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> James Hogg, The Ettrick Shepherd
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Catriona 
Posted: 17-Nov-2003, 09:40 AM
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Born in 1770, James Hogg was the son of an impoverished farmer from the Borders. He only had 6 months formal schooling, but grew up listening to tales and legends as told by his mother. He started his working life as a shepherd, but started to write in his mid-twenties. He mostly wrote in Scots, but occasionally, he wrote in 'proper' English.

He became a fiend of Sir Walter Scott - his father had worked a farm on Scott's land at one stage. Legend says he gave SWS some of the ideas (folk tales, etc) for plots for his books. Although they were of totally different social circumstances, they remained friends most of their lives (well, mostly!) He died in 1835.

He is another of Scotland's best poets. I learned this poet when I was about 12, and I can still quote it, verbatim, to this day biggrin.gif

A BOY'S SONG

WHERE the pools are bright and deep,
Where the grey trout lies asleep,
Up the river and over the lea,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Where the blackbird sings the latest,
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Where the mowers mow the cleanest,
Where the hay lies thick and greenest,
There to track the homeward bee,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,
Where the shadow falls the deepest,
Where the clustering nuts fall free,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

Why the boys should drive away
Little sweet maidens from the play,
Or love to banter and fight so well,
That 's the thing I never could tell.

But this I know, I love to play
Through the meadow, among the hay;
Up the water and over the lea,
That 's the way for Billy and me.

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