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obtained a living in that church, and became eminently respectable for his talents, his learning, and his sociable and pleasant
He appears to have been so much elated by his good fortune, that in some of his, letters home he flatters his imagination with the hopes of revisiting his native country in a diplomatic capacity. These were the golden days of LowE; but an event took place which clouded the meridian of his life, and blasted his happiness for ever.
“ Two years after he left the shores of Britain, he addressed a poem, of considerable length, to her who was the object of his earliest affections, and who seemed still to possess the chief place in his heart. In this poem he thus breathes his passion :--
• My busy sprite, when balmy sleep descends,
Might last for ages, could we live so long.'
Fair faces here I meet, and forms divine,
Enough to shake all constancy but mine.' “But notwithstanding the ardour of these professions, his con. stancy was not so much proof, as he imagined, against the temptations to which it was exposed. He became enamoured of a beautiful Virginian lady, and forgot his first love on the banks of the Ken. The young lady, however, refused to listen to his addresses, and he had even the mortification to witness the fair object of his attachment bestowed on a more fortunate and deserving lover. It is singular, that the sister of this very lady became as fondly attached to our poet, as she herself had been indifferent to him, and he allowed himself to be united to her merely, as he states, from a sentiment of gratitude.' But every propitious planet hid its head at the hour which made them one -she proved every thing bad, and Lowe soon saw in his wife an abandoned woman, regardless of his happiness, and unfaithful even to his bed. Overwhelmed with shame, disappointment, and sorrow, he had recourse to the miserable expedient of dissipating at the bottle, the cares and chagrins that preyed upon his heart. Habits of intemperance were thus formed, which, with their wretched attendants poverty and disease, soon sapped the vigour of a good constitution, and brought him to an untimely grave in the forty-eighth year of his age.
“A letter from Virginia, from an early acquaintance of Lowe's, gives the following particulars respecting his death--- That, perceiving his end drawing near, and wishing to die in peace, away from his own wretched walls, he mounted a sorry palfry, and rode some distance to the house of a friend. So much was he debilitated that scarcely could he alight in the court and walk into the house. Afterwards, however, he revived a little, and enjoy. ed some hours of that vivacity which was peculiar to him. But this was but the last faint gleams of a setting sun; for, on the third day after his arrival at the house of his friend, he breathed his last. He now lies buried near Fredericksburgh, Virginia, under the shade of wo palm trees, but not a stone is there on which to write • MARY, WEEP NO MORE FOR ME!
“ The abandoned woman, to whom he had been united, made no inquiries after her husband for more than a month afterwards, when she sent for his horse, which had been previously sold to defray the expenses of his funeral.”
After so long an account of this child of misfortune, the Editor feels some hesitation at laying before his readers the following remarks, on the comparative merits of the two copies of Mary's Dream, by Mr. CROMEK; but as the Scottish copy of the Song is little known, he trusts that the intrinsic excellence both of the song and the remarks, will sufficiently plead his excuse. After stating that the Scottish copy is extremely popular among the peasantry of Galloway, Mr. Cromek adds—“ Whoever compares these two copies together, cannot entertain a doubt that the Scotch one is the original. There is that freshness and vividness of colouring in its sentiments and descriptions, which uniformly characterize the genuine transcripts of feeling; and the scenery and imagery is such as a native of Galloway, in the flow of inspiration, would be unavoidably led to use. In all these respects, it materially differs from the English copy, which, though very beautiful indeed, and certainly more uniformly correct, and higher laboured than the other, contains a great deal less of the simple language of the heart, and has no distinguishing feature by which it can be attributed to the native of one part of the island more than another. To go no farther than the two opening lines :—The English copy merely describes the moon rising over a mountain, the source of a river:
• The moon had climb'd the highest hill
That rises o'er the source of Dee.' But in the other, we have the picture faithfully described, which was present to the poet's imagination:
· The lovely moon had climbed the hill
Where eagles big aboon the Dee.' We see here a Scotch landscape in all its characteristic sublimity ;—the towering cliffs lost in the clouds, the frightful abode of the eagle!
“ The two concluding lines of the first stanza in the English copy
· When soft and low a voice was heard,
Saying, Mary, weep no more for me,' are infinitely tamer and more prosaic than
"A voice drapt saftly on her ear,
Sweet Mary, weep nae mair for me! The omission of the word saying, in the Scotch, and bursting at once to the speech, has a happy effect. “ How beautifully tender are the two following lines :
• Take aff thae bride sheets frae thy bed,
Which thou hast faulded down for me."
O maiden dear thyself prepare,' &c. “ Every description seems, in a similar manner, to have lost what it had of picturesque effect in passing from Scotch to English. For instance, the crowing of the cock at the dawn of morning, is described in the following lines as a Shakespeare would have described it:
• Three times the grey cock flapt his wing,
To mark the morning lift her ee.' Here every thing is in life and motion, fresh from a creative fancy; but the daringness of fancy which dictated these lines, must have been long subdued, and succeeded by very different emotions, before the same poet could coldly write
• Loud crowd the cock, the shadow fled.' “ Every reader, of true poetical taste, must have felt the bold sublimity and pathos of the whole of the third stanza
• The wind slept,' &c. Here, in addition to the natural awfulness of the scene, the poet has called to his aid whatever is most interesting and majestic in religion. There is a simple sublimity in the lines
• And God he bore us down the deep,
He stretched his arm, and took me up,' to which the Editor believes it would be doing an injury, were he to compare it even to any thing of Burns'. It is of a higher cast, and is more akin to the wild inspiration of a Job or a DAvid. The struggles of suffering humanity, opposed t) the arm of Omnipotence, present a contrast at which our faculties are lost in wonder and awe. But even here, when his struggles are over, and when the gates of bliss are opened to him, his affection remains unimpaired. All the happiness of heaven is insufficient to make him forego his love; he enters it with reluctance without her, and still watches over her with trembling solicitude.
• He stretched his arm and took me up,
Tho' laith I was to gang but thee.' “ Madame Stael quotes, in Corinne, a thought of her father's, who represents it as an alleviation to a poor sinner, amidst all the torments of hell, that he caught an opening glimpse of heaven, when his beloved spouse was about to enter it. This thought has been very much admired ; but it
and sought after when compared with the passage of the Scotch poet.
“ The reader will see that all these finely-imagined circumstances do not appear in the English copy. When the ardour of the poet's mind had cooled, and he had to grope his way in a language not so familiar to him, they would appear to him of too bold a nature, and, on that account, no doubt have been suppressed.”
A LASSIE FAIR.
Ance slighted me an' a' that;
For a' that, an' a' that,
Gif they should nick you wi' this trick,
Ne'er break your heart an' a' that;
An' a' that, an' a' that,
There's plenty yet for a' that !
Ne'er for to wed an' a' that,
But tak's to bed an' a' that;