Rough Scan
PREFACE.

LIKE every other "Man of the Mearns," as well as of Angus and Aberdeenshire, the editor became acquainted with _Lindy_ and _Nory,_ as _Helenore_ is familiarly called, from hearing quotations of its proverbial lines, and recitations of its descriptive passages, in his very childhood.  As he advanced in years he enjoyed the pleasure of reading it for himself, sympathising with Lindy in his fall, and little dreaming that the depredations of the Kettrin were made in a neighbouring county, and at a comparatively recent period.  Becoming gradually acquainted with the literature of his country, he assigned to Ross a high place among those sons of song who have done honour to their "mither leed."  On examining different editions of the work, however, he was shocked at the great injustice that had been done the author by the inaccuracy with which, from the very first, it had been printed; and the wish naturally arose in his mind that he might have an opportunity of superintending a new edition of Ross's poems.  The knowledge of this desire extended from one friend to another, till at last he had the pleasure of receiving a request from a metropolitan printer to prepare a correct edition of the "Fortunate Shepherdess," together with some account of the author.  This request immediately suggested the propriety of visiting the scene of Ross's protracted labours, and of inquiring into the fate of the numerous manuscripts that he had submitted to the judgment of Dr Beattie.  The result of that visit, and of those researches, prosecuted during a season of convalescence, is now submitted to the public.
With regard to the text of the present edition, it may be necessary to premise, that two editions only were published during the life of the author.  The former of these was printed by Francis Douglas at Aberdeen, 1768; and it is evident that no proof-sheet had ever found its way to Lochlee for the author's corrections; for we have _Savilians_ for Sevitians, _standing_ for stending, _naughty_ for maughty, _eaten_ for etnach, _cauls_ for cauts, and many other blunders that evidently obscure, if not destroy, the sense.  The second edition, which did not make its appearance till 1778, was very neatly printed by J. Chalmers and Co., Aberdeen, and exhibits the remarkable pains that the author had bestowed in the interval to improve his work; for, if it would be exaggeration to say there is not a _line_, it would be none to assert that there is not a _page_ to which the hand of correction had not been freely applied.  These corrections are for the most part decided improvements: the lines are rendered more vigorous; some provincialisms are rejected; several couplets in different parts are omitted, and others are inserted; _Helenore_ is adopted as the principal title; Dr Beattie's complimentary verses are prefixed, but without his name; the "Advertisement" of the former edition is omitted; three of the songs are rejected; the division into three cantos is discarded; and a limited glossary is added.  The proof-sheets of this edition, however, had no more visited Lochlee than those of the former; and, consequently, we still meet with important typographical errors, such as _stand_ for fand, _linking_ for liking, _argue_ for urge, &c.; so that, although this edition is _facile princeps_, the editor ould not, as he had originally intended, reproduce it _verbatim_.  The third edition was printed by J. Boyle, Aberdeen, 1789; and, although it is said to be corrected, the number of typographical errors is increased; and _hellier_, in the glossary, is improperly explained a _whole_ year, instead of _half_ a year.  The fourth edition, which he has not seen, was produced in 1791.  The fifth was printed by Burnett and Rettie, Aberdeen, 1796.  It is printed on larger type; the dedication at the beginning, and the songs and glossary at the end are omitted ; but instead of these the reader is favoured with "Rural Love," by Francis Douglas; the "Farmer' Ha'," by Dr. Keith; and "Will and Jean," by Hector M'Neil.  There is also a peculiarity in this edition, which has been followed by several others; from the beginning to the one hundred and sixty-third line the first edition is followed, and thenceforward the second.  Was this in order to escape the consequences of pirating the author's edition, which had been entered in Stationers' Hall?  Into the description of Flaviana, the word _keely_ has been introduced instead of _feckly_, which occurs in the first three editions, and for which Sir Walter Scott, in his quotation of the passage, has substituted _gently_.  The next edition was printed at Edinburgh, by John Turnbull, 1804, and is still more typographically incorrect than any of its predecessors.  It had evidently been printed from the last edition; but, by using a smaller type room was made for the _Waes of War_ in the same number of sheets.  Passing over many cheap editions, we may just allude to that of David Chalmers, Aberdeen, 1811, evidently a reprint of the second edition by his father; and consequently more accurate than its predecessors; but the glossary was abridged, and _Woo'd and Married and a'_ was the only song that was retained.  This brings us to the most pretentious edition of the work that had yet been published, and which has ignorantly been regarded as the best - for the world is still deceived with ornament.  The Rev. Alexander Thomson, minister of Lintrathen, and grandson of the poet, published at Dundee, 1812, an edition of _Helenore_, 8vo, the price of which, on fine paper boards, was ten shillings and sixpence.  The poem alone was given, without either songs or glossary; and, instead of being a reprint of the second edition, it was a mere copy of such a compound edition as that of 1796; perpetuating the former typographical errors, such as _riesing_ for riefing, _ugly_ for hulgy, _stand_ for fand, _linking_ for liking; and to the old error, the _Savilians_, we have to add that of _Flavinia_, which is consistently preserved throughout the poem, although the word must have been as familiar to the editor as his own name, and might have indicated its improper treatment by refusing to conform to the rhythm of the line.  The great value of this edition consists in the extended biographical sketch of the author - although it is by no means free from inaccuracies - and the account of the manners of the people in the district in which he lived, as well as of those in the neighbourhood.  One cannot, however, but regret that Mr Thomson's literary taste was not as great as his musical, so that we might have learned at least as much of the poetry as of the music of the glen.  It would have been interesting to know at what time "Helenore" was composed; whether the leading incidents were founded on local occurrences; whether the scene, therefore, was laid in the neighbourhood, what were the author's times or habits of composition, his mode of tuition, and many other particulars that might have been easily supplied by one who had resided in the poet's family for the space of eight years.
The edition at present in the hands of the trade was published by Alexander Black, Brechin, 1851, under the superintendence of the late Mr Laing, author of "Wayside Flowers."  The poem was printed from the second edition; but the orthography was brought into conformity with more modern practice; only six stanzas of _The Rock_ were given; songs were attributed to Ross which he never wrote; great liberties were taken with one which he did compose; and the glossary was entirely omitted.
In the present edition the Editor has closely followed the second, being the last which received the author's corrections.  He has carefully corrected the typographical errors; introduced one passage which he thinks had been injudiciously rejected from the text, and preserved in foot-notes those lines that Ross had omitted in his careful revision.  All the songs, with one exception, that Ross subjoined to his last edition of the "Shepherdess" have been reprinted, and the glossary has been greatly extended.  The sketch of the author's life, containing documents hitherto unpublished, together with the notice of his inedited works, he now submits with deference to the public, assured that candour will admit his assiduity, and piety be pleased to find the character of Ross more fully placed in its proper light.
To the numerous friends whom he has personally visited, and to those with whom he has corresponded, in prosecuting his inquiries, he tenders the expression of his sincere gratitude for their kind hospitality and their valuable assistance.

ABERDEEN, 20_th October_ 1865.



GLENESK.

LOCHLEE, the parish to which we intend to conduct the courteous pilgrim, that he may view the home and the haunts of genius, lies in the north-west corner of Angus or Forfarshire, at the foot of that part of the Grampian range which is called the Binchinnin mountains.  Running from south-west to north-east, they divide the Lowlands from the Highlands; and, from their commanding altitude, they afford a brilliant view of portions of the contiguous counties.  Their summits, as might be expected from their height, for Mount Keen rises 4OOO feet above the level of the sea, present the familiar granite; their shoulders are wrapped in gneiss and mica schist, while their feet are enveloped in the old red sandstone.  There are frequent irruptions of trap and limestone, while galena and iron occasionally occur.  Scattered on the hills lie numerous masses of white quartz, with crystals shooting into their cavities, which seem to be much prized as ornaments, especially for the garden walls, in many parts of the district.  The hills are not generally either abrupt or majestic; but, being much crowded together, and presenting a rounded outline, they appear somewhat tame in their uniform garb of brown indigenous heath.  They afford, however, many a picturesque glen, cheered with its native burn, glowing with wild-flowers, and sending up the peaceful smoke from the cottage in the midst of a cultivated patch; large flocks of sheep speck the sides of the mountains, while the deer may occasionally be seen against the sky-line, peering from their summits.  The clouds, also, as they sail across the glen, pause for a little on the tops of the hills, and pay their tribute in a passing shower.
Lochlee may be reached either from the south or the north.  Should we start from Brechin, we might take occasion, when we reached Edzell, six miles on our way, to pay a visit to the stately ruins of Edzell Castle, which stand at a short distance to the left of the village.  It was one of the residences of the Lindsays, who at one time possessed extensive properties throughout Forfarshire, and of whom much curious and important information will be found in Lord Lindsay's volumes, entitled "The Lives of the Lindsays."  The Stirling Tower is nearly entire, and those remarkable sculptures in high relief that still adorn the garden walls, representing the emblems of the planets, the sciences, and cardinal virtues, must have presented an unparalleled instance of garden ornament in the seventeenth century.  The civil wars may be said to have brought this remarkable family to ruin; for, though they regained their footing, and struggled on for a season, it was only to sink into irretrievable ruin.  Their declension began from the day that the troops of Montrose entered Angus.  The last Laird of Edzell was David Lindsay, whose domain embraced the parishes of Edzell, Lochlee, Lethnot, and Navar, and whose downfall was hastened by his own recklessness and extravagance.  His property was purchased by the Earl of Panmure, about 1714, only to be forfeited next year, on his lordship's joining the standard of the Chevalier de St George, in his ill-concerted enterprise to regain the throne of his forefathers.  The property was then sold by Government to the York Buildings Company, from whom it was afterwards purchased, in 1764, by the nephew of the former Lord Panmure.  These brief statements will tend to illustrate several points which will afterwards occur in our narrative.
It may, however, be more agreeable to the visitor to start from Laurencekirk, where Ross taught for a time the parish school, and formed that acquaintance with Dr Beattie's father, which, as we shall afterwards find, stood him in good stead.
Laurencekirk is not devoid of interest; for with it are associated not only the name of its founder, Lord Gardenston, but also that of Thomas Ruddiman the grammarian, who was parish schoolmaster here before removing to Edinburgh; and that of Dr Beattie, "The Minstrel," who was born here, as well as that of his nephew of the same name, who was Professor of Natural History in Marischal College; here, also, and in the neighbourhood, struggled George Menzies, a poet of no mean rank, who emigrated to Canada in 1833, where he attained a respectable place as printer and journalist, and died in 1847; neither should we overlook Mr Stiven, whose admirable "boxes," patronised by Her Majesty, have carried the name of Laurencekirk both far and near.  Leaving Laurencekirk, (formerly called Conveth,) we cross the Luther, a clear trouting-stream, and tributary to the North Esk, and, on the left, we pass Thornton Castle, art of which bears the date 1531, the residence of Alexander Crombie, Esq., with its thriving plantations and sheltering hedge-rows; and, about a mile to the right, but not in sight from the road, there lie the old burial-ground of St Catherine and the royal palace of Kincardine, once the county town, where Kenneth III. resided, and is said to have been murdered by Finella, and where the draft of Baliol's resignation of his crown is also said to have been drawn up.  Pursuing our journey, we have next a full view of Fasque House, the residence of Sir Thomas Gladstone, Bart., situated on a rising ground, and commanding a magnificent prospect towards the south.  Within half a mile of the village, we pass Fettercairn House, the seat of Sir John Stuart Forbes, Bart., grandson of the author of the "Life of Dr Beattie," which was once the property of the Earl of Middleton, whose initials, and the date, 1666, still mark the oldest portion of the house.  At the distance of five miles from Laurencekirk, we reach Fettercairn, a neat and cleanly village, in which Her Majesty and her late lamented Consort spent a night, in September 1861.  In honour of this event, a stone arch, flanked by battlemented towers that rise to an elevation of forty-six feet, after a design by Mr Milne, St Andrews, to whose liberality the subscribers were greatly indebted, has been erected at the end of the bridge, which contributes an interesting feature to the locality.  Leaving Fettercairn, which may be regarded as having superseded the ancient Kincardine, we pass, on the right, Balbegno Castle, memorable as the residence of Ranulphus, the king's falconer, whose descendants are now represented by the noble family of Kintore.  Having passed through the hands of the Middletons and Ogilvies, it is now the property of Sir Thomas Gladstone.  A little farther on, we pass, on our left, the remains of the vitrified castle of Greencairn, which is supposed to have been the abode of the notorious Finella now we are overshaded by the woods of The Burn, the beautiful and romantic estate of Colonel M'Inroy; and soon, at the distance of four miles from Fettercairn, we join the Brechin road into Glenesk, in the vicinity of Gannochy Bridge.  This bridge, built in 1732, and widened in 1796, unites the rocky banks of the North Esk by a single arch.  The river, struggling and foaming through its rugged channel; the precipitous and lofty banks, adorned with trees and beautified with wild-flowers, produce a scene in no small degree picturesque; while the tale of the ghostly visitor, whose humanity urged the erection of the bridge, and whose engineering skill pointed out its proper site, adds the necessary ingredient to render the whole romantic.
Turning our faces towards the north, and skirting the policies of The Burn, we begin to perceive that we are winding ourselves into the bosom of those mountains which, at a distance, appeared as an effectual barrier against all intrusion.  Our road now necessarily lies along the banks of the river, from each side of which the heath-clad hills rise abruptly, leaving but contracted haughs on each side for the labour of the husbandman, who has evidently availed himself of every rood of land on which he could successfully operate.
About seven miles beyond Gannochy Bridge, however, we find ourselves descending into a beautiful valley, formed by an unusual recession of the mountains.  Just as we begin the descent, we observe, on the right hand, and at a short distance from the road, a farm-steading, and, in its immediate vicinity, the remains of two of those stone circles, that have been called Druidical, but which carry us back to practices that were familiar to the nations of the East before the twelve stones were erected at Gilgal, on the banks of the Jordan.  The place is called Colmealie, or the kirk on the height; and it is to the credit of those concerned, that these stones have not, as in many instances throughout the country, been broken up for building purposes, seeing they are the only records we possess of the religious or judicial customs of the earliest inhabitants of our country.  We now cross the Turret, a tributary to the Esk, and, in the angle formed by the tributary and its principal, we pass, on the left, Millden, with a handsome shooting lodge belonging to Lord Dalhousie, the extent of the building, with its cone-roofed turrets, giving it quite a castellated appearance.
The bold mountain-range, apparently terminating the opposite side, is called the Wirran Hill, which stretches away towards the west.  Having toiled our way up the opposite side of this sweetly-sheltered valley, "where the bright waters meet," we get upon a high level; and, in looking around, we are struck with a conical protuberance, placed on the brow of a hill, looming at a considerable distance before us toward our left, suggesting to the fancy the horn of the rhinoceros or the tantour of a Druse maiden.  That is Craigmaskeldie, rising from the western end of the Loch, which is in the terminus of our journey.  Although it is twelve miles distant, yet the mind is cheered by a glimpse of anything bearing so close a relation to Lochlee.
We are now moving along the side of the hill of Modlach, on the top of which stands the Masons' Tower, which for some time has been attracting our attention.  The brethren of "the mystic tie" walk to it on St Andrew's day and other great occasions, when it is the scene of no small hilarity: but, like every earthly object, it has its dark as well as its bright side; for in its vicinity, when the road went over the hill, the Rev. Mr Jolly, who had been celebrating a marriage at Mill Aucheen, and Miss Catherine Douglas, who had accompanied him, were overtaken, on their return to Tarfside, by a snow-storm, in January 1827, in which they lost their way, and wandered through the dismal night, till the lady expired in her companion's arms, and he himself, when found, was so much exhausted, that he must in a short time have shared the fate of his feebler companion.
Our way is now agreeably fringed with the graceful birch and the rowan, in all the richness of its creamy Ilowers, more especially when we reach the Birks of Ardoch, among which, upon the brae-side on our right, is snugly ensconced the cottage appropriately called The Retreat, which was built by the late Admiral Wemyss, and is now occupied as a shooting lodge.  A little farther on, but on the opposite side, we reach the well-sheltered and pleasantly-situated Free Church manse; then the Free Church itself, with its handsome tower, forming a conspicuous and suggestive feature in the landscape; and now, on the right hand, we come to the new and rather ornamental buildings comprehending the parish school and the teacher's house, forming a striking contrast to the hut appropriated to both these purposes at the end of last century.  Close by, and on the same side, we find a white two-storied house, the upper floor of which is the St Andrew's Mason Lodge, and the lower floor was occupied as a school, under the superintendence of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, so early as 1760.  On the opposite side of the road there are a few neat cottages, forming the village of Tarfside - the only one in the parish.  Here we find the post-office, the rendezvous of the Brechin carrier, together with the abodes of those handicraftsmen that are necessary for the convenience of every rural district; and here, we are happy to say, we find _not_ the sign of the taverner, alluring to the degradation of character, the ruin of morals, the fomentation of quarrels, the perpetration of crime, and hostility to every good and benevolent enterprise.  Here we get a glimpse of the neat Episcopal chapel, parsonage, and school the right, as we cross the Tarf, a little above its junction with the Esk.  This is a true Highland torrent, rising with great rapidity, and coming down with vast impetuosity.  Hence in 1829 it overflowed its banks, which look so steep, flooded the parsonage, and carried away the bridge, which was replaced by that which we are now crossing.  Our attention is becoming proportionally excited, as we are now four miles beyond Millden, and within five of Lochlee.
As we ascend the rising ground, we pass a labourer repairing the road, who was among the brave Highlanders in the battle of the Alma.  He describes the effect of the first volley of the Russians, as the Highlanders were pushing up the steep, as a perfect "shower of feathers" from their bonnets.  A ball perforated his own bonnet, and lodged in a bank, from which he afterwards extracted it, and brought it home.  But for the waving plumes of the bonnets, the enemy might have aimed lower, and a loss of brains, instead of feathers, would have been the inevitable result.  This reference to war naturally leads us to point out the "gray cairns" that are so numerous along the side of the Rowin hill on our right.  Tradition represents this as the scene of conflict between the foilowers of Bruce and those of Comyn, Earl of Buchan.  His poet and panegyrist, Barbour, has taken no notice of such a battle; but, at the time when it most probably took place, he states that the "nobill king," on his way to Inverury,

="Towart the Munth has tane hys way,
=Rycht stoutly, and in gud aray."

Over this Munth went the road from Fettercairn to Deeside, - hence called the Cairn o' Munth road, and alluded to by Beattie in his address to Ross:-

="An' chiels will come frae yont the Cairn
===O' Munth right vousty."

Buchanan, however, seems to countenance the tradition; for he states that the Earl of Buchan came up wth Bruce, and followed him into Glenesk.  Comyn, however, perceiving that Bruce was prepared to give him battle, sought an armistice in order to treat of peace, although his real object was to obtain assistance from England.  Bruce acordingly stuck close to the enemy's forces, "harassing them now in one place, now in another;" and these cairns may cover those that fell previously to hir advancing to Inverury, and gaining his decisive victory in 1308, when he

="Gert hys men bryn all Bouchane,
=Frae end till end, and sparyt nane,
=And heryit thaim in sic maner,
=That eftir that weill fyfty yer,
=Men menyt the Herschip of Bowchane."

Through the ravine on the opposite side of the river tumbles the romantic Effock; and near its junction with the Esk stands the farm-house of Gleneffock, once the abode of a firm friend of our poet.  Another mile brings us to the Branny, which hurries its tributary waters from our right to the Esk, and in the angle formed by the road and the stream we find the parish church of Lochlee, encompassed by its graveyard, surrounded by a wall.  A little onward, and a larger tributary, the Mark, comes rolling from the same side ; and in the angle formed by it and the Lee stands the tower of the old castle of Invermark.  We may note, however, that the Lee and the Mark, which had been previoudy joined by the Branny, here unite their waters, and become the North Esk, which now rolls along its rocky bed for fifty miles, when it falls into the sea three miles north-east of Montrose.  Invermark Castle was one of the strongholds of the "lichtsome Lindsays," that were once the most powerful family in the county, and wielded undivided sway in the glen.  This castle would command the passes from the west and north, and check the incursions of the caterans into the glen.  David of Edzell, ninth Earl of Crawford, died here in 1558; and here his grandson took refuge after his rencontre with the Master of Crawford on the streets of Edinburgh, and the "pitiful mistake" of killing Lord Spynie, his cousin, who was in the Master's company.
What remains of the castle is the strong tower, about fifty-two feet in height, and divided into four stories, with a turret in the south-east corner, called the gun-room, which commands the door; but the rowan, instead of the banner of the Lindsays, waves from the crumbling wall.  The grated gate, which it required the permission of the sovereign to erect, is said to have been manufactured of iron, found in the neighbourhood, and smelted at a place called Bonny Katie, on the banks of the Tarf.  This gate, opening upon the second floor, had been reached by a drawbridge, where there were all the usual buildings of such a habitation clustering around it; and the whole was approached through avenues of stately beech, which have long since wholly disappeared.  The castle is supposed to have been built in 1526, and continued to be inhabited till the end of the last century.  After the forfeiture of the Earl of Panmure, it became the property of the York Buildings Company, when their agent inhabited one part of it, and, previous to 175O, the minister of the parish, another.
We find on the opposite side the parish manse, which was erected in 1803, partly of materials derived from the castle, which from that time was left to fall before the corroding influence of the elements.  The manse is said to occupy the site of the famous public-house of Drousty, which had been as welcome to the peaceful traveller over Mount Keen, as the castle was terrible to the hostile invader.  No sooner do we hear the name of Drousty than we begin to repeat,-

="An' ilka Mearns an' Angus bairn
=Thy sangs an' tales by heart will learn,
=An' chiels will come frae yont the Cairn
==O' Munth right vousty,
=Gin Ross will be so kind as share in
==Their pint at Drousty."

In the neighbourhood we have Lochiemore, where the shop of the general merchant had once held out its varied commodities; and a saying connected with it is only valuable, in as far as it not very darkly indicates the manners of a former age.  When one neighbour asked another, "Well, are you going to the hurvh to-morrow?" the answer would not unfrequently have been, "I dinna think it, man; for there is neither snuff at Lochiemore, nor good ale at Drousty;" as they had taken occasion of being in the neighbourhood to replenish the mull before going to church, and to prove the goodness of the ale at the close of the service.  The receptacle of "snuff and tobacco" is now swept away, and the manse has supplanted the alehouse, "a consummation devoutly to be wished" throughout the land!
But we now observe on the brae before us the handsome shooting quarters of the Earl of Dalhousie, called Invermark Lodge, sheltered among the natural birches, and commanding an extensive view adown the glen.
Looking up Glenmark, which stretches away in a north-westerly direction, reminds us that most of the roads that the visitor might take, in proceeding from the upper districts of Deeside into Glenesk, would converge in this beautiful glen.  Our limited space compels us to restrict our description only to the route pursued by Her Majesty and Prince Albert when, together with their suite, they visited this interesting locality.  Having driven from Balmoral to the Bridge of Muick, in the neighbourhood of Ballater, the royal party there took ponies and proceeded along a cart road, used for driving peats from the hill of Pullach, through which, extending about a mile, there is scarcely a road at all, and then entered a bridle-road, which conducted them into Glenesk.  About six miles and a half from the bridge of Muick, the road crosses the Tanner, wending its way to the richly-wooded glen to which it gives its name.  The road from this point to its highest elevation on the shoulder of Mount Keen is very steep; and there, on the boundary of his extensive property, Her Majesty and party were met by the Earl of Dalhousie, at a distance of seven miles and a half from the bridge of Muick.  The road from this point is steep and rugged in its descent for upwards of a mile; and hence this portion of it is called The Ladder, having the Couternach Hill on the right, and the Ladder Burn on the left, hastening to join the Easter Burn, whose united streams soon afterwards flow into the Mark.  The party then reached Glenmark, which is now occupied by one of his lordship's keepers, and there took luncheon.  Her Majesty, having taken a sketch of Craig Doon, which lies to the north, resumed her progress; but, about three hundred yards from the keeper's house, she was arrested by a beautiful fountain, which has since been surrounded by six flying buttresses, composed of granite, which, rising to the height of about fifteen feet, form by their union an imperial crown, surmounted by a cross.  The structure is ten feet in width within the buttresses; and a basin, formed of sandstone, two feet eight inches in diameter, into which the water flows, bears, in raised letters, the following legend:-

="REST, TRAVELLER, ON THIS LONELY GREEN,
=AND DRINK, AND PRAY FOR SCOTLAND'S QUEEN."

A black marble slab, twelve inches by nine, inserted into the inside of one of the buttresses, near the base, is thus inscribed:-

="HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA AND HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE CONSORT VISITED THIS WELL, AND DRANK OF ITS REFRESHING WATERS, ON THE 20TH SEPTEMBER 1861, THE YEAR OF HER MAJESTY'S GREAT SORROW."

Resuming their journey along the beautiful banks of the Mark,

="Whose water feckly on a level slade,
=Wi' little din, but couthy what it made,"

the royal party, at the distance of three miles from the keeper's cottage, reached Invermark Lodge.  Her Majesty viewed the Loch from the rising ground, and had no doubt learned something of the Poet of the Glen, as a copy of "Helenore" was ordered for Her Majesty's use on her return to Balmoral.  Having visited the ruins of the castle, whose strategic position in commanding the mountain passes was at once perceived by His Royal Highness, the party at length reached the woods of The Burn.  Having there dismounted, they traversed part of the walks on the high and rocky banks of the Esk, greatly admiring the romantic scenery they disclose; and then, re-entering the highway, they pursued their journey, till, at the close of a delightful day, they reached the humble hostelry of Fettercairn.  The villagers never dreamt that they reposed that night so near the beloved "head that wears the crown;" and their consternation next morning cannot be easily conceived, when they found that Her Majesty had eluded the hearty expression of their loyalty.  It soon, however, took a more permanent form than that of huzzas, however loud and long.
Resuming our walk, we soon gain a slight elevation, and are unable to suppress the exclamation, "There's the loch!"  A little farther on we pass on the right the old manse, built in 1750, but now considerably enlarged, with its garden in front, and, in an appropriate erection in the corner, a live eagle of great dimensions; right before us stand the ruins of the old church; but where is Ross's cottage?  Its ruins lie behind these walls that form a sheepfold, and cannot be seen from the road.  Let us, then, first of all explore the ruins of the house in which our poet lived, and rhymed, and "taught his little school;" of which it might have once been said, as of another cottage near another Esk:-

="Laigh it was; yet sweet, though humble,
==Deck'd wi' honeysuckle round;
=Clear below Esk waters rumble,
==Deep glens murmuring back the sound."

The cottage we have so much longed to see can scarcely be said to exhibit its roofless walls, for, with the exception of the western end, they are all in a lamentable state of dilapidation.  The external length of the building is about forty feet, and its breadth sixteen feet.  It had consisted of only a ground-floor, divided into two apartments; the one of which was considered sufficient for the school of the parish, and the other for the residence of the teacher!  The door was in the middle, and the apartment in the west end was the kitchen, parlour, nursery, study, and bed-room of our poet.  In the front of this room, facing the south, was a comparatively large window, twenty-eight inches high, and twenty inches wide; and in the west end, towards the back of the house, was another, that absorbed all our interest, although it was but twenty inches in height and sixteen inches in breadth, for here stood the poet's table and chair; and in the sole of that little window would stand his Bible, together with a book or two in more immediate use, and those neatly-written, home-made little volumes, into which he transcribed the corrected copies of his poems, and which he would occasionally read to an intelligent friend, or lend among his neighbours, either for their spiritual benefit or their innocent amusement, according to the theme.  Here, when raising his head from his manuscript in search of a rhyme, or the more harmonious arrangement of a line, the nearest object that met his eye in summer would be the honeysuckle that he had trained around this window; and, more remotely, a reach of the loch, now unruffled by the breeze, and reflecting the sunbeams like a mirror; or, at other times, lashed into fury by the tempest, sweeping through the mountain gorge, and dashing its waters against its rocky ramparts, and sending a shower of spray a couple of miles down the glen!  Who, contemplating the alternate beauty and stern sublimity of such a scene, would not exclaim,

="Meet nurse for a poetic child!"

Yet the spectator will be surprised to find that the poet, to whom this fine sheet of water in its various and interesting aspects must have been so familiar, has not, in all his writings, made the slightest allusion to it, or drawn from its varying moods a single illustration.
Were we to attempt to account for a fact so singular, we might refer the omission to a desire on the part of the poet, which we shall find further indicated as we proceed, to prevent the identification of the scenes described in his works with the places in which the events he relates had actually occurred, in order to avoid the awkwardness or inconvenience of personal reference to the relatives of his principal characters.
The feal, that had been used for cropping, has now formed a sufficient amount of soil near the corner above the poet's window to afford footing and nourishment to a dwarf-like willow, that fondly casts its contorted branches around the endeared spot.  Standing at his door, Ross had the parish church at a short distance, and slightly to the west, between him and the eastern end of the loch; and the manse somewhat to the east of his humble abode.  Behind it rises a dark precipitous hill of gneiss, called the Priest's Craig, along the face of which, in a somewhat slanting direction, flows the Lawrie, which, at a distance, presents the appearance of a few small patches of snow lying on the mountain; but on a nearer approach we find that these are the indications of

="The silent water slipping from the hill."

When it reaches the plain it flows between the old school-house and the manse; and, murmuring along the east end of the churchyard, mingles its waters with those of the Lee at the Monk's Pool, from which salmon of considerable size are occasionally taken, and near which flint arrow-heads are occasionally found.  As he mused in his study, or taught in the school, the roar of the Lawrie would indicate to his experienced ear the amount of rain that had fallen among the hills.  At the end of his cottage, around which we found the foxglove and the viper's bugloss, with its turquoise flowers, in great luxuriance, whilst the nettles within rendered it difficult to enter, he had found pleasure, profit, and recreation in cultivating a little garden, of which not a vestige now remains.  Among the flowers we habitually meet in the rural garden, we have reason to believe that there was a highly-valued bed of camomile, which would not only afford him an agreeable seat of repose after he had finished the labours of the "noisy mansion;" but whose flowers would also be stored away among the native "simples" of the healing art.  Hence, in his "Helenore," when the squire recounts the pleasures that his shepherdess would enjoy, should she consent to become the mistress of "Bonny-ha';" telling her she might either pull apples or eat "hinny pears," or enjoy the privilege

="Upon the camowyne to lean her down,
=With roses red and white all husked round;"

who does not feel that the poet is, perhaps unconsciously, describing the simple but natural ingredients of his own happiness, which he therefore supposed could not fail to afford similar happines to others?
When visited by the author of "Attic Fragments," the cottage, although even then in ruins, still retained some interesting traces of its distinguished inhabitant; for he had the pleasure of seeing "the little bank of camomile" in the garden; and near the little window "he saw, or fancied he saw, the marks of his rude chair and little table in the clay floor."  He expresses his opinion that "Helenore" "contains some of the most romantic descriptions that ever were written, and preserves traces of customs and traditions not to be found elsewhere."
We know not how it may affect others, but we confess we should have enjoyed more pleasure in finding the cottage still inhabited, - perhaps by some lone widow of the glen, turning a loop in the front of the cottage from which had gone up so long the voice of prayer and praise, and so much been written in a cheerful spirit and a Christian strain, whilst some kind neighbour would of an evening have "delved in the yard" and preserved the poet's "bed o' camowyne," - than in seeing the walls bulging to their fall, employed as part of a sheepfold, and overgrown with nettles.  As Lord Dalhousie is understood to have prevented these walls from being entirely removed, would it not be a suitable tribute to genius to go a step farther and preserve them a little longer from the inevitable effects of neglect?  While scanning the interior of the west end, we descried on the left-hand side of the fireplace the outline of the "bole," or square aperture for holding small articles, well known to the thrifty housewife to be necessary to the comfort of the family; it has been carefully built up.
Th loch is somewhat more than a mile in length and about half a mile in breadth; in some places it is sixteen fathoms, or ninety-six feet in depth; but the general depth is from thirteen to fourteen fathoms, except at the western extremity, where a process of silting has evidently been for ages gradually going on.  For a considerable distance from the margin, the "sand bed," as it is appropriately called, is not covered by above two feet of water, but the next step might suddenly plunge the unwary explorer into a depth of as many fathoms.  The greatest depth, however, shows what an immense hole thus forms the bed of the loch, and forcibly suggests the idea of its having one day been the mouth of a volcano.  Towards the west, the view is bounded by Craigmaskeldie, which we formerly saw when emerging from the valley of Millden.  A hollow near the top of it is called the Bride's Bed, and tradition avers that this name commemorates the death of a bride at this place whilst the marriage-party was either going to Clova or returning from it.  At the base of the crag, the Lee comes brattling down the glen, having been previously joined by the Unich, at the distance of about two miles, and, in singularly fantastic links or windings, meanders through an alluvial plain covered with sprots, intermingled with cuckooflowers, which has evidently been formed by the matter brought from the mountains by the Lee, in the same manner that it is now forming the "sand bed."  The farm-steading at the south-west corner of the loch is Inchgrundle, where Dr Guthrie spends his annual summer holiday, musing on its banks or floating on its breast, and occasionally tempting the tinny dwell in the deep.  On the slope of the hill on the north side of the loch may still he traced the foundations of many of the cottages that had formed the hamlet of Glenlee, whose last inhabitant, Johnny Gordon, who died in 1852, was wont to declare that it was once the largest clachan in the parish.  Cairn Caidloch, the hill on the south side of the loch, rises so abruptly that for thirty days in winter the direct rays of the sun never fell on the humble abode of our poet.
Let us now make a more particular survey of the old church and its interesting kirkyard, standing on the very verge of the placid lake.  With the exception of the front, the other walls are pretty entire, being thick and strongly built.  At what period a church was first planted here, it would be difficult to ascertain.  The name Droustie, so familiar to all in the parish, as Droustie's Kirk, Droustie's Well, and Droustie's Meadow, together with the Priest's Craig and the Monk's Pool, would naturally suggest the name and days of St Drostan.  He was an abbot, and the nephew of St Columba; but, having withdrawn from the rule of the Abbey of Dulquongale in Ireland, he betook himself to Scotland, where he lived the life of a hermit, and "built a church in a place called Glenesk."  It has been contended that that place was Edzell; but the names of places in this locality would seem to form no inconsiderable plea in favour of Lochlee.  When Montrose was in this district he burnt the church, in 1645, so that we are probably looking on the ruins of the building that was reconstructed in its stead, and which, down to the year of our poet's death, was thatched with heath.  There had, been but one gallery, and that in the east end, which had been reached by a stair from the outside, so that the pulpit had probably been in the west end; and with these simple elements we can easily reproduce in our mind the former appearance of this house of prayer, and readily imagine that, in a stormy day, while the foam would float around the church, the dash of the waves would mingle with the voice of the preacher, or bear their part in the song of praise.  On entering the gate of the graveyard, we are confronted by the gravestone erected to the memory of our poet, and opposite to it that of his beloved wife, which will afterwards be described.  In the east wall, a little further to the north, we find a large mural tablet, containing a Latin inscription in verse, which is understood to be the composition of Mr Ross.  In the triangular portion at the top of the monument there are the usual skull, crossbones, sand-glass, and cherub's head.  Then we are informed, in Latin prose, that near that monument lie the ashes of John Garden of Midstrath, Esq , and of Catharine Farquharson, his dearly beloved wife, who were married 29th October 1696, and died at Invermark; he on the 26th April 1745, in the 73d year of his age, but she on the 24th November 1738, in the 63d year of her age.  Then comes the following verses:-

="Quos Hymen thalamo, teneris conjunxerat annis;
=Queisque dedit multos vivere laute dies;
=Peracto vitae, summo cum decore, cursu,
=Componit tumulo, nosce, viator, uno.
=Ast probos, providos, benevolos, atque benignos,
=Veridico vivens buccinat ore Fama."

The substance of which may be thus expressed:-

="Whom Hymen led to nuptial bed,
==And bless'd with length of days,
=When run their race, in joy and grace,
==In this one tomb he lays;
=But deathless Fame records their name,
==Illumed with Virtue's rays."

We are further informed that this stone was erected by one of their sons - the Rev. Robert Garden of St Fergus.  In front of this monument we find, on a long, flat stone, broken across and clamped, another poetical epitaph, which has also been ascribed to our poet.  It is so overgrown by the matted sward that we had difficulty in deciphering it; and, unless these epitaphs are renewed, they will soon be hopelessly illegible.  It covers the remains of Mr Charles Garden of Ballastreen, in Aboyne, who died in 1761, at the age of 90 years:-

="Entomb'd here lies what's mortal of the man,
=Who fill'd with honour life's extended span;
=Of stature handsome, front erect and fair,
=Of dauntless brow, yet mild and debonair;
=The camp engaged his youth, and would his age,
=Had cares domestic not recall'd his stage,
=By claim of blood, to represent a line,
=That, but for him, was ready to decline;
=He was the Husband, Father, Neighbour, Friend,
=And all their special properties sustain'd;
=Of prudent conduct, and of morals sound,
=And who, at last, with length of days was crown'd."

These families were related to Garden of Troup, and were tacksmen and factors for the Panmure and Glenesk portions of the forfeited estates; and Ross would feel a deeper interest in them, as being connected with his early patron.
We have another epitaph, composed by Ross, on the gravestone of Helen Milne, spouse to David Christieson, in Auchrony, who died in 1775, aged 64 years:-

="Stop, passenger, incline thine head,
=And talk a little with the dead;
=I had my day as well as thou,
=But worms are my companions now.
=Hence, then, and for thy change prepare,
=With best endeavour-earnest care;
=For Death pursues the(e) as a post;
=There's not a moment to be lost."

Another poetical epitaph apparently belongs to a member of the same family.  On the 4th of June 1751, Daniel Christieson, a comparatively young man, for he was only 36 years of age, had got himself so completely entangled in moor-burn, or the intentional burning of heath on the hills, that he was unable to extricate himself; and thus lamentalily perished "in the sparks that he had kindled."  This might, therefore, have been looked upon by his uncharitable neighbours as an evidence that vengeance had overtaken him for some unknown sin.  Ross, therefore, in the epitaph he wrote for this humble head-stone, took care to counteract such an uncharitable surmise, as well as to assert the sovereignty of God:-

="From what befalls us here below,
==Let none from thence conclude,
=Our life shall after death be so:-
==The young man's life was good;

="Yet heavenly wisdom thought it fit,
==In its all-Sovereign way,
=The flames to kill him to permit,
==And so to close his day."

The graveyard is surrounded by ash and rowan trees.  One of these, on the south side, presents a singular contrast to the luxurious foliage of the rest; for, after having attained the same height with its neighbours, it stands completely blighted and bleached.  Mr Jervise, in his interesting work, "The Land of the Lindsays," informs us that at the foot of this tree were laid the ashes of a young man, who had run a brief and bright, but wayward career; so that it may, in a manner, be looked upon as the most remarkable sepulchral monument of the whole.  We shall now gather the more striking features of the scene and some of their associations into the following sonnet:-

===TO LOCHLEE.

=Wending through crowded hills our heath-grown way,
==We gravely hail thy lonely Loch, dark Lee;
==Then view thy ruin'd church, whose blighted tree
=Pictures thy student's bright but hapless day.
==There Time's spent glass, gaunt skulls and transverse bones,
==With moral rhymes, adorn thy mossy stones,
=While thy soft wavelets and the sighing leaves,
==That once in concert swell'd the weekly psalm,
==Prolong thy shepherds' slumbers deep and calm;
=Here green the turf that wraps thy poet heaves,
=Who, wisely musing on thy tranquil face,
==When zephyr's whisper hush'd the tempest's roar,
==Sung through thy glen, the Lord would thus restore
=Peace, where He breathes the Spirit of His grace!

Such are the old church and graveyard of Lochlee, and such are some of the epitaphs which our author had composed to gratify the feelings of the relatives of the departed, and to "teach the rustic moralist to die."







LIFE OF ROSS.


HOWEVER much hero worship may be condemned by some, and ridiculed by others, yet the principle that prompts to it is deeply implanted in our nature, and may therefore be regulated, but not eradicated; and that regulating principle may be found in the statement of the apostle to the Gentiles, "They glorified God in me."
There are few, accordingly, that can contemplate with indifference the grave of the patriot, the spot of the martyr's immolation, the battle-field of freedom, or even the humble abode of one who spent a long life in imparting to the young the inestimable blessing of a religious education, shedding around him the powerful example of an upright life, and imparting both harmless amusement and useful instruction by the productions of his genius.  It was in obedience to this impulse that we recently found our way to the retired region whose wild and beautiful aspects must have been so familiar to the gaze of the author of "Helenore;" and we would now submit, as the result of our various inquiries, such events as diversified the "even tenor" of his active and useful, but retired and studious life.
ALEXANDER ROSS was born on the 13th April 1699, in the parish of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen.  His father, Andrew Ross, subtenant of Torphins, sent his son at an early age to the parish school, which was then taught by Mr Peter Reid, who earned a high reputation for assiduity in the discharge of his office, and success in imparting instruction to his pupils.  It was the practice, as the Latin class advanced in their studies, not only to teach them to analyse and translate select passages from the poets, but also to require them to commit those lessons to memory; and, as "the new cask, thus early seasoned, would long retain the odour," so Ross, after he had attained the age of eighty years, would repeat some of these favourite passages with great pleasure; and there can be little doubt that his early acquaintance with Virgil, and his admiration of his pastorals, had no small influence on his own compositions, just as there is reason to believe that some of his earliest attempts at versification were translations of select odes of Horace into English, without any other object than that of the young bird when it "snatches the fearful joy" of exercising its new-fledged wings.
There had long been, and still remains in this county, even among parents in humble life, a strong desire, excited perhaps by the facility of obtaining a classical education at the parish schools, to afford their sons, or at least one of them, a university education.  The hope of accomplishing this object would be fostered byt he possibility of the young aspirant's obtaining, by competition in Latin composition, one of those bursaries or exhibitions which are at once the reward of merit, and the means of enabling the student to prosecute his literary and scientific career.
Thus young Ross, having studied Latin about four years, went, as a matter of course, to the competition at Marischal College, Aberdeen, in November 1714; and, from the progress he had made under his excellent teacher, he was successful in obtaining a bursary, which would be duly paid to him for four successive sessions.
What progress he made in the subjects then studied at college we have no means of ascertaining, although for his own satisfaction he was known, even in advanced life, to peruse the New Testament in the original.  During part of his course, Thomas Blackwell, William Meston, and Colin M'Laurin were profesors-names that are all well known in the republic of letters and science.  On completing his college curriculum, he received the degree of Master of Arts, in the year 1718; and, having been recommended by a gentleman who had formed a favourable opinion of his attainments, he entered the family of Sir William Forbes of Craigievar, who then resided at Fintray House, in the capacity of family tutor.  How long he continued in this situation is uncertain; but there is no doubt that he gave satisfaction to his employer, both from Sir William's saying on one occasion of paying him his salary, "I am very well satisfied with your deportment," and from his assuring him that, should he study divinity, his interest would not be wanting in promoting his views; and, when it is considered that Sir William had no fewer than fourteen benefices in his gift, the promise had a very important significance.  Young Ross, however, notwithstanding this stimulating promise, did not professionally study divinity, modestly alleging his unfitness for the responsible office of the holy ministry.
After leaving Fintray house, where his manners received a polish that they ever after retained, he taught for some time the parish school of Aboyne, not far from Baremuir, the place of his nativity, and afterwards in that of Laurencekirk, where he became acquainted with the father of Dr Beattie, whom Ross was wont to describe as a man of great natural acuteness, of surprising knowledge, and of no mean poetical powers.  Mr Ross, however, could not have continued long in each of the situations through which we have now traced his course; for in 1726 he married Jane, daughter of Charles Catanach, farmer in the parish of Logie-Coldstone, and presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil, and therefore probably the object of an early attachment.  One of hisbiographers has surmised that the reason why ROSS did not study divinity was, that he preferred a wife to the church; but when it is considered that young men have generally resolved what profession they are to follow before the end of their philosophical course, and then enter on their professional studies, and that Ross might have passed through his divinity course in four sessions, and thus have been a preacher of the gospel for other four years before he was married, the improbability of such a reason at once becomes apparent.
Although his wife, who was a grand-daughter of James Duguid, Esq. of Auchinhove, was avowedly of Popish principles; yet those disagreeable consequences that generally result from such unequal unions seem to have been escaped, partly by the liberality of Mrs Ross, who occasionally attended the Established Church with her husband, and made no objection to their children being trained up in the Protestant doctrines-the result, perhaps, of her distance from priestly interference; and partly by the pious and amiable character of her husband.
About six years after his marriage, Mr Ross, through the interest of Alexander Garden, Esq. of Troup, obtained the parish school of Lochlee, where he pursued the important avocation of a teacher during the remainder of his protracted life.  One cannot but regret that a man who possessed such natural abilities and eminent attainments, at least in the Latin language, and whose qualifications had at an early period become known to men of influence, should thus have been permitted to lead the life of a recluse, and to obtain a reward so inadequate to his merit, especially as it was only in the profession he had chosen that he could have any hope to rise; for it would have been a very different matter had he qualified himself for the ministry, as he might then have expected any day that one of the numerous presentations in the gift of Sir William Forbes might have been put into his hands.  Whilst we have no desire, however, to overestimate his emoluments, yet, when the whole circumstances of his case are taken into consideration, they were not so insignificant as some have hastily represented them; and perhaps they were not inferior to those of other parish schools in the districts with which he was acquainted.  The school-house was latterly by no means centrical: so that the children of only five or six families could conveniently attend, and their fees, accordingly, must have been but trifling; but, indeed, we do not see how the school-room could have contained more scholars than the average that these few families would have afforded.
In giving us an account of Ross's emoluments, his grandson, whose information on this matter ought to have been accurate, has not distinguished the allowance of the "reader and catechist" from that of the schoolmaster.  At the beginning of the present century, the salary of the schoolmaster of Lochlee was £22, 6s. 8d. sterling, together with a house and garden; but, during Ross's incumbency, the highest legal allowance was barely the half of that sum.  Then the allowance formerly granted to the "reader and catechist," and afterwards transferred to the schoolmaster, was one hundred merks, or £5, 11s. 1 1/3d. sterling, six bolls of meal, and "feal and divot in the hill of Invermark, together with six acres of arable and pasture land, in lieu of the two crofts and pasture for twenty-sheep" mentioned in the original grant; as session-clerk and precentor he would, according to the rate at the beginning of this century, have perhaps £2 more; and then he would have a trifle for school-fees.  When we were in Lochlee, through the exertions of a gentleman who entered warmly into our inquiries, we had an opportunity of seeing two documents drawn up and signed by Mr Ross as Notary Public-a fact that had escaped the notice of his former biographers; and, through the kind attention of Mr Stuart, General Register House, we are enabled to give the following extract from the Register of Notaries Public, which is not without interest:- "23 July 1730, Alexander Ross, son to Andrew Ross, subtenant in Torphins;" which we have no doubt refers to our author; as the date would indicate that he had seen the propriety of taking this step four years after his marriage, as he might anticipate that this office would contribute somewhat to his income, while it shows his activity and prudence in availing himself of all legitimate means for the respectable maintenance of his family.  All these considerations prove that our poet's emoluments were no doubt on an average with those enjoyed in the district around him by the members of the profession which he had chosen to adopt; but let it not for a moment be supposed that we think such an allowance was sufficient for a graduate of a university, discharging the important functions of an instructor of youth, as well as other duties in the service of the Church, especially when we know that the inadequacy of such remuneration called for legislative interference about 1803, and that the salary of the parish schoolmaster of Lochlee was doubled about that time.  All things considered, however, our poet occupied a far more congenial and comfortable position than did Robert Burns, in "gauging clarty barrels" for £50 a year, with a deduction of £10 or £12 of expenses.  Thus genius may be feasted, applauded, intoxicated, ruined - anything but remunerated!  In connexion with this subject, we may here advert to a circumstance which is not only characteristic of the simplicity of Ross's mind, but as indicating a sagacity that was not displayed by the united wisdom of the British legislature till nearly a century afterwards.
We allude to the importance he attached to the registration of births, and the efforts he made to counteract the carelessness or indifference of the parishioners.  We find the following entry, which supports these statements, in the session-book, as quoted by Mr Jervise:- "I designed to have kept a regular accompt of the baptisms of this parish during my incumbency as session-clerk and precentor; but no man, whether attending kirk or meeting-house, ever once desired me to do that office for him, or ever gave me the dues for enrolling their children, except David Christieson of Auchrony, that paid me for recording his eldest son, John; and even the few that are recorded were done by informing myself of their names, and the time of their baptism, the best way I could, so that I hope the world will excuse me when the register is found deficient as to this particular."  Yes, the world readily excuses the imperfection of the register, seeing that it required an Act of Parliament, and a penalty of twenty shillings, to compel parents to perform the duty that the parishioners of Lochlee neglected; the world applauds thy disinterestedness that spontaneously forced a favour on those families whose children's names thou didst record; and the world regrets that thou shouldst have been thus deprived of the slight addition that the dues arising from these registrations would have added to thy slender income!
The only literary companion with whom Mr Ross could have had any intercourse for the greater part of the year was his parish minister.  The parish of Lochlee was not erected into an independent charge till 1723, when the Rev. Mr Garden was appointed minister.  As the Rev. Mr Blair, who is said to have been the first to institute a Sabbath-school in Scotland, and was one of those who appended their signatures to Willison's "Fair and Impartial Testimony," was translated to Brechin in 1733, Mr Ross could have had little intercourse with him, as the one must have been leaving when the other was arriving.  Mr Blair was succeeded by the Rev. John Scott, who baptized Mr Ross's eldest daughter in 1734, and who died suddenly near Tarfside, on his way to the presbytery of Brechin, 24th January 1758.  At the time when Mr Ross became an author, the minister also bore the same name, came originally from the same parish, and had been a schoolfellow of our poet.  He had reached the age of sixty-six years before he was advanced to the honour of a parish minister; yet he occupied that position for twenty-one years.  There are many anecdotes respecting him yet afloat in the district, one or two of which may be narrated, as indicating the manners of that period.  On one occasion, while he was preaching, a puff of wind deranged the leaves of his sermon, and he was unable to find the place where he had been so unceremoniously interrupted.  Looking down to one of his hearers who had an excellent memory, and who was sitting with his plaid drawn up about his cars, the minister exclaimed, "You are sleeping, Bush!"  "Od, I'm nae the like, sir," was the reply.  "What were the last words that I said, then?"  Bush immediately told him ; the minister found the place, and then proceeded.  The other anecdote refers to our poet, and has been variously told, although the point is the same, and we shall tell it as we last heard it.  A gentleman having come to see Mr Ross after he had become known by the publication of his poem, on inquiring for Mr Ross, was directed to the minister, who was within sight.  After entering into conversation, the minister discovered the stranger's mistake, and in his usual repetitive manner said, "I doubt, I doubt ye're wrang.  I'm only the minister!"  It is also reported that, when "Helenore" was published, he told the author he had read his work, but did not much approve of it, as it was not true; to which the author replied, that he presumed it was not more deficient in that respect than the "AEneid" of Virgil, or the "Gentle Shepherd" of Ramsay.  It is said, however, that he gave satisfaction to his hearers by his plain and sound doctrine; but it is evident there could have been but little sympathy between him and our author in the regions of poetry.
During the dreary months of winter, when the snow lay so thick that the roads were impassable, and for thirty days the shade of the opposite mountain cast its gloom on the school-house, the office of the teacher must have been a sinecure, when he would, however, have abundant leisure to gratify his literary tastes.  One of the recreations of the inhabitants of the glen during this dreary period, was derived from the strains of the violin of John Cameron, from Glenmuick, who continued to pay them an annual visit for upwards of forty years, when some enjoyed the exhilarating dance, and some acquired from him the art of performing on his instrument.  Mr Ross appears to have enjoyed the company of Cameron, who was a man of unblemished character, and could speak of not a few of the customs of the Highlanders that were even then beginning to disappear; such as the practice of the nearest relatives leading off a solemn dance, to a plaintive melody, immediately after the death of a member of the family.  Although this practice had prevailed in a district not more than sixteen miles distant from Lochlee, yet no tradition records that it was ever known in this district.  As Mr Ross himself was also a performer on the violin, he would the more appreciate the music of Cameron, and probably enjoy the singing of some of his own songs to the accompaniment of the more experienced musician.
In the summer season, however, the case was very different; and we should form a very erroneous conception of Ross's condition did we not advert to the company with whom he was then accustomed to meet in the glen.  "I may venture to say, indeed," remarks his grandson, "that never was there a man in his station more taken notice of, and more esteemed, not only on account of his genius as a poet, and his abilities as a scholar, but the decency and propriety of his conduct, his genteel address, and particularly his readiness to oblige."
We may briefly advert to some of those parties who were thus wont to visit the district, and to show respect for our author.
Many invalids were attracted to the glen in summer, not only by the beauty of the scenery and the purity of the air, but also for the benefit of goats' milk; while others came to enjoy the pleasures of shooting and fishing.  As the Lee when it issues from the loch is but a small stream, it seems to have occasionally formed part of the amusement of parties thus brought together to hire some of the country people to close up the apperture by which it issues from the loch; the bed of the river was then left dry between the loch and the Mark, and no small amusement was created in catching the trouts and eels that were thus left aground in the bed of the stream.  Our author, who was a keen fisher, was always invited by the gentlemen to join in the sport, and to dine with them in the evening afterwards.
The year 1767 was especially rendered memorable to the dwellers in the glen by the appearance, for the first time, of the Earl and Countess of Northesk, with several members of their family, who took up their residence at Gleneffock, then rented by Mr Thomas Jolly, a man of education and polite manners, with whom our poet lived on very intimate terms.
A few days after their arrival, Lord Northesk called on Mr Ross, complimented him on his works, which he could have examined only in manuscript, and invited him to dine.  He was much gratified with the kindness and attention they showed him; and, during the time they remained in the glen, he was frequently invited to partake of their hospitality.
Another proof of the estimation in which Ross was held may here be noticed, although not in the strict order of time.  The Earl of Panmure, having visited this remote corner of his extensive property, was met at Droustie, where he intended to dine and spend the night, by a number of his tenantry, headed by the minister and the schoolmaster.  After mutual congratulations had been exchanged, the innkeeper informed the company that a repast had been prepared for them at his lordship's desire.  Mr Ross modestly went along with the rest; but his lordship immediately sent for him, placed him near himself, and frequently conversed with him.  Next day, his lordship, intending to make the tour of the loch, kindly invited Mr Ross to join the party.  He accordingly set out with them; but as he was now bordering on eighty, and the road was very rough, he began to fall behind.  His lordship, on observing the circumstanes, very considerately desired him to return, and to be sure to meet him at dinner.
Sir James and Lady Carnegie of Southesk also spent some weeks for several years in the glen, and always treated the schoolmaster with much kindness and regard, which he humbly conceived rather proceeded from condescension on their part than from any merit in the object of their attention.
But the important event was now approaching which was to extend the knowledge of Ross's genius and character far beyond the limits of his romantic glen, to which he has undoubtedly added an additional charm.  We have seen that Ross was noticed and esteemed long before any of his compositions were given to the public through the press; and we have also learned that he was a composer of verses from his youth.  As some of the gentlemen who showed so much regard to Ross did so not only on account of his character, but also his genius, several of the compositions of Ross must, therefore, have been circulated before they were printed.  His songs would be handed about in manuscript, or transmitted from memory to memory among the maidens of the district.  Now that we have examined several of his compositions, written in his own neat and careful hand, and stitched up in separate fascicles, well dog-eared, and deeply imbrowned with the reek of the ingle, we have little doubt that these had circulated among the cottages of the glen; and this conviction has, in some measure, diminished our regret that some of them, such as his "Religious Pastorals," had not been committed to the press, that they might have extended sound theological and moral lessons, as based on doctrines which, we fear, were not then so common as now; for Ross had clearly imbibed evangelical principles, and believed that the true source of obedience was love to Him who died for our sins, and rose again for our justification.  Neither can it be properly said that he had never written a single line with a view to publication, but only to amuse a solitary hour for the preface to his "Religious Pastorals," dated 1754, or fourteen years before the publication of the "Fortunate Shepherdess," intimates that, at first, the author had no intention of publication; but, after the work had lain by him for some time, a reperusal of it led him to think that it might "creep forth and show itself without any ostentation among the papers that were designed for general good."
Be this, however, as it may, in 1766, urgent business brought him to Aberdeen.  Six years before that date, Dr James Beattie had been installed Professor of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen, and had published a volume of poems, of which a new edition was demanded in the summer of that very year; but, although "The Minstrel" was on the way, yet the first canto did not appear till five years afterwards.  Mr Ross, to whom these things could not be unknown, relying on his early acquaintance with Dr Beattie's father, and the congeniality of their poetical temperament, and carrying with him his little manuscript volumes, sought and obtained an interview with the professor.  Beattie was not less pleased with Ross himself, than gratified by the information he received from him respecting his father, who had died when the professor was so young that he scarcely remembered that he had seen him.  Such an interview must have been highly gratifying to Beattie, who readily undertook to examine the manuscripts that Ross had brought with him, and to select such pieces as he thought most worthy of publication.  At last this selection, consisting of the "Fortunate Shepherdess," and a few songs, was printed and published at Aberdeen by J. Boyle, in 1768.  Ross realised about £2O by the speculation, which appears to have far exceeded his expectations.
Prefixed to the work was the following "Advertisement," to which Dr Beattie adverts in his letter; but which has been omitted in all subsequent editions:-
"It would be unpardonable in the author to let slip this opportunity of making his just acknowledgments to the great number of gentlemen and ladies who have by their subscriptions so generously promoted the publication of this little work.
"Sensible as he is of the defects in his performance, he has little to hope from the most candid criticism.  To set before the readers' eyes, in their plain and native colours, a variety of incidents in low life, was what he had chiefly in view.  How far he hath succeeded in his design, every reader will judge for himself.
"Sequestered from the polite world, and, by his situation in life, barred from society, he found much amusement in observing the natural effects of the human passions on the conduct and manners of plain country people.  And though that depravity of manners, so generally and so justly complained of by moral writers, hath found its way into the cottages of the poor; yet one-he hopes he may say it without offence-meets sometimes with a degree of innocent simplicity and honest meaning among the lower ranks of people in remote parts of the country, which he can hardly expect to find in large towns, or among the higher ranks of mankind.
"He hath endeavoured to support the characters introduced in the best manner he could, and to give the various scenes such colouring as to him seemed just and natural.  He is sensible that in some places he bath been rather too prolix; but hopes the reader will forgive that fault, when he considers how unwillingly the mind turns away from an interesting object, and that even this prolixity is characteristic of the people he describes; for the lower ranks of mankind cannot think or speak in that elegant and concise manner which distinguisheth those in higher spheres of life.
"With regard to the conduct of the story in general, the author will possibly be blamed for throwing so many rubs in the way of the young couple he makes so fond of one another from their infancy, and much more for disappointing their hopes in the conclusion.  To obviate this, in part, he shall only observe that the incidents which bring all this about to him seemed possible and natural; and he thinks this important lesson is inculcated by the trouble and disappointment that Rosalind met with, that when two young people have come under strict engagements to one another, no consideration whatever should induce them to break their faith, or to promise things incompatible with keeping it entire.  And besides, though they are disappointed, they are not unhappy, for all things are settled to their mutual satisfaction.
"Though many of the phrases are broad, the author has endeavoured, as much as possible, to avoid gross indelicacies; and the reader will consider, that he represents only the expressions and sentiments of plain country people.  Many of them, he is sensible, will not bear to be tried by the rules of grammar.  In many cases to have altered would have been nearly the same as to have spoiled them.  Most of them, he imagines, will be understood by those who are conversant in the old Scottish language and our present provincial dialects.
"To conclude, this small work has lain many years by the author, and copies of the manuscript had got abroad.  One of these was seen by a gentleman, who desired it should be published, and wrote to the author to that effect.  As he was conscious that the tendency and design were moral, however faulty the execution, his objections were easily got over.  Had he printed a list of those subscribers who do him so much honour, he would have laid himself open to the imputation of the greatest vanity.  He chooses to impute the favourable reception which the proposals met with rather to the benevolence of those ladies and gentlemen who interested themselves in his favour, than to any merit in his work; and of this obligation they have laid him under he shall always retain the most grateful sense."
Dr Beattie, however, as a true friend, did not satisfy himself with merely exercising his judgment and taste in the selection of the pieces that composed the volume, but also wrote a letter in commendation of the work, under the _nom de plume_ of Oliver Oldstyle, together with the only poem in the Scottish language that he ever published, and sent them to the editor of the _Aberdeen Journal,_ in which they both appeared under date June 1, 1768.  These verses have ever since been prefixed to the "Fortunate Shepherdess."  Dr Beattie, in forwarding a copy of the work to Dr Blacklock, thus speaks both of the work and of the author:-

==DR BEATTIE TO DR BLACKLOCK.

==="ABERDEEN, _July_ 1, 1768.

"I have at last found an opportunity of sending you the Scottish poems which I mentioned in a former letter.  The dialect is so licentious, (I mean, it is so different from that of the south country, which is acknowledged the standard of broad Scotch,) that I am afraid you will be at a loss to understand it in many places.  However, if you can overlook this inconvenience, together with the tediousness of some passages, and the absurdity of others, I doubt not but you will receive some amusement from the perusal.  The author excels most in describing the solitary scenes of a mountainous country, and the manners and conversation of the lowest sort of our people.  Whenever he attempts to step out of this sphere, he becomes absurd.  This sphere is, indeed, the only one of which he has had any experience.  He has been for these forty years a schoolmaster in one of the most sequestered parishes in the Highlands of Scotland, where he had no access either to company or books that could improve him.  His circumstances and employment confine him at home the whole year long; so that his compositions, with all their imperfections, are really surprising.  My personal acquaintance with him began only two years ago, when he had occasion to come to this town, on some urgent business.  He is a good-humoured, social, happy old man; modest without clownishness, and lively without petulance.  He put into my hands a great number of manuscripts in verse, chiefly on religious subjects.  I believe Sir Richard Blackmore himself is not a more voluminous author.  The poems now published seemed to me the best of the whole collection.  Indeed, many of the others would hardly bear a reading.  He told me he had never written a single line with a view to publication, but only to amuse a solitary hour.  Some gentlemen in this country set on foot a subscription for his Scottish poems; in consequence of which they were printed; and he will clear by the publication about twenty pounds, a sum far exceeding his most sanguine expectations; for I believe he would thankfully have sold his whole work, for five.  In order to excite some curiosity about his work, I wrote some verses in the dialect of this country, which, together with an introductory letter in English prose, were published in the _Aberdeen Journal;_ and the bookseller tells me he has sold about thirty copies since they appeared.  I have sent you enclosed a copy of the verses, with a glossary of the hardest words.  Having never before attempted to write anything in this way, I thought I could not have done it, and was not a little surprised to find it so easy.  However, I fear I have exhausted my whole stock of Scottish words in these few lines; for I endeavoured to make the style as broad as possible, that it might be the better adapted to the taste of those whose curiosity I wished to raise.  You will observe that Mr Ross is peculiarly unfortunate in his choice of proper names.  One of his heroes is called by a woman's name, Rosalind.  The injurious mountaineers he called Sevitians, with a view, no doubt, to express their cruelty; but the printer, not understanding Latin, has changed it into Sevilians.  The whole is incorrectly printed."
It would appear, from this letter, that the subscription for Ross's Scottish poems had been commenced by some gentlemen before Ross had enjoyed the benefit of Beattie's taste in making the selection; and to them, therefore, is due the credit of having urged him forward as an author.  As Dr Beattie has stated that most of the pieces that he had examined were of a religious character, it is evident that he had seen the very manuscripts that are yet preserved.  His remark, that he was as voluminous an author as Sir Richard Blackmore is a mere piece of exaggeration, or a prettily-turned sentence in an evidently studied letter; for one of Sir Richard's goodly tomes would have swallowed up all the little manuscripts of our modest poet. We cannot help smiling at the affectation of our professor, who had, at that time, little more than turned his thirtieth year, in saying that he had exhausted his Scottish vocabulary in writing a few stanzas, and that he wondered how easily he could write the language he had daily used during, at least, the half of his life!
Blacklock, however, to whom it was sent, and whose copy, with Beattie's verses pasted to the end, we have had the p!casure of using in preparing our edition, seems to have thought more highly of the performance than the depreciatory language of Beattie might have led us to expect; for Dr Irving tells us that he had been assured by one of Dr Blacklock's pupils, that the doctor regarded it as equal to the pastoral comedy of Ramsay.  This is the only fact we have derived from Irving's sketch of Ross's life, which abounds in inaccuracies and uncertainties.  The lofty style in which he tells us that the verses prefixed to "Helenore" were ascribed to Dr Beattie, "on what foundation I know not," is amusing, as the "Life of Beattie," by Forbes, containing the letter we have quoted, was published four years before Irving's "Lives."  Currie's "Life of Burns" had also made its appearance; and in one of the letters the poet assigns the authorship to Beattie, a fact which he had probably learned from Dr Blacklock, on his coming to Edinburgh, two years after Ross had been joined to "the sons of the morning."  The high appreciation of Ross by Burns is expressed in several of his letters.  In one of them he says-
"I will send you the 'Fortunate Shepherdess' as soon as I return to Ayrshire, for there I keep it with other precious treasure.  I shall send it by a careful hand, as I would not for anything it should be mislaid."
In addressing the Rev. John Skinner of Linshart, he says - "There is a certain something in the old Scotch songs, a wild happiness of thought and expression, which peculiarly marks them, not only from English songs, but also from the modern efforts of song-wrights, in our native manner and language.  The only remains of this enchantment, these spells of imagination, rests with you.  Our true brother, Ross of Lochlee, was likewise 'owre cannie' - a 'wild warlork' - but now he sings among the 'sons of the morning.'"  This is high praise from such a master of song as Burns; and although we decline the invidious task, it would not be difficult to point out in his writings evidences of the impression that Ross's poems had produced on his memory.
In another letter, in which he alludes to the information that a lady was then engaged in making a picture of the muse of his district, Coila, he says - "I am highly flattered by the news you tell me of Coila.  I may say to the painter who does me so much honour, as Dr Beattie says to Ross the poet, of his muse Scota, from whom, by the by, I took the idea of Coila, ('tis a poem of Beattie's in the Scots dialect, which, perhaps, you have never seen,)

='Ye shak your heid; but o' my fegs,
=Ye've set auld Scota on her legs;
=Lang had she lain wi' beffs an' flegs,
==Bumbazed and dizzie;
=Her fiddle wanted strings an' pegs;
==Wae's me, poor hizzie!'"

The acknowledgment of Burns that he borrowed the idea of his Coila in the "Vision" from Ross's Scota, is honourable to his candour, as no one would have ever suspected the likeness; for the "Vision" is one of the highest flights of his imagination, and exhibits his great descriptive powers and elevated conception of his aerial visitant, whereas Ross, as if playfully drawing a comparison from his own profession, represents his muse as humbly superintending a writing-class, in which

="Some were writing fair, and, like mysel, some foul."

After this frank acknowledgment, and his high admiration of Ross as "an auld warlock," it is strange that, in a poem on pastoral poetry, in which he asks whether "nane wad blaw the shepherd's whisle mair?" he replies-

="Yes, there is ane, a Scottish callan;
=There's ane; come forrit, honest Allan,"

and makes no reference to Ross, although his first friend, Blacklock, regarded his "Helenore" as equal to the celebrated pastoral of Ramsay.
The first edition, as Beattie has remarked, was most inaccurately printed; for, evidently, no proofsheet had ever found its way to the author.
The work, however, had been favourably received not only throughout the glen, but also in the neighbouring counties, to the inhabitants of which the language was not merely intelligible but familiar, as the dialect in which they daily spoke.
It was ten long years, however, before another edition was called for; and during the interval our author had been busy in improving his work in anticipation of this event.
The new edition, accordingly, exhibits several retrenchments, as well as additions, especially that of Bydby's amusing dream, in which the author has no doubt embodied the notions of the district with respect to "the fair folk."  Some of the songs in the former edition are removed, and a glossary is added; the original preface is also omitted, and Dr Beattie's verses are prefixed, but without his name.
The admirable fairy-dream of the forlorn Bydby has been considered as the highest flight of our author's imagination.  Beattie had introduced a fairy scene in the form of a dream also into his "Minstrel;" but the difference between the two is as great as between two different races of aerial beings.  The Minstrel, in his lonely wanderings, indulges his fancy in picturing the scenes of fairyland, as suggested by the "haunted stream," till sleep overpowers him, and his imagination, in his dreaming state, continues the train of thought which he had been indulging when the setting moon

="Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep."

The vision is then described in two stanzas, in which "the host of little warriors," with golden targes and diamond lances, march to the sound of the warbling wire and martial pipe; while "the troop of dames" advance from their myrtle bowers, and "thrid the flying maze" with their martial partners.  All this, although stately and elegant, is comparatively distant and cold, but in keeping with the character of the hero and the tone of the poem.  In poor Bydby's dream, however, extending through upwards of eighty lines, Ross has had equal regard to the character of the dreamer and the traditions of the district.  His "little foukies" are playful elves, dancing, eating, and drinking, with whom the hungry dreamer readily partakes.  She is then alarmed at the thought of being placed in the top of the tree; honoured by the proposal of being made nurse to Fizzee, and amused at the account they give of their various tricks.  Great liveliness is imparted to the scene by making Bydby not a mere onlooker, but a deeply interested party; and her awakening at the "reemish" of the falling house, and doubting whether the whole were not a reality, is admirably imagined and well described; while the author, by putting his narrative into this form, indirectly teaches that these fairy legends had no better foundation than the dream of a shepherd sleeping by the side of some verdant knoll.
It would scarcely be an exaggeration to say, that there is some touch of the revising pen in every page; and, in general, the spelling is everywhere brought into nearer conformity to the English standard.  This tends in some measure to confirm the opinion that the poem was originally written in English and not in Scotch.  This statement, which will startle those who have ever looked upon the poem as having originally welled up in its present form from a Scottish fount, is thus made by the Rev. Harry Stuart of Oathlaw, in a note to his treatise on "Agricultural Labourers:" - "I well remember hearing my grandfather often tell how, when taking a near cut through the Grampians by Lochlee, home to the north of Aberdeenshire, he lodged a night with Ross, the schoolmaster of that parish, and the poet of that glen, being his kinsman.  Ross started next day with him, to convey him over Mount Keen; and, to beguile a resting hour, at the foot of this very steep mountain, when they had crossed it, Ross, with great hesitation, pulled a paper out of his pocket and read it to my grandfather.  It was a poem he had composed in English verse.  When he had done reading, 'Your poem, Mr Ross,' said the traveller, 'is delightful, and you are nearly as good at the English as you are at the Latin.  You are trying, I see, to imitate some of these great English poets; but it will not go down just yet to speak of Scotch fashions to Scotch people in the English tongue.  Gae awa hame, man, an' turn it into braid Scotch verse; an' gin ye print it, the not a jot will my lassies do at their wheel, an' some thousands mair like them, till they have read it five or six times o'er.'  The poet took his advice, and the poem turned out to be the once popular 'Fortunate Shepherdess.'"
Naturally astonished at this statement, we wrote to Mr Stuart on the subject, when he was kind enough to reply:- "I lived a summer or more with my grandfather: he was quite blind the last ten years of his life, and some one read to him constantly.  It was when reading 'Lindy and Nory' to him for an exercise to myself - being then at school - that he told me again and again that it was first written in English verse."
This remarkable fact, so well established, receives confirmation in the circumstance, that all Ross's other considerable poems are written in English, with the exception of the "Orphan," which seems to have been composed after success had crowned the "Shepherdess."  It is also to be observed that the conclusion of his poem, even in the first edition, is written in English, although in some late editions the removal of the final letters in such words as _all, and, with,_ has given it a Scottish appearance.
An event of no small importance in the monotonous life of the author was connected with the publication of this second edition.  The Rev. Mr Stuart has communicated to us the interesting fact, that the celebrated Duchess of Gordon of that day sat up a whole night reading "Lindy and Nory" when it first came into her hands; although Andrew Shirrefs informs us that "her grace was not altogether pleased with the manner in which the author concludes that story," to which he had thus alluded in a rhyming letter to Skinner-

="She saw the bonny Shepherdess
==Of Flaviana's Braes;
=And though she lik'd nae a' her dress
==She boot to gie her praise
====And help yon day."

Dr Beattie, who had been spending some time at Gordon Castle, erroneously stated by Mr Thomson to have been in 1779, and was aware of his humble friend's intention to publish a new edition of his poem, had requested the permission of the Duchess to have it dedicated to her grace and the gracious permission he immediately communicated to the author.  The second edition, accordingly, was published in 1778, printed more accurately, and in a superior style, by Chalmers, with the following neat dedication, contrasting so favourably with the fulsome adulation of many similar productions:- "To Her Grace the Duchess of Gordon these Poems are most respectfully inscribed, by Her Grace's most obliged and most humble servant, AL. Ross.  Lochlee, January 1, 1778."  Dr Irving infers from this dedication that the author "seems to acknowledge an antecedent obligation.  But this obligation, it is more than probable, was only some instance of condescension."  The "instance of condescension" at this time was the permission to dedicate his volume to her grace; but, probably, with the foresight of a poet, he anticipated that he would soon be laid under deeper "obligation" to her grace.  Accordingly he received an invitation to visit Gordon Castle, and to present in person the volume that the Duchess was thus pleased to patronise; and he complied with the invitation about the beginning of July the same year.  This was an undertaking in those days of no inconsiderable difficulty to a man on the border of his eightieth year.  His grandson tells us that "he set out from Lochlee on horseback, with a young man, a friend of his own, to attend him, arrived at Gordon Castle in safety, presented his amiable patroness with an elegant copy of his book, which she was graciously pleased to accept; and, after staying for some days in this hospitable mansion, where he was honoured with much attention and kindness both by the Duke and Dutchess, he was presented by the latter with an elegant pocket-book, containing a handsome present," &c.  Now, although the reader may not regret much that he has not been made acquainted with the name of the young man who attended our bard as his henchman, yet he may feel a little disappointed in not learning what in those days was considered "a handsome present" from a duchess to her minstrel, "infirm and old;" and others would like to know more particularly how he spent the time, and what impression he made on his patrons.  The Rev. Mr Stuart will so far gratify us on the last point; for he says, "He surprised them all by his easy gentlemanly manners and conversation;" and the other points will be fully met in the following introductory letter written by Dr Beattie, and in the letter which Ross gratefully wrote to the Professor, giving an account of his reception at the castle, and the contents of his "pocket-book," which must indeed have gratified him, seeing that the gift it contained amounted to three-fourths of all that he had realised by his former edition.  These letters we have the pleasure of submitting to the reader for the first time, through the kindness of the gentleman who possesses the originals.
We extract only the first part of Dr Beattie's introductory letter; the second refers to a volume of his works he had sent her grace, and to the state of Mrs. Beattie's health.  The letter is dated 1st July 1778:-
"MADAM, - The person who will have the honour to deliver this is no other than Mr Alexander Ross, the bard of Lochlee, who craves permission to lay his 'Helenore' at your grace's feet.  He is almost afraid to venture into such a presence, and thinks that fourscore years of retirement must have disqualified him for it; but I have encouraged him in the best manner I could, and assured him that the smiles of your grace's countenance will make him young again."
Ross's grateful acknowledgment of Dr Beattie's kindness, and his simple account of his reception at Gordon Castle will be read with interest.  The latter part of the letter applies for a recommendation to "Sandy Thomson, who was thinking of applying for the then vacant school of Fochabers."  This letter is dated at Gordon Castle, 6th July 1778:-
"DEAR SIR, - I arrived at Gordon Castle Friday afternoon, went to Mr Ross, who, on reading your letter, said he would go down to the castle in a little, and tell the Duchess that I was come, and that I might then wait at my quarters till she should send for me.  Accordingly a servant came at night, desiring me to come down next day betwixt ten and eleven, which I did, and was carried up to a room where were the Duke, Lady Maxwell, and the Duchess, who soon made me easy by her standing up and smiling on me.  I gave her your letter, which she presently read; I then presented my copies, which she commended for their elegance, scarce thinking they could be so well done at Aberdeen.  I found by the behaviour of the house that orders had been given to take care of me, as I met with the utmost of discretion.  Sunday, I went to church, came back to the castle, dined, and signified to her grace's gentlewoman that I would be glad to be permitted to set off on Monday, (for the Duchess had desired me to stay some time, and write home.)  Accordingly, on Sunday's evening I was called up-stairs again, when the Duke and Duchess talked very freely and easily with me; and, on parting with me, she slipt a pocket-book, as she called it, into my hand, saying, 'I make you a present of a pocket-book; pray accept it.'  It was elegant, indeed, of itself, but covered fifteen guinea notes, which considerably heightened the value of it.  This, Sir, I owe to your goodness, for which you have my sincere thanks, and will while I live.  Saturday night and Sunday night I slept in the castle - that wonder of a house.  Having my grandson, Sandy Thomson, schoolmaster at Glenmuick along with me," &c.
His grandson tells us that "he returned to Lochlee in good health, and with great satisfaction."
His aged partner would sympathise with him in the satisfaction produced by this agreeable journey; but after she had passed with him through all the chequered events of domestic life for upwards of fifty years, she was removed from him the following year, at the advanced age of seventy-seven, - Mr Thomson says, eighty-two.  The stone which he erected to her memory far surpasses all around it in the superiority of its workmanship, and elaboration of its ornaments, bearing no indirect evidence of the affection of the husband, and the easy circumstances of the poet.  It originally stood at the
corner of the church; but it was displaced by the erection of the stone to his own memory, to which it now stands opposite, against the churchyard wall, as the visitor enters the gate.  It bears the following inscription:-

==="This stone was erected by
==Mr ALEXR. Ross, Schoolmaster at Lochlee,
in Memory of JEAN CATANACH, his Spouse, here interr'd,
==who died May 5th, 1779, aged 77 years.

="What's mortal here Death in his right would have it,
=The spiritual part returns to God who gave it;
=Which both at parting did their hopes retain,
=That they in glory would unite again,
=To reap the harvest of their Faith and Love,
=And join the song of the Redeem'd above."

Although he was himself now in his eightieth year, yet his mental vigour was not abated, nor his love of literature impaired; for, as we learn from the preface which he prefixed to his version of Ramsay's "Poemata Sacra," he hegan that undertaking when he was "going his eighty-second year."  Three years more, however, had so vigorously assailed the clay house of his tabernacle, that the process of dissolution became apparent.  His grandson tells us, that during the time which, on account of increasing weakness, he stood so much in need of some proper person to attend and take are of him, "his second daughter, then a widow, was providentially sent for that purpose."
This language, which might have been more explicit, would certainly suggest that his daughter came to live with him in his own house; but Mr Jervise, in his "Land of the Lindsays," has stated that Ross went to live with his daughter at Buskhead, a farm-steading on the right bank of the Esk, opposite to the mouth of the Tarf, and died there.  In answer to our inquiry, he obligingly stated that his authority was merely oral tradition.  We have made particular inquiry at several parties most likely to be acquainted with this matter, and some friends have been kind enough to make others for us, and no evidence has been found that ever his daughter lived at Buskhead, or that he ever removed from his own cottage till he died.  A member of an intelligent family of the name of Christison, with whom, as will afterwards be proved, Mr Ross lived on intimate terms, expressly declares that he died in his own house.  This event occurred on the 29th May 1784, when, having entered a few weeks into his eighty-sixth year, he breathed his last with the composure of a man at peace with the world, and the hope of a believer in the only Mediator.  As his remains had been deposited in the same grave with those of his wife, so the stone he had erected to her memory had, apparently, been considered as sufficient for both; for it was not till about sixty years after his decease that a few of his admirers thought of erecting an appropriate monument to his own memory.  When this was at last accomplished, the stone was, singularly enough, set up in the burying ground of the new parish church, at least a mile from the place where his honoured dust had been interred, as if it had been rather intended to ornament the church than to honour the poet.  This incongruity having been pointed out to the Earl of Dalhousie, the mistake was rectified about the year 1854, when the stone was removed to the common grave of himself, his wife, and those of his children who had died in their infancy.
It is a plain slab of polished Aberdeen granite, of the ordinary dimensions, and bears the following inscription:-

======"Erected
=====To the Memory of
===ALEXANDER ROSS, A.M.,
====Schoolmaster at Lochlee,
=Author of 'Lindy and Nory;' or,
==the 'Fortunate Shepherdess,'
and other Poems in the Scottish Dialect.
=====Born, April 1699.
=====Died, May 1784.

"How finely nature aye he paintit,
O' sense in rhyme he ne'er was stintit,
An' to the heart he always sent it,
==Wi' might an' main;
An' no ae line he e'er inventit,
==Need ane offen'!"

We regret that this stone, so creditable to the feelings and liberality of those who erected it, does not either state the fact that it was erected by the subscriptions of a number of the poet's admirers, nor the year of its erection.
In drawing these remarks to a close, we shall now briefly advert to Mr Ross's family, his personal appearance, and domestic habits.
His family consisted of two sons, who died in infancy or childhood, and five daughters, one of whom likewise died at an early age; but the remaining four daughters were all married, and had families.  Helen, the eldest daughter, was baptized on the 9th September 1734, by the Rev. John Scott; and on the 8th November 1753, she was married to Mr George Thomson, schoolmaster in Glenmuick, in the church of Lochlee, by Rev. William M'Kenzie, of Glenmuick.  Their son, Mr Alexander Thomson, who accompanied his grandfather to Gordon Castle, was afterwards minister of Lintrathen, who, in his boyhood, resided eight years in his grandfather's house, published an edition of "Helenore," with a life of the author, in 1812, and died the following year.  Jean was married to one of the same family name with her mother, and her descendants are still on Tarfside.
A gentleman, who spent his boyhood in Lochlee, and to whom the writer of these pages would express his gratitude for the interest he has taken in this work, states that he had often talked with one who had frequently seen Ross, and still retained a vivid impression of his mild and gentle appearance, his kindliness and goodness of heart, and of the sort of wonderment with which the good folks of the glen used to regard the man who had written a book, and whose name was actually in print!
Our poet was rather below the usual standard, but was neatly formed and active in his habits.  He had a ruddy complexion, the index of his uniformly temperate habits and good health; a piercing eye, and an animated countenance, a somewhat irritable temper, the characteristic of the poetical temperament, that was easily allayed, as might have been expected in the Christian, who had learned not to let the sun go down upon his wrath.
Mrs Grant of Carron, Speyside, who afterwards became Mrs Murray of Bath, authoress of "Roy's Wife o' Aldivalloh," in a communication to Cromeck, says:- "I knew a good deal of Mr Ross, author of the 'Fortunate Shepherdess,' but it was many years ago.  I still remember him with respect, as a man of most amiable character.  His genius and talents speak for themselves in the above-mentioned beautiful little poem; and one cannot help regretting that such abilities were only born to 'blush unseen, and waste their sweetness on the desert air;' for in truth his humble abode was little better than a desert, although not inhabited by savages; nothing on earth being less savage than a mere uncultivated Highlander."
As the greater part of his poems are on scriptural or religious subjects, it is pleasant to be assured that this evidently arose from his conviction of the importance of such subjects, and the pleasure he enjoyed in the contemplation of themes divine.  Sitting in the desk as precentor on the Lord's day, his grandson, who must, as a boy, so often have looked up to him with reverence, tells us that "he appeared to be all attention and all devotion, but was best pleased with such discourses as were strictly Calvinistic and systematic, and, whatever was the subject, contained in some part of them the scheme of salvation by [the] Saviour, and had the practical part enforced from Christian motives only."  In short, that he agreed with a brother bard in his exclamation-

="Talk they of morals!  O thou bleeding Lamb,
=The true morality is love of Thee."

It is pleasant still further to be able to follow him into his retirement and family, and find that this devout appearance was not professional grimace; for we are assured, on the same authority, that he arose early on the morning of the Lord's day, before any of his domestics, and employed that "sweet hour of prime," in reading the Scriptures, meditation, and player.  He regularly observed family worship, sending from his humble abode "the melody of joy and health," and pouring out the desires of his heart in Scriptural exressions, without a slavish of devotion as led those who united with him to feel that it was good to draw near to the throne of grace.
He appears to have enjoyed his health and vigour to the last; for, as he had been wont to pay a summer visit o his eldest daughter every year, he continued this practice, travelling on foot a distance of sixteen miles, till past the seventieth year of his age.  These visits were rendered all the more attractive by the pleasure he enjoyed in the company of Francis Farquharson, Esq., of Monaltrie, whose friendship he procured by his merit, and whose kindness excited the warmest gratitude of hte poet.  He frequently gave expression to his feelings by writing copies of verses on the numerous instances of Monaltrie's beneficence; but they were only shown to some of that gentleman's intimate acquaintance, and never intended for publication.  His habits were studious, and rhyming had become habitual to him.  Whether there was anything peculiar in his studious modes we have not learned, although we think it is highly probable that he would enjoy a solitary walk by the margin of the loch, or wander amid the beauties of the glen, listening to the "couthy din" of the river, or rising to the brow of the hill, and listening to the softened sounds that would blend into an agreeable harmony, in correspondence with the close of day, and croon into verse those impressions of the appearances of nature which he has so frequently introduced into his poems.  On other occasions, from the nature of the work, he would more mechanically take his seat at his desk, and pursue his task till some intractable verse might lead him to suspend his labours; but he would bear it in his mind as he was enticed to wander abroad, and, laying it on the anvil, he would turn it over and over, applying now the hammer and now the file, till he would overcome the obstacle, and return with pleasure to introduce his improvements.
Having thus seen the close of the long and useful life of a man of letters and of genius, who, as a conscientious teacher, a sympathising neighbour, a loving husband, an affectionate parent, and a devout worshipper, adorned the doctrines of the gospel by obeying its precepts, we shall now advert to his works, both published and inedited.
With regard to the "Fortunate Shepherdess," as the author of which he is principally known, we may consider the language, the characters, and the scenery, and then advert to some objections that have been brought against it.  As to the language, it is said to be "the broad Scotch," although it is neither the language of Ramsay nor Burns, neither is it what is known as the Buchan dialect, which may be regarded as the broadest in Scotland.  Burns not unfrequently forgets his Scotch, and passes into unexceptionable English, and we cannot fail to perceive that there is such an elevation in the language of Ramsay as makes us feel that this is not the every-day dialect of Scottish shepherds.  Fergusson, again, frequently runs into the opposite extreme, and makes his characters speak a sort of burlesque or antiquated Scotch, that could not have been colloquial in the streets of Edinburgh in his day.  It is remarkable that none of the authors whose works are now under consideration was an uneducated man: for Ramsay was sufficiently acquainted with Latin to imitate the odes of Horace; Fergusson finished a college curriculum; Burns received a superior English education, and had acquired a smattering of French; and Ross obtained the honour of graduation as a Master of Arts.  We consider Ross's language, however, as more idiomatic and characteristic than that of any of the poets we have named; we feel, in reading his work, that his language is neither elevated by education, nor degraded by affected vulgarity or antiquity; it is, in short, the ordinary dialect of the people whom he has so successfully represented; and it has accordingly furnished a rich vein from which Jamieson extracted much valuable material.  It is to be observed, however, that in the second edition he rejected not a few words that were perhaps becoming obsolete - such as _fum_ for _whom, loor_ for _rather, piece_ for _though, gray-mercies_ for _thanks_; while in a few other instances Scottish words were substituted for English - as _ilka_ for _every, kaips_ for _meets, couthy_ for _civil, gar'd_ for _made, syne_ for _then, fairley_ for _wonder, boore_ for _kept, sakeless_ for _honest, winn'd_ for _lived;_ and we now and then meet with an expression that rather belongs to an old book than to the district into which the poem conducts us, as _shoop, loor by far, ferleyt ilka dele_, which suggest to the reader Barbour, Wynton, or Chaucer, rather than the "hills an howes" of Glenesk.  Our opinion of the language of Ross is corroborated by that of Pinkerton, who says, "The language and thoughts are more truly pastoral than any I have yet found in any poet save Theocritus."  Upon the whole, it must be said that in his second edition, while he has not destroyed its pastoral character, the language is brought into nearer conformity to English, and the composition rendered more correct.
There is evidently in the work an attempt to discriminate character, as the author admitted in his "Advertisement;" and we consider the attempt not to have been unsuccessfully made.  That Ross was fully aware that such discrimination was necessary, is further evident from the preface to his unpublished "Religious Pastorals," in which he states that he wished to try how far he could keep up the characters of the respective parties whom he had introduced.  Ralf, accordingly, is throughout a plain, simple shepherd, often overpowered by Colin's loquacity and worldly wisdom, and, although showing a little opposition at first, brought to admit that Colin saw farther through things than he himself did, and consequently unites with him in advising his son to fulfil his promise to Bydby.  Colin, again, is "a sicker boy," and consistently maintains the character of a shrewd, selfish fellow, who first advises Lindy, with a hypocritical admission that it was "wrang to lear fouk to do ill," to deceive Bydby, in order to obtain their freedom, and then, when their trick failed, urges him to marry her, either that they might escape the further ravages of the Kettrin, or recover their stolen cattle.  Lindy, who made so favourable an impression upon us as an ardent, yet considerate lover, as well as a brave shepherd, yields, like a simpleton, to the persuasions of Colin to give up Nory, and to the browbeating of the laird to accept Bydby.
The character of the squire is well sustained: he is chivalrous to Nory, bold in meeting the Kettrin, and ready in his replies to Lindy's objections to fulfil his promise to Bydby; although, as he afterwards frankly admits, he had a selfish motive "in labouring to have it sae."
Among the females, the most powerfully marked is undoubtedly Bydby: every one that meets her soon forms am opinion of her frank manner, her sarcastic answers, her defence of her own character, and maintenance of her own rights; and hence one calls her "snell," another "forthersome," and another "fiery."  Her simplicity in accepting Nory's assistance in finding out Flaviana, and her astonish ment on discovering her motive, are striking contrasts; and we cannot but sympathise with her when she exclaims-

="I might ha kent, had I not senseless been,
=That ye for noth wad not be hauf so keen:
=But, maks na, be the matter as it may,
=To stap your claim I have enough to say."

Jean always commands our respect as a modest, sensible matron.  We cannot but, feel for her when we see her sitting by the fire,

="Nae jot intil her hand, but greeting sair,"

when she believes herself to be deprived of both husband and daughter; while the love of the wife and the affection of the mother are finely implied in her direction to Lindy:-

="And ilka gate ye gang, baith far and near,
=As well for Colin as for Nory speer;
=Alas! I wat na what to bid you dee,
=Or which is dearest to me, he or she."

Her motherly pride in describing the abilities and acquirements of her daughter, of which a disparaging account had been given by her father; her modesty in refusing to sing, with her sensible observation, that "youngsom sangs were sareless frae an aged mou," are all in harmony with her character; for Ross seems to have deeply imbibed the sentiment of his great master, who says:-

="Oh, what an easie thing is to descry
==The gentle bloud, however it be wrapt
=In sad misfortune's foule deformity
==And wretched sorrowes, which have often hapt."

And this principle is again brought out in the welldrawn character of the "eldern dy," who was so much struck with the beauty of Nory, that she declared-

="Blind mat I be, and I am now threescore,
=Gin e'er I saw the maik of her afore;"

and was set a dreaming about bonny Jean, which led to the discovery that Nory was the laird's cousin-german, and thus saved him from the charge of having made a misalliance.  The principle once more crops out when the author, in his concluding lines, says of Nory-

="Her comely face, that look'd aboon her lot,
=A chance becoming her descent has got."

The scene in which Bydby encounters the two men among the hills, affords a lively specimen of such piquant banter as is not unusual in such circumstances; and we have a singular proof, in the preface to the "Orphan," that Ross himself thought favourably of it.  He says:-

="Hence lang, perhaps, lang hence may cotted be,
=My auld proverbs well lined with blythesome glee;
=As when the jampher, in my former tale,
=O'ertook a cabrach knibblach with his heel,
=And headlins stoited o'er into the moss;
=Some reader then may say, 'Fair fa' thee, Ross,'
=When aiblins I'll be lang, lang dead and gane,
=And few remember there was sic a ane."

The interview between the squire and the Kettrin is also admirably and prudently managed, and embodies ideas that were afterwards introduced by Wordsworth into his verses on _Rob Roy's Grave_-

===="The good old rule
==Sufficeth them, the simple plan,
=That they should take who have the power,
==And they should keep who can."

So when the squire asks-

="But tell me this, how ye wad like the case,
=If others on yourselves should turn the chase?"

They are ready with their reply-

="Say they, We know no reason but they might;
=The strongest side has aye the strongest right.
=If we our side unable are to guard,
=Let them the booty have for their reward."

The description of Nory is admirably delineated in every scene in which she appears: her tenderness in binding up Lindy's cut brow; her passionate lamentation for his supposed loss; her modest deportment with the squire; her cautious inquiries at Bydby; her cold reception of the ardent embraces of the faithless Lindy, - are all in strict harmony with her character.  There is great beauty in her dream, in which the coming events are ingeniously foreshadowed, and the deep impression, perhaps unconsciously, made on her heart by the squire, is delicately implied in the lines-

="Great was the care this stranger took of me,
=And, oh, I thought him bonny, blythe, and free!
=Dry claiths, I thought, he gae me to put on,
=Better by far, and brawer, than my own."

But unquestionably the finest piece of description in the whole poem is the squire's finding of Nory sleeping beneath the tree by the burn-side.  The picture is complete.  The painter is saved the trouble of inventing details; he has nothing more to do than transfer it to his canvas, for the very colours are provided him.  The whole is too long for quotation; and, as shreds would give no idea of its beauty, we must refer the reader to the poem.  To the same source we also refer him for the admirable description of Flaviana, which Sir Walter Scott thought fit to transcribe into his "Heart of Midlothian;" and on other scenes a few remarks will be found on a subsequent page.
The _denouement_ of the poem has been very generally condemned as doing violence to our feelings, which had been so deeply interested in the growth and maturity of the pure and reciprocal affection of Lindy and Nory, and are then so rudely shocked by the disruption of those ties apparently by such mercenary motives on both sides; but the case is supposable, and the means by which it is brought about are ingeniously contrived.  We are well aware that the poet, instead of reproducing the painful scenes with which real life makes us familiar, should rather "sing of what the world will be when the years have died away;" yet Crabbe has gained no small applause and popularity as "nature's sternest painter, and her best;" neither are we convinced that a poet may not advance the interests of morality by painting, as the wisest of kings has done, the painful consequences of sin, as well as by describing the happiness of those who are guided by heavenly wisdom.  Ross was perfectly aware of the objection that might be taken against this part of his poem, and appears to have constructed his "Orphan" according to the more approved model of crowning unalterable affection with conjugal felicity.  He does not, however, intend that his readers should imitate Lindy's inconstancy, and so incur his disappointment,

="But rather to evince, when we pretend
=To gain by slight, that we shall lose our end."

And he very characteristically concludes by reminding us that, when with such tales we have recreated the overstrained mind, we should be found

="Still saving room for graver subjects' right."

To the blemishes of the poem, for which the author made a suitable apology in the "Advertisement" prefixed to the first edition, we have no inclination to advert.  Almost the only imperfection in our sight is the courting scene, described by Olimund to his aunt, in which, as Beattie remarked, Ross was evidently out of his place; and its greatest imperfection, in our judgment, is the incongruity between the characters that it professes to describe and the persons that are actually made to pass before us.  Thus the scene is laid at some remote period,

="Whan yet the leal and ae-fauld herding life
=Was not o'ergane by _falsehood_, sturt, and strife,"

and yet the whole action of the poem turns on the deceit of one of the chief characters, to which he was incited by one of those that

="Boore love and lawty in their honest face;"

and most of the characters can, on occasion, depart from the simplicity of truth to serve their own purposes, from Nory in her childhood suggesting to Lindy that, in order to escape censure, they should say the fox carried off the lamb when he fell on the stone; to Lindy deceiving Bydby, at the suggestion of the man who was introduced to us as knowing nothing "but what was downright, fair, and plain."  He seems to forget the golden age he purposed to describe, and has, perhaps unintentionally, given us a picture of the shepherds by whom he was daily surrounded.
Ross expresses the hope that there is nothing base or vicious in his pages; and certainly they form a pleasing contrast to those of Burns, in the absence of those profane expletives that so painfully disfigure his poems.  Ross, as might have been expected from his character, has almost nothing of this, although he might have pleaded, as others have done, that this was characteristic of the people whom he undertook to describe; and, strangely enough, there is more of this objectionable phraseology in the few complimentary verses of Beattie than in the whole of Ross's poems.
With regard to the songs that were added to the first edition of "Helenore," they had no doubt taught "the rocks of Lochlee to yamour wi' melody" long before the publication of the "Fortunate Shepherdess;" and the general impression in the district is, that they originated in occurrences connected with his own family.  The most of them are still included in collections of Scottish songs, although very great liberties have been taken in their reproduction "The wife an' the wee pickle tow" is well known, but is far too long for modern taste; and hence it is greatly curtailed, and even marred, in modern editions.  When it is reproduced, it ought, at least, to give the whole of the "auld wife's" experience of the "wanchancie beginnin' o't."  The first stanza, which is ancient, is unequalled in description; and, in the eighth, there are all the elements of a scene that cannot but fill and please the imagination - the return of spring, the sowing of the lintseed, the old husband, at the request of his wife, going down to the how, and selecting a branch of the rantree which had grown withershins, that it might, both by the nature of the wood, and its anti-magical twist, defy the cantrips of Maggy Grim, are all represented in the happiest and tersest manner.  The latter part of the song, in which the three daughters give their opinions of the matter, although displaying no small ingenuity in minutely describing the processes of preparing the lint, and embodying the sentiments of the Peasantry as to the importance of manufacturing linen for home consumption, does not possess the interest of the former part.  "To the Begging we will Go" is written with great fluency and force; and the admirable description of the equipment and tricks of the cunning gaberlunyie must have had more influence in putting down the nuisance of "sturdy beggars," that then infested the country, than all the Acts that Parliament passed against them.  It is composed in the measure of an English song on the same subject, which is attributed to Brome, the _quondam_ servant of Ben Jonson.  The latter, however, consists of only eight verses, and has neither the full description, nor the pawky selfishness of Ross's production.  "Woo'd an' Married an' a'" has had a singular fate.  There are no fewer than three songs to this tune, each enjoying a measure of popularity.  Ross's song has been ascribed to a lady who certainly did not write it; and, with a degree of unaccountable carelessness, one of the other two has been substituted for that of Ross in the Brechin edition of his "Helenore."  It contains a profane exclamation, which might have excited a suspicion in those who were acquainted with Ross's character, that it was not his production.  The song is given both in the first and second editions of his poems - the principal alteration in the latter being the obvious improvement of placing the wooing before the marriage.  Three songs of the first edition are properly enough omitted in the second, as their inferiority to the others is evident.  "The Bride's Breast-knot" is not without humour; and in the edition to which we have referred it has been supplanted by the popular song, "Hey the Bonny Breast-knot."  Another was on "The Taking of Havana," and is marred by the difficulty of finding double rhymes for three short lines in the last strain; and yet it is no small praise to say that the first verse will readily suggest a warlike song by a modern bard of high standing:-

="What flag is't that now so gloriously waves,
=That storms and that tempests and oceans outbraves,
=With ardour impatient the anchor that weighs,
=And Britain's unwearied achievements displays?"

The last is also of a warlike character, and had originated in our military operations against the French in America.  It is written in an exceedingly crabbed measure, and looks like the versification of a despatch in the _Gazette;_ but it clearly proves the interest our poet took in the affairs of the country, and his acquaintance with public measures, when the appearance of a newspaper must have been a rare sight in Lochlee.  The following may be taken as a fair specimen, and may be further interesting, probably, as indicating the political leanings of the bard:-

="Let great, ingenious Pitt never be forgot,
=Who wisely laid the great and successful plot,
==Which now retains his name,
==And that by justest claim,
=And which ever shall be great in America:
==We'll drink his health, and hope for wealth,
===Through his auspicious name,
==Pursue his schemes, which are no dreams,
===Or do the actors shame,
=But still are crown'd with glory, and increase of fame,
==Throughout the spacious bounds of America."

It has been the strange fate of Ross to be misapprehended even by those who have highly appreciated his genius, and justly commended his works.  Thus Alexander Campbell, who has devoted no inconsiderable space to extracts from his poems in his "History of Scottish Poetry," has nevertheless represented the squire as setting out to recover the cattle that had been forcibly carried off by the Kettrin from Flaviana; although the poet represents him as saying to his aunt, who had communicated to him the unexpected tidings of his father's death,

="Ye ken yoursel that I the morn maun gang,
=And keep the things at hame frae gain wrang;"

he then promises to return as soon as possible, and directs his aunt to keep Nory "frae thinking lang," and to assure her that he would make good his promise to "gar the gueeds come dancing hame," but certainly not on that particular occasion, as the subsequent narrative clearly proves.  Singularly enough, Lord Lindsay, in his admirable work, "The Lives of the Lindsays," who quotes largely from "Helenore," to show the state of society in Glenesk in times not far removed from our own, has fallen into the same error.  Of Ross, however, he justly says, "There are passages in the poem which vindicate for the author a higher place in the list of Scottish poets than has as yet been assigned to him."  While part of these sheets was in the hands of the printer, reference was made to Ross's poem in the pages of the _North British Review_.  The reviewer has not only fallen into the error of representing the "heroine as carried off" by the Kettrin; but he has also brought against our author a charge so novel and extraordinary that we must bestow a few words upon it.  It could scarcely be credited that any one who had read the "Fortunate Shepherdess" could have hazarded the following statement:- "Another poet was much more untrue to his native hills, though he professed to sing of them.  This was Alexander Ross, the author of the 'Fortunate Shepherdess.'  That work is a remarkable testimony to a phenomenon which might be termed absolute blindness to sublimity in scenery."  What idea this reviewer has of the manner in which a poet should sing of hills we have no means of knowing; but we are still of opinion, with Dr Beattie, that it is in describing the solitary scenes of a mountainous country that our poet most excels.  "Untrue to his native hills!" why, the scene of his story is altogether laid among his "native hills," and no sooner are we introduced to Flaviana than our attention is directed to the fact that "on every hand the braes to right well up, wi' scatter'd busses raise;" and not a day of the action of his poem passes over us, but, in the style of his favourite Virgil, we are reminded, either that the sun is "spealing the hill-heads" in the morning, or that in the evening "the shadows from hill-heads are growing lang;" with Lindy we travel "through many a wilsome hight and how," and seek with him at night such shelter as "thir rugged hills could yield;" with Bydby we have "wearied at the rugged braes and uncouthy heather hills," and have been glad with her to reach "a high brae-head," from which we might probably see some human habitation; and with Nory we may have affectedly "scream'd at ilk cleugh, and skreech'd at ilka how," which Sir Walter considered the most appropriate language in which "a fine lady" could express her feelings on viewing mountain scenery; or with her laboriously "o'er high hills and fearsome cleughs we clamb," and have seen her heart ready to fail her when she and Bydby "wan the hight, and in the how" spied out "her father's bigging by a bonny know."  But, leaving these brief allusions to be followed up by the reader of the poem, we would ask whether the minute description of Nory's clambering up the shady side of a hill in the morning, and her unexpectedly meeting with the sun when she reached its summit, is like the work of a poet that was "untrue to his native hills;" or whether any man could have written it that had not traversed the ground, and experienced what he describes?-

="On ilka hand the hills were stay and steep,
=And sud she tak them, she behoved to creep;
=Baith wit and will in her together strave,
=And she's in swither how she shall behave.
=The fear o' Lindy wadna let her turn,
=The frightful craigs and mountains gar'd her mourn;
=And now for faut and mister she was spent,
=As water weak, and dweble as a bent;
=Yet try't she maun, her heart it wadna sair
=To think but Lindy to look hameward mair.
=Up through the cleughs, where bink on bink was set,
=Scrambling wi' hands and feet, she takes the gate;
=Twa hours she took, the langest of the day,
=On sic a road, ere she clamb up the brae.
=At last, when she unto the height had won,
=Fat kaips her there but the sweet morning sun!
=Breathless and feckless, there she sits her down,
=And will and wilsome spied a' her aroun';...
=Sae up she rises, and about she spies,
=And, lo, beneath, a bonny burnie lies,
=Out through the mist atweesh her and the sun,
=That glanced and shined in ilka pool and lyn."

Let us now shift the scene.  Nory and Bydby are pursuing their journey toward Flaviana, along a mountain-ridge, when they are overtaken by a thunder-storm, which the man who was "untrue to his native hills" thus describes:-

="'Tis now about the eleventh hour o' the day,
=And they are posting on whate'er they may,
=Baith het and meeth, till they are haling down:
=The sun he dips, and clouds grow thick aroun';
=All in a clap the fire-flaught blinds their een,
=The thunder rattles at an unco tune;
=Hurl upon hurl, and just aboon their head,
=They on their faces fell as they were dead;
=And just with this the bowden clouds they brak,
=And pour, as out of buckets, on their back.
=Now they conclude that here their turf maun be,
=And lay stane-still, not moving ee nor bree;
=And for misluck, they just were on the height,
=Aye thinking when the bowt on them wad light.
=For twa lang hours in this sad plight they lay;
=At last the sun shoots out a couthy ray;
=Sae piece and piece they peep out as they dow,
=And see main ocean down into the how;
=Fan up they stood, nothing but burns they spied,
=Tumbling and roaring down on ilka side,
=Wi' sic a fearsome hurl and reefu' rair,
=The neist thing to the thunner in the air."

These extracts ought to be sufficient to prove that the "phenomenon which might be termed absolute blindness to sublimity in scenery" is not seen in the poet, but in his reviewer, and that these and many other descriptions in the "Fortunate Shepherdess" show that Ross wanted only the manual dexterity to have become an eminent landscape-painter.
The reviewer has further stated, "it is all mythical and fancy pastoral, a good deal like Barclay's 'Argenis,' which the author, who was a scholar, seems to have had in his eye."  Barclay's "Argenis" is a romance, composed in Latin, published in Paris in 1621, and translated into various languages.  It is a political allegory, shadowing forth the state of Europe at the time, and especially that of France during the civil wars of the seventeenth century.  What resemblance there can be between the "Fortunate Shepherdess" and "Argenis," in its mythical character, we have been unable to discover, even after the reviewer has thus put the key into our hand.  If Nory is Britain during the civil wars of the eighteenth century; Lindy, the Pretender; the Squire, the Prince of Orange; and Bydby, the Popish Church, that seduces Lindy from his first love: we believe the reviewer is the first that has made the discovery, and we are confident the honour will remain with him.  As to its being a "fancy pastoral," - what pastoral is not the offspring of fancy?
The materials of Ross's pastoral were realities - the predatory incursions of the Highlanders into the lowlands, the kidnapping of children by gipsies, carrying off the shepherds, and keeping them prisoners till they were ransomed, a laird's falling in love with a tenant's daughter - were all events with which the people in the districts with which Ross was acquainted were quite familiar, and the subject of their winter evening tales; so that the poet had only to gather these fragments of local history into the kaleidoscope of his imagination and combine them into a pleasing and not uninstructive pastoral.  So far from being "fanciful," frequent perusals of the work, and a careful study of the mind of the author, had led us to the exactly opposite conclusion, - that Ross's genius was not of the creative stamp in the highest acceptation of the term; that he required facts to work upon, and that this was the cause of what many consider the unpleasant and disappointing _denouement_ of his poem ; for he was embodying in his verses a fact, and not working according to the most approved models of fiction-writers.  This conviction was strengthened on our discovering that his other work in the style of "Helenore"-the "Orphan" - although terminating after the more approved manner, was founded on facts that had occurred in the Glen; and that even his songs were not "fancy's flights," but the embodiment of local, if not of domestic occurrences.
But why seek a model in the "Argenis," since the author so pointedly refers to Ramsay's pastoral as his model, and "the mither of his care?"  He modestly acknowledges, that "the 'Gentle Shepheid's' nae sae easy wrought," and that the "wimpled wark" of scenes and acts would "crack a pow" like his, and that he would be content to be taught by his muse to write a less complicated poem, which, nevertheless, might please, and "mak friends of fremyt fouk."  But if the reviewer was unwilling to admit Ross's own acknowledgment, that the "Gentle Shepherd" was the model of the "Fortunate Shepherdess," most of the names that Ross has employed, as well as some of the sentiments and situations, might have led him to the more probable conjecture, that the youthful mind of Ross had been more deeply impressed with the "Faerie Queene" than with the "Argenis."  Thus the reader cannot fail to perceive the striking resemblance between the introduction to the "Shepherdess" and the beginning of Spenser's "Fifth Book,"

="Though vertue then were held in highest price,
==In those old times of which I doe intreat;
=Yet then, likewise, the wicked seede of vice
==Began to spring; which shortly grew full great,
=And with their boughes the gentle plants did beate:
==But evermore some of the vertuous race
=Rose up, inspired with heroicke heat,
==That cropt the branches of the sient base,
And with strong hand their fruitfull rancknes did deface."

So the Kettrins might have been found in the

==="Salvage nation, which did live
=Of stealth and spoile, and making nightly rode
==Into their neighbours' borders; ne did give
=Themselves to any trade."

Might not Nory, when discovered by the Squire, have been found in the following lines?-

==="They do arrive anone
==Where sat a gentle lady all alone,
=With garments rent, and hair discheveled,
==Wringing her hands, and making piteous mone:
=Her swollen eyes were much disfigured,
And her fair face with tears was fowly blubbered."

Might not the application of the "stench-girss" to Lindy's wounded forehead have been discovered in the following?-

="Into the woods thenceforth in haste shee went,
==To seeke for hearbes that mote him remedy;
=For she of herbs had great intendement,
==Taught of the nymphe which from her infancy
=Her nourced had in trew nobility."

Spenser, as well as Ross and Ramsay, was acquainted with the dropping of infants, so that "Bonny Jean" had a prototype in "Pastorella:"-

="At length a shepheard, which thereby did keepe
==His fleecie flocke upon the playnes around
=Led with the infant's cry, that loud did weepe,
==Came to the place; where when he wrapped found
=Th' abandon'd spoyle, he softly it unbound;
==And, seeing there that did him pittie sore,
==He tooke it up and in his mantle wound;
=So home unto his honest wife it bore,
=Who as her own it nurst and named evermore."

The change produced on Nory, when dressed as the bride of the squire, that deceived even the eye of Lindy, might find its counterpart in that of Una:-

="My ragged rimos are all too rude and bace
==The heavenly lineaments for to enchace.
=No wonder; for her own dear-loved knight,
==All were she daily with himselfe in place,
==Did wonder much at her celestial sight:
=Oft hade he seene her faire, but never so fair dight."

And might we not find a Bydby in Fidessa, pleading the promise of the Red-cross Knight in bar of his union with the fair Una?  But where are such resemblances to end? and what would our literature be, were we to take the _disjecta membra_ of any work of this kind, and point out the probable source from which they were taken?  The evidence that Ross had studied Spenser with enthusiasm appears in the choice of the un-Scottish names he has given his characters.  Thus we meet with

="Faire Helenore with girlonds all bespredd;"

"Fayre Rosalind," also, is not far off; but, instead of a shepherd, it suggests "the widdowe's daughter in the glenne."  The absurdity of applying a name so well known among our poets as that of a woman to a man has frequently been pointed out as unaccountable in our author; but when we remember that the scene of the poem is laid in the "land of the Lindsays," and the unbounded power they once wielded in the glen, it has occurred to us that, if the name was not anagrammatised, the contraction Lindy was a slight disguise of Lindsay.  We readily meet with Colin, ("who knows not Colin Clout?") and it is not very difficult to recognise Ralf in Roffy, and in Ollyfant we have two-thirds of Olimund.  Thus, a reference to Spenser easily accounts for the outlandish nomenclature of this Scottish pastoral.
But we are not yet done with the mistakes of the reviewer.  In order to justify his assertion as to the blindness of Ross to "sublimity in scenery," he asserts, after admitting that his description of Flaviana shows that he "could paint with the pen," that he went _down_ the glen for it, "describing a scene that is purely lowland."  We regret that the reviewer did not favour us with his opinion as to what part of the glen furnished the sketch that Ross has given us; because we have taken some pains to discover the ground on which the action of the pastoral is laid, and have come to a settled conviction that, instead of going _down_ the glen, (Glenesk, we presume,) Ross went _up_ Glenmark, and found his Flaviana there, near a spot that will long be known now as the Queen's Well; and what may thus he inferred from the poem we find confirmed by the tradition of the district.  Thus Nory, having run up the glen, turned towards the east, scrambled up the hill, and, going down the opposite side of it toward the burn, "atweesh her and the sun," had got into the low ground watered by the Feugh or its tributaries; while Lindy, better acquainted with the point from which the Kettrin were accustomed to come, held towards the west, till he came upon the trail of the cattle, and fell into the hands of the "reivers."  We have no doubt that Ross had ground in his eye with which he was personally familiar, and that he has accurately described it, even to the plots of averns and the etnach bushes.  The only point in which, either through negligence, or unwillingness that the scene should be too readily recognised, the author departs from reality, is, that wherever his characters are placed, Flaviana uniformly lies to the _north_ of them; whenever they are in search of Flaviana, like Willie Gairlace, they are aye "hirplin towards the north."  This may account for the remarkable fact, that, although the Loch was constantly before our author's eye, he never once alludes to it in his poem; and this may also explain what excites our "reviewer's" wonder, that he should have overlooked the "glories of dark Lochnagar;" Ross was faithfully depicting a real scene, and neither Lochlee nor Lochnagar formed a part of it; and he did not feel himself warranted to destroy the reality of this picture by dragging them into it for mere effect.
Such raids were sufficiently remote, at the time when our author took up his residence in Lochlee, to cast that shade of indistinctness around them which fitted them for the purposes of the poet, and were yet comparatively so recent as to excite no small interest in the district; for one who had taken part in a successful attempt to recapture the spoil carried off by "a band of fierce barbarians from the hills" died only in the very year of Mr Ross's appointment.  This was the raid of the Water of Saughs, on the upper part of the West Water, not above five miles from the scene of his labours.  It has been concluded, from circumstantial evidence, that this encounter occurred about 1690, or, according to others, 1703.  Thirteen Kettrin, headed by John M'Gregor, or the "Hawkit Stirk," a man of uncommon stature and strength, made a descent on the parish of Fearn on the Lord's day, and carried off a number of cattle.  After consulting on the best means of recovering the stolen property, M'Intosh, a farmer's son, at the head of eighteen Lowlanders, set out on Monday evening, and next morning came upon the thieves cooking a young cow for breakfast.  M'Intosh closed with the chief of the Kettrin, and, with the assistance of one of his associates, named Winter, overcame him, on which his followers fled, but were pursued and destroyed, when the men of Fearn returned with the recaptured spoil.  Winter died in 1732, aged seventy-two years; and his gravestone, in the churchyard of Cortachy, bears the following inscription:-

="Here lyes James Winter, who died at Peathaugh,
=Who fought most valointly at ye Water of Saughs,
=Along with Ledenhendry, who did command yt day;
=They vanquis the enemy, and made them run away."

This is illustrative of the character that Ochterlony gives of the men in Glenesk, of whom he says:- "Upon any incursions of the Highland Caterans, (for so these Highland robbers are called,) the laird can, upon very short advertisement, raise a good number of well-armed, pretty men, who seldom suffer any prey to go out of their bounds unrecovered."  Edwards, also, writing so lately as 1678, represents the Angusians of that day as "fond of going abroad armed, insomuch that they seldom go out without bow, quiver, shield, sword, or pistol, and always have with them a kind of hook to knock down or catch wild beasts or birds, as occasion may offer."
Through an inhabitant of the glen, we learn that the last incursion of the Caterans was made from the quarter that Ross has so clearly indicated.  The robbers were followed and attacked by the glensmen in the Firmonth, but with loss both of cattle and of men.  One of those who bravely fell in the contest was a bridegroom, whose marriage-feast was interrupted by the clamour of the invasion, and who, gallantly buckling on his brand, set out with his neighbours, never to return;

="And thus the day so blithe that rose,
=And promised rapture in the close,
=Did, ere its setting hour, divide
=The bridegroom from the plighted bride."

As still further illustrative of this subject, we learned, when in the glen, that on one occasion, whether the last or not we did not ascertain, some of the glensmen who were taken prisoners were confined at Braichly till they were ransomed by the proprietors of Glenesk and Edzell, who, in order to raise the money, demanded from some of their tenants the prepayment of a half-year's rent, which was the origin of a custom that still prevails with respect to some of these farms, whose leases have not yet expired.
These remarks, so unexpectedly called for, may be considered sufficient to vindicate our author from the charge that has so unjustly been brought against him, and therefore their continuation may be deemed as unnecessary as it is unpleasant.







ROSS'S INEDITED WORKS.

WE proceed now to give a brief account of such of the inedited works of Ross as we have had an opportunity of examining.  Campbell, in his "Introduction to the History of Poetry in Scotland," states that he had examined the manuscripts we are now to describe, and dismisses them _seriatim_, with such expressions as "poorly executed," "poor indeed," "this is a piece of quaint nonsense," "of little or no value," &c.  Dr Irving, who appears not to have seen them, intimates that, "by some accident, they had fallen !nto the custody of a bookseller in Edinburgh," and that "they had been represented as unworthy of the author of the 'Fortunate Shepherdess.'"  This is all the length we could trace them in contemporary literature, and we despaired of ever obtaining a sight of them.  At the suggestion of a friend, however, we applied at the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing them placed on the table before us.  They are bound up in three small octavo volumes; and, instead of classifying them, which could easily and naturally be done, into original poems, translations from the Latin, and versions of portions and books of Scripture, we shall rather describe them in the order in which they now occur.  They have been all written in a neat, round, legible hand; each piece had been stitched into a cover of stout paper; and their brown colour and worn corners give sufficient evidence of their having been extensively circulated and much read.  These separate pieces have been bound together in their original state.
The first volume contains "A Dream, in imitation of the Cherry and the Slae."  We conceive that the twenty-two introductory stanzas are the most imaginative of any of Ross's productions.  He begins with an address to Montgomery; and in the third stanza he thus describes his situation:-

="Alone, as musing thus I lay,
=Upon a pleasant summer's day,
==Beneath a birchen shade,
=The birds around me, with their sang,
=Sae sweetly through the bushes rang,
==That I reclined my head.
=A little stream ran purling by,
==With murmur calm and sweet;
=The fair primroses charm'd my eye,
==So was my bliss complete.
===Invited, delighted,
====In hearing, sight, and smell,
===Whiles thinking, whiles winking,
====Mine eyes together fell."

He is then carried to various bowers, in which he beheld such celebrated authors as Douglas, and Buchanan translating the Psalms, and, like another Livy, writing the history of his native land; but his eye falls upon "his dear Montgomery," who invited him into his bower, and, seeing that his visitor had a curious eye, he requests him to accompany him to Parnassus, and not to fear the roaring oft the lions; he represents Montgomery as giving the following description of the mount:-

="This Mount Parnassus is by name,
=Of wondrous height, and noted fame;
==And none that seek to climb
=But meet with lions in the way,
=That strive of them to make a prey,
==And tear them limb from limb.
=But he who rhyme and reason keeps
==Needs not their roarings fear;
=In a whole skin he ever sleeps
==Who can such harness wear,
===But these who debase now,
====Or either one or both,
===To run here alone here,
====To bid I would be loath."

Montgomery then desires his guest to shape to fly, the very thought of which alarms him; but, on attempting a short flight, and receiving further instruction how to proceed, he makes another attempt, which is thus described:-

="Instructed thus my wings I set
=In the best order I could get,
==And stretch'cI them out anew.
=My guide's directions I observed,
=As well my notice they deserved,
==And I more safely flew.
=Then with more caution I did guide
==My wings as I came down,
=And clapp'd them closely to my side
==As soon's I touch'd the ground;
===As you've seen, or I've seen,
====A raven, unconcern'd,
===Descending and bending
====To what he had discern'd."

Montgomery, as they journey on, thus describes a rival hill, that also claims the name of Parnassus:-

="'Tis true, there is another hill
=Which falsely by this name they call,
==And whence its votaries roar.
=They strongly for their right contend,
=And do their bastard mount commend,
==And magnify its power.
=But those that to our mount belong
==Can easily perceive
=Such bold pretenders to be wrong,
==Though numbers they deceive;
===Instilling such killing
====Impressions in the mind,
===With lofty and crafty
====Embellishment refined."

Having attained to such a height that Montgomery surmised "they had got above the wind," he favours his guest with a "thorough trusty perspective:"-

="With power and force to penetrate
=Through roofs, through walls, through door or gate,
==And all within to know."

What he was thus enabled to view is then generally described:-

="When I the glass put to mine eye,
=The wondrous sights I did espie
==Made all my head to reel;
=Such various scenes the prospect drew,
=So odd, so rare, so strange, so new,
==All in a furious dreel;
=From every point the compass marks,
==And fifty more besides,
=My fellow-race, on various barks,
==Each other cross'd by tides,
===Some running, some shunning,
====From being ridden down;
===Some weeping, some sleeping,
====Some seeking for a crown!"

Having proceeded thus far in the stanza of the "Cherry and the Slae," he begs Montgomery to allow him to use a simpler measure, lest the rhyme or the sense should suffer.  Having readily obtained the favour he had so courteously asked, he now proceeds to describe the Reformation from Popery, and the various discussions to which it gave rise, and the sects which it occasioned, through upwards of four hundred heroic lines.
As a specimen of this part of the poem, and as probably presenting Ross's sentiments on a subject that he could not have foreseen was to be so much discussed in the course of the next half-century, we present the following:-

="Then a divine of the Geneva dress
=Fearless replied, 'My judgment I express:
=In _civil_ things I will my king obey,
=But of _religious_ never yield the key;
=To benefice I will no patent have,
=But what the people's free consent shall give;
='Tis them I serve, by them I'll called be,
=No King nor subject shall present to me!

==*=*=*=*=*=*

=We have no right without the people's call;
=And though there's no occasion that we serve
=Before the altar daily, and yet starve,
=Yet from the people's choice our right must flow,
=As 'tis with them we mainly have to do;
=And though, perhaps, they may not still agree,
=Yet must their choice be unconstrain'd and free:
=Let but the lot be always fairly cast
=Into the lap, and leave to God the rest.'"

Having represented the teachers of the various sects as justifying, and even magnifying their differences, he introduces a "subtle man," a free-thinker, who advises the people to leave these jangling doctors, and follow reason.  On this, the doctors drop their mutual recriminations, unite against the common enemy, warn the people of the unsoundness and danger of such doctrines, prove the necessity of revelation under man's altered circumstances, and show that the doctrines of the deist give no peace to the guilty conscience, so that his followers go on

="Till all too late they find their gross mistake,
=And curse the doctors for the doctrine's sake!
=Thus they Libertus' tenets did confound,
=And in one voice condemn'd them as unsound.
=The people all the sentence did applaud,
=And hiss'd to horror the delusive fraud;
=Yet some were found whose pride would never yield,
=Nor of their darling doctrine quit the field,-
=At revelation-at religion scorn'd,
=Or anything that piety adorn'd."

And thus, after such an elaborate introduction, our poet somewhat abruptly concludes, without any intimation of the manner in which he descended from his giddy height.
The effect of circulating such a tract as this, communicating the origin and tenets of different evangelical bodies, bringing forward their various defences, and concluding by showing their unity in opposing scepticism, it would be difficult in the present day to estimate; and that estimate is certainly not to be made by the want of compression in the lines, or the imperfection of some of the rhymes, which would only offend the mere literary critic; and considerable portions of it even he would find remarkably free from both these faults.
The next is a composition of greater length and higher pretension, divided into four portions.  The author has been at a loss whether to entitle them "Colloquies" or "Dialogues," and we would take the liberty of calling them "Religious Pastorals;" for the speakers are shepherds, and the subjects are principally the inspiration of the Scriptures and the necessity of regeneration.  It bears date 1754, is introduced by a preface of considerable length, and was evidently intended for publication, as the author states that, after it had lain by him for a considerable time, he "had allowed it to creep forth and show itself, without any ostentation, among the papers that are designed for general good."
He further tells us that, according to his small reach, he sought the conversion of his fellow-creatures from sin, and that one point he would not give up, namely, "the power of grace in determining and reclaiming the chiefest sinners, and which I have still used and recommended in all that in my colloquies have relinquished a sinful, and made choice of a godly, course of life."  He concludes by trusting that, in addition to giving the unlearned Christian some assistance and instruction, it may "provoke to spiritual fellowship, which, I persuade myself; when there is knowledge among some, and grace among the whole of a society of that kind, must be of singular use to promote serious godliness, strengthen the weak, and inform the ignorant."
These "Pastorals" extend to upwards of sixteen hundred lines, heroic verse, and we cannot but regret that such a work should not have been published at a time when the doctrines it inculcates might have been peculiarly useful, as they are always important, and when poetical taste was not so fastidious as in the present day; and, in opposition to the judgment of those who condemned it as calculated to injure the author's fame, we still think it might be given to the public with advantage.  As a specimen of the style in which it is written, we select a passage, not because it is the most striking, but because it is just possible that it may be so far autobiographical - describing the manner in which the author himself may have undergone that great change without which a man cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
On one occasion he heard his faithful pastor preaching from the text, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God," which greatly alarmed him; but he was somewhat cheered by the declaration, that "with him there is mercy, that he may be feared."  Having mentally prayed for mercy, and retired from church in much distress, he thus describes his conduct:-

="Got home, I straight to a retirement went,
=And some good time in meditation spent;
=My Bible then I gravely open spread,
=Resolved, that I with care its truths would read;
=The place that first presented to my view,
=And which to me till then was fully new,
=Was, 'Let the wicked man his ways forsake,
=Th' unrighteous man his thought, and so betake
=Himself to God, and He will mercy have,
=And for his sins abundant pardon give.'
=When I the sweet, refreshing truth had read,
=A blissful peace o'er all my frame was spread,
=With wonder struck, such comfort yet should be,
=In record kept for such a wretch as me;
=Then straight upon my knees I fell, and spread
=My hands abroad, and thus to God I pray'd:-
='O Lord my God, doth yet Thy holy word
=Such soul-refreshing promises afford?
=And shall not I break off my sins and mourn,
=And speedily unto Thy ways return?
=Oh, help me to receive this call from Thee,
=And henceforth to Thy fear devoted be.
=For I resolve, Lord, help me by Thy grace,
=Above all other things to seek Thy face!'
=From that time until now, my care has been,
=Upon the powerful grace of God to lean,
=Each day so much I of the Scriptures read," &c.

We trust that many of our readers will sympathise with us in our regret, that the man who, at such a time, entertained such sentiments, should not have qualified himself to occupy the pulpit instead of the desk; and that, when he had so expressed them, they should have been confined to the glens of Lochlee, and should now be immured in the recesses of a library.  The publication of such a work at the time when it was written might have been peculiarly useful, as the doctrines and duties it inculcates are truly evangelical; and the fear that it would have endangered his fame as a poet should have been compensated by the hope of its rendering him more useful as a Christian.
At the conclusion of this fascicle there is a metrical paraphrase of the thirty-fourth Psalm, in the same measure as the Scotch version, but somewhat more fluent and paraphrastical.
The next piece is a metrical version of the "Song of Solomon" without any preface.  It follows the divisions of the chapters of the Bible, extends to about a thousand lines, is in the measure of the Scotch Psalms also, and is not so much a paraphrase as a mere versification of the prose translaton.  From its dirty appearance, it seems to have been extensively read.  The following extract will show the style of its execution:-

="Some dear memorial of me keep,
==A seal upon Thy heart,
=Or on Thine arm, that I may ne'er
==Out of Thy sight depart;
=For love no rival can admit,
==As death it will engage,
=And jealousy therein exceeds
==The grave's devouring rage.

="The coals that feed that passion dire,
==Like coals of fire have power,
=Whose heat, so vehemently intense,
==Most all before devour;
=Rivers of waters cannot quench
==The fervent heat of love;
=Nor floods of persecution drown,
==Or from its object move.

="But though no means true love can quench,
==Where it has fix'd its reign,
=Yet, where 'tis wanting, all thy wealth
==Could not the bliss obtain;
=The offer and the offerer
==In high contempt would be;
=As love, of all the passions chief,
==Must not be forced but free."

Next comes "A View of King David's Affliction, particularly of Absoloms unnatural Rebellion - paraphrased in a Poem."  It has neither preface nor date, and amounts to upwards of a thousand lines in heroic verse.
We shall give as a specimen the following reflections on the suicide of Ahithophel:-

="Which act, although the ancients should commend,
=And as a great and gen'rous deed defend;
=Though Cato's practice should it patronise,
=And Cleopatra should thereof make choice;
=Thoogh modern instances too many are,
=The action from heroic is so far,
=That it is base and cowardly, and below
=The principles that from right reason flow;
=For, let us but inquire into the cause,
=That makes them thus infringe great nature's laws;
=We find that some cross Providence prevails,
=Some disappointment comes, or project fails,
=Which proud unthinking spirits cannot bear,
=Or silly souls sink under out of fear;
=The passions of the mind the reason cloud,
=And for mistaken ease together crowd,
=And in their hurry thus drive on their fate,
=And do the very thing they really hate;
=Whereas, if reason were allow'd her sway,
=And with just balance did the matter weigh,
=And steer another way, the clouds would break,
=And guide men by this sad, this so absurd mistake."

The next poem is entitled, "A Heavenly Breathing; or, a Respectful Act of the Soul to God," and only occupies three pages.  It concludes with the following apostrophe to Providence:-

="O Providence, none are concern'd to know
=Thy acts so much as mortals here below,
=No link, in all the mighty chain of things,
=But in Thine eye and at Thy pleasure hings,
=Is loosed or bound, set forward or reversed,
=Is toss'd or stopt, is gather'd or dispersed.
=To Thee we owe the principles of life,
=Which at Thy beck, await the fatal knife;
=Vain that we are, our schemes with care we lay,
=As if subjected to no final day;
=Grand plots and machinations we contrive
=To gain our ends, or those we miss retrieve;
=When many times, amidst our busy cares,
=Thou slipp'st our link, and we fall unawares;
=And with ourselves our schemes fall to the ground,
=And both together in the dust are wound."

We now come to a poem which is in the same style as the "Fortunate Shepherdess," and of nearly the same extent.  It appears to have been written on the impulse that the success of the "Shepherdess" had imparted to the author; and, as he was well aware of the objection that had been made to the winding up of his former poem, he subjects the fidelity of the hero and heroine of this production to great temptations; but enables them honourably to surmount all these trials, and happily unites them, after a long separation.  The manuscript, having no title-page, begins with a versified preface, which occupies five pages.  He thus acknowledges the delight which the success of his pastoral had afforded him:-

="Happy, thrice happy has my Nory been,
=And many a bonny fairly has she seen,
=And has her place, nae doubt, in closets fine,
=Where gowd and turkey wi' sweet mixture shine;
=In noble bosoms afttimes taks a nap,
=Or saftly lies upon my lady's lap."

He once more invokes his muse Scota, and promises that, should she again prove auspicious, she shall shine forth as the _tenth_ muse; and candidly admits that

="Gryte is the heeze ye've gien unto my fame,
=And 'mong the poets register'd my name."

The difficulty of striking out a new path, and producing another original tale, is thus happily illustrated:-

="When last my pen ye favour'd wi' a puff,
=I ran no likely risk o' speaking buff;
=Because before me there was widely spread
=All natute's stores in their pure, artless bed,
=Where at my wiss I might go through and cull,
=Gae by the warst, and up the fairest pull;

==*=*=*=*=*=*

=If I be found to copy o'er mysel',
='That's Flaviana o'er again,' they'll tell."

We have then the title at the commencement of the poem, from which we take the following extract, premising that, in the first line, Donald's was deleted for Malcolm's, which, in its turn, gave place to "Cromwell's days:"-

=THE FORTUNATE SHEPHERD; OR, THE ORPHAN.

="Langsyne, in troublous times, in Cromwell's days,
=When weirs and mister had harash'd the braes,
=When gryte an' sma' wi' pinching want opprest,
=Were forc'd to seek their bit where they could best,
=When households hail took a' the gate at anes,
=And, where there were nae mair, set out their lanes,
=And sick as had gar'd fouk bareheaded stand,
=Stood now at poorer doors wi' cap in hand.
='Mang sick's were forc'd to this mishap to bow,
=Young Kenneth's case I here present to you.
=="A blooming boy was he, round fac'd an' fair,
=And like the threed o' goud his yellow hair;
=Stout limbs and round, an' firm as ony tree,
=Were his, an' of a' seeming eelist free.
=No linen kind had ever touch'd his skin,
=As few thir days had can that claith to spin.
=A linder coarse, cut out of hodin gray,
=Neist to his skin, as white as paper, lay;
=A blanket of the same his shoulders clad,
=A spacious brutch before its fastening made.
=On shoon or hose for him was waird no cost,
=To save his youthful limbs from snow or frost,
=Through which with all indifference he wade,
=Nor of his road the least distinction made;
='Twixt five and six his eild then seemed to be,
=His leed, black earse - his carriage, bald and free."

Kenneth is carried away from "some island, or far-northern nook," by a female beggar.  They wander on till they reach Moray-land.  Lodged in a gentleman's house, Kenneth is taken ill; and his guide, thinking that he will be here well provided for, disappears one morning.  Kenneth is kept in the family; and a fondness springs up between him and the young lady of the house, who earnestly and successfully pleads in Kenneth's favour, when he was to be dismissed on account of his rough treatment of the young laird:-

="Poor, honest younglin', only gain her nine,
=Ne'er dream'd she was in love, 'cause she was kin'."

Kenneth is sent to the hills to help Dick to tend the sheep, to be taught to read, and to conduct himself with propriety.  On a visit to the lambs with a young friend, the young lady, who is familiarly called Henny, has an opportunity of speaking with Kenneth, who, in addressing her, affords one of those descriptive touches so frequent in the "Shepherdess," but so rare in the "Shepherd:"-

="I scour the hills, the howms, the glens with care,
=An' mony a bonny burn an' strype is there;
=Brae-lang green haughs, by ilka burn an' strype,
=An' hazel-nut heughs, an' hawthorn berries ripe,
=Here, in thick spots the ripe blae-berries grow,
=The bralans there like very scarlet glow,
=An', were ye there, the bliss wad be complete,
=An' ilka toil an' trouble wad be sweet."

This mutual attachment is discovered, and Kenneth, dreading the consequences, does what Roger only threatened to do, breaks his crook and chanter; then sets off to the nearest town, and enlists under the name of True.  The recruits are ordered to Flanders, and encounter a storm by the way; but all arrive in safety.  Kenneth soon distinguishes himself, and is made pay-master sergeant.  In a battle, he sees an ensign fall, and, rushing forward, prevents the colours from falling into the hands of the enemy, and is saluted by his colonel, Ensign True.  Florella, a lady of great fortune, falls in love with him; and, like another Bydby, "must let out the language of her heart;" but True proves true.  He, however, introduces the colonel, who soon marries the lady, and makes True a captain.  After fourteen years absence, Captain True returns home; goes to the old church; is invited, unknown, by Henny's brother, in the mother's name, to dine with the family; remains with them for some time; makes love to the young lady; his suit is seconded by the mother, but steadily rejected by the constant Henny.  At last he reveals himself, and the constant lovers are joyfully united.  But now the old beggar turns up again, and reveals that the captain's name is M'Kay, and that, as an "Orphan," he had been deprived of his property, "on Pomona's bonny braes," by his uncle.  In the attempt to regain his property, he discovers that his colonel, to whom he was so much indebted, is the son of this uncle, and, consequently, Kenneth's cousin, and so the whole is wound up by an amicable adjustment of their respective rights.
Such is a brief outline of the tale, which has its episodes that we have omitted, and a sufficient amount of intricacy to keep up the interest.  There is considerable prolixity in the dialogues and soliloquies, and an awkward repetition of the account of Kenneth's early love; but still, as Campbell has said, "it is carried on with our author's usual address;" and, although our author, for a considerable part of the tale, is on ground to which he was practically a stranger, still, we are not inclined to adopt the opinion of Beattie, that its publication would have endangered his reputation, while it might have added considerably to his humble comforts.  When recently in Lochlee, we ran over the outline of the "Orphan" in the hearing of a gentleman of much intelligence and intimate acquaintance with the district from his youth.  He informed us that these very events, at least in substance, had occurred to parties who lived and died within a short distance of the house where we then were; and that, as the Captain and his wife originally belonged to Strathdon, their remains were conveyed to that locality.  We intentionally decline to enter into detail; but this confirms our opinion that the "Fortunate Shepherdess" had been founded on a real incident; and hence the unpoetical _denouement_ of that tale, for which the author has been so much blamed.  The production we have just been analysing is more in harmony with the structure of works of imagination, in which merit meets its reward, and faithful love is crowned with happiness.
The second volume contains "The Shunammite," founded on 2 Kings iv.; it is written in the heroic measure, and occupies twelve pages: then "Moses," exposed in the ark of bulrushes, in common measure; and then "An Incitement to Temperance," in heroic verse, and only extending to six pages.
We now approach a work extending to upwards of three thousand lines, bearing the following title: "The Book of Job, rendered in English Verse, by a Well-wisher of the Muses, 1761."  In a preface, occupying five pages, we have the following account of the origin of this version of the sublimest and most ancient of poems: "What invited me to try my hand this way was occasionally reading the thirty-ninth chapter of this book, when I found such a flow and run of poetlcal matter, that I must needs amuse myself by attempting to translate it into verse, and see if I could keep the author's beauties under the fetters of such rhyme as I might be able to render it into.  After I had done it, as people are generally fond of their own brats, I would attempt the version of the first chapter, yet far from thinking to meddle with the whole book.  However, I proceeded, and, at length, brought the work to a period."  We shall present, as a specimen, a part of his version of the chapter which first arrested his attention:-

="Gavest thou his strength unto the stately horse?
=Gavest thou unto his neck its thund'ring force?
=With all thy dread couldst thou him terrify?
=And, as a grasshopper, make him fly?
=Majestic glory from his nostrils flows,
=And with surprising force though them he blows!
=Vain of his gait, he in the valley paws,
=And tell his strength is of his joy the cause;
=And, void of fear, he prances o'er the plain,
=To meet the fury of the armed men.
=He mocks at fears, is not with these dismay'd,
=Nor of the glittering sword's approach afraid.
=The rattling quiver, massy shield and spear,
=Are noways powerful to awake his fear;
=The ground he swallows in his fiery rage,
=Nor trusts the trumpet doth the fight presage;
=When round his ears the martial clangour blows,
=His pride awakens, and his ardour glows.
=Ha, ha! he says, then smells the fight afar,
=The noise of captains, and the shouts of war!"

Although all these lines are not equally happy, yet the last six would have done no discredit to any poet of that day; and, if they have not the vigour of Young's version of the same passage, they have the merit of being more comprehensive.
Passing now from poetry to prose, we have next "_A Dialogue of the Right of Government_ among the Scots; the persons, George Buchanan and Thomas Maitland."  Mr Alexander Campbell says:- "It contains many judicious observations and shrewd remarks, pertinent and logical in no small degree."  After giving an example, he farther expresses his opinion, that "it might be rendered a very valuable performance by the judicious use of the pruning knife, and a careful revisal of the whole."  The contributor of Ross's life to Chambers's "Lives of Eminent Scotsmen," after quoting part of the above sentence, says: "The specimen given does not indicate the direction of Ross's political sentiments, nor does Campbell supply that information."  The reader will admit that the specimen must have been very uncharacteristic of the work indeed, when he learns that the tractate is neither more nor less than a translation of Buchanan's famous dialogue, "De Jure Regni apud Scotos," which certainly needs not the application of such a pruning knife as Campbell could have supplied, and left no uncertainty in the mind of the Estates of Scotland, who, in 1584, condemned it as unmeet to remain as a record of truth to posterity, nor in that of Sir James Mackintosh, who thus characterises it:- "The principles of popular politics, and the maxims of a free government, are delivered with a precision, and enforced with an energy which no former age had equalled, and no succeeding has surpassed."  In a word, it saps the foundation of the degrading doctrines of divine right and passive obedience, and establishes the principles on which the British constitution of the present day is founded.  We may here notice the disadvantage under which our author laboured, arising from his secluded position; for, although we cannot ascertain the year in which this translation was made, yet we know that it was finished at least twenty years before Macfarlan's translation was published.  Buchanan's treatise had been translated into English so early as 1607; and the last translation was made by Robert Macfarlan, A.M., author of the "Life of George III.," and published in 1799, and republished in Edinburgh so lately as 1843.
The third volume of our author's manuscripts contains the last of his productions.  This is a translation of Ramsay's "Poemata Sacra," in blank verse.  The volume consists of two copies of the translation; the former is, apparently, the first rude draft; the latter is written with greater care, and exhibits numerous alterations in words and reconstruction of lines.  The former copy, however, is interesting to the biographer, as it exhibits, at the end of the serpent's address to Eve, the date 12th June 1781.  The latter version had evidently been prepared for publication; for it is introduced by a preface occupying eight pages, from which we make the following extract: - "This poem, with several others, the works of our countrymen, distinguished in their day for their literary accomplishments, [no doubt the _deliciae Poetarum Scotorum_,] had been in my possession for upwards of sixty years past, nor had I considered the treasure I was in possession of, till more minutely observing the plan and spirit wherewith the above poem was written - how noble the design was, and how intended to display the gracious ways of God to man, by bringing, as it were, to our view the result of the council of peace, the great mystery of godliness, God made manifest in the flesh.  I was determind to peruse the same with diligence.  The poet seems to have had in his eye to correct the fabulous account we have of the creation given us by Ovid, and to set in a truly poetical light the account given us thereof by Moses, to which, as the best recommendation of itself, we refer, could we be so happy as in any measure to do justice to the elegant original.  But to attempt the translation of a work of such poetical merit, at my time of life, going the _eighty-second_ year of my age, that had so long escaped my observation, must, in the judgment of the world, be accounted unseasonable; nor can I withhold mine own (judgment) from it, however I behoved to yield to the prevailing impulse, and have somehow got through the same - I shall not say with that accuracy that becomes so serious an undertaking, yet (I) endeavoured to support the beauties of the original as far as was consistent with the circumstances I lay under, of the reach of our language coming short of the poet's elegancies, and of my coming short of what our language may be allowed to be capable of."
Andrew Ramsay was one of the ministers of Greyfriars' Church, and Professor of Divinity in Edinburgh, during the troublous times of enforcing "the Perth Articles," the most repugnant of which to our Presbyterian forefathers was kneeling at the communion.  As a singular illustration of those times, Calderwood informs us that Ramsay knelt at thc srvicc, but his wife did not, and that one of his associates in the ministry sat on the form, but kneeled with one knee!  We should infer from the brief notices we have of him in the history of those times, that he had the disposition, but lacked the courage, to be a reformer, and hence he is charged with inconsistency.  His "Poemata Sacra" were published in 1633, and were dedicated to King Charles, whom he assures he had not allowed the muses to interfere with his graver duties; that he was then in the fifty-eighth year of his age; and that, although the streams of his genius were drying up, yet the hope of seeing the king had restored his mind to its former strength, of which the work he then dedicated to His Majesty was the evidence!  His principal poem treats of the creation, original happiness, the fall and redemption of man.  From some of his minor pieces, we learn that he was the son of David Ramsay and Catherine Carnegie of Balmain, and, from other sources, that he was the father of Andrew Ramsay, who for many years was Provost of Edinburgh.  Arthur Johnston, author of a Latin version of the Psalms in elegiac verse, compliments Ramsay, in an elegant epigram, on having united the peaks of Parnassus with the hill of Sion, and the waters of Jordan with the Castalian fount.
Ramsay's poems were brought into notice in 1750, when the notorious Lauder attempted to prove that Milton had plagiarised his "Paradise Lost" from preceding poets, and, among other quotations adduced to prove this assertion, was one of fourteen lines from Ramsay, with one interpolated, which was a translation of a line from Milton himself!  The passage occurs towards the end of the Third Book, beginning with the line-

="O Judex, nova me facies inopinaque terret."

The translation of this poem, which extends to upwards of two thousand lines, affords a remarkable proof of the aged translator's vigour and perseverance.  We should have been happy to have given an extract from Ramsay's poem, together with a translation hy Lauder, that the reader might have had an opportunity of comparing it with that of Ross, and of thus judging of the correctness of our decision, that the latter had no reason to shrink from the contest with the former; but our space forbids.
As a specimen of our author's success in blank verse, we shall give his translation of the opening of the First Book, beginning -

=="Quae massae dedit orsa rudis vis diva creatrix," &c.

="What Divine power creative essence gave
=To the rude mass at first, assigning each
=Its proper place, disjoining earth from sea;
=And how that same almighty Artist framed
=Spheres within spheres, and arch'd the heavens above;
=And how the heaven born mind got first
=In Eden fair the seeds of mortal stain;
=And how the Son of God heaven's radiant towers
=Forsook, that He might lapsed man restore,
=And in eternal seats again replace,-
=Grand argument, indeed, and which would need
=A seraph's wings to give it proper flight,-
=Is what my mind proposes to display.
=With me, O holy Father, who at first
=The world's walls framedst with Thy mighty hand,
=And shapedst the ether to a flaming vault,
=Assistant be; and Thou, the Father's Son,
=The Spring and Founder of a better world,
=Thine aid impart; and Thon, O Holy Spirit,
=In common kindly issuing from both,
=Propitious be, and slide into my mind:
=For I Apollo and his train despise,
=With all the vain and fab'lous deities
=The vot'ries of the muses use t' invoke.
=Let the blest Three, that I to times to come
=God's mighty deeds may properly declare,
=And hidden things becomingly unfold," &c.

We think the reader will perceive little appearance of senility in these lines, and will perhaps think that it would only be performing an act of tardy justice to subject both the original and the translation to the press.
Dear old man!  In three short years thou wilt be elevated to a place among the "sons of the morning."  The infirmities of age must now be stiffening that once active frame, and dimming the lustre of that once piercing eye; but, instead of yielding to indolence or despondency, thou art finally examining those books that have so long been thy pride and solace.  Thou canst still read a Latin poem and appreciate its excellence, more especially as it embodies "the song of Moses and the Lamb;" the poetic ardour has not been chilled by the snows of fourscore winters; the harp is again taken to thy breast; and, although thou shakest thy hoary head, yet we see the faded eye lightened up with all the poet's ecstasy.  The few who heard thee have acknowledged that the fidelity and freedom with which thou hast performed thy "labour of love," will stand a favourable comparison with the efforts of others who have attempted a similar task.  It must have been a pleasing and congenial work to thee, book in hand, to muse upon the creation of the world, the original happiness of man, his fall, and his redemption through Christ, whilst thou were standing by the grave of Jean Catanach, sauntering by the side of the Loch, or wandering amid the beauties of Glenmark, or in thine own little garden, when fatigued,

="Upon the camowyne to lean you doun;"

and, when the evening sun of that summer was glittering on the honeysuckle, and streaming through thy little window, thou wert sitting at thy desk, transcribing from memory the lines composed in the course of the day.  Happy old man!  Would that all our poets had spent the day of life as virtuously and usefully, and sung as cheerfully their "evening hymn!"







HELENORE;

or,

THE FORTUNATE SHEPHERDESS.





TO THE PRINTER OF THE "ABERDEEN JOURNAL."

SIR, - I have read the "Fortunate Shepherdess," and other Poems in Broad Scotch, just published at Aberdeen, by Mr Alexander Ross of Lochlee.  This writer has given us the provincial dialects of Angus, Mearns, and Aberdeenshire, in great perfection; and I am convinced his work will be highly amusing to all who relish that sort of composition.  A nice critic might, perhaps, take exception at his plot, at the prolicity of some of his speeches, and at the impropriety of some particular incidents and sentiments; but Mr Ross, in his preface, hath made so modest an acknowledgment of these, and the other faults which he thinks may be found in the performance, that it is impossible for a good-natured reader not to excuse them.  Many genuine strokes of nature and passion, and many beautiful touches of picturesque description, are to be seen in this work.  There is even an attempt at character, which in one or two instances is by no means unsuccessful.  In his Songs there is an easy turn of humour and versification: some of them have long been known to the common people of this country, who sing them with much satisfaction and good humour.  I beg leave to transmit to this facetious author, by the channel of your paper, the following lines, which may please some of your readers, and cannot, I think, offend any; and am, Sir, your humble servant,

===OLIVER OLDSTILE.

_June_ 1, 1768.





TO MR ALEXANDER ROSS,

AT LOCHLEE,
AUTHOR OF THE "FORTUNATE SHEPHERDESS" AND OTHER POEMS IN THE BROAD SCOTCH DIALECT.

O ROSS, thou wale of hearty cocks,
Sae crouse and canty with thy jokes!
Thy hamely auld-warld muse provokes
==Me for a while
To ape our guid plain country folks
==In verse and style.

Sure never carle was half sae gabby,
E'er since the winsome days of Habby.
Oh, mayst thou ne'er gang clung or shabby,
==Nor miss thy snaker!
Or I'll call Fortune, Nasty Drabby,
==And say, Pox take her!

Oh, may the roupe ne'er roust thy weason!
May thrust thy thrapple never gizzen!
But bottled ale, in mony a dizen,
==Aye lade thy gantry!
And fouth o' vivres, a' in season,
==Plenish thy pantry!

Lang may thy stevin fill with glee
The glens and mountains of Lochlee,
Which were right gowsty but for thee,
==Whase sangs enamour
Ilk lass, and teach wi' melody
==The rocks to yamour.

Ye slink your head; but, o' my fegs,
Ye've set auld Scota on her legs,
Lang had she lien, wi' beffs and flegs
==Bumbazed and dizzie;
Her fiddle wanted strings and pegs,
==Wae's me, poor hizzie!

Since Allan's death, naehody cared
For anus to speer how Scota fared;
Nor plack nor thristled turner wared,
==To quench her drouth;
For, frae the cottar to the laird,
==We a' run South.

The Southland chiels indeed hae mettle,
And brawly at a sang can ettle;
Yet we right couthily might settle
==On this side Forth.
The devil pay them with a pettle,
==That slight the North.

Our country leed is far frae barren,
'Tis even right pithy and auldfarren.
Oursels are neiper-like, I warran,
==For sense and smergh,
In kittle times, when faes are yarring,
==We're no thought ergh.

Oh, bonny are our green-sward hows,
Where through the birks the burny rows,
And the bee bums, and the ox lows,
==And saft winds rusle,
And shepherd-lads on sunny knows,
==Blaw the blythe fusle!

'Tis true, we Norlans manna fa',
To eat sae nice, or gang sae bra',
As they that come from far-awa';
==Yet sma's our skaith;
We've peace (and that's well worth it a')
==And meat and claith,

Our fine new-fangle sparks, I grant ye,
Gie poor auld Scotland mony a taunty;
They're grown sae ugertfu' and vaunty,
==And capernoited,
They guide her like a canker'd aunty,
==That's deaf and doited.

Sae comes of ignorance, I trow,
'Tis this that crooks their ill-fa'r'd mou'
With jokes sae coarse, they gar fouk spew
==For downright skonner;
For Scotland wants na sons enew
==To do her honour.

I here might gie a skreed of names,
Dawties of Heliconian dames:
The foremost place Gavin Douglas claims,
==That pawky priest;
And wha can match the First King James
==For sang or jest?

Montgomery grave, and Ramsay gay,
Dunbar,Scot, Hawthornden, and mae
Than I can tell; for o' my fae
==I maun brak aff:
'Twould take a live-lang summer day
==To name the half.

The saucy chiels - I think they ca' them
_Critics_ - the muckle sorrow claw them,
(For mense nor manners ne'er could awe them
==Frae their presumption,)
They need not try thy jokes to fathom,
==They want rumgumption.

But ilka Mearns an' Angus bairn
Thy tales and sangs by heart shall learn,
And chiels shall come frae yont the Cairn-
==a-mounth, right vousty,
If Ross will be so kind as share in
==Their pint at Drousty.







HELENORE;

OR,
THE FORTUNATE SHEPHERDESS.

COME, Scota, thou that anes upon a day
Gar'd Allan Ramsay's hungry heartstrings play
The merriest sangs that ever yet were sung;
Pity anes mair, for I'm out-throw as clung.
'Twas that grim gossip, chandler-chafted Want,
Wi' thread-bair claithing, and an ambry scant,
Gar'd him cry on thee to blaw throw his pen,
Wi' leed that well might help him to come ben,
And crack amo' the best o' ilka sex,
And shape his houghs to gentle bows and becks.
He wan thy heart, well wordy o't, poor man;
Take yet anither gangrel by the hand:
As gryt's my mister, and my duds as bare,
And I as sib as he was, ilka hair.
Mak me but ha'f as canny, there's no fear,
Tho' I be auld, but I'll yet gather gear.

=Oh,gin thou hadst not heard him first o'er well,
Fan he got maughts to write the "Shepherd's" tale,
I meith ha had some hap of landing fair,
But, oh, that sang's the mither o' my care!
Fat wad I geen that thou hadst put thy thumb
Upo' the well-tald tale till I had come;
Syne led my hand alangst it, line for line,
Oh, to my dying day, how I wad shine!
And as far 'yont it as syn Habbie play'd,
Or "Christ's Kirk o' the Green" was first essay'd;
And mair I wad no wiss; but Allan bears
The gree himsell, and the green laurels wears;
Well mat he brook them, for though ye had spaired
The task to me, Pate meith na been a laird.
'Tis maybe better, I'll tak fat ye gee,-
Ye're nae toom-handed gin your heart be free.
But I'll be willing, gin ye bid me write,
Blind horse, they say, ride hardy to the fight,
And by gueed hap may come again, but scorn;
They are no kempers a' that shear the corn.

=Kind Scota heard, and said, Your rough-spun ware
But sounds right douff and fousome i' my ear;
Do you pretend to write like my ain bairn,
Or ony ane that came frae 'yont the Kairn?
Ye're far mistane gin ye think sic a thought,
The "Gentle Shepherd" 's nae sae easy wrought;
There's scenes and acts, there's drift, and there's design,
And a' maun like a new-ground whittle shine,
Sic wimpled wark would crack a pow like thine.
Kind mistris, says I, gin this be your fear,
Charge nae mair shot than what the piece'll bear;
Something but scenes or acts, that kittle game,
Yet what meith please, bid me sit down and frame.
Gae, then, she says, nor deave me with your din,
Puff, I inspire you, sae ye may begin.
Gin ye, o'er forthersome, turn tapsie-turvy,
Blame your ain haste, and say not that I spur ye,
But sound and seelfu', as I bid you, write,
And ready hae your pen when I indite.
Speak my ain leed, 'tis gueed auld Scots I mean,
Your soudland gnaps I count not worth a prine.
We've words a-fouth, we well can ca' our ain,
Tho' frae them sair my bairns now refrain,
But are to my gueed auld proverb confeerin',
Neither gueed fish nor flesh, nor yet salt herrin'.
Gin this ye do, and lyn your ryme wi' sense,
But ye'll mak friends of fremmit fouk, fa kens?
With thir injunctions ye may set ye down.
Mistris, says I, I'm at your bidding boun'.

=Sae I begins, my pen into my hand,
My lug just heark'ning, as she should command:
But then about her there was sic a din-
Some seeking this, some that, some out, some in,
That it's nae fairly that I aft gae wrang,
And for my ain write down my neiper's sang;
For hundreds mair were learning at her school,
Some writing fair, and, like mysell, some foul.

==----------

Whan yet the leal and ae-fauld herding life
Was not o'ergane by falsehood, sturt, and strife,
But here and there part o' that seelfu' race
Boore love and lawty in their honest face;
Though lang or then lowns had begun to spread,
And riefing hairship was become a trade;
Yet of the sakeless sort, that did na ken
Naething but fat was downright fair and plain,
A sonsie pair of lad and lass was found,
Wha honest love wi' halie wedlock crown'd;
For joining hands, they just were feer for feer,
And win'd to ither, as A to B, as near.
For bonnyness and other gueed out-throw,
They were as right as ever tred the dew;
The Lad was Colin, and the Lass was Jean,
And fu' soon as the jimp three raiths was gane,
The daintiest littleane bonny Jean fuish hame,
To flesh and blud that ever had a claim.
The name the weeane gat was Helenore,
That her ain grandame brooked lang before.
Gryte was the care and tut'ry that was ha'en
Baith night and day about the bonny weeane.
The jizzen-bed wi' rantry leaves was sain'd,
And sic like things as the auld grannies kend;
Jean's paps wi' saut and water washen clean,
Reed that her milk gat wrang, fan it was green;
Neist the first hippen to the green was flung,
And thereat seelfu' words baith said and sung;
A clear brunt coal wi' the het tongs was ta'en,
Frae out the ingle-mids, fu' clear and clean,
And throw the corsy-belly letten fa,
For fear the weeane should be ta'en awa.
Dowing and growing was the daily pray'r,
And Nory was brought up wi' unco care;
The oddest fike and fissle that e'er was seen,
Was by the mither and the grannies ta'en,
And the twa bobbies were baith fidging fain,
That they had gotten an oye o' their ain;
And bonny Nory answer'd a' their care,
For well she throove, and halesome was, and fair;
As clear an' cockin' as a water trout,
And as she grew, sae did her beauty sprout.

=Fan Nory now a gangrel trig was grown,
And had begun to toddle about the town,
An honest neiper man, Ralph was his name,
That lived on the same tenement with them,
A dainty stirrah had, twa years out-gane,
And he was now well ta'en the road him-lane.
The callan's name was Rosalind, and they
Yeed hand in hand together at the play,
And as the billy had the start of eild,
To Nory he was aye a tenty bield;
Wad help her up, whan she wad chance to fa',
Wad gather gowans, and string them on a straw,
And knit about her bonny neck and arms;
And be as tenty to bear off all harms,
As ever hen upo' the midden-head
Wad tent her chuckins frae the greedy glaid.
'Twas then blind Cupid did lat gae a shaft,
And stung the weans, strangers to his craft,
That baith their hearties fand the common stound,
But had no pain but pleasure o' the wound.
As they grew up, as fast their likings grew,
As haining water'd with the morning dew;
Like was their pleasure, and alike their pain,
And baith alike were sorry or were fain.

=When they were able now to herd the ewes,
They yeed together through the heights and hows,
Whileoms they tented, and sometimes they play'd,
And sometimes rashen hoods and buckies made;
And ilka night, as boughting time drew near,
Nory yeed foremost, Lindy in the rear.
But on a day, as Lindy was right thrang
Weaving a snood, and thinking of nae wrang,
And baith curcuddoch, and their heads bow'd down,
Auld sleeket Lawrie fetcht a wyllie round,
And claught a lamb anoner Nory's care;
She spy'd the thief, and gae the reefu' rair.
Lindy bangs up, and flang his snood awa,
And i' the haste o' rinning catcht a fa',
Flaught-bred upon his face, and there he lay,
Nory pursuing as fast as she may.
The cries and yamers gar'd the thief let gang
The sakeless lamb, but nae without great wrang;
For tweesh twa hillocks, the poor lambie lies,
And aye fell forret as it shoop to rise;
But that was naething to the dreary knell
That pierced her heart, when her dear Lindy fell.
Fan she came up, he never made to steer,
Nae answer gae, fatever she wad speer;
Like to distract, she lifted up his head,
Cried, Lindy, Lindy, waes me, are ye dead?
Nae answer yet, for he had fa'en a swoon,
His face got sic a dird upo' the ground.
An awful hole was dung into his brow,
And the red bleed had smear'd his cheeks an' mou,
But fusomever, in a little wee,
Himsel he gathers, and begins to see;
And first he spies poor Nory greeting sair,
And says, O 'oman, what maks a' your care?
Has the on-beast your lambie ta'en awa?
Nae that, she says, but 'cause ye've gotten a fa';
Up-by the lambie's lying yonder styth,
But maksna, that it's no yoursel I'm blyth;
For fan I saw you, I thought haleumlie,
That ye wad never speak again to me.
I bade you speak, but ye nae answer made,
And syne in haste I lifted up your head,
But nuver a sinacle o' life was there,
And I was just the neist thing to despair.
But well's my heart that ye are come alist,
The lamb's awa, and it'll ne'er be mist.
We'll ablins get a flyte, and ablins nane,
We'll say, it was fan ye fell o' the stane,
And sae sair hurt, as could no rise your lane.
See gin ye'll win unto this strypie here,
And wash your face and brow with water clear.
But a' the washing wad na stench the bleed,
On haste then Nory for the stanch-girss yeed:
For thae auld-warld fouks had wondrous cann
Of herbs, that were baith good for beast and man,
And did with care the canny knack impart
Unto their bairns, and teach the useful art.
Back with the halesome girss in haste she hy'd,
And tentily unto the sair apply'd.
The bleed was stanch'd and then that stanch'd their care,
A plantane leaf was clapped o' the sair,
Now Lindy is as canty as a midge,
And Nory at it did for blythness fidge,
Taks frae her pouch a glack of bread and cheese,
And unto Lindy with a smirtle gees;
He taks and eats, and Nory does the same,
Then look their ewes, and back unto their game.

=By this tinme Lindy is right well shot out,
Tweesh nine and ten, I think, or thereabout;
Nae bursen bailch, nae wandought, or misgrown,
But snack and plump, and like an apple round.
Like tap of lint his hair baith fair and lang,
Like onie kurch down o'er his shou'ders hang;
His cheeks they were as ony apple red,
And his twa eyn as clear's a crystal bead,
Fu' o' good nature, sharp an snell witha',
And kibble grown at shaking of a fa'.
Nae billy like himself a' round about,
That, mows or earnest, durst gee him a clout.
And Nory was he bonniest lassie grown,
Was to be seen a-landward or in town:
Three halyears younger she than Lindy was,
But for her growth was meikle about a pass;
Her hair was like the very threads of goud,
First hang well down,t hen back in ringlets row'd;
Pure red and white, her mother o'er again,
And bonnier, gin bonnier could ha' been.
Ye could na look your sairin' at her face,
So meek it was, so sweet, so fu' o' grace.
Her cherry-cheeks ye might bleed wi' a strae,
Syne she was swift and souple like a rae,
Swack like an eel, and calour like a trout,
And she became a fairly round about:
Fan she among the neiper bairns was seen,
At greedy glade, or warpling on the green,
She 'clipst them a', and gar'd them look like draff;
For she was like the corn, and they the caff.
The girls about envied the lassie's fare,
And wisht her skaith, but disappointed were.

=While thro' their teens the youth and maid advance,
Their kindling eyes with keener transport glance.
But with mair wyles and cann they bet the flame,
And aye as they grew up, sae grew their shame.
The other herd young Lindy sair'd with scorn,
And mair and mair stroove to blaw up the horn;
And gin together some o' them had gane,
To play the penny or the putting-stane,
If Lindy chanced, as synle was his lot,
To play a wrangous or a feckless shot,
Jeering they'd say, Poor Lindy's maughtless grown;
But maksna, 'tis a browst that he has brown;
Gin he 'bout Nory lesser fyke had made,
He had na been sae smearless at the trade.
For they were a' just like to eat their thumb,
That he with Nory sae far ben should come.
Nor was't a fairly, for she well meith be,
Gentle or semple, a maik to any he,
For flesh and bleed, fat needs there ony mair?
This was their grudge, and ground of a' their care.
The lasses, too, for they were ilka ane
Wi' Lindy's features and his beauty ta'en,
Taunted poor Nory, and began to say,
They kent where they saw him and her sik day.
Now Nory was as modest as a fleuk,
And at their jeering wist no how to look;
And fan her jo she happen wad to see,
Right dowie i' the dumps she'd seem to be.
This thrawart carriage gar'd him wonder sair,
And speir what was the ground o' this her care.
With blushes that bespoke her love and pain,
She maks reply, I warrant ye may ken.
Well, Nory, says he, never fash your thumb,
Gin I hald heal, Ise gar them a' sing dumb;
And gin I get but mickle o' their din,
I'll try whilk o' us has the thickest skin.
It sets them well into our thrang to spy,
They'd better whisht, reed I sud raise a fry;
And for yon giglet hussies i' the glen,
That night and day are floaning o' the men,
Aye shakin' fa's, and aft-times o' their back,
And just as light as ever the queen's plack,
They well may had their tongues, I'm sure that they
Had never ground the like on us to say.
Tell Jenny Cock, gin she jeer any mair,
Ye ken where Dick curfuffl'd a' her hair,
Took aff her snood, and syne when she yeed hame,
Boot say she tint it, nor durst tell for shame;
That word, I think, will sair to stap her mou',
And I mysell can tell, that that was true;
But fat's the matter? let them say their fill,
Gin they speak truth, they canna speak no ill;
And gin they lie, they'll hae the warst themsells,
Let them ne'er halt till they win hood and bells.

=Thus he his Nory cocker'd up again,
And cur'd her heart of a' its dreary pain:
For when love dwells betweesh twa lovers leel,
Nor good nor ill from ither they conceal:
Whate'er betides them, it relieves their heart,
When they get scouth their dolor to impart.

=But yet, alas! for all our lovers' arts,
They could not hide what pass'd within their hearts.
Baith mill and smithy had it now fu' rife,
That Lind and Nory wad be man and wife.
Evn the auld fouks themselves were mair nor fain,
Whan o' the bargain they began to ken:
But tho' the young fouks liked ither sair,
They never yet fand dint o' warld's care;
For marriage was far, far out of their sight,
As their intrigue was honest and upright.
They never minded mair, but meet and daut,
And thought the time but jimp enough for that.
Yet on a time, when they their tryst had made,
To meet and crack aneth a birken shade,
And were well set, and kisses gain' ding-dang,
Says Lindy, We maun marry now ere lang;
Fouk will speak o's, and fash us wi' the kirk,
Gin we be seen thegither in the mirk.
I ken na, quo' she, we're o'er young, I fear,
Of house or hadding yet to hae the care;
Ye see how Rob and Jenny's gane, sin they
Hae pitten o'er their head the merry day.
Ye shanna see, I'm sure, a poorer pair,
For back and belly they are pincht and bare.
They've gotten a geet that stills no night nor day,
Their ae best cow I saw them lately flay,
That for plain poortith lair'd intill a bog;
Besides, they hae na either ewe or hog.
Sic snibs as that may sair to let us see
That 'tis far better to be loose and free.
A better life I'm sure we canna lead,
Our meat and claith are baith bound till our head.
Fan down's our head, as we hae heard it said,
Our house is happed, and our mailen paid.
Quo' he, I grant 'tis a' true that you speak,
But yet ae swallow does na summer make:
Gin we hald heal, we need na dridder mair,
Ye ken we winna be set down so bare.
And then at hame the stocking is na sma',
And nane to seek or get it but we twa.
That's true, and true enough; but yet, quo' she,
There is nae time o'ergane for you nor me.
But what if some mischance sud cut us short,
Quo' he, and after a' sud spoil the sport?
What if some wealthy chield sud chance to come,
Just ready for a wife, as aye there's some,
And wi' your father sic an ear sud get,
As gar him strike the iron when 'tis het
How stand poor I, o'erta'en wi' sic a trick,
To look like blunty, and the fupshaft lick?
Na, na, quo' she, you need no hae sic fear,
They ken you like me, and they ken you've gear:
And gin ye wad but shoot it by a while,
I ken a thing that wad your fears beguile;
But I think shame, because it speaks of me.
Hang shame, quo' Lindy, and be frank and free.
Well, nae langsyne, fan our auld fouks were laid,
And taking their ain crack into their bed,
Weening that I was sleeping, they began
To speak about my getting of a man:
My father first did at my mither speer,
Heary, is Nory fifteen out this year?
Awell I wat is she, my mither says;
Had she a woman's wit, she has her days.
Ha! never an hour does Nory want, lat's see,
But bare five months, her saxteen out to be;
And gin ye mind, I but synteen was out,
Fan we forgather'd, or just thereabout.
I mind it well enough, and well I may,
Atwell I danced wi' you on your birthday.
Ay, heary, quo' she, now but that's awa;
Dainta, quo' he, let never warse befa';
We're well enough, and hae baith meat and claith,
And o'er bauld to complain at other skaith.
We manna aye be young, quo' she, that's true,
But fat think ye o' Nory's courtship now?
Lindy and she, I hear, are unco thrang;
'T's nae secret now, the news is gaing ding-dang.
Auld Maggy Procter speer'd at me last day;
I said I kent na, it might e'en be sae;
Yonng fouks'll aye be looking them about,
And that they're doing sae, I mak nae doubt.
Well, heary, quo' he, but fat do ye think o't?
That it were true I wish I gae my coat.
My mither says, I like the lad right well,
For I like aye the verity to tell;
He may well sair, the best day e'er she raise.
Quo' he, I ken nought unto his dispraise;
He's a gueed lad, and that's the best of a',
And for the gear, his father well can draw;
For he's nae boss, six score o' lambs this year,
That's heartning gueed, the match is feer for feer.
That's true, quo' she, but we'll behad a wee,
She's but a tangle, tho' shot out she be;
She'll be mair stivvage, and for docker meet,
If she a toumon be behadden yet.
Ye'se get your will, quo' he; 'tis nae far back,
Sin Ralph and I about it had a crack;
They like the bargain just as well as we,
And it's nae matter fan the marriage be.
Kiss o' thy mou' for sic a welcome tale,
The lad replied, I wat thou's get it leal;
Well mat thou thram, for sin thou's been so free,
I for a whyllie yet sall lat thee be,
Tho' sair against my will; for ye may ken,
T' had drink frae drowth is sair against the grain.

=Now Flaviana was the country's name,
That aye that bonny water-side did claim,
Frae yellow sands that trindled down the same.
The fouks were wealthy, store was a' their stock;
Wi' this, but little cunzie, did they trock;
Frae 'mang the beasts his honour got his fa',
And got but little siller, or nane awa.
The water feckly on a level sled,
Wi' little dinn, but couthy what it made.
On ilka side the trees grew thick and strang,
And wi' the birds they a' were in a sang:
On ev'ry side, a full bow-shot and mair,
The green was even, gowany, and fair;
With easy sklent, on ev'ry hand the braes,
To right well up, wi' scatter'd busses raise:
Wi' goats and sheep aboon, and ky below,
The bonny braes a' in a swarm did go.
Nae property these honest shepherds pled,
All kept alike, and all in common fed.
But ah! misfortune! while they fear'd no ill,
A crowd of Kettrin did their forest fill;
On ilka side they took it in wi' care,
And in the ca' nor cow nor ewe did spare.
The sakeless shepherds stroove wi' might an' main
To turn the dreary chase, but all in vain;
They had nae maughts for sic a toilsome task,
For barefaced robbery had put aff the mask.
Amo' the herds, that play'd a maughty part,
Young Lindy kyth'd himsell wi' hand and heart;
But mair than master maws the field, and sae
It fared wi' him, poor man, that hapless day.
Three fellows bauld, and like to lions strang,
Were a' his wrack, and wrought him a' his wrang;
On him laid hands, when he dow do na mair,
And wi' teugh raips they band him hard an' sair,
Then left him lying till they sud come back,
Hame for a brag intending lurn to tak.
[Ere they came back frae dighting o' the rear,
'Twas now as dark as it afore was clear;
They sought about, their seeking was in vain,
And Lindy's left, poor man, to pine wi' pain.]

=The fouk at hame by this time hae their care,
And that the gueeds are byding, wonder sair.
To hillock-heads and knows, man, wife, and wean,
To spy about them gather ilka ane;
Some o' them running here, some o' them there,
And a' in greatest mazerment and care.
Nory, poor 'oman, had some farder gane,
For Lindy fly'd, and standing was her lane,
When up there comes twa shepherds out of breath,
Raised like and blasting, and as haw as death.
Wow, Nory says, what is the cause the day,
That gueeds and shepherds hae made sic a stay?
O' gueeds and shepherds, 'oman speak nae mair,
Dowie's this day, and gae the reefu' rair!
They're a' made hership, and for ought we ken,
The herds may a' be feckly ta'en or slain!
At this sad news poor Nory taks the gate,
What legs could lift, though it was dark and late;
She ran and scream'd, and roove out at her hair,
And to the glen the gainest gate can fare.
Aye as the lads came up the news they spread,
I shanno tell you what effect it had;
For sic a ruther raise, tweesh riving hair,
Screeding of kurches, crying dool and care,
Wi' thud for thud upon their bare breast-bane,
To see't and hear't wad brak a heart of stane!
Poor Nory runs till she can run nae mair,
And syne fa's down; judge gin her heart was sair;
Out at her mou' it just was like to bout,
Intill her lap at ilka ither thout.
As lang as she had pith to rin or gang,
O Lindy! Lindy! was her dowie sang;
Well, Lindy, bonny Lindy, art thou dead?
Ise never frae this hillock lift my head.
O death, come also, and he kind to me,
And frae this sad back-birn of sorrow free!
Cry what she liked, Lindy cud na hear,
As she for him a quite wrang course did steer,
Twa miles at least; for he had follow'd keen,
Till him the ruffians sae did circumveen.
In this poor pickle heartless Nory lies,
Rowing her head, a mind to never rise.
The night grew mark, the mist began to fa',
The howlet shriek'd, and that was worst of a';
For ilka time the on-beast gae the yell,
In spite of grief, it gae her heart a knell,
At length, what wi' the fright, and what wi' grief,
And soupet spirits, hopeless of relief,
Sleep bit and bit crap in upon her wae,
And a' was quiet for an hour or sae;
But yet her heart was aye upo' the flought;
Sleeping and waking, Lindy filled her thought.
Sair was she catcht, for ilka now and then
She'd start, and fumper, then lie o'er again.
At last her dolour gets the upper hand,
She starts to foot, but has nae maughts to stand:
Hallach'd and damish'd, and scarce at hersell,
Her limbs they faicked under her and fell.
When she had thought awee, the dowie knell
Strak till her heart, for Lindy, sharp and snell.
'Tis yet pit-mark, the yerd a' black about,
And the night-fowl began again to shout;
Thro' ilka limb and lith the terror thirl'd,
At ev'ry time the dowie monster skirl'd.
At last the kindly sky began to clear,
The birds to chirm, and day-light to appear:
This laid her eery thoughts, but yet the pain
For her dear Lindy, ever did remain.
When light did sair her to see round about
Where she might be, she now began to doubt.
Nae meiths she kend, ilk hillock-head was new,
And a' thing unco' that was in her view.
Nor was it fairly, for she had na been
So far a fieldward, or sick glens had seen;
For ne'er afore, by lang twa miles and mair,
Had errands led her thro' the glens to fare.
On ilka hand the hill, were stay and steep,
And sud she tak them, she behoved to creep.
Baith wit and will in her together strave,
And she's in swither how she shall behave.
The fear o' Lindy wad na let her turn,
The frightful craigs and mountains gar'd her mourn.
And now for faut and mister she was spent,
As water weak, and dweble like a bent.
Yet try't she maun, her heart it wad na sair
To think but Lindy to look hameward mair.
Up through the cleughs, where bink on bink was set,
Scrambling wi' hands and feet, she taks the gate;
Twa hours she took, the longest of the day,
On sic a road, ere she clamb up the brae.
At last, whan she unto the height had won,
What kaips her there but the sweet morning sun?
Breathless and feckless, there she sits her down,
And will and willsome spied a' her aroun':
Of this sae couthie blink she was right fain,
And for a wee relieved of her pain.
But toil and heat so overpower'd her pith,
That she grew tabetless and swarft therewith,
And for a while shot out baith hand and foot,
As she had been with an elf-arrow shot.
At last the dwaum yeed frae her bit an' bit,
And she begins to draw her limbs and sit;
And by the help of a convenient stane,
To which she did her weary body lean,
She wins to foot, and, swavering, makes to gang,
And spies a spot of averens ere lang.
Right yap she yoked to the ready feast,
And lay and ate a full half-hour at least.
The feckless meltet did her head o'erset,
'Cause nature frae't did little sust'nance get.
Sick, sick she grows; syne, after that a wee,
When she o'ercame, the tear fell in her ee,
And till hersell she made this heavy main:
Propines like this I'll get nae mair again
Frae my dear Lindy; mony a time hast thou
Of these to me thy pouches feshen fu':
Alas! poor man, for aught that I can see,
This day thou lying in cauld bark mayst be;
And wae's me for't; but I shall never stint,
Till of thy chance the verity be kent;
Though to the warld's end my search sud be,
Dead or alive, thy bonny face I'll see.
Sae up she rises, and about she spies,
And, lo, beneath, a bonny burnie lies,
Out through the mist atweesh her and the sun,
That glanced and shined in ilka pool and lyn.
A hail hauf-mile she had at least to gang,
Through birns, and pikes, and scrabs, and heather lang:
Yet, put and row, wi' mony a weary twine,
She wins at last to where the pools did shine.
Alang the burn, that buskèd was wi' trees,
A bonny easie beaten road she sees.
Upon the busses birdies sweetly sung,
Till a' the cloughs about wi' musick rung:
They seem'd to do their best to ease the fair,
But she for that was o'er far gane in care.
Yet with the pleasant roddie she was ta'en,
And down the burn she taks the road her-lane;
Weening at length she might some town espy,
And sae amo' them for her Lindy try.
Now very sair the sun began to beat,
And she is like to sconfice wi' the heat;
The summer cauts were trembling here and there,
And clouds of midges dancing i' the air!
The streams of sweat and tears through ither ran
Down Nory's cheeks, and she to fag began:
Wi' wae, and faut, and meethness of the day,
Sae sair beset she was, that down she lay.
For her gueed luck, a wee bit aff the paid,
Grew there a tree, with branches close and braid:
The shade beneath a canness-braid out throw,
Held aff the sunbeams frae a bonny how:
Here she resolves to rest, and may be die,
And lean'd her head unto the kindly tree.
Her hand she had upon her haffat laid,
And fain, fain was she of the coolriff shade.
Short while she in this calour posture lay,
When welcome sleep beguiled her o' her wae.
Three hours that bliss to her was lengthen'd out,
When, by odd chance, a hunter came about;
A gallant youth, and, oh, so finely clad.
In his right hand a bow unbent he had;
A bonny page behind, hard at his heel,
Carried a sheaf of arrows shod with steel,
And knapsack clean, compactly made and feat,
Slung o'er his head, well lined with gentle meat.
As this young squire on haste is stending by,
Wi' a side look he sees a woman lie;
Jumps in the gate; but whan he saw her face,
Sae sweet, sae angel-like, and fu' of grace;
He durst na budge, nor speak, nor gang awa,
But stood stane-still, like picture on the wa':
His fill o' looking he could never get,
On sic afore his een he never set,
Though bluddert now with strypes of tears and sweat.

=As he's thus gazing, Cupid draws a shaft,
And proved himsell a master of the craft:
With sic a twang he bent his golden bow,
The red-het arrow pierced him through and through.
Nae eek frae Nory's hame-spun kirtle came,
To catch the lover, or to beet the flame.
Plain was her gown, the hue was o' the ewe,
And growing scrimp, as she was i' the grow.
'Tis true, her head had been made up fu' sleek
The day before, and well prin'd on her keek:
But a' her braws were out o' order now;
Her hair in taits hung down upon her brow.
To her left shoulder, too, her keek was worn,
Her gartens tint, her shoon a' skelt and torn:
And yet she makes a conquest as she lies,
Nor had a glance been shot yet frae her eyes.
Some fright he judged the beauty might have got,
Or met with something hapless in her lot,
And thought that she ev'n by hersell might be,
And if awaken'd fiercelins, aff might flee:
For she afttimes was starting through her sleep,
And fumpering, as gin she made to weep.
Still he looks on; at length hersell she raised,
And round about with consternation gazed.
Upon the squire as soon's she set her eyes,
Up till her foot she bangs with great surprise,
And was to run; he claught her by the ciaise,
And said, Sweet lassie, huly, gin you please:
Nae wrang yese get, bide only till I speer
What ye be seeking, or what fuish you here.
The grip detain'd her, but she cud na speak,
Her tongue for fear tint fettle in her cheek.
Then saftly more the squire entreats her stay:
At last she  gae a sob, and said, Hegh hey!
Oh, let me gang, for I hae done nae ill-
There's nane here thinks it, says he, but bide still;
Tell me what ails you, and I'll right your wrang,
Be what it list; and Ise no hadd you lang.
My wrang, my wrang, gryte is my wrang, she says;
Gin e'er ye heard of Flaviana's Braes,
Frae them am I, 'tis there my wrang is wrought,
Wrang unforsain'd, and that we never bought;
Rank Kettrin were they that did us the ill,
They toom'd our braes that swarming store did fill;
And mair than that, I reed our herds are ta'en,
And it's sair borne o' me that they are slain:
For they great docker made, and tulyied strang,
Ere they wad yield and let the cattle gang.
And a' the time the tears ran down her cheek,
And pinked o'er her chin upon her keek.
To hear her tale his heart was like to brak,
And sair intreated she wad courage tak;
That he wad gar the gueeds come dancing hame,
And them pay deep and dear, that had the blame.
Then with a smile he to the maiden says,
I mind to hear of Flaviana's Braes:
Fan I was young, upo' the nourice' knee,
My mammy used to sing a sang to me
About the Braes, and Colin was the lad,
And bonny Jean the name the lassie had:
Well were they roos'd, gin a' was said be true,
And fat wat I, but they belong'd to you:
Gin they were bonny, ye are sae, I see.
The tear again came trickling frae her ee.
Scarce could she speak; at last she sobbing says,
There was a sang ca'd _Flaviana's Braes;_
The fouks intil 't belonging were to me,
And tho' I say't, they could not sibber be:
But sad's the sang that we may a' sing now!
Of fouks and gear we're rich alike, I trow.
Fear no, sweet lassie, fear no, he replies,
'Tis nae a' hopeless that in peril lies;
Tak ye gueed heartning, and lay down your fears,
Come to this strype and wash awa your tears;
Ise mak you right enough.  The kindly tale,
To gang and wash, wi' Nory did prevail.
But, O! whan he beheld her face so fair,
So sweet, so lovely, and so debonair,
Gin he afore was o'er the lugs in love,
Out o'er the head he now was, and above.
Now ilka nook she fills within his heart,
And he resolves that they sall never part:
And to his page then says, Tak out some meat,
This lass, I'm sure, has more than need to eat.
I thank you, sir, she says, but I maun gang,
I fear that I hae bidden here o'er lang.
Na, bonny lassie, strive na with your meat,
Ye winna get this offer ilka gate.
Tho' she was shamfu', hunger made her yield,
Sae down they sat aneth the shady beild;
Wi' his ain hand he cutted aff and gae,
And eated wi' her, and gar'd her do sae.
When hunger now was slaked a little wee,
She taks hersell, and all again she'll be:
Shamefu' she was, and skeigh like ony hare,
Nor could she think of sitting langer there;
Weening that ane sae braw and gentle-like,
For na gueed ends was making sic a fike.
She hads her hand; the squire, that had an eye
Set close upon her, reed that she sud flee,
Says cannily, I'm sure ye are not sair'd,
Here's fouth of meat, eat on and do not spair't;
Ye're just as welcome as my heart can mak you,
Ye need na fear that any skaith o'ertak you
As lang's I'm here: for me, Ise do you nane:
Nor do I think you safe to gang your lane
Among thir hills, for ye may meet with skaith,
There's fouk gangs here, that's abler than we baith.
E'en sit you still, and rest you here with me,
And I sall ward and warsel for you be.
And tell me this, was ye a-field that day,
Fan the wild Kettrin ca'd your gueeds away?
Na, na, she says, I had na use to gang
Unto the glen to herd this mony a lang:
Some beasts at hame was wark enough for me,
Wi' ony help I could my mither gee,
At milking beasts, and steering of the ream,
And bouchting in the ewes, when they came hame.
Well, that's all right enough, he says, but then
How anter'd ye a fieldward sae your lane!
For what could ye do, wand'ring up and down?
Ye might ha gotten wrang by rogue or lown.
Or was your father or your brother there,
That ye hae dree'd sae meikle cark and care?
She says, For brithers I hae nane o' them,
And for my father, he was not frae hame;
But I to spy had wander'd out the gate,
In fairly what had kept the gueeds sae late.
Just as I'm there, twa of our herds came by,
Rais'd like, and gain' as fast as they could hy;
I speer'd fat held the gueeds sae wondrous late?
They tauld me what had been their dowie fate.
There me they left, and I, but any mair,
Gatewards my lane, unto the glen gan fare,
And ran o'er pow'r, and ere I bridle drew,
O'eryeed a' bounds afore I ever knew:
The night was dark, and dowie was my case,
And I began to rue my reckless race:
Whan day came in, and welcome was the sight,
For fear maist kill'd me in the dead of night,
I kent no where I was, yet on I yeed,
But of my errand I came little speed.

=Well, says he, lassie, night'll fa' right now,
And in this wilsome glen, fat can ye do?
Tak ye my counsel, and gang on wi' me,
And a kind lodging I sall lat you see:
Nae man, but women, ye shall see therein,
All be as welcome as my mither's sin;
Syne, o' the morn, we something shall contrive,
That will make matters right enough belyve.
At thir kind wordies, Nory gees consent;
Sae up they raise, and down the burn they went;
He gae the page a nod to step before,
And he himsell came on wi' Helenore.
Kindly and couthy ay to her he spak,
And held her in gueed tune wi' mony a crack:
For he wa ay in dread, that she might rue,
And sae he strave to keep the subject new:
Wad speer her name, and after that her eild,
Syne wi' a smile says, Soon we'll reach the bield.
Thir shifts he us'd to quiet her demur;
But O, his heart stuck till her like a bur;
For, as her mind began to be at saught,
In her fair face ilk sweet and bonny draught
Cam' to themsells: his heart fand sic a bliss,
He wad ha geen his neck but for ae kiss;
But yet that gate he durstna mak a mein,
Sae was he conjured by her modest een,
That, tho' they wad hae warm'd a heart o' stane,
Had yet a cast sic freedoms to restrain.
And sae for fear he clean sud spoil the sport,
Gin anes his Shepherdess sud tak the dort,
He boore upon him, and ne'er loot her ken,
That he was ony ways about her fain;
Yet many a sigh and hegh hey was her ain,
Upon the road, at ilka now and then.
At last and lang, whan night began to gloom,
And eery like to sit on ilka howm,
They came at last unto a gentle place,
And wha aught it but an auld aunt o' his?
As he came in, says aunty, Welcome hame;
This day, I think, ye hae made dainty game.
Where met ye, nephew, wi' that bonny lass?
Ye're nae blate, lad, to hunt in sic a case.
I've gotten a pout, and brought her living hame,
And gin I had na, wad hae been to blame.
The story's lang to tell you how we met,
But first ye'll fetch us something ben to eat.
I reed this lassie needs it very sair,
Her meltit lang I ween has been but bare.
To come alang sweer was she to intreat,
And yet I kend her mister to be great.
I promised her gueed quarters, aunt, and ye
Unto the lass as gueed's my word maun be.
Syne aunty cries on Betty to come ben:
See, lass, your cousin's ta'en a braw muir-hen.
Quo' she, A-hunting he may gae again;
Sic pouts as thir may make the hunter fain.
Then says auld auntie to her dother Bess,
Ye're nae like this wi' a' your fecky dress;
She dings you wi' her hamely gown of gray,
A far's a simmer dings a winter day.
Then auntie says, Sit down my bonny hen,
And tak a piece, your bed's be made the-ben:
Ye's ly wi' Betty, my ain dother there,
Wha sees your bonny skin ye need na care:
For hers beside, but like aum'd leather louks,
Weel fells the lad that's furthest i' your books.
Says Betty, She shall mair nor welcome be
To tak a share of bed and board wi' me;
And gin she like it, as I wiss she may,
We sanna part frae ither night nor day.
Says Olimund, (for so they ca'd the squire,)
Gramercy, cousin, ye shall hae your fair.
The first time I to town or market gang,
Whilk, gin hights hadd, will be ere it be lang;
A pair of kissing strings, and gloves fire-new,
As gueed as I can wyle, shall be your due.
Says Betty, Hadds you! but I think it best,
That she and I slip down and take our rest.

=Now nane was there but auntie and himsell,
And she says till him, I hae news to tell.
What news? he says, I wiss they may be gueed,
Of sic I'm sure that I hae mickle need.
Well, man, your father's dead.  Aunt, gar me trow!
Reply'd the squire, wha tauld sic news to you?
Baith tale and tales-man I to you sall tell:
Eight days aback a post came frae himsell,
Speering for you, and wondring unco sair
That ye had broken tryst in sic affair.
I wrote him back, that ye yeed aff frae me,
Wi' time enough, at hame in time to be;
And in gueed heal, and seem'd as sair agast,
To hear the news, and fairly'd assa fast.
This took him by the stammack very sair,
His hands he wrings, and cries out dool and care;
He's either by the kairds or gypsies ta'en,
Or, what look'd likest, to the army gane.
'Bout onie threap, when he and I fell out,
That was the road that he was for, but doubt.
Gin he has gane, as doubtless but he has,
He'll shortly gar us ane and a' cha' fause;
Wi' draught on draught by ilka Holland mail,
He'll eat a' faster up than tongue can tell.
In sic a tune he bade, till at the last,
The dreary thought him in a fever cast,
Whilk wrought him sae, that in three days or less,
He was full ready for his hindmost dress.
By now I think ye need na hae great fear,
That ye maun tak the lass wi' meikle gear.
He was to blame, my brother as he was,
Against your will to bid you tak the lass.
Ay! auntie, gin ye kent the bonny aught;
'Tis true, she had of warld's gear a fraught;
But what was that to peace and saught at hame,
And whilk is warse, to kirk and market shame?
For had my father sought the warld around,
Till he the very dightings o't had found,
An odder hag could not come in his way,
Than for my truncher what he had laid by:
An ugly hulgie-backed cankered wasp,
And like to die for breath at ilka gasp:
Her teeth, betweesh a yellow and a black,
Some out, some in, and a' of different mak:
Black hairy warts about an inch between,
O'er-ran her atry phiz beneath her een:
Her head lay back, and a lang gab sat out,
Wi' the addition o' a snivelling snout:
And tak her a' together, rough an' right,
She wadna been by far four feet o' hight:
And for her temper, maik she could hae nane,
She'd gar twa paps cast out on ae breast-bane:
And yet, say what I liked, nought would do,
But I maun gang, that bonny chap to woo.
My father he yeed with me at the first,
But a' the time my heart was like to birst:
To think to lead my life wi sic an ape,
I'd rather mak my tesment in a raip.
But, ugly as she was, there was no cure,
But I maun kiss her, 'cause I was the wooer;
My father briskly loot me see the gate.
But I assure you, I look'd wondrous blate,
And very thrawart-like I yeed in by;
A young man look sae blate! says he, O fy!
Nor was it fairly, for her stinking breath
Was just enough to sconfice one to death:
But frae my father many a smack she gat,
And I, just like to spue, like blunty sat:
I canna say, but she was wondrous kind,
And for her dresses, wow but they were fine!
And monie a bonny thing was in our sight.
And a' thing that was there, was snug and tight:
Nae little wealth, I 'sure you, there we saw,
And ilka thing was rich, and fine, and braw!
But for it a' I did not care a straw,
And wad hae geen my neck to be awa.
At last and lang, as we are riding hame,
My father says, Yon is a wealthy dame:
What think ye, Mundy, winna ye be braw,
Vhen ye yon bonny things your ain can ca'?
Does not your heart ly to the bargain now,
And hae ye not encouragement to woo?
A's well, I says, except what sud be best,
And whan that's wrang, what worth is a' the rest?
I grant, he says, she's nae a beauty-spot,
But he that wad refuse her is a sot:
Tho' ye look'd shy, she wad get ten for ane,
And I'll engage, she'll no be lang her lane:
Her riggs'll gar the wooers come ding-dang,
And she'll strike up wi' ane ere it be lang:
Sae strike the iron, laddie, when its het,
And a' the land, and wealth, and baggage get:
Ye see her riggs run just unto our ain,
'Twill make a swinging lairdshp a' in ane:
And, Mundy, she's for you aboon them a',
Sae, whan 'tis at your foot, man, strike the ba'.
And mind you, billy, though ye looked dry,
Ye'll change your fashions, and gae sharp in-by,
And daut her o'er and o'er; I'll wad my head,
At the neist courting bout but ye come speed.
But wha wad hae you whan ye sit sae dumb,
And never open mou' to say a mum?
Ye maun mak o'er her, kiss her o'er and o'er,
Say ye're in love, and but her cannot cowr;
But, for her sake, maun view the lands o' leal,
Except she pity, and your ailment heal,
But out o' jest, and in gueed earnest, lad,
Ye maun gae forward, and the bargain had,
Or else yese tyne whate'er ye had of me-
There is nae other boot but it maun be.
Syne in a little I maun gang again,
And, whilk was warst of a', maun gang my lane,
Am bidden court and daut, and seek the lass;
O aunt, but I was at an unco pass!
But I resolved upon't to put a face,
And see gin I had cann to turn the chase.

=Well, how behaved ye? did ye gie'r the mou',
Says aunty, niest, wi' mony a scrape and bow;
Syne laid your arm athwart her hulgy back,
And now and then to steal a quiet smack?

=Na, by my sooth I; I came fiercelings in,
And wi' my trantlims made a clattering din,
And hailst her roughly, and began to say,
I'd got a lump of my ain death this day;
Wi' weet and wind sae tyte into my teeth,
That it was like to cut my very breath.
Gin this be courting, well I wat 'tis clear,
I gat na sic a teazle this seven year;
And ye maun gee your answer just perqueer,
I maun na ilka day be coming here,
To get sic snifters; courting's nae a jest,
Anither day like this'll be my priest.
Well, quo' she, nephew, thae was wanton sports;
I hope ye gar'd the lady tak the dorts?
For sic rough courting I hae never seen,
Sin I was born, a lad and lass between.
Na, aunty, says he, she was not sae skeegh,
Nor wi' her answer very blate or dreegh;
But says, I'm wae ye've got so foul a day,
But maksna, till 't grow better ye may stay,
Though 'twere this month, ye're very welcome here,
Of what I hae, yese get the best of cheer.

=I think, quo' she, ye're fairly nicked now.
Nae hauf sae far, he says, as ye wad trow;
I tauld her that was kind, but then that I
Nae for a night out of my bed could lie;
Or if I did, it would be seen ere day,
There wad be mair than cause to rue my stay;
That I the reason did na care to tell,
It was enough, I kent the cause mysell.
Quo' she, I wiss I could your wanrest ken,
'Tis may be 'cause you canna lie your-lane:
Gin that be it, yese be provided here,
Though may be nae sae gueed, but with as near.
I now began to think she meant hersell,
But how my stomack raise, I sanna tell:
Na, na, quo' I, 'tis wi' ken'd fouk I ly,
I never liked yet to gang astray:
This night I maun be hame afore I sleep,
Gin ganging winna do't, though I should creep.
Well, gin ye be sae positive, she says,
I sanna urge, come back whene'er ye please:
Afore you aye your welcome ye sall find,
And blame yoursell in case ye come behind.
Ise see to that, I says, and aff I scours,
Blessing my lucky stars, and hame I tours.
When I came hame, the auld boy says to me,
How hae ye sped? is Ketty frank and free?
As frank, I says, as heart of man could wiss,
I hae nae fear that I my market miss.
Well, Mundy, that's a man, my father says,
We's hae you coupled, then, afore lang days:
Gin this day fortnight we's be cut and dry,
There may be danger in 't gin we delay.
Thus wi' my lad I play'd at fast and loose,
And he begins to think that now I'm douse.
Content, says I, but I maun gang and see
My honest aunt afore I married be;
And ye may mind, I tauld you crap and root,
Fan I came here, and that I ne'er wad do 't.
He gae consent, but bade me keep the day,
And bring my cousins with me to the play.
A' this was gueed, I anes am win awa,
Resolved ere I gae back a' nails to ca'.
Gueed was the counsel and advice ye gae,
By helping me to shift that dreary day;
And bidding me out through the forest range,
And pass the time till matters took a change.
'Twas mair nor lucky that I was not here,
Whan the auld man about me sent to speer;
And lucky, lucky was it that I yeed
Out through the glens, and that I came sic speed.
Yon bonny creature that I fuish with me,
Aboon a' womankind my wife shall be,
Except she say me nay: now, aunt, ye maun
Lend me a lift about her, gin ye can:
She's even now as wild as any rae,
And wad need canny guiding ere she stay:
Fan she gets up, it's ten to ane but she,
As she is on the fought, for aff will be:
But ye maun strive the gully well to guide,
And daut the lassie sair, to gar her bide.

=But, nephew, quo' she, ye're upon extremes,
(Trying my lad,) and living upon dreams:
This choice is just as unco as the last,
And fouk'll fairly at it just as fast;
A hair-brain'd little ane, wagging a' wi' duds,
And looks as she had dropped frae the clouds:
What will fouk say, to see you mak the choice?
It will, I 'sure you, mak nae little noise.

=And fat care I? let them say what they please,
Gin we heed says, we'll never sit at ease,
Replies the squire; and I hae heard yoursell
Your sentiments another way to tell:
That there in parents could be naething worse,
Than bairns to marry 'gainst their will to force.
Well, nephew, I hae done, replies the aunt,
That is my judgment, I do freely grant:
I like the lassie, Mundy, Wi' my heart,
And as she's bonny, doubt na but she's smart.
The creature's young, she'll shape to any cast,
Nae tree till it be hewn, becomes a mast.

=Well, aunt, ye please me now, well mat ye thrive,
Gin ye her cuddum, I'll be right belyve;
Ye ken yourell the morn that I maun gang,
And keep the things at hame frae gaing wrang.
In any order when I things have set,
I'll back again return withouten let.
Keep her in tune the best way that ye can,
But never mou-band till her onie man;
For I am far mistaen, gin a' her care
Spring not frae some of them that missing are.
The greatest favour ye can do to me,
Frae thinking lang will be to keep her free.
Gin she grow weary, tell her I'll be back.
Ere mony days, and gueed my promise mak;
Whilk was, that ever I should bear the blame,
Gin I their gueeds gar not come dancing hame.
I need na tell you how you should behave,
But a' unto your glegger wisdom leave:
Wi' thir injunctions, I bid you adieu,
By day and dawn the morn the bogs I'll view.

=Neist day, when light in thro' the window sprang,
Nory bangs up, and cries, I've lien o'er lang;
Betty; wha was upo' the catch, replies,
Lie still, sweet Nory, 'tis o'er soon to rise.
A they are cracking, aunty she comes ben,
And smiling says, How slept my bonny hen?
Betty, hae ye about her taen gueed care?
Ye're but a restless bed-fellow, I fear.
Well hae I lien, sweet mistress, Nory said,
I never lay afore in sic a bed;
Sae saft and warm, and wi' sae bonny claise,
Indeed I've been fu' well at my ain ease.
Let you nor yours in sic condition be,
As yon bra' laird, well mat he thram, fand me.
The bonny bed has gar'd me ly o'er lang,
I manna langer bide, but up and gang.
Huly, my bairn, hae ye nae hasty care,
Ye need no rise these couple of hours and mair;
Ise come again, and raise you time enough,
Our lads yet have not budg'd to yoke the plough.
Sae out she slips, and snecks the door behin',
And Bess and Nory to their crack begin.
Woman, says Bess, I think we'll tak advice,
And e'en ly still, my mither's unco wise;
She's up, but cannot ly for want of breath,
Yet says that early rising did her skaith;
O'er browden'd o' the warld she was aye,
'Tis best we guide ourselves as lang's we may.
She says, if she were back at auld fifteen,
She'd never do again as she has done;
And sae I think we'd better now refrain,
Than wiss that we had yesterday again.

=But O, says Nory, I am far frae hame,
And this last night I had a dreary dream:
My heart's yet beating wi' the unco fright,
And whan I'm waking, think I see the sight.
I thought that we were washing at our sheep,
In sic a pool, and O but it was deep;
I thought therein a lad was like to drown,
His feet yeed frae him, and his head went down;
Flaught-bred into the pool mysell I keest,
Weening to keep his head aboon at least;
But ere I wist, I clean was at the float,
I sanna tell you what a gloff I got;
My eyn grew blind, the lad I cou'd na see,
But ane I kent na took a claught of me,
And fuish me out, and laid me down to dreep.
Sae burden'd was I, I could hardly creep.
Great was the care this stranger took of me,
And O! I thought him bonny, blyth, and free.
Dry claiths, I thought, he gae me to put on,
Better by far, and brawer than my own;
And whan I had come something to mysell,
Ayont the pool I spy'd the lad that fell,
Drouked, and looking unco urluch like:
A lass about him made an unco fike,
Drying and dighting at him up and down;
I kent her no, but striped was her gown.
But O, the skair I got into the pool,
I thought my heart had couped frae its hool.
And sae I waken'd, glamping here and there,
I wat ye might hae found me in my care.
Said Bess, 'Tis true, your fump'ring waken'd me,
And I you joundy'd, that you might be free.
As they are cracking, aunty chanced to pass,
And says, Fu are you now, my bonny lass?
'Tis now fair day, and Bess and ye may rise;
See, lass, here's for you a new pair of stays;
And there's a gown, some langer nor your ain:
Bess, put a' well upon her, and come ben.

=Now leave we Nory wi' her change of dress,
Under the care of aunty and of Bess,
Till we inform you of poor Lindy's fate,
That was left corded up at sic a rate.
Tuggling and struggling how to get him free,
He did great pyne and meikle sorrow dree,
Till with the grips he was baith black and blue.
At last in twa the dowie raips he gnew;
But three haill days were outly come and gane,
Ere he the task could manage him alane;
And fan the raips were loos'd and a' set by,
Then Lindy to stand up began to try.
But, by your favour, that's aboon his thum',
For he fell [feckless] back upon his bum.
His queets were dozen'd, and the fettle tint,
Ye in them of the raips wad seen the dint;
And mair outour, the lad wi' faut was gane,
And naething left amaist but skin and bane.
At last he shoop himsell again to stand,
Wi' help of a rough kent intill his hand,
But swaver'd sae, as ye hae often seen,
Ane for a month had in the fever been.
He taks the gate, and travels as he dow,
Hamewith thro' mony a wilsome height and how;
To Colin's house, by luck that nearest lay,
He, tir'd and weary, hirpled down the brae.
Whan he came in, wha's sitting there but Jean,
Poor Colin's honest wife, her liefu' lane,
Nae jot intil hcr hand, but greeting sair,
And looking like threescore and ten wi' care,
Tho' sax and thirty held her yet again,
Sae sair for Nory she was now in pain;
And Colin too, for he had gane to try,
Gin he the lassie thro' the hills might spy;
But tint nor tryal, she had gotten nane,
Of her that first, or him that last was gane;
Fan she heard Lindy saying, "Peace be here,"
She looked up and says, "And welcome here."
Wow, Lindy, is this you? where hae you been?
Hae ye our Colin, or poor Nory seen?
Na, well I wat I, 'oman, where yeed they?
They're nae sae wood, I hope, as chase the prey?
What they hae chased, I kenna, Jean replies,
But since they yeed frae me, 'tis lang three days:
Poor Nory gallop'd off that very night,
That wi' the gueeds we gat the dreary fright:
What was her ends, I kenna; yet I fear
That ye was at the bottom of her care.
The herds that came, set a' things here asteer,
And she ran aff as rais'd as ony deer;
Land-gates unto the hills she took the gate,
After the night was gloom'd and growing late.
We kent nae what came of her till neist day,
That the herds tauld they saw her run away.
At this her father took the road, poor man,
And to the glens like ane distracted ran.
Of ane or other, I've nae notice got,
I fear the warst, that dowie is their lot;
And I with grief am pining here my lane,
The warst three days, that o'er my head has gane.

=And are ye saying Nory is awa?
Says Lindy till her, that's the warst of a';
Hard's been my fortune for thir three days past;
But I have met the hardest at the last:
My thread of life is now worn very sma',
Just at the nick of braking into twa;
What fusion's in it I sall freely ware,
As lang's I can, in seeking out my dear:
Great may the hardships be that she has met,
And gotten for my sake so hard a set.
Poor'oman!  O gin I had pith to gang,
To find her out, tho't should be ne'er so lang,
My heart's bleed for her I wad frankly ware,
Sae be I could relieve her of her care.
Then rises up, and Jean says, Gueed's your cause,
For mony a day ye've play'd among the shaws;
But sair I dread, your labour will be vain,
Had she been living, she had been again,
But since ye're gain, I sanna you withstand;
But ye maun tak a piece into your hand:
And here's a wallet stuff'd wi' cheese and bread,
To help you on the road, for ye'll hae need.
Seek wyne and onwyne, miss no height nor how,
And cry whene'er ye collie upon a know;
And ilka gate ye gang baith far and near,
As well for Colin as for Nory speer.
Alas! I wat na what to bid you dee,
Or which is dearest to me, he or she.

=The gate he taks, a kent intill his hand,
And whan he raise had hardly pith to stand;
Out thro' the hills the gainest way he took,
And in his search miss'd neither hook nor crook:
But O, tho' he was willing, he was weak,
And syne with grief his heart was like to break;
He stress'd himsell to gang aboon his pith,
And try'd his strength with ganging limb and lith;
Aftimes he boot to set him down to rest,
The night fa's on him with thick weet and mist;
A cauld stane-side the bield that he could mak;
All night the rain was pelting on his back:
Ae wink o' sleep, wi' grief and cauld and wet,
Out throw the wilsome night, he could na get.
Whan day came in, the lift began to clear,
And round about he spies baith far and near;
Cries mony a Nory, but no answer hears,
Syne westlins thro' the glen his course he steers.
And as he yeed, the track at last he found,
Of the ca'd hership on the mossy ground;
And on he gaes anither livelang day,
But neither finds his Nory nor the prey.
Night fa's again, and he maun tak a bield,
It was na gueed thir rugged hills could yield;
But wi' some hopes he travels on, while he
The way the hership had been driven could see;
Weening that ablins Nory might hae gane
Upon the track, but he was sair mista'en,
For he the west, and she the east hand took,
The inwith road, by favour o' the brook.
Neist day, 'gainst noon, he comes upon a brae,
Whare many a beast at their own leisure lay:
But far beneath him, that he could na ken,
Gin ony of them might have been his ain,
A burn ran in the laigh, ayont there lay
As many feeding on the other brae;
Down gateward to the burn his course he steers,
But in his sight no herd as yet appears:
Whan he came down, bra' stepping stanes he fand,
And o'er he steps, his kent intill his hand.
Just as he landed at the other bank,
Three lusty fellows gat of him a clank,
And round about him bicker'd a' at anes,
As they were playing at the penny-stanes;
And wha were they, but the same neaty three,
That with the raips gard him the dolour dree!
Ha, ha, my lad, says they, ye are nae blate,
They gang right far about that never met;
It seems ye are na saird wi' what ye got,
Yese find that we can cast a harder knot.
And till him straight, and binds him o'er again,
Till he cry'd out with the sair hanking pain;
And mony a paik unto his beef they laid,
Till with the thumps, he blue and blae was made;
Then flung him by just like a slaughter-sheep,
And bade him rest him there and tak a sleep.
At night whan they were ready hame to gang,
And shadows frae hill-heads were growing lang;
His legs they loos'd, but flighter'd kept his hands,
And lasht him on before wi' birken wands,
About his houghs, and round about his lugs,
And at his hair loot mony unco drugs!
Whan he's ca'd hame, they shot him in before,
In a black hole, and snaply lock'd the door.
As he is chamber'd up, he hears a grain,
As of a body making dowie main:
Altho' the voice seem'd till him unco near,
For very fear, he durst na budge to speer.
Whan he had lien a wee, the bodie says,
O gin I were in Flaviana's braes!
Naething should gar me gae sae far afield,
Tho' I at hame should to the skin be peel'd.
He kens the word, and says, O wae's my fell,
Is that ye, Colin, are ye there yoursell?
'Tis I, 'tis I, but tell me, what are ye,
That in this dreary darksome hole kens me?
E'en Lindy here, your ain auld neiper's sin,
Shakel'd baith hands and feet, wi' a sair skin.
That's unco luck, but gueed I sanna ca't,
And yet intil't there's something couthie fra't.
Among ill hands yoursell as weel as I,
It seems has fallen, our fortune's been but thry:
Anes on a day, I thought na to hae been
Sae sadly hew'd, and sic mischances seen.
But fat'll ye say? sic things has been afore's,
And we maun thole them, tho' they had been worse.
But tell me, Lindy, fat was't fuish you out,
Or was ye ca'd awa into the rout?
I was na ca'd, says Lindy, but was knit,
And in that sett, three langsome days did sit,
Till wi' my teeth I gnew the raips in twa,
And wi' sair pingling wan at last awa;
Crap hame wi' meikle ado, and fan I came,
Fand in your house nae bodie, but your dame:
Frae her I leart poor Nory's chance and yours,
Sae aff again what legs could lift, I scours
Thro' mony hills, till at the last I fell
Among sic fouks as ye hae fallen yoursell.
Fan came ye here?  Nae mair but yesterday,
Wi' dowie tone, poor Colin maks reply.
Weel, man, he says, for anes we're nicked now,
And maun beneath our thrawart fortune bow.
Wi' maun be doing, since better maunna be,
We'll ablins yet some lucky day get free.
Heard ye of Nory naething as ye yeed,
Out throw their dowie glens, alive or dead?
Nae tint nor trial, Lindy says, I fand,
Nor could I of her hear, on ony hand.
'Tis mair nor likely then, poor Colin says,
That she is at the yont end of her days;
Poor thing! she's maybe picked now as bare,
By greedy beasts, as worry'd sheep or hare.
Thus ilk ane to the ither made their main,
And sigh'd and grat, and sigh'd and grat again!

=As daylight came, in the Sevitians came,
Whase nature to their country gave its name;
And to the men set by a task of hay;
To work till even, frae the brak of day:
Each in their hand a scrimp hauf bannock got,
That scarce for anes wad fill their mouth and throat;
So set in view, they could na win awa,
And boot to work, or they their backs wad claw.
Their stent was mair than they could well mak out,
And whan they fail'd, their backs they roundly rout.
About mid-day they ae slim meltit sent,
And with it aftentimes the maiden went:
Nor had she aft upon this errand gane,
Till she is with the love of Lindy ta'en
And frae the time that Cupid shot the dart,
And stack it in the bottom of her heart,
Their meltit was twice better than before,
For she ne'er stuck to gang out o'er the score.
Stoup-fulls of crouds and ream she aft wad steal,
And could her souple tricks frae minny heal.
By this my lads a better living had,
And to her for it mony blessings pray'd:
Whan she had gane a while, she grew mair grave,
Which made them speer why sae she did behave?
Was she found out for mending o' their meal?
Or was she scrimped of content or heal?
Na, na, says she, that lad was a' her care,
That was so setting with his yellow hair;
She could na help it, but she boot to tell,
And how to cure her he knew best himsell.
Auld Colin says, He wad be in the wrang,
Gin frae your heal he held you short or lang,
Sae be it be into the laddie's power,
By onie means your dowie case to cure:
For kind, and mair nor kind, to us ye've been,
Since we began to toil upon the green.
What is't that ails you? speak and dinna spare,
And gin he can, he'll ease you o' your care.
Well can he do't, gin he but likes himsell.
Be what it likes, says Colin, lassie tell.
Then Bydby says, (so was the maiden's name,)
My very heart is lowan in a flame
For Lindy there, and maun lie down and dee,
Except I get him; that's what troubles me:
I smor'd the flame, and thought to keep it in,
But aye the more I smor'd, it spread within;
Till now, ye see't has blaz'd out at my mou';
Ye ken my trouble; Lindy, pity now.
Well sall ye fare, as lang as ye bide here,
Altho' your biding were for day and year:
And gin ye thought that latting you awa
Wad be a favour, I on means wad fa'
To lat you out, upon the dead of night,
Fan ye wad be well aff, ere day was light.
But upon this perconnon I agree,
To lat you gae, that Lindy marry me,
And tak me hence, till we get time and place
To get a priest to gee's the haly grace.

=Now ye maun ken, whan they came frae the hay,
They ilka night were under lock and key;
And ilka morning by the creek o' day,
They're set to wark, and snaply ca'd away.
Well, Bydby, Colin says, ye's ken as soon
As you to-morrow come to us at noon.
Whan she's awa, to Lindy Colin says,
What think ye, man? will yon frank lassie please?
Will ye our freedom purchase at this price,
'Twill soon be done, for Bydby is na nice:
Ye'll ken by this that the proverb is true,
Breeks maun come speed, when petticoats will woo.
Sair are we nidder'd, that is what ye ken,
And but for her, we had been bare the ben;
And gin we baulk her, 'stead of being kind,
What we already hae o' her we'll tyne;
And getting aff ye see is yont our power,
We're never out of sight for half an hour,
But some chield ay upon us keeps an ee,
And sae we need na lippen to get free.
I wonder, Colin, to hear you say sae,
Kenning my mind anither gate to gae,
Says Lindy syne, and what wad Nory say,
Gin she be living? as I wish she may!
Wad she no think hersell but ill paid hame,
And ready be of falsehood me to blame?
Says Colin, Man, gin that be a' your dread,
Ye need na halt, for Nory's surely dead:
She's got, I fear, what marriage she will get,
That's wi' the mould, sae that needs be na let.
But of the proffer I sall pass my skill,
Tho' it be wrang to lear fouk to do ill;
Seem ye content to hald her to her bode,
We'll mak a shift to tyne her by the road,
And sae get aff; 'tis hamper'd living here;
Slip we this knot, we may miss't for a year.
Sae whan she comes the morn, blink in her ee,
And wi' some frankness her your answer gee.
Weel, Lindy says, I'll try to do my best,
Wese well begin, and leave good luck the rest.

=Bydby, neist day, whan noon came on, appears,
And Lindy, what he could, his courage cheers;
Look'd braw and canty when she came in by,
And says, Twice welcome, Bydby, here the day.
At this the lassie's courage got a heeze,
And thinks her wiss is now come to the creeze.
Gin she came well provided ay afore,
This day she fuish of best of cheer gilore.
Sae they sat down a' frankly to their meat,
And Lindy 'treated Bydhy sair to eat;
And blyth was she, and frankly took a share,
And thought she saw the yont end of her care.

=Whan they had eaten, and were straitly pang'd,
To hear his answer Bydby greatly lang'd,
And Lindy did na keep her lang in pain,
But says, I'm of your proffer wondrous fain;
Gie us our leash the night, and ye sall be
My dauted lass, and gang alang wi' me.
Well fell my heart, says Bydby, Lindy now,
Well wair'd I think what I hae geen to you:
I'll keep my word this night, and ye sall see,
Ere the first cock, that I sall set you free.
Whan she yeed hame, she spent the afterneen,
Buckling and making ready for the green;
Bannocks and kebbocks knit up in a claith,
She had wiled by and row'd up in her waith:
This she ere even had tentily laid by,
And weel happ'd up aneth a coll of hay.
Whan tired and weary they came hame at e'en
They're clapped up into their hole bedeen:
The key brought in, sent ben, and closely laid
Aneth the bouster of her brither's bed;
And Bydby now is all upon the catch,
Sleeps not a wink, but tentily does watch.
'Bout the bell-hour of midnight does she slip
Out of her bed, just frae her mither's hip;
Gaes ben, and calmly steals awa the key,
Frae 'neath her brither's bouster, where it lay;
Opens the portal door wi' little din,
And, what she may, out to the lads 'gan rin;
Says, Are ye sleeping? rise and win awa,
'Tis time, and just the time for you to draw:
For now the lads are sleeping horn-hard,
The door upon the dogs securely barr'd;
Ichie nor ochie now ye winna hear,
The best time in the warld for you to steer.
Colin and Lindy now are cut and dry,
What legs could lift, their wish'd escape to try:
Sae out they came, the night was calm and clear,
And Bydby had her baggage lying near.
Together a' they nimbly tak the gate,
And scour'd the forest at an awfu' rate.
But whan they were about twa miles awa,
Lindy began with care his head to claw;
Stands still and says, Wae's me! I hae forgot,
With haste of coming aff, to fetch my coat,
What sall I do? it was almaist bran-new,
'Tis but a hellier since't came aff the clew;
O Bydby, lassie, and yese be my bride,
Rin back about it, here about we'll bide
Till ye come back; your birn ye may lay down,
For rinning ye will be the better bown.
Poor Bydby trows him, and rins back again,
Then say the lads, I think the day's our ain:
They turse the baggage, and awa they scour,
Out o'er the yonter brae with a' their power.
Poor Bydby was na lang ere she ran back,
Mounts up the coat ere ye a nut wad crack,
And to the road again with a' her pith,
And souple was she ilka limb and lith:
Back in a clap, she's at th' appointed place,
Frae which to fetch the coat she took the race;
Looks round about her, but she naething sees,
And back and fore she seeks among the trees:
But na, it winna do, nae bodie's there:
She cries; nae answer; then begins her care.
O Lindy! Lindy! hast thou left me sae?
Dear is this coat of thine to me the-day.
What shall come of me? hame I dare na gang,
The herds and gueeds will be a-field ere lang.
We're a' amissing, I'll get a' the wyte,
And nane but me alane to dree the flyte.
Hame? no: what gueed to me at hame could be,
Whan my dear Lindy is awa frae me?
But maybe they hae gane ayont the brae,
To hae't ahind them ere the brak of day;
I'll on and see gin there about they ly,
They'll either see, or hear me, whan I cry:
For Lindy looked not like ane to cheat,
Or ony lass ungratefully to treat.
Then up the brae with a' her might she hies,
And fan she's past it, mony a Lindy cries:
But, by your favour, there's no Lindy there;
There's nane to answer, and as few to hear.

=Now, by this time, the sun begins to leam,
And lit the hill-heads with his morning beam
And birds, and beasts, and fouk to be a-steer,
And clouds o' reek frae lum heads to appear.
When she had cry'd and grat, and cry'd again,
And land that a' her crying was in vain,
She e'en lay down aneth her load of care,
And wish'd that she were dead, and dead just there.
A mournful ditty till hersell she sung,
In flaughts roove out her hair, her hands she wrung:
Yet wi' the weary coat she wad na part,
Because it gae some gladdening till her heart.
Fat sall I do? gang hame again? na, na,
That were my hogs to a blate fair to ca'.
Anes out I am, I'll never turn again,
Tho' till I die I gang, and gang in vain!
Northward frae this I aften heard them say,
That their ain country, Flaviana, lay;
That gate I'll had, gin I the airths can keep,
And fan I canna gang, I'll try to creep;
It may be I upon the gate may fa',
And frae my birn of sorrow win awa.
But she had naething nature to sustain,
The lads had with them aff the baggage tane.
For a' the wealth that she had left at hame,
Of cheese and bannocks, butter, milk, and ream,
That day she was as fremmit till it a'
As the wild Scot that wins in Gallowa.
But dool yet hadna latten her feel her want,
Or think of the misluck of being scant;
Altho' her weam was toom, and she grown yap,
Love mixt with care helpt to fill up the gap.
As she was souple like a very eel,
O'er hill and dale with fury she did dreel:
A' roads to her were good and bad alike.
Nane o't she wyl'd, but forward on did streek;
But as she kent no, she mistook the cast,
And mair and mair fell frae the road they past.
O'er monie heights and hows she scour'd ere noon,
And could have thol'd the chance of a disjune.
But naething had her cravings to supplie,
Except the berries of the hawthorn tree,
And slaes and nuts that in the thickets grew;
Of these indeed she could hae tane anew;
But someway on her they fuish on a change,
That gut and ga' she keest with braking strange.
The fiercelings race her did so hetly cadge,
Her stammack could na sic raw vittals swage:
Sick, sick she grows, as ever lay on strae,
And near gae up the ghost 'tweesh that and wae;
Down she maun lie, she was sae sair opprest,
And try gin she wad better be of rest.
Gin she was toom afore, she's toomer now,
Her heart was like to loup out at her mou'.
In care-bed lair for three lang hours she lay,
And by this time 'tis well o'er in the day:
Now piece and piece the sickness wears away,
But she's as dweble as a windle-strae.
Weak as she was, she taks the gate again,
And geed na far till she observes two men,
To north and east of her a piece before;
As soon's she saw them she began to roar;
Crying, Byde still! and running what she dow;
The men her hear, and sat down on a know.
She was na lang till snaply she came too:
The men lookt up, and said, Lass, what's ado?
Whan she them saw, she fand she was mistane:
They speer'd fat was she seeking there her lane?
Sae far frae towns, it could na be for gueed,
That she was wand'ring there in sic a meed.
Tis for nae ill, she says, that I am here,
Nor errandless, tho' ye be free to speer.
Twa men I seek, and thought ye had been they.
Twa men ye've got, say they, then come away.

=Na, na, she says, I'm nae of men so scant,
And tho' I'm seeking, ye're no wha I want.
But tell me gin ye saw twa men the-day-
The ane with yellow hair, the ither gray?
I'll wad, say they, the yellow-hair'd 's your jo;
'Tis may be so, she says, and may be no.
Is that his coat ye carry on your back?
'Tis e'en the same, and been a heavy wrack.
He maun be little worth that left you sae:
He may be is, young man, and may be nae.
Ye're unco short, my lass, to be so lang;
But we maun ken you better ere ye gang.
I think it best ye gie that coat to me;
I think not sae, and so we disagree.
It is na yours, and fat wad ye do wi't?
As little can ye think that I wad gee't;
'Twas never made for me, ye may well ken,
And fouk are free to gee but what's their ain.
Ye may be stown't awa frae side some lad,
That's faen asleep at wauking of the fau'd.
'Tis nae sic thing, and ye're but scant of grace,
To tell sic baddords till a bodie's face.
Ah, bonny lass, says he, ye'll gee's a kiss,
And I sall set ye right on, hit or miss.
A hit or miss I'll get, but help of you,
Kiss ye sklate-stanes, they winna weet your mou';
And aff she gaes; the fallow loot a rin,
As gin he ween'd with speed to tak her in;
But as luck was, a knibblach took his tae,
And o'er fa's he, and tumbled down the brae.
His neiper leugh, and said it was well wair'd,
Let never jamphers yet be better saird.
Sae she escapes by favour of her heels,
And made nae stop for scrabs, or stanes, or peels.
Twa mile she ran afore she bridle drew,
And syne she lean'd her down upon a brow,
Sair out of breath, and almaist tint for faut,
And spies beneath a buss of - what-ye-caw't?
Ay, Etnagh-berries, and yeed down the brae,
And there she gets them black as ony slae.
On them she penny'd well, and starker grew,
And gather'd strength her journey to pursue.
But, by this time, the night begins to fa',
And she frae ony bield was far awa,
Except stane-sides, and they had little lythe,
Yet of the same she for the time is blythe.
But a' thing now grew black and eery like,
And she nae living had to her to speak;
And though she was right bardach on day-light,
She was as fly'd as ony hare at night,
The earnbleater, or the muirfowl's craw,
Was like to melt her very heart awa.
Yet boot she hadna, but that pain to dree,
And ne'er a wink that night came in her ee.
I cannot tell the case that she was in:
But whan the lavrock does her sang begin,
Blythe at her heart she was, and turst her coat
Upon her back, and to the gate she got:
Aye haddin' eastlins, as the ground did fa',
And frae the heights aye strove to keep awa;
But yet nae country in her sight appears,
But dens and burns, and braes and langsome moors.
This way she travels till the noon of day,
And now her heart is like to melt away
Wi' heat and mister, and at last, thinks she,
This gate she could not long in midlert be.
She sits her down, and thinks her turf was there,
And never thought to see kent face nae mair.
As till hersell she's making at her main,
And eeking up with care her dreary pain,
Sleep crap upon her sick and weary heart,
That of her sorrow steal'd away a part.
But floughtrous dreams strove wnat they could to spill
The bliss that sleep was making to her ill.
She thinks she's chaced for latting gae the men,
And taking butt the key, that lay the-ben:
Wi' mony a threat to thrash her back and side,
Gin they came till her, if she wad na bide;
And up she starts, and glowr'd a' round about,
And gin 't were true or no, begins to doubt:
And with what pith she had, she tries to gang,
For fear that she should be o'ertane ere lang.
But little speed she came, and yet the sweat
Was drapping frae her at an unco rate,
Showding frae side to side, and lewdring on,
With Lindy's coat syde hanging on her drone.
In this poor pickle, whan help wad ha been
The blythest sight that ever she had seen,
What spies she coming but a naked man,
Feaming like ony bear that ever ran?
And high aboon him, vapring in his hand,
And glenting with the sun, a bloody brand.
Roaring and swearing like a rais'd dragoon,
That he sud see the heart's bleed o' the lown!
What in the earth to do she could na tell,
For fear quite master'd her, and down she fell.
The man that ramping was, and raving mad,
Came fiercelings up, and crying, Ay, haud! haud!
And in his fury, and with reeling eyn,
The ane he wanted thinks that she had been.
Th' unchancy coat, that boonmost on her lay,
Made him believe, that it was really sae.
Get up, wild murd'rer dog! he says, till I
A port mak through your breast for life to fly!
O spare! O spare! says Bydby, haud your hand!
I'm but a woman, and can hardly stand.
Soon by her voice he kend that she spak true,
And says, Rise, fear not, I'm not seeking you;
But saw ye, tell me, saw ye in this glen,
Skulking by ony bield, twa wretched men?
My sakeless brither they hae ta'en and slain,
For naething, but for seeking of his ain.
Tell shortly, and yese get nae harm frae me,
Nor mair be putten till, whate'er ye be.
Yes, yes, twa men I saw ayont yon brae,
She trembling said, I wiss them muckle wae:
Sad was the chase that they hae geen to me.
My heart's near out of hool, by getting free;
Twa mile frae this, I left them on a know,
And far beneath it lies a dreary how,
Thro' whilk I ran, till I'm near at my last;
Gueed be your speed, and dowie be their cast.
With furious haste he soon skipt o'er the hight:
She never jeed till he was out o' sight.
Fat chance he furder had, she could na tell,
But was right fain that she wan aff hersell.
Whan she a mile or twa had farther gane,
She's unco eery to be sae her lane.
Ay mair and mair she frae the hills hads down,
Wissing that she might hit upon some town;
But she's as weak as very water grown,
And tarrows at the browst that she had brown;
And hallins wisses she had never seen
The bonny lad she lov'd, atween the een;
For now all hopes of seeing him are fled,
And she with seeking him is almost dead.
And will and wilsome was she, and her breast
With wae was bowden, and just like to birst.
Nae sust'nance got, that of meal's corn grew,
But only at the cauld hill berries gnew,
But frac that food nae pith came till her banes,
And she was fu' and hungry baith at anes.
Now she began to think within hersell,
Upon a tale she heard a wierd-wife tell,
That through the country telling fortunes yeed,
And at babees and placks came wondrous speed:
Whan she her loof had looked back and fore,
And drawn her finger langlins ilka score,
Up in her face looks the auld hag forfairn,
And says, Ye will hard-fortun'd be, my bairn:
Frae fouks a fieldward, nae frae fouk at hame,
Will come the antercast ye'll hae to blame;
Gin ye be wise, beware of unco men,
I dread for them ye'll anes be bare the-ben:
Sae come ye speed, or miss ye of your mark,
Ae thing I'm sure, ye'll hae right dowie wark.
Then Bydby says, Had I but been sae wise,
As have laid up auld minny's gueed advice,
Frae this mishap I might have kept me free;
But wha can frae what's laid afore them flee?

=Thus making at her main, and lewdring on,
Thro' scrubs and craigs, wi' mony a heavy groan,
With bleeding legs, and sair massacker'd shoon,
With Lindy's coat ay felt'ring her aboon.
Till on a high braehead she lands at last,
That down to a how burnie pathlins past.
Clear was the burnie and the busses green,
But rough and steep the brae that lay between:
Her burning drowth inclin'd her to be there,
But want of maughts and distance eek'd her care.
Now, by this time, the evening's falling down,
Hill-heads were red, and hows were eery grown;
Yet with what pith she had, she taks the gate,
And wan the burn, but it's now growing late.
The birds about were making merry cheer,
She thinks their music sang, Ye're welcome here.
With the cauld stream she quench'd her lowan drouth,
Syne of the Etnagh-berries ate a fouth,
That black and ripe upon the busses grew,
And were new water'd with the evening dew.
Then sat she down aneth a birken shade,
That spread aboon her, and hang o'er her head,
Couthy and warm, and gowany the green,
Had it, instead of night, the day-time been;
But grim and gousty, and pit-mark with fright,
All things appear'd upon the dead of night:
For fear, she cower'd like maukin in the seat,
And dunt for dunt, her heart begant to beat;
Amidst this horror, sleep began to steal,
And for a wee her flightring breast to heal.

=As she hauf-sleeping, and hauf-waking lay,
An unco din she hears of fouk and play.
The sough they made gar'd hcr lift up her eyn,
And, oh, the gathering that was on the green
Of little foukies, clad in green and blue!
Kneefer and trigger never trade the dew;
In many a reel they scamper'd here and there,
Whiles in the yerd, and whiles up in the air.
The pipers play'd like ony touting horn,
Sic sight she never saw since she was born.
As she's behadding all this mirthful glee,
Or e'er she wist, they're dancing in the tree
Aboon her head, as nimble as the bees,
That swarm in search of honey round the trees.
Fear's like to fell her, reed that they should fa'
And smore her dead, afore she wan awa;
Syne in a clap, as thick's the motty sin,
They hamphis'd her with unco fike and din,
Some cry'd, Tak ye the head, Ise tak a foot,
We'll lear her upon this tree-head to sit,
And spy about her.  Others said, Out fy,
Let be, she'll keep the King of Elfin's ky.
Another said, oh, gin she had but milk,
Then should she gae frae head to foot in silk,
With castings rare, and a gueed nourice-fee,
To nurse the King of Elfin's heir, Fizzee.
Syne ere she wist, like house aboon her head,
Great candles burning, and braw tables spread;
Braw dishes reeking, and just at her hand,
Trig green coats sairing, a' upon command.
To cut they fa', and she among the lave;
The sight was bonny, and her mou' did crave:
The mair she ate, the mair her hunger grew,
Eat what she like, and she could ne'er be fu';
The knible Elves about her ate ding-dang,
Syne to the play they up, and danc'd and flang;
Drink in braw cups was caw'd about gelore;
Some fell asleep, and loud began to snore.
Syne in a clap, the Fairies a' sat down,
And fell to crack about the table round.
Ane at another speer'd, Fat tricks play'd ye,
Whan in a riddle ye sail'd o'er the sea?
Quoth it, I steal'd the King of Sweden's knife,
Just at his dinner, sitting by his wife,
Whan frae his hand he newlins laid it down:
He blam'd the steward, said he had been the lown;
The sakeless man deny'd, syne yeed to look,
And lifting of the tableclaith the nook,
I gae 't a tit, and tumbl'd o'er the bree;
Tam got the wyte, and I gae the tehee!
I think I never saw a better sport,
But dool fell'd Tam, for sadly he paid for 't.
But, quoth anither, I play'd a better prank;
I gard a witch fa' headlins in a stank,
As she was riding on a windle-strae,
The carling gloff'd, and cried out, Will awae!
Another said, I couped Mungo's ale,
Clean heels o'er head, fan it was ripe and stale,
Just whan the tapster the first chapin drew;
Then bad her lick the pale, and aff I flew.
Had ye but seen how blate the lassie looked,
Whan she was blam'd, how she the drink mis-cooked.
Says a gnib elf, As an auld carle was sitting
Among his bags, and loosing ilka knitting,
To air his rousty coin, I loot a claught,
And took a hundred dollars at a fraught.
Whan with the sight the carle had pleas'd himsell,
Then he began the glancing heap to tell;
As soon's he miss'd it, he rampag'd red-wood,
And lap and danc'd, and was in unco mood;
Ran out and in, and up and down; at last
His reeling eyn upon a raip he cast,
Knit till a bauk, that had hung up a cow:
He taks the hint, and there hings he, I trow.

=As she's behadding ilka thing that past,
With a loud crack the house fell down at last;
The reemish put a knell unto her heart,
And frae her dream she waken'd wi' a start:
She thought she could na scape o' being smor'd,
And at the fancy loudly cry'd and roar'd.
Syne frae the tree she lifted up her head,
And fand for a' the din she was na dead;
But sitting body-like, as she sat down,
But ony alteration, on the ground.

=The sky's now casten, and, wi' thrapples clear,
The birds about were making merry cheer;
And now the sun to the hill-heads 'gan speal,
Spreading on trees and plants a growthy heal;
Poor Bydby's wond'ring at ilk thing she saw,
But wi' a hungry cut-pock for it a';
And fairly'd now gin it a dream had been,
She thought she saw sae vively with her eyn;
And frae the ill o't sain'd her o'er and o'er,
And round about with mazerment gan glour:
Syne o'er her thrawart luck began to mourn,
And with deep sighs she looked down the burn,
Then takes the road, weak as a windle-strae,
That with the wind e'er wagged on a brae:
For very want her legs began to plait,
As down the bonny burn she held the gate.
Sweet were the notes that swell'd alang the grove,
Where birds amid the shade declared their love,
And might hae sawn content in ony breast,
With grief like hers that had na been opprest;
But naething could her soupit spirits cheer,
As lang's she gat nae trial of her dear.
However, on she gaes, as she was bown,
And mony times to rest her limbs lay down;
Nae sust'nance gat she all the live-lang day,
Save now and then a berry in the way.
But this gueed hap throughout the day she had,
She met with naething to mak her afraid.
At last and lang, as night began to fa',
Near to some dwelling she began to draw;
That was a' burrach'd round about with trees,
'Tweesh which the reck frae high lum-heads she sees.
That gate she halds, and as she weer inby,
She does a lass amang the trees espy;
To her she hies, and hailst her with a jouk,
The lass paid hame her compliment, and buik;
Heigh hey! she says, as soon as she came near,
There's been a langsome day to me, my dear;
Faint, faint, alas! with faut and mister gane,
And in a peril just to die my-lane.

=Wae's me, the other says, that's dowie fate,
'Tsall nae be lang ere ye some sust'nance get;
Sit still and rest you here aneth this tree,
And in a clap Ise back with something be.
And wha was this, think ye, sae kindly spake,
But Nory, taking at her evening walk,
Among the trees, and making heavy main,
Thinking she ne'er wad Lindy see again.
'Twas here she stay'd, and here she was ta'en in,
And better guided, than with all her kin.
And as she promised, back she came in haste,
And, ye may trow't, her pouches were not waste:
Sae cuts of flesh, and lumps of bread and cheese,
To Bydby, on the point of starving, gees,
Wha with good will pang'd up her hungry maw,
Syne frae a strype drank up what she could draw;
Then to her Nory says, What's been your fate,
That ye are fallen in sic a stagg'ring state?
What means that coat ye carry on your back?
It could na miss to be your heavy wrack.
Ye maun, I ween, unto the kairds belang,
Seeking, perhaps, to do somebody wrang,
And meet your crew upon the dead o' night,
And brak some house, or gee the fouk a fright.
I was o'er busy geeing you relief,
Whan may be ye are but at best a thief.

=Hegh hey! quo' Bydby, this is unco hard,
That whan fouk travel, they are ca'd a kaird;
I wat na, lass, gin ye wad tak it well,
Gin fouk with you in sic a shape wad deal;
But fouk that travel, mony a bob maun bide,
And sae with me it happens at this tide.

=Forgive me, lass, says Nory, it may be
That I am wrang, but fouk to guess are free.
But what's the matter, gin ye like to tell,
That ye are wand'ring sae alane yoursell?

=Syne that ye speer, Ise lat you shortly ken:
I'm seeking after twa unthankful men;
Forgive me gin I wrang them.  What! hae they,
Says Nory, frae yoursell taen aught away,
That ye sae weary after them pursue?
Seeking amends, they may do hurt to you.
Nae fear of that, quo' she, gin we were met,
But I soon right of all my wrang would get.
To seek them, quo' she, ken ye whare to gang,
Or to what country thir twa men belang?
Well ken I that, says Bydby, I can tell,
That they do baith in Flaviana dwell.
In Flaviana! quo' she, dwell ye there,
That of their dwelling ye're so very clair?
That do I not, nor ken I whare it lies,
Bydby to her, with a sad sigh, replies:
Had I done that, I might be there ere now,
I've spent mair time nor wad hae gane't, I trow.
Ken ye their names, in case ye gat the place?
Well that, she says, I ken them name and face;
I ken them sae, that I could hae nae doubt,
Out of a thusand men to wale them out.
How did they ca' them, then? says Nory, I
Might may be help you to find out the way.
Colin and Lindy, Bydby says, they're ca'd,
The ane an elderin man, the neist a lad,
A bonny lad, as e'er my een did see,
And dear he is, and sall be unto me.
His yellow hair down o'er his shoulders hang,
Like tap of lint, as bonny and as lang.

=Says Nory, Lass, your errand is na sma';
It seems that lad has stown your heart awa,
And ye are following on wi' what's ahind,
And your mistake too late may aiblins find.
Lads aftentimes poor lasses like to cheat,
And whan they follow, aft they tyne the heat;
Gin ye tak my advice, ye've gane eneugh.
I think ne sae, she says, and hallins leugh.
Says Nory, Gin ye lippen till him sae,
How through your fingers hae ye latten him gae?
That is the question, bonny lass, indeed,
Ye now have hit the nail upon the head.
I better with less travel might hae done,
Had I been tenty, as I should have been;
But fouks, they say, are wise ahind the hand,
Whilk to be true unto my cost I fand;
But had the case been yours, as it was mine,
Ye might ha trow'd the raip wad keep the twine;
But maks-na-matter, gin I had my men,
I hae nae fear to gar it knit again;
'T's nae a' in hand that helps, and it may be
That this may be the very case wi' me.
What was the case, my lass, gin I might speer?
That, quo' the other, ye right now shall hear;
'T 's true, the tale is no so very short,
Nor yet mysell in sic condition for 't;
But gin ye like to ware the time, then ye
How a' the matter stood shall vively see;
'Twill may be keep us baith frae thinking lang,
And Ise lat you consider of the wrang.
Content am I, she says, with a' my heart,
'Twill aiblins lear me how to play my part:
For what's your horse this day may come to be
My mare the morn; oblige me, and be free.

=Then Bydby says, Short syne unto our glen,
Seeking a hership, came yon unco men;
And our ain lads, although I say 't mysell,
But guided them right cankerdly and snell:
Gar'd them work hard, and little sust'nance gae,
That I was even at their guideship wae:
And ye maun ken, that ilka day at noon
I was sent to them with their small disjune:
And whan I saw their piece was but a gnap,
Thought with mysell of mending their mishap:
Sae ilka day I steal'd to them an eek,
And row'd it up into my Sunday's keek:
I hadna aft upon this errand gane,
Till I am with the love of Lindy ta'en;
What needs me heal 't? na, na, it winna dee,
And gin I should, I wad na now be free.
I held it in, as lang as well I could,
And there's nae help but I maun let it out;
Sae, 'oman, for to mak a lang tale short,
He grants to tak me, gin I wad work for 't;
And fat was that, think ye, but lat them gae,
Upon the dead of night, their bondage frae?
Gin sae I did, that I should gang alang,
And syne be marry'd with him in a bang.
Then Nory says, How comes it, 'oman, then,
Ye ca' sic couthy fouk unthankfu' men?

=But byde ye yet, says Bydby, ye sall hear,
And sae ye'll see nae room sic things to speer.
I plays my part, and lats them win awa;
I mounts, and with them aff what we could ca'.
Twa miles, ere we drew bridle, on we pass'd,
Syne Lindy looks ahind him, all aghast,
And says, O Bydby, 'oman, I've forgot,
Into yon dreary hole, my Sunday's coat;
Now win my bennison, and rin again,
We'll bide you here beside this meikle stane.
For Lindy sure, I wad mak ony shift,
And back again I scours, what legs could lift;
Ere I came back, and well I wat short while
Was I a-coming, I gets the beguile.
Naething I finds, seek for them what I list,
But a toom hale, and sae my mark I mist.
I shanna tell you, nor can I do yet,
How sad the set was, that my heart did get.
Now I might gang as soon and drown mysell,
As offer hamewith, after what befell;
Sae on I gaes, and thinks, and thinks it yet,
They'd travell'd aff, lest they a chase should get,
Rather than leave poor me to pine with care,
That nae sic treatment at their hand did sair.

=Now by this time the tears came rappin' down
Upon her milk-white breast aneth her gown.
And Nory's heart was at the tale right sair,
But her misease came frae another care:
Her heart for Lindy now began to beal,
And she's in swidder great to think him leal:
But in her breast she smored the dowie care,
Nor with the other did her sorrow share;
But says, Ye better for him speak, I fear,
Than what the cause, if sifted right, will bear.
Well, it may be; but I'll hope in the best,
And sall be at my wit's end or I rest.
But, O kind kiss, gin ye hae ony guess,
How I should had, when I gae out of this,
I'll be obliged to ye, mair nor I can say,
Nor wad forget it to my dying day.
Quo' Helenore, The gate I dinna ken,
But yet to help you would be unco fain;
And gin ye'd gee that bonny keek to me,
I'd gang a day with you, and may be three.
Well mat ye be, she says, the keek yese hae,
Gin ye wad gang with me but ae bare day;
And gin we reach na our tryst's end ere night,
Or be na of that country in the sight,
Gin ye gae farrer, I sall gee to you
This bran-new pouch, of sattin double blue.

=Then Nory says, Content; but hear me this,
Ae moment's time we hae na need to miss;
Though ye be tired, ye'll need to rise and gang,
In this short night the sky will cast ere lang;
Gin I be mist, as doubtless but I will,
Ere we set aff it a' the sport wad spill.
But I maun see what purchase I can make
Of cheese and bread, afore the road we take:
For to your cost, I fear, by now ye ken
What 'tis to tak the hill sae bare the-ben;
Sae sit ye still a wee, and I sall be
Back in the very twinkling of an ee.

=Now Nory had twa irons in the fire,
And had to strike them baith a keen desire:
First to win hame, by favour of this lass,
As being fly'd her lane again to pass;
The neist, to try gin siccan news were true
As she had heard frae Bydby but right now;
Her word she keeps, and back with speed she flees,
With baith her pouches pang'd with bread and cheese,
Now, lass, she says, we just maun tak the gate,
And try the hills, though it be dark and late:
Though it be sae, it better is for me,
What gate we hald the less our fouks'll see;
For they now trust I to my bed am gane,
And gin they miss me, they'll get up ilk ane.

=Well mat ye be, and lat you never ken,
To your experience, what I thee for men;
But gin your strait to me should e'er be kend,
Ye may be sure to count upon a friend;
For fouk'll say, they ken na what they'll need,
And ye the will maun now tak for the deed.
I mak nae doubt, says Nory; but we maun
Mak of our journey now the best we can.
With lightsome hearts now up the burn they hey,
And were well on the road by brak of day.

=Now by this time poor Nory's mist at hame,
And for her absence ilk does ither blame.
The aunt frae Bess is like to pu' the heart,
Because she did na better play her part;
And Bessy heart is even like to brak,
And for her does great dool and sorrow mak:
They wistna fum to send upon the chase,
Or how to look the squire into the face,
That wad na be, they kent, to haud nor bind,
Whan he came bark, and her awa should find.
And as soon as the day was up and clear,
Baith aunt and dother sought her far and near;
But a' was washing of the blackamore,
They boot turn hame and even gee it o'er.

=The lasses now are linking what they dow,
And faiked ne'er a foot for height nor how.
Whan day was up, and bounds seen round about,
Nory begins to ken her former rout;
But loot na on, but fairly'd full as fast
As Bydby could, at a' thing as they past;
Scream'd at ilk cleugh, and skreech'd at ilka how,
As loud as she had seen the wirrie-cow.
But Lindy's story held her heart asteer,
And aye, at ilka sae lang, she wad speer,
And say, you, had your wooer yellow hair?
Was he weel-legged, cherry-cheek'd, and fair?
To Flaviana did the lad belang,
That ye alledge has wrought you a' the wrang?
Was he in earnest, think ye, whan he spak?
And for that weary coat bade you gae back?
Was Colin, say you, the auld shepherds name?
Had he of what's befallen you ony blame?
Heard ye nae word, gin he had chiel or chare?
Or he a jo that had the yellow hair?
To a' sic questions Bydby made a shift
To answer, never dreaming Nory's drift.
'Tis now about th' eleventh hour o' the day,
And they are posting on whate'er they may:
Baith het and meeth, till they are hailing down;
The sun he dips, and clouds grow thick around;
All in a clap, the fire-flaught blinds their eyn,
The thunder rattles at an unco tune,
Hurl upon hurl, and just aboon their head,
They on their faces fell as they were dead.
And just with this the bowden clouds they brak,
And pour as out of buckets on their back.
Now they conclude, that here their turf maun be,
And lay stane-still, not moving eye nor bree:
And for misluck, they just were on the height,
Aye thinking whan the bowt on them wad light.
For twa lang hours in this sad plight they lay,
At last the sun shoots out a couthy ray;
Sae piece and piece they peep up, as they dow,
And see main ocean down into the how.
Fan up they stood, naething but burns they spy'd.
Tumbling and roaring down on ilka side,
Wi' sic a fearsome hurl, and reefu' rair,
The neist thing to the thunder in the air.
What can they do? downwith they darena budge,
Their safest course seems in the height to lodge.
At last and lang the burns began to fa',
And down the hill they scour'd, what they could ca';
Sometimes they wade, sometimes the burns they lap,
And sometimes through on feet and hands they crap:
And by the time they reach'd anither height,
The sun falls doun, and now 'tis hard on night.
And naething yet but hills and moors in view,
Nor mark nor meith that ever Nory knew.
And by this time poor Bydby wearies sair,
And her ain hands begins to wring for care.
But Nory keeps up better heart, and says,
We manna weary at thir rugged braes;
Tyne heart, tyne a', we'll even tak sic bield
As thir uncouthy heather-hills can yield;
The night looks well, the sky well sett and clear,
Neist day ere night some country may appear.
We'll ripe the pouch, and see what scaff is there;
I wat, whan I came out, it was na bare.
Sae doun they sat, by favour of a stane,
That o'er their heads right couthily did lean.
Unto their supper now they yaply fa',
But Bydby's dridder was na quite awa:
Within her lugs the thunder's roar yet knells,
As well's the burns that rumbled wi' sic yells,
She says to Nory, O yon dreadfu' crack,
I hailumlie thought wad ha been our wrack;
Fly'd at my heart, says she, am I, lest we
Should the neist day in sic sad pickle be.

=Says Nory, Na, yon summer sob is out,
This night bodes well, spy, 'oman, round about:
The morn will better prove, I hope, and we
Ere night may chance some inwith place to see.
And yet her tongue was fault'ring whan she spak,
And with plain fear her breast was like to brak.
But still and on, she wad hae forward been,
To ken the verity, she was sae keen.
Syne piece and piece together down they creep,
And crack till baith dow'd o'er at last asleep.
Their day-time toil had wrought them sic a wrack,
That ere they jee'd, the sun beat on their back,
Fain were they baith of the sweet light of day,
And that the night had steal'd so fast away.
They rub their eyn, and spy them round about,
Thinking what gate the day to hald their rout;
Nae meiths they had, but norlins still to gae,
Kenning that gate that Flaviana lay.

=Now frae the height where they had tane their bield,
Far in a how they spy a little sheald;
Some peep of reek out at the naip appears:
What's yon? at Nory Bydby snaply speers.
Then Nory says, I see a house it lane,
But far nor near of house mair spy I nane,
What can they be, that win sae by themsell,
In this wide wilderness, I canna tell:
Be what they like, I think we'll gang and speer,
Says Bydby, gin our tryst's end we be near.
I wat na, Nory says, they're may be men,
Nae woman sure can win in sic a glen;
And may be Kettrin.  I hae heard fouk say,
That they aft wake all night, and sleep all day.
Tak in fouk's nout and sheep, and eat them there;
That they be such, is borne upon me sair.
Na, Bydby says, I dinna think it sae,
I see a bught beyond it on a brae.
Somebody here is shealing with their store,
In summer time, I've heard the like afore.
We'll cast about, and come upon the bught.
Content, says Nory, it is nae ill thought;
I think I see't mysell, we'll wear inby,
Gin we'll win there, it's time to milk the ky;
Sae down they fare, and rough, rough, was the brae,
With craigs and scrabs all scatter'd in the way.
As they drew near, they heard an elderin dey,
Singing full sweet at milking of her ky:
In by they come, and hailst her couthily.
The wife looks up a little in surprise,
And leaning o'er the bught the maidens spies;
And taks hersell and says, Ye're welcome here,
This day ye seem to be right soon asteer.
Quo' they, We hae gane will, been out all night,
And spy'd this sheal, and came to be set right:
Be but so kind as tell us where we be,
Ye's hae our thanks, it's all that we can gie.
Quo' she, Unto the sheal step ye o'er by,
And warm yoursell till I milk out my ky;
This morning raw, gin ye've all night been out,
That ye wad thole a warm I mak na doubt,
And something mair, Ise warrant: ca' your wa',
The door's wide open, nae sneck ye hae to draw.
Put on a cow till I come o'er the gate,
And do the best ye can to had you het.
The lasses bidding does, and o'er they gaes,
And of bleech'd birns pat on a canty blaze.
Content were they at sic a lucky kile,
And thought they had na gotten a beguile.
On skelfs around the sheal the cogs were set,
Ready to ream, and for the cheese be het.
A hake was frae the rigging hanging fu'
Of quarter kebbocks, tightly made and new.
Behind the door a calour heather bed,
Flat on the floor with stanes and feal was made.
And lucky shortly follow'd o'er the gate,
With twa milk buckets frothing o'er and het;
Syne ream'd her milk, and set it on the fire,
And bade them eek the blaze, and nae to tire:
That curds their wameful they should get in haste,
As good and fresh as any needs to taste.
Sair looked she on Nory's bonny face,
And says, Young lass, I wiss you mickle grace;
Sweet are your looks, and of good nature fu',
He'll get nae blind, that chances to get you.
Well look ye baith, I dinna mean to lack
The ane, when I but of the other spak:
Nae of the warst ye look as ye were come,
But of the best of country fouk, and some.
Ye baith for me may ae man's bairns be,
And may be no, it maks naething to me.
What cast has feshen you sae far frae towns?
I'm sure to you thir canna be ken'd bouns;
Ten miles frae ony town this shealing lies,
And to see here sic twa is my surprise,
And still the mair at sic a time of day:
'Twould seem indeed that ye had tint your way.
Says Nory till her, Is the fairly great,
Here, and sae early too, sic twa to get?
As great's our fairly to see you dwell here,
Sae far frae towns, nor any neiper near;
I wonder just ye dinna die for fear;
But are the cows your ain, gin I may speer?
O never ane of them belangs to me,
They are the laird's, well may his honour be:
My ain gueed chiel, that sucked me full sweet,
And's aye kind to me whan we chance to meet.
These twenty simmers now I hae been here,
And he aye came to see me ilka year;
Save this alane, but well I ken the cause,
The faut's nae his, but his heart-bound papa's.
But thanks to Praise, I hear the carle's dead,
My bairn will now get leave to lift his head,
And of a warldly hulgy-back get free,
That dad designed his wedded wife to be.
Now he will get his choice, whom he likes best,
Since the auld churle has tane him till a rest.
Afore lang days, I hope to see him here,
About his milkness and his cows to speer.

=Now Nory, hearing this, began to guess,
This was the squire that took her frae distress.
And at her speers, how they his style did ca',
The wife replies, His style is Bonnyha';
And bonny is 't, and wealthy, wealthy he,
Well will she fa' that wins his wife to be.
Now Nory kens she in her guess was right,
But loot na wi 't, that she had seen the knight,
But at her speers, How far frae this away,
She thought the Braes of Flaviana lay?
Nae near, my chiel, she says, but ye are wrang,
To Flaviana gin ye mean to gang;
O'er high by far ye've tane up through the glen,
Of miles frae it ye are na down of ten;
Gang east, but aye some northward had your cast,
Till ye a bonny water see at last.

=With thir injunctions they their course pursue,
And gee auld lucky thanks, as was her due.
Right cheerfully they did the road take in,
And thought that night to their tryst's end to win;
And would hae done 't, but Nory, wha had aye
A mind the truth of Bydby's tale to try,
Made shift by bout-gates to put aff the day,
Till night should fa', and then be forced to stay;
Meaning neist day to send the lass before,
When they should be in sight of Lindy's door,
Syne follow fast hersell, and just slip in
Upon them, ere they wist, but ony din.
Accordingly, ere they the water wan,
That the auld dey tauld near the country ran,
Night fa's, and they maun tak the chance o' bield,
Anes mair, that glens and hill and heather yield.
Their forward minds that night took little sleep;
Again they turst as soon's the day did peep.
In a short space they soon the water fand.
Says Bydby, Flaviana's now at hand;
Well fell me now, my lad I'll shortly see,
And at the sight blythe at the heart I'll be.

=As they the water past, and up the brae,
Whare Nory mony a time had wont to play,
Her heart with neatty grief began to rise,
Whan she sae greatly alter'd saw the guise.
No herds nor gueeds were now to be seen there,
But all was toom, all heartless like, and bare.
Her dowie pain she could no more conceal;
The heart, they say, will never lie that's leal;
For whan they wan the height, and, in the how,
Spy'd out the bigging by a bonny know;
She says, My heart is like to gang awa',
And I maun e'en sit down, or else I'll fa':
But yonder's houses, 'oman, gang and speer
Gin we be unto Flaviana near:
Gin we be right, I'll ken, as ye bide still;
Gin we be wrang, ye'll come again and tell;
And I'll rest here, till I come to mysell.

=Then Bydby frankly taks the gate before,
And was na lang ere she reach'd Lindy's door.
That by the cast of ground the nearest lay,
Just at the bottom of a sunny brae.
My lass slips in, says calmly, Peace be here!
Is this, or is't to Flaviana near?
Lindy was sitting in the house him lane,
With heart for Nory heavy like a stane;
Lifts up his head, looking to the door,
Sees Bydhy standing just upon the floor.
Th' unwelcome sight pat to his heart a knell,
That he was hardly master of himsell;
Yet says, Come ben, ah, Bydby, is that ye?
Foul fa' that coat, that you sic cark did gee:
Ye might ha flung't awa' and turn'd again,
Of half your travel it's nae worth the pain;
But, maks-na, since ye're come, yese be well paid;
Sit down and rest you, and right now yese hae't.
The worth o't twice in claith or waith yese get,
I canna say but I am in your debt.
Ah! Lindy! is this ye? well fell mysell,
But wae's me, that ye should sic tidings tell;
Your claith and waith will never tell with me,
Tho' ye a thousand laids thereof could gee;
I am well sair'd o' claith, since I took gate,
That coat of yours has geen me sic a sett.
But out of jest, for claith I came na here,
But for the thing that was by far mair dear;
'Twas for yoursell, man, that I dreed this pain,
Sae ony ither proffers are but vain;
Wad I, think ye, for less hae follow'd you?
Or can I think that less can be my due?
Was't na your paction, ere I loot you gae,
That just yoursell I for my hire should hae?
Alas! alas! o'er late it seems I find,
I first was left, and now am come behind.
But think na, man, that I'll be set aff sae,
For I'll hae satisfaction ere I gae.
Ise get a hire? - a bonny tale, indeed!
Ye spak na that gate in your time of need.
Where's Colin?  Ise refer my part to him,
And gin he says I'm wrang, Ise quit my claim:
He witness'd all that past, and shar'd himsell
Part of the gueed, and can the better tell.
Well, I'm content, says Lindy, gin he say 't;
There's be nae mair about it, ye shall hae 't.
This spake he, lippening Colin would deny,
And sae between them score poor Bydby by.
As they are at this dibberderry thrang,
And Bydby still complaining of her wrang,
Jean, wha had seen her coming o'er the moor,
Supposing't Nory, slips in at the door.
She never minds her, but tells on her tale,
Right bauld and bardach, likely-like, and hail.
Jean was astonish'd sic a threap to see,
And wist na whom to blame or whom to free;
But thought indeed, gin sicken things were true,
That Nory had right fast slipt out of view.

=Now, by this time, poor Nory's mair nor fain,
The truth of Bydby's unco tale to ken;
And just at Lindy's door came slipping in,
When they are in the fixfax of their din,
Jean looks about her, and her Nory spies,
Judge ye, gin she met not with a surprise.
Out gush'd her eyn, but word she could na say,
Sae hamphis'd was she atween glee and wae.
Her in her oxter hard and fast she grips,
And press'd her speechless mou' upon her lips.
Lindy looks also butt, and Nory spies,
And, O my Nory, here's my Nory! cries.
Flaught bred upon her, butt the house he sprang,
And frae her mother's oxter fiercelings wrang,
And O my Nory!  O my Nory! cries.
Sweet, sweet indeed, to me is this surprise!
Kisses upon her he birs'd on anew;
But she was shy, and held her head askew,
And cries, Lat be, ye kiss but lucky fast,
Ye're o'er well used, I fear, since we met last.
Looks at him with the baw-wav of her eye,
As dram and dorty, as young miss wad be
To country Jock, that needs wad hae a kiss,
Nolens or volens, frae the dainty miss.
Thir words awee did slocken Lindy's fire,
And put some let to his sae bauld desire.
Blyth at the heart was Bydby at the sight,
And thought indeed that she had sair'd him right;
But thought the sheep she'd gien the wolf to haud,
Whan she had choice of sic a neiper made:
And turning till her, says, I find that now
I plaid wrang cards, when I set out with you:
I might hae kent, had I not senseless been,
That ye for noth wad not be hauf sae keen.
But, maks-na, be the matter as it may,
To stap your claim I have enough to say;
Whatever might atween you been before;
I'm sure that I was last into the score.
I have his hand and troth, and what needs mair?
Cross't gin he can, just where he's standing there.
'Tis nae sic thing, says Lindy, or gin I
Some sic like words might happen then to say,
They've been but said to please a fool like you,
Nae man of ten likes women them to woo;
For our acquaintance was but lucky short,
For me or ony man to play sic sport.
Why did ye sae? says Bydby, for ye had
In your ain hand to hadd, baith heft and blade;
Tho' I did wiss't indeed, and wiss't it sair,
That ye were mine, e'en ilka hilt and hair,
I could na force you to gie your consent,
But since ye gae 't, ye should na now repent.
Nor need ye mak a feint to tell me now,
Ye never meant to stand by sic a vow;
But only please a witless fool like me;
But say, play bairns, your fool I winna be.
'Twas earnest wark, lad, that I did for you,
And ye maun deal with me in earnest now.
I've play'd my part, I fear, and something mair,
Play you now yours, and be to me as fair:
And I sall tell you ae thing, that's nae twa,
Our lads and ye'll about it pluck a craw;
For forty groats I wadna stand your stour,
Gin they this gate but tak anither tour;
And sure am I, that it will not be lang
Till they be here, complaining of their wrang.

=That Nory's come, the news is now ding-dang,
And all the neipers unto Lindy's thrang.
Colin, her father, who had outwith gane,
But heard it last, and sae came in him lane.
As he came in, him glegly Bydby spy'd,
And, Welcome, Colin, mair nor welcome! cry'd;
Come ben, and red this threap, for ye can tell
The verity, 'cause ye was there yoursell;
Ken all that past, ear and eye witness was
To all that did 'tweesh me and Lindy pass.
Come, Colin, now, and give me kyle about,
I helped you, whan nane else wad, I doubt.
Naething but justice I now crave of you,
To take me, tell, gin Lindy didna vow.
Tho' I'm among you cast like a slung stane,
I was like ither fouk at hame, ye ken;
And gin ye had but play'd me haflins fair,
I needed in hae dreed sa meikle care.
But maks-na, now I'm here; sae plainly tell,
The naked truth afore the lad himsell.

=Syne Colin says, I do indeed confess,
Ye lent's a lift in our right great distress;
For cause of which I own it's gueed our part,
With our best wiss, that ever ye be sair'd:
And ye sall find it sae afore we part.
And though 'tis true, and true it is, I grant,
To marry you that Lindy made a vaunt,
'Cause we were at a pinch to win awa',
But to the head the nail ye maunna ca'.
To say that ye was geck'd ye's hae nae need,
We'll gee a hitch unto your tocher-gueed.
Well are ye worth it at our hands the day,
And ye sall get it with you ere ye gae.
Na, Colin, na, 'tis well ye tell the truth,
At hame of tocher-gueed I hae a fouth;
'Twas not for gear that I my fouks forsook,
And ran the hazard of their sair down-look.
Na, by my troth it: Lindy's what I want;
By promise mine, as ye right now did grant
Speak nae mair of your hires, 'tis he alane
Sall be my hire, for ither I'll hae nane.
Ah! but, says Colin, ye should na gird sae sair,
What winna fouk engage that's under care?
With Premunirè hamper'd as were we,
Fouk wad say ony thing to set them free.
Gin great your premunirè was, she said,
Ye sud the better mind how ye was freed.
But words I winna langer using be,
Nor will sic aff-sets do the turn with me:
For hailumly to take me he did bind,
And hae'm I will, there's nae a word behind.
But Colin says, What if he dinna like you?
Ye'd better want him than he sud begeck you.
'Tis all ane, says she, him I like fu' sair,
And that he wad like me, I hae no fear;
Had of the bargain we made an outred,
We's no be heard upon the midden-head.
That he's gueed natur'd ony ane may see
That's nae stane blind, or has but half an eye.
Syne Cohn says, But ye may be mista'en,
The face has been a cheat to mony ane:
Aft the still sow will eat up a' the draff,
When canker'd looks prove nae sae ill by hauf;
Mony'll bite and sup, with little din,
That wad na gree a straik, at mooling in:
Sae gin the face be what ye lippen till,
Ye may hae little cause to roose your skill.
Maks na, quo she, gin I my hazard tak,
Small sturt may other fouks about it mak.

=By now, all eyn upon them sadly gaz'd,
And Lindy looked blate and sair bombaz'd;
The collyshangy rose to sick a height,
That, maugre him, things wad na now hald right;
For Nory's heart began to cool full fast,
When she fand things had taken sic a cast.
And sae throw ither warpl'd were, that she
Began to dread atweesh them what might be.
And even thought her travel but ill wair'd,
For her convoy, and but hersel ill sair'd;
And frae her heart she wisht she hadna been
In coming aff with Bydby half so keen.
For what she fear'd, she now in earnest fand,
About this threap, was close come till her hand,
And that, tho' Lindy, may be, might ly too,
The lass had just as gueed a right as she:
And that the bargain might hae little thrift,
To bring it on tho' they sud mak a shift.
But still her mind she keepid till hersel,
But, oh, her heart fand mony a dreary knell!
But she was sure, whan Lindy's eyn war set
The way to her, to look the ither gate.

=Now, by this time, the house is heels o'er head,
For aething some, and some anither said;
That day nor doer, a bodie coud na hear,
For every thing was put in sic a steer.
And Colin and his wife were mair nor fain
To crack with Nory, and her story ken.
With great hamstram they thrimled thro' the thrang,
And gae a nod to her to after gang.
Upon the green they lean'd them down all three,
And tears for fainness ran frae ilka eye.
Lassie, what was 't came o'er thee, Colin says,
At sic a time of night to tak the braes?
I mair nor fairly, what coud be your haste,
Ye coud na think to succour man nor beast;
Sad's been the heart-crack ye to us hae gien,
And dowy for your sake my hap has been;
And dowy yet is like to be our day.
About this threap; yon cummer is na play.

=Then Nory, with her finger in her eye,
With heart as great's a peat, begins to free
Hersel to them the best way that she mought,
Saying, Yon dreary news set me a-flought;
And ere I took mysel, I had o'ergane
All meiths or marks afore within my ken;
As mark as pick night down upon me fell;
What my condition was, I canna tell.
My fae lat never be sae hard bestead,
Or forc'd to byde the bydings that I baid.
Sic youts and yells, as wad hae thirl'd a stane,
Was never heard, as I heard there my lane.
Whan day came in, and welcome was the sight,
After the eery, black, and fearsome night,
Nae airths I kend, nor what was east by west,
But took the road, as it lay in my cast,
Thus with a dowie heart and hungry weam,
I wander'd, wissing that I were at hame,
But wistna whether I made till 't or frae 't:
But for the herds and gueeds ill was I paid.
What ganks I met with, now I sanna tell,
But at the last upon a burn I fell,
With bonny even road, and inwith set,
Ye might have row'd an apple all the gate.
Sicklike I mind afttimes to hear you tell,
That fouk sud follow when they hae gane will;
This I'll had down, but hot, hot was the day,
The simmer cauts were dancing brae frae brae.
Wi' faut and heat, I just was like to swelt,
And in a very blob of sweat to melt;
Nae help there was, but there lay doun my head
Aneth a tree, and wait for welcome dead.
I hadna lang beneath the shadow lain,
Whan sleep crap on me, and beguil'd my pain.
Three hours, as I by time of day coud guess,
At ease I lay, and had sweet happiness;
But whan I waken'd, to my great surprise,
Wha's standing, but a laird afore my eyes?
The bonniest youth that ever I had seen,
Wi' yellow strips clad in a coat of green.
Upon a bow he lean'd his milk-white hand;
A bonny boy a thoughty aff did stand.
Great shame I thought sae to be gotten there,
And was for fear the neist thing to despair:
In running aff lay my relief, I thought,
But of my claise he took a swippert claught;
Bade me no fear, for I sud kaip no skaith,
To do me wrang, that he wad be right laith;
He spak sae kindly, couthy-like and fair,
And pray'd to tell what way I had come there;
That at mair saught my mind began to be,
And he some meat his laddie gar'd gee me.
Neist he persuades to gang with him all night,
Where I sud be well ta'en about and right.
Gin night, we came unto a gentle place,
And, as he promis'd, sae I fand the case.
Kind was the lady, for no men I saw,
And bedded me with her ain dother braw.
Well was I there, I wiss I'd bidden still,
Had ye but kend I hadna met with ill.
But ae night as I'm spying out-about,
With heart unsettled aye, ye need na doubt,
Wha coming gatewards to me does I see,
But this snell lass, that came the day with me?
Sae finding she for Flaviana sought,
There is a happy kyle for me, I thought.
Sae what needs mair? together aff we came,
And o'er high hills, and fearsome cloughs we clamb.

=Ralph, meantime, from the door comes with a rin,
And pray'd that Jean and Nory wad gang in,
And try gin they yon fiery lass coud tame,
That with her tongue had set all in a flame:
And tries sae hard yon heartless lad to gird,
That he looks just as he'd drap thro' the yird.
Quo' Jean, Wese try; but she looks ill to ca',
And o'er auld-mou'd, I reed, is for us a'.
As they gang in, Ralph unto Colin says,
Yon hobbleshow is like some stour to raise;
What think ye o't? for, as we use to say,
The web seems now all to be made of wae.
Says Colin, for he was a sicker boy,
Neiper, I fear this is a kittle ploy;
Gin we the gully guide na now with can,
'T may chance to gee 's a sneck into the hand:
Yon lass maun not he dung, but dauted sair,
It winna do to kaim against the hair.
At first I thought but little of the thing,
But mischief's mother's but like midge's wing.
I never dream'd things wad hae gane this length,
But we have e'en seen shargers gather strength,
That seven years hae sitten in the flet,
And yet have bangsters on their boddom set.
That sic 'll be the case I now dread sair,
Sae we 'll be fools to tamper with her mair.
But with hersel had we alane to do,
We might find shifts for stappin' of her mou',
And even that, I doubt, would cost a pu'.
But we hae all her country's fead to byde,
O'er great a force by far for our weak side.
We all, but maist the lad himsel and I,
Ken they 're nae fouks for our weak hands to try.
She pleads a promise, and 'tis very true;
But he had naething but a jamphing view:
But she in gnaping earnest taks it a',
The bargain was, that she sud lat's awa'.
She plaid her part, and freed us frae our care,
And now halds out, that we sud be as fair.
Of her afore we try'd to shak us free,
But she has scented out the road, ye see.
Great waters aften rise frae little springs,
And there is e'en a providence in things.
By rackligence she with my lassie met,
That wad be fain her company to get;
Wha, in her daffery, had run o'er the score,
And that has even brought her to our door.
Gin we fyke on till her ain fouks come here,
Ye'll see the toun intill a bonny steer;
For they're a thrawn and root-hewn cabbrach pack,
And stark like stanes, and soon wad be our wrack,
Sae we had better jook until the jaw
Gang o'er our heads, than stand afore't and fa',
And sae I think it best ye bid the lad
Lay's hand to's heart, and to the bargain had;
For I am much mistane, gin, at the last,
To gang together be not found the best.

=Says Ralph, Well, neiper, I hae heard your tale,
And even fairly at it ilka deal.
Kenning that ye're nae strange to what has been,
Your lassie and my laddie lang between;
And even we had 'greed it 'tween oursels:
Sic counsel now but of unkindness smells.

=Ye needna fairly, Ralph, nor be in ire,
Says Colin, for burnt bairns dread the fire.
Had ye come throw their fingers as did I,
Ye wad na be in swidder to comply;
I'll wad my head, ere four-and-twenty hours,
That what's my mind the day, had then been yours,
For the Sevitians will, but doubt, be here,
To dacker for her, as for robbed gear;
And what hae we a-conter them to say?
The gear'll prove itsell gin we deny.
They'll threap we stole her, she'll hald till't hersel,
And syne will naething be but sad pell-mell.
Syne dool tells us, the weak aye wins the waur,
Sae we at fist had better to take care.

=Well, neiper, Ralph replies, I ken that ye
Had aye a gueed and sound advice to gie;
For it's nae yesterday, that I could spy,
That ye could things see farrer through than I;
Sae, for my part, I'm willing to submit
To what your glegger wisdom shall think fit.
Gin that unhappy lad wad be sae wise,
As but ly too, and tak your good advice.
Quo' he, Ye canna better do than try;
Ye's hae my input to gar him comply.
Cry ye him forth, wese till him lay the lines,
Hese do't, or else what halds on me he tines.

=Ralph does his bidding, and out Lindy comes,
His father says, Lay by, man, thir humdrums,
And look na mair like Watty to the worm;
Gin ye hae promis'd, what but now perform?
Among us all a ravell'd hesp ye've made,
And now put to your hand, and help to red,
Ye ken yoursel best where ye tint the end,
Sae ye maun foremost gae the miss to mend.
'Tis nae to mird wi' unco fouk, ye see,
Nor is the blear drawn easy o'er their e'e.
Ye he yoursel with yon snell maiden locked,
That winna thole wi' aff-sets to be joked;
And sae, my lad, my counsel's, ye be lown,
And tak a drink of sic as ye hae brewn.
That's out of jest, and in snell earnest, spark,
As ye began, sae now conclude the wark.

=Says Lindy, Father, this is hard enough,
Against ane's will to coup him o'er the heugh,
With his eyn open on the fearsome skaith:
To play sic pranks I will be very laith.
That ye car'd naething, it would vively seem,
Whether poor I sud either sink or swim.
But since ye've casten a careless count 'bout me,
I maunna sae, but to mysel maun see;
Sae I maun tell you ae thing, that's nae twa,
I'll sooner tak wild Scot of Gallowa'.
Baith ye and Colin ken my mind was set,
These seven years and mair, anither gate;
I wadna think sic twa wise fouk as ye
Wad to your ain sic wrangous counsel gie,
I wat na well gin ye had thankful been
To ony that had you sic counsel geen,
Whan ye were young, and had your fancy fix'd;
At your ain hearts, I fear, ye had been vext;
And mony a time hae I e'en heard you baith
Say, ye to cross your little anes wad be laith.

=Well, Lindy man, says Colin, that's all true;
But then was then, my lad, and now is now:
'Bout then-a-days, we'd never met with cross,
Nor kend the ill of conters, or of loss.
But now the cause is alter'd very sair,
And we sair new'd and kaim'd against the hair,
We now maun tak the warld as it wags,
And for hail claith e'en be content with rags.
Anes on a day, we thought the wind wad blaw
Aye on our backs; that warld's now awa',
And this is come, and we may not strive wi't,
But e'en submit: the life, my lad, is sweet.
Whan all's awa', we strive to keep that grip,
And tak odd shifts, afore we let it slip.
For Nory, man, ye needna fash your thumb,
Nor keep her mair intill anither's room.
I loor by far, she'd die like Jenkin's hen,
Ere we again met yon unruly men.
Sae there's nae time to swidder 'bout the thing,
I'll wad her country-lads sall no be dring
In seeking her, and making us to rue,
That ever we their name or nature knew;
Nae farrer back 'bout them need we to look,
Than how oursells they did sae sadly nook.

=Thus at their bargain we the lads maun leave,
Till of the Squire some short account we give;
Who, to his aunt returning, miss'd his pout,
And was in unco rage, ye need na doubt:
And for her was just like to burn the town,
And for to find her shortly maks him bown;
Conveens his friends to help him, far and near,
And to the mountains did his journey steer;
And thro' the glen with wondrous speed id hy,
Where his auld mammy kept his store and ky.
Blyth was the wife her foster-son to see,
And sain'd him o'er and o'er right heartily;
And tauld him, that she now was mair nor fain,
That kind gueed luck had latten him till his ain,
Afore mishap had forced him to comply
Unto a match to which he was so thry.

=Well, says he, mammy, all that's very gueed;
But, come, let's try how tastes your cheese and bread;
And meantime gee's a waught of caller whey,
This day's been hot, and we are wondrous dry.
Your honour sall get that, just in a stound,
And my sweet bennison to put it doun;
For with your ain 'tis fit ye sud be sair'd,
And were it mine, well wad I think it wair'd.

=But, says the Squire, saw ye nae unco lass,
Some of thir days, down thro' the forest pass?
Indeed, quo' she, but yesterday, I saw,
Nae farer gane, gang by here lasses twa,
That had gane will, and been the-forth all night.
But, oh, ane of them was a seelfu sight!
Blind mat I be, and I am now threescore,
Gin e'er I saw the maik of her afore!
Her yellow hair, that up in curlies row'd,
Look'd in the sun just like the threads of goud.
The ither, too, was a right setting lass,
Though forthersome: but meek this lassie was.
Afore I wist, they just were hard in by,
As I was busy milking at my ky;
At me syn shortly they began to speer,
Gin they were unto Flaviana near.
For Flaviana, speer'd they? said the Squire;
Heard ye nae word, what was their errand there?
Indeed, an't like your honour, I dinna ken,
For me to speer wad no gueed havins been.
I gae them curds and milk, and thought indeed,
That of some sust'nance they had meikle need:
And, by my guess, I strove to set them right;
Syne in a glent they were out of my sight.

=The Squire, whan he awee had chaw'd his cud
On Lucky's tale, does wi' himsell conclude,
Whate'er the other might have been, that she
Wha sae was roos'd must his ain Nory be.
Well, says the Squire, 'twas gueed ye gar'd them eat,
Among thir hills fouk ay has need o' meat:
Wha kens but sickan kindness may meet you,
And be some day unto you worth a cow.
Lat nane gae hungry by, that ye see here,
But gie them aye part of your country cheer:
I will allow't; yese nae be scrimp'd of meal,
And ye hae fouth of milk, I see, yoursell.
'Tis cryin' sin, quoth she, to wrang the dead,
The Laird aye bade me deal a piece of bread;
And I thought aye ye wad break naething aff;
I mind ye liked aye to see a raff.

Well, nurse, says he, knit on on the auld thrum,
And gee nae ground to say a worse is come:
Whate'er ye did afore, do better now,
He's nae your fae, that has to count with you.
But hark ye, noorise, what I'm gaing to say,
We will be back within a day or twae;
Upon your milk your skilly hand you'll try,
And gee's a feast o't, as we're coming by.
A well I wat, quo' she, I'll do my best,
With half a dizen of sorts, to please your taste:
Blythsome and well, my cheel, mat ye come back,
And binna angry at my hamely crack:
For well I ken what is your honour's due;
But let a word with your auld mammy now,
And hear me this ae word, my bonny laird,
All that I've done I'll think the bettcr wair'd,
That a young lady I see you fetch hame,
Ye'll no thram well, as lang's ye lie your lane.
Well, mammy, quo' he, Ise tak your advice,
And hae ane of them, gin they binna nice.
Nae fear of that, quo she; be nice! ha, ha,
To tak the wealthy laird of Bonny-ha'?
They're nae sic fools, you might have ten for ane,
Were it the fashion, as they say has been.
Well worth her room was your gueed lady mither,
See ye, like her, gin ye can wale anither.

=Now by the time that they a piece had tane,
All in a brattle to the gate are gane;
And soon are out o' the auld noorise' sight,
To dress her milk hersel wha shortly dight.
Sic speed they made that in an hour or two,
The braes of Flaviana were in view;
Of well-drest footmen, five or six, or more,
At a gueed rake were running on before.

=Now all this time baith Ralph and Colin try
Their utmost art to gar the lad comply;
But he continu'd obstinate and thry.
As they're thus throng, the gentles come in view,
All in a breast, upon a bonny brow.
Amazed at the sight, they stood stane-still,
As gin on them some witch had try'd her skill,
Nae word they spak, till they came close in-by,
The sight amo' them had rais'd sic a fry.
The Squire, that foremost rade in armour sheen,
Cry'd, Stop, my friends, and lighted on the green.
To the three men then shortly turns, that gaz'd,
And looked doited, speechless, and bumbaz'd;
And to them says, Friends, be so kind as tell,
Gin hereabouts does ane hight Colin dwell.
This question made the shepherds sae agast,
That, as the quaking asp, they shook as fast.
Nae kenning what to think or what to say;
Or what to do with Colin sic coud hae.
Soon coud he see they were with fear o'ertane,
And coothily bespeaks them thus again:
Fear na, gueed shepherds, fear na at this sight,
We never meant to put you in a fright:
For peace we're come, and only want to ken
Gin ane hight Colin wins into this glen.
Aweel, an't like your honour, Colin says,
Indeed, ane of that name wins in thir Braes;
But it is mair nor strange, what ane like you
Sud hae with sic a hame-bred man to do;
For well I wat, I never yet did wrang
To great nor small, sin I had pith to gang.
Are you the man? the Squire soon maks reply.
I am, he says; my name I'll not deny.
The Squire, as soon's the verity he fand,
Straight taks the honest shepherd by the hand;
Wha, wondering at the kindness, gae a jouk,
But did confus'd and unco shameful look.
Soon coud the Squire his blate confusion see,
And says, Tak heart, ye's get nae wrang frae me,
But all the gueed that's in my power to do.
Now tell me, does this house belang to you?
'Deed no, he says, but mine is just at hand,
And it and I are baith at your command.
'Tis true, 'tis barer than it wont to be,
But wha themselves can from mischances free?
Nae mony days aback, I mair coud say;
But fouk sud not be vain of what they hae.
I've heard sae, says the Squire, but never mind,
Nor at sic woful antercasts repine;
'Tis but a cloud afore the fair sunshine.
Ye'll see anither change, ere four days gang,
And ye be just as right as ye was wrang.

=As they're sae cracking, a' the house thrangs out,
Gouping and gazing at the new come rout.
With some suprise the Squire beholds the thrang.
And speers gin all did till ae house belang;
And scare had said it, when out at the door,
Just at her mither's back, comes Helenore.
He sees the sight, then with a fiercelins bang,
Out through the thickest of the croud he sprang,
And in a hint he claspt her hard and fast,
With bath his gardies round about the waist,
And laid a thousand on her bonny mou',
That was as red as rose that ever grew.
Then said, Sweet Nory, ye was sair to blame
Sae to gang aff afore that I came hame,
But since we're met, I think my pains well wair'd;
There sall be news again afore we part.
Poor shameful Nory wist na how to look,
Sae to be kist afore sae mony fouk.
Look up she coudna, but her apron strings,
As fast's she coud, row'd out and in, in rings.
But, oh, the unco gazing that was there,
Upon poor Nory and her gentle Squire!
And ae thing some, and some anither said,
But very few of faults poor Nory freed;
Though that she faultless was maun be allow'd;
But travell'd women are but synle trow'd.

=But all their cushle-mushle was bat jest
Unto the coal that brunt in Lindy's breast.
Sad were the dunts and knells yeed to his heart,
To think that Nory had misplaid her part;
And now begins to think 'twas nae for nought,
That of his dauting she so little sought,
Whan sic a Squire about her was sae thrang;
Out of his wits he just was like to mang;
Thinking for her to come to sic a pass,
And all was now but scores among the ase.

=But sic a crowd the Squire surpris'd to see,
At Colin speers what coud the meaning be.
Indeed, an't like your honour, Colin says,
Sic ither threap saw I not all my days
As now is here; but wimpl'd is the tale,
Ye'd weary sair afore I tell'd it hail.
But gin to red it ye wad please to try,
'Twould be an act indeed of charity.
Let's hear't, he says, and I sall do my best,
Gin on my sentence parties like to rest:
Tell on your tale, and naething thereof miss.
I sall, quo Colin, and the tale is this.

=Frae this aback, and that nae mony days,
A band of Kettrin hamphis'd all our braes,
Ca'd aff our gueeds at twelve hours of the day,
Nor had we maughts to turn again the prey.
Sair bargain made the herds to turn again;
But what needs mair? all was but wark in vain.
The herds came hame, and made a reeful rair,
And all the Braes rang loud with dool and care.
My lassie, whom it seems that you have seen,
Frae kindness this day shawn her on the green,
Like ane hare-brain'd unto the glen taks gate,
Whan now the night was growing mark and late.
With our surprise she's nae miss'd till the morn,
And now her mither on me blaws the horn,
And I maun aff and seek her right or wrang,
And mony a bootless foot did for her gang:
And at the last I fell amang my faes,
The cruel Kettrin of Sevitia's braes.
And that lad there ye see with yellow hair,
With me did of the worst of chances share.
Into their hands we baith together fell,
And they did use us very sharp and snell.
Bound us all night, and wrought us hard all day,
And for our pains but little sust'nance gae.
The maiden of the house saw our mishap,
And out of sight gae's mony a bit and drap;
And shortly to the lad sic liking took,
That she but him nae saught nor ease coud brook.
Nae ither boot she had, but tell her care
Sprang frae the lad that had the yellow hair;
And on the night engaged to let us gae,
Sae be the lad her for his ain wad hae,
And tak her hame, syne join afore the priest:
All this he promis'd, but by way of jest.
Sae on a night, as we did all agree,
She opes our prison-door, and sets us free.
Aff all together we three linking came,
But her to drap, the lad contrives a sham,
And sends her back for something he forgot:
Sae we gaes on, and thought she'd slip the knot;
But, by your favour, she's no very blate,
She follows on, and with my lassie met,
That at some gentle house had shelter ta'en;
I reed your honour does this better ken.
Sae finding she for Flaviana speer'd,
They made their pye, and aff together steer'd,
And just this very day arrived here;
And this, an't like your honour, maks the steer.
The lass see yonder, her with the brown hair,
Bydby, they call her, bargains tough and sair,
That Lindy there sud by his promise bide,
Gae face the priest, and own her for his bride;
But he for this again is not so clear,
He thinks 'tis buying of the favour dear;
And mair attour, his mind this mony a day,
Gatelins to Nory there, my dother, lay.
But for sic thoughts, as far as I can see,
'Twill be their wisdom now to let them be.
'Tis true indeed, when siccan thoughts began,
And all our things in their auld channel ran,
It might have done; but as we're stated now,
Our littleanes may tak ither trades than woo.
Indeed we've seen the world leave wealthy fouks,
But they that marry, when they've nought, are gouks.
I think sae too, replied the cunning Squire,
Sic all their days stand likely to be bare.
Your honour's hitten the nail upon the head,
Fouk to sit down with something ay wad need;
And now your honour's heard what maks the thrang.
Indeed, quo he, I think that Lindy's wrang,
As far as I can gather frae your tale:
But I sud be content to hear himsell,
And Bydby too; gin they'll refer to me,
I'll do my best to mak their odds agree.

=Syne they were call'd.  Says Bydby, I'm content.
And to your honour's vote gie my consent.
For sic I think's the plainness of my case,
That nane to gie't against me can hae face.
Well, bonny lass, he says, that e'en may be,
But yet what Lindy says o't we maun see.
Well, Lindy man, tell gin the bargain was
By latting of you gae to tak the lass?
Quo he, Ise warrant sickan words hae been,
An't like your honour, her and me between.
To lat you gae, gin she speer'd what'll ye gie me,
I've ablins said, that I sall tak you wi' me;
Coud that be ground sae fast a grip to had,
Or gie a lass a title till a lad?
I wonder that she thinks na burning shame,
On sic an errand sae to come frae hame.
For we poor fouks like at some pains to be,
To court our lasses their consent to gie;
And think them light that hastily consent,
Afore some time and pains on them be spent:
But to seek us afore their pulse we try,
We count them scrimp of shame and modesty.
Well, Lindy, that sometimes the case may be,
And sometimes no, as ye right now shall see;
Nae doubt we wish, when we our liking set
Upon a lass, with as gueed to be met;
Now, should we blame a lass, that's just as free
To look about her, and to like, as we?
A lass may be as modest that likes you,
As ony ane your fancy likes to woo;
And all the fault, and sure it is the least,
Is letting out the coal that burns her breast;
Ye ken yersell the pain of hadding in,
And should we in the woman count it sin?
But there is ae thing, that we maun allow,
The lass likes best, that forc'd hersell to woo;
Whan they are, may be, whom we court of choice,
Nae hauf so honest, and a deal mair nice.
Sae gie nae sentence rashly till ye ken,
Sic I've seen blyth to eat their words again;
And sic, I reed, will be the case with you,
Sae dinna blame sae sair poor Bydby now.

=Well mat your honour thram for that, quo she,
For as ye've said, the case is just with me:
That lad I liked aboon ony ane,
And like him yet, for all that's come and gane.
And boot to tell, for fear I lost the hint,
Sae that I on him hae not steal'd a dint.
Had I come after, like a knotless thread,
It might be said, that I was light indeed.
But here I put it till him, gin that he
To tak me didna promise hailumlie,
Ere we took gate, and he kens best himsel,
To leave poor me, upon what shifts he fell.
Without my knowledge he had left his coat,
Then says to me, that he had it forgot,
And for the love to him I ever had,
He me again to run about it pray'd.
And now what was't for him I wouldna do ?
And how I'm treated, Ise be judg'd by you.
Sae with sic guiding I am left my lane,
And mony a weary foot sinsyne have gane.
Borne to the yerd with that unhappy coat,
That he sae slily said he ha'd forgot.
And now he thinks to put me aff with hire,
That gate to leave me sticking in the mire;
But he's mista'en to think to guide me sae,
For he's the only hire that I will hae.

=And well, I think, ye've won him, said the Squire,
For ye hae plaid your part, and something mair.
And now I think that Lindy should play his,
And mak amends to you for sic amiss.
What say ye, man? think ye nae burning shame,
To gie a lass sic reason you to blame?
Can ye expect to thram or fortherds gang,
That hae been guilty of sae great a wrang?
Fause and man-sworn will be the names ye'll get,
Sae think in time while ye can mend it yet;
For gin ye let it to a hearing come,
Ye'll find ye've knit your web to a wrang thrum:
Force will compel you to comply at last;
Sae look about you, ere the hint be past.

=Quo he, Indeed this were a sareless feast,
To tak in earnest what ane speaks in jest,
But maistly where we hae our life to lead.
Then, ere ye speak, ye should tak better heed,
Replies the Squire, but now the hint is past;
Ere it yeed by, ye should have gript it fast.
Do ye nae think that ye with favours met,
Whan ye by Bydby was at freedoom set?
And mind, that love, which now she claims as due,
Was what inclin'd her first to pity you;
To mend your meal, and syne to set you free:
Sae love should also now your motive be;
For you she did mair than coud all your kin,
Sae to draw back you must na now begin.
For weakness we the women use to shame,
But on oursells ye're like to turn the blame;
Do justice, man, and bring nae sic a stain
On what has been the constant brag of men;
Mind what this lass has undergane for you,
Since ye did her so treach'rously for-how.
How she is catch'd for you frae wig to wa',
And nae forespeakers has her cause to ca':
Has run the risk of all her friends' down-look,
Whan for your sake this standing loup she took;
And she herself a strapping lass to boot:
I fairly how ye can hae face to do't.
A lass, what I can see, that well may sair
The best mail-payer's son that e'er buir hair;
Besides, I find she's mettle to the teeth,
And is nae like to be put aff sae eeth.
Gin at the lass ye sae repine and grumble,
Her friends may come and raise you with a rumble.
By what I hear, their heavy hand ye ken,
Nor need ye green to waken them again.

=Then Bydby glibly to the Squire reply'd,
That is as true a tale as e'er ye said;
Gin they come here, as come they will, I'm sure,
For twenty pounds I wadna stand their stour.
'Tis true, I winna say, but I'll get blame,
Sae like a knotless thread to come frae hame;
But when they see how I am guided here,
They winna stand to reckon lang, I fear:
For though I say't mysell, they're nae to kame
Against the hair, a-fieldward or at hame.

=As for this lass, that was your joe before,
I reed she thinks ye hae gaen o'er the score,
Proceeds the Squire, and that whatever now
Ye may pretend, she sees ye're nae to trow.
And, though for you sic kindness yet she had,
As she wad you afore anither wed,
How coud she think that grace or thrift coud be
With ane she now does sae man-sworn see?
Fouk ay had best begin with dealing fair,
Altho' they should forgather ne'er so bair.
For Nory's sake this sideling hint he gae,
To brak her piece and piece her Lindy frae;
And gain'd his point; for she look'd wondrous dram,
And thought his shifting Bydby but a sham.
This pleas'd the Squire, and made him think that he
At least frae Lindy wad keep Nory free.
And for himsell to mak the plainer road,
Betweesh them sae by casting of a clod.
Then Lindy says, Sir, this is unco hard,
This gate we hae nae chance against a kaird.
Gin she but say, She likes ane, that's enough.
And we, as lang's they'll ca', maun had the plough.
But, says the Squire, gin ye wad tell a tale
That wad bear weight, be sure to tell it hail;
Attour that Bydby tauld she liked you,
She yet says mair, and that's, that ye did vow.
If with a kaird, as her, the case were so,
And she insist to have you, wherefore no?
That back door is o'er strait to let you out,
Sae seek na mair for shifts to look about:
For, from what I can either see or hear
About your case, ye're Bydby's well-won gear;
Sae pay your debt, and mak yae mair about it,
Hail claith looks ay far better than the clouted.

=All this claw'd Bydby's back, and made her fain,
As by her blythsome looks you well might ken.
The Squire ken'd well, and unto Lindy says,
Sic cheery looks a heart hauf-dead might raise.
Now Nory all the while was playing prim,
As ony lamb as modest, and as mim;
And ne'er a look with Lindy did let fa',
But chew'd her cud on what she heard and saw.

=Now Lindy's heart is haflins in a swidder.
The wild Sevitians put him in sic dridder;
And he 'bout Nory now coud see nae lythe,
And Bydhy only on him looked blythe.

=Then said the Squire, I wiss we had the priest,
I'm thinking Lindy's all this time in jest:
We should dunt out the boddom o't ere lang,
Nor Lindy mair be chargeable with wrang.

=Quo' Lindy, Sir, sic knots are easy casten,
But I'm but that gate half resolved to fasten.
Well, half is something, after comes the hail;
See, Ralph and Colin, what ye can prevail;
Tak lad and lass, and speak among yoursells,
And when ye've done, come back again and tell's.
Sae aff they gang, and down together sit.
Yon laird, says Colin, has a deal of wit:
The gentle sort ken meikle mair than we,
Sae, we should tak the counsel that they gie.
Sae, Lindy, put an end to all this strife,
And tak kind Bydby here to be your wife.
'Tis hard to ken, where blessings for't may light,
Tho' at the time they may be out of sight,
'T may be a means to get our gueeds again,
At least, I'm sure, to slight her wad be nane.
By that we're certain to get sturt and skaith,
But by the other may get free of baith.
This Squire, may be, may with their master deal;
Great fouks with ither eas'ly can prevail.

=Quo Ralph, Troth, Colin, I think ye are right,
It winna do at all this lass to slight.
And truly, Lindy, I maun this allow,
The lass is feer for feer, for hide and hue.
And as we're circumstanc'd, I hald it fit,
As lang's the iron's het, ye sharply hit;
For fear ye lose the heat afore ye wit.
Gin anes they come, and things nae at a close,
Better your feet, man, baith were in ae hose;
Did all the mischief light on you your-lane,
It were less skaith, 'twere but the loss of ane;
But gin they anes brak loose, they winna spare,
Sakeless nor guilty, man, wife, chiel, nor chare.
Come, man, says Colin, what needs all this din?
The lass, but mair, may sair your chief of kin.
Begin the wark, and gie'r a kindly kiss,
There's naething but amends to heal amiss.
Indeed, quo he, that's what I weel can spare,
I'se gie her ane, tho' she sud get nae mair.

=At this poor Bydby's heart came till her mou',
She met my lad half-gates, and mair, I trow.
And gar'd her lips on his gie sic a smack,
That well out-by ye would have heard the crack;
And then with sic a blythsome blink she took it,
That therewith Lindy's mar than haflings hooked.
Upon the lass his heart 'gan sae to warm,
That ane wad think the kiss had been a charm.
Gin he look'd blyth, the lassie looked mair,
For shame was past the shedding of her hair.
Ye coud na tell, 'cept ye had found't yoursell,
How Bydby's heart did at the kindness knell.
To him she says, Well-fell me, Lindy, now,
That e'er I got a tasting of your mou';
Nae henny-bike, that I did ever pree,
Did taste so sweet and smervy unto me.
The day is now my ain.  Let's gae and tell
Yon gentle Squire, that he's content himell.
Well mat he be, and well mat ye be a',
That's helped my dear Lindy's heart to fa'.
For want, my Lindy, hae ye now nae fear,
Tho' ye be herry'd, I hae fouth of gear;
And mair attour, mysell sall bear the blame,
Gin all your gueeds come not yet dancing hame.
Sae wisely thus did she the gully guide,
That Lindy fand he had scarce room to slide.
In this gueed mood they all came in a-breast,
And Bydby looks as gin she'd found a nest.
The Squire could soon the alteration spy,
Whan they came all sae cheerfully in-by;
And says, I see ye're all accorded now,
What gueed advice may do, ye winna trow,
And, tho' poor Lindy look'd but hauf and hauf,
Yet Bydby answer'd with a blythsome gauff,
Well-fell me now, the day is all my ain,
There is no pieasure gotten without pain!

=Then says the Squire, My friends, now hald you merry,
Wese hae a priest to end this dibberderry;
Kiss on and daut, and use your freedom now,
Nane now dare say, 'tis ill done that ye do.
With Colin I maun hae a quiet crack,
And ye sall see a sport when I come back.
Then taks his Nory by the milk-white hand,
That all the while did changing colours stand.
Then bids he Colin bring his wife alang:
Syne all sit down a wee bit frae the thrang.
When they are set, he unto Colin says,
I've not yet tauld my errand to thir braes;
Yon threap, I think, is feckly at a close,
But I hae something better to propose:
Poor Nory here is like to want her jo,
And tooth and nail I've wrought to have it so.
That she should want, I think great pity were,
And she sae ripe, sae cherry-cheek'd and fair;
That she has mist this heat, I am not wae.
Says Colin, She may want this year and day;
'Twill tak this seven year, I fear, and mae,
Scrap where we like, ere she be fit to gae.

=Then says the Squire, Gin that be all your fear,
She sanna want a man for want of gear;
A thousand pounds a year, well burden-free,
I mak her sure of, gin she'll gang with me;
And with the word a kindly smack her gae,
Till Nory blush'd, and wist na what to say.
Awa, says Colin, that will never do;
A country littleane for the like of you!
It is not feer For leer, sae dinna joke,
Ye'll get your equal, and she'll get her luck.
Says Squire, For joking gin I had been set,
I coud have pleased mysell anither gate,
And never speer'd your leave, whan her I fand
In the wide forest, full at my command;
But let her tell gin ony wrang I gae.
Indeed, quo' she, Sir, that I dare not say.
Sae, Colin, I'm in earnest, though that I
Could nill ye will ye carry aff my prey,
I fand so free; yet 'tis my choice to speer
Yours and your wife's good will for Nory here.

=Awell, an't like your honour, Colin says,
Gin that's the gate, we needna mak great phrase.
The credit's ours, and we may bless the day
That ever keest her in your honour's way.
But ye'll hae of her but a silly prize,
And soon belike may her and hers despise.
A witless littleane, bred to herd the ewes,
Or, when they're full, to pull a birn of cows.
That or sic like's the maist that she can do,
And sae, I reed, she'll not be fit for you;
But, come of her what likes, I'm twice content,
That Lindy's to his bargain gien consent.
For that may help perhaps to quench the ire
That glows 'mang the Sevitians like a fire;
For up they'll be upon a wondrous steer,
And gueed's the hap we hae your honour here:
Gin ye'll but bide among's a day or twa,
To help's a hitch afore ye gang awa',
'Twould calm them sair, sic partakers to see,
Among sae poor and feckless fouk as we.
All that I grant, reply'd the gallant Squire,
And Ise be glad, what help I can to share.
But mak me sure my Nory is my ain,
And ye nor I, sall hae nae farther pain.
Out, out, quo' he, gin ye be baith content
To gang together, yese hae my consent.
And well I wat, quo Jean, and yese hae mine,
And my best benisons the same to line.
And tho' I say't, she's just as gueed a child,
Wise, and kind-hearted, cheerful, meek, and mild,
As ony she that ever yeed on bane,
Gentle or simple, exception mak I nane.
'Tis true, I grant, she's nae a maik for you,
Though she be well enough for hide and hue.
But maks na, 'tis all ane since ye're content,
I hope yese never of your choice repent:
Although her father there, fool, senseless man,
Says that the lassie has nae skill nor can;
He kens nae better, and is sair mista'en;
But nae langsyne she made a keek her lane,
And never got a lesson but bare ane.
She'll shape to ony case your honour likes,
Conceited fouks are ready to loup dykes.
Awell, goodwife, that's true, I'm of your mind,
I could hae gotten enew of my ain kind,
And courting me as hard as they could do,
Tho' Lindy scares at lasses when they woo;
But on my Nory here my fancy's set;
She's get the fortune that they wish'd to get.

=Now, Nory, tell me, Nory, will ye hae
A swinging laird, and lat the shepherd gae?
Yese be as happy as the day is lang,
And there about us two sall be a sang,
That sall be heard as far as bonny Jean,
That erst was all the burden of the glen.

=Since they're content to whom I do belang,
She blushing says, that I with you should gang,
To say you nay, I think I should be wrang:
For great's the kindness that ye kyth'd on me,
Whan me ye did in the wild forest see.
And kind the lady was of Bonny-ha',
Frae whom I came o'er racklessly awa';
But fainness to be hame, that brunt my breast,
Made me to take the ettle whan it keest.

=If ye're content, 'tis just enough to me,
Were ye anes hame, your life shall easy be,
The Squire replied, and twin'd his willing arms
About her waist, and kiss'd her bonny charms.
Of your consent, he says, I'm mair nor fain,
And vokie that I can ca' you my ain.
Your bonny cheeks that first I sleeping saw,
Just as ye lay, quite aff my feet me staw;
Frae then till now I brook'd nae peace nor rest,
Sae stack your sweet resemblance in my breast.
To eat your meat, and that's be of the best,
And wear your claiths frae head to foot well drest,
Thro' bonny yards to walk, and apples pu',
Or henny pears to melt within your mou';
Or on the camowyne to lean you down,
With roses red and white all buskèd round,
Sall be the height of what ye'll hae to do,
And nane to quarrel or find fault with you.
My cousin Betty, whom ye ken and saw,
And left full dowie doun at Bonny-ha',
When you came aff, sall your companion be,
And, like twa sisters, ye will sort and gree.
And further, lest my Nory should think lang,
Kind Colin there and Jean with us shall gang,
Indeed, quo Colin, syn my lassie's gaing,
And on her feet sae happily has fa'en,
I'm e'en content it be as ye wad hae't,
Your honour winna miss our bit and baid.

=Well, honest Cohn, there's my hand to yours,
There's be nae odds at hame 'bout yours and ours:
At hack and manger Jean and ye sall live,
Of what ye like, with power to take or give;
But, that we lose no time, we'll call the priest,
And see what can be gotten for a feast;
For I've brought drink enough, and of the best,
Of gryte or sma', that well may please your taste.

=Quo Colin, I hae yet upon the town,
A quoy, just gaing three, a berry brown;
A tydy beast, and glittering like the slae,
That by gueed hap escap'd the greedy fae
Well will I think it wair'd, at sic a tyde,
Now when my lassie is your honour's bride:
She's get the mell, and that sall be right now,
As well a quoy, as tho' she were a cow.

=Fair fa' you, Colin, ye speak like yoursell,
She's be a well paid quoy, gin I hald heal,
Says the blyth Squire; meantime we'll take a glass,
And drink a health to my dear shepherdess,
Untill the priest be come to gie's the grace,
And syne wese birle it bauld with cherful face.
Call in-by Lindy and his Bydby here,
That they may get a share of our gueed cheer.
Bu hear ye first, my Nory maun be drest,
And that, I 'sure you, maun be of the best.
Says Colin, Heary, haste ye and rin o'er,
Your bridal sark, I ken, is to the fore:
It was na on, I wat, this seven year,
And well I wat, it anes was clean and clear:
Put that upon her, and what mair ye hae,
Ye canna make her braw eneugh the day.
Quo Jean, I sall do that intill a stound,
And hail and feer beside's my wedding goun:
All sall gang on, the lassie'll take it now,
Gueed stuff it is, and looks as it were new.
Attour I hae a ribbon twa ell lang,
As broad's my loof, and nae a thrum o't wrang;
Gin it hae mony marrows I'm beguil'd,
'Twas never out of fauld syn she was swayl'd:
All this I hae, and she sall get it a';
Were they anes on, she'll e'en be bridal-braw.

The Squire replies, Ye've been a noble guide,
But these are out of fashion for my bride.
They'll fit you best, put ye them on yoursell,
Ye well deserve for thrift to bear the bell:
My Nory sanna want.  Then gae a cry,
Whereat twa well-drest lasses came in-by;
To them he says, Ye'll take this angel sweet,
And dress with havins for your mistress meet,
My love, my bride, and spare nae pains nor care:
For chap and choice of suits ye hae them there;
And as ye do't, mind ye your mistress dress,
Nor than to such let your regard be less.

=The maids obey, and Nory's taken in,
And of her country claiths stript to the skin.
But, oh, the bonny things that they had there,
Of gowns and cambricks, costly, fine, and rare!
I canna name the half; but of them they
Buskt up a bonny Nory there that day,
So white, so neat, that when she came again,
Her mother Jean did haflins her misken.

=Now by the time that Nory comes in-by,
Like Venus from a scamper through the sky,
Fleeing with silks, and ruddy like the morn,
That casts a glow upon the yellow corn,
Lindy and Bydby frae their quiet crack,
Right well content and blythsome-like came back.

=The Squire observes them, and says, Come awa',
I'm fain to see you look sae, but a ga';
Your scruples, Lindy, by your looks I find,
Are at a close, and answer'd to your mind.
Quo Lindy, Sir, indeed I canna say,
But I and Bydby may together gae;
But there is ae thing I'd hae dunted out,
And I nae mair sall say this threap about,
And that's, that Nory own afore you a',
That on my side the bargain didna fa';
For, for my coat, I wadna wish't were said,
That I of jamphing maidens made a trade,
Well, Lindy, I believe, replied the Squire,
Nory'll be frank to do you justice there:
For what between you twa has ever been,
Nane to the ither will cast up, I ween.
But quite to mak you easy, let her tell
Afore this fouk, what she thinks o't hersell.

=Then Nory says, 'Tis needless to come o'er,
'Twixt you and me, what happen'd has before;
That's past and gane, and things, ye see, have ta'en
Another cast, and maun be let alane.
But all before here standing I avow,
That naething wrang I hae to say to you:
And as a token that I hae nae grudge,
Where'er I win, yese welcome be to lodge,
And fare as I do; and, what I can spare,
Ise ever mak you welcome to a share.
Now, Lindy, says the Squire, you're easy now,
And Nory naething says but gueed to you,
And what she here has shapen I shall sew:
Bring, ilka year, as lang's ye dow and live,
A lamb, and to your auld acquaintance give;
And in your loof yese get as aft doun tauld,
The worth of all that suck within your fauld.

=And now the priest to join the pairs is come,
But first is welcom'd with a glass of rum.
And now the pairs, by choice together cast,
In wedlock's bands are linked hard and fast;
And now the dishes on the damask green
Are set in rank, with proper space between:
While honest Jean brings forward in a clap,
The green-horn cutties rattling in her lap;
And frae them wyl'd the sleekest that was there,
And thum'd it round, and gave it to the Squire;
Then round the ring she dealt them ane by ane,
Clean in her perlin keek and gown alane.
The priest said grace, and all the thrang fell to,
And ply'd their cutties at the smervy broo:
Then on the beef of the new slaughtered quoy
Baith knives and teeth and thumbs they did employ:
Sometimes the beer, sometimes the wine went round,
For what the Squire bade do, was snaply done;
While all the green with music sweetly rang,
And honest Colin knack'd his thumbs and sang:
When dinner's o'er, the dancing neist began;
And thro' and thro' they lap, they flang, they ran:
The country dances and the country reels,
With streekèd arms bobb'd round, and nimble heels.
The Squire ordain'd nae rander to be kept,
And roos'd him always best that lightest leapt;
Lest Nory, seeing dancing by a rule,
Should blush, as having never been at school.
While thus the blythsome mirth gaes round,
=Colin behalding on the green,
And mair nor pleas'd, turns in a stound,
=And couthily says unto Jean,
What think ye, 'oman, of this day?
=May we not think our pains well wair'd,
And that it is right blythsome play,
=Whan our young Nory's gotten a laird?
Jean says, I thought aye gueed of her wad come,
For she was with the foremost up and some.

=Then Colin says, Come, deary, gie's a sang,
And let's be hearty with the merry thrang.
Awa', she says, fool man, ye're growing fu',
Whaever's daft to-day, it sets na you.

=As they're at this, the Squire came dancing by,
And speers what thoughts their mind did occupy.
Quo Colin, Sir, an't like your honour, we
'Bout Nory's happy luck were cracking free.
And I was bidding Jean e'en gie's a sang,
That we among the lave may mix our mang.
But she but jamphs me, telling me I'm fu',
And gin't be sae, Sir, Ise be judged by you.
I join you, Colin, then the bridegroom says;
Come, honest Jean, gie's _Flaviana's Braes_.
Quo' Jean, my steven, Sir, is blunted sair,
And singing frae me frighted aff with care;
But, gin ye'll tak it, as I now can gie't,
Ye're welcome till't, and my sweet blessing wi't.

=To the Tune of "_The Lass of Patie's Mill_."

==Of all the lads that be
===On Flaviana's Braes,
==My Colin bears the gree,
===And that a thousand ways.
==Best on the pipe he plays,
===Is merry, blyth, and gay,
==And Jeanie fair, he says,
===Has stown my heart away.

==Had I ten thousand pounds,
===I'd all to Jeanie gie;
==And thole a thousand wounds,
===To keep my Jeanie free;
==For Jeanie is to me,
===Of all the maidens fair,
==My jo, and aye sall be,
===With her I'll only pair.

==Of roses I will weave
===To her a flow'ry crown:
==All other cares I'll leave,
===And busk her haffets round;
==I'll buy her a new gown,
===With strips of red and blue,
==And never mair look brown,
===For Jean will aye be new.

==My Jeanie made reply,
===Syn ye hae chosen me,
==Then all my wits I'll try
===A loving wife to be.
==If I my Colin see,
===I'll lang for naething mair,
==With him I do agree,
===In weal and woe to share.

=Now, Sir, you hae our _Flaviana's Braes_,
And well, ye see, our gossip did we praise;
But we're forfairn, and sair alter'd now;
Sic youngsome sangs are sareless frae my mou'.
Hale be your heart, the merry Squire replies,
Nae to the worse is alter'd yet the guise.
And hale, too, Colin, be your heart: but you,
This blythsome sang we all had wanted now.
Then Colin said, The carline made it nice,
But well I kent she could it tightly dice;
Afttimes, unbid, she lilted it to me,
And o'er the fire has blinked in my eye.

=To fill a glass the cheerful Squire commands,
And with the honest seelfu' pair shook hands,
Then drank their health, and gar'd it gae about,
And, oh, the drink was nappy, brown, and stout!

=As thus the dancing and the mirth gaes on,
Ane looks about, and says, O sirs! what's yon?
A heap of men advancing at full dreel,
And, oh, the foremost looks a fearsome chiel!
All look about, and Lindy says, Ho, ho!
Yon's the Sevitians, what shall we do now?
And yon's black Tam, that gaes alane afore:
There'll be among us now a dowie hour.
Then Colin says, Alas! the tale's o'er true,
Our mirth will all be turn'd to mourning now:
'Tis now come to our hand what Bydby tauld,
We'll naething be afore yon bangsters bauld.
The Squire observes their fright, says, Never fear,
We'll meet them with as sharp and trusty gear:
Come, friends, with courage let us meet the crew,
And that there's men in Flaviana shew.
Meanwhile he says to stalwart Aiken-hill,
Till we be ready, you step forward will:
With your habiliments and armour sheen,
And ask yon highland Kettrin what they mean:
Charge them to stop, nor move a foot-braid more,
Or they shall at their peril cross the score.
The knight obeys, with glancing sword in hand,
With stately step and brow made for command.
On his left arm, he bore his massy targe,
Well boss'd with steel, and out of measure large.
When he was full within their hearing got,
With dreadful voice, from aff a rising mote
He call'd to stop; and calling struck the ground,
Till all the yird return'd a trembling sound.
The men, tho' bauld, yet at the daring sight,
And manly cry, were some put in a fright:
And stopt a wee, then up more softly came,
Then ask'd the knight, what was their country's name.
Sevitia, they replied.  What ask ye here,
In sic a band, and in sic warlike gear?
Our sister, we suppose, is stolen away,
And by the Flavianians made a prey:
Her at all hazards we intend to claim,
And on the havers fix the riefing blame.

=And now the Squire s ready to advance,
And in his hand holds up a shining lance,
And bids the stoutest of the gatherd thrang
Gird on their bulyiement and come alang.
Nory at this is suddenly aghast,
With baith her hands unto her Squire grips fast;
Crying, Dear sir, you shall not, must not go,
Yon Kettrins' bows will surely shoot you thro'.
For any thing with you I'll never part,
For fear already's like to brak my heart.
Fear not, dear Nory, softly said the Squire,
The sight of us will mak them fast retire.
Retire or no, poor Nory made reply,
If you go any further, so will I.
Then come alang, since with me ye'll abide,
We'll look the better that we hae our bride:
You want not darts that can baith wound and kill,
You know you shot me sleeping on the hill:
Your glancing eyn will make their heads to reel,
And melt their arrows, tho' of forged steel.
So hand in hand the new knit pair set out,
Attended by a brave and gallant rout.
The Squire comes up, and says to Aiken-hill,
Have these intruders then obey'd your will?
So far, he says, that they have stopt their course,
But say, that here is of their march the source.
The Squire advances, and inquires the cause,
They thus adventure to break through the laws,
By breaking in upon their neighbour's bounds,
Like baited bears, or like blood-thirsty hounds:
Did they imagine Flaviana's braes
Had no protectors from their bloody faes?
He'd let them see, they widely were mista'en,
And should he met with as hard match again.
Tho' they of late unquarrell'd wan awa',
Whan they these honest people's gueeds did ca',
That they should find the guise was alter'd now,
And reason have this reckless race to rue.

=Then the Sevitians made this bold reply:
We never thought it wrang to ca' a prey;
Our auld forebears practis'd it all their days,
And ne'er the worse for that did set their claise:
But never heard that e'er they steal'd a cow;
Sic dirty things they wad hae scorn'd to do.
But tooming faulds, or scouring of a glen,
Was ever deem'd the deed of protty men;
So we for that need not cast down our brow,
It is a thing that we may well avow.

=The Squire consider'd 'twas na best to fight
With men 'bout things that they accounted right;
But tries with reason to reduce their wills,
And shaw the wrang of what they judg'd not ills,
And thus began: Your auld forebears, you say,
Taught you to toom a fauld, and drive a prey;
They thought it was a doughty deed, and ye
To do the like right well entitled be;
But tell me this, how would you like the case,
If others on yoursells should turn the chase?
Say they, We know no reason but they might,
The strongest side has ay the strongest right;
If we our side unable are to guard,
Let them the booty have for their reward.
The Squire replied, My lads ye judge amiss,
For of the weak the law protector is.
It may be, said the Kettrin, but, if true,
We have like reason to complain of you:
Ye've stown a lass and frae us forc'd awa',
And, ere we want her, we sall pluck a craw.
Oh, then, replied the Squire, is that the case?
Come forward, and ye soon shall hae redress.
The lass is safe and sound, and marry'd leal,
And free to tell, that her we did not steal.
Stark love and kindness made her to come here,
When we to have her were not quite so clear;
But we've inclin'd the lad that wan her heart,
To gie himsell, to heal her langing smart.

=If that's the case, say they, our mind's at rest,
We wiss they o't may hae a merry feast.
A merry feast they hae, he says, and ye
Come forward, and the truth thereof shall see.

=And now the fead is soften'd, and alang
They march, and mix themsells among the thrang
The face of things is alter'd in a snap,
And as they came, they sang, they danc'd, they lap.
Colin and Lindy now, wha fear'd the worst,
This change observing, come among the first;
With Bydby halding Lindy by the hand,
To welcome the Sevitians to their land.
And merry was their meeting on the green,
And, oh, the shaking hands that there was seen!
All forward now in merry mood they went,
And all the day in mirth and ranting spent.
Well were they pleas'd with Lindy, when they saw
With him the yoke how Bydby loo'd to draw.
When they had eat and drank and danc'd their fill,
Then says the Squire, My lads, it is my will,
As by this marriage ye are linked here,
That ye restore this honest people's gear,
And live like friends, and each stand by the other,
As close as ye wad do to any brother.
Give o'er your herships, and improve your lands,
Nor mair a-strolling go wi' riefing bands:
Sae sall ye hence be had in good esteem,
And your lost reputation much redeem.

=Then the Sevitians gave this mild reply;
Your just request we canna well deny.
Since Lindy has with Bydby join'd his hand,
Theyse hae their gear again at your command;
Chap out as mony yonkers frae the glen,
As ilka horn and hoof of yours may ken;
And we sall them a ready taiken gie,
That sall frae us let all their gueeds gae free.
Accordingly the lads were wil'd and sent,
The taiken shown, that, but a host, was kent;
And all the beasts in course of time came hame,
And ilka cow was welcom'd by her dame.
Then all the afternoon they danc'd and drank,
And were with ither hearty, free, and frank:
At night the wedded pairs, on beds of hay,
Did ratify the business of the day.

=Now, when the morn was gilt with Phoebus' beams,
And reek in streaming towr's frae lumb-heads leams,
The Squire, and all his sightly friends are seen,
In good array upon the dewy green;
And straight with the Sevitians seal'd a band,
In after times unalterably to stand:
To wit, "That they with Flaviana's Braes,
Should ever mair hae common friends and fae."
Attour the Squire to Lindy does bequeath,
To brook all Colin's gear to his last breath;
And to his children after him.  As now
Colin with these wad hae no more to do,
As he and Jean were with the Squire to gang
For all their lifetime, be it ne'er so lang.
To the Sevitians here we bid adieu,
And leave them feasting wi' their allies new.

=And now the Squire his hamewith course intends,
And aff a message to auld mammy sends.
Anither forward unto Bonny-Ha,
To tell that there things be redd up and braw.
Upon a milk-white steed is Nory set,
By liv'ry men attended well in state;
Sae girt she was in strong and gallant graith,
As she could neither fall nor meet wi' skaith;
And then sae braw, that she hersell misknew,
Sae in the wind her silks and scarlets flew:
Ane led her reins, with siller knaps full clear,
On ilka side twa walk'd by her right near.
The Squire himsell, upon a silver gray,
Rade close afore her, to direct the way.
Colin was mounted in a gentle suit,
With hat and wig, and riding gear compleat:
And Jean with orange silk is all clad o'er,
With mantle blue, and siller clasps before.
Then on they scour, and by the day was high,
They reach'd the glens, where mammy kept her ky.
All on the green they light before the sheal,
And mammy them receives with welcome hail.

=Well, lucky, says he, hae you try'd your hand
Upon your milk, as I gae you command?
An't like your honour, quo she, that I hae,
And in a glent, my child, yese find it sae.
Gang in and seat you on the sunks all round,
And yese be sair'd with plenty in a stound.
Sae down they sat; and by himsell the Squire,
To place his Nory took a special care.
And when they're set, auld lucky eyes them a',
And, sic a rout, says, here I never saw:
Well may ye all be, and well gae ye hame:
But I afore you all maun tell a dream,
I had last night, when I lay here my lane,
That yet in life I had seen bonny Jean.
Then says the Squire, Pray, lucky, wha was she,
With whom in sleep ye might sae busy be?
A friend of yours, she says, but yet I fear,
That ye of her could scarcely ever hear.
Ere ye was born, her fate was past and gane,
And she amaist forgot by ilka ane;
And that sweet face by you, I'd say, were she,
Wer't not she now could not so young-like be.

=Tell on your tale, reply'd the Squire, for I
To hear it out am in anxiety.

=Then said she, Frae this back near thirty year,
Which is as yesterday to me as clear,
Frae your ain uncle's gate was nipt awa'
That bonny bairn, 'twas thought, by Junky Fa,
That famous gypsy, that steal'd mony ane,
And of her since was notice never nane.
I at that time her worthy father sair'd,
And mony a tear the matter cost the laird:
Great search for her was made baith far and near,
But tint nor trial of her cud we hear.
To this auld Colin glegly 'gan to hark,
Wha with his Jean sat butwards in the mark;
And says, Gudewife, I reed your tale is true,
And I ne'er kent my wife's descent till now.
'Tis she had sae been stown by Junky Fa,
And I can tell you how she wan awa'.
My father and some neipers spy'd the rout
O' gypsies strolling, as they're early out:
They dreaded sair, thcy might ca' aff some prey,
And gae them chase about the break of day.
The bonny bairn they in the hurry tint,
Our fouks came up, and fand her in a glent;
'Bout six or seven she looked then to be,
Her face was smear'd with some dun-colour'd gree.
They fuish her hame, and an auld man call'd Dick,
A wealthy herd, that kent the gypsies' trick,
Of stealing bairns, and smearing of their skin,
That had nae bairns himsell, first took her in;
Wash'd aff the gree, and then her bonny face
Told, that she must be come of gentle race.
And Dick thought now that he had found a fiddle,
And never brak his shins upon the cradle.
Syne meat he gae, the best he cud command,
And says, Ye've now your daddie by the hand:
How ca' they you, my bairn, gin ye but ken?
She answer maks, and says, They ca' me Jean.
Some ither questions mair he speer'd, but she
Cud of herself but little quittance gie:
He only from some hints cou'd eethly learn,
That, but a doubt, she was some gentle bairn.
Gin he was fain, far fainer was his wife,
And 'tweesh them twa she liv'd a happy life:
A little time made her her chance forget,
Quite pleas'd in being dad and minnie's pet.
Just as their ain she's fashen up and ta'en
For Dick's ae dother now by ilka ane;
And blyth was he, that she e'en thought it sae,
And all his gear at last unto her gae.

=When she and I forgather'd, I mysell
Ken'd nought of all this strange, but couthy tale.
Dick and my father's now baith at a rest,
Dick's wife alane the verity kens best,
And tauld it me, and syne I speer'd at Jean:
She said, about it she did little ken.
Something of stairs and beds ran in her mind,
Than these at hame of quite another kind:
Yet all but like a dream, and when at last
She's hauf persuaded of her antercast,
She said, What signifies't? we'll never ken
Oursells the richer, either but or ben;
Upon our side we need na lie and lippen
To what to us may from our gentry happen.
And sae thought I, but yet was something vain,
That sic an aught I now could ca' my ain:
And vain I may be now, when all that's past,
By unko twines, has fallen sae well at last:
Then says to Jean, Come out afore the gawd,
And let fouk see gin ye be what ye're ca'd.
I sall, she says, and comes ben to the light:
Auld mammy looks, and says, I'm right, I'm right;
My dream is read, and this is bonny Jean,
Her lady mither o'er and o'er again:
In face and feature, and muckle about her eeld,
When she to ruthless death was forc'd to yield;
Bad was your luck, thought we, when ye was stawn;
But it wad look, ye on your feet had fa'en:
When your goodman himself, and also ye
Look sae like to the thing that ye sud be.
Then Jean replied, I should be right content,
For the kind cavel that to me was lent:
But it's nae lang since I hae been sae braw,
What I hae maistly had, hail claise was a'.
Gueed luck, and mair nor gueed, I now may ca't,
And thankful should I be, gin I could shaw't.

=Ye're welcome, mother, sae I call you now,
Well wair'd, I think, all that I've gien to you:
And wad hae thought it due, now when I ken,
Replies the Squire, that ye are just my ain.
Then unto mammy says, Do ye not mind,
That to some travelling lasses ye was kind ?
That ane of them ye roos'd sae wondrous sair,
And sonnets made upon her face sae fair:
Think ye, that ye that bonny face wad ken,
In case that ye sud chance to see't again?
Her looks, quo' she, sae gar'd my heart-strings beat,
I reed, 'twas they that me a dreaming set;
And I almaist wad swear, that same were she,
That blinks beside you with her bonny eye:
Save that she's brawer far; but what ken I,
But she has chang'd her claise since she yeed by?
Ye're right, good-wife, says Nory; chang'd indeed,
Since I yeed by, is baith my mind and weed.
I'm in your debt for your gueed curds and ream,
And ere lang days, I hope to pay you hame;
Your dream indeed has made me mair nor fain,
Now what I am when I begin to ken.

=My benisons upon your bonny face,
Auld lucky says, I wiss you mickle grace.
That ye are bonny Jean's I'm certain now,
Your eyes, nose, mouth, are just the same, I vow.
Then says the Squire to lucky, Do ye mind,
That what to do, ye wish'd, I were inclin'd;
That was, to tak' a wife ere I cam' hame?
I've done your will, and ta'en this charming dame;
This bonnie lassie that now sits by me,
And my ain flesh and blood now proves to be.
Lang may you dream, for I am twice content,
That ane yet lives the verity that kent;
And has sae seasonably letten me ken
That I hae match'd, and that among my ain.
But this I'll say, tho' she had been nae mair,
But just my ain sweet country lassie there,
I never would my happy choice repent,
Tho', as she's what she is, I'm as content.
If she her luck may prize, I also may,
I hope, prize mine unto my dying day.

=Thus has this strange adventure ended right,
And ev'ry scene in due time come to light.
Jean, from her lot obscure, is now retriev'd,
And upon Nory honour due derived.
Her comely face that look'd aboon her lot,
A chance becoming her descent has got.
All home they went, and led a blythsome life,
Happy as ever yet were man and wife.
A blooming offspring frae this marriage sprang,
That honour'd virtue, and discourag'd wrang.

==-----

CONCLUSION.

Now, reader, lest thou think the time ill spent,
Thou on the reading of this tale hast lent;
Or shouldst upon review be apt to say,
I'd thrown my paper, pains, and time away;
Be pleas'd to see, couch'd in this harmless tale,
Some useful lessons try'd in reason's scale.
As love's a natural passion of the mind,
To which all ranks are more or less inclin'd;
Care has been taken, while we paint it here,
That nothing base or vicious should appear,
But what is chaste and virtuous all the while,
And only meets thee with a cheery smile;
See also the plain past'ral life describ'd,
Before it had oppressive views imbib'd:
And judge how sweet and harmless were the days
When men were acted by such springs as these.
See also the reverse of this fair plan,
After oppressive measures first began;
And from the havock that this practice brought,
Be taught to hate it even in very thought.
If any arts thou find'st are here practis'd,
To gain some ends, unlawfully devis'd,
Be not offended; turn thy eyes within,
And let him first throw stones that wants the sin.
'Tis not for practice, tho' too much the way,
That 'tis allow'd a place in our essay:
But rather to evince, when we pretend
To gain by slight, that we shall lose our end.
Nought, in a word, is here at all design'd,
To misconduct or to debauch the mind;
But to amuse it when too earnest bent,
Or recreate a spirit overspent:
To help to pass a lonesome winter night,
Still saving room for graver subjects right.
No line is for the critic here design'd,
To find him work, or please his captious mind:
For me, he all his pains and time shall waste,
I do not mean at all to please his taste.
Enough my brains I have already beat,
And judge it time to sound my loud retreat.







SONGS.

THE ROCK AND THE WEE PICKLE TOW.

PART I.

THERE was an auld wife and a wee pickle tow,
=And she wad gae try the spinning o't;
She louted her down, and her rock took a low,
=And that was a bad beginning o't.
She sat and she grat, and she flet and she flang,
And she threw and she blew, and she wriggled and wrang,
And she choked and boaked, and cry'd like to mang,
=Alas for the dreary spinning o't.

I've wanted a sark for these eight years and ten,
=And this was to be the beginning o't;
But I vow I shall want it for as lang again,
=Or ever I try the spinning o't.
For never since ever they ca'd me as they ca' me,
Did sic a mishap or mishanter befa' me;
But ye shall hae leave baith to hang me and draw me,
=The neist time I try the spinning o't.

I hae keeped my house for these threescore o' years,
=And aye I kept free o' the spinning o't;
But how I was sarked, foul fa' them that speers,
=For it minds me upo' the beginning o't.
But our women are now-a-days grown a' sae braw,
That ilk ane maun hae a sark, an' some maun hae twa;
The warld was better, when ne'er ane ava
=Had a rag, but ane at the beginning o't.

Foul fa' her that ever advised me to spin,
=That had been sae lang a beginning o't;
I might well have ended as I did begin,
=Nor have gat sic a skair with the spinning o't.
But they'll say, She's a wise wife that kens her ain weird;
I thought on a day it should never be speer'd,
How lout ye the low tak your rock by the beard,
=When ye yeed to try the spinning o't?

The spinning, the spinning, it gars my heart sob,
=When I think upon the beginning o't;
I thought ere I died to have anes made a wob,
=But still I had weers of the spinning o't.
But had I nine dothers, as I hae but three,
The safest and soundest advice I could gie,
Is, that they frae spinning wad keep their hands free,
=For fear of a bad beginning o't.

Yet, in spite o' my counsel, if they will needs run
=The drearysome risk of the spinning o't,
Let them seek out a lyth in the heat of the sun,
=And there venture on the beginning o't.
But to do as I did, alas and awow!
To busk up a rock at the cheek o' the low,
Says, that I had but little wit in my pow,
=And as little ado wi' the spinning o't.

But yet, after a', there is ae thing that grieves
=My heart to think o' the beginning o't;
Had I won the length but of ae pair o' sleeves,
=Then there had been word o' the spinning o't.
This I wad hae washen an' bleach'd like the snaw,
And on my twa gardies like moggans wad draw,
And then fouk wad say, that auld Girzy was braw,
=And a' was upon her ain spinning o't.

But gin I could shog about till a new spring,
=I should yet hae a bout of the spinning o't;
A mutchkin o' lintseed I'd in the yerd fling,
=For a' the wanchancy beginning o't.
I'll gar my ain Tammie gae down to the how,
And cut me a rock of a widdershins grow,
Of good rantry-tree for to carry my tow,
=And a spindle o' same for the twining o't.

For, now, when I mind me, I met Maggy Grim
=That morning, just at the beginning o't;
She was never ca'd chancy, but canny an' slim,
=And sae it has fared with my spinning o't.
But gin my new rock war anes cutted and dry,
I'll all Maggy's cann an' her cantrips defy,
And, but ony sussie, the spinning I'll try,
=An' ye shall a' hear o' the beginning o't,


PART II.

Quo' Tibby, her dother, tak tent fat ye say,
=The never a rag we'll be seeking o't;
Gin ye anes begin, ye'll tarveal's night an' day,
=Sae 'tis vain ony mair to be speaking o't.
Since Lammas, I'm now gain' thirty an' twa,
And never a dud sark had I yet great or sma',
And what waur am I; I'm as warm an' as braw,
=As thrumny-tail'd Meg, that's the spinner o't.

To labour the lint land, and then buy the seed,
=And then to yoke me to the harrowing o't;
And syne loll amon't and pick out ilka weed,
=Like swine in a stye at the farrowing o't;
Syne powing an' ripling, and steeping, and then
To gar's gae and spread it upon the cauld plain,
And then, after a', may be labour in vain,
=When the wind and the weet gets the fushion o't.

But though it should anter the weather to bide,
=With beetles we're set to the drubbing o't;
And then frae our fingers to gnidge aff the hide,
=With the wearisome wark o' the rubbing o't.
And syne ilka tait maun be heckled outthrow,
The lint putten ae gate, anither the tow,
Syne on on a rock wi't, and it taks a low,-
=The back o' my hand to the spinning o't.

Quo' Jenny, I think, 'oman, ye're in the right,
=Set your feet ay a spar to the spinning o't;
Let's tak an example by our ain mither's fright,
=That she got, when she try'd the beginning o't.
But they'll say, that auld fouk are twice bairns indeed,
And sae she has kyth'd it; but there is nae need
To siccan an amshach that we drive our head,
=As lang's we're sae skair'd frae the spinning o't.

Quo' Nanny, the youngest, I've now heard ye a',
=An' dowie's your doom of the spinning o't;
Gin ye, when the cow flings, the cog cast awa',
=Ye'll see where ye'll lick up your winning o't;
But I see that, but spinning, I'II never be braw,
But gae by the name of a dilp or a daw,
Sae, lack where ye like, I sall anes shak a fa',
=Afore I be dung wi' the spinning o't.

For well I can mind me, when black Willie Bell
=Had Tibbie there just at the winning o't;
Fat blew up the bargain, she kens well hersel,
=Was the want o' the knack o' the spinning o't.
And now, poor 'oman, for ought that I ken,
She never may get sic an offer again,
But pine awa' bit an' bit, like Jenkin's hen,
=And naething to wyte, but the spinning o't.

But were it for naething but just this alane,
=I shall yet hae a bout o' the spinning o't;
They may cast me for calling me black at the bane,
=But nae 'cause I shun the beginning o't.
But be that as it happens, I care not a strae,
But nane of the lads shall e'er have it to say,
When they come to woo, she kens naething avae,
=Nor has ony knack o' the spinning o't.

In the days they call yore, gin auld fouk had but won
=To a surcoat hough-side for the winning o't,
Of coat raips, well cut to the cast of their bun,
=They never sought mair o' the spinning o't.
A pair of grey hoggers well clinked benew,
Of nae ither litt but the hue of the ewe,
Wi' a pair of rough rullions to scuff thro' the dew,
=Was the fee they sought at the beginning o't.

But we maun hae linen, and that maun hae we,
=And how get we that but by spinning o't?
How can we hae face for to seek a great fee,
=Except we can help at the winning o't?
And we maun hae pearlins, and mabbies, and cocks,
And some ither things that the ladies ca' smocks,
And how get we that, gin we tak nae our rocks,
=An' rug what we can at the spinning o't?

'Tis needless for us to mak ony remarks,
=Frae our mother's miscooking the spinning o't:
She never kent ought o the good o' the sarks,
=Frae this aback to the beginning o't.
Twa three ells o' Plaiden was a' that was sought,
By auld warld bodies, and that boot be bought,
For in ilka town siccan things was na then wrought,
=So little they kent o' the spinning o't.

[In the first of the world, when Adam and Eve
=Was station'd here at teh beginning o't,
Their very first wark was to sew the fig leaves,
=An' syne gaed to try the spinning o't.
When Adam he delved, and mother Eve span,
There was naething like pride and like gentry than;
But now there's eneugh baith in woman an' man,
=Which could not be but the spinning o't.

With spinning I hae a far happier life,
=Than Mary, the Queen, I'll warrant you o't;
For she seldom lived free o' trouble or strife,
=For she kent nae the art o' the spinning o't.
'Tis a trade that is honest, and ancient, an' true,
Whoever can spin, they need never to rue,
It gains claes to the back, and meat to the mou,
=Sae I'll never gie o'er the spinning o't.

I've naething to mind but my rock and my reel,
=When I gang to try the spinning o't;
Then fouk'll say that young Nanny spins weel,
=And is chief o' kin frae the beginning o't.
Sae I'll hae a man, fatever betide,
The weather is cauld, an' I canna abide,
For I've siller enough now to mak me a bride,
=That I hae got by the spinning o't.] - 1_st Edition_.





TO THE BEGGING WE WILL GO.

OF all the trades that ever was,
=The begging is the best;
When I am tired with begging
=I will ly down and rest;

==To the begging we will go, will go, will go,
==To the begging we will go.

And first I'll have a meal pock,
=Of good aum'd leather made,
To hold at least a firlot,
=And room for beef and bread.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll next unto the turner,
=And cause him turn a dish
To hold at least three choppins,
=For less I wad na wish.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll then unto the cobbler,
=And cause him sole my shoon,
An inch thick in the boddam,
=And clouted well aboon.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll carry to the tailor
=A web of hoding gray,
That he may make a cloak of it,
=To hap me night and day.
===To the begging, &c.

Then I'll unto some greasy cook,
=And buy frae him a hat,
That is baith stiff and weather-proof,
=And glittering o'er with fat.
===To the begging, &c.

Then with my pike-staff in my hand,
=To close my begging stock,
I'll go unto some lucky wife
=To hansel my new pock.
===To the begging, &c.

But yet ere I begin my trade,
=I'll lat my beard grow strang,
Nor pare my nails for year and day;
=For beggars use them lang.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll put no water on my hands,
=As little on my face;
For still the lowner like I am,
=The more my trade I'll grace.
===To the begging, &c.

When I the men at work espy,
=I'll hirple to the house;
If nane be in but the goodwife,
=Then I'll crack wondrous crouse.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll seek frae her my lodging,
=Though it be far frae night;
Then, to let me be trudging,
=She'll sair me right and tight.
===To the begging, &c.

At ilka house I'll play the same,
=Till it be growing mark,
And the goodman be sitten down,
=And come in frae his wark.
===To the begging, &c.

Then saftly leaning o'er my staff,
=I'll say, with hat in hand,
Will the poor man get lodging here?
=Alas, I cannot stand.
===To the begging, &c.

Then Lucky, happily, will say,
=Poor man we hae nae room;
Ere all our fouks be set about,
=We wadna had your thumb.
===To the begging, &c.

Then, well I wat, goodwife, I'll say,
=Ise no seek near the fire;
Let me but rest my weary banes
=Behind backs at the spire.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll seek but bree out of the pot,
=Frae 'mang your boiling kail,
To be my supper brose; for I
=Mysell hae cap and meal.
===To the begging, &c.

Hout ay, poor man, come ben your wa',
=The gossip syne will say;
We'll ca' a wedge to make you room,
='T has been a cauldriff day.
===To the begging, &c.

When at the fire I'm set a wee,
=Then I'll begin and sing,
And do my best to gar them gauff
=All round about the ring.
===To the begging, &c.

I'll pick up all the merry tales,
=That I hear anywhere;
And all the news of town and land,
=And, oh, I'll tell them clair.
===To the begging, &c.

When the goodwife begins to rise,
=And ready mak the kail,
Then I'll bang out my beggar dish,
=And stap it fou of meal.
===To the begging, &c.

Then, maybe, the goodwife will say,
=Poor man, let be your meal;
Ye're welcome to your brose the night,
=And to your bread and kail.
===To the begging, &c.

And then I will be sure to pray,
=To haud them all their heal,
And wish that never they nor theirs
=Want either milk or meal.
===To the begging, &c.

But then I'll never mind when the
=Goodman to labour cries;
The thivel on the pottage pan
=Shall strike my hour to rise.
===To the begging, &c.

And when I'm tursing at my pocks,
=If the goodwife shall say,
Stay still, and get your morning meal;
=What maks you haste away?
===To the begging, &c.

Oh, then, what bonny words I'll gie,
=And roose her out of wit,
And pray, as lang as I do gang,
=That still she there may sit.
===To the begging, &c.

When I of any wedding hear,
=I'll cast me to be there,
And pray my hearty benison
=Upon the winsome pair.
===To the begging, &c.

Then, with my cap into one hand,
=My hat into the other,
Wherever foulk are drinking bauld,
=I will go bobbing thither.
===To the begging, &c.

Then I will to the minstrels say,
=For they are never scant,
With leave of the good company,
=Play me the _Beggar's Rant_.
===To the begging, &c.

Then I will wallop out a dance,
=Or tell some merry tale,
Till some good fellow in my dish
=Turn o'er the stoup and ale.
===To the begging, &c.

Then I will drink their healths about,
=And wish them a' good heal,
And pray, they never want enough,
=Nor yet a heart to deal.
===To the begging, &c.

But I am o'er lang frae my trade,
=If things should answer sae;
'Tis time that I were at the gate,
=And tursing up the brae.
===To the begging, &c.

If things shall answer to my scheme,
=I'll come again and tell;
But if I hae mistane my trade,
=Ise keep it to mysell.
===To the begging, &c.





WOO'D AND MARRIED AND A'.

WOO'D and married and a',
=Married and woo'd and a';
The dandilly toast of the parish
=Is woo'd and married and a'.
The wooers will now ride thinner,
=And by, when they wonted to ca';
'Tis needless to speer for the lassie,
=That's woo'd and married and a'.

The girss had na freedom of growing,
=As lang as she wasna awa',
Nor in the town could there be stowing
=For wooers that wanted to ca'.
For drinking, and dancing, and brulyies,
=And boxing and shaking of fa's,
The town was for ever in tulyies;
=But now the lassie's awa'.

But had they but ken'd her as I did,
=Their errand it wad hae been sma';
She neither kent spinning nor carding,
=Nor brewing nor baking ava'.
But wooers ran all mad upon her,
=Because she was bonny and braw,
And sae I dread will be seen on her,
=When she's by hand, and awa'.

He'll roose her but sma' that has married her,
=Now when he's gotten her a',
And wish, I fear, he had miscarry'd her,
=Tocher and ribbons and a'.
For her art it lay all in her dressing;
=But gin her braws ance were awa',
I fear she'll turn out of the fashion,
=And knit up her moggans with straw.

For yesterday I yeed to see her,
=And O she was wonderous braw,
Yet she cried to her husband to gie her
=An ell of red ribbons or twa.
He up, and he set down beside her
=A reel, and a wheelie to ca';
She said, Was he this gate to guide her?
=And out at the door and awa'.

Her neist road was hame till her mither,
=Who speer'd at her now, How was a';
She says till her, Was't for nae ither
=That I was married awa',
But gae and sit down to a wheelie,
=And at it baith night and day ca',
And hae the yarn reel'd by a cheelie,
=That ever was crying to draw?

Her mither says till her, Hegh, lassie,
=He's wisest, I fear, of the twa;
Ye'll hae little to put in the bassie,
=Gin ye be backward to draw.
'Tis now ye should work like a tyger,
=And at it baith wallop and ca',
As lang's ye hae youthhead and vigour,
=And little anes and debt are awa'.

Sae swythe awa' hame to your hadding,
=Mair fool than when ye came awa';
Ye maunna now keep ilka wedding,
=Nor gae sae clean-finger'd and braw;
But mind with a neiper you're yoked,
=And that ye your end o't maun draw,
Or else ye deserve to be dock'd;
=Sae that is an answer for a'.

Young luckie now finds hersell nidder'd,
=And wist na well what get to ca';
But with hersell even consider'd,
=That hamewith were better to draw,
And e'en tak her chance of her landing,
=However the matter might fa';
Fouk need not on frets to be standing,
=That's woo'd and married and a'.





WHAT AILS THE LASSES AT ME?

_To the Tune, "An' the Kirk wad lat me be."_

I AM a batchelor winsome,
=A farmer by rank and degree,
And few I see gang out mair handsome,
=To kirk or to market than me:
I have outsight, and insight, and credit,
=And from any eelist I'm free;
I'm well enough boarded and bedded,-
=And what ails the lasses at me?

My boughts of good store are no scanty:
=My byres are well stocked with kye;
Of meal in my girnals is plenty,
=And twa or three easements forby.
A horse to ride out when they're weary,
=And cock with the best they can see,
And then be ca'd dawty and deary:
=I fairely what ails them at me!

Behind backs, afore fouk, I've woo'd them,
=An' all the gates o't that I ken;
And when they leugh on me, I trow'd them,
=And thought I had won: but what then?
When I speak of matters they grumble,
=Nor are condescending and free;
But at my proposals aye stumble:
=I wonder what ails them at me!

I've tried them baith Highland and Lowland,
=Where I a good bargain could see;
But nane of them found I would fall in,
=Or say they wad buckle with me.
With jouks and with scrapes I've address'd them,
=Been with them baith modest and free,
But whatever way I caress'd them,
=There's something still ails them at me.

Oh, if I but ken'd how to gain them!
=How fond of the knack wad I be;
Or what an address could obtain them,
=It should be twice welcome to me:
If kissing and dawting would please them,
=That trade I should drive till I die;
But however I study to ease them,
=They've still some exception at me.

There's wratacks, and cripples, and cranshacks,
=And all the wandoghts that I ken,
No sooner they speak to the wenches,
=But they are ta'en far enough ben;
But when I speak to them that's stately,
=I find them aye ta'en wi' the gee,
And get the denial right flatly:
=What think ye can ail them at me?

I have yet but ae offer to make them,
=If they would but hearken to me;
And that is, I'm willing to take them,
=If they their consent wad but gie.
Let her that's content write a billet,
=And get it transmitted to me;
I hereby engage to fulfil it,
=Tho' cripple-tho' blind she sud be.





BILLET, BY JEANY GRADDEN.

DEAR batchelor, I've read your billet,
=Your strait and your hardships I see,
And tell you, it shall be fulfilled,
=Tho' it were by none ither but me.
These forty years I've been neglected,
=And nane has had pity on me;
Such offers should not be rejected,
=Whoever the offerer be.

For beauty, I lay no claim to it,
=Or maybe I had been away;
Tho' tocher or kindred could do it,
=I have ho pretensions to thae.
The most I can say, I'm a woman,
=And that I a wife want to be;
And I'll tak exception at no man
=That's willing to tak nane at me.

And now I think I may be cocky,
=Since fortune has smurtl'd on me;
I'm Jeany, and ye shall be Jockie,
='Tis right we together sud be;
For nane o' us cud find a marrow,
=So sadly forfairn were we;
Fouk sud no at anything tarrow,
=Whose chance look'd naething to be.

On Tuesday, speer for Jeany Gradden,
=When I in my pens mean to be,
Just at the sign of the Old Maiden,
=Where ye shall be sure to meet me.
Bring with you the priest for the wedding,
=That all things then ended may be;
And we'll close the whole with the bedding-
=And wha'll be sae merry as we?

A cripple I 'm not, ye foresta' me,
=Tho' lame of a hand that I be;
Nor blind is there reason to ca' me,
=Although I see but with ae ee.
But I'm just the chap that you wanted,
=So tightly our state doth agree;
For nane wad hae you, ye have granted,
=As few, I confess, wad hae me!