Fugitive Verses. By Joanna Baillie, author of “Dramas on the Passions,“ etc. London: Edward Moxon, Dover Street. MDCCCXL., 1840.

  • TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.

    THIS BOOK IS GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR.

  • FUGITIVE VERSES.

    BY

    JOANNA BAILLIE,

    AUTHOR OF "DRAMAS ON THE PASSIONS," ETC.

    LONDON: EDWARD MOXON, DOVER STREET. MDCCCXL

  • LONDON: PRINTED BY STEWART AND MURRAY, OLD BAILEY.

  • PREFACE.

    ~~~~~~~

    I BELIEVE myself warranted in calling the contents of the following pages "Fugitive Verses," for by far the greatest portion has been in some way or other already before the public, though so scattered among various publications and collections, that it would be very difficult now for any one but myself to bring them together. Many of the Songs are to be found in Mr. George Thomson's Collection of Irish, Welch, and Scotch, Melodies, and other musical works, both selected and original; the Ballads, too, and many of the other occasional pieces, are dispersed in the same way. But it would be great vanity in me to suppose that any individual would take the trouble of drawing them from their different lurking-places for his own private reading. [Page vi]This book then, does not hold out the allurement of novelty. As among an assembly of strangers, however, we sometimes look with more good will upon a few recognized faces that had been nearly lost or forgotten, though never much valued at any time, than upon those whom we have never before beheld; so I venture to hope, that upon the simple plea of old acquaintances, they may be received with some degree of favour. Be this as it may, I am unwilling to quit the world and leave them behind me in their unconnected state, or to leave the trouble of collecting and correcting them to another — the Songs written in the Scotch dialect making it somewhat more difficult.

    The occasional pieces for the first time offered to the public, have another disadvantage to contend with. Modern Poetry, within these last thirty years, has become so imaginative, impassioned, and sentimental, that more homely subjects, in simple diction, are held in comparatively small estimation. This, however, is a natural progress of the art, and the obstacles it may cast in the way of a less gifted, or less aspiring genius, must be submitted to with a good grace. Nay, they may even sometimes be read with more relish from their very want of the more elevated[Page vii] flights of fancy, from our natural love of relaxation after having had our minds kept on the stretch, by following, or endeavouring to follow more sublime and obscure conceptions. He who has been coursing through the air in a balloon, or ploughing the boundless ocean in the bark of some dauntless discoverer, or careering over the field on a warhorse, may be very well pleased after all to seat himself on a bench by his neighbour's door, and look at the meadows around him, or country people passing along the common from their daily work. Let me then be encouraged to suppose that something of this nature may, with the courteous reader, operate in my behalf.

    The early poems that stand first in the arrangement of this book, I now mention last. They are taken from a small volume, published by me anonymously many years ago, but not noticed by the public, or circulated in any considerable degree. Indeed, in the course of after years it became almost forgotten by myself, and the feelings of my mind in a good measure coincided with the neglect it had met with. A review, of those days, had spoken of it encouragingly, and the chief commendation bestowed was, that it contained true unsophisticated representations of nature. This[Page viii] cheered me at the time, and then gradually faded from my thoughts. But not very long since, when I learnt from different quarters, that some of the pieces from this little neglected book had found their way into collections of extracts made by those whose approbation implied some portion of real merit,* The first of those intimations was that the little piece on "A Mother to her Infant," was transcribed by Mrs. Barbauld, and had found a place in her book of extracts. An elegant and distinguished poet herself, to whom the world is so much indebted for admirable productions, both verse and prose — could there be a more encouraging circumstance? my little volume returned again to my own thoughts, and disposed me — on a warmly expressed opinion in its favour by a poet, who, from his own refined genius, classical elegance, and high estimation with the public, is well qualified to judge — no longer to resist a latent inclination to add some of its verses to the present publication. I was the more encouraged to yield to the influence of this friend, from having formerly received unwittingly from his critical pen, very great and useful service — service that, at the beginning of my dramatical attempts, enabled me to make better head against criticism of a different character. This being decided, the difficulty was as to what pieces I ought to select; for I had a much clearer idea of those to be rejected than of those[Page ix] that deserved to be chosen. I hope the reader will not think with much chagrin or impatience, that admittance has been too easily granted. Those which regard the moods and passions of the human mind, and shew any kindred to the works that with more success followed after, have, with a few exceptions, for this reason been preserved. When these poems were written, the author was young in years, and still younger in literary knowledge. Of all our eminent poets of modern times, not one was then known. Mr. Hayley and Miss Seaward, and a few other cultivated poetical writers, were the poets spoken of in literary circles. Burns, read and appreciated as he deserved by his own countrymen, was known to few readers south of the Tweed, where I then resided. A poet (if I dare so style myself) of a simpler and more homely character, was either, among such contemporaries, placed in a favourable or unfavourable position, as the taste and fashion of the day might direct; and I have, perhaps, no great reason to regret that my vanity was not stirred up at that time to more active exertions. Permit me to add, that in preparing them for this collection, they have undergone very little more than verbal corrections, with the expunging or alteration of a line here and there, and have never (but on one[Page x] occasion noticed in a short note,) received the addition of new thoughts. Some Scotch expressions, as might naturally be expected, interfered with clearness of meaning and harmony of sound to an English reader, and some of those I have changed; but I have not been willing, unless when it appeared necessary, entirely to remove this national mark; and I believe those whom I am most ambitious to please, will not like my early verses the worse for this defect, though the difference of pronunciation in the two countries not unfrequently injures the rhyme.

    Having said all that I dare to procure a lenient reception to the following pages, which contain nearly all the occasional lines, written under various circumstances and impressions, of a long life, I have nothing more to urge, as I will not, from feelings that may easily be imagined, make any remarks on the latter part of the volume, appropriated to devotional and sacred subjects. To avoid any imputation of forwardness or presumption, however, I think it right to mention that those Hymns marked "For the Kirk," were written at the request of an eminent member of the Scotch Church, at a time when it was in contemplation, to compile by authority a new collection of[Page xi] hymns and sacred poetry for the general use of parochial congregations. It would have gratified me extremely to have been of the smallest service to the venerable church of my native land, which the conscientious zeal of the great majority of an intelligent and virtuous nation had founded; which their unconquerable courage, endurance of persecution, and unwearied perseverance, had reared into a church as effective for private virtue and ecclesiastical government, as any protestant establishment in Europe. I was proud to be so occupied; my heart and my duty went along with it; but the General Assembly when afterwards applied to, refused their sanction to any new compilation, and what I had written, and many sacred verses from far better poets, proved abortive. That clergymen, who had been accustomed from their youth to hear the noble Psalms of David sung by the mingled voices of a large congregation swelling often to a sublime volume of sound, elevating the mind and quickening the feelings beyond all studied excitements of art, should regard any additions or changes as presumptuous, is a circumstance at which we ought not to be surprised.

    I will no longer trouble the reader with pre-[Page xii]liminary matters. I hope the book itself will be read with a disposition to be pleased, and that even in the absence of superior merit, the variety of its subjects alone will afford some amusement.

  • CONTENTS.

    ~~~~~~~

    • A Winter's Day 1
    • A Summer's Day 17
    • Night Scenes of other Times 31
    • Address to the Muses 53
    • A Melancholy Lover's Farewell to his Mistress 62
    • A Cheerful-tempered Lover's Farewell to his Mistress 65
    • A Proud Lover's Farewell to his Mistress 68
    • A Poetical or Sound-hearted Lover's Farewell to his Mistress 71
    • A Reverie 74
    • A Disappointment 79
    • A Lamentation 84
    • A Mother to her Waking Infant 89
    • A Child to his Sick Grandfather 92
    • Thunder 95
    • The Horse and his Rider 100
    • Fragment of a Poem 102
    [Page xiv]
    MISCELLANEOUS POETRY: —
    • Lines on the Death of Sir Walter Scott 120
    • Epilogue to the Theatrical Representation at Strawberry Hill 128
    • The Banished Man 131
    • To a Child 135
    • Song, (to the Scotch Air of "My Nanny O.") 138
    • London 140
    • Lines on the Death of William Sotheby, Esq. 143
    • Verses to our own Flowery Kirtled Spring 147
    • Lines to a Parrot 153
    • Lines to a Teapot 161
    • The Moody Seer. A Ballad 168
    • The Merry Bachelor 184
    • Two Songs 187
    • Song, written for the Strawberry Hill Foundling Play 189
    • To Sophia J. Baillie, an Infant 191
    • Verses added to the foregoing, by the Baby's Paternal Grandmother 193
    • The Kitten 194
    • School Rhymes for Negro Children 201
    • Rhymes 203
    • Rhymes for Chanting 204
    • Devotional Song for a Negro Child 205
    • Second Devotional Song 206
    • Third Devotional Song 207
    • A Nursery Lesson (Devotional) 208
    • Second Nursery Lesson (Admonitory) 209
    • Hymn 211
    • Two Brothers 215
    • Lines to Agnes Baillie on her Birthday 219
    • Verses sent to Mrs. Baillie on her Birthday, 1813 226
    [Page xv]
    MISCELLANEOUS POETRY — Continued:
    • Verses written in February, 1827 230
    • The Traveller by Night in November 233
    • Lines for a Friend's Album 246
    • Address to a Steam Vessel 248
    • The Elden Tree. A Ballad 255
    • Song. Woo'd and Married and a' 267
    • A Song 271
    • Fy, let us a' to the Wedding 275
    • Hooly and Fairly 281
    • Lord John of the East. A Ballad 284
    • Malcolm's Heir. A Tale of Wonder 294
    • Song, called the Country Lady's Reveillie 309
    • Volunteer's Song, written in 1803 311
    • Song, written for an Irish Air 314
    • Song, for an Irish Air 316
    • A Scotch Song 318
    • Song, Poverty parts Good Company 321
    • Song, for a Scotch Air 324
    • A Sailor's Song 326
    • Song, A New Version of an Old Scotch Song 328
    • Sir Maurice. A Ballad 331
    • To Mrs. Siddons 350
    • A Song, written for an Irish Melody 354
    • Song, for an Irish Melody 356
    • Song 358
    • Song 360
    • The Black Cock 362
    • Song 364
    • Song 365
    • Song, written for a Welch Melody 367
    • Song 369
    [Page xvi]
    VERSES ON SACRED SUBJECTS: —
    • Hymn 373
    • Hymn 375
    • Hymn 378
    • Hymn 381
    • Hymn 383
    • Hymn for the Scotch Kirk 386
    • A Second Hymn for the Kirk 387
    • A Third Hymn for the Kirk 388
    • St. Matthew, v. 9 390
    • St. Luke, xviii. 16 392
    • St. John, xxi. 1 394
    • St. Luke, vii. 12 396
    • Job, xiii. 15 398
    • Hymn 400
    • A Hymn for the Kirk 402
    • A Hymn 404
    • Select Verses from the 147th Psalm 406
    • Thoughts taken from the 93rd Psalm 407
  • POEMS.

    [Page [17]][Page [31]][Page 53][Page 62][Page 65][Page 68][Page 71][Page 74][Page 79][Page 84][Page 89][Page 92][Page 95][Page 100][Page 102]
  • A WINTER'S DAY.
  • A SUMMER'S DAY.
  • NIGHT SCENES OF OTHER TIMES. A Poem, in Three Parts.
  • ADDRESS TO THE MUSES.
  • A MELANCHOLY LOVER'S FAREWELL TO HIS MISTRESS.
  • A CHEERFUL-TEMPERED LOVER'S FAREWELL TO HIS MISTRESS.
  • A PROUD LOVER'S FAREWELL TO HIS MISTRESS.
  • A POETICAL OR SOUND-HEARTED LOVER'S FAREWELL TO HIS MISTRESS.
  • A REVERIE.
  • A DISAPPOINTMENT.
  • A LAMENTATION.
  • A MOTHER TO HER WAKING INFANT.
  • A CHILD TO HIS SICK GRANDFATHER.
  • THUNDER.
  • THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER.
  • FRAGMENT OF A POEM.
  • MISCELLANEOUS POETRY WRITTEN SINCE THE YEAR 1790.

    [Page [118]][Page [119]][Page 128][Page 131][Page 135][Page 138][Page 140][Page 143][Page 147][Page 153][Page 161][Page 168][Page 184][Page 187][Page 189][Page 191][Page 194][Page 201][Page 203][Page 204][Page 205][Page 208][Page 211][Page 215][Page 219][Page 226][Page 230][Page 233][Page 246][Page 248][Page 255][Page 267][Page 271][Page 275][Page 281][Page 284][Page 294][Page 309][Page 311][Page 314][Page 316][Page 318][Page 321][Page 324][Page 326][Page 328][Page 331][Page 350][Page 354][Page 356][Page 358][Page 360][Page 362][Page 364][Page 365][Page 367][Page 369]
  • LINES ON THE DEATH OF SIR WALTER SCOTT.
  • EPILOGUE TO THE THEATRICAL REPRESENTATION AT STRAWBERRY HILL, WRITTEN BY JOANNA BAILLIE AND SPOKEN BY THE HON. ANNE S. DAMER, NOVEMBER, 1800.
  • THE BANISHED MAN, ON A DISTANT VIEW OF HIS COUNTRY, WHICH HE IS QUITTING FOR EVER.
  • TO A CHILD.
  • SONG. (TO THE SCOTCH AIR OF “MY NANNY O.”)
  • LONDON.
  • LINES ON THE DEATH OF WILLIAM SOTHEBY, ESQ.
  • VERSES TO OUR OWN FLOWERY KIRTLED SPRING.
  • LINES TO A PARROT.
  • LINES TO A TEAPOT.
  • THE MOODY SEER, A BALLAD.
  • THE MERRY BACHELOR, (FOUNDED ON THE OLD SCOTCH SONG OF “WILLIE WAS A WANTON WAG.”)
  • TWO SONGS.
  • SONG WRITTEN FOR THE STRAWBERRY HILL FOUNDLING PLAY, AND SUNG BY MRS. JOURDAIN.
  • TO SOPHIA J. BAILLIE, AN INFANT.
  • THE KITTEN.
  • SCHOOL RHYMES FOR NEGRO CHILDREN.
  • RHYMES.
  • RHYMES FOR CHANTING.
  • DEVOTIONAL SONG FOR A NEGRO CHILD.
  • SECOND DEVOTIONAL SONG.
  • THIRD DEVOTIONAL SONG.
  • A NURSERY LESSON (DEVOTIONAL).
  • SECOND NURSERY LESSON (ADMONITORY).
  • HYMN.
  • TWO BROTHERS.
  • LINES TO AGNES BAILLIE ON HER BIRTHDAY.
  • VERSES SENT TO MRS. BAILLIE ON HER BIRTHDAY, 1813.
  • VERSES WRITTEN IN FEBRUARY, 1827.
  • THE TRAVELLER BY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER.
  • LINES FOR A FRIEND'S ALBUM.
  • ADDRESS TO A STEAM VESSEL.
  • THE ELDEN TREE. A BALLAD.
  • SONG, WOO'D AND MARRIED AND A',
  • A SONG, (WRITTEN FOR MR. STRUTHER'S COLLECTION OF SONGS.)
  • FY, LET US A' TO THE WEDDING. (AN AULD SANG NEW BUSKIT.)
  • HOOLY AND FAIRLY. (FOUNDED ON AIN OLD SCOTCH SONG.)
  • LORD JOHN OF THE EAST, A Ballad.
  • MALCOLM'S HEIR. A TALE OF WONDER.
  • SONG, CALLED THE COUNTRY LADY'S REVEILLIE.
  • VOLUNTEER'S SONG, WRITTEN IN 1803.
  • SONG, WRITTEN FOR AN IRISH AIR.
  • SONG, FOR AN IRISH AIR.
  • A SCOTCH SONG.
  • SONG, POVERTY PARTS GOOD COMPANY,
  • SONG, (FOR A SCOTCH AIR.)
  • A SAILOR'S SONG
  • SONG, A NEW VERSION OF AN OLD SCOTCH SONG.
  • SIR MAURICE. A Ballad.
  • TO MRS. SIDDONS.
  • A SONG, WRITTEN FOR AN IRISH MELODY.
  • SONG, FOR AN IRISH MELODY.
  • SONG.
  • SONG, WRITTEN AT MR. THOMSON'S REQUEST, AS A KIND OF INTRODUCTION TO HIS IRISH MELODIES.
  • THE BLACK COCK, WRITTEN FOR A WELCH AIR, CALLED “THE NOTE OF THE BLACK COCK.”
  • SONG, WRITTEN FOR A WELCH AIR, CALLED “THE PURSUIT OF LOVE.”
  • SONG, WRITTEN FOR A WELCH AIR, CALLED “THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT.”
  • SONG, WRITTEN FOR A WELCH MELODY.
  • SONG.
  • VERSES ON SACRED SUBJECTS.

    [Page [372]][Page 373][Page 375][Page 378][Page 381][Page 383][Page 386][Page 387][Page 388][Page 390][Page 392][Page 394][Page 396][Page 398][Page 400][Page 402][Page 404][Page 406][Page 407]
  • HYMN.
  • HYMN.
  • HYMN.
  • HYMN.
  • HYMN.
  • HYMN FOR THE SCOTCH KIRK.
  • A SECOND HYMN FOR THE KIRK.
  • A THIRD HYMN FOR THE KIRK.
  • ST. MATTHEW V. 9.
  • ST. LUKE XVIII. 16.
  • ST. JOHN XXI. 1.
  • ST. LUKE VII. 12.
  • JOB XIII. 15.
  • HYMN.
  • A HYMN FOR THE KIRK.
  • A HYMN.
  • SELECT VERSES FROM THE 147TH PSALM.
  • THOUGHTS TAKEN FROM THE 93RD PSALM.
  • LONDON: PRINTED BY STEWART AND MURRAY, OLD BAILEY.