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The wyves cam furth, and up they hest him,

And fand lyfe in the loun,
Then with three routtis? up thai reft him,
And curd him of his soune,

Fra hand that day, At Christ's Kirk of the Grene, &c, * Peebles at the Play' partakes much of the same character as • Christ's Kirk on the Green,' presenting a highly humorous picture of the incidents occurring at a Scottish fair and weaponschawing held near that ancient town. · The anniversary games or plays at Peebles,' says the same able critic whose “Dissertation" we have already quoted, are of so high antiquity, that at this day it is only from tradition, joined to a few remains of antiquity, we can form any conjecture of the age

of their institution, or even trace the vestiges what these games were ....That this town, situated on the banks of the Tweed, in a pastoral country, abounding with game, was much resorted to by our ancient Scottish princes is certain : King Alexander III. is said to have had a huntingseat here: the place where it stood is still pointed out. We are told by Boetius that the monastery of Cross Church, now in ruins, was built by that prince, and anciently our monarchs occasionally took up their residence in religious houses. Contiguous to it is a piece of ground, of old surrounded by walls, and still called the King's Orchard; and on the opposite side of the river is the King's Green. The plays were probably the golf, a game peculiar to the Scots, football, and shooting for prizes with bow and arrow. The shooting butts I found life in the rogue.

? loud bellowings. instantly.


still remain ; and an ancient silver prize-arrow, with several old medallions appended to it, is, as I am informed, still preserved in the town-house of Peebles.' Our limits will only permit us to give some of the opening stanzas :

At Beltane ' when each body bownis

To Peblis at the Play,
To hear the singing and the sownis,

The solace, sooth to say,
By firth and forest, furth they found,

They grathit them full gay;
God wot that would they do that stound,'
For it was their feast-day,

They said,
Of Peblis to the Play.

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All the wenches of the West

Were up ere the cock crew,
For reeling there might no man rest

For garay and for glew*.
One said my curches are not prest,

Then answered Meg, full blue,
To get a hood I hold it best,
I wow bot that is true,

Quoth she,

Of Peblis to the Play.
Hope, Cayley, and Cardronows,

Gatherd out thick fold,
With heigh-how-rumbelow,

fools were full bold ;
The bag-pipe blew, and they outthrew

Out of the towns untold;
Lord such a shout was them among,
When they were o'er the wold,

There west, To Peblis at the Play. * Dissertation on the Life of James J. · Beltane, an ancient festival on the 1st of May. * clothed themselves. 8 preparation. glee.

• the names of villages on the Tweed.



The late Mr. George Chalmers, in his little work entitled the Poetic Remains of the Scottish Kings,' has, without assigning any sufficient reasons, reverted to the exploded theory of Tanner and Gibson, and printed Christ's Kirk on the Green,' amongst the productions of James V.

le has also hazarded an assertion, which is completely contradicted by the intrinsic evidence of the work itself. He wrote his “ Quhair,” (says he,) when he was yet a prisoner, and while he was young. Had he read the 6th stanza of the second canto, or the epilogue, he would have found that in the one, he speaks of his captivity or detention in England having endured for eighteen years; and in the other, commemorates in strains of high enthusiasm, his happiness subsequent to his marriage; a certain proof that the poem was not completed till after his union with Johanna Beaufort, and his return to his own dominions.

This monarch, however, in addition to his poeti. cal powers, was a person of almost universal accomplishment. He sang beautifully, and not only accompanied himself upon the harp and the organ, but composed various airs and pieces of sacred inusic, in which there was to be recognized the same original and inventive genius which dis. tinguished him in everything to which he applied his mind. It cannot be doubted, says Mr. Tytler, in his · Dissertation on Scottish Music,' that under such a genius in poetry and music as James I., the national music must have greatly improved. One great step towards this was, the introduction of organs by this prince, into the cathedrals and abbeys in Scotland; and, of course, the establish

ment of a choral service of church music. The testimony of Tassoni is still more remarkable : • We may reckon among us moderns,' says he, in his Pensiera Diversi,' lib. 10, James, King of Scotland, who not only composed many sacred pieces of vocal music, but also of himself invented a new kind of music, plaintive and melancholy, different from all other; in which he has been imitated by Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, who, in our age, has improved music with new and admirable inventions.'


It says little for the gratitude of Scotland, that of some of her sweetest poets, whose works have been admired and sought after by future times, little is known but the name. Their life is a mere blank ; they have spent it in some remote province, unacknowledged and almost unseen by the world ; struggling, perhaps, against the attack of poverty and the iniquity of fortune ; yet, nursing amidst this neglect, a mind of superior powers-finding a solace in the cultivation of their intellect and the exercise of their genius which has more than repaid them; and from a full, and sometimes a weeping heart, pouring out strains which were destined to be as imperishable as the language and literature of the country. Such has been the fate of Robert Henryson, of whom the following passage in Urry, the editor of • Chaucer, contains the sum of our knowledge : • The author of the “ Testament of Creseide,” which might pass for the sixth book of this story, I have been informed by Sir James Erskine, late Earl of Kelly, and divers aged scholars of the Scottish nation, was

one Mr. Robert Henryson, chief schoolmaster of Dum

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