. 

Inscription on a Bible. — This was written on the fly-leaf of the 
Poet's own little Bible. The volume is still preserved. — G. 



Note Qj) — P. 157. 

Light first-born of existence. Milton : 

' Hail holy light, offspring of Heaven first-born.' 

Paradise Lost, B. iii. 1. i, — G. 



Note (i)— P. i6o. 
The Ways . . . of Providence be cleared. Milton ; 



Pope; 



' I may assert Eternal Providence, 
And justify the ways of God to man.' 

Paradise Lost, B. i. 1. 26. 

' And vindicate the ways of God to man.' 

Essay on Man. — G. 



Note (y) — .P. i6i. 

Athos. — Dr Mackelvie adds to this reference the following 
quotation from good old Lempriere, under Athos, which will be 
sought for in vain in Dr Smith's ' Dictionary : ' — 

* Athos, a mountain of Macedonia, 150 miles in circumference, 
projecting into the j^gean Sea, like a promontory. It is so high 
that it overshadows the island of Lcmnos, though at the distance 
of 87 miles. A sculptor, called Dinocrates, offered Alexander 
to cut Mount Athos, and to make with it a statue of the King 
holding a town in his left hand, and in the right a spacious basin 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 253 

to receive all the waters which flowed into it. Alexander greatly 
admired the plan, but objected to the place ; and he observed, 
that the neighbouring country was not sufficiently fruitful to pro- 
duce com and provisions for the inhabitants, which were to dwell 
in the city, in the hand of the statue.' 

Note (/•)— P- 162. 

Pale affright. — We have here a recollection of Milton, Paradise 
Lost, B. vi. 1. 856 seq. It may also be noted here that in 
' Daphnis : a Monody,' we have like recollection of ' Lycidas' : 

' For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime ; 
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.' 

Similarly elsewhere. — G. 

Note (/)— P. 163. 

The rapid stream . . . Tigris. — The river Tigris, i.e. Sagitta, 
is so called from its rapidity. — M'K. 

Note (m) — P. 164. 

ji spirit lived ivithin them. — Dr Mackelvie supplements the 
Bible allusion here by a reference to the ' Spiritus intus olit ' of 
Horace. 



Note («) — P. 172. 

Lenient. — Milton : * Lenient of grief,' Samson Agonistes, 1. 
659.— G. 



Note (0) — P. 188. 

Which yet retains her name. — The poet here insinuates that 
Lochleven is an abbreviation of Lochlevina, which is about as 
probable as another derivation given by some of the inhabitants 
around the Lake, that Lochleven is an abbreviation of Loch- 
eleven ; and they account for this appellation by affirming that it 
was once fed by eleven streams, surrounded by eleven proprie- 



354 THE MVRKS OF 

tors' lands, was eleven miles in circumference, was studded by 
eleven islands, seen from eleven parishes, inhabited by eleven 
kinds of fish, and so forth, to the number of eleven elevens, not 
one of which peculiarities, so far as we can learn, ever belonged 
to it. It is, however, a striking circumstance, that the only two 
hills in Scotland named Lomond, should each have a lake at its 
base called Leven ; for so Loch-Lomond was anciently called, as 
the stream by which it empties itself into the C lyde is still named, 
and by which name it has been celebrated by Smollett, in the 
famous Ode beginning — 

' On Leven's banks, while free to rove, 
And tune the rural pipe to love.' 

The word Leven is held to be of Saxon origin, and by some 
it is understood to mean clear, by others smooth. The former 
interpretation seems the more probable, from the fact that this 
property is a characteristic of all the waters to which the name is 
applied ; of which in Britain, besides those already named, there 
is the river Leven in Westmoreland, the stream by which the 
lake Windermere empties itself into the sea ; and there are also 
the 'Black' and * White' Leven, two stream.s in Cumberland. 
— M'K. 



Note (/) — P. 192. 

O Lifl'ius ! — In the first draught of the poem the following 
verses preceded those in the text : — ■ 

' And oft would join 

My walk the good Philologus, whose mind, 
Superior to the world, with scorn looks down 
And pity, on the low pursuits of men ; 
And, far above the mists which little pride 
And erring passions raise, his piercing eye 
Roves through the spacious intellectual world.' 

By Philologus and Laslius our poet is known to intend his 
early friend Mr George Henderson, son of the proprietor of 
Turf hills, afterwards assistant to the Rev. James Fisher, of the 
Secession Church, Glasgow. This gentleman was suddenly cut 
off in the midst of his usefulness. He preached in his usual 
health on Sabbath, and died on the Thursday following, in the 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 255 

thirty-sixth year of his age, and fourteenth of his ministry. His 
widow survived till within the last few months. 

The name Philologus was changed into that of Laelius, as 
expressive of the friendship that subsisted between Bruce and 
Henderson, in allusion to the intimacy between Laslius the 
Roman consul and Africanus the younger, — an intimacy so great, 
that Cicero, in his treatise De Amicitia^ adduces it in illustration 
of the real nature of friendship, with its attendant pleasures. — 
M'K. 



Note {q) — P. 192. 

Fronting Gairny. — This island, the largest of the four which 
embellish Lochleven, has been increased, by the partial draining 
of the Lake, from thirty-two to eighty acres. It is named St 
Serfs Isle, as having been the site of a priory dedicated to St 
Serf or Servanus, who is reported to have been a pilgrim from 
Canaan, and in whose honour Bondeus, a Pictish king, founded 
the place, and gave the isle to his Culdees. David i. annexed it 
to the priory of St Andrews. Andrew Winton was prior of 
this place, and wrote in it his History of the World, beginning 
with the Creation, and ending with the captivity of James i., in 
whose reign he died. This history is still extant in the Advo- 
cates' Library. [Published. — G.] The island has been recently 
brought under the plough, and the ruins of the priory converted 
into a stable, which Sir James Montgomery is about to shade 
with some trees from his neighbouring plantations, and so 
remove in part the present naked appearance of the scenery in 
that portion of the Lake. [Done. — G.] — See Chambers' Gazet- 
teer^ Sibbald's Fife^ and Forsyth's Beauties of Scotland. — M'K. 



Note (r) — P. 193. 

Selma. — * Selma,' according to the expositors of Ossian, was 
the capital of Morven ; and Morvcn, or Mor Bean, signifies the 
hill country or highlands. * I beheld thy towers, O Selma, the 
oaks of thy shaded wall.' — See Ossian' s Poems, The fVar of Inis- 
thona. — M'K. 



256 THE WORKS OF 

Note (j) — P. 193. 

Lochlcven Castle. — Lochleven Castle is of unknown antiquity. 
It is said to have been founded by Congal, son of Dongart, king 
of the Picts. It occurs in history as early as 1334, when an 
unsuccessful siege was laid to it by John de Strevelin, an English 
officer. It was anciently a royal castle, and occasionally the 
residence of the Pictish and Scottish kings. Alexander lii. lived 
some time in it after his return from an interview with Henry in. 
of England. It was granted by Robert in. to a branch of the 
Douglas family, but it seems to have reverted again to the 
Crown. Sir Robert Douglas, in 1542, received from James v. 
grants of the baronies of Dalkeith and Kinross, with the Lake and 
castle of Lochleven, which title the family still enjoys, together 
with that of Morton, to which earldom they afterwards succeeded. 
Lochleven Castle has been repeatedly used as a State prison. 
Patrick Graham, Archbishop of St Andrews, and grandson of 
King Robert iii., after an unsuccessful attempt to reform the 
lives of the Catholic clergy, was, through their influence at Court, 
arrested, confined in different monasteries, and at last died a 
prisoner in Lochleven Castle in 1478. After Mary Queen of 
Scots had parted with Bothwell at Carberry, and surrendered 
herself a prisoner to the Confederate Lords, she was conveyed to 
this Castle, and shut up, June 16, 1567, under charge of the 
wife of Douglas of Lochleven, the mother of Murray, after- 
wards Regent of Scotland. On the ensuing 24th of July she 
was compelled, by a party of those statesmen, to sign an instru- 
ment, resigning the Crown to her infant son, who was accordingly 
inaugurated a few days after at Stirling, under the title of James 
VI. Several attempts had been made to rescue her from her 
place of confinement, which the vigilance of her keeper rendered 
abortive ; but Mary had captivated the heart of George Douglas, 
her keeper's brother, a youth of eighteen, who, on May 2, 1568, 
conveyed her from the Castle in a boat to the shore, an accom- 
plice having found means to steal the keys and open the gates. 
The keys were thrown into the Lake, and were recently found by 
a young man belonging to Kinross, who presented them to the 
Earl of Morton, in whose possession they now are. The Earl of 
Northumberland, after his rebellion in England, was seized in 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 257 

Scotland, and confined in Lochleven Castle from 1569 to 1572, 
when he was delivered up to Queen Elizabeth and executed. 
The square tower, and a portion of the rampart which sunounded 
the building, are all that now remain of this famous place, and 
which Sir James Montgomery is in the act of securing from 
further dilapidation. [Thoroughly done by the present baronet. 
Sir Graham Montgomery : the Castle, as our photograph shows, 
is now embosomed in ' plantations.' — G.] — See Noble s Genealo- 
gical History of the Stuarts, Chambers" s Gazetteer, Maitland's 
History of Scotland, and Forsyth's Beauties of Scotland. — M'K. 



Note (t) — P. 201. 

Fox. — I have seen the walls of Balclutha, but they were deso- 
late. The fire had resounded in the halls, and the voice of the 
people is heard no more. The stream of Clutha was removed 
from its place by the fall uf the walls. The thistle shook there 
its lonely head. The moss whistled to the wind. The fox looked 
out of the windows ; the rank grass of the wall waved round its 
head. Desolate is the dwelling of Moina ; silence is in the house 
of her fathers.' — Ossian's Poems, Carthon. — M'K. 



Note (u) — P. 205. 

Sir James the Ross. — I have given ' Sir James the Ross ' as 
it appears in the ' Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement,' 
vol. ix. Sept. 20,. 1770, pp. 3 7 1-3 73- Prefixed was the follow- 
ing short note : — 

To the Publisher of the ' Weekly Magazine.' 

Sir,— Some days ago I met with an old Scottish Ballad, of which the following 
is a copy ; which, I dare say, you will be willing to preserve from oblivion, by 
giving it a place in your entertaining Amusement. There are few of your 
Readers, I am persuaded, but will be pleased to sec at once such a specimen of 
ancient Scottish poetry and valour. 

It is deemed proper to furnish here also the Ballad as Logan 
published it in the volume of 1770. A comparison will reveal 
alterations and insertions, in all likelihood these belong to 
Logan ; and it is a marvel that on the strength of them he did not 

R 



258 



THE WORKS OF 



claim the whole as his, according to his wont. The Ballad of 
' Sir James the Ross ' was enclosed in a letter by Bruce to Mr 
David Pearson, in which he excellently distinguishes between the 
Song and the Ballad.— G. 



SIR JAMES THE ROSS. 

AN HISTORICAL BALLAD. 



Of all the Scottish northern Chiefs 
Of high and mighty name, 

The bravest was Sir James the Ross, 
A knight of meikle fame. 



Her brother, Buchan's cruel lord, 

Their passion disapprov'd : 
He bade her wed Sir John the Grseme, 

And leave the youth she lov'd. 



His growth was like a youthful oak, 
That crowns the mountain's brow ; 

And, waving o'er his shoulders broad, 
His locks of yellow flew. 



One night they met, as they were wont, 

Deep in a shady wood ; 
Where on the bank, beside the burn, 

A blooming saugh-tree stood. 



Wide were his fields, hisherdswere large, Conceal'd among the underwood 
And large his flocks of sheep, The crafty Donald lay, 

And num'rous were his goats and deer The brother of Sir John the Graeme, 
Upon the mountains steep. To watch what they might say. 



The chieftain of the good Clan Ross, 

A firm and warlike band : 
Five hundred warriors drew the sword 

Beneath his high command. 

In bloody fight thrice had he stood 

Against the English keen. 
Ere two and twenty op'ning springs 

The blooming youth had seen. 



When thus the maid began : ' My Sire 

Our passion disapproves ; 
He bids me wed Sir John the Graeme, 

So here must end our loves. 

' My father's will must be obey'd, 
Nought boots me to withstand ; 

Some fairer maid in beauty's bloom 
Shall bless thee with her hand. 



The fair Matilda dear he lov'd, 

A maid of beauty rare ; 
Even Marg'rct on the Scottish throne 

Was never half so fair. 



' Soon will Matilda be forgot, 
And from thy mind effac'd ; 

But may that happiness be thine, 
Which I can never taste !' 



Long had he woo'd, long she refus'd 
With seeming scorn and pride ; 

Yet oft her eyes confess'd the love 
Her fearful words deny'd. 

At length she bless'd his well-try'd love, 

Allow'd his tender claim ; 
She vow'd to him her virgin-heart, 

And own'd an equal flame. 



' What do I hear ? Is this thy vow ?' 

Sir James the Ross replied ; 
' And will Matilda wed the Graeme, 

Tho' sworn to be my bride ? 

' His sword shall sooner pierce my heart. 
Than reave me of thy charms ' 

And clasped her to his throbbing breast. 
Fast lock'd within her arms. 



MICHJEL BRUCE. 



159 



' I spoke to try thy love,' she said, 
' I'll near wed man but thee ; 

The grave shall be my bridal bed, 
If Graeme my husband be. 



' To Skye I will direct my flight. 
Where my brave brothers bide. 

And raise the Mighty of the Isles 
To combat cm my side.' 



' Take then, dear youth ! this faithful kiss, 'O do not so,' the maid replied, 
In witness of my troth ; ' With me till morning stay ; 

And every plague become my lot. For dark and dreary is the night. 
That day I break my oath.' And dang'rous is the way. 

They parted thus — the sun was set : ' All night I'll watch thee in the park ; 

Up hasty Donald flies ; My faithful page I'll send. 

And, ' Turn thee, turn thee, beardless In haste to raise the brave Clan Ross 

He loud insulting cries. [youth!' Their master to defend.' 



Soon turn'd about the fearless chief, 
And soon his sword he drew ; 

For Donald's blade before his breast 
Had pierc'd his tartans thro'. 



He laid him down beneath a bush. 
And wrap'd him in his plaid ; 

While, trembling for her lover's fate. 
At distance stood the maid. 



' This for my brother's slighted love ; 

His wrongs sit on my arm.' — 
Three paces back the youth retir'd. 

And sav'd himself from harm. 



Swift ran the page o'er hill and dale. 

Till, in a lowly glen, 
He met the furious Sir John Graeme 

With twenty of his men. 



Returning swift, his sword he rear'd 
Fierce Donald's head above ; 

And thro' the brain and crashing bone 
The furious weapon drove. 



' Where goest ? thou little page ! ' he said, 
' So late who did thee send ? ' 

' I go to raise the brave Clan Ross, 
Their master to defend. 



Life issued at the wound ; he fell, 

A lump of lifeless clay : 
' So fall my foes,' quoth valiant Ross, 

And stately strode away. 



' For he has slain fierce Donald Graeme, 

His blood is on his sword ; 
And far, far distant are his men, 

Nor can assist their lord.' 



Thro' the green wood in haste he pass'd 'And has he slain my brother dear?' 
Unto Lord Buchan's hall, The furious chief replies : 

Beneath Matilda's windows stood, ' Dishonour blast my name, but he 

And thus on her did call : ' By me ere morning dies. 



' Art thou asleep, Matilda fair ! 

Awake, my love ! awake ; 
Behold thy lover waits without, 

A long farewell to take. 



' Say, page ! where is Sir James the Ross? 

I will thee well reward.' 
' He sleeps into Lord Buchan's park ; 

Matilda is his guard.' 



' For I have slain fierce Donald Graeme, They spurr'd their steeds, and furious flew, 
His blood is on my sword ; Like lightning, o'er the lea : 

And far, far distant are my men, They reach'd Lord Buchan's lofty tow'r 

Nor can defend their lord. By dawning of the day. 



z6o THE WORKS OF 

Matilda stood without the gate Behind him basely came the Grseme, 

Upon a rising ground, And wounded in the side : 

And watch'd each object in the dawn, Out spouting came the purple stream. 

All ear to every sound. And all his tartans dy'd. 

'Where sleeps the Ross?' began the But yet his hand not dropp'd the sword, 
' Or has the felon fled ? [Grjeme, Nor sunk he to the ground, 

This hand shall lay the wretch on earth, Till thro' his en'my's heart his sword 
By whom my brother bled.' Had forc'd a mortal wound. 

And now the valiant knight awoke, Graeme, like a tree by winds o'erthrown, 

The virgin shrieking heard : Fell breathless on the clay ; 

Straight up he rose, and drew his sword, And down beside him sunk the Ross, 
When the fierce band appear'd. And faint and dying lay. 

' Your sword last night my brother slew, Matilda saw, and fast she ran : 
His blood yet dims its shine ; ' O spare his life,' she cried ; 

And, ere the sun shall gild the mom, ' Lord Buchan's daughter begs his life, 
Your blood shall reek on mine.' Let her not be denied.' 



' Your words are brave,' the chief re- Her well-known voice the hero heard ; 

' But deeds approve the man. [turn'd ; He rais'd his death-clos'd eyes ; 
Set by your men, and hand to hand He fix'd them on the weeping maid. 

We'll try what valour can.' And weakly thus replies : 

With dauntless step he forward strode, ' In vain Matilda begs the life 
And dar'd him to the fight : By death's arrest den^d ; 

The Graeme gave back, and fear'd his arm. My race is run — adieu, my love !' 
For well he knew his might. Then clos'd his eyes, and dy'd. 

Four of his men, the bravest four. The sword, yet warm from his left side. 
Sunk down beneath his sword ; With frantic hand she drew ; 

But still he scorn'd the poor revenge, ' I come, Sir James the Ross,' she cry'd, 
And sought their haughty lord. ' I come to follow you.' 

The hilt she Ican'd against the ground, 

And bar'd her snowy breast. 
Then fell upon her lover's face. 

And sunk to endless rest. 



Note (f) — P. 210. 

' Quem virum, aut heroa, lyra vel acri 
Tibia sumis celebrare, Clio.' 

Horace, i. xii. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 261 

Note (w) — P. 213. 

It is curious to find a whole line of Bums' ' Scots wha hae ' — 
save only * usurpers' substituted for ' oppressor,' — in this some- 
what stilted ' Ode : ' 

' Lay the proud usurpers low, 
Tyrants fall,' etc. 

Our great national poet wrote with characteristic sympathy 
concerning Bruce, on the application of Principal Baird for aid 
toward his new edition of Bruce's ' Poems.' The correspondence 
is given in Bums' Works, and also by Dr Mackelvie from Boys' 
* Lives of the Scottish Poets' (3 vols. i2mo, 1822). — G. 

Note {x) — P. 220. 

RjDodopes Snoivs. — 

' 2SI ow with furies surrounded. 
Despairing, confounded ; 
He trembles, he glows. 
Amidst Rhodope's snows.' 

Pope's OJe to St Cecilia's Day.—WY^. 



V'tctor'tous.- 



NOTE (_>>). — P. 220. 



' Thus song could prevail 
O'er death and o'er hell ; 
A conquest how hard and how glorious ! 
Though Fate had fast bound her 
With Sty.x nine times round her, 
Yet Mu.sic and Love were victorious.' 

Pope's Ode to St Cecilia's Day.—^VY.. 



Note (z) — P. 223. 

Cona. — Ossian frequently styles himself the * Voice of Cona,' 
and his harp sounds little else than ' The loves of hunters and 
the wars of kings.' Cona, from which the Son of Fingal pro- 
bably took his name, is a small stream running through Glencoe 
in Argyleshirc. 'The streams of Cona answer to the voice of 
Ossian.' — M'K. 



262 THE IVORKS OF 



Note (aa) — P. 234. 

As stated in the Note prefixed to the Monody, it is now given 
for the first time from Bruce's own ms. But it is deemed well 
to record the ' various readings ' presented in the text issued 
under the editorship of Logan. In all probability Logan took 
his fi-om the quarto volume of transcribed ' Poems ' mentioned 
in our Memoir, and thus the variations may be explained, though 
perhaps he also ' tinkered ' what Bruce had written. Besides 
those insertions noted in their places, these are noticeable : — First 
of all, the heading in the volume of 1770 is 'Daphnis: a 
Monody. To the memory of a young boy of great parts.' 
I. Line i is made line 2, and line 2 line i. 

5 for ' to ' reads ' of.' 

6 for ' mortal ' reads ' human.' 

8 for ' fair ' reads ' pure ; ' and for our text, ' by 
Hope's heav'n-op'ning beams.' 
11. Line 8, 9, of our text omitted. The ms. being torn, I 
have supplied the words ' I deplore.' 

III. Line 4 ' the dear youth ' omitted. 

6 omitted. 

7 for our text, simply, ' Then he would reason high.' 

IV. Line 4 for ' willow ' reads ' willow-shade.' 

5 omitted. 

8 for ' wind ' reads ' winds,' and line 9 omitted. 

10 for ' and heard' reads * We heard ; ' and line 11, for 
' or' reads ' And,' and for * her' reads ' his.' 

14 for ' wrought ' reads 'graced;' and line 15 reads 
' and skulls and spades.' 

17 for 'years' reads 'ages,' and for 'ay me' reads 

'ah.' 
1 8 tor our much more vivid text reads ' That we 
then play'd o'er his untimely tomb.' 
V. Line 12 inserts ' trembling' before ' steps,' and instead of 
our text reads ' with heavenly ray I see the 
dawning of immortal day,' and the last words 
of lines 9 and 10 plural instead of singular. 



MICHAEL BRUCE. 263 

VI. Line 2 for ' short' reads ' fair,' a poor substitute; and for 
* and ' in next line ' reads ' but.' 

5 for ' fragrant ' reads ' glowing.' 

7 for ' has tore ' reads ' hath torn,' and inserts 

' blushing ' before ' leaves,' and omits ' its green 
head.' 

8 for ' ev'n so ' reads ' ah ! so.' 
13 omitted. 

VII. Line 2 reads ' Though Daphnis died below, he lives above.' 
4 reads ' He lives,' and line 5 inserts ' ceaseless ' and 
omits ' for ay.' 

6 for ' music ' reads ' fragrance.' 

VIII. Line 4 omitted, and next three lines read thus : — 

Rude, yet a lover of the Muse's lore, 

Chanted his Doric strain till close of day ; 

Then rose, and homeward slowly bent his way. — G. 



*»* I request the following corrections to be made. At page 102 it ought to 
have been stated that Dr Mackelvie overlooked the twelfth Hymn or Paraphrase, 
'Dying in the Lord' (pp. 138, 139). At page 112, line 3d from bottom, read 
'unfading' for 'unfailing.' — G. 



THE END. 



MURRAY AND GIBB, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH. 






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