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And spread the table neat and clean, And are ye sure the news is true ?

Gar ilka thing look braw ;' And are ye sure he's weel?

For wha can tell how Colin fared, Is this a time to think o' wark?

When he was far awa'?
Ye jauds, fling bye your wheel.

For there's nae luck, &c.
Is this a time to think o' wark,
When Colin's at the door?

Rax' me my cloak,—I'll to the quay, Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
And see him come ashore.

His breath like cauler? air ;
For there's nae luck about the house, His very foot has music in't,
There's nae luck at a';

As he comes up the stair.
There's little pleasure in the house And will I see his face again?
When our gudeman's awa'. And will I hear him speak?

I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,-

In troth, I'm like to greet.3
And gie to me my biggonet,

For there's nae luck, &c.
My bishop-satin gown,
For I maun tell the bailie's wife

That Colin's come to town.

The cauld blasts o' the winter wind, My turkey slippers maun gae on,

That thirlèd 4 through my heart, My hose o' pearl blue ;

They're a' blawn by, I ha'e him safe, 'Tis a' to please my ain gudeman,

Till death we'll never part :
For he's baith leal and true.

But what puts parting in my head ?
For there's nae luck, &c.

It may be far awa';

The present moment is our ain,

The neist 5 we never saw.
Rise up and mak' a clean fireside ;

For there's nae luck, &c.
Put on the muckle pot ;
Gie little Kate her cotton gown,

And Jock his Sunday coat;

Since Colin's weel, I'm weel content, And mak' their shoon? as black as slaes,

I ha'e nae mair to crave; Their hose as white as snaw ;

Could I but live to mak' him blest, It's a' to please my ain gudeman,

I'm blest aboon the lave. 6
He likes to see them braw.3

And will I see his face again?
For there's nae luck, &c.

And will I hear him speak?

I'm downright dizzy wi' the thought,There's twa fat hens upon the bauk, 4

In troth, I'm like to greet,
Been fed this month and mair;

For there's nae luck, &c.
Mak' haste and thraw their necks about,
That Colin weel may fare ;

* Make everything

4 Shivered. look nice.

5 Next. I Reach. 3 Well dressed

2 Fresh.

6 Above the rest. 2 Shoes. 4 Beam, roost.

3 Cry, weep.



BEATTIE's poetical and critical repu- gling merit without destroying its artation stood very high in his own day; dour. He entered college with an eye and there is no doubt that, measured to the ministry ; but at the end of his by the canons of his times, his literary arts curriculum, having taken his M.A. taste and the elegance of his style degree, he abandoned the idea, and acdeserved all the praise that has been cepted the situation of parish schoolbestowed upon them.

master at Fordoun, in his native county. But estimated by the broader prin- The locality was every way calculated ciples of a more analytical criticism, a to foster his love of nature, and to supcomparatively lower place would now ply his mind with a store of those be assigned him than what the amiable images and features of landscape and majority of his contemporaries thought natural phenomena, descriptions of which him entitled to. But for the man's constitute the chief beauties of the real worth, great amiability, faultless Minstrel. taste, and unerring judgment, one is In 1758, he was elected one of the almost disposed to sympathize with masters of the Grammar-school of Goldsmith's fantastic jealousy of Beat- Aberdeen, and two years later, professor tie's flattering, we might add fluttering, of moral philosophy and logic in Marisreception by the good and the great of chal College. About the same time London society. He was constitution- appeared his first volume of poems and ally an elegant poet, but wanted the translations, which were reprinted in elements of a great one.

1766, with a poem on the death of Beattie's father was a shopkeeper Churchill, both poor in treatment and and small farmer in the village of Laur- in bad taste; and this he afterwards encekirk, in Kincardineshire. James, admitted by excluding it from his the youngest of the family, was born works. In 1762 appeared his “ Essay there on October 25, 1735, and lost his on Poetry ;” and in 1765, his “ Judge father while he was an infant. To the ment of Paris,” which was unsuccessful. thoughtfulness of an older brother, who In 1767, he was married to Mary Dun, perceived his talents, he owed his edu- daughter of the rector of the Aberdeen cation at the school of their native vil- Grammar-school ; and in 1670, he lage; and his own talents helped to issued his “Essay on Truth," as a refutalighten the burden of keeping him at tion of Hume's philosophical speculaAberdeen University, where he gained tions. It was hailed with almost universal one of those small but useful bursaries, admiration and applause, and was transwhich have done much to assist strug- lated into several foreign languages.

as a man.

But happily for Beattie's fame it does of twenty-two, in 1790. His last liternot rest on his philosophical disserta- ary work was an account of his son's life tion; for that is now of little account and character. In 1796, his second son amongst students of philosophy, except also died, in his eighteenth year-an as a landmark. It is as the author of event which caused him relinquish the Minstrel, the first book of which he all interest in worldly affairs. In this issued anonymously in 1771, that he is forlorn condition he lived till 1803, now remembered. Its reception was so

when he died. He was buried by the flattering that its authorship cannot side of his sons in the churchyard of have been long concealed, and his St Nicholas, Aberdeen. friend and fellow-poet, Gray, character- Beattie's “Life,” by his friend Sir Wilized it in the most ardent terms of liam Forbes of Pitsligo, was published in praise.

1805, and, while a labour of love, ranks In 1773, Beattie visited London, and high as a literary biography. His conwas lionized in the highest literary and duct in all the relations of life leave the social circles. He was presented to very highest impression of his character the king and queen ; received a pension of £200 a-year ; got his portrait

We have already indicated our opipainted by Reynolds in the allegorical nion of his position as a poet ; but more attitude of suppressing prejudice, scep- specially as regards the Minstrel as his ticism, and folly ; and had the degree chief poem, it may be noted that it is of LL.D. conferred on him by the simply a poetical register of the develUniversity of Oxford.

He was even opment of the predominant phase of his invited to join the Church of England, own mind. Its strength and weakness with flattering prospects of advance- are in its being so sentimental that his ment ; but this he wisely declined to be descriptive and imaginative powers are enticed into doing.

held subdued. Consequently, originalThe second book of the Minstrel ap- ity and analytical depth and vigour are peared in 1774, with the author's name. awanting

But while thus buoyed on the gale of We have given what we consider its popular applause as a poet and philo- best pieces. sopher, his domestic circumstances were It is to be regretted that he did not of the most distressing kind to one of write more than one piece in the Scotch such tender sensibilities. His wife vernacular; for the specimen he has left, became insane, and, after long and anxi- and which we give, not only shows ous attendance on his part, had at last great ease in the use of the language, to be committed to an asylum. His but an evident love of it. This is also family consisted of two sons, to whose shown in his two excellent verses (stanza training and development he devoted vi.) to that admirable Scotch song, the greatest care. The eldest became “There's nae Luck about the House." his colleague in the professorship, but Regarding his critical and philoto his great grief was cut off at the age sophical writings, which do not come specially within our present scope, Byron Right glad of heart, though homely in has pithily remarked, that in his day he array ; was a great name, but a little authority. His waving locks and beard all hoary Both are now on a par.

grey : While from his bending shoulder, decent


His harp, the sole companion of his Specimens.


Which to the whistling wild responsive (THE POET'S SPHERE AND DIGNITY.]

rung :

And ever as he went some merry lay he Ah ! who can tell how hard it is to climb

sung. The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar;

[THE MINSTREL'S COUNTRY, PARENAh! who can tell how many a soul

TAGE, AND HABITS.] sublime

There lived in Gothic days, as legends Has felt the influence of malignant star,

tell, And waged with Fortune an eternal

A shepherd swain, a man of low degree; war ;

Whose sires, perchance, in Fairy land Check'd by the scoff of pride, by Envy's

might dwell, frown,

Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady; And Poverty's unconquerable bar,

But he, I ween, was of the north In life's low vale remote has pined alone,

countrie ; Then dropp'd into the grave, unpitied and

A nation famed for song and beauty's unknown !

charms; And yet the languor of inglorious days Zealous, yet modest ; innocent, though Not equally oppressive is to all ; Him who ne'er listen'd to the voice of Patient of toil ; serene amidst alarms; praise,

Inflexible in faith ; invincible in arms. The silence of neglect can ne'er appal. There are, who, deaf to mad Ambition's

The shepherd-swain of whom I mention

made, call,

On Scotia's mountains fed his little flock; Would shrink to bear th' obstreperous

The sickle, scythe, or plough, he never trump of Fame ;

sway'd ; Supremely bless'd, if to their portion fall Health, competence, and peace.

An honest heart was almost all his No

stock; higher aim

His drink the living water from the rock: Had he whose simple tale these artless lines proclaim.

The milky dams supplied his board,

and lent The rolls of fame I will not now Their kindly fleece to baffle winter's explore :

shock ; Nor need I here describe, in learned And he, though oft with dust and sweat lay,

besprent, How forth the Minstrel fared in days of Did guide and guard their wanderings, yore,

wheresoe'er they went.

free ;


sad ;

From labour health, from health con- The gossip's prayer for wealth, and wit, tentment springs :

and worth; Contentment opes the source of every And one long summer day of indolence joy.

and mirth. He envied not, he never thought of kings ;

And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy, Nor from those appetites sustained Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant annoy,

eye. That chance may frustrate, or indul

Dainties he heeded not, nor gaud nor toy, gence cloy:

Save one short pipe of rudest minstrelsy : Nor Fate his calm and humble hopes

Silent when glad ; affectionate, though beguiled ; He mourned no recreant friend, nor

And now his look was most demurely mistress coy, For on his vows the blameless Phæbe

And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none smiled,

knew why. And her aldne he loved, and loved her from

The neighbours stared and sigh’d, yet a child.

bless'd the lad :

Some deem'd him wondrous wise, and No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast, some believed him mad. Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife ;

But why should I his childish feats Each season looked delightful, as it


Concourse and noise and toil he ever pass'd, To the fond husband and the faithful wife.

Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd life

fray They never roamed : secure beneath Of squabbling imps ; but to the forest the storm

sped, Which in Ambition's lofty hand is rife,

Or roam'd at large the lonely mounWhere peace and love are canker'd by

tain's head, the worm

Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd Of pride, each bud of joy industrious to

stream deform.

To deep untrodden groves his footsteps

led, The wight, whose tale these artless lines There would he wander wild, till unfold,

Phoebus' beam, Was all the offspring of this humble pair: Shot from the western cliff, released the His birth no oracle or seer foretold :

weary team. No prodigy appear'd in earth or air, Nor aught that might a strange event The exploit of strength, dexterity, or declare.

speed, You guess each circumstance of Edwin's To him nor vanity nor joy could bring ; birth;

His heart, from cruel sport estranged, The parent's transport, and the parent's would bleed care ;

To work the woe of any living thing.

fied ;

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