Extract from Glasgow
And Its Clubs; (1857) by John Strang LL.D.
Mr John Dunlop was
the younger brother of Mr Dunlop of Garnkirk. He was originally a
merchant in Glasgow, and attained the dignity of Lord Provost of the
City He was afterwards appointed Collector at Borrowstounness. and
ultimately Collector of Customs at Port-Glasgow, where he died He
was a man of sound sense, considerable wit and humour sang
beautifully, and possessed in fact every qualification calculated to
render him a delightful social companion He had a considerable
talent for versification and contributed many gems to what may be
called the theatre of mortality. Among these are two given in the "Cottness
Collections," printed by the Maitland Club, the first Intended for a
tablet, designed by Lady Frances Stewart for that connubial arbour
at Coltness, which was the favourite retreat of her husband and
herself in the bright days of their early love, and again in the
mellow calm of their declining years, and the second the appropriate
and feeling tribute to the memory of Lady Frances herself, the last
of which appeared in a privately-circulated collection of similar
effusions, by the same author As a fair specimen of his elegiac
powers, we give the latter ;—
For beauty and for
youth let others weep,
Laid by the hand of death in life's last sleep.
Their fate lament, their merits blazon o'er,
Lost to the work) that ne'er shall see them more.
Tho' neither youth nor beauty slumbers here
Yet age and virtue claim the parting tear
A tear to grace the spot where wisdom lies,
Wit without malice, truth without disguise
Here rests religion, void of vain pretence,
Founded on reason and matured by sense
With every Christian attribute adorr'd,
By all who knew, who felt its Influence, mourn'd.
Blest be the heart that heaves the generous sigh,
Sacred the drop that springs from sorrow's eye,
Yet reason shall our selfish grief restrain.
And check the tear that now must flow In vain
Far, far removed from sorrow's sighs and tears.
Thy holy spirit dwells in heavenly spheres,
Welcomed by angels to their high abode
Pure as themselves, and reconciled to God."
Mr Dunlop did not
confine himself altogether to epitaphs, but at times indulged in the
gayer music of the lyre. Among the many lyrics which he penned, we
may merely mention the well-known songs of "Here's a health to the
year that's awa'," and "Dinna ask me gin I lo'e ye?" both of which
still keep their place among the most popular songs of the day On
talking lately to my venerable trend Principal Macfarlan, respecting
Mr Dunlop, with whom he was acquainted, he mentioned that at the
first meeting of the Sons of the Clergy which the Principal
attended, which was in 1795, Mr Dunlop sat as being then the Provost
of Glasgow, on the tight hand of the Chairman, Dr Porteous, and
showed himself well worthy of holding that distinguished office. It
may be stated that Mr Dunlop was father of the well-known Sheriff of
Renfrewshire whose work on 'The History of Fiction" justly gained
for its author the highest credit and reputation.