Thomas Craig Poems

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Thomas Craig
Sir Thomas Craig, Knt., (c. 1538 - February 26, 1608) was a Scottish jurist and poet. It is probable that he was the eldest son of William Craig of Craigfintray, or Craigston, in Aberdeenshire, but beyond the fact that he was in some way related to the Craigfintray family nothing regarding his birth is known with certainty. He was educated at the University of St Andrews, where he took the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1555. From St. Andrews he went to France, to study the canon and the civil law. He returned to the Kingdom of Scotland about 1561, and was admitted advocate in February 1563. In 1564, he was appointed justice-depute by the justice-general, Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll; and in this capacity he presided at many of the criminal trials of the period in Edinburgh, and in 1606 was made procurator for the church. He never became a lord of session, a circumstance that was unquestionably due to his own choice. He is said to have refused the honor of knighthood which James I of England conferred on him in 1604. He had come to London as one of the Scottish commissioners regarding the personal union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, the only political object he seems to have cared about. But in accordance with James' command he has always been styled and reputed a knight. Craig was married to Helen, daughter of Heriot of Lumphoy in Midlothian, by whom he had four sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Sir Lewis Craig (1569-1622), was raised to the bench in 1604, and among his other descendants are several well-known names in the list of Scottish lawyers. Except his poems, the only one of Craig's works which appeared during his lifetime was his Jus feudale (1603; ed. R. Burnet, 1655; Leipzig, 1716; ed. J. Baillie 1732). The object of this treatise was to assimilate the laws of England and Scotland, but, instead of this, it was an important factor in building up and solidifying the law of Scotland into a separate system. Other works were De unione regnorum Britanniae tractatus, De jure successionis regni Angliae and De hominio disputatio. Translations of the last two have been published, and in 1910 an edition of the De Unione appeared, with translation and notes by C. S. Terry. Craig's first poem, an Epithalamium in honor of the marriage of Mary queen of Scots and Darnley, appeared in 1565. Most of his poems have been reprinted in the Delitiae poetarum Scotorum. See P. F. Tytler, Life of Craig (1823), and the Life prefixed to Bailhie's edition of the Jus feudale.

the house of clay
THERE was a house, a house of clay,
Wherein the inmate sat all day,... [read poem]
only a woman
"She loves with love that cannot tire:
And if, ah, woe! she loves alone,
... [read poem]
the beira malaria
When you rise to greet old Phœbus with a booming in your head,
And your temples throb ... [read poem]
"And we shall be changed."

YE dainty mosse... [read poem]
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