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A DESCRIPTIVE POEM,
WITH LIFE OF THE AUTHOR
BY JOHN LEYDEN, M.D.
LONDON AND EDINBURGH: A. FULLARTON AND CO.
THE following poem has been selected, partly for convenience, partly because somewhat connected with those preceding it, but chiefly as the only one of the kind which Scotland has yet produced, and entitled therefore to be inserted in a collection of contemporary national poetry.
The amiable author has in Dr. Leyden found a biographer and editor competent to render all justice to his work and reputation. The text is that of the edition of 1803, with the alteration only of the orthography of a few proper names. A number of notes have been added, chiefly to illustrate localities and historical allusions. These a few from the New Statistical Account of Scotland excepted-have been taken from the Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland. They are distinguished from those of Dr. Leyden by being enclosed within crotchets.
Some of the latter (appended in the previous edition at the end of the volume) have, for the convenience of the reader, been inserted as foot-notes at the respective pages. In a few instances they have been substituted by more appropriate extracts from Sir Walter Scott or other recent writers. One or two, as not quite suited to the character of the present publication, have been omitted.
Clyde formed only one of a collection of poems in the volume edited by Leyden in 1803. His preface to that edition, herewith annexed, will shew his design in these annotations. It will not be matter of surprise, therefore, that some of them, however interesting to the curious antiquarian, should fail to be adapted to the tastes of the general reader.
PREFACE BY DR. LEYDEN.
THE poems collected in this volume are chiefly of the descriptive kind, a species of composition in which Scottish writers very early attained a high reputation. As there was little danger of producing confusion, the compositions have been arranged rather according to their length, than according to the age of their authors, or the periods of their original publication. The notes which accompany the poems, are chiefly intended to illustrate localities and obscure allusions. They are not, however, confined solely to this purpose: for in this volume, the editor proposed to himself a twofold object : to rescue from oblivion some inedited or scarce poems, which merited a better fate; and to illustrate some facts of Scottish literary history, which were either obscure, or had escaped general notice. To the latter object attention has been constantly paid, not only in the notes, but in the preliminary observations prefixed to the different poems. The editor dismisses this little volume from his hands with mingled pleasure and regret pleasure, from the recollection of several agreeable hours