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Frae ev'ry quarter of the sky,
As swift as a quhirl-wynd,
Sum grit thing is desygnd.
And round ilk fairy ring, I baif chaist O haist
They talk about your king.
With that my hand methocht he schuke,
To eild by nicht and day,
Straicht to the milkie way;
Untill the brynie streme
And wakit me frae my dreime;
Frae furth my ryal beild, It eisit me, and pleisit me
To se and smell the feild.
For Flora in hir clene array,
Lukit full sweit and fair;
Hir sweits perfumit the ayr;
The glumand clouds war fled, And all as saft and gay appeir'd
As ane Elysian sched; Quhile heisit and bleisit
My heart with sic a fyre, As raises these praises,
That do to heaven aspyre.
This is evidently the production of Allan Ramsay, and is certainly among the best of his pieces. It was first published in The Ever-Green, and said to be "compylit in Latin be a most lernit Clerk, in tyme of our hairship and opression, anno 1300, and translatit in 1524." As no copy of the Poem has ever been even pretended to have been seen or heard of, previous to the publication by Ramsay himself; as his family knew and have affirmed it to be his; and as it has never been claimed by, or for any other, it would be superfluous to enter into any discussion upon the subject. Should any one entertain doubts upon the matter, I would only advise him to peruse, along with the Pocin, carefully, the acknowledged Works of Ramsay, and I have no doubt that if he is not convinced that it is Ramsay's, he will be satisfied that the writer whoever he was, was a most
happy imitator both of his beauties and blemishes. Dr. Beattie of Aberdeen, the elegant and accomplished author of The Minstrel, seems to have seen through the flimsy pretence of antiquity, ascribed to this poem by its author, for the purpose of avoiding the odium and contempt, which, at that time, attached to the votaries of Superstition and Tyranny, (for it had not yet become fashionable to lose sight of the interests of the present, and of future generations, in an affectation of sympathy for a worthless Vermin, whose highest claim of merit was a towpenny cord, and the first thorn-bush that was high enough to hang him,) and, in a letter to Mr. Pinkerton he says “the best Scottish Poem of modern times that I have seen, (for, though the title pretends it was written four hundred years ago, I have reason to think that it was produced in this century, is calied The Vision. I am inclined to think that the author, whoever he was, must have read Arbuthnot's History of John Bull. But there are noble images in it, and a harmony of versification superior to every thing I have seen in the kind. I suspect that it is the work of some friend of the family of Stuart, and that it must have been composed about the year 1715.".
Pinkerton in a note to his Edition of the Poem, says, “ The principles of this Poem are utterly detested by the editor, as they are by every friend of mankind: he only gives it as a piece of fine writing in its way. The unhappy attachment to the family of Stuart, has wasted the finest estates, and shed some of the best blood in Scotland. It now exists only in the breasts of old women." Could the present dealers in Jacobite ribaldry, bawdry, and blasphemy, plead, in extenuation of their conduct, the weak ness of sex, and the dotage of age, it were certainly very fortunate for their reputations.
Of credit and renown;
Of famous London town.
Though wedded we have been
- No holiday have seen.
« To morrow is our wedding day,
“ And we will then repair “ Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.
My sister and my sister's child,
Myself and children three, “ Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
" On horseback after we.”
He soon reply'd—“I do admire
« Of woman-kind but one; “ And you are she, my dearest dear,
" Therefore it shall be done.
“ I am a linen-draper bold,
“ As all the world doth know; * And my good friend Tom Callender,
" Will lend his horse to go.” Quoth Mrs. Gilpin—" That's well said;
“ And, for that wine is dear, « We will be furnish'd with our own,
“ Which is both bright and clear.”
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
O'erjoyed was he to find,
She had a frugal mind.
But yet was not allow'd
Should say that she was proud.
Where they did all get in;
To dash through thick and thin,
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folks so glad;
As if Cheapside were mad.
Seiz'd fast the flowing mane,
But soon came down again.
His journey to begin,
Three customers come in.
So down he came; for loss of time,
Although it griev'd him sore,
Would trouble him much more.
'Twas long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
“ The wine is left behind !”
“ My leathern belt likewise, “ In which I bear my trusty sword
6 When I do exercise."
Now Mrs. Gilpin-careful soul !
Had two stone-bottles found,
And keep it safe and sound.
Through which the belt he drew; And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
Then over all, that he might be
Equipp'd from top to toe,
He manfully did throws
Upon his nimble steed,
With caution and good heed.
Beneath his well-shod feet,
Which gall’d him in his seat.
But John he cried in vain ;
In spite of curb and rein
Who cannot sit upright,
And eke with all his might.
The horse, who never had before
Been handled in this kind, Affrighted fled; and, as he flew,
Left all the world behind.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought,
Away went hat and wig;
Of running such a rig.
Like streamer long and gay;
At last it flew away.