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Rambles Round Glasgow
Kirkintilloch and Campsie


"As yet the bluebell lingers on the sod
That copes the sheepfold ring; and in the woods
A second blow of many flowers appears—
Flowers faintly tinged, and breathing no perfume.
But fruits, not blossoms, form the woodland wreath
That circles Autumn brow. The niddy haws
Now clothe the half-leaved thorn, the bramble bends
Beneath its jetty load, the hazel hangs
With auburn branches dipping in the stream,"—GRAHAM.

THE year is fast falling into the sear and yellow leaf. Autumn has laid aside her sickle, and the golden tenants crowd the spacious barn-yard, where smiling plenty with inverted horn bids man expect, with satisfied complacency, the coming of the dark and stormy winter. The happy cattle, free from the herd’s control, are out upon the stubble-rig, browsing on the rich green undergrowth of succulent clover, which, as every dairymaid can tell, yields the most delicious product in the churn. What a glorious time of it, too, the wild birds have amid the fruit-abounding woods and grain-strewn fields! The mottled throstle revels on the red rowan tree, or amid the blushing haws; and even now the fieldfare, from the far, far north, is hastening over land and sea to share the plenteous banquet of the woods.. ‘A merry company, as well as a mischievous, are the sparrows at all times and seasons; but doubly joyous, doubly dinsome, are they now, as. in vast gregarious flocks they haunt the unmantled fields. Larks and linnets gray and green, also swarm upon the grateful meadows: but songless all—save that occasionally some minstrel of the sky breaks forth into a brief chirrup that reminds us of departed spring, and that the lintie, in its flight, gives utterance to the rich musical titter which erst gladdened our ear amidst the yellow broom of summer. The swallow, which knoweth its appointed hour, still lingers, as if in love, over the breast of loch and stream, or glides in gentlest curves around the edifice where its clay-built shed is clinging to the eaves. Revelling in the abundance of the great mother, all things of earth and air, indeed, from the least even unto the greatest, are filled with cheerfulness and gratitude,—

 "For wealth hangs in each tangled nook,
In the gloamin’ o’ the year."

Beautiful, indeed, and full of sweet suggestion is the interval which comes between the close of autumn and the winter’s snell approach. The Americans talk with rapture of their "Indian summer," but surely its charms are not more worthy of admiration than are those of the corresponding season in our own clime. It is a genuine September day. During the night there has been a smart touch of frost, a foretaste faint of what is in store for us. This morning, indeed, we can assure you

"That hedge, tower, and tree,
Sae far’s we could see,
Were white as the bloom o' the pear."

But the glorious exhalations of the dawn—as Wordsworth might poetically have called the cranreuch—have now disappeared, and the atmosphere is beyond comparison clear, and so bracing that one feels a perfect exhilaration in walking. It is just the sort of day, in short, on which we should like to master the "muckle Ben," or some kindred giant, and place our foot triumphant on his brow. So, snaking our way through the crowded and bustling streets of our good city, with an esteemed friend on our arm, "a fellow of infinite jest," we soon find ourselves comfortably seated in one of the commodious carriages of "the Edinburgh and Glasgow." A few minutes’ waiting brings the appointed hour, when punctual as the clock the signal is given, and behold we are in the bowels of the land, pursuing amid darkness and din our passage through the tunnel. This is soon over, however; and emerging in the sunshine at Cowlairs, we are sweeping through the fine undulating country to the north-east of Glasgow. The fields are bare, but the stubble has a rich russet hue that is extremely refreshing to the eye; while the deep green of the turnip patches, which every now and then flit past, gives an agreeable variety of tint to the ever-changing scene. Now we have a picturesque group of "potato-lifters" busily at work on the blighted furrows, with a lengthened row of half-filled sacks behind them; again we are rushing athwart an unreclaimed track of moorland, where the brown heath retains its primitive sway, and peat ricks are seen at intervals; and anon it is a snug farm-steading, with the usual bein accessories, which for an instant courts our gaze and then is gone. Halting for a moment at Bishopbriggs Station, we are informed by an exceedingly civil and well-informed companion of the rail that the bishops of Glasgow, in ancient times, held extensive landed possessions here, and that the name of the locality was originally "Bishop’s Riggs," which appellation has been in course of time corrupted into that by which it is at precent known. We think the statement not at all improbable, more especially as we subsequently discover that our informant is quite an adept in the antiquarian line. Indeed, although he had swallowed and thoroughly digested a whole etymological library, he could not have been more at his ease among the jaw-breaking mysteries of Saxon, Celtic, and Danish nomenclature. Bishopbriggs is now a village of considerable extent, but of somewhat unprepossessing appearance, and is inhabited principally by the lower order of Irish, who certainly do not make up for its physical defects by any access of moral loveliness. It will be remembered that it was at this spot that a foul murder was committed on the person of an English ganger or overseer by two Irish labourers, during the formation of the railway. The deed was perpetrated in the immediate vicinity of that bridge under which we are now passing, and the wretched criminal afterwards suffered the penalty of their dire offence within sight of the scene.

The line now tends gradually towards the east, through a fine fertile district of country, studded with gentlemen’s seats, farm-steadings, and occasional coal-pits. Nothing calling for special remark, however, occurs until we arrive at the Kirkintilloch and Campsie Junction, when we diverge from the main trunk towards the north. Anything approaching the character of an event is a thing which is fortunately of extremely rare occurrence on this favourite and beautiful line, and we are deposited all right, after a pleasant run of some half-hour’s duration, at the Kirkintilloch Station. Here, true to his trust, in suit of sober black, broadish-brimmed hat, and staff in hand, is our esteemed and venerable friend, Walter Watson, the author of "We’ve aye been provided for, and sae will we yet," "Jockie’s far awa," and many other lyrics which have deservedly attained extensive popularity. [Poor old Walter, one of the best specimens of a gash, kindly-hearted Scotsman that we have ever been privileged to meet, is now, alas, in the place appointed for all living.] We must introduce you, gentle reader, to the ancient bard, who, you will observe, is a gash, ‘decent-looking specimen of the mild warld Scotsman. Walter is now on the lee side of fourscore—the snows of time are on his well-formed head, and the furrows of age on his expressive countenance; but there is a merry twinkle in the old man’s eye, and a freshness in his complexion, which still indicate the possession of considerable mental and bodily vigour, Long, long ere the writer of this, or the vast majority of his readers had made their entrée on the stage of life, our friend Walter was known as a sweet singer in the land, and even until now he finds a solace in the muse. One of the earliest songs which we remember from the lips of our mother was of Mr. Watson’s production, and she had committed it to memory when a "wee, wee lassie." When afterwards we learned that the author of that lay was still in the land of the living, we could scarcely credit the fact, as we had somehow or other associated it with a bygone age of poesy. It was not so in reality, however, although the mistake, under the circumstances, was natural enough. Upwards of fifty years have passed away since the song, "We’ve aye been provided for," was given to the public, and at once became a "household word" among the Scottish peasantry. Since that period it has retained its popularity, and we doubt not will continue to do so.

Walter Watson was born on the brink of poverty, and as he says himself, has "never been able to wauchle very far up the brae." He has been a weaver, a "Scots Grey," a stone-knapper, a sign-painter, and many a thing besides, for Walter in a strait could turn his hand to "maistly onything;" but he was kept down throughout, like many another honest and industrious man (and such Walter emphatically is), by what the Scots call a sma’ family, but which an Englishman would probably denominate a pretty large one. In the course of nature he is now drawing near the close of his career, and amidst age and the infirmities incident to a more than ordinarily extended span, is now earning his living on the loom, in the village of Duntiblae, near Kirkintilloch. Yet is the old man ever cheerful. He has many friends among his lowly compeers, and the respect in which he is held by them has been manifested in many ways, which must have been alike gratifying to his feelings and ameliorative of his necessities. Let us trust that, as he has sung in the past, he may still be enabled to say in the future,

"We’ve aye been provided for,
And see will we yet."

But here is the ancient poet (who, by the by, is without his spectacles) on the look-out for us all this time. "Ha, Walter! how are you? I hope we have not kept you waiting?" "Oh, just a wee bit blink," says the old man, warmly shaking our hand; "no worth speaking o’; but I hope ye’re weel? and is this your frien’ (taking his band) about whom I’ve heard you speak? Man, I’m glad to see you, and that ye’ve gotten sic a bonny day for your bi jauntie." As we proceed into the town, which is situated on a rising ground to the west of the station, and quite adjacent to it, Walter informs us that he had recently been threatened "wi’ a bit touch o’ the jaundice, but was noo comin’ geyan weel roun’." Crossing the Luggie—here a considerable stream—by a somewhat time-honoured bridge, and taking up hill, we are soon in the heart of Kirkintilloch, and surveying its curious avid warld aspects. The streets are narrow and irregular, striking off here and there without harmony of design or the least apparent regard for the rectangular. About the cross there is even a dash of the picturesque—some of the edifices being of considerable antiquity, and reminding us, in their positional peculiarities, of the more antique portions of Habby Simson’s native village. Here, for centuries, the town fairs were held; and here stood "the avid cross-stane," until it was overturned and destroyed, about thirty-five years ago, by some mischievous individuals. A friend of ours remembers the venerable octangular pillar, with its "steps and stairs," on which the younkers of the neighbourhood loved to congregate, as their fathers of many generations had probably done before them. The destruction of this ancient relic, indeed, caused quite a sensation in Kirkintilloch, and William Muir, a local poet of no mean celebrity, who seems to have sympathized keenly in the general indignation, composed an elegy on the occasion, from which we shall venture to transcribe the following verses, as to many of our readers they will doubtless be as good as manuscript

"When thou was set upo’ thy feet,
To look about to ilka street,
The bodies thocht thee as complete
Frae en’ to en'
As that braw steeple every whit,
Poor auld cross-stane!

"Whar now will glowerin’ bodies stop
To learn a sale or public roup
O’ carts and harrows, growing crop?
In letters plain,
On thee they a’ were plastered up,
Poor auld cross-stane!

"Ye bailles! if ye’re worth a bubb!e,
Spare nae expense, and spare nae troub'e,
To catch the sacrilegious rabble,
An’ make them fain
Awa’ in convict ships to hobble,
Frae th’ auld cross-stand!

"War our auld daddies but to rise,
An’ see how laigh, poor thing! thou lies,
They’d curse this borough, ance, twice, thrice,
Wi’ angry grane,
Wha thus let mischief sacrifice
The auld cross-stane!"

In the vicinity of the cross is the parish church, which was erected as a chapel to the Virgin Mary in 1644. It is a plain but old-fashioned edifice with "craw-stepped" gables, and, like many other things in Kirkintilloch, is somewhat eccentric in appearance. At a considerable elevation on the edge of one of the gables is an antique sun-dial, on which, as an old weaver who comes past as we are inspecting it assures us, "the folk langsyne, before horologes were sae common, could mak’ out the time o’ day to a minute." It would be no easy matter to do this now-a-days, as the index is evidently in a "shugly" condition. There are several other places of worship in the town, but architecturally they are not calculated to attract the attention of the stranger. Indeed, it must be admitted that, on the whole, Kirkintilloch presents exceedingly few features of general interest. Near the centre of the town there are a number of handsome shops and out-of-the-way structures, but in the bye streets the houses are of the plainest description, and the monotonous sound of the shuttle, which greets the-ear at every turn, however indicative of useful industry it may be, certainly does not tend to enhance their charms, or induce us to linger for any lengthened period in their precincts. As in other manufacturing communities, indeed, the population here have an intelligent and sagacious expression of countenance, and we doubt not that, did time permit, a rich harvest of character might be gleaned among these numerous workshops.

Kirkintilloch is situated on the line of the ancient Roman wall close to one of the forts or peels with which it was studded, and its name is supposed to be derived from a Celtic word Cœrpentulach, signifying a stronghold at the end of a ridge. Whatever we may think of the etymology, this is certainly in accordance with the local character of the town. We now proceed to visit the Roman Fort, the vestiges of which, at a short distance west of the town, and on the same elevation, are still in an excellent state of preservation. During our devious peregrinations, we have several times, (as our readers will doubtless remember) intersected the course of the gigantic bulwark which the self-styled masters of the world erected between the Friths of Forth and Clyde. We have also described the present condition of a number of the forts or stations. The Kirkintilloch peel, however, has the peculiarity of having been the only one erected outside or to the north of the wall which it was designed to defend. For what purpose this deviation from the ordinary rule was made we cannot now discover, but doubtless there were good reasons for the alteration of plan.

The fortifications here seem to have been of extraordinary strength, although nothing remains now to indicate the circumstance, save the fosse or ditch, which continues, after the lapse of so many ages, to mark with great distinctness the extent and form of the original structure. It is of an oblong quadrangular shape, measuring 90 yards in length by 80 in breadth. A vast earthen rampart, from 40 to 50 feet in thickness, originally surmounted the present level platform on all sides, having in front the ditch or moat, which was not less than 30 feet in width, with a corresponding depth. Horsley mentions that in his time the peel presented the appearance of having been fortified by a double wall of hewn stone; and adds that the stones had been strongly cemented with lime, and that many of them were chequered in the manner usual with Roman architects. All vestiges of this mason-work have now disappeared, and save the high mound and the deep ditch, which are covered with a dense verdure, nothing remains to indicate the previous existence of the Roman stronghold. A well, faced with stone, however, still occupies a portion of the fosse; and while we are lingering on the spot, a boy from the neighbouring town comes to fill his "stoups" at the very fountain from whence the soldiers of Antonine may have drawn the same cool and crystal fluid nearly two thousand years ago.

As at other stations on the wall, relics of Roman art have been found from time to time in this locality. About fifty years since a legionary stone, measuring 5 feet in length by about 2½ in breadth, was dug up here. At each end are carvings of eagles’ heads and other forms of ornament, while in a central compartment there is an inscription, which has been rendered as follows:—

"IMPERATORI CÆSARI TITO AELOI HADRIANO,
ANTONINO AUGUSTO PlO PATRO PATRLÆ,
VRXILLATIO LEGIONIS SEXTÆ VICTRICIS,
PERFECIT PER MILLE PASSUS."

This tablet, which is broken in two, is preserved in the Hunterian Museum. Another stone, with bulls’ heads sculptured in bold relief, with a number of coins of Domitian, Antoninus Pius, Commodus, and Constantine, with a number of other articles, undoubtedly of Roman origin, were also discovered at this place, and are now deposited in the collection of Mr. John Buchanan of this city. Many years ago, while on this subject we may add, Mr. Stewart, proprietor of the peel, who was then engaged in levelling a portion of the ground, brought to light numerous remains of ancient buildings, and found among them a large bar of lead, marked with Roman characters, which were not sufficiently legible, however, to admit of their being deciphered. Such blocks have been found at many other Roman stations, and there can be little doubt that this was a relic of the proud invaders, who, thus far at least, were for a time masters of our land.

From the summit of the peel, as from the majority of the other Roman stations on the wall, a commanding view of the surrounding country, with its fertile fields, its woods and waters, is obtained. To the west are seen the sites of the various forts between this locality and Kilpatrick; while to the east, over the town, those of Auchindavy, Barhill, &e., are visible. North and north-west are the towering Campsie Fells, the broad and beautiful straths of the Glazert, and the Blane and the Kilpatrick Hills, those everlasting ramparts which Nature seems to have reared for the defence of our country’s independence, and from the ridges of which our rude sires looked down defiant on the haughty imperial legions. The Roman intruder has long passed away, and only in faint vestiges, few and far between, are his footprints now discoverable; but the old brown hills remain, unchanged amid the ravages of time and the elements, associated with heart-stirring memories, which, by exciting in us an honest pride in our native land, form constant incentives to the love of liberty. The period must never arrive when we shall think shame to look on the face of those stern old mountains, for the preservation of which from conquest our fathers so long and so successfully struggled.

Returning into Kirkintilloch, we rest our shanks for a brief space in the house of a friend, and taking advantage of the pause, we may glance for a moment at the history of the town. Few of our Scottish communities can boast so high an antiquity as Kirkintilloch. From the time of the Romans it has probably continued a place of some importance; and so early even as the year 1184 it was erected into a burgh of barony by William the Lion. In 1195, as appears from an ancient document, a certain William, son of Thorald, who then held the manor of Kirkintilloch, granted the church to the monks of Cambus-Kenneth, with half a carucate of land. Afterwards the estates passed into the possession of the Fleming family; and in the third year of the reign of Robert the Second, a charter, dated Arnele, 13th May, grants the "Villa de Kerkentuloch to Gilbert Kenedy, grandson of Malcolm Fleming." James V. in 1526 "ratifies and approvis the charter of new infeftment made by our Soverene Lord to Malcolm Lord Fleming, making the touns of Biggar and Kerkentuloch burghis of barony, with tbe mereat dais in all punctis with arteklis after the form and tenor of the said charter of infeftment." In the year 1672 William Earl of Wigton erected a bridge of three arches over the Luggie at Kirkintilloch. The new bridge was said to be "maist necessary and useful for the saife passage of all persons who travel from Edinbro’ and Stirling to Glasgow and Dumbarton;" and the Earl, in consideration of his outlay, was empowered for five years to lift certain dues on all horses and cattle which passed over the structure. In 1745 a detachment of Highlanders, who came over the Campsie Hills by the Craw Road, were passing quietly through Kirkintilloch to join the Chevalier, when some person imprudently fired a gun from a barn window and killed one of the party. This act of treachery naturally roused the ire of the Celts, who, with drawn swords and the most horrid Gaelic imprecations, demanded the guilty individual to be immediately given up to their vengeance. The authorities were sadly perplexed, being quite unable to find the concealed criminal, and a wild scene of pillage ensued. Everything portable was taken from the houses of the devoted inhabitants, while the hungry Highlanders lived, as the old saying has it, at "heck and manger." Ultimately the kilted marauders were induced to depart by the receipt of a heavy fine. Afterwards, when the Chevalier’s army was on its return from England to the north, a rumour broke out in town that the Highlanders were again approaching, when a scene of indescribable panic and confusion occurred, every one making off to some place of concealment with his most valuable goods and chattels. One old man was seen driving away his cow with a chaff bed on its back, while others were observed with the most incongruous burdens. Fortunately, however, the reivers did not again appear; and when better times came the inhabitants were in the habit of laughing at the curious incidents which occurred on the occasion of "the false alarm."

Our course is now northward towards Campsie, with old Walter, who "kens the road brawlie," for our guide. "There is life in the old dog yet," and, in truth, he strikes out at a rate which puts our vaunted pedestrian prowess fairly to the test. On our complimenting him, however, on his agility, he modestly replies, "Na, na! I’ve seen the day there wasna monie wha could ha’e passed me on the road, but that was langsyne, and ye maunna gar me believe that I'm onything extraordinar in that line noo." "By the by, Mr. Watson," interposes our friend, "what old edifice is that to the left? It has really quite an interesting appearance." "Weel, I’ll no say that it hasna," quoth the old man pawkily, "but it’s jist an auld washin’-house for a’ that !" Of course we look perfectly unconscious, and there is silence on the road for at least five minutes. It is interrupted by old Walter, however, on our arrival at a bridge, where for a few moments we come to a pause. "This is the Kelvin," he remarked, "and if you’ll cast your een doon the water a wee bit you’ll see its meeting wi’ the Luggie. They’re baith geyan grumlie the noo wi’ the steepin’ o’ the lint; but they’re twa bonnie waters for a’ that—at least they aye seem sae to my auld een."

Following with our eyes the direction of our venerable guide, we see the junction of the Luggie and the Kelvin, about a quarter of a mile to the westward of the bridge on which we are now standing. It is certainly one of the tamest water-weddings which we have ever been privileged to witness. The hymeneal scene is a level plain, somewhat English in its character, and only redeemed from dullness by the heights of Kirkintilloch, which, with their steeples and houses, really look exceedingly well in the middle distance. Both streams are here grim, sluggish, and melancholy - moving as if they had each the most serious objections to the impending union. "The course of true love never does run smooth" it is said, but here the current is placid as can be. Of course the inference is obvious and we could almost fancy that this ominous "meeting of the waters" is a fit type of those cold, loveless marriages, which rank and wealth too often make, but that we have an affection for the Kelvin, and know that after the honeymoon is over, he and his mate, "dark but comely," will wax right merry, and dance away through a certain classic grove as if they had never known what it was to be sad. Old Walter, too, will have it that the Luggie is at heart a cheerful stream, and says that in the vicinity of his home it is both romantic and beautiful. "Sae, come awa’ lads," he continues, setting down his staff, "and as we move alang I’ll even fry to lilt ye a wee bit sang which I made shortsyne in its praise." We resume our walk accordingly; and as we thread the hedge-bordered way, half-screened by over-hanging trees, the old bard in a low yet musical voice, croons the following sweet little lyric:—

"LUGGIE-SIDE

"Oh lanely and laigh runs the stream of the Luggie,
Aye boring through glens as it wimples alang,
Whar aft on the hazel, or slaethorn sae scroggie,
The bonnie gray lintie sits liltin’ his sang.
The bricht-speekled trout haunts the water o’ Luggie,
The fringe on her lip gives him covert to hide,
And gloamin' gets lovers. fu’ blythsome and vogie,
To whisper their feelings on sweet Luggie-side.

"The lass that I love has her hame by the Luggie,
She’s bonnie and sweet as a lassie can be,
And though her dark e’e has a glance o’ the roguy.
I aye think her bosom is faithfu’ to me.
Our tryst ‘s coming on, when I'll meet wi’ my dearie,
And on the green bank mak’ a seat o’ my plaid;
We'll no think it lang till we hear chanticleerie
Loud warning us hameward frae sweet Luggie-side.

"I maunna be lang till we’re staying thegither—
Our meeting’s a pleasure, our parting’s a pain,
And were she to lea’ me and gang wi' anither,
I’d ne'er hae a meeting wi' pleasure again;
Gae wimplin’ awa’ to the Kelvin, wee Luggie,
And lose yoursels baith in the proud river Clyde,
I’ll bode for a hame and haudin’ fu’ snug, aye
To share wi’ my lassie on sweet Luggie-side."

The voice of the singer thus dies away, and is of course echoed by "a very good song, and very well sung," from his delighted hearers. Yet are our words of praise anything but of the warmest. We never could administer the highly-spiced compliment face to face. Nay, we are apt to doubt the sincerity of the man who can do it. Speak as little ill as possible of a person behind his back, and no more good of him than is absolutely necessary in his presence.

But hark! the robin takes up the strain. Yonder he is, perched upon the topmost bough of that tall ash, his breast almost like a withered leaf fluttering in the soft breeze of song. We have praised thee to thy face, sweet minstrel of the autumnal woods, and shall again and again. We love thee wisely but not too well, and it is "cut of the fullness of the heart that the mouth speaketh." Thou art a type of the true poet, even of him who "crooneth to himsel’" amid poverty, and want, and toil. Other birds require the sunshine and the flower to wake their musical utterances, but the drifting flake and the arrow hail stay not thy song. Thou art, therefore, the image unto our fancy of such bards as the old man now by our side (but who knoweth not our secret communings with thee); and thou art at the same time the image of a class, at the birthplace of a humble member of which we are now arrived; and therefore, for the present, sweet bird, we bid thee once again farewell!

Birdston is a tiny little village or hamlet pleasantly situated about half-way between Kirkintilloch and Campsie. It consists of a small congregation of farm-houses and cottages, intermingled with kail-yards, barn-yards, trees, and hedgerows. The September sun smiles sweetly on it now, with its blue curling wreaths of smoke, its fresh yellow stacks of newly-gathered corn, and its groups of rosy-checked bairns. There are flocks of poultry straying among the stubble; flocks of pigeons, white and blue, cleaving the air, or settling on the house-tops; and flocks of swallows far over head, sporting in the clear azure sky. Is it not in truth a pleasant spot? Well, it was down this quiet little lane, in that cleanly little cot, in this tidy little town, that William Muir, commonly called the Campsie poet, first saw the light, on the 28th of November, 1766; and it was from that door, after a singularly uneventful life of fifty-one years, that he was finally carried to his other home, in the clachan kirk-yard,—.

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen."

And it is very probable, gentle reader! that thou hast never previously heard so much even as his name. Nor, after all, does it matter very much. Yet William Muir wrote many poems—some good, a few bad, according to our view, and very many indifferent Probably a modern critic, who judges only by rule, might find very few of them altogether faultless. Amid the chaff, however, there is a considerable amount of good seed. Muir was a working man, and the composition of poetry was the solace of his leisure hours. It interfered not with his industry, and we doubt not it proved unto him, as to bards of more elevated capacities, "its own exceeding great reward." But it did even more than this: his poetry gave pleasure, and still gives pleasure to his rustic compeers; and, along with his amiability of character, it gained him the warm and lasting friendship of many estimable individuals in his own rank of life. Upwards of thirty years have elapsed since his decease; and we have been both astonished and gratified to find that his memory is still fondly cherished in many bosoms. That he is still best beloved by those who knew him best in life, is the most satisfactory testimony to his worth as a man which can be mentioned over his grave; and that such is indeed the case, we have many reasons for believing. Peace to his ashes! He was one of a class of poets which is almost peculiar to Scotland—a class of which any country might well be proud.

The poems of William Muir were published in 1818—the year subsequent to his decease—with an introduction and a brief memoir of the author from the pen of John Struthers, himself a poet of no mean repute. The contents of the volume, which must now have been long out of print, are of a somewhat miscellaneous description, and embrace a considerable variety and range of topics. Some of the subjects, indeed, might have been à priori supposed beneath or beyond the reach of the muse. Swift boasted that he could write an instructive essay on a broomstick; but that is an intellectual feat which certainly cannot for a moment be compared with the composition of a poetical address "To a Rusty Nail." This the genius of Muir actually accomplished; and many of his productions besides are on equally incongruous and impracticable themes,—as, for instance " To my Auld Bachles," "Verses on a Weasel," "The humble Petition of an old Family Clock," "A hymn to the Herring," and (evil to him that evil thinks) "An Ode to the Itch!" Unpromising as they may seem, there are some of these subjects treated with considerable happiness and tact The muse may even handle pitch and not be defiled. Let us hear, in testimony of this truth, a portion of Muir’s hymn to the inimitable "Glasgow Magistrate,"—

"First of fishes! unto thee
A grateful hymn I'll sing;
For seldom am I doom’d to see
A fatten’d ox’s wing.
A bleater’s limb ne’er on the spit
Is seen to pipe and fry;
But thee, dear fish, I’m proud to meet,
And on a brander spy.

"On thee, when hunger’s calls assail,
In solitude I feed.
With simple water from the pail,
And simple barley-bread.
When thou arriv’st, but newly caught,
Fresh from the briny wave,
And richly nice and cheaply bought,
Oh, what a feast I have!

"Or, if preserved in native salt
thou grace my humble board,
And season’d with the juice of malt,
I think myself a lord.
In all thy various shapes and forms,
Thy friendship I Invite—
Fresh, set, or red, when most thou charms
The Welshman’s appetite.

"For luxury is but a cheat,
With wealth’s high-flavou'd spice;
Dame Nature asks but simple meat,
‘Tis habit calls for nice,
His palate that will reckon thee
An insult to his taste,
Will still a wretched mortal be
With puddings, ples, and paste."

The majority of Muir’s productions, however, are of a serious and sentimental cast; many of them also are deeply tinged with despondency. Occasionally, as in the above verses, indeed, we find him cheerful and contented with his humble lot, snapping his fingers in the face of saucy Fortune, and defying her to cast him down; but more frequently he is disconsolate and murmuring. Altogether, we consider the book a true reflex of the author’s mind, and feel persuaded that its lights and shadows are truthful depictions of those which in life darkened or illumined the lowly destiny of the man.

We are now entering the beautiful valley of Campsie. The bold brown range of hills on our right seems as if it were approaching nearer and more near unto us. How sharply and distinctly is its picturesque altitudinal outline defined against the dark blue dome of day! Every sear and wrinkle on the rugged brae-face, too, is plainly seen, although the white torrent threads of winter are not yet. Even at this distance we could read a geological lesson, or find a sermon in stone, were we so inclined, in those lofty and well-marked terraces of trap. There are scientific stone-knappers in abundance about Campsie, however, to whom every nook and cranny of these fells is familiar as a long-trodden path, and meanwhile we will not poach on their manor. Let them "drill and bore the earth" as best they may, our game at present lies on the surface. And see, how beautifully intermingled are the lights and shades on the bosom of the everlasting hills! The landscape is steeped in golden radiance. The day is even like unto that which the old poet has described as

"The bridal of the earth and sky;"

but "the summer has its passing cloud," and there are deep umbral masses of gloom flitting silent and slow over the crags, and passing ever and ever away. Now the sunbeams are sleeping on the heath,

"Like ravelled golden hair;"

anon the cloud-shadow steals over the spot, like a vast stain; and when we lift up our eyes again, behold the place which knew it once shall know it no more for ever. How full of meaning are the shows and forms of nature! Readest thou not thy own destiny, O man! in the living page before thee? We come like shadows, so depart; and this chase of sunshine and cloud is but a type of that which joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, are ever pursuing in the world which passeth show within our own bosoms. Art thou in the sun? then bethink thee of the coming shade,

"With a hey ho, the wind and the rain!"

Is thy present lot in gloom? fear not that it will be always so—"joy treadeth on the heels of grief;" and as old Walter has hopefully said,

"when we fell we aye got up again,
And sae will we yet."

Pursuing our course we soon arrive at the village of Milton. The Glazert, in a wild rocky channel, fretted by the floods of ages, here passes athwart the road, and is spanned by a substantial bridge. Kincaid printworks are in the vicinity of the village, and the streamlet is discoloured considerably by the chemical matters thrown out here as well as at Lennoxtown. But what of that? we love our own kind better than the kelpies; and when we look around at the comfortable population teeming in the vale, we should reckon ourselves the merest nincompoop if we uttered the faintest possible sigh over the decay of the picturesque. A pleasant little village seems Milton, as we glance at it en peasant, which is all that we can do, having still a considerable portion of our day’s work before us, and digression is "the sin which doth most easily beset us."

At the base of the Campsie Fells, a short distance north of Glorat House (the seat of the ancient family of Stirling) which is situated to our right amidst its finely timbered policies, are the vestiges of two Caledonian forts. These interesting relics of a long-vanished past are both circular in form, one of them being about 100 yards, and the other about 20 yards in diameter. In a direct line these ancient strongholds are nearly two miles distant from the wall of Antonine, and it has been supposed that they were erected by the Caledonians for the purpose of checking the farther progress of the Roman legions. Our antiquarian friend of the rail, to whom we have previously alluded, scouted, however, this supposition, and said that the conquerors would never have permitted the natives to erect such places of strength so near to their frontier. His opinion was that they were Roman outposts, for the defence of foraging parties when they had occasion to ravage the enemy’s territory. On this point we are inclined to differ from him. The very erection of the wall was an acknowledgment of weakness. "hitherto they could come, but no farther;" and we believe, besides, that they had enough to do in defending their acquisitions up to that line, without venturing to make incursions beyond it. But in addition to this, it is well known that the forts of the Romans were uniformly constructed of a quadrangular shape, while those of the Britons, there is every reason to believe, were always of a circular form. It does not necessarily follow, besides, that these places of strength were actually erected at all during the period of the Roman invasion, or with reference to it. From recent archaeological discoveries, indeed, it is rendered exceedingly probable that they are of an age long anterior to the occurrence of that event. It has hitherto been too much the fashion with antiquaries to ascribe everything prehistoric to the Druids or the Romans, forgetting that the country was inhabited long previously to the advent of either, and that the aborigines may also have left their "footprints on the sands of time."

The valley or strath of Campsie possesses many features of the most romantic beauty. It is bounded on the north by the towering and rugged Campsie fells, which rise to an elevation of about 1,500 feet above the level of the sea; and on the south by a gently swelling and fertile ridge, called the South Brae, which in some places attains an altitude of nearly 700 feet. At the west end, towards the opening of Strathblane, the vale is only about half-a-mile in width; but gradually, as it unfolds itself towards the east, it waxes broader and more broad, until it is lost in the spacious plains around and beyond Kirkintilloch. The bosom of the valley is of the most undulating description; now rising into gentle knolls covered with verdure, or plumed with patches and belts of timber; now sinking into water-worn hollows and dells,

"wi’ the burn stealing wider the lang yellow broom,"

and anon spreading out into fertile meads and sunny slopes, where the cattle in straggling groups are pasturing on the stubbled furrows, or lazily chewing the cud. At various points the seats of the gentry are seen peering above their girdles of foliage, as if keeping "watch and ward" over the scattered farms, which are strewn irregularly here and there, each with its yellow cluster of corn-stacks, its thin clump of ash-trees, and its little curling cloud of blue smoke. The strath, altogether, has a cosie and secluded aspect, which is rendered all the more pleasing by the contrast which its quiet beauty offers to the stern and hoary grandeur of its wild battlement of fells, with their precipitous and scarred sides, their jutting crags, and seemingly tumultuous though still and silent torrents of debris.

The signification of the word Campsie has been a puzzle to the etymologists. "Even ministers they ha’e been kenned" to arrive at very different conclusions on this interesting subject. Mr. Lapslie, a former well-known incumbent of the parish, for instance, asserted that the name has been derived from a combination of Celtic words, signifying a crooked strath; while Dr. M’Leod, formerly of Campsie, and now of St. Columba’s Church in this city, as positively asseverates that it means "a church in the bosom of a hill." Who shall presume to decide when doctors differ? Another doctor? Well, then, we have Dr. Lee, a third incumbent of the parish, who adheres to Mr. Lapslie’s version because, as he says, it is certainly descriptive of the locality, and appears to have existed before any church was erected in this place. We do not know how Dr. Lee became aware of the latter fact, as he has advanced no evidence on the point; but this we know, that Dr. M’Leod is one of the best Gaelic scholars in the country, and on such a subject we should be inclined to back him against any Sassenach from Maiden-kirk to the Lennox. Grant the correctness of his etimological deduction, and we shall have no difficulty in supposing a church long prior to the first of which Dr. Lee has any account. Judging from his name, we should suppose the present excellent minister, Mr. Munro, to be of Celtic origin, and we should like to hear what construction he puts on the disputed word. Has he a theory of his own? or does he treat such subjects with the contempt of our old friend, Walter, who, in reference to the dispute in question, exclaimed, "Hoot, awa’ man, there’s nane o’ them kens aucht about it mair than you, au’ me. Sic menseless discussions aye mind me o’ the auld rhyme,

"'Mickle din, an’ Uttle woo,
Quo’ the Deil when he clippet the soo."

Lennoxtown, which may be called the capital of the strath, is an extensive village of modern erection, and has been in a great measure dependent for its growth and prosperity on the various print-works, bleachfields, and factories in the vicinity. It consists principally of one street, which is of considerable extent, with a few irregular offshoots and detached cottages. The houses are for the most part plain and of two storeys, without the slightest pretensions to architectural beauty. Cleanly, comfortable, and withal commonplace in aspect, Lennoxtown, apart from the splendid scenery in its neighbourhood, presents but few attractions to the visitor. The only structure, indeed, of an imposing appearance is the parish church, a spacious modern Gothic building, with a handsome square tower, erected in 1829. It is finely situated on a gentle but commanding elevation a little to the northward of the main street, where it forms a pleasing feature in the landscape of the vale. Besides this, there are other two places of worship in the village, viz., a United Presbyterian meeting-house, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The religious character of the population, it would thus appear, is not likely to suffer from a deficiency of church accommodation. For the educational requirements of the rising generation, Lennoxtown, we understand, also possesses an abundant provision. It has likewise an excellent, and as we were gratified to learn, flourishing Mechanics’ Institution, for the intellectual improvement of adults, by means of lectures on science, books, periodicals, &c.

Being abundantly supplied with coal and other minerals, and water, Campsie seems to have been designed by nature, as a commercial gentleman once remarked of another locality, to be the seat of manufactures. As if in furtherance of this intention of the great mother, we accordingly find that it contains a considerable number of public works of various kinds. The most extensive of these is Lennox mill print-works, which are situated on the Glazert, immediately adjacent to the village. These were originally established in 1786 on a small scale. In 1805 they came into the hands of Messrs. R. Dalglish, Falconer, & Co., the present enterprising proprietors, under whom they have gradually flourished and extended, until now they have attained the most gigantic proportions, employ an immense number of hands, and produce the most amazing quantities of printed calico. Talk of your feudal barons with their multitudinous retainers! How one of these old iron-coated gentlemen would stare, could he he brought back to witness the "skailing" of Messrs. Dalglish & Co.’s populous works. Kincaid-field and Lilyburn-field also employ numerous workers, and contribute materially to the prosperity of the parish, which is further increased by the extensive chemical works of Messrs. M’Intosh & Co., established in 1806, and also by several bleachworks situated along the winding course of the limpid Glazert. Formerly a considerable number of weavers resided in Lennoxtown and its vicinity, but of late years they have become almost an extinct species, while the monotonous music of the shuttle is now seldom heard. This is a consummation, however, which, all things considered, there is but little reason for the philanthropist to regret.

With an accession of two to the number of our party— one a veteran in the ranks of reform, a pioneer when Liberalism was anything but a joke, the other a genial and an intelligent young friend—we now bid Lennoxtown for a time adieu, and proceed by an exceedingly pleasant path towards the western termination of the strath. The sun, in a sky of deepest azure, has crossed by a couple of degrees at least his highest altitude, and is wending slowly down the golden afternoon. Warmed by his mellow radiance, a smile is flickering even on the face of the grim and wrinkled fells which tower majestically to our right, as if the proud and stern-featured old giants were contemplating with pleasure the sweet and silent vale recumbent at their feet. Silent, did we say? then were we in error, for is not the murmur of the playful Glazert even now in our ears, as, under the trembling shadows of her sheltering trees, she steals in fairy links along. Now we have a glance of her rippled breast, while she jinks among her channel-stones as if in play; and anon how demure she seems in this dim recess, where she lingers, a "sleeping beauty," with all her glittering beads of foam upon her dark brown breast. How the leaves and flowers are bending over her, as if in love; while one bold brier, be-gemmed with blushing berries, stretches forth his fruited arms as if he fain would clasp her in one long embrace, yet fears to make the attempt! "I’m sayin’, frien’," quoth a voice at our side, "if ye stan’ glow’ring there at naething that way, I rather think ye’ll no win up the glen afore the gloamin’, sae I fancy we had better be gaun." With a half-muttered apology for our dilatoriness, we accordingly proceed.

The South Brae now begins to clothe itself in a dense mantle of foliage. Nor is its vesture by any means "scrimpit," for acres and acres in richly tinted masses are waving in the breeze around its gaucy breast; and see, rising proudly over the far rustling sea of living green are the lofty turrets of a stately edifice. That is Lennox Castle, the seat of John L. Kincaid Lennox, Esq., proprietor of extensive estates in the parish of Campsie, and the lineal representative of the three ancient families of Woodhead, Kincaid, and Antermony. He is likewise said to be the legitimate heir to the Lennox peerage. This is a subject, however, on which our limited genealogical knowledge forbids us to descant. The magnificent structure before us, it will be observed, is in the boldest style of Norman architecture, and we may mention that it is after a design by Mr David Hamilton of Glasgow. Its erection was commenced In 1837 and completed in 1841. The site, which is in the immediate vicinity of the spot where formerly stood the old house of Woodhead, is nearly 500 feet above the level of the adjoining valley, of which the castle commands an extensive and picturesque prospect, and to which it communicates a striking feature of architectural beauty. Near the entrance to the spacious policies, and within their bounds, the Glazert winds gracefully through a sweet sylvan portion of its course, and receives two tributary streamlets in its bosom. One of these is the Pu’, a somewhat sluggish burn which flows from the south-west along the base of the South Brae, and the Finglen Burn, which comes dancing merrily from the northwest. The meeting of the waters is seen to great advantage from an elegant little bridge a few yards within the gateway, where we linger a few moments to feast our eyes upon the quiet loveliness of the scene. Our contemplations are broken, however, by the sound of approaching hoofs, and glancing round we perceive two ladies on horseback cantering gaily past, with their light veils and gracefully flowing robes floating on the breeze. They form quite a delicious picture, when taken in connection with the surrounding accessories of woodland glade, verdant lawn, and proud baronial towers. "Thae’s the leddies o’ the castle," says one of our friends, when they are fairly past; "and gude leddies they are, tae," he continued. "Lod, man, they had a’ the Sabbath-schule weans o’ Campsie up at the castle the ither week, and gied them sic a treat as some o’ the puir things never saw before. Nane o’ your shabby affairs, but just as mickle as the wee creatures could set their faces tae. That’s what I ca’ being leddie-like." Having given a hearty assent to the concluding proposition of our friend, accompanied by the expression of a wish that such kindly and considerate condescension were a little more common, we again resume our walk.

A great gap now appears in the lofty fells to the north, the vast sides of which slope steeply down to a dark and narrow ravine, which forms the far-famed Campsie Glen. Round the eastern shoulder of this magnificent opening in the lofty ridge, twines the "Craw Road," faintly discernible from our present position; while on the pinnacle of the height, a little projecting heap is seen in relief against the sky. This we know to be "Crichton’s Cairn," from having long ago speeled to its summit for the purpose of enjoying the extensive and beautiful prospect which it commands. The majority of cairns have a myth or two attached to them, but no one with which we are acquainted seems to be so liberally provided for in this respect as the specimen before us. Every individual almost to whom we spoke on the subject gave us a different version of the originating affair. According to one, the cairn was erected in memory of a kind of local Hercules named Crichton, who having undertaken for a wager to carry a load of meal to the hill-top, by dint of great exertion accomplished the feat, but fell down dead immediately thereafter; another would have it that Crichton was a famous smuggler, who was overtaken and killed by guagers on the elevated spot alluded to, and that the cairn was raised to perpetuate remembrance of the bloody deed; while a third asserted, without a moment’s hesitation, that the identical Crichton had committed suicide, by hanging himself on that lone peak. The latter, it must be admitted, is the most marvellous story of all; for unless an individual about to "lay hands upon himself;" in such a "heaven-kissing" locality, could manage to fling a coil over the horn of the moon, we really cannot see how this horrid purpose could be at all effected, a blaeberry-bush being the nearest approximation to a tree which he would be likely to find. Our friend Walter’s story seems the most feasible. It is as follows:—"The way that I’ve aye heard it explained was this: There was ance a minister in the parish, a won’erfu’ strong man, that they ca’d Crichton, that could walk, eatin’ a pease-bannock a’ the time, frae the manse at the Clachan to the tap o’ the hill in twenty minutes. Noo, it’ll tak’ an or’nar body near the double o’ that time. And the minister-was sae proud o’ his speelin’ poo’rs that he used often to gang up and study his sermons there; and as he was weel liket by a’body, when he dee’t the folk bigget the calm and ca’d it after him. That’s the way I’ve aye heard it accounted for; but whether it’s true or no, I’m sure I dinna ken." In corroboration of this statement, we may mention that a minister named James Crichton was inducted into the parish of Campsie on the 23d of April, 1623. If this was the individual alluded to, however, his elevated study does not seem to have been productive of good fruit, as he was subsequently deposed for what was called "corrupt doctrine."

The clachan of Campsie, at which we now arrive, is about a mile and a-half distant, in a westerly direction, from Lennoxtown, and lies in a romantic situation at the embouchure of the Kirkton or Clachan Glen, of which it commands a beautiful and highly suggestive prospect. The clachan consists of a tiny congregation of houses, principally cottages, straggling as it were "at their own free will," and finely interspersed with gardens, trees, and hedgerows. A cosie looking edifice, begirt with foliage, flowers, and fruit, is pointed out to us as the manse, and truly it seems, in the words of the old rhyme, "a pleasant habitation." But even the very humblest of the biggins has an air of beinness and comfort which is pleasing to contemplate; while the blue wreaths of smoke from each "lum-head" are seen in fine relief against the green bosom of the glen, which rises in bosky magnificence beyond. This handsome white house, which seems to look a welcome as we approach, is the clachan inn, where "man and beast," as the old signboards have it, may find abundant provender, with all the means and appliances of creature comforts, on the usual terms of course—of

"Drink, pilgrim, drink—drink and pay."

A decent and a civil old gentleman withal is the landlord, Mr. Muir, who is, besides, one of the few remaining contemporaries and early acquaintances of Robert Burns. Mr. Muir was born and "brought up" on the farm adjoining Mossgiel, when it was tenanted by the Burns family; and although he has no special tale to tell regarding the ploughman poet, who was then a young man, he remembers seeing him at his daily work in the fields, and occasionally he sat at the same bleezing fireside with him in the winter evenings. It is something even to have rubbed sleeves with Burns. The landlady, too, is a douce, motherly looking woman, and the daughter an elegant and intelligent young lady; so that he mast be a particularly fastidious traveller indeed who could not "take his ease" in the clachan inn.

But we are rather forestalling; for with a taste peculiar, we fancy, to ourselves, we generally, unless specially thirsty, visit the church-yard of a place before either inn or ale house. We accordingly pass Mr. Muir’s hospitable door, and first seek the adjoining field of graves. The gate is locked, however, and we must wait for a minute till a deputation, composed of our venerable Lennoxtown friend and old Walter, proceeds to a neighbouring cottage in search of the sexton. The man of spades is not to be found; but in his stead we are speedily introduced to the "second grave-digger," who is well known in the locality as "David the Earl," and who approaches, key in hand, laughing and fidgin’ fain, in anticipation of the dram which he is about to earn. Davie is a stout robust specimen of the genus homo, clad in clay-browned moleskin trousers and jacket, with a broad Kilmarnock bonnet overhanging his tanned features. Poor fellow! his intellect is far, far below the ordinary level of humanity; his lack-lustre eye and frequent gusts of unmeaning laughter indicating but too plainly the fearful vacuity within. "You’ll let these gentlemen see the kirkyard, Davie," says one of our friends, as they drew near the gate where we are standing. "Ay wulla, ay wulla," is the instant reply, in a quick, eager kind of voice; "but wull they gi’e me a dram, dae ye think? wull they gi’e me a dram?" Being assured that all is right on this point, Davie bursts into one of those curious, arid cachinnations which seem to follow every sentence he utters, and at once ushers us into the church-yard.

A lovely spot, indeed, is that in which the Campsie dead are laid. It is enclosed by an irregular up-and-down kind of dike, which accommodates itself to the inequalities of the ground.. One corner of the spacious enclosure is occupied by the ruined belfry and a portion of the walls of the old clachan church, forming a prominent feature in the scene which meets our gaze. In the foreground, as we enter, are seen the green undulations of long-departed humanity, intermingled with the red graves of those who have recently passed the dark bourne; while headstones and monumental tablets of varied form and size—some old and moss-grown, some fresh from the chisel—are strewn over and around the area of death in picturesque confusion. Stately trees, not yet in the sear and yellow leaf, but clad in the dark garniture of mid autumn, like sylvan mourners, stand rustling around; while sternly, beyond and above all, rise the swelling sides of the glen—the everlasting hills echoing and re-echoing the voices of many waters.

The literature of the church-yard has always presented a dreary charm to our mind. If there are sermons in stones, those of the grave are certainly the most touching and pathetic. There are no lessons that find their way so directly to the heart as those which are inscribed on the cold roof of that narrow house into the silent chambers of which we must all descend. The clachan kirk-yard is peculiarly rich in this melancholy lore; and we immediately proceed to scan a few of its more prominent pages. Here lies Bell of Antermony, one who travelled in many lands, and returned to rest in the dust of his native parish. There are laid the remains of an individual who sacrificed his life at the call of duty,—one of that noble band who died, in dark and troublous times, to purchase the religious freedom of their native land. Let us read the inscription on the "martyr’s grave ;"it contains all that we know of his sad story:—

"ERECTED IN MEMORY OF
WILLIAM BOICK,
WHO SUFFERED AT GLASGOW,
JUNE XIV., MDCLXXXIII.,

For his adherence to the Word of God, and Scotland’s Covenanted
Work of Reformation.

Underneath this stone doth lie
Dust sacrificed to tyranny,
Yet precious in Immanuel’s sight,
Since martyr’d for his kingly right.
Rev. chap. vii., verse 14."

Honour to the memory of the Christian hero! and may Scotland always find such in her hour of need! Passing over the intervening mounds, we find a weatherworn stone, fringed and partially veiled by the long grass, which, after brushing the encroaching verdure aside, we find to bear the following inscription :.—

"This is the burial-place of the Rev. Mr. John Collins. He was admitted minister of Campsie the 2d of November. 1641, and the tradition is, that he was murdered in returning from Glasgow about Martinmas, 1648."

Thereby hangs a tale, which, from tradition, we may condense thus:—Mr. Collins, minister of Campsie, during the period indicated on his gravestone, had a beautiful and a virtuous wife, the pride of his heart and the light of his home. The laird of Balglass, a small estate in the neighbourhood, conceived a guilty passion for the minister’s fair lady; but knowing from her spotless character, that he had no chance of obtaining her affections while her husband lived, he, with the view of obtaining the gratification of his desires, resolved by violence to shorten the days of his unsuspecting pastor. Accordingly, when Mr. Collins was returning in the dark from a meeting of Presbytery at Glasgow, about Martinmas, 1648, he was attacked by Balglass at a place called "Lodgemyloons," near the outskirts of the city, and basely murdered. The body of the minister was found next day and conveyed home, when it was discovered that he had also been robbed of his watch and a small sum of money—a circumstance which tended to mislead the authorities into the belief that the crime bad been committed by ordinary highwaymen. No suspicion fell on Balglass; and when some months of mourning had elapsed, he appeared, without exciting remark, as suitor for the hand of the beauteous widow. Ultimately, too, he gained her consent to the union, and after a decent interval they were married—whether happily or not we cannot tell; but the murderer and the innocent cause of his guilt lived thereafter for several years as man and wife. At length the lady, on entering a private room unexpectedly one day, discovered Balglass sitting at a table, on which lay a watch, which she immediately knew to be that of her deceased husband. The fatal truth flashed on her mind as she saw him attempting to hide the evidence of his guilt, and she bitterly accused him on the spot of having murdered the object of her early love. The wretched criminal, conscience-stricken, it is said, answered not a word, but rushing from the apartment, left the house, and was. "never heard of more."

While one of our Campsie friends, with suitable gravity of face and voice, furnishes us with the particulars we have thus briefly narrated, we form rather a curious group around the murdered minister’s grave. Sitting on a tombstone, paper and pencil in hand, is your humble servant; at our side, and evidently grueing at the contemplation of the bloody deed and its sad consequents, is our facetious friend, all traces of humour banished from his expressive face; leaning on his staff, and scanning the inscription at his feet, stands old Walter, with our second Campsie friend erect beyond him; while Davie, bolt upright at the head of the grave, casts many a longing eye towards the inn, and every now and then rubbing his hands as if in enjoyment, interrupts the speaker with his eldritch laugh, which forms a strange incongruous accompaniment to the tragic narrative. "There’s the banes o’ a gude story there," quoth old Walter when the speaker had concluded. ‘And the materials of a good picture," adds another. "But wulla get a dram, div ye think?" chimes in the poor idiot, waxing impatient, and again breaking into his characteristic giggle.

There are many curiously-carved old stones in the clachan kirk-yard, which would amply repay a leisurely inspection to any one who possesses, even in a slight degree, the tastes of Old Mortality, but time and space would fail us, were we to attempt at present to describe a tithe of them. One further specimen only we shall notice. It is one of a pair erected to the memory of individuals belonging to the ancient family of Kincaid. This stone is in excellent preservation considering its age. It is a quadrangular slab, the central portions of which are occupied by the armorial bearings and quarterings of the family, while around the edges is the following inscription:—" Heir lyis ane Honour-able man James Kinkaid of that ilk quha Desisit ye 9 of Janvar anno 1606:’ The other stone is almost a fac-simile of this, but, of course, is to the memory of another personage of the same family. A few yards from these stones, and nearer the centre of the ground, is the grave of William Muir, the Campsie poet, without the slightest memorial to mark his "whereabouts." We have heard, however, that a subscription is at present in progress, and we trust that a sum sufficient to erect a decent tablet to his memory may ere long be procured. The working men of Campsie do not lack spirit, and we have little doubt that they will cheerfully respond to an appeal in honour of one who was during life an honour to their class.’

The auld kirk, as we have already stated, is now a complete ruin. One gable, containing the belfry, and a portion of the side wall, are all that now remain of the edifice. It has been originally, however, of the most diminutive proportions and the plainest style of church architecture. The beautiful situation in which it is placed, and the interesting associations with which it is entwined, alone render it attractive to the visitor. An old bell suspended in the belfry is only tolled when funerals are taking place in the adjacent ground. "Let the gentlemen hear the bell, Davie," says one of our party, to try the fidelity of our unfortunate companion. "Na, na," he replied, "there’s nae burial." Nor could even a promise of the coveted dram bribe him from what he considered his duty. Poor Davie! we have known men with many, many talents as compared with thee, who could not have resisted that bribe.

Leaving the kirk-yard, and having persuaded our senior friends to seek the hospitable shelter of the inn until our return, and having given them strong injunctions to remember "Earl David," we now proceed to thread the mazes of the glen. For this purpose we cross the foaming Glazert by a convenient bridge, and, passing a rustic stile and a small bleachfield on the opposite side, soon find ourselves on a pleasant footpath, amid the flickering shadows of certain tall and stately beeches which stand like sentinels at the entrance of the ravine. These sylvan giants, we may mention, are said to have been planted on the occasion of the union of Scotland and England. The channel of the stream at this place is "beautiful exceedingly;" the brown waters rushing fretfully over a series of shelving rocks, which form, with their intermingling tints, a sort of natural mosaic, and produce a most pleasing effect as the slanting sunbeams play amid the dancing wavelets. Advancing a short distance, the Glazert is seen tumbling in foam over a tiny linn, and rushing hurriedly away from the rugged pass down which it has just been precipitated. The path now rises amid tangled steeps and overhanging cliffs, from which the tortured stream is seen far below, turning and twining and roaring, as with frightful velocity it dashes over and around immense masses of rocks which seem determined to retard its downward progress. As we proceed amidst a profusion of ferns and wild flowers, the banks wax more lofty, and become clad with a dense luxuriance of foliage. Now we pass a frail wooden bridge, and are in view of Craigie Linn, which is about fifty feet in height. The water—that of a small tributary to the Glazert—with a kind of hissing din, keeps ever straggling down the face of a dark precipice, in threads of silver whiteness, and falls into a craggy gully below. The recess in which this fairy cascade is situated is wild in the extreme, and were the waters in greater volume, would form a fine picture subject. Scrambling on our way, we arrive at a projecting corner where there is a seat, from which a splendid prospect is obtained of the lower portion of the glen. A deep chasm, bosky and rude, slopes steeply away at our feet; beyond is the wood-fringed and shadowy hollow of the ravine, revealing a spacious landscape in the distance, which is basking quietly in the rich amber radiance of the evening sun, and forming a dazzling contrast to the green gloom in which, amid rocks and trees and roaring waters, we are enveloped.

While lingering at this "coigne of vantage," scanning the picturesque scene before us, our attention is attracted by a fair-haired maiden, coming sauntering up the glen with a baby in her arms and a train of toddling wee things behind her. Across the ricketty bridge she trips, and now a little lassie gives her hand to a tinier brother, and assists him over the ledgeless structure. One false step, and destruction yawns for them in the gulf beneath. They seem perfectly unconcerned, however, and in a minute or two they are at our side. We inquire at the girl if she is not afraid to venture on such a dangerous walk in company with children, and are answered with an "Oh no! the balms are quite weel aequentit wi’ the road, and naething wrang has ever happened to ony o’ them." We think, as we see the red hips of the briar overhanging the precipitous banks, and tempting the little hands to pluck, that it is really a marvel "something wrong" has not happened. One of our friends, who like ourselves has bairns at home, seems to be of the same opinion, and fumbling in his pockets, brings forth a handful of "sweeties" and distributes them among the gratified younkers, as if for the purpose of wileing them from the contemplation of the dangerous bushes.

The glen, or ravine, as it might perhaps with great propriety be denominated, now becomes narrower, while the path approaches more nearly to the bed of the stream. A beautiful cascade next meets our gaze, the water in one sheet leaping over a barrier of rock, apparently about fifteen feet in height, with a roar that keeps the echoes in a constant state of activity and the overhanging boughs in a ceaseless tremour. Moving onward and upward, a rustic bridge is seen spanning the gulf, and we soon find ourselves leaning over its ledges enjoying the rich snatches of scenery which it commands. Another fine linn occurs immediately above the structure, which has evidently been erected for the purpose of enabling visitors to inspect the scene from the most advantageous point. The height of this fall is, to appearance, about the same as that which we have just mentioned. It is also of one leap, and the waters are precipitated into a deep, dark pool, which is fretted with foambells that are ever rising in myriads to the surface. In the vicinity of the bridge the path comes to an abrupt termination at the base of a considerable precipice. This is surmounted, however, by a rude kind of staircase, locally denominated "Jacob’s ladder," up which we manage to scramble without much difficulty. This is rather an awkward ascent for ladies, however, and many are the youthful pair of lovers who have been brought to a pause here. Ay, if that old tree which overlooks the spot were gifted with a tongue, full many a tale it could assuredly unfold of merry giggling groups, of blushing maids, and of loving words of badinage. As we are not likely to find "tongues in frees," however, and as no fair encumbrance, unfortunately, is on our hands to-day, we can afford to move lightly on, and a few minutes brings us to "Niagara," the last, best fall in the series. This beautiful linn is situated on the brow of the declivity up which we have been toiling. It has a little pf the horseshoe character of its vast American prototype, and like it possesses a subaqueous cavity, by means of which the adventurous visitor can pass unscathed beneath the falling torrent. In the bed of the stream, a few yards below the cascade, rises a ponderous mass of trap, surmounted by a patch of verdure pranked with gowans ever "wat wi’ dew." Ascending this natural altar, the view is indeed lovely; and while we are revelling in the varied beauties which it unfolds, one of our little band, inspired by the genius loci, bursts out into Luther’s sublime hymn. in which we all join with a fervour which makes the old gray rocks to ring, and almost drowns, for a time, the hoarse unceasing voices of the cataract. Soon our strain conies to an end, however, and the "never-ending, still-beginning" music of the stream resounds as before to the passing breeze. Ages on ages ere we saw the light has its dreary cadences been heard in this lone spot; and when the place which knows us now shall have forgotten us for ever, still "morning, noon, and night" shall the roar of its troubled waters ascend to the everlasting hills. In the words of the old song,

"Oh, we have wandered far and wide
O’er Scotia’s land of frith and fell,
And mony a lovely spot we’ve seen
By mountain hoar and flowery dell;"

but never within the same compass have we witnessed anything superior, in wild romantic beauty, to the glen through which we have now passed. Taking its features separately, we know that they can, each and all, be surpassed in many instances; but in combination, as we find them, our experience can produce nothing at all comparable to Campsie Glen. If we have any fault, indeed, to find with this unique and favourite haunt of the beautiful, it is that there is too little of it, and that its charms are too soon exhausted. This deficiency may be to some extent supplied, however, by a visit to its twin, the Fin Glen, which lies about half-a-mile to the westward. This delightful ravine possesses a greater volume of water than the Clachan Glen, and has two picturesque cascades. They are often talked of as rivals, but under the circumstances "comparisons are odorous," to use the words of old Dogberry, and we prefer to consider them as lovely sisters.

Retracing our steps down the glen, one side of which is now in sun and the other in shade, and we, as has been too often our lot, on the side of gloom, we soon arrive at the inn, where we find our good old friends engaged in a "three-handed crack," and not altogether a dry one, with the landlord, Mr. Muir. Nothing loath, of course, we join them, and spend an hour or so right pleasantly. We then return to the hospitable house of our friend at Lennoxtown, where the gudewife gives us a warm reception —pouring into us, indeed, both "canister and grape" (if on such an occasion we may borrow a phrase from poor Tom Hood), in well-directed and fast-succeeding discharges. Of course, after doing our best, we are at length compelled to capitulate, and cry aloud peccavi.

Our homeward course being over the same ground which we traversed in the early part of the day, we now don our "seven-league boots," with the aid of which we speedily get over the ground, and find ourselves, sometime within the bounds of what are called "elders’ hours," either in or on the Globe at George Square.


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