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At one period of life, nothing could be further from my ideas, than appearing in the character of an Author; and it is still with the greatest diffidence I offer myself to your notice, in that capacity. From a very early period of life, I / have been a votary of the Muses, and frequently employed a leisure hour in composing a few stanzas, which, after being committed to paper, and lying sometime neglected, were generally, upon a re-perusal, committed to the flames. For these last few years (owing to circumstances with which

you are mostly acquainted), I have had a considerable portion of spare time upon my hands ; and to banish ennui, in the spring and summer months, I was often to be found by some of the mountain brooks of Crawford Moor, or by the more inland stream of the Carron, and its tributaries, with my fishing-rod in my hand, engaged in the solitary, but pleasing amusement of angling. In these circumstances, surrounded by the sublime and beautiful, the mountain cataract, and the confluence of kindred streams, the stupendous hills, that raise their towering tops to the clouds, over the Carron, for a considerable part of its infant course, and those delightfully wooded banks, that border it to its junction with the flowing Nith, my Muse again paid me a welcome visit; and cordially embracing her, this Volume (with a very few exceptions) is the consequence of our connection. I am conscious that the bantling is very rickety and deformed, and that, upon exhibition, it will very likely be hissed off the stage, by an host of critics; but, in that event, I must console myself with these lines of the discerning Pope :

“ In poets, as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share."

But there is still a stronger consideration that fortifies


mind, and will fully compensate want of popularity-To my knowledge, I have written nothing immodest or immoral; this being the case, if my poetical effusions do not amuse, they will not contaminate. If they do not command your approbation, they will at the least excite your sympathy; and as I have done


endeavour to please, I will be much disappointed, should I be so unfortunate as not to meet with the approbation of my subscribers, a number of whom have been so kind, as to express themselves highly satisfied with the specimens I have shown them, and at whose request, in a great measure, this Volume is put to the press. I shall conclude, Gentlemen, by returning you my most sincere thanks for your patronage. I have the honor to be, with profound respect,

Your most humble
And most devoted servant,


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