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Heather-Bells
Or Poems and Stories by Sir William Allan (1875)


IN the dread campaigns of war it must be a soul strengthening and invigorating relief to the young soldier, who has been marching dauntlessly on in the path of duty, to fling off his travel-stained accoutrements when the bugle sounds the "Halt!" and to seek rest in some sequestered spot, where the warbling of birds and wafted perfume of flowers make him forget his weary limbs, and mellow his reflections. So it is with me, the continuous and stern campaign of life- I find a hallowed and sweetening solace, after each day's march is over, when I revel in my peaceful flower-garden ie by "my ain fireside, amang the bairns." Flinging aside the habiliments of business, and liberating my mind from the luring gyves of practical science, I am virtually lost in bliss; so great, indeed, is my joy and pleasure that I at times (for the delectation of my bairnie flowers) give expression, while under their exhilarating and benign influence, to hamely screeds 0' verse. Hence this volume, which I have called "Heather-Bells." Should it be received with the same favour· that has been accorded to my former volumes-"Rough Castings" and "Hame-spun Lilts"-all I can say is, that I shall have been nobly encouraged in my Song-efforts, and will have no reason to complain of the public appreciation of my Doric strains.

WILLIAM ALLAN.
SUNDERLAND, July, 1875.

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