General > James L Purgavie, The Tealing Poet, 1859...
James L Purgavie, The Tealing Poet, 1859 to (date of death unknown)

James Lindsay Purgavie came to Tealing in 1885, at the age of 26 years, to take up the position of Gamekeeper on the Estate of Mr Fothringham of Fothringham. He began to rhyme partly to pass the time, and partly for amusement, and often spent the night on the hillside watching for some unwary member of the poaching fraternity. And so he started trying to relieve the tedium of watching and waiting by putting some of his thoughts and experiences into verse. His work became well known locally, leading in March 1900, by the request of many, to the publication of his book of poetry "Hillside Musings" printed by James P Mathew of Cowgate, Dundee, with a preface by the Reverend S Macaulay, Minister of Tealing Parish Church. Rev. Macaulay described James Purgavie as "a married man not unacquainted with the way of bairns" and said that he "describes nature as he has seen her and life as he has found it" - as illustrated in the following poem written by him.

Doon by the Burn

Doon by the burn I tak' a turn, In summer for a troot

It's braw to stare and see them there, Aye jinkin' in and oot

The sport is fine wi' rod an' line, An' hooks, an bait, an' reel

When burnie broon comes tum'lin doon, Oh, then to fill the creel!

A big hill shoo'er, a heavy poor, A burnie doon in spate

A red worm lure, the troots are sure, To mouth the temptin' bait

there are nine more verses in the complete version and then it ends as follows

It comes at will, an' strange the thrill, When fresh life-thochts are given

Doon by the burn I tak' a turn, An' earth just seems like heaven!

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