Adamson, Henry, [note] “student of divine and human learning,” wrote, The Muses Threnodie, or mirthful mournings on the death of Mr. Gall.
Printed at Edinburgh, in King James's College, by George Anderson, 1638.” His father,
James Adamson, was Dean of Guild of Perth, at the time of the
Gowry conspiracy, in 1600, and promoted to be provost in 1610 and 1611. Henry, the poet, died
about a year after the publication of the “Threnodie.” He was known to, and
esteemed by, Drummond of Hawthornden, through
whose importunity, as appears from the following address to the reader, he was induced to make his
public appearance as an author.
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“Courteous reader, 3
“It is not amisse then be a little informed
concerning the persons of the defunct (Mr. Gall), and the mourner
(Mr. Ruthven.) The poet wrote this for his own exercise, and
the recreation of his friends; and this piece, though accomplished to the great contentment of
many that read and heard it, yet could not the author be induced to let it thole the press,
till the importunity of many learned men urged him to it; and the last brash (effort) was made
by a letter of the prime poet of our kingdom, whereof this is the just copy.
“‘To my worthy friend, Mr. Henry Adamson.
both, and longer to conceal them, will be to wrong your Perth of
her due honours, who deserveth no less of you than that she should be thus blazoned and
registrate to posterity, and to defraud yourself of a monument, which, after you have left
this transitory world, shall keep your name and memory to after times. This shall be preserved
by the towne of Perth, for her own sake first, and after for yours; for to her it hath been no
little glory, that she hath brought forth such a citizen, so eminent in love to her, so dear
to the muses.
“‘These papers of your mournings on
Mr. Gall appear unto me as
Alcibiades Sileni, which ridiculously look with the faces of sphinxes,
chimeras, centaurs, on their outsides, but inwardlie containe rare artifice and rich jewels of
all sorts for the delight and weal of man. They may deservedly bear the word non intus ut extra. Your two champions, noble zanys, discover
to us many of the antiquities of this country, more of your ancient town of Perth, setting
downe her situation, founders, her huge colosse or bridge, walls, fosses, aqueducts,
fortifications, temples, and other singularities. Happy hath Perth been in such a citizen; not
so other towns of this kingdom, by want of so diligent a searcher and preserver of their fame
from oblivion. Some muses neither to themselves nor to others do good, nor delighting nor
instructing. Yours inform
“‘ Edinburgh, 12 th July,
Mr. Cant, [note] in his
Topographical History of Perth, has republished the
“Threnodie” of Adamson, and
illustrated it with many valuable notes; but Mr. C.'s work is itself extremely rare.