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OF

SCOTTISH POEMS:

ANCIENT AND MODERN.

EDITED

WITH MEMOIRS OF THE AUTHORS

By J. ROSS.

O deem not, 'midst this worldly strife,

An idle art the Poet brings :
Let high Philosophy control
And sages calm the stream of life,
'Tis he refines its fountain-springs,
The nobler passions of the soul.

CAMPBELL.

EDINBURGH:
THE EDINBURGH PUBLISHING COMPANY.
LONDON : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO.

EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY THE COMMERCIAL PRINTING COMPANY,

22 HOWE STREET.

PRE FACE.

HAVING prefaced the subject by an Historical Introduction, the Editor has here simply to indicate some of the principles to which he has adhered, and the considerations by which he has been influenced in the practical carrying out of the prospectus in which this exposition of the Poetry of Scotland was announced.

To exhibit Scottish poetry as an exponent of the breadth and depth of the national character, was laid down as the leading aim of the work. But while holding that its influence as a purifying, consolidating, and consecrating element is the main use of national poetry, and that this consideration, from a general and popular point of view, should govern his treatment of it, the Editor has not been indifferent to its linguistic bearings.

In the selection of poems and specimens, simplicity, adherence to nature, and the predominance of character, are features to which due deference has been paid; but no rigid rule, dispensing with the constant exercise of the judgment, was adopted. Poetical merit has been the leading consideration, but the space given to each author is not to be taken as our estimate of their relative merits, for in the cases of Burns, Scott, and Campbell, their unmutilated popularity is our reason for giving them a merely formal recognition.

In the Ancient Section, when not marked unaltered, the spelling of all words that could only be pronounced as they are at present, has been modernized, as thai, they ; bute, boot; and the use of v for u and u for v, as in vpon and euery, has been abolished as misleading.

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These, with the conversion of the plurals es and is into s, when not required by the measure, are the chief changes that have been made, and they constitute nine-tenths of the verbal hindrances to the easy reading of our old authors, from Barbour to Montgomery. Nowhere has the structure been touched, nor a word altered that was decided to be other than a mere antiquated spelling. The texts have invariably been taken from the best authorities, and these are pointed out in the Lives and Introductory Notes; and in some cases, as in the “King's Quair" of James I., a comparison of texts has been made. The more obvious expedients by which the Editor has tried to popularize, by facilitating the comprehension of the quaint but beautiful poetry of our ancient bards, need not be here pointed out.

In the Modern Section, beginning with Ramsay, a more general acquaintance with the subject has been presumed, and the texts are left untouched; for, except Ramsay, the moderns use almost no spellings that are not essential to their pronunciation.

A striking feature of our modern poetry is the profusion of its song-writers; and the number of excellent songs by anonymous authors prove the general diffusion of the lyric faculty to be a Scottish characteristic. A not less remarkable indication of the same fact is the process of popular attrition by which some of the rough diamonds of song have been polished into finished gems.

Of the lives of the poets, it is enough to remark that they are the outcome of a comparison of the best authorities, and it is believed they omit no facts essential to the formation of an impartial estimate of their subjects.

EDINBURGH, November 1877.

CONTENTS.

1

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21

PAGE

PAGE

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION,

Robert HENRYSON-

129

THOMAS OF ERÇELDOUNE-

Robene and Makync,

131

134

Thomas the Rhymer,

Testament of Cresseid,

16

A Vision of Æsop,

145

The Story of Sir Tristrem,

The Wolf and the Lamb,

146

HUCHOWNE,

31

The Prologue,

150

ANONYMOUS POETRY-

The Cock and the Jasp,

151

Ralph the Collier, .

The Dog, Wolf, and Sheep,

34

153

The Twa Mice,

156

JOHN BARBOUR-

41

Tale of the Paddock and the Mouse, 161

Preface to the Bruce,

44

The Value of Freedom,

The Preaching of the Swallow,

164

44

Bruce's Humanity,

WILLIAM DUNBAR-

44

171

The Battle of Bannockburn,

45

The Thistle and the Rose,

177

The Fisher and the Fox,

49

The Golden Targe,

181

Spring,

50 Learning Vain without Good Life, 186

ANDREW WYNTOUN-

Meditation in Winter,

186

50

The Lamb of St Serf,

No Treasure avails without Gladness,: 187

53

188

St Serf and the Devil,

Love, Earthly and Divine,

53

To the Merchants of Edinburgh, .

Macbeth and the Witches,

189

54

The Flight of Macduff,

Of James Doig, Keeper of the Queen's

54

Wardrobe,

191

Pope John, that was a Woman,

55

Of the said James,

191

Duke of Orlean's Defence of the Scots, 56

To the King,

192

HENRY THE MINSTREL-

57

To a Lady,

193

Young Wallace : his Character,

60 Of the Changes on Life,

193

Adventure of Wallace while Fishing in

Lament for the Makars,

193

Irvine Water,

61 The Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins, :

195

Wallace Wight,

62 WALTER KENNEDY-

197

Wallace visits the English Camp,

63'

The Praise of Age,

Lament for Wallace,

199

63

Sketches of Nature,

64!

ANONYMOUS POETRY -

James The First-

65

The Friars of Berwick, .

The King's Quair,

The Three Priests of Peebles,

73

218

Peblis to the Play,

The Wowing of Jok and Jynny,

99!

Christ's Kirk on the Green,

The Wife of Auchtermuchty,

220

103

ANONYMOUS Poetry

Sir John MOFFAT, .

Remember the End,

223

The Battle of Harlaw,

108

Cockelbie's Sow,

QUINTINE Shaw- .

224

112

The Murning Maiden,

Advice to a Courtier,

121

224

King Berdock,

124 Gavin DOUGLAS--

225

PATRICK JOHNSTOUN,

126 King Hart,

234

The Thre Deid Powis,

126 The Palace of Honour,

253

MERSAR,

Translation of Virgil's 'Eneid,

127

260

Perell of Paramours,

128 David LINDSAY-

265

HOLLAND,

128 The Dream, .

272

.

222

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