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LIKE Michael Bruce, Robert Nicoll poems under the title of Poems and was endowed with literary abilities Lyrics. He now gave up his library, which he lacked physical powers to and intended trying his fortune in enable him to bring to maturity. His London; but after remaining some time zeal and enthusiasm may be said to have in Edinburgh, he was appointed editor consumed him; and with his early of the Leeds Times, a Radical newspaper. death raised his fame, as by a wave of His zeal for the success of the paper, friendly sympathy, beyond what any and the excitement of local politics, thing he has written will maintain. It soon broke his health, and after a short has been said that some of his songs sojourn at Knaresborough, he came have obtained an equal popularity with back to Edinburgh, and died at Trinity the best of Burns's. This can hardly in histwenty-fourth year. He was buried be true in any sense ; but if it is implied in North Leith Churchyard, where a that their merits any way approach the memorial stone has recently been placed best of Burns's, nothing could be more over his remains. A memoir of him unjust to Nicoll's fame, or stronger has been written by Mr Smiles, and a evidence of the critic's want of judgment new edition of his poems is (1877) just in such matters than the suggestion of published. such a comparison.
He was born at Tullybeltane, Perthshire, on January 7th, 1814. His father was a farmer, but was unsuccessful, and THE BONNIE ROWAN BUSH. Robert's early education was obtained
The bonnie rowan bush from his mother, a woman of superior
In yon lane glenintelligence, and was completed at the
Where the burnie clear doth gush parish school. His literary aspirations In yon lane glen; were very early manifested; and while
My head is white and auld, serving an apprenticeship as a grocer in An' my bluid is thin an' cauldPerth, he devoted his leisure to study But I lo'e the bonnie rowan bush and reading. In 1833, he forwarded a In yon lane glen. tale to Johnstone's Magazine, which led to his making a visit to Edinburgh, and
My Jeanie first I met
In yon lane glenbeing introduced to several literary
When the grass wi' dew was wet, gentlemen who befriended him. In
In yon lane glen ; 1834, he started a circulating library The moon was shinin' sweet, in Dundee, and interested himself in An' our hearts wi' love did beatlocal politics as an extreme liberal. In By the bonnie, bonnie rowan bush 1835, he published a collection of his In yon lane glen. (12)
Oh! she promised to be mine
In yon lane glen :
Did o'er us pass away,
In yon lane glen.
In yon lane glen-
In yon lane glen ;
Than ours there cou'dna be,
In yon lane glen.
Frae yon lane glen ;
On yon lane glen,
For alake! I sit alane,
In yon lane glen.
Her drink's o' the best-she's hearty aye,
An' her house is neat an' cleanThere's no an auld wife in the public line
Can match wi' Janet Macbean.
When he comes to drink his can,
An' a joke for the farmer's man.
quean-There's no an' auld wife in the public line
Can match wi' Janet Macbean. The beggar wives gang a' to her, An' she sairs them wi' bread an'
cheese, Her bread in bannocks an' cheese in
whangs Wi' a blythe gudewill she gi’es. Vow, the kintra-side will miss her sair
When she's laid aneath the greenThere's no an auld wife in the public line
Can match wi' Janet Macbean. Amang alehouse wives she rules the roast ;
For upo' the Sabbath days She puts on her weel hain'd tartan plaid
An' the rest o' her Sabbath claes, An' she sits, nae less ! in the minister's
seat ; Ilk psalm she lilts, I weenThere's no an auld wife in the public line
Can match wi' Janet Macbean.
Janet Macbean a public keeps,
An'a merry auld wife is she ; An' she sells her yill wi' a jaunty air
That wad please your heart to see.
devoted his leisure to study while What woes wring my heart, while inweaving, he made a successful teacher, tently surveying and in 1816 removed to Paisley in the
The storm's gloomy path on the breast
of the wave! same capacity. Here he became involved in the political agitations of the Ye foam-crested billows, allow me to wail, time ; and being disgusted at the aspect
Ere ye toss me afar from my loved
native shore ; of affairs at home, emigrated to the Where the flower which bloom'd sweetest United States, where at first he taught
in Colia's green vale, a school. Having studied at Princeton
The pride of my bosom, my Mary's no College, he was elected minister of the
more! Presbyterian Church of Salem ; and in No more by the banks of the streamlet
; 1835, was appointed to the chair of we'll wander, Ecclesiastical History in a theological And smile at the moon's rimpled face seminary. We have no further trace
in the wave; of him.
No more shall my arms cling with fond
ness around her, For the dew-drops of morning fall cold
on her grave. O'ER THE MIST-SHROUDED No more shall the soft thrill of love warm CLIFFS.
I haste with the storm to a far-distant O'er the mist-shrouded cliffs of the gray shore, mountain straying,
Where, unknown, unlamented, my ashes Where the wild winds of winter inces
shall rest, santly rave;
And joy shall revisit my bosom no more.
THOMAS LYL E.
1792—1859. “Kelvin Grove” and the air to was attributed to John Sim, but Mr which it is sung harmonize so well, that Lyle's claim to its authorship was the latter is now known by the title of admitted by Motherwell, the editor of the song—the old words to which it that collection. was sung having entirely faded from Lyle was a collector of old national popular remembrance. Thomas Lyle, airs and songs, and published, in 1827, the writer of the lyric,- beautiful apart a volume of Ancient Ballads and Songs, from the air,—was a native of Paisley, chiefly from Tradition and Manuscript, and studied at Glasgow University. and to this he contributed some songs He practised as a surgeon in Glasgow of his own composition. It also confor some time, and afterwards at Airth, tains “Miscellaneous Poems by Sir in Stirlingshire, where he remained till William Mure, Knight of Rowallan.” 1853. • Kelvin Grove ” first appeared In 1853 he returned to Glasgow, and in The Harp of Renfrewshire, where it here he died in 1859.
Yet with fortune on my side, Let us haste to Kelvin grove, bonnie and win thee for my bride, bonnie lassie,
I could stay thy father's pride, lassie, O,
0. Through its mazes let us rove, bonnie
Where the rose in all her pride, But the frowns of fortune lower, bonnie
lassie, O, Where the midnight fairies glide, bonnie On thy lover at this hour, bonnie lassie, O, lassie, O.
Ere the golden orb of day
Wake the warblers on the spray, Let us wander by the mill, bonnie lassie, O; From this land I must away, bonnie To the cove beside the rill, bonnie lassie,
lassie, O. O,
Where the glens rebound the call
Then farewell to Kelvin grove, bonnie Thro' the mountain's rocky hall, bonnie
lassie, O, lassie, O.
And adieu to all I love, bonnie lassie, O,
To the river winding clear, O Kelvin banks are fair, bonnie lassie, O, To the fragrant scented brier, When in summer we are there, bonnie E'en to thee of all most dear, bonnie lassie, 0,
When upon a foregin shore, bonnie
lassie, O, Round the yellow banks of broom, bonnie
Should I fall midst battle's roar, bonnie lassie, O.
lassie, O, Though I dare not call thee mine, bonnie Then, Helen ! shouldst thou hear lassie, O,
Of thy lover on his bier. As the smile of fortune's thine, bonnie To his memory shed a tear, bonnie lassie, lassie, O,
WILLIAM MOTHER WELL.
Except for “ Jeannie Morrison,” and elegant sentimental poems want that Motherwell would almost have been definite grasp on human interest that forgotten as a poet ; and yet few writers makes even rough poetry impressive. gave evidence of possessing the divine His highly cultivated and natural faculty earlier, or displayed greater literary abilities, fitted him better for taste and grace in the art of poetic excelling as an editor, and it is in this composition. His finished, vigorous, capacity that he has been most successful. He was the son of Mr William JEANIE MORRISON. Motherwell, an ironmonger in Glasgow,
I've wandered east, I've wandered west, and was born in that city in 1797. His
Through mony a weary way ; family removing to Edinburgh, he be
But never, never can forget came a pupil of the High School ; but
The luve o' life's young day! in his eleventh year he went to live The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en, with an uncle in Paisley, and he finished
May weel be black gin Yule ; his education at the grammar-school of But blacker fa' awaits the heart that town, with the exception of a Where first fond luve grows cule. session, when he attended Greek and Latin classes in Glasgow University. O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,
He served some time in the Sheriff- The thochts o' bygane years Clerk's office in Paisley, and soon after Still fling their shadows ower my path, received the appointment of Sheriff- And blind my een wi' tears : clerk Depute of Renfrewshire. In They blind my een wi' saut, saut tears, 1819, he became editor of The Harp of
And sair and sick I pine, Renfrewshire, a poetical miscellany, and As memory idly summons up in 1827, published his best-known
The blithe blinks o' langsyne. book, Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern, the historical introduction to which 'Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel, displayed an extensive acquaintance
'Twas then we twa did part ;
Sweet time-sad time! twa bairns at with the subject, and great critical taste
scule, and discernment. In 1828, he started
Twa bairns, and but ae heart ! the Paisley Magazine, which did not live
'Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink, beyond its first volume. He at the
To leir ilk ither lear ; same time edited the Paisley Advertiser, And tones, and looks, and smiles were a weekly conservative newspaper. In shed, 1830, he became editor of the Glasgow Remembered evermair. Courier, and continued in charge of it till his death in 1835. He published I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet, an elegant collection of his poems, en- When sitting on that bink, titled, Poems, Narrative and Lyrical, in Cheek touchin' cheek, loof lock'd in loof, 1832 ; and an enlarged edition, with a
What our wee heads could think? memoir, was published soon after his When baith bent doun ower ae braid death. He has two marked styles,
Wi' ae buik on our knee, the homely pathetic sentimental, where he employs Scotch ; and the chivalrous Thy lips were on thy lesson, but
My lesson was in thee. imaginative sentimental, which he writes in pure English, or affected antique. Oh, mind ye how we hung our heads, “ Jeannie Morrison ” is his best in the
How cheeks brent red wi' shame, former, and “The Cavalier's Song" | Whene'er the scule-weans laughin' said, is a fair specimen of the latter style. We cleek'd thegither hame?