& CO. LIMITED
THE Illustrated Large-paper Edition of the LATER
POEMS of "Surfaceman," published in 1912, received a
hearty welcome, alike from the public and the press, but, at half a
guinea, it was beyond the reach of many who desired to possess the volume;
and the publishers have been frequently urged to issue a cheaper edition.
The present volume is the result. It contains the Biographical
Sketch and all the poems published in the first edition, but none of the
illustrations except the portrait frontispiece.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION
THE present volume is the outcome of a frequently
expressed desire by many of Alexander Anderson's friends and admirers,
who, after his death, felt that it would be a becoming tribute to his
worth as a man, and to his merits as a poet, to collect and publish a
Memorial Volume of his poems, a large number of which had never appeared
in book form, and many of which, as was well known, had never got beyond
the manuscript stage.
The idea at first was to make a selection partly from the
poet's four published volumes, and partly from his unpublished and
fugitive pieces; but the latter were found to be so numerous that it was
decided to leave the poems in the published volumes to be dealt with on
some future occasion. With the exception, therefore, of "Cuddle
Doon," which has been admitted because it is the first of a sequence of
poems which would not be complete without it, no poem that has appeared in
any of the former volumes finds a place in this collection.
The task of collecting the poems, which were scattered abroad
in various magazines and periodicals, over a long series of years, has
been one of no small difficulty; and, though a very large number have been
secured, it is more than possible that some may up till now remain
The work of selection has been scarcely less arduous—the
chief difficulty being the abundance of material—and many pieces of great
merit have had to be left out for lack of space. In the selection,
the design has been to make the book representative of the poet in all his
moods, with a bias, perhaps, in favour of those pieces which seemed most
likely to meet with general acceptance.
No attempt has been made to classify or group together the
poems that show the varied characteristics of the poet's work. The
order adopted is in the main chronological so far as the poems that have
already been printed are concerned; but there was nothing to indicate the
dates of many of those left in manuscript. The method followed has
been chosen with a view to preserving the charm of variety, and increasing
the interest of the collection as a whole.
Of the previously published pieces included in this volume,
the greater part appeared in The People's Friend, but a
considerable number of them were first published in Chambers's Journal,
Good Words, the Evening Dispatch, and the Dundee Weekly
News; and the editor gratefully acknowledges the courtesy of the
editors and publishers of these newspapers and magazines in permitting
their reproduction. "Anvil and Newspaper," which appeared in The
British Workman, is inserted by permission of the publishers, Messrs
S. W. Partridge & Co., Ltd.
For much valuable assistance in preparing the work for the
press, and revising of the proofs, I am indebted to Mr Alexander Kennedy,
Kenmill House, Bothwell; Mr Alan Reid, F.E.I.S., The Loaning, Edinburgh;
Mr Thomas Fraser, Maxwellknowe, Dalbeattie, and others. To them, and
to the artists who have contributed drawings for the illustrations, and to
Mr Robert T. Rose, who secured and collected the drawings, I tender most
The book, which is made up largely of poems written in his
maturer years, when the lyrical faculty of the poet had become fully
developed, is now submitted to the generous consideration, not only of
Scotsmen at home and abroad, but of all lovers of Scottish literature.
EDINBURGH, 24th August, 1912.