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confess James to have possessed no
On March 28, 1603, Queen Elizabeth expired, genius."
having named James as her successor, and he It was a time when puns and all sorts of was crowned King of Great Britain, July 25, literary quips and quirks were much in vogue. by Archbishop Whitgift, with all the ancient The king was not behindhand in following this solemnity of that imposing ceremony. Jaines peculiar and distressing fashion. James greeted was the author of various works in addition to his Scottish subjects on a certain solemn occa those already mentioned: A Discourse on the sion with a string of punning rhymes on the Gunpowder Plot, Demonology, A Counterblust names of their most learned professors, Adam to Tobacco, &c. Kings are generally, as Milson, Fairlie, Sands, Young, Reid, and King. ton has remarked, though strong in legions,
but weak at arguments. James, although As Adam was the first of men, whence all beginning proud of his literary abilities, was certainly not
tak; So Adam-son was president, and first man in this act (!) strong in argument. He was dogmatic and The theses Fair-lie divl defend, which, though they lies pedantic, and his idea of his vocation appears contain,
to have beenYet were fair lies, and he thie sam right fairlie did
*. To stick the doctor's chair into the throne, The field first entred Master Sands, and there he made
Give law to words, or war with worus alone,
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule, That not all sands are barren sands, but that sone fer.
And turn the council to a grammar-school."
Chelsea College expressly for controversial the-
ology. His grandson, Charles II., however, To him succeeded Master Reid, who, though Reid be converted it into an asylum for disabled solhis name,
diers. For the encouragement of learning the Neids neither for his disput blush, nor of his speech king also founded, in April, 1582, the Univer
think shame. Lust entered Master King the lists, and dispute like sity of Edinburgh; and he conferred a lasting a king,
benefit on all who read the English language How reason reigning as a queene should anger under by the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible,
bring. To their deserved praise have I then playd 11 on their still in use, nearly three centuries after it was
completed and published by his orders. His And will their colledge hence be cald the Colledge of reign was also distinguished by the establishKing Janies."
ment of new colonies and the introduction of The king also wrote some vivacious verses when manufactures. Early in the spring of 1625 fifty-six years old, on the courting expedition the king was seized with tertian fever, and to Spain of his son Charles and the courtly died March 27th, in the fifty-ninth year of his Buckingham.
As I was pansing in a morning aire,
Which then was soukit by the Delphienns heit
Whose hie ascending in his purpour chere
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,
Which made the soile to savour sweit, and smell Then woundred I to see them seik a wyle
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
The chirping birds among the leaves, with beir To sing, whil all the rocks aboute rebounde.
A woundrous worke, that thou, O Father deir, Maks throtts so small yeild furth so great a
For what hath man bot tyme into this lyfe, O thou who from thy palace oft letts fall
Which gives him dayis his God aright to knaw? (For to refresh the hills) thy blessed raine: Wherefore then sould we be at sic a stryfe Who with thy works maintains the earth and all: So spedelie our selfis for to withdraw
Who maks to grow the herbs and grass to gaine. Evin from the tyme, which is no wayis slaw The herbs for foode to man, grass dois remaine To flie from us, suppose we fled it nocht? For food to horse and cattel of all kynde. More wyse we were, if we the tyme had socht. Thou causeth them not pull at it in vaine,
But be thair food, such is thy will and mynde. But sen that tyme is sic a precious thing, I wald we sould bestow it into that
Who dois rejoyse the hart of man with wyne, Which were most pleasour to our heavenly King.
And who with oyle his face makscleirand bright, Flee ydilteth, which is the greatest lat; And who with foode his stomack strengthnes syne, Bot, sen that death to all is destinat,
Who nourishes the very treis aright. Let us employ that tyme that God hath send us,
The cedars evin of Liban tall and wight Iu doing weill, that good men may commend us.
He planted hath, where birds do bigg their nest.
He made the firr trees of a woundrous hight, Where storks dois mak their dwelling-place, and
rest. THE CIIII. PSALME.
Thou made the barren hills, wylde goats refuge, O Lord inspyre my spreit, and pen, to praise
Thou made the rocks a residence and rest Thy name, whose greatness farr surpassis all:
For Alpin ratts, where they do live and ludge. That syne, I may thy gloir and honour blaise,
Thou maid the moone, her course, as thou Which claithis the over: about the lyke a wall
thought best; The light remainis. Othou, whose charge,
Thon maid the sunne in tyme go to, that lest and call
He still sould shyne, then night sould never come: Marle heavens lyke courtenis for to spraid abreid,
But thou in ordour all things hes so drest, Who howed the waters so, as serve they shall
Somne beasts for day, for night are also some. Fur cristal sylring ouer thy house to gleid.
For lyons young at night beginnis to raire, Who walks upon the wings of restles winde, And from their denns to crave of God some Who of the clouds his chariot made, even he
pray: Who, in his presence, still the spreits doeth find | Then, in the morning, gone is all thair caire, Ay ready to fulfill ilk just decree
And homeward to their caves rinnis fast, fra day Of his, whose servant's fyre and flammis they be; Beginnes to kythe, the sunne dois so them fray. Who set the earth on her fundations sure,
Then man gois furth, fra tyme the sunne dois ryse, so as her brangling none shall ever see:
And whill the evening he remainis away Who, at thy charge, the deip upon her bure. At lesume labour, where his living lyes. So as the tops of mountains hie Be fluies were onis ouerflowed at thy command, How large and mightie are thy workis, O Lord !
And with what wisdome are they wrought, but Ay whill thy thundring voice sone made them
faill. flie Ower hiddeous bills and howes, till noght but The earth’s great fulnes, of thy gifts recorde mund
Dois beare: heir of the seas (which divers skaile Was left behind, syne with thy mightie hand
Of fish contenis) dois witnes beare: ilk sail Thou limits made unto the roring deip.
Of divers ships upon the swolling waves
Dois testifie, as dois the monstrous whale So shall she never droun againe the land, But brek her waves on rockis, her mairch to keip.
Who frayis all fishes with his ravening jawes. Thir are thy workis, who made the strands to All thir (O Lord), yea all this woundrous heape breid,
Of living things, in season craves thair fill Syne rinn among the hills from fountains cleir, Of foode from. Thou giving, Lord, they reape: Whairto wyld asses oft dois rinn with speid, Thy open hand with gude things fills them still With uther beasts, to drinke. Hard by we heir When so thou list: but contrar, when thou will
Withdraw thy face, then are they troubled sair, | In earth. O let the sinful be destroyde,
O blesse him now with notts that are enjoyde.
But, notwithstanding, Father deare, in cace
Thou breath on them againe, then they revive. In short, thou dois, O Lord, renewe the face
Of all the earth, and all that in it live.
Therefore immortal praise we give:
We find, by proof, that into every age
In Phæbus' art some glistering star did shine, Who, worthy scholars to the Muses sage,
Fulfill'd their countries with their works divine.
So Homer was a sounding trumpet fine
So Virgil was among the Romans syne
In tongue Italic, in a sugar'd style,
For he, by poems that he did compile,
To Jehoua I all my life shall sing,
To sound his name I ever still shall cair:
Iu him I shall be glaid for ever mair.
BORN 1570 - DIED 1638.
Sir Robert Ayton, a younger son of acquaintance of Mr. Thomas Hobbes of MalmsAndrew Ayton, of Kinaldie, Fifeshire, was bury, whom Mr. Hobbes told me he made use of, born there in the year 1570, and studied at St. together with Ben Jonson, for an Aristarchus, Leonards College, St. Andrews, where he took | when he made his epistle dedicatory, for his his master's degree after the usual course of translation of Thucydides.” Ben Jonson study, in 1588. Subsequently he resided for seemed proud of his friendship, for he told some time in France ; whence in 1603 he Drummond of Hawthornden that Sir Robert addressed an elegant panegyrie in Latin verse loved him (Jonson) dearly. to King James, on his accession to the throne Sir Robert Ayton died in London in arch, of England. On his appearance at court he 1638, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, was knighted, and appointed one of the gen- where a handsome monument was erected to tlemen of the bedchamber and private secre his memory by his nephew. The inscription tary to the queen, Anne of Denmark. At a is in Latin, and his bust in bronze; in his later period lyton was secretary to Henrietta looks there is as much of the gentleman as the Maria, queen of Charles I. About 1609 he genius. His monument is near that of Henry was sent by James as ambassador to the Em V. The brass head of the humble poet is still peror of Germany with the king's “ Apology safe and unmutilated ; while the silver head for the Oath of Allegiance," which he had of the hero of Agincourt fell a victim to the dedicated to all the crowned heads of Europe. value of its material: it was melted down by During Ayton's residence abroad, as well as Cromwell's parliament to assist in paying the at the court of England, he lived in intimacy army! with, and secured the esteem of, the most The courtier poet's song to his forsaken eminent persons of his time. “He was ac mistress is one of the sweetest and happiest of quainted,” says Aubrey, “with all the wits our early compositions. It was on this song of his time in England; he was a great that Burns bestowed a Seottish dress, and for
once he failed to improve upon the original. | oured, like Buchanan, to make the world feel It did not admit of emendation. The English his genius in a language which only a few can poems of Ayton, for the first time published understand. A critic says, “ I cannot under: in the Miscellany of the Bannatyne Club, are stand how a man can hope to write felicitously few in number, but of great merit, and remind out of his mother tongue; by what spell is he us of the elegant productions of Herrick. to be possessed with all the proverbial turnJohn Aubrey remarks “ that Sir Robert Aytonings and windings of language, all those meltwas one of the best poets of his time;" andings of word into word—those gradations of adds the more important testimony that “Mr. meaning direct and implied, which give a John Dryden has seen verses of his, some of deeper sense than they seem to bear, and the best of that age, printed with some other | assist in the richness and the strength of comverses." Ayton was also the writer of verses position. The language may be learned and in Greek and French, as well as in English words may be meted out in heroic or lyric and Latin, Several of his Latin poems are quantities by the aid of a discreet ear; but preserved in the work called Delitice Poet-such verses will want the original flavour of arum Scotorum, which was printed at Ims native poetry—the leaf will come without the terdam the year previous to his death.
fragrance, and the blossom without the fruit." It is sad to think that the poet who could A privately-printed edition of Ayton's poems, charm us with such songs in his native tongue with a memoir prepared from original sources should have poured the stream of his fancy of information by the Rev. Charles Rogers, into the dark regions of Latin verse, and lab- I LL.D., was issued in 1871.
And noble breasts will freely lend
The morning rose, that untouch'd stands, Without expecting interest.
Arm'd with her briers, how sweetly smells! "Tis merchants' love, 'tis trade for gain, But pluck'd and strain'd through ruder hands, To barter love for love again:
Her sweet no longer with her dwells; "Tis usury, yea, worse than this,
But scent and beauty both are gone, For self-idolatry it is.
And leaves fall from her one by one.
Such fate ere long will thee betide, Then let her choice be what it will,
When thou hast handled been awhile! Let constancy be thy revenge;
Like sere flowers to be thrown aside,
And I will sigh, while some will smile,
Hath brought thee to be lov'd by none.
Since time must truth approve?
This distance may consist with state-
It cannot stand with love.
'Tis either cunning or distrust And I might have gone near to love thee,
That may such ways allow; Had I not found the slightest prayer
The first is base, the last unjust; That lips could speak had power to move thee;
Let neither blemish you. But I can let thee now alone
For if you mean to draw me on, As worthy to be loved by none.
There needs not half this art;
And if you mean to have me gone,
You overact your part.
If kindness cross your wished content,
Dismiss me with a frown;
The rest shall be my own.
EARL OF ANCRUM.
BORX 1578 - DIED 1654.
SIR ROBERT KERR, afterwards Earl of in- father was assassinated by a kinsman, Robert crum, was born in 1578, and succeeded to the Kerr younger of Cessford. He was one of family estate of Ferniehurst in 1590, when his the gentlemen of the bedchamber who attended
James VI. on his accession to the throne of 1 Altered by Burns into the song
England. In 1619 he became involved, either "I do confess that thou art fair;"
through family connection or friendship, in a and from another of Ayton's, beginning
violent quarrel which arose between the Max. “Should old acquaintance be forgot,
wells and Johnstones respecting the wardenAnd never thought upon,"
ship of the western marches, and received a he took the idea of a song especially dear to all Scotch challenge from Charles Maxwell to meet him men. -ED.
in single combat. Although his adversary was