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humoured, social, happy old man'-who was independent on £20 a-year-and to promote the sale of his volume, he addressed a letter and a poetical epistle in praise of it to the Aberdeen Journal. The epistle is remarkable as Beattie's only attempt in Aberdeenshire Scotch; one verse of it is equal to Burns:
O bonny are our greensward hows,
And saft winds rustle,
And shepherd lads on sunny knowes
Ross died in 1784, at the great age of eighty-six.
Woo'd, and Married, and a'.
The bride cam' out o' the byre,
And have neither blankets nor sheets; Have neither blankets nor sheets,
Nor scarce a coverlet too;
The bride that has a' thing to borrow,
Woo'd, and married, and a',
Married, and woo'd, and a'! And was she nae very weel off,
That was woo'd, and married, and a'?
Out spake the bride's father,
As he cam' in frae the pleugh: O, haud your tongue my dochter, And ye'se get gear eneugh; The stirk stands i' the tether,
And our braw bawsint yade, Will carry ye hame your cornWhat wad ye be at, ye jade? Out spake the bride's mither,
What deil needs a' this pride? I had nae a plack in my pouch That night I was a bride; My gown was linsy-woolsy, And ne'er a sark ava; And ye hae ribbons and buskins, Mae than ane or twa.
JOHN LOWE (1750-1798), a student of divinity, son of the gardener at Kenmore in Galloway, was author of the fine pathetic lyric, Mary's Dream, which he wrote on the death of a gentleman named Miller, a surgeon at sea, who was attached to a Miss M'Ghie, Airds. The poet was tutor in the family of the lady's father, and was betrothed to her sister. He emigrated to America, however, where he married another female, became dissipated, and died in great misery near Fredericksburgh. Though Lowe wrote numerous other pieces, prompted by poetical feeling and the romantic scenery of his native glen, his ballad alone is worthy of preservation.
The moon had climbed the highest hill
Her thoughts on Sandy far at sea, When, soft and low, a voice was heard, Saying, 'Mary, weep no more for me!' She from her pillow gently raised
Her head, to ask who there might be,
It lies beneath a stormy sea.
But all our striving was in vain.
So, Mary, weep no more for me!
pular, but the lady kept the secret of its author-guage of the heart, ladies have often excelled the ship for the long period of fifty years, when, in 1823, she acknowledged it in a letter to Sir Walter Scott, accompanying the disclosure with a full account of the circumstances under which it was written. At the same time Lady Anne sent two continuations to the ballad, which, like all other continuations (Don Quixote, perhaps, excepted), are greatly inferior to the original. Indeed, the tale of sorrow is so complete in all its parts, that no additions could be made without marring its simplicity or its pathos. Lady Anne was daughter of James Lindsay, fifth Earl of Balcarres; she was born 8th December 1750, married in 1793 to Sir Andrew Barnard, librarian to George III., and died, without issue, on the 8th of May 1825.
lords of the creation,' and in music their triumphs are manifold. The first copy of verses, bewailing the losses sustained at Flodden, was written by Miss Jane Elliot of Minto, sister to Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto. The second song, which appears to be on the same subject, but was in reality occasioned by the bankruptcy of a number of gentlemen in Selkirkshire, is by Alicia Rutherford of Fernilie, who was afterwards married to Mr Patrick Cockburn, advocate, and died in Edinburgh in 1794.|| We agree with Mr Allan Cunningham in preferring Miss Elliot's song; but both are beautiful, and in singing, the second is the most effective.
I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to spin;
I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad be a sin;
The Flowers of the Forest.
I've heard the lilting at our yowe-milking,
I've seen the morning
With gold the hills adorning,
And loud tempest storming before the mid-day.
MISS JANE ELLIOT AND MRS COCKBURN.
Grow drumly and dark as he rowed on his way.
Two versions of the national ballad, The Flowers
Something of a national as well as a patriotic character may be claimed for the lively song of Tullochgorum, the composition of the Rev. JOHN SKINNER (1721-1807), who inspired some of the strains of Burns, and who delighted, in life as in his poetry, to diffuse feelings of kindliness and good will among men. Mr Skinner officiated as Episcopal minister of Longside, Aberdeenshire, for sixty-five years. After the troubled period of the Rebellion of 1745, when the Episcopal clergy of Scotland laboured under the charge of disaffection, Skinner was imprisoned six months for preaching to more than four persons! He died in his son's house at Aberdeen, having realised his wish of seeing once more his children's grandchildren, and peace upon Israel.' Besides Tullochgorum,' and other songs, Skinner wrote an Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, and some theological treatises.
May peace and plenty be his lot, Peace and plenty, peace and plenty, May peace and plenty be his lot,
And dainties, a great store o' 'em! May peace and plenty be his lot, Unstained by any vicious blot; And may he never want a groat, That's fond of Tullochgorum.
But for the discontented fool,
And nane say, Wae's me for 'im!
ROBERT CRAWFORD, author of The Bush aboon Traquair, and the still finer lyric of Tweedside, was the brother of Colonel Crawford of Achinames. He assisted Allan Ramsay in his Tea-Table Miscellany,' and, according to information obtained by Burns, was drowned in coming from France in the year 1733. Crawford had genuine poetical fancy and expression. The true muse of native pastoral,' says Allan Cunningham, seeks not to adorn herself with unnatural ornaments; her spirit is in homely love and fireside joy; tender and simple, like the religion of the land, she utters nothing out of keeping with the character of her people, and the aspect of the soil; and of this spirit, and of this feeling, Crawford is a large partaker.'
SIR GILBERT ELLIOT.
SIR GILBERT ELLIOT, author of what Sir Walter Scott calls the beautiful pastoral song,' beginning My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook, was father of the first Earl of Minto, and was distinguished as a speaker in parliament. He was in 1763 treasurer of the navy, and afterwards keeper of the signet in Scotland. He died in 1777. Mr Tytler of Woodhouselee says, that Sir Gilbert Elliot, who had been taught the German flute in France, was the first who introduced that instrument into Scotland, about the year 1725.
My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook,
Oh, what had my youth with ambition to do?
ners, a nice perception of the ludicrous, a vein of original comic humour, and language at once copious and expressive, form his chief merits as a poet. He had not the invention or picturesque fancy of Allan Ramsay, nor the energy and passion of Burns. His mind was a light warm soil, that threw up early its native products, sown by chance or little exertion; but it had not strength and tenacity to nurture any great or valuable production. A few short years, however, comprised his span of literature and of life; and criticism would be ill employed in scrutinising with severity the occasional poems of a youth of twenty-three, written from momentary feelings and impulses, amidst professional drudgery or midnight dissipation. That compositions produced under such circumstances should still exist and be read with pleasure, is sufficient to show that Fergusson must have had the eye and fancy of a true poet. His observation, too, for one so young, is as remarkable as his genius: he was an accurate painter of scenes of real life and traits of Scottish character, and his pictures are valuable for their truth, as well as for their liveliness and humour. If his habits had been different, we might have possessed more agreeable delineations, but none more graphic or faithful. Fergusson was born in Edinburgh on the 17th of October 1751. His father, who was an accountant in the British Linen Company's bank, died early, but the poet received a university education, having obtained a bursary in St Andrews, where he continued from his thirteenth to his seventeenth year. On quitting college, he seems to have been truly unfitted with an aim,' and he was glad to take employment as a copying clerk in a lawyer's office. In this mechanical and irksome duty his days were spent. His evenings were devoted to the tavern, where, over 'caller oysters,' with ale or whisky, the choice spirits of Edinburgh used to assemble. Fergusson had dangerous qualifications for such a life. His conversational powers were of a very superior description, and he could adapt them at will to humour, pathos, or sarcasm, as the occasion might require. He was well educated, had a fund of youthful gaiety, and sung Scottish songs with taste and effect. To these qualifications he soon added the reputation of a poet. Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine' had been commenced in 1768, and was the chosen receptacle for the floating literature of that period in Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh. During the two last years of his life, Fergusson was a constant contributor to this miscellany, and in 1773 he collected and published his pieces in one volume. Of the success of the publication in a pecuniary point of view, we have no information; but that it was well received by the public, there can be no doubt, from the popularity and fame of its author. His dissipations, however, were always on the increase. His tavern life and boon companions were hastening him on to a premature and painful death. His reason first gave way, and his widowed mother being unable to maintain him at home, he was sent to an asylum for the insane. The religious impressions of his youth returned at times to overwhelm him with dread, but his gentle and affectionate nature was easily soothed by the attentions of his relatives and friends. His recovery was anticipated, but after about two months' confinement, he died in his cell on the 16th of October 1774. His remains were interred in the Canongate churchyard, where they lay unnoticed for twelve years, till Burns erected a simple stone to mark the poet's grave. The heartlessness of convivial friend
ROBERT FERGUSSON was the poet of Scottish city-ships is well known: they literally wither and die life, or rather the laureate of Edinburgh. A happy in a day.' It is related, however, that a youthful talent of portraying the peculiarities of local man- companion of Fergusson, named Burnet, having
gone to the East Indies, and made some money, invited over the poet, sending at the same time a draught for £100 to defray his expenses. This instance of generosity came too late: the poor poet had died before the letter arrived.
Fergusson may be considered the poetical progenitor of Burns. Meeting with his poems in his youth, the latter 'strung his lyre anew,' and copied the style and subjects of his youthful prototype. The resemblance, however, was only temporary and incidental. Burns had a manner of his own, and though he sometimes condescended, like Shakspeare, to work after inferior models, all that was rich and valuable in the composition was original and unborrowed. He had an excessive admiration for the writings of Fergusson, and even preferred them to those of Ramsay, an opinion in which few will concur. The forte of Fergusson lay, as we have stated, in his representations of town-life. The King's Birthday, The Sitting of the Session, Leith Races, &c., are all excellent. Still better is his feeling description of the importance of Guid Braid Claith, and his Address to the Tron-Kirk Bell. In these we have a current of humorous observations, poetical fancy, and genuine idiomatic Scottish expression. The Farmer's Ingle suggested The Cotter's Saturday Night' of Burns, and it is as faithful in its descriptions, though of a humbler class. Burns added passion, sentiment, and patriotism to the subject: Fergusson's is a mere sketch, an inventory of a farm-house, unless we except the concluding stanza, which speaks to the heart :
Peace to the husbandman, and a' his tribe,
Whase care fells a' our wants frae year to year! Lang may his sock and cou'ter turn the glebe,
And banks of corn bend down wi' laded ear! May Scotia's simmers aye look gay and green;
Her yellow hairsts frae scowry blasts decreed! May a' her tenants sit fu' snug and bien,
Frae the hard grip o' ails and poortith freedAnd a lang lasting train o' peacefu' hours succeed!
In one department-lyrical poetry-whence Burns draws so much of his glory-Fergusson does not seem, though a singer, to have made any efforts to excel. In English poetry he utterly failed, and if we consider him in reference to his countrymen,
Falconer or Logan (he received the same education as the latter), his inferior rank as a general poet will be apparent.
Ye wha are fain to hae your name