David Herschell Edwards.

One hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 15) online

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Fifteentli Series.









Adamsox, Rev. R. M. 373


Das ist im leben

Lines to Beethoven.


The brooklet.

AiTOHisox, Rev. James 2.3

The rivulet.
The ruined castle.
Fading away.
The valley.

Andek.son, Rev. Duncan 365

Fishing song.

To ,a slieep's head ami trotters.

Josephine, to her eliardoiineret

Anderson, Petek . . 94
Cluud and calm.
The engagement ring.

Anous, William . . 122
O lass, aie you weary.
My lionnie Jean.
The sun will shine again.

Bean, Marcaret . . 309
Whaur my harp lo'es to dwell.
Oor ain auld niither land.
The ballad of Seatield Tower.
A message from the sea.

Bell, M.D., Robert . 305

The burn.

Never show your sting.
The biaes o' Loch Awe.
Spring in Gleiiorchy.

Bo(;uE, John .... 20
Home of my childhood.
Dear Kelvin glade.
Come back to me, my love.

Booth, Jane ... 88
A vision of victory.
" Unto the perfect day."
Tlie swallow.
The snowdrop.

Bridie, John . . . 338
The aulrl bleachin' green.
The auld brig.
" There's aye some water

whaiir the stirkie dioons."
Burns' centenary celebration.
Peter tlie postman.

Brownlie, Rev. John 271

Lght of light.

() come in early morning.
Fret not, my soul.

1 broupjht my darkest sin
to mind.

Cameron, Archibald. 2.39
The Scottish hospital.
Kiss and make it up again.
A plea for pussy.

Campbell, Samuel 8. . 266

Children, joyous tripping.

Oot u' wark.

A sleeping chiM.

The lass to mak' a wife o'.

Spring is nearing.

O ken ye whaur.

Campbell, Robert.
I l)uilt me a bower
A Highland stream
Guardian Angels
Alaternal grief






Chuistie, John . . . 221

Noo, just fancy th:vt.
Tlie auld siniiiiiei seat.
Kiss an' cmliile.
Oov Nan's a twalmoiith

Cooi'Eii, Rev. James . S80

Coiiiinunion aiitliem.

Due are we.

Sequence of Saint Nicholas.

Davidsox, U. T. M. . 422
Q\ieen faiiy's song
Tlie teacliei's song
The telling faiiy's song

Daloleisii, Waltek . 67
V>v the auld trystin' tree.
Biddy Mag. e.
The Scottish tongue.

Dawsox, Christopher 4C

Wordi in se;isoii.
The thiiftless wife.
The stieet— the mind.
The auld kirkyard.

Doyle, A. Coxax . . 257

The song of the how.
The storming party.

DrNCAX, James Alex. 70
The heauty o' life's gloaniin'.^
The lassie wi' the gowdeii hair.
'J lie licht heart.
"The undiscovered country."

Forsyth, Thomas . . 378
Gone liefore.
Highland music.

Geebie, Georoe . . 386
An Ayrshire miner's tale.

Geddes, Sir William 176


'I'he leopard cats o' Aherdeeu.

Canliciiin in Almnvi Mat

rem Aherdoiwuxein.
The old ehurdi of Camvie

Gilfillan, Rev. Geokue 107

Our Father's house.

Ehjah's car.

Thoughts in Lincduden Ahhey.

The eloquence of evening.

l.ove, the canopy of eve.


Gillespie, James D. . 213

The marriage of the Mar-
quis of Lome.

Ta Cilendale crofters.

Tlie salmon and the cart


GooDLET, Quextix C. . 173

Wae, wae is my heart,
(iiairfaiihei's ne'er-day lilt.
Faither is gane.

GoRDox, Johx W. . . 329
IJid you ever think to write

a poem.
Tlie minister's tree.
Paddle your own canoe.

Graxt, Johx Camerox 249
(jood in grime.

Kall'ide : Of love found.

Ballade : Of the song of the

Greene, J. W. ... 345
A mother sat watching.
.••■11 nnortlKidox I allad.
I'oodles gets a tooth.
When your pants are letting

Hardie, Johx . . . 351

Only lent.

winter days.
The oM mill wheel.

1 am dreaming, often dream-

Harvey, William

The dying pilgrim.
The Scottish cl.ins.


Hay, William . . 129
Here's to thee, Morayland.
The white horse.

Haywood, Axxie W.

The harhour bar.


Flower memories.

The twilight hour.





HowAT, Rev. J.\mes . 292
"The Master is coine, ami

calletli fi.r thee "
A dream of the iioi th couiitree
Evenhig liynni
A spri^' u' heatlier.

Irvin(;, Archibald S. 22G

Tlie rising inoiii.
IJeauty's power.
Ocwiied with myrtle.
Along the hay.

Kelly, Joan . . . 333
Oh, tell na me.
The .sailm'.s wife.
Tlie widow's jiiite.

Kent, Joiix .... 63

Aye dae your host.
A happy hame

Kerr, Huan .... 418
The wee claspin' Bible

Kerr, Su.san , . . 391

Memory of Spiiiig

New Year's tve

The murder of James the

First of Scotland

KipPEN, DrxcAX . . 139

Bonnie Ochtertyre

Two hnimie liirds

My Hi^ldaiid bride

I'm now upon my journey

Oh ! this is the spot
Adown the glen the pibroch


KiRKLANU, Daniel . 190
A response fioin home
Brechin's hraes
O Annie fair

Knox, William . . 164

Locan, J. C. ... 170

Granny's pii nwhcel
Weaiin' doon the brae
The huosie on the brae

Low, Rev. William L. 73

Tlie dead fisherman
The living water
The auKl man


LuxDiE, R. H. . . . 416
The years are passing o\er
I have a home above

Lyndon, William , 31

Tlie Skye crofter
Oor Tammy mak's the anvil

Macculloch, J. M. . 439
The faithful heart

Song of the Scots frae hame
Tlie Auld Kirkyaird
Jamie's farewell

MACLEOD, Rev. Dr. J.,

MoRVEN, . . . 425
The Clansmen

Maclkod, Rev. Dr. J.,

CovAN, .... 430
Higliland love songs
I'assing Morven
Salachan bui-n at Morven
Remember not

MACLEOD, Mrs \orjian 437

Sound the pibroch

M.\cleod, Axxie C . 437

O'er the jiioor
Fair young Mary

Macfie, Roxald C. . 104
God's hiifher education
We wail
In the white future

Maclacan, Robert C. 230
I am a doctor
King Solomon

MAcrHERSON, Hector 60

Jly bairn at sea
Scotland's flower
A winter sang

Macphersox, iL\RY . 42
Cnmha Ncill Mhic-lhomhnoill
Marhhrann do *Mliaiii Nic-

Marshall, Acnes

Oor bnrnside
The shepherd's song
Limpin' Kate
Oor wag-at-the-wa'





Marshall, Andkew . 288
Loving words
'I'ht! suMiine
Tlie ridiculous

Mather, Rev. James 243

The raven
Mont Blanc
A summer day
A child's fancy

Mercer, Gr.?>:me Reid 194

Glentulchan's sweet Hower

Millar, Charles . . 400

Ane o' ilk bunder
My umbrella
On a bassinette

Miller, A. C. . . . 298

To nry garden
A summer shower
" A daisy chain "
To my sweetheart

Milne, Robert C. . . 78

Chit-cliat by a little kit-cat
Willie and Frances

Milne, William . . 277
Auld Jamie the blacksmith
In Strathmore

M'Chevne. Rev. R. M. 82

The sea of Galilee
Jeliovah Tiidkenu
Like mist on the mountain
"I am debtor "

M'Cutoheon, John . .3.3

The hameless orphan
Tarn and his mitber
I mind o' ye, Jessie

M'Donald, Agnes . 155


In ant (beams

The witlured spray

M'Grkjor, I^Irs w. t. im
Auld Liz

I'm iin auld minstrel body
The brittle thread


M'Leod, Evven . . . 133

Lines to thought

My Hif;hland lad

Mdladli air oigh Cihealaich air

The young wife to her drunk-
en husband

McKen/.ie, Leslie, . 320
Misfortune's favourite
Taui and Jessie

OwLER, David ... 356
The golden rule
When birdies sang
Tho' lang is the nicht

Paterson, Jeannie (i. 284
" Bidin' her time"
Golden days
A wee drap o' tea
The auld kivkyaird

Patterson, Rev. A. S. 262
Mountain liymn
Sea-shore thoughts

Ramsay, Donald . . 233
Jeannie IJell
Pof-m. (To the late David

The daisy
Love's whisper

Reid, Georoe ... 37

The Canaanite's daughter
There's no a cheek in (jourdoii

Reid, John D. . . . 166
The woods o' Stobba'
Tbe cocintin' did it
Tlie wail of a l^ondon .Scot

ROHERTSON', A. S. . . 145
My Jolin
Tlie pidbationer
The widow's lament
A cobbler's song
The winds o' March
Auld .Scotland

Robertson, Mahoik . 100
.My native land
"The greatest of these is

charity "
blissful spot




Sandersox, William 300
The soft lowland toiijriie
A stout heart will conquer
Sweet Leithen Vale

Sinclair, William . 40G

The victor cliief

The Koyal Hreadalbane oak

Smith, John M.U. . 204

" Quack, quack, quackery "
The clinical examination
I'hil M'Keowii's pis
Caller ou'
Stewart, Andrew . 96

See the proud ship
Lines on the sparro^y
The botanist's song
My heart goes out to thee

Taylor, John . . . 420
For what shall I praise Thee
Beauty in Nature

Taylor, David . . 397
" The proof o' the puddin's

the pret'in' o't "
Oor aiii mither tongue
My ain gudeuian

Thomson, Alexander 1S7
" The candidate "
A river's romance

Thomson, Hope A. . 152
The gloaming
The sliores of the Minch
Amid the Hit^hland glens
John Howard Payne
Summer in Skye


Thomson, James . . 315
Sandy and Jock
On stealing
Come, hing yer heads

TuTTiETT, Rev. L. . . 326
Hyinn after marriage
Hymn for the mourner
Cio forward, Cluistian soldier
To a snowilrop

Watson, Archibald I. 126

The flower o' Donside
The song of the flowers

Wilson, Geor(;e M.D. 5

Ye pearly shells
Origin of" the snowdrop
The Christian soldier
Athanamus contra inunduvi
A story of a country wight

Wilson, Rev. W. R. B. 360
Ora et labore
God's smile revealed
The happy man

Williamson, Daniel . 53
The dying flea
The benighted Englishman
There's things sae sma'

Wood, John Pillans 3S4

Spring musings
The wild curlew

Young, David ... 282
An address to a bat
The lass o' Dysai t shore


P R E F A T ( ) R Y NOTE

SHOULD any of mir readers take tlie troiilile to glance
over the " Introdiictory Notes" appended to the
t'oreiroiiig voluiiies of this work, we feel that they will con-
sider these "Notes" off) somewhat conflicting nature —
some of tlie i)riimises (perhafKs rash) being seemingly made
only to l)e broken, while others, it may be, were in several
resjjects more than fulfilled. The unex|)ectetl demands on
our space, and coiisecjuent growth of the work, are the
main causes of our schemes " ga'n aft aglee." At last, how-
ever, in this volume, wiiich is more bulky and is the result
of more thought and correspondence than any of its pre-
decess()rs, we come for tlie present in sight of the end of
our ardunus labours in this ti(;ld. We have been com-
pelled, by the weak state of our health for some time, and
by couunand of our medical adviser, as far as possible to
endeavour to seek rest and cliange, so that we have had to
forego our intention of meanwhile preparing and laying
before the reader our general ])reface on Scottish Poets
and Poetry, and remarks on our varied experiences during
the jjast eleven years. Wlnle this is the case, it aftbrds us
nuich pleasure to be able to announce that our friend,
Mr J. M. Macbeatb of Lynnfteld, Orkney, has kindly
come to our aid. Mr Maibeath has a wide and extensive
knowledge of the subje(;t, and is well-known through his
valuable writings on archaiological and antiquarian lore.
Along with a carefully prepared treatise from his pen,
we may yet be able to give a few jottings in the way of
selections from our correspondents — poets and friends
in all i)arts of the world who have kindly given us
valuable assistance through their personal knowledge


and by means of rare works in their possession ; also,
our reminiscences, experiences, and an " In Memoriani "
of poets who have recently died. These, with other items
of a " hotch-potch " nature, we may, from our
crude notes, ultimately expand into a separate volume,
of which particulars will in due time be given. Meanwhile
the volume containing tlie exhaustive index by Mr F. T
Barrett, junior, and Mi Mad 'cath's entertaining general
introduction is in preparation, and will \>e pulilished e aly
in 1894. The laliourin (connection with the comprehensive
index has been iniincnse, but it will be very useful and
interesting in many respects. As we have before
explained, it will embrace the names of all the
writers who have a place in this wcirk, titles of
poems mentioned as well as (pioted, and dissified entries
ot birthplaces and occupations. It will thus s" v '■
to show at a glance the distribution of jtoetie fancy
throughout our laml and in professions and trailes ;
what poems and books have been published by a certain
man ; who wrote a certain jjoem or volume ; wiiat poets
belong to certain districts, and what trades or professions
have had their poets, and who the.se poets were. The
reader will thus be made acquainted witii the condition of
every writer, and with t]u: circumstances in which his
minstrelsy was given forth.

AVe now add merely a word of trrateful thanks to
our readers and friends t'nv their kind forliearance, assist-
ance, and .sympathy, and would express the lio]ie tliat the
present volume will he found etpial in point of merit and
interest to any of its predecessors.

D. H. Edwards.

Advertiser Office,
BiiKCHiN, June, 1S93.




;R0THER of Sir Daniel Wilson, noticed in this
work, was bora at Edinburgh in 1818, where
his parents had come to settle a few years before — his
father being a native of Argyleshire and his mother a
native of Greenock. From the charming and inter-
esting " Life of George Wilson " (MacmiUan & Co.),
written by one of his sisters (Jessie Aitken Wilson)
and one of the admirable series of biographies issued
by the Religious Tract Society, by Dr James Macaulay,
we learn that the mother of the Wilsons was a woman
of rare natural gifts. She fostered in her children the
love of knowledge, and they regarded her with devoted
affection. From her, George Wilson inherited the
geniusandthe character by which he was distinguished.
'• She verifies,' says Dr John Brown, in a paper on him
in his Horoi Suhseciv(S, " what is so often and so truly
said of the mothers of remarkable men. She was his
first and best alma mater, and in many senses his last,
for her influence over him continued through life."
How early this good influence began may be under-
stood by an anecdote told by his biographer. " It


was a custom of his mother to pay each night a visit
to the little cot of her twin boys, and repeat over them
Jacob's blessing, 'The God which fed me all my life
long unto this day, the Angel that redeemed me from
all evil, bless the lads !' So fascinating was this to
George that in mature years he has told a fi'iend how
he used to lie awake watching for it, pretending to be
asleep that he might enjoy it to the full." The
mother sedulously induced her children to be
naturalists by the encouragement of keeping pets. It
was from the tender feeling thus early acquired that
he afterwards became a zealous advocate of mercy to
animals, and pleaded earnestly with the medical pro-
fessors and students against the cruelty of reckless and
needless experiments and demonstrations. The love
of nature and of natural history led to many a ramble
in the country. With his brothers or other com-
panions it was not uncommon to walk fifteen miles
during a Saturday or holiday excursion, and to come
home laden with botanical or geological specimens, to
be added to the home museum of curiosities. Some
delightful pages of recollections of those expeditions,
by Daniel Wilson of Toronto, appear in the biography.
From his mother George acquired an early love of poetry.
George Wilson was from 1828 to 1832 a pupil of the
High School. Here he maintained always a high
place, and the bent of his mind in those years was
strikingly shown in the establishnient of a "Juvenile
Society for the Advancement of Knowledge," which
met weekly at his father's house, in the room where
his books and natural history collections were de-
posited. William Nelson the publisher, Dr Philip
Maclagan of Berwick-on-Tweed, Mr John Alexander
Smith, an accomplished antiquarian, and other men of
mark in after years were among the members. George
was usually the chief speaker.
Our poet chose the medical profession, not from any


special liking for it, but rather attracted by the course
of scientific study required at the University of Edin-
burgh for all students of medicine. In the winter
session of 1832-33 he attended the mathematical class
and that of natural philosophy. In the next year's
winter session he attended the chemistry class, the
class of anatomy, and also the extra-academical lectures
on anatomy ; in subsequent sessions, in winter or
summer, the botany class and that of Materia Medica.

All these studies were pursued with enthusiasm.
Knowing, however, that there was little prospect of
obtaining through any of them a means of living, he
had at the same time to devote himself to the practical
part of the profession, in order to get his diploma as a
surgeon or his degree as a physician, as qualification for
becoming a medical practitioner. With this view he
was bound as an apprentice in the laboratory of the
Royal Infirmary. At the same time he was diligent
in gaining all the knowledge that he could acquire in
the wards, and at the clinical lectures. The scenes in
the operating theatre caused intense distress to his
sensitive and sympathetic mind, and this the more
because what he witnessed was before the use of
chloroform and other anjcsthetics had been introduced.
For the px'ofession itself he had the highest respect,
and only regretted his own unfitness to be a worthy
and useful memt)er of it. He felt this in his early
student days ; and twenty years afterwards, in an
address to the Medical Missionary Society, " On the
Sacredness of Medicine as a profession,'' he spoke of
" the healing art ' as not only the highest of all
secular callings, but as " essentially a Christian call-
ing." "The Head of our profession," he said, "is
Christ. He left all men an example that they should
follow His steps, but He left it specially to us. . . .
The object of His whole earthly life was the same as


ours, the abolishment of pain and of death. What we
vainly strife to effect, He fully effected."

When the term of apprenticeship at the hospital was
ended, great was his joy at having more time for pur-
suing his favourite studies. Of these chemistry
proved the most attractive, and the ambition was
formed in his mind of some day filling the chair which
Joseph Black had made the most famous in Great
Britain. Meanwhile he industriously laboured at the
long and varied coui'se of study necessary for gradu-
ating in medicine in the University of Edinburgh.
All his examinations were passed with ease, and the
final with distinction. He has said that among the
daily incidents of even the saddest sick-ward, amusing
events occur to lighten the tragic darkness which
otherwise prevails. The convalescents are also ready
to cheer and assist the distressed. The first operation
which he saw performed was the amputation of a
sailor's leg above the knee. After the first shock
which this sight caused him, he determined to visit
the poor fellow, who happened to be a namesake,
and see if he could be of any service to him. Ongoing
to the ward he was agreeably surprised, and indeed
amused, to find the nautical George Wilson half
propped up in bed, and intently occupied with a
blacking brush, borrowed from the nurse, polishing
the single shoe which, in a month or six weeks, he
might hope to wear.

In 1834 the British Association held its first meeting
in Edinburgh, and the subjects discussed intensified
his longing to be able to devote himself to scientific
pursuits. He subsequently hired a room where he
prosecuted his taste for chemical and physical experi-
menting. Visiting London, he was introduced to
Professor Graham, afterwards Master of the Mint,
who gave to liiin the post of assistant in his laboratory,
and who obtained for him admission to several classes.


An introduction to Faraday was followed by attend-
ances at one of the famous course of lectures at the
Royal Institution. Returning to Edinburgh, and
having received licence from the Royal College of
Surgeons, and the privilege of his lectures being
received as qualifying for their diploma, he became
lecturer of chemistry in the " Extra-Academical
Medical School." Of the subjects he was thorough
master, and he had gained experience as a speaker
before more pi'ivate audiences at home and in societies.
He was specially careful in preparing illustrative
diagrams and striking experiments, sometimes as
many as fifty being introduced in a single lecture.
No one ever excelled him in this combined address
to ear, eye, and mind, except Fai'aday, whom he
regarded as his master in this art In fact, at the
close of his first course he had already become famous
as a " popular lecturer on science." His services
soon were in request for other audiences than his class
of medical students, and he had every prospect of
finding a secure income from his lectures and from
teaching private pupils in his laboratory. It became
gradually evident, however, though long met by
buoyant gaiety of spirit and manly perseverance in
work, that his outward success in life was to be accom-
panied by the feebleness and distraction of bodily

For the poor sufferer a " peaceful grave " may then
have seemed a happy relief ; but for others, and for all
time, the latter years of George Wilson's life are
bright with divinest radiance and beauty. "Not in all
biography (says Dr Macaulay) is there a grander
instance of noble persistence in duty amidst weak-
ness, disease, and pain." In the year 1843 it became
evident that the conflict with suffering could not much
longer be sustained. It was only by the use of opiates
that any rest was attainable. The disease in the foot


becanie so rapidly aggravated that he had to choose
between death and the sacrifice of a limb. The choice
was promptly made, and the suffering under the sur-
geon's kuife was intffise, for there were no anesthetics
yet in use. The result was satisfactory, and writing
to a friend he said — " The operation leaves me a more
useful limb, and the doctors hold out the hope of my
being able to limp about with a wooden foot or stuffed
high-heeled boot, without betraying to every eye the
amount of my loss."

During his season of enforced inaction his love of
poetry and the facility of versemaking seemed to
develop, and he then composed not a few new words to
old melodies, as well as several " Hymns
for the Sick Room." As yeai-s passed, his popularity
as a lecturer increased, and he strove in vain to meet
all the demands made on his tinic and labour.
Besides the systematic courses given each session to
his several classes, there were occasional series to all
manner of audiences, from the educated and critical
members of the "Philosophical Institution," down to
the humble village gatherings in parish school-rooms.
As an analyst he was in constant request, and his
laboratory was crowded with soils and products of
each kingdom of nature, sent by applicants for informa-
tion. His personal advice was sought by all sorts and
conditions of men, who wished to consult him as a man
of science, or what pleased him better, though bring-
ing no fee or reward, to have his advice as a wise
counsellor and a good physician of souls. In his later
years he was much engaged in religious and spiritual
service, and fortunate were those who had the benefit
of the instruction of a teacher so accomplished as well
as devoted. Correspondents, not onlj* his own many
relations and friends, but strangers, made lai-ge
demands on his time, and he never neglected these
opportunities of gratifying or of helping others. To


the afflicted he had special pleasure iu writing, his
own experience giving him keen sympathy with those
who were tried or depressed.

His U\bours were at length rewarded by the estab-
lishment in the University, by the Crown, of a new
Chair, that of Technology, of which he was appointed
the first Professor, with the additional post of Director
of the Industrial Museum of Scotland. This museum
he lived to see in possession of more than ten
thousand objects, occupying a space larger than that
of the London School of Mines. The University
lectui'es attracted many pupils from all parts of the
Kingdom, and of ages and grades of life not usually
seen on students' benches — country gentlemen,
farmers, manufacturei's, and other skilled artificers of
man}' kinds. Another occupation in which he took
peculiar delight was helping the work of the

Online LibraryDavid Herschell EdwardsOne hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 15) → online text (page 1 of 30)