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But by thy honest turf I 'll wait,
Thou man of worth ! And weep the ae best fellow's fate
E’er lay in earth.
Who shall say that fortune grieves him,
The wretch's destinie !
Sae dauntingly gaed he ;
Below the gallows-tree.
On many a bloody plain
I scorn him yet again !
And bring to me my sword ;
But I'll brave him at a word.
I die by treacherie ;
And not avenged be.
And all beneath the sky!
The wretch that dares not die !
Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest !
My Bonny Mary. Go fetch to me a pint o' wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie ; That I may drink, before I go,
A service to my bonny lassie ; The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith,
Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry; The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
And I maun leave my bonny Mary. The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The gliitering spears are ranked ready; The shouts o' war are heard afar,
The battle closes thick and bloody; But it's not the roar o sea or shore
Wad make me langer wish to tarry ; Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar —
It's leaving thee, my bonny Mary.
Menie. Again rejoicing Nature sees
Her robe assume its vernal hues, Her leafy locks wave in the breeze,
All freshly steeped in morning dews. In vain to me the cowslips blaw,
In vain to me the violets spring ;
The mavis and the lintwhite sing.
Wi' joy the tentie seedsman stalks ;
A dream of ane that never wauks.
Amang the reeds the ducklings cry,
And everything is blessed but I.
And ower the moorland whistles shill; Wi' wild, unequal, wandering step,
I meet him on the dewy hill. And when the lark, 'tween light and dark,
Blithe waukens by the daisy's side, And mounts and sings on flittering wings,
A woe-worn ghaist I hameward glide. Come, Winter, with thine angry howl, And raging bend the naked tree : Thy gloom will soothe my cheerless soul, When nature all is sad like me!
Mary Morison. 'One of my juvenile works.'-Burns. 'Of all the productions of Burns, the pathetic and serious love-songs which he has left behind him in the manner of old ballads, are perhaps those which take the deepest and most lasting hold of the mind. Such are the lines of Mary Morison, &c.'-HAZLITT.
O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wished, the trysted hour!
That make the miser's treasure poor :
A weary slave frae sun to sun,
The lovely Mary Morison,
The dance gaed through the lighted ha',
I sat, but neither heard nor saw.
And yon the toast of a' the town,
'Ye are na Mary Morison.'
Ae Fond Kiss. "These exquisitely affecting stanzas contain the essence of a thousand love-tales.'-SCOTT.
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever ;
O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee? If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shewn ; A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o' Mary Morison.
And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
Might roused the slumbering dead to hear ;
But oh! it was a tale of woe,
As ever met a Briton's ear.
He sang wi' joy the former day,
He weeping wailed his latter times ;
But what he said it was nae play-
I winna ventur 't in my rhymes.
To Mary in Heaven.
Thou ling'ring star, with less'ning ray, Wha can fill a coward's grave?
That lov'st to greet the early morn,
Again thou usher'st in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn.
O Mary ! dear departed shade! Wha for Scotland's king and law
Where is thy place of blissful rest? Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ? Freeman stand, or freeman sa',
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast? Let him follow me!
That sacred hour can I forget, By oppression's woes and pains !
Can I forget the hallowed grove, By your sons in servile chains !
Where by the winding Ayr we met,
To live one day of parting love !
Eternity will not efface
Those records dear of transports past;
Thy image at our last embrace ;
Ah! little thought we 'twas our last !
Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,
O'erhung with wild woods, thick’ning green ! A Vision.*
The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,
Twined am'rous round the raptured scene; As I stood by yon roofless tower, Where the wa’-flower scents the dewy air,
The flow'rs sprang wanton to be prest, Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower,
The birds sang love on every sprayAnd tells the midnight moon her care ;
Till soon, too soon, the glowing west
Proclaimed the speed of winged day.
Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care ! And the distant echoing glens reply.
Time but th' impression stronger makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear. The stream, adown its hazelly path,
My Mary! dear departed shade! Was rushing by the ruined wa's,
Where is thy place of blissful rest ? Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ? Whose distant roaring swells and fa's.
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?' The cauld blue north was streaming forth Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din;
Burns, in his ‘Remarks on Scottish Songs,' written for the Athort the list they start and shift,
Laird of Glenriddel, has described the above parting scene. “My
Highland lassie,' he says, 'was a warm-hearted, charming young Like fortune's favours, tint as win.
creature as ever blessed a man with generous love. After a pretty
long tract of the most ardent reciprocal attachment, we met by By heedless chance I turned mine eyes,
appointment on the second Sunday of May, in a sequestered spot And, by the moonbeam, shook to see
by the banks of Ayr, where we spent the day in taking a farewell
before she should embark for the West Highlands to arrange A stern and stalwart ghaist arise,
matters among her friends for our projected change of life. At Attired as minstrels wont to be.
the close of autumn following she crossed the sea to meet me at
Greenock, where she had scarce landed when she was seized with Had I a statue been o'stane,
a malignant fever, which hurried my dear girl to the grave in a few
days before I could even hear of her illness.' Cromek heightens His darin' look had daunted me;
the interesting picture : 'The lovers stood on each side of a small And on his bonnet graved was plain,
purling brook; they laved their hands in its limpid stream, and The sacred posy— Libertie!
holding a Bible between them pronounced their vows to be faithful to each other. They parted, never to meet again.' Subsequent
investigation has lessened the romance of this pure love-passage A favourite walk of Burns, during his residence in Dumfries, in the poet's life. The 'pretty long tract of attachment,' if we was one along the right bank of the river above the town, terminat- take the expression literally, must have been before Burns's acing at the ruins of Lincluden Abbey and Church, which occupy a quaintance with Jean Armour, who soon eclipsed all the other romantic situation on a piece of rising ground in the angle at the rustic heroines. When Jean and her parents so ruthlessly broke off junction of the Cluden Water with the Nith. These ruins include the connection, Burns turned to Highland Mary; but when Mary many fine fragments of ancient decorative architecture, and are embarked for the West Highlands, Jean Armour again obtained the enshrined in a natural scene of the utmost beauty. Burns, accord ascendant, and four weeks after the parting with Mary (June 12), ing to his eldest son, often mused amidst thé Lincluden ruins. we find the poet writing : 'Never man loved, or rather adored, a There is one position on a little mount, to the south of the church, woman more than I did her (Jean Armour); and to confess a truth, where a couple of landscapes of witching loveliness are obtained, I do still love her to distraction.' Mary is no more heard of, and set, as it were, in two of the windows of the ancient building. It is not mentioned by Burns till three years after her decease. Her was probably the 'Calvary' of the ancient church precinct. This premature death had recalled her love and her virtues, and emthe younger Burns remembered to have been a favourite resting-balmed them for ever. The parting scene was exalted and halplace of the poet.
lowed in his imagination, and kept sacred-not, perhaps, without Such is the locality of the grand and thrilling ode, entitled A some feeling of remorse. To Dr Moore, to his Ayrshire friends, Vision, in which he hints--for more than a hint could not be and to Clarinda he spoke freely of all his early loves except that of ventured upon--his sense of the degradation of the ancient manly Mary: his vows to her seem never to have been whispered to spirit of his country under the conservative terrors of the passing any ear but her own. The rapid changes illustrate the poet's era.-CHAMBERS's Burns.
'mobility,' or excessive susceptibility of immediate impressions,
Bowers, adieu! where love decoying,
First enthralled this heart o' mine ;
There the saftest sweets enjoying, RICHARD GALL (1776-1800), whilst employed
Sweets that memory ne'er shall tine! as a printer in Edinburgh, threw off some Scottish Friends so dear my bosom ever, songs that became favourites. My Only yo and
Ye hae rendered moments dear; Dearie 0, for pleasing fancy and musical expres
But, alas !'when forced to sever, sion, is not unworthy of Tannahill. I remember,'
Then the stroke, oh, how severe ! says Allan Cunningham, 'when this song was ex
Friends, that parting tear reserve it, ceedingly popular : its sweetness and ease, rather
Though 'tis doubly dear to me; than its originality and vigour, might be the Could I think I did deserve it, cause of its success. The third verse contains a
How much happier would I be! very beautiful picture of early attachment-a Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure, sunny bank, and some sweet soft school-girl, will Scenes that former thoughts renew; appear to many a fancy when these lines are Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure, sung:
Now a sad and last adieu !
ALEXANDER Wilson, a distinguished natur-
alist, was also a good Scottish poet.
He was a Upon the banks sae briery 0;
native of Paisley, and born July 5, 1766. He was Thy teeth are o' the ivory,
brought up to the trade of a weaver, but afterOh, sweet's the twinkle o' thine ee !
wards preferred that of a pedlar, selling muslin Nae joy, nae pleasure, blinks on me,
and other wares. In 1789 he added to his other My only jo and dearie 0.
commodities a prospectus of a volume of poems, The birdie sings upon the thorn
trusting, as he said, Its sang o' joy, fu' cheerie 0,
If the pedlar should fail to be favoured with sale,
Then I hope you 'll encourage the poet.
He did not succeed in either character; and after
publishing his poems, he returned to the loom. That gar my restless bosom beat,
In 1792 he issued anonymously his best poem, My only jo and dearie 0.
Watty and Meg, which was at first attributed to Whan we were bairnies on yon brae,
Burns.* A foolish personal satire, and a not very And youth was blinking bonny 0,
wise admiration of the principles of equality disAft we wad daff the lee-lang day,
seminated at the time of the French Revolution, Our joys fu' sweet and mony O;
drove Wilson to America in the year 1794. There Aft I wad chase thee o'er the lea,
he was once more a weaver and a pedlar, and And round about the thorny tree,
afterwards a schoolmaster. A love of ornithology Or pu' the wild flowers a' for thee,
gained upon him, and he wandered over America, My only jo and dearie 0.
collecting specimens of birds. In 1808 appeared
his first volume of American Ornithology, and he I hae a wish I canna tine,
continued collecting and publishing, traversing 'Mang a'the cares that grieve me O; I wish thou wert for ever mine,
swamps and forests in quest of rare birds, and And never mair to leave me 0:
undergoing the greatest privations and fatigues, Then I wad daut thee night and day,
till he had committed an eighth volume to the Nor ither warldly care wad hae,
press. He sank under his severe labours on the Till life's warm stream forgot to play,
23d of August 1813, and was interred with public My only jo and dearie o.
honours at Philadelphia. In the Ornithology of Wilson we see the fancy and descriptive powers of
the poet. The following extract is part of his Farewell to Ayrshire.
account of the bald eagle, and is extremely vivid This
of Gall's has often been printed as the composition of and striking : Burns, a copy in Burns's handwriting having been found among
The Bald Eagle.
The celebrated cataract of Niagara is a noted place of
resort for the bald eagle, as well on account of the fish Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure,
procured there, as for the numerous carcases of squirrels, Now a sad and last adieu !
deer, bears, and various other animals that, in their Bonny Doon, sae sweet at gloaming,
attempts to cross the river above the falls, have been Fare-thee-weel before I gang
dragged into the current, and precipitated down that Bonny Doon, where, early roaming,
tremendous gulf, where, among the rocks that bound the First I weaved the rustic sang!
rapids below, they furnish a rich repast for the vulture,
the raven, and the bald eagle, the subject of the present which also characterised Byron, and which Byron, less reticent,
account, He has been long known to naturalists, being 'Tis merely what is called mobility
* As Burns was one day sitting at his desk by the side of the A thing of temperament and not of art,
window, a well-known hawker, Andrew Bishop, went past crying: Though seeming so from its supposed facility :
*Watty and Meg, a new ballad, by Robert Burns.
The poet And false, though true ; for surely they're sincerest looked out and said : : That's a lee, Andrew, but I would make Who are strongly acted on by what is nearest.
your plack a bawbee if it were mine. This we heard Mrs Burns, Don Juan, c. xvi. the poet's widow, relate.
has defended :
common to both continents, and occasionally met with and, after admiring for some time the beautiful simfrom a very high northern latitude to the borders of the plicity of nature, gave her willing consent, and the little torrid zone, but chiefly in the vicinity of the sea, and fellow went off on the wings of ecstacy to execute his along the shores and cliffs of our lakes and large rivers. delightful commission. Formed by nature for braving the severest cold, feeding The similarity of this little boy's enthusiasm to my equally on the produce of the sea and of the land, pos- own struck me, and the reader will need no explanations sessing powers of flight capable of outstripping even the of mine to make the application. Should my country tempests themselves, unawed by anything but man, and, receive with the same gracious indulgence the specimens from the ethereal heights to which he soars, looking which I here humbly present her ; should she express abroad at one glance on an immeasurable expanse of a desire for me to go and bring her more, the highest forests, fields, lakes, and ocean deep below him, he appears wishes of my ambition will be gratified; for, in the indifferent to the little localities of change of seasons, language of my little friend, our whole woods are full as in a few minutes he can pass from summer to winter, of them, and I can collect hundreds more, much handfrom the lower to the higher regions of the atmosphere, somer than these. the abode of eternal cold, and from thence descend at will to the torrid or the arctic regions of the earth. The ambition of the poet-naturalist was amply
In procuring fish, he displays, in a very singular gratified. manner, the genius and energy of his character, which is fierce, contemplative, daring, and tyrannical ; attributes not exerted but on particular occasions, but when
A Village Scold.-From' Watty and Meg:' put forth, overpowering all opposition. Elevated on the
I'the thrang o' stories tellin', high dead limb of some gigantic tree that commands a
Shakin' hands and jokin' queer, wide view of the neighbouring shore and ocean, he
Swith ! a chap comes on the hallanseems calmly to contemplate the motions of the various
“Mungo ! is our Watty here?' feathered tribes that pursue their busy avocations below; the snow-white gulls slowly winnowing the air ; the Maggy's weel-kent tongue and hurry busy tringæ coursing along the sands; trains of ducks
Darted through him like a knise : streaming over the surface ; silent and watchsul cranes
Up the door few-like a fury intent and wading ; clamorous crows; and all the
In came Watty's scoldin' wise. winged multitudes that subsist by the bounty of this vast liquid magazine of nature. High over all these, Nasty, gude-for-naething being! hovers one whose action instantly arrests his whole
O ye snuffy drucken sow! attention. By his wide curvature of wing, and sudden
Bringin' wife and weans to ruin, suspension in air, he knows him to be the fish-hawk,
Drinkin' here wi' sic a crew! settling over some devoted victim of the deep. His eye kindles at the sight, and balancing himself with
'Rise ! ye drucken beast o' Bethel ! half-opened wings on the branch, he watches the
Drink 's your night and day's desire ; result. Down, rapid as an arrow from heaven, descends
Rise, this precious hour! or faith I'll the distant object of his attention, the roar of its wings
Fling your whisky i' the fire !' reaching the ear as it disappears in the deep, making the surges foam around. At this moment the eager
Watty heard her tongue unhallowed, looks of the eagle are all ardour ; and, levelling his
Paid his groat wi' little din, neck for flight, he sees the fish-hawk once more emerge, Left the house, while Maggy followed, struggling with his prey, and mounting in the air with
Flytin' a' the road behin'. screams of exultation. These are the signal for our hero, who, launching into the air, instantly gives chase, Folk frae every door came lampin', and soon gains on the fish-hawk; each exerts his ut
Maggy curst them ane and a', most to mount above the other, displaying in these Clapped wi' her hands, and stampin', rencontres the most elegant and sublime aerial evolutions.
Lost her bauchels? ' the snaw. The unencumbered eagle rapidly advances, and is just on the point of reaching his opponent, when, with a
Hame, at length, she turned the gavel, sudden scream, probably of despair and honest execra
Wi' a face as white 's a clout, tion, the latter drops his fish : the eagle, poising himself
Ragin' like a very devil, for a moment, as if to take a more certain aim, descends
Kickin' stools and chairs about. like a whirlwind, snatches it in his grasp ere it reaches the water, and bears his ill-gotten booty silently away to • Ye 'll sit wi' your limmers round yethe woods,
Hang you, sir, I'll be your death!
Little hauds my hands, consound you, By way of preface, 'to invoke the clemency of
But I cleave you to the teeth!' the reader,' Wilson relates the following exquisite trait of simplicity and nature :
Watty, wha, 'midst this oration, In one of my late visits to a friend in the country, I
Eyed her whiles, but durst na speak, found their youngest son, a fine boy of eight or nine
Sat, like patient Resignation, years of age, who usually resides in town for his educa.
Trembling by the ingle-cheek. tion, just returning from a ramble through the neighbouring woods and fields, where he had collected a
Sad his wee drap brose he sippetlarge and very handsome bunch of wild-flowers, of a
Maggy's tongue gaed like a bellgreat many different colours; and, presenting them to
Quietly to his bed he slippet, his mother, said : ‘Look, my dear mamma, what beauti
Sighin' aften to himsel : ful flowers I have found growing on our place! Why, all the woods are full of them ! red, orange, and blue,
‘Nane are free frae some vexation, and 'most every colour. Oh! I can gather you a whole
Ilk ane has his ills to dree; parcel of them, much handsomer than these, all growing
But through a' the hale creation in our own woods! Shall I, mamma? Shall I go and
Is nae mortal vexed like me.' bring you more?' The good woman received the bunch of flowers with a smile of affectionate complacency ;
1 Old shoes
No anither night to lodge here-
No a friend their cause to plead !
He's ta'en on to be a sodger, HECTOR MACNEILL (1746-1818) was brought up She wi' weans to beg her bread! to a mercantile life, but was unsuccessful in most of his business affairs. In 1789, he published a The little domestic drama is happily wound up : legendary poem, The Harp, and in 1795, his Jeanie obtains a cottage and protection from the moral tale, Scotland's Skaith, or the History o' Duchess of Buccleuch ; and Will, after losing a Will and Jean. The object of this production leg in battle, returns, placed on Chelsea's bounty, was to depict the evil effects of intemperance. and finds his wife and family. A happy rural pair are reduced to ruin, descend
Sometimes briskly, sometimes flaggin', ing by gradual steps till the husband is obliged
Sometimes helpit, Will gat forth; to enlist as a soldier, and the wife to beg with On a cart, or in a wagon, her children through the country. The situation Hirpling aye towards the north. of the little ale-house where Will begins his unlucky potations is finely described.
Tired ae e'ening, stepping hooly,
Pondering on his thraward fate, In a howm, whose bonny burnie
In the bonny month o' July,
Willie, heedless, tint his gate.
Sast the southland breeze was blawing,
Sweetly sughed the green aik wood;
Loud the din o'streams fast fa'ing,
Strack the ear wi' thundering thud :
Ewes and lambs on braes ran bleating;
Linties chirped on ilka tree ; Up the gavel-end, thick spreadin',
Frae the west, the sun, near setting,
Flamed on Roslin's towers sae hie.
Roslin's towers and braes sae bonny !
Craigs and water, woods and glen! Down below, a flowery meadow
Roslin's banks, unpeered by ony,
Save the Muses' Hawthornden !
Ilka sound and charm delighting,
Will—though hardly fit to gangBrattling down the brae, and near its
Wandered on through scenes inviting,
Listening to the mavis' sang.
Faint at length, the day fast closing, ‘Godsake, Tam ! here's walth for drinking !
On a fragrant strawberry steep,
Esk's sweet stream to rest composing, 'Hout,' quo' Tam, there 's drouth in thinking,
Wearied nature drapt asleep.
'Soldier, rise !--the dews o' e'ening The rustic friends have a jolly meeting, and do
Gathering, fa' wi' deadly skaith !-not separate till "tween twa and three' next
Wounded soldier ! if complaining, morning. A weekly club is set up at Maggy
Sleep na here, and catch your death.'... Howe's, a newspaper is procured, and poor Will, Silent stept he on, poor sellow ! the hero of the tale, becomes a pot-house poli- Listening to his guide before, tician, and soon goes to ruin. His wife also takes Ower green knowe and flowery hollow, to drinking.
Till they reached the cot-house door.
Laigh it was, yet sweet and humble ;
Decked wi' honeysuckle round;
Clear below, Esk's waters rumble,
Deep glens murmuring back the sound.
Melville's towers, sae white and stately,
Dim by_gloaming glint to view ;
Through Lasswade's dark woods keek sweetly But war ony half sae fair ?
Skies sae red, and list sae blue.
Entering now, in transport mingle
Mother fond and happy wean,
Smiling round a canty ingle,
Bleezing on a clean hearthstane.
Soldier, welcome ! come, be cheery-
Here ye’se rest and tak' your bed
Faint, wae's me! ye seem, and weary,
Pale 's your cheek, sae lately red !'
*Changed I am,' sighed Willie till her ; Ilka sheaf selt on the bent ;
'Changed, nae doubt, as changed can be ! Cattle, beds, and blankets roupit,
Yet, alas ! does Jeanie Miller
Nought o' Willie Gairlace see?'