Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Bot quhat dangere is ocht to compile, allace:
Perand thir detractouris in eury place,
Or euer thayredethewerk, biddisbirnethebuke:
Sum bene sa frawart in malice and wangrace,
Quhat is wele sayd thay loif not worth ane ace,
Bot castis lhem euir to spy out falt and cruke;
al that thap fynd in hiddillis, hírne or nuke,
Thay vlaw out, sayand in eury mannis face,
Lo here he failzeis, lo here he leis, luke.

-quha list spt doun and mote, ane bthir sayarig faltis to spy and note, Than but offence or falt thame self to wryte ; Bot for to chyde sum bene so birnand hote, Vald thaythare pece, the worde wald scald thare

throte, And has sic custume to jangil and backbyte, That, vot thay schent, sum thay suld birst for syte : I say no more quhen al the rerde is roung, That wicht mon speik, that cannot hald his toung.

Gawin Douglas.

PREFACE.

THE Editors and Publishers of the larp of Renfrewshire now present their little volume to the public in its completed state. In whole, it consists of two hundred and seventy-five Pieces; seventy-four of which—no inconsiderable proportion—are original: the remainder is supplied from poetical sources of approved worth and celebrity.

There are many features of this miscellany, in regard to which, a taste too nicely fastidious, not to use a harsher term, may, it is believed, have ample scope and verge enough to pick out faults withal. But they who read for the pure sake of deriving pleasure, and not to gratify their spleen, or display their critical acumen, will, it is hoped, be more indulgent towards its imperfections, and more aptly disposed to recognise what slender claims it may have on the score of merit.

Every work which issues from a provincial press, has to struggle under numberless disadvantages, peculiar only to its individual case, and to combat with many prejudices entirely of a local origin. In general, its sale is circumscribed-its defects more rigorously tasked-and its undoubted excellencies too often looked upon with an evil eye. The author, the editor, the publisher, or the printer, is our next door neighbour, and

why he should think himself qualified to instruct, amuse, or delight others as adequate for that office, if not more so than himself, is a problem which neither our vanity nor self-conceitedness will ever permit to be satisfactorily solved.

Aware of these circumstances, and foreseeing the consequences which they involve in their train, the Editors of this Publication have exerted themselves not a little to counteract, if they could not altogether remove, their unfavourable tendencies. They can safely state that, to the utmost of their scanty ability, and the limited nature of their means, they have endeavoured to render it sufficiently valuable in respect of its matter to secure it from contempt; and sufficiently reputable in so far as their character of Editors or Publisher was implicated, to shield it from the petulant and puerile strictures

“Of the small critic with his delicate pen."

No apology, they have deemed, is necessary for again treading a path which has right often been trodden before : nor for selecting, in a variety of instances, those very blossoms of genius and poesy which their predecessors in the same beaten highway have previously called. They conceive that a good song, like a good story, may be twice told, without deterioration in any degree from its interestingness and intrinsic merit. As a rose loses nothing of its bloom, complexion and fragrance, though enjoyed by our senses every day; in like manner, they can fancy a good song will always be listened to with satisfaction, however often heard, and yet after all, not 'bate one jot of its worth by the frequency of repetition. But independent of this, the Harp of Renfrewshire, they are proud to say, has higher claims to notice, altogether distinct from those which a work of mere selection can prefer. It is enwreathed with a fresh garland of wild flowers belonging exclusively to itself-which

« PreviousContinue »