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BOAST not, great Forth, thy broad majestic tide,
Beyond the graceful modesty of Clyde;

Though famed Mæander, in the poet's dream,

Ne'er led through fairer fields, his wandering stream.
Bright wind thy mazy links on Stirling's plain,
Which oft departing, still return again;

And wheeling round and round, in sportive mood,

The nether stream turns back to meet the upper flood. Now sunk in shades, now bright in open day,


Bright Clyde, in simple beauty, winds his way.
In wanderings serpentine, his wanton train
Wreaths round the bank, or through the flowery plain ;
While fair peninsules, by the flood embraced,
Exult in beauties lavished out to waste: (1)
Where late gay Hamilton's facetious lay,
In rustic numbers hailed returning May;

And bade the brakes of Airdrie long resound

The plaintive dirge, that graced his favourite hound. (2)

(1) [The beauties of this portion of the Clyde have been recently celebrated in a descriptive poem, entitled 'Dychmont,' by John Struthers, the author of 'The Poor Man's Sabbath,' and other pieces of much poetical merit. Dychmont or Dechmont is the name of a hill, about 600 feet high, in the centre of the Rutherglen and Cathkin tumuli, where there were, 50 years ago, indications of an ancient place of strength, and where our forefathers lighted their beltane fires, commanding an extensive view of the windings of the river, the city and Cathedral of Glasgow, and the strath from Lanark to Dumbarton.]

(2) [Lieutenant William Hamilton, author of a metrical version of the

Old Rutherglen his designation brings
From Reuther, famed among our earliest kings:
Where numerous miners dwell, who fly the day,
Through central darkness urge their downward way;
Where, slumbering in their secret beds, retire
The sable stores which nurse the rage of fire. (1)

To try the vigour of the generous horse,
The level lawn expands the racer's course;
Where, on the days to festal games assigned,
The sprightly horsemen crowd from every wind;
While gazing crowds admire the courser's speed,
The graceful rider, and the govern'd steed.
More skilful horsemen Græcia ne'er could grace
With wreathing laurel, in Olympia's race;
Nor fleeter coursers swept the Pythian plain,
Renown'd in daring Pindar's deathless strain.
See, how they shift, and paw, with trembling heart,
And lose a thousand steps before they start.

When, robed in emerald vest, awakening spring
Invites the flowers to spread, and birds to sing,
Fair Glasgow pours her wealthy merchants round,
Whose numerous villas crowd the fertile ground.

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Life of Sir William Wallace, and the friend and poetical correspondent of Allan Ramsay. He lived many years, first at Gilbertfield and then at Latrick, the one mansion being on the north and the other on the south side of the druidic Dychmont.']

(1) [Rutherglen is one of the most ancient of the Scottish burghs; having been erected into a free burgh at least as early as 1126, and was even then a place of considerable strength and importance; it being the only trading and commercial town in the west, and comprehending within its limits the present city of Glasgow. It lies nearly in the centre of the great coal basin of the Clyde. The pits at Wellshot in the neighbourhood are supposed to have been wrought during three centuries. Its miners constituted during a long period an important portion of the population, and appear to have caused anxiety to the presbytery of the bounds during the 16th century by their fishing of salmon and settling their accounts on Sunday, &c.-The name of this burgh and parish is well known in connexion with the superior breed of West country horses which are reared in it, and still more from the numbers of the same degree of excel lence which are sold at its fairs.]

So once imperial Rome indignant saw
Her chiefs, who held the subject-world in awe,
Retiring to Campania's fair retreats,

To Baian plains, or old Tarentum's seats.
Yet softer Clyde's, where subterranean ire
Ne'er darts the bursts of dark sulphureous fire;
Which deep entomb the swarthy peasant's toil,
And parch to ashes all the burning soil.

Yet summer's heat drives frequent to the pool
The active youth, their glowing limbs to cool.
They dive, and distant far emerge again,
Or easy float along the liquid plain;

While curling waves around their bodies twine,

Through which their limbs, like polished marble, shinc.
Now with strong arms they strive against the tide;
Now, oaring swiftly, with the current glide.

So the bold Roman, ere he slept, would cross
The Tiber thrice, nor feared his rapid force;
Then, vigorous from the flood, would, striving, strain
His well-braced nerves on Mavors' sacred plain;
Or choose the chief which should the world command,

Or for red conquest train the youthful band.

So, where Clyde's silver currents smoothly glide,
And ample lawns extend on every side,

The Clydesdale heroes, bright in arms, are seen
To rival Rome's, in force and awful mien.

While, robed in red, fierce flame the lengthened lines,
From their bright arms a dreadful splendour shines;
While tubes that, distant, drive the death unseen,
Or gleaming swords flash terror o'er the Green;
As if their leader sent through all his soul,
Just to his motion moves the obedient whole;
Thousands at once, a thousand different ways,
Yet none confused, or straggling, vaguely strays:





Forth, at one glance, the levelled tubes are thrust;
At once, from all, the volleyed thunders burst:
At once the riders from their steeds descend;
The obedient steeds their motions still attend.
Here barefoot beauties lightly trip along;
Their snowy labours all the verdure throng:
The linen some with rosy fingers rub,

And the white foam o'erflows the smoking tub:
Her snowy feet another nimbly plies,

Whence other charms in fair proportion rise.
Hence, ye profane! and tremble to descry
The graceful nymphs with loose unhallowed eye:
Their bright approach impurity refines;
At every touch the linen brighter shines,
Whether they bathe it in the crystal wave,
Or from the stream the whitening surges lave,
Or from the painted cann the fountain pour,
Softly descending in a shining shower;
Till, as it lies, its fair-transparent hue
Shows like a lily dipt in morning dew. (1)

As shines the moon among the lesser fires,
Unrivalled Glasgow lifts her stately spires:
For commerce, glorious with her golden crown,
Has marked fair Glasgow for her favourite town:
She makes her stately edifices thrive,

And merchants rich, in princely splendour live ;




(1) [Few cities in the empire can boast of such a fine arena for pleasure, health, and recreation, as the Green of Glasgow. The Laigh Green was so early as 1450 included in a grant by James II. to Bishop Turnbull for the benefit of the community, and has been increased by various purchases of the corporation to its present extent of 140 imperial acres. It is the field of the reviews of the military, and, when such bodies existed, was that of all the evolutions of the volunteers and local militia. The public washing-house was here situated, and" Lasses lilting o'er the pail" might be seen and heard by the hundred. It used to be rented at £600 per annum, but since the introduction of water by means of pipes the "barefoot beauties" have disappeared from the locality, and with them the lightsome scene here depicted.]

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