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Sad his wee drap brose he sippet,
Maggy's tongue gaed like a bell, Quietly to his bed he slippet,
Sighing aften to himsel' :
"Nane are free frae some vexation,
Ilk ane has his ills to dree ; But through a' the hale creation
Is a mortal vext like me?"
A' night lang he rowt and gaunted,
Sleep or rest he cou'dna tak ; Maggy aft wi' horror haunted,
Mum'ling started at his back. Soon as e'er the morning peepit,
Up raise Watty, waefu' chiel, Kist his weanies while they sleepet,
Wauken'd Meg, and sought farewell. "Farewell, Meg !-and, O! may Heav'n
Keep you aye within his care : Watty's heart ye've lang been grievin',
Now he'll never fash you mair.
"Ower the seas I march this morning,
Listed, tested, sworn and a',
Farewell, Meg ! for I'm awa'."
Gush'd afresh, and louder grew, While the weans, wi' mournfu' yaumer,
Round their sabbing mother flew. “Through the yirth I'll wanner wi' you
Stay, O Watty! stay at hame; Here, upon my knees, I'll gi'e you
Ony vow you like to name. “See your poor young lammies pleadin',
Will ye gang and break our heart? No a house to put our head in !
No a friend to take our part!". Ilka word came like a bullet ;
Watty's heart begoud to shake ; On a kist he laid his wallet,
Dighted baith his een and spake : “If ance mair I cou'd by writing
Lea' the sogers and stay still,
“Yes, O Watty, yes, I will."
Happy cou'd I been beside you,
Happy baith at morn an' e'en : A' the ills did e'er betide you,
Watty aye turned out your frien'.
“ But ye ever like to see me
Vext and sighing, late and air : Farewell, Meg! I've sworn to lea' thee,
So thou'll never see me mair."
“Then," quo' Watty, "mind, be honest;
Aye to keep your temper strive ; Gin ye break this dreadfu' promise,
Never mair expect to thrive.
Meg, a' sobbing, sae to lose him,
Sic a change had never wist, Held his hand close to her bosom,
While her heart was like to burst.
“Marget Howe, this hour
ye solemn Swear by everything that's gude; Ne'er again your spouse to scaul' him,
While life warms your heart and blood.
“O my Watty, will ye lea' me,
Frien'less, helpless, to despair? O! for this ae time forgi'e me :
Never will I vex you mair." “Ay! ye've aft said that, and broken
A' your vows ten times a week ; No, no, Meg ! see, there's a token Glittering on my bonnet cheek.
“That ye'll ne'er in Mungo's seek me
Ne'er put drucken to my nameNever out at e'ening steek me
Never gloom when I come hame. “That ye'll ne'er, like Bessy Miller,
Kick my shins or rug my hair ; Lastly, I'm to keep the siller
This upon your saul you swear?'
Clyde, her father, Dr James Baillie, being on Highland tradition. It was acted minister of that parish. He was after- at Edinburgh, through the influence, wards professor of divinity in the Uni- and under the oversight, of her friend versity of Glasgow. Her mother was a Sir Walter Scott. The only other of sister of the celebrated anatomists, Drs her plays that was put upon the stage John and William Hunter, after the was “De Montfort,” which was brought former of whom Joanna was named. out at Drury Lane in 1800. Few places in Scotland are a meeter On the marriage of Dr Baillie, his “nurse for a poetic child” than the mother and sisters went for some time romantic surroundings of Bothwell to Colchester ; but about 1801, they Castle, the once famous stronghold of fixed their abode permanently at Hampthe Douglasses ; and here and at Hamil. stead Heath. Here their mother died ton, about three miles distant, Joanna in 1806, and here the two affectionate Baillie spent the first ten years of her sisters continued to reside and receive life. In 1778, her father died at Glas- the visits of almost all their contemgow; and in 1784, she went with her porary celebrities till Joanna's death, mother and her sister Agnes to live on the 23d February 1851. Agnes with her brother, Dr Mathew Baillie, | lived for other ten years, dying in 1861, who succeeded to the London house and in the hundredth year of her age. the practice of his uncle, Dr William Joanna's Address to Agnes on her 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, extant. 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 pas- LINES TO AGNES BAILLIE ON sions, each passion being the subject of
HER BIRTHDAY, a tragedy and a comedy. Her theory, which advocates stricter adherence to Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy and nature in the dramatic art, she maintains
dashed with tears, in a lengthy introduction, which shows
O'er us have glided almost sixty years her to have been an original and vigor. Since we on Bothwell's bonnie braes were ous thinker. This venture, which was
By those whose eyes long closed in death also anonymous, created an immedi
have been ate impression, and a second edition
Two tiny imps, who scarcely stooped to was required in a short time. In 1802,
gather she continued the subject in a second | The slender harebell the purple volume ; and in a third, in 1812. In
heather; 1804, she produced a volume of mis- No taller than the foxglove's spinky stem, cellaneous dramas, and in 1810 the That dew of morning studs with silvery “Family Legend," a tragedy founded gem.
LINES TO AGNES BAILLIE ON HER BIRTHDAY. 661
Then every butterfly that crossed our Well may it please me, in life's latter scene, view
To think what now thou art and long to With joyous shout was greeted as it flew; me hast been. And moth, and lady-bird, and beetle bright,
'Twas thou who wooedst me first to look In sheeny gold, were each a wondrous Upon the page of printed book, sight.
That thing by me abhorred, and with adThen as we paddled barefoot, side by
Didst win me from my thoughtless idleAmong the sunny shallows of the Clyde, ness, Minnows or spotted parr with twinkling When all too old become with_bootless fin,
haste, Swimming in mazy rings the pool within, In fitful sports the precious time to waste, A thrill of gladness through our bosoms | Thy love of tale and story was the stroke sent,
At which my dormant fancy first awoke, Seen in the power of early wonderment. And ghosts and witches in my busy brain
Arose in sombre show, a motley train. A long perspective to my mind appearsThis new-found path attempting, proud Looking behind me to that line of years ; And yet through every stage I still can Lurking approval on thy face to spy, trace
Or hear thee say, as grew they roused atThy visioned form, from childhood's
tention, morning grace
“What ! is this story all thine own inTo woman's early bloom--changing, how vention !"
soon! To the expressive glow of woman's noon;
Then, as advancing through this mortal And now to what thou art, in comely age,
span, Active and ardent. Let what will engage Our intercourse with the mixed world beThy present moment—whether hopeful
gan ; seeds
Thy fairer face and sprightlier courtesyIn garden plat thou sow, or noxious weeds A truth that from my youthful vanity From the fair flower remove ; or ancient Lay not concealed did for the sisters lore
twain, In chronicle or legend rare explore, Where'er we went, the greater favour Or on the parlour hearth with kitten play, gain ; Stroking its tabby sides ; or take thy way While but for thee, vexed with its tossing To gain with hasty steps some cottage tide, door,
I from the busy world had shrunk aside. On helpful errand to the neighbouring And now, in later years, with better grace, poor
Thou help'st me still to hold a welcome Active and ardent, to my fancy's eye
place Thou still art young, in spite of time gone with those whom nearer neighbourhood by.
has made Though oft of patience brief, and temper | The friendly cheerers of our evening keen,
IT WAS ON A MORN. The change of good and evil to abide, As partners linked, long have we, side by It was on a morn when we were thrang,
The kirn it croon'd, the cheese was side,
making, Our earthly journey held ; and who can
And bannocks on the girdle baking, say
When ane at the door chapp't loud and How near the end of our united way?
lang. By nature's course not distant ; sad and 'reft
Yet the auld gudewife, and her mays Will she remain—the lonely pilgrim left.
sae tight, If thou art taken first, who can to me Of a' this bauld din took sma' notice, I Like sister, friend, and home companion be?
For a chap at the door in braid dayOr who, of wonted daily kindness shorn, light Shall feel such loss, or mourn as I shall Is no like a chap that's heard at e'en. mourn?
But the docksie auld laird of the Warlock And if I should be fated first to leave This earthly house, though gentle friends
Wha waited without, half-blate, halfmay grieve, And he above them all, so truly proved
cheery, A friend and brother, long and justly
And lang'd for a sight o' his winsome
Raised up the latch, and cam crousely There is no living wight, of woman born,
ben. Who then shall mourn for me as thou wilt mourn.
His coat it was new, and his o'erlay Thou ardent, liberal spirit ! quickly feel
was white, ing
His mittins and hose were cozie and bein ; The touch of sympathy and kindly deal
But a wooer that comes in braid daying
light With sorrow or distress, for ever sharing is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. The unhoarded mite, nor for to-morrow caring
He greeted the carlins and lasses sae Accept, dear Agnes, on thy natal day,
braw, An unadorned, but not a careless lay. And his bare lyart pow sae sm
smoothly Nor think this tribute to thy virtues paid
he straikit, From tardy love proceeds, though long And he looked about, like a body halfdelayed ;
glaikit, Words of affection, howsoe'er expressed, On bonnie sweet Nanny, the youngest of The latest spoken still are deemed the
a'. best :
“Ha, laird !" quo' the carlin', “and Few are the measured rhymes I now may write;
look ye that way? These are, perhaps, the last I shall indite. Fy ! let nae sic fancies bewilder ye clean.
An elderlin' man, in the noon o' the day, Should be wiser than youngsters that
come at e'en."
Edinburgh society of which Scott was The two last years of her life were beginning to form the centre. She had mostly occupied in the promotion of written “ The Land of the Leal” some similar projects. She died on the 26th time before she left Gask (about 1798); October 1845, in her seventy-ninth yet the secret of her being a song-writer year, and was buried in the private was known to but a few of her most chapel built by her brother beside the intimate friends: even her publisher house of Gask. knew her only in the assumed indivi- Lady Nairne stands next to Burns in duality of Mrs Bogan of Bogan. the breadth and diversity of her talents
In 1824, Major Nairne had the for- as a song-writer. She does not manifest feited rank and titles of his family in the the same command over the passions peerage of Scotland restored to him, as Burns does ; and her love songs, as and in 1830 he died, leaving an only “ The Lass of Gowrie,” and “ Hunting
On her husband's death, Lady tower,” though excellent of their kind, Nairne removed to Clifton, and after- have not the depth of feeling which wards to Ireland ; but in 1834, she re- characterises her “ Land othe Leal." moved to the Continent in search of a “Caller Herrin',” “ The Laird o' Cock. milder climate for her son, whose pen,” and “ John Todd,” are real origihealth showed signs of weakness. nal sketches, and equal to any songs in
After having tried all the health-re the same vein ; while “Charlie is my sorts of the Continent, William, sixth Darling,” “Will ye no come back Lord Nairne, died at Brussels in again?"and “The Hundred Pipers," and December 1837, and was there buried. two or three others, display the JacoLady Nairne, accompanied by her sister, bite spirit to perfection. 'The Rowan Mrs Keith, continued to reside on the Tree,” “Songs of my Native Land,” Continent, moving about from place to and others, prove the depth of her place, and everywhere trying to relieve patriotic sentiments and love of locality. the distress which she saw around her. Her “Twa Doos” is an admirable At length, on the invitation of her sample of that humour which is one of brother, who went to Paris for the pur- the most delightful characteristics of pose of bringing her home, she returned canny old Scotch folk, which we fear to Scotland, and took up her abode at is fast fading before the fashionable inGask in 1843. She soon began to in. Auences of present social conditions. terest herself in the affairs of her native Lady Nairne's songs were being colland, particularly in schemes of bene- lected and edited, with her permission, volence, and for the diffusion of religion. | under the title of Lays of Strathearn, In all her contributions for these ends without her name, shortly before her she acted, as in her authorship, anony: death, but were not issued till after it. mously; and it was not till after her An edition, with a memoir prefixed, death that Dr Chalmers felt at liberty to has since been edited by Dr Rogers, mention her name as the donor of £300 with the title of The Life and Songs of to his West Port Territorial Scheme. the Baroness Nairne.