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LADY NAIENE AND HER SONGS.
Lady Nairne, was hardly less strong, fed as it was upon the vivid traditions and by the stories and histories of the men living about them, or of their own families, full of all the elements of poetry, and their purpose to vivify and recreate the native song of Scotland must have had its most fertile impulse and material in the Jacobite songs, of which the country is full. In Lady Nairne the ancestral and personal impulse must have been especially strong. Her father and mother had been married in exile; her grandfather had been distinguished for his services as well as for his misfortunes, and upon both sides her family had been notable for more than one generation for its loyalty and its importance in the Scotch struggle for the restoration of the Stuarts. An old ballad says: —
Gask and Strowan were nae slack,
and letters of thanks and tokens of gratitude from the royal hands were heirlooms of the houses. It was a keen pleasure to the grandfather in his old age to hear the songs and the music which had illumined the unhappy cause, and it is no wonder that the earliest inspiration of the young poetess was from such themes, and her keenest reward to see the blood warming more freely the old man's worn cheeks as she sang the new and stirring words to the old airs, and found the token of her success