|110||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
Of Dr. James Moor, [note] professor of Greek in the
University of Glasgow, and author of the well-known
The University in which
| * To the same source, the Society are indebted for a spirited likeness of |
|POETS — DR. MOOR.||111|
When the rebellion of 1745 broke out,
| ———God nor Man, |
Nor Law, nor Reason, can approve their plan.
|112||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
After the death of that nobleman and the ruin of his house, a long time
had not elapsed, when
The abilities which he displayed in the department of instruction
assigned to him, soon proved him to be an accession to the number of eminent men for which the
university of Glasgow became, about this period, remarkable. He made the Greek, from being the
most neglected, one of the most popular branches of study; and had, ere long, the pride of hearing
it allowed, that Glasgow produced the best Grecians of whom Scotland could boast. His brother
professors found in
|POETS — DR. MOOR.||113|
|114||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
Although thus distinguished as a Greek scholar, it is curious, that
| Epitaph. |
Here lye the bones of
Who lived contented, though but poor.
Piece of a poet he was once,
By inspiration or by chance;
Nor was he very far to seek
Either in Latin or in Greek;
And what is more rare 'mong men of letters,
He was well vers'd in the Greek Geometers;
Knew too the Rules and the Reductions
Of Algebra, Fluents and Fluxions;
|POETS — DR. MOOR.||115|
| Could penetrate into the natures |
Of Curves, their Tangents and Quadratures,
And bring to Fluxional Equation
Problems of Curve-Rectification.
Friend of the fatherless and poor,
Who wail the death of
| Know that these verses, ye who see 'em, |
Were by himself wrote—ante-diem.
“Himself too much he praises.” Hush!
Or ye will make his ashes blush:
Had he himself not done it, Brother,
It ne'er had been done by another.
Of his poetical abilities, the proofs are much more favorable than any
thing in this Epitaph would lead one to suppose. The
| The Scots, warm in mistake, too high of spirit, |
Think, if they die, 'twill be with Heaven a merit;
Forsake wife, children, fortune, nay, their reason,
Rather than not be guilty of high treason.
|116||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
| Driven like the hogs, when hurried by the devil; |
Thoughtless of success; right, wrong; good or evil;
Run furious on, precipitately brave,
Madly to meet the gallows, or the grave.
| Yet many were inveigled, many cheated, |
By words of honour given and oaths repeated
Who had resolv'd before at home to stay,
And leave to fools the fortune of the day.
Those wept for anguish, to be thus outwitted,
Yet, for their word was given, not one man quitted.
| O Gothic Honour! thy unnatural rules, |
Thy tyrant customs, make even wise men fools.
Mad, honest, luckless, brave men! God nor Man,
Nor Law, nor Reason, can approve your plan,
Nay, not yourselves at bottom. Reason thus,
And one example will the point discuss.—
| —You'll play at hazard, will you, sir? Yes. Come.— |
You sit, play, lose, and instant pay the sum;
Why so? Because you think he play'd you fair.
You're wrong, sir try, you'll find some false dice there.
Agreed; you try and find out in a trice,
He palm'd upon you full four loaded dice;
That moment you compell him to repay,
And swear with such you ne'er again shall play.
| The application may be made with ease, |
I shall not mention it, except you please.
| Some few there were, whose deeds of horror tell, |
Their hearts of brass were cast in hottest hell;
Monsters confest, but soon they met their match
From victor-monsters, who made quick dispatch:
|POETS — DR. MOOR.||117|
| In cold, cold blood, to kill each man they met, |
Such easy slaughter did their swords but whet;
And wanton show'd (let us to both be just)
Of savage butchery, the raging lust.
The next piece for which notice is solicited must be familiar to most
persons who are versant in Scottish song. It is entitled
| When war had broke in on the peace of auld men, |
And frae Chelsea to arms they were summon'd again,
Twa vet'rans grown grey, wi' their muskets sair soil'd,
With a sigh were relating how hard they had toil'd;
The drum it was beating, to fight they incline,
But ay, they look'd bark to the days o' lang syne!
| Eh, Davie man, weil thou remembers the time, |
When twa brisk young callans, and just in our prime,
The Duke led us conq'rors, and shew'd us the way,
And mony braw cheilds we turn'd cawld on that day;
Still again I would venture this auld trunk o'mine,
Could our general but lead, and we fight, as lang syne!
|118||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
| But garrison-duty is a' we can do, |
Though our arms are grown weak, our hearts are still true;
We car'd na for dangers by land or by sea,
But Time is turn'd coward, and not you and me;
And tho' at our fate we may sigh and repine;
Youth winna return, nor the strength o' lang syne!
| When after our conquest, it joys me to mind |
How Janet caress'd thee, and my Meg was kind;
They shar'd a' our dangers, tho' never so hard,
Nor car'd we for plunder when sic our reward.
E'en now they're resolv'd baith their hames to resign,
And will share the hard fate they were us'd to lang syne.
A twin-foundling of this popular ballad was the following humorous
Gude honest Davie and his wife
Led lang an easy kindly life;
When hogmanay came round, at night,
The year was done, and a' was right;
And up they raise, on New Year's day,
Life to begin, new bode, new play.
Thus on they liv'd, and on they lov'd,
He well content, and she weill woo'd
By him when he came home at e'en;
Then life was like an ever green.
| A nibour chield, wha had some spunk, |
Contrives to play them a begunk:
|POETS — DR. MOOR.||119|
| Comes lang before the break o' day, |
And steeks their winnock up wi' clay.
They, waken'd at their usual time,
Look'd up, but cou'd na see a styme;
Their weary'd limbs were weel content,
And sae to sleep again they went;
Their een, glad of a hearty dose,
Took their ain sweet fill o' repose.
Seldom they could sic dainties get,
And now the sun began to set;
The wife got up, ran to the door
And saw—what ne'er was seen before!
Na, what was never yet seen since,
Nowther by subject nor by prince;
Nor ever will be seen again
By daughters nor by sons o' men;
She saw, and troth it is nae jest,
A sight that kept her mind frae rest;
To tell the ferlie, in she ran,
Wi' peghing heart, to her gude man:
“O Davie, Davie, man! come here,
The like was not this thousand year!
See, but say nought—silence is best;
See the sun rising in the West!”
|120||LIVES OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN.|
| Sweet Linnet! shall I disengage |
Thee, from this prison of thy cage;
And let thee forth, freely to fly,
And range around thy native sky?
It gives my soul a pang of grief
To see thee pent up like a thief.
Catullus [note] owns, he saw no marrow
To thee, since he saw Lesbie's sparrow.
Thou art call'd, by the Queen of love,
The sweetest songster of the grove.
———“I thank you, Sir! in the first place;
But, good friend, ye mistake the case;
He is not happier on the throne;
Yet happier far, I scarce can doubt him,
Where he has wife and bairns about him.
My happy life I shall not grudge
To tell; be you yourself the judge.
Christian* is careful me to feed
With water pure and mustard seed;
Safe hangs my cage from the cat's paws,
To fear her fangs, I have no cause;
| * The Doctor's housekeeper. |
|POETS — DR. MOOR.||121|
| And what ye call my prison tower, |
I call my palace or my bower;
Where all day long, I trip and sing,
Or plume the feathers of my wing.
Never need I to fear the sight
Of either hawk's or eagle's flight;
Never need I to dread the noise
Of guns, discharg'd by murd'ring boys.
Jove's eagle, soaring through the sky,
Is not a happier bird than I.
Think me not then less happy, stranger,
Because not through the skies a ranger;
But learn from me, from time to come,
Best happiness is found at home.
From the specimens now given, it will be seen that