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will! I admire Wordsworth, as who does not, whatever they may pretend? But for that short sentence I have a lingering ill will at him which I cannot get rid of. It is surely presumption in any man to circumscribe all human excellence within the narrow sphere of his own capacity. The Where are they?' was too bad. I have always some hopes that De Quincy was leeing, for I did not myself hear Wordsworth utter the words."
Whether Wordsworth did utter these words, or De Quincy only quizzed Hogg with them, it is a great pity that poor Hogg's mind was suffered to the last to retain the rankling supposition of it. The anecdote appeared in the Noctes; it was made the subject of much joke and remark, and must have reached Wordsworth's ears. What a thousand pities then, that, by a single line to Hogg, or in public, he did not take the sting out of it! Nobody was so soon propitiated as Hogg. To have been acknowledged as a brother-poet by Wordsworth would have filled his heart with much happiness. Immediately after his death, Wordsworth hastened to make such a recognition ; but of how little value is posthumous praise ! Hogg died on the 21st of November, and on the 30th Wordsworth sent the following lines to the Athenæum, which I quote entire, because they commemorate other departed lights of the age.
TRE ETTRICK SHEPHERD, Extempore Effusion, upon reading, in the Newcastle Journal, the notice of the death of
the poet, James Hogg
I saw the stream of Yarrow glide
The Ettrick Shepherd was my guide.
Through groves that had began to shed
My steps the Border Minstrel led.
'Mid mouldering ruins low he lies : And death upon the braes of Yarrow
Has closed the shepherd-poet's eyes.
From sign to sign his steadfast course,
Was frozen at its marvellous source.
The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in death;
Has vanished from his lonely hearth. “ Like clouds that rake the mountain summits,
Or waves that own no curbing hand,
Were earlier raised, remain to hear
• Who next will drop and disappear?' “Our haughty life is crowned with darkness,
Like London with its own black wreath,
“ As if but yesterday departed,
Should frail survivors heave a sigh !
The slaughtered youth and love-lorn maid;
And Ettrick mourns with her their Shepherd dead." These extracts throw much light on the peculiar character of Hogg's mind. Simple, candid to an astonishment, vain without an attempt to conceal it, sensitive to an extreme, with such a development of self-esteem, that no rebuffs or ridicule could daunt him, and full of talent and fancy. But to estimate the extent of all these qualities, you must read his prose as well as his poetry; and these, considering how late he began to write, and that he did not die very old, are pretty voluminous. During the greater part of his literary life, he was a very popular contributor to various magazines. Of his collected works he gives us this list.
VOL. 1 1 3 3 1 2
2 2 2 1 1 2
The Queen's Wake.
The Spy Pilgrims of the Sun
Queen Hynde The Hunting of Badlewe
The Three Perils of Man Mador of the Moor.
The Three Perils of Woman Poetic Mirror.
Confessions of a Sinner Dramatic Tales
The Shepherd's Calendar Brownie of Bodsbeck.
A Selection of Songs Winter Evening Tales
The Queer Book Sacred Melodies
The Royal Jubilee Border Garland
The Mountain Bard
The Forest Minstrel
31. It may be imagined that while the produce of his literary pen was so abundant, that of his sheep-pen would hardly bear comparison with it. That was the case. Hogg continually broke down as a shepherd and a farmer. He
“ Tended his flocks upon Parnassus hill;" his imagination was in Fairyland, his heart was in Edinburgh, and his affairs always went wrong.
To afford him a certain chance of support, the Duke of Buccleuch gave him, rent free for life, a little farm at Altrive in Yarrow, and then Hogg took a much larger farm on the opposite side of the river, which he called Mount Benger. From this, it will be recollected that he often dated his literary articles. The farm was beyond his capital, and far beyond his care. It brought him into embarrassments. To the last, however, he had Altrive Lake to retreat to; and here he lived, and wrote, and fished, and shot grouse on the moors. Let us, before visiting his haunts, take a specimen or two of his poetry, that we may have a clear idea of the man we have in view.
In all Hogg's poetry there is none which has been more popular than the Legend of Kilmeny in the Queen's Wake. It is the tradition of a beautiful cottage maiden, who disappears for a time, and returns again home, but, as it were, glorified and not of the earth. She has, for her purity, been transported to the land of spirits, and bathed in the river of immortal life,
" They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
And she walked in the light of a sunless day:
Kilmeny shall smile in eternal bloom !" But Kilmeny longs once more to revisit the earth and her kindred. at home, and
“ Late, late in a gloaming, when all was still.
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,
Kilmeny looked up with a lovely grace,
Where the rain never fell, and the wind never blew !" But on earth the spell of heaven was upon her. All loved, both man and beast, the pure and spiritual Kilmeny; but earth could not detain her.
“ When a month and a day had come and gane,
Kilmeny sought the greenwood wene;
The Legend of Kilmeny is as beautiful as anything in that department of poetry. It contains a fine moral ; that purity of heart makes an earthly creature a welcome denizen of heaven; and the tone and imagery are all fraught with a tenderness and grace that are as unearthly as the subject of the legend.
There is a short poem introduced into the Brownie of Bodsbeck, which is worthy of the noblest bard that ever wrote.
DWELLER IN HEAVEN
Fain would I know thee, yet tremble to know !
This knowledge for me is too great and too high !
To shroud me in darkness, or bathe me in light,
From the eye of Omnipotence still must I shrink !
To caves of the ocean, unseen by the day,
That still thou art present, and all are the same!
Great Spirit of Nature ! unbounded ! unknown !
Yet an universe still be rejoicing in thee!" The last poem that we will select is one which was written for an anniversary celebration of our great dramatist ; yet is distinguished by a felicity of thought and imagery that seem to have sprung spon. taneously in the soul of the shepherd-poet, as he mused on the airy brow of some Ettrick mountain.
TO THE GENIUS OF SHAKSPEARE.
Where is thy dwelling-place!
Come on thy seraph wings,
Come from thy wanderings,
Rise from thy hallowed shrine !
Hearts true to nature's call,
Here with rapt heart and tongue,
While our fond minds were young.
Now in our hall for aye
This shall be holiday,
Green grave of Elsinore,
Bosworth, or Shrewsbury,
Egypt, or Philippi;
On by the morning star,
Or lingerest in Fairyland,
'Mid lovely elves to stand,
Come thou to Caledon!
The land of the lone recess,
Mountain and wilderness,
Rose from the pregnant earth
Gems that in future day,
When ages pass away,
Forest, and greenwood tree,
Yes, thou effulgence bright,
Here must thy flame relight,
Or vanish from nature for ever and ever!" Such strains as these serve to remind us that we go to visit the native scenes of no common man. To reach Ettrick, I took the mail from Dumfries to Moffat, where I breakfasted, after a fresh ride through the woods of Annandale. With my kn sack on my back, I then ascended the vale of Moffat. It was a fine morning, and the green pastoral hills rising around, the white flocks scattered over them, the waters glittering along the valley, and women spreading out their linen to dry on the meadow grass, made the walk as fresh as the morning itself. I passed through a long wood, which stretched along the sunny side of the steep valley. The waters ran sounding on deep below; the sun filled all the sloping wood with his yellow light. There was a wonderful resemblance to the mountain woodlands of Germany. I felt as though I was once more in a Swabian or an Austrian forest. There was no wall or hedge by the way,_all was open. The wild raspberry stood in abundance, and the wild strawberries as abundantly clothed the ground under the hazel bushes. I came to a cottage and inquired, it was Craigieburn Food, -where Burns met “The lassie wi' the lintwhite locks.
But the pleasure of the walk ceased with the sixth milestone. Here it was necessary to quit Moffat and cross over into Ettrick dale. And here the huge hills of Bodsbeck, more villanous than the Brownie in his most vindictive mood, interposed. I turned otr