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SCOTTISH POEMS:

ANCIENT AND MODERN.

WITH MEMOIRS OF THE AUTHORS
By J. ROSS.

'O deem not, 'midst this worldly strife,
An idle art the Poet brings:
Let high Philosophy control
And sages calm the stream of life,
'Tis he refines its fountain-springs,
The nobler passions of the soul."

Campbell.

EDINBURGH:

THE EDINBURGH PUBLISHING COMPANY.

LONDON : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO.

1878.

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Edinburgh:

Printed By The Commercial Printing Company,

33 Howe Street.

PREFACE.

Having prefaced the subject by an Historical Introduction, the Editor has here simply to indicate some of the principles to which he has adhered, and the considerations by which he has been influenced in the practical carrying out of the prospectus in which this exposition of the Poetry of Scotland was announced.

To exhibit Scottish poetry as an exponent of the breadth and depth of the national character, was laid down as the leading aim of the work. But while holding that its influence as a purifying, consolidating, and consecrating element is the main use of national poetry, and that this consideration, from a general and popular point of view, should govern his treatment of it, the Editor has not been indifferent to its linguistic bearings.

In the selection of poems and specimens, simplicity, adherence to nature, and the predominance of character, are features to which due deference has been paid; but no rigid rule, dispensing with the constant exercise of the judgment, was adopted. Poetical merit has been the leading consideration, but the space given to each author is not to be taken as our estimate of their relative merits, for in the cases of Burns, Scott, and Campbell, their unmutilated popularity is our reason for giving them a merely formal recognition.

In the Ancient Section, when not marked unaltered, the spelling of all words that could only be pronounced as they are at present, has been modernized, as thai, they; bute, boot; and the use of v for u and u for v, as in vpon and euery, has been abolished as misleading.

EDINBURGH!

PRINTED BY THE COMMERCIAL PRINTING COMPANY,

32 HOWE STREET.

PREFACE.

Having prefaced the subject by an Historical Introduction, the Editor has here simply to indicate some of the principles to which he has adhered, and the considerations by which he has been influenced in the practical carrying out of the prospectus in which this exposition of the Poetry of Scotland was announced.

To exhibit Scottish poetry as an exponent of the breadth and depth of the national character, was laid down as the leading aim of the work. But while holding that its influence as a purifying, consolidating, and consecrating element is the main use of national poetry, and that this consideration, from a general and popular point of view, should govern his treatment of it, the Editor has not been indifferent to its linguistic bearings.

In the selection of poems and specimens, simplicity, adherence to nature, and the predominance of character, are features to which due deference has been paid; but no rigid rule, dispensing with the constant exercise of the judgment, was adopted. Poetical merit has been the leading consideration, but the space given to each author is not to be taken as our estimate of their relative merits, for in the cases of Burns, Scott, and Campbell, their unmutilated popularity is our reason for giving them a merely formal recognition.

In the Ancient Section, when not marked unaltered, the spelling of all words that could only be pronounced as they are at present, has been modernized, as thai, they; bute, boot; and the use of v for u and u for v, as in vpon and euery, has been abolished as misleading.

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