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The Flower o' Dumblane.
The sun has gane down o'er the lofty Ben-Lomond,

And left the red clouds to preside o'er the scene,
While lanely I stray in the calm simmer gloamin,

To muse on sweet Jessie, the flower o’ Dumblane. How sweet is the brier, wi' its saft fauldin' blossom !

And sweet is the birk, wi' its mantle o' green ; Yet sweeter and fairer, and dear to this bosom,

Is lovely young Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane, She 's modest as ony, and blithe as she's bonny;

For guileless simplicity marks her its ain : And far be the villain, divested of feeling,

Wha’d blight in its bloom the sweet flower o' Dumblane. Sing on, thou sweet mavis, thy hymn to the e’ening ;

Thou ’rt dear to the echoes of Calderwood glen : Sae dear to this bosom, sae artless and winning,

Is charming young Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane. How lost were my days till I met wi' my Jessie !

The sports o'the city seemed foolish and vain ; I ne'er saw a nymph I would ca' my dear lassie,

Till charmed wi' sweet Jessie, the Aower o' Dumblane. Though mine were the station o' loftiest grandeur,

Amidst its profusion I'd languish in pain,
And reckon as naething the height o' its splendour,

If wanting sweet Jessie, the flower o' Dumblane.

chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. In 1810 he published a somewhat overdrawn Scottish dialogue, in the style of Fergusson, called Edinburgh, or the Ancient Royalty; a Sketch of Manners, by Simon Gray. Other poems were Clan Alpin's Vow (1811), a tragic Highland tale, based on the record in the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland for 1589, and Sir Albyn, a burlesque. Skeldon Haughs was a rhymed version of an old Ayrshire legend. Some of his best songs were among the twelve he contributed to Thomson's Select Collection (1817). His unfinished and not very brilliant anticipation of Byron, An Epistle to the Edinburgh Reviewers (1803), contains some smart couplets :

All are not damned you happen to dislike ;
All turn not marble whom your glances strike. . .
When the fierce tiger rages o’er the land,
Then to the chase, ye hunters, in a band ! ..
But where 's the honour, where's the mighty feat,
To seize a victim that can only bleat ?
Why tinge with red the unassuming cheek,
Or tear a linnet with a vulture's beak? ...
Is he a lion who can gorge a rat?

Is he Goliath who can crush a gnat? Boswell did much to stimulate his countrymen to honour Burns's memory, securing the erection of the monument on the Doon ; and for two or three years sat in Parliament for Plympton in Devonshire. Sir Alexander, created a baronet in 1821 for a (poor but) loyal song, 'Long live George the Fourth,' was an ardent lover of our early literature, and at his private printing-press at Auchinleck House reprinted a series of rare works, both English and Scottish, some of the earlier ones with his own hand. When politics ran high he wrote some personal pasquinades, for one of which he received a challenge from Mr Stuart of Dunearn, and the parties met at Auchtertool in Fifeshire. Stuart's shot took effect and the Tory baronet fell, dying from the wound on the following day, the 27th of March 1822. He was a hearty, high-spirited man, tall and of imposing presence, fond of field sports, and in almost every way (even in his literary gifts and interests) very unlike his father. His brother, James Boswell (1778–1822), an accomplished scholar and student, edited Malone's edition of Shakespeare (21 vols. 8vo, 1821). From James's funeral Sir Alexander returned straight to his fatal encounter with Mr Stuart.

Gloomy Winter's now Awa'.
Gloomy winter 's now awa';
Saft the westlin breezes blaw ;
'Mang the birks o' Stanley-shaw

The mavis sings fu' cheerie 0.
Sweet the craw-flower's early bell
Decks Gleniffer's dewy dell,
Blooming like thy bonny sel',

My young, my art less dearie O.
Come, my lassie, let us stray
O'er Glenkilloch's sunny brae,
Blithely spend the gowden day

Midst joys that never wearie O.
Towering o'er the Newton woods,
Laverocks fan the snaw-white clouds ;
Siller saughs, wi’ downie buds,

Adorn the banks sae brierie 0.
Round the sylvan fairy nooks,
Feathery breckans fringe the rocks,
'Neath the brae the burnie jouks,

And ilka thing is cheerie 0.
Trees may bud, and birds may sing,
Flowers may bloom, and verdure spring,
Joy to me they canna bring,

Unless wi' thee, my dearie O. Sir Alexander Boswell (1775-1822), of Auchinleck in Ayrshire, eldest son of Johnson's biographer, was a man of many accomplishments, but is now remembered for his tragic fate and for his songs, such as “Auld Gudeman, ye're a Drucken Carle ;' ‘Jenny's Bawbee ;' and `Jenny dang the Weaver,' rough but characteristic genrepictures rich in a kind of comic humour ; the less rude 'Good-night and Joy be wi' ye a' is also still popular. Educated at Westminster and Oxford, in 1803 he printed a volume of Songs

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At ilka country-dance or reel,

Wi' her he would be bobbing ; When she sat down, he sat down,

And to her would be gabbing ; Where'er she gaed, baith but and ben, The coof would never leave her ;

fool Aye keckling like a clocking hen,

hatching But Jenny dang the weaver.

Jenny dang, &c.
Quo' he: 'My lass, to speak my mind,
In troth I needna swither ;

hesitate You've bonny een, and if you 're kind,

I'll never seek anither :'
He hummed and hawed, the lass cried, “Peugh!'

And bade the coof no deave her ;
Syne snapt her fingers, lap and leugh,
And dang the silly weaver.
And Jenny dang, Jenny dang,

Jenny dang the weaver ;
Syne snapt her fingers, lap and leugh, laughed

And dang the silly weaver.

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The High Street of Edinburgh. Tier upon tier I see the mansions rise, Whose azure summits mingle with the skies; There, from the earth the labouring porters bear The elements of fire and water high in air ; There, as you scale the steps with toilsome tread, The dripping barrel madefies your head ; Thence, as adown the giddy round you wheel, A rising porter greets you with his creel ! Here, in these chambers, ever dull and dark, The lady gay received her gayer spark, Who, clad in silken coat, with cautious tread, Trembled at opening casements overhead ; But when in safety at her porch he trod, He seized the ring, and rasped the twisted rod. No idlers then, I trow, were seen to meet, Linked, six a-row, six hours in Princes Street; But, one by one, they panted up the hill, And picked their steps with most uncommon skill ; Then, at the Cross, each joined the motley mob‘How are ye, Tam?' and, ‘How 's a' wi' ye, Bob?' Next to a neighbouring tavern all retired, And draughts of wine their various thoughts inspired. O’er draughts of wine the beau would moan his love ; O'er draughts of wine the cit his bargain drove ; O'er draughts of wine the writer penned the will; And legal wisdom counselled o'er a gill. . . . Yes! mark the street, for youth the great resort, Its spacious width the theatre of sport. There, midst the crowd, the jingling hoop is driven Full many a leg is hit, and curse is given. There, on the pavement, mystic forms are chalked, Defaced, renewed, delayed—but never balked ; There romping Miss the rounded slate may drop, And kick it out with persevering hop. There, in the dirty current of the strand, Boys drop the rival corks with ready hand, And, wading through the puddle with slow pace, Watch in solicitude the doubtful race ! And there, an active band, with frequent boast, Vault in succession o'er each wooden post. Or a bold stripling, noted for his might, Heads the array, and rules the mimic fight. From hand and sling now fly the whizzing stones, Unheeded broken heads and broken bones. The rival hosts in close engagement mix, Drive and are driven by the dint of sticks. The bicker rages, till some mother's fears Ring a sad story in a bailie's ears. Her prayer is heard ; the order quick is sped, And, from that corps which hapless Porteous led,

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But when soft memory of other days

Steals on the fancy with delusive glow,
And while deep rapt we ponder on thy lays,
With music not their own the waters flow ;

Thy spirit hov’ring seems to rule the spell,
And our eyes glisten while our bosoms swell.

A brave detachment, probably of two,
Rush, like two kites, upon the warlike crew,
Who, struggling, like the fabled frogs and mice,
Are pounced upon, and carried in a trice.
But mark that motley group, in various garb-
There vice begins to form her rankling barb;
The germ of gambling sprouts in pitch-and-toss,
And brawl, successive, tells disputed loss.
From hand to hand the whirling halfpence pass,
And, every copper gone, they fly to brass.
Those polished rounds which decorate the coat,
And brilliant shine upon some youth of note,
Offspring of Birmingham's creative art,
Now from the faithful button-holes depart.
To sudden twitch the rending stitches yield,
And Enterprise again essays the field.
So, when a few fleet years of his short span
Have ripened this dire passion in the man,
When thousand after thousand takes its flight
In the short circuit of one wretched night,
Next shall the honours of the forest fall,
And ruin desolate the chieftain's hall;
Hill after hill some cunning clerk shall gain ;

Then in a mendicant behold a thane !
The fourth line in Campbell's Pleasures of Hope runs :

'Whose sun-bright summit mingles with the sky.' And in Telford's forgotten poom on Eskdale is a couplet :

* Here lofty hills in varied prospect rise,
Whose airy summits mingle with the skies.'

Good-night, and Joy be wi' ye a'. Good-night, and joy be wi' ye a';

Your harmless mirth has charmed my heart; May life's fell blasts out ower ye blaw !

In sorrow may ye never part !
My spirit lives, but strength is gone ;

The mountain-fires now blaze in vain :
Remember, sons, the deeds I've done,

And in your deeds I 'll live again!

When on yon muir our gallant clan

Frae boasting foes their banners tore,
Wha shewed himsel a better man,

Or fiercer waved the red claymore?
But when in peace-then mark me there-

When through the glen the wanderer came, I gave him of our lordly fare,

I gave him here a welcome hame.

The auld will speak, the young maun hear ;

Be cantie, but be good and leal ; Your ain ills aye hae heart to bear,

Anither's aye hae heart to feel.
So, ere I set, I'll see you shine,

I'll see you triumph ere 'I fa';
My parting breath shall boast you mine-

Good-night, and joy be wi' ye a'.

To the Memory of Burns.
Ah! who shall breathe upon the oaten reed

That pour'd its melody on winding Ayr,
And who shall claim thy mantle as his meed,
Gift of wild poesy, which thou did'st wear?

For rude and earthborn wight how little meet

So rich a mantle, and a note so sweet ! Thee, Bard of Coila, all her echoes mourn,

Hlid in thy silent cave and tuneless grove,
No more the (music) on the breeze is borne,
Mirth's jocund carol, or the plaints of love.

Dark Lugar's stream unheeded laves its bed,
And all that liv'd to thee seems dull and dead.

The song is supposed to be said or sung by an aged Highland chieftain to his clansmen, and, like Clan Alpin's l'ow, bears witness to the 'Celtic Renaissance' characteristic of the period. Boswell's views on the Scotch of contemporary poetry have been quoted above at page 796. His poems and songs were republished with a Memoir by R. H. Smith in 1873. Prefixed is a list by Mr Maidment of the publications and reprints of the Auchinleck press -- the Disputation between Knox and the Abbot of Crossraguel; the poems of Barnfield : works by Whetstone, Churchyard, T. Lodge; as well as a number of anonymous pieces and fragments, some of them from the Auchinleck library.


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