[Transcriber's Notes: This 1851 edition of the book does not indicate the identity of the compiler, but other sources give him as George Cumming, to whom the many and voluminous appendices and footnotes must also be attributed. A second edition edited by Charles Joseph Galliari Rampini, a.k.a. Sheriff Charles Rampini, was issued in 1887. We have not seen that edition, but have seen a review that stated the appendices were redistributed through the book as footnotes (a method we have adopted here as well), and did not mention any new material being added.

The compiler also identified the poets only by their initials, an omission we hope was rectified in the second edition. So far as we have identified them, 2 for sure, 2 possibly, they were:

  1. GR = George Robertson (5 poems)
  2. WH = William Hay (13 poems)
  3. AB = Alexander Bruce? (1 poem)
  4. ADM = ? (3 poems)
  5. JW = James Watson? (2 poems)

Since the current transcriber was only interested in William Hay, nine of the twenty-four poems have been left out of this file. Also left out were the introduction and several appendices and footnotes. However, the complete Table of Contents has been included (and enhanced), as well as two poems by Robertson, one which was about William Hay, and one which Hay, in turn, wrote about.

The complete text can be found at Google Books at:

http://books.google.com/books?id=39cIAAAAQAAJ .

More information on William Hay can be found in our main file for him.

okl.]



The Lintie O' Moray

being a

COLLECTION OF POEMS,

chiefly composed for and sung at the anniversaries of the

Edinburgh Morayshire Society,

From 1829 to 1841.


"INDOCTI DISCANT, ET AMENT MEMINISSE PERITIS." [*]

"A fairy shape in festal hall
Ne'er charmed my heart like thee,
Nor aught more lovely have I seen
In dreams of poesy."


FORRES:

Printed at the Gazette Office.


MDCCCLI.



CONTENTS

AppendixPage #  Author  
ggl/pdfBook & Google.pdf
-Title Page-5-
-Contents-7-
-Preface And Dedication,19GC
A 70/78Elgin And Forres For Aye,917GR
B 71/79Wondrous Willie,1018GR
C 71/79The Bonnie Land O' Moray,1119WH
D 75/83Our Fatherland,1523WH
E 76/84Moray, Sweet Moray,1725GR
F 76/84The "Bishop O' Moray," John Shanks,1826GR
G 76/84A Poetical Epistle From The "Bishop O' Moray," John Shanks,2129WH
H 76/84The Apology,2533AB
I 77/85The History, Rise, Progress, and Objects of the Edinburgh Morayshire Society, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time,2634GR
K 77/85The Muckle Kirk O' Elgin,2937WH
L 78/86The Cluny Hills Of Forres,3543ADM
M 79/87The Deeds Of Glorious John,3644WH
N 79/87Moray Lasses,4048WH
O 79/87Our Native Land,4149JW
P 79/87The Auld Familiar Faces,4351WH
Q 79/87Dear Moray Land,4553JW
R 79/87The Maidens Of Moray,4755ADM
S 79/87To James M'Innes, Esq., An Adopted Morayshireener,4856WH
T 80/88Our Boyhood's Home Beyond The Spey,5058ADM
U 80/88The "White Horse,"5159WH
V 80/88Here's To Thee, Morayland,5361WH
W 81/89Sir Robert O' Gordonstown,5563WH
X 82/90When This Auld Coat Was New,5866WH
-The Bachelors Of Elgin,6371WH
-Appendices,6977GC
-final page with text,8290
-Masonic Poets Society page for Wm. Hay


Wondrous Willie

Tune — Froggy would a-Wooing Go.

by George Robertson

The clock struck five as he gaed doun the street,
Dear me, says Willie;
It's gude that I now hae the use o' my feet,
For the Morayshire lads I am this day to meet,
Wi' my dactyl and spondee,
My Latin and Greek,
Heigh, says breathless Willie.

II.
He found them assembled in wondrous glee,
Ah, ha, says Willie;
Bide a wee bit, and I'll soon let them see
There's no ane amang them sae clever as me
At the dactyl and spondee.
The Latin and Greek,
Ah, ha, says learned Willie.

III.
The dinner was gude, and sae were the wines,
Hark, hark, says Willie,
Come listen each one, who to music inclines,
And I'll sing a short song o' some four hundred lines,
Wi' my dactyl and spondee.
My Latin and Greek,
List, oh! list, says Willie.

IV.
Then up he struck without e'er a pause,
La, la, says Willie;
His voice it was sweeter than Madame Pasta's,
And his song was received with loud bursts of applause,
His dactyl and spondee,
His Latin and Greek,
Wha but musical Willie.

V.
A bumper all round then let us pour forth,
Hurra for Willie;
To the man of sound heart, and of genuine worth,
The joy of the South, and the Cock of the North,
Wi' his dactyl and spondee,
His Latin and Greek,
Hurra for wondrous Willie.

Appendix B

Song— "Wondrous Willie."

Morayshireeners will at once recognize as the subject of this song,... our illustrious countryman, Mr. William Hay, the other Laureate of our Society. But a brotherly affection and admiration for that talented and amiable man is so universally cherished by Morayshireeners, far and near, that on the one hand it is needless for us to enlarge on the qualifications which have so endeared him to his countrymen; while, on the other, it would be great presumption in us to pretend to a due appreciation of those attainments which rank him as one of the first Scholars of the day. The allusion to our Bard's having the "use o' his feet" arose from his appearing at our Anniversary, to the great joy of his ardent admirers and friends though at no small discomfort to himself, while still suffering from the consequences of an accident which befel him while on a visit to his brother-scholar and bosom friend, the great Christopher North. But Vincit amor patriζ

These excellent verses, in a very few words, state far more eloquently than we can attempt to do, that few indeed among us — few even among the most accomplished literati of our times — are "sae clever" as our Laureate, "At the dactyl and spondee, / The Latin and Greek;" — that, alike, his prose and verse, his every word were received at our Festivals with loud bursts of applause, his every look setting the table in a roar; — and that in all the relations of life, public and private, he has proved himself "A man of sound heart, and of genuine worth, / The joy of the South and the Cock of the North."


The Bonnie Land O' Moray

Tune — Woo'd an' Married an' a'.

I.
Come join me, my Morayshireeners,
Wi' each a glass in his hand,
In a hearty good bumper and chorus,
To the weal o' our ain Father-Land.
Where the Findhorn, the Spey, and the Lossie,
Frae the mountains roll down to the main,
And gladden the meadows and valleys
Sae fertile in fruit and in grain.

Chorus —
Elgin and Forres an' a',
Forres and Elgin an' a';
And are na the loons weel aff,
That were born in ane o' the twa?

II.
'Tis the land where those jolly old fellows.
The Monks, once revelled at feasts,
In their kirks, and cathedrals, and abbeys —
And are we not the sons o' the priests?
Yes! our fathers were rough, fighting billies,
And slashed ane anither like beasts;
While our mithers, the pious, good women,
Were praying alang wi' the priests.

III.
Oh, Elgin! thou glory o' Moray!
The priest, the cross, and the dirk
Are gane wi' their fastings and fightings,
But still thou'rt the friend o' the kirk.
Thou hast kirks for all sects and Seceders,
Where no flaws o' heresy lurk;
And he's but a heretic sinner,
That wishes not weel to the kirk.

IV.
'Tis the land where the lasses are lovely,
And loving as much as you please,
Where their feeties instead o' their fingers.
They use when bleaching their claes.
'Tis the land where George Edward, the drummer,
The most thrifty and waukrife o' men,
Wi' his row-row-de-dow in the morning,
Awakes you — to slumber again.

V.
'Tis the land where cheap is our living,
And cheaper our learning at schools;
'Tis the land abounding in wisdom,
And super-abounding in fools.
'Tis the land abounding in daft folks,
And these are our glory and pride.
Since genius, the poet hath told us,
To madness is ever allied.

VI.
'Tis the land o' Tam Spiers, and o' Scravie —
Who o' liars was surely the chief;
'Tis the land o' the Garb and Tam Watson,
The land o' Blin' Jamie, the thief.
'Tis the land o' mad Chalmers, whose buckies
Were curiously fixed in his hair;
Mad Innes, mad Russell, feel Robie,
Feel Clarkey, the snuffer — are there.

VII.
'Tis the land o' the famed Knock o' Alves,
Where fairies and spirits repair,
To revel and dance on the moon-beams,
Or trip it o'er meadows o' air.
'Tis the land where witches and warlocks,
Wi' Satan hae played mony pranks;
'Tis the land o' the Elgin Cathedral,
And the " Bishop o' Moray" — John Shanks.

VIII.
John Shanks! here's a stave to thy glory,
Thou o' Bishops o' Moray the prime,
Thou hast broken the scythe and the sand-glass
O' that bald-pated fellow, auld Time.
Thou hast found in thy Chan'ry the ashes
O' many a hero and peer,
King Duncan and Nebuchadnezzar,
And thousands that never were there.

IX.
'Tis the land where Macbeth met the witches,
(And aften I've met them mysel',)
At the time when he speered at the limmers,
"How far is't to Forres," come tell?
My witches, unlike those of Shakspeare,
Had no beards, at all, on their chins;
But were strapping, braw, good-looking hizzies,
Weel made, and weel set on their pins.

X.
'Tis the land o' the parish o' Birnie,
Where prayers in the kirk, they declare,
Three times, will or end you or mend you —
The Ronnell Bell also is there,
Which no power on earth can remove frae
The kirk where so snugly it lies;
But back to its ain native parish
Like an arrow o' lightning it flies.

XI.
'Tis the land o' the well o' Saint Mary,
And the well o' the Braemou, in which
When bairns we were a' douk'd thegither,
To take aff the ill e'e o' a witch.
'Tis the land o' peat-futherers and smugglers,
Wha aften pour doun frae the hills
The gladdening streams o' pure whisky,
Prepared in their bothies and stills.

XII.
Hail! Moray, the Land o' our Fathers!
We pray for a blessing on thee;
May thy lasses be good and be bonnie,
And thy loons be wise and be free;
May piety, plenty, and learning,
Oh! never depart frae thy strand;
Hurra! ye Morayshireeners,
Drink, drink to our Father-Land.

Chorus —
Elgin and Forres an' a',
Forres and Elgin an' a'; —
Hurra! ye Morayshireeners,
For the Land o' our Fathers, hurra!

Appendix C

Song — "The Bonnie Land O' Moray."

This most valuable Song is the first contribution for which we are indebted to the fertile muse of Mr. Hay, and is of date 1829. Mr. Sheriff Innes in the preface to his Registrum Moraviense says, "Moray has always been the subject of the warm and exaggerated praises of its inhabitants; and some of our historians, who have ever loved anything approaching to the marvellous, have rated this fine northern region much above more favoured southern climes." Buchanan is satisfied with describing Moray as "frugibus et pascuis foecunda, amcenitate veto et fructiferarum arborum proventu totiusregni facile prima." Bishop Leslie, by birth, education, and benefice attached to the North, dwells more feelingly on its perfections:

"Regio est una prζ cœteris omnibus apud nos ob amζnitatem celebrata. Est enim plana, minimi palustris quζ crebro saltu, odoriferis herbis, pratis, tritico, omni frumenti genere, pomiferis hortis, ac littore finitimo plurimum delectat. Illic aura saluberrima, rariores multo nebulζ atque pluviζ quam usquam alibi, atque adeo magna propterea nobilium virorum seges."

A writer to whom Scotland owes more than to many historians has given us a description of Moray somewhat later in date, which derives additional value from the author's near neighbourhood and necessary acquaintance with the district. Sir Robert Gordon of Straloch says that, "in salubrity of climate, Moray is not inferior to any, and in richness and fertility of soil it much exceeds our other northern provinces. The air is so temperate, that when all around is bound up in the rigour of winter, there are neither lasting snows, nor such frosts as damage fruits or trees; proving the truth of that boast of the natives, that they have forty days more of fine weather in every year than the neighbouring districts. There is no product of this kingdom which does not there thrive perfectly; or if any fail, it is to be attributed to the sloth of the inhabitants, not to the fault of the soil or climate. Corn, the earth pours forth in wonderful and never-failing abundance. Fruits of all sorts, herbs, flowers, pulse, are in the greatest plenty, and all early. While harvest is scarcely begun in surrounding districts, there all is ripe, and cut down, and carried into open barn-yards, as is the custom of the country; and, in comparison with other districts, winter is hardly felt. The earth is almost always open, — the sea navigable, and the roads never stopped. So much of the soil is occupied by crops of corn, however, that pasture is scarce, for this whole district is devoted to corn and tillage. But pasture is found at no great distance, and is abundant in the upland country, a few miles inland, and thither the oxen are sent to graze in summer, when the labour of the season is over. Nowhere is there better meal nor cheaper corn, — not from scarcity of money, but from abundance of soil."

If Morayland was worthy to be spoken of in such highly approving terms an hundred years ago, when agriculture was scarcely in its infancy, — when oxen were exclusively employed to break up the fallow-ground, and by far the greater proportion of the country was a wild unreclaimed waste, — to what amount of praise is Morayshire now entitled when her agriculturists are eminent land-improvers — when thousands of productive acres have been recovered from the stagnant marsh and the receding sea-beach, and the ploughshare has invaded our morasses and our mountain tops, and, by the aid of modern science, converted into valuable arable land and waving forests, the most sterile, unpromising regions.

Stanza IV. George Edwards — the Town's Drummer — goes round the town at five in the morning to call people to their work, and at nine in the evening, to remind them of supper and bed. George and his father have officiated in Elgin since the year 1768, now upwards of 80 years. The elder George for 15 years beat the drum at four in the morning, but, as the age degenerated, five o'clock was considered an early enough hour, and it was so altered, in 1783, by an order of Council. George is a very quiet, decent living bachelor, and the hereditary line of drummers, to the great regret of Elgin citizens, has every prospect of becoming extinct.

Stanza VI. Tam Speirs. — This "character" was a native of Dunfermline, and a very harmless, good-natured creature. He came to Forres in 1708 as a recruit with The Ross and Cromarty Rangers, — he got married there, and, when discharged from his Regt., he came and resided in Elgin with his wife Nonny. Before joining the Ross and Cromarty Rangers, he was with the Duke of York in Holland. Tam was partial to the service, and wore "a red coat" to the last. When the local militiamen were exercising on the Market Green of Elgin, he used to attend regularly and "review" that corps. He never missed an opportunity of showing how dexterously he could use the musket; this weakness was often illustrated before those who pretended to be disciplined troops, who were eager to view so comical an exhibition; his singularly awkward figure, and the clumsiness of every movement being sources of great mirth and fun when he so exhibited. He was a very affectionate husband, and always spoke in the fondest manner of his wife Nonny. His domestic bliss, however, was once known to be sadly ruffled; he and Nonny had a frightful quarrel, and poor Tam endeavoured to throw himself from a window which was rather small for his huge, clumsy person; he got himself so fixed in the attempt, that he had to be extricated by some of his neighbours. In the year 1832, when the cholera raged in this country, he was anxious to visit his native town of Dunfermline, and to enquire after his relations. The mission was undertaken, and poor Tommy wandered about a whole day over the old streets, and at its close might have exclaimed "Our fathers, where are they?" He could find no trace of a relation, and was only recognized by a solitary old weaver. On his way home he was seized at Inverury as a vagrant, and after getting a night's lodgings in the Black-hole, he was permitted to resume his journey, and to proceed to old Elgin, where he remained until his death a few years since.

Stanza VI. James Calder, — called "Scravie," from his father having resided at Scradvie, in the parish of Cromdale, was long a well known character in Elgin and far more of a rogue than fool. In early life he enlisted in The Duke of York's Highlanders, or the Inverness Fencibles; he served in Ireland during the Rebellion of 1796, and volunteered afterwards into the 92nd Regt., and served under Sir Ralph Abercromby in Egypt. While there he got charge of some baggage, and had an ass to drive, — it would not proceed as he wished, and he broke his gun over the animal's back, for which he was called to account and punished. He returned to Elgin and for weeks had a mob of boys after him — his manner and dress were so singular, and he told such wonderful stories. He seemed to take a general charge of the town in all its departments, and was ever officiously ready to assist the constituted authorities; to enforce due decorum at funerals, by ordering children not to speak above their breath, and by running and ordering the removal of carts (nowise likely to interfere with the procession), was his daily employment. He vaunted and told lies without end, and the boys attended him in great numbers, either to flatter him or hear his wonderful stories, or to tease him by roaring "Scravie," or "Scur, Scur," which never failed to draw forth vollies of curses. The boys used to annoy him excessively by reminding him that on his return from Egypt he had said "he was blind the whole time he was there, and that he had never seen such a beautiful country." "Scravie" accompanied all funerals from Elgin to any of the country parishes, and got a shilling for carrying back the mort-cloth. He had a keen eye for a party of strangers who might visit Elgin, and go a sight-seeing. He invariably accosted them as they approached Ladyhill or the Cathedral, and generally succeeded in getting something for having given them his "ideas" of the surrounding country, or the Ruin.

Stanza VI. George King — "The Garb" — was a very inoffensive, and quiet person, more an object than a character. He was a native of the parish of Alves, and enlisted into a fencible regiment; the poor creature had misbehaved and was flogged, from the effects of which he never recovered. He was fond of music, and used to walk about the streets of Elgin playing the violin; every one was kind to The Garb. When any particular cut or kind of dress became rather fashionable, he was selected by the roguishly inclined, as its chosen representative, and he had not gone many rounds duly equipped, when the fashion was speedily changed and altogether disappeared.

Stanza VI. Tam Watson was a native of Elgin, and when young was a promising lad. He enlisted and went with his regiment to the West Indies, where he became insane. He used to stroll about Elgin solitary and alone, wrapt up in his own thoughts, and unconscious that there was another individual near him or in the world. If he happened to observe and get hold of the smallest scrap of paper, he would gaze upon and read from it for hours, in the most unknown tongue ever heard. He regularly read his Bible aloud, but always in this same unknown jargon which no one could understand, but this was of little or no consequence if he himself understood aright! He was a jovial, hospitable fellow, and if any one called for him on the evening of a pension day, he was always ready to regale them with a bottle of strong ale, and a Buckie haddock. Mad Innes and he often associated and seemed very happy together.

Stanza VI. "Blin' Jamie" was son of Mr. Alex Fraser, a respectable tailor in Forres. He lost his sight at two years of age by small pox. He was a singularly ingenious youth, and, notwithstanding his total blindness, at times wrought with his father's workmen, and even cut out and made his own clothes without assistance. His first indications of acquisitiveness were manifested on these occasions, when he would pilfer needles, thread, etc., from those near him. In process of time Jamie became such an adept at thieving, that, to use the words of our informant, "nothing could light for him." He lived apart in the garret of his father's house, and no one dared to invade his privacy. On the back window of this attic he constructed a platform on the slope of the roof, and having carried up earth to it made a flower garden there and appeared to take great pleasure in the beauties of Flora. The neighbouring proprietor, Mr. Tulloch, was building a new house, and the hewn stones were laid close to the back wall of Jamie's father's house, immediately under the garden platform. Jamie wanted a few stones for some purpose, and having made a sort of clip, he lowered it by means of a rope from his window, and from time to time drew up nearly a cart load of stones! They were missed, but he was the last man in the town who would have been blamed. He once took a fancy for a large freestone slab which two men could scarcely move; it lay at the foot of the neighbouring close, two or three hundred yards from where he intended to deposit it; he made a hole ready for its reception, and after dark, went, with an ingeniously made, but simple apparatus, for its removal. He made three long poles, and attached them together at the top, the other ends resting on the ground in the form of a triangle; to the top he fixed a rope which had a noose at the lower extremity — he threw the noose round the under corner of the stone, and then with a carter's pin twisted the rope so tight that the stone was raised, till he got it over on one end. He then shifted his tackle, and repeated his twisting, till, within two hours of daylight, he had taken the stone to the place prepared for it, and covered it up!

He frequently, during the night, opened the shops of the merchants — by means of pick-locks fabricated by himself, out of old horse shoe nails which he stole from a neighbouring smithy — and took therefrom whatever he wished. In his domicile were found quantities of tea, flannel, calico, and other articles. His practices being at length discovered he was laid in jail, but his ingenuity triumphed over even the gates and bars of the prison, and the vigilance of his keepers. He managed by means of the muckle nail already mentioned, and wooden pin, with a strong piece of cord, to open his cell-door from the inside at pleasure, and continued in the night time to visit some of the scenes of his former robberies. In a press in the town clerk's chamber of the old jail, were deposited a number of articles, found in his garret, and which were to be brought against him at his trial. Apprised of this he picked the locks of his cell and of the press referred to, and carried off every article in it — even the scroll of the precognition! The goods he deposited in places previously excavated in the walls and floor of his cell! He was never suspected, and none knew what became of the missing property, etc. The jailor was innocently blamed. Within the last fifteen years, at the removal of the old jail, the things were found, where they had been secreted thirty years before, as above described. Jamie was confined in the jail of Forres for a year or two, and at length died there, in the year 1811 or 1812.

"Blin' Jamie" was of slender make, and under the usual size. His complexion was dark, and his features, strongly marked with small pox, were coarse and forbidding. He generally wore a slouched hat, black coat, and knee breeches. He slid stealthily along the street, and never missed the place he intended to visit. Before his thieving pranks were discovered he was a great favourite everywhere. He amused the wondering burghers, of an evening, by reciting pieces from Milton's "Paradise Lost," and the Paraphrases — the whole of which he had committed to memory from hearing a boy read them over several times.

Stanza VI. "Mad Chalmers" was a native of Birnie; he went South, lost his reason, and returned to Morayshire, where he lived principally about Lhanbryde and Duffus. He used to attend all the fairs of Elgin, and pace up and down the streets with great pomp and gravity. He allowed his hair to grow to a very great length, and had all his locks full of "buckies," "dollars," and "crown pieces." Although quite harmless, he always carried with him a huge walking stick; — and he once got into low spirits and attempted to commit suicide, when the Authorities interfered and took charge of him.

Stanza VI. "Mad Innes." — Alexander Innes could, through his father, claim a connection with the Leuchars family. He went to sea in early life and entered the merchant service, and traded between India and this country. When he returned to his native land he was crazy. He was a fine dressed, tall, handsome man. He was also a great dandy and decked with frills. He always bought his own tea and sugar, and was jealous of any interference with his food. He was a great admirer of the fair sex, and was, when in good humour, rather fond of talking of his exploits with the frail sisterhood. He wandered about the country and lived on charity, although he was very select in choosing those whom he honoured with a call. He used to make singular calculations, and would amuse himself for days in writing figures, and in describing the heavenly bodies; he used to write and post letters, bearing the most singular addresses — a favourite address on his letters was "To the Door Posts of Elgin." Innes was a great friend of Tam Watson's, and Tom used to entertain his friend frequently on the evenings of Quarter days; porter, cheese, and haddocks were their favourite beverage. Tom and Innes were together one evening, when Tom asked Innes if there were more fools in the world than them. The prompt answer was. "Yes, there are 500 besides us," — an answer clearly within the mark.

Mad Innes is reported to have said to a lawyer, who asked if there was any news, "Yes, there is a frightful lawsuit going on between the Devil and the Pope." And on being asked as to the probable issue, answered, "Very doubtful, the Pope has got most money, but the Devil has the most Lawyers on his side!"

Stanza VI. "Mad Russell." — Mr. Russell is still alive, and certainly has a method in his madness. He was born at Cowfoords, and had been abroad for several years; he returned to Elgin about 1811. He wanders about visiting the gentry throughout the North of Scotland. He never wears any coveting on his head, and always goes barefooted, with trousers and coat, but no shirt; bathes, daily, at all seasons, clothes and all. His appearance is striking, and calculated to alarm — but no sooner does the well bred gentleman speak, than one feels quite at home; he speaks well and sensibly, and never one word out of joint. He is singularly inquisitive, and knows all the movements of the principal families of the district. He is worth about £500, and generally carries on his person a deposit receipt for that amount, which has occasionally been placed in some danger by visits to the frail fair ones of the metropolis of the Highlands!

Stanza VI. "Feel Robie," — Robert Carmichael was a fool from infancy. He was born in Elgin, and his father was a carrier between Huntly and Elgin. He was a most disgusting figure, going about bare-headed, in a kilt, and continually sucking his fingers. He was latterly confined, whereby a great nuisance was abated. He was passionately fond of music, and sprung and leaped in the most frantic manner when he heard it. The bells on Sabbath attracted him to the vicinity of the Kirk, where he was seen running about in all directions.

Stanza VI. "Feel Clarkey The Snuffer" — Willie Clark, a little, lame man, was a native of Dallas, who carried several snuff-mulls about him, and to almost every person he met, offered his horn to take a pinch. He attended the Forres and Elgin markets; wore a Kilmarnock or cocked bonnet, a short serge coat and tartan kilt. From the great quantity of snuff he took, his upper lip was always black and coated with rappee.

Stanza VII. The Knock Of Alves is a wood-crowned eminence, situated in the parish of that name, and lying a few miles westward of Elgin, now surmounted by a monument to the Duke of York, and contests with the Hardmuir Hillock, lying about the same distance westward of Forres, the honour of having witnessed the celebrated meeting between Macbeth and the weird sisters of old Forres. The Knock is celebrated for a story rivalled only by Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." A benighted wight belonging to Hempriggs, was passing the Knock on his way home from an Elgin Martinmas market. His ears were saluted with the dulcet strains of the most enchanting music. On turning in the direction whence the sounds proceeded, he saw light streaming through a chink in the side of the hill. The chink widened, and there burst upon his astonished vision the interior of a spacious hall brilliantly lighted up, and thousands of fairies, men and women, tripping it on the light fantastic toe. He was invited to enter, and having done so, the hill closed upon him, and he enjoyed, as he imagined, an hour's delightful recreation. In a moment the lights were extinguished, and he found himself cold and stiff, prostrate by the way-side. He made for his home. Everything was changed. He was changed too. His wife, whom he left on the market morning, a young buxom dame, was now wrinkled. His children were men and women. He was alike unknowing and unknown. He speedily discovered the secret. He had been enchanted in the company of the fairies for 21 years — and behold he deemed it only a short hour!

Stanza VIII. John Shanks will be the subject of three successive poems, so more of him anon.

Stanza X. The Ronnell Bell, in the parish of Birnie, is stated to have been brought from Rome by the first Catholic Bishop of Moray; and its tenacious adherence to the land of its adoption is well described by our Laureate.


A modified version of this poem is on the M.P.S. page for Wm. Hay.
okl.


Our Father-Land

Tune — A Highland Lad my Love was Born.

I.
There ne'er was a man o' Morayshire clay,
Who has not paused, amid life's long way,
To breathe a sigh from some distant strand,
To the days of his youth, and his Father-Land.
Where'er we dwell, where'er we go,
Or glowing wi' mirth, or glooming wi' woe,
'Mid the smiles o' luck, or the wrinkles o' care,
Our hearts, untravelled, will linger there.

Chorus —
Our Father-Land, our Father-Land,
Be blessings on our Father-Land;
Where'er we roam, or howe'er we fare,
Our hearts, untravelled, will linger there.

II.
Though man be dust, and to dust returns,
Still something in his bosom burns,
That claims a higher and a holier birth,
Than the senseless clod o' sluggish earth:
There's heart to heart, and mind to mind,
Which the cords o' love and o' friendship bind;
And we'll moisten wi' wine, and tighten the band
That binds us in love to our Father-Land.

III.
There are thoughts which far in the bosom dwell,
Which a sound or a word can arouse like a spell;
And the Spey, the Lossie, and the Lady-Hill,
Wi' a thousand thoughts our memories fill;
And the mind flies back, through it's hopes and it's fears
To the laughing days o' our boyhood's years —
Like a scene charmed up by a fairy wand,
We gaze wi' delight on our Father-Land.

IV.
And we think o' the friends whom late we saw,
Though gone from us and far awa,
Who in foreign regions pant and burn,
For the hour that bids them to return:
Whene'er they come, where'er we be,
Their hearts, unchanged, we hope to see;
And we'll gie them the grasp o' friendship's hand,
And welcome them back to their Father-Land.

V.
And the poor man feels that for him we felt,
When Ruin lately round him dwelt —
When the Floods prevailed, and swept away
His little all — his only stay;
When Famine loured, and Hope had fled,
And the Orphan cried aloud for bread,
Then Pity stretched her helping hand
To succour the poor o' our Father-Land.

VI.
Yes! — not a Morayshire heart but mourned,
While his melting eye was homeward turned;
From either Ind, to Malta's isle,
Soft Pity made our sufferers smile —
Pervaded each Moravian breast,
And blessing them, herself was blest;
And doubly blest be the Stranger hand,
That succoured the poor o' our Father-Land.

VII.
'Mid the gayest scenes will oft intrude
The thoughts o' the gloomiest solitude;
As the fairest sky is oft o'ercast
By the gloomy veil o' the coming blast;
So, amid our mirth, we think how few
Are left o' those whom once we knew.
Who have bid adieu to this mortal strand,
To us and to all in their Father-Land.

VIII.
Such, such are they, and such shall we
In a few short seasons quickly be;
Like the flower that blushes today so fair,
And tomorrow is — psha! awa wi' all care.
Fill! fill up! my lads — and your youth renew
By that mirth which never repentance drew;
Fill! fill to the brim — join heart and hand,
As we drink to the weal o' our Father-Land.

Chorus —
Our Father-Land, our Father-Land,
Be blessings on our Father-Land;
Fill! fill to the brim — join heart and hand,
As we drink to the weal o' our Father-Land.

Appendix D

Song — "Our Fatherland."

This fine, manly Song — also from the pen of Mr. Hay in 1830 — breathes the noble sentiments of friendship and patriotism in their purest form, and will live in the memory, as the feelings do in the generous heart, till its last beat. Stanzas 5 and 6 contain an eloquent tribute of gratitude for the sympathy which the disastrous effects of our memorable Floods of 1829 so universally excited.


This poem is not by William Hay, but included because the following poem, which is by Hay, makes reference to it, and also because it contains some background on other characters and incidents mentioned in other poems.
okl.


The "Bishop O' Moray," John Shanks

Tune — The Haughs o' Cromdale.

by George Robertson

I.
There lives a man in Elgin toun,
I trow he is a pawky loon,
There's no ane fit to dight his shoon,
In a' the toun o' Elgin.

II.
His manners are sedate and douce,
His cracks they are baith lang and crouce,
When showing yon auld Meikle House,
The Chan'ry Kirk o' Elgin.

III.
'Tis wonderful to hear him tell
The things that lang, lang syne befell,
When Badenoch's Wolf, that cub o' hell.
Burnt doun the Kirk o' Elgin.

IV.
The Monks they put him under ban,
For the wicked race that he had ran,
Till Conscience smote the guilty man,
For the ill he did to Elgin.

V.
In sackcloth and in ashes clad,
The Monks him in procession led,
And on a stane his bare knees laid,
At the Muckle Cross o' Elgin,

VI.
To purge from guilt his wicked soul,
Each year this penance he did thole.
Till his knees they wore a meikle hole
ln the hard whin-stane at Elgin.

VII.
In Elgin breasts John Shanks's name
Maun ever raise a grateful flame,
For his labours to exalt the fame
O' their ain dear toun o' Elgin.

VIII.
Fair fa' ye, honest Johnny Shanks,
Your country owes you mony thanks,
But yet some gowks will play their pranks
Wi' the Cicerone o' Elgin.

IX.
Ye mind some waggish Southern blade,
Had found, beyond a doubt, he said,
The Lord o' Marr's remains were laid
In a meikle tomb at Elgin.

X.
But after months had passed away.
Ye found out, to your great dismay,
The Honourable Robert Innes lay
In that same tomb at Elgin.

XI.
Wi' thy shovel and thy spade.
Great the changes thou hast made,
Amang the mansions o' the dead,
That lie interred at Elgin.

XII.
And mony a curious stane ye found,
Both above and under ground,
Which tastefully are ranged around
The Chapter House o' Elgin.

XIII.
But needless 'tis for me to tell,
What every body knows so well,
Your merit amply shows itsel'
In a' ye've done for Elgin.

XIV.
John Shanks! gude, honest, worthy soul!
I'd rather your Kilmarnock cowl,
Than the Bishop's mitre, who had rule
In the Chan'ry Kirk o' Elgin.

Appendix F

Song — "The Bishop O' Moray, John Shanks."

On the death of Saunders Cook of ancient memory, John Shanks was appointed gate-keeper and cicerone of the Elgin Cathedral. John was no sooner installed into his new office than he set vigorously to work to clear away the accumulated rubbish in the nave and side aisles, and the greater part of the centre tower which had fallen down in 1711, and which had remained an unsightly heap for upwards of one hundred and twenty years. In these operations John with his own hands removed nearly 3000 barrowfuls of rubbish — laid bare the foundations of the pillars of the nave — the elevations at the altar, and the stairs at the western gate. In these operations John exhumed exquisitely finished pieces of freestone sculpture, consisting chiefly of heads, fruit, foliage, and some full length figures. The smaller fragments he ranged along the inside walls of the Chapter House, and the larger ones are placed in positions where they can be seen to best effect. John received a silver snuffbox in acknowledgement of his praise-worthy labours, and a stone, with a suitable inscription, by The Hon. Lord Cuninghame, is raised to his memory in the Cathedral church-yard.


A Poetical Epistle,

From "The Bishop o' Moray, John Shanks"

Tune — Woo'd an' Married an' a'.

I.
At Elgin the first o' December,
Aughteen hunder, twenty and nine,
I take my pen in my hand, Sir,
To trouble you now wi' a line.
And if you do not take care, Sir,
For your betters to show more respect,
You will some day be troubled, I fear, Sir,
Wi' a line to encircle your neck.

Chorus —
Elgin and Forres an' a" —
Forres and Elgin an' a', —
And if I meet you in either,
Your head, 1 will break it in twa.

II.
I choose to address you in rhyme,
For this reason — that such is my pleasure;
And I swear that before I have done,
I shall render you measure for measure.
You shall feel that my humour's the grave;
That I'm nane o' your quack montebanks.
But a sensible, wise Cicerone.
As Findrassie calls his John Shanks.

III.
Ay, ay, "honest man, honest man,"
There's mair to admire and to wonder
In his beautiful verse o' four lines.
Than in your's, ye gowk, wi' your hunder.
Your Muse is a slanderous cutty,
And awa wi' your sense she has ran,
While his is a true-hearted person
Like himsel' — "honest man, honest man."

IV.
He calls me "the Bishop o' Moray,
Who wears neither mitre nor crook,
But will take from a pound to a shilling,
And write doun your name in a book."
And these I call sensible verses,
And the rhyme like the money does clink —
Your's hobble like Blair on his mare, Sir,
Or Kilbadie, the preacher, in drink.

V.
One morning when at my vocation,
In turning a great muckle stone,
I met wi' a curious formation
O' a most superhuman jaw-bone.
I examined and strictly surveyed it;
"What a swallow was your's," muttered I —
When as chance, or, as Satan would have it,
A learned antiquarian came bye.

VI.
The sight o' this ponderous jaw-bone
Unloosened the jaw o' the loon,
And no bones made he o' his learning,
But blethered the hale afternoon.
And he proved, so I thought, that the person
Lived on grass, who owned the jaw-bone,
And declared it was Nebuchadnezzar,
The King o' the Great Babylon.

VII.
And he called it an ossification,
Which he swore on fodder had fed.
And proved it a royal formation,
Once belonging to Nebuchadned:
And from this he said he could show, Sir.
And would wager a boll o' potatoes,
That Elgin was once Babylon,
And the Lossie the ancient Euphrates.

VIII.
Upon this some Elgin Philosophers,
When things had come to this pass,
By comparing the jaw wi' their own. Sir,
Found out it was that o' an ass!
And whose is the blame is no Riddle,
Wha for this ought to dance on the woodie,
To a measure upon the Scotch fiddle.
For making a King o' a Cuddie.

IX.
Wi' respect to the grave o' King Duncan,
I never can vouch for the thing,
For I doubt that the Elgin King Duncan
Is simply our ain Duncan King,
Who was grandsire to him called the Garb —
George King, the Elgin Apollo —
Who of music, in rendering you sick.
Beats every gut-scraper all hollow.

X.
Ye may talk o' Macbeth and o' Shakspeare,
Such fellows are useless to me,
And none but grave authors are worth, Sir,
At a pinch — a pinch of rappee.
Your Shakspeares I value as Tam Speirs,
"Little Isaac's" my bookie, in sooth,
Which proves that St. Paul, the Apostle,
Preached at Stotfield, and eke Lossiemouth.

XI.
In those days o' ruggin' an' reivin',
When ilka camstarical chap
Would draw out anither man's scantack,[*]
Wi' the prongs o' a stollen paparap.[*]
When "seizables fain Capitolians,"[*]
Wi' the Wolf o' Badenoch cam' doun —
Oh! Badenoch surely was bad eneuch,
Hut nae waur than yoursel', ye fause loon.

XII.
He only set fire to the Chan'ry,
And bothered the good Bishop Barr:
But you a' our worthies hae slandered,
And wi' saints and wi' sinners made war.
You have christened me "Bishop o' Moray" —
The compliment now I return it.
We have geese that are wiser than you are, —
The goose o' our ain Bishop Burnet.

XIII.
To conclude — I have read you a lesson
Which may teach you this caution, I hope.
That to strive wi' the Bishop o' Moray,
Is to strive at Rome wi' the Pope.
Wae fa' ye! I canna forgie ye!
But come doun and see Lossie banks,
And a gill frae the best o' good ladies,
The "White Horse" — ye shall hae frae
JOHN SHANKS.

[*] If any of the aforesaid "Elgin Philosophers" would send to the Elgin Courier the etymology of the words, "scantack," and "paparap," and both the meaning and etymology of "seizables fain Capitolians," they will much oblige us — the Edinburgh Morayshire Society. We have a theory of our own — but "in the multitude of counsellors there is safety," as they say in the Town Council of Elgin.

Appendix G

Song — "A Poetic Epistle ..."

To the fruitful pen of Laureate Hay we were indebted, in 1830, for this amusing reply to the previous year's Laureate's reference to the "Bishop", in the "Bishop o' Moray."

Stanza IX. — The Cicerone in his wholesale excavations among the ruins of the Cathedral, found a stone coffin in the south side of the nave, and at once identified it as the empty coffin of King Duncan — the dead body of the murdered King, having, according to authentic history, been carried to Iona, after reposing for some time in the Church of the Holy Trinity at Elgin, — hence the King's coffin must have been empty, — this coffin was empty, and therefore must have been the King's — thus reasoned the logical "Bishop."

Stanza X. — "Little Isaac" — An abridged History of the Province, from the pen of the late Rev. Wm. Leslie, St. Andrews-Lhanbryde, published by Mr. Isaac Forsyth, bookseller, Elgin, and called Little Isaac, to distinguish it from the more voluminous histories by the Revs. Messrs. Grant and Leslie, published by the same enterprising gentleman. In that work the allusion to the Apostle Paul, but suppressed in the greater number of copies, is as follows: —

"It is broadly obvious that the great historian of the last age of the Roman Empire heavily felt the weight and strength of the argument for the truth of the doctrine of the atonement in all its bearings, which is maintained from the rapid spread of the Gospel Faith over the world. It might be bold to assert that this inestimable boon was conferred on our forebeirs in Moray, in the Apostolic age it hath been said, even by the Apostle Paul. Before his incarceration in Cζsarea and Rome he had taken a final leave of the churches of the east, to which he had been, by divine revelation, assured he should never again return — (Acts XX, 25.) Before he left them he had written from Corinth to the Romans that he purposed to visit Spain. • • •

"It may not without reason be presumed, that he had continued his labours as he had proposed, in those western provinces of the empire, where Christ had never been named, preaching the gospel as he had journeyed through France and Spain, and thence into Britain, in that era a populous and peaceful land, and that under a gracious providence, the gospel, as it is at the present day, was in a short time thereafter, preached on the banks of the Lossie and the Spey."

Stanza XI. — "The Wolf of Badenoch," illegitimate son of King Robert II, — having taken offence at Bishop Barr, anno, 1390, for excommunicating him, "burnt the noble, splendid Cathedral, the mirror of the land — the glory of the kingdom, with all the books and the other valuable things of the country therein kept."


A modified version of this poem is on the M.P.S. page for The Legend Of Strasbourg Cathedral.
okl.


The Muckle Kirk O' Elgin

Tune — Hey, Quoth Bob an' John.

I.
The subject o' my song
I quickly will you show, Sir, —
It is the Muckle Kirk,
Some twenty years ago, Sir.
Thus future times shall know
What a glorious Kirk we had, Sir,
And Moray loons may learn
How pious were their dads, Sir.

Chorus —
Oh! the Muckle Kirk,
The Elgin Muckle Kirk, Sir;
Nae sic Kirks are noo,
Nae sic mason work, Sir.

II.
'Tis Sunday, and the bells
Are summoning the people,
And Parkey's peepin' o'er,
Wi' his bonnet, frae the steeple.
To ring the person in
O' the Parson, in his goun, Sir,
Wi' his sermon in his pouch,
Who is joggin' doun the toun. Sir.

III.
But, hark! the Bailies come,
Wi' their Officers before them;
Proud, could they now look up.
Would the mithers be that bore them.
And having reached the door,
Wi' their halberts form a sentry,
And while the Bailies pass,
Stand booin' at the entry.

VI.
See college Captain Duff,
Like a gentleman, draws near, Sir.
Wi' a large flower in his breast,
Which he has throughout the year, Sir.
Feel Robie runs aboot
Wi' his fingers in his mouth, Sir;
And the folks are pouring in,
Frae the east, west, north and south, Sir.

V.
And now the Trades draw near,
Wi' order and decorum,
And, proud as Bubly Jocks,
Their Deacons strut before them.
Their glory is so great,
Oh! let flesh and blood forgie them;
And as the folks gang in,
So let us enter wi' them.

VI. See those long withdrawing aisles,
And that carving rich and rare;
See many a cosey neuk,
Fit for flirting or for prayer;
And the gifts o' pious men
Full many a board declares,
Who mortified their cash.
To mortify their heirs.

VII.
The Bailies now behold
In a' their crimson state, Sir,
Who next the pulpit sit,
In honour very great, Sir;
Shooting terror from their eyes
On all rogues whom they can see.
A "protection and a praise"
To loons like you and me.

VIII.
The Sutors next you see,
Who this maxim ne'er forget, Sir, —
"Leather winna work
Except it first be wet," Sir.
All human flesh is grass,
And all grass maun hae a steepin';
Last nicht they were sae fou,
That the whole o' them are sleepin'.

IX.
Good Deacon Laing, my friend,
Forbear to wake John Lamb, Sir, —
He's aff to the Land o' Nod,
To sleep wi' Abraham, Sir.
Poor chiels! their soles are sound.
Though their heads be hard as pewter:
And their last they ne'er forget. —
"Ultra crepidam ne Sutor."

X.
Next come we to the Smiths,
Whose skins no wash could scour, Sir, —
Like niggers did they grin.
Like tigers did they glower, Sir.
Behind them was a place,
Remote from all decorum —
A lounge for loons like me —
Our Sanctissimum Sanctorum.

XI.
There often have I drawn
Poetic inspiration;
There frowned the Cutty Stool,
That throne o' fornication;
There Scravey often scowled,
And called us Pagan vermin, —
There often d___d our eyes,
And bid us mind the sermon.

XII.
The Glovers, though but two,
Were each worthy o' the other;
James Elder was the one,
Rob Blancher was his brother.
Great men renowned for fat,
The most weighty in the nation, —
They made, though only two,
A most solid Corporation.

XIII.
The Tailors, — where are they?
Those fractionals o' men, Sir;
Look forward, and behold
Yon gruesome looking den, Sir;
There the Weavers and the Snips,
Like owls that love the night, Sir,
Or like clippins, or like thrums,
Are huddled out o' sight. Sir.

XIV.
See the Carpenters aloft,
Like eagles proudly soaring;
Hear the thunder of their beaks,
For most of them are snoring.
Ye sinful wicked Wrights,
Why slumber ye and sleep,
When your Minister's below
'Mong "the wonders of the deep"?

XV.
But who is she who sings,
In rapture upward borne, Sir?
Who tosses round her head
Like a filly at her corn, Sir?
'Tis Madame Sinclair sure, —
What sky-larking, and what shaking, —
Like Precentor Rust,[1] she sets
The very ghosts a-quaking.

XVI.
Are prayers[2] still offered up
For Katherine M'Craw, Sir?
Amelia Munro,
Janet Dunbar, et cetera, Sir?
If prayers avail the dead,
Then these women did not lose them,
Long after they had gone,
In peace, to Ab'ram's bosom.

XVII.
Say, Parkey, for I wot
Full often you could tell, Sir,
What scenes you've seen at night,
When you went to ring the bell, Sir.
Strange sounds, and stranger sights,
That might set the soul a-hobblin'
Of any mortal man
Not used to ghost or goblin.

XVIII.
When sheeted ghosts were seen
Each on his coffin sitting,
And a dim, unearthly light
Alang the Kirk was flitting;
While in the pulpit stood
A ghostly parson giving
A sermon — just as good
As we get frae the living.

XIX.
Gone is the Muckle Kirk,
With him that did adorn her, —
All banished from the town,
As Scotty would a sorner.
Ye virtuous Elders, why
Did you peep in every corner,
At your bell-man and his belle,
And thus horn away the Homer?

XX.
My song I now must end,
And of verses you have plenty, —
Though a thousand I could give
On our Kirk, instead of twenty.
Ye Morayshireeners, say, —
Can your Bards be blythe or frisky,
Since you've forget to pay
What you promised them, — the Whisky?

[1] At what time Mr. Rust flourished, history is silent; but that he did flourish as one of the most powerful and strong-lunged Precentors that ever conducted the Psalmody of the Muckle or any other Kirk is a fact, the truth of which no one can doubt who ever heard old Saunders Fraser's account of him. His tomb-stone may still be seen, on which is inscribed an Epitaph in verse. We remember only a single stanza and one line: —

"The famous Rust is gone from us.
And mingled into dust;
But now 'tis hoped his soul's above,
Among the spirits just.

In vocal music he excelled..."

We would request our friend John Shanks, F.A.S.E., to send us the whole of the inscription. He will find the tomb-stone lying about six or eight yards from the south-east comer of the Gordon family's tomb. The stone lies flat on the ground, much covered with moss, and the words of the inscription it is very difficult to decipher, as they are arranged, not in lines, but encircle the stone without stop or pause. An account of Rust's celebrated encounter with an Englishman, in which our townsman gained one of the greatest victories in psalmody, and by which he became the Crib of Precentors, we intend to communicate to the readers of the Elgin Courier one of these days.

[2] We know that the good folks of Elgin have a genuine true-blue Presbyterian contempt for the Scarlet Limmer of the Seven Hills, and all the heresies of which she has been the most productive mother: Yet, though they abhor the doctrine of Purgatory, they did, for many years after the worthies mentioned in the text had gone the way of all the earth, pray for them with their usual fervency of devotion. We know not if the thing has yet fallen into disuse.

Appendix K

Song — "The Muckle Kirk."

It would be impossible, by any more literal description of the old Parish Church of Elgin, to convey to the imagination a finer idea of that noble structure than is given in these inimitable verses, from the muse of Laureate Hay, in the same year.

The Church of St Giles is supposed to have been the first — the earliest built in the town, and probably the centre tower may have been hundreds of years old before even the Cathedral was founded in the year 1224. This fabric was originally built in the form of a Greek cross, with nave, transepts, etc. The transepts, or as they were called, the north and south aisles, were, one after another removed, about 150 years ago, to widen the street. The eastern limb of the cross, called the "Little Kirk," was taken down about 50 years ago, leaving only what had been the nave of the older fabric, with the two-falls on each side, and the old square tower on the east, standing. The body of St. Giles's Church had been frequently built and repaired. In 1540-60 it was furnished suitably to the Catholic service, with altars belonging to the different incorporated trades, who maintained a chaplain to minister at the shrine, probably of some patron saint of the particular craft. At the Reformation these altars were abolished, and lofts for the various incorporations, in all probability above the sites of the altars, were erected. In 1688 the Church, the stone roof of which had fallen in, was completely renewed, and seated after the Presbyterian fashion. It was lighted by a large Norman window at the west. The chief entrance being a large gothic gate immediately under it. Along the sides were the original massive stone pillars, from the tops of which sprang lofty pointed gothic arches, on which the roof was suspended. In a line with these pillars, and built partly on them, were the lofts — some of which belonged to the larger Heritors of the parish, and others to the Trades.

The Blacksmiths' Loft occupied the space immediately in front of the great west window, so that the only light which entered the upper part of the church fell on the back of the smith's heads, giving them the peculiar appearance when viewed from any other part of the house, so accurately described by the couplet — "Like niggers did they grin, / Like tigers did they glower, Sir." The white of their eyes, and their whiter teeth were ludicrously prominent. The front of the loft was appropriately carved, and the hammer and the crown were finely cut in relief on the centre panel. Behind this loft and close to the window "frowned the cutty stool." There were some wooden forms ranged along the floor of this sanctissimum sanctorum, for the accommodation of strangers when the church was crowded; but on ordinary occasions the loons made it a favourite lounge for dividing their apples and gingerbread, and there generally carried on a suppressed conversation during the whole time of the sermon, much to the annoyance of such hearers as Scravie, who sat on the backmost seat of the smith's loft.

Next, on the south, was an Heritors' Loft, and adjoining it, affixed to one of the stone pillars, the Shoemakers' Loft, in the corner of which sat, in a snug elbow chair, the deacon — and next to him the other masters according to their age and offices; then the journeymen; and last of all, the apprentices. The front of the loft was beautifully carved, and on a shield, the half-moon gilded cutting-knife, surmounted by King Crispin's crown, was displayed. Next was the Magistrates' Loft, with arm chair for the Provost in the centre of the front seat, and places of honour for the Bailies, two on each side, and two pews for Councillors behind — the Officers in full uniform, with their halberds crossed at their backs, still more remote. The front of the loft was curiously carved. A richly carved wooden canopy was overhead, supported by graceful pillars. Next was the pulpit — a piece of fine workmanship, with valuable carved enrichments — on the one side the sand-glass holder to mark the time, and on the other the keeper for the baptismal basin — both pieces of curiously twisted iron work. Next was another Heritors' Loft, and at the east end, within the arch of the centre tower, was the Guildry or Merchants' Loft, where sat the Dean of Guild and the merchants — the Dean in his chair of state, and his Bible and Psalm-book; the Merchants according to seniority next, and attended by the Dean of Guild officer in scarlet livery. At the back of the Guildry Loft, receding within the arch, was the Weavers' Loft, in front of which was displayed a shield and three shuttles, with the passage from sacred writ — "MY DAYS ARE SWIFTER THAN A WEAVER'S SHUTTLE."

Behind this, and still deeper in the darkness, was the Tailors' Loft, rising above the other in the "palpable obscure" of the "gruesome lookin' den." In front was a shield az. with a large sissors, ppr. with the following inscription : — "AND UNTO ADAM AND ALSO TO HIS WIFE DID THE LORD GOD MAKE COATS."

The Deacons of the respective crafts occupied elbow chairs at the head of the front of their lofts — the boxmasters and other officials being next in order of rank. On the south side was the Glovers' Loft, with the shears displayed in front; — and high over the Guildry Loft, and above the point of the arch, was the Wrights' Loft, exhibiting the shield of the craft, with the square and compass — the inscription was; "THE SQUARE AND COMPASS BOUND ALL ARTS ON THE GROUND."

Across the church, from one side to the other, and near the top, were beams of wood, from the middle of which were suspended, by strong iron chains reaching to within a few feet of the pews in the middle area, brass chandeliers, with large globular centres, around which hung many graceful scroll branches, bearing candle-holders. On every side, on the white-washed walls, were black boards setting forth the charitable deeds of the mortifiers of money to the poor, as well as the coats of armour of the larger heritors.

From this imperfect supplement to the poetical description, "Future times shall know what a glorious Kirk we had, Sir, / And Moray loons may learn how pious were their dads, Sir."

Stanza XVII. "Parkey," — Alexander Smith, alias Parkey, was Bellman in Elgin for many years, and had a curious way of crying which attracted notice and afforded great amusement. He had a portion of the moor to the south of Elgin, and to the west of the trades' moor, which he enclosed and fenced, and hence the appellation of Parkey. He had a good deal of drollery about him, and was a general favourite, being very diverting in conversation, and always full of news and anecdote.

Stanza XIX. "The Horner," — Alexander Fraser, alias Horner, was a horner to trade originally, and afterwards bellman. He had no pretensions to be "a character" beyond being very sulky, and his gallantries afforded some business for the Kirk Session, who in consequence dispensed with the services of their official brother!

This song concludes with a reproach which must surely sink deep into the bosom of every member of the E. M. S. Sad are the hearts of our Laureates — their harps are unstrung — for lack of that, without, at least, a due allowance of which to moisten his clay, no real Morayshireener can joyously or blithely wend his way through this weary world of care. Nothing less was denied them each, as the fee of office, than the covenanted anker of the best which Glenlivat could produce! Too bad, indeed, that our Bards should have to chronicle against us that our promises, in this behalf, were "Like the snaw-flake i' the river."


The Deeds Of Glorious John.

Tune — The Bold Dragoon.

I.
My name it is John Shanks, renowned in prose and verse,
Whose deeds among the dead let the living now rehearse;
So lend an ear,
And you shall hear
The very words of truth, my boys, — from the truthful lips of John;
With his long nose, leathern apron, red Kilmarnock cowl, boys;
His snuff-box, funny jokes, the shovel and the shool, boys.

Chorus —
Sing fal de row de row, etc.

II.
A Sutor was my trade — but while John was at his last,
They brought me to the grave, and thereto I'll now stick fast;
For all alive,
I dig and thrive,
And bless the leering monks, my boys — though no Romanist is John —
With a fat phiz, shorn birse, scapular and beads, boys;
Pyx, tricks, crucifix, confessing my misdeeds, boys.

III.
Ay, I bless the monks who built, — and the Wolf of Badenoch too;
And the Regent Moray's troops, and the Holland ship and crew,
Though all below
Adown did go
To — I care not where; not I, my boys, since they left enough for John;
For slap-dash, smash, crash — down the Tower fell, boys,
And in one, seven, and eleven, with everything played h___, boys.

IV.
I rose upon the ruins; — since by digging under ground
Many precious gems of art, and meikle fame I found:
Of more than one
Good honest man
The Chan'ry now may boast, my boys: Oh! the glory be to John,
Who pulled out, by the snout, the Laird of Invermarkie
To light of day, with de la Haye, that sturdy fighting birkie.

V.
Behold that globe of stone, bestrodden by that witch,
With these monks and tippling louts, in a hole I found the b____;
That snoring dog.
Whose name's incog;
That crocodile and dial, boys, were all found out by John;
With Abraham and the ram, and Isaac, and all, boys;
The Baptist too, with not a few of sinners great and small, boys.

VI.
There's David and his harp, and his singers singing clear.
With the Serpent that beguiled, and the Tree of Knowledge near;
Wi' beasts in chains,
Dives in pains, —
Let the rich a lesson learn, my boys, and five shillings gie to John; —
Here's Behemoth, upon my troth, a monster that so rare is,
It puzzled a', both great and sma', of Elgin's Anti-qua-ries.

VII.
Here's King Duncan's coffin now, — yes, the kingly dust lies here;
This is truth, as fact as death, though infidels may sneer;
Come, try and spell,
The words will tell,
If your Latin be not rusted, boys; — so read the words with John: —
"DVNC: HVNC: OBTRVNC-AVIT: MACBETHVS:"
Oh! in the coof that asks more proof, there surely little faith is.

VIII.
There's a lock from Samson's head, by the quine Delilah shorn;
Here he lies with Wallace wight — the boldest chaps ere born;
But oh! the quines,
Those Philistines,
For his jaw-bone cared no more, my boys, than my wife the jaw of John:
The foxes that coax us, and shear us of our locks, boys,
Beware of the snare of — blockheads they make like blocks, boys.

IX.
I will not now enlarge on the insults I have got;
As a Baron of the Exchequer, much chequered is my lot;
Fools have withstood
Their country's good,
By thwarting all the plans, my boys, of Antiquarian John:
Deil end him, and rend him, each self-conceited porpus; —
My fury I'll not bury till I have got his corpus.

X.
A Reformer and a Whig for forty years sae lang,
As I told the worthy Knicht, I doubt we're in the wrang:
Why place ava
In schedule A
The great Exchequer Barons, boys, — and thus disfranchise John?
Knicht, Knicht, it was na richt, thus rashly to undo them;
James Henry, the Chan'ry is much indebted to them.

XI.
Now mark that hoary pile, — there the noble Gordons rest;
Oh! may many a season roll ere it claim the last and best —
The Duke of worth,
"The Cock o' the North,"
The Prince of Peers in festive halls, and gentle Ladies' bowers;
The soul of courts, of manly sports, — the Senator unbending,
For his country bled, her squadrons led, his hand and counsel lending —
Long may he thus be ours.

XII.
Now let us sing, long live the Duke, and Elgin's Ciceron,
And Willie Hay, that sings my worth, and Laureate Robertson,
Who draws his purse,
And me in verse,
And rewards with cash and couplets, boys, the deeds of Glorious John.
Much health to, and wealth to the Morayshire Society, —
John esteeming, as beseeming, with suitable propriety.

Appendix M

Song — "The Deeds Of Glorious John."

From the fertile muse of Laureate Hay, in 1833.


Moray Lasses

Tune — Roy's Wife.

Chorus —
Braw, braw Lasses, blithe an' bonnie;
Fairest flowers impeered by ony, —
Where sweetly flow, by moor an' mossie,
The Spey, the Findhorn, an' the Lossie.

I.
For fruitfu' fields, that smile sae fair,
Our native plains nae land surpasses; —
Let ithers boast o' gowd an' gear,
While Moray's glory is — her Lasses.

II.
The smile about their "wee bit mou,"
The locks a-doon their temples curlin',
Their een, like glamour beads o' dew,
Will set the cauldest heart a-dirlin'.

III.
Their words sae saft, an' lang drawn out,
An' sweeter than the blobs o' honey —
Would turn the wisest head about, —
Oh! weary fa' them, they're owre bonnie.

IV.
While on them waits sweet Modesty, —
Her rosy blushes round them pourin';
Oh! 'tis a sicht that weel might gie
A stoun o' love that's past endurin'.

V.
The Spey comes rollin', roarin' down
Her onward torrent sea-ward holdin';
Nor rock, nor scaur, can stan' her frown —
Like ither Lasses — when they're scoldin'.

VI.
'Mid Nature's charms, for mony a mile,
Weel pleased the Findhorn's water wimples,
Like our braw Lasses, when the smile
O' love their bonnie faces dimples.

VII.
My ain dear Lossie — gentle stream,
Wi' soughless waters onward stealin';
Like wedded love — nae bardie's dream —
But a' the joys o' life revealin'.

Chorus —
Braw, braw Lasses, blithe an' bonnie,
Fairest flowers, impeered by ony,
Where sweetly flow, by moor an' mossie,
The Spey, the Findhorn, an' the Lossie.

Appendix N

Song — "Moray Lasses."

Laureate Hay favoured us, in 1835, with this happy description of the striking characteristics of our Lasses and our Rivers. The beauty, modesty, native and acquired accomplishments of the Lasses of Moray are proverbial, — and their charms never fail to evoke the poetic genius, and fire the ardour of all true Loons of Moray.


A modified version of this poem is on the M.P.S. page for Wm. Hay.
okl.


The Auld Familiar Faces

Tune — Auld Robin Gray.

I.
Oh! ance an' we were young, but noo we're gettin' auld,
An' the hairs upon our temples, they are wearin' thin an' bald.
An' this weary warld o' care, where joy is mixed wi' woe,
Is reelin', like a drunken man, beneath us, to an' fro;
Since the days hae flown awa, which sae happy we hae seen.
An' ither days we ne'er expect mair happy than hae been;
An' every year that brings us here, reminds us o' this law —
That the auld familiar faces, noo, wi' our youth are gaein awa.

II.
The birks are wavin' bonnily on Findhorn's rocky side,
As bonnie noo as when in youth we sported wi' its tide;
An' starry gowans gem the banks o' Lossie's peacefu' stream,
But nane sae bright as when the light o' life was but a dream.
For the e'e is gettin' dimmer noo, an' the fancy waxin' cauld,
An' the hues o' beauty fadin' aye, for we are gettin' auld;
An' every year that brings us here, reminds us o' this law —
That the auld familiar faces, noo, wi' our youth are gaein awa.

III.
Oh! the change is in oursels, since the beauty o' the flower
Is ever floatin' round it, for beauty is its dower;
But where's the heart to feel it, when the bloom o' life has fled —
'Tis nothing but the naked stalk, wi' flower an' fragrance dead;
And, Oh! how soon all loveliness is hast'nin' to decay,
Like shadows o' the summer clouds that flit sae fast away!
Thus, every year that brings us here, reminds us o' this law —
That the auld familiar faces noo, wi' our youth, are gaein awa.

IV.
But see how boyhood's rosy looks, an' laughter-lovin' een,
Are beamin' through the mists o' years — the years that we ha'e seen —
The day-spring o' our fitful life, arrayed in colours bright,
When hope was rock o' adamant, an' fear the feather's weight;
When fancy wi' her richest hues empurpled a' the skies,
And we were far too wise to learn, too happy to be wise;
Thus, every year that brings us here, reminds us o' this law —
That the auld familiar faces, noo, wi' our youth are gaein awa.

V.
Where be our years-mates, years-mates mine, — come tell it now to me?
Look on sad Memory's tearful page, an' say how few they be;
The forms are gone of loveliness — the hopes that beamed so fair.
Are sleeping in the sunless land, wi' those that slumber there.
The father's hope, the mother's joy, the lover's sole delight,
An' a' their dreams o' earthly bliss are vanished out o' sight:
Thus, every year that brings us here, reminds us o' this law —
That the auld familiar faces, noo, wi' our youth are gaein awa.

VI.
Oh! "beautiful exceedingly" are Moray's smiling plains;
Her lasses fair, beyond compare, and manly are her swains;
Her sunny knowes, her wimplin' burns, her streams o' crystal clear,
That slide along, in liquid song, wi' music to the ear.
Her Ladyhill, her Cluny Hills, — we see your robes o' green,
An' a' the charms you gaze upon, are now before our een:
Still, every year that brings us here, reminds us o' this law —
That the auld familiar faces, noo, wi' our youth are gaein awa.

Appendix P

Song — "The Auld Familiar Faces."

Laureate Hay, in this inimitable song, of the year 1836, touches a chord which must vibrate sympathetically in every human bosom. The changes wrought by time, and the breaches made in the friendly circle at the festive board from year to year, are feelingly adverted to, and touched with a delicate and master hand.


To James M'Innes, Esq.,

An Adopted Morayshireener.

Tune — Bonnie Dundee.

I.
Oh! how should the harp of auld Morayshire slumber,
Or how should its chords be untouched or unstrung?
Her beauties are rifer than mortal can number —
All pressing, caressing — a' daft to be sung.
Ay! sweet M____ S____, not to sing thee a sin is,
But sin though it be, let us gang o'er the Spey,
And warble a lilt to our brother, M'Innes —
The youthful in heart, though his locks they are grey.

II.
Ye Bodies o' Banffshire, ye maunna blaspheme us
For witching your brother M'Innes away;
Smit, smit — honest man — wi' our Jockies an' Jeamies,
He has crossed to the Morayshire side o' the Spey.
Ay! blithe N____ B____, though fairer thy skin is
Than dew-drops that tremble on daisies in May,
Yet we leave thee unsung for our brother, M'Innes —
The youthful in heart, though his locks they are grey.

III.
He's the wale o' good fellows — whose eyes are forth sending
Keen flashes o' kindness, and honour, and truth, —
So joyous, so jolly, so jocund, so blending
The wisdom o' years wi' the fervour o' youth.
Ay! bonnie F____, each feeling within us
Confesses thy beauty's omnipotent sway,
But we leave thee unsung for our brother, M'Innes —
The youthful in heart, though his locks they are grey.

IV.
Then, fill to the health of our Morayshireener, —
And fill to the folks on his side o' the Spey;
Though our hills may be greener, our sky be serener,
Our lasses and lads are not better than they.
Frae the Knock o' Braemoray to that o' Belrinnes,
Ye lasses, we warn you, keep out o' his way,
Or you'll a' tine your hearts to our brother, M'Innes —
The youthful in heart, though his locks they are grey.

Appendix S

Song — "To James M'Innes, Esq."

The Society was again indebted to Laureate Hay, in 1838, for this well-deserved tribute in honour of this adopted Son of Moray; one who took especial delight in the meetings of our Society, and largely contributed to all its benevolent objects. The Festive Board of the E. M. S., in return for his honoured presence during it's sederunt on what might be called Moray ground, and after doing every justice to all it's claims upon our notice, was wont to gang o'er the Spey, and there, under the auspices of our Brother M'Innes, to consume not a few of the wee sma' hours in listening to his chivalrous "Scots wha hae!" — and, year after year — decies repetita placebit — to the inimitable General Question of his chosen Croupier; — in leukin' up the avenue, with our incomparable friend, Bailie Nicol Jarvie; — and in enjoyments, truly, of the highest and most convivial kind.


The "White Horse"

Tune — The Old Country Gentleman,

I.
In days o' yore, when good Sir James, a Knicht o' meikle fame,
Was Chief o' Elgin — and the poor did bless that pious name —
There lived a jolly, jovial wife — a blithesome, bucksome dame,
And living still — long may she live, unchanged by years the same,
The same right-hearted, good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

II.
Her name is Mrs. Innes, and the "White Horse" is her sign,
And happy is the man or beast that chances there to dine,
For all her provender is good, her whisky, ale, and wine;
An' each an' a' hae aften turned this weak, weak head o' mine;
Oh! she's a jewel o' a good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

III.
Ay! she's a sonsie, good gude-wife — there's witchcraft in the blink
O' baith her een — that ilka heart in love to her's doth link:
And then her tongue, mair musical than is the siller's clink,
Will charm a man till he suspects he's sure the waur o' drink,
So witchin' is this good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

IV.
Her house so clean, is glancin' bricht, wi' bottle, jug, and cap,
Which sends thro' many a weary heart a life-blood and a sap;
While her domestic Chaplain is the worthy Mr. Tap,
Whose power of eloquence stirs up full many an Elgin chap
To bless this pious, good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

V.
Here wrinkled Care forgets to gloom whene'er he sees her jugs,
Here Mirth beholds his laughing een reflected frae her mugs;
An' ae look o' her bonny face — I'll wager baith my lugs —
Will comfort mair the droopin' heart than a' the doctor's drugs,
So skilful is this good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

VI.
Here many an Elgin worthy has aften taen his stoup;
Here stately Phœnix frae his fires renewed did upward loup;
And here John Batchie hath forgot to bargain and to roup;
While Laughter, "holding both his sides," bang o'er the chair did coup;
So mirthful is this good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

VII.
The lawyers canna beat her, she cheats them o' their fee —
For when the clients come to her, she soon decides the plea,
Discerning that the cheapest way is — tak' a pint an' gree;
An' Shirra! surely this is sense, tho' law it mayna be —
Oh! she's a jewel o' a good gude-wife, the pride o' Elgin toon.

VIII.
Then here's to our gude-wife, whose like we ne'er shall see again,
Here's to her health, whose fun an' drink hae aften turned the brain,
Here's to the lass wha kens the way the hearts o' men to chain;
Lang has she been auld Elgin's pride, an' lang may she remain
A sample o' the wives o' yore, the pride o' Elgin toon.

Appendix U

Song — "The White Horse."

From Laureate Hay's muse, came this amusing and warm-hearted ditty, in the year 1838. At the sign of the "White Horse," on the east side of Elchies-House, Mrs. Innes for many years kept a public house or secondary inn. She possessed in an unparalleled degree all those qualifications and fascinations requisite in the character of a first-rate hostess. In her youth she rejoiced in a more than ordinary share of external charms. She was virtuous and twice wedded, but had no family to divert her attention from the comforts of her guests. Her house was patronised chiefly by respectable country farmers; and by the more respectable merchants and tradesmen of the town. After she had been a popular hostess for nearly half a century, her customers presented her with her portrait, painted by Mr. Hogg, in a gorgeous frame, bearing a suitable inscription. She died suddenly on the 9th August, 1840, in the 70th year of her age — deeply deplored.


Here's To Thee, Morayland

Tune — There's Nae Luck about the House.

I.
Here's to thee, Morayland, the land we like sae weel —
The land o' mony a bonnie lass, an' mony a buirdly chiel, —
O' fruits, an' flowers, an' fusky stills, black nout an' wavin' woods,
O' heather bells an' bloomin' haughs, an' rather mony floods!
Thy rivers swarm wi' salmon, an' o' finnocks thousan' scores;
An' every fish that cleaves the deep comes boundin' to thy shores;
There's sic a footh o' eatin' gear, that ilka body thrives —
There's dulse an' daberlicks for bairns, an' skate to please the wives!

II.
Here's to thee, Morayland, the land o' monks an' priests,
The cosey nook whose girnels changed their fastins into feasts,
Whose beeves au' barrels coft their prayers, an' made them "like their meat" —
The lads that didna eat to live, but lived to drink an' eat.
Kinloss, Kinneddar, Pluscarden, an' Spynie's blacken'd wa's,
The Chan'ry flaffin' out its wings, an' still sae proudly craws —
Declare how many gabs ye fed o' chiels that wudna work! —
Then keep your bannocks to yoursel, an' stick ye by the Kirk.

III.
Here's to thee, Morayland, the land o' schools for lear,
O' hospitals for Age an' Want, whose hearts are sick an' sair;
Where maids who put nae faith in man find confort as they may,
An' young an' auld together bless Dick, Anderson, an' Gray.
The salmon seeks the mountain stream, from which at first he sprang,
Tho' thro' the ocean's distant waves he may have wander'd lang —
So these good loons could ne'er forget, tho' they were far away,
The gentle Lossie's gowan'd banks, the Findhorn an' the Spey.

IV.
Here's to thee, Morayland, where eident is the plough,
Where skill can make an Eden smile where dockens wudna grow;
The glory be the Farmer Club's, which first Forsyth began —
Coke o' the North — the man o' worth — most patriotic man!
The farmer's friend, the princely Duke — the pride o' cot an' ha',
Has dree'd his weird, an' Moray wept when he was ta'en awa;
Yet maun she own that still she has ane worthy o' his fame,
An' Richmond is a Gordon true, in everything but name!

V.
Here's to thee, Morayland, here's Covesea an' its cairds —
The Witches'-stane, an' Ministers, Hell's-hole an' a' the Lairds;
The Doctors, an' the Order-Pot, the Hangman's Foord an' a' —
Thy Lawyers — plentiful as slaes, or as the hoodie-craw.
Thy auld Tolbooths are tumblin' o'or, but say ilk Elgin loon,
Can ye forget the Guard-house fechts, the glorious fourth o' June,
When blue as blavers were our een, an' croons wi' cloors did ring,
An' bonfires blazed wi' loyalty, an' George the Third was King?

VI.
Here's to thee, Morayland, there's something in thy clime
That breathes the spirit o' the past — the hoary olden time:
It flows from out the foggy wa's o' ruined ha' or keep,
An' aften gies a body thochts amaist will gar him weep.
But cheer ye up, my Moray loons, or here or far awa',
I've seen a sicht will mak' ye blithe, an' gar ye croosely craw —
The Loch o' Spynie's comin' back, an', spite o' sinfu' men,
Bullsegs will wave their nigger pows, an' geds will bite again!

Appendix V

Song — "Here's To Thee, Morayland."

To the muse of Laureate Hay — that most prolific fountain of love and lore — did the Society owe, in 1838, this most excellent Song. Great reason, indeed, have we to join in his patriotic sorrow, at the destruction of the Kirks, Cathedrals, and Abbeys which once adorned our Father-land; — "And many a Runic column high / Had witnessed grim idolatry." Had it not been for a nicknamed "righteous havoc" — a sacrilege scarcely behind the misdoings of the unscrupulous "Wolf" — we should yet have possessed, and been able to apply to better uses than those for which they were originally designed, intact, unbroken, those proud and splendid piles, which covered acres of our country with their "Pervious nooks / That ages past conveyed the guileful priest / To play some image on the gaping crowd." — Now is our Calf-country strewed "With the wrought remnants of the shattered pile; [its] Mouldering wails with ivy crowned, / Or Gothic turret — pride of ancient days! — Now but of use to grace a rural scene, — To bound our vistas". And their changeful fate has, curiously enough, been shared by those to whose care these relics of olden ages have heen successively committed. As John Shanks indites of himself — "As the Barons of the Exchequer / Much chequered is their lot." From the Board in whose custody the now few-and-far-between but precious fragments of our holy edifices are at present placed, too true it is that our own immediate district of Scotland has to deplore the retirement, full of service and honours, of a member — one of her own northern sons — in whose character the widest benevolence, the highest taste, and a devoted attachment to our common country, were all most happily blended.

But his mantle has fortunately descended on another son of old Scotland in whose patriotism we may safely confide, and we cannot doubt that our precious remains will receive all care at the hands of such Guardians. We conjure them to tak' tent of the little now left us of the Templa quam dilecta of our old and pious Fatherland. Elgin! Kinloss! and Pluscarden! neglect them not! — Oh! ye Woodsmen, spare! and uphold "These long withdrawing aisles, / And that carving rich and rare, / And many a cozey nook," so dear to us and our's.

The talented Laureate is peculiarly happy in the graphic and succinct grouping of the men and things of Moray in this song. The Patriots referred to are James Dick, of Finsbury, London, a native of Forres, who left about £120,000, yielding an annual revenue of betwixt £4000 and £5000, for the benefit of the Parochial Schoolmasters of Aberdeen, Banff, and Morayshires; General Andrew Anderson of Elgin, who endowed an Institution for the support of the aged and education of the young; Jonathan Anderson of Forres, who mortified lands for a Free School in his native town; Dr. Grey of Elgin, who built and endowed an Infirmary for the sick poor, and provided a fund for the benefit of old maids. Mr. Isaac Forsyth, late bookseller, the father and founder of the Morayshire Farmer Club, the patron and promoter of every public improvement in Elgin for the past half-century, is yet rejoicing in a green old age, and long may he live!

"The Princely Duke" — the last — the best Duke of Gordon. Moray might well weep when He had dreed his weird. She ne'er shall look upon His like again.

[The sobriquette "Coke o' the North" is not a misspelling of the "Cock o' the North" used elsewhere in this collection, but a reference to an agricultural scientist named Thomas William Coke.
okl.]

["George, Marquis of Huntly and 5th and last Duke of Gordon was born in 1770 and died in 1836. From his earliest youth he followed the profession of arms and is immortalized by Scott in the second part of 'Carle now the King's come' as 'Cock o' the North, my Huntly braw.' But he also well deserved the title 'Coke o' the North' conferred on him by William Hay in one of the poems in the "Lintie o' Moray" for the zealous and indefatigable way in which he imitated the example of Howard [sic] Coke, Lord Leicester, in promoting agriculture and improving the breed of Highland Cattle throughout the district where his vast estates were situated."...] snippet from The Scottish Review, 1920, exact date unknown.


Sir Robert O' Gordonstown,

A Ballad

Tune — The Missletoe Bough.

I.
Oh! wha has na heard o' that man o' renown —
The wizard, Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
The wisest o' warlocks, — the Morayshire chiel, —
The despot o' Duffus, an' frien' o' the Deil;
The man whom the folks o' auld Morayshire feared —
The man whom the fiends o' auld Satan revered, —
Oh! never to mortal was evil renown
Like that o' Sir Robert o' Gordonstown! —
What a wicked auld loon
Was this Morayshire loon!

II.
The sun he might shine in the east or the wast,
But Sir Robert's wee body nae shadow could cast;
Langsyne had he lost it in far foreign parts,
When he cheated the Deil in the school o' Black Arts.
"The hurly-buck-out o' the school is my fee,"
Cried Satan — "an' surely Sir Robert is he."
"Look behin'," cried Sir Robert, "there tak' him thou loon," —
'Twas the shadow o' Robert o' Gordonstown!
What a crafty auld loon
Was this Morayshire loon!

III.
Mow fiercely the furnace at Gordonstown glows!
At Gordonstown, famous for witches an' crows!
Seven years hath Sir Robert been toilin' wi' micht,
Till a fiend-salamander hath gladdened his sicht!
"Hurra!" cried Sir Robert, an' the creature cried "Here,
Ye witches an' warlocks o' Moray draw near;" —
An' loud is the din o' the demons that own
Their master, Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
What a terrible loon
Was this Morayshire loon!

IV.
Far up in the lift are the starnies o' nicht,
O'er the ice-sheeted Spynie-loch blinkin' sae bricht:
But so tender that ice, that it maunna be press'd,
For it yields to the wecht o' the waterfowl's breast.
But what cares Sir Robert for the ice or the hour!
He's out on the Loch in his chariot an' four;
An' it cracks, an' it rattles, but daurna gang down —
Sic power hath Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
What a venturesome loon
Was this Morayshire loon!

V.
Sauny Phulp, Sauny Phulp, his coachman sae bold,
Thou art het eneuch there, though the nicht it be cold;
An' the sweat frae thy e'e-brow is tricklin' in beads; —
But lookna behin' — or thou'rt meat for the geds!
For a legion o' witches are close in thy wake,
An' a corbie's behin' wi' the e'e o' a snake;
But wha is that corbie, wi' Beelzie's ain frown?
'Tis a frien' o' Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
Oh! that awfu'some loon —
Oh! that Morayshire loon!

VI.
Twa cronies, at midnicht, in Gordonstown Ha',
Are boozin' — an' mony's the bicker they draw:
They drew an' they drank, an' were ne'er like to tire, —
For it fizz'd frae their stamachs like water frae fire!
That frien' o' Sir Robert's is reverend to see
As the Parson o' Duffus — but it canna be he —
For a chauther o' maut the drooth didna droon
O' that guest o' Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
Oh! the drooth o' the loon —
What a boozin' auld loon!

VII.
Sir Robert could drink like a Morayshire chiel —
But a man has sma' chance that would drink wi' the Deil:
Sir Robert got fuddled; — when upstarted his guest
On all fours — an' nicker'd in shape o' a beast.
"Jee! hup!!" cried Sir Robert, an' sprang to the back
O' that fierce-lookin' charger, so fiery an' black;
An', bang through the window, for Birnie are boun'
The Deil an' Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
Losh! sic a queer loon
Was this Morayshire loon!

VIII.
Like the blast o' the North was the speed o' their flicht.
As they thunder'd alang through the mirk o' the nicht;
They dash'd thro' Loch-Spynie, near Duffus strong keep,
An' Findrassie's echoes aroused from their sleep; —
They leap'd o'er the Lossie, — an' Elgin's lang street
Flashed fire, an' re-echoed the trampin' o' feet; —
An' the burghers cried, "Save us! that's surely Mahoun,
Or that fearfu' Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
Preserve's frae that loon —
Oh! that awfu'some loon!"

IX.
Sir Robert leugh sair, — an' his horse he leugh too,
When Birnie's green hillocks now gladden'd their view;
For loud was the cheerin' that greeted them there,
Frae the sprites o' the earth, an' fiends o' the air.
There the witches o' Moray were dancin' wi' glee,
'Mid music an' mirth, an' loud revelrie;
For the Parson o' Birnie has put himsel doon: —
Preserve's frae Sir Robert o' Gordonstown!
Oh! that waefu'some loon!
Oh! that Morayshire loon!

Appendix W

Song — "Sir Robert O' Gordonstown."

To the fruitful pen of Laureate Hay, the Society owed this inimitable contribution, in 1839. Sir Robert Gordon was second son of the Earl of Sutherland. He had received his education partly in Italy, and travelled abroad during his younger days. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1625, and in 1634 was a privy counsellor of Charles I. He was a man of uncommon genius, and in a knowledge of art and science, was far in advance of the age in which he lived. Hence he was deemed a wizard, and was the terror of the common people who believed he was familiar with Satan. He took pleasure in chemical analyses, and had a stove or forge erected for experiments, in the lower storey of his mansion house. He was reported to have sat for 7 years over the fire of this forge, until he created a salamander, from which animal he tortured unearthly secrets. Sir Robert died in the year 1656.

The legend of Sir Robert's death is as follows. For a certain consideration, Sir Robert, years before, had sold his soul to Satan on such a night at 12 o'clock on the Hall horologue. At the time appointed the fiend appeared to take possession of his prize; Sir Robert, in anticipation of the visit, had, by some means caused the clock to go half-an-hour slow; and pointing to the dial, with an oath, bade the intruder be gone till the hour came up. Meanwhile the Parson of Duffus — a boon companion — counselled the Baronet to be up and off to the kirk of Birnie, assuring him if he reached and set foot on the holy mould even of the kirk-yard, no power in hell could touch him. Sir Robert ran out and immediately pursued his way to Birnie by the road at the back of Quarrywood Hill, thinking to outmanœuvre the fiend, as he would probably take the more direct way by Elgin. When he had entered the old road on the west of the Knock of Alves, he passed the Parson of Birnie, who was staggering home from a late meeting in Alves, and enquired if he was on the right road to the kirk of Birnie. Being assured he was so, Sir Robert divested himself of his coat and continued to run. Shortly a black charger foaming at the mouth, ridden by a black gruesome looking figure, and accompanied by two black hounds, came up. The rider accosted the Divine, and asked whether any person had lately passed him. In the trepidation of the moment, the Parson hiccuped, No! and the steed flew onwards like an arrow. In a few minutes unearthly yells are heard piercing the cold and silent air. The Minister's heart-blood curdled, and his hair stood on end. Immediately the dim figure of the fiend and the jet black horse appeared, and across his saddle bow was the dead body of Sir Robert, with one hound hanging in his throat and another in his thigh. "So," said the fiend to His Reverence of Birnie, "you thought to deceive me, but I have not missed my game. Had you told me the truth you would have been skaithless, but since you lied, prepare for a similar hunt by the mirk midnight tomorrow." The Parson reached home in a woeful agony of mind, and told what he had seen and heard. His wife despatched a messenger to Gordonstown, thinking a note from Sir Robert would ease the mental anguish of her husband — the tidings returned were that Sir Robert was found dead on the preceding night, etc. The Members of the Presbytery were summoned to the manse of Birnie, and continued in prayer all day. At 12 o'clock at night the sound of a bugle was heard, and the Parson bolted out of the house, and was next morning found dead at some distance in a ditch.


When This Auld Coat Was New.

Tune — Hey Quoth Bob and John.
"The Town (of Elgin) is much changed of late. St. Giles' Church, of venerable antiquity, has given way to a gay new edifice. The dwellings of the citizens have put on a modern trim look, which does not satisfy the eye so well as the sober grey walls of their fathers. Numerous Hospitals, the fruits of mixed charity and vanity, surround the town, and with their gaudy white porticos, contrast offensively with the mellow colouring and chaste proportions of the ancient structures. If the present taste continues, there will soon be nothing remaining of the reverend antique town, but the ruins of its magnificent Cathedral."
— Vide the Preface to his Edition of the "Registrum Episcopatus Moraviensis," by Cosmo Innes, Esq., Sheriff of Moray.

I.
When this auld coat was new,
Sin' syne 'tis thirty years, Sir,
Auld Elgin-toon excelled
Ilk toon baith far an' near, Sir;
A monkish lookin' toon,
Most reverend for to view, Sir, —
Oh! 'tis altered for the worse,
Since this auld coat was new, Sir.

Chorus —
Elgin was a toon,
A toon to live an' dee in;
But noo it is a hole,
Which few would care to be in.

II.
Ilk house was thatched wi' strae,
Or slate o' sober grey, Sir,
Where martin-swallows found
A shelter nicht an' day, Sir;
Wi' just a single street,
Though backsides it had two, Sir, —
What a goodly town it was
When this auld coat was new, Sir!

III.
Its biggins a'maist a'
Turned their gables to the street, Sir;
Its causeway had a croon,
For proud an' haughty feet, Sir.
Piazzas it had some,
An' bow-yetts not a few, Sir.
An' a lion-crested cross,[1]
When this auld coat was new, Sir.

IV.
An' Thunderton upreared
Its bartizan sae crouse, Sir;
An' wailing ghosts were heard
In Dr. Dougal's house, Sir, —
Where deeds without a name,
That made one's spirit grue, Sir.
Were done; — but a' is gane,
Since this auld coat was new, Sir!

V.
An' then the Muckle Kirk.
That gem on Elgin's brow, Sir,
O' cunning mason-work; —
Alas! — where is it now, Sir?
My ban upon ye a',
Ye senseless, tasteless crew, Sirs!
What have ye got instead,
Since this auld coat was new, Sirs?

VI.
Ay! licht yer Kirk wi' gas,[2]
Ye non-obtrusion sumphs, Sirs;
Silk purse ye canna mak'
O' lug o' sow that grumphs, Sirs.
But where the thousand lichts
Which a blaze o' splendour threw, Sir,
O'er the auld Kirk's pillar'd aisles,
When this auld coat was new. Sir?

VII.
At the great and solemn Feast,
When the chandeliers were lit, Sir, —
And visions, not of earth,
Athwart our minds did flit, Sir.
Oh! the true in life is false, —
The false alone is true, Sir,
Then gie us back the past,
When this auld coat was new, Sir!

VIII.
The Chan'ry's ivied walls,
Wi' fog o' time all hoar, Sir, —
Where pilgrims came to weep,
To worship and adore, Sir:
The sanctities o' time,
Their mantle o'er her threw, Sir,
And precious was her dust,
When this auld coat was new, Sir!

IX.
Even her some Elgin Goth,
Most impiously did wish, Sir,
T' improve into a shed,
For fish-wives to sell their fish,[3] Sir.
He moans their moggan'd legs,
Frost-bitten black and blue, Sir, —
They hadna legs ava,
When this auld coat was new, Sir!

X.
My bonnie Lady-Hill,
Fu' vaunty be thy looks, Ma'am,
Thy name is linked wi' his, —
The last o' Moray's Dukes, Ma'am.
Green was thy gowan'd sward,
Where paper-dragons flew, Ma'am,
And litted eggs were row'd,
When this auld coat was new, Ma'am!

XI.
Wild were the Lossie's banks,
An' free the Gallow-green, Sir,
Where many a game at chow
In former days was seen, Sir.
Tam Speirs, my brither, — Tam,
What are they noo, — say you, Sir?
"Trim as my Nanny's mutch!"
Since this auld coat was new, Sir!

XII.
The Shambles, too, must feel
Reform's relentless sheers, Sir, —
That storehouse o' the stink
O' some twa hunder years, Sir: —
In your Museum place
That smell, that folks may view, Sirs,
What Elgin noses were,
When this auld coat was new, Sirs!

XIII.
That antiquated thing,
The Jail, is going too, Sir, —
It seems it canna haud
The rogues that flourish noo, Sir:
'Twas empty in the days
O' honest men, an' true, Sir,
But Elgin's much reformed
Since this auld coat was new, Sir!

XIV.
Now, Shirra Innes, Sir! —
(There's Moray blood in thee, Sir,) —
If you're a Jail Commissioner,
And such I trow you be, Sir, —
Step forth and save that Jail,
That future times may view, Sir,
What Elgin biggins were,
When this auld coat was new, Sir!

Chorus —
Elgin was a toon,
A toon to live and dee in;
But noo it is a hole
Which few would care to be in.

[1]. The Muckle Cross Lion is now in what used to be called Captain G. Duff's garden! How came it there? — The Little Cross Lion is likely to be soon blown up by gas. Bailie Scott! — prevent this!

[2]. See the Great Ainslie—Top—Grigor—Kirk—Gas Controversy in the Elgin Courant.

[3]. See the Great Fish-Wife Controversy in the Elgin Courant, — an awful waste of paper and silly sympathy.

Appendix X

Song — "When This Auld Coat Was New."

In 1840, Laureate Hay favoured the Society with this beautiful song — the last we possess at his most friendly hand. The changes so much reprobated in this happy production, have been rapidly progressing since. A war of extermination appears to have been waged with everything bearing the impress of antiquity. The "Bow yetts" and "Fore stairs" of the last century have been almost annihilated. Even the "Order Pot" has been excambed, and, under the Drainage Act, will speedily neither have a local habitation nor a name, — and we deeply lament, in common with Mr. Hay, who, it will have been seen, is no Reformer, that destructive spirit which has dealt so severely with old Elgin, her biggins, and her possessions.

But, although these better times have passed from our gaze, we are still rich indeed, in those happy reminiscences, in imperishable song, with which these Tuneful Monarchs, our Laureates, one and all, have honoured us.

We cannot, however, bring ourselves to think that the musical stream of their patriotism has failed; — and Moray, sweet Moray, calls back their souls to her Bards, — bidding them to arise from their slumber, to awake the voice of the string, and to pour forth in song her manifold, yet unchaunted claims on our deepest and fondest affection.

"Let Harp on Harp, in one seraphic lay,
To Moray's glory their one homage pay!"


The Bachelors Of Elgin

Tune — The Roast Beef of Old England.

I.
Oh! the wisest of men ne'er had told the decree,
"That life is vexation and all vanitee,"
Had he ever known mortals so happy as we, —
The jolly old Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

II.
Had he learned to avoid the grand cause of all strife,
And instead of five hundred, had ne'er had a wife,
He had felt such a thing as some pleasure in life,
Like the jolly old Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

III.
Our's, the roses of life, without e'er a thorn
To rankle our peace both at e'en and at morn;
And sweet are the flowers that perfume and adorn
The path of the Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

IV.
No termagant tongue, so loud and so glib,
Dares rattle around us, or scold us, or snib;
And our bones are complete, — an additional rib
Would annoy the Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

V.
Like the winds of the heavens, like the waves of the sea,
Like the sun-beam that flickers on tower and on tree,
We are happy — because — like them we are free, —
The free-living Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

VI.
We could weep when we think on the woes that befall
The poor, married serf, — the bondsman, — the thrall, —
A burden which never shall fetter or gall
The necks of the Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

VII.
Ask for living examples of bliss? then behold
Maryhill, a good fellow that never grows old; —
The elixir of life, and the stone that makes gold
Has this hearty, old Bachelor of Elgin —
This unmarried man of the North.

VIII.
Our brave, gallant Captain, stand up and declare
How oft you've withstood the assaults of the fair;
All their sighs and their eyes could never ensnare
The heart of this Bachelor of Elgin —
This unmarried man of the North.

IX.
Captain Anderson! yes, we have trembled for you,
When so many besieged you, so many did woo,
Yet still to our creed you are constant and true,
Thou King of the Bachelors of Elgin —
Thou unmarried man of the North.

X.
Ask for light on the subject; behold Mr. Jack,
Whom the fair have bombarded until they looked black;
For their sighings and dyings he cares not a plack, —
This worthy, good Bachelor of Elgin —
This unmarried man of the North.

XI.
There's Boghead, — a rich sample of Bachelor grain,
Who has reaped as he sowed, and has sowed not in vain;
Psha! the sex are a stock which he eyes with disdain, —
This jovial Bachelor of Elgin —
This unmarried man of the North.
XII.
Drumbain! Oh! Drumbain!! many beauties despond
Since thou art so cruel, and they are so fond —
Yes! bid them begone to the back of beyond,
Thou glorious Bachelor of Elgin —
Thou unmarried man of the North.

XIII.
Our
Findrassie loves all the daughters of man
Too much as a whole, e'er to buckle with one;
And his life he will end as his life he began, —
The merriest Bachelor of Elgin —
The unmarried man of the North.

XIV.
Dare slander our creed e'er impugn or besmirch,
When possessed by an orthodox son of the Church; —
Thou Drainie wilt ne'er leave thy friends in the lurch, —
High Priest of the Bachelors of Elgin —
Thou unmarried man of the North.

XV.
Few wooers with thee Mr. Forbes might cope,
If thy Church would permit the poor ladies to hope; —
Ever bless'd, ever prais'd, ever lauded the Pope,
That thou art a Bachelor in Elgin —
An unmarried man of the North!

XVI.
Mr. Duff, and Newmill, and Pitgaveny, beware
Of each smile, of each look, of each word of the fair;
They speak, and they look, and they smile to ensnare
The hearts of the Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

XVII.
Could your hearts e'er be changed, there are here laughing eyes,
Whose lightning might dazzle the minds of the wise,
And whose charms might, alas! convince and advise
The sturdiest Bachelors in Elgin,
To become married men of the North.

XVIII.
But our wills are resolved, as the Councils of Fate,
That no Jessie, or Jeanie, or Judy, or Kate,
Though great the temptation, shall alter the state
Of the jolly old Bachelors of Elgin —
The unmarried men of the North.

THE END.