31 JANUARY 1880, Page 23

The Gentle Shepherd : a Pastoral Comedy. By Allan Ramsay,

with Portrait and Twelve Engravings by David Allan, and a Glossary. (W. and A. K. Johnston.)—This is a very handsome edition of a poem which many people talk about, but very few, we suspect, have read. The portrait was drawn by the poet himself. The illustrations have, as the editor says in his prefatory note, been associated for nearly a century with the popularity of the Gentle Shepherd,' a reason which mast be allowed without demur as sufficient for retaining them, whatever their artistic value. Some of the figures indeed, and even some of the compositions, are of considerable merit ; some pro.

duce a ludicrous effect which the designers can scarcely have intended. The original airs to the songs appear in their proper place in the text. We may give a specimen of the versification of the "Gentle Shepherd ":—

" Patie.—Tho' without a' the little helps of art,

Thy native sweets might gain a prince's heart ; Yet now, lest in our station we offend We must learn modes to innocence unken'd,— Affect aftimes to like the thing we hate, And drap serenity to keep up state; Laugh when we're sad, speak when we've nought to say,

And, for the fashion, when we're blyth, seem ; Pay compliments to them we aft have scorned, Then scandalise them when their backs are turned.

Pcggy.—If this is gentry, I had rather be What I am still ;—but I'll be ought with thee.

Patie.—No, no, my Peggy, I but only jest With gentry's apes ; for still amongst the best, Good manners give integrity a bleeze,

When native virtues join the arts to please."

" Bleeze," it may be explained, equals "blaze."