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they have neither passion, interest, nor character. Few women possess the faculty of construction, and Joanna Baillie was not one of these; nor had she qualities rare enough to cover the sins of a wandering story. Even in the revelation of a passion she is more occupied with the moral to be inferred than with the feeling itself, and few of her dramatis personæ are more than the means to bring the moral to its conclusion. Late in life Miss Baillie produced a book of Metrical Legends in the style of Scott, but without his fine romance and fervour, and quite at the end of her career she republished her earliest poems with the addition of some Scottish songs under the title of Fugitive Verses. The little book, with its modest name and prefaced apology, is nevertheless the most enduring of her works. Her country songs, written in the language of her early home, have the best qualities of Scottish national poetry; their simplicity, their cautious humour, endeared them at once to the national heart; they have the shrewdness and the freshness of the morning airs, the homeliness of unsophisticated feeling. Such songs as Woo'd and Married and a', The weary pund o' Tow, My Nanny O, and the lovely trysting song beginning 'The gowan glitters on the sward' are among the treasures of Scottish minstrelsy. Only less delightful than these are her earlier sketches of country life, of cottage homes on summer and on winter days, of husbandman and housewife, of lovers happy and unhappy, of idle little village girls and boys-sketches touched with a certain homely grace whose greatest charm is its sincerity. Among these poems are a series of Farewells-the melancholy, the cheerfultempered, the proud lover, each bids in turn an adieu to his mistress. Last of all comes the 'poetical or sound-hearted' lover, and even while we smile at the unusual synonym we remember how natural a truth it must have been to her that used it.



The chough and crow to roost are gone, The owl sits on the tree,

The hush'd wind wails with feeble moan,
Like infant charity.

The wild fire dances on the fen,
The red star sheds its ray,
Uprouse ye, then, my merry men!
It is our opening day.

Both child and nurse are fast asleep,
And closed is every flower,
The winking tapers faintly peep

High from my lady's bower;
Bewildered hinds with shortened ken

Shrink in their murky way.
Uprouse ye, then, my merry men!
It is our opening day.

Nor board nor garner own we now,
Nor roof nor latched door,

Nor kind mate bound by holy vow
To bless a good man's store;
Noon lulls us in a gloomy den,
And night is grown our day;
Uprouse ye, then, my merry men!
It is our opening day.


No fish stir in our heaving net,

And the sky is dark and the night is wet;

And we must ply the lusty oar,

For the tide is ebbing from the shore;

And sad are they whose faggots burn,

So kindly stored for our return.

Our boat is small, and the tempest raves,
And nought is heard but the lashing waves
And the sullen roar of the angry sea
And the wild winds piping drearily;
Yet sea and tempest rise in vain,
We'll bless our blazing hearths again.

Push bravely, mates! Our guiding star
Now from its towerlet streameth far,
And now along the nearing strand,
See, swiftly moves yon flaming brand:
Before the midnight watch be past
We'll quaff our bowl and mock the blast.


They who may tell love's wistful tale
Of half its cares are lightened;
Their bark is tacking to the gale,
The severed cloud is brightened.

Love like the silent stream is found
Beneath the willows lurking,
The deeper that it hath no sound
To tell its ceaseless working.

Submit, my heart; thy lot is cast,
I feel its inward token;

I feel this misery will not last,
Yet last till thou art broken.


[Version taken from an old song, Woo'd and married and a'.]

The bride she is winsome and bonny,

Her hair it is snooded sae sleek,
And faithfu' and kind is her Johnny,

Yet fast fa' the tears on her cheek.
New pearlins' are cause of her sorrow,
New pearlins and plenishing too;
The bride that has a' to borrow
Has e'en right mickle ado.

Woo'd and married and a'!
Woo'd and married and a'!
Is na' she very weel aff

To be woo'd and married at a'?

Her mither then hastily spak,
'The lassie is glaikit2 wi' pride;
In my pouch I had never a plack
On the day when I was a bride.
E'en tak to your wheel and be clever,
And draw out your thread in the sun;

The gear that is gifted it never

Will last like the gear that is won.

Woo'd and married and a'!


Wi' havins and tocher sae sma'!

I think ye are very weel aff

To be woo'd and married at a'.'

'Toot, toot,' quo' her grey-headed faither,
'She's less o' a bride than a bairn,
She's ta'en like a cout frae the heather,
Wi' sense and discretion to learn.
Half husband, I trow, and half daddy,
As humour inconstantly leans,

The chiel maun be patient and steady
That yokes wi' a mate in her teens.

1 finery, lace.


a silly.

8 goods and dowry.

✦ colt.

A kerchief sae douce and sae neat

O'er her locks that the wind used to blaw! I'm baith like to laugh and to greet

When I think of her married at a'!'

Then out spak the wily bridegroom,
Weel waled were his wordies, I ween,
'I'm rich, though my coffer be toom',
Wi' the blinks o' your bonny blue e'en.
I'm prouder o' thee by my side

Though thy ruffles or ribbons be few,
Than if Kate o' the Croft were my bride
Wi' purfles and pearlins enow.

Dear and dearest of ony!

Ye're woo'd and buikit and a'!
And do ye think scorn o' your Johnny,
And grieve to be married at a'?'

She turn'd, and she blush'd, and she smiled,
And she looked sae bashfully down;

The pride o' her heart was beguiled,

And she played wi' the sleeves o' her gown.

She twirled the tag o' her lace,

And she nipped her boddice sae blue,

Syne blinkit sae sweet in his face,
And aff like a maukin 2 she flew.
Woo'd and married and a'!
Wi' Johnny to roose her and a'!
She thinks hersel very weel aff
To be woo'd and married at a'!

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