Leyden, John

(1775-1811)
   Scottish poet, born in Denholm, Roxburghshire, a farmer's son who became a physician, and who by the end of his life knew some thirty languages. He went to Edinburgh University with the idea of entering the church, but turned to medicine. In 1803 he was appointed assistant surgeon in Madras, India, and he remained in the Far East for the rest of his life. In 1809 he became commissioner of the Court of Requests in Calcutta. He died in Java and is mentioned in Canto IV of Sir Walter Scott's The Lord of the Isles. He studied the grammars of the Malay and Pracrit tongues and undertook many translations. His poems on Border themes had considerable influence on the poetry of Sir Walter Scott, whom he assisted with The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802), and he contributed poems to many other collected works of the day. His The Poetical Remains was published in 1819. Some of his poems: "Address to My Malay Krees," "Christmas in Penang," "Lords of the Wilderness," "Ode on Visiting Flodden," "The Lay of the Ettercap," "The Wail of Alzira" (an anti-slavery poem).
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Folk Songs. John Williamson Palmer, ed. Charles Scribner and Company, 1867. Go Britannia! Scotland: Great Scots of Note (http://www.britannia.com/celtic/scotland/greatscots/l1.html). Leyden, "The Wail of Alzira." The poem (http://www2.bc.edu/Leyden, Johnricharad/asp/jlwa.html). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http:// library.stanford.edu). The Brand-X Antholog y of Poetry. William Zaranka, ed. Apple-Wood Books, 1981. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Regency Verse 1798-1837. H.S. Milford, ed. Oxford University Press, 1928. The Oxford Book of Travel Verse. Kevin Crossley-Holland, ed. Oxford University Press, 1986. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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