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The rivers fresh, the caller streams
weak at arguments, and the rules and cautelis' of O'er rocks can swiftly rin,
the royal author are puerile and ridiculous. His The water clear like crystal beams,
majesty's verses, considering that he was only in And makes a pleasant din.
his eighteenth year, are more creditable to him, and
we shall quote one from the volume alluded to.
Ane Schort Poeme of Tyme.
And could not sleip nor nawyis take me rest, mature life, we suspect he must have been drawing
Athort the fields, it seemed to me the best.
The East was cleare, whereby belyve I gest
Who by his rising in the azure skyes,
Did dewlie helse all thame on earth do dwell.
The balmie dew through birning drouth he dryis, The perfect form of every tree
Which made the soile to savour sweit and smell, Within the deep appear.
By dew that on the night before downe fell,
Which then was soukit up by the Delphienus heit
Up in the aire: it was so light and weit.
Whose hie ascending in his purpour chere
Provokit all from Morpheus to flee :
As beasts to feid, and birds to sing with beir,
Men to their labour, bissie as the bee :
Yet idle men devysing did I see,
How for to drive the tyme that did them irk,
By sindrie pastymcs, quhile that it grew mirk.
Then woundred I to see them seik a wyle,
So willingly the precious tyme to tine :
And how they did themselfis so farr begyle,
To fushe of tyme, which of itself is fyne.
Fra tyme be past to call it backwart syne
Is bot in vaine : therefore men sould be warr,
For what hath man bot tyme into this lyfe,
Which gives him dayis his God aright to know ! KING JAMES VI.
Wherefore then sould we be at sic a stryfe,
So spedelie our selfis for to withdraw
More wyse we were, if we the tyme had soght.
I wald we sould bestow it into that
Flee ydilteth, which is the greatest lat;
Bot, sen that death to all is destinat,
EARL OF ANCRUM-EARL OF STIRLING, Two Scottish noblemen of the court of James were devoted to letters, namely, the EARL OF ANCRUM (1578-1654) and the EARL OF STIRLING (1580-1640). The first was a younger son of Sir Andrew Ker of Ferniehurst, and he enjoyed the favour of both James and Charles I. The following sonnet by the earl was addressed to Drummond the poet in 1624. It shows how much the union of the crowns under James had led to the cultivation of the English style and language :
Sonnet in Praise of a Solitary Life.
of any note, excepting, perhaps, Dryden, has been so Drummond was peculiarly blessed with means of lavish of adulation as Drummond. Having studied inspiration. In all Scotland, there is no spot more civil law for four years in France, the poet succeeded, finely varied—more rich, graceful, or luxuriant, in 1611, to an independent estate, and took up his than the cliffs, caves, and wooded banks of the river residence at Hawthornden. If beautiful and romantic Esk, and the classic shades of Hawthornden. In the scenery could create or nurse the genius of a poet, immediate neighbourhood is Roslin Castle, one of
Hawthornden, the seat of Drummond. the most interesting of Gothic ruins; and the whole timent, and grace of expression. Drummond wrote course of the stream and the narrow glen is like a number of madrigals, epigrams, and other short the ground-work of some fairy dream. The first pieces, some of which are coarse and licentious. The publication of Drummond was a volume of occasional general purity of his language, the harmony of his poems; to which succeeded a moral treatise in verse, and the play of fancy, in all his principal proprose, entitled, the Cypress Grove, and another poeti-ductions, are his distinguishing characteristics. With cal work termed, the Flowers of Zion. The death of a more energy and force of mind, he would have been lady, to whom he was betrothed, affected him deeply, a greater favourite with Ben Jonson—and with posand he sought relief in change of scene and the ex- terity. citement of foreign travel. On his return, after an absence of some years, he happened to meet a young lady named Logan, who bore so strong a resemblance
The River of Porth Fcasting. to the former object of his affections, that he solicited What blustering noise now interrupts my sleeps! and obtained her hand in marriage. Drummond's What echoing shouts thus cleave my crystal deeps ? feelings were so intense on the side of the royalists, And seem to call me from my watery court! that the execution of Charles is said to have hastened What inelody,
what sounds of joy and sport, his death, which took place at the close of the same Are convey'd hither from each night-born spring! year, December 1649. Drummond was intimate with With what loud murmurs do the mountains ring, Ben Jonson and Drayton ; and his acquaintance which in unusual pomp on tiptoes stand, with the former has been rendered memorable by a And, full of wonder, overlook the land ! visit paid to him at Hawthornden, by Jonson, in the Whence come these glittering throngs, these meteon spring of 1619. The Scottish poet kept notes of the bright, opinions expressed by the great dramatist, and chro- This golden people glancing in my sight? nicled some of his personal failings. For this his Whence doth this praise, applause, and love arise ; memory has been keenly attacked and traduced. It What load-star draweth us all eyes ? should be remembered that his notes were private Am I awake, or have some dreams conspir'd memoranda, never published by himself; and, while To mock my sense with what I most desir’d ! their truth has been partly confirmed from other View I that living face, see I those looks, sources, there seems no malignity or meanness in which with delight were wont t'amaze my brooks ! recording faithfully his impressions of one of his most Do I behold that worth, that man divine, distinguished contemporaries. The poetry of Drum- This age's glory, by these banks of mine i mond has singular sweetness and harmony of versi- Then find I true what I long wish'd in vain ; fication. He was of the school of Spenser, but less My much-beloved prince is come again. ethereal in thought and imagination. His Tears on So unto them whose zenith is the pole, the Death of Moeliades (Prince Henry, son of James I.) When six black months are past, the sun does roll : was written in 1612; his Wandering Muses, or the So after tempest to sea-tossed wights, River Forth Feasting (a congratulatory poem to King Fair Helen's brothers show their
clearing lights : James, on his revisiting Scotland), appeared in 1617, So comes Arabia's wonder from her woods, and placed him among the greatest poets of his age. And far, far off is seen by Memphis' floods ; His gonnets are of a still higher cast, have fewer The feather'd sylvans, cloud-like, by her fly, conceits, and more natural feeling, elevation of sen- | And with triumphing plaudits beat the ský: 159
Nile marvels, Serap's priests entranced rave,
And birds their ramagel did on thee bestow. And in Mygdonian stone her shape engrave;
Since that dear voice which did thy sounds approve, In lasting cedars they do mark the time
Which wont in such harmonious strains to flow, In which Apollo's bird came to their clime.
Is reft from earth to tune the spheres above,
But orphan wailings to the fainting ear,
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear ; Or with that golden storm the fields adorn
For which be silent as in woods before :
Like widow'd turtle still her loss complain.
[The Praise of a Solitary Life.]
Thrice happy he who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own, And you, my nymphs, rise from your moist repair, Strew all your springs and grots with lilies fair.
Thou solitary, who is not alone, Some swiftest footed, get them hence, and pray
But doth converse with that eternal love. Our floods and lakes may keep this holiday ;
O how more sweet is bird's harmonious moan, Whate'er beneath Albania's hills do run,
Or the hoarse sobbings of the widow'd dove, Which see the rising or the setting sun,
Than those smooth whisperings near a prince's Which drink stern Grampus' mists, or Ochil's snows: Which good make doubtful, do the evil approve !
throne, Stone-rolling Tay, Tyne, tortoise-like, that flows;
O how more sweet is Zephyr’s wholesome breath, The pearly Don, the Dees, the fertile Spey, Wild Severn, which doth see our longest day ;
And sighs embalm'd which new-born flowers unfold, Ness, smoking sulphur, Leve, with mountains crown'd, How sweet are streams to poison drank in gold !
Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath! Strange Lomond for his floating isles renown'd; The Irish Rian, Ken, the silver Ayr,
The world is full of horror, troubles, slights : The snaky Doon, the Orr with rushy hair,
Woods' harmless shades have only true delights.
[To a Nightingale.]
Of winters past, or coming, void of care.
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers : Bid them bid sea-gods keep this festival;
To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers, This day shall by our currents be renown'd;
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare, Our hills about shall still this day resound :
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare, Nay, that our love more to this day appear,
A stain to human sense in sin that low'rs. Let us with it henceforth begin our year.
What soul can be so sick which by thy songs To virgins flowers, to sun-burnt earth the rain, (Attir'd in sweetness) sweetly is not driven To mariners fair winds amidst the main ;
Quite to forget earth’s turmoils, spites, and wrongs, Cool shades to pilgrims, which hot glances burn, And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven? Are not so pleasing as thy blest return,
Sweet artless songster! thou my mind dost raise That day. dear Prince.
To airs of spheres-yes, and to angels' laya
[Epitaph on Prince Henry.]
To his Lute.
My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow
I know that all beneath the moon decays,
* Milton has copied this image in his Lycidas
• Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge Like to that sanguine flower, inscribed with woe.
"Warbling: from ramage, French.
I know frail beauty like the purple flower,
The morning rose, that untouch'd stands,
Arm'd with her briers, how sweetly smells !
But pluck'd and strain'd through ruder hands,
But scent and beauty both are gone,
And leaves fall from her, one by one.
Such fate, ere long, will thee betide,
When thou hast handled been awhile,
Like sere flowers to be thrown aside;
And I will sigh, while some will smile,
To see thy love for more than one
Hath brought thee to be loved by none.*
GEORGE BUCHANAN-DR ARTHUR JOHNSTON.
Scottish Ovid. We allude to the celebrated GEORGE
BUCHANAN and DR ARTHUR JOHNSTON. The for-
Thine be the grief as is the blame ;
He that can love unlov'd again,
Hath better store of love than brain :
While unthrifts fool their love away.
If thou hadst still continued mine ;
But thou thy freedom did recall,
That if thou might elsewhere inthral;
A captive's captive to remain ?
And chang'd the object of thy will,
Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so,
To such as must to others pray.
The height of my disdain shall be,
mer is noticed among our prose authors. His great To love thee still, but go no more
work is his paraphrase of the Psalms, part of which A begging to a beggar's door.
was composed in a monastery in Portugal, to which
he had been confined by the Inquisition about the [I do Confess Thou’rt Smooth and Fair.)
year 1550. He afterwards pursued the sacred strain in
France; and his task was finished in Scotland when
Mary had assumed the duties of sovereignty. Buch-
* It is doubtful whether this beautiful song (which Burns
destroyed by rendering into Scotch) was actually the compoThat lips could speak had power to move thee : sition of Ayton. It is printed anonymously in Lawes's Ayres and But I can let thee now alone,
Dialogues, 1659. It is a suspicious circumstance, that in WalAs worthy to be loved by none.
son's Collection of Scottish Poems (1706-11), where several poems I do confess thou’rt sweet, yet find
by Sir Robert are printed, with his name, in a cluster, this is
inserted at a different part of the work, without his name. Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets,
But the internal evidence is strongly in favour of Sir Robert Thy favours are but like the wind,
Ayton being the author, as, in purity of language, elegance, and 'I'hat kisses every thing it meets.
tenderness, it resembles his undoubted lyrics. Aubrey, in And since thou can with more than one,
praising Ayton, says, ' Mr John Dryden has seen verses of his, Thou’rt worthy to be kiss'd by none.
some of the best of that age, printed with some other vorses.'