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The public faith shall save our souls,
A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn.
To scorn to owe a duty overlong;
To scorn to be for benefits forborne;
To scorn to lie, to scorn to do a wrong.
To scom a free-born heart slave-like to bind.
But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have,
Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind; Song.—The Royalist.
Do we his body from our fury save,
And let our hate prevail against our mind ! (Written in 1646.)
What can 'gainst him a greater vengeance be,
Than make his foe more worthy far than he ?
Had Mariam scorn'd to leave a due unpaid,
She would to Herod then have paid her love, The ground does tipple healths apace,
And not have been by sullen passion sway'd.
To fix her thoughts all injury abore
Is virtuous pride. Had Mariam thus been proud, When we are ships and sack 's the sea. Long famous life to her had been allow'd. Pox on this grief, hang wealth, let's sing, Shall kill ourselves for fear of death !
Our sighing does but waste our breath:
While Sidney, Spenser, Marlow, and other poets, In vain they'll think their plagues are spent,
were illustrating the reign of Elizabeth, the muses When once they see we don't repine.
were not wholly neglected in Scotland. There was,
however, so little intercourse between the two naWe do not suffer here alone,
tions, that the works of the English bards seem to Though we are beggar'd, so's the king ; 'Tis sin t' bave wealth, when he has none;
have been comparatively unknown in the north, and
to have had no Scottish imitators. The country Tush ! poverty's a royal thing!
was then in a rude and barbarous state, tyrannised When we are larded well with drink, Our heads shall turn as round as theirs,
over by the nobles, and torn by feuds and dissen
sions. In England, the Reformation had proceeded Our feet shall rise, our bodies sink
from the throne, and was accomplished with little Clean down the wind, like cavaliers.
violence or disorder. In Scotland, it uprooted the Fill this unnatural quart with sack,
whole form of society, and was marked by fierce Nature all vacuums doth decline,
contentions and lawless turbulence. The absorbing Ourselves will be a zodiac,
influence of this ecclesiastical struggle was unfavourAnd every month shall be a sign.
able to the cultivation of poetry. It shed a gloomy Methinks the travels of the glass
spirit over the nation, and almost proscribed the study Are circular like Plato's year,
of romantic literature. The drama, which in England Where everything is as it was ;
was the nurse of so many fine thoughts, so much Let's tipple round; and so 'tis here.
stirring passion, and beautiful imagery, was shunned
as a leprosy, fatal to religion and morality. The LADY ELIZABETH CAREW.
very songs in Scotland partook of this religious chaLADY ELIZABETH Carew is believed to be the that ALEXANDER Scot, in his New Year Gift to the
racter; and so widely was the polemical spirit diffused, author of the tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Queen, in 1562, says, Jewry, 1613. Though wanting in dramatic interest and spirit, there is a vein of fine sentiment and feel- That limmer lads and little lasses, lo, ing in this forgotten drama. The following chorus, Will argue baith with bishop, priest, and friar. in Act the Fourth, possesses a generous and noble simplicity :
Scot wrote several short satires, and some miscella
neous poems, the prevailing amatory character of [Revenge of Injuries.]
which has caused him to be called the Scottish Ang. The fairest action of our human life
creon, though there are many points wanting to com
plete his resemblance to the Teian bard. As speciIs scorning to revenge an injury ; For who forgives without a further strife,
mens of his talents, the two following pieces are His adversary's heart to him doth tie.
presented :And 'tis a firmer conquest truly said, To win the heart, than overthrow the head.
Rondel of Love. If we a worthy enemy do find,
Lo what it is to luve, To yield to worth it must be nobly done ;
Learn ye that list to pruve, But if of baser metal be his mind,
By me, I say, that no ways may, In base revenge there is no honour won.
The grund of greif remuve. Who would a worthy courage overthrow,
But still decay, both nicht and day; And who would wrestle with a worthless foe ?
Lo what it is to luve ! We say our hearts are great, and cannot yield ;
Luve is ane fervent fire, Because they cannot yield, it proves them poor :
Kendillit without desire, Great hearts are task'd beyond their power, but seld
Short plesour, lang displesour; The weakest lion will the loudest roar.
Repentance is the hire; Truth's school for certain doth this same allow,
Ane pure tressour, without messour; High-heartedness doth sometimes teach to bow.
Luve is ane fervent fire,
literary avocations were chiefly pursued in his elegant retirement at Lethington, East Lothian, where a
To luve and to be wise,
To rege with gude adwise ;
Incertain is the dice;
Flee alwayis from the snare,
Learn at me to beware; It is ane pain and dowble train
Of endless woe and care ; For to refrain that denger plain,
Flee always from the spare.
To his Heart.
Lethington Castle daughter acted as amanuensis to the aged poet. His familiar style reminds us of that of Lyndsay.
Hence, heart, with her that must depart,
And hald thee with thy soverain, For I had lever want ane heart,
Nor have the heart that does me pain ;
Therefore go with thy luve remain, And let me live thus unmolest;
See that thou come pot back again,
Is to depart so suddenly,
And beir thy lady company.
Fra she be gonc, heartless am I; For why? thou art with her possest.
Therefore, my heart ! go hence in hy, And bide with her thou luvis best.
Satire on the Town Ladies.
Though this belappit body here
Be bound to servitude and thrall, My faithful heart is free inteir,
And mind to serve my lady at all.
Wald God that I were perigall ? Under that redolent rose to rest !
Yet at the least, my heart, thou sall Abide with her thou luris best.
Sen in your garth3 the lily whyte
May not remain amang the lave, Adieu the flower of haill delyte;
Adieu the succour that may me save;
Adieu the fragrant balmie suaif,4 And lamp of ladies lustiest !
My faithful heart she sall it have, To bide with her it luvis best.
Some wifis of the borowstoun Sae wonder vain are, and wantoun, In warld they wait not what to weir: On claithis they ware2 mony a croun; And all for newfangleness of geir.3 And of fine silk their furrit clokis, With hingan sleeves, like geil pokis ; Nae preaching will gar them forbeir To weir all thing that sin provokis; And all for newfangleness of geir. Their wilicoats maun weel be hewit, Broudred richt braid, with pasments sewit. I trow wha wald the matter speir, That their gudemen had cause to rue it, That evir their wifis wore sic geir. Their woven hose of silk are shawin, Barrit aboon with taisels drawin; With gartens of ane new maneir, To gar their courtliness be knawin; And all for newfangleness of geir. Sometime they will beir up their gown, To shaw their wilicoat hingan down ; And sometime baith they will upbeir, To shaw their hose of black or brown; And all for newfangleness of geir. Their collars, carcats, and hause beidis !4 With velvet hat heigh on their heidis, Cordit with gold like ane younkeir. Braidit about with golden threidis ; And all for newfangleness of geir. Their shoon of velvet, and their muilis ! In kirk they are not content of stuilis, The sermon when they sit to heir, But carries cusheons like vain fulis ; And all for newfangleness of geir. And some will spend mair, I hear say, In spice and drugis in ane day, Nor wald their mothers in ane yeir. Whilk will gar mony pack decay, When they sae vainly waste their geir.
. Competent; had it in my power.
1 Wot, or know not.
ALEXANDER HUME. ALEXANDER HUME, who died, minister of Logie, in 1609, published a volume of Hymns or Sacred Songs, in the year 1599. He was of the Humes of Polwarth,
Leave, burgess men, or all be lost,
ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY. ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY was known as a poet in 1568; but his principal work, The Cherry and the Slae, was not published before 1597. The Cherry and the Slae is an allegorical poem, representing virtue and vice. The allegory is poorly managed; but some of Montgomery's descriptions are lively and vigorous; and the style of verse adopted in this poem was afterwards copied by Burns. Divested of some of the antique spelling, parts of the poem seem as modern, and as smoothly versified, as the Scottish poetry of a century and a-half later.
The cushat crouds, the corbie cries,
To geck there they begin ;
They deave't me with their din.
Can on his May-cock call ;
And Echo answers all,
Repeating, with greeting,
His shadow in the well.
To make their morning mange.
With stiff mustachios strange.
The foumart and false fox;
With birsy bairs and brocks ;
Some feeding, some dreading
They play'd them all in pairs.
But quiet, calm, and clear,
Had trinkled mony a tear;
Embroidering Beauty's bed,
In May's colours clad.
Some knoping, some dropping
Through Phoebus' wholesome heat. 1 Cry till their eyes become red. * Burns, in describing the opening scene of his Holy Fair, bas
• The hares were hirpling down the furs.'
Logie Kirk. and, previous to turning clergyman, had studied the law, and frequented the court; but in his latter years he was a stern and even gloomy Puritan. The most finished of his productions is a description of a summer's day, which he calls the Day Estival. The various objects of external nature, characteristic of a Scottish landscape, are painted with truth and clearness, and a calm devotional feeling is spread over the poem. It opens as follows:
O perfect light, which shed away
The darkness from the light,
Another o'er the night.
More vively does appear,
The shining sun is clear.
Removes and drawis by,
Appears a clearer sky.
The lapwing and the snipe ;
O'er meadow, muir, and stripe. The summer day of the poet is one of unclouded splendour.
The time so tranquil is and clear,
That nowhere shall ye find,
An air of passing wind.
That balmy leaf do bear,
The rivers fresh, the caller streams
weak at arguments, and the rules and cautelis' of O'er rocks can swiftly rin,
the royal author are puerile and ridiculous. His The water clear like crystal beams,
majesty's verses, considering that he was only in And makes a pleasant din.
his eighteenth year, are more creditable to him, and
we shall quote one from the volume alluded to. The condition of the Scottish labourer would seem to have been then more comfortable than at present, and the climate of the country warmer, for Hume
Ane Schort Poeme of Tyme. describes those working in the fields as stopping at mid-day, noon meat and sleep to take,' and re
[Original Spelling.] freshing themselves with "caller wine' in a cave, and As I was pansing in a morning aire,
sallads steep'd in oil. As the poet lived four years
And could not sleip nor nawyis take me rest, mature life, we suspect he must have been drawing Athort the fields, it seemed to me the best. on his continental recollections for some of the
The East was cleare, whereby belyve I gest
Who by his rising in the azure skyes,
Did dewlie helse all thame on earth do dwell.
The balmie dew through birning drouth he dryis, The perfect form of every tree
Which made the soile to savour sweit and sinell,
By dew that on the night before downe fell,
Which then was soukit up by the Delphienus heit
Up in the aire : it was so light and weit.
Whose hie ascending in his purpour chere
Provokit all from Morpheus to flee :
As beasts to feid, and birds to sing with beir,
Men to their labour, bissie as the bee :
Yet idle men devysing did I see,
How for to drive the tyme that did them irk,
By sindrie pastymes, quhile that it grew mirk.
Then woundred I to see them seik a wyle,
So willingly the precious tyme to tine :
And how they did themselfis so farr begyle,
To fushe of tyme, which of itself is fyne.
Fra tyme be past to call it backwart syne
Is bot in vaine: therefore men sould be warr,
For what hath man bot tyme into this lyfe,
Which gives him dayis his God aright to know! KING JAMES VI.
Wherefore then sould we be at sic a stryfe,
So spedelie our selfis for to withdraw In 1584, the Scottish sovereign, KING JAMES VI.,
Evin from the tyme, which is on nowayes slaw ventured into the magic circle of poesy himself, and To flie from us, suppose we fled it noght?
More wyse we were, if we the tyme had soght.
I wald we sould bestow it into that
Flee ydilteth, which is the greatest lat;
Bot, sen that death to all is destinat,
Sonnet in Praise of a Solitary Life. published a volume entitled, Essayes of a Prentice in Sweet solitary life ! lovely, dumb joy, the Divine art of Poesie, with the Rewlis and Cautelis That need'st no warnings how to grow more wise to be pursued and avoided. Kings are generally, as By other men's mishaps, nor the annoy Milton has remarked, though strong in legions, but Which from sore wrongs done to one's self doth rise.
The morning's second mansion, truth's first friend, north. He realised an amount of wealth unusual for
Never acquainted with the world's vain broils, a poet, and employed part of it in building a handWhen the whole day to our own use we spend,
And our dear time no fierce ambition spoils.
For injuries received, nor dost fear
Nor its sad cure-dear-bought experience !
The Earl of Stirling (William Alexander of Menstrie, created a peer by Charles I.) was a more prolific poet. In 1637, he published a complete edition of his works, in one volume folio, with the title of Recreations with the Muses, consisting of tragedies, a heroic poem, a poem addressed to Prince Henry (the favourite son of King James), another heroic poem entitled Jonathan, and a sacred poem, in twelve parts, on the Day of Judgment. One of the Earl of Stirling's tragedies is on the subject of Julius Caesar. It was first published in 1606, and contains several passages resembling parts of Shakspeare's tragedy of the same name, but it has not been ascertained which was first published. The genius of Shakspeare did not disdain to gather hints and expressions from obscure authors—the lesser lights of the age—and a famous passage in the Tempest is supposed (though somewhat hypercritically) to be also derived from the Earl of Stirling. In the play of Darius, there
House of the Earl of Stirling. occurs the following reflection
some mansion in Stirling, which still survives, & Let Greatness of her glassy sceptres vaunt,
monument of a fortune so different from that of the Not sceptres, no, but reeds, soon bruised, soon broken : ordinary children of the muse. And let this worldly pomp our wits enchant, All fades, and scarcely leaves behind a token.
WILLIAM DRUMMOND. The lines of Shakspeare will instantly be recalled A greater poet flourished in Scotland at the same And like this insubstantial pageant, faded,
time with Stirling, namely, WILLIAM DRUMMOND of Leare not a wreck behind.
Hawthornden (1585-1649). Familiar with classic None of the productions of the Earl of Stirling touch the heart or entrance the imagination. He has not the humble but genuine inspiration of Alexander Hume. Yet we must allow him to have been a calm and elegant poet, with considerable fancy, and an ear for metrical harmony. The following is one of his best sonnets:
I swear, Aurora, by thy starry eyes,
The lady whom the poet celebrated under the name of Aurora, did not accept his hand, but he was
Drummond of Hawthornden. married to a daughter of Sir William Erskine. The earl concocted an enlightened scheme for colonising and English poetry, and imbued with true literary Nova Scotia, which was patronised by the king, yet taste and feeling, Drummond soared above a mere was abandoned from the difficulties attending its local or provincial fame, and was associated in accomplishment. Stirling held the office of secretary friendship and genius with his great English conof state for Scotland for fifteen years, from 1626 to temporaries. His father, Sir John Drummond, was 1641-a period of great difficulty and delicacy, when gentleman usher to king James; and the poet seems Charles attempted to establish episcopacy in the to have inherited his reverence for royalty. No author