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A seraph unfolded its doors bright and on the arch of the rainbow the chariot is shining,
gliding. All dazzling like gold of the seventh re- | Through the path of the thunder the fining.
horsemen are riding ; And the souls that came forth out of great Glide swiftly, bright spirits! the prize is
tribulation, Have mounted the chariots and steeds of A crown never fading, a kingdom of salvation.
The sweet and plaintive lyric which | The palm-tree waveth high, and fair the preserves the name of Gilfillan takes its niyrtle springs, place among our standard songs as one
And to the Indian maid the bulbul sweetly of the best, if not the best of its kind.
But I dinna see the broom wi' its tassels Its author was born in Dunfermline, in
on the lea, 1798, in very humble circumstances.
Nor hear the lintie's sang o' my ain After learning the trade of a cooper in
countrie. Leith, he became a clerk in a winemerchant's office, and in 1837, was Oh! here no Sabbath bell awakes the appointed collector of poor-rates for the
Sabbath morn, burgh of Leith. He held this appoint. Nor song of reapers heard among the ment till his death, which took place in For the tyrant's voice is here, and the wail
yellow corn : 1850. Two editions of his
of slaverie ; been published; but though some others But the sun of freedom shines in my ain of them, are well written, none comes
countrie. up to the standard of “Why lest I my Hame?"
There's a hope for every woe, and a balm
for ev'ry pain,
But the first joys of our youth come never O, WHY LEFT I MY HAME ?
back again ;
There's a track upon the deep, and a path Oh, why left I my hame? Why did I cross
across the sea, the deep?
But the weary ne'er return to their ain Oh, why left I the land where my fore
countrie. fathers sleep? I sigh for Scotia's shore, and I gaze across
the sea, But I canna get a blink o' my ain countrie.
The Course of Time is a poem in THE LOVE OF FAME. blank verse, about the same length as Paradise Lost; but the verse and the Of all the phantoms fleeting in the mist length are perhaps the only resem- Of time though meagre all, and ghostly blances which it bears to that great
thin, poem. Though possessing many elo. Most unsubstantial, unessential shade, quent passages, and giving decided Was earthly Fame. She was a voice
alone, proof of lofty and sustained
And dwelt upon the noisy tongues of city, it is on the whole heavy and uninteresting ; but that it has circu. She never thought, but gabbled ever on, lated to the extent of upwards of Applauding most what least deserved twenty editions in this country, and
applause. many more in America, is evidence The motive, the result, was naught to her. that it has been acceptable to a large The deed alone, though dyed in human number of readers, who prefer poetry gore, more for the profit than the enjoyment And steeped in widow's tears, if it stood which it yields.
Its author, Robert Pollok, was born at To prominent display, she taked of much, Muirhouse, in Renfrewshire, in 1799, and And roared around it with a thousand was educated at Glasgow University, for
As changed the wind her organ, so she the ministry of the Secession Church.
changed His first book, published anonymously, Perpetually; and whom she praised towas Tales of the Covenanters. The Course
day, of Time was published in 1827, and the Vexing his ear with acclamations loud, same year its author was licensed to To-morrow blamed, and hissed him out preach ; but his devotion to his profes
of sight. sional and poetical studies, either originated or developed a consumption,
Such was her nature and her practice
such. for which he sought the benefit of a milder climate in vain. He died on
But, oh! her voice was sweet to mortal 17th of September 1827, in his 28th
And touched so pleasantly the strings of year, after a few weeks' residence in
pride the South of England, and was buried and vanity, which in the heart of man at Millbrook, near Southampton, A Were ever strung harmonious to her note granite obelisk marks his grave, and a That many thought, to live without her memoir of him was written in 1843.
Was rather death than life. To live un- For fiction new, for thought unthought known,
before : Unnoticed, unrenowned ! to die And when some curious rare idea peered praised,
Upon his mind, he dipped his hasty pen, Unepitaphed ! to go down to the pit, And by the glimmering lamp, or moonAnd moulder into dust among vile worms, light beam And leave no whispering of a name on That through his lattice peeped, wrote earth!
fondly down Such thought was cold about the heart, What seemed in truth imperishable song.
and chilled The blood. Who could endure it? who
And sometimes, too, the reverend could choose,
divine, Without a struggle, to be swept away
In meditation deep of holy things From all remembrance, and have part no
And vanities of time, heard Fame's sweet
voice With living men ? Philosophy failed here, Approach his ear; and hung another
flower, And self-approving pride. Hence it be,
Of earthly sort, about the sacred truth ; The aim of most, and main pursuit to win
And ventured whiles to mix the bitter text A name, to leave some vestige as they With relish suited to the sinner's taste. passed,
And ofttimes, too, the simple hind, That following ages might discern they
who seemed Had been on earth, and acted something while round him, spreading, fed his
Ambitionless, arrayed in humble garb, there.
harmless flock, Many the roads they took, the plans Sitting was seen by some wild warbling
brook, they tried. The man of science to the shade retired,
Carving his name upon his favourite And laid his head upon his hand, in mood Of awful thoughtfulness, and dived, and Or, in ill-favoured letters, tracing.it dived
Upon the aged thorn, or on the face
Of some conspicuous'oft-frequented stone Again, deeper and deeper still, to sound The cause remote ; resolved, before he With persevering wondrous industry: died,
And hoping, as he toiled amain, and saw To make some grand discovery, by which The characters take form, some other He should be known to all posterity.
Long after he was dead and in the grave, And in the silent vigils of the night, Should loiter there at noon, and read his When uninspired men repose, the bard, Ghastly of countenance, and from his eye
In purple some, and some in rags, stood Oft streaming wild unearthly fire, sat up, forth And sent imagination forth, and searched For reputation. Some displayed a limb The far and near, heaven, earth, and Well-fashioned ; some, of lowlier mind, a
Of curious workmanship and marvellous Many the roads they took, the plans twist.
they tried ; In strength some sought it, and in beauty And awful oft the wickedness they
wrought. Long, long the fair one laboured at the To be observed, some scrambled up to glass,
thrones, And, being tired, called in auxiliar skill And sat in vestures dripping wet with gore. To have her sails, before she went abroad, The warrior dipped his sword in blood, Full spread and nicely set, to catch the and wrote gale
His name on lands and cities desolate. Of praise. And much she caught, and The rich bought fields, and houses built, much deserved,
and raised When outward loveliness was index fair The monumental piles up to the clouds, Of purity within : but oft, alas !
And called them by their names : and, The bloom was on the skin alone; and strange to tell ! when
Rather than be unknown, and pass away She saw, sad sight! the roses on her Obscurely to the grave, some, small of cheek
soul, Wither, and heard the voice of fame re- That else had perished unobserved, actire
quired And die away, she heaved most piteous Considerable renown by oaths profane ; sighs,
By jesting boldly with all sacred things ; And wept most lamentable tears; and And uttering fearlessly whate'er occurred;
Wild, blasphemous, perditionable In wild delirium, made rash attempt
thoughts, Unholy mimicry of Nature's work ! That Satan in them moved ; by wiser men To re-create, with frail and mortal things, Suppressed and quickly banished from Her withered face. Attempt how fond the mind.
and vain ! Her frame itself soon mouldered down to Many the roads they took, the plans they dust ;
tried : And in the land of deep forgetfulness,
But all in vain. Who grasped at earthly Her beauty and her name were laid beside Fame, Eternal silence and the loathsome worm ; Grasped wind : nay, worse, a serpent Into whose darkness flattery ventured grasped, that through not ;
His hand slid smoothly, and was gone ; Where none had ears to hear the voice of but left Fame.
A sting behind, which wrought him end
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, Perth. shire, 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' cauld Perth, 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.