David Herschell Edwards.

One hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) online

. (page 15 of 29)
Online LibraryDavid Herschell EdwardsOne hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) → online text (page 15 of 29)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

read Homer and '\''irgil in the originals, had an al-
most unlimited range of iufornuition, with conversa-
tional powers of no ordinary kind, higli spirits, and
a bright flasluTig wit, and was very fond of tlie social
hoard. Ap])etite became stronger than manhood,
and he ultimately acquired liabits that became his
ruiu. From Aberdeen ho went to Edinburgh. He
only remained there two years when he returned to
the Granite City, and took to shoemaking. Five
years afterwards his mother died, and having no
other relations, all the ties that bound him to home
were broken. He became a wanderer from town to
town, only working occasionally, until his wasted
frame gave way, and he died in the prime of man-
hood in the Dundee Intirmar}- among strangers, with
no friend to tend him in the last hours of expir-
ing nature.

He wrote man}' poems of a very higli order, and
on almost every subject. These were scattered here
and there, as he wandered from place tu place. His
'• Twa Nichts at Yule " is a beautiful picture in the
Scottish dialect of the enjoyments of the working
folks. In style and beauty of execution it is ex-
ceedingly grapliic. No one could paint better the
evils of want of restraint and yielding to tempta-
tation, and the following song shows how he felt in
the moments of quiet thought : —

0, weary fa' that waefu' drink,

O'er a' the ills we hae.
It mak's us scarce o' claes and clink,

And steeps the saul in wae ;
It dings the elbows oot our coats,

And clours our heids fell sair ;
It turns the brightest chiels to sots,

And dottles wit and lear.

But, warst ava, out-ower our een

It draps its glamour screen —
We dinna see how crined an sma'

We're in the warld's gleg e'en.


The angel face o' Youth it blurrs,

Garsi'stalwart Manhood shak ;
Sends Eihi a-hirplin thro' the dubs,

Wi' Death upon hisjback.

It beets the icy norlin' win

To drive wi' keenest birr,
Mak's holes and bores to let him in.

And cozy riggin's tirr :
Puts out the fire upon the hearth,

Ca's wives and weans a-jee ;
(.Tars lairds as beggars trudge the earth.

And dings the warld agley.


Link to me, my auld gudeman,

And dinna hurrying gang,
Ye're nae doot tired as weel as I ;

But we'll win hame ere lang.
The snaws o' eild are on our pows,

And hard we tind the grun' ;
But we are in the lithe, gudeman,

And carena for the wun'.

'Twas morn, gudewife, when we set out,

Baith laughin', brisk and gay ;
Sometimes we ran, sometimes we gaed,

Whiles dackled on the way.
Our limbs are no sae souple noo,

We e'en maun creep's we may ;
We've loupit mony a burn, gudewife.

And breistit mony a brae.

And strappin' lads I wat, gudeman,

And muny a sonsy quean.
We've left upon the road behind,

And never mair hac seen.
For some have wandered aff the way,

And gane they kentna where ;
And some have stachered into holes,

Or ta'en to bogs to lair.

Like mony mair were we, gudewife.

We didna hain our strength,
But ca'd the road frae side to side,

Nor countit on its length.
Fell tired grew I gin afternoon

Wi' yon lang dreary howe.
And thankfii' was I when I fand

The sma'est wee bit knowe.


Troth, lanR has been the road, gudeman,

Sair ni(l(ier"d have we been ;
But we've had sunny K'ints, I wat —

Viewed mony a t,'ow(len t^cene.
And tho' we've had our share o' weel,

And lowdered deep in glaur,
We've seen as foul feet as our ain —

And scores a hantle waur.

Aweel, my ain gudewife, this road,

Had it no \)een for you —
Whase hopef u' word aye heezed my heart -

1 ne'er had warstled thro".
But now we're near the journey's end,

The night begins to fa',
The starns are gatherin' i' the lift —

We'se eithly stoit awa'.

Link close to me, my ain gudeman ;

I whiles might tak' the gee,
And fash ye wi' my tantrum tigs —

But only for a wee.
Now that's a' ower, and we'll jog on

Thegither a' the same.
And lang afore the dawn o' day

We'll baith get rest at hame.



TTlNPI.ATE-WORKER, Edinburgh, was l)orn in
Vl^ that city in 1833. He lost both liis parents
■when a mere child, and was thrown upon the world
at a tender age. His manly spirit, however, enabled
him to overcome the difficulties of his position,
although the battle was seveie. Wf are able
to state, to his credit, that he has been in the same
employer's service in Edinbiirgh for the last quarter of
a century. His literary productions first appeared in
the Scotch papers and magazines in 186'2, after which
several of them had the lionour of finding a place on
the other side of the Atlantic, and many of them
have been set to music. In 18G4 ho published a

(f) pin ions

Of the Scottish, English, and American Press on

" Exhibiting all the polish of culture without any s-acritice of
naturalness, vigor, or simjjlicity. His volume has received over
fifty criticisms from the public jiress, which constitute a chorus
of praise with scarcely a dissentient note. Indeed we have rarely
seen a volume of jjoetry upon \\hich the critics have been so
unanimous in their commendation, and through almost the whole of
the notices runs a strain of feeling that is of itself a strong testimony
to the power of the writings which evoked it. — They are by no means
lacking in variety. Indeed their number and excellence have caused
the author to be.named the ' Laureate of the Household.' The home
they depict in glowing tints. — They are by turns reflective, pathetic,
didactic, tender, ardent, huninrous. and hilarious. Equally com-
menduble are liis patriotic songs, Mliich are afire with the ardour of
battle. Altogether many of his songs will rank with the finest of
their class in the Scottish langiu.ge." — Life Sketch in Scottish

" Alexander Logan is unquestionably a genuine i oet, and has
made a valuable contribution to our Doric literature. His poems are
all animated by sentiments of ] atriotism, or the pui-est domestic
affections. The lilt of his songs is charming. Their simplicity and
beauty is a cheering si^n that the 'divine aftiatus' is not j et dej arted
from amongst us. Such ) oems cannot fail to touch the ) opular
heart." — Scottish Quakteki.y Keview.

" The author is a true j oetic genius, coming nearer to iurns in
many respects than any of his felli-w countrjnun. So great is the
likeness, esjccially in the ]if imagination and artistic Hnish,
is highly distinguished, and by tV i"\cvllence of his jjn.iluctions his
iiivun- has t>efonic known, not only ;kt home but abroad, wlun'ever
Scottish hearts boat. — Vigorou-ly yet finely expressed, evry word
seeming to fall into its proper place, and eveiy piece showing- a well-
cidiivated Uiste.' — Kdiniukcii Colua.nt.

"All aiv. so full of deliaite and pleasing beauty. — Brithn;- IScots get
111" liook and enjoy it as we have done I" — Celtic jVLvgazixk.

"These poems will give pleasure. — He .sings with a simi)le truth
and force that will touch tlie heart.— Marked by rhythm and jjoint.
— Have both patho.q and cheerful endurance. Fun as well as natural
lx»auty."— (iLASGOw HKnAi.n.

'"A true Scottish minstrel. — Reaches the hearts of his couuti->nnen.
-Expressed in rich native Doric. — As it desen-es, it ou^^it to meet
\vith a hearty reception wherever Scotsmen are to be found, and that
is everywhere.'" — Canadian Pre.sbyteki.\x.

''Amongst the sous of song how manj' are there who surpass or
even come up to Alexander Logau in the abilitj- to wTite i-eal, ennob-
ling, heart-stirriiig, soul-stirring poetry? There are jiassiiges which
even Burns himself would not have blushed to own. For themes he
ranges over a wide field. He is equally at home in the treatment of
things lofty and tilings lowly, and they are all excellent." — People's


"Are of a high order of merit. In his children's songs and domes-
tic pieces we know of no living writer by whom he is surpassed. —
Tliese will place his name among th^ foremost of Scottish song
writei-s." — ^Xoiith British Advektisek.

" Poems and songs that his country will appreciate and will not
suffer to die or lie neglected. — Tlic tliemes are very varied. — The
poetry is elevated in spirit, jiatriotic in sentiment, beautiful, pathetic,
and touching. The very soul of jioetry throbs in his veins." — H.\JI-
1 i.TON Advertiser.

"Possessed of a true lyrical faculty and endowed with consider-
able fancy, he .sings in a •■ ! >lightful way, and occasionally sounds a
deeiier and fuller note. — He is a master. — Some of them are worthy
to be included among the best lyrics of the language." — European

"There is about these poems a charming simplicity and natural
poetic utterance, — humour, and pathos. We are sure ' Laj's o' Hame
an' Country' will appeal with power to many a Scottish heart." —
Daily Review.

".\lexander Logan is possessed of a true ]ioetic soul, his 'Lays'
have so much that is sweet and genuine. These poems contain
merit of a high order. — Are tender and graceful in the extreme." —
Fikeshire Jolr.val.

"Ach.arrrung collection of poems. Light and airy fancies crowd
one another in these pages, which are full of rich, pure, and deen
thmights. Scottish jioetry i ■■ not likely t*>ti ( Pi^>liti

Online LibraryDavid Herschell EdwardsOne hundred modern Scottish poets : with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) → online text (page 15 of 29)