William Julius Mickle
Biography of William Julius Mickle
William Julius Mickle (1735–1788) was a Scottish poet.
Son of the minister of Langholm, Dumfriesshire, he was for some time a brewer in Edinburgh, but failed. He moved to England where he worked as a corrector for the Clarendon Press at Oxford. In 1771-75 Mickle lodged at the manor house in Forest Hill, Oxfordshire. Mickle had various literary failures and minor successes until, while at Forest Hill, he produced his translation of the Lusiad, from the Portuguese of Luís de Camões. This was a success that brought him both fame and money.
In 1777 he went to Portugal, where he was received with distinction. In 1784 he published the ballad of Cumnor Hall, which suggested to Scott the writing of Kenilworth. He is perhaps best remembered, however, by the beautiful lyric, There's nae luck aboot the Hoose, which, although claimed by others, is almost certainly his.
In 1781 Mickle married Mary Tomkins, the daughter of his former landlord in Forest Hill, and settled in Wheatley. He died in 1788 while on a visit to his in-laws, and is buried in Forest Hill churchyard.
William Julius Mickle Poems
The Sailor's Wife
And are ye sure the news is true? And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to think o' wark?
There's Nae Luck About The House
And are ye sure the news is true? And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to think o' wark? Mak haste, lay by your wheel;
The dews of summer nighte did falle, The moone (sweete regente of the skye) Silver'd the walles of Cumnor Halle, And manye an oake that grewe therebye.
The Sailor's Wife
And are ye sure the news is true?
And are ye sure he's weel?
Is this a time to think o' wark?
Ye jades, lay by your wheel;
Is this the time to spin a thread,
When Colin's at the door?
Reach down my cloak, I'll to the quay
And see him come ashore.
For there's nae luck about the house,