Lives of
Scottish Poets
edited by

Center for Applied Technologies
in the Humanities

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Literary Chronicle
New Monthly Magazine
Monthly Review
Notes and Queries
Gibson and Laing
Halkett and Laing
Scottish Notes & Queries

Part I. (Volume I.)
James the First
Thomas the Rhymer
John Barbour
Andrew Wyntoun
Gavin Douglas
Allan Ramsay
William Meston
John Home
James Beattie
Robert Burns

Part II. (Volume I.)
James the Fifth
William Dunbar
Sir James Inglis
Henry the Minstrel
Sir David Lyndsay
Alexander Barclay
Alexander Montgomerie
William Alexander
William Drummond
James Thomson
John Oswald

Part III. (Volume II.)
James the Sixth
Sir Richard Maitland
Arthur Johnston
Hamilton of Bangour
Hamilton of Gilbertfield
Samuel Colvil
Alexander Ross
John Armstrong
John Ogilvie
James Macpherson
Charles Salmon

Part IV. (Volume II.)
Alexander Hume
John Bellenden
Mark Alexander Boyd
Ninian Paterson
William Wilkie
Robert Fergusson
William Julius Mickle
Alexander Geddes
James Grahame

Part V. (Volume III.)
Robert Henryson
Alexander Scott
Walter Kennedy
John Ogilby
Alexander Pennecuik
Alexander Cunningham
David Mallet
William Falconer
Francis Garden
Robert Blair
James Moor
James Graeme
Caleb Whitefoord
James Grainger
Hector Macneill
John Wilson

Part VI. (Volume III.)
Robert Kerr
Richard Lord Maitland
Thomas Hamilton
Charles Hamilton
Michael Bruce
Thomas Blacklock
John Logan
Andrew Macdonald
James Mercer

Appendix. (Volume III.)
James I
Allan Ramsay
John Home
Robert Burns
William Drummond
Robert Fergusson
Alexander Scott
John Wilson

Part  VI:

  Tyler, Alexander, [note] “Presbyter,” was minister of Kinnetles, in Angusshire, about the end of the seventeenth century. In 1681, he published “The Tempest; being an account of a dangerous passage from Burntisland to Leith, in a boat called the Blessing; in company of Claverhouse, several gentlewomen, ministers, and a whole crowd of common passengers, on the 26th of November, 1681.” The clerical part of the company appear to have been on their way to Edinburgh, to take the oaths required by the Test Act. Mr. Presbyter Tyler's description of the storm is in most uncouth measure, but contains some striking imagery, and is droll withal. Thus, describing the regular succession in which the enormous billows assailed their frail bark, he says,

“Each kept his time and place,
As if they meant to drown us with a grace:
The first came tumbling on our boat's side,
And knockt us twice her breadth and more, aside;
But, vext that it had wrought's no more disgrace,
It spits on us, spits in its follower's face.”

The Presbyter afterwards wrote, at the request of the Earl of Strathmore, [note] what he called a song, entitled “The Siege and Battle of Vienna, in 1683, to the tune of Armida.” And that suggested a far larger work, entitled the “Memoirs of the Life and Actions of the most invincible and heroic John the Third, King of Poland,” in seven books, published 1685. The following is the author's own ingenuous and whimsical account of these Memoirs: “I can assure my reader aforehand, there is nothing in all this piece to recommend it but the excellency of a noble and mighty subject, coarsely enough managed, and a great many harsh names scarcely versified; and it may be, not a few tricrambiet rowling lines (for expressing the emphasis of a conceit) not as yet much used.” A more crazy production never was penned. It is in such “tricrambiet” lines as the following, that the author celebrates his hero,
“ James Sobiesk, [note] Castellan of Cracow,
Father of elder Mark, and this John too.
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who is said to be greater than
—Cyrus, mixt with Alexander
Or Pompey knit with Cæsar,
[note] Rome's commander,
Or Annibal agreed with Scipio,
Or Belizarius with Stilico,” &c.