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I was bred up at nae sic school,
And naebody to see me.
Ye shall get gowns and ribbons meet,
If ye'll but stand to what ye 've said,
While waters wimple to the sea,
THE FLOWERS OF THE FOREST.
[JANE ELLIOT. Born 1727; died 1805.]
I've heard them lilting, at our ewe-milking,
Lasses a-lilting, before the dawn of day;
But now they are moaning, on ilka green loaning1;
At bughts in the morning nae blythe lads are scorning3; The lasses are lanely, and dowie, and wae ;
Nae daffing, nae gabbing, but sighing and sabbing,
Ilk ane lifts her leglin, and hies her away.
In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering, The bandsters are lyart, and runkled and gray;
At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching-
A loaning is a grass path through corn-fields for the use of the cattle.
3 teasing. 4
5 pail. men who bind up the sheaves.
At e'en, in the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming
Dool and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border!
The English, for ance, by guile wan the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
We'll hear nae more lilting at our ewe-milking,
[JOHN MAYNE. Born 1759; died 1836.]
By Logan's streams that rin sae deep
While my dear lad maun face his faes,
Far, far frae me and Logan braes.
Nae mair, at Logan kirk, will he,
I weel may sing thae days are gane-
At e'en, when hope amaist is gane,
O! cou'd I see thae days again,
FOR LACK OF GOLD.
[ADAM AUSTIN, M.D. Born 1726? died 1774.]
She me forsook for Athole's duke,
And to endless woe she has left me, O.
For empty titles we must part,
And for glittering show she's left me, O.
No cruel fair shall ever move
My injur'd heart again to love;
[ADAM SKIRVING. Born 1719; died 1803.] Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar :Charlie, meet me an ye daur,
And I'll learn you the art o' war,
If you'll meet wi' me i' the mornin.
Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet?
If ye were wauking, I wad wait
To gang to the coals i' the morning.
1 The reader need hardly be reminded that Sir John Cope commanded the English forces at Preston l'ans, and was defeated by the Young Pretender.
When Charlie looked the letter upon,
And we'll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.
Now, Johnnie, be as good's your word,
When Johnnie Cope he heard of this,
Fy now, Johnnie, get up and rin,
When Johnnie Cope to Dunbar came,
For I left them a' i' the morning.
Now, Johnnie, troth ye are na blate1,
Sae early in the morning.
Oh! faith, quo' Johnnie, I got sic flegs1
If I face them again, deil break my legs...
[ROBERT FERGUSSON was born in Edinburgh 5th September, 1750. At the end of his Arts course at St. Andrew's he was forced by the death of his father and the poverty of his mother to accept a miserable post as lawyer's clerk, the monotonous drudgery of which he varied by the composition of his poems and by some slight excesses, which were fatal to his feeble constitution. Mania supervened upon illness, and he died in a lunatic asylum 16th October, 1774. His contributions to the Weekly Magazine, 1771, made him famous. His poems were collected in a small volume in 1773.]
Fergusson is an interesting figure in the literary history of his country as an instance of precocious poetical talent, and as a link between his predecessor Ramsay and his mightier successor Burns. His fame is indissolubly associated with that of Burns, not only because Burns erected a monument over his grave, and inscribed on it one of those rapturous eulogies which the mention of Fergusson's name always called forth from him, but still more because of the extraordinary flattery which Burns bestowed upon him by imitating him almost as often and as much as he surpassed him. Specimens of Burns' ''prentice hand' are preserved in the larger editions of his works. But they are few in number as well as of slender significance in regard to the possibilities of his genius. It was the reading of Fergusson's poems, he himself tells us, which moved him to resume his 'wildly sounding lyre,' when in his early manhood he had for a time laid it aside. The same influence which recalled him to the service of the Muses dictated to a surprising extent the choice and the treatment of his themes throughout his poetical career, and certainly during its most fertile period. So many of his bestknown pieces, like The Holy Fair, The Cotter's Saturday Night, his epistles and satires, bear obvious traces of having been suggested by his youthful predecessor's slender volume of song, that it is as if Burns, solitary genius in other respects, were solitary also in this respect-that his juvenilia were not written by his own hand, but by a poetical predecessor still more pre