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WRITTEN WITH A PENCIL,
STANDING BY THE FALL OF FYERS,
Among the heathy hills and ragged woods
Those who wish to see the Fall of Fyers in its true Highland glory, should go, after two days' rain upon the uplands has swollen the stream and filled up the channel, till the banks are all but overflowing. Then, I am told by those who have seen some of the finest cascades in foreign parts as well as in Britain, that, save the falls of Terni, no other can be compared, for romantic beauty, with those of Fyers." In its medium fulness,” observes Chambers, it pours through a narrow gullet in the rock in a round unbroken stream, which gradually whitens as it descends, till it falls into a half-seen profound, upwards of two hundred feet below the point of descent. About a quarter of a mile further up the ravine, there is another cascade, usually called the Upper falla fearful gulph, down which the water descends by three leaps, and over which a mean-looking bridge has been thrown, by way of station for a sight of the cataract.” These falls are but a short distance from Inverness.
On none of the fine scenes in the lowlands did Burns pen a line, while on the beauties of the Highlands he was Auent and inspired. Ossian's own poetic land abounds with scenes worthy of the pencil of a Wilson or a Turner. The savage magnificence of the mountains, the splendour of the lakes, and the softened elegance of the romantic vales, are only equalled by the picturesque beauty of many of the isles. The landscapes of the Celtic Parnassusas some one called the land of Ossian-are yet to be painted.
M R. W. TYTLER,
WITH THE PRESENT OF THE BARD'S PICTURE.
REVERED defender of beauteous Stuart,
Of Stuart, a name once respected, A name, which to love, was the mark of a true heart,
But now 'tis despis'd and neglected.
Tho' something like moisture conglobes in my eye,
Let no one misdeem me disloyal ; A
poor friendless wand'rer may well claim a sigh, Still more, if that wand'rer were royal.
My fathers that name have rever'd on a throne ;
My fathers have fallen to right it ;
That name should he scoffingly slight it.
Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join,
The Queen, and the rest of the gentry, Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine;
Their title's avow'd by my country.
But why of this epocha make such a fuss,
But loyalty truce! we're on dangerous ground,
alter ? The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound,
To-morrow may bring us a halter.
I send you a trifle, a head of a bard,
A trifle scarce worthy your care ;
Sincere as a saint's dying prayer.
Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye,
And ushers the long dreary night; But you
like the star that athwart gilds the sky, Your course to the latest is bright.
William Tytler, to whom these lines are addressed, wrote, as the verses intimate, an elegant defence of Mary Queen of Scots, which dispersed a little the dark cloud of calumny which had hung for centuries over her head. His son is well known, in Scottish law and literature, by the title of Lord Woodehouselee; his taste in poetry was of the first order, nor was he unskilful in music: he is called by Lord Byron a voluminous writer, and placed at the head of the Scotch literati : his grandson, Patrick Fraser Tytler, is still more distinguished : his Biographies of eminent Scotsmen are full of research and new intelligence; but his chief work is his “History of Scotland,” which promises, when completed, to surpass all other works on the subject for accuracy, and equal the best of them in eloquence of narrative and true delineation of character.
In the letter enclosing these stanzas, Burns says,
My muse jilted me here, and turned a corner on me, and I have not got again into her good graces.” There was a good deal of stately jacobitism in Edinburgh in those days : and it is probable, from the tone of this address, that the “ revered defender of beauteous Stuart” was numbered among them. His father, who was from Aberdeen, inherited much of the Highland love for our old line of princes. The margins of his books bore evidence of his regard for the line of Bruce.” The feeling is not yet quite extinct. When his late Majesty left Edinburgh, and the songs in his praise had ceased, a Highland piper ventured out, and playing up “Ye're welcome, Charlie Stuart!” gathered a crowd, who soon bought up his ballads; they were cheered with the thoughts of “ Auld lang syne."