Now First Collected.
J. MENZIES, 61, PRINCES STREET.
Aw. Murray, Printer, Milne Square.
HENRY EDWARDS, D.D., Ph.D.,
"PIETY AND INTELLECT RELATIVELY ESTIMATED," "CHRISTIAN HUMILITY," AND SEVERAL OTHER WORKS OF MERIT.
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED
HIS SINCERE FRIEND,
|II. Morning farther advanced,||10|
|IV. The Sunbeam,||16|
|V. To a Wild Flower,||19|
|VIII. The Sunshine of Poetry,||28|
|IX. Autumn, in its First Aspect,||31|
|X. Autumn, in its Second Aspect,||34|
|XIII. Moonlight on Land,||43|
|XIV. Moonlight at Sea,||46|
|XV. Home Scenes,||49|
|The Alpine Horn,||55|
|Reflections on Death,||58|
|Through the Wood.—Modern Ballad,||62|
|[viii]Song of the Exile,||64|
|To a Bee,||68|
|"Lazarus, Come Forth,"||73|
|Sonnet. On the Approach of Summer,||74|
|To M. J. R.,||76|
|Sonnet. A Contrast,||77|
|On the Birth of a Niece,||79|
|On her death,||80|
|Sonnet. To Happiness,||81|
|The April Cloud,||94|
|Sonnet. To a Friend of the Author,||100|
|The Gipsy's Lullaby,||101|
|Sonnet. The Ocean,||104|
|Written beneath an Elm,||111|
|The Wells o' Weary,||115|
|Poems here First Collected.|
|Lines. On the Death of John Sinclair, Esq., Edinburgh,||125|
|Weep not for the Dead,||127|
|Dreams of the Living,||135|
|Sonnets Written on Viewing Danby's Picture of the Deluge,||140|
|Lines Written on the Attempted Assassination of the Queen, July 1840,||143|
|Song.—"I'm Naebody Noo,"||147|
|Song. "There's Plenty Come to Woo me,"||149|
|The Stout Old British Ship,||151|
|Lines on the Infant Son and Daughter of Hon. Col. Montague,||154|
|Caledonia, My Country,||158|
|Song. "I Canna Sleep,"||160|
|[x]Song. "Yonder Sunny Brae,"||162|
|The Eagle's Nest, and other Poems, here first Printed.|
|The Eagle's Nest,||167|
|The Advent of Truth,||179|
|Lines Suggested by a Walk in a Garden,||182|
|Song. "At E'ening when the Kye war in,"||188|
|Stanzas on a Bust of Marshal Ney,||191|
|Lines to the Rev. Henry Dudley Ryder, on reading his "Angelicon,"||213|
|Light and Shadow,||223|
|The Early Dead,||226|
|The Game of Life,||235|
|The Valley of Life,||245|
THE REV. HENRY DUDLEY RYDER,
CANON RESIDENTIARY OF LICHFIELD CATHEDRAL,
THIS VOLUME OF LANDSCAPE LYRICS,
A MARK OF RESPECT FOR HIS VIRTUES,
OF ADMIRATION OF HIS GENIUS,
AND IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE PLEASANT HOURS PASSED IN HIS SOCIETY,
BY HIS FRIEND,
FIRST EDITION OF LANDSCAPE LYRICS.
The poems contained in the following pages must be taken as parts of a whole, being intended to be distinct only in their subjects. This will account for the same measure being used throughout.
Of these pieces, the only one which has been previously published is that addressed "To a Wild Flower." My reason for inserting it here is, that it harmonizes with the other poems; and, having been already favourably spoken of by competent judges, I must confess it is one which I should "not willingly let die."
In the first poem on "Autumn," I have introduced what has always appeared to me a beautiful incident in nature; namely, the singing of the missel-thrush during a thunder-storm. The louder the thunder roars, the shriller and sweeter becomes its voice. This interesting little bird is popularly known by the name of the storm-cock, because he is supposed to sing boldest immediately previous to a storm; but that he also sends forth his "native wood notes wild," during its continuance, is a fact which has been satisfactorily ascertained. Undismayed by the tempest's fury, or, rather rejoicing in its violence, the small but spirited songster warbles on unceasingly, as if desirous of emulating the loudness of the thunder-tone, or of making his song be heard above the noise of the raging elements.
The poetry of nature, particularly at this joyous season, is in its landscapes; and if these unpretending "Lyrics" should lead any one to a healthy contemplation of natural objects, or impart, to refined minds, any pleasure in the perusal, the time which has been bestowed upon them will not have been idly or unprofitably employed.
London, 1st June, 1838.
No. II.—MORNING FURTHER ADVANCED.
No. IV.—THE SUNBEAM.
No. V.—TO A WILD FLOWER.
No. VIII.—THE SUNSHINE OF POETRY.
No. IX.—AUTUMN, IN ITS FIRST ASPECT.
No. X.—AUTUMN, IN ITS SECOND ASPECT.
No. XIII.—MOONLIGHT ON LAND.
No. XIV.—MOONLIGHT AT SEA.
No. XV.—HOME SCENES.
A small volume of poems, entitled "Poetical Aspirations," was published by me, my first adventure, in 1830, and was favourably received. That volume was dedicated to Mrs Robertson of Ednam House, Kelso, a lady whose many virtues are universally acknowledged wherever she is known, and whose kindness to me it will always be my pride to remember. A second edition, with additional poems, appeared in 1833. From the latter volume I have selected the following pieces, the remainder, bearing evident marks of inexperience and juvenility of taste, not being deemed worthy of further reprint.
THE ALPINE HORN. (1)
REFLECTIONS ON DEATH.
THROUGH THE WOOD.
SONG OF THE EXILE.
TO A BEE.
"LAZARUS, COME FORTH."
ON THE APPROACH OF SUMMER.
TO M. J. R.
ON THE BIRTH OF A NIECE.
E. W. G.
11th August, 1828.
ON HER DEATH,
At the Age of Two Years and Two Months.
LOCH AWE. (3)
THE WOLF. (4)
THE APRIL CLOUD.
TO A FRIEND OF THE AUTHOR.
 The Tweed, near Kelso.
THE GIPSY'S LULLABY.
MOUNT HOREB. (5)
WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM,
In a City Churchyard.
 Micah iv. 4.
THE WELLS O' WEARY.
DRYBURGH ABBEY. (6)
POEMS HERE FIRST COLLECTED.
[The following verses were suggested by the striking reply of a Protestant minister, who was about to proceed to Ireland, to labour among the deluded and ignorant Popish peasantry, and who, on being warned by a friend of the personal danger he thereby incurred, nobly answered, "I am immortal, till my work is done!"]
ON THE DEATH OF JOHN SINCLAIR, ESQ.,
7th April 1844.
 He was interred in the family burying-place, New Calton Burying-ground, Edinburgh.
WEEP NOT FOR THE DEAD.
Jeremiah xxii. 10.
"What have I to do any more with Idols?"—Hos. xiv. 8.
DREAMS OF THE LIVING.
Written on viewing the Picture of "The Deluge," painted by F. Danby, Esq., A.R.A.
WRITTEN ON THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF THE QUEEN.
20th July 1840.
I'M NAEBODY NOO.
The complaint of an old man reduced in the world. Contributed to the Book of
Contributed to the Book of Scottish Song.
THE STOUT OLD BRITISH SHIP.
ON THE INFANT SON AND DAUGHTER OF THE
HON. COL. MONTAGUE.
CALEDONIA, MY COUNTRY!
I CANNA SLEEP.
Written in 1833. Contributed to the Book of Scottish Song.
YONDER SUNNY BRAE.
THE EAGLE'S NEST,
HERE FIRST PRINTED.
THE EAGLE'S NEST.
THE ADVENT OF TRUTH.
SUGGESTED BY A WALK IN A GARDEN.
AT E'ENING, WHAN THE KYE WAR IN.
ON A BUST OF MARSHAL NEY,
Presented by the Prince De Moskwa to Donald Sinclair, Esq. Edinburgh.
Written at Two-Waters, Herts, 11th January 1840, for a Lady's Album.
TO THE REV. HENRY DUDLEY RYDER,
On reading his volume, entitled "The Angelicon, a Gallery of Sonnets, on the Divine Attributes, and the Passions, the Graces, and the Virtues."
LIGHT AND SHADOW.
THE EARLY DEAD.
On my youngest Daughter, died 20th March 1845, aged twenty-one months.
THE GAME OF LIFE.
THE VALLEY OF LIFE.
Note 1, Page 55.
"The Alpine Horn."
Reichard, a German writer, affirms that when the sun sets, the shepherd who dwells on the highest part of the Alps, calls through his horn, "Praise God the Lord!" and the other shepherds, hearing the sound, hasten out of their huts and repeat it. This continues for some time, and the name of the Lord is thus re-echoed from mountain to valley. When the sound ceases, all kneel down on the mountain, and their prayers ascend together to the throne of grace. The shepherd from the summit of the mountain then proclaims "Good night!" which is instantly repeated by the rest. They then retire to their homes.
Note 2, Page 69.
"But come not near the hollyhock."
The flower of the hollyhock contains a species of poison, which is fatal to bees, and round its nectaries and petals several of these insects are frequently found lying insensible.
Note 3, Page 85.
A lake in Argyleshire. My earliest years were spent in its neighbourhood; but I have not been there since I was a mere boy.
According to the Guide Books, Loch Awe and its vicinity, more perhaps than any other district in the Highlands, abound with memorials of former ages. The lake is thirty miles in extent, and of the average breadth of one, although in some places it does not exceed half a mile. It is surrounded by mountains finely wooded, and like many of the Scottish lakes, its surface is studded over with small islands, beautifully tufted with trees, and some of them large enough to admit of being pastured. Upon the island of Innis-Hail are the remains of a convent; and on a rocky promontory at the eastern extremity of the lake stand the magnificent ruins of Kilchurn Castle. This structure, which still exhibits the vestiges of a castellated square tower, was built in 1440, by Sir John Campbell, (second son of Argyle,) Knight of Rhodes, and ancestor of the Breadalbane family, and in later times it became, from the extensive view it commanded of the lake, the favourite residence of the chiefs of the family. In 1745 it was garrisoned by the king's troops, in order to defend the pass into the Highlands, and secure the tranquillity of the country. Emerging from the ocean, and rising on the north-east bank of Loch Awe, soars Ben Cruachan, the largest mountain in Argyleshire. Its perpendicular height is 3,390 feet above the level of the sea, and its circumference at the base is upwards of twenty miles. On the south, the ascent is gentle nearly to the summit, where it rises abrupt, and divides into two points, each having the form of a sugar-loaf. Before the storm, "the spirit of the mountain shrieks" from Ben Cruachan, Ben Doran, and some other Highland mountains. When Burke made his tour in Scotland, he declared that Loch Awe was the most picturesque lake he had ever seen. It was in a narrow pass in the vicinity of this lake that King Robert Bruce defeated the Macdougals of Lorn, in 1308. In Loch Awe are found salmon, trout, eels, and other fresh water fish. The lake discharges itself by the river Awe into Loch Etive at Bunawe Ferry.
Note 4, Page 87.
Wolves were once the scourge of England, and are still numerous in many parts of France. The Poem is founded on an incident which occurred some years ago in Picardy—the details of which were similar, with the exception that the peasant shot his mother instead of his sweetheart, in mistake for the wolf of which he was in pursuit. The last of these ferocious animals seen in the neighbourhood of Guisne was shot by a woman named Louise Vernette, nearly fifty years ago. During a severe winter, when the whole country was covered with snow, a she-wolf, urged to desperation by hunger, had entered her cottage at an early hour of the morning, and carried off her infant, as it lay in the cradle. The mother, on returning from the labours of the field, with frantic lamentations searched the neighbourhood for her child. During her wanderings she encountered a peasant, breathless from a long and unavailing pursuit of the savage beast, which he had seen entering a wood about three leagues distant with the child in its jaws. The whole village immediately renewed the chase; the mother, arming herself with a gun, was, as might have been expected, the most indefatigable, and, penetrating into the recesses of the forest, encountered the monster, which she shot dead. No traces of the miserable infant were ever discovered.
Note 5, Page 105.
Mount Sinai stands about 120 miles south from Jerusalem, and nearly 260 eastward from Grand Cairo in Egypt. The mountain is of no great extent, but extremely high, and has two tops; the western of which is called Horeb, and the eastern, which is about a third higher, Sinai. There are several springs and fruit-trees on Horeb, but nothing except rainwater on the top of Sinai. The ascent of both is very steep, and can only be effected by steps, now much effaced, which the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, caused to be cut in the marble rock. At the foot of Mount Sinai, on the north, and near to the ascent of Mount Horeb, there was a monastery dedicated to Saint Catherine, but now in ruins, not far distant from which there stands a fountain of very clear water, formed like a bow or arch. A little above which is to be seen the Cave where Elijah rested when God spoke unto him, 1 Kings xix. From the top of Sinai, God proclaimed his law to the Hebrews amid devouring flames of fire, Exod. xxiv. The Rock Rephidim, which seems to have been a clift fallen off from the side of Sinai, and lies like a large loose stone in the midst of the valley, gives name to that part of the desert nearest the mountain. There are twelve openings in it, whence, on being struck by Moses, the waters gushed out for the supply of the Israelites, during the forty years they tarried in the desert, Exod. xvii.
Note 6, Page 116.
The ruins of Dryburgh Abbey are surpassingly interesting, from their antiquity, history, picturesque appearance, and more than all, from the Great Minstrel being buried there. The grave of Sir Walter Scott is in St. Mary's Aisle of the Abbey Church of Dryburgh, which is in the form of a cross, and the Poet lies in the left transept of the Cross, part of which is still standing, and close to where the high altar formerly stood. This transept is divided into three burial-places; that of Sir Walter Scott, Baronet, in right of his grandmother, Lady Haliburton's family; that of James Erskine, Esq. of Shieldhall and Melrose; and that of James G. Haig, Esq. of the ancient family of Bemersyde. These, with the tomb-house of the Earl of Buchan, in St. Moden's Chapel, and that of James Anderson, Esq. of Gledswood, form, I believe, the only cemeteries in Dryburgh. These venerable ruins stand on a romantic peninsula, formed by one of the great windings of the Tweed, commonly called the crescent of that river, in the south-west nook of Berwickshire, where the river divides that county from Roxburghshire. The land rises in a sloping bank from the margin of the Tweed to the top of Dryburgh Hill, about 800 feet high, on which stands the colossal statue of Wallace, erected by the late revered Earl of Buchan. The trees in the neighbourhood of Dryburgh have a very luxuriant appearance, and some of them are rather remarkable. There are many vestiges of old oaks to be found, and the ash and the yew have grown to a surprising height and circumference; and there is still, in the cemetery of the Abbey, a yew-tree of uncommon beauty, which is upwards of ten feet in circumference, at six feet from the ground. In the grounds opposite the mansion house of Dryburgh, there are also some fine trees, particularly a noble cedar, which has been much admired. Many interesting remains of antiquity have been dug up in Dryburgh Abbey and places adjacent.
Note 7, Page 140.
Sonnets on Danby's Picture.
Mr Danby could scarcely have chosen a better subject for the display of his great powers than that of the Deluge. In this highly effective and beautiful work of art, an Angel of light is introduced, weeping over the lifeless bodies of a giant and a female, who, floating above the swelling waters on a hastily constructed raft, were crushed to death by a fallen tree. This part of the scene is evidently illustrative of that passage in Scripture which refers to the "Sons of God," who "saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took them wives of all whom they chose." The "Sons of God," according to the best commentators, were a race of men favoured by God, but who generally incurred his displeasure, and perished with mankind in general.
Note 8, Page 157.
"Calmly the martyr Guthrie met his fate."
Mr James Guthrie, minister of Stirling, was executed at Edinburgh, on the 1st of June 1661, for his adherence to the Covenant. In his dying speech, he solemnly declared,—"I take God to record upon my soul, I would not exchange this scaffold with the palace or the mitre of the greatest prelate in Britain."
Note 9, Page 167.
The Eagle's Nest.
The incident here versified is founded on fact, although I have taken the liberty slightly to alter the details,—to change the scene, as it were, of the heroine's birth-place,—and to give her a name of my own choosing. The case is thus narrated by Dr Rush of Philadelphia, in his "Lectures on the Utility of a Knowledge of the Mind to a Physician," lect. xi.:—
"During the time I passed at a country school, at Cecil county, in Maryland," says that eminent medical philosopher, "I often went, on a holiday, with my schoolmates, to see an eagle's nest, upon the summit of a dead tree in the neighbourhood of the school, during the time of the incubation of that bird. The daughter of the farmer in whose field the tree stood, and with whom I became acquainted, married, and settled in this place about forty years ago. In our occasional interviews, we now and then spoke of the innocent pursuits and rural pleasures of our youth, and, among other things, of the eagle's nest in her father's field. A few years ago I was called to visit this woman, when she was in the lowest stage of a typhus fever. Upon entering her room, I caught her eye, and, with a cheerful tone of voice, said only—'The eagle's nest!' She seized my hand, without being able to speak, and discovered strong emotions of pleasure in her countenance, probably from a sudden association of all her early domestic connexions and enjoyments with the words I had uttered. From that time she began to recover. She is now living, and seldom fails, when we meet, to salute me with the echo of—'The eagle's nest!'"
Note 10, Page 193.
"Our history records, 'with sorrow and with shame.'"
Marshal Ney was shot in violation of a solemn capitulation—the Convention of Paris;—by the twelfth article of which an amnesty was granted to all persons in the capital, whatever might be their opinions, their offices, or their conduct. Marshal Davoust, who had concluded the Convention, explained it in favour of Ney,—and so will impartial history. The Duke of Wellington, however, on being appealed to by the unfortunate Ney, during the trial returned the cold and lawyer-like answer,—"That the Convention was merely a military convention, and did not, and could not, promise pardon for political offences, on the part of the French government." And so Ney, the most heroic of all the marshals of the French Revolution, was most foully murdered in the garden of the Luxembourg, to satisfy a point of mere military etiquette! Like the Dacian captive of old,—
That the Duke of Wellington did not at once strongly remonstrate against the illegality of the act was unfortunate for his own fame. It required but the saving of Ney's life to have made him the greatest man of his time. That the act was illegal is acknowledged by the ablest jurisconsults of Europe. Well might Ney himself exclaim, when he found that his death was resolved upon:—"I am accused against the faith of treaties, and they will not let me justify myself. I appeal to Europe and to posterity!"
Note 11, Page 241.
"He was a sage old man who said."
A sophist, wishing to perplex Thales, who was one of the seven wise men of Greece, asked him many difficult questions; to all of which the sage replied without the least hesitation. To one of those questions,—which was the following,—"What is the best of all things?" Thales gave this response: "Virtue; because without it there is nothing good." Such is the conviction of mere unassisted and stumbling reason, the voice of nature, and the unequivocal and direct assertion of a heathen philosopher.—Preface to Piety and Intellect Relatively Estimated, by Dr Henry Edwards.—An excellent work.