An 1816 manuscript of James Beattie's poem The Minstrel and some of Beattie's other poems. The Minstrel was originally published in two parts in 1771 and 1774. This particular manuscript of the poem(s) bears a dedication to Sir Archibald Grant, second Baronet of Monymusk in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was copied by "his devoted servant George Mackay." The contents the volume are a preface followed by various poems, as described below: Preface to the Minstrel, beginning, "The design was to trace the progress of a Poetical Genius, born in a rude age, from the first dawning of fancy and reason till that period at which he may be supposed capable of appearing in the world as MINSTREL that is, as an iteninerant Poet and Musician..." The Minstrel, first book (pages 1-26): "Ah! who can tell how hard it is to climb/The steep, where Fame's proud temple shines afar!" The Minstrel, second book (pages 31-52): "Of chance or change, O let not man complain/Else shall he never, never cease to wail" Retirement: An Ode (pages 55-57): "When, in the crimson cloud of Even,/The lingering light decays" Elegy (page 58-61): "Still shall unthinking man substantial deem/The forms, that fleet through life's deceitful dream?" The Hares: A Fable (pages 62-71): "Yes, yes, I grant the sons of earth/Are doomed to trouble from their birth:" Epitaph: Being Part of an Inscription for a Monument To Be Erected By a Gentle To the Memory of His Lady (page 72): "Farewell, my best beloved! whose heavenly mind/Genius with virtue, strength with softness, joined;" To the Right Honourable Lady Charlotte Gordon Dressed In a Tartan Scots Bonnet, with Feathers (page 73): "Why, Lady, wilt thou bind thy lovely brown/With the dread semblance of that warlike helm," The Hermit (pages 74-76): "At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,/And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove," The Triumph of Melancholy (pages 77-85): "Memory, be still! why throng upon the thought/These scenes so deeply stained with sorrows dye?"
The Minstrel or The Progress of Genius with Some Other Poems by James Beattie LL.D.
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Note on inside cover of MSS reads: "Presented to Cambridge University Library by Sir Stephen Gaselee, K.C.M.G., Fellow of Magdalene College." No year given.
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