The contents are as follows.
(i) Originals and copies of verses, 1825-1829, written by William Edmondstoune Aytoun while a schoolboy at Edinburgh Academy, all apparently unpublished. (Folio 1.)
(ii) Verse translations from the German of Goethe, presumably compiled by Aytoun for his ‘Poems and ballads of Goethe’ (Edinburgh, 1859) but all, with one exception, apparently unpublished. The titles are: “The shepherd's lament” (or 'Schafers Klagelied', there are two versions of this poem, the first of which was published in the above volume); 'A daydream' ('Sehnsuchte', there is another version of this poem, not included in this manuscript, published as 'Longing' in the same volume); 'Nahe'; 'A simile' ('Beherzigung'); 'The Chinese in Rome' ('Der Chinese in Rom' from 'Antiker form sich Nahernd', there are also two versions of this poem); 'Die Wonne der Liebe' (Kliirchen's Lied from 'Egmont', Act III); 'Gluck und Gleich' ('Gleich und Gleich'); 'St Peter and the cherries' ('Legende von Hufeisen'); 'Trusty Eckhart' ('Der getreue Eckhart'); 'Self-deception' ('Selbstbetrug'); 'Resolution' ('Muth'); 'Another' ('Ein Andres'); and 'Roman elegies, no. 3' (from 'Romische Elegieen'). (Folio 12.)
(iii) A poem in German entitled 'Der Gechtischer Kreigs-minister' [sic]. (Folio 27.)
(iv) Drafts of portions of the 'Nuptial ode on the marriage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales', published, 1863, in pamphlet form. (Folio 28.)
(v) Two political poems. The first, untitled, concerns John Bright. The second concerns Lord Palmerston and is entitled “All Fool’s Day in the University of Edinburgh, A.D. 1863'. Both are apparently unpublished. (Folio 37.)
(vi) Miscellaneous verses, all apparently unpublished. (Folio 43.)