William Edmonstoune Aytoun (1813-1865) was a Scottish poet, humourist and writer. His first publication, a volume entitled Poland, Homer, and Other Poems, in which he gave expression to his eager interest in the state of Poland, had appeared in 1832. While in Germany he made a translation in blank verse of the first part of Faust; but, forestalled by other translations, it was never published. In 1836 he made his earliest contributions to Blackwoodâ¿¿s Magazine, in translations from Uhland, and from 1839 until his death he remained on the staff of Blackwoodâ¿¿s. In it appeared most of his humourous prose pieces, such as The Glenmutchkin Railway, How I Became a Yeoman, and How I Stood for the Dreepdaily Burghs, all full of vigorous fun. His reputation as a poet chiefly rests on Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers (1848). In 1845 he was appointed professor of rhetoric and belles lettres at the University of Edinburgh. Amongst his other works are: The Bon Gaultier Ballads (with T. Martin) (1845), Firmilian:... A Spasmodic Tragedy (1854), Ballads of Scotland (2 volumes) (1858) and Norman Sinclair (1861).