Page images
PDF
EPUB

That he was, at the same time, very laudably employed in bringing his feelings into unison with his circumstances, the following lines addressed to a Brither pedlar, to which many like passages might be added, will de. monstrate,

Lang may thou, aye right snug an' dry,

Frae Barns be kept aback,
Whare Tinkler Wives, an' Beggars ly,

An' rain seeps through the thack.
Aft may some canty kintra wife,

Whan hunger wrings thy painches,
Draw through her cheese the muckle knife,
An' stap thy pouch wi' lunches

O’scons, that day. Unfortunately for his personal comfort, but fortunately for his fame, he seems not to have succeeded. Disappointment followed upon disappointment, which drove him at last to seek shelter in the New World, where, though fortune did not flow upon him, he yet found a pursuit which had sufficient attractions to ensure his unremitted attention, and fully to develope all the qualities of his mighty mind. His Ornithology has secured him a place among the first order of Naturalists, and, while the language in which it is written endures, Watty and Meg will secure him a station beside the first of Scottish Poets.

Notwithstanding the ardour of his studies, after he went to America, he still continued to make poetry an occasional amusement, and several of his pieces, were, from time to time, given to the public. Of these the reader is presented with the following as a specimen.

THE AMERICAN BLUE BIRD.

“ When winter's cold tempests and snows are no more,
Green meadows and brown furrow'd fields reappearing,

The fishermen hauling their shad to the shore,
And cloud-cleaving geese to the Lakes are asteering;

When first the lone butterfly flits on the wing,
When red grow the maples, so fresh and so pleasing,

O then comes the Blue-bird, the Herald of Spring,
And hails with his warblings the charms of the season.

Then loud piping frogs make the marshes to ring;
Then warm glows the sunshine, and fine is the weather;

The blue woodland flowers just beginning to spring,
And spicewood and sassafras budding together ;

O then to your gardens, ye housewives, repair !
Your walks border up; sow and plant at your leisure ;

The blue-bird will chant from his box such an air,
That all your hard toils will seem truly a pleasure.

He flits thro' the orchard, he visits each tree,
The red flowering peach and the apple's sweet blossoms;

He snaps up destroyers wherever they be,
And seizes the caitiffs that lurk in their bosoms;

He drags the vile grub from the corn it devours;
The worms from their webs where they riot and welter ;;

His Song and his Services freely are ours,
And all that he asks is, in summer a shelter.

The ploughman is pleas'd when he gleans in his train, Now searching the furrows-10w mounting to cheer him;

The gard'ner delights in his sweet simple strain, And leans on his spade to survey and to hear him;

The slow lingåring schoolboys forget they'll be chide, While gazing intent as he warbles before 'em

In mantle of sky-blue, and bosom so red, That each little loiterer seems to adore him.

When all the gay scenes of the summer are o'er, And Autumn slow enters so silent and sallow,

And millions of warblers, that charm'd us before, Have fled in the train of the sun-seeking swallow;

The Blue-bird, forsaken, yet true to his home, Still lingers, and looks for a milder to-morrow,

Till forc'd by the horrors of winter to roam, He sings his adieu in a lone note of sorrow.

While spring's lovely season, serene, dewy, warm, The green face of earth, and the pure blue of heaven,

Or love's native music have influence to charm, Or sympathy's glow to our feelings are given,

Still dear to each bosom the Blue-bird shall be; His voice, like the thrillings of hope, is a treasure;

For, thro' bleakest storms, if a calm he but see, He comes to remind us of sunshine and pleasure!”

ISABEL.- ORIGINAL. As thus we wander, hand in hand, Along the pebble-cover'd strand; O how, my dear, should we improve, The swiftly flying hour of love. 'Twas by the altar's sacred rays, I first beheld thy beauty's blaze; Upon that brow of light they fellI mark'd, and lov'd thee Isabel. Timid as doe, thy gentle eye Was meekly rais’d in ecstacy, And from thy peerless bosom rose, The sigh that pled for souls' reposeI heard the smother'd strain ascend, I saw thee lowly,-earnest bend; And ever since, believe me, maid, Have thought and fancy with thee stay'd. O while the night around me lowers, While morning's balm each sense o'erpowers,

While the rude tempest sweeps the plain,
Or calmness sits upon the main :
Still will this heart so proudly fond
Be seald by nature's purest bond,
And its warm blood to linger never,
In passion's stream, flow, ever-ever-
Then maiden if this tongue hath err'd,
And I have told and you have heard
What nor to hear nor tell was right,
(As you must know so erudite :)
o pardon maiden, ne'er again
Will be indulged so fond a strain
For if by sight we may not guess,
The tongue should ne'er love's hope express.-
Gone be your fears, my fair one said,
I am no unobserving maid,
For you have told what I did know,
Inform'd by sight, long-long ago.

BALLAD. For the pleasure afforded by this and the following very beautiful little

pieces, my readers are indebted to Mr. A. Laing, a gentleman with whom many of them, I doubt not, are already familiar, from his vari.

ous and excellent Songs inserted in The Harp of Caledonia.
Tho' dowie's the winter, sae gloomie an' drear,
O! happy we've been thro' the dead o' the year;
An' blithe to sic beild as the bare rowan gave;
0! mony a night hae we stowen frae the lave.
Now the spring-time has tane the lang e'enin's awa',
We maunna be seen, an' less aften I'll ca';
But May-day is comin', our weddin' an'a',
Sae wearie na, lassie, tho' I bide awa'.
Our gigglet young hizzies are sairlie mistane;
They ken at the Place wi' his honour I've been,
An' tane the plough-haudin' o' bonnie Broomlee,
But they ken na wha's comin' to haud it wi' me.

They ken i' the e'enin's I'm aften frae hame;
They say wi’ a lass, as I leuk na to them;
They jamph an' they jeer, an' they banter at me,
An' twenty they've guess'd o', but never guess'd thee.
I'll sing the hale day, whan your cottage I’m near;
I'll whistle whan plewin', as far's you can hear;
An' ay whan I see you, gin nae bodie see,
I'll blink to my lassie-my lassie to me.
An' sae till that time, baith at kirk an'at fair,
In taiken o' true-luve, dear lassie ye'll wear
The green streamin' rockley, my fairin' to thee,
An' i the white owerlay ye giftit to me.

JEAN OF ABERDEEN.

Ye've seen the blooming rosy brier,

On stately Dee's wild woody knowes;
Ye've seen the opening lily fair,

In streamy Don's gay broomy howes;
An' ilka bonnie flower that grows

Amang their banks an' braes, sae green-
These borrow a' their finest hues

Frae lovely Jean of Aberdeen.
Ye've seen the dew-ey'd bloomy haw,

When morning gilds the welkin high;
Ye've heard the breeze o' simmer blaw,

When e'ening steals alang the sky;
But brighter far is Jeanie's eye,

When we're amang the braes alane
An' softer is the bosom-sigh

Of lovely Jean of Aberdeen,
Tho' I had a' the vallies gay,

Around the airy Bennachie;
An'a' the fleecy flocks that stray,
Amang the lofty hills o‘Dee;

While mem'ry lifts her melting e'e,

An' hope unfolds her fairy scene,
My heart, wi' them, I'd freely gie

To lovely Jean of Aberdeen.

ADAM GLEN.*
Pavkie Adam Glen,

Piper o' the clachan,
Whan he stoitet ben

Sairly was he pechan;
Spak a wee, but tint his win’;
Hurklet down, an' hostit syne;
Blew his beik, an' dightit's een;

An' whaisled a' forfoughen.
But his coughin dune,

Cheerie kyth'd the bodie-
Crackit like a gun,

An' leugh to auntie Madie;
Cried “ my callans name a spring,
* Jinglan John' or ony thing,
For weel I'd like to see the fling

O' ilka lass and laddie.”
Blyth the dancers flew;

Usquabae was plenty;
Blyth the piper grew,

Tho'shakin' hands wi' ninety; * Adam Glen, was long a favourite in every farmer's ha', village, and fair, in the west of Angus-shire. He was an excellent performer on the bagpipe, a faithful reciter of our ancient Ballads, and every way an ec. centric character. Io the memorable year of Mar's rebellion, he joined the battalion of his county on its march to Sheriffmuir; and

“ When Angus and Fifemen

Ran for their life, man," he remained behind winding his warlike instrument in the front and fire of the enemy-and fell on the field of battle, November the 13th, 1715, in the ninetieth year of his age. A few months prior to his death, he espoused his eighth wife, a maiden lady of forty-five, on which circumstance the Ballad is founded. When rallied on the number of his wives, he replied, in his own peculiar way, " Aç kist comin' in is wirth twa saun out."

« PreviousContinue »