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James Donaldson - His Poetry

This poem by James Donaldson is one of a very few examples of his work discovered outside of those published in his own personal copy, which is held in the National Library of Scotland, or in the local newspapers of the period. Its existence first came to light while conducting research in the library many years ago in a copy of "Alloa And Its Environs - A Descriptive and Historical Sketch" printed and published in Alloa at the Alloa Advertiser Office by James Lothian in 1861. This work was re-printed in 1983 by Clackmannanshire Libraries for which due thanks is recorded for permission to reproduce it here. Appreciative thanks also go to Chris Calder and other members of the Tullibody History Group for their considerable help in this family project.

Although there is no conclusive evidence that James was a regular visitor and customer of James McIsack, the very nature of this memorial poem, suggest this a being a reasonable assumption.
The following inscription was penned by the late Mr
James Donaldson of Devon :-

This Stone was erected by a few friends
To the Memory of
Mr JAMES McISACK, late Bookseller in Alloa,
Who died 15th May, 1834, aged 66 years.
  Reader!   Waiting the final dawn,
For all the books I've bound Mine ashes here are laid;
  Here now with valley clods,   Life's labour o'er, and I'm with-
In sheets I'm rotting under ground, drawn,
  Death makes a might odds!   here I have found my bed.
Thus, at the shut of day, the weary bird,
Leaves the wide heav'ns, and in the lonely brake
Cow'rs down, and, waking with the break of day,
Then claps its freshen'd wings and bears away.

Date last modified: Sat 01 Jun 13