Rough Scan


THE original form in which the following production was prepared was that of a Lecture delivered before the Members of the Glasgow Clackmannanshire Association in the month of February, 1884.  The Members of that Association, as well as numerous friends in the County, expressed a strong desire to have it in a more permanent shape, and available for reference in leisure hours.  The first arrangement has not been departed from, but numerous Poems, Songs, &c., and the names of several of our County Bards, who have since communicated with me, have been added to the list.
No collection of the effusions of our Local Poets has, so far as known to me, been hitherto attempted, and, though no one knows better than I do the imperfections attending a first effort of this kind, yet, this volume will meet a demand which has lately arisen, and will be valuable in assisting some future collector, who, by mounting on my shoulders, will be able to present something more worthy of acceptance on the part of the sons and daughters of Clackmannanshire, and do more justice to the noble brotherhood of the Poets.
The volume is largely enriched with Plates, for the use of which I am under a debt of gratitude to Thomas Bradshaw, Esq., Dollar; George Drummond, Esq., Elmbank Mills, Menstrie; and James Lothian, Esq., of the _Alloa Advertiser_.
To all who have assisted me in any way to make this a book really representative of our Local Poets I return my thanks, and entrust it with confidence to those to whom it is delicated.

=_January, 1885_.==JAMES BEVERIDGE.


IT occurred to me some considerable time since that the Sons and Daughters of Clackmannanshire might derive both instruction and pleasure from a review of the life and writings of some, at least, of those poets whom our county has produced, whether of those who have embodied their writings in books, or of those who have adopted the more ephemeral weekly local newspapers, or, further, of that more numerous class still, who have embalmed their thoughts in verse, but have not chosen as their vehicle of diffusion either book or newspaper.  Our county possesses peculiar attractions for the cultivation of a fine poetic feeling, and facilities for the developrnent of poetic taste, and yet it has produced no great poet-none who can rank in the highest realms of poesy.
Its hills are unrivalled for their beauty, and for the extent of the prospect they afford; its glens form very theatres for romance; its streams, threading their way through scenes of exquisite loveliness, hurrying to pay their tributary homage to their great parent-the Forth, who, in his turn, hastes onward with his accumulated burden to the ocean - all spread fertility and music in their unceasing march; its woods are "nests of spicery," and its groves voiceful of song.  Nature, then, with unvaried voice, cries aloud to all her sons, "My children! open your hearts to the divine influences of song.  Be poets!"  And, if the present life-the hurry and stir, the eager pressing crowd, the whirr of machinery, the triumphaut sound of the locomotive and steamer, and the stately march of her ships be not enough to call forth the energy of music, our county has older associations far than these.  She has her ancient towers - abodes of kings; her ancient castles - abodes of terror; her ancient churches - abodes of religion; and her ancient mounds - resting-places of the invader.  Battlefields are all around her, and, within view of countless places within her boundaries, may be seen more than one historic arena where "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled," and "Scots wham Bruce had aften led," welcomed death rather than slavery.
If such associations as these do not stir the poetic fire, what can do it?  Shall I enquire if Love's arrows are less sharp?  Are the women less lovely than are those dwelling by the banks of Ayr?  Are the praises of the God of Wine less exalted?  Or, shall we venture upon the theory that there is something too practical for elevated poetical ideals in "Alloa Ale," "Bottled Porter," and "Cambus Whisky?"  Not, however, to discuss this matter further, we have to face the fact that the full and radiant vision of "fateful Song" has not showered its undivided stream upon any single bard in our county.  But if we have not the blazing sun, we have the more subdued, though blissful starlight.  The strong stream-the divine afflatus, - "the light that never was on sea or shore," has been broken up into many-voiced tongues of flame, which may be seen sparkling on the heads of quite a host of constellations who have kept, and still keep, alive amongst us, the true spirit and grateful art of poesy divine.
That this is so, I hope, before I have done, to show to your entire satisfaction.  And, perhaps, the best way to convince you is to make each author speak for himself.
And, as introductory to our subject, the first name I should like to bring before you is that of


Earl of Stirling, who was born at Menstrie House, in 158O.  This was a poet whose writings were exceedingly popular in his own day, much more popular, in fact, than those of his friend and contemporary, DRUMMOND of Hawthornden; but since his death his works appear to have been totally neglected.  Whatever genius he had was curbed down and hampered by adhering to the foreign and ancient models he had studied, and not by taking as his foundation the literature of his own country.  His language, however, was purely that of his contemporary brethren in England.  The latest edition of his works, published in three volumes in 1870-72, is the fourth.  The first was published by himself, from 1614 onward as composed; the second, under the title of "Recreations with the Muses," in 1637; and a part of his poems was reprinted by CHAMBERS in 1810.  Amongst his voluminous poems there is much very fine writing, especially in his "Aurora Sonnets," "Doomesday," and the four tragedies, "Croesus, Darius, Alexander, and Julius Caesar" - the last of these (the tragedies) having, it is said, given several hints to SHAKESPEARE in the remodelling and versification of some of his - especially "Caesar."  We take this, however, _cum grano salis_, but shall be glad to see it proved.  Take as a specimen the following, as being of interest to ourselves, entitled, "Some verses written shortly thereafter, by reason of an inundation of Doven, a water near unto the author's house, whereupon his Majesty was sometimes wont to hawke"-

"What wonder though my melancholious muse,
Whose generous course sone lucklesse starre controules;
Her bold attempts to prosecute refuse,
And would faine bury my abortive scroules.

To what perfection can my lines be rais'd,
Whilst many a cross would quench my kindling fires;
Lo, for Parnassus by the Poets prais'd,
Some savage mountains shadow my retires.

No Helicon her treasure here unlockes,
Of all the sacred band the chief refuge;
But dangerous Doven rumbling through the rockes,
Would scorn the raine-bow with a new deluge.

As Tiber, mindefull of his olde renowne,
Augments his floodes to waile the faire chang'd place;
And greev'd to glide through that degener'd towne,
Toyles with his depths to cover their disgrace.

So doth my Doven rage, greev'd in like sort,
While as his wonted honour comes to mind:
To that great Prince whilst he afforded sport,
To whom his trident Neptune hath resigned.

And as the want of waters and of swaines,
Had but begotten to his banks neglect
He strives t'encroach upon the bordering plaines,
Again by greatness to procure respect.

Thus all creatures of this orphand boundes,
In their own kinds moov'd with the common crosse;
With many a monstrous forme all forme confoundes,
To make us mourn more feelingly our losse." &c.


Too, was smitten with the beauty of the Devon, and has given effect to his thoughts in the oft-quoted "Clear winding Devon" which it is needless here to repeat.
That we are influenced by our surroundings is an undoubted fact.  This may account for the increase of melancholy in the mind of


As indicated in such lines as the following occurring in "Lochleven," a poem which he wrote and completed at Forest Mill, while acting as teacher there:

="Thus sung the youth, amid unfertile wilds
=And nameless deserts, unpoetic ground,
=Far from his friends he strayed, recording thus
=The dear remembrance of his native fields
=To cheer the tedious night, while slow disease
=Preyed on his pining vitals, and the blasts
=Of dark December shook his humble cot."

The depressing nature of his surroundings appeared to react upon his poem.


Author of "Anster Fair," &c., although for fifteen years a teacher in Dollar Institution, did not write any county poems.  We find the following lyric inscribed to him from the pen of the late naval officer,


="Thy river, clear winding, flows softly along,
=Like the music of verse, or the notes of a song;
=There the trout in his pastime glides swift as a dart,
=And oft cheats the angler, though crafty his art;
=There the tenants of nature at freedom may rove,
=No gun, net, or line lurks in sweet Devon grove."

Should this effort mi my part louse you up to take a deeper interest in the rich storehouse of poetry and song that is lying all around you in your own county, or bring about a collection, however small, of the songs and songwriters of Clackmannanshire that may be available for handy use, I shall deem my labour well rewarded.  It will be something, at least, to have preserved for the coming generation some of the songs and poems of our own day, which are fast running the chance of slipping altogether out of our memories.
Enough has been said by way of introduction generally, and as some slight arrangement of our su1~ject may make it easier to handle, and mote attractive to rehearse, we purpose to divide it as follows:-



Poems relating to Ancient Places and Incidents.

Clackmannan Tower.

Written by ALEXANDER BALD, late of Alloa, 1805.

HAIL, ancient Tow'r! once the gay seat of kings,
And warlike heroes of most high renown:
But now, alas! like all created things,
Thy stones to dust are daily mould'ring down.

Tho' mute thy bell, and drear thy empty halls,
Long I've revered thee, and will love thee still;
Though nought but ivy deck thy garden walls,
Oft let me wander on thy beauteous hill.

For here I've sauntered at the 'peep of dawn,'
With fond companions of my earlier hours;
Oft, too, at eve, we've strayed across the lawn,
Climbed thine ascent to pluck wild blooming flow'rs.

Now childhood past - I mount the rising ground
With tardier step to view the hilly north;
Admire the variegated scene around,
And trace meand'ring Devon to the Forth.

How pleasant 'tis to view the plain below,
Where plenty waves her treasures in the breeze;
How cheerful 'tis to hear the cattle low,
And lively songsters warble 'mongst the trees.


Was born at Alloa on the 9th June, 1783, and was a man of cultivated taste, an elegant writer, and a frequent contributor to the _Scots Magazine_.  Two of his songs - "The Lily of the Vale" and "How sweet are the blushes of morn" - have been often quoted as songs of great excellence and beauty.  Come now to

Alloa Tower.

=Ages on ages, still against the tide
=Of ruthless searing time, thy wall hath stood:
=Bold as thy dauntless barons, who subdued
=Stern foes of other days - days of thy pride-
=When thy roof sheltered princes.  But no more
=Life echoes through thy casements, as of yore,
=When gaily dazzling in the light
=From gems, and jetting lamps on high,
=And lovers' glances darting bright,
=Thy chambers sparkled as a sky-
=And meteor-like beyond compare,
=Scotland and Beauty's Queen was there!
=Stirling's far turrets, Forth's meandering stream,
=Speak of thy by-gone glories-now a dream!

In connection with this take the following stanzas of a song, composed on the occasion of the Earl of Mar regaining his titles and honours.  On the 21st June, 1825, the Earl having crossed to Alloa by the Ferry, was met by a great crowd who had made holiday in his honour, and the following was sung.  It is entitled -

The Earl of Mar back again.

O hae ye heard what siccan news
King Geordie has sent north, man,
To gladden every honest heart
Frae Tweed unto the Forth, man?

Wi' heralds loud frae town to town
His royal compliments cam' down,
In Scotland's lug a gracious sown',
To tell afar - that back to Mar
He'd gie his star-feint haet the waur-
=And wishing health to wear't, man.


They've placed a crown upon his head,
And on his breast a star, man;
And our guid king has said that hence
We'll ca' him, Earl Mar, man!

Then cannons roared wi' voices howe,
The bonfires blazed on ilka knowe,
And whirligigs a' in a lowe,
Wi' powther packt, they jumpt and crackt,
An' whackt, and smackt, and hardly slackt,
=Frae morning sun, till dyne, man!

The brilliant pageant gave rise also to the following song:-

The Earl of Mar's Visit to Alloa.

AIR - "Little wat ye wha's coming."

=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=O'er the Forth, and hauding north,
=The Earl o' Mar and a's coming.

Weel he's coming, leal he's coming
Pibroch's humming, piping, drumming,
A' the clan out to a man,
The Earl o' Mar and a's coming.

The Hammermen in raws are coming,
The Joiners wi' their braws are coming,
The Masons, Weavers, Bakers, Brewers,
An' Maltmen lads an' a's coming.

=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=The Earl o' Mar an' a's coming.

To welcome back their ancient lord,
The Sauchie lads sae braw coming,
Wi' mony a cheer, bring up the rear,
Their ain gudeman an' a's coming.

=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=The Earl o' Mar an' a's coming.

The pibrock wakes nae feudal strife
Mid hostile bands to battle coming,
Nor warlike sound the drum and fife,
Nae fear is in its rattle coming.

=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=The Earl o' Mar an' a's coming.

The very air is rent aboon,
His clansmen are a' glad to see him;
Frae end to end Forth hears the soun'
Sae loud, sae lang the welcome gi'e him.

=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=The Earl o' Mar an' a's coming.

Wi' leal heart an' fain he's coming,
He kens its tae his ain he's coming,
Strath-Alloa may brag an' blaw,
The Earl o' Mar an' a's coming.

=Little wat ye wha's coming,
=The Earl o' Mar an' a's coming.

Turn we now to Dollar, where Castle Campbell, in gray grandeur, with its two rivulets, named respectively _Sorrow_ and _Care_, attracts our attention.  It is impossible that such a place as this, with historical memorials so deeply interwoven into our county's history, could escape the attention of the Poet.  When Carolina, afterwards Baroness Nairne, was visiting in this locality, she honoured the ancient castle with a visit, and left as a memorial a song entitled-

Castell Gloom.

Oh, Castell Gloom! thy strength is gone,
The green grass o'er thee growin';
On hill of _Care_ thou art alone,
The _Sorrow_ round thee flowin'.

Oh, Castell Gloom! on thy fair wa's
Nae banners now are streamin';
The houlet flits amang thy ha's,
And wild birds there are screamin'.

Oh, mourn the woe! Oh! mourn the crime,
Frae civil war that flows;
Oh! mourn, Argyll, thy fallen line,
And mourn the great Montrose.

Here ladies bright were aften seen,
Here valiant warriors trod;
And here great Knox has aften been,
Wha feared nought but his God.

But a' are gane! the guid, the great,
And naething now remains,
But ruin sittin' on thy wa's,
And crumblin' down thy stanes.

Thy lofty Ochils bright did glow,
Though sleepin' was the sun;
But mornin's light did sadly show,
What ragin' flames had done.

Oh, mirk, mirk, was the misty cloud,
That hung o'er thy wild wood!
Thou wert like beauty in a shroud,
And all was solitude.
==Oh! mourn the woe, &c.

As a companion picture, set side by side with this the following from the pen of the late Mr. Thomas Bradshaw, Dollar, which appeared in the _Christian Leader_ of 1st November, 1883.  It is given rather more fully in the second edition of Mr. Bradshaw's _The Memorial_ - published in 1860.

Castle Campbell.

(Top of the Donjon Keep).

HERE stood the valiant Knox in days of yore,
And fearlessly proclaimed the truth of God
To those who sought instruction from his lips.
With solemn energy and zeal he spoke
On themes of lasting, infinite concern.
Here, too, he broke the sacramental bread,
And gave the cup that told of dying love-
The love of Him who hung upon the tree,
And made atonement for a guilty world.
=This stately ruin speaks of distant times;
When freedom was a name, and anarchy
And lawless strife prevailed.  Clan fought with clan,
Urged on by bitter hate or fell revenge,
Till scenes of desolation filled the land.
=Hence I look round, and in the vast expanse
Behold a splendid sight.  Here lofty hills
In solemn grandeur stand and pierce the clouds.
There a deep glen, romantic, fills the mind
With awe and admiration.  Farther on
"Our village" shows itself, and well deserves
To be regarded with attentive eye
By lovers of their country and their kind.
And farther still, the Devon winds along,
Silent and slow, yet bright and beautiful,
Giving the landscape a delicious charm.
=Onward I look, and gain a wider view,
Embracing hill and dale, woodland and stream,
And fruitful field; with happy flocks and herds
Cropping the grass - reposing in the shade,
Or gambolling with unrestrained delight.
=Yonder a noble river ebbs and flows,
And bears upon its bosom merchantmen,
And smaller craft of various kinds;
While towns and villages adorn its banks,
Imparting life and beauty to the scene.
=Here I could linger long contemplating
The wondrous works of the Great Architect
Who plann'd the universe.  But duty calls,
And I'll away, to join the sons of toil,
Who know and feel the stern realities
Of this competing mammon-loving time.

The only mention of ancient date I can find respecting Tillicoultry is that Sanct Serf (or Silvanus) raised to life again two sons of a widow woman.  In the poem relating to the event he is said to have visited the district in the sixth century, and to have wrought various wonders.  Among others -

="In Tillicultry til a wyf,
=Twa sonys he raised frae deid to lyf."

Passing west, we come to King o' Muirs.  King James the Fifth was once benighted on the Tullibody Moor, and the night being very stormy, lie asked and obtained shelter in the farmhouse on the moor.  The farmer made his wife kill the hen "that sat neist the cock," and prepare it for the stranger, and otherwise did everything he could for his comfort and entertainment.  A happy night was spent in feasting, song, and story, and when the king left the next morning, he gave the farmer a ring and told him that when he came to Stirling he was to call at the castle, shew the ring, and ask for the gudeman of Ballangeich, and he would assure him of as good an entertainment as he had given him.  Shortly after, Donaldson the farmer, happening to be in Stirling, called at the castle, shewed the ring, and, on enquiring for the gudeman of Ballangeich, was astonished to find that his visitor had been the king.  James treated him most hospitably, and, on his leaving, presented him and his heirs with the farm, and gave him the title of "The King o' the Muirs."  The farm still bears the name, but it has long since changed owners.  The last "King o' the Muirs," John Donaldson, died at Ballochleam, in Stirlingshire, forty-six years ago, aged ninety-three.  He would not allow the chair in which the king sat to be tossed about, or even moved, affirming that, while he lived, no harm should come to it.  The poem is in two parts, and is here given-

The Laird of Ballengeich.



In days of auld when we had kings,
And nobles bauld, and other things,
As camps, and courts, and kirks, and quears,
And birkies bauld for our forbears;
When Flodden field was won and lost
To mony a hardy Scotsman's cost,
Our king was slain in field of battle,
When sword, and targe, and spear did rattle,
They fought it fairly though they fell,
And few cam' hame the tale to tell,

There great nobility did fall,
And most of commoners and all. (_See Note_ 1.)
E'er James did gang to field of battle,
He numbered a' his stock and cattle;
His household gear he left his wife,
In case that he might lose his life;
She, in his absence, to govern
Until the up-growth of his bairn,
A son, baith beautiful and fair,
And him he named his royal heir.
'Twas thus he left his royal plan,
If Marg'ret could but rule the lan',
But this is more than Marg'ret can.

A year had scarce o'erturned its wheels,
When Marg'ret she took to her heels,
And married Douglas, son of Angus,
As brave a lad as was amang us:
And then her government did cease,
And she and husband lived in peace.
James had an uncle then in France,
Whaur mankind laugh, and live by chance;
Him they sent for, whose name was John,
And surnamed Duke of Albion:
He came, to see his nephew right,
Whose father bravely died in fight;
And when he came, some loved his rule,
While others did it ridicule.
The Humes' and Douglas' were divided,
And sometimes by the sword decided;
Their hot contest did kindle faction,
And threw the kintra to distraction.

The king grew up, and wished to ken,
His guilefu' foes frae honest men;
And when he took it in his palate,
He'd tak' a gude pike staff and wallet,
And gang through a' the kintry round,
To see whaur honesty was found;
Frae men of hill, and men of dale,
He'd calmly hear the simple tale,
And thus he kenn'd wha best to trust,
And wha maist held him in disgust.

Ae day, he Falkland left in dudgeon,
And armed himsel' wi' belt and bludgeon,
And toward Stirling held his way,
As lang as he had light o' day;
Through Auchtermuchty cam' wi' speed,
Nor met wi' ought that he might dread.
But when he saw the sun decline,
And in the Ochils faintly shine,
He looked him down, what was the best
And nearest place for him to rest.

At length he pitched upon a house,
And in he hied him frank and crouse.
"Gude e'en," quo' he, to a' within,
While cantily the wife did spin,
And daughters three sat by the fire,
To do whatever she'd desire.
"Could you gie quarters to a stranger,
Wha very seldom is a ranger,
For as I am ten miles frae hame,
And find my feet are wearing lame.
I wish to stay within this night,
Until the morn shall show its light."

The wife replied, - "There sit ye doon,
I hope ye are nae gipsey loon,
That's come our weakness for to view,
And rob us while we're kind to you.
Bess, cry your father frae the stable,
And he will guess for he is able
As he can read a stranger's face,
And ken if he be scant o' grace."

In cam' the cottar, braw and decent,
And thought the stranger look'd sae pleasant,
He set him in the meikle chair,
And bade him rest and take nae fear.
"Whaur win ye, ni'bour, when at hame?
I'm wae to see your feet sae lame.
Do you abide in burrow town,
Or count yourself a kintra loon?"

"Sir by your leave," replied the king,
"I do the best I can to bring
My only living frae a farm,
Nor wish my king or kintra harm.
I had some business east in Fife,
Now I'm gaun hame to see my wife."

"Well said, my friend, ye're welcome here,
Gudewife, come make some dainty cheer,
Some fish and sauce put on to boil,
Which will recruit us for our toil
Bring doon the hen that's neist the cock,
For she's the flower o' a' the flock,
And warm your haggis in a pan,
And then we'll fen as weel's we can.

"But stranger, say what news is gaun,
How sells your beasts? how sets your land?
Is peace or war the kintra talk?
For folk ken hardly how to walk."

"Yes," said the king, "that's very true,
But rogues will soon be made to rue,
For gude king James has made a law
That rich and poor, and braid and braw,
Will not be spared if guilty found,
To tak' a life or yet to wound,
Or pilfer cattle, gear or corn.
This law will put them to the horn.
Fifteen lang-headed warl's wonders
He has appointed for such blunders.
Now gipsey-bands will soon be hushed
And a' their cruelty be crushed.
The king has got some men in pay,
To scour the kintra every way,
And bring them in without annoy.
Last week they hung up Gilderoy."

The farmer said, - "Your tale is good,
And puts me in a hearty mood,
Bring ben, gudewife, a cog o' ale,
To toast the king I winna fail,
And if he wants ought I can gi'e,
Of sons I hae but only three,
And he may ha'e them in his band,
For they are gude as in the land
To scour the highest hill or dale,
And hard's the job would make them fail,
For mony a day the king's been spoil'd,
And by these bands been hardly toiled,
Although I never saw his face,
Yet I should like to see his grace."

"What'" said the king, "ne'er saw his face,
And yet to live sae near the place.
Gin ye wad tak' a stap, and see
Auld Stirling town, and ca' on me,
Ye'se get the best that I can spare
O' halesome food and kintra fare.
On Castlehill I pay my rent,
Ca'd Ballangeich, my name is kent;
And, there's my hand, when ye come there,
That ye shall get the meikle chair.
And stay and pass ae night wi' me,
And then the king ye'll likely see,
For in a month will be a court,
Whereat will be some manly sport,
And he'll be there if he be spared,
And mony a dacent lord and laird."

"I'll wait upon you," - said the man,
"And sort mysel' as weel's I can.
Come! to his health with all my heart,
And place to them that tak' his part."

They took their supper.  Slept that night.
The king he rose by peep o' light,
And walk'd to Stirling hale and fair,
So for a while we'll leave him there.


The stranger gone, John aft did talk
About his promised kintra walk.
One day appointed, John himsel'
Was made as braw as tongue can tell;
His coat was made of hodden gray,
His banner blue and braid that day.
His plaiden hose were snod and clean,
And person gude as might be seen.
He armed himself wi' staff and dagger,
Nor feared he ony randy beggar.
To Stirling went, in decent haste,
And speird whaur Ballangeich was placed?
A spy was set, that did him bring
To Douglas' room where sat the king.
"Ye're welcome, John, there tak' a seat,
Bring something ben that he may eat.
How's a' the weans, and the gudewife,
I hope they're weel, and a' in life?"

"I con ye thanks for kindly speiring,
I left them weel and hale, and steering.
How fends ye're ain? now I maun spier;
Losh! man, but ye live snugly here.
But surely, lad, ye'll get a fright,
Whene'er there comes a windy night;
Were our clay biggin's on this rock
They couldna stand a second shock.
But your's is stane and lime, I see,
And stands the storm fu' hardily."

"Yes," said the king, "we're no too mean;
We live baith warm, and snug, and bien,
Our master's willing as he's able,
And sometimes bids us to his table.
This very day I'm bid to sit
Wi' him, and tak' a share of it,
And if I can a stranger bring
That lo'es his kintra and his king,
He's just as welcome there as me
Or any in the company.
Now ye're the man I mean to hae,
Since fate that's gude has made it sae.
Then be not blate, there's nae occasion,
Though he's the man that rules the nation."

"Na, na," quo' John, "I darna venture
Among such company to enter.
I that did never eat a meal
But simple fare or kintra kail,
And never saw a company
Of folk as braw as they maun be."

"Ne'er think on that," replied the king,
"For here's the way I'll cook the thing:-
I'll send word in I bring wi' me
A friend come frae the east kintra,
I'll be nae brawer than ye see me,
And ye'll eat aff the side-board wi' me;
And what I do, observe the same,
Then ye'll be right and free o' blame."

"Weel, then," quo John, "if I maun gang,
Right fear'd I am that I do wrong;
I'm very sure when in the place
I will not see a single face,
And for the king I will fa' doon
To look on him that wears a croon."

"Then," said the king, "when ye gae in,
Just hing your bannet on a pin;
Walk after me, and tak' your seat,
What's set before you, frankly eat;
As for the company never mind them,
But just tak' them as ye find them.
The king ye winna ken at a',
As lang as dinner's in the ha',
But when the healths do circle round,
Then where he sits is easy found.
Yet dinna start when that ye see,
But drink his health upon your knee."

"A' this I will observe in full,
Or it shall be against my will.
But I assure you I am frighted,
In case my courage be benighted."

Then baith gaed in, and doon they sat,
And hand to neive began to chat.
The nobles cam and took their place,
But did not mind a stranger's face.
The dinner served in royal order,
While ev'ry guest kept by his border.
And John he made as calm a meal
As he had been at kintra kail.
But aft he looked beneath his brow
To spy if he the king could view.
Sometimes he pitched a noble squire
That sat upon an easy chair;
Another time he thought a knight
That, jolly-like, sat on his right,
Could set a purple bonnet weel,
Or yet might wear a coat o' steel.
He little thought his simple friend
Should wear the head whar a' was pinned.
The dinner o'er, the table drawn,
They then the healths began to pawn;
When every one on bended knee
Did toast KING JAMES, wi' hearty glee.
Then John look'd at his friend wi' dread,
In case that he might lose his head.
He thought on a' the deeds he'd done,
And fand himsel' fair out o' tune.
His face grew pale, his tongue did faulter,
And a' his countenance did alter.

The king beheld the consternation,
And saw poor John in odd vexation.
"What fears ye, John?  I'm the Gudeman
O' Ballangeich, and there's my han';
And were the kintra only filled
With such as you, 'twad ne'er be spilled,
And by my word that thee assures
I name you here the KING OF MUIRS.
Yon mailins three around your house
May gar you cock fu' bien and crouse,
I grant them to you and your heirs,
As lang as kirks are blessed wi' lairs,
Or courtiers are thought to flatter,
And thus I end the simple matter.

My nobles leal now as you stand,
How happy were our native land
If every man would work his farm,
Wi' hardy toil devoid of harm,
And raise a decent healthfu' breed
To plough his land and sow his seed.
And when we mean to face the foe,
They'd help our hand to waive the blow.
All this I've done, because I found
His judgment honest, gude, and sound,
And offered kindly, frae the heart,
His ain three sons to haud my part."

Now while the slae grows on the thorn,
On Scotland lives on pitch of corn,
Let honesty meet its reward
And still be held in due regard.

In connection with the churchyard surrounding the ancient Tullibody Church, we have a row of trees - twining round which we have a legend, and, of course, a ballad.  Robert Maeson, the sexton, and Mr. George Abercromby, the laird, quarrelled about the planting of the trees.  Robert pulled them up by the roots.  The Laird insisted on replanting his trees inside the kirkyard dyke.  Out they came again, where-upon the laird laid the sexton's feet fast.  He did not keep him long in durance vile, however, and when Robert returned he found the trees again inside the dyke.  He did not pull them out this time, but poured boiling water about the roots.  When the Laird challenged him, Robert coolly replied that if the laird would promise to be there at the Day of Judgment with an axe to cut the roots and let his fathet rise, he would let the trees grow.  The trees now stand on the _outside_ of the churchyard.  The following ballad by Mr. DONALDSON will tell the whole story:-

Auld Rabbie and the Laird.


ROUND the lone mansions of the dead
=The Barony built a dyke,
The auld laird took't into his head
=The place look'd naked like.
Inside the wall a row of trees
=He planted round and round,
Which sore the sexton did displease,
=For reasons clear and sound.

No sooner round the land of skulls
=The trees stood, sentry like,
Than Rabbie up the seedlings pulls,
=And throws them o'er the dyke.
The laird did storm, and into jail
=The hoary beadle threw,
But learning that the act seem'd vile
=To not a very few-

He sent to prison-set him loose;
=But, as his cause was good,
The maker of the narrow house
=Firm as a tombstone stood.
A martyr to that country's cause
=From whence none e'er return,
Rab joy'd that he enabled was
=The rod of power to spurn.

"How came you sir," the great man said,
="To pluck what I did plant,
You ought in prison to have stayed
=Till you a grave did want;
Now, know this very day anew,
=The damage to repair,
I'll circle death with elm and yew,
=And touch them if you dare."

"Your threats I scorn," the bellman said,
="Above my father's head
No tree shall grow - his bed was paid,
=And dare you rob the dead?
What would your honour think if o'er
=Your bedroom I, through strife,
Would plant a tree, call't mine, and roar,
='Remove it for your life?'

Now, sir, as sure as here I breathe,
=Ere home or wife I see,
Around the hallowed courts of death
=I shall not leave a tree,
Except you promise, vow, and swear,
=On the great reckoning day,
With spade and mattock you'll be there
=To clear the roots away,

To leave my father's passage free;
=But here the danger lies,
'Tis ten to one but you may be
=Among the _last_ to rise.
For I have read, the righteous man,
=The trumpet first shall hear;
But that you'll then be reckoned one
=Is not so very clear."

His honour threatened, swore he lied,
=No matter, Rabbie, free,
Straight to the land of silence hied
=And tore up every tree.
Now scores of years their rounds have swept,
=Since Rabbie and the laird,
On terms the best have soundly slept
=In the same treeless yard.

In the same churchyard there is the "Maiden Stone," whose pathetic story is embodied in the poem-

Martha of Myreton.

When the sun shone bright in the noontide sky,
Fair Martha's image met his eye,
Her spirit stood in the hallowed door,
And cried, "Thou must enter here no more;"
Then frantic, shunned, and shunning men,
He a maniac died in the dim wood glen.

Of later production we have the following from the pen of


A Tullibody man, presently Teacher of Tornaveen Public School, Deeside, Aberdeenshire, and Author of "Alloa Woods," &c. - entitled


SWEET Tullihody! native home!
=In thee I've roamed in youth and joy;
In thee I've spent those happy days
=I never thought would find alloy.

Sweet village! dearly art thou loved
=By all who claim thee for a home;
By those who wander far abroad,
=Or fearless sail where dark seas foam.

Of Abercrombie's name you boast,
=Noble alike in peace and war;
Oft do I proudly call to mind
=His gallant deeds, achieved afar.

When from thy Forebrae thou art view'd
=Replete thou art with peace and rest.
The worn and weary here will find
=Of peaceful havens-thou'rt the best.

Sweet home! when time with me is o'er,
=And my last journey has been made,
How restful will the feeling he
=In thy old churchyard to be laid.

We have also a capital song "Gently rising Tullibody," which is supposed to be from the pen of the late Mr. M'INTYRE, teacher in Tullibody:-

HAIL, gently rising Tullibody;
For prospects sweet scarce peered by ony;
Thy fertile plain, so rich and bonnie,
Smiles blooming fresh and gay, oh!

The crystal Devon on your north
Sweeps round your valleys fair, oh!
While on your south the winding Forth
Completes your grandeur rare, oh!

=Hail, gently rising, &c.

A noble lord, whose gallant sire,
At once the good and brave, oh!
Made old Gaul's sons dread British fire,
Protects your rights with care, oh!

=Hail, gently rising, &c.

Till billows cease to lash our coast,
Till rivers roll mae mair, oh!
Be Abercromby's name our boast,
Ah, Egypt, hark! 'tis there, oh!

=Hail, gently rising, &c.

Let Britain's sons in Gaulois' plains
Aloud their voices raise, oh!
The Celtic band, in Egypt's land,
Sang glorious o'er his grave, oh!

=Hail, gently rising, &c.

Let mirth and song, in happiest lay,
Re-echo in the gale, oh!
Till gentle heathcock hail the day
O'er craggy rock and dale, oh!

=Hail, gently rising Tullibody,
=For prospects sweet scarce peered by ony,
=Thy fertile plain, so rich and bonnie,
=Smiles blooming fresh and gay, oh!

There is a curious traditionary and superstitious account of the double tides of the Forth, which is-that when St. Mungo, the tutelary saint of the district, was proceeding from Cambuskenneth with some of his ecclesiastics to Stirling, the vessel ran aground, and could not get off, from the falling of the title; but, while he and his friends ardently wished for the tide's return, it came with such an overflow that the saint was able to proceed on his mission, and the double tides have returned periodically ever since.  The story is told in rhyme in

The Leak of the Tide.


Love Songs, Songs of the Affections, and Rhymes of the Domestic Circle.

PERHAPS the best plan will be to give a specimen or two from the song-writers who have written on this subject.  We begin with "Doric Lays," penned by the late Mr. JOHN CRAWFORD, Painter, Alloa.


On, the days o' fairy dreamin's!
=Days again I ne'er shall see,
Blissfu' moments, hours o' pleasure,
=Jessie then was a' to me.
Oh, the days a' sunny bairnhood!
=Gaen awa' for evermair,
When at beauty's altar kneelin'
=Jessie's smile was a' my prayer.


Oh, the hours o' leesome daffin'!
=Oh, the moments I hae seen!
When some glaickit spirit lauchin',
=Glamour cuist frae Jessie's e'en.
Oh, the days o' fairy dreamin's!
=Days again I ne'er shall see,
Blissfu' moments, hours o' pleasure,
=Jessie then was a' to me.

My Auld Wifie Jean.

MY couthie auld wifie, aye blithesome to see,
As years slip awa' aye the dearer to me;
For ferlies o' fashion I carena ae preen,
While I cleek to the kirk wi' my auld wifie Jean.

The thoughts o' the past are aye pleasin' to me,
And mair sae when love lights my auld wifie's e'e;
For then I can speak o' the days I hae seen,
When care found nae hame i' the heart o' my Jean.

A hauntle we've borne since that moment o' bliss,
Frae thy lips, breathin' balm, when I stole the first kiss;
When I read a response to my vows in thy een,
And blushin', I prest to my bosom my Jean.

One of a different style-

Causey Courtship.

A dialogue between a Besom Cadger and a Fisherwoman.


LASSIE wi' the creel,
=Can ye lo'e a cadger,
Licht o' heart an' heel,
=Fain to be your lodger?
Wooers like yersel',
=Ye may hae in dizzens,
Nane my wealth may tell-
=Wh-a-'ll buy besoms?


Gruesome, auld an' lame,
=Dinna fleich an' flatter,
Siller I hae nane,
=In your gate to scatter.
Up and down I gang,
='Mong the gentle bodies,
Roarin' loud an' lang-
=Wh-a-'ll buy haddies?


Let me pree your mou';
=Dinna fidge an' swither,
Time enough to rue,
=When we gang thegither.
Come, ye dorty thing,
=Let us weet our wizens,
Owre our drappie sing-
=Wh-a-'ll buy besoms.


Touch me for your life;
=Dinna pu' my apron,
A' the fools in Fife
=Couldna' match your cap'rin.
Gang ye to the bent,
=Cuddle with your cuddies,
There ye're better kent-
=Wh-a-'ll buy haddies?


Glaiket thing, ye'll rue,
=Sairly ye'll repent it,
If the tether's fu',
=Ne'er afore I kent it.
Less micht mak' ye fain;
=Drouth the timmer seasons,
I'll ca' back again-
=Wh-a-'ll buy besoms?


We'll no hae maut an' meal,
=Frae Crail to Tullibody,
When I go to the deil,
=On a cadger's cuddy.
Sae airt yersel' awa',
=Wi' a' your tatter'd duddies;
A fumart ye would staw-
=B-u-y caller haddies?

My Mary Dear.

Written especially for _The Modern Scottish Minstrel_.

THE gloamin' star was showerin'
=Its siller glories doun,
And nestled in its mossy lair
=The lintie sleepit soun'-
The lintie sleepit soun',
=And the starnies sparkled clear,
When on a gowany bank I sat
=Aside my Mary dear.

The burnie wanders eerie
=Roun' rock and ruined tower,
By many a fairy hillock,
=And many a lanely bower-
Roun' many a lanely bower,
=Love's tender tale to hear,
Where I in whisper'd vows hae woo'd
=And won my Mary dear.

Oh, hallow'd hours o' happiness
=Frae me for ever ta'en!
Wi' summer's flowery loveliness
=Ye come na back again!
Ye come na back again,
=The waefu' heart to cheer,
For long the greedy grave has closed
=Aboon my Mary dear.

A Fou Man's soliloquy,


Scene - Arms Brae.  Time - Midnight.

CONFOUND that Cambus whisky,
=I canna move a fit;
My knees they knoit thegither sae,
=And down I daurna sit;
For I micht sleep my hin'most sleep-
=But losh, I canna gang!
The like o' this I never saw-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

That's surely no a coach I hear
=Tirwhirrin' owre the stanes;
I'll airt my bouk ayont the dyke,
=For fear o' broken banes.
Down, heels owre head, into the ditch,
=I've flounder'd wi' a bang!
Confound that Cambus whisky-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

Twa horns o' Knox's best I drank,
=Twa mae frae Willie Bell;
And, jist to haud my stomach het,
=Anither frae the stell;
But when I smelt the caller air,
=Ae fit I couldna gang;-
Confound that Cambus whisky-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

I shouldna like the minister
=Would see how laich I'm laid:
Nor would I wish my fellest fae
=To share my glaurie bed;
And naething waur I'd wish on them
='Bout me wha'd mak' a sang;-
Confound that Cambus whisky-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

That's surely no the Red Well bush,
=Loud loupin' owre the brae;-
I wish some kindly hearted soul
=Wad bring a pickle strae:
Hech, sirs!  I ne'er was trysted sae,
=Tho' aft I've haen a dram;-
Confound that Cambus whisky-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.


That's surely no the mune I see,
=Blink, blinkin' thro' the wuds;
Gae down, for gudesake dinna shine
=Out owre my draigled duds.
Its just the mune; och hey! och hey!
=Could I but creep or gang!
Confound that Cambus whisky-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

Its surely past twal hours at e'en,
=But be it late or ear';
O' stell and steep, o' dubb and ditch,
=I've had an unco share;
Weel, be it sae; the pin maun out,
=Tho' aften wi' a bang;-
Confound that Cambus whisky-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

This surely is a punishment,
=For slightin' Nature's gifts;
For oh! how far the wee drap drink
=The burdened spirit lifts,
Aboon the miser's hoarded heaps,
=The blust'ring bigot's ban;-
But I hae gane ayont the score-
=I'm a' thegither wrang.

Few pens at the present time can rival the ease, humour, gracefulness, and pathos of that of


of Dollar Institution, one of the sweetest lyrical writers our County has ever produced.  Several of his pieces bear the fine touch and exquisite grace of lyrical poetry at its best; while others display that pawky humour which shews that Mr. CHRISTIE possesses in the highest degree, the characteristic genius and singular property of a genuine Scottish Poet.  Mr. CHRISTIE'S poems and songs have appeared from time to time in the _Scotsman_ and local newspapers, and his name also appears among the _Modern Scottish Poets_ of Mr. Edwards, of Brechin.  We venture here to give a few pieces from his pen:-

Jeannie o' Blairhill.

THE lavrock's play'd his hin'most spring,
=And socht the bielded lea,
Gray gloamin' faulds her dewy wing,
=On earth and distant sea;
The burnie sings its e'ening sang,
=A' nature's lown and still,
Sae owre the muir away I'll gang,
=To Jeannie o' Blairhill.

Her hame is scoogit frae the shower
=Within a cozy dell,
Whaur blossoms mony a bonnie flower-
=Nae fairer tham hersel'.
Afore the door wi' canty glee
=Jooks by a dancin' rill,
Pure as the lovelicht in the e'e
=O' Jeannie o' Blairhill.

I canna boast o' muckle wealth,
=For labour is my lot,
But what is gear withouten health,
=In palace or in cot?
Then 'tide what may' or 'hoo we fen'-
=Blaw fortune gude or ill,
I'll tak' the worst that fate may sen'
=Wi' Jeannie o' Blairhill.

The Flower o' Devon Ha',

GREEN are the woods o' Cowden Glen,
=And saft the burnie winds and fa's,
The mavis wakes the silent den,
=And Spring comes dancin' in her braws;
On woodland path and mossy brae
=The primrose and the violet blaw-
Bursts into bloom the naked slae-
=A bridal mantle clads the haw!

Up frae its cosy muirlaud nest
=The lav'rock melts in sang awa';
On green Craigninnan's breezy crest
=The gowden beams o' morning fa';
But burstin' bud and flowerin' tree,
=And fragrance breathin' birken shaw,
Are joyless a' when far frae thee-
=My bonnie flower o' Devon Ha'.

When gloamin' faulds the skirts o' day,
=And silence dreams on vale and hill,
When starnies glint wi' siller ray,
=And dewy showers their balm distil;
O! then to yonder leafy bower,
=Wi' beatin' heart I'll steal awa',
And spend wi' thee a lichtsome hour,
=My bonnie flower o' Devon Ha'.

Love Song.

IN a cottage embowered in roses,
=Away from the haunts of men,
Where the spirit of peace reposes,
=In the depths of a sunny glen;
A face of wondrous beauty,
=Look'd out from the latticed pane,
As I passed on my daily duty,
=In the sunshine or the rain.

I sighed for the mountain fairy,
=I envied the little cot,
And nightly, in vision airy,
=I dreamed of a wedded lot;
But morning awoke me to duty,
=And back to labour again-
I passed and repassed the beauty,
=In the sunshine or the rain.

The autumn was dying in sadness,
=And clouds with menacing frown
Swept o'er the sky in madness,
=And the storm came rushing down:
I sought the cottage of beauty,
=With throbbing heart and brain,
_And now on my daily duty_
=_I bless the palting rain_.

The Shepherd to his Collie Dog.

AULD toozy Wylie, honest callan',
Thou'rt welcome aye within my dwallin',
For weel I wat, thou ne'er wast sullen
==To do my will;
At darkest hour thou aye wast willin',
==To clim' the hill.

Whene'er I grasped my friendly crook,
Thy shaggy coat thou quickly shook,
And wi' a kind and cordial look
==O' joy and glee,
Thrice round and round thou'd wheel about
==Syne follow me.

Thro' wind and weet, thro' snaw and frost,
A better dog I couldna' boast;
For gin a sheepie had been lost,
==Or gane astray,
Thou quickly brocht her to the rest
==Tho' far away.

For twal long years hae come and gane
Sine to the hill thou first was ta'en;
Then loodly at the rowin' stane,
==Adoon the brae,
Thou gar'd the rocks and hallows ring
==Wi' whalpish glee.

Noo, canny ower the flowery brae
Thou hangs thy head, o'erspread wi' grey;
Yet still thy bite and sowp thou'lt ha'e,
==And bear in min',
As lang's I see the licht o' day,
==Thou hast a friend.


MY auld-farrant mither wid say
=(A weel-tae-dae body she rankit),
"Be honest, and eident, and thrifty,
=That nane may say 'boo' to your blanket."

This kindly advice o' my mither
=Has a' through my life to be thankit,
For I've aye kept the "croon o' the causey,"
=And nane can say "boo" to my blanket.

I married when jist a bit lassie,
=What I brew'd, uncompleenin', I drank it;
We lived but a wee while thegither,
=Yet nane could say "boo" to my blanket.

I didna sit doon and lament-
=My feelin's cauld care never fankit;
Licht-hearted I wrocht late and air,
=That nane could say "boo" to my blanket.

I hae a cot hoose o' my ain,
=A hunner notes tae I hae bankit;
I've a bite and a soup for the needfu',
=And wha can say "boo" to my blanket?

A Tiny Twitter.

SPRING dies on the bosom of summer
=In garments of luminous green,
And a coronal wreathes the new comer
=In her kirtle of gossamer sheen.

From converts of hazels and beeches,
=The gloamin' is throbbing with song;
While Devon, soft over its reaches,
=Flows bright on its journey along.

The hilltops in purple are gleaming;
=Day fades on the gates of the west,
And earth in a slumber is dreaming
=Of glory, and beauty, and rest

Carshake Glen.

WHEN the little birds are sleeping
=In the leafy forest bowers,
When the virgin dews are weeping
=On the drooping summer flowers.

When the silver stars are gleaming
=In a deep blue waveless sea,
And the moon is softly beaming
=On mountain, wood, and lea;

Then meet me by the birken tree
=In the mossy hazel brake,
Where the waters murmur soothingly
=Through the depths of lone Garshake.

When the summer breeze is stealing
=Through the groves with solemn tone;
When the silent bat is wheeling
=Round the ruin still and lone.

When all around is dreaming
=And wearied toil at rest,
Come with thy glad eyes beaming
=My beautiful and best.

Beneath the hoary birken tree
=In the mossy hazel dell,
Where the waters murmur soothingly
=From "Strowan's" crystal well.

The name of the next poet I wish to bring hefore you is that of


Born on the 8th of January, 1823, at the village of King's Kettle, in Fifeshire, he has resided since 1851 at Gray Craigs, Newtonshaw, in Clackmannanshire.  We are, therefore entitled to claim him as a Clackmannanshire man.  He has rhymed since he was sixteen years of age, and although his occupation-that of a freestone quarrier-was not such as would excite or stimulate great mental vigour, he has been a very prolific poet.  His first poetical effort that he committed to paper, "The Farewell," may he regarded as the termination of his first love affair.  Various love pieces succeeded, as his wandering fancy followed this or that fair one.  Several of these pieces are characterised by much sweetness and simplicity, breathing the true spirit infused by the god of love.  Nursery songs, epistles to living friends and to the memory of departed ones, lines descriptive of places, scenes, and various phases of life, make up a very large total - all of them written in a spirit creditable alike to Mr. DURRIE'S head and heart.  One or two of his love songs may be taken as specimens of a rather numerous class-

The Farewell.

FALSE-HEARTED maid! speak not of love!
=Since thou hast now prov'd false to me,
And wrung with grief this faithful heart
=Which long beat high with love to thee.

Speak not of love! the very thought
=Mine injured bosom wounds anew,
And calls to mind those bitter pangs
=You deem'd this faithful heart ne'er knew.

Perhaps remorse with all its pangs
=Is rending now thy faithless heart;
But, ah! repentance now is vain,
=Since thou hast acted such a part.

When once rejected and despis'd,
=All promises of love are vain;
My time of love ought to be priz'd-
=When once it's lost, 'tis ill to gain.

I'd scorn to be a woman's slave,
=Though fair as angel from above;
I have a heart more firm and brave
=Than bow to one that's false in love.

Still I can sympathise with thee,
=For pangs like thine I've known too well;
But honour prompts me to decide,
=And bid to thee a long farewell.

My Jeannie.

WHAT though my Jeannie blooms unseen
='Mong mountains grand and wild;
Unpolished though her manners be,
=She's Nature's darling child.

Simplicity is in her look,
=Affection in her smile,
And love speaks from her sparkling eyes,
=Free from deceit and guile.

What though her eyes did ne'er behold
=The city's bustling throng;
They've seen a thousand sweeter charms
=Her native hills among.

There's not a floweret fair that blooms,
=Nor warbler sweet that sings,
But fills her mind with purer joy,
=And bliss far sweeter brings.

The city dames may neater dress,
=With all their trappings fine;
But Jeannie needs no artful charms
=To make her beauty shine.

Give me my Jeannie, sweet and fair,
=Meek, modest, mild, and free;
Then Fashion's dames I'll bid adieu-
='Tis Nature's child for me!

Come Listen, Dear Lassie.

COME listen, dear lassie, awhile tae my ditty,
=It weel may be sweet, but it winna be lang;
For I mean not tae weary your patience, my dearie,
=Wi' aught I can breathe i' the shape o' a sang.
What mair can I tell ye, than what I've already
=Frae the depths o' my soul, love, declared unto thee;
Wi' the richest and rarest, the fondest and fairest,
=Which language could furnish, or fancy could gie.

Believe me, dear lassie, 'tis truth that I tell ye;
=For, by a' that is noble, I scorn tae lee:
To my soul's presence-chamber thou'rt never a stranger
=An hour while frae slumber my mind it is free.
An' even your image intrudes on its presence,
=An' banishes far, wi' th' light o' its smile,
The gloom that does gather around me, while slumber
=In darkness is reigning wi' silence the while.

Till death shall me number wi' those who in slumber,
=As lasting as time, now are peacefully laid,
Thou'lt to me be the nearest, and by far the dearest,
=For time will but hallow whate'er I hae said.
Come then, dearest lassie, and chorus my ditty,
=Wi' something that's sweet tho' it sudna' be lang;
It will aye keep us cheery, for why sud we weary
=Sae lang's we are able to sing a bit sang?

Queen of my Heart.

HAIL, Jessie dear! queen of my heart!
=Solo empress of that loved domain!
For none but thee, except in part,
=O'er it shall ever rule or reign.
None other head but thine shall bear
=The royal crown of love for me;
None other brow but thine shall wear
=The laurel wreath I've twined for thee.

What though I love your sex in whole,
=And court with pride their company;
Still 'tis to thee, and thee alone,
=I breathe my thoughts and feelings free.
For none but thee, my charmer fair,
=Shall ever know, save but in part,
Those feelings fond and thoughts sublime
=Which fire my brain and move my heart.

Where'er I go, where'er I roam,
=Wherever I may chance to be,
This heart of mine will fondly turn
=To muse a while, my love, on thee.
Time may destroy earth's fairest flowers,
=And wrap in gloom its bright sunshine;
But this fond heart shall never know
=Affection's calm or love's decline.

A Dream.

I DREAMT a dream yestreen, Jessie,
=I dreamt that thou wert mine;
Sweet were the words, and kind the looks,
=Which passed between us then.

I thought our hearts beat high with hope,
=Our eyes shone love in full;
And the witch'ry of a scene so fair
=In bliss did wrap my soul.

But morning came, and I awoke,
=And found 'twas but a dream;
And the one I held in fond embrace
=Fled with the sun's first gleam.

And now, for hope, I feel a pang,
=For bliss, I feel a pain;
And the one I fondly dreamt was mine
=Will ne'er be mine again.

Oh, Mary Dear.


OH, Mary dear, I'm glad to hear
=Ye fain would hae us tied thegither:
But that, my dearest, canna be
=Afore I get awa' my mither!

But don't despair, my charmer fair,
=Anither winter she'll ne'er wether;
An' lang afore this year be dune,
=I think I'll hap the head o' mither.

Then great success to that chiel Death,
=Sune may he come an' cut her tether;
An' sever ilka earthly tie
=That ever ban' me tae my mither.

An' when that she is clean awa',
=An' laid fu' snug alow the heather:
I'll clasp ye fondly a' my ain,
=An' tak' ye, in the stead o' mither.

Then here's tae you, an' here's tae me,
=An' her wha ance I ca'd my mither;
Soond may she sleep in her lang hame,
=An' we be happy aye thegither.

The Flower of the Devon.

FLOW on silv'ry Devon, fair stream, to the ocean,
=Wand'ring child of the mountain, the moorland, and mead,
Give me pathos and power to paint that fair flower,
=That blooms aye sae bonny on thy sunny bankhead;
Where, from first gleams of morning to gloom of the gloamin',
=Fair Nature's illum'ner's aye shedding his rays,
Inswathing in glory, sweet charming young Flora,
=That blooms aye sae bonny on thine evergreen braes.

Her skin is as fair as proud England's rare roses,
=As they glow in their glory, in summer's full prime,
And her eye is as blue as the blue bell that closes
=To guard its rare beauties at day's sweet decline;
For none e'er bloomed fairer, or richer, or rarer,
=By mountain or meadow, in sunshine or haze,
Than charming young Flora, my heart's chiefest glory,
=That blooms aye sae bonny on thine evergreen braes.

Her voice is as sweet as the lark's in the morning,
=When he soars to the lift, with the dew on his wing,
All dangers defying, and ilk peril scorning,
=Making woodland and welkin with melody ring;
Then laud her ye lovers of beauty and nature,
=For love fills her young heart, and glows in her gaze,
While none could be truer, as tried friend or wooer,
=As she blooms aye sae bonny on thine evergreen braes.

Its Burns in his rapture, with soul tun'd to Nature,
=Sang lang in the praise of his Mary and Jane,
While Paisley's sweet singer, spent his heart's richest treasure,
=In painting to Nature, his Flower o' Dunblane.
For none e'er more worthy, for real worth and beauty,
=Ere won their affections, or shone in their lays
Than she who thro' winter, as well as thro' summer,
=Blooms aye fair and bonny on thine evergreen braes.

Young buds are bursting around this young blossom,
=Which may in their turn other bosoms inspire,
And awake frow their slumbers the bard's glowing numbers,
=Till like lambkins they play 'mong the chords of his lyre.
But such peradventures, so seeming and likely,
=I'll leave unto others to marshal in praise,
And sing but of Flora, sweet charming young Flora,
=That blooms aye sae bonny on thine evergreen braes.

What heart would not love her, what hand not defend her,
=And guard her rare beauties so charming and fair,
From the rude ruthless spoiler who'd seek to defile her,
=And tarnish her virtues so precious and rare,
For ne'er fairer blossom, on Nature's own bosom,
=Ere sprung into beauty in Spring's virgin days,
Than charming young Flora, all peerless in glory,
='Mong her sisters of beauty, on thine evergreen braes.

May heaven and fortune combine to protect her,
=And smile full upon her, as she smiles upon all,
And ne'er have to wrestle with poverty's tressel,
=But aye set for the onset 'though liable to fall.
Come, then, all ye lovers of beauty and Nature,
=Bend the knee of devotion, while loud in her praise,
All glowing in glory, sweet charming young Flora,
=As she blooms aye sae bonny on Devon's green braes.

The following song is from an Alva pen, name unknown:-

The Lass o' Kersiepow.

'TWAS morn - the sun in all his pride,
=Beam'd o'er the earth with dazzling ray;
High poised in air, the twinkling lark
Pour'd 'mong the clouds his thrilling lay.
All nature smiled in vesture gay-
=The wooded hills and valleys low-
While fond the fragrant breezes played
=Around the haughs o' Kersiepow.

With careless step and musing mien,
=I roved where Devon murmurs by,
When, lingering in a hawthorn shade,
=A lovely maiden caught my eye.
Her face was like a summer sky,
=When not a cloud its arch doth show,
Her form was perfect, and her smile
=Was sunshine round sweet Kersiepow.

I gazed with rapture o'er the scene,
=My bosom toned to nature's joy,
And sweet the woodland echoes rang
=With strains of heavenly melody.
The flowers of every beauteous dye,
=In glen and shaw fu' fresh did blow,
But the fairest flower that met my eye,
=Was the lovely lass o' Kersiepow.

Oh! had been mine the minstrel's power,
=To breathe the heaven-inspired lay,
Then would her name immortal shine,
=The pride of Scotia's maidens gay.
The names whom Burns hath wed to fame-
=His Mary in sweet virgin glow-
Should tyne their lustre in her light-
=The lovely lass o' Kersiepow.

As a sample of connubial bliss take the following by


of Dollar.  He was a shoemaker, and in 1852 published a volume of pieces and songs.  This love song is entitled:-

My Wife at me has ta'en the Huff.

MY wife at me has ta'en the huff,
=An' skirted to her daddie, O;
An' I don't care ae single snuff-
=Fal the du a dadi, O.

She swore she'd never live wi' me
=As lang's she had her daddie, O;
O that she'd keep the same mind aye-
=Fal the du a dadi, O.

His dochter ne'er shall sic a loon
=Get back, declares her daddie, O;
I thank him for sae rich a boon-
=Fal the du a dadi, O.

So Neddy here noo lives his lane,
=An' Peg beside her daddie, O;
I wish to "Kate" she'd there remain-
=Fal the du a dadi, O.

In contrast and yet as a companion picture to the above, let me quote one song of another Dollar man,


Born, 1817, in the old town of Dollar.  He has published a volume of poeiiis and songs, and several of these are still famous.  "The proof of the pudding's the preeing o't" is his, as also-

My Ain Gudeman.

OH dear, dear to me
=Is my ain gudeman,
For kindly, frank, and free
=Is my ain gudeman.
And though thretty years hae fled
=An' five sin' we were wed,
Nae bitter words I've had
=Wi' my ain guidman.

I've had seven bonnie bairns
=To my ain gudeman,
An' I've nursed them i' their turns
=For my ain gudeman;
An' ane did early die,
=But the lave frae skaith are free;
An' a blessin' they're to me,
=An' my ain gudeman.

I cheerie clamb the hill
=Wi' my ain gudeman
An' if its Heaven's will
=Wi' my ain gudeman;
In life's calm afternoon,
=I would toddle cannie down,
Syne at the foot sleep soun'
=Wi' my ain gudeman.

The Proof o' the Puddin's the Preein' o't.

TUNE - "Rock and the Wee Pickle Tow."

YOUNG Maggie looks well, neither foolish nor vain,
=But love keeps folk whiles frae the seein' o't;
I'll ken better after I mak' her my ain-
=For the proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't.

We think lasses at first gentle, modest, and kind,
=Like goddesses, lovely, exalted in mind;
But will we think sae when in wedlock were joined?-
=The proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't.

I maun tak' the lassie for better, for waur,
=My fortune nane need try the spaeing o't,
For wha can pry into futurity far-
=The proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't.

I'll study to please her as weel as I can,
=An' gie her my siller to ware when its wan;
I think she will follow economy's plan-
=But the proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't.

She says what is best to do aye she will try;
=But what if she's tryin' the leein' o't?
However, I'll come to the truth by and bye-
=For the proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't.

But takin' a wife is a serious joke,
=Its something like buying a pig in a pock;
She may be a guid ane, she may be a mock-
=The proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't.

The Wreck o' the "Countess;"


ALAS! though 'tis summer, I tremble, I trow,
At the thought o' the task which devolves on me now;
Methinks I hear some ane exclaimin', "My conscience!
Again is that blockhead commencing his nonsense."
But naebody this time need nonsense expect-
That's oot o' my head wi' the thoughts o' the wreck;
An' Alloa Folk will be waefu', I wot,
When they read my lament for the auld Ferry-Boat.

Her fresh-water Captain, sae fair and sae fat,
Is wastin' awa 'neath his wide-awake hat;
Nae mirth wi' him noo-he has tint a' his spunk-
For the "Countess," that "powerful steam-packet" has sunk
At the side o' the Forth, like a muckle whin-stane,
An' left her auld frien's "to preside o'er the scene."
Ah! little thought Meikle 'twad fa' to my lot
To record the sad fate o' the auld Ferry-boat.

She gaed doon ance afore, that fu' brawlie we ken,
An' it seems she's the lady can "do it again;"
But far deeper this time she's lair'd i' the mud,
An' nae tide will move her exceptin' a flood.
The "Prince o' Wales" steamer, when passin' that way,
Maun wait twenty minutes, till blin' Robin play
A slow, solemn dirge-syne we'll wear a black coat,
An' shed floods o' tears for the auld Ferry-boat.

The wreck was terrific, it fair did o'erwhelm-
Tam cried "We'll be lost," Archie shook at the helm;
But wha can describe the sensation an' grief
That ilka ane felt they were needin' relief:
For the safety-valve safety nae mair could secure,
An' the engine had rather owre muckle horse-power;
For horses were part of her cargo, I wot-
Yet naething was lost but the auld Ferry-boat.

To raise her on Sunday some chiels did their best,
But she gae them strong proofs 'twas a day made for rest;
They fought an' they tuggit till ane gies a grane,
An' says, "Lads, it's no go, we maun let her alane."
They saw they had neither the strength nor the skill,
Sae they left her in sorrow, an there she lies still;
The Shore folk to strangers noo point oot the spot
Whaur the funnel sticks up o' the auld Ferry-boat.

The auld Ferry-boat is a marvel indeed-
She seemed to foresee few her service wad need;
For fell alterations were soon to take place,
An' to sail 'thout a cargo wad be a disgrace.
Sae she couldna bear up, an' to fate did resign,
An' sank to her rest when they opened the line-
There's something remarkably worthy o' note
Concernin' the "Countess," the auld Ferry-boat.

Tam's pibroch-like voice rang sae loud and an' sae shrill,
That the very kirk clock wi' amazement stood still-
Time's wheels ceased to move, an' the hour wadna strike-
I really declare it was Gibeon like.
Tho' the sun an' the moon, that by day an' night shine,
Didna just do the same as they then did langsyne;
Yet the battles o' yore, or the Gunpowder Plot,
Winna noo mak a crack like the auld Ferry-boat.

The "Active" cam niest in her stead; ah! but curs'd
In the outset was she, for her boiler did burst:
This fearfu' explosion the air nearly rent,
An' Tam cried, "A judgment is doon on us sent."
She lost her activity a' wi' the shock,
And lay like a sloth till they brocht Paddle Jock;
Some een sic a sicht o' confusion ne'er got
Afore, for the want o' the auld Ferry-boat.

Time awfu' disasters by folk hae been watched,
But I can declare that nae blame is attached
To Tam - he's a fellow that's goin' ahead.
To navigate Forth better, ae time he gaed
To see how they managed the boats on the Thames,
An' cam hame wi' his head fu' o' projects an' schemes,
Au' a grand English lecture his men frae him got,
On board o' the "Countess," the auld Ferry-boat.

The auld Ferry-boat, we ken fine, wasna graced
By ought but the name, and seemed never in haste;
But wha could be angry, or get in a pickle,
To hear a commander like great Captain Meikle,
Cry, "Half a door, Sandy," "A stroke to the land;"
Sic learned sea phrases pleased a' body grand;
An' tho' whiles ye'd to stand cheek-for-chow wi' a stot,
Ye couldna but laugh in the auld Ferry-boat.

I mind o the days when I crossed wi' her aft,
An' heard jolly fellows extol her abaft;
While at the same time there might he a young spark
Thrang cursing the steam that had damaged his sark.
But what about that, high an' low, daft an' wise,
Were a' used alike, an' did pay the same price-
An' that was ca'd threepence, twa maiks frae a groat-
Dear, _dear_, unto a' was the auld Ferry-boat.

But noo sin' she's lost I'm gaun sair oot o' tune;
An' if that a new ane is no gotten soon,
We'll see an' get seven great elephants sunk,
To gie't a most powerful keave up wi' their trunk.
An' when she's repaired in the dock that is dry,
The flood-gates we'll ope, and exultingly cry,
Hurrah for the "Countess," then sing "I'm afloat"
Ance mair on the deck o' the auld Ferry-boat.

Success to ye, Sandy.

Sung at Mr. A. M'EWAN'S Farewell Concert in Alloa, 1Oth June. 1852.

AIR - "The Laird o' Cockpen."

=SUCCESS to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang,
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang;
=We're laith aye to part wi' a bricht son o' sang;
=But success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang.

Ye're leavin' auld Scotland, your dear native land,
Wi' its maidens sae fair, and its mountains sae grand-
The land o' the thistle and heather-clad hill,
The land whaur the whisky is fourpence the gill,
The land whaur our heroes gae faemen their paiks
The land o' the pibroch, kilt, crowdie, and cakes,
The land whaur in winter the breezes blaw sharp,
The land whaur the bard lo'es the haggis and harp.

=But success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang,
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang;
=May your dull days he short, and your cheerie anes long-
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang.

Ye're leavin' the land o' the moss-cover'd cairn,
The land o' the blue-bell, the broom, an' the fern;
Ye're leavin' the land o' the rabbits and hares,
Perhaps to be nearer the lions an' bears.
I thocht for a while ye wad here creepit still,
To see what your daddy might leave in his will,
An' time after time cheer our hearts wi' a verse;
But sin' ye're determined to mak' yoursel' scarce,

=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang,
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang;
=To part wi' your darlin's may cost ye a pang-
=But success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang.

Gude grant that Dame Fortune may favour your trip,
An' the sharks tak' lock-jaw that wad follow the ship,
Au' Neptune be charmed wi' your sangs on the wave,
While the storms quietly rest in their slumbering cave.
Au' when on a far foreign shore ye arrive,
Cheer up, ye hae frien's-in a blink ye may thrive;
An' when there ye gie concerts, I ween ye'll be reckoned
A musical star, or a Wilson the second.

=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang,
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang;
=May ye ne'er need to say far awa ye've done wrang-
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang,

But to think that this concert is here your fareweel ane,
E'en maks me pathetic - we've a' the same feelin';
To meet wi' ye's pleasure, to part wi' ye's pain,
Wha kens if we ever may hear ye again
How waefu' our sang - lovin' callants will be
That day ye set sail on the wide ragin' sea;
The lassies about ye will scarcely can sleep,
An' like David the king, in my chamber I'll weep.

=Yet success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang,
=Success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang;
=We're laith aye to part wi' a bricht son o' sang,
=But success to ye, Sandy, whaure'er ye may gang.

Among the writers of domestic rhymes and songs of the affections we may mention


Of Tullibody.  Mr. JAMIESON is a feuar and laird in Tullibody, and was at one time a weaver.  As he marched to and from the Alva Mills, he would croon to himself rhymes on many subjects, more especially on the passing events of the day, on incidents of his daily work and working companions, or on sights and scenes that interested him.  On his return he would pen these, or retain them in his memory till a suitable time came for transcribing them.  Incidents around his own domestic hearth had always a keen interest for him, and some of his best lyrics have their _locale_ around his own fireside.  Take, as an instance, the following:-

Lizzie's Lament for her Pet Dog.

"OH! whaur is my Nero?  Whaur can he be gane?
He's owre lang the night, I doubt, comin' hame;
My poor little doggie, sae trig an' sae clean-
Did you see how he fumied on faither yestreen?
He'll nae mair welcome faither in frae the cauld blast,
He's noo, I'm afraid, 'mong the things that are past;
Nae mair will he sit upon auld Gutcher's knee,
Nae mair play his pranks wi' the cat nor wi' me,
Nor ben the house bicker after Davie, my rabbit:
I fear he is shot or has got a tight cravat.
There's the cat at his meat.  Mither! puss! the wild jade,
She was aye fond o' dainties to taste her auld gab;
'Bout that, an' sic like, I'm sure I needna' care,
My poor little Nero will need them nae mair.
He's been wand'ring the woodlands, I fear, or the lea,
And caught the dire glance o' the gamekeeper's e'e;
If sae I could wager a pound to a groat,
My poor little Nero has died from a shot."
Thus spak' little Lizzie while tears gushed frae her e'en
And wet the hearth-stane, where her Nero had been;
Still exclaiming aloud in frantic despair
"My poor little Nero, I'll ne'er see him mair."

Another disastrous event is commemorated, entitled - "Lizzie's Lament for her Pet Rabbit which had been killed by the Cat."  This is followed by the "Cat's Reply," a few verses of which we here give-

Cat's Reply.

O Lizzy! but ye are a brat,
Wha' can thole your chirpin' chat,
==Ye little limmer,
But nent for nont, I'll pay ye back
==For that, this simmer.

I own I was the death o' Davie-
We'el ye ken how mony a shavie
==He play'd my kitten;
While at his ill-faur'd tricks ye laugh'd,
==There whaur ye're sittin'.

Nae mair he'll hobble but an' ben,
An' tease the little bantam hen,
==An' her wee poots;
He's gotten what he weel deserved-
==Ye clip-the-cloots.


After narrating sundry reprisals Lizzie had played her and her kitten, the cat concludes thus:-

But some day yet may bring ye news,
That your twa bonnie cropper doos,
==Hae made a flittin';
And that I'm mistress o' them baith-
==Me an' my kitten.

To show that "Bob" tries his hand with some success at various kinds of measures take, as another specimen, the following:-

Lines to David Aitken.

DAVID AITKEN!  David Aitken? my heart it is shakin',
=To hear of this great comet comin',
To sweep hill and vale, wi' its death-spreading tail,
=Regardless o' man, child, or woman.

Oh, where shall we creep, when we get the first peep
=O' the limmer as on she does bound;
There's nae use o' speakin', 'bout holes we may creep in;
=For she'll sweep the whole globe round and round.

But with her to vie, I mean once to try,
=Tho' at me she may e'en snuff and snarl;
So I think the best plan will be gin I can,
=Get her neatly cooped up in a barrel.

Then though with her tail, she may thrash like a flail,
=She will find there is pith in a barrel;
She may hae to bewail a' the skin aff her tail,
=Just by thrashing so much at the barrel.

Mr. JAMIESON (Bob o' Tullibody) has committed to paper more than forty pieces, and if you chance to meet him with his "powny," he will most likely assail you with a quotation from one or other of these pieces, or from some one of later composition.  Long may he sing and quote, and thus cheerily pass down the stream of life!

Another of our local bards we would not like to pass by is


An Alloa man, flow resident in Liverpool.  His pieces frequently adorn the pages of the _Alloa Advertiser_.  Mr. CARMICHAEL has a very fruitful pen, and writes on many subjects - "Alloa," "By Devon's Stream," "Katie," &c., &c We will quote the last named as a fair specimen of Mr CARMICHAEL'S powers.  It is characterised by poetical softness, rhythm, and taste, and bears evidences that its author is not without his fair share of the poetic art.  May his pen flourish, and his ink ne'er run dry!


SWEET and modest little Katie,
=With the flowing flaxen hair;
Like a lady aye sae neatie,
=Drest up with the greatest care.

O, so shy, and full of blushes,
=Trembling at the sight of men;
From their presence off she rushes,
=Like a recluse to her den.

Tell me, shy and modest Katie,
=Why the blushes come so fast;
And how long, Miss, I entreat ye,
=These emotions sweet will last?

Like the opening flower in summer,
=Like the tint upon the rose,
Like the rainbow, little mummer,
=All thy various moods disclose.

More like angel far than maiden,
=Like a thing of perfect bliss;
Blushes, blooming, or else fadin',
=How inviting for a kiss!

I would clasp thee in my bosom,
=Smother thee with kisses lief-
Were ye not a tender blossom,
=I, an old and withered leaf.

Sad to think of Time's advances,
=Of his fingers on thy brow;
Dull and deaden'd all the glances
=Now in all their summer's glow.

Long be't thine to bloom and flourish,
=Maid and matron fresh and gay;
Long may nature fondly nourish
=Thee in all her rich array.

Deck thee out in all her graces,
=Make ye loving, sweet and kind;
Leave npon wee Katie traces
=Of a rich and cultured mind.

Mr. CARMICHAEL is the author of two books of poems already published - the printing press having been made by his own handicraft, types set up and books printed by himself during his leisure hours.  "Recreations in Rhyme," "Rhyming Lilts and Doric Lays" are the names of his two works.  The following poems speak for themselves:-

Caller Water.

LET ithers sing o' sparklin' wine
=Until their throats be sair,
The "nectar" o' the gods divine
=Is but a devil's snare;
Inspirin' fules in their mad mirth
=To spates o' senseless chatter,
Na, mine's a sang o' modest birth,
=I'll sing guid caller water.

Guid caller water, pure an' bricht,
=Sent richt frae Heaven's ain doors;
A coolin' draught that keeps us richt,
=An' free frae drucken "scores."
Nae headaches after it we ha'e,
=Enough oor wits to scatter;
We're clear and bricht as dewy spray,
=After guid caller water.

Sae, join my sang wi' a' your micht,
=Nor mind the senseless jibe,
On water ye will ne'er get "ticht,"
=Though gallons ye imbibe;
Nor troubled be wi' doctor's bills,
=But grow baith rich an' fatter,
If ye but drink the sparkling rills
=That flow frae caller water.

A Big Tea Kettle.

COME, my guid pen, for now I ettle
Tae sing a sang aboot a kettle,
=Sae gawsie, big and braw-
When sitting there upon the hob,
Just like a muckle sonsie glob,
=Withoot a speck or flaw.

Ye've set me on to moralise
Upon yer beauty an' yer size,
=An' mony orra uses,
That oot o' you there micht be made,-
Tae name them a' I am afraid
=Micht fricht awa the Muses.

I thocht 'at ance ye'd dae nae ill
To boil a mash for whisky still,
=Or for a Templar's brew;
If polished weel wi' blacklead brushes,
Ye'd put the brass anes a' tae blushes,
=They'd hae nae chance wi' you.

Or at the New Year by the fire,
Yer no the chap I'm sure tae tire,
=Or ever to rin dry;
For coffee, toddy, or for tea,
Wha could doot yer ability
=To keep up the supply?

An' when my mind's upon the rack,
Yer just like some guid-natured black,
=Sitting sonsie smiling
Upon the hob there by the fire,
Attuning yer bit lively lyre,
=When on the point o' boiling.

Wi' "Carron" stamp'd upon your lid,
Shows that yer come o' gentle bluid-
=A weel connected urn,
That has sma chance tae bring disgrace
Upon that auld historic place
=Near tae fam'd Bannockburn.

An' when yer span o' life is run,
They'll melt ye doon an' mak a gun
=Out o' the honest metal;
But distant be that waefu' day,
When a' thy glory's past away,
=Thou muckle braw tea kettle!


Of Gaberston, has printed a book of "Scottish Poetry," which we would recommend every one to buy.  "Alloa Fair," "Epistle to John Crawford," "Excursion to Edinburgh," "Caller Herrin'," "The Harvest Kirn," "To a Woodland Primrose," I name as samples.  In each of these are passages of considerable beauty, and in some of them verses of rare humour, and with a true musical richness.  Take for example his "Lines to a Woodland Primrose" which I would advise every one to commit to memory as something worthy to be remembered.

To a Woodland Primrose,

SWEET floweret, herald of the spring,
I, here, thy praise shall sweetly sing;
There, bending o'er thee, thickening hing,
==The hawthorn boughs;
And chilly on thy petals cling
==The morning dews.

Let crimson roses richly blaw,
And tulips bend their cups fu' braw,
And lilies sprout in glen and shaw
==Fu' bonnilie;
Esteem'd art thou aboon them a',
==Fair flower, by me.

Though not in flaunting beauty spread,
Nae far sweet smelling fragrance shed,
Yet still thou rear'st thy yellow head,
==Sweet, peeping from
Thy native moss-enamell'd bed
==In modest bloom.

Thou keps the dews besprinkled free,
When rosy morning opes her e'e;
The hoary blossom'd hawthorn tree,
==There bending low,
Becomes a sheltering bield to thee
==When tempests blow.

There on the hillock's grassy brow,
Thou'lt bloom the sprightly season through,
'Neath cloudless skies of aerial blue
==And sunshine fair;
And Nature's beauties, not a few,
==Surround thee there.

Beside thee blooms the wild brier rose,
And there the burnie wimplin' flows;
Here violets blue their sweets disclose-
==There daisies keek
Wi' bosoms purer than the snows
==Of winter bleak.

And there aboon thee, by it prest,
A little robin's bigged its nest;
Whose slae-black e'e and scarlet breast
==Are dear to a',
When stibbled fields are hoary drest
==In robes o' snaw.

And when Sol gilds his cloudy screen,
When sinking in the western scene,
Near thee, among the hawthorns green,
==Rich-flowering gay,
The blackbird soothes the closing e'en
==Of wearied day.

And frae thy bosom fair displayed,
The bum-bee sucks his honey lade;
By Nature gorgeously arrayed,
==The butterfly,
Aboon thy emerald leaves low spread,
==Shall sport with joy.

And wandering here as free as air,
The happy, love-enamoured pair,
Espying thee, nae praise shall spare
==On thee, sweet gem,
And maybe stoop and pu' wi' care,
==Thy slender stem.

Bloom on, sweet flower! thou truly art
An emblem of the lowly heart,
That equal bears affliction's smart
==Frae Him on high,
As weel as when wild transports dart
==The thrill of joy.


Was born in Dunfermline about the year 1803, came to Alloa, and commenced business as a draper in 1822, and died at his residence in Bedford Place, Alloa, in October, 1879.  He was a man of exquisite taste; and cultivated painting, music, and poetry with no ordinary success.  The following is from his pen:-

A Scene.

=I SAW them part-the tearless eye
==Fixed in a long and silent gaze,
=As if the whole of life might lie
==In that one look.  It told of days
Ne'er to return - it spoke farewell,
In other mode than words might tell.

=Even in that hour, 'twas purest bliss,
==Thus, thus to look-to read the soul
=Which feeling all its loneliness
==Revelled in love without controul.
Such moments few may feel and live-
Such bliss 'tis Heaven alone can give.

=Long, long they gaz'd-one tender sigh,
==So low, so gentle, it might seem
=The breathing of a summer's sky
==When hush'd to rest, dispelled the dream.
One other look-away-they part-
One other look had broke the heart.

=Years! many years of change have past,
=='Twas never theirs to meet again;
=Yet still remembered to the last
==Shall be that parting hour of pain.
Pleasure may woo-grief may assail,
But sad remembrance ne'er shall fail.

Before the now famous Archaeologica1 and Antiquarian Society in Alloa was in existence, little groups of gentlemen varying in number from two to half-a-dozen were in the habit of making excursions to the country or the coast.  These excursionists very seldom spent their time in mere pleasure.  Valuable researches were made - interesting discoveries - in geology, architecture, botany, floriculture, poetry, painting, and other kindred arts and sciences.  We have here to record the result of one of these excursions which was undertaken by Mr. ROBERT PHILP and two other Alloa gentlemen to Gourock.  Reposing on the heights overlooking the town and bay, and commanding an extensive prospect of the Firth with its background of lofty hills and winding lochs, the spirit of poesy fired their souls.  A bet was taken up that whoever of the party of Alloa gentlemen would make the best four lines of poetry on Gourock, would have his dinner at the expense of the others.  The umpire in the award was to be Mr. Findlay Tower who had accompamed the party, and who was at that time agent in Glasgow for Messrs. Andrew Roy & Son's famous Alloa Ale.  Mr. ROBERT PHILP with the ungrudging consent of the whole party carried off the palm of victory, and we are glad to be able to give the four lines which won the bet:-

Ye frequenters of Gourock with visages pale,
If you want to get ruddy drink Alloa Ale;
For in it there's a spell of magical power-
If you doubt it at all, pray ask Findlay Tower.


Is the son of the late Mr. MILLER, a woollen manufacturer, in the County, and was born in Tillicoultry, in the year 1854.  He is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers.  Mr. MILLER was educated at Larchfield Academy, Helensburgh, and is at present teller of the Bank of Scotland in Annan.  His love songs and sonnets are characterised by a beauty, sweetness, and rhythm not often found in writers of the present time.  The following will give some idea of Mr. FRANK MILLER'S powers of versification:-


DOWN, down on the shore,
=Where the fresh winds blow;
Down, down on the shore,
=Where the sea-pinks grow;
You warbled your song,
=Till the waves, my sweet,
Came bounding, enchanted,
=To kiss your feet.

You sang in the garden,
=And merles, amazed,
And throstles, came round you,
=And on you gazed;
You sang in the hall,
='Twas a song divine,
And never again was
=My _own_ heart mine.

In the Garden.

"I WOULD like you now," said Katie,
=In her captivating way,
"Just to write some pretty verses
=On the sweetest flower you've seen-
On the modest little primrose,
=Or the polyanthus gay,
Or the wallflower that half-hidden
=By the bees all day has been,
Or the sole-surviving daisy
=On the close-cut croquet-green."

"Oh, my thoughts," I cried, "flow swiftly,
=O my pen for once be true!"
And I wrote a little poem,
=And, with laughter-lighted eye,
Soon my sweet companion read it-
="Oh, 'twould never, never do"-
But she blushed and looked bewitching,
=While attempting to look shy,
And she kept my little poem-
=And I'll keep _her_ till I die!


WHAT do I gaze on?  Lichens from the box
==Where sacred things I keep-
Where shrivelled violets and forget-me-nots,
==And bloomless roses sleep.

Lichens that whisper of far-distant fields,
==With blossomed clover gay,
Of clumps of larches - of a green hill side,
==Where shade and sunshine play.

They whisper of a deep-cut, streamlit glen,
==With rowan guarded bowers-
An ancient garden, with mossed apple-trees,
==And sweet old-fashioned flowers.

Of her who plucked them from the age-bent tree-
==Alas, what means this weeping?
'Tis time the lichens in the sacred box,
==Again were quietly sleeping!


SAY what hath made thee precious in my sight,
Sweeter than life, than April bloom more fair?-
The rich luxuriance of thy dark brown hair,
The softened sunshine of an eye as bright
And blue as summer sea, the sweetness rare
Of thy most dainty lips,-that seem to wear
The beauty of fresh rosebuds,-or the light
Playing around thy features?  Nay, but slight
These glorious charms appear-mine eye hath gazed
Down to thine inmost soul, and known to me
Are all thy reverence and humility,
Thy simple goodness I have marked amazed;
Yea, I have poured upon thee all my love,
Holding thee spotless as crowned saint above.

True Love.

NOT for an ever-changing, poor weak love-
=The love of earth, I long;
I seek a love like that of saint's above-
=As taintless, and as strong.

It must be love that in this frail life never
=The touch of change shall know;
Yea, that shall laugh at Death, and last for ever,
=In its first magic glow.

The awful promise of a changeless trust
=My spirit craves from thee-
Love, absolute and everlasting, must
=My godlike portion be.

Love's cry.

'TWERE heaven thy blessed lips to touch,
=To press my happy hand on thine,
But, oh, I love thee far too much!
=To ask or wish thee to be mine.

I thirst for thee, but am content
=Though thine affection I've but tasted;
I die, but not do I consent
=To have on me thy rich love wasted.

I am but formed of common clay-
=In simple goodness thou art wise,
And sweet thou art, as Spring's first day,
=When subtle scents the air surprise.

I know not if a heart e'er beat
=In simpler faith than thine secure-
Too sweet art thou to know thou'rt sweet,
=Too pure to dream that thou art pure,

Too truly great thy power to guess,
=Too wise to know how wise thou art-
Too nearly perfect to possess
=The comfort of an easy heart.

'Twere life thy blessed lips to touch,
=To press my happy hand on thine,
But, oh, I love thee far too much
=To ask or wish thee to be mine.

A short time ago a Poem entitled "The Old House is no more" appeared in the _Alloa Journal_.  It is from the pen of


A native of Alloa, now residing near the Grand Rapids in America, and makes us wish not only for Mr. ROBERTSON'S acquaintanceship, but that he would favour his old townsfolk with at least an occasional piece.

The Old House is no more.

LONG have I yearned to see my native town,
But adverse fate still held the longing down;
And when a fourth decade has brought me here,
My hopes at once are turned to trembling fear.
Where is the path that crossed the Fairie's Burn?
And Roy's Dam, that used the wheel to turn?
Can I not find them? - walls obstruct my way;
Surely I am at home, and yet astray?

I scan each aged form, each furrowed face,
Hoping some mien or lineament to trace;
I would advance, and yet my steps withhold,
Down, throbbing heart, the tale will soon be told!
Here is a woman leaning by a door,
Smiling at something creeping on the floor-
Of her I'll ask the street, the wondering dame
Tells me that they, have changed the very name!

This is the place - I _feel_ that I am nigh,
The very air seems laden with a sigh,
And here the garden wall, so old and frail,
Brings dimness to the eye, and to the lips a wail!
Where is the house? - this wall does not seem old,
That door is new, these windows look too bold-
Must I be guided to my father's door?
What, if I find the old house is no more?

They pulled the old house down-the very floor
On which I learned to walk, they razed and tore-
Oh! could they not have waited till I came,
Lifted the latch, and felt the old hearth's flame?
From memory's chambers I could then have filled
The low, small room with forms that now are chilled;
I might have on the Present closed the door,
But now I am shut out - the old house is no more!

To east, to west, the new growth spreads its arms,
The new and larger growth has many charms-
The Sunnyside, for view, or thought, or rest,
Now to its base by cottages is prest.
Still from its top what history is seen,
Blest be the hands that still preserve it green,
After so many years, and cares, how sore,
To come and find the old house is no more!

The Ochils only have remained as when
I clambered up Bencleuch, and through the glen,
Or watched the shadows floating o'er their brow,
Silent as time-just as I see them now;
No change is there-_then_, bounding like a roe,
I charged the steep, but _now_ my steps are slow;
The Devon winds, and murmurs as before,
For me, 'tis out of tune, and the old house is no more!

Another honoured county man


A native of Dollar, now also in America, strikes the lyre occasionally with great spirit and fire.  His "Highland Lads are brisk and bauld" rings through you like the blast of a silver bugle.  Another of his pieces written in honour of the Centenary of Burns for a meeting held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and entitled "Keen blows the wind across the heaving lake," is a poem of several pages, and is written in such a style that if there be left in you only one spark of Scottish feeling, the reading of it will fan up that spark into a flame, and raise in you a tide of delight.

Highland Lads are brisk and bauld.

HIGHLAND lads are brisk and bauld;
Highland mettle ne'er gets cauld;
Highland spunk's an easy fleyed;
Highland dunts are ill to bide;
Highland swords are keen and sharp;
Highland hands make awfu' wark-
Hence the cry when danger's near
"Gie's nane but Highland bonnets here."

Be't peaceful sport, or battle fray,
It makes nae odds, they're foremost aye,
Wicht and stark, and true as steel,
Highland lads are kenned fu' weel.
On many a bloody field of fame,
They've impressed their country's name;
Who leads the charge need never fear,
Wi' "nane but highland bonnets here."

Often has it roused our pride
To hear how Abercrombie died;
And how Corunna's fatal shore
Was baptised with the blood of Moore;
How Quatre Bras and Waterloo,
The echoes of the pibroch knew,
The bravest foe confessed a peer,
Wi' "nane but Highland bonnets here."

Nor does their ancient spirit flag,
For lyart veterans yet will brag,
How-at the Alma's famous fight-
They crossed the river, scaled the height,
And never faltered-not a man,
When Colin Campbell led the van-
But answered with a Highland cheer,
"Gie's nane but Highland bonnets here!"

Even here, by Mississippi's strand,
We glory in our fatherland,
Surrounded by the fremit folk,
We feel the fiery words he spoke;
And, till we're fairly fit to greet,
The stirring slogan we repeat,
(It's pride not grief, that brings the tear,)
"Gie's nane but Highland bonnets here!"

One or two passages may be quoted from his-

Keen blows the wind across the heaving lake.

DEAR land! in which I drew my earliest breath,
If aught subdue my love for thee but death;
If change of clime or fortune should efface
Thine image from my memory's foremost place;
If anything that wealth or fame imparts
Should e'er displace thee from my heart of hearts;
Then be my palsied tongue for ever still!
Then let my strong right arm forget its skill!
Mother and Scotland, side by side I set,
May God forget me when I them forget!

Our native land! there's music in the name;
What Scottish heart so dull, what soul so tame,
That feels not every pulse thrill with delight
In such a gathering, and on such a night?
Ours is a glorious land beyond compare,
Rich in historic lore,-of beauty rare,
Alike in peace or war with honour crowned,
Famous in history, and in song renowned;
Well may her sons, where'er by fortune tost,
Cherish their birthright as a sacred trust.


But looking backwards, through dim, distant years,
Where little meets the eye but blood and tears,
One ancient trait stands clearly marked and strong,
We read of Fingal's deeds in Ossian's song.
Though war's shrill trumpet sounded loud and fierce,
The nation's bursting heart welled out in verse-
From sire to son our northern harp was passed,
And still the sweetest poet seemed the last;
Until the bard arose, whose cherished name
We hail to-night with earnest, loud acclaim.
He showed the power of song-his witching art
Not only soothes the ear, but fills the heart;
'Mong the poetic race he stands alone
For varied powers, which yet are all his own.
No formal rules constrain his "wood notes wild;"
Gay or pathetic, he is Nature's child;

No borrowed grace he ever stoops to use-
He is in very truth a Scottish Muse.
As natural to Scotland are his lays,
As is the heather blooming on her braes;
What wonder then, though Scotland's voice proclaim
The pride she feels in his undying fame?
What wonder that with pride we swell the throng,
That celebrates this day with feast and song?
What wonder that with pride each bosom burns,
As here we meet - the countrymen of Burns?


Sauchie, strikes the lyre with no ineffective hand.  Mr. SNADDON is letter carrier for the Sauchie district, and has great opportunities for observing human nature.  In his mission he brings joy or disappointment to many a household.  He is both a poet and a philosopher as we shall see before we have done with him.  We are sorry we have only space in this division for two of his effusions-

A Bird in the Hand is worth Twa on a Tree,

A BIRD in the hand is worth twa on a tree,
For the ane is secure while the ithers micht flee;
You can dae what you will wi' the ane that you hae,
But the rest are awa' frae you and frae me.

You may use a' your skill tae catch many more,
But the moment you try they flee frae your door;
Altho' its on land or far owre the sea,
You are better wi' ane than twa on a tree.

There's folk in this world live on naething but hope,
Expecting a fortune frae the King or the Pope;
But sure I can tell you, if you've something your ain,
You'll gang kindily tae it, and withoot ony pain.

While you travel along on earth's stony way,
Be content wi' your lot by night and by day;
Tho' your income be sma', your fortune, or fee,
You are better wi' ane than twa on a tree.

Industry, I ken, is the pride of our land,
It always brings comfort and peace aye sae grand;
But there's some folk I ken that are never content,
Tho' the land was a' theirs withoot ony rent.

Just gang to the cottar, you'll find him aye gay,
Contriving out plans in mony a way;
But at last he'll gae in wi' you and agree,
That ane is worth mair than twa on a tree.

Whatever you claim through industry or gain,
Tak very guid care and don't spend it in vain;
For its easier to keep the thing that you hae,
Than tae grasp at the birds that flee far away.

So dinna sit doon tae grumble and freet
Because your ain neighboors can get mair tae eat;
But be wise for yoursel' and let ithers abee,
For you're better wi' ane than twa on a tree.

The Wee Toom Chair,

On, dear! oh, dear! lay up that chair,
=Wherein my lambie sat,
Wha played about the clean hearthstane,
=And cuddled his wee cat.

The chair is toom, my bairn's awa'-
=Gane to the world above,
Whaur he has joined with happy saints,
=Beside the God of Love.

Nae mair I'll press him tae my breast,
=Nor kiss his kindly mou';
Or shed his hair back frae his een
=That hangs doon owre his broo.
My heart grows grit tae see his toys-
=His rattle, ring, and ba'-
A' noo laid up upon the shelf:
=He's gane and left them a'.

Row up his claes, my ain dear wife,
=And lay them a' clean by;
See, there's his buits and stockings a',
=His bannet and his tie.
Take them awa', a' frae my view-
=His toys and empty chair-
They bring the saut tears to my een,
=And mak' my heart fu' sair.

Still in my dreams I see his smile,
=His sonsie little face;
His cheery laugh rings in my ear,
=I miss his sweet embrace.
How oft he pressed his cheek to mine,
=When climbin' on my knee,
And twined his arms aroond my neck,
=And danced wi' infant glee.

The gowden sun that shines abune,
=That mak's the birdies sing,
Sune brings the little bairnies oot
=To welcome in sweet spring;
And when I see them at their play,
=My heart aye aches wi' pain
Tae ken my bairn's noo left us a',
=Ne'er to return again.


Sunnyside, Alloa, is a poet of fine feeling, with high poetical sensibilities.  His love songs are fresh from the heart, and his descriptive pieces shew a keen appreciation of nature, and an ardent enjoyment of her beauties.

Address to the Alloa Burns Haggis Club.

HAIL! kindred spirits and brithers a'
I fain wid add a word or twa,
Before we leave this social ha',
==Whaur gloriously,
We've tried to act thy noble law,
==Sweet harmony.

When e'erie fa's the mirky e'en,
And boreas roars wi' micht and main,
E'en tho' the god of Thor might reign
==In anger o'er us,
We had nae thocht but warm our wames,
==Wi' sang and chorus.

You hoary chiel may slyly come,
And paint the panes wi' figures dumb,
Or sound his whistle doon the lum
==Wi' e'erie shrill,
We'd lisp our jokes, and crack our thumb,
==Wi' wizard skill.

A canty corps around the table,
Each heart linked on to friendship's cable,
Estranged from care and passing trouble,
==We jouk alang,
And guide oursteeds through halesome fable,
==A merry thrang.

And wist ye, lads, we'd aiblins soar,
Auld Scotia's hills and mountains hoar,
And scan her fields o' ancient lore,
==Whaur seers preside,
Or lilt her poets o'er and o'er,
==Wi' muckle pride.

We hae a chiel within the fauld,
A blithesome carl, stout and bauld,
Wha's cantrip tales 'bout daddy auld
==Are aye sae witty,
And wha has seen, we're aften tauld,
==Gay London City.

There's some wad mourn an absent Queen,
And some wha widna care a preen,
But a' wad miss our gaucy frien',
==Gif gruesome death
Sid slip his pall across his e'en,
==And stap his breath.

There Robin tae, among the lave,
Sae weel acquaint wi' ilka grave;
Some say he scouts! "Oh! doctor, save,
==Come spare the blow,"
Sin' he's in league wi' yon black knave-
==Man's mortal foe.

But mither clash may say and feel
He hauds deep conclave wi' the deil;
But this we ken, and ken fu' weel,
==There canna be
A better and mair gen'rous chiel
==In our company.

See Mackintosh, a beacon light,
Some say he sports the second sight,
Sin' in yon science he taks delight,
==Whaur warlocks revel:
But ye ne'er fand a neebour wight
==Mair kind or civil.

He'll rhyme ye owre withoutin fail,
Yon pawky, humorous, matchless tale,
Whaur through the mirk, puir Maggie's tail,
==The witches bore,
And left auld Tammas to bewail,
==His drucken splore.

And there's a chap among us a',
Wha's honoured horn I needna blaw,
Sin' niest to him wha cleeds our wa'
==We'll aye revere,
For 'mong our race be't great or sma'
==He's nae compeer.

He'll guide us through Parnassus' field,
Whaur Nature's sons her treasures yield,
And wi' a pen that few can wield,
==Sae strong and true,
Dame Nature's worth he'd aft reveal
==To me and you.

And here sits ane o' lib'ral mind,
The ace and wale o' human kind,
In duty's path he's aye inclined
==To urge us on-
I doubt his like we'll never find,
==If he were gone.

If I could wield brave Ossian's pen,
I'd tell to some wha dinna ken,
How weel he lilts the sweet refrain,
==O' "Annie's Tryst,"
And ither sangs I needna name,
==That stir the breast.

But why recount ilk happy ane,
I'd fain believe yer a' the same,
For some wha aft bespeak our fame,
==Aye truly tell us,
We've in our ranks a gallant train,
==O' noble fellows.

Now to conclude this jingling rhyme,
I e'en would will a wish divine,
That fortune may around ye twine,
==Her gowden ba',
And peace, her taper brightly shine,
==Upon ye a'.

When Sunset Looms Bonnie.

WHEN sunset looms bonnie o'er lofty Demyat,
=And hush'd the sweet music o' birdie and bee;
How enchanting the hour that brings me my dearie-
=The fair winsome maid wi' the love rolling e'e.

Her smile is the smile o' the bright virgin morn,
=That melts the grey mists o'er mountain and lea-
Like the sunglints o' heaven the landscape adorning,
=Dispelling the gloom from watch-tower and tree.

The wee siller streamlet meanders fu' cheerie,
=And sweet lilts the mavis frae yon thorny tree;
But sweeter the voice o' her I lo'e dearest-
=The fair winsome maid wi' the blue rolling e'e.

Vain warldings may doat on their gowd and their treasure,
=And tell us fu' aft o' their lordly degree;
But gi'e me the fond love that swells the fair bosom
=O' yon lovely maid wi' the blue rolling e'e.

Blythe simmer smiles bonnie, the woodlands perfuming,
=And sweet blooms the rosebud by meadow and lea;
Yet sweeter and fairer than Nature's possessing
=Is yon winsome maid wi' the blue rolling e'e.

By Linn Mill's Shady Dell.

I'LL meet thee in the gloamin', love,
=When dowie fa's the flow'r,
An' Nature draws her mirky plaid
=O'er you wee leafy bow'r;
When lichtly fa's the diamond drap,
=An' tints the heather bell-
Sweet maid, I'll woo thee tenderly,
=By Linn Mill's shady dell.

The nightingale carols fu' sweet
=Amang the dewy leaves,
An' robin croons beside his mate
=Aneath the mossy eaves;
But sweeter fa's the am'rous song
=That mak's my bosom swell-
Sweet maid, I'll woo thee tenderly,
=By Linn Mill's shady dell.

When ane by ane the starnies peer
=Frae yon deep bonnie blue,
I'll clasp her to my throbbin' breast,
=An' pree her rosy mou';
An' aye she'll share the rapt'rous love
=My fond heart canna tell-
Sweet maid, I'll woo thee tenderly,
=By Linn Mill's shady dell.

Bonnie Blythosome Teenie O'.

BONNIE Teenie o' Hazley dell,
Sweet emblem o' love's fairy spell,
Near her aye is heaven itsel'-
=Bonnie winsome Teenie O'!

Fair bloom the flow'rs by Hazley Shaw,
When scented zephyrs o'er them blaw,
But wat ye wha outshines them a'?
=Bonnie winsome Teenie O'.

Her cheeks reflect the rose's hue,
When bathed wi' morning's silv'ry dew,
But best o' a', her heart is true-
=Bonnie lo'esome Teenie O'.

When gloaming veils the gow'ny lea,
And hameward hies the laden bee,
Welcome the hour that brings to me-
=Bonnie blythesome Teenie O'.

We'll meet ayont the sheltered glade,
Whaur, 'neath the rowan's leafy shade,
Nae thochtless ear 'll hear what's said-
=Bonnie winsome Teenie O'.

And there beside the dusky howe,
Whaur Devon's wavy waters flow,
We'll pledge anew love's sacred vow-
=Bonnie winsome Teenie O'.

Bonnie Mary Hay.

Come meet me, Mary, doon the dell,
Whaur wildly waves the heather bell,
Upon the mossy breasted fell,
=We'll wile awa' the gloaming.

When pearly dew-draps roond us fa',
An' e'enin' breezes saftly blaw,
We'll wander o'er the grassy shaw,
=An' wile awa' the gloaming.

When gloomy grey creeps doon the hill,
And a' aroun' is dark an' still,
Then, gentle maid, wi' sweetest will,
=We'll wile awa' the gloaming.

We'll seek the fairy shelter'd glade,
Whaur, 'neath the hazel's leafy shade,
I'll row thee in my tartan plaid,
=An' wile awa' the gloaming.

When Luna sheds her silv'ry beam
O'er Devon's clear meand'rin' stream,
We'll paint, dear love, life's gowden dream,
=An' wile awa' the gloaming.


A native of Alva, born in 1819, was a very prolific writer.  His effusioms were read by his contemporaries with great avidity.  He writes with remarkable clearness and decision, and, although it is now fifteen years since his death (10th October, 1869), his memory is still fresh and green in the recollection of all who knew him.  The following will give some idea of his strength of wing:-

Time's Flight; or, Our Flight Througb Time.

TIME flies like lightning speed, or we
=Through Time with lightning speed are flying;
And thousands daily bid adieu
=To earth, and all its cares and sighing.
From age to youth is but a glance-
=Back, even to lightsome days of childhood,
We plunge through intervening time,
=And roam again through glen and wildwood.

It seems as if but yesterday,
=In childhood's garb, we roamed at pleasure
Among the scenes of other years,
=To memory dear-reflection's treasure;
And yet, how oft yon Summer sun
=Has beamed in glory far above us,
Inspiring us with trust in Him
=Whose very nature is to love us.

Our flight through Time, or, it may be,
=Time's hastening flight when rolling by us,
Has brought us all in contact with
=Heartrending scenes of woe to try us;
And yet these trying scenes of woe-
=If they but won us to our duty-
A few short days, or months, or years,
=Dissolved in scenes of love and beauty.

Why should we mourn life's trials brief?
=Kind Providence forgets us never,
And soon will raise all loving souls
=Beyond earth's trying cares for ever.
Yon glorious sun, by heaven's dear law,
=May beam on high ten thousand ages;
But we, through Time, rush fleetly on,
=To act our parts on other stages.

Life's pilgrimage is short and fleet,
=And every hour the scenes are changing-
No institution permanent,
=Always requiring re-arranging.
But on we rush through weal and woe
=To points of Time-no tie can bind us-
Through cherish'd hours of love and joy
=We fly, and leave them all behind us.

When marching through the vale of Time,
=O, let it be our high endeavour
To leave impressions as we go,
=And benefit mankind for ever.
No word we speak, no deed we do,
=No smile of love, or marked impatience,
But will affect for weal or woe
=The men of coming generations.

Be careful, then, of idle words,
=And simple deeds of thoughtless folly-
They dwarf our own aspiring souls,
=And tinge all round with thoughts unholy.
Come, then, while through Time's vale we fly,
=Let high aspiring thoughts engage us;
Their very nature is to bless,
=And will delight through endless ages.

The following is said to be by


Of Alva, and will give a good idea of his style, and of the ease with which he weaves his thoughts into rhyme:-

A Domestic Loss.

I've lost my little May at last,
=She perished in the Spring,
When earliest flowers began to bud,
=And earliest birds to sing.
I laid her in her rural grave-
=A green and still retreat-
A marble tablet at her head,
=And violets at her feet.

I would that she were back again
=In all her childish bloom;
My joy and hope have followed her,
=My heart is in her tomb.
I know that she has gone from me,
=I know that she has fled;
I miss her everywhere, and yet
=I cannot think her dead.

I wake the children up at morn,
=And breathe a simple prayer,
And draw them round the morning meal,
=But one is wanting there.
I see a little chair apart-
=A little pinafore,
And memory fills the vacancy,
=As time will nevermore.

I sit within my quiet room,
=And think and think for hours,
And miss the little maid again
=Among the window flowers.
And miss her with her toys, beside
=My chair in cheerful play;
And then I turn and look for her,-
=But she has flown away.

I drop my idle pen, and hark,
=And catch the faintest sound-
She must be playing hide-and-seek
=In shady nooks around.
She'll come and climb my chair again,
=And peep my shoulder o'er;
Methinks I hear her laugh - but no,
=She cometh nevermore.

'Twas only yesternight, alas!
=When evening prayers were read,
I lingered for my idol's kiss
=Before she went to bed,
Forgetting she had gone before,
=In slumbers soft and sweet-
A monument above her head,
=And violets at her feet.

We will close this division of our subject with two pieces of rare merit, and though the style is different in each, I am certain they will please the reader.  The former is by JAMES DURRIE and the latter by JAMES CHRISTIE.

Oor Little Jackie,

SAW ye e'er oor little Jackie,
=Muckle~minded little man;
Heard ye e'er his manfu' crackie-
=Head to heel a gentleman.

Mountit on his stool for horsie,
=Like some chief o' warrior clan,
Spurrin' on to death or glory,
=Fearless-hearted little man.

Ne'er a dreamin' what's a brewin',
=Dashin' on like soger brave;
Dingin' some things on to ruin,
=Strivin' hard the rest to save.

Pans an' pitchers ever rattlin',
=Breakin' dishes by the score;
Then wi' wee, wee kitten prattlin',
=Chackin' doggie tae the door.

Lauchin' at the cockie crawin',
=Fondly feedin' Jenny Wren;
Fechtin' wi' the wind a blawin',
=Carryin' bauchles tae the glen.

Hurrahin' as they toss and tummle
=Doun its steep and rugged sides;
Seldom shapin' at a grummle,
=While his joy he never hides.

Never oot o' childish worry,
=Wi' his little mates at play;
Ever in a hurry gurry,
=Frae mornin's peep tae gloamin' gray.

Aft bespatter'd tae the e'eholes,
=Dashin' thro' baith dub an' mire;
Burnin' aft his booties' wee soles,
=At the blazin' kitchen fire.

Shoother deep within the ashpan
=Grapplin' for his missin' bools;
Wringin' sair his baffy wee han',
=As if he'd laid them i' the mouls.

Gath'rin' bricks for biggin' castles,
=Plannin' a' their toors the while;
Breathes awhile, again he wrestles,
=Wi' big lumps o' broken tile.

Thrang again at stoor agattin',
=Makin' mortar for the job;
Noo wee man he's a' forfoughtin'
=Soundly sleepin' by the hob.

Noo away tae bed he's packit,
=Saft the pillow's wade for him;
There he lies the restless rackit,
=Smilin' owre some childish fun.

Mammie's son, an' daddie's laddie,
Hughie's prince, an' Jeennie's man;
Marion's little darlin' kingie,
=One in all, and all in one.

Mr. CHRISTIE here relates-

A Mother's Advice to her Young Daughter.

MY mither flytes, my mither frowns,
=For what I dinna ken;
And aye she says, "Ye glaiket lass,
=Beware o' faithless men.
They'll deave your young and thochtless head
=Wi' mony a loving crack-
Be unco fair afore yer face,
=But lauch ahint yer back.

Wi' face as lang's a minister's,
=An' hangin' dooncast e'e,
They'll swear by a' the powers aboon,
=That for your sake they'll dee.
But, mark me, read them backwards,
=An' tak' it a' as lees;
Their vows are like the weathercock
=That turns to ony breeze.

An', min' ye, Jean, ye're a' I ha'e,
=An' it looks na' weel ava,
For modest lasses steppin' oot
=When nicht begins to fa'.
'Tis better far to be at hame,
=Aside yer spinnin' wheel,
Than clishmaclaverin' on the road,
=Wi' ilka weirdless chiel.

I tell ye't for yer gude, Jean,
=An' dinna glunch an' gloom,
Nor toss aboot thee stockin's there,
=Wi' face as soor's a ploom.
A mither's love is strong, Jean,
=An' my auld heart can feel;
Sae bide at hame - gang out nae mair-
=An' min' yer spinnin wheel."


Descriptive Pieces, whether relating to Scenery, or to Trades and Professions, or other Business of Active Life.

THIS division would require a lecture for itself, as all our Clackmannanshire Bards are fired with a love of Nature in its every form.   Here we enter the poet's universe of sight and sound.  The mountains with their grassy slopes, the wondrous vision of landscape unfolded from their summits, the hidden wealth of beauty in the deep glens rifting their sides, the revolving seasons with their sunshine and shower, storm and calm, flower and leaf - the fertile fields, the waving woods, the dense dark forests, the sparkling rills and clear meandering streams, the busy life of all trades and manufactures, the activities of daily work and business, the nestling villages, the gay towns and the broad sail-thronged river - are all transmuted by the poet's fancy, and touch his poetic sensibilities.  If these sensibilities are natural and healthy, there is true and real poetic sympathy between the world within him and the world without.  Wherever this real sympathy exists in an imaginative and poetic soul, the utterance, if there be utterance at all, is a genuine flow of inspiration.  To a man or a woman in this frame of mind all work is hallowed, all surroundings glorified, and all emotions sanctified.  By such an one the impressions received from Nature are given back in poetic guise blended with the emotions they have stirred within him, and blended also with the recreative and revivifying power which the light of his own imagination has shed upon them.  It is this reflex power of the inner, acting and reacting upon the outer world, that gives to this kind of poetry its deepest and purest attraction.  Here the poet discloses some tracings of the movements of his own soul.  This is the natural, blending with the spiritual, - the human with the divine.  It is the highest form of poetry of this kind, and proves the greatest mastery in the art, when the poet so paints scenes or occupations as to call them up vividly before us, and makes us feel that we are gazing upon well-remembered spots or are actually engaging in the very occupations.  Our minds are carried into the actual realities by the poets words.  It is for every one to judge for himself how far these sentiments apply to the pieces we here give.  The pieces selected are chiefly those which have not hitherto found their way to the public in book form.  In fact, very few of these latter will be given.  They are mostly poems or songs which have appeared only in manuscript.  Here is a sweet little snatch in honour of Menstrie Glen by


Menstrie Glen.

WITH pride I view the flocks of ewes,
And lambs that sport on Jarah's braes,
Where oft in boyhood I have trod
And pu'd the nuts and glossy slaes.
There have I roam'd when fancy led
My heart to hear the blackbird's strain,
And floods of love spring from the dove
Sweet cooing then in Menstrie Glen.

Yes, there I've roamed and viewed with pride
The flirting, chirping little wren
Gathering food for her young brood,
Sweet nestling in their foggy den.
Yes, these were days of heartfelt glee,
When I was young and doubly fain
To ramble 'mong the blooming whin
And craggy cliffs o' Menstrie Glen.

No more these tardy limbs of mine,
Shall roam those lovely paths again
To ruminate on scenes sublime-
Such as I've viewed in Menstrie Glen.
But still with pride I woo the tide,
That gurgles onward to the main;
It brings to mind my boyish days-
Days that cannot come again.

Mr. DAVID JACK kindly sends me the following, which he has set to music, and which he received in 1872 from the author,


a native of Clackmannan.  Mr. BURNS'S productions need no word of commendation from me.  They speak for themselves.  They are healthy, fresh, and genial, like a breeze from the Forth.  Mr. WILLIAM BURNS was born in 1825, went to sea when fourteen years of age, and got disabled on his second voyage, 1839.  In 1841 he went to Glasgow, and learned the business of a wood carver in Buchanan Street, where Stewart & M'Donald's retail show-rooms lately stood.  Mr. Burns came to Stirling in 1858, and worked on his own account till his health failed.  He then got a situation in the Caledanian Railway Company's service as time-keeper twelve years ago, and is still in it.  He is likewise author of "The Floweret," "Friendship's Cure," "Early Morn in Summer," "Tae Robin, my Schule-Mate, Clackmannan," "Daddy, tak' your bairn," "To the memory of the late William Drummond, Esq., Rockdale Lodge, Stirling," "Verses addressed to Cambuskenneth," "Designs," &c.

The Grinder.

WE are grinders one and all ajogging o'er life's road,
Following the wheel of our fortunes we plod,
The world has its pleasures as well as its care
Though the one will come unbidden, if the other you would share;

Then don't sit and grumble and rail against fate,
Make the most of the world as you find her,
Keep birrling round your wheel, and the merrier you drive,
The happier you'll be, says the grinder.

It is not ease and luxury win the laurel and the bay,
The heart that broods in discontent blights every blissful ray;
The willing labour of the hands, and the labour of the brain,
While sweating over useful toil, the fullest measure gain.
==_Chorus_-Then don't sit, &c.

Who do the deeds so grand and brave which wake the genial fire?
And thrill the world's heart of hearts in rapture to admire?
Not those who grudge the success, by their neighbours fairly won,
Nor will it be by you, unless you work as they have done.
==_Chorus_-Then don't sit, &c.

Then cherish independence-true nobility of soul,
Respect yourselves, but never seek your neighbour to control,
What's his, is his, don't trample on, nor rob him of his right,
But manfully, aiid honestly, and fair your battles fight.
==_Chorus_-Then don't sit, &c.

Courageously endeavour life's prizes fair to gain,
And should you fail, why! don't despair, be faithful, try again,
Not by the strong the battle aye, nor the swift the race is won,
Yet victory ne'er can be for those who neither fight nor run.
==_Chorus_-Then don't sit, &c.

Let all your aims be generous, be noble, good, and true,
And gallantly resolve to dare, yes! both to dare and do,
Thus conquer cankered discontent, and then, my friends, you'll find
Your happiness will bless the more, the merrier you grind.

So don't sit and grumble, and rail against fate,
Make the most of the world as you find her;
Keep birrling round your wheel, and the merrier you drive,
The happier you'll be, says the grinder.

Early Morn in Summer.

'Tis sweet to be with the fresh young morn,
As she strews with pearls the hours when born;
When shrouds of mist from the vales arise,
And the incense of earth ascends to the skies-
When the flowers ope their eyes in a dewy haze,
And their bosoms unfold to the life-giving rays;
When the bright green leaves in their freshest bloom
Are draped with webs from the spider's loom:
When insects dance in the warm young light,
And the opening leaves drink the dews of night:
When the hare speeds her way to the clovery lea,
And roaming 'mong nectarine flowers is the bee,
Cheerily sounding her humming song
As from petal to petal she passes along;
While high overhead, poised on quivering wings,
Her early matin the blythe lark sings,
Till heavenward, earthward travel her notes,
And pealing around her melody floats.
While the soaring sun still upward hies,
The arch-priest of earth's morning sacrifice;
Whose glowing beams gild the mountains' face,
And with lights and shadows their features grace;
Whose pure rays shine on the waters bright,
And the wavelets rush in a dance of light,
Joyously gurgling and brawling o'er
Their rocky bed by the copse clad shore,
Where tiny red specks for an instant gleam
As the trout leaps up from the glittering stream;
When the songs of birds in the glades grow rife
And Nature exulting rejoiceth in life:
And with fields and woods and hills proclaim
The source of greatness from whence all came:
All the soul is thrilled with the goodness and power,
Which give to the earth this glorious hour.

The Bruce and De Boun.

THE champion of England came forth from the ranks,
The rowels he struck in his charger's flanks;
Like an arrow they sped, his valour inflamed,
And a challenge defiant, he loudly proclaimed.

Our monarch hath mounted his palfrey so bold,
While he eyed the great warhorse in trappings of gold;
Returning defiance his trumpet has rung,
Then his country's fate in the balance was hung.

In his prowess, his valour, his God he has faith,
He will conquer for Scotland, or bravely meet death;
Nor dangers can daunt him, nor odds can appal,
But his brave heart proud Edward shall never enthral.

Undaunted he rode, the champion he neared,
For the fate of their monarch, his countrymen feared;
As the powers of his warsteed Sir Henry displayed,
The followers of Robert felt sad and dismayed.

They have met! and the sword of the champion gleam'd bright
As it glittering flashed in the sun's golden light;
His helmet and armour throw back the bright beams,
And the champion of England invincible seems.

The spurs in his warhorse with vigour he press'd,
And charg'd with a plunge at our brave monarch's breast;
The King! has he fallen? see! see!! he bends low,
Nay! the Bruce hath but swerved and avoided the blow.

Thy peril, De Boun, now thy valour will tax,
Like a giant the king swings his great battle axe;
He hath risen in the stirrups a vantage to gain,
And cleft down the helm of the champion in twain.

That blow, how ominous of Edward's defeat,
When his legions rushed backward in routed retreat;
Then freedom victorious by Bannock's red river,
Rais'd a shout which shall ring round old Scotland for ever.

My Ain Wife Yet.

MY ain wife an' me hae been saxteen years thegither,
And tho' at times a word or twa we've had wi' ane anither,
As soon's the blast had blawn bye, we then would forget,
And I've never seen a better than my ain wife yet.

My ain wife an' me do sometimes look back,
An' on our bits o' dirdums at times ha'e a crack;
Syne gar the lessons frae the past into the future tit,
An' I've never seen a better than my ain wife yet.

My ain wife tae me a guid wife has been,
An' whiles I think I loe her mair than when she was a quean,
An' we will share and share alike as lang's I hae a bit,
For I've never seen a better than my ain wife yet.

My ain wife an' me hae seen baith ups and douns,
But shouther unto shouther we fought wi' the loons;
And somehoo or ither wi' aye gar'd them flit,
An' I've never seen a better than my ain wife yet.

My ain wife an' me are still battlin' on,
Tae keep a house abune our heids, an' get the bairns a scone;
An' when they're men and women grown, I hope they'll ne'er forget,
The best friend they ever had, my ain wife yet.

What my wifie is to me she kens weel hersel',
But that's a secret 'tween us twa I'm no gaun to tell;
Yet for aye in my heart's core, an image there will sit,
For I've never seen a better than my ain wife yet.

The Wee Birdie's Whistle.

WHEN a' the lift aboon is mirk,
=And big clouds darkly lower,
And pelting fa' the heavy draps
=O' sorrow's thunder shower;
Aye look aboon wi' confidence
=And succour ye'll descry;
For a wee birdie whistles,
=There's sunshine in the sky.

When through the lang and lanely hours,
=Ye weary watch and dread,
And dool sits heavy on the heart,
=And dizzy grows the head;
Tak' comfort frae the thought and trust
=Your troubles soon will fly,
For a wee birdie whistles
=There's sunshine in the sky.

Tho' you've been nursed in poortith's lap,
=Thus meikle ye should ken,
The man wha's just and mercifu',
=The noblest is o' men;
Then manfully keep up your head,
=Ne'er snool and whine, nor cry,
For a wee birdie whistles
=There's sunshine in the sky.

If fast ye rin wi' fortune's tide,
=Trim weel the swelling sail,
The breeze that's blawin' saft the noo
=May turn into a gale;
Clip close the wings o' scornfu' pride,
=For fear it flee owre high,
For the wee birdie whistles
=There's prudence in the sky.

If rich in gear and strong in power,
=Be mercifu' as weel,
Nor dare to crush the poor beneath
=A proud despotic heel;
Howe'er exalted you will hear,
=In tones baith stern and high,
A wee birdie whistle
=There's vengeance in the sky.

Baith high and low o'er a' the earth
=Hae duties on them laid,
Then kindly lend a helpin' hand-
=Your strugglin' brither aid;
The rich may help the poor, the poor
=May not the rich envy,
For a wee birdie whistles,
=A wee birdie whistles,
==A wee birdie whistles,
==There's justice in the sky.

The following by Mr. BURNS was read to the Association by David Baxter, Esq, of Messrs. A. & J. Douglas, Buchanan Street, Glasgow - the Robin alluded to is Robert Anderson, Esq., ex-Provost of Stirling:-

Tae Robin, my Schoolmate, Clackmannan.

THERE'S mair than thirty years, Robin,
=Been laid beneath the mool,
Sin' we were bairns thegither, Robin,
=Toddlin' to the schule-

Sin' we stood side by side, Robin,
=And reverent closed the eye,
And heard the morning prayer, Robin,
=Addressed to Him on high.

When ither tasks were through, Robin,
=Ye'll mind it was the rule,
To read the Book o' Books, Robin,
=Ere skailin' o' the schule;
The partin' blessin' gi'en, Robin,
=We scampered aff wi' glee-
It's been a pleasin' dream, Robin,
=Through thirty years to me.

The Saturdays you'll mind, Robin,
=We tasted freedom then,
We were nae langer boys, Robin,
=But mighty huntin' men.
Our breeks were buckled hi', Robin,
=Till legs and knees were bare,
Then bickered o'er the fields, Robin,
=Playing "catch the hare."

Awa' o'er the Bride's Craft, Robin,
=Wi' lithesome limbs we'd scour,
Acrosa the green brae's face, Robin,
=An' round by the auld tower;
Among the ne'stlin' ivy, Robin,
=Upon its moulderin' wall,
We'd snugly hide, and hear, Robin,
=Our comrades' gathering call.

Our pleasures were as keen, Robin,
=I'll wad a siller groat,
As bigger folks that rode, Robin,
=Dressed in a scarlet coat.
Sae little worth's the crap, Robin,
=That grows on pleasure's field;
But deeds o' purpose noble, Robin,
=Gie aye a glorious yield.

Then through the matted hedge, Robin,
=Wi' peerin' e'en we'd keek,
To rob the wee birds' nests, Robin,
=Our selfish hands would seek.
I trust we've tried since syne, Robin,
=Mair honest sense to gain,
Than gratify oorsel's, Robin,
=While ge'in' ithers pain.

Whiles doun at the auld cross, Robin,
=We'd eager ply the game,
And jink about the steeple, Robin,
=Or round the muckle stane.
The peerie whiles we'd spin, Robin,
=Whiles play at "buff the boar,"
Near deavin' Annie Higgins, Robin,
=Wi' oor confoundin' roar.

Whiles playin' at the ba', Robin,
=Or playin' at "high spie"-
Whiles quarrellin' o'er the bools, Robin,
=Wi' dinsome words and high.
Frae laddies men might learn, Robin,
=Their differences to mend,
For war and peace wi' us, Robin,
=Did aye thegither blend.

The memory o' thae times, Robin,
=A pleasure aye can gie;
And I hae littlc doubt, Robin,
=The pleasure aft you pree.
When sittin' by the ingle, Robin,
=Cheered wi' its kindly glow,
Musin' on the days, Robin,
=O' thirty years ago.


King o' Muirs, lately deceased, woo'd the Muses with unflagging energy.  Many of his pieces have appeared in our Alloa weeklies, and always with acceptance.  Ploughing matches, shows of the agricultural society, of which he was poet laureate, epistles and replies to friends and acquaintances, acrostics, strikes, failures, successes, and old schoolfellows, go to make up a respectable total of literary matter.  Being naturally a man of kind heart, benevolent, and fearless, he expressed in his songs the like tenderness and frankness combined.  Hating meanness, he sometimes speaks strongly in his poems, but always with a strict regard to truth.  Moving about amongst us for such a length of time - frank, free, and joyous - a veritable king of men, his _soubriquet_ of "Old King" will not soon be forgotten.  It is a pleasure to preserve the song he composed on Burns, and which he sang at the Alloa Royal Oak Banquet on the centenary night-

Burns, the Poet Ploughman.

COME brother ploughmen, join wi' me,
While I attempt a sang to gie,
About a brother wha plough'd at lea
==Some eighty years ago, man,
=He was a Bard wha plough'd and sang,
===Plough'd and sang, man,
===Plough'd and sang, man,
=He was a Bard wha plough'd and sang,
===As ne'er a ane could do man.
=He was a Bard wha plough'd and sang,
=Till Scotland braid, again it wrang,
=And a' before him dumb he dang,
===Burns, the Poet ploughman.

The gentry o' him stood in awe,
And hypocrites their pows did claw,
Altho' his back was at the wa',
==He fear'd the face o' nae man.
=He rhym'd and wrote just as he thought,
===As he thought, man,
===As he thought, man,
=He rhym'd and wrote just as he thought,
===All admit that's true, man.
=He rhym'd and wrote just as he thought,
=And forth the richest strains he brought,
=For Scotland's weel he ever fought,
===Burns, the Poet ploughman.

He set auld Scotland on her feet,
She fear'd nae friend or foe to meet,
But kept the crown o' ev'ry street,
==He did inspire her so, man.
=Since then she's keepit aye erect,
===Aye erect, man,
===Aye erect, man,
=Since then she's keepit aye erect
===Whenever she does go, man.
=Since then she's keepit aye erect,
=Her Sons where'er, command respect,
=And wrang we'd be, did we neglect
===The birth of this great ploughman.

One hundred years ha'e passed awa',
Since first the light o' day he saw
This night let us be joyful a'
==For our great benefactor.
=The gude he's done nae tongue can name,
===Tongue can name, man,
===Tongue can name, man,
=The gude he's done nae tongue can name,
===Baith for me and you, man.
=The gude he's done nae tongue can name,
=Our foes he's put them a' to shame,
=Their ill-bred tongues he soon did tame,
===Burns, the Poet ploughman.

This night, come let us sing his sangs,
And overlook his many wrangs,
They cost him many bitter pangs,
==He did repent him true, man,
=We ken we've bits of fau'ts oursel,
===Fau'ts oursel, man,
===Fau'ts oursel, man,
=We ken we've plenty fau'ts oursel,
===And some o' them gae blue, man.
=We ken we've plenty faults oursel,
=O' them we like nae to hear tell,
=On Rabbie's then, we mauna dwell,
===Burns, the wonder ploughman.

Come gies "Her een o' bonny blue;"
Or, "Duncan Gray cam here to woo;"
Or, how "The deil cam fiddling through,
==And danc'd awa excisemen."
=Or, "Auld Rab Morris, in the glen,"
===In the glen, man,
===In the glen, man,
=Or, auld Rab Morris, in the glen,
===Though whiles he got him fu', man,
=Or, auld Rab Morris, in the glen;
=Or, ony ane ye better ken,
=You hae a wale o' ten times ten,
===Frae Burns, the Poet ploughman.

Ye mauna gie "Auld Langsyne," yet,
A wee while langer we may sit,
But when we're ready a' to flit,
==We'll sing it through and through, man,
="Should auld acquaintance be forgot,"
===Be forgot, man,
===Be forgot, man,
=Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
===No, that we'll never do, man,
=Should auld acquaintance be forgot-
=No, ne'er by any true born Scot;
=An' may his name for ever rot,
===Wha likes nae Burns, the ploughman.

A happy night come let us spend,
And treat our neighbour as our friend,
As we draw near unto our end,
==Do nothing we need rue man.
=Another Centenary we'll ne'er see,
===We'll ne'er see, man,
===We'll ne'er see, man,
=Another Centenary we'll ne'er see,
===Soon we must bid adieu, man.
=Another Centenary we'll ne'er see,
=Unto the one rock let us flee,
=For very shortly we'll a' be,
===Wi' Burns, the Poet ploughman.

On the 28th November, 1844, the following letter was sent to M'Martin's Inn, Alva, with a candlestick which the innkeeper had borrowed of the _king_, to grace a dinner to Mr. Roy, of Balquharan:-

Rhyming Letter.

DEAR Archie M'Martin, I oftentimes find
Your candlesticks such as are not to my mind;
I've sent you one over to grace Roy's Feast-
If it is not the largest, I hope it's not least.
It's one which I used on the 19th November,
My youngest son's birthnight, and well I remember
'Twas admired by the party who saw it that night;-
It held a large candle that shone clear and bright.
Put a good mould into it, and, raised pretty high,
It will give a clear light to all who are nigh;
But I beg from the teeth of Mack's calves you'll it keep,
And out of the reach of the Burnt Mill sheep;
For, if they find the smell, they would like too to taste-
To some of your weardies it would be a feast;
And when you are through with it, send it home again,
So I, for the present, your servant remain.

==Dear M'Martin,
====Yours truly,

The following is a sample of Mr. DRYSDALE's powers of humour.  He had written to a neighbour (Buckieburn) giving him his advice, and the following is his answer of thanks to his own epistle:-

Rab Thanking his Neighbour for his Advice,

AULD neighbour, ye hae been sae kind
In frankly telling me your mind,
Gieing me sic a guid advice,
Wished me tae tak it and be wise.
To tak it, neighbour, I was inclined,
It was sae muckle tae my mind;
Since then I hae been looking out
'Mong a' the families round about-
Especially whare there were young women,
And fathers had something to gie them,-
Was treated weel whare'er I went,-
I think they a' my errand kent.
=At length and lang I hae fa'en in,
At you Laird's near the muckle Bin;
Ye ken he has a gaucy doughter-
I didna dally-frankly sought her.
She me accepted, said na' nay,
Bade me come back some other day,
And lad, she says, ye'll no be lang-
Hame I a happy man did gang.
She wasna like M'Leish's doughter,
When Laird Cockpen gaed there and sought her;
She turned the puir auld laird about,
And to his tail she preened a clout,
And bade him ne'er come back here more,
And quietly showed him to the door.
I hae been back three times since then,
And every time was taken ben,
Whare we our lanes might bill and coo,
And whare I quietly preed her moo',
And, O vow, man, but it was sweet;
It raised in my heart such a heat,
The like before I never felt:
My very heart was like to melt-
There wasna muckle ill in that-
And aye our love the closer gat.
The very next time I gaed back,
I wi' the auld folk had a crack;
Had a' the matter settled nicely-
I'm sure ye'll say I acted wisely.
I need not say they were well pleased,
And baith our minds it greatly eased;
The auld folks then gae us advice
Aye to be cautious, douce and wise,
And aye be kind to ane anither-
She some day yet would be a mither.
There's naething now but name the day,
And I'll leave that to her to say;
I'm very sure it won't be lang-
As soon as she gets through her thrang
In gettin' a' her muntin' gathered.
Although I say't, she's gey weel feathered,
My gaucy, soncy, honest Jenny;
She's nane the waur o' her guid penny,
And routh o' gear to fill my house,
Nae wonder than I'm crawin' crouse.
We're sure to hae a noble weddin';
Baith sides o' Carron's to be bidden-
A' the Adams and a' the Quidden,
And a' the Laings are to be bidden;
A' the Bennies and a' the Dabbies,
And a' the hale o' our half nabbies.
And, lad, your wether will get a fricht,
We'll pike his banes that very nicht,
And syend them doun wi' best o' nappy,
Till every ane's baith fou and happy;
And then we'll hae fun at the beddin',
As e'er was at a Hieland weddin'.
=I'm proud I'll no hae lang to weary
When I'll get hame my dearest deary,
And never mair hae cause to mourn,
While she's the Queen o' Buckieburn.

It was one of the greatest treats imaginable to hear Mr. DRYSDALE sing the songs which he had himself composed.  At festive gatherings, curling club meetings, and agricultural society meetings, he was ever ready, and "kept the table in a roar."  The following "song" was sung by him at an agricultural society dinner:-


You enterprising farmers, come view our show all round,
Examine very narrowly the stock upon the ground;
For this I affirm (quite fearless of defeat),
There's no county in Scotland that can our county beat.
==Derry down, down, hey, derry down.

Our short-horned stock, you all will agree,
In no county in England the better will you see;
And our Ayrshires, I'm sure, they are very fair,
No better can you find within fifty miles of Ayr.
==Derry down, etc.

Our young stock is promising, and great praise is due
To Ritchie and Boosie, and farmers such as you,
Who do improve their stock to such an extent,
And tell us, poor farmers, that's the way to pay our rent.
==Derry down, etc.

Our brood mares and fillies, for husbandry I mean,
For symmetry and beauty are a treat to be seen;
And those for road or field, sure you never saw the like,
How swiftly they'd leap over either hurdile, hedge, or dyke.
==Derry down, etc.

Our sheep wi' black faces are far from being bad,
Considering the spring and the pasture they have had;
And those with the white, with their fine woolly coats-
Ye canna find them better atween this and John O'Groat's.
==Derry down, etc.

There is grumphy, though last, all good of their kin'-
It is of great importance a proper breed of swine.
Examine Mitchell's porkers, and with me you will agree,
Though you travel through all Ireland, none better you will see.
==Derry down, etc.

To encourage manufacture, a premium we do gie;
And unto such perfection we've brought that art, you see,
Within we have our little county we weave so neat and clean,
That we have sent some dresses to Victoria our Queen.
==Derry down, etc.

For the raising of large turnips, and curing hay so sweet,
And for draining of our land, we do it so complete,
With the best of materials, such as wood, stone, and tiles,
And the av'rage drained for premiums is fully thirty miles.
==Derry down, etc.

There's the produce of our stock, our butter and our cheese,
So nutritious and so fine, any palate it can please;
And our guid tarry woo', and likewise our white,
When wove, dressed and clean, might be cleadin' for a knight.
==Derry down, etc.

The judges, they have told you, their task was very hard
(The stock being so good), in giving their award;
I beg they will accept of the best of our thanks-
Messrs. Stobie and Carmichael, and Henderson from Banks.
==Derry down, etc.

Now, I beg, Mr. President, you will excuse my rhyme,
And gentlemen all round, for encroaching on your time;
I have only one request, which I hope you will do-
Drink to our noble selves, for like us there are but few.
==Derry down, etc.

Mr. JOHN WADDELL, of the _Alloa Circular_, sends me the following notice of Mr. WESTWOOD.


Was born in Alloa in 1850, but spent the greater part of his boyish days at Forrestmill, a lonely sequestered spot, and where the young and gentle MICHAEL BRUCE - author of many exquisite poems, and some of the best of our Paraphrases - kept school for some time.  The education of James was not extensive, as may be easily supposed, when it is stated that he entered the mill as a piecer boy in 1860, being then only ten years of age.  A willing pursuit, however, after a knowledge of letters, made up in a large degree, for a more careful scholastic education.  From the humble position of a piecer boy, as above mentioned, he carefully and diligently plodded his way, bit by bit, until now he has the management or oversight of a flat of self-acting spinning-jennies in the same mill.  Some of his poems are beautiful in style, possessing tender simplicity.  He evidently knows his own limit, and, therefore, does not attempt to soar too high.  Without presuming to rank even as a local luminary, has produced several poems of a true, homely nature, that quite entitle him to a niche in the temple of local poets.


YE woodlands and valleys o' auld Forestmill,
How aft, in sweet fancy, I wander thee still;
When Spring's budding blossom encircled my brow,
And youth's fairy visions decked ilka green knowe.

How lovely thy landscape-adorned with flowers;
And balmy the breath of thy gay rural bowers:
Where, soaring in flight to regions on high,
The lark hymns its praise in the deep azure sky.

The blythe joyous cuckoo, bright herald of Spring,
Flits o'er thy wild upland on light airy wing,
To welcome the dawn of the gay virgin year,
With its music and love, its hope and its cheer.

Flow gently, sweet Devon, thy green woods among,
My bosom re-echoes thy soft murmuring song;
In childland's fair pathway I fain would abide,
And taste thy bright waters, swift rolling in pride.

How oft 'neath the shade of thy gay woodlands wide,
'Mid the deep'ning calm of the grey eventide,
The young artless poet would pensively stroll,
With the day-star of hope beaming clear in his soul.

Here Nature in season her beauties disclose,
And peace, like a sunbeam, o'er the rude hamlet glows;
While the young aud the old, the thoughtful and gay,
All share in the battle of life's fleeting day.

Long, long, may the youths and maidens revere
Thy bright fairy scones and memories dear;
And, musing with pleasure, we'll aye cherish still
The broom-covered valleys o' fair Forestmill.

Oh, Scotland! I love Thee.

OH, Scotland! I love thee-thy dim-crested mountains,
Thy calm moorland streams, and snow-flooded fountains;
Where the proud waving thistle, and red heather grows,
And the hill-wimpling brook in sweet cadence flows.

=Land of the torrent, the streamlet, and glen;
=Land of sweet maidens, and brave honest men;
=Land of the pibroch, the tartan, and plaid,
=Round thy time-honoured name a halo is shed.

Thy dark-rolling rivers, how sweetly they glide,
By grand hoary pile, and grey mountain side;
How thrilling the music onward they sweep,
To mingle their waves with the fathomless deep.

=Land of the torrent, etc.

How rugged thy cliffs by the wild surging main,
Where grandeur, and silence, and solitude reign;
Where, watching its prey, the fierce eagle alone
Sits silent and proud on its cold stormy throne.

=Land of the torrent, etc.

Thy martyrs have perished by gibbet and sword,
Defending the faith of their Master and Lord;
But calmly they rest in their love-hallowed graves,
By purple hillsides and dark ocean's waves.

=Land of the torrent, etc.

And dear to our hearts are the warriors bold,
Who wielded their blades in the battles of old-
Who conquered and bled for their own native land,
With its song-stirring woodlands and mountains so grand.

=Land of the torrent, the streamlet, and glen;
=Land of sweet maidens, and brave honest men;
=Land of the pibroch, the tartan, and plaid,
=Round thy time-honoured name a halo is shed.

When Gloamin' Fa's.

When gloamin' fa's softly roun' oor ain cheerie hame,
=And the blackie sits pipin' its sweet e'enin' prayer,
How enraptur'd my bosom, when the wee bits o' bairns
=A' join in a sang roun' my auld easy chair.

There's auld-farrant Jamie, sae blythesome and toosie,
=He's the pride o' my heart, and the star o' my e'e;
Wi' his wee sister Mary he romps late and early,
=In hame-born love an' sweet innocent glee.

Sae fondly they play out an' in the hale day,
=At keek-bo and jumpin' and chasin' ilk ither;
An' tho' they plump doon, wi' a dump on the croon,
=It's heal'd aye fu' sure wi' a kiss frae their mither.

Like wee vocal birds in the saft simmer wuds,
=That welcome the smile o' the bricht blushin' morn,
Sae happy and gay the lang simmer day,
=Carolin' there songs frae the sweet-scented thorn.

Sae happie at e'en, wi' my dear wifie Teen,
=And the lammies sae gleesome beside us;
Fu' aften I pray, and hope ilka day,
=That the Lord may be near aye to guide us.

Auld Sotland's Heathy Hills.

I LO'E auld Scotland's heathy hills,
=Ilk glen and gow'ny brae:
The wimplin' o' the siller stream,
=Abune the lav'rocks lay.
The sheltered nook aneath the crag,
=Whaur lovers aft, unseen,
Renew the vow and breathe the tale,
=O' tender love at e'en.

I lo'e auld Scotland's heathy hills,
=Sae hoary, wild, and free,
Whaur ilka bonnie bloomin' flower
=Keeps honey for the bee-
The mossy vale and flow'ry dale,
=The briery moorland fells,
The yellow whin and bosky linn,
=Whaur rugged nature dwells.

I lo'e auld Scotland's heathy hills,
=Ilk deep and dowie den,
The shieling on the muirland, wi'
=Its cosie but and ben.
The browny knowes and ferny fens,
=Whaur sunbeams brightly play,
And linties pipe their am'rous strains
=Upon the thorny spray.

I lo'e auld Scotland's heathy hills,
=Whaur martyrs aft hae stood
An' sung aloud the guid auld Psalms
=In peaceful solitude.
Deep in the glen our fathers sleep,
=Whaur loud the burnie raves,
And lily-bells, wi' fragrance sweet,
=Bloom o'er their lonely graves.

To the Mates of my Childhood,

=="Dear are the days of youth, age dwells
On their remembrance through the mist of years." - OSSIAN.

O, WHERE are the comrades so dear to my ken?
That hunted wi' mirth the wee rabbit's den,
And wandered the forest and green mossy dell,
And gathered wi' me the blue heather-bell.

In youth's balmy days, with our visions so bright,
We roamed through the valleys with boundless delight;
No thought of the world, its burden and care,
Since life was a rosebud, all beauteous and fair.

How blythesome our heart, and how cheery our look,
When fancy would lead by the still purling brook,
Where often at eve, 'neath the calm moonlit beam,
We painted the page of life's golden dream.

And often I think of the bright joyous days,
When we shouted and ran o'er the Forestmill braes;
And paddled about the sweet gurgling rills
That ripple aye music from steep verdant hills.

And dear to my heart are the raptures of home,
Its fair flowery gems and ivy-clad dome,
Where the wild-bird re-echoes his song of repose,
And the air is perfumed with the sweet-scented rose.

But those gay laughing youths are withered and gone,
And left me, alas! to pine here alone;
Yet sweet is the thought, when mem'ry is cast
On the dear happy scenes of the shadowy past.


follows with his worldly wisdom that "Siller's worth a Host of Friends," with which sentiment he immediately tackles, and appears to reduce his own proposition to a very different conclusion.  He thereupon follows up both these opinions by a happy description of "A Meetin' o' Freens and Neebours"-

Siller's Worth a Host of Friends.

SOME bawbees in a corner snug,
=Is worth a host of friends;
For when you're puir and sickly laid,
=There's scarcely ane attends.
But if you've got some glittering tin,
=And plenty gear beside,
It's how do you do, they'll bend and boo,
=And gang wi' you an' bide.

Altho' you be a man o' sense,
=And plenty wisdom tae,
But scarce o' siller in your purse,
=You'll soon row doon the brae.
And when you fa' you're keepit down,
=Nae helpin' hand you'll get,
For a' your friends will pass you by,
=Tho' fastened in a net.

But if you hae an honest heart,
=And ane that's leal and true,
You'll weather a' your ups and doons,
=And bear them easy through.
For poverty's nae sin, I trow,
=Altho' its sair to bear,
And often in distresses deep,
=Each man but gets his share.

An honest man altho' he's puir,
=Is worth a mine of gold,
For he's content wi' what he's got,
=Tho' never bought or sold.
Tho' many hardships he came through,
=By toiling hard and sair,
Yet he finds peace and happiness,
=Sae sweet, sae rich, and rare.

For Tib, or Jenny's at the door,
=Tae cheer him wi' a smile,
And a' the bairns aroond the hearth,
=Bring ease to a' his toil.
His clean wee house and cosy biel,
=And a' things shining bright-
The cheery wife and merry bairns,
=Mak' aye his labour light.

A Meetin' of Freens and Neighbours.

NOO freens and neighbours, since we're met,
Let's hae our whissels nicely wet,
==In memory of oor friend,
That lives beyond Auld Scotland's Isle;
Awa frae us four hundred mile,
==And something mair on end.

Noo since we've a' got seated richt,
And everything made snug and ticht,
==We'll taste the barley bree;
And drink to him that's far awa.
Wha often fills the puir man's sta',
==And sometimes cleeds him tae.

Come let us hae a jolly nicht,
And may oor hearts be free and licht,
==While we thegither be;
For Jamie is a doonricht chield,
Wha has a heart that's never sealed,
==But open, frank, and free.

Auld Peggie's in the corner snug,
As cosy as the pettit dowg,
==That sits before the fire;
Wha yet retains her memory weel,
Wi' her guid tongue, jist like an eel,
==That never seems tae tire.

And sae oor freen, my Johnnie lad,
A canty chield that ne'er feels sad,
==But always free and gay;
Wha sits beside the ingle nook,
As sharp as ony lance or hook,
==And catching a' we say.

Noo, Charley lad, ca' roon the dram,
This meetin's no a farce or sham,
==But earnest hearts we hae;
And mind aye him that's far awa,
That some day yet he'll gie's a ca',
==Doon owre the causey brae.

Here's health and strength tae Jamie lad,
His wife and family's hearts made glad,
==And blessings on their hame;
May grief and sorrow pass their door,
Awa tae some wild foreign shore,
==A port they winna claim.

Noo freens and cronies, big and sma',
We've met wi' hearts as pure as snaw,
==Withoot ae thocht o' ill;
But in sweet friendships happy bliss,
Let naething said be taen amiss,
==Tho' owre a sonsy gill.

And let oor hearts be mated weel
Aroond this heartstane's cosy biel',
==In every tender form,
And mind the lad that gaed tae sea,
Wi' mony a sad and tearfu' e'e,
==While on the raging storm.

For it's through him we've met this nicht,
A jolly meetin', free and bricht,
==Wi' honest hearts and true;
And may we feel like brothers dear,
And ne'er hae cause tae shed a tear,
==But feel a happy crew.

Another prolific writer was


A native of Tillicoultry, but for many years resident in Sauchie.  Many of his pieces are pleasing and rhythmical, and he occasionally displays great strength of wing and uncommon power of versification.  Witness his verses on-

We Fight for our Bread in the Battle of Life.


WE fight for our bread in the battle of life,
With hearts whiles sad and whiles cheery,
Though riches and honours around us are rife,
The share is but small that we get in the strife-
While our patience with waiting grows weary.
In our actions and aims we may oftimes have erred,
But from telling the truth we will ne'er be deterred,
For our hearts have grown sick with hope long deferred,
And our way through the world made dreary-
Getting daily more dismal and dreary.

Our humble ambition aspires not in flight
To Utopia's regions so airy,
Nor seek we those wonders that dreamers delight
To paint in their fancy-filled visions so bright-
Of such schemes we have ever been chary.
Let us strive not to reach what we ne'er can attain,
Nor loose not our hold when a part we can gain,
But keep what we get till the whole we obtain,
And ever he watchful and wary-
It is wise to be watchful and wary.

In the wish that all men from their wrongs may be freed,
We will yield not in zeal unto any;
Let us seek for it earnest in word and in deed-
There is something that whispers we yet will succeed,
If we work for it cautious and canny.
Plain means to an end, let us keep aye in view,
And the path to that end let us peaceful pursue,
For we want not to take what belongs to the few,
But we want what belongs to the many-
Only justice we want for the many.

The Dull Time Comin'.


Noo since the simmer season's past,
And harvest moons are waning fast,
We ken oor trade's no' lang to last,
=Sae we'll a sang be hummin',
The pith of which we mean to be
The ills puir weavers aft maun hae,
And twa-three warnin' words to gie,
=On the dull time comin'.

When trade aff wi' the swallow flees,
If weavers noo wou'd live at ease,
They maun be like the honey bees
=Thro' a' the simmer comin';
And when their pay is in their fist,
Some twa-three bawbees wont be missed,
Laid in some corner o' their kist,
=For the dull time comin'.

Shopkeepers sigh, and say, "Alas!
Pass-books hae come to sic a pass,
Wha' wou'd keep them wou'd be an ass,
=When lang arrears they're summin'."
A wary watch will farmers keep
For fear, by nicht, they tak' a neep,
An' undermine a tatie heap,
=In the dull time comin'.

Sae weavers this advice we gie-
Work hard and mak' your shuttles flee,
And tramp your treadles, till ye see
=Your hinmost keel and thrum in;
Then when your trade nae mair is thrang,
And wabs are scarce and nichts are lang,
Sing canty by your fires this sang
=In the dull time comin'.


A native of Alloa, sings:-

Remembrances of Youth and Home.

ON yonder side of that dark moat,
And not so far's yon Highland cot,
I've often spent long happy days
'Midst kindly hearts and tender lays.

'Midst music to delight the ear
I've often held the huntsman's spear,
And followed in the jovial chase,
With many friends, who did it grace.

I cannot count the hours of ploy
In yon sweet vale I did enjoy,
Beside those friends I lov'd so dear,
Whose memory still I do revere.

With sorrow of full many a kind
I left these pleasures all behind;
Even that sweet spot behind yon moat,
And not so far's yon Highland cot.

Remorseless time moves on apace,
Oblivion soon fills up its place,
And friendships which were form'd of old
Have passed by like a tale that's told.

All's silent on yon village green,
And nought but crumbling ruins seen;
For with the speed of fleeting years,
Deserted home soon disappears.

That village once with joy and mirth,
Where gladsome hearts sat round each hearth,
Once cheered the wanderer's weary way,
When jaded sore he there did stray.

No more resounds the hunter's chore,
Where merry chimes were heard before;
No more the stranger winds his way
To that sad heap of mould'ring clay.

All's silent now, save the bleak wind's howl,
With the mournful shriek of the reckless owl,
And the gurgling stream with its rippling wave,
All else seems still as the silent grave.

The following "Curling Song" by JAMES CHRISTIE we must give on account of its vivid descriptive power:-

Moorland Loch.

MY song shall be o' Moorland Loch,
=Where hostile bands are troopin',
Wi' channel stanes for rough or smooth,
=And guid broom cowes for soopin'.

They come frae glens 'bout John o' Groats,
=And south frae Gallowa',
And eastward frae the neuk o' Fife,
=And west frae dark Loch Awe.

Young Athol's Duke frae fair Dunkeld
=(His sire we miss him sairly);
Dalhousie frae the banks o' Esk,
=And Ogilvy frae Airly.

Strathallan frae his lordly ha',
=Colquhoun frae Luss and Balloch,
M'Gregor frae Loch Lomond's side,
=And Campbell frae Glenfalloch.

The day has dawned, the tees are marked,
=The crampit's pointed fairly,
The cannon booms, the besoms wave,
=The combat opens rarely.

"Weel played!" they cry, as up the rink
=A canny stane comes creepin',
And safely ower the dead hog score,
=Aside the tee is sleepin'.

"Jist follow that," is noo the cry,
="Oh, man, be sure and steady;"
"Soop! soop it up! it winna dae,"
="Waes nem a hog already!"

"Oh, for a guard, a bonny guard!"
="Draw canny," cries another:
"Wick!" "Chip the winner!" "Crack an egg!"
=Are ringin' a' thegither.

Hour after hour, along the ice
=The polished stances are glancing,
While mirthful hope and ruddy health
=On ilka face are dancing.

The wintry day draws near a close,
=The wintry sun's descended;
The cannon booms-the lists are still-
=A nation's bonspiel's ended.

Three cheers ring to the welkin height,
=And owre the mountains hoary;
The North hae lost: and wi' the South
=Remains the palm o' glory.


Mr. LOTHIAN, of the _Alloa Advertiser_, kindly permits me to make use of "Scenes around Alloa" by another of our bards, Mr. JAMES GALE, of Alloa.  There is every reason to fear that the talented author of these graphically descriptive lines will never again take "harp in hand."  As one of the crew of an American vessel, the "Yeamesea," he sailed from Liverpool in 1858, and the vessel was lost in February, 1859.  The crew were reported "saved," but Mr. Gale was never afterwards heard of.  He was a diffident disposition, but yet an eminently gifted son of song, and the numerous productions of his pen are characterised by fine imagination, generous feeling, and patriotic sentiment. - vide, _Alloa and its Environs_.

Scenes Around Alloa.

ON far South Afric's sunny strand
I'll strike the harp of fatherland,
And wak' the Caledonian lay
On the wild shores of Table Bay.
Though mighty waters intervene,
Though stormy waters rave between,
I'll throw my fancy o'er the sea
Proud Caledonia unto thee-
And sing of mountain, crag, and dell,
Fair valley, mead, and verdant swell,
Where flows the Forth's romantic tide,
Where Devon's crystal waters glide,
And soaring proudly to the skies,
The lovely Ochil mountains rise-
There for a while my muse shall stray,
And tune the lyre to native lay.

O, beauteous region! all around
What scenes of loveliness abound-
Scenes to the child of nature dear,
Which Scotia's patriot hearts revere.
If to the west you turn your eyes,
Majestic mountains kiss the skies,
Where in the feudal days of old
Dwelt haughty chief and clansmen bold.
Beyond old Strilia's lofty towers,
Benlomond's giant mountain lowers-
There soars the hill of Benvenue,
And proud Benledi's mountain blue-
And there Demyat's lordly form
Rears his twin summit to the storm.
High on the north the Ochils green
With Alpine beauties clothe the scene,
And shelter from the boisterous gale
Romantic Devon's lovely vale,
Whose stream in peaceful beauty smiles,
Or in the foaming cauldron boils;
While east and south rich scenes display
Of meadow, woodland, hill, and brae.

To Caledonian patriot true
What scenes of interest meet the view!
From yon bold crag which soars on high,
And frowns upon the passer-by,
Wallace, of perishless renown,
On England's fearless host look'd down,
Then quickly to his country's aid
Called forth each patriot's glittering blade
The sword of Scotland's freedom drew,
Around him ranged his warriors true,
And, rushing to the vale below,
Dealt havoc 'mid the astonished foe,
Till winding Forth's romantic shore
With brave men's blood was crimson'd o'er.

And yon is Falkirk's fatal field,
Where Scotia's sons were forc'd to yield;
Where many a patriot bosom bled-
Where dauntless Graeme and Stuart died-
And many a nameless hero fell,
Whose daring deeds no song shall tell.
These Stirling's turrets meet the view,
Where oft proud Scotia's standard flew;
And Cambuskenneth's ancient tower,
A monument of Romish pow'r,
Where many a maiden's vows were given
To be the stainless "bride of heaven."
There Tullibody claims a name
High on the list of Scottish fame,
Who led the dauntless British band,
And fell on Egypt's sultry sand!

Clackmannan's old and ruin'd walls
Once held the patriot Bruce's halls-
And the lone pile of Alloa
Was oft the scene of festal gay-
When Mar's bold chiefs o'er Scotia's land
In peace and war held high command.

Now turn you to the east away,
Behold Dunfermline's "Abbey grey,"
Where sleeps the dust of those whose fame
Shall live while lasts the Scottish name-
Of him, the "bravest of the brave,"
Who freedom to his country gave
And her who to her fathers bore
The peerless gem of Saxon lore-
When from the Norman's ire she fled,
And with the virtuous Malcolm wed-
And, with a guardian angel's hand,
Spread heavenly blessings o'er the land;
Proving, with stainless purity,
What mother, wife, or queen should be!

In classic Dollar's lovely dell,
Where sage instruction loves to dwell-
That bold unbending man of God
Who in stern duty's pathway trod,
Nor ever shunn'd the glorious strife,
Once broke and bless'd the bread of life!

Yon wild romantic mountain keep,
Perch'd on the dizzy Alpine steep,
Tradition says was long the hold
Of dating Kemp, the bandit bold;
And there in feudal days did shine,
The patriot chiefs of Dermid's line,
Till Mull's wild island warriors came
And round it rais'd the fiery flame.

Fair region! - peace and plenty still,
With happiness thy children fill-
Still may they glow with gratitude,
To God, "the Giver of all good."
And when with joy they look around,
On Caledonia's "hallow'd ground,"
Where patriots flourished, fought and fell,
May generous pride their bosoms swell,
And may their actions never shame,
The glory Of their country's fame!

Then to yon southern uplands turn,
Behold the field of Bannockburn-
Where in the summer's breeze did wave
The battle-flag of Bruce the brave-
When Caledonia's patriots true
Proud Albion's legions overthrew-
Whose gallant warriors, struck with fear,
Fled fast before the avenger's spear.

O, may thy brave sons ever be
The sons of Christian liberty!
Meek followers of their Saviour's laws;
Bold patriots in their country's cause;
And eager that the light divine
On every darken'd land should shine.
Love's heavenly passion to inspire,
And nourish virtue's sacred fire,
To pour the balm of household bliss-
(That heaven of earthly happiness)-
And make thy homes with gladness shine-
Be, beauteous daughters, ever thine!
Whom truth and holiness adorn-
Bright be they as the beam of morn,
Meek as the lovely heather bell,
That blooms in lonely mountain dell-
And purer than the winter snow,
That crowns Bencleuch's majestic brow-
Or glitters in the western sky
On yonder Alpine summits high!

Adieu, fair region! cease my lay!-
Hark! Cape Town Castle greets the day-
The sun behind yon mountains high
Is kindling up the eastern sky.
Ny fancy o'er the glancing main
Return to Afric's strand again,
For soon, upon the Indian seas,
Our barque shall seek the favouring breeze-
When on the shores of fair Ceylon
The fragant isle of cinnamon-
The lovely "Eden of the sea;"
Where waves the stately cocoa tree-
Again beneath some verdant shade,
I'll woo the Muse, angelic maid;
Again I'll take my harp in hand,
And wake a lay to Scotia's land!

I can only mention the names of others who have written many excellent pieces, but I cannot here give quotations.  Such are:- Lady CHARLOTTE WAKE, of Harviestoun, sister of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, "Grizell Cochrane, or the Daughter Dear;" Mr. JAMES MACLARDY, "Oh, my Love was Fair," "The Sunny Days;"  Rev. PETER STEWART, late minister of Gilmerton, numerous poems in local newspapers; Mr. THOMAS RUSSELL, "The Burning of the Effigy" and other poems; Dr. MYLNE, "Slavery," etc.; Mr. MATTHEW BRYDIE, "Reminiscences of a Grecian," "The Mystery of Time," and other poems; Dr. ARCHIBALD BLELOCH, "A Glance at the Old World ;" Mr. JOHN GRIEVE, "Culloden," "Her Blue Rollin' E'e," "Lovely Mary," etc.; Mr. WILLIAM LYLE, late of Annfield Pottery, Glasgow, "Chimes for the Times," etc.; Mr. JAMES CHAMBERS, glazier, Alloa, author of "Bannockburn," "Bailie Broon," "Never cut a friend," etc; Mr. WALTER TOWERS, Glasgow, late of Alloa, a long poem on "Martha of Myreton," "The Ochil Hills," etc., (who by-the-bye is about to publish a small volume of songs and poems).  These may all be mentioned as being either Clackmannanshire born, or as having been intimately connected with our county.


Epistles, Poems In Memoriam, and Odes.

THE epistles and poems _in memoriam_ of this division are numerous, and are either dedicated to BURNS, TANNAHILL, or other brither bards.  The odes are not so plentiful.  The Rev. Dr. J. C. STEWART, a Dollar man, now minister of St. Bernard's, Glasgow, sends me two that he wrote in 1852, when he was a member of Dr. Mylne's class, Dollar.  The former is-

Ode to May.

HAIL to the rosy month whose ray
To lustre wakes the lightsome day:
To thee, fair month, by right belong,
The festive dance, the choral song.

Whate'er the wintry frost prepared,
Whate'er the spring but faintly reared;
Now spreadeth forth with varied hue
Beneath thy nursing morning dew.

The hawthorn and the yellow broom
Are glowing in their brightest bloom,
While Phoebus with his cheerful ray
Now makes the landscape doubly gay.

A brighter blue enrobes the skies,
From laughing fields the zephyrs rise;
The myrtles breathing od'rous smell,
Shoot forth their blossoms in the dell.

The sky-lark in the air that floats,
The wood-birds with their tuneful notes;
In mingled anthems sweetly raise
Their warblings to Jehovah's praise.

The streams that murmur as they flow,
The flocks that graze the mountain's brow,
The herds that through the meadows play,
Proclaim 'tis now the month of May.

Ode to July.

HAIL, joyous month! thou com'st our souls to cheer,
=Again thrice happy month we bid thee hail!
Whether bedeck'd in skies serenely clear,
=Or black'ning clouds career before the gale.

All hail! thou coming month, speed on and bring
=Thy summer rich with fresh'ning genial showers;
May gentle zephyrs mildly murmuring
=Sweep calmly o'er, nor scathe thy sunny bowers.

Glide smoothly on, sweet month, and in your train
=Shed rich profusion o'er the ample field;
Let mellow fruit and richly bearing grain,
=A grateful recompense to labour yield.

That when the wintry clouds obscure the sky,
=And storms howl raging round the peasant's home,
They ne'er to haggard wants become a prey,
=And be compelled in poverty to roam.

This is my last, accept the grateful rhyme,
=Just as you think it merits, give it praise;
And, by experience taught, some future time
=I'll strive to weave some more important lays.

I think I shall give you one of my own.  A friend who had been born at sea requested me to write an ode to express the fact:-

Ode to the Sea.

(Supposed to be written by one who was born upon it.)


OH, how I love the sea! the sea!
The wild, untamed, and joyous sea!
For it has always seemed to me,
A portion of my infancy.

I sigh so much to see again
The snowy glister of its mane;
To feel the heaving billows glide,
Beneath me as I breast its tide.


I long to lie upon thy shore
And list thee on the breakers roar;
Or gaze upon thy glassy breast,
When winds and thee are lull'd to rest.

'Twas thus I knew thee when at first
Me, at her breast, my mother nurs'd;
When thy soft billows brought me sleep,
Hush'd in the cradle of the deep.


My birthplace was the sea;
Its waters are a lullaby to me,
Which in my ears is ever ringing
Like ocean far in sea-shell singing.

The first faint glimpse I caught of thee
Is like my visions of eternity-
Boundless expanse, and ever-varying light,
And golden gleams sent from the heaven so bright.

Thou art the bearer of all priceless things-
Thy duty thou dost pay alone to King of Kings;
Armadas thou dost bear to peace and rest,
Or break'st in pieces small at His behest.

Thou art so glorious when thou art clad
In light of setting suns - thou seem'st so glad-
That I could stand and watch thy laughing waves
For ever - e'en to where the sunset braves.

Thy dread and awful void beyond
Hasting to fathomless profound-
Yet leaving to thee beams of light,
To guide thee to His home so bright.

So when I come, in age, or prime,
To stand upon the shore of Time,
May rays of light from Jesus come
To lead me to my Father's home.

The following is by Mr. JOHN CRAWFORD.  It is named


Beautiful flowers!
=The power have ye
To bathe each sense
=In ecstacy.

Beautiful flowers!
=A potent spell
Have ye, life's woes-
=Life's cares to quell.

Beautiful flowers!
=Alike ye bloom
In lady's bower-
=On patriot's tomb.

Beautiful flowers!
=Ye come, ye go,
A priceless joy
=To all below.

Beautiful flowers!
=At woman's birth
Ye were the gift
=Of heaven to earth.

Beautiful flowers!
=From then till now
Ye've bloom'd to garnish
=Beauty's brow.

Beautiful flowers!
=From morn till even
Your tale is love-
=Your song is heaven!

Round infancy
=By woman wove,
Ye tell us of
=A world above.

The following verses have been added:-

Beautiful flowers!
=As sweet gifts come
From heaven above,
=To cheer our home.

Tender flowers
=Loved tokens go
Back to heaven
=From all below.

A Second Friendly Epistle from J.D. to A.S.

COME, Sandy, list awhile again-
I like a list'nin' ear, ye ken-
I've here got paper, ink, and pen,
==A needfu' three;
An' mair than a', I've got some brain-
==It helps a wee.

Athoot some brain we needna' try,
To dive owre deep, or soar owre high;
An' brains, ye ken, are no' tae buy
==For love or money-
A brainless heid is always dry
==O' rhymin' honey.

But, Sandy, come, ye are tae ken,
By a' the kennan's that ye ken,
That birds an' beasts athoot a brain
==Can rin an' flee,
If sae wi' them, what hinders men
==Tee shape a wee?

Perhaps there's ways a' makin' brains,
Like makin' streams by makin' drains;
If sae, 'twad pay ane for his pains
==Tae mak' but ane;
If richtly made, tho' made frae stanes,
==Frae lan' or lane.

The thinkin' pow'rs lie roun' the broo,
Like pow'rs o' speech aroun' the mou',
But why 'tis sae I ken nae hoo,
==Save it's a fac';
As by oor legs we waddle throo',
==And lea' a track.

But let us lea' the brain a wee,
An' come tae things we hear an' see,
Crookit, or stracht, or half-agee,
==It matters little;
If dealable, like tripe an' tea-
==Twa things o' mettle.

But, Sandy, when will I begin,
Wi' hard or saft, wi' tow or tin?
I'll hae to card afore I spin,
==An a' frae 'oo';
But banish whisky, rum, an' gin
==Far frae ilk mou'.

Oor elder brither did declare,
Whan throttlin' hard wi' dark despair,
'Twas Scotland's greatest, direst snare,
==An' biggest curse;
Death's sharpest sting, an' something mair,
==If it we nurse.

Ha'e ye e'er seen the speeder ply
His spinnin' pranks 'tween earth an' sky?
In glow or gloom, in wat or dry,
=='Thoot growl or grin;
Wi' but ae object in his eye,-
==His thread tae spin.

Wi' whilk tae weave his silken wab,
In whilk some favourites tae nab,
Tae fill his wyme, likewise his wab,
==As weel's his e'e;
Lest he micht get a death-dealt stab,
==An' ha'e tae dee.

I've watched wi' care the swallow swift,
Atween me an' the clear blue lift,
Mak' guid his only aim an' drift-
==Tae catch a flee;
An' priz'd it as we wad a gift
==Frae heaven hie.

I ha'e a little bautie hen,
Wi' twa wee chicks alow her pen;
Oh! how she toddles but an' ben
==Wi' tenty care;
She'd shame some women, if no men,
==An' mak' them stare.

The lion disna face his foes
Wi' mair o' pluck than Jenny does;
She neither bends, nor becks, nor boos
==When ane is near;
But, lionlike her courage shows,
==An' disna spare.

Ae single aim, if only richt,
Back'd up by truth, illum'd wi' licht,
Gi'es us a pow'r worth mair than micht
==O' common ken;
An' mak's us really men o' wight
==Wi' God an' men.

Then let us tak' a hint or twa,
Frae beast, an' bird, at' insec' sma',
An' fling false notions tae the wa',
==Whate'er they be;
An' be at heaven-born wisdom's ca'
==Athoot ae dree.

What tho' the thing tae us seems new,
It maitters not if it be true;
An' heaven's licht we aye sud boo
==Tae its dictates;
We're only safe when this we do,
==An' shun mistakes.

Again I'll bid ye noo fareweel,
My kind, freehearit, sonsy chiel',
Throu'out a' time I wish ye weel,
==Athoot a quiver;
An' covet nocht but what is real,-
==Your rhymin' brither.

Epistle from J.W. to J.H.

DEAR worthy frien', I got your letter,
Sae fu' o' praise and frien'ly flatter,
An' count mysel' your humble debtor,
==Wi' mony thanks;
Sae noo I'll write and square the matter,
==An' ease my shanks.

The wintry wind howls thro' the trees,
The snowflake thick wild furious flees,
While scattered birds are ill at ease
==This cheerless day;
I set me down, the muse tae please,
==An' write my say.

I've kent ye lang, an' that fu' weel,
Tae he a kind true-hearted chiel';
Altho' ye've something o' the deil-
==Ye weel micht want;
E'en tho' ye tak' a swatin' reel
==In midnicht rant.

What tho' this world's glitterin' gear
Ne'er comes within your humble sphere,
Ye've neither man nor want tae fear
==As lang's ye've health;
For plenty ne'er a smile can wear,
==Wi' a' their wealth.

It's no the gowd that mak's the man,
Nor boundless wealth o' house an' lan',
But he who does whate'er he can
==For some puir neebour;
An' lends a kind an' generous hand
==To pious labour.

We've spent our buddin' youthfu' days
Among the soft and flow'ry braes,
An' pu'd the rasps, and gathered slaes
==Wi' muckle glee;
An' listened to the blackie's lays
==High on the tree.

An' o'er sweet Devon's fertile plains,
Whaur staunch and cantie ploughmen swains,
Attune the pibroch's thrilling strains
==We aft did wander,
To view the caves an' auld remains
==O' hoary grandeur.

We've climbed life's rugged steps thegither,
In simmer's heat and wintry weather;
We've aye been kind tae ane anither
==Whaur e'er we met,
An' sae we'll yet when we forgether,
==Howe'er beset.

Fu' aft I think when I'm my lane,
Within my cosie humble hame,
Upon the days that noo are gane
==Sae unco cheerie,
When courtin' Teen - fair rosy dame -
==My ain kind dearie.

An' dootless, frien', when I'm awa',
An' laid alang the kirkyard wa',
As e'ening zephyrs o'er ye blaw,
==Ye'll aiblins weep;
While on my breast the stainless snaw
==Lies cauld and deep.

Noo I'll conclude in hopes yer weel,
Frae crown o' head tae horny heel;
Lang may ye keep a sturdy chiel,
==Wi' brimfu' dish,-
An' neither want nor hunger feel,
==Is Westwood's wish.

Mr. DAVID TAYLOR attended JOHN CRAWFORD'S "Gatherin' o' the Bards" in Alloa, on the evening of Burns' Centenary, and delivered the following epistle, which he had written for the occasion:-


"To a' men livin' be it kend,"
Ae matchless nicht we mean to spend,
In house o' Highland Mary's friend,
=We've met to honour Robin.

Frae crystal fount John Maut shall flow,
To drown dull care and sullen woe,
For 'tis a hundred years ago
=Sin' birth was gi'en to Robin.

I wat when to the warl' he cam'
The ceremony was nae sham,
The howdie weel deserved a dram,
=At bringin' hame o' Robin.

An' Robin grew a dainty chiel-
His head could think, his heart could feel,
An' Scottish maids he liket weel,
=An' i' their praise sang Robin.

Tho' but a peasant lad, I trow,
He ranks among the favour'd few;
Elisha-like, when at the plough,
=The mantle fell on Robin.

Whene'er he struck his country's lyre
The raptur'd soul was a' on fire-
Nae wonder that we sud admire
=The strains o' rantin' Robin.

Foul fa' the loun that wad disgrace
This chieftain o' the rhymin' race-
Our love for haggises shall cease,
=Ere love we tine for Robin.

He aye was generous and kind,
An' had an independent mind;
O, whaur on record shall we find
=Ane to compare wi' Robin.

For lang-faced folk nae love he bore,
The cloaks o' hypocrites he tore,
An' set the warl in a roar
=O' laughin' at them, Robin.

The "Holy Fair," he pictur'd well,
On "Hallowe'en," he cast a spell,
An' e'en the vera deil himsel'
=Got an "Address" frae Robin.

His sangs o' Wallace an' o' Bruce,
His "Cottar's nicht," "Twa dogs," an' "Louse,"
"The Mountain Daisy," an' the "Mouse,"
=Keep up the fame o' Robin.

While heroes brave gar foemen flee,
While love can mak' sic parties gree,
The Thistle, emblem o' the free,
=Shall proudly wave for Robin.

Tho' death relentless didna spare
This bard, wi' mind sae rich an' rare,
In spite o' death, for evermair
=He'll live-immortal Robin.

Then tho' cauld water cuifs sud scorn,
While wit comes out o' Barleycorn,
We'll sit until the blink o' morn,
=To pree an' sing o' Robin.

Epistle to David Taylor by William Sim.

DEAR Davie, lang hae I intendit
At rhyme a leisure hour to spend it,
Sae this my new-year's gift I send it,
==A' I can gie;
I hope you winna be offendit,
==Puir tho' it be.

Tho' you and I are in the rear
'Mong a' wha fecht for fortune here;
Tho' sma' our stock o' warldly gear,
==I hope that we
Will for each other kindly speir,
=Whaure'er we be.

Davie, I maun compare to thee
The comet we shortsyne did see,
You come among us for a wee
==To shine in sang,
And then, like it, awa' ye flee,
==To hide owre lang.

Among the various kinds o' lore
That in your leisure hours you pore,
Nae doubt you still, as heretofore,
==Look in the papers,
To mark how mankind rave and roar,
==And cut their capers.

There in your favourite poet's corner,
Your muse aft hides, like wee Jack Horner;
But there, altho' nae name adorn her,
==Her marks I trace,
And ken frae ony ither foreigner
==That fills the place.

And be it sermon, sang, or tale,
To raise a smile you never fail,
For wi' a spendthrift's hands you deal
==Your jokes and puns;
Your queer quaint humour ne'er grows stale,
==Aye rich as buns.

Newspapers now-a-days are things
That wield a greater power than kings;
Mind's mercuries that fly on wings
==Frae place to place,
The fourth and best estate-the springs
==That move our race.


This bygane year, Italians saw
What they will lang remember a',
Brave Garibaldi gang to ca'
==At Bomba's Palace,
When he wi' fricht fled fast awa'
==Before their Wallace.


Wi' eyes that glanced wi' freedom's fire,
An arm his sword could never tire:
He raised from tyranny's deep mire
==His native land,
Bold in his blood-red shirt's attire,
==A hero grand.

And may his fame in future dwell
Wi' Wallace, Washington, and Tell,
Another glorious name to swell
==The scroll so precious,
Before whose front oppression fell
==When most audacious.

Yes, Davie, these are names, I deem,
Whose deeds deserve our best esteem;
They shed o'er history's muddy stream
==A lasting light,
Dispelling false ambition's dream
==To endless night.

But yet away in other lands,
On freedom's neck oppression stands;
Nor to their people's just demands
==Will tyrants yield,
Till war arrays his bloody bands
==On battle field.

No matter colour, clime, or creed,
Let justice on her path proceed;
Soon may she every tyrant weed,
==From every land;
Tho' she in many a battle bleed,
==She'll victor stand.

The present year, now wasting fast,
Is big wi' mony a stormy blast;
Tho' they be louder than the last
==Still be of cheer,
Tho' some who future things forecast,
==See dangers near.

Last year the greedy grave has got,
O' big and sma', her usual lot;
Death, wi' unerring aim, has shot
==A lion's share
O' names, o' mair than common note,
==Wi' talents rare.

For death, impartial strong, and dour,
Doth make to a' his visit sure;
Baith strong and weak, and rich and poor,
==He brings to bay-
Tho' distant far may be the hour,
==He comes our way.

Davie, as my rhyme end draws near,
I wish you now a gude New-Year;
And may the present bring you cheer,
==As gude's the past ane,
And grief ne'er mak you drop a tear
==Before your last ane.

And may the last come lingerin' late,
As far's a friend could wish the date;
And when it comes we hope that fate,
==When you are leavin',
May flit you to a future state
==O' joy in Heaven.

The following is by Mr. JAMES WALKER, Gaberston, Alloa:-

Address to the Fox.

SLY ranger of the forest waste-
Dread of the fold and poultry roost-
Ah!  Reynard, thou'rt a bonnie beast,
==Though fierce and fell,
Wi' nut-brown back and snaw-white breast,
==And white-tipp'd tail.

Where woods o'erhang the silent glen,
Far frae the noisy haunts o' men,
There, in a dark and dismal den,
==Thou'lt pass the day;
Then sally forth to some sheep pen
==At twilight grey.

For soon as night in silence deep
Broods o'er the world in balmy sleep,
Beneath the sheep-cote door thou'lt creep,
==And scramble ben;
And aff some bonnie lamb thou'lt wheep
==Straucht to thy den.

The game guards tae thou mak's red wud,
Thou sheds the brindled muircock's bluid,
The paitrick, nestling on her brood,
==Thou'lt seize and slay;
And ducks that haunt the fenny flood
==Become thy prey.

By thee the maukin's seized and torn,
And fur-clad tenants o' the warren,
On bearded nibblers o' the barn
==Thou'lt even feed;
Nor mining moudieworts thou'lt scorn
==In time o' need.

In vain the harmless hedge-hog rears,
In grim defence, his thorny spears;
And woodbees ha'e nae stangin' fears,
==Alack! for thee,
Thou forth the comby treasure tears
==Wi' ravenous glee.

And fearless kill, among the heather,
That moorland pest, the stangin' ether;
And reive the nest o' whaup or plover
==O's eggy stock;
Ev'n slay thy night-maraudit brother,
==The fumy brock.

'Tis said when winter famine urges,
Wi' quagmire frogs thy wame thou charges;
And airts thee to the saut sea surges
==And shingly shore,
To feast among the boats and barges,
==On Neptune's store.

When thou on hen-reif comes afar,
Nae barking mastiff thee can scaur,
And, oh! how vain is bolt or bar,
==Or sneck or snib,
To guard the roosters on their spar,
==In coop or crib!

Thou stealthy prowls, wi' hunger's yearn,
By sheds, and byres, and stacks o' corn,
And scaurs the howlet frae the barn
==As thou creeps by;
Thou dunghill scratchers sair may mourn
==Thy coming nigh.

The chuckies, trumlin', crouch wi' fear-
They ken their mortal foe is near;
Ae spring, and noble chanticleer
==Is stown awa',
Nae mair the screech o' morn he'll cheer
==Wi' rousin' craw.

Thou leaves the poor hen-wife in grief-
She bans thee sair, thou heartless thief-
Her braw brood hen, her pride and chief,
==Is from her torn;
She gladly hears, to her relief,
==The huntsman's horn.

For when the forest leaves are fa'in',
And snell October winds are blawin',
And stooky raws frae aff the lan'
==Are stackit a',
Then cocks that greet the early dawn
==May crously craw.

For country gentry - fond of sport-
Shall to thy native haunts resort,
And hound thee frae thy rocky fort
==And cavern cell,
And wi' due vengeance shall retort
==Thy reavin' ill.

Braw, braw red coats the lairds adorn,
As, gathering on some autumn morn,
They tout aloud the hunting horn
==Wi' sylvan grace,
And furious hounds around them burn
==To join the chase.

Then woe to thee, when ance the pack
Ha'e sniff'd and scented out thy track;
Their pandemonium yells shall mak'
==The forest shiver,
And cave-lodg'd echoes pay them back,
==Frae shaggy cover.

Thou'lt scour awa', wi' eager hopes,
Through brambled brakes and tangled copse,
And hazelly shaws, o'er mountain slopes,
==And rocky ridges,
The huntsmen takin' fearfu' loups
==Owre dykes and hedges.

Thou'lt try thy crafty tricks and pranks,
And, weel set on for nimble shanks,
Thou'lt airt thee to some burnie's banks,
==Wi' sly intent,
To cool thy wearied, aching flanks,
==And drown the scent.

But strong is every hen-wife's wish,
That on you fast the hounds shall rush;
And whipper-in thy bonnie brush
==Shall make secure;
Then hungry jaws thy banes shall crush,
==And flesh devour.

Rejoice, then, a' ye cocks that craw,
Ye cacklin' hens that middens claw,
When ance ye hear the bugle blaw
==Through glen and wood;
That tells your cruel mortal foe
==Has fa'en in bluid.

The following are from the pen of the lath Mr. THOMAS BRADSHAW, Dollar, and are entitled-

Verses to Mr. John Macnab, who founded Dollar Institution.

LET others sound the trump of Fame,
In honour of the hero's name
=Who conquers in the field;
I sing of one whose mem'ry lives
In hearts and homes where learning gives
=Delight, war cannot yield.

I would not sing of Death's alarms,
Or glory gained by force of arms
=Upon the battle plain;
While themes of moral beauty lie
Around my pathway-near my eye-
=Appealing, but in vain.

To thee, Macnab, is justly due
A tribute-honest, heartfelt, true-
=From those assembled here:
This noble institution rose
From thy munificence, and shows
=We rightly thee revere.

'Tis true, thou didst not take thy stand
Amongst the great ones of the land,
=Who boast their pedigree:
Thy life was one of useful toil,
Partly with those who till the soil,
=And partly on the sea.

Thus didst thou learn to sympathise
With those who wish and strive to rise
=Above the dark domain,
Where ignorance and vice abound,
To realms where light divine is found,
=And peace and order reign.

Long may this Institution stand,
To ornament and bless the land
=That gave its founder birth;
And may its benefits go forth
To east, and west, and south, and north,
=Till knowledge fills the earth.

In Memory of Robert Haig, Esq., of Dollarfield.


REST, rest in peace, thou servant of the Lord:
Thy work on earth is done - thy warfare past;
And God hath called thee home to thy reward.
Thy family, thy brethren in the church,
And many, many more who knew thy worth,
Mourn thy departure from this transient state.
But kindred spirits in the better land
Have welcomed thee with bursts of holy joy,
And we, who tarry for a time below,
Would follow onward with unfaltering steps,
Until we join thee where the Saviour dwells.

In Memoriam, Mr. Peter Steven, Dollar.


ANOTHER friend is gone - gone to his home
In that bless'd land where Jesus lives and reigns;
Where parting is unknown; and holy joy
Fills every heart.
Let us not sorrow, then,
As those who have no hope-no confidence
In God's paternal faithfulness and love;
No cheering prospect of a better state.
Lord, give us strength that we may onward go
In duty's narrow path; till having done
The work thou shalt assign, we are prepared
To join the ransom'd hosts, who stand before
The throne, and evermore give thanks and praise
To Thy great name.

To a Distant Friend.

WHEN bow'd down with grief, or distracted with care,
=A friendly adviser I nowhere can find;
In my fond recollections you oft have a share,
=And tho' absent in person, I'm with you in mind.

Yes, I love to reflect on the time that was spent,
=When under the roof where I found you so kind;
Of it, I am sure, I shall never repent,
=For, tho' absent in person, I'm with you in mind.

But it grieves me to think that those days are now fled;
=Nor can I at all to my lot feel resign'd;
Though this thought is incessantly filling my head,
=If distant in person, we are present in mind.

Yet I hope that at length I shall see you above,-
=Having left all my foes and afflictions behind,-
In the mansions of purity, concord, and love,
=To be with you in person, as well as in mind.

The following are from the pen of


Glasgow, daughter of the late Mr. G. D. Hunter mentioned in the succeeding division, and grand-daughter of Dr. Bruce, of Alloa.  The former was composed when Miss HUNTER was only about fourteen years of age, and is entitled:-

Memories of the Past.

SITTING in the gentle twilight,
=My thoughts go back to long ago;
And mem'ry pictures lov'd lost faces,
=Brightened by the firelight's glow.

Again I see a sunny garden,
=And a neatly flower-decked lawn;
With the sweet birds merry whistling,
=Till dewy eve from early dawn.

Nestling 'mong the dark green trees,
=Lay the little village church;
The fragrant briar and wild rose clinging
=Round the ivy-covered porch.

Verdant fields, the dew, like diamonds,
=Glistening on the fresh sweet clover;
While yonder flows the rippling stream,
=The weeping Willow drooping over.

Their soften'd mem'ry lingers yet,
E'en tho' they all are now long past;
But still they cheer the life of one
=Who feels and fears the world's cold blast.

Once I basked in Fortune's smile,
=Lived in happiness and love;
Now I long for gentle angels,
=To take my spirit home above.

Ode to Summer.

THE waves still murmur low,
=The sunbeams dance along;
Nature in brightest hues
=Now chants her sweetest song.

The sea with living gold,
=Returns the sun's bright rays,
And gives us profuse sweet
=Of many happy days.

The early breezes kiss
=The clust'ring blossoms gay,
And through the fresh green leaves,
=With tender touch they play.

And morning's azure sky,
=Shines o'er Arcadian bowers,
O'er silver strand and tide,
=O'er golden fields and flowers.

The rose with crimson blush,
=Blooms with the wind's embrace;
The lilies rear their heads
=With artless, fairy grace.

In rural balmy groves
=Cheerful with songs of love,
The beauteous jay is found
=And the gentle cooing dove.

In shades of varied hue,
=The flowers delight to dream;
When sunset floods the earth
=With gold and silver gleam.

O'er miles of ocean waste,
=The breezes waft repose;
They hush the merry birds,
=And quiet rest impose.


A native of Alloa, now a clerk in the Goods Department of the Caledonian Railway, Glasgow, contributes occasionally to the Poet's Corner of the _Alloa Journal_.  His pieces as yet have been personal or domestic, and are characterized by sweetness, grace, and ease.  There is no laboured effort in anything he has written.  The spirit of song or verse seems to seize him in a moment, and with perfect fluency he proceeds to indite whatever the spirit prompts.  Being an enthusiast for music, it is natural that he should also cultivate the muse, but only his nearest friends know the power with which he can hit off; in charming raillery, happy fun, or affectionate truth, the characters and manner of those with whom he comes in contact.  His _in memoriam_ pieces bear the simple piety which ennobles.  The following pieces will show the power of his pen:-

To my Absent Wife.

YOUR long sojourn will soon be past,
A few more days will see the last,-
With me it has not sped too fast,
==My wifie!

Eight weary weeks you've been away,
I've felt more lonely every day,-
I fear I'll soon be growing grey,
==My wifie!

No recreation can I find-
No work or play of any kind
On which I care to fix my mind,
==My wifie!

Your absence haunts me everywhere-
As I recline upon my chair,
I look around with vacant stare,
==My wifie!

Sometimes I take a book, to read,
But with its contents make no speed,
My wayward thoughts to you proceed,
==My wifie!

Mine eyes are fixed upon the page,
But other dreams my mind engage,
In vain I try to act the sage,
==My wifie!

I've sought relief in music, too,
But even music will not do,
I cannot sing away from you,
==My wifie!

It's just the same with me if I
Upon the instrument should try
To make the time go quickly by,
==My wifie!

My fingers wander o'er the keys
In listless fashion, as they please,
Because my heart is not at ease,
==My wifie!

Our little darlings too, I miss,
I have no dainty lips to kiss,-
O, what a dreary life this,
==My wifie!

I cannot sit!  I cannot walk!
I cannot read!  I cannot talk!
Like _Hamlet's Ghost_ about I stalk,
==My wifie!

I wander on from room to room,
But every place seems wrapt in gloom,
I might as well be in a tomb,
==My wifie!

It's not the house that is to blame,
Its joys are more than I can name,
A _palace_ would be quite the same,
==My wifie!

Of creature comforts I've no lack,
And yet I'm always on the rack,
No rest I'll find till I get back
==My wifie!

The Cottage by the Cast.

WHENE'ER my thoughts elect to roam
=O'er visions of the past,
They fondly turn to that sweet home-
=The Cottage by the Cast.

There, in the golden autumn light,
=My fancy still can see
The pleasant scene which met my sight
One afternoon at tea.

Away from City's din and strife,
=And Mammon's every ill,
I envy your quiet shepherd life
=Of peace at Forest Mill.

How sweet in calm of eventide
=When labour's hours are past,
To lay all care and toil aside,
=And wander by the Cast.

To weigh the problems of the age
=In thought, or idly dream,
Or with a friend perchance engage
=In talk, beside the stream.

And then at night around the fire
=The Matron's joys to share;
To watch the children tend their sire,
=And sport around his chair.

Such are the thoughts which fill my mind
=As that bright scene I trace,
And foremost in the group I find
=The well-known form of _Grace_.


On the Death of the Rev. P. M'DOWALL, M.A., Alloa.

AT last the cord is loosed!  The slender thread
That for a season checked the spirit's flight-
Still leaving on our path one ray of light-
Has snapped; and low among the silent dead,
Concealed for ever from our mortal sight,
Now lies that honoured, that majestic head.
How we shall miss the well-known form that trod
For nearly threescore years our streets and ways;
The hand that led along the heavenly road;
The voice that stirred our youthful hearts to praise;
And oft with tender accents helped to raise
The mourning spirit to the throne of God!
As we review his life our hearts, each one
Responding, say, "Servant of God! well done!"

Mr. ROBERT THOMSON thus writes to his daughter:-

MY dear little Nellie, I write this to tell ye,
That Johnny and you a wee sister have got;
A tender bit lammie, creeping close to its mammie,
For fear Johnny Frost should get into its cot.
If you could but see it's wee facie and pree its
Bewitching bit mouthie, just once and no more,
Your eyes would be dancing, your lips would be fancying,
Of honey and grapes there was ne'er such a store.
Your fond little brother is just like to smother
The tiny wee thing when he gets it to kiss,
All day he seems under a spell of great wonder,
That there ever could be such a baby as this.
Ever since it was born, at night and at morn,
His constant delight and amusement have been,
To tell every body, that clever wee "Dodie"
Has got such a baby as never was seen.
Regarding its features, the dear little creature's
Just such a sweet beauty as you seemed to me,
When, in my fond arms, your new baby charms,
Made me feel what it was a proud father to be.
Her lovely blue eyes, too, I'm sure would surprise you,
As well as her wee dimpled fingers and toes;
But what sort of hair she is destined to wear, we
Will none of us know till such time as it grows.
But this I can tell you, she's like to excel you,
In point of behaviour and temper an' a',
She sleeps like a peerie, and never grows weary
Of lying contented beside her mama.
Your friend Mrs. Gourlie, although rather poorly,
Looks in every day to see how she gets on;
Likewise Mrs. Jackson, who wishes you back soon,
To defend her against the assault of wee John.
You had better ask "Packa," to let you get back a
Wee whilie to see this most wonderful sight;
And if your fond auntie for a time canna want ye
Just let her come wi' ye, and stay for a night.




THY life is in its gloaming now,
=And age has bent that form,
Which stood erect amid the blasts
=Of many a winter's storm.

But, like the light from setting sun
=O'er wearied nature shed,
The mem'ries of the past have thrown
=A halo round thy head.

Thine eyes, illum'd by cultured thought,
=A mellowed softness wear,
That speaks the presence of a soul
=Subdued with anxious care.

Though in their depths may oft be seen
=Such gleams of heavenly light,
As might reveal the bliss in store,
=When faith gives place to sight.

Full many a change has been thy lot
=Throughout those chequered years,
Which saw thy cheeks, now proudly flush,
=Anon, bedewed with tears.

Eventful, too, thy life hath been,
=And fraught with wonders strange;
That form a scene o'er which the mind
=In fancy loves to range.

And ever as appears to view
=The cherished forms of yore,
Still deeper grows the love that dwells
=Within thy bosom's core.

While thoughts are stirred that lead thee on
=To visions of that day,
The dawn of which shall see the clouds
=And shadows flee away.

The subject of these lines was an old lady who "had seen better days."  She was the daughter of a British officer, and in her early years spent much time abroad.  She had likewise accompanied her husband (a ship's captain) "all round the world," and, having a superior intellect, was able to store her memory with much valuable information, which made her company and conversation highly enjoyable.  Her later years were spent under much trial and suffering.

The following Ode is by Mr. WILLIAM BURNS, and is entitled-

Ode on Design.

_On Contemplating a Collection of Ornamental Designs Drawn with Pencil._

FORMS of the beautiful from whence are ye?
And whence your power to please?
Ye chaste conceptions of the fertile brain,
Woven in the loom of intellect by God ordained,
And therefore true descendants of the great I AM.

Faint, ephemeral-looking things are ye,
Lines traced upon a tissue,
That with a sweep may be effaced,
Nor shadow leave to show ye e'er existed,
But while ye live inherent grace compels,
The mind and eye on beauty pleased to linger.

Of these perchance the world may never know;
But who their beauties scan their charms may feel,
And bless the pleasures graceful forms can give,
Or if with intent seeking more to know,
We down into their deepest nature peer,
And there discern their author's Author
And the heaven-born impulse He implanted to create.

No deeper source than that from whence ye sprung
Could e'er be claimed by aught that e'er existed;
The universal harmony which reigns, thou art-
The essence of the world's constructive plan,
And all that lives, and moves, and being hath,
Thou guid'st; and Thee to know
The knowledge is supreme of mightiest intellect.

The sciences we boast but point thy ways-
At best a learned shred-our ignorance more profound,
And incapacity to comprehend proclaims
The paltry insignificance of all man's boasted learning.

Go, Athiest, go! and ponder on design;
With humble reverence bow before its origin,
And in it recognize the truth's omnipotence-
No more to doubt there is a God.



ONE or two specimens each, at the most, from the German, Latin, French, and Greek languages, must suffice.  And, in this field, Mr. GEORGE DUNCAN HUNTER, lately deceased, formerly Rector of Kelso Grammar School, an eminent scholar and critic, and a chaste writer, leads the way.  Most of his pieces are remarkable, not less for the purity of the style than for the elegance of the translation-



(EVENING HYMN.  From the German of Ruckert).

"_Ich staud auf Berges Halde._"

I STOOD on a sloping mountain,
=As the sun sank in the sea,
And saw, far over the woodlands,
=The mists creep silently.

And the clouds waved down their dewdrops,
=To moisten bank and dell;
All nature, hush'd, lay slumbering
=At the sound of the evening bell.

"Then," said I, "Soul! thou feelest
=Still Nature's sleepy reign!
So, with all that in wood or field,
=Hie thee to rest again!"

Closed are the starlike eyelets
=Of flowers when twilight's low;
Calmed in their murmuring streamlets,
=The gentle waters flow.

Now is the golden butterfly,
=That welcomes joyous day,
With her silky pinions, resting
=Under the leafy spray.

And the humming, buzzing dragonflies
=Of green and purple vest,
On the water-sedges bosom
=In dewy slumbers rest.

Cradling the golden beetle
=Is the rose's fragrant bed;
O'er herds, with flocks safe-folded,
=Sleep's balmy power is shed.

From the lift, the warbling lav'rock
=Seeks her nest in the clover deep;
While in the woody hollows
=The lithe-limbed roebucks sleep.

Who of Earth's toil-worn children
=Calls a roof-tree his own,
Under its mantling shelter,
=To welcome rest hath gone.

And who in distant regions,
=Far from their kindred roam,
Now dreamy midnight fancies
=Waft kindly to their home.

The Er1-King.


_Note_. - In the legendary tales of Germany, the Ear-King or Oak-King, is a Sprite or Elf who lies in wait for Little Children.

WHO rides so late through the stormy night?
'Tis a sire with his darling, young and bright:
He circles the boy with loving arm-
He holds him safe and he keeps him warm.

"My son, why hid'st thou thy face so wild?"
"See'st thou not the Erl-King?" said the child;
-"The Erl-King with his crown and train?"
-"My son, 'tis the mist of the evening rain."

"_Thou well loved child, come, go with me:_
_Right merry games will I play with thee:_
_The bright flowers bloom in the dale untold;_
_And for thee my mother hath the robes in gold._"

"My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
What the Erl-King whispers low in my ear?"
"Be still, my boy, in quietness rest;
'Tis the leaves that shake in the whistling blast."

"_O gentle boy, wilt thou go with me?_
_My daughters shall fondle and cherish thee;_
_In the twilight revels they will thee keep,_
_And rock, and dance, and sing thee asleep._"

"My father, my father, dost thou not mark
The Erl-King's daughters there in the dark?"
"My son, my son, full well I see,
'Tis the old willows gray that frighten thee."

"_I love thee to madness! thou'rt bright as the day;_
_If thou wilt not come freely, I'll force thee away!_"
"My father, my father, he holds me fast"-
"The Erl-King hath seized my son at last."

The fond sire shudders-he rides fast and wild;
He strains in his arms his sobbing child;
He gains his courtyard in trouble and dread;
And in his arms his boy lay dead.

II. - LATIN.  It is a great pity that Mr. HUNTER did not make a collection of his numerous translations.  Such a collection would have been most valuable.  We now give a translation from "Horace":-

A Humble Lot the Happiest.

Book III., Ode 1st. - "_Odi profanum vulgus._"

The ignorant, fickle crowd I scorn,
But love the generous youth, who turn
=Their minds to sacred lore;
In silence these will hear the lay
Which I, the lyric bard, assay
=In strains unheard before.

O'er vassals, with despotic power,
Kings dreaded, rule in Time's brief hour;
=But kings must bend to God,-
The God who men of pride lays low,
Changing their pride to bitter woe,
=And moves all with His nod.

Rivals for honour-one displays
His acres wide-while others raise
=High birth's pretentious claim;
Of followers, one makes numerous show;
Another shines with brighter glow
=Of worth and better fame.

But Death - the leveller of all,
To high and low impartial-
=Reserves each for his doom:
When shakes the Fate's capacious urn,
The lot of each leaps out in turn,
=And drags him to the tomb.

The most delicious, tempting fare
To the death-sentenced wretch will ne'er
=Give healthful appetite;
Nor will the charms of summer bower
With lulling melody, the power
=Of soothing sheep invite.

Yet gentle Sleep her blest repose
Grants willingly to soothe the woes
=Of humble working men;
She floats on summer's balmy wing,
By lake or dell, where woodlands ring,
=And water-echoing glen.

Who wishes but enough to gain,
Ne'er dreads the roar of wrathful main
=Or lash of angry skies;
Nor does he fear the awful jars
Of furious tempests, caused by stars
=Which low'ring set or rise.

His vines destroyed by smiting hail,
The faithless soil or trees that fail
=Their promised fruits to bring,
From parching summer's burning heat,
Or from the rains that ceaseless beat
=Throughout the chilling spring.

Firm-built on sea-wave circled piers,
The uneasy lord a castle rears
=To find a calm retreat:
In vain-his course black cares attend,
Where'er he journeys - sea or land-
=As shadows mark his feet.

If then the snowy marble pile,
Or purple vestments, that excel
=The morn in ruddy glow-
If costly wines, or essence rare
From distant Persia, cau ne'er
=The mind keep free from woe-

Why should I raise with columus high
A hall-to excite in passers-by
=The envious sneer or tale;
Why seek care-bringing wealth to save,
And lose the happiness I have
=Here in my Sabine vale.

III. - FRENCH.  By your humble servant-

Il Etait La!

NATURE to me seemned clad in softest sheen,
And lur'd me on to tread her shady bowers;
I loved the richness of her meads so green,
And gazed with rapture on op'ning flowers.
I strayed by glassy brook, through darkling grove,
While thousaud flow'ry perfumes filled the air
And feathery songsters poured forth songs of love:
Enchantment walked around me-He was there!

I push away those pleasures with a sigh,
That in the days gone by have charmed me so;
The sound of crystal stream afar I fly,
And sombre shade cast by the leafy bough.
The rose I planted, aud he oft caressed,
Is all untended by my watchful care;
Forlorn I wander with dark fears oppressed;
Nought ere delights me-He is no more there!

Again shall Nature wear her glorious robes,
And my heart thrill as with first pulse of love;
The azure sky shall tell of depthless hopes
And zephyrs fan the olive-messaged dove.
My voice shall cause the linnet to be mute-
Blissful shall be the message it shall bear;
The hands down drop that skillf'lly touch the lute:
All shall delight me-if He's only there!


Translation from Anacreon.

THE God o' Love, ae simmer day,
Thro' wood aud field took aff his way-
He wander'd east, he wander'd wast,
Till wi' the heat he tir'd at last.
Then underneath a bower o' roses,
O'ercome wi' sleep, the rogue reposes;
But while he slept in sunny bloom,
A bumbee stung his muckle thoom.
Rous'd wi' the pain, the petted thing
Set up a bonnie pipin' spring-
Awhile he grat, syne aff he flew
Up thro' the lift, till oot o' view-
Gaed to his mither pale and weak,
Show'd her his wound, but couldna speak.
"O' dinna greet," his mother said;
"Dry up your tears, lift up your head;
The wounds that you to mortals gie
Are waur than stang o' wasp or bee-
Forgetna this, but bravely bear
What gods and men alike maun share."

And now I have reached the goal I had fixed for myself at the outset of this Lecture.  I have shewn you something that our county has produced.  You have heard our bards sing in all strains-from a gentle twitter to the full-toned blast of the organ, and, I think, I cannot do better than embody all we have heard in the following lines entitled:-

The Player and the Listener.

A player sat at an organ grand,
And as he played with foot and hand,
Tides of solemn thoughts swept o'er me,
And visions as by magic wand
Coursed through my brain and before my eyes:
Visions of earth, of sea, of skies,
While rousing fugue so wildly flies, and sadly sighing melodies.


Glorious the scene that met my gaze,
As the sun arose with level rays,
And bathed in beauty flood and field;
All nature woke to songs of praise-
The varied songsters far and near
Trilled forth their hymn with full voice clear,
From grove and wood, and stately tree,-the rousing chorus still I hear.


The player played, and there came to me,
A sound like the waves of the foaming sea,
Tumbling, boiling, heaving in wrath,
As if nought on its bosom safe could be;
And the wind went moaning and sighing past,
As if to tell of the coming blast
That should tear from his height the giant oak, and the gallant ship from her moorings fast.


Methought I stood by the lone seashore,
The winds and sea had hushed their roar,
And a ripple smooth scarce moved the sand,
While parting with the zephyr it bore.
The sun was setting in beauteous light,
Flooding all with his radiance bright;
A heavenly calmness stilled my soul, like the holy quiet of a starry night.


Still he played on, and hope arose,
As summer day in brightness grows,
From motley dawn and radiant cloud,
Till shining of the mid-day glows.
Sorrowful partings - trumpets sound-
The warhorse thunders o'er the ground-
The cannons boom - the battle's won - what gallant breasts beneath that mound!


The player lightly touched the keys-
Lovers whisp'ring under the trees,
Their earnest, eloquent faces we see,
As they tell each other what will please.
Children's merry voices singing,
Laughter through the woodlands ringing,
All these the player played to me, and raised such scenes before me springing.

Concluding Chapter.

IN the foregoing collection I have by no means exhausted the matter that has been placed at my disposal, nor the variety of the kinds and styles of poetry that our county can shew.  The Hymnology: the various modes in which religion has laid bare its devout aspirations, doubts, and fears; the Christmas Carol; and the New Year's welcome I have not touched upon at all.  Yet there is a large field in each of these; indeed, quite a volume might be made up of these four branches alone.  There is no end to the abundance or to the manifold tones in which poetry utters its inspirations.  The domain of Parnassus cannot be narrowed down to any susceptibility or to any approximation.  Genius has its countless voices, as numerous as the sounds which music can produce, or as those to which Nature is ever giving utterance - from the thunder pealing through the glens and corries of our own Ochil Hills down even to the faintest whisper-

===="As gentle
=As zephyrs, blowing below the violet,
=Not wagging his sweet head."

HOMER and SHAKSPEARE can no longer claim exclusive sovereignty over the sacred mountain.  Others have drank of the Helicon.  It has been well and truly said that Parnassus is covered with the homesteads of the poets.  Some, in humble modesty, have pitched their tents where the first declivity rises from the level of the plain.  Some have climbed midway up the hill, and you must look for the banners of the few in those exalted seats which crown the mountain's summit.
The degrees and forms with which poetry endows its possessors are infinite.  All cannot produce the histrionic splendours of the drama, "gorgeous tragedy in sceptred pall," but some can give us a people's traditionary songs, or those warlike strains that rouse a nation in the hour of battle.  All cannot reach the power of the gifted writer of an epic, but some can produce for us the homely ballad, the low, sweet melody of love, or the sad and mournful dirge.  All are not endowed with the bitterness of satire, but many, if not all, can pour forth the measured cadences of thanksgiving, prayer, and praise, in the devout hymn or sacred psalm.  I know that all poetry is not verse, and that all verse is not poetry, but I claim for each of the bards whose pieces I have given, that each has tasted of Helicon's harmonious springs.  It is for every reader as he thinks fit to fix for himself the position of his favourite bard in the mountain of the poets.  If there is any one who has put his inspiration to base, unworthy, or corrupt uses, I have not found him.
All true poetry is its own best defence, and true poetry is known by the elements of truth and elevation it contains.  The tendencies of the present age are two-fold - the one _materialistic_, and the other _sceptical_.  We need a great poet to rouse us out of both these tendencies.  We look to our poets to keep our county free from the degradation of slipping aside from duty, either by following the lead of the materialist, or by drifting in the current with the sceptic.
Space, however, forbids me to enlarge on this tempting theme.  Let us hope that, by-and-bye, Clackmannanshire will have the proud distinction of being able to claim among her distinguished sons a great Poet.
Since allusion has been made at the beginning of this chapter to a style of poetry other than that given in the body of the book, it has been thought advisable to give one or two pieces as specimens - one a Christmas Carol and the other a hymn.  The latter is from the pen of the Rev. JOHN GIRVAN, now in Maryhill, and was written by him while minister of the Free Church at Tullibody.
The allusion in the former to the Greek sailors is the statement that, on the night of Christ's birth, certain Greek sailors were at sea, and during the night they saw strange lights in the sky, and heard a voice calling out, "Great Pan is dead!  Great Pan is dead!"  Pan was a Greek deity whose especial duty it was to watch over shepherds and their flocks.  The other great nation at that time in the world - the Roman - was said to be in daily expectancy of some great event, and one of the chief deities of Rome has been appropriately introduced.  The transition from "Io" to "Ioul," and then to "Noel" seems easy.

A Christmas Noel.

A voice is on the waters waste,
=The Grecian sailors say
They heard a dreadful wailing-
="Great Pan is fled away."
"Pan dead? the god of Shepherds?
=Tell us, is't as you say?"
Never again by glassy brook
=Will you ever hear his lay,
Nor the sylvan shades re-echo
=While Pan, god Pan, doth play.

"Who will ascend the Capitol?"
=What is't the Romans say?
"Who will go up the Capitol
=And see great Bacchus' play?
The Bacchanals are out to-night,
=Their orgies hold they there;
And the wild shouts, proclaiming,
=Are borne upon the air.
Io! Io! Io! Io!
=Great is our god, Io!

See how the torches flit and go
=Through the weird and murky night;
'Tis a fierce dance of madness
=Such as might glad a sprite.
Now, down the hill they stagger
=With their torches each in hand;
Woe to the poor unlucky wight
=Who meets the raging band,
Ioul! Ioul! Ioul! Ioul!
=Hail to our god, Ioul!"

"Noel!  News!" the heralds sing
=O'er the plains of Bethlehem,
"Christ the Lord to earth has come
=Fallen sinners to redeem.
Shepherds, arise, to the stable go,
=Hasten ye your king to greet;
Kings from far their off'rings bring,
=To kneel and place them at His feet,"
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
=Born is Christ for Israel?

This is from the pen of the Rev. JOHN GIRVAN:-


Jesus, throned in Heaven high!
Bend on me Thy gracious eye;
See my need, and freely grant
Rich supply for ev'ry want.
Weak and weary, lone and sad,
Only Thou cans't make me glad;
Turn not then away Thy face,
Lend me Thy sufficient grace.

When temptations me assail,
Let not one of them prevail:
With Thy shield before my heart,
Save me from the fiery dart.
But if sin should lay me low,
Free me from the deadly foe;
Raising, cheering, strength'ning me
For the future victory.

When the waves of trouble roll
Round my sorrow-stricken soul,
And my heart is full of fear,
Jesus! Saviour! be thou near.
Say - while by Thy hand I'm stayed,
"It is I; be not afraid":
And, obedient to Thy will,
Ev'ry billow shall be still.

When my eye is dim, or blind,
And my path I cannot find,
Let me, - fully trusting thee,
Hear Thy sweet words - "Follow me."
And, though all be dark as night,
Thou wilt lead to regions bright;
For Thy pure and perfect way,
Issues in eternal day.