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The public faith shall save our souls,
And good out-works together;
And ships shall save our lives, that stay
Only for wind and weather.

But when our faith and works fall down,
And all our hopes decay,

Our acts will bear us up to heaven,
The clean contrary way.

SONG.-The Royalist.

[Written in 1646.]

Come, pass about the bowl to me;

A health to our distressed king!
Though we're in hold, let cups go free,
Birds in a cage do freely sing.
The ground does tipple healths apace,

When storms do fall, and shall not we!
A sorrow dares not show its face,

When we are ships and sack 's the sea. Pox on this grief, hang wealth, let's sing, Shall kill ourselves for fear of death? We'll live by the air which songs doth bring, Our sighing does but waste our breath: Then let us not be discontent,

Nor drink a glass the less of wine; In vain they'll think their plagues are spent, When once they see we don't repine.

We do not suffer here alone,

Though we are beggar'd, so's the king; "Tis sin t' have wealth, when he has none; Tush! poverty's a royal thing! When we are larded well with drink,

Our heads shall turn as round as theirs, Our feet shall rise, our bodies sink

Clean down the wind, like cavaliers. Fill this unnatural quart with sack, Nature all vacuums doth decline, Ourselves will be a zodiac,

And every month shall be a sign. Methinks the travels of the glass

Are circular like Plato's year, Where everything is as it was;

Let's tipple round; and so 'tis here.


LADY ELIZABETH CAREW is believed to be the author of the tragedy of Mariam, the Fair Queen of Jewry, 1613. Though wanting in dramatic interest and spirit, there is a vein of fine sentiment and feeling in this forgotten drama. The following chorus, in Act the Fourth, possesses a generous and noble simplicity:

[Revenge of Injuries.]

The fairest action of our human life
Is scorning to revenge an injury;
For who forgives without a further strife,
His adversary's heart to him doth tie.
And 'tis a firmer conquest truly said,
To win the heart, than overthrow the head.
If we a worthy enemy do find,

To yield to worth it must be nobly done;
But if of baser metal be his mind,

In base revenge there is no honour won.
Who would a worthy courage overthrow,
And who would wrestle with a worthless foe ?

We say our hearts are great, and cannot yield;
Because they cannot yield, it proves them poor:
Great hearts are task'd beyond their power, but seld
The weakest lion will the loudest roar.
Truth's school for certain doth this same allow,
High-heartedness doth sometimes teach to bow.

A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn.
To scorn to owe a duty overlong ;
To scorn to be for benefits forborne;
To scorn to lie, to scorn to do a wrong.

To scorn to bear an injury in mind;
To scorn a free-born heart slave-like to bind.

But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have, Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind; Do we his body from our fury save,

And let our hate prevail against our mind? What can 'gainst him a greater vengeance be, Than make his foe more worthy far than he

Had Mariam scorn'd to leave a due unpaid, She would to Herod then have paid her love, And not have been by sullen passion sway'd. To fix her thoughts all injury above Is virtuous pride. Had Mariam thus been proud, Long famous life to her had been allow'd.



While Sidney, Spenser, Marlow, and other poets, were illustrating the reign of Elizabeth, the muses were not wholly neglected in Scotland. There was, however, so little intercourse between the two nations, that the works of the English bards seem to have been comparatively unknown in the north, and to have had no Scottish imitators. The country was then in a rude and barbarous state, tyrannised over by the nobles, and torn by feuds and dissensions. In England, the Reformation had proceeded from the throne, and was accomplished with little violence or disorder. In Scotland, it uprooted the whole form of society, and was marked by fierce contentions and lawless turbulence. The absorbing influence of this ecclesiastical struggle was unfavourable to the cultivation of poetry. It shed a gloomy spirit over the nation, and almost proscribed the study of romantic literature. The drama, which in England was the nurse of so many fine thoughts, so much stirring passion, and beautiful imagery, was shunned as a leprosy, fatal to religion and morality. very songs in Scotland partook of this religious chathat ALEXANDER SCOT, in his New Year Gift to the racter; and so widely was the polemical spirit diffused, Queen, in 1562, says—

That limmer lads and little lasses, lo,


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I say,
The grund of greif remuve.

But still decay, both nicht and day;
Lo what it is to luve !

Luve is ane fervent fire, Kendillit without desire, Short plesour, lang displesour; Repentance is the hire;

Ane pure tressour, without messour; Luve is ane fervent fire.

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Some wifis of the borowstoun
Sae wonder vain are, and wantoun,
In warld they wait not! what to weir:
On claithis they ware? mony a croun;
And all for newfangleness of geir.3

And of fine silk their furrit clokis,
With hingan sleeves, like geil pokis ;
Nae preaching will gar them forbeir
To weir all thing that sin provokis;
And all for newfangleness of geir.

Their wilicoats maun weel be hewit,
Broudred richt braid, with pasments sewit.

I trow wha wald the matter speir,
That their gudemen had cause to rue it,
That evir their wifis wore sic geir.

Their woven hose of silk are shawin,
Barrit aboon with taisels drawin;
With gartens of ane new maneir,
To gar their courtliness be knawin;
And all for newfangleness of geir.
Sometime they will beir up their gown,
To shaw their wilicoat hingan down;
And sometime baith they will upbeir,
To shaw their hose of black or brown;
And all for newfangleness of geir.

Their collars, carcats, and hause beidis !4
With velvet hat heigh on their heidis,
Cordit with gold like ane younkeir.
Braidit about with golden threidis ;
And all for newfangleness of geir.

Their shoon of velvet, and their muilis !
In kirk they are not content of stuilis,
The sermon when they sit to heir,
But carries cusheons like vain fulis;
And all for newfangleness of geir.

And some will spend mair, I hear say,
In spice and drugis in ane day,
Nor wald their mothers in ane yeir.
Whilk will gar mony pack decay,
When they sae vainly waste their geir.

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Leave, burgess men, or all be lost,
On your wifis to mak sic cost,
Whilk may gar all your bairnis bleir.1
She that may not want wine and roast,
Is able for to waste some geir.
Between them, and nobles of blude,
Nae difference but ane velvet hude!
Their camrock curchies are as deir,
Their other claithis are as gude,
And they as costly in other geir.

Of burgess wifis though I speak plain,
Some landwart ladies are as vain,
As by their claithing may appeir,
Wearing gayer nor them may gain,
On ower vain claithis wasting geir.


ALEXANDER MONTGOMERY was known as a poet in 1568; but his principal work, The Cherry and the Slae, was not published before 1597. The Cherry and the Slae is an allegorical poem, representing virtue and vice. The allegory is poorly managed; but some of Montgomery's descriptions are lively and vigorous; and the style of verse adopted in this poem was afterwards copied by Burns. Divested of some of the antique spelling, parts of the poem seem as modern, and as smoothly versified, as the Scottish poetry of a century and a-half later.

The cushat crouds, the corbie cries,
The cuckoo couks, the prattling pyes
To geck there they begin ;
The jargon of the jangling jays,
The craiking craws and keckling kays,

They deave't me with their din.
The painted pawn with Argus eyes

Can on his May-cock call;

The turtle wails on wither'd trees,
And Echo answers all,

Repeating, with greeting,
How fair Narcissus fell,
By lying and spying

His shadow in the well.

I saw the hurcheon and the hare
In hidlings hirpling here and there,*
To make their morning mange.
The con, the cuning, and the cat,
Whose dainty downs with dew were wat,
With stiff mustachios strange.
The hart, the hind, the dae, the rae,
The foumart and false fox;

The bearded buck clamb up the brae
With birsy bairs and brocks;
Some feeding, some dreading
The hunter's subtle snares,
With skipping and tripping,
They play'd them all in pairs.
The air was sober, saft, and sweet,
Nae misty vapours, wind, nor weet,
But quiet, calm, and clear,
To foster Flora's fragrant flowers,
Whereon Apollo's paramours

Had trinkled mony a tear;
The which like silver shakers shined,
Embroidering Beauty's bed,

Wherewith their heavy heads declined
In May's colours clad.

Some knoping, some dropping

Of balmy liquor sweet,

Excelling and smelling

Through Phoebus' wholesome heat.

1 Cry till their eyes become red.


Burns, in describing the opening scene of his Holy Fair,

'The hares were hirpling down the furs.'


ALEXANDER HUME, who died, minister of Logie, in 1609, published a volume of Hymns or Sacred Songs, in the year 1599. He was of the Humes of Polwarth,


Logie Kirk.

and, previous to turning clergyman, had studied the law, and frequented the court; but in his latter years he was a stern and even gloomy Puritan. The most finished of his productions is a description of a summer's day, which he calls the Day Estival. The various objects of external nature, characteristic of a Scottish landscape, are painted with truth and clearness, and a calm devotional feeling is spread over the poem. It opens as follows:

O perfect light, which shed away
The darkness from the light,
And set a ruler o'er the day,
Another o'er the night.

Thy glory, when the day forth flies,
More vively does appear,
Nor at mid-day unto our eyes
The shining sun is clear.

The shadow of the earth anon
Removes and drawis by,

Syne in the east, when it is gone,
Appears a clearer sky.

Whilk soon perceive the little larks,

The lapwing and the snipe;

And tune their song like Nature's clerks,

O'er meadow, muir, and stripe.

The summer day of the poet is one of unclouded splendour.

The time so tranquil is and clear,

That nowhere shall ye find,

Save on a high and barren hill,

An air of passing wind.

All trees and simples, great and small,
That balmy leaf do bear,

Than they were painted on a wall,

No more they move or steir.


The rivers fresh, the caller streams
O'er rocks can swiftly rin,
The water clear like crystal beams,
And makes a pleasant din.

The condition of the Scottish labourer would seem to have been then more comfortable than at present, and the climate of the country warmer, for Hume describes those working in the fields as stopping at mid-day, 'noon meat and sleep to take,' and refreshing themselves with caller wine' in a cave, and 'sallads steep'd in oil.' As the poet lived four years in France previous to his settling in Scotland, in mature life, we suspect he must have been drawing on his continental recollections for some of the features in this picture. At length the gloaming comes, the day is spent,' and the poet concludes in a strain of pious gratitude and delight:

What pleasure, then, to walk and see
End-lang a river clear,
The perfect form of every tree
Within the deep appear.

The salmon out of cruives and creels,
Uphailed into scouts,

The bells and circles on the weills
Through leaping of the trouts.

O sure it were a seemly thing,

While all is still and calm,
The praise of God to play and sing,
With trumpet and with shalm.
Through all the land great is the gild
Of rustic folks that cry;
Of bleating sheep fra they be kill'd,
Of calves and rowting kye.

All labourers draw hame at even,
And can to others say,

Thanks to the gracious God of heaven,
Whilk sent this summer day.

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