« السابقةمتابعة »
On my brick o' fallaw my labours I'll Nor e'er slip their fine silken hands in the ply,
An' view on their pasture my twa bonny kye,
Nor foul their black shoon wi' the 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.
Nor need I to envy our braw gentle folks, Wha fash na their thumbs wi' the sawin' o't,
We've aye milk an' meal, an' our laird gets his rent,
An' I whistle an' sing at the plowin' o't..
ELIZABETH HAMILTO N.
northern capital. She remained in Edinburgh till shortly before her death, when she went to Harrowgate for the benefit of her health, which had given way for some years previously. She died at Harrowgate, July 1816, in her fifty-eighth year.
ALTHOUGH better known as the author | mitted into the best society of the of the Cottagers of Glenburnie, Elizabeth Hamilton, as the writer of "My Ain Fireside," is entitled to be numbered among the One-song Singers of Scotland. Yet Scotland is not the land of her birth, for she was born in Belfast, in 1758. As the name implies, she was of Scotch descent; and her father having died when she was an infant, she was brought up with an aunt in Stirlingshire, where she was well educated and cared for. Her aunt having no family of her own, Miss Hamilton remained in Stirlingshire till both her aunt and her husband died, when she went to reside with her brother in England. About 1793, he too died, and she then went to live with her sister in Bath.
In 1803, they removed to Edinburgh; and, with her literary reputation established, Miss Hamilton was at once ad
Besides the Cottagers of Glenburnie, which appeared in 1808, and is still well known, she wrote a memoir of her brother, Letters of a Hindoo Rajah, the materials of which she derived from her brother's intercourse and papers-he having been several years in India. She also wrote The Modern Philosophers, in three volumes; Letters on Education; Memoirs of Agrippina; Letters to the Daughter of a Nobleman; and (her last works), Popular Essays on the Human Mind, and Hints to the Directors of Public Schools. "My Ain Fireside," her only known poem, was very popular,
At feasts made for princes, wi' princes When I draw in my stool on my cosy
dazzled my een:
But a sight sae delightfu', I trow, I ne'er Care's down on the wind, it is clean out spied,
my ain ;
As the bonnie blythe blink o' mine ain Past troubles they seem but as dreams of
My ain fireside, my ain fireside,
O cheery's the blink o' mine ain fireside. My ain fireside, my ain fireside,
O there's nought to compare wi' ane's ain fireside.
Ance mair, gude be thanket, round my ain heartsome ingle,
Wi' the friends o' my youth I cordially mingle;
I hear but kenn'd voices, kenn'd faces I see, And mark saft affection glent fond frae
ilk e'e ;
Nae fleetchings o' flattery, nae boastings o' pride,
'Tis heart speaks to heart at ane's ain fireside.
My ain fireside, my ain fireside, O there's nought to compare wi' ane's ain fireside.
JOHN MAY NE.
JOHN MAYNE, although, according to one authority, born in the same year as Burns, and according to another two years later, yet appeared in print about
nine years earlier than his great contemporary. He was a native of Dumfries, and was educated at the Grammar School there. He commenced his ap
prenticeship as a printer in the office of the Dumfries Journal, and, in his sixteenth year, published the germ of his poem, "The Siller Gun," in twelve stanzas. The subject of the poem is a shooting match for a small silver gun barrel, presented by James VI. as a prize to the best marksman among the Incorporated Trades of Dumfries. In 1779, the poem was expanded to two cantos, and was subsequently added to during the author's life, till, in 1836, the year in which he died, an edition was issued in a volume of five cantos.
plicity of Mayne's. He also took the idea of his "Halloween" from a poem of Mayne's of the same title, which appeared in Ruddiman's Magazine in 1780.
THE SILLER GUN.
For loyal feats and trophies won, Dumfries shall live till time be done! Ae simmer's morning, wi' the sun, The Seven Trades there
To shoot, ance mair!
Mayne left Dumfries early in life, Foregather'd, for their Siller Gun and wrought in Glasgow for five years, where he wrote his beautiful song of "Logan Braes." In 1787, he went to London, and became editor, and subsequently joint-proprietor, of the Star newspaper. "Logan Braes," which first appeared anonymously, was published in the Star in 1789, with the
To shoot ance mair in grand array, And celebrate the king's-birthday, Crowds, happy in the gentle sway
Of ane sae dear,
Were proud their fealty to display,
And marshal here.
O, George! the wale o' kings and men!
The warld around!
initials of Mayne's surname. He pub-
For weeks before this fête sae clever, The fowk were in a perfect fever, Scouring gun-barrels in the river
At marks practisingMarching wi' drums and fifes for everA' sodgerizing!
The "Siller Gun," besides its poetic merits, is valuable as a record of burghal manners now almost extinguished. "Logan Braes," founded on an old air, is a lyric of great beauty and tenderness. Burns wrote a song on the same subject. And darning, with a thousand steeks, which wants the directness and sim
And turning coats, and mending breeks,
The hose anew!
Frae far and near the country lads,
Their pawky mithers and their dads
And mony a beau and belle were there,
The gowks, like bairns before a fair,
Wi' hats as black as ony raven,
Forth cam our Trades, some orra saving To wair that day.
Fair fa' ilk canny, caidgy carl, Weel may he bruik his new apparel! And never dree the bitter snarl
O' scowling wife!
But, blest in pantry, barn, and barrel,
Be blithe through life!
Hegh, sirs! what crowds cam into town, To see them must'ring up and down! Lasses and lads sun-burnt and brownWomen and weans, Gentle and semple, mingling, crown The gladsome scenes!
At first, forenent ilk deacon's hallan, His ain brigade was made to fall in ; And, while the muster-roll was calling, And joy bells jowing, Het-pints, weel spiced, to keep the saul in, Around were flowing!
Broil'd kipper, cheese and bread, and
Laid the foundation for a dram
To Jock or Sandy :
O! weel ken they wha loo their chappin, Drink maks the auldest swack and strappin';
Gars care forget the ills that happenThe blate look spruce
And ev'n the thowless cock their tappin,' And craw fu' croose!
The muster ower, the diff'rent bands File aff, in parties, to the sands; Where, 'mid loud laughs and clapping hands,
Gley'd Geordy Smith
Reviews them, and their line expands Alang the Nith!
But ne'er, for uniform or air, Was sic a group review'd elsewhere! The short, the tall; fat fowk, and spare; Syde coats, and dockit ; Wigs, queus, and clubs, and curly hair; Round hats, and cockit!
As to their guns-thae fell engines,
Or shooting cushies-
2 Cues; the hair or wig with a tail.
Should a' get leave to waste their powders
As mak them blythe to screen their faces
That erst might lend their hearts a clink.
O' broags, 3 whilk on my body tramp,
Weel crackit friend-It aft hauds true,
Ower me ilk day big waggons rumble,
An' coachmen never trow they're sinning, While down the street their wheels are spinning.
Like thee, do I not bide the brunt
Nor ever fear uncanny hotches
gar me look baith clean an' feat,
For what use was I made, I wonder ! It was nae tamely to chap under The weight o' ilka codroch chiel,2 That does my skin to targets peel; But gin I guess aright, my trade is To fend frae skaith the bonny ladies, To keep the bairnies free frae harms Whan airing i' their nurses' arms, To be a safe and canny bield For growing youth or drooping eild. Tak then frae me the heavy load O' burden-bearers heavy shod, Or, by my troth, the gude auld town sall
Hae this affair before the council.