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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 scorn 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 above
Is virtuous pride. Had Mariam thus been proud,
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 na. We do not suffer here alone,
tions, that the works of the English bards seem to Though we are beygar'd, so's the king ; 'Tis sin t' have 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 dissenOur feet shall rise, our bodies sink
sions. In England, the Reformation had proceeded
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 Gifi to the
racter; and so widely was the polemical spirit diffused, author of the tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Queen, in 1562, saysJewry, 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 Scot wrote several short satires, and some miscellasimplicity :
neous poems, the prevailing amatory character of [Revenge of Injuries.]
which has caused him to be called the Scottish AnaThe 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 foc ?
Lo what it is to lure ! 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.
Satire on the Town Ladies,
Sen she that I have servit lang,
Is to depart so suddenly,
And beir thy lady company.
Fra she be gone, heartless am I; For why? thou art with her possest.
Therefore, my heart! go hence in hy, And bide with her thou luvis best. 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 2 Under that redolent rose to rest !
Yet at the least, my heart, thou sall Abide with her thou luvis 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
Deplore, ye ladies clear of huc,
Her absence, sen she must depart, And specially ye luvers true,
That wounded be with luvis dart.
For ye sall want you of ane heart
Do go with mine, with mind inwart,
SIR RICHARD MAITLAND.
SIR RICHARD MAITLAND of Lethington (14961586), father of the Secretary Lethington, of Scottish history, relieved the duties of his situation as a judge and statesman in advanced life, by composing some moral and conversational pieces, and collecting, into the well-known manuscript which bears his name, the best productions of his contemporaries. These
1 Rather 3 Garden.
. Competent ; had it in my power.
I Wot, or know not.
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,
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 Phæbus' wholesome heat.
Burns, in describing the opening scene of his Holy Fair, har
• 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 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 smell, Within the deep appear.
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 pastymcs, 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 ! 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 rentured 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,
KING JAMES VI.
EARL OF ANCRUM-EARL OF STIRLING,
Two Scottish noblemen of the court of James were devoted to letters, namely, the EARL OF ANCRUM (1578-1654) and the EARL OF STIRLING (1580-1640). The first was a younger son of Sir Andrew Ker of Ferniehurst, and he enjoyed the favour of both James and Charles I. The following sonnet by the earl was addressed to Drummond the poet in 1624. It shows how much the union of the crowns under James had led to the cultivation of the English style and language :
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 Revlis 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 Cæsar. It was first published in 1606, and contains several passages resembling parts of Shakspeare's tragedy to 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, a Let Greatness of her glassy sceptres vaunt,
monument of a fortune so different from that of the
time with Stirling, namely, WILLIAM DRUMMOND of Leave 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