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As opportunities presented, during the casual intervals of relaxation allowed the Editor from more immediate studies and pursuits, he has been wont to amuse himself, by gathering together, from various sources occasionally placed within his reach, the materials from which the three first sections of the present work have been arranged; and now, since these are about to be laid before the public, he hopes it will not be deemed over-presumptive upon his part, at this time to hazard the remark, that, were their respective merits to be estimated by the care and pains which have already been bestowed by him, in rendering them acceptable to a few admirers and patrons of this department of lyrical composition, his well-meant attempts to while away the tedium of an idle hour, with those who may not consider varieties such as the following, beneath their notice, will not then by him be deemed to have been futile, nor his hitherto labours to please them, abortive. Reader, have you ever watched, or haply accompanied the youth in his devious rambles through the glen, as, in boyhood's dawning morn, he culled from the luxuriant herbage, opening upon the fairy prospect around him, a blossom of every hue that Flora garlands her Spring mantle with? If so, you never will forget, while life's pulse continues to vibrate warm within you, the glowing recollections which that lovely morning's perambulation hath left behind it, upon memory's track. From the margin of the still pool beneath the linn, the youthful enthusiast gathers the white and the yellow water-lilies, leaving the less inviting iris and the arrow-leafed water-plantain, to preside over the blooming grot or dingle's recess, during the absence of the fair nymphs of the burn; the rose-bay willow, scarlet campion, and paler saxifrage, are anon gathered by him from the streamlet's dimpled margin; the daffodil, golden-cup, and various coloured violets, perfuming and scentless, from the shelving bank above; while the marshy mossy spot hollowed beneath the shadowing mountain ash-tree, fringed over with heather-bell and polypody, next afford him the light and the deep blooming speckled orchis, the yellow asphodel, and the pink-eyed sundew. Not yet satiated with young Summer's offerings, the ambitious little urchin scales the summit of his elysium, studded over with the changeful milk-wort, and adds to his posie, the blue gentian, the eye-bright, the deep gold and carmine streaked St. John's wort, and the Alpine
scorpion grass of etherial blue, with a golden star in its breast: so, having gathered his nosegay, and wreathed it round with a limber twig of meadow-sweet, or a tendril of woodbine, he returns home, and exultingly presents the treasure to his delighted parents, who forthwith are invited to rejoice with him in their turn, as he tells over, one by one, the various dyed blossoms, and enumerates the different localities of strath and fell, from whence he so lately collected them.
Time steals on apace, till life's meridian has settled over him; yet all the storms and vicissitudes with which fortune alternately has assailed bis course, while journeying onward to this goal, cannot efface the sunny spots, which, of yore, kept hallowing and playing around his childhood's fancy, nor dim the pristine recollection which erst had called them forth into existence, and now matured them with manhood.
Even so, it fares with the legendary lore of Ballad and Song, which has been painted and impressed upon the young and susceptible mind, by the maiden, mother, or matron, who watched over our dawning years, while
“We danced our infancy upon their knees,"
which grew with our growth, and strengthened with our