Project Gutenberg's The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI, by Various

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Title: The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume VI
       The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century

Author: Various

Editor: Charles Rogers

Release Date: August 3, 2007 [EBook #22229]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Birth Place of Tannahill, Alexander Wilson, John Wilson, &c.


[Handwritten: Ever yours truly,

Chas. Mackay.






Memoirs of the Poets,



















The Modern Scottish Minstrel






[Pg v]



[Pg xi]


As if pointing to a condition of primeval happiness, Poetry has been the first language of nations. The Lyric Muse has especially chosen the land of natural sublimity, of mountain and of flood; and such scenes she has only abandoned when the inhabitants have sacrificed their national liberties. Edward I., who massacred the Minstrels of Wales, might have spared the butchery, as their strains were likely to fall unheeded on the ears of their subjugated countrymen. The martial music of Ireland is a matter of tradition; on the first step of the invader the genius of chivalric song and melody departed from Erin. Scotland retains her independence, and those strains which are known in northern Europe as the most inspiriting and delightful, are recognised as the native minstrelsy of Caledonia. The origin of Scottish song and melody is as difficult of settlement as is the era or the genuineness of Ossian. There probably were songs and music in Scotland in ages long prior to the period of written history. Preserved and transmitted through many generations of men, stern and defiant as the mountains amidst which it was produced, the Minstrelsy of the North has, in the course of centuries, continued steadily to increase alike in aspiration of sentiment and harmony of numbers.

The spirit of the national lyre seems to have been[Pg xii] aroused during the war of independence,[1] and the ardour of the strain has not since diminished. The metrical chronicler, Wyntoun, has preserved a stanza, lamenting the calamitous death of Alexander III., an event which proved the commencement of the national struggle.

"Quhen Alysandyr oure kyng wes dede,
That Scotland led in luve and le,
Away wes sons of ale and brede,
Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle:
Oure gold wes changyd into lede.
Cryst, borne in-to virgynyté
Succour Scotland and remede,
That stad is in perplexyté."

The antiquity of these lines has been questioned, and it must be admitted that the strain is somewhat too dolorous for the times. Stung as they were by the perfidious dealings of their own nobility, and the ruthless oppression of a neighbouring monarch, the Minstrels sought every opportunity of astirring the patriotic feelings of their countrymen, while they despised the efforts of the enemy, and anticipated in enraptured pæans their defeat. At the siege of Berwick in 1296, when Edward I. began his first expedition against Scotland, the Scottish Minstrels ridiculed the attempt of the English monarch to capture the place in some lines which have been preserved. The ballad of "Gude Wallace" has been ascribed to this age; and if scarcely bearing the impress of such antiquity, it may have had its prototype in another of similar strain. Many songs, according to the elder Scottish historians, were composed and sung among the common people both in celebration of Wallace and King Robert Bruce.

The battle of Bannockburn was an event peculiarly[Pg xiii] adapted for the strains of the native lyre. The following Bardic numbers commemorating the victory have been preserved by Fabyan, the English chronicler:—

"Maydens of Englande,
Sore may ye morne,
For your lemmans, ye
Haue lost at Bannockysburne.
With heue-a-lowe,
What weneth the king of England,
So soon to have won Scotland?
Wyth rumbylowe."

Rhymes in similar pasquinade against the south were composed on the occasion of the nuptials of the young Prince, David Bruce, with the daughter of Edward II., which were entered into as a mean of cementing the alliance between the two kingdoms.

After the oblivion of a century, the Scottish Muse experienced a revival on the return, in 1424, of James I. from his English captivity to occupy the throne. Of strong native genius, and possessed of all the learning which could be obtained at the period, this chivalric sovereign was especially distinguished for his skill in music and poetry. By Tassoni, the Italian writer, he has been designated a composer of sacred music, and the inventor of a new kind of music of a plaintive character. His poetical works which are extant—"The King's Quair," and "Peblis to the Play"—abound not only in traits of lively humour, but in singular gracefulness. To his pen "Christ's Kirk on the Green" may also be ascribed. The native minstrelsy was fostered and promoted by many of his royal successors. James III., a lover of the arts and sciences, delighted in the society of Roger, a musician; James IV. gave frequent grants to Henry the Minstrel, cherished the poet Dunbar, and[Pg xiv] himself wrote verses; James V. composed "The Gaberlunzie Man" and "The Jollie Beggar," ballads which are still sung; Queen Mary loved music, and wrote verses in French; and James VI., the last occupant of the Scottish throne, sought reputation as a writer both of Latin and English poetry. Under the patronage of the Royal House of Stewart, epic and lyric poetry flourished in Scotland. The poetical chroniclers Barbour, Henry the Minstrel, and Wyntoun, are familiar names, as are likewise the poets Henryson, Dunbar, Gavin Douglas, and Sir David Lyndsay. But the authors of the songs of the people have been forgotten. In a droll poem entitled "Cockelby's Sow," ascribed to the reign of James I., is enumerated a considerable catalogue of contemporary lyrics. In the prologue to Gavin Douglas' translation of the Æneid of Virgil, written not later than 1513, and in the celebrated "Complaynt of Scotland," published in 1549, further catalogues of the popular songs have been preserved.

The poetic gift had an influence upon the Reformation both of a favourable and an unfavourable character. By exposing the vices of the Popish clergy, Sir David Lyndsay and the Earl of Glencairn essentially tended to promote the interests of the new faith; while, on the event of the Reformation being accomplished, the degraded condition of the Muse was calculated to undo the beneficial results of the ecclesiastical change. The Church early attempted to remedy the evil by sanctioning the replacement of profane ditties with words of religious import. Of this nature the most conspicuous effort was Wedderburne's "Book of Godly and Spiritual Ballads," a work more calculated to provoke merriment than to excite any other feeling.

On the union of the Crowns a new era arose in the[Pg xv] history of the Scottish Muse. The national spirit abated, and the poets rejoiced to write in the language of their southern neighbours. In the time of Barbour, the Scottish and English languages were almost the same; they were now widely dissimilar, and the Scottish poets, by writing English verse, required to translate their sentiments into a new tongue. Their poetry thus became more the expression of the head than the utterance of the heart. The national bards of this period, the Earl of Stirling, Sir Robert Aytoun, and Drummond of Hawthornden, have, amidst much elegant versification, left no impression on the popular mind. Other poets of that and the succeeding age imitated Buchanan, by writing in Latin verse. Though a considerable portion of our elder popular songs may be fairly ascribed to the seventeenth century, the names of only a few of the writers have been preserved. The more conspicuous song writers of this century are Francis Semple, Lord Yester, Lady Grizzel Baillie, and Lady Wardlaw.

The taste for national song was much on the wane, when it was restored by the successful efforts of Allan Ramsay. He revived the elder ballads in his "Evergreen," and introduced contemporary poets in his "Tea Table Miscellany." The latter obtained a place on the tea table of every lady of quality, and soon became eminently popular. Among the more conspicuous promoters of Scottish song, about the middle of last century, were Mrs Alison Cockburn, Miss Jane Elliot of Minto, Sir Gilbert Elliot, Sir John Clerk of Pennycuik, Dr Austin, Dr Alexander Geddes, Alexander Ross, James Tytler, and the Rev. Dr Blacklock. The poet Robert Fergusson, though peculiarly fond of music, did not write songs. Scottish song reached its climax on the appearance of Robert Burns, whose genius burst[Pg xvi] forth meteor-like amidst circumstances the most untoward. He so struck the chord of the Scottish lyre, that its vibrations were felt in every bosom. The songs of Caledonia, under the influence of his matchless power, became celebrated throughout the world. He purified the elder minstrelsy, and by a few gentle, but effective touches, completely renovated its fading aspects. "He could glide like dew," writes Allan Cunningham, "into the fading bloom of departing song, and refresh it into beauty and fragrance." Contemporary with Burns, being only seven years his junior, though upwards of half a century later in becoming known, Carolina Oliphant, afterwards Baroness Nairn, proved a noble coadjutor and successor to the rustic bard in renovating the national minstrelsy. Possessing a fine musical ear, she adapted her lyrics with singular success to the precise sentiments of the older airs, and in this happy manner was enabled rapidly to supersede many ribald and vulgar ditties, which, associated with stirring and inspiring music, had long maintained a noxious popularity among the peasantry. Of Burns' immediate contemporaries, the more conspicuous were, John Skinner, Hector Macneill, John Mayne, and Richard Gall. Grave as a pastor, Skinner revelled in drollery as a versifier; Macneill loved sweetness and simplicity; Mayne, with a perception of the ludicrous, was plaintive and sentimental; Gall was patriotic and graceful.

Sir Walter Scott, the great poet of the past half century, if his literary qualifications had not been so varied, had obtained renown as a writer of Scottish songs; he was thoroughly imbued with the martial spirit of the old times, and keenly alive to those touches of nature which give point and force to the productions of the national lyre. Joanna Baillie sung effectively[Pg xvii] the joys of rustic social life, and gained admission to the cottage hearth. Lady Anne Barnard aroused the nation to admiration by one plaintive lay. Allan Cunningham wrote the Scottish ballad in the peculiar rhythm and with the power of the older minstrels. Alike in mirth and tenderness, Sir Alexander Boswell was exquisitely happy. Tannahill gave forth strains of bewitching sweetness; Hogg, whose ballads abound with supernatural imagery, evinced in song the utmost pastoral simplicity; Motherwell was a master of the plaintive; Robert Nicoll rejoiced in rural loves. Among living song-writers, Charles Mackay holds the first place in general estimation—his songs glow with patriotic sentiment, and are redolent in beauties; in pastoral scenes, Henry Scott Riddell is without a competitor; James Ballantine and Francis Bennoch have wedded to heart-stirring strains those maxims which conduce to virtue. The Scottish Harp vibrates to sentiments of chivalric nationality in the hands of Alexander Maclagan, Andrew Park, Robert White, and William Sinclair. Eminent lyrical simplicity is depicted in the strains of Alexander Laing, James Home, Archibald Mackay, John Crawford, and Thomas C. Latto. The best ballad writers introduced in the present work are Robert Chambers, John S. Blackie, William Stirling, M.P., Mrs Ogilvy, and James Dodds.[2] Amply sustained is the national reputation in female lyric poets, by the compositions of Mrs Simpson, Marion Paul Aird, Isabella Craig, and Margaret Crawford. The national sports are celebrated with stirring effect by Thomas T. Stoddart, William A. Foster, and John Finlay. Sacred poetry is admirably represented by such lyrical writers as Horatius[Pg xviii] Bonar, D.D., and James D. Burns. Many thrilling verses, suitable for music, though not strictly claiming the character of lyrics, have been produced by Thomas Aird, so distinguished in the higher walks of Poetry, Henry Glassford Bell, James Hedderwick, Andrew J. Symington, and James Macfarlan.

Of the collections of the elder Scottish Minstrelsy, the best catalogue is supplied by Mr David Laing in the latest edition of Johnson's Musical Museum. Of the modern collections we would honourably mention, "The Harp of Caledonia," edited by John Struthers (3 vols. 12mo); "The Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern" (4 vols. 8vo), edited by Allan Cunningham; "The Scottish Songs" (2 vols. 12mo), edited by Robert Chambers; and, "The Book of Scottish Song," edited by Alexander Whitelaw. Most of these works contain original songs, but the amplest collections of these are M'Leod's "Original National Melodies," and the several small volumes of "Whistle Binkie."[3] The more esteemed modern collections with music are "The Scottish Minstrel," edited by R. A. Smith[4] (6 vols. 8vo); "The Songs of Scotland, adapted to their appropriate[Pg xix] Melodies arranged with Pianoforte Accompaniments," edited by G. F. Graham, Edinburgh: 1848 (3 vols. royal 8vo); "The Select Songs of Scotland, with Melodies, &c." Glasgow: W. Hamilton, 1855 (1 vol. 4to); "The Lyric Gems of Scotland, a Collection of Scottish Songs, Original and Selected, with Music," Glasgow: 1856 (12mo). Of district collections of Minstrelsy, "The Harp of Renfrewshire," published in 1820, under the editorship of Motherwell, and "The Contemporaries of Burns," containing interesting biographical sketches and specimens of the Ayrshire bards, claim special commendation.

The present collection proceeds on the plan not hitherto attempted in this country, of presenting memoirs of the song writers in connexion with their compositions, thus making the reader acquainted with the condition of every writer, and with the circumstances in which his minstrelsy was given forth. In this manner, too, many popular songs, of which the origin was generally unknown, have been permanently connected with the names of their authors. In the preparation of the work, especially in procuring materials for the memoirs and biographical notices, the editor has been much occupied during a period of four years. The translations from the Gaelic Minstrelsy have been supplied, with scarcely an exception, by a gentleman, a native of the Highlands, who is well qualified to excel in various departments of literature.[Pg xx]







Songs are the household literature of the Scottish people; they are especially so as regards the rural portion of the population. Till of late years, when collections of song have become numerous, and can be procured at a limited price, a considerable trade was carried on by itinerant venders of halfpenny ballads. Children who were distant from school, learned to read on these; and the aged experienced satisfaction in listening to words and sentiments familiar to them from boyhood. That the Scots, a thoughtful and earnest people, should have evinced such a deep interest in minstrelsy, is explained in the observation of Mr Carlyle, that "serious nations—all nations that can still listen to the mandates of Nature—have prized song and music as the highest." Deep feeling, like powerful thought, seeks and finds relief in expression; the wisdom of Divine benevolence has so arranged, that what brings relief to one, generally[Pg xxi] affords peace or pleasure to another. And, further, where there is a susceptibility, a capacity of enjoyment, there will be efforts made in order to its gratification. The human heart loves the things of romance, and in the exercise of its native privilege, delights to feel. Scottish song has been written in harmony with nature, scenery, and circumstances; and fledged in its own melodies, which seem no less the outpouring of native sensibility, has borne itself onward from generation to generation.

Respecting these airs or melodies, a few remarks may be offered. The genius of our mountain land, as if prompted alike by thought and feeling, has in these wrought a spell of matchless power—a fascination, which, reaching the hearts both of old and young, maintains an imperishable sway over them. One has said,—

"'Tis not alone the scenes of glen and hill,
And haunts and homes beside the murmuring rill;
Nor all the varied beauties of the year,
That so can Scotland to our hearts endear—
The merry both and melancholy strain,
Their power assert, and o'er the spirit reign;
Indebted more to nature than to art,
They reach the ear to fascinate the heart;
And waken hope that, animating, cheers,
Or bathe our being in the flow of tears."

Native, as well as foreign writers, assert that King James the First was the inventor of a new kind of music, which they further characterise as being sweet and plaintive. These terms certainly indicate the leading features of Scottish music. There is something not only of wild sweetness, but touches of pathos even in its merriest measures. Though termed a new kind of music, however, it was not new. The king took up the key-note[Pg xxii] of the human heart—the primitive scale, or what has been defined the scale of nature, and produced some of those wild and plaintive strains which we now call Scottish melodies. His poetry was descriptive of, and adapted to the feelings, customs, and manners of his countrymen; and he followed, doubtless, the same course in the music which he composed. By his skill and education, he rendered his compositions more regular and palpable, than those songs and their airs which had been framed and sung by the sad-hearted swain on the hill, or the love-lorn maiden in the green wood.

Not in music only, but in the words of song, some of the Scottish kings had such a share as to stamp the art and practice of song-writing with royal sanction. Thus encouraged, the native minstrelsy was fostered by the whole community, receiving accessions from succeeding generations. A people who, along with their heroic leader, possessed sufficient courage to face, with such appalling odds, the foe at Bannockburn—who, at an after date, fought at Flodden against both their better wit and will, rather than gainsay their king—and who, in more recent times, protected him whom they regarded as their rightful prince, at the risk of life and fortune, were not likely to fail in advancing what royalty had loved, especially when it was deemed so essential to their happiness. The poetic spirit entered in and arose out of the heart of the people. The song and air produced in the court, represented the sentiment of the cottage. It is still the same. Rights and privileges have been lost, manners and customs have changed, but song, the forthgiving of the heart, does not on the heart quit its claim.

Within the modern period, the harp of Caledonia gives forth similar utterances in the hands of Lady Nairn, the[Pg xxiii] Ettrick Shepherd, and Robert Tannahill. Different in station and occupations—even in motives to composition—these three great lyrists were each deeply influenced by that peculiar acquaintance with Scottish feeling which, brilliantly illustrated by their genius, has deeply impressed their names on the national heart.

Lady Nairn, highly born and educated, delighted to sympathise with the people. If among these she found the forthgivings of human nature less sophisticated, the principles upon which she proceeded impelled her to write for the humbler classes of society, and the result has been that she has written for all. In every class human nature is essentially the same; and though hearts may have wandered far from the primitive truths which belong to the life and character of mankind in common, they may yet be brought back by that which tells winningly upon them—by that which awakens native feeling and early associations. There is much of this kind of efficiency in song, when song is what it ought to be. If, when the true standard is adhered to by those who exercise their powers in producing it, and who have been born and bred in circumstances of life so different, it can establish a unity of sentiment—it must necessarily effect, in a greater or less degree, the same thing among those who learn and sing the lays which they produce. And, indeed, it would seem a truth that, by the congenial influences of song, the hearts of a nation are more united—more willing to be subdued into acquiescence and equality, than by any other merely human instrumentality.

If, in Scotland till of late years, writing for fortune was rather than otherwise regarded as disreputable, writing for fame was never so accounted. But even than for fame Lady Nairn had a higher motive. She knew that the minstrels of ruder times had composed, and, through[Pg xxiv] the aid of the national melodies, transmitted to posterity strains ill fitted to promote the interests of sound morality, yet that the love of these sweet and wild airs made the people tenacious of the words to which they were wedded. Her principal, if not her sole object, was to disjoin these, and to supplant the impurer strains. Doubtless that capacity of genius, which enabled her to write as she has done, might, as an inherent stimulus, urge her to seek gratification in the exercise of it; but, even in this case, the virtue of her main motive underwent no diminution. She was well aware how deeply the Scottish heart imbibed the sentiments of song, so that these became a portion of its nature, or of the principles upon which the individuals acted, however unconsciously, amid the intercourse of life. Lessons could thus be taught, which could not, perhaps, be communicated with the same effect by any other means. This pleasing agency of education in the school of moral refinement Lady Nairn has exercised with genial tact and great beauty; and, liberally as she bestowed benefactions on her fellow-kind in many other respects, it may be said no gifts conferred could bear in their beneficial effects a comparison to the songs which she has written. Her strains thrilled along the chords of a common nature, beguiling ruder thought into a more tender and generous tone, and lifting up the lower towards the loftier feeling. If feeling constitutes the nursery of much that is desirable in national character, it is no less true that well assorted and confirmed nationality will always prove the most trustworthy and lasting safeguard of freedom. It is the combination of heart—the universal unity of sentiment—which renders a people powerful in the preservation of right and privilege, home and hearth; and few things of merely human origin will serve more thoroughly to promote such unity, than the[Pg xxv] songs of a song-loving people. The continual tendency of these is to imbue all with the same sentiment, and to awaken, and keep awake, those sympathies which lead mankind to a knowledge of themselves individually, and of one another in general, thus preventing the different grades of society from diverging into undue extremes of distinction. Nor ought the observation to be omitted, that if a lady of high standing in society, of genius, refined taste and feeling, and withal of singular purity of heart, could write songs that the inhabitants of her native land could so warmly appreciate as by their singing to render them popular, it would evince no inconsiderable worth in that people that she could so sympathise and so identify herself with them.

From the position and circumstances of Lady Nairn, those of the Ettrick Shepherd were entirely different. Hogg was one of the people. To write songs calculated to be popular, he needed only to embody forth in poetic shape what he felt and understood from the actual experiences of life amid the scenes and circumstances in which he had been born and bred; his compeers, forming that class of society in which it has been thought the nature of man wears least disguise, were his first patrons. He required, therefore, less than Lady Nairn the exercise of that sympathy by which we place ourselves in the circumstances of others, and know how in these, others think and feel. His poetic effusions were homely and graphic, both in their sprightful humour and more tender sentiment. They were sung by the shepherd on the hill, and the maiden at the hay-field, or when the kye cam' hame at "the farmer's ingle," and in the bien cottage of the but and ben, where at eventide the rustics delighted to meet. As experience gave him increased command over the hill harp, his ambition to produce strains[Pg xxvi] of greater beauty and refinement also increased. By and by his minstrel numbers manifested a vigour and perfection which rendered them the admiration of persons of higher rank, and more competent powers of judgment.

If, with the very simple and seemingly insignificant weapon of Scottish song, the Baroness Nairn "stooped," the Shepherd stood up "to conquer." Both adhered to the dictates of nature, and in both cases the result was the same; nor could the most marked inconveniences which circumstances imposed hinder that result. A time comes when false things shew their futility, and things depending upon truth assert their supremacy. The difference between the authoress and the author lay in those external circumstances of station and position which could not long, much less always, be of avail. Their minds were directed by a power of nature to do essentially the same thing; the difference only being that each did it in her and his own way. We may suppose that while Lady Nairn in her baronial hall wrote—

"Bonnie Charlie 's now awa',
Safely ower the friendly main,
Mony a heart will break in twa
Should he ne'er come back again;"

the Ettrick Shepherd seated on "a moss-gray stane," or a heather-bush, and substituting his knee for his writing desk, might be furnishing forth for the world's entertainment the lament, commencing—

"Far over yon hills of the heather sae green,
And down by the corrie that sings to the sea,
The bonnie young Flora sat sighing alane,
Wi' the dew on her plaid and the tear in her e'e."

Or when the lady was producing "The land o' the[Pg xxvii] leal," a lay which has reached and sunk so deeply into all hearts, the Shepherd might be singing among the wild mountains the affecting and popular ditty, the truth of which touched his own heart so powerfully, of "The moon was a' waning," or saying to the skylark—

"Bird of the wilderness,
Blithesome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea;
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place,
Oh! to abide in the desert with thee!"

Tannahill has likewise written a number of songs which have been deservedly admired, loved, and sung. Allan Cunningham used to say, that if he could only succeed in writing two songs which the inhabitants of his native land would continue to sing, he would account it sufficient fame. Tannahill has accomplished this, and much more. In temperament, as well as circumstances, he differed widely both from Lady Nairn and the Ettrick Shepherd. Amiable and good in all her ways, Lady Nairn's career appears to have been lovely and alluring as the serene summer eve; the Shepherd was rich as autumn, in the enjoyment of life itself, and all that life could bring; but Tannahill's nature was cloudy, sensitive, and uncertain as the April day. Lady Nairn, ambitious of doing good and promoting happiness, dwelt, in heart at least, "among her own people," giving and receiving alike those charms of unbroken delight which spring from the kindness of the kind, and fearing nothing so much as public notoriety. Hogg loved fame, yet took no pains to secure it. Fame, nevertheless, reached him; but when found, it was with him a possession much resembling the child's toy. His heart to the last appeared too deeply imbued with the[Pg xxviii] unsuspicious simplicity and carelessness of the boy to have much concern about it. On this point Tannahill was morbidly sensitive; his was an unfortunate cast of temperament, which, deepening more and more, surrounded him with imaginary evils, and rendered life insupportable. Lady Nairn was too modest not to be distrustful of the extent of her genius, and presumed only to exercise it in composing words to favourite melodies. The genius of Tannahill was more circumscribed, and he was consequently more timid and painstaking. Hogg, ambitious of originality, was bold and reckless. He had the power of assuming many distinct varieties of style, his mind, taking the tone of the subject entered upon, as easily as the musician passes from one note to another. In education, Tannahill had the advantage over the Shepherd, but in nothing else. The Shepherd's occupation was much more calculated to inspire him with the feelings, and more fitted in everything to urge to the cultivation of poetry, than the employment at which Tannahill was doomed to labour. The beauty and grandeur of nature, solemn and sublime, surround the path of him who tends the flocks. Though occasionally called upon to face the blast, and wrestle with the storm, he still experiences a charm. But when the broad earth is green below, and the wide bending sky blue above, the voice of nature in the sounding of streams, the song of birds, and the bleating of sheep differ widely from what the susceptible and poetic mind is destined to experience amidst the clanking din of shuttles in the dingy, narrow workshop of the handloom weaver. Here the breath of the light hill breeze cannot come; the form is bowed down, and the cheek is pale. Life, however buoyant and aspiring at first, necessarily ere long becomes saddened and subdued. To poor Tanna[Pg xxix]hill it became a burden—more than he could bear. Yet it was among these circumstances that he contrived to compose those chaste and beautiful songs which have delighted, and still continue to delight, the hearts of so many. Though not marked with much that can be termed strikingly original, this, instead of militating against them, may have told in their favour. Wayward conceits, fanciful thoughts and expressions in songs, are like the hectic hue on the cheek of the unhealthy; it may appear to give a surpassing beauty, but it is a beauty which forebodes decay. "Oh, are ye sleeping, Maggie?" may be regarded as the most original of Tannahill's songs. It is more ardent in tone, and in every respect more poetic, than his other lyrics. The imagery is not only striking, but true to nature, though in maintaining the simple and tender, it does more than approach the sublime. His style is uniformly distinguished by a chaste simplicity, and well sustained power.

In these observations, we have pointed to that affinity of mind which unites in sentiment those possessing it, in spite of worldly distinctions. And song, too, we have found, is a prevalent and far-pervading agency, which become the mean of binding together a nation's population on the ground of that which is true to nature. It, therefore, does so in a manner more congenial and pleasurable than most other ties which bind; those of interest and necessity may be stronger, indeed, but these ties being much more selfish, are also, in most instances, much less harmonious. Song-writing is the highest attribute of poetic genius. The epic poet has to do with the exercise of energies, which produce deeds that are decided, together with the operation of passions and feelings which are borne into excess. These are more easily depicted than the gentler sentiments and feelings, to[Pg xxx]gether with the lights and shades of national character which constitute the materials of song. Nor will strains which set forth the actions of mankind as operating in excess, ever be so popular as simple song. Though communities are liable to periods of excitement, this is not their natural condition. Songs founded upon such, may be popular while the excitement lasts, but not much longer. Philosophers and inquiring individuals may revert to and dwell upon them, but the generality of the people will renounce them. Those who linger over them, will do so through a disposition to ascertain the causes which gave them birth, and how far these were natural in the circumstances. He who sings, feels that the same ardour cannot be re-awakened; and the sentiments which the poet has expressed become as things that are false and foolish.

Nearly all the poems of Burns proceed on the same principles upon which popular song proceeds. He approved himself considerably original and singularly interesting, by taking up and saying, in the language best suited for the purpose, what his countrymen had either already, to one extent or other, thought and felt, or were, at his suggestion, fully prepared to think and feel. It is thus that song becomes the truest history of a people; they, properly speaking, have rarely any other historian than the poet. History, in its stateliness, does not deign to dwell upon their habits, their customs and manners, and, therefore, cannot unfold their usual modes of thinking and feeling; it only notices those more anomalous emergencies when the ebullitions of high passion and excitement prevail; and such not being the natural condition of any people, a true representation of their real character is not given. If song equally tends to strengthen the bonds of nationality, it is also that from which the true cast of a land's[Pg xxxi] inhabitants can be gathered. From habits and training, together with the native shades of peculiar character, there is in human nature great variety; so, consequently, is there also in song, for perhaps it might be difficult to fix upon one of these peculiarities, whether of outward manner or inward disposition, which song has not taken up and illustrated in its own way. Every song, of course, has an aim or leading sentiment pervading it. It either tells a tale calculated to interest human nature and revive feeling, or sets forth a sentiment which human nature entertains, so that it shall be turned to better account. This involves the field which song has it in its power to cultivate and improve. But neither the pure moralist, nor the accomplished critic, must expect a very great deal to be done on this field at once. The song-writer has difficulties to contend with, both in regard to those by whom he would have his songs sung, and the airs to which he writes them. If in the latter case he would willingly substitute classical and sounding language for monosyllables and contracted words, the measures which the air require will not allow him; and should he suddenly lift up and bear high the standard of moral refinement, those who should attend may fail to appreciate the movement, and refuse to follow him. If he can contrive, therefore, to interest and entertain with what is at least harmless, it is much, considering how wide a field even one popular song occupies, and how many of an undesirable kind it may meanwhile displace and eventually supersede. The tide of evil communications cannot be barred back at once, and song remedy the evil which song in its impurer state has done. Nor is the critic, who weighs these disadvantages, likely to pronounce a very decided judgment upon the superiority and inferiority of songs, whether in general or individually.[Pg xxxii]

Few of the different classes of society may view them in the same light, and estimate them on the same grounds that he does. If he thinks, the people feel; and they overturn his decisions by the songs which they adopt and render popular. It is by no means so much the correct beauty of the composition, as the suitableness of the sentiment, which insures their patronage. Few of the songs of Burns are so correctly and elegantly composed as "The lass of Ballochmyle;" yet few of his songs have been more rarely sung.[Pg 1]



Our first volume contained the portrait of Sir Walter Scott; our sixth and concluding volume is adorned by the portrait of Charles Mackay. In these distinguished men there is not only a strong mental similarity, but also a striking physical resemblance. Those who are curious in such matters will do well to compare the two portraits. The one was the most prolific and popular writer at the commencement of the century; the other is the most prolific and popular song-writer of the present day. Wherever the English language is heard and patriotic songs are sung, Charles Mackay will be present in his verse. He rejoices in his English songs; but Scotland claims him as a son.

Charles Mackay is of ancient and honourable extraction. His paternal ancestors were the Mackays of Strathnaver, in Sutherlandshire; while, on the mother's side, he is descended from the Roses of Kilravock, near Inverness, for many centuries the proprietors of one of the[Pg 2] most interesting feudal strongholds in the Highlands. The Mrs Rose of Kilravock, whose name appears in the "Correspondence" of Burns, was Charles Mackay's maternal grandmother.

He was born at Perth in 1814; but his early years were spent in London, his parents having removed to the metropolis during his infancy. There he received the rudiments of an education which was completed in the schools of Belgium and Germany. His relation, General Mackay, intended that he should adopt the military profession; but family arrangements and other circumstances prevented the fulfilment of that intention.

The poetical faculty cannot be acquired; it must be born with a man, growing with his growth, and strengthening with his strength, until developed by the first great impulse that agitates his being, and generally that is love. There are versifiers innumerable who are not poets, but there are no poets whose hearts remain unstirred by the exciting passion of irrepressible love, when song becomes the written testimony of the inner life. Whether it was so with Charles Mackay we have not ascertained, nor have we cared to inquire. His love-songs, however, are exquisitely touching, and among the purest compositions in the language. Certain it is that the poetical power was early manifested; for we find that, in 1836, he gave his first poems to the public. The unpretending volume attracted the attention of John Black, who was then the distinguished editor of the Morning Chronicle. Ever ready to recognise genius wherever it could be found, and always prepared to lend a hand to lift into light the unobtrusive author who laboured in the shade, he offered young Mackay a place on the paper, which was accepted, and filled with such ability that he was[Pg 3] rapidly promoted to the responsible position of sub-editor. He soon became one of the marked men of the time in connexion with the press; and, in 1844, he undertook the editorship of the Glasgow Argus, a journal devoted to the advocacy of advanced liberal opinions.

This paper he conducted for three years, and returned to London, where he received the appointment of editor of the Illustrated London News, a situation which, considering the peculiar character of the paper, he fills with consummate tact. Some of the great organs of public opinion may thunder forth embittered denunciations, others, in the silkiest tone, will admonish so gently that they half approve the misconduct of people in power if their birth happens to have been sufficiently elevated. The distinguishing characteristics of the political articles written by Charles Mackay are their manly and thoroughly independent spirit, avoiding alike fulsome adulation and indiscriminate abuse. His censure and his praise are always governed by strictest impartiality. Whether he condemns or whether he applauds he secures the respect even of those from whom he differs the most. It is no small merit to possess such a power in the conflict and strife of politics. We happen to know a circumstance which speaks volumes on this subject. The peculiarities of the press of England were being discussed in the presence of a foreign nobleman, of high rank and political influence, who expressed himself to this effect:—"Some of your newspapers are feared, some simply tolerated, some detested, and some merit our contempt, but the Illustrated London News is respected. It is admitted everywhere, it is read everywhere; and, although it is sometimes severe, its very severity is appreciated, because it is the expression of earnest conviction and sterling good sense; the result is, that it has,[Pg 4] on the Continent, a wider influence than any paper published in England."

Mackay's works have been numerous and various. Without presuming to be perfectly accurate, we shall attempt a list of his several publications. His first, as we have already stated, was a small volume of "Poems," published in 1836. This was followed by the "Hope of the World," a poem, in heroic verse, published in 1839. Soon afterwards appeared "The Thames and its Tributaries," a most suggestive, agreeable, and gossiping book. In 1841 appeared his "Popular Delusions," a work of considerable merit; and next came, in 1842, his romance of "Longbeard, Lord of London," so well conceived and cleverly executed, that an archæologist of considerable pretensions mistook it for a genuine historical record of the place on which it was written. His next work, and up till that period his noblest poem, "The Salamandrine, or Love and Immortality," appeared in 1843. As there is no hesitation in his thought, there is no vagueness in his language; it is terse, clear, and direct in every utterance. An enemy to spasms in every form, he abhors the Spasmodic School of Poets. If the true poet be the seer—the far seer into futurity—he should see his way clear before him. He should write because he has a thought to utter, and ought to utter it in the clearest and the fittest language, and this is the principle which manifestly governs the compositions of Charles Mackay. The "Salamandrine" lifted his works high in the poetic scale, and permanently fixed him, not only in the ranks, but marked him as a leader of the host of eminent British poets. His residence in Scotland enabled him to visit many places famous in Scottish history. The results were his "Legends of the Isles," published in[Pg 5] 1845 and his "Voices from the Mountains" in 1846. A few months before the publication of the last named volume, the University of Glasgow conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.

When the London Daily News was started, he contributed some stirring lyrics, under the title of "Voices from the Crowd." They arrested the attention of the public, and tended greatly to popularise and establish the reputation of that journal. In 1847 appeared his "Town Lyrics," a series of ballads which harrowed the soul by laying bare many of the secret miseries of the town. In 1850 was published his exquisite poem of "Egeria," probably the most refined and artistic of all his productions; and in 1856 he gave to the world "The Lump of Gold," and "Under Green Leaves," two volumes of charming poetry; the first tracing the evils that flow from unrestrained cupidity; the second the delights of the country, under every circumstance that can or does occur. Latterly he has composed some popular airs, set to his own lyrics; thus giving to the melody he has conceived the immortality of his verse. With the late Sir Henry Bishop he was associated in re-arranging a hundred of the choicest old English melodies. The music has been re-arranged; and many a lovely air, inadmissible to cultivated society from its being associated with vulgar or debasing words, has been re-admitted to the social circle, and is fast floating into public favour in union with the words composed by Mackay.

Here we stop. This is not the time, nor is it the place, to discuss, with any great elaboration, the merits or peculiarities of Charles Mackay as an author. We have to do with him as the most successful of song-writers. Two of his songs, perhaps not among his best, have[Pg 6] obtained a world-wide popularity. His "Good Time Coming," and his "Cheer, Boys, Cheer," have been ground to death by barrel-organs, but only to experience a resurrection to immortality. On the wide sea, amid the desert, across the prairies, in burning India, in far Australia, and along the frozen steppes of Russia are floating those imperishable airs suggested by the "Lyrics" whose names they bear. The soldier and the sailor, conscious of impending danger, think of beloved ones at home; unconsciously they hum a melody, and comfort is restored. The emigrant, forced by various circumstances to leave his native land, where, instead of inheriting food and raiment, he had experienced hunger, nakedness, and cold, endeavours to express his feelings, and is discovered crooning over the tune that correctly interprets his emotions, and thrills his heart with gladness. The poet's song has become incorporated with the poor man's nature. You may see that it fills his eyes with tears; but they are not of sorrow. His cheek is flushed with hope, and a radiant expectation, founded on experience, which seems to illuminate and gild his future destiny. Marvellous, indeed, are the influences of a true song; and while they are rare, they are by fashion rarely appreciated. In it are embodied the best thoughts in the best language. By it the best of every class in every clime are swayed. In it they find expression for sensations, which, but for the poet, might have slumbered unexpressed till the day of doom.

Whether we think of Charles Mackay as a journalist, as a novelist, as a poet, or as a musician, he wins our admiration in all. Possessing, as he does in a high degree, a fine imagination, allied to the kindliest feelings springing from a sensitive and considerate heart, he is beloved by his friends, and cares little for the vulgar admiration[Pg 7] of the crowd. The pomp, and circumstance, and self-exaltation, so current now-a-days, he utterly despises. But the kindliness, the glowing sympathies of a few kindred spirits gladden him and make him happy. Though modest and retiring in his disposition, he has no shamefacedness. His conversation is like his verse; there is neither tinsel nor glitter, but genuine, solid stuff. Something that bears examination; something you can take up and handle; something to brood over and reflect upon; something that wins its way by its truthfulness, and compels you to accept it as a principle; something that sticks close, and springs up in the future a very fountain of pure and unadulterated joy; from all this it will be inferred that no man can remain long in his company without feeling that he is not only a wiser, but a better man for the privilege enjoyed. He is still in the prime of life and the maturity of his intellect. May we not, in concluding this slight notice of his life and character, express a hope which we know to be a general one—that he may yet live to write many more poems and many more songs, as good or better than those which he has already given to the world?[Pg 8]


Oh! my love is very lovely,
In her mind all beauties dwell;
She, robed in living splendour,
Grace and modesty attend her,
And I love her more than well.
But I 'm weary, weary, weary,
To despair my soul is hurl'd;
I am weary, weary, weary,
I am weary of the world!
She is kind to all about her,
For her heart is pity's throne;
She has smiles for all men's gladness,
She has tears for every sadness,
She is hard to me alone.
And I 'm weary, weary, weary,
From a love-lit summit hurl'd;
I am weary, weary, weary,
I am weary of the world!
When my words are words of wisdom
All her spirit I can move,
At my wit her eyes will glisten,
But she flies and will not listen
If I dare to speak of love.
Oh! I 'm weary, weary, weary,
By a storm of passions whirl'd;
I am weary, weary, weary,
I am weary of the world!
[Pg 9]
True, that there are others fairer—
Fairer?—No, that cannot be—
Yet some maids of equal beauty,
High in soul and firm in duty,
May have kinder hearts than she.
Why, by heart, so weary, weary,
To and fro by passion whirl'd?—
Why so weary, weary, weary,
Why so weary of the world?
Were my love but passing fancy,
To another I might turn;
But I 'm doom'd to love unduly
One who will not answer truly,
And who freezes when I burn.
And I 'm weary, weary, weary,
To despair my soul is hurl'd;
I am weary, weary, weary,
I am weary of the world!


Heart! take courage! 'tis not worthy
For a woman's scorn to pine,
If her cold indifference wound thee,
There are remedies around thee
For such malady as thine.
Be no longer weary, weary,
From thy love-lit summits hurl'd;
Be no longer weary, weary,
Weary, weary of the world!
[Pg 10]
If thou must be loved by woman,
Seek again—the world is wide;
It is full of loving creatures,
Fair in form, and mind, and features—
Choose among them for thy bride.
Be no longer weary, weary,
To and fro by passion whirl'd;
Be no longer weary, weary,
Weary, weary of the world!
Or if Love should lose thy favour,
Try the paths of honest fame,
Climb Parnassus' summit hoary,
Carve thy way by deeds of glory,
Write on History's page thy name.
Be no longer weary, weary,
To the depth of sorrow hurl'd;
Be no longer weary, weary,
Weary, weary of the world!
Or if these shall fail to move thee,
Be the phantoms unpursued,
Try a charm that will not fail thee
When old age and grief assail thee—
Try the charm of doing good.
Be no longer weak and weary,
By the storms of passion whirl'd;
Be no longer weary, weary,
Weary, weary of the world!
Love is fleeting and uncertain,
And can bate where it adored,
Chase of glory wears the spirit,
Fame not always follows merit,
Goodness is its own reward.
[Pg 11] Be no longer weary, weary,
From thine happy summit hurl'd;
Be no longer weary, weary,
Weary, weary of the world!


I cannot give thee all my heart,
Lady, lady,
My faith and country claim a part,
My sweet lady;
But yet I 'll pledge thee word of mine
That all the rest is truly thine;—
The raving passion of a boy,
Warm though it be, will quickly cloy—
Confide thou rather in the man
Who vows to love thee all he can,
My sweet lady.
Affection, founded on respect,
Lady, lady,
Can never dwindle to neglect,
My sweet lady;
And, while thy gentle virtues live,
Such is the love that I will give.
The torrent leaves its channel dry,
The brook runs on incessantly;
The storm of passion lasts a day,
But deep, true love endures alway,
My sweet lady.
[Pg 12]
Accept then a divided heart,
Lady, lady,
Faith, Friendship, Honour, each have part,
My sweet lady.
While at one altar we adore,
Faith shall but make us love the more;
And Friendship, true to all beside,
Will ne'er be fickle to a bride;
And Honour, based on manly truth,
Shall love in age as well as youth,
My sweet lady.


If Fortune with a smiling face
Strew roses on our way,
When shall we stoop to pick them up?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But should she frown with face of care,
And talk of coming sorrow,
When shall we grieve—if grieve we must?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
If those who 've wrong'd us own their faults
And kindly pity pray,
When shall we listen and forgive?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But if stern Justice urge rebuke,
And warmth from memory borrow,
When shall we chide—if chide we dare?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
[Pg 13]
If those to whom we owe a debt
Are harm'd unless we pay,
When shall we struggle to be just?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But if our debtor fail our hope,
And plead his ruin thorough,
When shall we weigh his breach of faith?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
If Love, estranged, should once again
His genial smile display,
When shall we kiss his proffer'd lips?
To-day, my love, to-day,
But, if he would indulge regret,
Or dwell with bygone sorrow,
When shall we weep—if weep we must?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
For virtuous acts and harmless joys
The minutes will not stay;
We 've always time to welcome them
To-day, my love, to-day.
But care, resentment, angry words,
And unavailing sorrow
Come far too soon, if they appear
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.


I remember the time, thou roaring sea,
When thy voice was the voice of Infinity—
A joy, and a dread, and a mystery.
[Pg 14]
I remember the time, ye young May flowers,
When your odours and hues in the fields and bowers
Fell on my soul as on grass the showers.
I remember the time, thou blustering wind,
When thy voice in the woods, to my youthful mind,
Seem'd the sigh of the earth for human kind.
I remember the time, ye suns and stars,
When ye raised my soul from its mortal bars
And bore it through heaven on your golden cars.
And has it then vanish'd, that happy time?
Are the winds, and the seas, and the stars sublime
Deaf to thy soul in its manly prime?
Ah, no! ah, no! amid sorrow and pain,
When the world and its facts oppress my brain,
In the world of spirit I rove—I reign.
I feel a deep and a pure delight
In the luxuries of sound and sight—
In the opening day, in the closing night.
The voices of youth go with me still,
Through the field and the wood, o'er the plain and the hill,
In the roar of the sea, in the laugh of the rill.
Every flower is a lover of mine,
Every star is a friend divine:
For me they blossom, for me they shine.
[Pg 15]
To give me joy the oceans roll,
They breathe their secrets to my soul,
With me they sing, with me condole.
Man cannot harm me if he would,
I have such friends for my every mood
In the overflowing solitude.
Fate cannot touch me: nothing can stir
To put disunion or hate of her
'Twixt Nature and her worshipper.
Sing to me, flowers! preach to me, skies!
Ye landscapes, glitter in mine eyes!
Whisper, ye deeps, your mysteries!
Sigh to me, wind! ye forests, nod!
Speak to me ever, thou flowery sod!
Ye are mine—all mine—in the peace of God.


Music by the Author.

Hope cannot cheat us,
Or Fancy betray;
Tempests ne'er scatter
The blossoms of May;
The wild winds are constant,
By method and plan;
Oh! believe me, believe me,
Believe if you can!
[Pg 16]
Young Love, who shews us
His midsummer light,
Spreads the same halo
O'er Winter's dark night;
And Fame never dazzles
To lure and trepan;
Oh! believe me, believe me,
Believe if you can!
Friends of the sunshine
Endure in the storm;
Never they promise
And fail to perform.
And the night ever ends
As the morning began;
Oh! believe me, believe me,
Believe if you can!
Words softly spoken
No guile ever bore;
Peaches ne'er harbour
A worm at the core;
And the ground never slipp'd
Under high-reaching man;
Oh! believe me, believe me,
Believe if you can!
Seas undeceitful,
Calm smiling at morn,
Wreck not ere midnight
The sailor forlorn.
And gold makes a bridge
Every evil to span;
Oh! believe me, believe me,
Believe if you can.
[Pg 17]


Air by Sir H. R. Bishop.

Oh, the happy time departed!
In its smile the world was fair;
We believed in all men's goodness;
Joy and hope were gems to wear;
Angel visitants were with us,
There was music in the air.
Oh, the happy time departed!
Change came o'er it all too soon;
In a cold and drear November
Died the leafy wealth of June;
Winter kill'd our summer roses;
Discord marr'd a heavenly tune.
Let them pass—the days departed—
What befell may ne'er befall;
Why should we with vain lamenting
Seek a shadow to recall?
Great the sorrows we have suffer'd—
Hope is greater than them all.


Come back! come back! thou youthful Time,
When joy and innocence were ours,
When life was in its vernal prime,
And redolent of sweets and flowers.
[Pg 18] Come back—and let us roam once more,
Free-hearted, through life's pleasant ways,
And gather garlands as of yore—
Come back—come back—ye happy days!
Come back! come back!—'twas pleasant then
To cherish faith in love and truth,
For nothing in dispraise of men
Had sour'd the temper of our youth.
Come back—and let us still believe
The gorgeous dream romance displays,
Nor trust the tale that men deceive—
Come back—come back—ye happy days!
Come back!—oh, freshness of the past,
When every face seem'd fair and kind,
When sunward every eye was cast,
And all the shadows fell behind.
Come back—'twill come; true hearts can turn
Their own Decembers into Mays;
The secret be it ours to learn—
Come back—come back—ye happy days!


Music by Sir H. R. Bishop.

O ye tears! O ye tears! that have long refused to flow,
Ye are welcome to my heart—thawing, thawing, like the snow;
[Pg 19] I feel the hard clod soften, and the early snowdrops spring,
And the healing fountains gush, and the wildernesses sing.
O ye tears! O ye tears! I am thankful that ye run;
Though ye trickle in the darkness, ye shall glitter in the sun;
The rainbow cannot shine if the rain refuse to fall,
And the eyes that cannot weep are the saddest eyes of all.
O ye tears! O ye tears! till I felt you on my cheek,
I was selfish in my sorrow, I was stubborn, I was weak.
Ye have given me strength to conquer, and I stand erect and free,
And know that I am human by the light of sympathy.
O ye tears! O ye tears! ye relieve me of my pain;
The barren rock of pride has been stricken once again;
Like the rock that Moses smote, amid Horeb's burning sand,
It yields the flowing water to make gladness in the land.
There is light upon my path, there is sunshine in my heart,
And the leaf and fruit of life shall not utterly depart.
Ye restore to me the freshness and the bloom of long ago—
O ye tears! happy tears! I am thankful that ye flow.
[Pg 20]


Cheer, boys! cheer! no more of idle sorrow;
Courage, true hearts, shall bear us on our way!
Hope points before, and shews the bright to-morrow—
Let us forget the darkness of to-day!
So farewell, England! much as we may love thee,
We 'll dry the tears that we have shed before;
Why should we weep to sail in search of fortune?
So farewell, England! farewell evermore!
Cheer, boys! cheer! for England, mother England!
Cheer, boys! cheer! the willing strong right hand;
Cheer, boys! cheer! there 's work for honest labour,
Cheer, boys! cheer! in the new and happy land!
Cheer, boys! cheer! the steady breeze is blowing,
To float us freely o'er the ocean's breast;
The world shall follow in the track we 're going,
The star of empire glitters in the west.
Here we had toil and little to reward it,
But there shall plenty smile upon our pain;
And ours shall be the mountain and the forest,
And boundless prairies, ripe with golden grain.
Cheer, boys! cheer! for England, mother England!
Cheer, boys! cheer! united heart and hand!
Cheer, boys! cheer! there 's wealth for honest labour,
Cheer, boys! cheer! in the new and happy land!
[Pg 21]


Music by Sir H. R. Bishop.

Mourn for the mighty dead,
Mourn for the spirit fled,
Mourn for the lofty head—
Low in the grave.
Tears such as nations weep
Hallow the hero's sleep;
Calm be his rest, and deep—
Arthur the brave!
Nobly his work was done;
England's most glorious son,
True-hearted Wellington,
Shield of our laws.
Ever in peril's night
Heaven send such arm of might—
Guardian of truth and right—
Raised in their cause!
Dried be the tears that fall;
Love bears the warrior's pall,
Fame shall his deeds recall—
Britain's right hand!
Bright shall his memory be!
Star of supremacy!
Banner of victory!
Pride of our land.
[Pg 22]


Music by the Author.

I 've a guinea I can spend,
I 've a wife, and I 've a friend,
And a troop of little children at my knee, John Brown;
I 've a cottage of my own,
With the ivy overgrown,
And a garden with a view of the sea, John Brown;
I can sit at my door
By my shady sycamore,
Large of heart, though of very small estate, John Brown;
So come and drain a glass
In my arbour as you pass,
And I 'll tell you what I love and what I hate, John Brown.
I love the song of birds,
And the children's early words,
And a loving woman's voice, low and sweet, John Brown;
And I hate a false pretence,
And the want of common sense,
And arrogance, and fawning, and deceit, John Brown;
I love the meadow flowers,
And the brier in the bowers,
And I love an open face without guile, John Brown;
And I hate a selfish knave,
And a proud, contented slave,
And a lout who 'd rather borrow than he 'd toil, John Brown.
[Pg 23]
I love a simple song
That awakes emotions strong,
And the word of hope that raises him who faints, John Brown;
And I hate the constant whine
Of the foolish who repine,
And turn their good to evil by complaints, John Brown;
But ever when I hate,
If I seek my garden gate,
And survey the world around me, and above, John Brown,
The hatred flies my mind,
And I sigh for human kind,
And excuse the faults of those I cannot love, John Brown.
So, if you like my ways,
And the comfort of my days,
I will tell you how I live so unvex'd, John Brown;
I never scorn my health,
Nor sell my soul for wealth,
Nor destroy one day the pleasures of the next, John Brown;
I 've parted with my pride,
And I take the sunny side,
For I 've found it worse than folly to be sad, John Brown;
I keep a conscience clear,
I 've a hundred pounds a-year,
And I manage to exist and to be glad, John Brown.
[Pg 24]


Music by the Author.

No one knows what silent secrets
Quiver from thy tender leaves;
No one knows what thoughts between us
Pass in dewy moonlight eves.
Roving memories and fancies,
Travellers upon Thought's deep sea,
Haunt the gay time of our May-time,
O thou snow-white hawthorn-tree!
Lovely was she, bright as sunlight,
Pure and kind, and good and fair,
When she laugh'd the ringing music
Rippled through the summer air.
"If you love me—shake the blossoms!"
Thus I said, too bold and free;
Down they came in showers of beauty,
Thou beloved hawthorn-tree!
Sitting on the grass, the maiden
Vow'd the vow to love me well;
Vow'd the vow; and oh! how truly,
No one but myself can tell.
Widely spreads the smiling woodland,
Elm and beech are fair to see;
But thy charms they cannot equal,
O thou happy hawthorn-tree!
[Pg 25]


From the deep and troubled waters
Comes the cry;
Wild are the waves around me—
Dark the sky:
There is no hand to pluck me
From the sad death I die.
To one small plank, that fails me,
Clinging low,
I am dash'd by angry billows
To and fro;
I hear death-anthems ringing
In all the winds that blow.
A cry of suffering gushes
From my lips
As I behold the distant
White-sail'd ships
O'er the white waters gleaming
Where the horizon dips.
They pass; they are too lofty
And remote,
They cannot see the spaces
Where I float.
The last hope dies within me,
With the gasping in my throat.
[Pg 26]
Through dim cloud-vistas looking,
I can see
The new moon's crescent sailing
And one star coldly shining
Upon my misery.
There are no sounds in nature
But my moan,
The shriek of the wild petrel
All alone,
And roar of waves exulting
To make my flesh their own.
Billow with billow rages,
Tempest trod;
Strength fails me; coldness gathers
On this clod;
From the deep and troubled waters
I cry to Thee, my God!


The favouring wind pipes aloft in the shrouds,
And our keel flies as fast as the shadow of clouds;
The land is in sight, on the verge of the sky,
And the ripple of waters flows pleasantly by,—
And faintly stealing,
Booming, pealing,
Chime from the city the echoing bells;
And louder, clearer,
Softer, nearer,
Ringing sweet welcome the melody swells;
[Pg 27] And it 's home! and it 's home! all our sorrows are past—
We are home in the land of our fathers at last.
How oft with a pleasure akin to a pain,
In fancy we roam'd through thy pathways again,
Through the mead, through the lane, through the grove, through the corn,
And heard the lark singing its hymn to the morn;
And 'mid the wild wood,
Dear to childhood,
Gather'd the berries that grew by the way;
But all our gladness
Died in sadness,
Fading like dreams in the dawning of day;—
But we 're home! we are home! all our sorrows are past—
We are home in the land of our fathers at last.
We loved thee before, but we 'll cherish thee now
With a deeper emotion than words can avow;
Wherever in absence our feet might delay,
We had never a joy like the joy of to-day;
And home returning,
Fondly yearning,
Faces of welcome seem crowding the shore—
England! England!
Beautiful England!
Peace be around thee, and joy evermore!
And it 's home! and it 's home! all our sorrows are past—
We are home in the land of our fathers at last.
[Pg 28]


Fierce as its sunlight, the East may be proud
Of its gay gaudy hues and its sky without cloud;
Mild as its breezes, the beautiful West
May smile like the valleys that dimple its breast;
The South may rejoice in the vine and the palm,
In its groves, where the midnight is sleepy with balm:
Fair though they be,
There 's an isle in the sea,
The home of the brave and the boast of the free!
Hear it, ye lands! let the shout echo forth—
The lords of the world are the Men of the North!
Cold though our seasons, and dull though our skies,
There 's a might in our arms and a fire in our eyes;
Dauntless and patient, to dare and to do—
Our watchword is "Duty," our maxim is "Through!"
Winter and storm only nerve us the more,
And chill not the heart, if they creep through the door:
Strong shall we be
In our isle of the sea,
The home of the brave and the boast of the free!
Firm as the rocks when the storm flashes forth,
We 'll stand in our courage—the Men of the North!
Sunbeams that ripen the olive and vine,
In the face of the slave and the coward may shine;
Roses may blossom where Freedom decays,
And crime be a growth of the Sun's brightest rays.
[Pg 29] Scant though the harvest we reap from the soil,
Yet Virtue and Health are the children of Toil:
Proud let us be
Of our isle of the sea,
The home of the brave and the boast of the free!
Men with true hearts—let our fame echo forth—
Oh, these are the fruit that we grow in the North!


I dream'd thou wert a fairy harp
Untouch'd by mortal hand,
And I the voiceless, sweet west wind,
A roamer through the land.
I touch'd, I kiss'd thy trembling strings,
And lo! my common air,
Throbb'd with emotion caught from thee,
And turn'd to music rare.
I dream'd thou wert a rose in bloom,
And I the gale of spring,
That sought the odours of thy breath,
And bore them on my wing.
No poorer thou, but richer I—
So rich, that far at sea,
The grateful mariners were glad,
And bless'd both thee and me.
[Pg 30]
I dream'd thou wert the evening star,
And I a lake at rest,
That saw thine image all the night
Reflected on my breast.
Too far!—too far!—come dwell on Earth!
Be Harp and Rose of May;—
I need thy music in my heart,
Thy fragrance on my way.
[Pg 31]


Archibald Crawford, a writer of prose and poetry of considerable merit, was born at Ayr in 1785. In his ninth year, left an orphan, he was placed under the care of a brother-in-law, a baker in London. With no greater advantages than the somewhat limited school education then given to the sons of burgesses of small provincial towns, his ardent love of literature and powerful memory enabled him to become conversant with the works of the more distinguished British authors, as well as the best translations of the classics. At the expiry of eight years he returned to Ayr, and soon after entered the employment of Charles Hay, Esq., of Edinburgh, in whose service he continued during a course of years. In honour of a daughter of this gentleman, who had shewn him much kindness during a severe attack of fever, he composed his song of "Bonnie Mary Hay," which, subsequently set to music by R. A. Smith, has become extremely popular. He was afterwards in the employment of General Hay of Rannes, with whom he remained several years. At the close of that period he was offered by his employer an ensigncy in the service of the Honourable East India Company, which, however, he respectfully declined. In 1810 he opened a grocery establishment in his native town; but, with less aptitude for business than literature, he lost the greater part of the capital he had embarked in trade. He afterwards exchanged this business for that of auctioneer and general merchant.

The literary inclinations of his youth had been assiduously followed up, and his employers, sympathising with[Pg 32] his tastes, gave him every opportunity, by the use of their libraries, of indulging his favourite studies. With the exception of some fugitive pieces, he did not however seek distinction as an author till 1819, when a satirical poem, entitled "St James's in an uproar," appeared anonymously from his pen. This composition intended to support the extreme political opinions then in vogue, exposed to ridicule some leading persons in the district, and was attended with the temporary apprehension and menaced prosecution of the printer. To the columns of the Ayr and Wigtonshire Courier he now began to contribute a series of sketches, founded on traditions in the West of Scotland; and these, in 1824, he collected into a volume, with the title, "Tales of a Grandmother," which was published by subscription. In the following year the tales, with some additions, were published, in two duodecimo volumes, by Constable and Co.; but the subsequent insolvency of the publishing firm deprived the author of the profits of the sale. Crawford, along with two literary coadjutors, next started a weekly serial at Ayr, entitled The Correspondent, but the publication, in the course of a few months, was abandoned. A similar periodical, under the designation of The Gaberlunzie, appeared under his management in 1827, and extended to sixteen numbers. He latterly contributed articles in prose and verse to the Ayr Advertiser, a weekly newspaper published in that town. His death took place at Ayr on the 6th January 1843, in his 58th year. Much esteemed for his hearty, social nature, with a ready and pungent wit, and much dramatic power as a relater of legendary narrative, he was possessed of strong intellectual capacities, and considerable taste as a poet. His second son, Mr William Crawford, has attained distinction as an artist.[Pg 33]


Bonnie Mary Hay, I will lo'e thee yet,
For thy eye is the slae, thy hair is the jet;
The snaw is thy skin, and the rose is thy cheek;
O! bonnie Mary Hay, I will lo'e thee yet.
Bonnie Mary Hay, will you gang wi' me,
When the sun 's in the west, to the hawthorn-tree;
To the hawthorn-tree, in the bonnie berry-den,
And I 'll tell you, Mary, how I lo'e you then?
Bonnie Mary Hay, it 's haliday to me,
When thou art couthie, kind, and free;
There 's nae clouds in the lift, nor storms in the sky,
My bonnie Mary Hay, when thou art nigh.
Bonnie Mary Hay, thou maunna say me nay,
But come to the bower, by the hawthorn brae;
But come to the bower, and I 'll tell you a' what 's true,
How, Mary, I can ne'er lo'e ane but you.


Scotland, thy mountains, thy valleys, and fountains,
Are famous in story—the birth-place of song;
Thy daughters the fairest, the sweetest, the rarest,
Well may thy pilgrims long for their home.
[Pg 34] Trace the whole world o'er, find me a fairer shore,
The grave of my fathers! the land of the free!
Joy to the rising race! Heaven send them ev'ry grace;
Scotland, dear Scotland, I have no home but thee!
Glow on, ye southern skies, where fruits wear richer dyes
To pamper the bigot, assassin, and slave;
Scotland, to thee I 'll twine, with all thy varied clime,
For the fruits that thou bearest are true hearts and brave.
Trace the whole world o'er, find me a fairer shore,
The grave of my fathers! the land of the free!
Joy to the rising race! Heaven send them ev'ry grace;
Scotland, dear Scotland, I have no home but thee!
[Pg 35]


George Donald was born at Glasgow on the 19th January 1800. His parents being in circumstances of indigence, he was sent to labour in a factory so early as his eighth year. A limited attendance at school he supplemented by devoting his intervals of toil to self-instruction. He began to contribute verses to the public journals in his eighteenth year, and soon after composed a series of poems, entitled "Lays of the Covenanters," which appeared in one of the Glasgow newspapers. Of extreme political opinions, he upheld his peculiar views in a series of satirical compositions both in prose and verse, which, by leading dissolute persons to seek his society, proved the commencement of a most unfortunate career. Habits of irregularity were contracted; he ceased to engage in the duties of his calling: and leaving his wife and family of young children without any means of support, he became a reckless wanderer. He afterwards emigrated to the United States, but at the expiry of sixteen months re-appeared in Glasgow. He now became steady; and joining the Total Abstinence Society, advocated the cause of sobriety in a number of temperance songs. Renouncing his pledge, he soon returned to his former habits. He proceeded to Ireland, where he supported himself as a public reciter of popular Scottish ballads. He contributed to the Banner of Ulster a narrative of his experiences in America; and published at Belfast, in a separate volume, his "Lays of the Covenanters," two abridged editions of which were sub[Pg 36]sequently printed and circulated in Glasgow. Returning to his native city, he was fortunate in receiving the kindly patronage of Dr John Smith of the Examiner newspaper, who paid him a stipulated salary as a contributor. After a period of illness, his death took place at the village of Thornliebank, near Glasgow, on the 7th December 1851. In "The Songs for the Nursery," an interesting little work published by Mr David Robertson of Glasgow in 1846, ten pieces are from his pen. A poem which he composed in his latter years entitled "The Progress of Society, in five books," is still in MS. Amidst all his failings Donald maintained a sense of religion. Evincing a sincere regret for the errors of his life, he died in Christian hope.


Air"O wat ye wha I met yestreen?"

The summer comes wi' rosy wreaths,
And spreads the mead wi' fragrant flowers,
While furthy autumn plenty breathes,
And blessings in abundance showers.
E'en winter, wi' its frost and snaw,
Brings meikle still the heart to cheer,
But there's a season worth them a',
And that's the spring-time o' the year.
In spring the farmer ploughs the field
That yet will wave wi' yellow corn,
In spring the birdie bigs its bield
In foggy bank or budding thorn;
[Pg 37] The burn and brae, the hill and dell,
A song of hope are heard to sing,
And summer, autumn, winter, tell,
Wi' joy or grief, the work o' spring.
Now, youth 's the spring-time o' your life,
When seed is sown wi' care and toil,
And hopes are high, and fears are rife,
Lest weeds should rise the braird to spoil.
I 've sown the seed, my bairnies dear,
By precept and example baith,
And may the hand that guides us here
Preserve it frae the spoiler's skaith!
But soon the time may come when you
Shall miss a mother's tender care,
A sinfu' world to wander through,
Wi' a' its stormy strife to share;
Then mind my words, whare'er ye gang,
Let fortune smile or thrawart be,
Ne'er let the tempter lead ye wrang—
If sae ye live, ye'll happy dee.


Air"There grows a bonnie brier bush."

Come see my scarlet rose-bush
My father gied to me,
That's growing in our window-sill
Sae fresh and bonnilie;
[Pg 38] I wadna gie my rose-bush
For a' the flowers I see,
Nor for a pouchfu' o' red gowd,
Sae dear it is to me.
I set it in the best o' mould
Ta'en frae the moudie's hill,
And covered a' the yird wi' moss
I gather'd on the hill;
I saw the blue-bell blooming,
And the gowan wat wi' dew,
But my heart was on my rose-bush set,
I left them where they grew.
I water 't ilka morning
Wi' meikle pride and care,
And no a wither'd leaf I leave
Upon its branches fair;
Twa sprouts are rising frae the root,
And four are on the stem,
Three rosebuds and six roses blawn—
'Tis just a perfect gem!
Come, see my bonnie, blooming bush
My father gied to me,
Wi' roses to the very top,
And branches like a tree.
It grows upon our window-sill,
I watch it tentilie;
O! I wadna gie my dear rose-bush
For a' the flowers I see.
[Pg 39]


Henry Glassford Bell is the son of James Bell, Esq., advocate. His mother was the daughter of the Rev. John Hamilton, minister of Cathcart. He was born at Glasgow, but his early life was spent chiefly in Edinburgh, whither his parents removed in his sixth year. Having studied at the University of Edinburgh, he passed advocate in 1832. Prior to his commencing the study of law, he much devoted himself to literary pursuits. In 1828 he published, in "Constable's Miscellany," a "Life of Mary, Queen of Scots," in two volumes, of which work several editions have since appeared. About the same time he established the Edinburgh Literary Journal, which he conducted for several years with much acceptance to the public. His other publications are, "My Old Portfolio," a volume of miscellaneous prose and verse, and "Summer and Winter Hours," a volume of lyric poems and songs. Both these works are out of print. Mr Bell has contributed to the principal periodicals, and associated with the leading literary men of his time. Since 1839 he has resided in Glasgow, holding the appointment of a Sheriff-substitute of Lanarkshire.[Pg 40]


Say wilt thou, Leila, when alone,
Remember days of bliss gone by?
Wilt thou, beside thy native Rhone,
E'er for our distant streamlets sigh?
Beneath thy own glad sun and sky,
Ah! Leila, wilt thou think of me?
She blush'd, and murmur'd in reply,
"My life is one long thought of thee."
Sweet girl! I would not have it so;
My destiny must not be thine,
For wildly as the wild waves flow,
Will pass this fleeting life of mine.
"And let thy fate be weal or woe,
My thoughts," she smiling said, "are free;
And well the watchful angels know
My life is one long thought of thee."
Then, Leila, may thy thoughts and prayers
Be with me in my hour of need,
When round me throng the cold world's cares,
And all my heart's fresh sorrows bleed!
"Why, dearest, nurse so dark a creed?
For full of joy thy years shall be;
And mine shall share the blissful meed,
For life is one long thought of thee."
[Pg 41]


Why is my spirit sad?
Because 'tis parting, each succeeding year,
With something that it used to hold more dear
Than aught that now remains;
Because the past, like a receding sail,
Flits into dimness, and the lonely gale
O'er vacant waters reigns!
Why is my spirit sad?
Because no more within my soul there dwell
Thoughts fresh as flowers that fill the mountain dell
With innocent delight;
Because I am aweary of the strife
That with hot fever taints the springs of life,
Making the day seem night!
Why is my spirit sad?
Alas! ye did not know the lost, the dead,
Who loved with me of yore green paths to tread—
The paths of young romance;
Ye never stood with us 'neath summer skies,
Nor saw the glad light of their tender eyes—
The Eden of their glance.
Why is my spirit sad?
Have not the beautiful been ta'en away—
Are not the noble-hearted turn'd to clay—
Wither'd in root and stem?
I see that others, in whose looks are lit
The radiant joys of youth, are round me yet,
But not—but not like them!
[Pg 42]
I would not be less sad;
My days of mirth are past; droops o'er my brow
The sheaf of care in sickly paleness now;
The present is around me;
Would that the future were both come and gone,
And that I lay where, 'neath a nameless stone,
Crush'd feelings could not wound me!


I 'll no walk by the kirk, mother,
I 'll no walk by the manse;
I aye meet wi' the minister,
Wha looks at me askance.
What ails ye at the minister?—
A douce and sober lad;
I trow it is na every day
That siclike can be had.
I dinna like his smooth-kaim'd hair,
Nor yet his pawkie face;
I dinna like a preacher, mother,
But in a preaching place.
Then ye 'll gang down by Holylee—
Ye needna look sae scared—
For wha kens but at Holylee
Ye 'll aiblins meet the Laird?
[Pg 43]
I canna bide the Laird, mother,
He says sic things to me;
Ae half he says wi' wily words,
And ae half wi' his e'e.
Awa! awa! ye glaikit thing!
It 's a' that Geordie Young;
The Laird has no an e'e like him,
Nor the minister a tongue!
He 's fleech'd ye out o' a' ye hae,
For nane but him ye care;
But love can ne'er be lasting, bairn,
That aye gangs cauld and bare.
The faithfu' heart will aye, mother,
Put trust in ane above,
And how can folks gang bare, mother,
Wrapp'd in the faulds o' love?
Weel, lassie, walk ye by the burn,
And walk ye slow and sly;
My certie! weel ye ken the gate
That Geordie Young comes by!
His plighted troth is mine, mother,
And lang afore the spring
I 'll loose my silken snood, mother,
And wear the gowden ring.
[Pg 44]


Beautiful moon! wilt thou tell me where
Thou lovest most to be softly gleaming?
Is it on some rich bank of flowers
Where 'neath each blossom a fay lies dreaming?
Or is it on yonder silver lake
Where the fish in green and gold are sparkling?
Or is it among those ancient trees
Where the tremulous shadows move soft and darkling?
Oh, no! said the moon, with a playful smile,
The best of my beams are for ever dwelling
In the exquisite eyes, so deeply blue,
And the eloquent glance of the fairy Ellen.
Gentlest of zephyrs! pray tell me how
Thou lovest to spend a serene May morning,
When dew-drops are twinkling on every bough,
And violets wild each glade adorning?
Is it in kissing the glittering stream,
O'er its pebbly channel so gaily rippling?
Is it in sipping the nectar that lies
In the bells of the flowers—an innocent tippling?
Oh no! said the zephyr, and softly sigh'd,
His voice with a musical melody swelling,
All the mornings of May 'mong the ringlets I play
That dance on the brow of the fairy Ellen.
White little lily! pray tell me when
Thy happiest moments the fates allow thee?
Thou seemest a favourite with bees and men,
And all the boys and butterflies know thee;
[Pg 45] Is it at dawn or at sunset hour
That pleasantest fancies are o'er thee stealing?
One would think thee a poet, to judge by thy looks,
Or at least a pale-faced man of feeling?
Oh no! said the lily, and slightly blush'd,
My highest ambition 's to be sweet smelling,
To live in the sight, and to die on the breast
Of the fairest of beings, the fairy Ellen.
Oh! would that I were the moon myself,
Or a balmy zephyr, fresh fragrance breathing;
Or a white-crown'd lily, my slight green stem
Slily around that dear neck wreathing!
Worlds would I give to bask in those eyes,
Stars, if I had them, for one of those tresses,
My heart and my soul, and my body to boot,
For merely the smallest of all her kisses!
And if she would love me, oh heaven and earth!
I would not be Jove, the cloud-compelling,
Though he offer'd me Juno and Venus both
In exchange for one smile of my fairy Ellen!


They 're stepping off, the friends I knew,
They 're going one by one;
They 're taking wives to tame their lives,
Their jovial days are done;
I can't get one old crony now
To join me in a spree;
They've all grown grave, domestic men,
They look askance on me.
[Pg 46]
I hate to see them sober'd down,
The merry boys and true,
I hate to hear them sneering now
At pictures fancy drew;
I care not for their married cheer,
Their puddings and their soups,
And middle-aged relations round,
In formidable groups.
And though their wife perchance may have
A comely sort of face,
And at the table's upper end
Conduct herself with grace,
I hate the prim reserve that reigns,
The caution and the state,
I hate to see my friend grow vain
Of furniture and plate.
Oh, give me back the days again,
When we have wander'd free,
And stole the dew from every flower,
The fruit from every tree;
The friends I loved they will not come,
They've all deserted me;
They sit at home and toast their toes,
Look stupid and sip tea.
Alas! alas! for years gone by,
And for the friends I've lost;
When no warm feeling of the heart
Was chill'd by early frost.
If these be Hymen's vaunted joys,
I'd have him shun my door,
Unless he quench his torch, and live
Henceforth a bachelor.
[Pg 47]


William Bennet was born on the 29th September, 1802, in the parish of Glencairn, and county of Dumfries. He first wrote verses while apprenticed to a mechanic in a neighbouring parish. In his nineteenth year he published a volume of poems, which excited some attention, and led to his connexion with the newspaper press. He became a regular contributor to the Dumfries Courier, edited by the ingenious John M'Diarmid; and in 1825 and the following year conducted the Dumfries Magazine, in which appeared many interesting articles from his pen. In December 1826, he became editor of the Glasgow Free Press, which supported the liberal cause during the whole of the Reform Bill struggle. Along with Sir Daniel Sandford, he afterwards withdrew from the Whig party, and established the Glasgow Constitutional, the editorship of which he resigned in 1836. In 1832-3, he published a periodical, entitled, "Bennet's Glasgow Magazine." Continuing to write verses, he afterwards published a poetical volume, with the title, "Songs of Solitude." His other separate works are, "Pictures of Scottish Scenes and Character," in three volumes; "Sketches of the Isle of Man;" and "The Chief of Glen-Orchay," a poem in five cantos, illustrative of Highland manners and mythology in the middle ages.

Mr Bennet, subsequent to leaving Glasgow, resided successively in Ireland, and London. He afterwards lived several years in Galloway, and has latterly fixed his abode at Greenmount, near Burntisland. He is understood to be engaged in a new translation of the Scriptures.[Pg 48]


Blest be the hour of night,
When, his toils over,
The swain, with a heart so light,
Meets with his lover!
Sweet the moon gilds their path,
Arm in arm straying;
Clouds never rise in wrath,
Chiding their staying.
Gently they whisper low:
Unseen beside them,
Good angels watch, that no
Ill may betide them.
Silence is everywhere,
Save when the sighing
Is heard, of the breeze's fall,
Fitfully dying.
How the maid's bosom glows,
While her swain 's telling
The love, that 's been long, she knows,
In his heart swelling!
How, when his arms are thrown
Tenderly round her,
Fears she, in words to own
What he hath found her!
When the first peep of dawn
Warns them of parting,
And from each dewy lawn
Blythe birds are starting,
[Pg 49] Fondly she hears her swain
Vow, though they sever,
Soon they shall meet again,
Mated for ever.


Amang the breezy heights and howes
Where winds the Milk[6] sae clearly,
A Rose o' beauty sweetly grows,
A Rose I lo'e most dearly.
Wi' spring's saft rain and simmer's sun
How blooms my Rose divinely!
And lang ere blaws the winter wun',
This breast shall nurse it kin'ly.
May heaven's dew aye freshly weet
My Rose at ilka gloamin',
And oh, may nae unhallow'd feet
Be near it ever roamin'!
I soon shall buy a snug wee cot,
And hae my Rose brought thither;
And then, in that lowne sunny spot,
We'll bloom and fade thegither.

[Pg 50]


I 'll think on thee, Love, when thy bark
Hath borne thee far across the deep;
And, as the sky is bright or dark,
'Twill be my fate to smile or weep;
For oh, when winds and waters keep
In trust so dear a charge as thee,
My anxious fears can never sleep
Till thou again art safe with me!
I 'll think on thee, Love, when each hour
Of twilight comes, with pensive mood,
And silence, like a spell of power,
Rests, in its depth, on field and wood;
And as the mingling shadows brood
Still closer o'er the lonely sea,
Here, on the beach where first we woo'd,
I 'll pour to heaven my prayers for thee.
Then haply on the breeze's wing,
That to me steals across the wave,
Some angel's voice may answer bring
That list'ning heaven consents to save.
And oh, the further boon I crave
Perchance may also granted be,
That thou, return'd, no more shalt brave
The wanderer's perils on the sea!
[Pg 51]


There 's music in a mother's voice,
More sweet than breezes sighing;
There 's kindness in a mother's glance,
Too pure for ever dying.
There 's love within a mother's breast,
So deep, 'tis still o'erflowing,
And for her own a tender care,
That 's ever, ever growing.
And when a mother kneels to heaven,
And for her child is praying,
Oh, who shall half the fervour tell
That burns in all she 's saying!
A mother, when she, like a star,
Sets into heaven before us,
From that bright home of love, all pure,
Still minds and watches o'er us.
[Pg 52]


Come, memory, paint, though far away,
The wimpling stream, the broomy brae,
The upland wood, the hill-top gray,
Whereon the sky seems fallin';
Paint me each cheery, glist'ning row
Of shelter'd cots, the woods below,
Where Airthrie's healing waters flow
By bonny Brig of Allan.
Paint yonder Grampian heights sublime,
The Roman eagles could not climb,
And Stirling, crown'd in after time
With Royalty's proud dwallin';
These, with the Ochils, sentry keep,
Where Forth, that fain in view would sleep,
Tries, from his Links, oft back to peep
At bonny Brig of Allan.
Oh, lovely, when the rising sun
Greets Stirling towers, so steep and dun,
And silver Forth's calm breast upon
The golden beams are fallin'!
Then, trotting down to join his flood,
Through rocky steeps, besprent with wood,
How bright, in morning's joyous mood,
Appears the stream of Allan!
[Pg 53]
Upon its banks how sweet to stray,
With rod and line, the livelong day,
Or trace each rural charm, away
From cark of every callin'!
There dove-like, o'er my path would brood
The spirit pure of solitude;
For native each rapt, genial mood
Is to the beauteous Allan.
Oh, witching as its scenes, and bright
As is its cloudless summer light,
Be still its maids, the soul's delight
Of every truthful callan'!
Be health around it ever spread,
To light the eye, to lift the head,
And joy on every heart be shed
That beats by Brig of Allan!
[Pg 54]


The author of "Legal Lyrics," a small volume of humorous songs, printed for private circulation, George Outram, was born in the vicinity of Glasgow in 1805. His father, a native of England, was partner and manager in the Clyde Iron Works. In 1827 he was called to the Scottish bar, and practised for some years as an advocate. To the character of an orator he made no pretensions, but he evinced great ability as a chamber counsel. He accepted, in 1837, the editorship of the Glasgow Herald, and continued the principal conductor of this journal till the period of his death. He died at Rosemore, on the shores of the Holy Loch, on the 16th September 1856, in his fifty-first year. His remains were interred in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh.

Of most retiring disposition, Mr Outram confined his intercourse to a limited circle of friends, by whom he was esteemed for his genial worth and interesting conversation. By the late Lord Cockburn he was especially beloved. He has left in MS. several interesting songs, which are likely to be published by his executors. His cousin-german, General Sir James Outram, is well known for his military services in India.[Pg 55]


Air"Duncan Davidson."

I gaed to spend a week in Fife,
An unco week it proved to be,
For there I met a waesome wife,
Lamenting her viduity.
Her grief brak' out sae fierce and fell,
I thought her heart wad burst the shell;
And, I was sae left to mysel,
I sell't her an annuity.
The bargain lookit fair eneugh,
She just was turned o' saxty-three;
I couldna guess'd she 'd prove sae teugh
By human ingenuity.
But years have come, and years have gane,
And there she 's yet as stieve 's a stane;
The auld wife 's growing young again
Since she got her annuity.
She 's crined awa to bane an' skin,
But that it seems is nought to me;
She 's like to live, although she 's in
The last stage o' tenuity.
She munches wi' her wizen'd gums,
An' stumps about on legs o' thrums,
But comes—as sure as Christmas comes—
To ca' for her annuity.
[Pg 56]
She jokes her joke, an' cracks her crack,
As spunkie as a growin' flea;
An' there she sits upon my back
A livin' perpetuity.
She hurkles by her ingle side,
An' toasts an' tans her wrinkled hide;
Lord kens how lang she yet may bide
To ca' for her annuity.
I read the tables drawn wi' care
For an Insurance Company;
Her chance o' life was stated there
Wi' perfect perspicuity.
But tables here, or tables there,
She 's lived ten years beyond her share;
An 's like to live a dozen mair
To ca' for her annuity.
I gat the loon that drew the deed,
We spell'd it ower richt carefully;
In vain he yerk'd his souple head
To find an ambiguity.
It 's dated, tested, a' complete;
The proper stamp, nae word delete;
And diligence, as on decreet,
May pass for her annuity.
       *       *       *       *       *
I thought that grief might gar her quit,
Her only son was lost at sea;
But aff her wits behuved to flit
An' leave her in fatuity.
[Pg 57] She threeps, an' threeps he 's livin' yet
For a' the tellin' she can get;
But catch the doited wife forget
To ca' for her annuity.
If there 's a sough o' cholera
Or typhus, wha sae gleg as she!
She buys up baths, an' drugs, an' a',
In siccan superfluity!
She doesna need—she's fever proof—
The pest walked o'er her very roof;
She tauld me sae, and then her loof
Held out for her annuity.
Ae day she fell, her arm she brak,
A compound fracture as could be;
Nae leech the cure wad undertak,
Whate'er was the gratuity.
It 's cured! she handles 't like a flail,
It does as weel in bits as hale;
But I 'm a broken man mysel'
Wi' her and her annuity.
Her broozled flesh and broken banes
Are weel as flesh and banes can be,
She beats the taeds that live in stanes
An' fatten in vacuity!
They die when they 're exposed to air,
They canna thole the atmosphere;
But her! expose her onywhere,
She lives for her annuity.
[Pg 58]       *       *       *       *       *
The water-drap wears out the rock
As this eternal jade wears me;
I could withstand the single shock,
But not the continuity.
It 's pay me here, an' pay me there,
An' pay me, pay me evermair;
I 'll gang demented wi' despair;
I 'm charged for her annuity.
[Pg 59]


Henry Inglis is the son of William Inglis, Esq. of Glaspin, W.S., and was born in Edinburgh on the 6th November 1806. His early years were spent at Middleton, his father's residence in Linlithgowshire. Completing with distinction the usual course of classical study at the High School of Edinburgh, he entered the University of that city. At the close of a philosophical curriculum, he devoted himself to legal pursuits, and became a writer to the Signet. In 1851 he published "Marican, and other Poems," in one volume octavo. Another poetical work, entitled "The Briar of Threave," appeared from his pen in 1855. Mr Inglis is at present engaged with pieces illustrative of the history of the Covenant, which may afterwards be offered to the public.

The representative of the old Border family of Inglis of Branxholme, Mr Inglis is great-grandson of the celebrated Colonel Gardiner, who fell on the field of Preston in 1745.


Weep away, heart, weep away!
Let no muleteer
Be afraid
To weep; for a brave heart may
Lament for a dear,
Fickle maid.
[Pg 60]
The lofty sky weeps in cloud,
The earth weeps in dews
From its core;
The diamond brooks weep aloud,
The flowers change the hues
Which they wore.
The grass mourns in the sunbeam,
In gums weep the trees
And in dye;
And if mourn meadow and stream—
Inanimate these—
May not I?
The wood-pigeon mourns his mate,
The caged birds bewail
Freedom gone;
Shall not man mourn over fate?
Dumb sorrow assail
Him alone?
Then weep on, heart, weep away!
Let no muleteer
Be afraid
To weep; for a brave heart may
Lament for a dear,
Fickle maid.
[Pg 61]


James Manson, one of the conductors of the Glasgow Herald, has composed a number of lyrics, some of which have been set to music. Mr Manson was born in the parish of Kilwinning, Ayrshire, about the year 1812. He was bred to a laborious handicraft occupation, at which he wrought industriously during a course of years.


Set to Music by H. Lambeth.


Summer Ocean,
Placid Ocean,
Soft and sweet thy lullaby;
Shadows lightly,
Sunbeams brightly,
Flicker o'er thee noiselessly.
Resting gently on thy bosom,
Snowy sea-gulls preen thy wings,
While perfumed sighs, from many a blossom,
Float around the strain the skylark sings.
[Pg 62]
Love's emotion,
Summer Ocean,
Like thy self, 'neath cloudless skies,
Glances brightly,
Dances lightly
Till the fond illusion flies.


Winter Ocean,
Furious Ocean,
Fierce and loud thy choral lay:
Storm-clouds soaring,
Whirlwinds roaring
O'er thy breast in madness play.
Homeless petrels shriek their omen
Harshly 'mid thy billows' roar;
Fleshless bones of shipwreck'd seamen
Dash against thy rock-ribb'd shore.
War's commotion,
Winter Ocean,
Like thyself, when tempest driven,
By passion hurl'd,
Would wreck the world,
And mock the wrath-scowling heaven.
[Pg 63]


Set to Music by Herr Kücken.

When loud the horn is sounding
Along the distant hills,
Then would I rove, ne'er weary,
The Hunter's Daughter near me,
By flowery margin'd rills.
'Mid stately pines embosom'd
There stands the Hunter's cot,
From which this maiden daily
At morning peeps so gaily,
Contented with her lot.
This Hunter and his Daughter
Make everything their prey;
He slays the wild roe bounding,
Her eyes young hearts are wounding—
No shafts so sure as they!


Music arranged by Julius Siligmann.

The skylark sings his matin lay,
The waking flowers at dawning day,
With perfumed breath, sigh, Come! come! come!
Oh, haste, Love, come with me,
To the wild wood come with me.
[Pg 64] Hark, the wing'd warblers singing,
Come with me;
Beauteous flowers, their perfume flinging,
Wait for thee!
The sunlight sleeps upon the lea,
And sparkles o'er the murmuring sea,
The wanton wind sighs, Come! come! come!
Oh, haste, Love, come with me,
To the wild wood come with me—
Come and gather luscious berries,
Come with me;
Clustering grapes and melting cherries
Wait for thee!
My bird of love, my beauteous flower,
Come, reign the queen of yonder bower,
'Tis True-love whispers, Come! come! come!
Oh, haste, then, come with me,
To the wild wood come with me.
Life's first fairest hours are fleeting—
Come with me;
Hope, and Joy, and Love's fond greeting
Wait for thee!


Set to Music by H. Lambeth.

Young Love once woo'd a budding Rose,
(Sing hey down ho, the bleak winds blow.)
With fond delight his bosom glows,
(How softly fall the flakes of snow.)
[Pg 65] Love watch'd the flower whose ruby tips
Peep'd coyly forth, like pouting lips,
Then nearer to the Rose he trips;
(The stately oak will soon lie low.)
Young Love was fond and bashful too,
(Sing hey down ho, the sea rolls aye.)
He sigh'd and knew not what to do;
(Life like an arrow flies away.)
Then whispering low his cherish'd wish,
The Rose-bud trembled on her bush,
While redder grew her maiden blush;
(Ruddy eve forecasts the brightest day.)
To pull this Rose young Love then tried;
('Tis sweet to hear the skylark sing.)
Her blush of hope she strove to hide;
(Joy soars aloft on painted wing.)
Love press'd the Rose-bud to his breast,
He felt the thorn, but well he guess'd
Such "Nay" meant "Yea," 'twas fond Love's jest;
('Tis honey soothes the bee's fell sting.)


Tune"The Brave Old Oak."

'Tis Yule! 'tis Yule! all eyes are bright,
And joyous songs abound;
Our log burns high, but it glows less bright
Than the eyes which sparkle round.
[Pg 66] The merry laugh, and the jocund tale,
And the kiss 'neath the mistletoe,
Make care fly as fast as the blustering gale
That wreaths the new fallen snow.
'Tis Yule! 'tis Yule! all eyes are bright,
And joyous thoughts abound;
The log burns high, but it glows less bright
Than the eyes which sparkle round.
'Tis Yule! 'tis Yule! see the old grandsire
Forgets his weight of years;
He laughs with the young, and a fitful fire
Beams through his unbidden tears.
With tremulous tenor he joins the strain—
The song of his manhood's prime;
For his thoughts grow young, and he laughs again,
While his aged head nods time.
'Tis Yule! 'tis Yule! &c.
'Tis Yule! 'tis Yule! and the infant's heart
Beats high with a new delight,
And youths and maidens, with guileless art,
Make merry the livelong night.
The time flies on with gladsome cheer,
And welcomes pass around—
'Tis the warmest night of all the year,
Though winter hath chain'd the ground.
'Tis Yule! 'tis Yule! &c.
[Pg 67]


James Hedderwick, proprietor and editor of the Glasgow Citizen, was born at Glasgow on the 18th January 1814. His father, who bore the same Christian name, was latterly Queen's printer in that city. At an early age the subject of this sketch was put to the printing business in his father's office. His tastes, however, being more literary than mechanical, he gradually became dissatisfied with his position, and occupied his leisure hours by contributing, in prose and verse, to sundry periodicals. In his sixteenth year he spent some time in London, in the course of which he attended the Rhetoric class of the London University, and carried off the first prize. When little more than twenty years of age, he obtained the situation of sub-editor of the Scotsman newspaper. He now applied himself assiduously to political writing, but continued, at the same time, to seek recreation in those lighter departments of literature which were more in accordance with his personal tastes. Several of his poetical pieces, contributed to the Scotsman, were copied into Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, and have since frequently appeared in different periodicals. One of these, entitled "First Grief," was lately quoted in terms of approbation by a writer in Fraser's Magazine. Others have found their way, in an anonymous shape, into a London publication entitled "Beautiful Poetry." In 1842 Mr Hedderwick returned to his native city, and started the Glasgow[Pg 68] Citizen—a weekly newspaper which continues to maintain an honourable position. Previous to leaving Edinburgh he was entertained at a public dinner, attended by men of letters and other leading individuals. The drudgery of newspaper life has left Mr Hedderwick little leisure for contributions to polite literature. While in Edinburgh, however, he wrote one number of "Wilson's Tales of the Border," and has since contributed occasionally to other works. In 1844 he published a small collection of poems, but in too costly a form for general circulation.


Away, away, like a child at play,
Like a living ocean-child,
Through the feathery spray she cleaves her way
To the billows' music wild;
The sea is her wide-spread pleasure ground,
And the waves around her leap,
As with joyous bound, to their mystic sound,
She dances o'er the deep!
Sometimes at rest, on the water's breast,
She lies with folded wing,
But now, wind-chased and wave-caress'd,
She moves a joyous thing!
And away she flies all gleaming bright,
While a wave in lofty pride,
Like a gallant knight, in plumage white,
Is bounding by her side!
[Pg 69]
For her glorious path the sea she hath,
And she wanders bold and free,
And the tempest's breath and the billows' wrath
Are her mighty minstrelsy!
A queen the crested waves among,
A light and graceful form,
She sweeps along, to the wild-winds' song,
Like the genius of the storm!


Weep not over poet's wrong,
Mourn not his mischances;
Sorrow is the source of song,
And of gentle fancies.
Rills o'er rocky beds are borne
Ere they gush in whiteness;
Pebbles are wave-chafed and worn
Ere they shew their brightness.
Sweetest gleam the morning flowers
When in tears they waken;
Earth enjoys refreshing showers
When the boughs are shaken.
Ceylon's glistening pearls are sought
In its deepest waters;
From the darkest mines are brought
Gems for beauty's daughters.
[Pg 70]
Through the rent and shiver'd rock
Limpid water breaketh;
'Tis but when the chords are struck
That their music waketh.
Flowers, by heedless footstep press'd,
All their sweets surrender;
Gold must brook the fiery test
Ere it shew its splendour.
When the twilight, cold and damp,
Gloom and silence bringeth,
Then the glow-worm lights its lamp,
And the night-bird singeth.
Stars come forth when Night her shroud
Draws as Daylight fainteth;
Only on the tearful cloud
God his rainbow painteth.
Weep not, then, o'er poet's wrong,
Mourn not his mischances;
Sorrow is the source of song
And of gentle fancies.


I 've been upon the moonlit deep
When the wind had died away,
And like an Ocean-god asleep
The bark majestic lay;
[Pg 71] But lovelier is the varied scene,
The hill, the lake, the tree,
When bathed in light of Midnight's Queen;
The land! the land! for me.
The glancing waves I 've glided o'er
When gently blew the breeze;
But sweeter was the distant shore,
The zephyr 'mong the trees.
The murmur of the mountain rill,
The blossoms waving free,
The song of birds on every hill;
The land! the land! for me.
The billows I have been among
When they roll'd in mountains dark,
And Night her blackest curtain hung
Around our heaving bark;
But give me, when the storm is fierce,
My home and fireside glee,
Where winds may howl, but dare not pierce;
The land! the land! for me.
And when around the lightning flash'd
I 've been upon the deep,
And to the gulf beneath I 've dash'd
Adown the liquid steep;
But now that I am safe on shore,
There let me ever be;
The sea let others wander o'er;
The land! the land! for me.
[Pg 72]


The daylight was dying, the twilight was dreary,
And eerie the face of the fast-falling night,
But closing the shutters, we made ourselves cheery
With gas-light and fire-light, and young faces bright.
When, hark! came a chorus of wailing and anguish!
We ran to the door and look'd out through the dark;
Till gazing, at length we began to distinguish
The slow-moving masts of an ocean-bound bark.
Alas! 'twas the emigrants leaving the river,
Their homes in the city, their haunts in the dell;
From kindred and friends they had parted for ever,
But their voices still blended in cries of farewell.
We saw not the eyes that their last looks were taking;
We heard but the shouts that were meant to be cheers,
But which told of the aching of hearts that were breaking,
A past of delight and a future of tears.
And long as we listen'd, in lulls of the night breeze,
On our ears the sad shouting in faint music fell,
Till methought it seem'd lost in the roll of the white seas,
And the rocks and the winds only echoed farewell.
[Pg 73]
More bright was our home-hearth, more bright and more cosy,
As we shut out the night and its darkness once more;
But pale were the cheeks, that so radiant and rosy,
Were flush'd with delight a few moments before.
So I told how the morning, all lovely and tender,
Sweet dew on the hills, and soft light on the sea,
Would follow the exiles and float with its splendour,
To gild the far land where their homes were to be.
In the eyes of my children were gladness and gleaming,
Their little prayer utter'd, how calm was their sleep!
But I in my dreaming could hear the wind screaming,
And fancy I heard hoarse replies from the deep.
And often, when slumber had cool'd my brow's fever,
A dream-utter'd shriek of despair broke the spell;
'Twas the voice of the emigrants leaving the river,
And startling the night with their cries of farewell.


They tell me first and early love
Outlives all after dreams;
But the memory of a first great grief
To me more lasting seems;
The grief that marks our dawning youth
To memory ever clings,
And o'er the path of future years
A lengthen'd shadow flings.
[Pg 74]
Oh, oft my mind recalls the hour
When to my father's home
Death came—an uninvited guest—
From his dwelling in the tomb!
I had not seen his face before,
I shudder'd at the sight,
And I shudder still to think upon
The anguish of that night!
A youthful brow and ruddy cheek
Became all cold and wan;
An eye grew dim in which the light
Of radiant fancy shone.
Cold was the cheek, and cold the brow,
The eye was fix'd and dim;
And one there mourn'd a brother dead
Who would have died for him!
I know not if 'twas summer then,
I know not if 'twas spring,
But if the birds sang on the trees
I did not hear them sing!
If flowers came forth to deck the earth
Their bloom I did not see;
I look'd upon one wither'd flower,
And none else bloom'd for me!
A sad and silent time it was
Within that house of woe,
All eyes were dull and overcast,
And every voice was low!
And from each cheek at intervals
The blood appear'd to start,
As if recall'd in sudden haste
To aid the sinking heart!
[Pg 75]
Softly we trod, as if afraid
To mar the sleeper's sleep,
And stole last looks of his pale face
For memory to keep!
With him the agony was o'er,
And now the pain was ours,
As thoughts of his sweet childhood rose
Like odour from dead flowers!
And when at last he was borne afar
From the world's weary strife,
How oft in thought did we again
Live o'er his little life!
His every look—his every word—
His very voice's tone—
Came back to us like things whose worth
Is only prized when gone!
The grief has pass'd with years away
And joy has been my lot;
But the one is oft remember'd,
And the other soon forgot.
The gayest hours trip lightest by,
And leave the faintest trace;
But the deep, deep track that sorrow wears
Time never can efface!
[Pg 76]


Tuck, tuck, feer—from the green and growing leaves;
Ic, ic, ic—from the little song-bird's throat;
How the silver chorus weaves in the sun and 'neath the eaves,
While from dewy clover fields comes the lowing of the beeves,
And the summer in the heavens is afloat!
Wye, wye, chir—'tis the little linnet sings;
Weet, weet, weet—how his pipy treble trills!
In his bill and on his wings what a joy the linnet brings,
As over all the sunny earth his merry lay he flings,
Giving gladness to the music of the rills!
Ic, ic, ir—from a happy heart unbound;
Lug, lug, jee—from the dawn till close of day!
There is rapture in the sound as it fills the sunshine round,
Till the ploughman's careless whistle, and the shepherd's pipe are drown'd,
And the mower sings unheeded 'mong the hay!
Jug, jug, joey—oh, how sweet the linnet's theme!
Peu, peu, poy—is he wooing all the while?
Does he dream he is in heaven, and is telling now his dream,
To soothe the heart of pretty girl basking by the stream,
Or waiting for her lover at the stile?
[Pg 77]
Pipe, pipe, chow—will the linnet never weary?
Bel bel, tyr—is he pouring forth his vows?
The maiden lone and dreary may feel her heart grow cheery,
Yet none may know the linnet's bliss except his own sweet dearie,
With her little household nestled 'mong the boughs!
[Pg 78]


William Brockie was born in the parish of Smailholm, Roxburghshire. He entered on the world of letters by the publication of a small periodical, entitled The Galashiels Weekly Journal. He subsequently edited The Border Watch, a newspaper originated at Kelso on behalf of the Free Church. This concern proving unfortunate, he obtained, after a short residence at Prestonkirk, East Lothian, the editorship of the Shields Gazette. Compelled to relinquish editorial labour from impaired health, Mr Brockie has latterly established a private academy at South Shields, and has qualified himself to impart instruction in fourteen different languages. Besides a number of pamphlets on a variety of subjects, he has published a "History of South Shields," and a poem, entitled, "The Dusk and the Dawn."


What ails ye, my lassie, my dawtie, my ain?
I 've gien ye my word, and I 'll gie ye 't again.
There 's naething to fear ye—be lichtsome and cheerie;
I 'll never forsake ye, nor leave ye yer lane.
[Pg 79] We 're sune to be married—I needna say mair;
Our love will be leal, though our livin' be bare;
In a house o' our ain we 'll be cantie and fain,
An' ye 'll never gang back to yer mither nae mair.
We needna be troubled ere trouble be sprung;
The warld 's afore us—we 're puir, but we 're young;
An' fate will be kind if we 're willint in mind—
Sae keep up yer heart, lass, and dinna be dung.
Folk a' hae their troubles, and we 'll get our share,
But we 'll warsle out through them, and scorn to despair;
Sae cheer up yer heart, for we never shall part,
An' ye 'll never gang back to yer mither nae mair.
While we live for each other, our lot will be blest;
An' though freens sud forget us, they 'll never be miss'd;
We 'll sit down at e'en by the ingle sae bien,
An' the cares o' the world 'ill a' be dismiss'd.
A couple that strive to be honest and fair
May be rich without siller, and guid without lear;
Be gentle and true, an' yese never need rue,
Nor sigh to win back to yer mither nae mair.
[Pg 80]


Alexander M'Lachlan, author of the following song was born at Pinshall, in the parish of St Ninians, Stirlingshire. He has resided, since 1825, at Muirside in the vicinity of his native place.


Sweet summer 's awa, wi' her verdure sae fair;
The ance bonny woodlands are leafless an' bare;
To the cot wee robin returns for a screen
Frae the cauld stormy blast o' the lang winter e'en.
But charms there are still, though nature has nane,
When the hard rackin' toils o' the day by are gane,
Then round the fireside social hearts do convene,
And pleasantly pass the lang winter e'en.
O' warldly wealth I hae got little share,
Yet riches and wealth breed but sorrow and care;
Just gi'e me an hour wi' some auld honest frien',
To crack o'er youth's joys in the lang winter e'en.
The thochts o' our youth are lichtsome and dear,
Like the strains o' the lute they fa' saft on the ear,
But chiefly the bliss I ha'e shared wi' my Jean
In some love-screenin' shade on a lang winter e'en.
[Pg 81]


The author of "The Four Pilgrims, or, Life's Mission; and other Poems," a volume of respectable poetry, published at Dundee in 1849, Thomas Young, was born at Tulliebeltane, in the parish of Auchtergaven, Perthshire, in 1815. Receiving an ordinary school education, he accepted, in his twentieth year, a situation in the office of the Dundee Advertiser, where he continued till 1851, when a change occurred in the proprietorship. He now proceeded to New York, where he remained about eighteen months. Disappointed in obtaining a suitable appointment, he sailed for Australia; but the vessel being unable to proceed further than Rio de Janeiro, he there procured a situation, with an annual salary of £300. The climate of Rio proving unfavourable, he afterwards sailed to Australia, where he readily found occupation at Mount Alexander. He has been successful at the gold diggings.


By Niagara's flood
Antoinette stood,
And watch'd the wild waves rush on,
As they leapt below
Into vapoury snow,
Or fell into flakes of foam.
[Pg 82]
The sun's last beams
Fell in golden gleams
On water and wave-girt isle,
And in tinge all fair
Dipp'd the girl's bright hair
And heighten'd her happy smile.
In wild ecstasy
She threads the abyss's brink,
Where waters—black—
Of the cataract
Into drifted snow-waves sink.
A father's eye
Looketh anxiously
On the freaks of his favour'd child,
Till her spirit appals
His soul, and he calls
"Antoinette" in accents wild.
A bolder heart
Loves the girl's free sport,
And he grasps her by the gown,
Then tosseth her high
In the twilight sky—
But, heavens! she falleth down!
She sinks in the wave;
He swimmeth to save!
Oh, never was mortal arm
More manfully braced,
As it grasps her slim waist,
And struggles in frantic alarm!
[Pg 83]
In vain does he strike—
The fresh waves break,
And the doom'd ones are downward borne!
Yet the swimmer's eye
Seemeth still to defy
The might of the merciless storm.
More loud than before
Is the cataract's roar,
And the furrow'd wave is bright
With many a pearl
From the shining swirl
Of the water's lucid light.
And down below
Is the woolly snow
Of Niagara's wrathful bed,
But the lip of the bold
Hath never told
The secrets that there lie hid.
A strong arm, press'd
Round a maiden's waist
On the doleful morrow is seen,
And her oozy hair
Laves his forehead bare
With the waft of the wavy stream.
[Pg 84]


Robert Wilson was born in the parish of Carnbee, and county of Fife. He practised for some time as a surgeon in St Andrews. He has contributed many pieces of descriptive verse to the periodicals. In 1856, a duodecimo volume of "Poems" from his pen was published at Boston, U.S. His other publications are a small volume on "The Social Condition of France," "Lectures on the Game Laws," and several brochures on subjects of a socio-political nature. He has latterly resided at Aberdour, Fifeshire.


Away, away, my gallant bark!
The waves are white and high;
And fast the long becalmèd clouds
Are sailing in the sky.
The merry breeze which wafts them on,
And chafes the billow's spray,
Will urge thee in thy watery flight:
My gallant bark, away!
Now, like the sea-bird's snowy plumes,
Are spread thy wingèd sails,
To soar above the mountain waves,
And scoop their glassy vales;
[Pg 85] And, like the bird, thou 'lt calmly rest,
Thy azure journey o'er,
The shadow of thy folded wings
Upon the sunny shore.
Away, away, my gallant bark!
Across the billow's foam;
I leave awhile, for ocean's strife,
The quiet haunts of home;
The green fields of my fatherland
For many a stormy bay;
The blazing hearth for beacon-light:
My gallant bark, away!


What fond, delicious ecstasy does early love impart!
Resistless, as a spring-tide sea, it flows into the heart,
Pervading with its living wave the bosom's inmost core,
That thrills with many a gentle hope it never felt before.
And o'er the stripling's glowing heart, extending far and wide,
Through passion's troubled realm does Love with angel sway preside;
And smiles are shed that cast a light o'er many a future year,
And whispers soft are conjured up of lips that are not near.
[Pg 86]
With promises of fairyland this daylight world teems,
And sleep comes with forgetfulness or fraught with lovely dreams;
And there is magic in the touch, and music in the sigh,
And, far more eloquent than speech, a language in the eye.
And hope the constant bosom cheers with prospects ever new;
But if the favour'd one prove false, oh! who can then be true?
Our fond illusions disappear, like slumber's shadowy train,
And we ne'er recall those vanish'd hopes, nor feel that love again.
[Pg 87]


A writer of prose and poetry, Edward Polin was born at Paisley on the 29th December 1816. He originally followed the business of a pattern-setter in his native town. Fond of literary pursuits, he extensively contributed to the local journals. He subsequently became sub-editor of the Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle. In 1843 he accepted the editorship of the Newcastle Courant—a situation which, proving unsuitable, he retained only a few months. Resolved to adventure on the literary field of London, he sailed from Newcastle in August 1843. The vessel being at anchor off Yarmouth, he obtained leave from the captain to bathe. He had left the vessel only a few yards, when his hands were observed to fall into the water. One of the seamen promptly descended with a rope, and he was speedily raised upon the deck. Every effort to restore animation however proved fruitless. This closing event of a hopeful career took place on the 22d August 1843, when the poet had attained only his 27th year. His remains were interred in St George's churchyard, Cripplegate, London.

A young man of no inconsiderable genius, Polin afforded indication of speedily attaining a literary reputation. By those to whom he was intimately known his premature death was deeply lamented. Many of his MS. compositions are in the hands of friends, who may yet give them to the world.[Pg 88]


I have wander'd afar, 'neath stranger skies,
And have revell'd amid their flowers;
I have lived in the light of Italian eyes,
And dream'd in Italian bowers,
While the wondrous strains of their sunny clime
Have been trill'd to enchant mine ears,
But, oh, how I longed for the song and the time
When my heart could respond with its tears.
Then sing me a song, a good old song—
Not the foreign, the learn'd, the grand—
But a simple song, a good old song
Of my own dear fatherland.
I have heard, with the great, and the proud, and the gay
All, all they would have me adore
Of that music divine that, enraptured, they say
Can be equall'd on earth never more.
And it may be their numbers indeed are divine,
Though they move not my heart through mine ears,
But a ballad old of the dear "langsyne"
Can alone claim my tribute of tears.
I have come from a far and a foreign clime
To mine own loved haunts once more,
With a yearning for all of my childhood's time
And the dear home-sounds of yore;
And here, if there yet be love for me,
Oh, away with those stranger lays,
And now let my only welcome be
An old song of my boyhood's days.
[Pg 89]


Alexander Buchanan was the son of a maltster at Bucklyvie, Stirlingshire, where he was born in 1817. He attended a school in Glasgow, but was chiefly self-taught. In his youth he composed verses, and continued to produce respectable poetry. For a period he carried on business as a draper in Cowcaddens, Glasgow. Retiring from merchandise, he fixed his residence in the village of Govan. His death took place on the 8th February 1852, in his thirty-fifth year. Buchanan has been celebrated, with other local bards, in a small Glasgow publication, entitled, "Lays of St Mungo." Numerous poems from his pen remain in MS. in the possession of his widow, who continues to reside at Govan.


Air"Lucy's Flittin'."

I wander'd alane at the break o' the mornin',
The dun clouds o' nicht were a' wearin' awa';
The sun rose in glory, the gray hills adornin',
A' glintin like gowd were their tappits o' snaw;
Adown by my side row'd the rock-bedded Kelvin,
While nature aroun' was beginnin' to green,
An' auld cottar bodies their yardies were delvin',
Kennin' thrift in the morn brocht pleasure at e'en.
[Pg 90]
I leant me against an auld mossy-clad palin',
An' noo an' then dichted a tear frae my e'e,
I look'd on the bodies, an' envied their toilin'—
Though lowly their lot, they seem'd happy by me;
I thought on my riches, yet feckless the treasure,
I tried to forget, but the labour was vain;
My wifie an' bairn were a' my life's pleasure,
An' they to the grave baith thegither had gane.
The thochts o' her love had awaken'd my sorrow,
The laugh o' my bairnie cam' back on mine ears,
An', piercing my heart wi' the force o' an arrow,
It open'd anew the saft channel o' tears.
I grat an' I sabb'd till I thocht life wad lea' me,
An' happy I then could hae parted wi' life—
For naething on earth sic enjoyment could gie me
As the glee o' my bairn an' smile o' my wife.
Oh, weary the day was when they were ta'en frae me,
Leavin' me lane, the last leaf on the tree;
Nae comfort the cauld look o' strangers can gie me—
I 'm wae, and they a' look as waefu' on me.
I wander me aften to break melancholy,
On ilk thing that 's leevin' the maxim I see,
Not walth to the weary 's like peace to the lowly;
Sae, burden'd wi' grief, I maun gang till I die.
[Pg 91]


I 've met wi' mony maidens fair
In kintras far awa,
I 've met wi' mony here at hame,
Baith bonny dames an' braw;
But nane e'er had the power to charm
My love into a snare
Till ance I saw the witchin' e'e
An' smile o' Katie Blair.
She wons by Kelvin's bonnie banks,
Whar' thick the greenwoods grow,
Whar' waters loupin' drouk the leaves
While merrily they row.
They drouk the lily an' the rose,
An' mony flowerets fair,
Yet they ne'er kiss a flower sae sweet
As winsome Katie Blair.
She is a queen owre a' the flowers
O' garden an' o' lea—
Her ae sweet smile mair cheering is
Than a' their balms to me.
As licht to morn she's a' to me,
My bosom's only care;
An' worthy o' the truest love
Is winsome Katie Blair.

[Pg 92]


David Taylor was born, in April 1817, in the parish of Dollar, and county of Clackmannan. In early life his parents, having removed to the village of St Ninians, near Stirling, he was there apprenticed to a tartan manufacturer. He has continued to reside at St Ninians, and has been chiefly employed as a tartan weaver. He has written numerous poems and lyrics, and composed music to some of the more popular songs. Latterly he has occupied himself as a teacher of vocal music.


O dear, dear to me
Is my ain gudeman,
For kindly, frank, an' free
Is my ain gudeman.
An' though thretty years ha'e fled,
An' five sin' we were wed,
Nae bitter words I 've had
Wi' my ain gudeman.
I 've had seven bonnie bairns
To my ain gudeman,
An' I 've nursed them i' their turns
For my ain gudeman;
[Pg 93] An' ane did early dee,
But the lave frae skaith are free,
An' a blessin' they 're to me
An' my ain gudeman.
I cheerie clamb the hill
Wi' my ain gudeman;
An', if it 's Heaven's will,
Wi' my ain gudeman,
In life's calm afternoon,
I wad toddle cannie doun,
Syne at the foot sleep soun'
Wi' my ain gudeman.
[Pg 94]


Robert Cathcart was born in 1817, and follows the occupation of a weaver in Paisley. Besides a number of fugitive pieces of some merit, he published, in 1842, a small collection of verses entitled, "The Early Blossom."


Sweet 's the gloamin's dusky gloom,
Spreadin' owre the lea, Mary;
Sweeter far thy love in bloom,
Whilk blaws alane for me, Mary.
When the woods in silence sleep,
And is hid in dusk the steep,
When the flowers in sorrow weep
I 'll sigh and smile wi' thee, Mary.
When love plays in rosy beams
Roun' the hawthorn-tree, Mary,
Then thine e'e a language gleams
Whilk tells o' love for me, Mary.
When thy sigh blends wi' my smile,
Silence reigns o'er us the while,
Then my heart, 'mid flutt'ring toil,
Tells thy love's bloom'd for me, Mary.
[Pg 95]
When our hands are join'd in love,
Ne'er to part again, Mary,
Till death ance mair his arrows prove
And tak us for his ain, Mary;
Then our joys are crown'd wi' bliss!
In a hallow'd hour like this,
We in rapture join to kiss
And taste o' heaven again, Mary.
[Pg 96]


William Jamie was born on the 25th December 1818, in the parish of Marykirk, Kincardineshire. He received his education at the parish school of Maryculter, Aberdeenshire, whither his father removed during his boyhood. After working for some time with his father as a blacksmith, he engaged for several years in the work of tuition. From early manhood a writer of verses, he published, in 1844, at Laurencekirk, a small volume of poems, entitled, "The Muse of the Mearns," which passed through two editions. Of his various subsequent publications may be enumerated, "The Emigrant's Family, and other Poems;" "The Musings of a Wanderer," and a prose tale, entitled, "The Jacobite's Son." Since 1851 he has resided at Pollockshaws, in the vicinity of Glasgow. On the sale of his poetical works he is wholly dependent for subsistence.


Although the lays o' ither lands
Ha'e mony an artfu' air,
They want the stirrin' melody
An auld man lo'es to hear.
Auld Scotia's sangs hae winnin' charms
Which maks the bosom fain;
And to her sons, that 's far awa',
Wi' thochts o' hame again.
[Pg 97]
Sweet bygane scenes, and native charms,
They fondly bring to min'
The trystin'-tree and bonny lass,
Wi a' love's dreams langsyne.
Oh! lilt me owre some tender strain,
For weel I lo'e to hear—
Be 't bonny "Broom o' Cowdenknowes,"
And "Bush aboon Traquair."
Or "Banks and braes o' bonny Doon,"
Whaur Robin tuned his lyre;
And "Roslin Castle's" ruined wa's—
Oh! sing, and I'll admire!
For I hae heard auld Scotia's sangs
Sung owre and owre wi' glee;
And the mair I hear their artless strains
They dearer grow to me.
Enchanting strains again they bring,
Fond memory glints alang
To humble bards wha woke the lyre,
And wove the patriot's sang.
Oh! leeze me on our ain auld sangs,
The sangs o' youth and glee;
They tell o' Bruce and glorious deeds,
Which made our country free.
[Pg 98]


A poet possessing, in an eminent degree, the lyrical simplicity and power of the Bard of Coila, John Crawford was, in the year 1816, born at Greenock, in the same apartment which, thirty years before, had witnessed the death of Burns' "Highland Mary," his mother's cousin. With only a few months' attendance at school, he was, in boyhood, thrown on his own resources for support. Selecting the profession of a house-painter, he left Greenock in his eighteenth year, and has since prosecuted his vocation in the town of Alloa. Of strong native genius, he early made himself acquainted with general literature, while he has sought recreation in the composition of verses. In 1850 he published a small duodecimo volume of lyrics, entitled, "Doric Lays; being snatches of Song and Ballad." This little work was much commended by Lord Jeffrey, and received the strong approbation of the late amiable Miss Mitford. "There is," wrote the latter to a correspondent, "an originality in his writings very rare in a follower of Burns.... This is the true thing—a flower springing from the soil, not merely cut and stuck into the earth. Will you tell Mr Crawford how much pleasure he has given to a poor invalid?"

Crawford is an occasional contributor to the public journals. He is at present preparing an historical and descriptive work, to be entitled, "Memorials of the Town and Parish of Alloa." The following poetical[Pg 99] epistle in tribute to his genius is from the pen of Mr Scott Riddell.

The days, when write wad minstrel men
To ane anither thus, are gone,
And days ha'e come upon us when
Bards praise nae anthems but their own:
But I will love the fashion old
While breath frae heaven this breast can draw,
And joy when I my tale have told
Anent the Bard of Alloa.
Thou, Crawford, sung hast mony a lay.
Far mair through nature's power than art's,
Pouring them frae thine ain, that they
Might reach and gladden other hearts;
Therefore our hearts shall honour thee,
And say't alike in cot and ha'—
Sublime thro' pure simplicity
Is he—the Bard of Alloa.
Though far o'er earth these lays shall roam,
And make to mankind their appeal;
'Tis not because they 'll lack a home,
While Scottish hearts, as wont, can feel:
The swains shall sing them on the hill,
The maidens in the greenwood-shaw,
And mothers bless, wi' warm guid-will,
The gifted Bard of Alloa.
E'en weans, wi' their shauchled shoon,
And clouted hose, and pinafores,
Will lilt, methinks, these lays, sae soon
As they can staucher 'boot the doors:
Sae shall they sing anent themsells
To nature true, as its ain law;
For minstrel nane on earth excels
In this the Bard of Alloa.
Fresh as the moorland's early dews,
And glowing as the woodland rose,
Of hearts, his thought gives forth the hues,
As richly bright as heaven's ain bow 's—
[Pg 100] With me, my native land, rejoice,
And let the bard thy bosom thaw,
As Spring's sweet breathing comes the voice
Of him wha sings frae Alloa.
Then rest thee, Crawford, on the lawn,
And thus, if song thy soul shall sway,
I'll bless thee, while thy toil-worn han'
Pu's for itsel' a flower or twa;
'Tis idle—gowd-gear hearts will say—
But maist for whilk will tear-drops fa'
When death has come, and flowers shall bloom
Aboon the Bard of Alloa?
Oh, sing, ye bards, to nature true,
And glory shall your brows adorn,
And else than this, by none or few,
The poet's wreath will long be worn.
Cauld fa' the notes o' him wha sings
O' scenes whilk man yet never saw—
Pour then, frae nature's ain heart-strings,
Your strains like him of Alloa.
Possess maun he a poet's heart,
And he maun ha'e a poet's mind
Wha deftly plays the generous part
That warms the cauld, and charms the kind.
Nor scorn, ye frozen anes, the powers
Whilk hinder other hearts to fa'
Into a sordid sink—like yours—
But bless the Bard of Alloa.
Ah! little ye may trow or ken
The mony cares, and waes, and toils,
'Mang hearts and hames o' lowly men
Whilk nought save poetry beguiles;
It lifts fu' mony fortune 'boon,
When she begins her face to thraw,
That ne'er sae sweet a harp could tune
As his that sounds frae Alloa.
[Pg 101]
And as for me, ere this I'd lain
Where mark'd my head a mossy stane,
Had it not made the joys my ain
When a' life's other joys were gane.
If 'mang the mountains lone and gray,
Unknown, my early joys I sung,
When cares and woes wad life belay,
How could my harp away be flung?
The dearest power in life below,
Is life's ain native power of song,
As he alone can truly know,
To whom it truly may belong.
Lighten'd hath it fu' mony a step,
And lessen'd hath it mony a hill,
And lighted up the rays o' hope,
Ay, and it up shall light them still.
Lo! avarice cauld can gowd secure,
Ambition win the wreath o' fame,
Wealth gies reputed wit and power,
And crowns wi' joy the owner's aim.
But be my meed the generous heart,
For nought can charm this heart o' mine,
Like those who own the undying art
That gies a claim to Ossian's line.
Hale be thy heart, dear Crawford—hale
Be every heart belonging thee,—
The day whan fortune gies ye kale
Out through the reek, may ye ne'er see.
Ilk son o' song is dear to me;
And though thy face I never saw,
I'll honour till the day I dee
The gifted Bard o' Alloa.
[Pg 102]


Air"There 'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame."

My couthie auld wifie, aye blythsome to see,
As years slip awa' aye the dearer to me;
For ferlies o' fashion I carena ae preen
When I cleek to the kirk wi' my auld wifie Jean.
The thoughts o' the past are aye pleasin' to me,
And mair sae when love lights my auld wifie's e'e;
For then I can speak o' the days I ha'e seen
When care found nae hame i' the heart o' my Jean.
A hantle we've borne since that moment o' bliss,
Frae thy lips, breathin' balm, when I stole the first kiss,
When I read a response to my vows in thy e'en.
An, blushin', I prest to my bosom my Jean.
Like a rose set in snaw was the bloom on thy cheek,
Thy hair, wi' its silken snood, glossy and sleek,
When the Laird o' Drumlochie, sae lithless and lean,
Wad ha'e gane a lang mile for ae glisk o' my Jean.
Thy mither was dead, and thy faither was fain
That the lang-luggit lairdie wad ca' thee his ain;
But auld age and frailty could ne'er gang atween
The vows I had niffer'd wi' bonnie young Jean.
I canna weel work, an' ye 're weary an' worn,
The gudes and the ills lang o' life we ha'e borne;
But we ha'e a hame, an' we 're cozie and bein,
And the thrift I've to thank o' my auld wifie Jean.
Baith beddin' an' cleadin' o' a' kind ha'e we,
A sowp for the needy we 've aye had to gie,
[Pg 103] A bite and a drap for baith fremit an' frien',
Was aye the warst wish o' my auld wifie Jean.
The puir beildless body has scugg'd the cauld blast,
'Yont our hallan he 's houft till the gurl gaed past,
An' a bite aff our board, aye sae tidy an' clean,
He 's gat wi' gudewill frae my auld wifie Jean.
Our hopes we ha'e set where our bairnies ha'e gaen;
Though lyart we've grown since they frae us were ta'en;
The thoughts o' them yet brings the tears to our e'en,
And aft I 've to comfort my auld wifie Jean.
The paughty and proud ha'e been laid i' the dust,
Since the first hairst I shore, since the first clod I cuist;
And soon we'll lie laigh; but aboon we 've a Frien',
And bright days are comin' for me an' my Jean.


Hurra! for the land o' the broom-cover'd brae,
The land o' the rowan, the haw, and the slae;
Where waves the blue harebell in dingle and glade—
The land o' the pibroch, the bonnet, and plaid.
Hurra! for the hills o' the cromlech and cairn,
Where blossoms the thistle by hillocks o' fern;
There Freedom in triumph an altar has made
For holiest rites in the land o' the plaid.
A coronal wreath, where the wild flowers bloom,
To garnish the martyr and patriot's tomb:
Shall their names ever perish—their fame ever fade
Who ennobled the land o' the bonnet and plaid?
[Pg 104]
Oh, hame o' my bairnhood, ye hills o' my love!
The haunt o' the freeman for aye may ye prove;
And honour'd forever be matron and maid
In the land o' the heather, the bonnet, and plaid.
Hurra! for the land o' the deer and the rae,
O' the gowany glen and the bracken-clad brae,
Where blooms our ain thistle, in sunshine and shade—
Dear badge o' the land o' the bonnet and plaid.


Sing on, fairy Devon,
'Mong gardens and bowers,
Where love's feast lies spread
In an Eden o' flowers.
What visions o' beauty
My mind has possess'd,
In thy gowany dell
Where a seraph might rest.
Sing on, lovely river,
To hillock and tree
A lay o' the loves
O' my Jessie and me;
For nae angel lightin',
A posie to pu',
Can match the fair form
O' the lassie I lo'e.
[Pg 105]
Sweet river, dear river,
Sing on in your glee,
In thy pure breast the mind
O' my Jessie I see.
How aft ha'e I wander'd,
As gray gloamin' fell,
Rare dreamin's o' heaven
My lassie to tell.
Sing on, lovely Devon,
The sang that ye sung
When earth in her beauty
Frae night's bosom sprung,
For lanesome and eerie
This warld aye would be
Did clouds ever fa'
Atween Jessie and me.


Gaelic Air"Soraiadh slan do'un Ailleagan."

I 'll twine a gowany garland
Wi' lilies frae the spring;
The fairest flowers by Clutha's side
In a' their bloom I 'll bring.
I 'll wreath a flowery wreath to shade
My lassie's scornfu' e'e—
For oh, I canna bide the frown
O' Ann o' Cornylee.
[Pg 106]
Nae gilded ha', nae downie bed
My lowly lot maun cheer,
A sheilin' on the banks o' Gryfe
Is a' my worldly gear;
A lanely cot, wi' moss o'ergrown,
Is a' I ha'e to gie;
A leal heart, sinking 'neath the scorn
O' Ann o' Cornylee.
The linty 'mang the yellow broom,
The laverock in the lift
Ha'e never sang the waes o' love
O' hope and joy bereft;
Nor has the mavis ever sang
The ills I ha'e to dree,
For lovin' o' a paughty maid,
Fair Ann o' Cornylee.


Tune"Annie Laurie."

The gloamin' star was showerin'
Its siller glories doun,
And nestled in its mossy lair
The lintie sleepit soun';
The lintie sleepit soun',
And the starnies sparklet clear,
When on a gowany bank I sat
Aside my Mary dear.
[Pg 107]
The burnie wanders eerie
Roun' rock and ruin'd tower,
By mony a fairy hillock
And mony a lanely bower;
Roun' mony a lanely bower,
Love's tender tale to hear,
Where I in whisper'd vows ha'e woo'd
And won my Mary dear.
Oh, hallow'd hours o' happiness
Frae me for ever ta'en!
Wi' summer's flowery loveliness
Ye come na back again!
Ye come na back again,
The waefu' heart to cheer,
For lang the greedy grave has closed
Aboon my Mary dear.


(For an old Gaelic air.)

The cranreuch 's on my heid,
The mist 's now on my een,
A lanesome life I lead,
I'm no what I ha'e been.
Ther 're runkles on my broo,
Ther 're furrows on my cheek,
My wither'd heart fills fu'
Whan o' bygane days I speak.
[Pg 108] For I 'm weary,
I 'm weary,
I 'm weary o' care—
Whare my bairnies ha'e gane,
Oh, let me gang there.
I ance was fu' o' glee,
And wha was then sae gay,
Whan dreamin' life wad be
But ae lang simmer day?
My feet, like lichtnin', flew
Roun' pleasure's dizzy ring,
They gimply staucher noo
Aneath a feckless thing.
For I 'm weary,
I 'm weary,
I 'm weary o' care—
Whare my first luve lies cauld,
Oh, let me lie there.
The ourie breath o' eild
Has blown ilk frien' frae me;
They comena near my beild
I ha'e dauted on my knee;
They hand awa their heids,
My frailties no to see;
My blessing on them, ane and a'—
I 've naething else to gie.
For I 'm weary,
I 'm weary,
I 'm weary and worn—
To the friens o' my youth
I maun soon, soon return.
[Pg 109]


John Stuart Blackie, Professor of Greek in the University of Edinburgh, was born at Glasgow in the year 1809. His father, who had originally come from Kelso, removed from Glasgow to Aberdeen, as agent for the Commercial Bank in that city, while his son was still very young. At the grammar school of Aberdeen, then under the rectorship of Dr Melvin, the boy began his classical education, and subsequently, according to the ridiculous Scottish custom, the folly of which he has done his best to expose, he became, in his twelfth year, a student in Marischal College. He was a student of arts for five years in Aberdeen and Edinburgh—and then he attended theological classes for three years. In 1829 he proceeded to the Continent, and studied at Gottingen and Berlin, where he mastered the German language, and dived deep into the treasures of German literature. From Germany he went to Rome, where he spent fifteen months, devoting himself to the Italian language and literature, and to the study of archæology. His first publication testifies to his success in both studies. It is entitled, "Osservazioni sopra un antico sarcophago." It was written in Italian, and published in the Annali del Instituto Archæologico, Roma, 1831.

Mr Blackie had given up the idea of entering the Church, and on his return to Scotland he studied law, and passed advocate in 1834. The study of law was[Pg 110] never very congenial to him, and the practice of the profession was still less so. Accordingly, at this period he occupied himself with literary work, principally writing for Reviews. It was at this time that his translation of "Faust" appeared. It is entitled, "Faust: a Tragedy, by J. W. Goethe. Translated into English Verse, with Notes, and Preliminary Remarks, by John S. Blackie, Fellow of the Society for Archæological Correspondence, Rome." Mr Blackie had taken upon him a very difficult task in attempting to translate the great work of the great German, and we need not wonder that he did not succeed entirely. We believe, with Mr Lewes, that the perfect accomplishment of this task is impossible, and that Goethe's work is fully intelligible only to the German scholar. But, at the same time, Mr Blackie fully succeeded in the aim which he set before him. He says in the preface, "The great principle on which the excellence of a poetical translation depends, seems to be, that it should not be a mere transposing, but a re-casting, of the original. On this principle, it has been my first and chief endeavour to make my translation spirited—to seize, if possible, the very soul and living power of the German, rather than to give a careful and anxious transcription of every individual line, or every minute expression." If this is what a translator should do, there can be no question that the "Faust" of Blackie is all that can be desired—full of spirit and life, harmonious from beginning to end, and reading exactly like an original. The best proof of its success is that Mr Lewes, in his biography of Goethe, prefers it, as a whole, to any of the other poetical translations of Goethe. The preliminary remarks are very characteristic, written with that intense enthusiasm which still animates all his writings. The notes at the end are full of curious information [Pg 111]regarding the witchcraft and astrology of the Middle Ages, gathered with assiduous labour from the stores of the Advocates' Library.

The translation of "Faust" established Mr Blackie's reputation as a German scholar; and, for some time after this, he was chiefly occupied in reviewing German books for the Foreign Quarterly Review. He was also a contributor to Blackwood, Tait, and the Westminster Review. The subjects on which he principally wrote were poetry, history or religion; and among his articles may be mentioned a genial one on Uhland, a deeply earnest article on Jung Stillung, whose life he seems to have studied very thoroughly, and several on the later campaigns of Napoleon. To this last subject he then gave very great attention, as almost every German and English book on the subject that appeared is reviewed by him; and the article which describes Napoleon's Leipzig campaign is one of the clearest military monographs that has been written. During this time, Mr Blackie was still pursuing his Latin and Greek studies; and one article, on a classical subject, deserves especial notice. It is a thorough criticism of all the dramas of Euripides, in which he takes a view of the dramatist exactly the reverse of that maintained by Walter Savage Landor—asserting that he was a bungler in the tragic art, and far too much addicted to foisting his stupid moralisings into his plays. Another article in the Westminster, on the Prussian Constitution, is worthy of remark for its thoroughness. The whole machinery of the Prussian bureaucracy is explained in a way very satisfactory to an English reader.

In 1841, Mr Blackie was appointed Professor of Humanity in Marischal College, Aberdeen—a post which he held for eleven years. To this new labour he gave[Pg 112] himself with all his heart, and was eminently successful. The Aberdeen students were remarkable for their accurate knowledge of the grammatical forms and syntax of Latin, acquired under the careful training of Dr Melvin; but their reading, both classical and general, was restricted, and they were wanting in literary impulses. Professor Blackie strove to supply both deficiencies. He took his students over a great deal of ground, opening up to them the beauties of the authors read, and laying the foundation of higher criticism. Then he formed a class-library, delivered lectures on Roman literature in all its stages, and introduced the study of general history. From this period dates the incessant activity which he has displayed in educational, and especially University reform. At the time he commenced his work, the subject was a very disagreeable one to Scottish ears, and he had to bear the apathy not only of his fellow-countrymen, but also of his fellow-professors. He has never, however, bated a jot of heart, and he is now beginning to reap his reward. Several of the reforms which he advocated at the commencement of his agitation, and which were at first met with something approaching to contempt, have been adopted, and he has lived to see entrance examinations introduced into several Universities, and the test abolished. Many of the other reforms which he then proposed are on a fair way to accomplishment, and the subject is no longer treated with that indifference which met his early appeals. His principal publications on this subject are: 1. An appeal to the Scottish people on the improvement of their scholastic and academical institutions; 2. A plea for the liberties of the Scottish Universities; 3. University reform; with a letter to Professor Pillans.

Mr Blackie delivered public lectures on education in[Pg 113] Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, and wrote various articles on it in the newspapers. He gave himself also to the study of the philosophy of education. His most noteworthy contributions in this direction are, his review of Beneche's masterly work on education, in the Foreign Quarterly, and two lectures "On the Studying and Teaching of Languages."

During the whole of this period, his main strength was devoted to Latin and Greek philology. Some of the results of this labour were published in the Classical Museum. One of the contributions to that journal was published separately—"On the Rhythmical Declamation of the Ancients." It is a clear exposition of the principles of accentuation, drawing accurately the distinction between accent and quantity, and between the accents of common talk and the musical accents that occur in poetry. It is the best monograph on the subject, of which we know. Another article, "On Prometheus," clears Æschylus from the charge of impiety, because he appears to make Zeus act tyrannically towards Prometheus in the "Prometheus Vinctus." He also gave the results of some of his classical studies, in lectures in Edinburgh and Glasgow on Roman history and Greek literature. The principal works on which he was engaged at this time were translations of Horace and Æschylus. Translations of several odes of Horace have appeared in various publications. The translation of all the dramas of Æschylus appeared in 1850. It was dedicated to the Chevalier Bunsen and Edward Gerhard, Royal Archæologist, "the friends of his youth, and the directors of his early studies." This work is now universally admitted to be the best complete translation of Æschylus in English.

In 1852 he was elected to the chair of Greek in Edin[Pg 114]burgh University. In that position he has carried on the same agitation in behalf of educational and university reform, which characterised his stay in Aberdeen. His last brochure on the subject is a letter to the Town Council of Edinburgh "On the Advancement of Learning in Scotland." Having made this matter a work of his life, he takes every opportunity to urge it, and, notwithstanding that he has got many gratuitous rebuffs, continues on his way cheerily, now delivering a lecture or speech on the subject, now writing letters in reply to this or that assailant, and now giving a more complete exposition of his views in the North British Review.

His first publication after his election to the Greek professorship was "The Pronunciation of Greek; Accent and Quantity. A Philological Inquiry:" 1852. In this work he sought to shew what authority there is for the modern Greek pronunciation of Greek, advocating a return, in the reading of prose, to that pronunciation of Greek which was the only one known in Europe anterior to the time of Erasmus. This method is consistently carried out in the Greek classes. In 1853 he travelled in Greece, living in Athens for two months and a-half, and acquiring a fluent use of the living Greek language. On his return, he gave the results of his journey in various articles, especially in one in the North British on Modern Greek Literature, and in another in the Westminster on Greece. He also expressed some of them in an introductory lecture "On the Living Language of Greece." Since that time he has written principally in Blackwood and the North British, discussing subjects of general literature, and introducing any new German book which he considers of especial interest. Among his papers may be mentioned his reviews, in the North British, of his friend Bunsen's "Signs of the Times," and of Perthos'[Pg 115] Life. His articles more especially relating to his own department are Æschylus and Homer, in the Encyclopædia Britannica, an article on accents in the Cambridge Philological, and an essay on Plato in the "Edinburgh Essays."

In 1857 was published the work which brings him into the list of Scottish poets—"Lays and Legends of Ancient Greece, with other Poems." The Lays and Legends are the work of the scholar, who, believing verse to be the proper vehicle for an exposition of these beautiful myths, gives them that form, instead of writing learned dissertations about them. The miscellaneous poems shew more of the inner man than any of his other works—deep religious feeling, great simplicity, earnestness, and manliness, confidence in the goodness of men, and delight in everything that is pure, beautiful, and honest, with thorough detestation of all falsehood.


Ben Cruachan is king of the mountains
That gird in the lovely Loch Awe;
Loch Etive is fed from his fountains,
By the streams of the dark-rushing Awe.
With his peak so high
He cleaves the sky
That smiles on his old gray crown,
While the mantle green,
On his shoulders seen,
In many a fold flows down.
[Pg 116]
He looks to the north, and he renders
A greeting to Nevis Ben;
And Nevis, in white snowy splendours,
Gives Cruachan greeting again.
O'er dread Glencoe
The greeting doth go
And where Etive winds fair in the glen;
And he hears the call
In his steep north wall,
"God bless thee, old Cruachan Ben."
When the north winds their forces muster,
And ruin rides high on the storm,
All calm, in the midst of their bluster,
He stands with his forehead enorm.
When block on block,
With thundering shock,
Comes hurtled confusedly down,
No whit recks he,
But laughs to shake free
The dust from his old gray crown.
And while torrents on torrents are pouring
Down his sides with a wild, savage glee,
And when louder the loud Awe is roaring,
And the soft lake swells to a sea,
He smiles through the storm,
And his heart grows warm
As he thinks how his streams feed the plains
And the brave old Ben
Grows young again,
And swells with his lusty veins.
[Pg 117]
For Cruachan is king of the mountains
That gird in the lovely Loch Awe;
Loch Etive is fed from his fountains,
By the streams of the dark-rushing Awe.
Ere Adam was made
He rear'd his head
Sublime o'er the green winding glen;
And when flame wraps the sphere,
O'er earth's ashes shall peer
The peak of the old granite Ben.


Farewell ye braes of broad Braemar,
From you my feet must travel far,
Thou high-peak'd steep-cliff'd Loch-na-Gar,
Farewell, farewell for ever!
Thou lone green glen where I was born,
Where free I stray'd in life's bright morn.
From thee my heart is rudely torn,
And I shall see thee never!
The braes of Mar with heather glow,
The healthful breezes o'er them blow,
The gushing torrents from them flow,
That swell the rolling river.
Strong hills that nursed the brave and free,
On banks of clear, swift-rushing Dee,
My widow'd eyne no more shall see
Your birchen bowers for ever!
[Pg 118]
Farewell thou broad and bare Muicdhui
Ye stout old pines of lone Glen Lui,
Thou forest wide of Ballochbuie,
Farewell, farewell for ever!
In you the rich may stalk the deer,
Thou 'lt know the tread of prince and peer;
But oh, the poor man's heart is drear
To part from you for ever!
May God forgive our haughty lords,
For whom our fathers drew their swords;
No tear for us their pride affords,
No bond of love they sever.
Farewell ye braes of broad Braemar,
From bleak Ben Aon to Loch-na-Gar—
The friendless poor is banished far
From your green glens for ever!


Name the leaves on all the trees,
Name the waves on all the seas,
Name the notes of all the groves—
Thus thou namest all my loves.
I do love the dark, the fair,
Golden ringlets, raven hair,
Eye that swims in sunny light,
Glance that shoots like lightning bright.
[Pg 119]
I do love the stately dame
And the sportive girl the same;
Every changeful phase between
Blooming cheek and brow serene.
I do love the young, the old,
Maiden modest, virgin bold,
Tiny beauties, and the tall—
Earth has room enough for all.
Which is better—who can say?—
Lucy grave or Mary gay?
She who half her charms conceals?
She who sparkles while she feels?
Why should I confine my love?
Nature bids us freely rove;
God hath scatter'd wide the fair,
Blooms and beauties everywhere.
Paris was a pedant fool,
Meting beauty by a rule:
Pallas? Juno? Venus?—he
Should have chosen all the three.
I am wise, life's every bliss
Thankful tasting; and a kiss
Is a sweet thing, I declare,
From a dark maid or a fair.
[Pg 120]


Liking is a little boy
Dreaming of a sea employ,
Sitting by the stream, with joy
Paper frigates sailing:
Love 's an earnest-hearted man,
Champion of beauty's clan,
Fighting bravely in the van,
Pushing and prevailing.
Liking hovers round and round,
Capers with a nimble bound,
Plants his foot on easy ground,
Through the glass to view it:
Love shoots sudden glance for glance,
Spurs the steed, and rests the lance,
With a brisk and bold advance,
Sworn to die or do it.
Liking 's ever on the wing,
From new blooms new sweets to bring;
Nibbling aye, the nimble thing
From the hook is free still:
Love 's a tar of British blue,
Let mad winds their maddest do,
To his haven carded true,
As I am to thee still.
[Pg 121]


William Stirling of Keir, parliamentary representative of the county of Perth, was born on the 8th March 1818, in the mansion of Kenmure, in the vicinity of Glasgow. The only son of the late Archibald Stirling of Keir, his paternal ancestors, for a course of centuries, have been extensive landowners in the counties of Lanark and Perth. The representative of the house, Sir George Stirling, was a conspicuous supporter of the famous Marquis of Montrose. On the side of his mother, who was a daughter of Sir John Maxwell, Bart., of Polloc, he is descended from a family who adhered to the Covenant and the Revolution of 1688.

Mr Stirling took the degrees of B.A. and M.A. at Trinity College, Cambridge. To literary pursuits ardently devoted from his youth, he afforded the first indication of his peculiar tastes in a small poetical brochure. "The Songs of the Holy Land," composed chiefly during a visit to Palestine, were printed for private circulation in 1846, but were published with considerable additions in a handsome octavo volume in 1848. Two specimens of these sacred lays are inserted in the present work with the author's permission.

During a residence in Spain, Mr Stirling was led to direct his attention to the state of the Fine Arts in that country; and in 1848 he produced a work of much research and learning, entitled "Annals of the Artists of Spain," in three volumes octavo. In 1852 appeared "The Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles V.,"[Pg 122] which has already passed through several editions, and has largely increased the reputation of the writer. His latest publication, "Velasquez and his Works" was published in 1855.

In 1852 Mr Stirling was elected, without opposition, member of Parliament for the county of Perth, and was again returned at the general election in April 1857. Recently he has evinced a deep interest in the literary improvement of the industrial population, by delivering lectures to the district Mechanics' Institutions.


The golden smile of morning
On the hills of Moab play'd,
When at the city's western gate
Their steps three women stay'd.
One laden was with years and care,
A gray and faded dame,
Of Judah's ancient lineage,
And Naomi her name;
And two were daughters of the land,
Fair Orpah and sweet Ruth,
Their faces wearing still the bloom,
Their eyes the light of youth;
But all were childless widows,
And garb'd in weeds of woe,
And their hearts were full of sorrow,
And fast their tears did flow.
[Pg 123]
For the Lord God from Naomi
Her spouse and sons had taken,
And she and these that were their wives,
Are widow'd and forsaken;
And wish or hope her bosom knows
None other but to die,
And lay her bones in Bethlehem,
Where all her kindred lie.
So gives she now upon the way
To Jordan's western waters
Her farewell kisses and her tears
Unto her weeping daughters:
"Sweet daughters mine, now turn again
Unto your homes," she said,
"And for the love ye bear to me,
The love ye bear the dead,
The Lord with you deal kindly,
And give you joy and rest
And send to each a faithful mate
To cheer her widow'd breast."
Then long and loud their weeping was,
And sore was their lament,
And Orpah kiss'd sad Naomi,
And back to Moab went;
But gentle Ruth to Naomi
Did cleave with close embrace,
And earnest spoke, with loving eyes
Up-gazing in her face—
"Entreat me not to leave thee,
Nor sever from thy side,
For where thou goest I will go,
Where thou bidest I will bide,
[Pg 124] Thy people still my people,
And thy God my God shall be,
And where thou diest I will die,
And make my grave with thee."
So Naomi, not loath, was won
Unto her gentle will;
And thence, with faces westward set,
They fared o'er plain and hill;
The Lord their staff, till Bethlehem
Rose fair upon their sight,
A rock-built town with towery crown,
In evening's purple light,
Midst slopes in vine and olive clad,
And spread along the brook,
White fields, with barley waving,
That woo'd the reaper's hook.
       *       *       *       *       *
Now for the sunny harvest field
Sweet Ruth her mother leaves,
And goes a-gleaning after
The maids that bind the sheaves.
And the great lord of the harvest
Is of her husband's race,
And looks upon the lonely one
With gentleness and grace;
And he loves her for the brightness
And freshness of her youth,
And for her unforgetting love,
Her firm enduring truth—
The love and truth that guided Ruth
The border mountains o'er,
Where her people and her own land
She left for evermore.
[Pg 125]
So he took her to his home and heart,
And years of soft repose
Did recompense her patient faith,
Her meekly-suffer'd woes;
And she became the noblest dame
Of palmy Palestine,
And the stranger was the mother
Of that grand and glorious line
Whence sprang our royal David,
In the tide of generations,
The anointed king of Israel,
The terror of the nations:
Of whose pure seed hath God decreed
Messiah shall be born,
When the day-spring from on high shall light
The golden lands of morn;
Then heathen tongues shall tell the tale
Of tenderness and truth—
Of the gentle deed of Boaz
And the tender love of Ruth.
[Pg 126]


Oh, waste not thy woe on the dead, nor bemoan him
Who finds with his fathers the grave of his rest;
Sweet slumber is his, who at night-fall hath thrown him
Near bosoms that waking did love him the best.
But sorely bewail him, the weary world-ranger,
Shall ne'er to the home of his people return;
His weeping worn eyes must be closed by the stranger,
No tear of true sorrow shall hallow his urn.
And mourn for the monarch that went out of Zion,
King Shallum, the son of Josiah the Just;
For he the cold bed of the captive shall die on,
Afar from his land, nor return to its dust.
[Pg 127]


A song-writer of considerable popularity, Thomas C. Latto was born in 1818, in the parish of Kingsbarns, Fifeshire. Instructed in the elementary branches at the parochial seminary, he entered, in his fourteenth year, the United College of St Andrews. Having studied during five sessions at this University, he was in 1838 admitted into the writing-chambers of Mr John Hunter, W.S., Edinburgh, now Auditor of the Court of Session. He subsequently became advocate's clerk to Mr William E. Aytoun, Professor of Rhetoric in the University of Edinburgh. After a period of employment as a Parliament House clerk, he accepted the situation of managing clerk to a writer in Dundee. In 1852 he entered into business as a commission-agent in Glasgow. Subsequently emigrating to the United States, he has for some years been engaged in mercantile concerns at New York.

Latto first became known as a song-writer in the pages of "Whistle-binkie." In 1845 he edited a poem, entitled "The Minister's Kail-yard," which, with a number of lyrics of his own composition, appeared in a duodecimo volume. To the "Book of Scottish Song" he made several esteemed contributions. Verses from his pen have appeared in Blackwood's and Tait's Magazines.[Pg 128]


Tune"There 's nae Luck about the House."

There 's meikle bliss in ae fond kiss,
Whiles mair than in a score;
But wae betak' the stouin smack
I took ahint the door.
O laddie, whisht! for sic a fricht
I ne'er was in afore;
Fou brawly did my mither hear
The kiss ahint the door.
The wa's are thick—ye needna fear;
But, gin they jeer and mock,
I 'll swear it was a startit cork,
Or wyte the rusty lock.
There 's meikle bliss, &c.
We stappit ben, while Maggie's face
Was like a lowin' coal;
An' as for me, I could hae crept
Into a mouse's hole.
The mither look't—saffs how she look't!—
Thae mithers are a bore,
An' gleg as ony cat to hear
A kiss ahint the door.
Their 's meikle bliss, &c.
The douce gudeman, tho' he was there,
As weel micht been in Rome,
For by the fire he puff'd his pipe,
An' never fash'd his thumb;
[Pg 129] But, titterin' in a corner, stood
The gawky sisters four—
A winter's nicht for me they micht
Hae stood ahint the door.
There 's meikle bliss, &c.
"How daur ye tak' sic freedoms here?"
The bauld gudewife began;
Wi' that a foursome yell got up—
I to my heels and ran.
A besom whiskit by my lug,
An' dishclouts half-a-score:
Catch me again, tho' fidgin' fain,
At kissin 'hint the door.
There 's meikle bliss, &c.


Tune"My only Jo and Dearie, O!"

Oh, guess ye wha I met yestreen
On Kenly banks sae grassy, O!
Wha cam' to bless my waitin' een?—
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
She brak' my gloamin' dream sae sweet,
Just whaur the wimplin' burnies meet;
The smother'd laugh—I flew to greet
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
They glintit slee—the moon and she—
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!—
On tremblin' stream an' tremblin' me:
She is a dear wee lassie, O!
[Pg 130] How rapture's pulse was beating fast
As Mary to my heart I claspt!
Oh, bliss divine—owre sweet to last—
I 've kiss'd the dear bit lassie, O!
She nestled close, like croodlin' doo—
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
My cheek to hers, syne mou' to mou'—
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
Unto my breast again, again,
I prest her guileless heart sae fain;
Sae blest were baith—now she 's my ain,
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
Ye powers aboon, wha made her mine—
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
My heart wad break gin I should tyne
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!
Our hearth shall glad the angels' sight;
The lamp o' love shall lowe sae bright
On me and her, my soul's delight,
The widow's ae bit lassie, O!


The maidens are smiling in rocky Glencoe,
The clansmen are arming to rush on the foe;
Gay banners are streaming as forth pours the clan,
The yellow-haired laddie is first in the van.
The pibroch is kindling each heart to the war,
The Cameron's slogan is heard from afar;
They close for the struggle where many shall fall,
But the yellow-haired laddie is foremost of all.
[Pg 131]
He towers like a wave in the fierce rolling tide,
No kinsman of Evan's may stand by his side;
The Camerons gather around him alone—
He heeds not the danger, and fear is unknown.
The plumes of his bonnet are seen through the fight—
A beacon for valour, which fires at the sight;
But he sees not yon claymore—ah! traitorous thrust!
The plumes and the bonnet are laid in the dust.
The maidens are smiling in rocky Glencoe—
The clansmen approach—they have vanquish'd the foe;
But sudden the cheeks of the maidens are pale,
For the sound of the coronach comes on the gale.
The maidens are weeping in rocky Glencoe,
From warriors' eyelids the bitter drops flow;
They come—but, oh! where is their chieftain so dear?
The yellow-haired laddie is low on the bier.
The maidens are wailing in rocky Glencoe—
There 's gloom in the valley, at sunrise 'twill go;
But no sun can the gloom from their hearts chase away—
The yellow-haired laddie lies cauld in the clay.


Air"Loudon's bonnie Woods and Braes."

Tell me dear! in mercy speak,
Has Heaven heard my prayer, lassie?
Faint the rose is on thy cheek,
But still the rose is there, lassie!
[Pg 132] Away, away each dark foreboding,
Heavy days with anguish clouding,
Youthfu' love in sorrow shrouding,
Heaven could ne'er allow, lassie!
Day and night I've tended thee,
Watching, love, thy changing e'e;
Dearest gift that Heaven could gi'e,
Say thou 'rt happy now, lassie!
Willie, lay thy cheek to mine—
Kiss me, oh! my ain laddie!
Never mair may lip o' thine
Press where it hath lain, laddie!
Hark! I hear the angels calling,
Heavenly strains are round me falling,
But the stroke—thy soul appalling—
'Tis my only pain, laddie!
Yet the love I bear to thee
Shall follow where I soon maun be;
I 'll tell how gude thou wert to me—
We part to meet again, laddie!
Lay thine arm beneath my head—
Grieve na sae for me, laddie!
I'll thole the doom that lays me dead,
But no a tear frae thee, laddie!
Aft where yon dark tree is spreading,
When the sun's last beam is shedding,
Where no earthly foot is treading,
By my grave thou 'lt be, laddie!
Though my sleep be wi' the dead,
Frae on high my soul shall speed,
And hover nightly round thy head,
Although thou wilt na see, laddie.
[Pg 133]


William Cadenhead was born at Aberdeen on the 6th April 1819. With a limited education at school, he was put to employment in a factory in his ninth year. His leisure hours were devoted to mental culture, and ramblings in the country. The perusal of Beattie's Minstrel inspired him with the love of poetry, and at an early age his compositions in verse were admitted in the Poet's Corner of the Aberdeen Herald. In 1819 he published a small poetical work, entitled "The Prophecy," which, affording decided evidence of power, established his local reputation. Having contributed verses for some years to several periodicals and the local journals, he published a collection of these in 1853, with the title, "Flights of Fancy, and Lays of Bon-Accord." "The New Book of Bon-Accord," a guide-book to his native town on an original plan, appeared from his pen in 1856. For three years he has held a comfortable and congenial appointment as confidential clerk to a merchant in his native city. He continues to contribute verses to the periodicals.[Pg 134]


Do you know what the birds are singing?
Can you tell their sweet refrains,
When the green arch'd woods are ringing
With a thousand swelling strains?
To the sad they sing of sadness,
To the blythe, of mirth and glee,
And to me, in my fond love's gladness,
They sing alone of thee!
They sing alone of thee, love,
Of thee, through the whole day long,
And each its own dear charm extols,
And each with its own sweet song!
Do you know what the soft winds whisper
When they sigh through blooming trees—
When each bough is a choral lisper
Of the woodland melodies?
To some they seem to be grieving
For the summer's short-lived glee;
But to me they are always weaving
Sweet songs in praise of thee!
Sweet songs in praise of thee, love,
And telling the flowers below,
How far thy charms outshine them all,
Though brightly their soft leaves glow!
Do you know what the streamlet trilleth
As it glides or leaps along,
While the cool green nook it filleth
With the gushes of its song?
[Pg 135] Do you think it sings its dreaming
Of its distant home, the sea?
Oh, no, but the voice of its streaming
Is still of thee, of thee!
Is still of thee, of thee, love,
Till echoes and woodland fays—
Yea, Nature all is eloquent
And vocal in thy praise.


Lat me look into thy face, Jeanie,
As I 've look'd in days gane by,
When you gae me kiss for kiss, Jeanie,
And answer'd sigh for sigh;
When in our youth's first flame, Jeanie,
Although poor and lane together,
We had wealth in our ain love, Jeanie,
And were a' to ane anither!
Oh, blessin's on thy lips, Jeanie,
They ance were dear to me,
As the honey-savour'd blossoms
To the nectar-hunting bee!
It kens whar dwalls the banquets
O' the sweetest dewy wine—
And as the chosen flower to it,
Sae were thy lips to mine.
I see thy very thochts, Jeanie,
Deep in thy clear blue e'e,
As ye 'll see the silver fishes flash,
When ye sail the midnicht sea;
[Pg 136] And ye needna close the lids, Jeanie,
Though the thochts they are nae mine,
For I see there 's nae repentant ane,
That they ance were sae langsyne.
Oh, lat me hear thy voice, Jeanie—
Ay, that 's the very chime,
Whase silver echoes haunted me
Through a' my youthfu' prime.
Speak on! thy gentle words, Jeanie,
Awake a blessed train
Of memories that I thocht had slept
To never wake again!
God's blessin's on your heart, Jeanie,
And your face sae angel fair!
May the ane be never pierced wi' grief,
Nor the ither blanch'd wi' care;
And he wha has your love, Jeanie,
May he be dear to thee,
As I may aiblins ance have been—
And as thou 'rt still to me!
[Pg 137]


A poet of sentiment and moral feeling, Allan Gibson was removed from the scene at the threshold of a promising career. He was born at Paisley on the 2d October 1820. In his boyhood he devoted himself to the perusal of works of history and romance; and he acquired a familiarity with the more distinguished British poets. It was his delight to stray amidst rural scenes, and to imbibe inspiration among the solitudes of nature. His verses were composed at such periods. They are prefaced by prose reflections, and abound in delicate colouring and gentle pathos. Several detached specimens of his prose writing are elegant and masterly. He followed an industrial occupation, but was unfortunate in business. After an illness of two years, he died on the 9th August 1849, at the early age of twenty-nine. He was possessed of much general talent; was fond of society, fluent in conversation, and eloquent as a public speaker. His habits were sober and retiring. He left a widow and four children. A thin 8vo volume of his "Literary Remains" was published in 1850, for the benefit of his family.[Pg 138]


He sorrowfu' sat by the ingle cheek,
Its hearth was cauld to his weary feet,
For a' were gane, an' nae mair would meet
By the side o' the lane auld man.
To the wreck o' his hopes fond memory clung
When flowers o' his heart on his hearthstane sprung;
But death's cauld hand had cruelly wrung
The heart o' the lane auld man.
A leafless tree in life's wintry blast,
He stood alane o' his kin the last,
For ane by ane frae his side they pass'd,
An' left him a lane auld man.
His bonnie bairns, o' his heart the prize,
Wi' their bounding step and sunny eyes,
Hae left his hearth for hame in the skies;
Alack for the lane auld man!
The weel lo'ed form o' his ain auld wife,
Wha sooth'd the cares o' a lang bleak life,
Has gane to rest wi' her weans frae strife,
An' heeds na her lane auld man.
Owre the turf on their breast he lo'ed to weep,
And sair he lang'd wi' the lost to meet,
Till death did close, in his ain calm sleep,
The een o' the lane auld man.
[Pg 139]
Whar yew-trees bend owre the dark kirk-yard,
An' gowans peep frae the lang green-sward,
The moss-clad stanes o' the cauld grave guard
The last o' the lane auld man.


Shadows of glory the twilight is parting,
The day-star is seeking its home in the west,
The herd from the field to the fold is departing,
As, Lochwinnoch, sad on thy summits I rest.
And far o'er the scene, while the evening is veiling
Thy waters that spread their still breast on the lea,
On his broad truant wing the lone heron is sailing,
To rest with his mate by the rock on the sea.
But, houseless and homeless, around thee I wander,
The faces are gone I have panted to see,
And cold is the hearth to the feet of the stranger,
Which once had a seat in its circle for me.
Here youth's golden hours of my being were number'd,
When joy in my bosom was breathing its lay;
If care on the light of my happiness linger'd,
Hope hasted the heartless intruder away.
Then sweetly the brow of the beaming-eyed future
Was smiling my welcome to life's rosy way,
And fondly I sigh'd in her Eden to meet her,
And bask in the bowers where her happiness lay.
While fancy on light airy pinion was mounting,
I strain'd my young vision in rapture to see
The land of my dreams, with its love-mirror'd fountains,
And breath'd in the balm of the south's sunny sea.
[Pg 140]
Then, far on the track of ambition, I follow'd
The footsteps of fortune through perilous climes,
And trod the bright scenes which my childhood had hallow'd
But found not the charms which fond fancy enshrines.
The gold I have won, can it purchase the treasure
Of hearts' warm affections left bleeding behind,
Restore me the ties which are parted for ever,
And gild the dark gloom of my desolate mind?
The gold I have won! but, unblest and beguiling,
It came like the sun when unclouded and gay;
Its light on the cold face of winter is smiling,
But cheers not the earth with the warmth of its ray.
Again fare-thee-well, for the heart-broken rover
Now bids thee a long and a lasting adieu;
Yet o'er thee the dreams of my spirit will hover,
And burn as it broods on life's dismal review.
[Pg 141]


The author of a small volume of very meritorious poems and lyrics, Thomas Elliott is descended from a branch of the old Border family of that name, which settled in the north of Ireland subsequent to the Revolution. His father was a shoemaker at Bally-ho-bridge, a hamlet in county Fermanagh, province of Ulster, where the poet was born on the 22d December 1820. Entering school at the age of five years, he was not removed till he had acquired a considerable acquaintance with the ordinary branches of popular education. In his fifteenth year he apprenticed himself to his father. The family removed to Belfast in 1836, and there he had opportunities of occupying his leisure hours in extensive and varied reading. After a few years of somewhat desultory employment, he visited Glasgow in 1847, and there, following his original trade, he has continued to reside.

Elliott assigns the commencement of his poetical efforts to the year 1842, when he was led to satirise a pedagogue teacher of music, who had given him offence. His poetical volume, entitled "Doric Lays and Attic Chimes," appeared in 1856, and has been well received. Several of his lyrics have been published with music in "The Lyric Gems of Scotland," a collection of songs published at Glasgow.[Pg 142]


Up with the dawn, ye sons of toil,
And bare the brawny arm,
To drive the harness'd team afield,
And till the fruitful farm;
To dig the mine for hidden wealth,
Or make the woods to ring
With swinging axe and sturdy stroke,
To fell the forest king.
With ocean car and iron steed
Traverse the land and sea,
And spread our commerce round the globe
As winds that wander free.
Subdue the earth, and conquer fate,
Outspeed the flight of time;
Old earth is rich, and man is young,
Nor near his jocund prime.
Work, and the clouds of care will fly,
Pale want will pass away;
Work, and the leprosy of crime
And tyrants must decay.
Leave the dead ages in their urns;
The present time be ours,
To grapple bravely with our lot,
And strew our path with flowers.
[Pg 143]


Music by A. Hume.

Leave the city's busy throng—
Dip the oar, and wake the song,
While on Cathkin Braes the moon
Rises with a star aboon:
Hark! the boom of evening bells
Trembles through the dewy dells.
Row, lads, row; row, lads, row,
While the golden eventide
Lingers o'er the vale of Clyde,
Row, lads, row; row, lads, row,
O'er the tide, up the Clyde,
Row, lads, row.
Life 's a river, deep and old,
Stemm'd by rowers, brave and bold;
Now in shadow, then in light,
Onward aye, a thing of might;
Sons of Albyn's ancient land,
Row with strong and steady hand,
Row, lads, row; row, lads, row;
Gaily row, and cheery sing,
Till the woodland echoes ring;
Row, lads, row; row lads, row,
O'er the tide, up the Clyde,
Row, lads, row.
Hammers on the anvil rest,
Dews upon the gowan's breast;
Young hearts heave with tender thought,
Low winds sigh, with odours fraught,
[Pg 144] Stars bedeck the blue above,
Earth is full of joy and love;
Row, lads, row; row, lads, row;
Let your oars in concert beat
Merry time, like dancers' feet;
Row, lads, row; row, lads, row,
With the tide, down the Clyde,
Row, lads, row.


I love a sweet lassie, mair gentle and true
Than ony young, wood-loving, wild cushie doo;
Her cheeks they are dimpled, her jimp waist is sma',
She says she 's my ain lassie, dimples and a'—
Dimples and a', dimples and a'—
That bonnie wee lass wi' her dimples and a'.
Her brown wavy hair has a dark gowden tinge,
Her bonnie black e'e has a long jetty fringe,
Her footstep is light as the thistle doun's fa',
Her wee hand is lily-white, dimpled and a'—
Dimpled and a', dimpled and a'—
And I ken it 's my ain hand, dimples and a'.
I 'll wed my dear lassie, and gie her my name,
I 'll get a bit housie, and bring my love hame;
When winter is eerie, and stormy winds blaw,
She 'll mak' me fu' cheerie wi' dimples and a'—
Dimples and a', dimples and a'—
My ain bonnie wifie, wi' her dimples and a'.
[Pg 145]
When the day's wark is done, and stars blink above,
I 'll rest in her smile, and be bless'd wi' her love;
She 'll sing a' the cares o' this world awa'
Frae our cosie ingle, wi' dimples and a'.
Dimples and a', dimples and a'—
Our ain cosie ingle, wi' dimples and a'.


A wee bit laddie sits wi' a bowl upon his knees,
And from a cutty pipe 's puffing bubbles on the breeze;
Oh, meikle is the mirth of the weans on our stair,
To see the bubbles sail like balloons alang the air.
Some burst before they rise, others mount the gentle wind,
And leave the little band in their dizzy joy behind;
And such are human pomp and ambition at the last—
The wonder of an hour, like thae bubbles on the blast.
How breathless is the watch of that merry little throng,
To mark the shining globes as they float in pride along!
'Tis thus life's bubbles come, ever flashing from afar—
Now a revolution, and again a woeful war;
A hero or a bard, in their glory or their might;
A bonnie bird of song, or a nightingale of light;
Or yellow golden age, with its speculations vast—
All wonders of an hour, like the bubbles on the blast.
Shout on, ye little folk, for your sport is quite as sage
As that of older men, e'en the leaders of the age;
[Pg 146] This world 's a sapple bowl, and our life a pipe of clay—
Its brightest dreams and hopes are but bubbles blown away.
We 've had our bubbles too; some were dear and tender things,
That left us sad and lone as they fled on rapid wings;
And others yet may rise from the future, like the past,
The wonder of an hour, as the bubbles on the blast.


The shadows of evening fall silent around,
The rose with a cor'net of dewdrops is crown'd;
While weary I wander in sorrow's eclipse,
With your love at my heart, your name on my lips;
Your name on my lips, like a melody rare—
Then come, for I 'm lonely in shady Kenmair.
The birds by the river sing plaintive and low,
They seem to be breathing a burden of woe;
They seem to be asking, why am I alone?
And why do you tarry, or where are you gone?
The flowers are sighing sweet breath on the air,
And stars watch thy coming to shady Kenmair.
The gush of the fountain, the roll of the tide,
Recall your sweet image again to my side—
Your low mellow voice, like the tones of a flute;
Your slight yielding form, and small fairy foot;
Your neck like the marble, dark flowing your hair,
And brow like the snowdrop of shady Kenmair.
[Pg 147]
Come love, to the bank where the violets blow,
Beside the calm waters that slumber below,
While the brier and beech, the hazel and broom,
Fling down from their branches a flood of perfume;
Oh! what is the world, with its splendours or care,
When you are beside me in shady Kenmair!


I 'm a very little man,
And I earn a little wage,
And I have a little wife,
In a little hermitage,
Up a quiet little stair,
Where the creeping ivy clings;
In a mansion near the stars
Is my home of little things.
I 've two bonnie little bairns,
Full of prattle and of glee,
And our little dwelling rings
With their laughter, wild and free.
Of the greenwoods, all the day,
I 've a little bird that sings;
It reminds me of my youth,
And the age of little things.
I 've no money in the funds,
And no steamers on the sea;
But my busy little hands
Are a treasure unto me.
[Pg 148] I can work, and I can sing,
With a joy unknown to kings;
While peace and plenty smile
On my bonnie little things.
And when my work is done,
In my cosie ingle nook,
With my little ones around,
I can read a little book.
And I thank my lucky stars
For whatever fortune brings;
I 'm richer than a lord—
I 'm content with little things.


Oh! wae 's me on gowd, wi' its glamour and fame,
It tint me my love, and it wiled me frae hame,
Syne dwindled awa' like a neivefu' o' sand,
And left me to mourn for my ain mountain land.
I long for the glens, and the brown heather fells,
The green birken shades, where the wild lintie dwells,
The dash o' the deep, on the gray rocky strand,
That gird the blue hills o' my ain mountain land.
I dream o' the dells where the clear burnies flow,
The bonnie green knowes where the wee gowans grow;
But I wake frae my sleep like a being that 's bann'd,
And shed a saut tear for my ain mountain land.
[Pg 149]
I ken there 's a lass that looks out on the sea,
Wi' tears in the een that are watchin' for me;
Lang, lang she may wait for the clasp o' my hand,
Or the fa' o' my foot in my ain mountain land.


Give me the hour when bells are rung,
And dinsome wheels are still,
When engines rest, and toilers leave
The workshop, forge, and mill;
With smiling lip, and gladsome e'e,
My gudewife welcomes me;
Our bairnies clap their wee white hands,
And speel upon my knee.
When I come hame at e'en,
When I come hame at e'en,
How dear to me the bairnies' glee,
When I come hame at e'en.
Our lowly bield is neat and clean,
And bright the ingle's glow,
The table 's spread with halesome fare,
The teapot simmers low.
How sweet to toil for joys like these
With strong and eydent hand,
To nurture noble hearts to love,
And guard our fatherland.
When I come hame at e'en, &c.
[Pg 150]
Let revellers sing of wassail bowls,
Their wines and barley bree;
My ain wee house and winsome wife
Are dearer far to me.
To crack with her of joys to come,
Of days departed long,
When she was like a wee wild rose,
And I a bird of song.
When I come hame at e'en,
When I come hame at e'en,
How dear to me these memories
When I come hame at e'en.
[Pg 151]


William Logan, author of the song "Jeanie Gow," was born on the 18th February 1821, in the village of Kilbirnie, and county of Ayr. Intended by his parents for one of the liberal professions, he had the benefit of a superior school education. For a number of years he has held a respectable appointment in connexion with a linen-thread manufactory in his native place.


Ye hameless glens and waving woods,
Where Garnock winds alang,
How aft, in youth's unclouded morn,
Your wilds I 've roved amang.
There ha'e I heard the wanton birds
Sing blythe on every bough,
There first I met, and woo'd the heart
O' bonnie Jeanie Gow.
Dear Jeanie then was fair and young,
And bloom'd as sweet a flower
As ever deck'd the garden gay
Or lonely wild wood bower.
The warbling lark at early dawn,
The lamb on mountain brow,
Had ne'er a purer, lighter heart
Than bonnie Jeanie Gow.
[Pg 152]
Her faither's lowly, clay-built cot
Rose by Glengarnock side,
And Jeanie was his only stay,
His darling and his pride.
Aft ha'e I left the dinsome town,
To which I ne'er could bow,
And stray'd amang the ferny knowes
Wi' bonnie Jeanie Gow.
But, ah! these fondly treasured joys
Were soon wi' gloom o'ercast,
For Jeanie dear was torn awa'
By death's untimely blast.
Ye woods, ye wilds, and warbling birds,
Ye canna cheer me now,
Sin' a' my glee and cherish'd hopes
Ha'e gane wi' Jeanie Gow.
[Pg 153]


James Little was born at Glasgow, on the 24th May 1821. His father, a respectable shoemaker, was a claimant, through his maternal grandmother, of the title and estates of the last Marquis of Annandale. With a very limited elementary education, the subject of this notice, at an early age, was called on to work with his father; but soon afterwards he enlisted as a private soldier. After eight years of military life, chiefly passed in North America and the West Indies, he purchased his discharge, and resumed shoemaking in his native city. In 1852 he proceeded to the United States, but subsequently returned to Glasgow. In 1856 he published a small duodecimo volume of meritorious verses, with the title, "Sparks from Nature's Fire." Several songs from his pen have been published, with music, in the "Lyric Gems of Scotland."[Pg 154]


Oh, swiftly bounds our gallant bark
Across the ocean drear,
While manly cheeks are pale wi' grief,
And wet wi' sorrow's tear.
The flowers that spring upon the Clyde
Will bloom for us in vain;
Nae mair wi' lightsome step we 'll climb
Our native hills again.
Amang their glens our fathers sleep,
Where mony a thistle waves;
And roses fair and gowans meek
Bloom owre their lowly graves.
But we maun dree a sadder fate
Far owre the stormy main;
We lang may look, but never see
Our native hills again.
Yet, 'mid the forests o' the west,
When starnies light the sky,
We'll gather round the ingle's side,
And sing o' days gane by;
And sunny blinks o' joy will come
To soothe us when alane,
And aft, in nightly dreams, we'll climb
Our native hills again.
[Pg 155]


Music by Alexander Hume.

Sing not to me of sunny shores
Or verdant climes where olives bloom,
Where, still and calm, the river pours
Its flood, 'mid groves of rich perfume;
Give me the land where torrents flash,
Where loud the angry cat'racts roar,
As wildly on their course they dash—
Then here's a health to Scotia's shore.
Sing not to me of sunny isles,
Though there eternal summers reign,
Where many a dark-eyed maiden smiles,
And gaudy flow'rets deck the plain;
Give me the land of mountains steep,
Where wild and free the eagles soar,
The dizzy crags, where tempests sweep—
Then here's a health to Scotia's shore.
Sing not to me of sunny lands,
For there full often tyrants sway
Who climb to power with blood-stain'd hands,
While crouching, trembling slaves obey;
Give me the land unconquer'd still,
Though often tried in days of yore,
Where freedom reigns from plain to hill—
Then here's a health to Scotia's shore.
[Pg 156]


The happy days of yore!
Will they ever come again,
To shed a gleam of joy on us,
And win the heart from pain?
Or will they only come in dreams,
When nicht's black curtain 's hung?
Yet even then 'tis sweet to mind
The days when we were young.
Fond mem'ry, wi' its mystic power,
Brings early scenes to view—
Again we roam among the hills,
Sae wat wi' morning dew—
Again we climb the broomy knowes,
And sing wi' prattlin' tongue,
For we had nae cares to fash us
In the days when we were young.
How aft, when we were callants,
Hae we sought the ocean's shore,
And launch'd wi' glee our tiny boats,
And heard the billows roar?
And aft amang the glancin' waves
In daring sport we 've sprung,
And swam till we were wearied,
In the days when we were young.
In winter, round the ingle side,
We 've read wi' kindling e'e,
How Wallace Wight, and Bruce the Bold,
Aft made the southrons flee;
[Pg 157] Or listen'd to some bonnie sang,
By bonnie lassie sung:
Oh! love and happiness were ours,
In days when we were young.
Oh! his maun be a waefu' heart
That has nae sunny gleams
Of by-gane joys in early days,
Though it be but in dreams:
Wha thinks nae o' his mither's arms,
Sae aft around him flung,
To shield him safe frae earthly harms,
In days when he was young:
Wha thinks nae o' his sisters fair,
That toddled out and in,
And ran about the braes wi' him,
And play'd wi' meikle din;
And his maun be a barren heart,
Where love has never sprung,
Wha thinks nae o' the days gane by
The days when he was young.
[Pg 158]


'Twas a balmy summer gloamin',
When the sun had gane to rest,
And his gowden beams were glintin'
Owre the hills far in the west;
And upon the snawy gowan
Saftly fell the pearly dew,
When I met my heart's best treasure,
Gentle, winsome Lizzy Frew.
Light she tripp'd amang the bracken,
While her glossy waving hair
Play'd around her gentle bosom,
Dancing in the summer air.
Love laugh'd in her een sae paukie,
Smiles play'd round her rosy mou',
And my heart was led a captive
By the charms o' Lizzie Frew.
Thochts o' her can mak' me cheerie,
As I toil the lee-lang day;
And at nicht, though e'er sae wearie,
Gladly out wi' her I stray.
I ask nae for a greater pleasure,
Than to ken her heart is true—
I ask nae for a greater treasure,
Than my gentle Lizzie Frew.
[Pg 159]


The son of a respectable shipowner and captain in the merchant service, Colin Rae Brown was born at Greenock on the 19th of December 1821. Having completed his education in Glasgow, whither the family removed in 1829, he entered a mercantile warehouse. In 1842, he formed a connexion with the publishing house of Messrs Murray and Sons, Glasgow, and undertook the management of a branch of the business at Greenock. On the establishment in Glasgow of the North British Daily Mail, he accepted an offer by the proprietor to become the publisher of that newspaper. When the Mail passed into the hands of other proprietors, Mr Brown established, in conjunction with a partner, the Fine Art Gallery in St Vincent Street, with which he continues to be connected. In 1848 he published a volume of lyrics, which was well received; a second poetical work from his pen, which appeared in 1855, with the title, "Lays and Lyrics," has met with similar success. A number of songs from both volumes have been published separately with music. On the abolition of the stamp-duty on newspapers in 1855, Mr Brown originated the Bulletin and Workman, a daily and a weekly newspaper, both published in Glasgow.[Pg 160]


Charlie 's comin' o'er the sea,
Soon, he 'll set the country free
From those that bear the rule and gree
In bonnie Caledonia!
Gentle breezes, softly blow,
We burn until we meet the foe,
And strike the bold decisive blow
For king and Caledonia!
Noble hearts are beating high,
All will fight, none basely fly,
For if they conquer not, they 'll die
For ancient Caledonia!
Oh, that Charlie were but here!
The base usurper then might fear—
As loud the din fell on his ear
Of joy in Caledonia!
Heard ye not that distant hum?
And now the pipe, and now the drum,
Proclaim the news that Charlie 's come
To gladden Caledonia!
Tyrants, tremble, Charlie 's here!
Now, indeed, ye 've cause to fear;
Hielan' hearts be of good cheer,
And on for Caledonia!
[Pg 161]


Why gaze on that pale face,
Childless one, childless one?
Why seek this lonely place?
She hath gone, she hath gone.
Thy daughter is not here,
Widow'd one, widow'd one—
Nay, wipe away that tear,
She hath won, she hath won!
Her home is far away,
She 's at rest, she 's at rest,
In everlasting day,
With the blest, with the blest.
No pains, no sorrows there,
All are past, all are past;
That sigh summ'd up her care,
'Twas her last, 'twas her last.
'Tis not her there you see,
Sister dear, sister dear;
That earth holds nought for thee,
Draw not near, draw not near.
The place is cold and dark,
Haste away, haste away;
Corruption is at work—
Soulless clay! soulless clay!
[Pg 162]
The lamp hath ceased to burn,
Quench'd the flame, quench'd the flame;
Let dust to dust return,
Whence it came, whence it came.
To thy chamber, sister dear;
There to God, there to God,
Bend humble and sincere,
'Neath His rod, 'neath His rod.
Prayer heals the broken heart—
He is kind, He is kind;
Each bruised and bleeding part
He will bind, He will bind.
Weep not for her that 's gone—
Time will fly, time will fly—
Thou 'lt meet thy cherish'd one
'Yond the sky! 'yond the sky!
[Pg 163]


Robert Leighton, author of "Rhymes and Poems by Robin," a duodecimo volume of verses, published in 1855, was born at Dundee in 1822. He has been chiefly employed in mercantile concerns. The following lyric, which has attained some popularity, was one of his earliest poetical efforts, being composed in his sixteenth year.


There 's some can be happy and bide whar they are,
There 's ithers ne'er happy unless they gang far;
But aft do I think I 'm an easy auld stock,
While I 'm joggin' about wi' my muckle meal pock.
Though noo I be auld, abune four score and aucht,
Though my pow it be bauld and my craig be na straucht,
Yet frae mornin' till e'en—aye as steady 's a rock—
I gang joggin' about wi' my muckle meal pock.
Just our ain parish roond, and nae mair I gang through,
And when at the end I begin it anew;
There isna' a door but wad blythely unlock,
To welcome me ben wi' my muckle meal pock.
[Pg 164]
There isna' a hoose but I micht mak' my hame,
There isna' an auld wife wad think me to blame,
Though I open'd the door without gieing a knock,
And cam' ben to the fire wi' my muckle meal pock.
As ony newspaper they say I 'm as gweed,
And better, say some, for they hinna to read;
The lads and the lasses around me a' flock,
And there 's no ane forgets that I hae a meal pock.
The gudeman he speaks about corn and lan',
"Hoo 's the markets," says he, "are they risen or fa'en?
Or is this snawie weather the roads like to chock?"
But the gudewife aye spiers for my muckle meal pock.
To be usefu' to her I haud sticks on the fire,
Or whan to the milkin' she gangs to the byre,
She 'll gie me a hand o' the cradle to rock,
And for that she 's aye gude to my muckle meal pock.
Though my friends a' be gane whar I yet hae to gang,
And o' followin' them noo I canna be lang,
Yet while I am here I will lauch and I 'll joke,
For I 'll aye find a friend in my muckle meal pock.
[Pg 165]


A poet of much elegance and power, James Henderson was born on the 2d November 1824, on the banks of the river Carron, in the village of Denny and county of Stirling. In his tenth year, he proceeded to Glasgow, where he was employed in mercantile concerns. Strongly influenced by sentiments of patriotism, and deeply imbued with the love of nature in its ever varying aspects, he found relaxation from business in the composition of verses. In 1848 he published a thin octavo volume, entitled "Glimpses of the Beautiful, and other Poems," which was much commended by the periodical and newspaper press. Having proceeded to India in 1849, he became a commission agent in Calcutta. He visited Britain in 1852, but returned to India the same year. Having permanently returned from the East in 1855, he has since settled in Glasgow as an East India merchant.


Afar from the home where his youthful prime
And his happy hours were pass'd,
On the distant shore of a foreign clime
The wanderer breathed his last.
[Pg 166] And they dug his grave where the wild flowers wave,
By the brooklet's glassy brim;
And the song-bird there wakes its morning prayer,
And the dirge of its evening hymn.
He left the land of his childhood fair,
With hope in his glowing breast,
With visions bright as the summer's light,
And dreams by his fancy blest.
But death look'd down with a chilling frown
As he stood on that distant shore,
And he leant his head on the stranger's bed,
Till the last sad pang was o'er.
Strange faces, fill'd with a soulless look,
O'er the wanderer's deathbed hung;
And the words were cold as the wintry wold,
That fell from each heedless tongue.
Nor mournful sigh, nor tearful eye
The solace of pity gave,
While the moments pass'd till he breathed his last,
To sleep in the silent grave.
Afar from the home where his youthful prime
And his happy hours were pass'd,
On the distant shore of a foreign clime
The wanderer breathed his last.
And they dug his grave where the wild flowers wave,
By the brooklet's glassy brim;
And the song-bird there wakes its morning prayer,
And the dirge of its evening hymn.
[Pg 167]


I fleet along, and the empires fall,
And the nations pass away,
Like visions bright of the dreamy night,
That die with the dawning day.
The lordly tower, and the battled wall,
The hall, and the holy fane,
In ruin lie while I wander by,
Nor rise from their wreck again.
I light the rays of the orient blaze,
The glow of the radiant noon;
I wing my flight with the sapphire night,
And glide with the gentle moon.
O'er earth I roam, and the bright expanse
Where the proud bark bounds away;
And I join the stars in their choral dance
Round the golden orb of day.
I fleet along, and the empires fall,
And the nations pass away,
Like visions bright of the dreamy night,
That die with the dawning day.
The sceptre sinks in the regal hall,
And still'd is the monarch's tread,
The mighty stoop as the meanest droop,
And sleep with the nameless dead.
[Pg 168]


The Highland hills! there are songs of mirth,
And joy, and love on the gladsome earth;
For Spring, in her queenly robes, hath smiled
In the forest glade and the woodland wild.
Then come with me from the haunts of men
To the glassy lake in the mountain glen,
Where sunshine sleeps on the dancing rills
That chainless leap from the Highland hills.
The Highland hills! when the sparkling rays
Of the silver dews greet the orient blaze,
When noon comes forth with her gorgeous glow,
While the fountains leap and the rivers flow,
Thou wilt roam with me where the waterfalls
Bid echo wake in the rocky halls,
Till the grandeur wild to thy heart instils
A deep delight 'mid the Highland hills.
The Highland hills! when the noonday smiles
On the slumbering lakes and their fairy isles,
We 'll clamber high where the heather waves
By the warrior's cairn and the foemen's graves;
And I 'll sing to thee, in "the bright day's prime,"
Of the days of old and of ancient time,
And thy heart, unknown to the care that chills,
Shall gladly joy in the Highland hills.
The Highland hills! in the twilight dim
To their heath-clad crests shall thy footsteps climb,
And there shalt thou gaze o'er the ocean far,
Till the beacon blaze of the evening star,
[Pg 169] And the lamp of night, with its virgin beams,
Look down on the deep and the shining streams,
Till beauty's spell on thy spirit thrills
With joy and love in the Highland hills.


Sublime is Scotia's mountain land,
And beautiful and wild;
By tyranny's unhallow'd hand
Unsullied, undefiled.
The free and fearless are her sons,
The good and brave her sires;
And, oh! her every spirit glows
With freedom's festal fires!
When dark oppression far and wide
Its gory deluge spread,
While nations, ere they pass'd away,
For hope and vengeance bled,
She from her rocky bulwarks high
The banner'd eagle hurl'd,
And trampled on triumphant Rome,
The empress of the world.
She gave the Danish wolf a grave
Deep in her darkest glens,
And chased the vaunting Norman hound
Back to his lowland dens;
[Pg 170] And though the craven Saxon strove
Her regal lord to be,
Her hills were homes to nurse the brave,
The fetterless, and free.
Peace to the spirits of the dead,
The noble, and the brave;
Peace to the mighty who have bled
Our Fatherland to save!
We revel in the pure delight
Of deeds achieved by them,
To crown their worth and valour bright
With glory's diadem.
[Pg 171]


The writer of several good songs, James Maclardy was born in Glasgow on the 22d August 1824. His father, who afterwards removed to Paisley, was a journeyman shoemaker in humble circumstances. With the scanty rudiments of education, young Maclardy was early cast upon the world. For a course of years he led a sort of rambling life, repeatedly betaking himself to the occupation of a pedlar, and sometimes being dependent for subsistence on his skill as a ballad singer. Adopting his father's profession, he became more fortunate, and now took delight in improving himself in learning, and especially in perusing the works of the poets. After practising his craft in various localities, he has latterly settled in Glasgow, where he holds a situation of respectable emolument.[Pg 172]


The sunny days are come, my love,
The gowan 's on the lea,
And fragrant flow'rs wi' hiney'd lips,
Invite the early bee;
The scented winds are whisp'ring by,
The lav'rock 's on the wing,
The lintie on the dewy spray
Gars glen and woodland ring.
The sunny days are come, my love,
The primrose decks the brae,
The vi'let in its rainbow robe
Bends to the noontide ray;
The cuckoo in her trackless bower
Has waken'd from her dream;
The shadows o' the new-born leaves
Are waving in the stream.
The sunny days are come, my love,
The swallow skims the lake,
As o'er its glassy bosom clear
The insect cloudlets shake.
The heart of nature throbs with joy
At love and beauty's sway;
The meanest creeping thing of earth
Shares in her ecstasy.
Then come wi' me my bonny Bell,
And rove Gleniffer o'er,
And ye shall lend a brighter tint
To sunshine and to flower;
[Pg 173] And ye shall tell the heart ye 've won
A blessing or a wae—
Awake a summer in my breast,
Or bid hope's flowers decay.
For spring may spread her mantle green,
O'er mountain, dell, and lea,
And summer burst in every hue
Wi' smiles and melody,
To me the sun were beamless, love,
And scentless ilka flower,
Gin ye were no this heart's bright sun,
Its music and its bower.


Oh, my love was fair as the siller clud
That sleeps in the smile o' dawn;
An' her een were bricht as the crystal bells
That spangle the blossom'd lawn:
An' warm as the sun was her kind, kind heart,
That glow'd 'neath a faemy sea;
But I fear'd, by the tones o' her sweet, sweet voice,
That my love was nae for me.
Oh, my love was gay as the summer time,
When the earth is bricht an' gled,
An' fresh as the spring when the young buds blaw,
In their sparkling pearl-draps cled:
[Pg 174] An' her hair was like chains o' the sunset sheen
That hangs 'tween the lift an' sea;
But I fear'd, by the licht that halo'd her face,
That my love was nae for me.
Oh, my love was sweet as the violet flower
That waves by the moss-grown stane,
An' her lips were rich as the rowans red
That hang in forest lane;
An' her broo was a dreamy hill o' licht,
That struck ane dumb to see;
But I fear'd, by signs that canna be named,
That my love was nae for me.
Oh, my love was mild as the autumn gale
That fans the temples o' toil,
An' the sweets o' a thousand summers cam'
On her breath an' sunny smile:
An' spotless she gaed on the tainted earth,
O' a mortal blemish free,
While my heart forgot, in its feast o' joy,
That my love was nae for me.
Oh, my love was leal, an' my cup o' bliss
Was reaming to the brim,
When, ae gloaming chill, to her sacred bower
Cam' a grisly carl fu' grim,
Wha dash'd the cup frae my raptured lips
Wi' a wild, unearthly glee;
Sae the ghaistly thought was then confirm'd,
That my love was nae for me.
[Pg 175]
Oh, my love was young, an' the grim auld carl
Held her fast in his cauld embrace,
An' suck'd the red frae her hiney'd mou',
An' the blush frae her peachy face:
He stifled the sound o' her charm'd throat,
An' quench'd the fires o' her e'e;
But fairer she blooms in her heavenly bower,
For my love was nae for me.
Sae I tyned my love an' I tyned my heart,
An' I tyned baith wealth an' fame;
Syne I turn'd a sad, weary minstrel wicht,
Wi' the cauld warld for my hame.
Yet my minstrelsy 's but a lanely lay,
My wealth my aumous fee;
Oh, wad that I were wi' the grim auld carl,
For this warld is nae for me.
[Pg 176]


The author of "Harebell Chimes," a volume of interesting verses, Andrew James Symington, was born at Paisley, on the 27th of July 1825. His father was a scion of the noble house of Douglas, and his mother claimed descent from the old Highland family of Macalister. On the completion of his education at the grammar school, the subject of this sketch entered the warehouse of his father, who carried on business as a muslin manufacturer. By the death of his father in 1841, he succeeded, along with an elder brother, to the full management of the concern. In 1848 the establishment was removed from Paisley to Glasgow, where it continues to be prosperously carried on.

Eminently devoted to literary and artistic studies, Mr Symington has cultivated the personal intercourse of artists and men of letters. He has contributed to some of the leading periodicals. His volume of "Harebell Chimes," published in 1849, contains poetry of a high order; it was especially commended by the late Samuel Rogers, with whom the author had the privilege of corresponding. In 1855, a small volume entitled "Genivieve, and other Poems," was printed by Mr Symington for circulation among his friends.[Pg 177]


Close by the marge of Leman's lake,
Upon a thymy plot,
In blissful rev'rie, half awake,
Earth's follies all forgot,
I conjured up a faery isle
Where sorrow enter'd not,
Withouten shade of sin or guile—
A lovely Eden spot.
With trellis'd vines, in cool arcade,
And leaves of tender green,
All trembling in the light and shade,
As sunbeams glanced between:
The mossy turf, bespangled gay
With fragrant flowery sheen—
Bell, primrose, pink, and showers of May—
The fairest ever seen.
Near where a crystal river ran
Into the rich, warm light,
A domèd palace fair began
To rise in marble white.
'Twas fill'd, as if by amulet,
With mirrors dazzling bright—
With antique vase and statuette,
A palace of delight.
And "Mignon" in a snow-white dress,
With circlet on her hair,
Appear'd in all her loveliness,
Like angel standing there.
[Pg 178] She struck the cithern in her hand,
And sang with 'witching air
Her own sweet song, "Know'st thou the land?"
To music wild and rare.
It died away—the palace changed,
Dream-like, into a bower!
Around, the soft-eyed dun-deer ranged,
Secure from hunter's power.
Wild thyme and eye-bright tinged the ground,
With daisy, starry flower,
While crimson flower-bells cluster'd round
The rose-twined faery bower.
Therein "Undine," lovely sprite!
Sat gazing on sunrise,
And sang of "morning, clear and bright"—
The tears came in her eyes:
She look'd upon the lovely isle,
And now up to the skies,
Then in a silv'ry misty veil
She vanish'd from mine eyes.
A music, as of forest trees
Bent 'neath the storm-blast's sway,
Rose swelling—dying in the breeze,
A strange, wild lullaby.
The islet with its flowery turf
Then waxèd dim and gray;
I look'd—no islet gemm'd the surf—
The dream had fled away.
[Pg 179]


Fair as a star of light,
Like diamond gleaming bright,
Through darkness of the night,
Is my love to me.
As bell of lily white,
In streamlet mirror'd bright,
All quiv'ring with delight,
Is my love to me—
My love to me.
A flowing magic thrill
Which floodeth heart and will
With gushes musical,
Is my love to me.
Bright as the trancèd dream,
Which flitteth in a gleam,
Before morn's golden beam,
Is my love to me—
My love to me.
Like living crystal well,
In cool and shady dell,
Unto the parch'd gazelle,
Is my love to me.
And dearer than things fair,
However rich and rare,
In earth, or sea, or air,
Is my love to me—
My love to me.
[Pg 180]


There is music in the storm, love,
When the tempest rages high;
It whispers in the summer breeze
A soft, sweet lullaby.
There is music in the night,
When the joyous nightingale,
Clear warbling, filleth with his song
The hillside and the vale.
Then sing, sing, sing,
For music breathes in everything.
There is music by the shore, love,
When foaming billows dash;
It echoes in the thunder peal,
When vivid lightnings flash.
There is music by the shore,
In the stilly noon of night,
When the murmurs of the ocean fade
In the clear moonlight.
There is music in the soul, love,
When it hears the gushing swell,
Which, like a dream intensely soft,
Peals from the lily-bell.
There is music—music deep
In the soul that looks on high,
When myriad sparkling stars sing out
Their pure sphere harmony.
[Pg 181]
There is music in the glance, love,
Which speaketh from the heart,
Of a sympathy in souls
That never more would part.
There is music in the note
Of the cooing turtle-dove;
There is music in the voice
Of dear ones whom we love.
There is music everywhere, love,
To the pure of spirit given;
And sweetest music heard on earth
But whispers that of heaven.
Oh, all is music there—
'Tis the language of the sky—
Sweet hallelujahs there resound
Eternal harmony.
Then sing, sing, sing,
For music breathes in everything.
[Pg 182]


Isabella Craig is a native of Edinburgh, where she has continued to reside. Her educational advantages were limited. To the columns of the Scotsman newspaper she has for several years contributed verses. In 1856 she published a collection of her poetical compositions, in a duodecimo volume, with the title, "Poems by Isa." She contributes to the periodicals.


Is our Helen very fair?
If you only knew her
You would doubt it not, howe'er
Stranger eyes may view her.
We who see her day by day
Through our household moving,
Whether she be fair or nay
Cannot see for loving.
O'er our gentle Helen's face
No rich hues are bright'ning,
And no smiles of feignèd grace
From her lips are light'ning;
[Pg 183] She hath quiet, smiling eyes,
Fair hair simply braided,
All as mild as evening skies
Ere sunlight hath faded.
Our kind, thoughtful Helen loves
Our approving praises,
But her eye that never roves
Shrinks from other gazes.
She, so late within her home
But a child caressing,
Now a woman hath become,
Ministering, blessing.
All her duty, all her bliss,
In her home she findeth,
Nor too narrow deemeth this—
Lowly things she mindeth;
Yet when deeper cares distress,
She is our adviser;
Reason's rules she needeth less,
For her heart is wiser.
For the sorrows of the poor
Her kind spirit bleedeth,
And, because so good and pure,
For the erring pleadeth.
Is our Helen very fair?
If you only knew her
You would doubt it not, howe'er
Stranger eyes may view her.
[Pg 184]


In that home was joy and sorrow
Where an infant first drew breath,
While an aged sire was drawing
Near unto the gate of death.
His feeble pulse was failing,
And his eye was growing dim;
He was standing on the threshold
When they brought the babe to him.
While to murmur forth a blessing
On the little one he tried,
In his trembling arms he raised it,
Press'd it to his lips and died.
An awful darkness resteth
On the path they both begin,
Who thus met upon the threshold,
Going out and coming in.
Going out unto the triumph,
Coming in unto the fight—
Coming in unto the darkness,
Going out unto the light;
Although the shadow deepen'd
In the moment of eclipse,
When he pass'd through the dread portal
With the blessing on his lips.
And to him who bravely conquers,
As he conquer'd in the strife,
Life is but the way of dying—
Death is but the gate of life;
[Pg 185] Yet awful darkness resteth
On the path we all begin,
Where we meet upon the threshold,
Going out and coming in.


We were baith neebor bairns, thegither we play'd,
We loved our first love, an' our hearts never stray'd;
When I got my young lassie her first vow to gie,
We promised to wait for each ither a wee.
My mother was widow'd when we should hae wed,
An' the nicht when we stood roun' my father's death-bed,
He charged me a husband and father to be,
While my young orphan sisters clung weepin' to me.
I kent nae, my Mary, what high heart was thine,
Nor how brightly thy love in a dark hour wad shine,
Till in doubt and in sorrow, ye whisper'd to me,
"Win the blessing o' Heaven for thy Mary and thee."
An' years hae flown by deeply laden wi' care,
But Mary has help'd me their burden to bear,
She gave me my shield in misfortune and wrong,
'Twas she that aye bade me be steadfast and strong.
Her meek an' quiet spirit is aye smooth as now,
Her saft shinin' hair meekly shades her white brow,
A few silver threads 'mang its dark faulds I see,
They tell me how lang she has waited on me.
[Pg 186]
Her cheek has grown paler, for she too maun toil,
Her sma' hands are thinner, less mirthfu' her smile;
She aft speaks o' heaven, and if she should dee,
She tells me that there she 'll be waitin' on me.


I will sing a song of summer,
Of bright summer as it dwells,
Amid leaves and flowers and sunshine,
In lone haunts and grassy dells.
Lo! the hill encircled valley
Is like an emerald cup,
To its inmost depths all glowing,
With sunlight brimming up.
Here I 'd dream away the day time,
And let happy thoughts have birth,
And forget there 's aught but glory,
Aught but beauty on the earth.
Not a speck of cloud is floating
In the deep blue overhead,
'Neath the trees the daisied verdure
Like a broider'd couch is spread.
The rustling leaves are dancing
With the light wind's music stirr'd,
And in gushes through the stillness
Comes the song of woodland bird.
Here I 'd dream away the day-time,
And let gentlest thoughts have birth,
And forget there 's aught but gladness,
Aught but peace upon the earth.
[Pg 187]


The writer of some spirited lyrics, Robert Duthie was born in Stonehaven on the 2d of February 1826. Having obtained an ordinary elementary education, he was apprenticed, in his fourteenth year, to his father, who followed the baking business. He afterwards taught a private school in his native town; but, on the death of his father, in 1848, he resumed his original profession, with the view of supporting his mother and the younger members of the family. Devoting his leisure hours to literature and poetry, he is a frequent contributor to the provincial journals; and some of his lyrical productions promise to secure him a more extended reputation.


I 'm afloat, I 'm afloat on the wild sea waves,
And the tempest around me is swelling;
The winds have come forth from their ice-ribb'd caves,
And the waves from their rocky dwelling;
But my trim-built bark
O'er the waters dark
Bounds lightly along,
And the mermaid lists to my echoing song.
Hurrah! hurrah! how I love to lave
In the briny spray of the wild sea wave!
[Pg 188]
I 'm afloat, I 'm afloat on the foaming deep,
And the storm-bird above me is screaming;
While forth from the cloud where the thunders sleep
The lightning is fearfully gleaming;
But onward I dash,
For the fitful flash
Illumes me along,
And the thunders chorus my echoing song.
Hurrah! hurrah! how I love to brave
The dangers that frown on the wild sea wave!
I 'm afloat, I 'm afloat where my well-served shot
Lays the war-dogs bleeding around me;
But ne'er do I yield on the tentless field
Till the wreath of the victor hath crown'd me;
Then I, a true child
Of the ocean wild,
With a tuneful tongue
Bear away with my prize and my conquering song.
Hurrah! hurrah! shot and storm, let them rave—
I 'm at home, dashing on through the wild sea wave!
I 'm afloat, I 'm afloat on my ocean home—
The home of the hurrying billow;
But the time is at hand when no longer I 'll roam,
But in peace lay me down on its pillow:
The petrel will scream
My requiem hymn,
And the thunders prolong
The deep-chorus'd note of my last echo'd song,
As I sink to repose in my rock-bound grave
That is down in the depths of the wild sea wave.
[Pg 189]


Hurrah! hurrah! for the boundless sea,
The home of the rover, the bold and free;
Land hath its charms, but those be mine,
To row my boat through the sparkling brine—
To lave in the pearls that kiss the prow
Of the bounding thing as we onward go—
To nerve the arm and bend the oar,
Bearing away from the vacant shore.
Pull away, pull away o'er the glassy sea—
'Tis the tempest's path, and the path for me;
Land hath its charms, but no charms like thine:
Hurrah! let us dash through the sparkling brine.
Gloomily creeping the mists appear
In denser shade on the mountains drear;
And the twilight steals o'er the stilly deep,
By the zephyrs hush'd to its evening sleep;
Nor a ripple uprears a whiten'd crest,
To wrinkle the blue of its placid breast;
But all is still, save the lisping waves
Washing the shells in the distant caves.
Pull away, pull away o'er the sleeping sea—
'Tis the tempest's path, and the path for me—
'Tis the home of my heart where I 'd ever rove!
Hurrah! hurrah! for the home I love.
Oh, I love the sound of the tempest's roar,
And I love the splash of the bending oar,
[Pg 190] Playing amid the phosphoric fire,
Seen as the eddying sparks retire.
'Tis a fairy home, and I love to roam
Through its sleeping calm or its lashing foam.
The land hath its charms, but the sea hath more;
Then away let us row from the vacant shore.
Pull away, pull away o'er the mighty sea—
'Tis the tempest's path, and the path for me;
'Tis the home of the rover, the bold and free:
Hurrah! hurrah! for the boundless sea.


When we meet again, Lisette,
Let the sun be sunk to rest
Beneath the glowing wavelets
Of the widely spreading west;
Let half the world be hush'd
In the drowsiness of sleep,
And howlets scream the music
Of the revels that they keep.
Let the gentle lady-moon,
With her coldly drooping beams,
Be dancing in the ripple
Of the ever-laughing streams,
Where the little elves disport
In the stilly noon of night,
And lave their limbs of ether
In the mellow flood of light.
[Pg 191]
When we meet again, Lisette,
Let it be in yonder pile,
Beneath the massy fretting
Of its darkly-shaded aisle,
Where, through the crumbling arches
The quaint old carvings loom,
And saint and seraph keep their watch
O'er many an ancient tomb.
[Pg 192]


Alexander Stephen Wilson was born on the 4th April 1826, in the parish of Rayne, Aberdeenshire. His father, who rented a farm, having been killed by a fall from his horse, the subject of this sketch was brought up from infancy under the care of his maternal grandfather. In his boyhood he attended school during winter, and in summer was employed as a cow-herd. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a land-surveyor, with whom he served five years. With a native turn for versifying, he early invoked the muse, and contributed poetry to the public journals. At the close of his apprenticeship, he established a debating club among the young men in the district of Rayne, and subsequently adventured on the publication of a monthly periodical. The latter, entitled The Rural Echo, was almost wholly occupied with the ingenious projector's own compositions, both in prose and poetry, and commanded a wide circulation. Devoted to metaphysical inquiries, Mr Wilson has latterly turned his attention to that department of study. He has likewise been ardent in the pursuit of physical science. An ingenious treatise from his pen on the nature of light, published in 1855, attracted no inconsiderable notice, and is strongly indicative of original power. He has latterly resided in Perth, holding the appointment of assistant civil engineer.[Pg 193]


The gloom of dark despondency
At times will cloud the breast;
Hope's eagle eye may shaded be,
'Mid fortune's fears oppress'd;
But while we nurse an honest aim
We shall not break nor bend,
For when things are at the worst
They must mend.
The gentle heart by hardship crush'd
Will sing amid its tears,
And though its voice awhile be hush'd,
'Tis tuned for coming years;
A light from out the future shines
With hope's tear-drops to blend,
And when things are at the worst
They must mend.
Amid life's danger and despair
Still let our deeds be true,
For nought but what is right and fair
Can heal our hopeless view.
The beautiful will soothe us, like
The sunshine of a friend,
And when things are at the worst
They must mend.
Oh, never leave life's morning dream,
'Tis whisper'd down from heaven,
But trace its maze, though sorrow seem
The sole reward that 's given;
[Pg 194] The joy is there, or not on earth,
Which with our souls may blend,
And when things are at the worst
They must mend.


Life's pleasure seems sadness and care,
When dark is the bosom that feels,
Yet mingled wi' shades o' despair
Is the ray which our sorrow reveals;
Though darkly at times flows the stream,
It rows till its waters are clear—
And Hope shields a bud in our life's darkest dream
Like the wee blink that shines in a tear.
Afar in the wilderness blooms
The flower that spreads beauty around,
And Nature smiles sweet on our tombs
And softens with balm every wound.
Oh, call not our life sad nor vain,
Wi' its joys that can ever endear,
There 's a sweet ray of pleasure star deep in each pain,
Like the wee blink that shines in a tear.
Sweet smiles the last hope in our woe
And fair is the lone desert isle;
Young Flora peeps gay from the snow;
And dearest in grief is a smile;
[Pg 195] The dew-drop is bright with a star;
Age glows when young memories appear;
But a symbol to hope that is sweeter by far
Is the wee blink that shines in a tear.


Ye have cross'd o'er the wave from the glades where I roved,
When my wild heart was careless and free,
But now far away from the zephyrs ye loved,
Ye are bloomless and wither'd like me.
Yet sweet is the perfume that 's breathed from your leaves,
Like songs of the dear olden time;
Ye come with the memory that glads while it grieves,
Sweet flowers of my own loved clime!
Oh, strange are the dreams ye awake in my breast
Of the home and the friends that were mine,
In the days when I feel that my bosom was blest,
Nor deem'd it should ever repine.
I gaze on your leaves where loved eyes have been,
And the spell brings the dear olden time
When I roved where ye bloom'd in yon valley so green,
Sweet flowers of my own loved clime!
Deep down in my heart, where the world cannot see,
I treasure a life all my own,
And that land, sweet flowers, shall ope for thee,
For like thine half its beauty hath flown.
I 'll live o'er the raptures of young years again,
And snatch back the dear olden time,
When I gaze on your blossoms, in pleasure or pain,
Sweet flowers of my own loved clime!
[Pg 196]


A poet of singular merit, under circumstances in the highest degree unfavourable to intellectual culture, James Macfarlan was born in Glasgow on the 9th April 1832. His father, who follows the occupation of a pedlar, caused him to become, from an early age, the companion of his wanderings. A few months' attendance at educational seminaries in Glasgow and Greenock constituted his entire scholastic education; but an intense ardour in the pursuit of letters supplied the lack of a more methodical training. At the age of twenty-two, he produced a volume of poems which attracted much attention, and called forth the warmest encomiums from the press. This was followed by two smaller publications of verses, with the titles, "City Songs, and other Poetical Pieces," and "The Lyrics of Life." A little poetical brochure, entitled, "The Wanderer of the West," is his latest production.

Macfarlan was for some time in the employment of the directors of the Glasgow Athenæum. Latterly, he has held a situation in connexion with the Bulletin, a daily journal published in Glasgow.[Pg 197]


Oh, beautiful and bright thou art!
Oh, beautiful and bright!
Thy voice is music of the heart—
Thy looks are rarest light!
What time the silver dawn of dreams
Lights up the dark of sleep,
As yon pale moon lights up the heaven
With beauty clear and deep,
I see thee in the ebbing stars,
I hear quaint voices swell,
And dim and phantom winds that come
And whisper, Isabelle.
Oh, beautiful and bright thou art!
Oh, beautiful and bright!
Thy beauty hangeth o'er my heart,
Like rich star-crowded night.
As moonbeams silver on the wave
Of some night-sadden'd river,
So on my lonesome life thy love
Would lie in light for ever.
Yet wander on—oh, wander on,
Cold river, to the sea,
And, weary life, thy ocean gain—
Undream'd eternity.
In vain the cruel curse of earth
Hath torn our lives apart;
The man-made barriers of gold
Weigh down the humble heart.
[Pg 198] Oh, hadst thou been a village maid—
A simple wayside flower—
With nought to boast, save honest worth,
And beauty all thy dower!
Such might have been—such should have been,
But other lot befell;
I am the lowly son of toil,
And thou proud Isabelle.
It ever seems to me that love
Should level all degrees;
Pure honour, and a stainless heart
Are Nature's heraldries.
No scutcheon needs a noble soul
(Alas! how thinks the age?);
He is not poor who freedom hath
For his broad heritage.
Then welcome sternest teacher, Toil;
Vain dreams of youth, farewell;
The future hath its duty's prize—
The past, its Isabelle.


Built on Time's uneven sand,
Hope's fair fabric soon is shatter'd;
Bowers adorn'd by Fancy's hand
Torn in wandering leaves are scatter'd.
Perish'd, perish'd, lost and perish'd,
Old affections fondly cherish'd.
[Pg 199]
All our blossoms wither soon,
While we dream the flower will strengthen,
And across life's summer noon
Death's dark shadow seems to lengthen.
In that mighty shadow perish'd
All we liv'd for, all we cherish'd.
Dear ones loved are lost in night;
O'er the world we wander lonely,
And the heart of all youth's light
Holds one fading sunbeam only.
Old affections vainly cherish'd,
All except the memory perish'd.


Look up, old friend! why hang thy head?
The world is all before us.
Earth's wealth of flowers is at our feet,
Heaven's wealth of worlds is o'er us.
Spring leans to us across the sea
With affluent caressing,
And autumn yet shall crown our toil
With many a fruitful blessing.
Then why should we despair in spring,
Who braved out wintry weather?
Let monarchs rule, but we shall sing
And journey on together.
You mourn that we are born so poor—
I would not change our treasure
For all the thorn-concealing flowers
That strew the path of pleasure.
[Pg 200] God only searches for the soul,
Nor heeds the outward building;
Believe me, friend, a noble heart
Requires no aid of gilding.
Then never let us pine in spring,
We 've braved out wintry weather,
We yet may touch a sweeter string
When toiling on together.
What though our blood be tinged with mud,
My lord's is simply purer;
'Twill scarce flow sixty years, nor make
His seat in heaven surer.
But should the noble deign to speak,
We 'll hail him as a brother,
And trace respective pedigrees
To Eve, our common mother.
Then why should we despair in spring,
Who braved out wintry weather?
Let monarchs rule, while we shall sing,
And journey on together.
[Pg 201]


A youth of remarkable promise, William Brown Clark Riddell, was the youngest son of Mr Henry Scott Riddell.[12] He was born at Flexhouse, near Hawick, Roxburghshire, on the 16th December 1835. In his seventh year he was admitted a pupil in John Watson's Institution, Edinburgh, where he remained till 1850, when, procuring a bursary from the governors of Heriot's Hospital, he entered the University of Edinburgh. During three sessions he prosecuted his studies with extraordinary ardour and success. On the commencement of a fourth session he was seized with an illness which completely prostrated his physical, and occasionally enfeebled his mental, energies. After a period of suffering, patiently borne, he died in his father's cottage, Teviothead, on the 20th July 1856, in his twenty-first year.

Of an intellect singularly precocious, William Riddell, so early as the age of seven, composed in correct and interesting prose, and produced in his eighth year some vigorous poetry. With a highly retentive memory he retained the results of an extended course of reading, begun almost in childhood. Conversant with general history, he was familiar with the various systems of philosophy. To an accurate knowledge of the Latin and Greek classics, he added a correct acquaintance[Pg 202] with many of the modern languages. He found consolation on his deathbed, by perusing the Scriptures in the original tongues. He died in fervent hope, and with Christian resignation.


No more by thy margin, dark Carron,
Shall Wallace in solitude, wander,
When tranquil the moon shines afar on
Thy heart-stirring wildness and grandeur.
For lost are to me
Thy beauties for ever,
Since fallen in thee
Lie the faithful and free,
To waken, ah, never!
And I, thus defeated, must suffer
My country's reproach; yet, forsaken,
A home to me nature may offer
Among her green forests of braken.
But home who can find
For heart-rending sorrow?
The wound who can bind
When thus pierced is the mind
By fate's ruthless arrow?
'Tis death that alone ever frees us
Of woes too profound to be spoken,
And nought but the grave ever eases
The pangs of a heart that is broken.
[Pg 203] Then, oh! that my blood
In Carron's dark water
Had mix'd with the flood
Of the warriors' shed
'Mid torrents of slaughter.
For woe to the day when desponding
I read in thine aspect the story
Of those that were slain when defending
Their homes and their mountains of glory.
And curst be the guile
Of treacherous knavery
That throws o'er our isle
In its tyranny vile
The mantle of slavery.


Oh! what is in this flaunting town
That pleasure can impart,
When native hills and native glens
Are imaged on the heart,
And fancy hears the ceaseless roar
Of cataracts sublime,
Where I have paused and ponder'd o'er
The awful works of time?
What, what is all the city din?
What all the bustling crowd
That throngs these ways from morn to night
Array'd in trappings proud?
[Pg 204] While fancy's eye still sees the scenes
Around my mountain home,
Oh! what 's to me yon turret high.
And what yon splendid dome?
Ah! what except a mockery vain
Of nature free as fair,
That dazzles rather than delights
The eye that meets its glare?
Then bear me to the heathy hills
Where I so loved to stray,
There let me rove with footsteps free
And sing the rural lay.
[Pg 205]


The author of "Rustic Lays," an interesting volume of lyric poetry, Margaret Crawford was born on the 4th February 1833, at Gilmerton, in the parish of Liberton, Mid-Lothian. With limited opportunities of attending school, she was chiefly indebted for her elementary training to occasional instructions communicated by her mother. Her father, an operative gardener, removed in 1842 to Torwoodlee, Roxburghshire. It was while living there, under her parents' roof, that, so early as her thirteenth year, she first essayed to write verses. Through the beneficence of Mrs Meiklam of Torwoodlee, whose husband her father served, she was taught dress-making. She subsequently accepted the situation of nurse-maid at Craignish Castle, Argyllshire. In 1852, her parents removed to the village of Stow, in the upper district of Mid-Lothian. An inmate of their humble cottage, she has for some years been employed as a dress-maker. Her "Rustic Lays" appeared in 1855, in an elegant little volume. Of its contents she thus remarks in the preface: "Many of these pieces were composed by the authoress on the banks of the Gala, whose sweet, soft music, mingling with the melodies of the woodland, has often charmed her into forgetfulness of the rough realities of life. Others were composed at the fireside, in her father's cottage, at the hours of the gloamin', when, after the bustle of the day had ceased, the clouds and cares of the present were chased away by the bright dreams of the past, and the happy hopes of the future, till she found that her musings had twined themselves into numbers, and assumed the form in which they now appear."[Pg 206]


My native land! my native land!
Where liberty shall firmly stand,
Where men are brave in heart and hand,
In ancient Caledonia!
How dear to me those gurgling rills
That wander free amang the hills!
How sweet to me the sang that fills
The groves o' Caledonia!
They tell me o' a distant isle
Where summer suns for ever smile;
But frae my heart they 'll never wile
My love for Caledonia!
And what are a' their flowery plains,
If fill'd with weeping slav'ry's chains?
Nae foot o' slavery ever stains
My native Caledonia!
Though cauld 's the sun that shed's his rays
O'er Scotland's bonnie woods and braes,
Oh, let me spend my latest days
In ancient Caledonia!
My native land! my native land!
Where liberty shall firmly stand,
Where men are brave in heart and hand—
True sons of Caledonia!
[Pg 207]


Land of my fathers, I leave thee in sadness—
Far from my dear native country I roam;
Fondly I cling to the bright scenes of gladness
That shone o'er my heart in my dear happy home.
Far from the home of my childhood I wander,
Far from the friends I may never meet more;
Oft on those visions of bliss I shall ponder—
Visions that memory alone can restore.
Friends of my youth I shall love you for ever—
Closer and firmer ye twine round my heart;
Though now the wide sea our lot may dissever,
Affection and friendship can never depart.
Land of my fathers, I leave thee in sadness—
Dear to my heart thou shalt ever remain!
Oh, when shall I gaze on those bright scenes of gladness?
When shall I visit my country again?


Down by a crystal stream
Musing I stray'd,
As 'neath the summer beam
Lightly it play'd,
Winding by field and fen,
Mountain and meadow, then
Stealing through wood and glen,
Soft'ning the shade.
[Pg 208]
Thus, then, methought, is life;
Onward it flows—
Now mingling peace with strife,
Toil with repose—
Now sparkling joyously
Under the glare of day,
Drinking each sunny ray,
Purely it flows.
Now gliding peacefully,
Calm and serene,
Smoothly it takes its way,
Softly I ween
Murmur its waters past—
Oh, will that stillness last?
See, rocks are nearing fast,
Changing the scene.
Wildly it dashes now,
Loudly it roars,
Over the craggy brow
Fiercely it pours.
All in commotion lost,
Wave over wave is toss'd;
Spray, white as winter's frost,
Up from it soars.
Yet where the conflict 's worst
Brightest it gleams;
Rays long in silence nursed
Shoot forth in streams:
Beauties before unknown
Out from its breast are thrown;
Light, like a golden zone,
Brilliantly beams.
[Pg 209]
Thus in the Christian's breast
Pure faith may lie,
Hid in the day of rest
Deep from the eye;
But when life's shadows lower
Faith lights the darkest hour,
Driving, by heavenly power,
Gloom from the sky.


There are moments when my spirit wanders back to other years,
And time long, long departed, like the present still appears;
And I revel in the sunshine of those happy, happy hours,
When the sky of youth was cloudless, and its path was strewn with flowers.
O those days of dreamy sweetness! O those visions of delight!
Weaving garlands for the future, making all of earth too bright;
They come creeping through my memory like messengers of peace,
Telling tales of bygone blessings, bidding present sorrows cease.
Long-lost friends are gath'ring round me, smiling faces, gentle forms,
All unconscious of earth's struggles, all unmindful of its storms—
[Pg 210] Beaming radiantly and beautiful, as in the days of youth,
When friendship was no mockery, when every thought was truth.
Joy, illuming every bosom, made fair nature fairer still—
Mirth sported on each summer breeze, and sung in every rill;
Beauty gleaming all around us, bright as dreams of fairy land—
Oh, faded now that lustre, scatter'd far that happy band!
Now deeply traced with sorrow is the once unclouded brow,
And eyes that sparkled joyously are dim with weeping now;
We are tasting life in earnest—all its vain illusions gone—
And the stars that glisten'd o'er our path are falling one by one.
Some are sleeping with their kindred—summer blossoms o'er them wave;
Some, lonely and unfriended, with the stranger found a grave;
While others now are wand'ring on a far and foreign shore,
And that happy, loving company shall meet—ah! never more.
But afar in mem'ry's garden, like a consecrated spot,
The heart's first hopes are hidden, and can never be forgot;
And the light that cheer'd us onward, in our airy early days—
Oft we linger in the distance to look back upon its rays.
[Pg 211]
Old Time, with hand relentless, may shed ruins o'er the earth,
May strew our path with sorrow, make a desert of our hearth—
Change may blight our fairest blossoms, shroud our clearest light in gloom;
But the flow'ry fields of early years shall never lose their bloom.


Away on the breast of the ocean,
Far away o'er the billowy brine,
'Mid the strife of the boiling commotion,
Where the storm and the tempest combine,
Roams my heart, of its wand'ring ne'er weary;
While Hope, with her heavenly smile,
Cheers the bosom that else would be dreary,
And points me to blessings the while.
Of the far-hidden future still dreaming,
On the wild wings of fancy I fly,
And the star of affection, bright beaming,
Is piercing the gloom of our sky;
And my home is away o'er the ocean,
Afar o'er the wide swelling sea,
Where a heart, in its purest devotion,
Is breathing fond blessings on me.
[Pg 212]


George Donald the younger was born on the 1st of March 1826, at Thornliebank, near Glasgow. His father, George Donald the elder, is noticed in an earlier part of the present volume. Sent to labour in a calico print-work in his tenth year, his education was chiefly obtained at evening schools, and afterwards by self-application during the intervals of toil. In his seventeenth year he became apprenticed to a pattern-designer, and having fulfilled his indenture, he has since prosecuted this occupation. From his youth a writer of verses, he has contributed poetical compositions to the Glasgow Examiner and Citizen newspapers.


They tell me o' a land whar the sky is ever clear,
Whar rivers row ower gowden sands, and flower unfading blaw,
But, oh! nae joys o' nature to me are half sae dear
As the flow'rets springing wild in our ain green shaw.
[Pg 213]
They speak o' gilded palaces, o' lords and leddies fair,
And scenes that charm the weary heart in cities far awa';
But nane o' a' their gaudy shows and pleasures can compare
Wi' the happiness that dwells in our ain green shaw.
Oh weel I lo'e when summer comes wi' sunny days an' glee,
And brings to gladden ilka heart her rural pleasures a',
When on the thorn the mavis sings and gowans deck the lea,—
Oh, then nae spot 's sae bonnie as our ain green shaw.
While Heaven supplies each simple want and leaves me still my cot,
I'll bear through life a cheerfu' heart whatever may befa',
Nor envy ither's joys, but aye be happy wi' my lot
When wand'ring in the e'enin' through our ain green shaw.


In her chamber, vigil keeping,
Fair Eliza sitteth weeping,
Weeping for her lover slain:
Fair Eliza, sorrow-laden,
Once a joyous-hearted maiden
Till her William cross'd the main.
[Pg 214]
Fatal day that saw them parted!
For it left her lonely-hearted—
Her so full of joy before—
Brought to her the thought of sadness,
Clouding her young spirit's gladness,
That she ne'er might see him more!
Sad Eliza, no blest morrow
Will dispel thy secret sorrow,
Bring thine own true love again.
Mournful is thy William's story:
On the field of martial glory,
Fighting bravely, he was slain!
Now the silent stars above her
Seem to tell her of her lover,
For each night, with pensive gaze
On the blue vault shining o'er her,
Sits Eliza, while before her
Fleet the scenes of other days.
Thus her lonely vigil keeping,
Fair Eliza sitteth weeping,
Weeping for her lover slain:
Fair Eliza, sorrow-laden,
Once a joyous-hearted maiden
Till her William cross'd the main.
[Pg 215]


The author of "Lays of the Revolutions," John Jeffrey, was born on the 29th March 1822, at the manse of Girthon, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright. His maternal granduncle was the celebrated Dr Thomas Brown of Edinburgh. From his father, who was parish minister of Girthon, and a man of accomplished learning, he received an education sufficient to qualify him for entering, in 1836, the University of Edinburgh. In 1844 he became a licentiate of the Free Church, and after declining several calls, accepted, in 1846, the charge of the Free Church congregation at Douglas, Lanarkshire. Mr Jeffrey was early devoted to poetical studies. In his eighteenth year he printed, for private circulation, a small volume of poems, entitled "Hymns of a Neophyte." In 1849 appeared his "Lays of the Revolutions," a work which, vindicating in powerful verse the cause of oppressed European nationalities, was received with much favour by the public. To several of the leading periodicals Mr Jeffrey has contributed spirited articles in support of liberal politics. A pamphlet from his pen, on the decay of traditional influence in Parliament, entitled "The Fall of the Great Factions," has obtained considerable circulation. More recently he has devoted himself to the study of the modern languages, and to inquiries in ethnological science.[Pg 216]


Rise, Romans, rise at last,
Craft's kingdom now is past;
Brook no delay!
Lombard blades long ago,
Swifter than whirlwinds blow,
Swept from Milan the foe:
Why should we stay?
Rise, then, for fatherland;
In rock-like phalanx stand,
Cowards no more.
Rise in colossal might,
Rise till the storm of fight
Wrap us in lurid light
Where cannons roar!
In this great dawn of time,
In this great death of crime,
Quit us like men;
By our deeds, by our words,
By our songs, by our swords—
Use all against the hordes,
Sabre or pen!
More than fame, duty calls,
Trumpet-tongued from the walls
Girding great Rome;
Battle for truth and faith,
Battle lest hostile scathe
Crush us, or fetters swathe
Free hearth and home!
[Pg 217]
Hark! how God's thunders roll,
Booming from pole to pole
Of the wide world!
"Old lies are crush'd for aye,
Now truths assume their sway,
Bright shines the flag of day
O'er night unfurl'd!"
Tower, then, the barricades!
Flash forth the lightning blades!
Romans, awake!
Storm as the tempests burst,
Down with the brood accursed!
Sparks long in silence nursed
Etna-like break;
And that volcano's thirst
Seas cannot slake!
[Pg 218]


The author of several meritorious poetical works, Patrick Scott was born at Macao in China, but is eminently of Scottish descent. His father, Helenus Scott, M.D., a cadet of the ducal house of Buccleuch, was a distinguished member of the Medical Board of Bombay, of which he was some time president. Receiving an elementary education at the Charterhouse, London, the subject of this notice entered, in his sixteenth year, the East India College at Haileybury. At the age of eighteen he proceeded to India, to occupy a civil appointment at Bombay. In 1845, after eleven years' service, he returned to Britain in impaired health, and he has since resided chiefly in London.

Mr Scott first appeared as an author in 1851, by the publication of "Lelio, and other Poems," a volume which was received with warm encomiums by the press. In 1853, he published "Love in the Moon: a Poem," which was followed in the same year by "Thomas á Becket, and other Poems." His latest poetical publication appeared in 1854, under the title of "A Poet's Children."


With drooping heart he turn'd away
To seek a distant clime,
Where friends were kind, and life was gay,
In early boyhood's time.
[Pg 219] And still with years and seas between,
To one fond hope he clung—
To see once more, as he had seen,
The home he loved when young.
His youthful brow was touch'd with thought,
And life had lost its morn,
When glad again the wanderer sought
The soil where he was born.
Alas! that long expected shore
Denied the wonted joy,
And the man felt not, as of yore
Had felt the happier boy.
For formal friends scarce grasp'd his hand—
The friends he knew of old;
What cared he for a sunny land,
If human hearts were cold?
Again he cast his alter'd lot
'Mid alien tribes to roam;
And fail'd to find another spot
So foreign as his home.
His heavy grief no bosom shared,
No eye would weep his fall;
What matter if his life were spared,
Who lived unloved by all!
And when had ceased his earthly toil
Upon that distant shore,
His bones were gather'd to the soil—
His heart had died before.
[Pg 220]


An able theologian and accomplished writer of verses, John Bathurst Dickson was born on the 25th December 1823, in the town of Kelso, Roxburghshire. His father was a respectable writer or attorney in that place. Having studied at the University of Edinburgh, and passed through a theological curriculum at the New College of that city, he became, in 1851, a licentiate of the Free Church. In June 1852, he was ordained to the ministerial charge of the Free High Church, Paisley.

During the period of his attendance at college, Mr Dickson was an extensive contributor to Tait's Magazine, and different religious periodicals. In 1855, he published "Theodoxia; or, Glory to God an Evidence for the Truth of Christianity;" and in 1857 appeared from his pen "The Temple Lamp," a periodical publication. He has written verses on a variety of topics. His song, "The American Flag," has been widely published in the United States.[Pg 221]


Float forth, thou flag of the free;
Flash far over land and sea,
Proud ensign of Liberty—
Hail, hail to thee!
The blue of the heavens is thine,
The stars on thy canvas shine;
Thy heraldry tells thee divine—
Hail, hail to thee!
Thy white proclaims thee unstain'd,
Thy crimson thy love unfeign'd
To man, by despots enchain'd—
Hail, hail to thee!
Under thy God-given light
Our fathers went forth to fight
'Gainst sceptred wrong for the right—
Hail, hail to thee!
The Lion of England no more
'Gainst thy proud Eagle shall roar:
Peace strideth from shore to shore—
Hail, hail to thee!
Float forth, thou flag of the free—
Flash far over land and sea,
Till the world shout, Liberty—
Hail, hail to thee!
[Pg 222]


A writer both of English and Gaelic songs, Evan M'Coll was born in 1808, at Kenmore, Lochfineside, Argyllshire. His father, Dugald M'Coll, followed an industrial occupation, but contrived to afford his son a somewhat liberal education. The leisure hours of the youthful poet were ardently devoted to literary culture. In 1837, he became a contributor of Gaelic poetry to a Glasgow periodical, and his compositions began to excite an interest in the Highlands. Two influential Highland gentlemen secured him an appointment in the Customs at Liverpool. He subsequently emigrated to America, and is now resident at Kingston.

Besides many fugitive pieces, Mr M'Coll has published a volume of lyrics, entitled "The Mountain Minstrel," and a volume of Gaelic poetry. A specimen of his Gaelic minstrelsy will be found among the translations at the end of the present volume.[Pg 223]


Give the swains of Italia
'Mong myrtles to rove,
Give the proud, sullen Spaniard
His bright orange grove;
Give gold-sanded streams
To the sons of Chili,
But, oh! give the hills
Of the heather to me.
The hills where the hunter
Oft soundeth his horn,
Where sweetest the skylark
Awakens the morn;
The gray cliff, the blue lake,
The stream's dashing glee,
Endear the red hills
Of the heather to me.
There Health, rosy virgin,
For ever doth dwell;
There Love fondly whispers
To Beauty his tale;
There Freedom's own darling!
The Gael, lives free,
Then, oh! give the hills
Of the heather to me.
[Pg 224]


One of the most interesting sacred poets of the present age, James D. Burns, was born at Edinburgh on the 18th February 1823. A pupil of Heriot's Hospital, he became a student in the University of Edinburgh, where he took the degree of Master of Arts, and completed, with marked distinction, a course of theology. Receiving license as a probationer of the Free Church, he was in 1845 ordained to the ministry at Dunblane. Having resigned his charge from bad health in 1848, he proceeded to Madeira, where he undertook the pastoral superintendence of a Presbyterian congregation. He subsequently travelled in Spain and Italy. In 1854 he published "The Vision of Prophecy, and other Poems," a collection of his poetical compositions, of which the greater number are of a scriptural or sacred character. Mr Burns is now minister of a Presbyterian church at Hampstead, Middlesex.


Rise, little star!
O'er the dusky hill,—
See the bright course open
Thou hast to fulfil.
[Pg 225]
Climb, little star!
Higher still and higher.
With a silent swiftness
And a pulse of fire.
Stand, little star!
On the peak of heaven;
But for one brief moment
Is the triumph given.
Sink, little star!
Yet make heaven bright,
Even while thou art sinking,
With thy gentle light.
Set, little star!
Gladly fade and die,
With the blush of morning
Coming up the sky.
Each little star
Crieth, Life, O man!
Should have one clear purpose
Shining round its span.


Though long the wanderer may depart,
And far his footsteps roam,
He clasps the closer to his heart
The image of his home.
[Pg 226] To that loved land, where'er he goes,
His tend'rest thoughts are cast,
And dearer still through absence grows
The memory of the past.
Though nature on another shore
Her softest smile may wear,
The vales, the hills, he loved before
To him are far more fair.
The heavens that met his childhood's eye,
All clouded though they be,
Seem brighter than the sunniest sky
Of climes beyond the sea.
So Faith, a stranger on the earth,
Still turns its eye above;
The child of an immortal birth
Seeks more than mortal love.
The scenes of earth, though very fair,
Want home's endearing spell;
And all his heart and hope are where
His God and Saviour dwell.
He may behold them dimly here,
And see them as not nigh,
But all he loves will yet appear
Unclouded to his eye.
To that fair city, now so far,
Rejoicing he will come,
A better light than Bethlehem's star
Guides every wanderer home.
[Pg 227]


George Henderson was born on the 5th May 1800, in the parish of Bunkle and county of Berwick. With a rudimentary education obtained at different schools, he entered, in his nineteenth year, the University of Edinburgh. After the close of his second session, he temporarily abandoned literary pursuits. Resolving to adopt the medical profession, he subsequently resumed attendance at the University. In 1829 he obtained his diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons. He has since engaged in medical practice in the village of Chirnside, Berwickshire.

By the cultivation of polite literature, Mr Henderson has experienced relaxation from the active duties of his profession. In 1856 he published a volume of curious researches, entitled "The Popular Rhymes, &c., of the County of Berwick." He is understood to be preparing for the press a volume of his poetical compositions, to be entitled "Lays and Legends of the Merse."[Pg 228]


I canna leave my native land,
I canna sail the sea;
The trees around my cottage stand,
The gowans deck the lea;
The primrose blooms beside the burn,
The wild flower on the brae;
To leave them a' my heart wad mourn,
I canna gang away.
The dew-draps gem the clover leaves,
The laverock sings aboon,
The blae-berry bush wi' spring revives,
And it will blossom soon;
I canna leave the bonnie brae
Where waves the new-sprung fern,
Where oft I 've pass'd the summer's day,
And look'd upon the burn.
I canna leave the green-croft well,
Its waters cool and clear,
For oft its pleasant murmurs dwell
Like music in mine ear;
The elder bush, the garden bower,
Where robin sings sae sweet,
The auld gray dike, the bee-house tower,
The cosie garden seat.
[Pg 229]


One of the most esteemed of living Scottish theological writers, Horatius Bonar, is likewise favourably known as a sacred lyric poet. He is a native of Edinburgh, where his father, the late James Bonar, Esq., a man of eminent piety and accomplished scholarship, held the office of a Solicitor of Excise. His ancestors for several successive generations were ministers of the Church of Scotland. He was educated at the High School and the University of his native city. After engaging for some time in missionary labour at Leith, he was ordained to the ministry at Kelso in November 1837, and has since prosecuted his pastoral duties in that place. His first literary efforts appeared in the shape of religious tracts, now published in a volume under the title of "The Kelso Tracts." He next published the work by which he has become most widely known, "The Night of Weeping," which was followed by other two works of the same series, "The Morning of Joy," and "The Eternal Day." Of his subsequent publications, the more conspicuous are, "Prophetical Landmarks," "The Coming and the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus," "A Stranger Here," "Man; his Religion and his World," "The Story of Grace," "The Blood of the Cross," and "The Desert of Sinai, or Notes of a Tour from Cairo to Beersheba." Dr Bonar was for many years editor of the Presbyterian Review; he now edits The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy. The following spiritual songs, well adapted for music, are from his volume entitled "Hymns of Faith and Hope."[Pg 230]


Where the faded flower shall freshen,
Freshen never more to fade;
Where the shaded sky shall brighten,
Brighten never more to shade:
Where the sun-blaze never scorches,
Where the star-beams cease to chill;
Where no tempest stirs the echoes
Of the wood, or wave, or hill:
Where the morn shall wake in gladness,
And the noon the joy prolong,
Where the daylight dies in fragrance,
'Mid the burst of holy song:
Brother, we shall meet and rest
'Mid the holy and the blest!
Where no shadow shall bewilder,
Where life's vain parade is o'er,
Where the sleep of sin is broken,
And the dreamer dreams no more;
Where the bond is never sever'd,
Partings, claspings, sob and moan,
Midnight waking, twilight weeping,
Heavy noontide, all are done:
Where the child has found its mother,
Where the mother finds the child,
Where dear families are gather'd
That were scatter'd on the wild:
Brother, we shall meet and rest
'Mid the holy and the blest!
[Pg 231]
Where the hidden wound is healèd,
Where the blighted life re-blooms,
Where the smitten heart the freshness
Of its buoyant youth resumes;
Where the love that here we lavish
On the withering leaves of time,
Shall have fadeless flowers to fix on
In an ever spring-bright clime:
Where we find the joy of loving,
As we never loved before,
Loving on, unchill'd, unhinder'd,
Loving once and evermore:
Brother, we shall meet and rest
'Mid the holy and the blest!
Where a blasted world shall brighten
Underneath a bluer sphere,
And a softer, gentler sunshine,
Shed its healing splendour here;
Where earth's barren vales shall blossom,
Putting on their robe of green,
And a purer, fairer Eden,
Be where only wastes have been:
Where a king in kingly glory,
Such as earth has never known,
Shall assume the righteous sceptre,
Claim and wear the holy crown:
Brother, we shall meet and rest
'Mid the holy and the blest!
[Pg 232]


Trust not these seas again,
Though smooth and fair;
Trust not these waves again,
Shipwreck is there.
Trust not these stars again,
Though bright and fair;
Trust not these skies again,
Tempest is there.
Trust not that breeze again,
Gentle and fair;
Trust not these clouds again,
Lightning is there.
Trust not that isle again,
Flower-crown'd and fair;
Trust not its rocks again,
Earthquake is there.
Trust not these flowers again,
Fragrant and fair;
Trust not that rose again,
Blighting is there.
Trust not that earth again,
Verdant and fair;
Trust not its fields again,
Winter is there.
[Pg 233]
Trust not these hopes again,
Sunny and fair;
Trust not that smile again,
Peril is there.
Trust not this world again,
Smiling and fair;
Trust not its sweets again,
Wormwood is there;
Trust not its love again,
Sparkling and fair;
Trust not its joy again,
Sorrow is there.
[Pg 234]


A song-writer of merit, John Halliday was born on the 18th July 1821, at Hawickshielsgate, near Hawick, Roxburghshire. His father was an agricultural labourer; and, with an ordinary education at school, he was, at an early age, engaged as an assistant shepherd to a tenant farmer in his native district. Inheriting from his mother a taste for the elder Scottish ballad, he devoted his leisure hours to reading such scraps of songs as he could manage to procure. In his thirteenth year he essayed to compose verses, and at the age of twenty became a contributor of poetical stanzas to the provincial journals. Encouraged by a numerous list of subscribers, he published, in 1847, "The Rustic Bard," a duodecimo volume of poems and songs. After being several years resident at Hopekirk, Roxburghshire, he removed in 1854 to Bridge of Allan, where he is well employed as a florist and landscape gardener.


In a howm, by a burn, where the brown birks grow,
And the green ferns nod when the wild winds blow,
Stands the roofless kirk in the auld kirkyard,
Where the gowans earliest gem the swaird;
And the gray, gray moss on ilk cauld through stane
Shrouds in oblivion the lang, lang gane—
Where the ance warm heart is a cauld, cauld clod,
And the beauteous and brave give a green to the sod—
On a time-worn tower, where the dim owls dwell,
Tuneless and torn, hangs the auld kirk bell.
[Pg 235]
On the auld kirk floor is the damp night dew,
Where warm words flow'd in a worship true;
Is the sugh o' the breeze, and the hum o' the bee
As it wings and sings in its taintless glee
Through the nettles tall to the thistles red,
Where they roughly wave o'er each deep, dark bed;
And it plies its task on the wa'-flowers tall,
Which bloom in the choir and wave on the wall;
Then, soaring away with a sweep and a swell,
It covers its combs in the auld kirk bell.
By the crumbling base of the auld kirk tower
Is the broad-leaved dock and the bright brae flower;
And the adders hiss o'er the lime-bound stones,
And playfully writhe round mouldering bones:
The bat clingeth close to the binewood's root,
Where its gnarlèd boughs up the belfry shoot,
As, hiding the handworks of ruthless time,
It garlands in grandeur and green sublime
The hoary height, where the rust sae fell
Bends, as with a burden, the auld kirk bell.
Oh, red is the rust, and a ruin is come
To the auld kirk bell—ance and ever it 's dumb;
On the brink of the past 'tis awaiting a doom,
For a wauf o' the wind may awaken its tomb,
As, bearing its fragments, all dust-like, away,
To blend with water, the wood and the clay,
Till lost 'mid the changes of manners and men;
Then ne'er ane will think, nor ere ane will ken,
That a joyfu' jowl and a waefu' knell,
As it swung, had been rung by the auld kirk bell.
[Pg 236]


Oh, we hae been amang the bowers that winter didna bare,
And we hae daunder'd in the howes where flowers were ever fair,
And lain aneath as lofty trees as eye did ever see,
Yet ne'er could lo'e them as we lo'e the auld aik-tree.
It 's no because its boughs are busk'd in any byous green,
For simmer sairs it little now—it's no what it has been,
Sin' ilka wauf o' win' that blaws dings dauds o't on the lea,
And bairnies bear their burdens frae the auld aik-tree.
It 's no because the gowans bright grow bonnie by its ruit,
For we hae seen them blum as braw in mony a ither bit;
Nor yet because the mavis sings his mellow morning glee
Sae sweetly frae the branches o' the auld aik-tree.
But there 's a kindly feeling found and foster'd in the heart,
Which bears the thought a backward stream to lifetime's early part,
And ties us to ilk morning scene o' love and laughing glee
We 've seen, and kenn'd, and join'd aneath the auld aik-tree.
[Pg 237]
For we hae play'd aneath its shade a chuffie-cheekit bairn,
Unkennin' o', uncarin' for, cauld care or crosses stern,
And ran around it at the ba' when we frae schule wan free;
Then wha daur say we sudna lo'e the auld aik-tree?
We 've speel'd upon its foggie stem and dern'd amang its green,
To catch the pyet in her nest amidst the grays o' e'en;
And watch'd the gooldie bringin' doon to big her hame sae wee
Atween the cosie forkings o' the auld aik-tree.
And we hae tint and ta'en a heart when gloamin's shadows threw
Out o'er the glen her misty gray in kindly drippin' dew,
And felt the tear o' anguish fa' in torrents frae our e'e,
When pairting frae that loved ane 'neath the auld aik-tree.
Our hame we left wi' hopefu' heart and mony a warm fareweel,
And gowd and gear we gain'd awa; but oh, the freen's sae leal!
Where are they? where my childhood's hearth—those hearts sae kind and free,—
When a' is unco groun save the auld aik-tree?
[Pg 238]


A man of elegant and varied accomplishments, and one of the most eloquent public-speakers of the age, James Dodds was born in 1815, in the county of Roxburgh. He was at first intended by some influential friends for the Church, and proceeded through part of the College curriculum, but some changes occurring, he ultimately devoted himself to the study of law. Probably his ambition was for the Bar; but overruling circumstances led him, about twelve years ago, to enter on the profession of parliamentary solicitor in London, in which he has met with much success.

From his youth a devoted student, he has, amidst the exigencies of business, sedulously kept up his literary pursuits. He has produced no independent work, but has largely contributed, both in prose and verse, to the periodicals. Among these contributions, a series of poems, chiefly ballads on incidents connected with the times of the Covenant, which appeared in several of the Edinburgh magazines, about thirteen years since, attracted much attention. One of these lays we have transferred to the present work. Mr Dodds has lately prepared a series of lectures on the fifty years' struggle of the Covenanters, which will probably be presented to the public. He has evinced a deep interest in the cause of raising a national monument to Sir William Wallace, and has, under the auspices of the Central Committee, addressed public meetings on the subject in many of the principal towns.[Pg 239]


'Twas when December's dark'ning scowl the face of heaven o'ercast,
And vile men high in place were more unpitying than the blast,
Before their grim tribunal's front, firm and undaunted stood
That patriot chief of high renown, the noble Jervieswoode.
The hand of death is on him press'd—the seal of death is there!
Oh, the savage of the wilderness those weak old limbs would spare!
Frail, frail his step, and bent his frame, and ye may plainly trace
The shadow of death's wing upon his pale and sunken face.
These twenty long and dreary months in the dungeon he hath lain,
Long days of sickness, weary nights of languishing and pain;
For whom no gale hath breathed its balm, no sun hath bless'd the year,
No friendly hand to smooth his couch, nor friendly voice to cheer;
His lady in their lonely hall doth mournful vigils keep,
And where he sat and where he walk'd his children watch and weep.
[Pg 240]
Yet o'er his weakness and decay an ancient grandeur falls,
Like the majesty that lingers round some mould'ring palace walls;
The light of calm and noble thoughts is bright within his eye,
And, purged of earthly taint, his soul prepares to mount on high.
Nor is he left alone—a sister faithful to him clung
With woman's heart, with home-born love, with angel look and tongue;
There in that Golgotha she sits, so tender, so benign—
Fair as the moon's sweet glimpses through the cloudy tempest shine.
The court is met, the assize are set: the robes of state look brave,
Yet the proudest and the lordliest there is but a tyrant's slave—
Blood-hirelings they who earn their pay by foul and treach'rous deeds—
For swift and fell the hound must be whom the hunter richly feeds.
What though no act of wrong e'er stain'd the fame of Jervieswoode,
Shall it protect him in those times that he is wise and good?
So wise—so good—so loved of all, though weak and worn with care,
Though death comes fast he is the last whom Antichrist would spare!
For his the bold and freeborn mind, the wisdom of a sage,
The glow of youth still cherish'd in the sober breast of age;
[Pg 241] The soul of chivalry is his, and honour pure from stain—
A heart that beats for liberty, and spurns each galling chain,
Whether entwined by hands that bear the crozier or the sword;
For he would see all nations free in Christ who is their Lord.
And once, with England's patriot band, by tyrant power oppress'd,
He had dream'd of free and happy homes in the forests of the west—
To breathe the uncorrupted air, to tread the fresh green sod,
And where the broad Savannah rolls in peace to worship God!
These are his crimes! the treason this for which he now is tried;
But though the forms of law are kept all justice is denied.
Woe! that a land so favour'd once should witness such disgrace!
Shame! that a land so powerful yet should brook a scene so base!
Unroll your parchments black with lies—shut fast your coward doors—
And brand the aged chief with crimes his generous heart abhors:
When truth avails not, well you know how to supply the lack
With secret tales and with wild words extorted by the rack!
[Pg 242] There is an hour for every power—an hour of darkness this!
Spur on, ye slaves of Antichrist! or ye the goal may miss!
His strength, increasing with his need, he raises bold and high,
And fixes on Mackenzie[15] a clear and searching eye:
"How canst thou thus, my lord, 'gainst me such accusations bring,
That I have been a man of strife in plots against the king?
I hate the way of violence—the anarchist I spurn;
Who scatters firebrands little knows where they may fall and burn.
In my degree I have been bold to guard the nation's right,
And keep alive within these realms the lamp of Gospel light:
But in my gloomy dungeon laid, didst thou not visit me,
And solemnly avow that I from wicked plots was free?
How canst thou, then, unto my charge such grievous actions lay,
And all thou hast so solemn said as solemnly unsay?"
The whole assembled multitude full on Mackenzie turn'd,
That even his harden'd countenance with shame and anger burn'd:
"True, Jervieswoode, I told thee so, as my own private view—
Here I discharge the functions which to the crown are due."
[Pg 243] "If thou hast a conscience for thyself, and another for this place,
I leave thee to the God of heaven and His all pardoning grace!
My lords, I add no more—proceed—right well I know my doom:
Death hath no terrors for my soul—the grave it hath no gloom!"
'Tis one from old Saint Giles! The blasts of midnight shake the hall,
Hoarse sounding like a demon's voice, which the stoutest hearts appal!
His doom is utter'd!—"Twelve hours hence thy traitorous head shall fall,
And for a terror be exposed upon the city wall;
Thy limbs shall quarter'd be, and hung, all mutilate and bare,
At Jedburgh, and Lanark town, at Glasgow, and at Ayr;
That all good subjects thence may learn obedience to the State,
Their duty to our gracious king, and bloody treason's fate."
A horror seizes every breast—a stifled cry of dread:
"Who sheds the blood of innocence, the blood on his own head!"
That pack'd and perjured jury shrink in conscience-struck dismay,
And wish their hands as clear of guilt as they were yesterday.
Mackenzie's cold and flinty face is quivering like a leaf,
Whilst with quick and throbbing finger he turns o'er and o'er his brief;
[Pg 244] And the misnamed judges vainly try their rankling thoughts to hide
Beneath an outward painted mask of loftiness and pride.
Even she, the sweet heroic one! aye watchful at his side,
Whose courage ne'er hath blanch'd as yet, though sorely, sharply tried—
Even she is crush'd beneath the weight of this last and deadly blow,
And sinks upon her brother's neck, o'erwhelm'd in speechless woe.
He, he alone, is calm of soul! Powers of no mortal birth
Are gently loosening every tie that links him to the earth;
And inward faith gives outward force—strong is his deep dark eye—
And his brow and lip are beautiful as in the days gone by.
Meekly he rises to depart, but pauses for a space,
And looks upon his cowering foes with calm and saintly grace:
"The time is short, the sentence sharp—your malice I forgive;
For God hath made me fit to die, as ye, my lords, to live!"
And meekly he departs! his toils, his work, and warfare done—
And his martyr chariot waits him, and his triumphs are begun!
And twelve hours thence, upon the block, his reverend head did fall,
And for a terror was exposed upon the city wall;
[Pg 245] His limbs were quarter'd, and were hung, all mutilate and bare,
At Jedburgh, and Lanark town, at Glasgow, and at Ayr:
And thus through all broad Scotland these martyr'd relics go,
Like a fiery cross to rouse the land to the tyrant's overthrow!
The ancient halls of Jervieswoode are desolate and gray,
And its ancient oaks and lime trees are sinking in decay;
These are of things that perish, and their place soon knows them not,
But a glory from the past illumes this consecrated spot.
To him who braves the martyr's death is deathless honour given,
For the faith that breeds heroic deeds is dear to earth and heaven;
And through all succeeding ages, amongst the wise and good,
Enshrined shall be the memory of the noble Jervieswoode.
[Pg 246]

[Pg 247]



The Modern Gaelic Minstrelsy.

[Pg 248]

[Pg 249]


Duncan Macfarlan was a native of Rannoch, in Perthshire. He was born in 1750, and became, early in life, chaplain to one of the Highland regiments. He was subsequently admitted to the pastoral charge of the Gaelic Church, Perth. He executed some of the translations of Ossianic remains published by H. & J. M'Callum in 1816, under the auspices of the Highland Society of London. He died about the year 1834. Our translator remembers him as a venerable old gentleman, of polished manners and intelligent conversation. The following specimen of his poetical compositions is, in the original, extremely popular among the Gael.[Pg 250]


My beauty of the shieling,
Thy graceful air, like arrow-shaft,
A fiery flame concealing,
Has left me to the marrow chaf'd.
So winsome is thy smiling,
Thy love-craft so beguiling,
It binds me like the wilding,
And I yield, in dule and sorrow left.
Thy brown locks rank'd in order,
So spiral, rich, and clustering!
Thy face, of flowers a border,
'Neath feather'd eyebrows mustering!
Two drops of dewy splendour
Those lids of beauty under!
And that kiss—a fragrant wonder,
As fruits of India Western!
[Pg 251]


John Munro was born in 1791, in the parish of Criech, Sutherlandshire. His father was superintendent of a manufacturing establishment. On the premature death of her husband, his mother proceeded to Glasgow, where the family were enabled to obtain a suitable education. In 1827, the poet commenced business as an accountant. The hours of relaxation from business he sedulously devoted to the concerns of literature, especially poetry. He produced some religious tracts, and composed verses, chiefly of a devotional character. He died in 1837, and his remains were consigned to the Necropolis of the city. Admiring friends reared an appropriate monument over his grave.[Pg 252]


"My dearest, wilt thou follow,
And mount with me the billow?
Wilt thou with me pass o'er the sea
To the land of hill and hollow?"
"No, Highlandman! I leave not
My kindred for another,
Nor go with thee across the sea
From the children of my mother.
"No, Highlandman! I will not fly
My own beloved border;
For poortith dwells and famine pales
In your Highlands of disorder.
"I will not wed a Gael—
His house is but a shieling;
Oh, best unborn, than all forlorn
Mid your crags to have my dwelling!"
"The house I call mine own house,
A better was not born in;
And land and sea will smile on thee,
In the Highlands of thy scorning.
"I do not boast the wheaten wealth
Of our glens and hills, my dearie!
But enow is health, and grass is wealth,
In the land of mead and dairy.
[Pg 253]
"I 've store of kine, my darling,
Nor any lilting sweeter
Thine ear can know, than is their low,
And the music of the bleater.
"I have no ship on ocean
With merchant treasure sailing;
But my tight boat, and trusty net,
Whole loads of fish are trailing.
"And, for dress, is none, my beauty,
Than the tartan plaiding warmer,
For its colours bright, oh, what delight
To see them deck my charmer!
"And ne'er was Highland welcome
More hearty than thy greeting,
Each day, the rein, and courteous swain,
Thy pleasure will be meeting.
"And thou shalt wear the healthy hue
That give the Highland breezes,
And not a bird but will be heard
To sing the song that pleases.
"No summer morn is blyther,
With all its burst of glory,
Than the heaving breast, that, uncaress'd,
Pined—shall, caress'd, adore thee."
"Stay, Highlander! my heart, my hand,
My vow and all I render,
A Highland lay has won the day,
And I will hie me yonder."
[Pg 254]


John Macdonald, author of the following song, is described in "Mackenzie's Collection" as having rented the farm of Scoraig, Lochbroom, and subsequently fixed his residence in the island of Lewis. The present translation is from the pen of Mr D. Macpherson of London.


Sweet the rising mountains, red with heather bells,
Sweet the bubbling fountains and the dewy dells,
Sweet the snowy blossom of the thorny tree,
Sweeter is young Mary of Glensmole to me.
Sweet, oh, sweet! with Mary o'er the wilds to stray,
When Glensmole is dress'd in all the pride of May;
And, when weary roving through the greenwood glade,
Softly to recline beneath the birken shade.
Sweet the rising mountains, &c.
There to fix my gaze in raptures of delight,
On her eyes of truth, of love, of life, of light;
On her bosom, purer than the silver tide,
Fairer than the cana on the mountain side.
Sweet the rising mountains, &c.
[Pg 255]
What were all the sounds contrived by tuneful men,
To the warbling wild notes of the sylvan glen?
Here the merry lark ascends on dewy wing,
There the mellow mavis and the blackbird sing.
Sweet the rising mountains, &c.
What were all the splendour of the proud and great,
To the simple pleasures of our green retreat?
From the crystal spring fresh vigour we inhale,
Rosy health does court us on the mountain gale.
Sweet the rising mountains, &c.
Were I offer'd all the wealth that Albion yields,
All her lofty mountains and her fruitful fields,
With the countless riches of her subject seas,
I would scorn the change for blisses such as these!
Sweet the rising mountains, red with heather bells,
Sweet the bubbling fountains and the dewy dells,
Sweet the snowy blossom of the thorny tree,
Sweeter is young Mary of Glensmole to me.
[Pg 256]



She died—as die the roses
On the ruddy clouds of dawn,
When the envious sun discloses
His flame, and morning 's gone.
She died—like waves of sun-glow
Fast by the shadows chased:
She died—like heaven's rainbow
By gushing showers effaced.
She died—like flakes appearing
On the shore beside the sea;
Thy snow as bright! but, nearing,
The ground-swell broke on thee.
She died—as dies the glory
Of music's sweetest swell:
She died—as dies the story
When the best is still to tell.
She died—as dies moon-beaming
When scowls the rayless wave:
She died—like sweetest dreaming,
That hastens to its grave.
She died—and died she early:
Heaven wearied for its own.
As the dipping sun, my Mary,
Thy morning ray went down!
[Pg 257]

[Pg 259]

[Pg 258]




[Pg 279]





[1] Thomas of Ercildoune, better known as the Rhymer, lived in the reign of Alexander III. No lyric of his composition has been preserved.

[2] The ballads of Professor Aytoun, it is hardly necessary to remark, would have been an ornament to any age.

[3] The publisher of this meritorious little work, Mr David Robertson of Glasgow, was a native of Port of Menteith, Perthshire; he died at Glasgow on the 6th of October 1854. Mr Robertson maintained an extensive correspondence with the humbler bards, and succeeded in recovering many interesting lyrics, which would otherwise have perished. He was also reputed as the publisher of the facetious collection of anecdotes which appeared under the title of the "Laird of Logan."

[4] Robert Archibald Smith, so justly celebrated in connexion with the modern history of Scottish Music, was born at Reading, Berkshire, on the 16th November 1780. In his twentieth year he settled in Paisley, where he formed the acquaintance of Tannahill, whose best songs he subsequently set to music. In 1823, he became precentor in St George's Church, Edinburgh, on the recommendation of its celebrated pastor, the late Dr Andrew Thomson. His numerous musical works continue to be held in high estimation. His death took place at Edinburgh on the 3d January 1829.

[5] The present Memoir has been prepared, at our request, by Francis Bennoch, Esq.

[6] A beautiful sylvan stream, falling from the uplands into the Annan, between Ecclefechan and Lockerbie.

[7] This facetious composition, in the original form, extends to considerably greater length.

[8] Printed from the Author's MS.

[9] Written for the present work.

[10] Written for the present work.

[11] The present Memoir has been contributed by James Donaldson, Esq., Edinburgh.

[12] See "Minstrel," vol. iv. p. 1.

[13] Composed in the author's fourteenth year.

[14] Composed at the age of fifteen.

[15] Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, the King's Advocate.

[16] For Biographical Sketch, see p. 222.

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