with a mass of inferior workmanship. | The wood was sere, the moon i' the wane,

And it seems to us significant as to Hogg's poetry, as making him out to be more commonplace than his admirers would willingly acknowledge, that by general consent some half-dozen of passages have been singled out as his masterpieces. To that general judgment we readily assent. We submit that in any wide range of poetry of the highest order, there must be much that recommends itself to the infinite variety of minds. According to the unanimous verdict of a generation or two, the gems of Hogg's more elaborate poems are all to be found in the "Queen's Wake." They comprise some portions of "Kilmeny," which are of singular beauty; the wild western tale of "The Abbot M'Kinnon;" and the more fantastically imaginative "Witch of Fife," which he parodied admirably in "The Gude Greye Katt." Of course, many of his lyrics are exquisite not a few of the stanzas come near to perfection; and in these lyrics lay his strength. One of the best is an ode to the skylark; and then we have "When the kye comes hame," which has become a household song about every "farm-toun "" in broad Scotland; and that metrical address to Lady Anne of Buccleuch, if indeed we may fairly classify it among the lyrics.

The reek o' the cot hung o'er the plain,
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane;
When the ingle lowed wi' an eiry leme,
Late, late in the gloamin', Kilmeny came hame.

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Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace,
But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny's face;
As still was her look, and as still was her e'e,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless sea.
For Kilmeny had been where the cock never
Where the rain never fell, and the wind never



They lifted Kelmeny, they led her away,
And she walked in the light of a sunless day.
The sky was a dome of crystal bright,
The fountain of vision and fountain of light.
The emerant fields were of dazzling glow,
And the flowers of everlasting blow.
Then deep in the stream her body they laid,
That her youth and beauty never might fade:
And they smiled on heaven when they saw her
In the stream of life that wandered by.


Every one who knows anything of the poems must be familiar with these passages; and yet we can make no apology for quoting them. They are short; they are the sweetest and most spirited in their style that Hogg ever wrote; and conse. quently it is indispensable that they should be recalled in any attempt at estimating his genius. If we would show his versatility, and his wonderful command of the romantic ballad, we have but to a few pages in the

It is "Kilmeny" that gives the Shep. herd his indisputable rank as the chosen laureate of the Court of Fairyland. Kilmeny comes back from her sojourn with the "good neighbours," sadly though sweetly transformed, and set free alike turn back over from human sympathies as from human"Wake," to the "Witch of Fife," with its troubles. The opening is as enchanting grim drollery. There is concentrated as it is simple and suggestive: Bonny Kilmeny gaed up the glen; But it wasna to meet Duneira's men, Nor the rosy monk of the Isle to see,— For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be. It was only to hear the yorlin sing, And pu' the cress-flower round the spring, The scarlet hip and the hyndberrye, And the nut that hung frae the hazel tree.

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vigor in every stanza, with a rich gro
tesqueness of wild metaphor and descrip-
tive power; while in many of them we
have the setting of some weird-like picture
shadowed out in a couplet in all its de-
tails. We take a verse or two by way of

Quhare haf ye been, ye ill womyne,
Quhat garris the sweit drap fra yer brow,
These three lang nightis fra hame?

Like clotis of the saut-sea faem?

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treads the stately Spenserian measure in ruffles and court dress as if he had been to the manner born.

Of "Queen Hynde" we need say nothing, except that once more he invites comparison with Scott, reminding us of the incidents of "The Lord of the Isles; and that again he would dispense with the interest that comes of realism, by car

And the bauld windis blew, and the fire- rying his readers back to mythical times, flauchtis flew,

And the sea ran to the skie;

and giving the rein to his fancy with most And the thunder it growlit, and the sea-dogs tice to a close with some samples of the poetical license. And we bring our nosongs and lyrics. We would quote the beautiful verses to Lady Anne Scott,


As we gaed scourin' bye.

Dweller in heaven high, Ruler below!
Fain would I know Thee, yet tremble to know!
How can a mortal deem, how it may be,
That being can ne'er be but present with

"Mador of the Moor "" was written to order, the banks of the Tay having been To her whose bounty oft hath shed assigned as the theme. Originally meant Joy round the peasant's lowly bed, to be kept within moderate compass, it When trouble pressed and friends were few, And God and angels only knew. ran into five cantos; and finally, when it was apparently slipping out of the author's But we cannot spare space to give them control, was summarily brought to a close at length, and we should only injure them with an abrupt dénouement. Interest in by mutilation. Far less generally known the story is impossible, owing to the ex- is the grand monody on the "Dweller in treme improbability of the incidents; and heaven," which, though it breathes the the idea of the plot was borrowed from inspiration of ecstatic communings in "The Lady of the Lake," and the High-mountain solitudes, seems mislaid, as it land adventure of the wandering Knight of has been almost forgotten, in the mad Snowdoun. On brief deliberation, Hogg medley of the "Brownie of Bodsbeck:" chose the form of his verse so as best to harmonize with his stately word-painting; and accordingly he selected the Spenserian stanza. "It is the finest verse in the world," he had said to himself. "It rolls off with such majesty and grandeur. What an effect it will have in the descriptions of mountains, cataracts, and storms!" And, not content with treading in the steps of Spenser, he decided that he could easily improve upon him. "I had the vanity to believe that I was going to give the world a specimen of this stanza in its proper harmony." And assuredly in "Mador," as elsewhere, he shows his wonderful mastery of metre; nor can anything be more melodious than much of the rhythm. Unfortunately the poem is often open to the criticism that, if not absolutely sound without sense, it is mellifluous metre with a superficial meaning.

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But though we place "Mador "9 and the Pilgrims of the Sun," in the last, by the way, we recognize promptings from Milton- as far inferior to "Kil. meny," both in finish and genius; yet perhaps they will appear Hogg's most remarkable efforts, if we remember his extraction and upbringing.

We are

struck as much by the refinement of the sentiments as by the elevation of the style and the purity of the language; and casting his peasant slough, the Shepherd




true that Thou sawest me e'er I saw the


true that Thou knewest me before I was


That nature must live in the light of Thine
eye? -

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This knowledge for me is too great and too

That, fly I to noonday or fly I to night,
To shroud me in darkness or bathe me in light,
The light and the darkness to Thee are the


Should I with the dove to the desert repair,
And still in Thy presence of wonder I am?
Or dwell with the eagle in clough of the air:
In the desert afar, on the mountain's wild

From the eye of Omnipotence still must I

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The mountains may melt and the elements flee, Yet an universe still be rejoicing in Thee.

The "Sacred Melodies" were obviously suggested by Byron's; and Hogg is more succeesful in his own special domain of what may be called natural my thology. A singularly wild and touching ballad describes the wooing of one of those soulless fairy beauties by a mortal doomed by an inexorable destiny to be withered in her embraces, but not to die unlamented:

Oh where were ye, my bonny lass,
Wi' look sae wild and cheery?
There's something in that witchin' face
That I lo'e wonder dearly.

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The mermaid o'er thy grave shall weep,
Without one breath of scorning.
Lie still, my love, lie still and sleep,
And fare thee well till morning!

We believe few people are aware that some of the sweetest and most popular of the Jacobite songs were really written by Hogg, and not by bards of the previous century. So we may as well remind our readers that it is he who should have the credit of those spirited ditties, "Cam' ye by Athole" and "Maclean's Welcome." Once he had cause to chuckle over such a misconception: he was consoled for the

scathing review of his "Jacobite Relics " in the Edinburgh, by the reviewer, who was believed to be Jeffrey himself, prais ing the original lilt of "Donald M'Gillavry," which Hogg had slyly slipped in among the "Relics.". In fact, we should say that some of his humorous songs were as good as anything of his authorship, were it not for the moving charm of many of his pathetic lays. The best of and the former, of course, gain in point appeared originally in the "Noctes; and character by being supposed to be sung in convivial moments over the supper-table at Ambrose's; as, for example, o' Marley," and "When Maggy gang's "The Village of Balmaquhapple," "Meg away."


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A verse or two from one simple but melting love-song, and we have done - -in the hope that we may have given a not unfair idea of the kaleidoscope-like sparkle of the much-gifted Shepherd's genius. We dare not borrow from

When the kye comes hame," for it is too well known; so we fall back in an embarrassment of choice on one that happens to be a special favorite of ours:

Oh weel befa' the maiden gay,
In cottage, bught, or pen,
An' weel befa' the bonny May

That wons in yonder glen;
Wha lo'es the modest truth sae weel,
Wha's aye sae kind, and aye sae leal,
An' pure as blooming asphodel,

Amang sae mony men.

Oh weel befa' the bonny thing
That wons in yonder glen!

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From The Cornhill Magazine.




good faith, she invested her imaginary lord with the attributes of a constitutional sovereign, and proceeded from deliberation to action, fortified by a perfunctory formula of Le Roy le veult.

Now nothing could be more clear than MARGARET STANNIFORTH, as the per- that Jack would have been greatly disspicacious reader will hardly require to be pleased at any man addressing her as told, was not a strong-minded woman. Colonel Kenyon had done; still more Such claims to love and admiration as would he have been displeased had he she possessed-and Hugh Kenyon was foreseen that Colonel Kenyon, his friend by no means alone in deeming her enti- and executor, would be the man to offend tled to both were assuredly not based in such a manner. Therefore, Margaret, upon any element of strength in her char- although she had declared that she was acter, but rather, perhaps, upon the evi- not angry with Hugh, could not but feel dences of that weakness which used in old- that she had just cause for anger; nor fashioned times to be considered a womwas her anger at all lessened by conan's strength. She did not always know sciousness that, according to the generally her own mind, and was painfully aware received standard of conduct, the culprit that she did not know it; without being had been guilty of no offence at all. Peowhat is called impulsive, she was yet ple do marry again. The practice may much under the influence of impulses; be a reprehensible one, but it is not unand in all things she was prone to be common; and, upon the whole, Margaret guided less by her head than by her heart. found that her chief grievance against Of the latter the best part had been given Hugh was that he had so misunderstood away to her lost husband, and had not her as to suppose her one of those people. been recalled. With rare fidelity and im- When your friends begin to misunderaginativeness she had kept constantly stand you, you may forgive them; but you before her eyes the image of the man who are not far off from the point at which had been so long dead, and it may truly they must cease to be your friends any be said that she never decided upon any more. As Margaret had said, "It could course of action without first asking her- never be the same thing again; " and self what his wishes would have been with Hugh, for his part, was not long in reachregard to it. That her interpretation of ing a similar conviction. There was no his supposed wishes should have been for quarrel. On the contrary, vigorous ef the most part devoid of all probable accu-forts were made on both sides to avoid racy was but natural: she would have been a far more remarkable woman than she was, had it been otherwise. It is tolerably certain, for instance, that Jack Stanniforth, who had had the common sense of his family, would not have advised the adoption of our young friend Marescalchi, nor the frequent payment of that very expensive youth's bills; nor, it may be assumed, would he have held his widow called upon to provide a home and a liberal income for his mother-in-law; but, happily for Margaret, she was not troubled with disturbing doubts upon these and many other points, and seldom failed to convince herself that she had received a silent sanction for her least prudent proceedings. The process by which she arrived at this comfortable The absent, it is said, are always in the persuasion would have been found, if wrong; but the absent enjoy also this analyzed, to take the form of a beautifully counterbalancing privilege, that with the simple syllogism. Such and such things withdrawal of their persons the memory appeared to her, upon mature reflection, of their wrong-doing loses sharpness of to be right; Jack was always right; there outline. Margaret desired nothing more fore, Jack would have approved of her earnestly than to forget, if that might be, doing as she proposed. Thus, in perfect | Hugh's unfortunate lapse from the path

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even the semblance of a coolness; but in spite of these exertions - perhaps, to some extent, in consequence of themthe coolness existed, and made itself felt. Indeed, it would be difficult, under any circumstances, for a rejected suitor to remain with comfort in the same house with the lady who had rejected him; and before a week was out Colonel Kenyon entertained no doubt as to the expediency of his quitting Longbourne. In the nick of time the Horse Guards considerately provided him with an easy means of retreat by promoting him to the command of a field battery at Shorncliffe. So the colonel departed; and as soon as he was gone Margaret's heart became softened towards him.

of duty, and there were times when she | ton, holding up the book, and surveying very nearly succeeded in doing so. She it through her glasses; "but now about thought of him and missed him greatly the rest of the characters." She knew, if through the long summer days, while Mrs. Winnington, groaning over the heat, worked a huge fan with irritating rattle from morning to night; while soft-footed Mr. Langley came and went, bearing appeals for charity to the drawing-room or priestly counsel to Mrs. Prosser, of whose conscience he was the keeper; while the laughter and wrangling of the young people, rehearsing for the coming theatricals, rang through the house, and the hammering of the carpenters, who were knocking up the stage, was incessant.

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Tom Stanniforth did not, that masquerading is by no means the chief object of drawing-room comedies, and her eagle eye had at once detected the opportunities which this particular one might be made to afford for the furtherance of other and more important ends. Mr. Marescalchi will of course be the unprincipled man of fashion," she went on. "Young Mr. Brune might do for his sister's husband. Very suitable, both those parts. Then we come to the young couple; evidently Edith and Mr. Stanniforth."


Utterly preposterous and absurd! cried Mrs. Winnington; and for once the chorus was with her.

After a great deal of discussion, and But Philip said, oh, dear, no! that cast the usual difficulties with over-ambitious wouldn't do at all. How, for instance, spirits, Philip had got his company to- could you expect poor Walter to throw gether, and was laboriously drilling and any animation into his acting, if his cue coaxing its members into subordination. was to be blindly in love with his own The piece that he had chosen was a com- sister? And then, to the general astonedy of modern life, the general drift of ishment, he announced that he himself which was one that has served for many proposed to fill the part for which Walter comedies, new and old. There was a was stated to be ill qualified, while the young couple in it, who had become es- latter was to play Strephon to Edith's tranged, as young couples do in plays and Amaryllis, and Mr. Stanniforth- of all sometimes in real life, for no particular people in the world! was to be the vilreason, except that they were "half-an-lain of the piece. gered with their happy lot; " there was a wicked and fascinating man of the world, who harbored fell designs against the lovely bride; there was a clever lady, But Philip answered imperturbably, who, after promoting this intrigue through" Not in the least absurd. Now, my dear two acts and a half, flirting desperately Mrs. Winnington, I'll explain to you, if with the injured husband, and bringing you will allow me, the principle upon about all sorts of painful situations, came out in her true colors in the dénouement, when she unmasked the villain and joined the hands of the erring and repentant pair; finally, there was the guileless husband of the above lady, whose mission it was to make the audience laugh by his mingled jealousy of and admiration for her, by his bewildered queries, and by the meekness with which, upon all occasions, he obeyed her impatient command to "go away somewhere and smoke."

The play, when first read out by Philip, was fortunate enough to meet with general approval, the only dissentient voice raised being that of Tom Stanniforth, whose notion of acting was dressing up, and who protested that a play without powder and patches was only half a play; but as to the distribution of the parts there was less unanimity. Miss Brune was to take the part of the clever woman - everybody agreed as to that; and we have seen in what manner she was subsequently induced to accept it,

"So far so good," said Mrs. Winning

which all good casts are formed. Your idea, which is that of the uninitiated public, is that every one is best able to represent the character which most resembles his own. Nothing could be more erroneous; exactly the reverse is the true state of the case. A man can't imitate himself; all the little peculiarities of a person of his own stamp seem to him so natural that he never notices them; whereas, the characteristics of his opposite will strike him at once, and he will accentuate them in his acting. That is what one has to bear in mind in assigning parts to performers. Now, supposing, for example, that you yourself were to do us the honor of wishing to appear on the stage with us, do you think I should ever dream of asking you to accept the part of an amiable and benevolent lady? Never! On the other hand, if I wished for any one to interpret faithfully the character of a selfish, hypocritical old sinner, I should think of you directly."

"That is nonsense," said Mrs. Winnington, turning rather red.

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