[From Douglas and other poems]
Yielding to the solicitations and suggestions of many of my friends who are desirous of possessing my poetical writings in a collected form I have decided, all being well, to compile and publish them in an elegant octavo volume; and in order that my friends and others may be enabled to secure copies, and as the forthcoming edition may not be a very large one, I have thought it desirable to bring the publication under their notice by means of the present advertisement.
As this will be my first volume of song, I hope it may not prove altogether unacceptable to my friends and the public generally; I hope it may be far otherwise, at all events, it may have some claim to their patronage from the fact that it will be eminently a Boon OF INSULAR SONG, the whole of the poems having been composed and written on the Island. In the principal poem, "DOUGLAS," now appearing for the first time as a complete work, I have endeavoured to describe, it may be but faintly, but with all the loving enthusiasm of a poet, some of the many charms and natural advantages of our dear old town, the poem consisting of some thirty odd stanzas of nine lines each. Being
" Native here,
And to the manner born,"
I win yield to no one in my love of the land of my birth--
" This other Eden, demi-paradise;
* * * * *
This precious stone set in the silver sea,"-
rich in historical, ecclesiastical, and other associations; and if I have too highly embellished the description of its beauties, both in " Douglas" and several other poems, it must be attributed to a pardonable national pride, and to that excess of admiration we must ever feel for what is ennobling and beautiful.
By far the greater number of the poems have already appeared in the columns of our excellent local newspapers and magazines, and leading, as they do, therefore an unsettled kind of existence-scattered here and there-I should be pleased to see them clothed in a becoming dress and launched forth, with all their faults and imperfections on their heads on the sea of public opinion, there to sink or swim according to their merits. I should then have done my duty to them-the children of my fancy-having collected them and stood by them like a true parent. I can calmly abide " the hazard of the day."
Knowing the warm interest that LADY Loch evinces in local art, and in all movements which have for their object the welfare and advance ment of the beautiful Island home of her ladyship's adoption, I requested and happily obtained permission to dedicate the volume to her Ladyship, a favour of which I am deeply sensible, and for which I shall ever feel truly grateful.
THE very flattering response received to the foregoing advertisement has been to me a source of the deepest gratification, and in offering to my friends and the public generally my First Volume of Song, I take this opportunity of openly recording my sincere and grateful thanks to those of my friends and others who have subscribed to the work, which I can only regret is not more worthy of their acceptance. I also beg to thank many of the subscribers for their kind congratulatory letters, the expressions contained in which, I need scarcely add, I value far more highly than I do their orders for the work.
I may mention that I have carefully revised the whole of the contents, all of which have been written in my leisure hours, and are some of the fruits of a life not wholly engrossed with commercial pursuits; removing several typographical and other errors, some the result of hasty composition; and amending many in other respects. I am conscious, however, that the work is still not without its faults-what human work is? yet such as it is, I commend it to the consideration and kindness of my readers.
As stated in the advertisement, the greater portion of the Poems has already appeared in newspapers, and to a number of them the date of their composition is affixed; this will, no doubt, be interesting to many of my friends. I may add that I claim-what I am sure will be freely allowed-for several of the " Earlier Poems," which will be found at the close of the volume, more consideration than for any of the other contents; though, perhaps, not marked by any great degree of excellence either in diction or style they are accorded a place with their later brethren. For the other Poems I claim no more than they deserve, feeling assured that their faults -numerous though they may be-will not be unduly magnified, and that any merit they display will be freely and frankly acknowledged. In conclusion, addressing my readers, I would simply add, in the words of Longfellow-
"'If any thought of mine, or sung, or told,
lies ever given delight or consolation
Ye have repaid me back a thousand-fold
By every friendly sign and salutation.
Thanks for the sympathies that ye have shown !
Thanks for each kindly word, each silent token
That teaches me, when seeming most alone
Friends are around us, though no word be spoken."