This ballad begins: 'WHat News, Friend Cuddie, how's your bonny Flock? / Death, fatal Death's giv'n mine a heavy Strock! / Now frae the bieldy Glens, and Velvet Lees, / Where I've been glad, a Pleasure quickly flees.'
In England, through Alexander Pope and Ambrose Philips, and in Scotland through Allan Ramsay, the eighteenth century saw a revival of the popularity of pastoral poetry, largely inspired by the Eclogues of Virgil. An eclogue is a short pastoral dialogue in verse. Ramsay in particular was skilled in the form, and achieved huge success with his pastoral play, 'The Gentle Shepherd', based on two of his earlier love eclogues. The poem on the broadside is a humorous parody of pastoral coventions, substituting the customary praise of nature with a melodramatic exchange about the death of a sheep.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
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Probable date published:
1750- shelfmark: RB.I.106(102)
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