« السابقةمتابعة »
plicity and disregard of exactness, as effort, and in this he soon acquired passsumed the 25th January, Burns' natalable efficiency. This was all the artifiday, whether under a vague feeling of cial superstructure that he required. such a coincidence being an auspicious In 1797, while in the service of the omen, or other equally irrational influence, father of William Laidlaw, Scott's it is impossible to tell ; yet as he was amanuensis, and the author of “Lucy's baptized on the 9th December 1770, he Flitting,” he obtained a copy of “Tam must have been born at least a fortnight o' Shanter,” which he committed to earlier. He was the son of Robert | memory. He strongly felt and expressHogg, a shepherd in Ettrick Forest, ed the stimulus which it gave to the Selkirkshire, who, having tried to im- incipient promptings of his own muse. prove his circumstances by farming, lost | In 1800, he leased a small farm, where what savings he had accumulated as a he kept his aged parents. He was shepherd, and was obliged to return to known for some time as a local poet ; his original occupation. This reverse but being in Edinburgh this year, he of fortune overtook the family when the put his song of “ Donald Macdonald ” poet was about six years old : he was into general circulation, and it soon therefore withdrawn from school, and became a popular favourite. He visited in his seventh year was sent to herding Edinburgh again next year, and placed -his wages being a ewe lamb, and a in the hands of a printer his first book, pair of shoes every six months, besides Scottish Pastoral Songs, etc.,
a little his board. In his eighth year he re- volume of 64 pages, full of all kinds ceived a quarter's additional schooling, of blunders, but now so scarce as to be and learned to read the Bible. Thus reckoned a bibliographical treasure. ended his formal education.
Scott was at this time (1801) busy Being promoted from cow-herding to collecting the materials of his Border sheep-herding—a more dignified and Minstrelsy, and, being on one of his exleisurely employment—he procured a cursions to the Forest, was introduced to violin, and commenced teaching himself Hogg by Laidlaw, when an intimacy the native airs, cultivating his sense which ripened into friendship sprung up of harmony, and his national feelings. between these, to a large extent kindred In his eighteenth year he fell in with spirits, which only ended with their Hamilton's modernized version of Blind lives. Hogg and his mother greatly Harry's Wallace, and Ramsay's Gentle aided Scott with ballads, preserved Shepherd, which he says he wished had mostly by tradition. But the shepherd's been in prose ; he had a difficulty too farm did not keep him long out of diffiwith the Scotch of the latter. His love culties, and he had to give it up. His of reading soon procured him other efforts to obtain a situation as sheepbooks; and his naturally poetic ardour farm manager in the Highlands were being soon touched, he began to try his also unsuccessful, when Scott came to hand at rhyme before he mastered the his assistance, and got Constable, then art of writing. To write was his next his publisher, to publish an edition of
Hogg's poems under the title of the the reader's notice. The story of KilMountain Bard; and also a treatise on meny is invariably selected as the sheep. By these publications he ob- masterpiece of the work; but, while tained the (to him) large sum of £300, fully alive to its charm as a production and he rushed into farming on scale of the imagination, and its musical ten times beyond his means, having sweetness of language, and allowing leased two farms in Dumfriesshire, at for a certain dimness of outline as rents far beyond their value. The conse- appropriate to the morbid sentiment quence was, that in less than three years of which it is the embodiment, we he was again penniless, and in debt. cannot overlook the confusion and want
In these circumstances he tried to ob- of perspective that pervade it, nor can tain a captaincy in the militia, and a we grant that indistinctness of outsituation in the excise, but failed in line enhances the beauty of even both, and again fell back upon his purely ideal a clime of the imagination pen. He published a collection of as that in which the scene of Kilmeny is songs, containing a large proportion of laid. It also contains some descriptive his own early pieces, under the title of incongruities, and the affectation of the the Forest Minstrel, and dedicated it to ancient spelling is an absurdity that the Countess of Dalkeith. The hand- almost gives it a serio-comic air. The some gift of one hundred guineas from “Fate of Macgregor,” similarly founded his patroness was the only profit that on superstitious sentiment, though infeit brought him. His next venture was rior in imaginative breadth, has not, a weekly newspaper, The Spy, which in our estimation, the blemishes which lived about twelve months, leaving him “Kilmeny.” It is in every way in a state of financial exhaustion. equal to Campbell's “Lochiel's Warn
When his fortune was about its low- ing,” which appeared about ten years est, in consequence of the failure of his earlier. various schemes, he, in 1813, astonished Hogg's next venture was The Poetic the world by his Queen's Wake, a pro- Mirror, intended as a collection of the duction for which no one would have poems of living bards. Scott refused to given him credit, but which places his contribute, and this caused a temporary right to the title of poet beyond dispute.estrangement between the poets. He It is in every way a remarkable poem, then issued Dramatic Tales, and The or rather a garland of varied poetic Brownie of Bodsbeck, &c. In 1820, he gems gracefully strung together, and received a life-lease of the farm of was at once recognised as such. Al-Altrive from the Duke of Buccleuch, at though the plan of it is taken from a nominal rent, and on settling here he Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, yet married. But his passion for farm venthe application and the execution are so tures could not be overcome while he original, that this in no way detracts had the means of gratifying it, and with from the merits of Hogg's genius, and his wife's and his own means he took a the fact almost never intrudes itself on lease of, and stocked the farm of Mount
Benger. The usual results followed. Yet dear the symbols to his eye,
The bard on Ettrick's mountains green dred pounds for a select volume of his
In nature's bosom nursed had been, best poems. Besides these publications, And oft had mark'd, in forest lone, he contributed to Blackwood's Magazine. Her beauties on her mountain throne ; His last poem was “Queen Hynde, Had seen her deck the wild wood-tree, which appeared in 1826. He died in And star with snowy gems the lea ; 1835, and was buried in the churchyard In loveliest colours paint the plain, of Ettrick. Twenty years after his And sow the moor with purple grain. death, his widow received a govern- By golden mead and mountain sheer, ment pension of £100 a-year; and in Had view'd the Ettrick waving clear, 1860, a monument was erected to his Where shadowy flocks of purest snow
Seem'd grazing in a world below. memory overlooking St Mary's Loch.
Hogg has been compared with Ram- Instead of ocean's billowy pride, say; but except in the possession of a Where monsters play and navies ride, ludicrous Goldsmithian egotism which Oft had he view'd, as morning rose, amused without offending, they are con
The bosom of the lonely Lowes, trasts rather than counterparts, Ramsay Plough'd far by many a downy keel, being a shrewd and economic, almost Of wild-duck and of vagrant teal. unimpassioned man of business, while Oft thrill'd his heart at close of even, Hogg was the very reverse. Perhaps with many a mountain, moor, and tree,
To see the dappled vales of heaven, the best portrait of him is his own Bard Asleep upon the Saint Mary. of Ettrick in the Queen's Wake.
The pilot swan majestic wind,
With all his cygnet fleet behind. THE BARD OF ETTRICK. So softly sail, and swiftly row,
With sable oar, and silken prow. The next was named—the very sound
Instead of war's unhallow'd form, Excited merriment around :
His eye had seen the thunderstorm But when the bard himself appear'd,
Descend within the mountain's brim, The ladies smiled, the courtiers sneer'd ;
And shroud him in its chambers grim; For such a simple air and mien
Then from its bowels burst amain Before a court had never been.
The sheeted flame and sounding rain, A clown he was, bred in the wild,
And by the bolts in thunder borne, And late from native moors exiled,
The heaven's own breast and mountain In hopes his mellow mountain strain High favour from the great would gain.
The wild-roe from the forest driven ; Poor wight! he never ween'd how hard
The oaks of ages peel'd and riven; For poverty to earn regard !
Impending oceans whirl and boil, Dejection o'er his visage ran,
Convulsed by nature's grand turmoil. His coat was bare, his colour wan, His forest doublet darn'd and torn,
Instead of arms or golden crest, His shepherd plaid all rent and worn ; His harp with mimic flowers was drest ;
Around, in graceful streamers, fell
And do what it freezes my vitals to
say. Forgive me, dear brother, this horror of
mind; Thou knowest in the strife I was never be
hind, Nor ever receded a foot from the van, Or blenched at the ire or the prowess of
But I've sworn by the cross, by my God,
and by all,
An oath which I cannot, and dare not reTHE FATE OF MACGREGOR.
call, · Macgregor, Macgregor, remember Ere the shadows of midnight fall east from our foemen;
the pile, The moon rises broad from the brow of To meet with a spirit this night in GlenBen-Lomond ;
Gyle. The clans are impatient, and chide thy delay ;
"Last night, in my chamber, all Arise ! let us bound to Glen-Lyon away." thoughtful and lone,
I called to remembrance some deeds I Stern scowled the Macgregor; then,
had done, silent and sullen,
When entered a lady, with visage so wan, He turned his red eye to the braes of And looks such as never were fastened Strathfillan ;
on man. “Go, Malcolm, to sleep, let the clans be I knew her, o brother! I knew her full dismissed ;
well ! The Campbells this night for Macgregor Of that once fair dame such a tale I could must rest.”
As would thrill thy bold heart : but how “Macgregor, Macgregor, our scouts
long she remained, have been flying,
So racked was my spirit, my bosom so Three days round the hills of M'Nab and
pained, Glen-Lyon ;
I knew not-but ages seemed short to the Of riding and running such tidings they
Though proffer'd the Highlands, nay, all We must meet them at home else they'll
the green isle, quickly be here."
With length of existence no man can
enjoy, “ The Campbell may come, his The same to endure, the dread proffer promises bind him,
I'd fly! And haughty M‘Nab, with his giants be- The thrice-threaten'd pangs of last night hind him :
to forego, This night I am bound to relinquish the Macgregor would dive to the mansions fray,
Despairing and mad, to futurity blind, This night the proud chief his presumpThe present to shun, and some respite to
tion shall rue ; find,
Rise, brother, these chinks in his heart'sI swore, ere the shadow fell east from the blood will glue: pile,
Thy fantasies frightful shall flit on the To meet her alone by the brook of Glen- wing, Glye.
When loud with thy bugle Glen-Lyon
shall ring." "She told me, and turned my chilled heart to a stone,
Like glimpse of the moon through the The glory and name of Macgregor were
storm of the night,
Macgregor's red eye shed one sparkle of gone : That the pine, which for ages had shed a
It faded-it darkened-heshuddered-he bright halo, Afar on the mountains of Highland Glen
"No! not for the universe!" low he Should wither and fall ere the turn of yon
Away went Macgregor, but went not Smit through by the canker of hated alone ; Colquhoun :
To watch the dread rendezvous Malcolm That a feast on Macgregors each day should be common,
They oared the broad Lomond, so still For years, to the eagles of Lennox and and serene ! Lomond.
And deep in her bosom, how awful the
scene! "A parting embrace, in one moment, O'er mountains inverted, the blue waters she gave :
curled, Her breath was a furnace, her bosom the And rocked them on skies of a far nether grave !
world. Then flitting elusive, she said, with a frown,
All silent they went, for the time was "The mighty Macgregor shall yet be my approaching :
The moon the blue zenith already was
touching ; “ Macgregor, thy fancies are wild as No foot was abroad on the forest or hill, the wind;
No sound but the lullaby sung by the The dreams of the night have disordered rill; thy mind.
Young Malcolm at distance couched Come, buckle thy panoply-march to the trembling the while, field, --
Margregor stood lone by the brook of See, brother, how hacked are thy helmet Glen-Gyle.
and shield ! Ay, that was M‘Nab, in the height of his
Few minutes had passed ere they spied, pride,
on the stream, When the lions of Dochart stood firm by A skiff sailing light, where a lady did his side.