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The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume V. The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century   By: (1825-1890)

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First Page:

[Illustration:

THE

MODERN SCOTTISH MINSTREL;

BY

CHARLES ROGERS, LL.D. F.S.A. SCOT.

VOL. V.

Alexd^{r}. Maclagan.

EDINBURGH: ADAM & CHARLES BLACK, NORTH BRIDGE, BOOKSELLERS AND PUBLISHERS TO THE QUEEN.]

[Illustration: Ever faithfully yours,

F. Bennoch.]

THE

MODERN SCOTTISH MINSTREL;

OR,

THE SONGS OF SCOTLAND OF THE PAST HALF CENTURY.

WITH

Memoirs of the Poets,

AND

SKETCHES AND SPECIMENS IN ENGLISH VERSE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED MODERN GAELIC BARDS.

BY

CHARLES ROGERS, LL.D., F.S.A. SCOT.

IN SIX VOLUMES.

VOL V.

EDINBURGH: ADAM & CHARLES BLACK, NORTH BRIDGE, BOOKSELLERS AND PUBLISHERS TO HER MAJESTY.

MDCCCLVII.

EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND COMPANY, PAUL'S WORK.

TO

ALEXANDER BAILLIE COCHRANE,

ESQ. OF LAMINGTON.

SIR,

I inscribe to you the present volume of "THE MODERN SCOTTISH MINSTREL," not to express approval of your political sentiments, nor to court your patronage as a man of rank. Political science has occupied only a limited share of my attention, and I have hitherto conducted my peculiar studies without the favour of the great. My dedication is prompted on these twofold grounds: Bearing in your veins the blood of Scotland's Illustrious Defender, you were one of the first of your order to join in the proposal of rearing a National Monument to his memory; and while some doubted the expediency of the course, and others stood aside fearing a failure, you did not hesitate boldly to come forward as a public advocate of the enterprise. Yourself a man of letters, you were among the foremost who took an interest in the establishment of the Scottish Literary Institute, of which you are now the President a society having for its main object the relief, in circumstances of virtuous indigence, of those men of genius and learning who have contributed by the pen to perpetuate among our countrymen that spirit of intelligence and love of freedom which, by his sword, Sir William Wallace first taught Scotsmen how to vindicate and maintain.

I have the honour to be, Sir, Your very obedient, humble servant, CHARLES ROGERS.

STIRLING, June 1857.

SCOTTISH LYRICS AND SCOTTISH LIFE.

BY JAMES DODDS.

Judging from a comparison of extant remains, and other means of information now available, it may be doubted whether any country has equalled Scotland in the number of its lyrics. By the term lyrics , I mean specifically poetical compositions, meant and suitable to be sung, with the musical measures to which they have been wedded. I include under the term, both the compositions themselves, and their music. The Scottish ballads are numerous, the Scottish songs all but numberless, and the Scottish tunes an inexhaustible fountain of melody.

"And now 'twas like all instruments, Now like a lonely flute; And now it is an angel's song, That makes the heavens be mute."

Look at the vast collections of them which have been published, and the additions which are ever making, either from some newly discovered manuscript, or from oral tradition in some out of the way part of the country. The numbers, too, which have been preserved, seem to be exceeded by the numbers that have unfortunately been lost. Who has not in his ears the hum of many lyrics heard by him in his childhood from mother, or nurse, or some old crooning dame at the fireside which are to be found in no collection, and which are now to himself but like a distant, unformed sound? All our collectors, whilst smiling in triumph over the pearls which they have brought up and borne to the shore, lament the multitude of precious things irrecoverably buried in the depths of oblivion. Where, for instance, amid the similar wreck which has befallen so many others, are now the ancient words pouring forth the dirge over the "Flowers of the Forest," or those describing the tragic horrors on the "Braes of Yarrow," or those celebrating the wondrous attractions of the "Braw Lads o' Gala Water"? We have but the two first lines the touching key note of a lover's grief, in an old song, which has been most tamely rendered in Ramsay's version these two lines being

"Alas! that I came o'er the moor, And left my love behind me... Continue reading book >>




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