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been elevated to the baronetcy only the year pre A norland laird neist trotted up, vious. His brother, JAMES BOSWELL (1779-1822), Wi' bawsent naig and siller whup, an accomplished scholar and student of our early
Cried : 'There's my beast, lad, haud the grup, literature, edited Malone's edition of Shakspeare,
Or tie 't till a tree. 21 vols. 8vo, 1821. Sir Alexander had just re
What's gowd to me?—I've walth o' lan’; turned from the funeral of his brother when he
Bestow on ane o' worth your han’;' engaged in the fatal duel.
He thought to pay what he was awn
Wi' Jenny's bawbee.
A’ spruce frae ban’boxes and tubs,
A Thing cam neist-but life has rubs-
Foul were the roads, and fou the dubs,
Ah! wae's me!
A' clatty, squintin' through a glass,
He girned, "I' faith, a bonny lass!'
He thought to win, wi' front o' brass,
She bade the laird gang comb his wig,
The sodger no to strut sae big,
The lawyer no to be a prig,
The fool cried : Tehee,
'I kent that I could never fail !' Wi' her he would be bobbing; When she sat down, he sat down,
She preened the dish-clout till his tail,
And cooled him wi' a water-pail,
And kept her bawbee.
The coof would never leave her ;
Good-night, and Foy be wi' Ye d'.
This song is supposed to proceed from the mouth of an aged
chieftain. Quo' he : 'My lass, to speak my mind,
Good-night, and joy be wi' ye a';
Your harmless mirth has charmed my heart; You've bonny een, and if you 're kind,
May life's fell blasts out ower ye blaw !
In sorrow may ye never part !
My spirit lives, but strength is gone ;
The mountain-fires now blaze in vain :
Remember, sons, the deeds I've done,
And in your deeds I 'll live again!
When on yon muir our gallant clan
Frae boasting foes their banners tore,
Wha shewed himsel a better man,
Or fiercer waved the red claymore?
But when in peace-then mark me there-
When through the glen the wanderer came,
I gave him of our lordly fare,
I gave him here a welcome hame.
The auld will speak, the young maun hear;
Be cantie, but be good and leal ;
Your ain ills aye hae heart to bear, Quo' he: Ilk cream-faced, pawky chiel
Anither's aye hae heart to feel. Thought himsel cunnin as the deil,
So, ere I set, I 'll see you shine,
Í'll see you triumph ere I fa';
My parting breath shall boast you mine
Good-night, and joy be wi' you a'.
The High Street of Edinburgh.
From Edinburgh, or the Ancient Royalty.
Tier upon tier I see the mansions rise, Your beauty's dazzled baith my een ;'
Whose azure summits mingle with the skies ; * But deil a beauty he had seen
There, from the earth the labouring porters bear But-Jenny's bawbee.
The elements of fire and water high in air ;
There, as you scale the steps with toilsome tread, A lawyer neist, wi' bletherin' gab,
The dripping barrel madefies your head;
* Sir Alexander seems to have remembered the fourth line in And a' for a fee :
Campbell's Picasures of Hope :
Whose sun-bright summit mingles with the sky. Accounts he had through a' the town,
But Campbell may have stolen his line from Telford's forgotten
Here lofty hills in varied prospect rise,
Whose airy summits mingle with the skies.
Thence, as adown the giddy round you wheel, beauty. His taste was very defective, though he A rising porter greets you with his creel !
had done much to repair his early want of inHere, in these chambers, ever dull and dark, struction. His occupation of a shepherd, among The lady gay received her gayer spark,
solitary hills and glens, must have been favourable Who, clad in silken coat, with cautious tread,
to his poetical enthusiasm. He was not, like Trembled at opening casements overhead;
Burns, thrown into society when young, and But when in safety at her porch he trod,
forced to combat with misfortune. His destiny He seized the ring, and rasped the twisted rod. No idlers then, I trow, were seen to meet,
was unvaried, until he had arrived at a period Linked, six a-row, six hours in Princes Street,
when the bent of his genius was fixed for life. But, one by one, they panted up the hill,
Without society during the day, his evening hours And picked their steps with most uncommon skill; were spent in listening to ancient legends and Then, at the Cross, each joined the motley mob ballads, of which his mother, like Burns's, was a How are ye, Tam?' and, 'How 's a' wi' ye, Bob?' great reciter. This nursery of imagination he has Next to a neighbouring tavern all retired,
himself beautifully described :
Of fairy tales of ancient time!
I learned them in the lonely glen, And legal wisdom counselled o'er a gill. .
The last abodes of living men, Yes! mark the street, for youth the great resort,
Where never stranger came our way Its spacious with the theatre of sport.
By summer night, or winter day ; There, midst the crowd, the jingling hoop is driven ;
Where neighbouring hind or cot was noneFull many a leg is hit, and curse is given.
Our converse was with heaven alone There, on the pavement, mystic forms are chalked,
With voices through the cloud that sung, Defaced, renewed, delayed—but never balked ;
And brooding storms that round us hung. There romping Miss the rounded slate may drop,
O lady, judge, if judge ye may, And kick it out with persevering hop.
How stern and ample was the sway There, in the dirty current of the strand,
Of themes like these when darkness fell, Boys drop the rival corks with ready hand,
And gray-haired sires the tales would tell ! And, wading through the puddle with slow pace,
When doors were barred, and eldern dame Watch in solicitude the doubtful race !
Plied at her task beside the flame, And there, an active band, with frequent boast,
That through the smoke and gloom alone Vault in succession o'er each wooden post.
On dim and umbered faces shoneOr a bold stripling, noted for his might,
The bleat of mountain-goat on high, Heads the array, and rules the mimic fight.
That from the cliff came quavering by ; From hand and sling now fly the whizzing stones,
The echoing rock, the rushing flood, Unheeded broken heads and broken bones.
The cataract's swell, the moaning wood ; The rival hosts in close engagement mix,
The undefined and mingled humDrive and are driven by the dint of sticks.
Voice of the desert never dumb ! The bicker rages, till some mother's fears
All these have left within this heart Ring a sad story in a bailie's ears.
A feeling tongue can ne'er impart; Her prayer is heard ; the order quick is sped,
A wildered and unearthly flame, And, from that corps which hapless Porteous led,
A something that's without a name. A brave detachment, probably of two,
Hogg was descended from a family of shepRush, like two kites, upon the warlike crew, herds, and born in the vale of Ettrick, Selkirkshire. Who, struggling, like the fabled frogs and mice,
According to the parish register, he was baptised Are pounced upon, and carried in a trice. But, mark that motley group, in various garb
on the 9th of December 1770. When a mere There vice begins to form her rankling barb;
child, he was put out to service, acting first as The germ of gambling sprouts in pitch-and-toss,
a cow-herd, until capable of taking care of a And brawl, successive, tells disputed loss.
flock of sheep. He had in all but little schooling, From hand to hand the whirling halfpence pass, though he was too prone to represent himself as And, every copper gone, they fly to brass.
an uninstructed prodigy of nature. When twenty Those polished rounds which decorate the coat, years of age, he entered the service of Mr Laidlaw, And brilliant shine upon some youth of note, Blackhouse. He was then an eager reader of Offspring of Birmingham's creative art,
poetry and romances, and he subscribed to a Now from the faithful button-holes depart.
circulating library in Peebles, the miscellaneous To sudden twitch the rending stitches yield,
contents of which he perused with the utmost And Enterprise again essays the field. So, when a few fleet years of his short span
avidity. He was a remarkably fine-looking young Have ripened this dire passion in the man,
man, with a profusion of light-brown hair, which When thousand after thousand takes its flight
he wore coiled up under his hat or blue bonnet, In the short circuit of one wretched night,
the envy of all the country maidens. An attack Next shall the honours of the forest fall
of illness, however, brought on by over-exertion And ruin desolate the chieftain's hall ;
on a hot summer day, completely altered his Hill after hill some cunning clerk shall gain ; countenance, and changed the very form of his Then in a mendicant behold a thane !
features. His first literary effort was in song
writing, and in 1801 he published a small volume JAMES HOGG.
of pieces. He was introduced to Sir Walter Scott
by his master's son, Mr William Laidlaw, and JAMES HOGG, generally known by his poetical assisted in the collection of old ballads for the name of The Ettrick Shepherd,' was perhaps the Border Minstrelsy. He soon imitated the style most creative and imaginative of the uneducated of these ancient strains with great felicity, and poets. His fancy had a wide range, picturing in published in 1807 another volume of songs and its flights scenes of wild aërial magnificence and poems, under the title of The Mountain Bard.
He embarked in sheep-farming, and took a journey prose is very unequal. He had no skill in arrangto the island of Harris on a speculation of this ing incidents or delineating character. He is kind; but all he had saved as a shepherd, or by often coarse and extravagant ; yet some of his his publication, was lost in these attempts. He stories have much of the literal truth and happy then repaired to Edinburgh, and endeavoured to minute painting of Defoe. The worldly schemes sutsist by his pen. A collection of songs, The of the Shepherd were seldom successful. Though Forest Minstrel (1810), was his first effort ; his he had failed as a sheep-farmer, he ventured second was a periodical called The Spy; but it again, and took a large farm, Mount Benger, was not till the publication of The Queen's Wake, from the Duke of Buccleuch. Here he also was in 1813, that the Shepherd established his reputa- unsuccessful ; and his sole support, for the latter tion as an author. This ‘legendary poem con- years of his life, was the remuneration afforded sists of a collection of tales and ballads supposed by his literary labours. He lived in a cottage to be sung to Mary, Queen of Scots, by the native which he had built at Altrive, on a piece of moorbards of Scotland assembled at a royal wake at land-seventy acres-presented to him by the Holyrood, in order that the fair queen might Duchess of Buccleuch. His love of angling and prove
field-sports amounted to a passion, and when he The wondrous powers of Scottish song.
could no longer fish or hunt, he declared his
belief that his death was near. In the autumn of The design was excellent, and the execution so 1835 he was attacked with a dropsical complaint ; varied and masterly, that Hogg was at once and on the 21st of November of that year, after placed among the first of our native poets. The some days of insensibility, he breathed his last different productions of the local minstrels are as calmly, and with as little pain, as he ever fell strung together by a thread of narrative so grace. asleep in his gray plaid on the hillside. His fully written in many parts, that the reader is death was deeply mourned in the vale of Ettrick, surprised equally at the delicacy and the genius for all rejoiced in his fame ; and, notwithstanding of the author. At the conclusion of the poem, his personal foibles, the Shepherd was generous, Hogg alludes to his illustrious friend Scott, and kind-hearted, and charitable far beyond his means. adverts with some feeling to an advice which In the activity and versatility of his powers, Sir Walter had once given him, to abstain from Hogg resembled Allan Ramsay. Neither of them his worship of poetry.
had the strength of passion or the grasp of inThe land was charmed to list his lays ;
tellect peculiar to Burns ; but, on the other hand, It knew the harp of ancient days.
their style was more discursive, playful, and fanThe Border chiefs, that long had been
ciful. Burns seldom projects himself, as it were, In sepulchres unhearsed and green,
out of his own feelings and situation, whereas Passed from their mouldy vaults away
both Ramsay and Hogg are happiest when they In armour red and stern array,
soar into the world of fancy, or retrace the scenes And by their moonlight halls were seen
of antiquity. The Ettrick Shepherd abandoned In visor, helm, and habergeon.
himself entirely to the genius of old romance Even fairies sought our land again,
and legendary story. He loved, like Spenser, to So powerful was the magic strain.
luxuriate in fairy visions, and to picture scenes of Blest be his generous heart for aye !
supernatural splendour and beauty, where
The emerald fields are of dazzling glow,
And the flowers of everlasting blow.
His Kilmeny is one of the finest fairy tales that
ever was conceived by poet or painter; and passSuch strains had o'er my cradle sung.
ages in The Pilgrims of the Sun have the same But when, to native feelings true,
abstract remote beauty and lofty imagination. I'struck upon a chord was new;
Burns would have scrupled to commit himself to When by myself I 'gan to play,
these aërial phantoms. His visions were more He tried to wile my harp away.
material, and linked to the joys and sorrows of Just when her notes began with skill,
actual existence. Akin to this peculiar feature in To sound beneath the southern hill,
Hogg's poetry is the spirit of most of his songsAnd twine around my bosom's core,
a wild lyrical flow of fancy, that is sometimes How could we part for evermore?
inexpressibly sweet and musical. He wanted art 'Twas kindness all—I cannot blame
to construct a fable, and taste to give due effect For bootless is the minstrel flame; But sure a bard might well have known
to his imagery and conceptions; but there are Another's feelings by his own !
few poets who impress us so much with the idea
of direct inspiration, or convince us so strongly Scott was grieved at this allusion to his friendly that poetry is indeed an art 'unteachable and counsel, as it was given at a time when no one untaught.' dreamed of the Shepherd possessing the powers that he displayed in The Queen's Wake. Various Bonny Kilmeny.- From "The Queen's Wake.' works now proceeded from his pen-Mador of the Moor, a poem in the Spenserian stanza ; The
Bonny Kilmeny gaed up the glen ;
But it wasna to meet Duneira's men, Pilgrims of the Sun, in blank verse; The Hunting
Nor the rosy monk of the isle to see, of Badlewe, The Poetic Mirror, Queen Hynde,
For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.
For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.
Shall wear away, and be seen nae mair, But lang may her minny look o'er the wa',
And the angels shall miss them travelling the air. And lang may she seek' i' the greenwood shaw; But lang, lang after baith night and day, Lang the laird of Duneira blame,
When the sun and the world have elyed away; And lang, lang greet or Kilmeny come hame !
When the sinner has gane to his waesome doom, When many a day had come and fled,
Kilmeny shall smile in eternal bloom!”. When grief grew calm, and hope was dead,
Kilmeny begged again to see When mass for Kilmeny's soul had been sung,
The friends she had left in her own countrye, When the beadsman had prayed, and the dead-bell To tell of the place where she had been, rung,
And the glories that lay in the land unseen. .. Late, late in a gloamin, when all was still,
With distant music, soft and deep, When the fringe was red on the westlin' hill,
They lulled Kilmeny sound asleep; The wood was sere, the moon i' the wane,
And when she awakened, she lay her lane, The reek o' the cot hung over the plain
All happed with flowers in the greenwood wene. Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane ;
When seven lang years had come and fled, When the ingle lowed with an eiry leme,
When grief was calm, and hope was dead, Late, late in the gloamin, Kilmeny came hame! When scarce was remembered Kilmeny's name, “Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been ?
Late, late in a gloamin Kilmeny came hame! Lang hae we sought baith holt and dean ;
And oh, her beauty was fair to see, By linn, by ford, and greenwood tree,
But still and steadfast was her ee; Yet you are halesome and fair to see.
Such beauty bard may never declare, Where gat ye that joup o' the lily sheen ?
For there was no pride nor passion there; That bonny snood of the birk sae green?
And the soft desire of maiden's een, And these roses, the fairest that ever were seen ? In that mild face could never be seen. Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have you been?'
Her seymar was the lily flower, Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace,
And her cheek the moss-rose in the shower ; But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face ;
And her voice like the distant melodye, As still was her look, and as still was her ee,
That floats along the twilight sea. As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
But she loved to raike the lanely glen, Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea.
And keeped afar frae the haunts of men,
Her holy hymns unheard to sing,
But wherever her peaceful form appeared,
The wolf played blithely round the field, And the airs of heaven played round her tongue, The lordly bison lowed and kneeled, When she spake of the lovely forms she had seen, The dun deer wooed with manner bland, And a land where sin had never been....
And cowered aneath her lily hand. In yon greenwood there is a waik,
And when at eve the woodlands rung, And in that waik there is a wene,
When hymns of other worlds she sung, And in that wene there is a maike
In ecstasy of sweet devotion, That neither hath flesh, blood, nor bane ;
Oh, then the glen was all in motion; And down in yon greenwood he walks his lane ! The wild beasts of the forest came, In that green wene Kilmeny lay,
Broke from their bughts and faulds the tame, Her bosom happed wi' the flowrets gay ;
And goved around, charmed and amazed ; But the air was soft, and the silence deep,
Even the dull cattle crooned and gazed, And bonny Kilmeny fell sound asleep ;
And murmured, and looked with anxious pain She kend nae mair, nor opened her ee,
For something the mystery to explain. Till waked by the hymns of a far countrye,
The buzzard came with the throstle-cock; She wakened on a couch of the silk sae slim,
The corby left her houf in the rock; All striped wi' the bars of the rainbow's rim;
The blackbird alang wi' the eagle flew; And lovely beings round were rise,
The hind came tripping o'er the dew; Who erst had travelled mortal life. ..
The wolf and the kid their raike began, They clasped her waist and her hands sae fair,
And the tod, and the lamb, and the leveret ran; They kissed her cheek, and they kamed her hair, The hawk and the hern attour them hung, And round came many a blooming fere,
And the merl and the mavis forhooyed their young; Saying: 'Bonny Kilmeny, ye 're welcome here !'... And all in a peaceful ring were hurled : They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
It was like an eve in a sinless world! And she walked in the light of a sunless day;
When a month and a day had come and gane, The sky was a dome of crystal bright,
Kilmeny sought the greenwood wene, *The fountain of vision, and fountain of light;
There laid her down on the leaves so green, The emerald fields were of dazzling glow,
And Kilmeny on earth was never mair seen! And the flowers of everlasting blow. Then deep in the stream her body they laid, That her youth and beauty never might fade ;
To the Comet of 1811. And they smiled on heaven when they saw her lie
How lovely is this wildered scene, In the stream of life that wandered by ;
As twilight from her vaults so blue And she heard a song, she heard it sung,
Steals soft o'er Yarrow's mountains green, She kend not where, but sae sweetly it rung,
To sleep embalmed in midnight dew! It fell on her ear like a dream of the morn. 'Oh, blest be the day Kilmeny was born!
All hail, ye hills, whose towering height, Now shall the land of the spirits see,
Like shadows, scoops the yielding sky! Now shall it ken what a woman may be !
And thou, mysterious guest of night,
Dread traveller of immensity!
Stranger of heaven! I bid thee hail !
Shred from the pall of glory riven,
That flashest in celestial gale,
Then he pours his melting ditty, Broad pennon of the King of Heaven !
And love is a' the theme,
And he'll woo his bonny lassie
When the kye comes hame.
When the blewart bears a pearl,
And the daisy turns a pea,
And the bonny lucken gowan No; from that pure pellucid beam,
Has fauldit up her ee, That erst o'er plains of Bethlehem shone, *
Then the laverock frae the blue lift, No latent evil we can deem,
Draps down, and thinks nae shame Bright herald of the eternal throne !
To woo his bonny lassie
When the kye comes hame.
See yonder pawky shepherd
That lingers on the hillStranger of heaven, I bid thee hail !
His yowes are in the fauld,
And his lambs are lying still; Where hast thou roamed these thousand years?
Yet he downa gang to bed, Why sought these polar paths again,
For his heart is in a flame From wilderness of glowing spheres,
To meet his bonny lassie To fling thy vesture o'er the wain?
When the kye comes hame. And when thou scal'st the Milky-way,
When the little wee bit heart And vanishest from human view,
Rises high in the breast, A thousand worlds shall hail thy ray
And the little wee bit starn Through wilds of yon empyreal blue !
Rises red in the east,
Oh, there's a joy sae dear, Oh, on thy rapid prow to glide !
That the heart can hardly frame, To sail the boundless skies with thee,
Wi' a bonny, bonny lassie, And plough the twinkling stars aside,
When the kye comes hame. Like foam-bells on a tranquil sea !
Then since all nature joins To brush the embers from the sun,
In this love without alloy, The icicles from off the pole ;
Oh, wha wad prove a traitor Then far to other systems run,
To nature's dearest joy? Where other moons and planets roll!
Or wha wad choose a crown,
Wi' its perils and its fame, Stranger of heaven! oh, let thine eye
And miss his bonny lassie Smile on a rapt enthusiast's dream ;
When the kye comes hame? Eccentric as thy course on high,
When the kye comes hame, And airy as thine ambient beam !
When the kye comes hame, And long, long may thy silver ray
'Tween the gloamin and the mirk, Our northern arch at eve adorn ;
When the kye comes hame.
Blithesome and cumberless,
Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
Emblem of happiness, 'That whistle through the glen,
Blest is thy dwelling-place-
O to abide in the desert with thee !
Wild is thy lay and loud,
Far in the downy cloud,
Love gives it energy, love gave it birth ; 'Tis to woo a bonny lassie
Where, on thy dewy wing,
Where art thou journeying ?
Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.
O'er fell and fountain sheen,
O'er moor and mountain green,
O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,
Over the cloudlet dim, 'Tis not beneath the coronet,
Over the rainbow's rim,
Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!
Then, when the gloaming comes,
Low in the heather blooms, 'Tis beneath the spreading birk,
Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!
Emblem of happiness,
Blest is thy dwelling-place-
O to abide in the desert with thee!
ALLAN CUNNINGHAM, a happy imitator of the
old Scottish ballads, and a man of various talents, appeared at the birth of our Saviour.HOGG. * It was reckoned by many that this was the same comet which was born at Blackwood, near Dalswinton,
Dumfriesshire, December 7, 1784. His father was