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Letter from Mr. Gavin Kinloch.
We are certainly much indebted to our friend Mr. Wilson for the following sprightly little piece he has sent us, of a young man of departed worth and talent; and for Mr. Wilson's own learned notes on the subject. We were not a little pleased at the letter (that accompa¬ nied the packet) written by the young man's father. There are some feeling touches of nature in it, which we believe many of our readers. can sufficiently appreciate. We beg leave therefore to prefix it to what was properly intended for our Mirror-and in doing so we hope Mr. Kinloch will not be displeased with us. We trust Mr. Wilson will be able to prevail upon his friend to favour us with a few of his. son's pieces. ED.
TO THE EDITOR.
The Schulemaister read your Prospectus to us yestreen: he said it wad maybe amuse us; for ye ken we've a' been unco dull sin' Sandie died. A wee thing, they say, hurts a waefu' heart-an" aften i' the twa dreerie months that hae rowed owre sin' I closed the een o' my only bairn, the pride and comfort o' my auld grey hairs, I hae fand whan I had least thocht o't, that the bruized reed is easily broken. I canna weel say, whan Mr. Wilson read o' "the POET'S CORNER no being forgotten," whether it was the way he said the word Poet, (for it was him that raised that name on my laddie that's gane,) or gin it was the leuk he gied to the seat at the ingle side he used to sit in; or gif we had ony min' o' the lanely neuk i' the Kirk-yard whare he's lyin'; I dinna ken, but the muckle saut tears drappet owre my cheeks, an' the guidwife co'er'd her face wi' her apron; an' Nanny (puir thing, I'm whiles waeer for Nanny than mysel',) sabbet and grat like a wean.
The Maister prigget sair to get something o' Sandie's for your paper: for he had promisin' parts, and had read muckle in the death langiges, and had a guid knack at makin' translations an' sangs-an' ⚫ he said it wad comfort us mair than he could tell to see ony thing o' his in prent. But waes me! as I telt him, what comfort can that gie us?-his waistin' was brocht on by readin' and writin' the live-lang nicht; gin he had waured mair o' his time like ither young lads, an' it had pleased Him who disposes a' things for the best, he micht aiblins hae baen spared yet, to gladden his auld mither, an' his bonny bride that taks nae pleasure now but in greetin' ower his grave. Just to
The First Sang o' Anacreon.
pleasure him I took out a lowse leaf frae the tap o' a bundle in his kist. I daredna to leuk mysel what it was-for the han' that wrote it is cauld in the yirth. Mr. Wilson said it wad be necessar for him or some ither learned man to put explanations tilt-an' yere to get i in the inside. Your frien' an' weelwis'er,
THE FIRST SANG O' ANACREON. (1.)
(1.) It does not become me now to correct the errations of my deceased disciple; but being it may happen that this publication may fall into hands other than my own Juniores, and such as like them have been instructed in the "Litere Humaniores," I deem it necessary to mention for the sake of the profanum vulgus that are not erudite in the polite arts, that this is not a literal version of him of Teos. Indeed although my hortations were not ineloquent, nor my reprovals unfrequent, my departed friend seldom indulged me with a true translation of his prelections; yet he seldom aberrated so much as this seemeth to be; and had it been excuded in my gymnasium, the antiquary should not have detected an anachronism so gross as to put the heroes of modern Caledon in the licentious mouth of that levious bard who lived A. M. 3472. B. C. 532.
(2.) By the noun brae (Scot.) I am dubious whether the poet meant. Helicon, or Pindus, or Pierus, or Parnassus, all which mountains as we (the learned) know have been held
Translation from the Medea.
sacred by the Heathens to the Muses. Into the controversy whether there were nine (as the vulgar and semi-literati opine,) or four or three, although the subject be of momentous importance, and I am well qualified to decide thereon, I pray you to excuse my not entering at present.
(3.) Yes, doubtless, my lamented friend might well say so, or if he had superadded Greek-in that language I am equally conversant. But I must acknowledge myself in no little dubiety to quote the ipsissima verba to which he refers me. It might be "Nulli mutabile fatum, or Fata volentem ducunt, nolentemque trahunt;" or perad venture, "Natura reluctante, labor irritus est," as the sage Seneca hath it-or Natu ram expellas furca, tamen usque recurrit, as it is sapiently recorded in one of the epis. tles of Horatius Flaccus, &c. &c.
My wish to avoid on all occasions the imputation of pedantry, (which quality a blue stocking once most erroneously allegated of me, when I requested at dinner a segment from the substratum of a leg of lamb) prevents my introducing more phrases in expli cation of this difficulty. For I cannot agree with the hint which I deduced from a late article n the Edinburgh Review, at least in this instance, that he merely introduced this parenthesis for the sake of the rythmus, albeit it doth not rhyme well. Such a licence (however indulged in by poets less attended to in their education) would never be found in my pupil, who has often heard me enumerate the nine following reasons why loose translations and unwarranted liberties with the text are unjustifiable, unreasonable and improper. 1mo. In as far as they tend to obscure the passage—to give an erroneous account to the simple reader of the words and ideas of the original-toBut as I see two of my Tirones combating on the green, and the index of the Horologe approximating to the Hora Tertia (among the Romans), I shall conclude with a valedictory promise of resuming these most interesting and not unedifying lucubrations on a future occasion.
Garshake Academy, 24th September, 1818.
A. WILSON, A. M.
The following translation of the first and second antistrophes of a most beautiful chorus in the Medea we trust will not be unacceptable to our poetical readers. It is the production of a young gentleman distinguished in the University of Glasgow (of which he is an alumnus) for his great and various abilities. From such an earnest we have every thing to expect.
No longer now, as oft in ages past,
O that the leader of the tuneful band
Had taught our sex to strike the trembling lyre!
Translation from the Medea.
Then had I struck it with a vengeful hand,
And tun'd its thund'ring notes to "words of fire."
Then had the guilty arts of men been sung;
Then had seduction's thousand wiles been known; Then treachery on every string had rung,
By every note their baseness had been shown.
But time shall tell the tale, though we are mute,
And truth shall vindicate the female name.
Gone now, for ever gone, the guileless days,
Gone too the time, when timid shame diffus'd
The conscious blush o'er guilt's dissembling cheeks; By crafty mortals injur'd and abus'd,
In heaven the trembling maid a refuge seeks.
Hence spring thy many woes, ill fated queen,
ray of hope to gild the gloom" is seenFor ev'n thy country owns thee not her child.
No friendly native mansion now remains,
To shield thee from the bitter grasp of wo;
No father's home, where freed from griefs and pains, Thy future hours might yet untainted flow.
And here thou can'st not stay: thy faithless spouse
The Blind Irish Harper's Lament for his Dog.
BLIND IRISH HARPER'S LAMENT FOR HIS DOG.
BY T. CAMPBELL, ESQ.
Tune, "The Nine Links of Yellow."
On the green banks of Shannon, when Sheelah was nigh,
No blyth Irish lad was so happy as I,
Nor harp like my own could so cheerily play,
When at last I was forc'd from my Sheelah to part,
Poor Dog! he was faithful and kind to be sure,
When the road was so dark and the night was so cold,
Though my wallet was scant I remember'd his case,
Where now shall I go, poor, forsaken and blind,