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PEGGY.
O PATIE, let me gang, I mauna stay ;
We're baith cry'd hame, and Jenny she's away.

PATIE.
I'm laith to part sae soon; now we're alane, ..
And Roger he's away wi' Jenny gane;
They're as content, for aught I hear or see,
To be-alane themselves, I judge, as we.
Here, where primroses thickest paint the green, ..
Hard by this little burnie let us lean :
Hark! how the lav'rocks chant aboon our heads,

ALLAN RAMSAY was born in 1686, in the parish of Crawfurd Moor, Lanarkshire, where his father was a miner, and where, according to his own account, he was " bred fifteen summers." At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a wig maker in Edin burgh, and continued to occupy himself in "theeking the out," as well as “lining the inside of mony a douse and witty pash," until he became his own master, when his taste for books led him to trade in them. He was the first who established a circulating library in Scotland; he published several rare old poems, among others Christ's Kirk on the Green, by James the First; and in 1721 issued from his own shop an edition of his own works," in a large quarto volume, fairly printed.” In 1726 appeared his “Gentle Shepherd;" its merits were at once acknowledged; the great “wits" of the south, Pope, Somerville, and Gay, were warm in its praise ; and it established the fame of the writer on the sure foundation which it still occupies.

He appears, however, to have been satisfied, at a comparatively early age, with the advantages he had derived from his acquaintance with the Muses. In 1736, in a letter to a friend, he states that for six or seven years past he had not written a line of poetry, and adds, that he "e'en gave over in good time, before the coolness of fancy that attends advanced life should make him risk the reputation he had acquired." He afterwards fitted up a theatre, and introduced into Edinburgh the “ Hell-bred Playhouse Comedians," as they were designated by the wrathful citizens of the good town, who speedily demolished the building which the Poet, at considerable expense, had fitted up for the reception of those who were expected to triumph over “Learning's barbarous foes." Ramsay lived to a good old age; he died in 1758. He is described as small in

expressive features. He was "an honest man, and of great pleasantry;" indeed he seems to have been constitutionally good humoured; and as he was engaged in an agreeable and profitable business, which he pursued with assiduity, he was preserved from those vicissitudes and irregularities which are too frequently the bane of natural genius.

The poems of Allan Ramsay are numerous : to “The Gentle Shepherd," however, he is mainly indebted for the fame which is by no means limited to his native country: there, indeed, “its verses have passed into proverbs, and it continues to be the delight and solace of the peasantry whom it describes." In England, perhaps, it is more talked of than read. The Scottish dialect in which it is written may not invite perusal; vet it is difficult to agree with Dr. Blair, that this peculiarity is a disadvantage, or to justify an attempt which was made in 1790, to "render it into English." Take away the diction so admirably in keeping with the characters, and change the descriptions of scenery, customs, and manners, so exclusively Scottish, and the great charms of the work are lost. As a Pastoral Drama it may bear comparison with any production in the language, indeed we know of none equal to it, if nature and truth are the standards by which the merits of a production are to be determined. The machinery of the poem is such only as the hills, and dales, and cottages, and fields supply; we have no fauns, or satyrs, or deities, miscalled "sylvan," to carry us away from the reality of the events; the shepherds and shepherdesses are such as wear gracefully and naturally the kirtle, and not such as would be more fitly dressed in ruffles and lace. Nothing is exaggerated; if there be much of simple dignity in the

of the drama, it is dignity which grows neither from vanity nor affectation; we meet with nothing in any degree inconsistent; every part, person, and circumstance is in perfect keeping with the whole.

The scene is laid among the Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh, and the story principally recites the loves of a shepherd and shepherdess- Patie and Peggy. The return from exile, to "enjoy his ain again," of a rich and good Sir William Worthy, proves Patie to be his son, and of course calls upon the new-made laird to choose a more becoming mate than the humble Peggy. We have selected the passages which describe the interviews of the faithful pair before and after the discovery of the youth's birth. In the end, however, Peggy is shown to be also of gentle blood, "a bonny foundling," adopted by the shepherd Glaud; and all goes sweetly as a marriage bell. The story is thus highly wrought, and of exceeding interest; the incidents are romantic but unforced. The youth and maid are as fitted to adorn the high station to which they are

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O PATIE, let me gang, I mauna stay;
We're baith cry'd hame, and Jenny she's away.

PATIE.
I'm laith to part sae soon ; now we're alane,
And Roger he's away.'wi' Jenny gane;
They're as content, for aught I hear or see,
To be alane themselves, I judge, as we.
Here, where primroses thickest paint the green,..
Hard by this little burnie let us lean :
Hark! how the lav'rocks chant aboon our heads,

[graphic]

wues ana lace. Nothing is exaggerated; if there be much of simple dignity in the leading characters of the drama, it is dignity which grows neither from vanity nor affectation; we meet with nothing in any degree inconsistent; every part, person, and circumstance is in perfect keeping with the whole.

The scene is laid among the Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh, and the story principally recites the loves of a shepherd and shepherdess-Patie and Peggy. The return from exile, to "enjoy his ain again," of a rich and good Sir William Worthy, proves Patie to be his son, and of course calls upon the new-made laird to choose a more becoming mate than the humble Peggy. We have selected the passages which describe the interviews of the faithful pair before and after the discovery of the youth's birth. In the end, however, Peggy is shown to be also of gentle blood, "a bonny foundling," adopted by the shepherd Glaud; and all goes sweetly as a marriage bell. The story is thus highly wrought, and of exceeding interest; the incidents are romantic but unforced. The youth and maid are as fitted to adorn the high station to which they are

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O Patie, let me gang, I mauna stay; • We're baith cry'd hame, and Jenny she's away.

,

PATIE.
I'm laith to part sae soon; now we're alane,
And Roger he's away.'wi' Jenny gane;
They're as content, for aught I hear or see,
To be alane themselves, I judge, as we.
Here, where primroses thickest paint the green,..
Hard by this little burnie let us lean :
Hark! how the lav'rocks chant aboon our heads,

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