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How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring While o'er their heads the hazels hing,
Then chance and fortune are sae guided, They're aye in less or mair provided ;
Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fasht And though fatigued wi' close employment,
A cotter howkin' in a sheugh,
Wi' dirty stanes biggin' a dike,
And when they meet wi' sair disasters,
But then to see how ye're neglectit,
I see how folk live that hae riches;
They're no sae wretched's ane wad think, Though constantly on poortith's brink : They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight, The view o't gies them little fright.
A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.
The dearest comfort o' their lives,
And ferlie at the folk in Lun'on.
My heart has been sae fain to see them,
Still it's ower true that ye hae said,
on Highland tradition. It was acted at Edinburgh, through the influence, and under the oversight, of her friend Sir Walter Scott. The only other of her plays that was put upon the stage was "De Montfort," which was brought out at Drury Lane in 1800.
On the marriage of Dr Baillie, his mother and sisters went for some time to Colchester; but about 1801, they fixed their abode permanently at Hampstead Heath. Here their mother died in 1806, and here the two affectionate sisters continued to reside and receive the visits of almost all their contemporary celebrities till Joanna's death, on the 23d February 1851. Agnes lived for other ten years, dying in 1861, in the hundredth year of her age. Joanna's Address to Agnes on her
Clyde, her father, Dr James Baillie, being minister of that parish. He was afterwards professor of divinity in the University of Glasgow. Her mother was a sister of the celebrated anatomists, Drs John and William Hunter, after the former of whom Joanna was named. Few places in Scotland are a meeter nurse for a poetic child" than the romantic surroundings of Bothwell Castle, the once famous stronghold of the Douglasses; and here and at Hamilton, about three miles distant, Joanna Baillie spent the first ten years of her life. In 1778, her father died at Glasgow; and in 1784, she went with her mother and her sister Agnes to live with her brother, Dr Mathew Baillie, who succeeded to the London house and the practice of his uncle, Dr William Hunter, on the death of that well-known | Birthday is one of the most simply physician. Here, in 1790, she published beautiful pictures of sisterly affection anonymously her first volume of poems, which met with a very indifferent reception. In 1798, she published her first series of dramas, with the view of illustrating her theory of the action of the passions, each passion being the subject of a tragedy and a comedy. Her theory, which advocates stricter adherence to nature in the dramatic art, she maintains in a lengthy introduction, which shows her to have been an original and vigorous thinker. This venture, which was
also anonymous, created an immediate impression, and a second edition was required in a short time. In 1802, she continued the subject in a second volume; and in a third, in 1812. In 1804, she produced a volume of miscellaneous dramas, and in 1810 the "Family Legend," a tragedy founded
LINES TO AGNES BAILLIE ON
Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy and dashed with tears,
O'er us have glided almost sixty years Since we on Bothwell's bonnie braes were
By those whose eyes long closed in death
Two tiny imps, who scarcely stooped to gather
The slender harebell or the purple
No taller than the foxglove's spinky stem,
LINES TO AGNES BAILLIE ON HER BIRTHDAY. 661
Then every butterfly that crossed our view
With joyous shout was greeted as it flew;
And moth, and lady-bird, and beetle
Well may it please me, in life's latter scene, To think what now thou art and long to me hast been.
"Twas thou who wooedst me first to look
In sheeny gold, were each a wondrous Upon the page of printed book,
Then as we paddled barefoot, side by side,
Among the sunny shallows of the Clyde, Minnows or spotted parr with twinkling fin,
Swimming in mazy rings the pool within, A thrill of gladness through our bosoms sent,
Seen in the power of early wonderment.
A long perspective to my mind appears, Looking behind me to that line of years; And yet through every stage I still can
Thy visioned form, from childhood's morning grace
To woman's early bloom-changing, how soon!
To the expressive glow of woman's noon; And now to what thou art, in comely age, Active and ardent. Let what will engage Thy present moment-whether hopeful seeds
In garden plat thou sow, or noxious weeds From the fair flower remove; or ancient
In chronicle or legend rare explore,
That thing by me abhorred, and with address
Didst win me from my thoughtless idle
I from the busy world had shrunk aside. On helpful errand to the neighbouring And now, in later years, with better grace,
Active and ardent, to my fancy's eye
Thou still art young, in spite of time gone by.
Thou help'st me still to hold a welcome place
With those whom nearer neighbourhood has made
Though oft of patience brief, and temper The friendly cheerers of our evening
The change of good and evil to abide, As partners linked, long have we, side by side,
Our earthly journey held; and who can
How near the end of our united way?
Will she remain-the lonely pilgrim left.
Or who, of wonted daily kindness shorn,
And if I should be fated first to leave
And he above them all, so truly proved
There is no living wight, of woman born,
Thou ardent, liberal spirit ! quickly feeling
The touch of sympathy and kindly dealing
IT WAS ON A MORN.
It was on a morn when we were thrang, The kirn it croon'd, the cheese was making,
And bannocks on the girdle baking, When ane at the door chapp't loud and lang.
Yet the auld gudewife, and her mays
Of a' this bauld din took sma' notice, I
For a chap at the door in braid day
Is no like a chap that's heard at e'en.
But the docksie auld laird of the Warlock
Wha waited without, half-blate, half-
And lang'd for a sight o' his winsome
Raised up the latch, and cam crousely ben.
His coat it was new, and his o'erlay
His mittins and hose were cozie and bein; But a wooer that comes in braid daylight
With sorrow or distress, for ever sharing Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. The unhoarded mite, nor for to-morrow
Accept, dear Agnes, on thy natal day,
Words of affection, howsoe'er expressed,
Few are the measured rhymes I now may write;
These are, perhaps, the last I shall indite.
He greeted the carlins and lasses sae braw,
And his bare lyart pow sae smoothly he straikit,
And he looked about, like a body halfglaikit,
On bonnie sweet Nanny, the youngest of a'.