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ever. Excuse these tears, my children, they are a tribute to a mother's love.
"Slowly my father and I proceeded on our way. words were few, and neither seemed inclined to interrupt the Teveries of the other.
The dew still gemmed the shooting corn,
Surrounded grim by Sidlaw hills,
With skirting copsewood here and there,
Who dwell in Glen of Ogilvy. “ At last we reached the top of the Sidlaw Hills. Behind me lay the glen where I was born ; before me the untrodden, unknown world, where I felt I was doomed to die.
““We must now part, my son,' my father tremulously said, ' and I commend you to God, who is able and willing to protect you in all your wanderings. Trust ye in Him, and you shall never have cause to be ashamed. Take His Holy Word as your comforter and guide, and if we never meet again in this world, we shall meet at last in our heavenly Father's house above.'
“Presenting me with a Bible, he fervently embraced me, turning abruptly his steps homeward.
“Not anticipating either the gift or the solemn benediction by which it had been accompanied, I stood for some minutes gazing on the retreating form of my venerable parent, when, just before turning the brow of the hill, he turned round and waved his last adieu. I would have run after him and embraced him, and said many things to him which I now remembered, but I was spell-bound to the spot--all my regrets were vain. I looked in the direction he had gone, but he had disappeared !
“Then new thoughts and feelings rushed through my mind as I experienced the bitter pangs of remorse at losing the last opportunity I might ever have of unburthening my heart
I to a beloved parent. And then came the sad and withering thought which never ceased to influence me in after-life-to be within a short distance of those we love, and not to be able to take advantage of our position ; to live in the same world, and see the same sun and sky, and breathe the same atmosphere, and yet be separated from our friends by continents and by seas, is the greatest trial and the most grievous burden that mortals can be called upon to bear. We lose our dearest by death, but the very fact that their doom is irrevocable, and that we cannot by any possibility alter the decree, makes us resigned to bereavements, however severe. But the thought that distance only separates us from our friends, and yet we can see them no more, is more intensely agonising than losing them by death itself.
“Such, my children, were my first impressions of LIFE.”
“ Invidious Grave ! how dost thou rend in sunder
HAVE you ever seen a dead poet ?”—excitedly exclaimed an esteemed friend, as I met him sometime ago on a winter afternoon in one of the busiest thoroughfares in Dundee. Startled by the weird-like question, I kindly requested an explanation of its meaning. My friend then with the greatest tenderness of feeling informed me that James Gow, the weaver-poet, had died a pauper's death the day before, in a common lodging-house in the Overgate; requesting my presence at the sametime at his funeral, the expenses of which, Lord Kinnaird, with his usual generosity, had just telegraphed that he would most willingly liquidate.
On my way homewards, I felt rather at sea in regard to the personnelle of the weaver-poet ; when all at once I recollected, that some five and twenty years before, I had read and re-read with the greatest delight, some beautiful pieces of sterling poetry, in Tait's Magazine, and Chambers' Journal, by James Gow, author of “ Lays of the Loom.” These fugitive pieces were entitled—“Alic the Pauper "_" The Orphan Laddie"
-“ “ Helen the Outcast "_" The Snow-Drop "_" The Orphan's .
“ Grave," &c., suggestive now of sad and touching memories These, as well as his “ Lays of the Loom,” were all composed, like Tannahill, as he worked at his loom, then familiarly termed—“the four posts of misery!”
On recovering from a severe attack of typhus fever, some twenty-five years before he died, he found the genius of poetry had deserted him, and from that time to the day of his death, his life had been one of melancholy silence and gloom, and a continued struggle with poverty and want.
On the forenoon of the following day, after the conversation recorded had taken place, I went alone in a very melancholy mood to see the remains of the poor weaver-poet. Up a dark narrow close, midway between Barrack Street and Lindsay Street, I groped my devious way until I found the lodginghouse I sought. And there, in a dark, ill-ventilated room, scantily furnished, yet scrupulously neat and clean, on a common deal table, rested the black coffin of the dead poet. With tremulous hand I gently raised the ghastly shroud, and with tearful eyes long and tenderly gazed on the pleasant and resigned-like features of him whom I had never seen till his eyes had closed in death, and his spirit had gone to God who gave it.
Two days afterwards we buried him up yonder in the Eastern Necropolis, shewing that if in his life he had receded from the world's gaze, in his death he had not been forgotten.
On a bright, cloudless day on the following spring, with a heart full of emotion, I stood alone by the grave of the poor poet. This emotional feeling, however, did not arise from a sorrowful regret for him who was calmly sleeping below, but from a deep feeling of holy gratitude to those good friends, by whose delicate kindness the “Snow-Drop” was now blooming in all its pure loveliness over the grave of him who had so sweetly sung its praise, and which, while on earth, he had loved so well. A neat, little memorial stone had also been erected at the poet's grave, with a representation of the snow-drop cut in bas-relief at the top, and the simple inscription beneath of the date of his birth, and the date of his death.