FROM 1727


Something of a national as well as a patriotic character may be claimed for the lively song of Tullochgorum, the composition of the Rev. JOHN SKINNER (1721-1807), who inspired some of the strains of Burns, and who delighted, in life as in his poetry, to diffuse feelings of kindliness and good will among men. Mr Skinner officiated as Episcopal minister of Longside, Aberdeenshire, for sixty-five years. After the troubled period of the Rebellion of 1745, when the Episcopal clergy of Scotland laboured under the charge of disaffection, Skinner was imprisoned six months for preaching to more than four persons! He died in his son's house at Aberdeen, having realised his wish of seeing once more his children's grandchildren, and peace upon Israel.' Besides Tullochgorum,' and other songs, Skinner wrote an Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, and some theological treatises.


Come gie's a sang, Montgomery cried,
And lay your disputes all aside;
What signifies't for folks to chide

For what's been done before them?
Let Whig and Tory all agree,
Whig and Tory, Whig and Tory,
Let Whig and Tory all agree

To drop their Whigmegmorum.
Let Whig and Tory all agree

To spend this night with mirth and glee, And cheerfu' sing alang wi' me

The reel of Tullochgorum.

O, Tullochgorum's my delight; gars us a' in ane unite;


And ony sumph that keeps up spite,
In conscience I abhor him.
Blithe and merry we's be a',
Blithe and merry, blithe and merry,
Blithe and merry we's be a',

And mak' a cheerfu quorum.
Blithe and merry we's be a',
As lang as we hae breath to draw,
And dance, till we be like to fa',

The reel of Tullochgorum.
There need na be sae great a phrase
Wi' dringing dull Italian lays;
I wadna gie our ain strathspeys

For half a hundred score o' 'em.
They're douff and dowie at the best,
Douff and dowie, douff and dowie,
They're douff and dowie at the best,
Wi' a' their variorums.
They're douff and dowie at the best,
Their allegros, and a' the rest,
They canna please a Highland taste,
Compared wi' Tullochgorum.
Let warldly minds themselves oppress
Wi' fear of want, and double cess,
And sullen sots themselves distress
Wi' keeping up decorum.
Shall we sae sour and sulky sit,
Sour and sulky, sour and sulky,
Shall we sae sour and sulky sit,

Like auld Philosophorum ? Shall we sae sour and sulky sit, Wi' neither sense, nor mirth, nor wit, And canna rise to shake a fit

At the reel of Tullochgorum? May choicest blessings still attend Each honest-hearted open friend; And calm and quiet be his end,

And a' that's good watch o'er him!

May peace and plenty be his lot,
Peace and plenty, peace and plenty,
May peace and plenty be his lot,

And dainties, a great store o' 'em!
May peace and plenty be his lot,
Unstained by any vicious blot;
And may he never want a groat,
That's fond of Tullochgorum.

But for the discontented fool,
Who wants to be oppression's tool,
May envy knaw his rotten soul,

And discontent devour him!
May dool and sorrow be his chance,
Dool and sorrow, dool and sorrow,
May dool and sorrow be his chance,

And nane say, Wae's me for 'im! May dool and sorrow be his chance, And a' the ills that come frae France, Whae'er he be that winna dance The reel of Tullochgorum!



ROBERT CRAWFORD, author of The Bush aboon Traquair, and the still finer lyric of Tweedside, was the brother of Colonel Crawford of Achinames. assisted Allan Ramsay in his 'Tea-Table Miscellany,' and, according to information obtained by Burns, was drowned in coming from France in the year 1733. Crawford had genuine poetical fancy and expression. The true muse of native pastoral,' says Allan Cunningham, seeks not to adorn herself with unnatural ornaments; her spirit is in homely love and fireside joy; tender and simple, like the religion of the land, she utters nothing out of keeping with the character of her people, and the aspect of the soil; and of this spirit, and of this feeling, Crawford is a large partaker.'

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The Bush aboon Traquair.

Hear me, ye nymphs, and every swain,
I'll tell how Peggy grieves me;
Though thus I languish and complain,
Alas! she ne'er believes me.
My vows and sighs, like silent air,
Unheeded, never move her;

At the bonnie Bush aboon Traquair,
'Twas there I first did love her.

That day she smiled and made me glad,
No maid seemed ever kinder;

I thought myself the luckiest lad,
So sweetly there to find her;

I tried to soothe my amorous flame,
In words that I thought tender;
If more there passed, I'm not to blame-
I meant not to offend her.

Yet now she scornful flees the plain,
The fields we then frequented;

If e'er we meet she shows disdain,
She looks as ne'er acquainted.

The bonnie bush bloomed fair in May,
It's sweets I'll aye remember;
But now her frowns make it decay-
It fades as in December.

Ye rural powers, who hear my strains,
Why thus should Peggy grieve me?
O make her partner in my pains,
Then let her smiles relieve me :
If not, my love will turn despair,
My passion no more tender;

I'll leave the Bush aboon Traquair-
To lonely wilds I'll wander.



What beauties does Flora disclose !
How sweet are her smiles upon Tweed!
Yet Mary's, still sweeter than those,
Both nature and fancy exceed.
No daisy, nor sweet blushing rose,

Not all the gay flowers of the field,
Not Tweed, gliding gently through those,
Such beauty and pleasure does yield.
The warblers are heard in the grove,

The linnet, the lark, and the thrush;
The blackbird, and sweet cooing dove,
With music enchant every bush.
Come let us go forth to the mead;

Let us see how the primroses spring;
We'll lodge in some village on Tweed,
And love while the feathered folk sing.
How does my love pass the long day?
Does Mary not tend a few sheep?
Do they never carelessly stray

While happily she lies asleep?
Should Tweed's murmurs lull her to rest,
Kind nature indulging my bliss,
To ease the soft pains of my breast,
I'd steal an ambrosial kiss.

'Tis she does the virgins excel;

No beauty with her may compare; Love's graces around her do dwell;

She's fairest where thousands are fair. Say, charmer, where do thy flocks stray? Oh, tell me at morn where they feed? Shall I seek them on sweet-winding Tay? Or the pleasanter banks of the Tweed?


ners, a nice perception of the ludicrous, a vein of original comic humour, and language at once copious and expressive, form his chief merits as a poet. He had not the invention or picturesque fancy of Allan Ramsay, nor the energy and passion of Burns. His mind was a light warm soil, that threw up early its native products, sown by chance or little exertion; but it had not strength and tenacity to nurture any great or valuable production. A few short years, however, comprised his span of literature and of life; and criticism would be ill employed in scrutinising with severity the occasional poems of a youth of twenty-three, written from momentary feelings and impulses, amidst professional drudgery or midnight dissipation. That compositions produced under such circumstances should still exist and be read with pleasure, is sufficient to show that Fergusson must have had the eye and fancy of a true poet. His observation, too, for one so young, is as remarkable as his genius: he was an accurate painter of scenes of real life and traits of Scottish character, and his pictures are valuable for their truth, as well as for their liveliness and humour. If his habits had been different, we might have possessed more agreeable delineations, but none more graphic or faithful. Fergusson was born in Edinburgh on the 17th of October 1751. His father, who was an accountant in the British Linen Company's bank, died early, but the poet received a university education, having obtained a bursary in St Andrews, where he continued from his thirteenth to his seventeenth year. On quitting college, he seems to have been truly unfitted with an aim,' and he was glad to take employment as a copying clerk in a lawyer's office. In this mechanical and irksome duty his days were spent. His evenings were devoted to the tavern, where, over 'caller oysters,' with ale or whisky, the choice spirits of Edinburgh used to assemble. Fergusson had dangerous qualifications for such a life. His conversational powers were of a very superior description, and he could adapt them at will to humour, pathos, or sarcasm, as the occasion might require. He was well educated, had a fund of youthful gaiety, and sung Scottish songs with taste and effect. To these qualifications he soon added the reputation of a poet. Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine' had been commenced in 1768, and was the chosen receptacle for the floating literature of that period in Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh. During the two last years of his life, Fergusson was a constant contributor to this miscellany, and in 1773 he collected and published his pieces in one volume. Of the success of the publication in a pecuniary point of view, we have no information; but that it was well received by the public, there can be no doubt, from the popularity and fame of its author. His dissipations, however, were always on the increase. His tavern life and boon companions were hastening him on to a premature and painful death. His reason first gave way, and his widowed mother being unable to maintain him at home, he was sent to an asylum for the insane. The religious impressions of his youth returned at times to overwhelm him with dread, but his gentle and affectionate nature was easily soothed by the attentions of his relatives and friends. His recovery was anticipated, but after about two months' confinement, he died in his cell on the 16th of October 1774. His remains were interred in the Canongate churchyard, where they lay unnoticed for twelve years, till Burns erected a simple stone to mark the poet's grave. The heartlessness of convivial friendROBERT FERGUSSON was the poet of Scottish city-ships is well known: they literally wither and die life, or rather the laureate of Edinburgh. A happy in a day.' It is related, however, that a youthful talent of portraying the peculiarities of local man- companion of Fergusson, named Burnet, having

SIR GILBERT ELLIOT, author of what Sir Walter Scott calls the beautiful pastoral song,' beginning

My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook, was father of the first Earl of Minto, and was distinguished as a speaker in parliament. He was in 1763 treasurer of the navy, and afterwards keeper of the signet in Scotland. He died in 1777. Mr Tytler of Woodhouselee says, that Sir Gilbert Elliot, who had been taught the German flute in France, was the first who introduced that instrument into Scotland, about the year 1725.


My sheep I neglected, I broke my sheep-hook,
And all the gay haunts of my youth I forsook;
No more for Amynta fresh garlands I wove;
For ambition, I said, would soon cure me of love.
Oh, what had my youth with ambition to do?
Why left I Amynta? Why broke I my vow?
Oh, give me my sheep, and my sheep-hook restore,
And I'll wander from love and Amynta no more.
Through regions remote in vain do I rove,
And bid the wide ocean secure me from love!
Oh, fool! to imagine that aught could subdue
A love so well-founded, a passion so true!
Alas! 'tis too late at thy fate to repine;
Poor shepherd, Amynta can never be thine :
Thy tears are all fruitless, thy wishes are vain,
The moments neglected return not again.




gone to the East Indies, and made some money, invited over the poet, sending at the same time a draught for £100 to defray his expenses. This instance of generosity came too late: the poor poet had died before the letter arrived.

Falconer or Logan (he received the same education as the latter), his inferior rank as a general poet will be apparent.

Fergusson's Tomb.

Fergusson may be considered the poetical progenitor of Burns. Meeting with his poems in his youth, the latter strung his lyre anew,' and copied the style and subjects of his youthful prototype. The resemblance, however, was only temporary and incidental. Burns had a manner of his own, and though he sometimes condescended, like Shakspeare, to work after inferior models, all that was rich and valuable in the composition was original and unborrowed. He had an excessive admiration for the writings of Fergusson, and even preferred them to those of Ramsay, an opinion in which few will concur. The forte of Fergusson lay, as we have stated, in his representations of town-life. The King's Birthday, The Sitting of the Session, Leith Races, &c., are all excellent. Still better is his feeling description of the importance of Guid Braid Claith, and his Address to the Tron-Kirk Bell. In these we have a current of humorous observations, poetical fancy, and genuine idiomatic Scottish expression. Farmer's Ingle suggested The Cotter's Saturday Night' of Burns, and it is as faithful in its descriptions, though of a humbler class. Burns added passion, sentiment, and patriotism to the subject: Fergusson's is a mere sketch, an inventory of a farm-house, unless we except the concluding stanza, which speaks to the heart:

Peace to the husbandman, and a' his tribe,


Whase care fells a' our wants frae year to year! Lang may his sock and cou'ter turn the glebe, And banks of corn bend down wi' laded ear! May Scotia's simmers aye look gay and green; Her yellow hairsts frae scowry blasts decreed ! May a' her tenants sit fu' snug and bien,

Frae the hard grip o' ails and poortith freedAnd a lang lasting train o' peacefu' hours succeed!

In one department-lyrical poetry-whence Burns draws so much of his glory-Fergusson does not seem, though a singer, to have made any efforts to excel. In English poetry he utterly failed, and if we consider him in reference to his countrymen,

Braid Claith.

Ye wha are fain to hae your name
Wrote i' the bonnie book o' fame,
Let merit nae pretension claim

To laurelled wreath,

But hap ye weel, baith back and wame,
In guid braid claith.

He that some ells o' this may fa',
And slae-black hat on pow like snaw,
Bids bauld to bear the gree awa,
Wi' a' this graith,

When beinly clad wi' shell fu' braw
O' guid braid claith.

Waesucks for him wha has nae feck o't!
For he's a gowk they're sure to geck at ;
A chiel that ne'er will be respeckit
While he draws breath,

Till his four quarters are bedeckit
Wi' guid braid claith.

On Sabbath-days the barber spark,
When he has done wi' scrapin' wark,
Wi' siller broachie in his sark,

Gangs trigly, faith!

Or to the Meadows, or the Park,
In guid braid claith.
Weel might ye trow, to see them there,
That they to shave your haffits bare,
Or curl and sleek a pickle hair,

Would be right laith,
When pacin' wi' a gawsy air

In guid braid claith.

If ony mettled stirrah green1
For favour frae a lady's een,
He maunna care for bein' seen
Before he sheath
His body in a scabbard clean
O' guid braid claith.
For, gin he come wi' coat threadbare,
A feg for him she winna care,
But crook her bonny mou fou sair,
And scauld him baith:
Wooers should aye their travel spare,
Without braid claith.
Braid claith lends fouk an unca heeze;
Maks mony kail-worms butterflees;
Gies mony a doctor his degrees,
For little skaith:

In short, you may be what you please,
Wi' guid braid claith.

For though ye had as wise a snout on,
As Shakspeare or Sir Isaac Newton,
Your judgment fouk would hae a doubt on,
I'll tak my aith,

Till they could see ye wi' a suit on
O' guid braid claith.


To the Tron-Kirk Bell. Wanwordy, crazy, dinsome thing, As e'er was framed to jow or ring! What gar'd them sic in steeple hing, They ken themsel; But weel wat I, they couldna bring Waur sounds frae hell.

1 Desire.

Fleece-merchants may look bauld, I trow,
Sin' a' Auld Reekie's childer now
Maun stap their lugs wi' teats o' woo,
Thy sound to bang,

And keep it frae gaun through and through
Wi' jarrin' twang.

Your noisy tongue, there's nae abidin't;
Like scauldin' wife's, there is nae guidin't;
When I'm 'bout ony business eident,
It's sair to thole;

To deave me, then, ye tak a pride in't,
Wi' senseless knoll.

Oh! were I provost o' the town,
I swear by a' the powers aboon,
I'd bring ye wi' a reesle down;

Nor should you think (Sae sair I'd crack and clour your crown) Again to clink.

For, when I've toom'd the meikle cap,
And fain wald fa' owre in a nap,
Troth, I could doze as sound's a tap,
Were't no for thee,

That gies the tither weary chap
To wauken me.

I dreamt ae night I saw Auld Nick:
Quo' he- This bell o' mine's a trick,
A wily piece o' politic,

A cunnin' snare,

To trap fouk in a cloven stick,

Ere they're aware.

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And then, I trow,

The byword hauds, 'The diel himsel
Has got his due.'

Scottish Scenery and Music.
[From Hame Content, a Satire."]

The Arno and the Tiber lang
Hae run fell clear in Roman sang;
But, save the reverence o' schools,
They're baith but lifeless, dowie pools.
Dought they compare wi' bonnie Tweed,
As clear as ony lammer bead?

Or are their shores mair sweet and gay
Than Fortha's haughs or banks o' Tay?
Though there the herds can jink the showers
'Mang thriving vines and myrtle bowers,
And blaw the reed to kittle strains,
While echo's tongue commends their pains ;
Like ours, they canna warm the heart
Wi' simple saft bewitching art.
On Leader haughs and Yarrow braes,
Arcadian herds wad tyne their lays,
To hear the mair melodious sounds
That live on our poetic grounds.

Come, Fancy! come, and let us tread
The simmer's flowery velvet bed,
And a' your springs delightful lowse
On Tweeda's bank or Cowdenknowes.

That, ta'en wi' thy enchanting sang,
Our Scottish lads may round ye thrang,
Sae pleased they'll never fash again
To court you on Italian plain;
Soon will they guess ye only wear
The simple garb o' nature here;
Mair comely far, and fair to sight,
When in her easy cleedin' dight,
Than in disguise ye was before
On Tiber's or on Arno's shore.

O Bangour! now the hills and dales
Nae mair gie back thy tender tales!
The birks on Yarrow now deplore,
Thy mournfu' muse has left the shore.
Near what bright burn or crystal spring,
Did you your winsome whistle hing?
The muse shall there, wi' watery ee,
Gie the dunk swaird a tear for thee;
And Yarrow's genius, dowie dame!
Shall there forget her bluid-stained stream,
On thy sad grave to seek repose,

Who mourned her fate, condoled her woes.

Cauler Water.

When father Adie first pat spade in
The bonnie yard o' ancient Eden,
His amry had nae liquor laid in
To fire his mou;

Nor did he thole his wife's upbraidin',
For bein' fou.

A cauler burn o' siller sheen,

Ran cannily out-owre the green;

And when our gutcher's drouth had been
To bide right sair,

He loutit down, and drank bedeen
A dainty skair.

His bairns had a', before the flood,
A langer tack o' flesh and blood,
And on mair pithy shanks they stood
Than Noah's line,

Wha still hae been a feckless brood,
Wi' drinkin' wine.

The fuddlin' bardies, now-a-days,
Rin maukin-mad in Bacchus' praise;
And limp and stoiter through their lays

While each his sea of wine displays
As big's the Pontic.

My Muse will no gang far frae hame,
Or scour a' airths to hound for fame;
In troth, the jillet ye might blame
For thinkin' on't,
When eithly she can find the theme
O' aqua font.

This is the name that doctors use,
Their patients' noddles to confuse;
Wi' simples clad in terms abstruse,
They labour still
In kittle words to gar you roose
Their want o' skill.
But we'll hae nae sic clitter-clatter;
And, briefly to expound the matter,
It shall be ca'd guid cauler water;
Than whilk, I trow,
Few drugs in doctors' shops are better
For me or you.

Though joints be stiff as ony rung,
Your pith wi' pain be sairly dung,
Be you in cauler water flung

Out-owre the lugs,

"Twill mak you souple, swack, and young,

Withouten drugs.

1 Mr Hamilton of Bangour, author of the beautiful ballad 'The Braes of Yarrow.'

Though cholic or the heart-scad teaze us;
Or ony inward dwaam should seize us;
It masters a' sic fell diseases

That would ye spulzie,
And brings them to a canny crisis
Wi' little tulzie.

Were't no for it, the bonnie lasses
Wad glower nae mair in keekin'-glasses;
And soon tyne dint o' a' the graces
That aft conveen

In gleefu' looks, and bonnie faces,
To catch our een.

The fairest, then, might die a maid,
And Cupid quit his shootin' trade;
For wha, through clarty masquerade,
Could then discover
Whether the features under shade
Were worth a lover?

As simmer rains bring simmer flowers,
And leaves to cleed the birken bowers,
Sae beauty gets by cauler showers
Sae rich a bloom,

As for estate, or heavy dowers,

Aft stands in room.

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[A Sunday in Edinburgh.]

[From Auld Reekie.']

On Sunday, here, an altered scene
O' men and manners meets our een.
Ane wad maist trow, some people chose
To change their faces wi' their clo'es,
And fain wad gar ilk neibour think
They thirst for guidness as for drink;
But there's an unco dearth o'
That has nae mansion but the face,
And never can obtain a part
In benmost corner o' the heart.
Why should religion mak us sad,
If good frae virtue's to be had?
Na rather gleefu' turn your face,
Forsake hypocrisy, grimace;
And never hae it understood
You fleg mankind frae being good.
In afternoon, a' brawly buskit,
The joes and lasses loe to frisk it.
Some tak a great delight to place
The modest bon-grace owre the face;
Though you may see, if so inclined,
The turning o' the leg behind.
Now, Comely-Garden and the Park
Refresh them, after forenoon's wark:

1 St Anthony's Well, a beautiful small spring, on Arthur's Seat, near Edinburgh. Thither it is still the practice of young Edinburgh maidens to resort on May-day.

Newhaven, Leith, or Canonmills,
Supply them in their Sunday's gills;
Where writers aften spend their pence,
To stock their heads wi' drink and sense.
While danderin cits delight to stray
To Castlehill or public way,
Where they nae other purpose mean,
Than that fool cause o' being seen,
Let me to Arthur's Seat pursue,
Where bonnie pastures meet the view,
And mony a wild-lorn scene accrues,
Befitting Willie Shakspeare's muse.
If Fancy there would join the thrang,
The desert rocks and hills amang,
To echoes we should lilt and play,
And gie to mirth the live-lang day.

Or should some cankered biting shower The day and a' her sweets deflower, To Holyrood-house let me stray, And gie to musing a' the day; Lamenting what auld Scotland knew, Bein days for ever frae her view. O Hamilton, for shame! the Muse Would pay to thee her couthy vows, Gin ye wad tent the humble strain, And gie's our dignity again! For, oh, wae's me! the thistle springs In domicile o' ancient kings, Without a patriot to regret

Our palace and our ancient state.


Ad Amicos.

[By Richard West-written at the age of twenty. This amiable poet died in his twenty-sixth year, 1742.]

Yes, happy youths, on Camus' sedgy side,
You feel each joy that friendship can divide;
Each realm of science and of art explore,
And with the ancient blend the modern lere.
Studious alone to learn whate'er may tend
To raise the genius, or the heart to mend ;
Now pleased along the cloistered walk you rove,
And trace the verdant mazes of the grove,
Where social oft, and oft alone, ye choose,
To catch the zephyr, and to court the muse.
Meantime at me (while all devoid of art
These lines give back the image of my heart),
At me the power that comes or soon or late,
Or aims, or seems to aim, the dart of fate;
From you remote, methinks, alone I stand,
Like some sad exile in a desert land;
Around no friends their lenient care to join
In mutual warmth, and mix their hearts with mine.
Or real pains, or those which fancy raise,
For ever blot the sunshine of my days;
To sickness still, and still to grief a prey,
Health turns from me her rosy face away.

Just Heaven! what sin ere life begins to bloom,
Devotes my head untimely to the tomb?
Did e'er this hand against a brother's life
Drug the dire bowl, or point the murderous knife!
Did e'er this tongue the slanderer's tale proclaim,
Or madly violate my Maker's name?
Did e'er this heart betray a friend or foe,
Or know a thought but all the world might know!
As yet just started from the lists of time,
My growing years have scarcely told their prime;
Useless, as yet, through life I've idly run,
No pleasures tasted, and few duties done.
Ah, who, ere autumn's mellowing suns appear,
Would pluck the promise of the vernal year;
Or, ere the grapes their purple hue betray,
Tear the crude cluster from the mourning spray?

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