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On my brick o'fallaw my labours I'll Nor e'er slip their fine silken hands in the ply,
pocks, An' view on their pasture my twa bonny Nor foul their black shoon wi' the kye,
plowin' o't: Till hairst-time again circle round us wi' For pleased wi' the little that fortune has joy,
lent, Wi' the fruits o'the sawin' an' plowin' | The seasons row round us in rural cono't.
We've aye milk an' meal, an' our laird Nor need I to envy our braw gentle folks, gets his rent, Wha fash na their thumbs wi' the sawin' An' I whistle an' sing at the plowin' o't,
Although better known as the author mitted into the best society of the of the Cottagers of Glenburnie, Elizabeth northern capital. She remained in Hamilton, as the writer of "My Ain Edinburgh till shortly before her death, Fireside,” is entitled to be numbered when she went to Harrowgate for the among the One-song Singers of Scot- benefit of her health, which had given land. Yet Scotland is not the land way for some years previously. She of her birth, for she was born in Bel- died at Harrowgate, July 1816, in her fast, in 1758. As the name implies, she fifty-eighth year. was of Scotch descent; and her father Besides the Cottagers of Glenburnie, having died when she was an infant, which appeared in 1808, and is still she was brought up with an aunt in well known, she wrote a memoir of Stirlingshire, where she was well edu- her brother, Letters of a Hindoo Rajah, cated and cared for. Her aunt having the materials of which she derived from no family of her own, Miss Hamilton her brother's intercourse and papers—he remained in Stirlingshire till both her having been several years in India. aunt and her husband died, when she She also wrote The Modern Philosophers, went to reside with her brother in Eng- in three volumes; Letters on Education ; land. About 1793, he too died, and Memoirs of Agrippina ; Letters to the she then went to live with her sister in Daughter of a Nobleman ; and (her last Bath.
works), Popular Essays on the Human In 1803, they removed to Edinburgh; Mind, and Hints to the Directors of and, with her literary reputation estab- Public Schools. “My Ain Fireside," lished, Miss Hamilton was at once ad- her only known poem, was very popular, and is still well known. It is thoroughly Nae forms to compel me to seem wae or Scotch in cast, yet has somewhat of the glad,
I luxuriant flow of language of the Irish
may laugh when I'm merry, and sigh
of style which characterises some
when I'm sad. Burns' songs ; speaking figuratively, it Nae falsehood to dread, and nae malice
to fear, may be said to have Irish blood in its
But truth to delight me, and friendship veins.
to cheer ;
Of a' roads to happiness ever were tried, MY AIN FIRESIDE.
There's nane half so sure asane's ain fire
side. I hae seen great anes, and sat in great
My ain fireside, my ain fireside, ha's,
O there's nought to compare wi' 'Mang lords and fine ladies a' cover'd
ane's ain fireside. wi' braws; At feasts made for princes, wi' princes
When I draw in my stool on my cosy I've been,
hearthstane, Where the grand sheen o' splendour has My heart loups sae light I scarce ken't for dazzled my een :
my ain ; But a sight sae delightfu', I trow, I ne'er Care's down on the wind, it is clean out spied,
o' sight, As the honnie blythe blink o' mine ain Past troubles they seem but as dreams of fireside ;
the night; My ain fireside, my ain fireside,
I hear but kenn'dvoices, kenn'd faces I see, O cheery's the blink o' mine ain fireside. And mark saft affection glent fond frae
My ain fireside, my ain fireside, ilk e'e ;
'Tis heart speaks to heart at ane's ain fireAnce mair, gude be thanket, round my side. ain heartsome ingle,
My ain fireside, my ain fireside, Wi' the friends o' my youth I cordially
O there's nought to compare wi’ mingle ;
ane's ain fireside.
JOHN MAY N E.
JOHN MAYNE, although, according nine years earlier than his great contemto one authority, born in the same year porary. He was a native of Dumfries, as Burns, and according to another two and was educated at the Grammar years later, yet appeared in print about School there. He commenced his ap
prenticeship as a printer in the office of plicity of Mayne's. He also took the the Dumfries Journal, and, in his six- idea of his “Halloween” from a poem teenth year, published the germ of his of Mayne's of the same title, which poem, “The Siller Gun,” in twelve appeared in Ruddiman's Magazine in stanzas. The subject of the poem is a 1780. shooting match for a small silver gun barrel, presented by James VI, as a
THE SILLER GUN. prize to the best marksman among the Incorporated Trades of Dumfries. In
CANTO FIRST. 1779, the poem was expanded to two cantos, and was subsequently added to
For loyal feats and trophies won, during the author's life, till, in 1836, the Dumfries shall live till time be done ! year in which he died, an edition was
Ae simmer's morning, wi' the sun, issued in a volume of five cantos.
The Seven Trades there Mayne left Dumfries early in life, Foregather'd, for their Siller Gun and wrought in Glasgow for five years,
To shoot, ance mair ! where he wrote his beautiful song of “Logan Braes.” In 1787, he went to To shoot ance mair in grand array, London, and became editor, and subse- And celebrate the king's-birthday, quently joint-proprietor, of the Star Crowds, happy in the gentle sway newspaper. “Logan Braes," which
Of ane sae dear, first appeared anonymously, was pub- Were proud their fealty to display,
And marshal here. lished in the Star in 1789, with the initials of Mayne's surname. lished several other poems, and among For thee, in daily prayer, we bend!
O, George! the wale o' kings and men! them one entitled “Glasgow,” contain
With ilka blessing Heaven can send ing a description of the contemporary
May'st thou be crown'd; manners of the commercial metropolis And may thy race our rights defend of Scotland. Though Mayne never re
The warld around ! visited his native land, he never forgot it, and was often of service to his For weeks before this fête sae clever, countrymen who were less fortunate in The fowk were in a perfect fever, their London experience. His success Scouring gun-barrels in the riverful and industrious life terminated in
At marks practising
Marching wi' drums and fifes for ever1836, in his seventy-seventh year.
A' sodgerizing! The “Siller Gun,” besides its poetic merits, valuable as a record of burghal
And turning coats, and mending breeks, almost extinguished. New-seating where the sark-tail keeks ; “ Logan Braes,” founded on an old air, (Nae matter though the clout that eeks is a lyric of great beauty and tenderness.
Be black or blue ;) Burns wrote a song on the same subject. And darning, with a thousand steeks, which wants the directness and sim
The hose anew!
Between the last and this occasion,
At first, forenent ilk deacon's hallan, Lang, unco lang, seem'd the vacation, His ain brigade was made to fall in ; To him wha wooes sweet recreation And, while the muster-roll was calling, In Nature's prime ;
And joy bells jowing, And him wha likes a day's potation Het-pints, weel spiced, to keep the saul in, At ony time!
Around were flowing ! The lift was clear, the morn serene, Broil'd kipper, cheese and bread, and The sun just glinting ower the scene,
ham, When James M'Noe began again
Laid the foundation for a dram
O' whisky, gin frae Rotterdam,
Or cherry-brandy ;
Whilk after, a' was fish that cam
To Jock or Sandy : (Their joes ahint them on their yads,)
O! weel ken they wha loo their chappin, Flock'd in to see the show in squads ;
Drink maks the auldest swack and And what was dafter,
strappin'; Their pawky mithers and their dads
Gars-care forget the ills that happenCam trotting after !
The blate look spruceAnd mony a beau and belle were there, And ev'n the thowless cock their tappin,' Doited wi' dozing on a chair ;
And craw fu' croose ! For, lest they'd, sleeping, spoil their hair, Or miss the sight,
The muster ower, the diff'rent bands The gowks, like bairns before a fair,
File aff, in parties, to the sands ;
Where, 'mid loud laughs and clapping
hands, Wi' hats as black as ony raven,
Gley'd Geordy Smith Fresh as the rose, their beards new shaven, Reviews them, and their line expands And a' their Sunday's cleeding having
Alang the Nith!
Was sic a group review'd elsewhere !
The short, the tall ; fat fowk, and spare ; Fair fa' ilk canny, caidgy carl,
Syde coats, and dockit ; Weel may he bruik his new apparel !
Wigs, queus, and clubs, and curly hair ; And never dree the bitter snarl
Round hats, and cockit ! O' scowling wife ! But, blest in pantry, barn, and barrel, As to their guns—thae fell engines, Be blithe through life! Borrow'd or begg'd, were of a' kinds,
For bloody war, or bad designs, Hegh, sirs ! what crowds cam into town,
Or shooting cushies-To see them must'ring up and down !
Lang fowling-pieces, carabines, Lasses and lads sun-burnt and brown
And blunder-busses !
Should a' get leave to waste their powders Nor ever fear uncanny hotches
While I, a weak an' feckless creature,
Than come frae sole o' shoe or pump. An' cheat the lads that fain wad see I grant, indeed, that now an' than, The glances o' a pauky ee,
Yield to a patten's" pith I maun; Or gie their loves a wylie wink,
But pattens, tho' they're aften plenty, That erst might lend their hearts a clink. Are aye laid down wi' feet fu' tenty, Speak, was I made to dree the ladin An’strokes frae ladies, tho' they're teasing, O' Gaelic chairman's heavy treadin, I freely maun avow are pleasing. Wha in my tender buik 2 bore holes
For what use was I made, I wonder ! Wi' waefu' tackets i' the soles
It was nae tamely to chap under O'broags,3 whilk on my body tramp, The weight o’ilka codroch chiel, a An' wound like death at ilka clamp?
That does my skin to targets peel ;
But gin I guess aright, my trade is
To fend frae skaith the bonny ladies,
For growing youth or drooping eild.
sall An' coachmen never trow they're sinning, | Hae this affair before the council. While down the street their wheels are spinning.
I dinna care a single jot,
Your libel I'll impugn verbatim,
An' hae a magnum damnum datum ;
Wad it nae fret the hardest stane
Beneath the Luckenbooths to grane? For whin-stanes, howkit frae the craigs, Tho' magistrates the Cross discard, May thole the prancing feet o'naigs, It maks na 4 when they leave the Guard !