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was a Scottish
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...
poet born in Dumfries
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South...
, South West Scotland. In 1780, his poem The Siller Gun
appeared in its original form in Ruddiman's Magazine
, published by Walter Ruddiman
Walter Ruddiman was a Scottish printer, publisher and newspaper proprietor based in Edinburgh. Born in Alvah, near Banff, in the North-East of Scotland, he was the youngest son of the farmer James Ruddiman and nephew of the printer, scholar and librarian Thomas Ruddiman whose business was also...
in Edinburgh. It is a humorous poem descriptive of an ancient custom in Dumfries of shooting for the "Siller Gun." Mayne was continually adding to it, until it grew to five cantos. He also wrote a poem on Hallowe'en
in 1780 which influenced the bard of Scotland Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...
' 1785 poem Halloween
"Halloween" is a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. First published in 1786, the poem is included in the Kilmarnock volume...
. Mayne also wrote a version of the ballad, Helen of Kirkconnel
- Overview :It was published by Walter Scott in Volume 2 of The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. An early version was also published by John Mayne. It is also known as Kirkconnel Lee.Here is one explanation of the story behind the ballad:...
. His verses were admired by Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time....