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Quoth Sir Ralph, "It will be lighter soon,
"For there is the dawn of the rising moon."

"Can'st hear," said one," the breakers roar?
"For yonder, methinks, should be the shore;
"Now where we are I cannot tell,

"But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.”

They hear no sound, the swell is strong;
Tho' the wind had fallen, they drift along,
Till the vessel strikes with a shiv'ring shock-
Oh, Heavens! it is the Inchcape Rock.

Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair,
He cursed himself in his despair;
The waves rush in on every side,
The vessel sinks beneath the tide.


Some account of Alexander Wilson, author of the exquisite and humorous Ballad of "Watty and Meg,” with that Poem subjoined. From "Cromek's Scottish Songs."

THE reader is here presented with an exquisite picture from low life, drawn with all the fidelity and exactness of Teniers, or Ostade, and enlivened with the humour of Hogarth. The story excites as much interest as if it had been written in a dramatic form, and really represented. The interest heightens as it proceeds, and is supported with wonderful spirit to the close of the poem.

It must have been in no small degree gratifying to the feelings of the author, who published itanonymously, that during a rapid sale of seven or eight editions, the public universally ascribed it to the pen of Burns. The author of Will and Jean,' or 'Scotland's Scaith,' had the candour to acknowledge to the Editor that he was indebted to this exquisite poem for the foundation of that popular performance.

The following sketch of the life of the author of this striking performance, has been communicated in the most obliging manner, by Mr. James Brown, manufacturer, at Paisley :

Alexander Wilson, author of Watty and Meg, was born at Paisley, in the year 1766. His father, intending him for the medical profession, gave him as good an education as his trade of a weaver would allow. He, however, entered into a second marriage, which put an end to this scheme, unfortunately for young

Wilson, who at the age of thirteen was put to the loom. After an apprenticeship of five years, he became his own master; but his eager passion for reading poetry and novels, absorbed most of his time, and left him in a state of constant need. In the year 1786 he gave up his occupation, and travelled the country. In 1790 he settled again in Paisley, and published a volume of poems and a journal of his excursions, which meeting with poor success, involved him further in pecuniary difficulties. He again returned to the loom; but his favourite literary pursuits still engrossed his attention, and the society of the young and thoughtless of his own age consumed his time and exhausted his means of support,

Soon after the publication of his poems he became the dupe of a worthless fellow, who had been vainly endeavouring to sell them, and who persuaded him to write a satire, with a view to relieve himself from his embarrassments. The poem being of a popular subject, sold rapidly; but his friend's advice led him beyond the safe bounds of satire, and he incurred a prosecution, by which he suffered severely. The remembrance of this misfortunę dwelt upon his mind, and rendered him dissatisfied with his country.

Another cause of Wilson's dejection was the rising fame of Burns, and the indifference of the public to his own productions. He may be said to have envied the Ayrshire bard, and to this envy may be attributed his best production, "Watty and Meg," which he wrote at Edinburg, in 1793. He sent it to Nielson, printer, at Paisley, who had suffered by the publication of his former poems. As it was, by the advice of his friends, published anonymously, it was generally ascribed to Burns, and went rapidly through seven or eight editions. Wilson, however, shared no part of the profits, willing to compensate for the former losses his publisher had sustained,

Tired of a country in which the efforts of his genius had been rendered abortive, he resolved in the year 1794 or 1795 to embark for America, which his warm fancy and independent spirit. had taught him to regard as the land of liberty. To procure money for the passage he laboured with incessant industry, and haying accumulated a sufficient sum, he took his departure. He settled in the state of Pennsylvania, where he remained four or five years as a teacher, and was afterwards employed for about the same length of time as a land surveyor. He then became connected with Mr. Samuel F. Bradford, bookseller and stationer, of Philadelphia, in the capacity of editor. He is now engaged in an extensive work entitled, " American Ornithology." In pursuit of subjects for this performance he has actually traversed a great part of the United States, and has been enabled to pursue his

favourite diversion of shooting. He kills the birds, draws thei figures, and describes them.


Keen the frosty winds war blawin',

Deep the snaw had wreath'd the ploughs,

Watty, weary'd a' day sawin',

Daunert down to Mungo Blue's.
Dryster Jock was sitting cracky,
Wi' Pate Tamson o' the Hill,
"Come awa'," quo' Johnny, "Watty!
"Haith! we'se ha'e another gill.”
Watty, glad to see Jock Jabos,

And sae mony nei'bours roun',
Kicket frae his shoon the sna' ba's,
Syne ayont the fire sat down.
Owre a boord, wi' bannocks heapet,
Cheese, an' stoups, an' glasses stood;

Some war roarin', ithers sleepit,
Ithers quietly chewt their cude.
Jock was sellin' Pate some tallow,
A' the rest a racket hel',
A' but Watty, wha, poor fallow,
Sat and smoket by himsel'.
Mungo fill'd him up a toothfu',

Drank his health and Meg's in ane;

Watty, pullin' out a mouthfu',

Pledg'd him wi' a dreary grane.

"What's the matter, Watty, wi' you?
"Trouth your chafts are fa'ing in!
"Something's wrang-I'm vext too see you,.
"Gudesake. but ye're desp'rate thin!"
"Aye," quo' Watty," things are alter'd,
"But it's past redemption now,
"O! I wish I had been halter'd
"When I marry'd Maggy Howe!
"I've been poor, and vext, and raggy,
"Try'd wi' troubles no that sma';
"Them I bore-but marrying Maggy
"Laid the cape-stane o' thema'.

"Night and day she's ever yelpin',
"Wi' the weans she ne'er can gree;
"Whan she's tir'd wi' perfect skelpin',
"Then she flees like fire on me.

Sawing Timber.

"See ye, Mungo! when she'll clash on "Wi' her everlasting clack, "Whiles I've had my nieve, in passion, "Liftet up to break her back!" 'O! for gudesake, keep frae cuffets!" Mungo shook his head and said, 'Weei I ken what sort o' life it's; 'Ken ye, Watty, how I did? 'After Bess and I war kippl'd, 'Soon she grew like ony bear, Brak' my shins, and, when I tippl'd, Harl'd out my very hair! For a wee I quietly knuckl'd,

'But whan naething wad prevail, 'Up my claes and cash I buckl'd, Bess! for ever fare ye weel. 'Then her din grew less and less ay, Haith I gart her change her tune: Now a better wife than Bessy 'Never step in leather shoon.

Try this, Watty.-Whan ye see her
'Ragin' like a roarin' flood,

'Swear that moment that ye'll lea' her
'That's the way to keep her gude.'
Laughing, sangs, and lasses' skirls,
Echo'd now out thro' the roof,
DONE! quo' Pate, and syne his arls
Nail'd the Dryster's wauket loof.
I' the thrang o' stories telling,

Shaking han's, and joking queer,
Swith! a chap comes on the hallan,
"Mungo! is our Watty here?"
Maggy's weel-kent tongue and hurry,
Dartet thro' him like a knife,
Up the door flew-like a fury,
In came Watty's scaulin' wife.
"Nesty, gude-for-naething being!
"O ye snuffy drucken sow!
"Bringin' wife an' weans to ruin,
"Drinkin' here wi' sic a crew?
"Devil nor your legs war broken!
"Sic a life nae flesh endures-
"Toilin' like a slave, to sloken

"You, ye dyvor, and your 'hores!

"Rise! ye drucken beast o' Bethel !

"Drink's your night and day's desire;

"Rise, this precious hour! or faith I'll
"Fling your wisky i' the fire!"
Watty heard her tongue unhallow'd
Pay'd his groat wi' little din,
Left the house, while Maggy fallow'd,
Flyting a' the road behin'.

Fowk frae every door cam' lampin',
Maggy curst them ane and a',
Clappit wi' her han's and stampin',
Lost her bauchels i' the sna.'

Hame, at length, she turn'd the gavel,
Wi' a face as white's a clout,
Ragin' like a very devil,

Kicken stools and chairs about.

"Ye'll sit wi' your limmers round you!
"Hang you, Sir! I'll be your death!
"Little hauds my han's confound you!
"But I cleave you to the teeth."
Watty, wha midst this oration
Ey'd her whiles, but durstna speak,
Sat like patient Resignation
Tremb'ling by the ingle cheek.
Sad his wee drap brose he sippet,
Maggy's tongue gaed like a bell,
Quietly to his bed he slippet,
Sighin' af'n to himsel'.

"Nane are free frae some vexation,
"Ilk ane has his ills to dree;
"But thro' a' the hale creation
"Is a mortal vext like me!"
A' night lang he rowt and gauntet,
Sleep or rest he cou❜dna tak?
Maggy, aft wi' horror hauntet,
Mum'lin' startet at his back.
Soon as e'er the morning peepet,

Up raise Watty, waefu' chiel, Kiss'd his weanies while they sleepet, Wakent Meg, and saught fareweel. "Farewell, Meg!-And, O! may Heav'n "Keep you ay within his care: "Watty's heart ye've lang been grievin',

"Now he'll never fash you mair.

"Happy cou'd I been beside you, "Happy baith at morn and e'en: "A' the ills did e'er betide you,

"Watty ay turn'd out your frien'.

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