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truth. Be it so; we must be content with | Article lying as yet among the dim possisimple reality, the downright prose of tene-bilities of the Future, we shall once more ments unburnt and throats safe, until the conduct our readersspell be cast upon us from some other region of Fancy, when in some unborn
" To fresh fields and pastures new."
From the British Quarterly Review.
Poems and Songs by Allan Cunningham, now first collected, with an Introduction and
Notes. By PETER CUNNINGHAM. London : John Murray, 1845.
The late Allan Cunningham was one of tionable. But his lyrics in the mass must those men of genius, whose aspirings were class as ballads and not as songs, exquisite unquestionably derived from their intense as most of them are in poetry and in feeladmiration of the muse of Robert Burns. ing. Allan Cunningham has fallen short as That Cunningham lighted the torch of his a lyrical writer, in the same way that other poesy at that of the gifted ploughman of aspirants to this difficult species of writing Ayrshire cannot be doubted; but we may have failed. He has not been sufficiently add that, in our opinion, he is the brightest steeped in the music to which he ought to star of that galaxy of which Burns is the have written. In this lay the excellence of centre. Deriving much of his peculiar man- Burns. The air, with him, inspired the ner from a contemplation of the works of
He “crooned” over it, until his inhis great prototype, he is not an imitator flammable soul caught fire ; and in this in any servile sense of the word, but stands
way his inimitable lyrics had birth. The forth an original poet, upon the pedestal of inspiration of Burns was through the ear. his own fine and ardent intellect. Next to that of Moore is evidently the same. Cunningham, perhaps, comes the Ettrick Other song-writers have written to the eye ; Shepherd; but to the poetry of the former and a set of verses written to the eye, no we must award the preference. There is, matter by whom, can only turn out to be a in almost every effort of Hogg, an in
song by mere accident. The ballad is less equality, and often a coarseness, from difficult. It has less dependence upon its which the poems of Cunningham are free. air. The union between the two is less inAs lyrists, both of them are far below their timate. The ballad-tune partakes more of great leader, Burns; but such songs, as the nature of a chant than of an air, and Cunningham' has written are better than the ancient ones are all of one single strain. those of Hogg. We may say the same of In ballad writing we are inclined to place Cunningham's Ballads (a much inferior Allan Cunningham in the van of Scotch species of composition), most of which are
poets. In this line he need not fear a comexquisite, and will bear a comparison with parison with Burns ; for in this Burns has the few ballads (proper) which Burns has done little, and he has done much. Let written. We have already stated that with him, however, speak for himself. The adthe exception of the exquisite Burns and the mirable strains of the “ Lord's Marie," and living Thomas Moore, neither Great of “Bonnie Lady Anne,” have been so often Britain nor Ireland has produced a great quoted, that we pass them over, as familiar song-writer. Before the time of Burns, the to many of our readers. The following, compositions that passed for songs in Eng- however, which purports to be a relic of the land, such as those of Carew, Suckling, times of the Covenant,” is less known. Prior, &c., were merely elegant and witty, or prettily pointed copies of verses. The
• Thou hast sworn by thy God, my Jeannie, rest were mere insipidities moulded into
By that pretty white hand o' thine, metre, without one requisite of “ song" but And by a' the lowing stars in heav'n, the name.
Within the rigid line we have That thou wad aye be mine! drawn, as to song-writers, we cannot admit And I hae sworn by my God, my Jeannie,
And by that kind heart o' thine, Allan Cunningham. He has written a few By a' the stars sown thick owre heav'n, real and beautiful lyrics ; that is unques That thou shalt ay be mine!
" Then foul fa' the hands wad loose sic bands, "moonlight summer-night. Beautiful are
And the heart that was part sic love; But there's nae hand can loose the band
they, but not earthly, and their effects are Save the finger o' God above.
not of earth. Tho' the wee wee cot maun be my bield, And my claithing e'er sae mean,
"I the second lilt of that sweet sang I wad lap me up rich i' the faulds o' love,
Of sweetness it was sae fu', Heav'n's armfu' o'my Jean!
The tod leapt out frae the frighted lambs,
An' dighted his red-wat mou'. “ Her white arm wad be a pillow to me, Fu' safter than the down:
"l' the very third lilt o' that sweet sang, An' love wad winnow owre us his kind kind wings, Red lowed the new woke moon : An' sweetly I'd sleep an' soun'.
The stars drapp'd blude on the yellow gowan tap Come here to me, thou lass o' my love,
Sax miles that maiden roun'.
young Cowehill” cannot resist the An' I canna pray but thee.
magic influence of the melody; and in “The morn-wind is sweet mang the beds o'new spite of the warnings of his page, he hurflow'rs,
ries down to the shore, to see and speak to The wee birds sing kindly on hie,
the creature who can produce such strains. Our gude-man leans o'er his kail-yard dyke, He finds a beautiful and artful woman in
And a blythe auld bodie is he.
and to her blandishments he hame, Wi' the holy psalmodie; And thou maun speak o' me to thy God,
“But first come take me 'neath the chin, And I will speak o' thee !"
An syne come kiss my cheek;
l' the new-moon beam to dreep.
Syne kissed her rosy cheek, posed to be the last words murmured by a
An lang he woo'd her willin lips.
Like heather-hinnie sweet!" child lost in the snow,
ere its eyes are closed in the deep sleep of death by cold.
The fate of the rash and unfortunate
youth is quickly sealed. Nothing can be " Gane were but the winter cauld,
more striking than the stanzas descriptive And gane were but the snaw, I could sleep in the wild woods
of the sad catastrophe. Where primroses blaw.
“She tied a link of her wet yellow hair
Aboon his burnin bree,
Amang his curling haffet locks
She knotted knurles three.
" She weav'd owre his brow the white lilie,
Wi' witch-knots mae than nine :
Gif ye were seven times bridegroom owre,
This night ye shall be mine."
"O! twice he turn'd his sinking head,
An twice he lifted his ee; Here is a simple pathos never excelled ;
twice he sought to loose the links but of all Mr. Cunningham's lyrics, the Were knotted owre his bree.” most pre-eminently poetical is, perhaps, the “ Mermaid o' Galloway.' We hardly
The remainder is soon told. The rash know anything in ballad with which to com- and erring “young Cowehill” is no more pare it. It is far superior to Scott's “Glenn- seen, and his young bride mourns in the las," and even more wildly fanciful than bridal chamber. At the dead hour of midHogg's “ Kilmenie;" as a tale of unearthly night, "when night and morning meet," terror, it may stand beside the “ Ancient Mariner" of Coleridge. The story is as old
“There was a cheek touch'd that lady's,
Cauld as the marble stane; as that of the sirens ; but never was it so And a hand cauld as the drifting snaw told. A young
and ardent chieftain on the Was laid on her breast-bane. wild coasts of Galloway is lured by the strains, and next by the blandishments of a
MO! cauld is thy hand, dear Willie ;
0! cauld, cauld is thy cheek; mer-maiden to a mysterious death. He
An wring these locks o' yellow hair first hears her strain in the woods on a Frae which the cauld drops dreep.'
"O! seek anither bridegroom, Marie, the traitress, who sends him to his conOn these bosom faulds to sleep;
trived doom. The ballad thus touchingly My bride is the yellow water-lilie,
concludes : Its leaves my bridal sheet!” The poet's youngest son, to whom we owe "O! cam ye by Brackley, this publication of his father's poems and
An what saw ye there?
Was his young widow weeping songs, has, we see, divided them into three
And tearing her hair?' series. We have first the ballads. Next
"I came in by Brackley, the poems and miscellaneous verses. Last,
I came in, and oh! and best, the songs. This distribution is
'There was mirth, there was feasting,
But nothing of woe.' a judicious one ; but our young friend's success in the division has not been quite ... As a rose bloom'd the lady equal to his good sense in determining so to
And blythe as a bride; divide his matter. In sooth it was a diffi
Like a bridegroom bold Inveraye
Smild at her side. cult and delicate task ; and, in our humble
And she feasted him there notion, some one or two of the effusions,
As she ne'er feasted lord, classed as miscellaneous, might have been
Though the blood of her husband
Was moist on his sword !' better classed amongst the ballads ; such, for instance, as “Gordon of Brackley ;'
"There's grief in the cottage, whilst others, perhaps, might take rank as
And tears in the ha', songs; as why not the “ Farewell to Dal
For the gay gallant Gordon
That's dead and awa'. swinton,” through every stanza of which one
To the bush comes the bird ; feeling flows ? The first-mentioned strain
And the flow'r to the plain; is, in our notion, one of the most spirited But the good and the brave ballads ever achieved by the genius of the
They come never again.' poet. It is full of fire ; and we regret that our limits do not permit us to give the
We now come to the songs, properly so whole of it. The story is a gad one.
As in a galaxy, it is by no means false spouse of “ Gordon of Brackley” is be- easy to fix upon some bright particular loved by Inveraye, and returns his unlawful star,” and award it the preference ; so passion. The guilty pair contrive his death. where almost all is beautiful, selection is Inverage comes before the gate of Brackley not easy. Of the songs which Cunningham Castle and insults Gordon, who, having a has thrown off, perhaps the finest are those slender retinue, hesitates to attack the well- relating to the sea and maritime adventure. attended traitor Inveraye; the ballad
From the ocean and its changes, its waves ing thus :
and its winds ; its wildest frowns and most
deceitful smiles; he seemed ever to derive "Down Dee side came Inveraye inspiration. Throughout the entire range Whistling and playing;
of his works, whether they be verse or prose, And call'd loud at Brackley-gate
let him catch sight of the waste of waters, Ere day was dawning.
whether it be the Northmen's sea ploughed "Come, Gordon of Brackley,
by the Danish “ Vikings," or his own
“Solway, white with foam, and sunshine, and seaMair sharp than your own!'”
mews," Gordon, who is almost alone, declines the (a line in itself transcendently descriptive), challenge, until stung to madness by his
his genius at once rises, and soars a higher treacherous partner.
flight, upon stronger wing. That first-rate sca-song,
a Wet Sheet and a Flowing "Arise all my maidens
Sea,” has been so often quoted and praised With roke and with fan;
that we shall pass it by, and turn to Song How blest had I been
XLIII., an effusion which ought to be fitted
to some old air,
Wild as the waves
And winds, to which 'tis kin;
such as that known by the style and title of The generous chieftain, touched to the “ the Lowlands of Holland, or that which quick by this insidious appeal, rushes on his goes, on the banks of Tyne, by the name "ate, having first kissed and taken leave of of “ Captain Bover.”
THE PIRATE'S SONG.
pecially to that specimen of true Scotch “O lady, come to the Indies with me,
humor, yclept “ Tam Bo, Tam Bo." In And reign and rule on the sunny sea ;
the hands of Mr. Wilson it would, we My ship's a palace, my deck 's a throne,
think, bid fair to rival that “ Laird o' And all shall be thine the sun shines on.
Cockpen” which he has rendered so popular, “A gallant ship and a boundless sea,
even in high places! The song is long, A piping wind and the foe on our lee,
however, and our space is short, and we My pennon streaming so gay from the mast,
must not quote it-not to say that the My cannon flashing all bright and fast.
gude braid Scots” is, in one or two pas." The Bourbon lilies wax wan as I sail;
sages, a leetle too “ braid” for the gravity of America's stars I strike them pale:
this publication. No such objection, howThe glories of sea and the grandeur of land, ever, applies to the following jeu d'esprit, All shall be thine for a wave of thy hand.
which is no bad specimen of Cunningham's “Thy shining locks are worth Java's isle:
lighter vein: and with it we shall conclude, Can the spices of Saba buy thy smile ?
as in duty bound, our quotations. Let kings rule earth by a right divine, Thou shalt be queen of the fathomless brine."
ALLAN A MAUT. This is a song in truth and in spirit. The
“Gude Allan a Maut lay on the rigg, sentiment of a reckless exultation in law
Ane callen him bear, ane calld him bigg ;
An auld wife slipp'd on her glasses—aha! less power pervades every stanza, and He'll wauken (quo' she) wi' joy to us a'!' breathes in almost every line. It is never The sun shone out, down dropt the rain, overborne by description, the ordinary
He laugh'd as he came to life again;
An' carles an' carlines sang, wha saw't, fault of ordinary attempts at this species
Gude luck to your rising, Allan a Maut.' composition. The simple light-heartedness of the following is as different from the "Gude Allan a Maut grew green and rank, wild and reckless exultation of the first as Wi' a golden beard and a shapely shank; gaiety is from madness.
It reminds one of
An' rose sae steeve, and wax'd sae stark,
That he whomled the maid an' coupit the clark ; the beautiful pastoral of Burns, “ Now The sick and lame leapt hale and weel; westlin winds," -and might be, and proba The faint of heart grew firm as steel; bly ought to be, affixed to the same air. The douce nae mair thought mirth a faut;
Sic charms are mine,'-quo' Allan a Maut.” " The lav'rock dried his wings i' the sun, Aboon the bearded barley,
Such are the lyrics of Allan Cunningham ; When a shepherd lad to my window came and we believe we shall meet with few dis
Wi' me to haud a parley.
sentients when we say that they are the And dreamin of love I ferlie;
best of his poetical works.
His longer Arise and come to the heights wi' me,
" Sir Marmaduke Maxwell” and Amang the dews sae pearlie.
the “ Maid of Elvar," are each defective "First I pat on my jupes o' green,
as a whole, although they embody passages And kilted my coaties rarely,
of great poetical power and beauty. He An' dipt my feet in the May-morn dew, wanted somewhat of the art of properly conAn' gade wi’mithsome Charlie.
structing and skilfully conducting a story, It's sweet to be wakened by one we love,
and hence both his longer poetical pieces By night or morning early; It's sweet to be woo'd as forth we walk
and his novels lack an interest which all By the lad whom we love dearly.
their other merits, and they are many, can
not give them. " The sun he raise--an better raise;
We learn from the modest and too brief An' owre the hill lowed rarely; The wee lark sung-and higher sung
Memoir of Mr. Peter Cunningham, the Amang the bearded barley.
poet's youngest son,- to whom the public He woo'd sae lang on the sunny-knowe side is indebted for this little volume, that his
Where the gowans' heads hang pearlie, That the tod broke in to the bughted-lambs,
gifted parent was born at Blackwood, near And left my Lad fu' barely.'
Dumfries, in 1784. He was brought up to
the trade of a stone-mason, but soon beAllan, with all his sentimentality and wild came distinguished for his remarkable poetry, had no small snatch of dry humor talents in the vicinity of the place of his in his composition, and, when he chose it, birth. Having been applied to by Mr. could be “a bit of a wag.” of this peril- Cromek, who was engaged in collecting reous gift one or two of the songs in this col-mains of ancient ballads of Ayrshire and lection afford proofs. We allude more es- Galloway, Mr. Cunningham soon furnished
that gentleman with various specimens from dren. The profile which adorns the titleNithsdale and the dales of the adjoining page of the present volume is a striking county, which he took or affected to take likeness, as far as features are concerned. for genuine remains of Border poetry. His remarkably fine and brilliant or rather These Mr. Cromek published in a volume, lustrous eye is, however, wanting to comwith annotations, under the title of plete the portrait. Mr. Cunningham's “Relics of Nithsdale and Galloway Song.” manners were simple and unaffected; his Amongst them are the Mermaid of Gallo- conversation racy, manly, and enthusiastic, way, Bonnie Lady Anne, Carlisle Yetts, when the topic excited him; nor was a the Lord's Marie, the Lass o' Prestonhill, snatch of dry, sarcastic humor wanting, and others of Cunningham's most exquisite | when the occasion required it. We have ballads. Competent judges, however, speed- said that his Lyrics were written without ily detected the “ ruse, ingeniously as it sufficient reference to the musie to which was managed. Bishop Percy declared the they ought to be adapted; but we do not ballads too beautiful to be ancient. Sir mean to say that Allan Cunningham had Walter Scott shook his head in utter incre- not a high appreciation of the melodies of dulity. The Ettrick Shepherd pronounced his country. On the contrary, we have seen them at once to be the work of Cunning- the stirring appeal of some of those airs fill ham ; and last, but not least, Professor his eye with onbidden dew, and enchain his Wilson asserted the truth in a critique pub- nature as by a spell of power. His sensilished in Blackwood's Magazine. When bilities were, however, more excited by the the fact became known, it at once estab- gentler and more pastoral than by the more lished the poet's fame as a man of genius : passionate of the old airs of Scotland; and, a character which his varied works have to the last, he preferred the airs of “Tweedconfirmed. For some time after the pub- side” and the “ Bush aboon Traquair” to lication of the “Relics” by Cromek, the the deeper pathos of melodies such as author was employed by some of the Lon- “ Gilderoy,” or the spirit-stirring tones of don journals ; but his latter years were such strains as “ Bruce's Address to his passed in the service of Sir Francis Chantrey, Troops.” In truth his love of picturesque an early and attached friend of the poet. and romantic scenery was stronger than his Allan Cunningham died October the 20th, love of pathos; and this is apparent in the 1842, and was buried at the cemetery at finest of his effusions, some of which will Kensall-green, where his last resting-place live as long as Scotland has a literature or is marked by a tomb of solid granite, a name. erected by his wife and five surviving chil
from Tait's Magazine.
THE TWO MILLIONAIRES.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF ZSCHOKKE, BY SARAH FRY.
(Concluded from the April Number of the Eclectic Magazine.)
The readers of this Magazine will remem “Was he the only person who, because ber its being remarked by the first speaker his situation was subordinate, has been at the Forest Councillor's
obliged to submit in silence, while others “Besides Morn did not reject the world engrossed the fruits of his labors ? Right till the world rejected him.”
doing would be a mighty easy thing, if ap“ That is, he was cheated by a few plause and profit were its certain rewards." knaves, from whom no one in their senses These words produced a second dispute. would have expected anything else, and he Each defended his own views with warmth, did not find everybody ready to make if not with judgment; and the party sepaprompt acknowledgment of his merits and rated more confirmed, or at least more observices, some of them being, by the by, stinate, in their own opinion than ever. known only to those interested in conceal- At the next weekly meeting at the Forest ing them.»
Concillor's, some of the disputants took up