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FROM THE LIBRARY OF
REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D.

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO

THE LIBRARY OF

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY



Section



\



£be Scottisb Zevt Society



THE WORKS



OF



SIR WILLIAM MURE

OF ROWALLAN






Mrt OfPft?J^



*<*



JUN 1 1933



THE WORKS \&„



MGiHL 8E<



OF



//



SIR WILLIAM MURE



OF ROWALLAN



EDITED

W77W INTRODUCTION, NOTES, AND GLOSSARY



/



BY



WILLIAM TOUGH, M.A., F.S.A. Scot.



VOL. I.



^rtttteo fat tfje Sacietg bo

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCXCVIII



All Rights reserved



CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



INTRODUCTION —
Rowallan Castle,
Life of Sir William Mure,
Mure's position as a Poet,



PAGE

vii
viii
xvii



EARLY

I.

2.

3-

4-

5-
6.

7.

8.

9-
io.
ii.

12.

13-

14

*s-

16
17

18

19

20



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS —
Ane conflict tuix Love and Ressoun, .
Mes Amours et mes Douleurs sont sans comparisoune
Ane Reply to I cair not quither I get hir or no,
Elegie, ....
Chaunsoune,
Anagrame,

Ane Reproch to ye Pratler,
Fair goddes, Loadstar of delight,
[Another version of the same], .
Beutie hath myne eyes assailed,
Gaise, eyes, on nocht quhich can content Jor sight,
Hymne, .

The Epitaph of the Ryt Venerable, Godly and Learned Father

George, be Grace from God, orderly callit, and be his Prince

apoynted to be Greatest Prelat in Scotland, Archbischope of

Sanctandrois, ....••

Ane Epitaph (efter ye vulgar opinioune) wpon ye D(eath) of

George Glaidstanes B. of S. A., ...
The Epitaph of the Wery Vertuouse and Excellent Gentel

uoman A. C. sister to Je Right Honoll the Laird of

Caprintoune,
. Sax Lynes wpon the Fall of Somersait,
. Epitaph of the Wery Excellent, Vertuouse and Trulie Honoured

Lady, the Lady Arnestoun, .
. Vpon the Death of the Richt Worschipfull, Verteouse and

Wery Worthy Gentleman, the Laird of Arneston Joungar,
. Must I wnpittied still remain, ....
. To the Most Hopeful and High-born Prince Charles, Prince

of Wales,
The Kings Maiestie came to Hamilton on Monday the xxviii

Iuly [1617], ....-••



3
9
13
15
17
19
20
21

23
24
26
29



3i



35

36

38
39

40
41



VI



CONTENTS.



SONNETS—

1. To Margareit, .

2. To the Same, .

3. To the Same, .

4. To the Same, .

5. To the Same, .

6. To the Same, .

7. To the Same, .

8. To the Same, .

9. The Power of Beauty,

10. On a Vile Priest,

1 1. The Same,

12. The Same,



47
48

49


5i
52
53
54
55
56
57
58



containing ^Eneas Departure and Didoes



DIDO AND AENEAS —

To the Reader,
The First Book,
The Second Book,
The Third Booke,
Tragaedy, &c, .

A SPIRITUALL HYMNE, ....
DOOMESDAY, .....

FANCIES FAREWELL —

1. Too long, my Muse,

2. Houres mis-employed, evanisht as a dreame,

3. Looke home my Soule,

THE TRVE CRVCIFIXE FOR TRUE CATHOLICKES.



6O
6l

95
128

145
161



195
195
196

197



SONNETS
I.
2.

3-

4-
5-



While (mine owne glasse), vpon myself I looke,
Bvt while my Sprite aboue the spheares aspyres,
My wayes, my wandrings all to Thee are knowne,
O Three times happie, if the day of grace,
Awake mee, (Lord,) from fancie's charming dreame,

6. Since that vast orbe, which doth the rest embrace,

7. As waue doth waue, so day doth day displace,

8. If Lines which Sphears in equall shares divyde,

9. A constant course, heere, Lord each creature keeps,

10. My lif's fraile Barge, with an impetuous tyde, .

11. To the Blessed Trinitie,



301
301
302
302
303
303
304
304
305
305
306



INTRODUCTION.



ROWALLAN CASTLE.



ROWALLAN CASTLE, the ancient residence of the Mures
of Rowallan, stands on the banks of the Carmel Water,
about three miles north of Kilmarnock. It is more than
probable that at some remote period the stream, widening
at this point, altogether surrounded the slight elevation
on which the castle stands, and thus formed of it a small
island rock or craig — a circumstance to which, it has been
suggested, the name Rowallan is due. Several rocks of
similar appearance in the Firth of Clyde, in the neigh-
bourhood of the Cumbraes, are called Allans to the present
day. The promontory forming the approach to the castle
would perhaps sufficiently account for the first syllable of
the name. 1 The prominence occupied by it is stated by
Crawfurd to have been called the "Craig of Rowallan,"
and the proprietors were sometimes designated therefrom
" de Crag." The environs of Rowallan, adorned with many
aged trees, some of them of great size and beauty, are
delightfully suggestive of poetic musings, while the vener-
able mansion itself " affords a very perfect specimen of an

1 See note to p. 237 of ' Historic' (p. 301) on etymology of Rowallan.



viii INTRODUCTION.

early feudal residence, progressively enlarged and fashioned
to the advancing course of civilisation and manners."

The original fortlet, of which only the vaulted under
apartment remains, has been with great probability as-
signed as the birthplace of Elizabeth More, the first wife
of Robert, the High Steward of Scotland, afterwards
Robert II. By this marriage — the most important event
in the long history of the Barons of Rowallan, and a source
of lively discussion to several generations of historians —
the descendants of Elizabeth were destined to fill first the
throne of Scotland, and afterwards that of Great Britain,
and by it the blood of the Mures of Rowallan flows in the
veins of our royal family at the present day.

The southern front, the principal and more ornamental
part of the building, was erected about the year 1562 by
John Mure of Rowallan and his wife, Marion Cunninghame,
of the family of Cunninghamehead. This is indicated by
the inscription on a small tablet at the top of the wall
JON . MVR . M . CVGM . SPVSIS . 1 562. In the neighbour-
hood of this inscription appears the arms of the family
and also its crest, a Moor's head. This crest, which seems
to be alluded to in the old family tree as the " bludy heid,"
may probably refer to some feat of arms performed against
the Saracens during the Crusades. Unfortunately the
building, with its pleasant old garden, is fast falling into
decay. With the exception of the part occupied by the
ground-officer on the estate, it has long been uninhabited.

LIFE OF SIR WILLIAM MURE.

Sir William Mure was born in the year 1594. As his
grandfather was then alive, it is likely that he first saw the



INTRODUCTION. IX

light not in the Castle of Rowallan itself, but in the Old
Hall, a building situated a short distance from the family-
seat, and the recognised dwelling of the eldest son after
marriage. There is little now to distinguish the Old Hall
from the ordinary farmhouse, but in earlier times it was
a place of some importance. Before the existence of the
village of Fenwick, the smith's and cartwright's shops, and
the dwellings of others of the more useful retainers of
the family, grouped themselves around it, and in its im-
mediate neighbourhood grew up the first school of the
barony.

Of the early life of the poet we cannot speak with any
certainty. Whether he received the rudiments of his edu-
cation in the barony school and afterwards at Kilmarnock,
or privately in his father's house, there is no record left to
tell us. That he may have attended school at Kilmarnock,
however, seems probable. It is true we have no authentic
information regarding the parish school of that town until
the comparatively late date of 1727. But we know that
in 1633 Parliament passed an Act authorising the estab-
lishment of a school in every parish in Scotland, " upon
a sum to be stented upon every plough or husband land
according to the worth " ; and, as Kilmarnock had risen
to the rank of a burgh long before then, there is no great
improbability in supposing it to have had the means of
affording rudimentary instruction as early as the period
of Mure's boyhood. With greater probability may it be
assumed that he finished his scholastic career at the
University of Glasgow. His younger brother Hugh, after-
wards " preacher at Burstone, in Northfolke in Ingland,"
was enrolled there as a student in 161 8, and his own
connection with the university in after-life points to the



X INTRODUCTION.

likelihood of some earlier bond of union. It has been
sueeested that the sentiment of veneration which he ever
cherished towards the eminent Principal, Robert Boyd of
Trochrig, may have been due, in part at least, to their
early relation as teacher and student ; but as Boyd was
only appointed Professor and Principal in 1615, the year
of Mure's marriage, the suggestion cannot be held to be
of much value. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that
Mure received the best education the times could afford.
There is abundant evidence of this in his writings. The
frequent references to classical fable in his earlier poems
may not, indeed, prove much. They were probably to
some extent due to youthful vanity, and the desire to
write " according to the fashion." But his later works,
especially his translations from Virgil, and his faithful and
vigorous rendering of Boyd's 'Hecatombe Christiana,' prove
that he was not only widely read in the classical authors,
but also that he was deeply imbued with their spirit and
beauty. That with such tastes he should content himself
with the exercise of his poetic faculty in his native tongue
would be, perhaps, too much to expect, and accordingly
we find that the manuscript of his Miscellaneous Poems
contains several specimens of his Latin versification.
These, however, have not been included in the present
volumes, partly because they were considered beyond the
scope of the work — partly, perhaps mainly, because of
their incompleteness. With one exception, 1 they seem to

1 The exception consists of the following six lines on the death of his grand-
father : —

" Vir virtutis, homo antiquje fideique recumbit,
Quales haud multos tempora nostra ferunt,
Simplicitas cui cordi et prisca^ secula vitse,

Sors sine dissidio mens sine fraude fuit,
Qua;, quia degeneri hoc aevo sunt rara, perosus,
yEvum hoc indignum dignius ille adiit."



INTRODUCTION. XI

be little more than first drafts. They have many un-
musical lines, and contain defects in Latinity which would
most assuredly have been amended had they had the
benefit of their author's revising hand.

Mure seems to have looked upon himself as a poet by
heredity, and there is no doubt he did his best to cultivate
his hereditary gift. In this endeavour he received every
encouragement from his friends and contemporaries. His
mother was Elizabeth Montgomery, 1 daughter of the laird
of Hazelhead, and sister of Alexander Montgomery, the
author of ' The Cherrie and the Slae.' To this connection
he makes reference in his address to Charles, Prince of
Wales, afterwards Charles I., in the following lines : —

" Machles Montgomery in his native tounge,
In former tymes to thy Great Syre hath sung,
And often ravischt his harmonious ear
W l straynes fitt only for a prince to heir.

My muse, q ch noght doth challenge worthy fame,
Saue from Montgomery sche hir birth doth clayme,
(Altho his Phoenix ashes have sent forth
Pan for Apollo, if compaird in worth),
Pretending tytyls to supply his place
By ryt hereditar to serve thy grace."

In one of two sonnets addressed to him, probably about
the year 1617, the same relationship is also mentioned, 2

1 See the ' Historie, ' p. 256.

2 The reference is contained in the following lines : —

" Sprang thou from Maxwell and Montgomerie's muse,
To let o r poets perisch in the West ?

No, no ! (brave }outh) continow in thy kynd.
No sweeter subject sail thy muses fynd."

The name of Maxwell which here occurs as that of a then recognised poet
seems to have perished. As Mure's grandmother, however, was a daughter
of Maxwell of Newark, in Renfrewshire, his descent from that branch of the
Maxwells would seem to be pretty clearly indicated.

On the last page of his edition of ' The Historie and Descent of the House



xii INTRODUCTION.

and Mure is urged to continue his poetical efforts. He
probably required no encouragement. At all events, from
1611, the date of the first of his poems which has come
down to us, till his death in 1657, his pen was rarely idle.

The chief events of Mure's life, as far as possible in their
chronological order, may now be given. In 16 15, before
fully completing his majority, he married Anna Dundas,
daughter to the laird of Newliston. It now became neces-
sary for him to set up an establishment of his own, and
he accordingly built the house of Dalmusternock. It is
prettily situated, and stands quite in the neighbourhood
both of the castle itself and of the Old Hall. The arms of
Sir William and his wife are still to be seen above the
door at Dalmusternock. The date of his marriage, 161 5,
is shown on a stone to the right of the doorway, and the
initials A. D. (Anna Dundas) appeared, until recently, on
a stone to the left. The D still remains, but the A has
become obliterated within the last few years.

Of this marriage five sons and six daughters were born.
The sons were : " Sir William who succeided, Captain
Allex r , slaine in the warre against the Rebells in Irland,
Major Ro 1 , maried to the ladie Newhall in fyfe, Johne,
finnickhill, and Patrick." Of the daughters only one,
Elizabeth, reached years of maturity. She married Knox,
laird of Ranfurly.

On the death of his first wife Mure married again,
choosing for his second wife Dame Jane Hamilton, Lady
Duntreth, by whom he had two sons, James and Hugh,
and two daughters, Jeane and Marion.

of Rowallan,' the Rev. Wm. Muir curiously enough gives the first part of one
of the above-mentioned sonnets, with the omission of two lines, and to this
tags on the four lines quoted, which only occur in the other sonnet.



INTRODUCTION. Xlll

In 1616, the year after Sir William's first marriage, his
grandfather died and his father succeeded to the family-
estates.

In 1617 appeared his 'Address to the King's Maiestie,'
which was included in the collection entitled ' The Muse's
Welcome,' published the following year, and was thus in
all probability the first of Mure's effusions to appear in
print. His ' Dido and yEneas ' was written before this.
In the second stanza of that poem he describes him-
self as —

" To twyse two lustres scarce of Jeirs attained,"

so that we shall not probably err in ascribing it to the year
1 614. It is now published for the first time.

From 1617 till 1628 we have nothing from Mure's pen ;
but in the latter year he issued a small volume containing
1 A Spirituall Hymne,' ' Fancies Farewell,' and ' Doomes-
day.' The first of these is a translation of Boyd of
Trochrig's Latin poem, the ' Hecatombe Christiana ' ; the
last is an original poem of considerable length, the nature
of which is sufficiently indicated by its full title. In
' Fancies Farewell,' a series of three sonnets, the poet
describes the change which had taken place in his views
of life since the time when his mind was wholly occupied
with his " Amorouse Essayes." He deplores the years of
youth wasted in the composition of his " lovelie layes," —

" Love's false delight and beautees blazing beame
Too long benighted haue my dazled eyes,"

and resolves to devote his remaining days to the con-
sideration of the only subject worthy of concern to sinful
man.



xiv INTRODUCTION.

" Hence-foorth fare-well all counterfeit delyte,
Blinde Dvvarfling, I disclaime thy deitie,
My Pen thy Trophees neuer more shall write :
Nor after shall thine arts enveigle mee.
With sacred straines, reaching a higher key,
My Thoughts aboue thy fictions farre aspire :
Mounted on wings of immortalitie,
I feele my brest warmde with a wountless fire."

These were no idle words. Mure kept his promise — and
wrote very little more that is worthy the name of poetry.

In 1629 'The Trve Crvcifixe' appeared. This is Mure's
longest, and, from his own point of view, most important
work. It is also his best known, and, whatever we may
think of its merits, it undoubtedly deserves the credit of
having done more than any of his other writings to pre-
serve his memory from utterly perishing. As a poem, in
the true sense of the word, however, it will hardly bear
investigation.

The consideration of Mure's remaining works need only
occupy a few lines. Between the years 1629 and 1639 he
seems to have been engaged on his version of the Psalms,
now published for the first time. Next to the ' Dido and
JEneas,' this is undoubtedly the most valuable and in-
teresting thing he ever produced. The ' Covnter-bvff to
Lysimachus Nicanor' appeared in 1640 under the nom de
plume of Philopatris. ' Caledon's Complaint,' which bears
no date, may, with a fair degree of likelihood, be put down
to 1641. 'The Cry of Blood and of a Broken Covenant'
was published in 1650. It was the last of Mure's works,
with the probable exception of 'The Historie and Descent
of the House of Rowallan,' of which we can only surmise,
since it was left unfinished, that he was engaged on it at
the time of his death in 1657.



INTRODUCTION. XV

On the death of his father in 1639, Mure was at once
drawn into the whirlpool of political life. This change,
which is immediately reflected in his writings, cannot
have been altogether pleasing to one of his disposition
and studious habits. Nevertheless, with a conscientious
recognition of the claims of his position, he threw him-
self with vigour into the troublous life of the times, and
promptly took his place as the representative of an im-
portant county family. In Scotland, as in England, the
political atmosphere had long been stormy. The head-
strong and bigoted policy of the Court, brought into
conflict with the no less obstinate resistance of the Pres-
byterians, had rendered an open rupture unavoidable.
The crisis came in the Assembly held at Glasgow in
1638. There the Covenanters found themselves forced,
as a last resource, to decide upon resistance by arms.
Early in the summer of 1639, therefore, the forces of the
Covenant began to assemble, and, about the beginning
of June, they formed the famous camp at Dunse Law. To
this gathering Ayrshire sent a contribution of 1200 men,
foot and horse, under the leadership of Lord Loudon.
Lord Montgomery, the son of the Earl of Eglinton, accom-
panied them on the march, and the Earl himself, whom
a threatened descent from Ireland had kept employed
in the west, joined the camp later on. Of this subsidy
Mure commanded a company of his own tenants and
others from the neighbourhood.

After the assembling of the Scots at Dunse Law we
hear nothing of our author until 1643, in which year we
find his name mentioned as member of the Scots Parlia-
ment for Ayrshire. In 1644 he accompanied the Scottish
army into England ; and on July 2nd he was present and



xvi INTRODUCTION.

wounded in the memorable battle of Marston Moor. In
August he was engaged in the storming of Newcastle,
where, for some time, he held command of his regiment,
owing to the absence of Colonel Hobart and other officers
who had been wounded in the late battle. 1

This is the last glimpse we have of Mure in any political
or military capacity. That he did not lose his interest in
public affairs is shown by the publication of ' The Cry of
Blood and of a Broken Covenant' in 1650. But, so far as
we know, the last years of his life were spent in those
peaceful pursuits so suitable to his disposition, and in the
enjoyment of such domestic felicity as the turbulent times

1 The following letter from Sir William to his son may be of interest as
bearing on these events : —

" Loveing Sone,

' ' We are now lying before Newcastle engaiged anew to
rancounter w 4 new dangers, for we are to adventure the storming of the toun
if it be not quickly rendred by treaty, wherof ther is very smal apearance for
they look very quickly for ayde to releave them. They are very proud as yet
for oght we can perceave, and those that come out to us resolute. For the
most part they are reformer officers under the commandment of the Earle of
Craufurd and Mackay. We have had diverse bowts w* them, and on satterday
last, a sound one, wherein we had good sport from the sunryseing till twelve
a'clock, both partyes retreeting and chairgeing by touers w^ut great losse to
eyther for o r gen: Ma: shew himselfe that day both a brave and wise com-
mander, and if it had not been so, we could not but haue great losse, for we
were put back over the water at the last, for their forces grew, and we had
no armes but pistoles and they played upon us still at a very far distance
w 1 muskets and long fowling peeces. I am keept heir now beyond my purpose
upon necessity, haveing the only chairge of the Regiment till Col: Hobert, the
Lieut: Col: and Major come heir, who have bein all in very great danger but
are now pretty well recovered so that I expect them heir very shortly. I am
engadged in credit and cannot leave such a chairge, of such consequence, in
ane abrupt maner, qlk might hazard the breaking of the Regiment notw^tand-
ing of the urgent necessity that I know calls for my presence and attendance
upon my owne affaires at this time, which in so far as yee can be able ye must
haue ane ey to.

" I have writen to Adame Mure to whom yee shall also speak and requeist,
that he must take the whole care and chairge of my harvest and stay con-
stantly at my house for that effect and I will sufficiently recompense his paynes.



INTRODUCTION. xvii

allowed. The Rowallan loft in Fenwick church was
evidently built by him during this period of retirement,
since over the door leading to it is a representation of
the Mure arms with the date 1649. Mure's character is
excellently, if somewhat quaintly, summed up in the
concluding words of the 'Historie': "This S r W m was
pious & learned, & had ane excellent vaine in poyesie;
he delyted much in building and planting, he builded the
new wark in the north syde of the close, & the batle-
ment of the back wall, & reformed the whole house
exceidingly. He lived Religiouslie & died Christianlie
in the yeare of [his] age 63, and the yeare of [our] lord
1657."

MURE'S POSITION AS A POET.

Considering the esteem in which which Sir William
Mure was held by his contemporaries, it is remarkable

Yee may be now and then visiting my workers, and hasting them to their dwty
as yo r owne affaires may permitt. It is very long since I heard from you, and
am uncertane whither yee receaved my letters writen since the battle at long
marston moore. I know I will hear from you by this bearar, again whose
retourne to me I hope to be ready to take a voyage home. Praying heartily
the Lord to blesse you, yo r bedfellow and children, till o r happy meeting and
ever I rest,

" Youre loveing father,

"S. W. M. Rowallane.

from Tyne-side before newcastle
the 12 of august 1644.

"I blesse the Lord I am in good health and sound every way.

" I gote a sore blow at the battle upon my back w* the butt of a musket,
which hath vexed me very much but specially in the night being deprivd
therby of sleep, but I hope it shall peece and peece weare away, for I am
already nearly sound. I thank god for it."

\_Sttpcrscription?±
" ffor his very Loveing Sone
S r William Mure

yo: of Rowallane."
b



xviii INTRODUCTION.

that no edition of his collected works has appeared before
this time. The Rev. William Muir, editor of the « Historie,'
did indeed announce as preparing for publication in 1625,
" The Poetical Remains of Sir William Mure, written from
the year 161 1 to 1635"; but, unfortunately, for some
reason the project seems to have fallen through, and
Mure was left in undisturbed obscurity. That there has
been some excuse for this obscurity and this neglect
cannot be doubted. Mure's manuscripts had passed, by
some means, regarding which it would be unprofitable
now to make any inquiry, into the possession of certain
individuals who made use of them simply in so far as it
suited their own convenience. Consequently it was only
by those works which were published by their author
himself that any estimate of his position as a poet could
be formed. The grounds for judgment have hitherto,
therefore, been insufficient. No wonder, then, that the
judgment itself has been inadequate and unjust. The
works which Mure considered most important are pre-
cisely those which reveal him at his weakest as a poet.
A perusal of ' The Trve Crvcifixe,' ' Caledon's Complaint,'


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

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