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And thunder-peals compelled the men of blood
in prose or numerous verse, are still" Knights and Lords and mighty Earls," and their Lady-Loves-chiefly Scottish-of Kings that fought for fame or freedom-of fatal Flodden and bright Bannockburn-of the DELIVERER. If that be not national to the teeth, Homer was no Ionian, Tyrtæus not sprung from Sparta, and Christopher North a Cockney. Let Abbotsford, then, be cognomen'd by those that choose it, the Ariosto of the North-we shall continue to call him plain, simple, immortal Sir Wal
over their souls His accents soothing came, as to her young The heathfowl's plumes, when, at the close of eve, She gathers in, mournful, her brood dispersed By murderous sport, and o'er the remnant spreads Fondly her wings; close nestling 'neath her breast They cherished cower amid the purple bloom." The genius of SIR WALTER SCOTT, it will not be denied, is pretty national, and so are the subjects of all his noblest works, be they Poems, or Novels and Romances by the Author of Waverley. Up to the era of Sir Walter, living people had some vague, general, indistinct notions about dead people mouldering away to nothing centuries ago; in regular kirk-yards and chance burial-places, "'mang muirs and mosses many O," somewhere or other in that difficultly distinguished and very debateable district called the Borders. All at once he touched their tombs with a divining rod, and the turf streamed out ghosts. Some in woodmen's dresses -most in warrior's mail-green archers leapt forth with yew-bows and quivers-and giants stalked shaking spears. The grey chronicler smiled; and, taking up his pen, wrote in lines of light the annals of the chivalrous and heroic days of auld feudal Scotland. The nation then for the first time knew the character of its ancestors; for those were not spectresnot they indeed-nor phantoms of the brain-but gaunt flesh and blood, or glad and glorious;-base-born cottage-churls of the olden time, because Scottish, became familiar to the love of the nation's heart, and so to its pride did the high-born lineage of palacekings. The worst of Sir Walter is, that he has harried all Scotland. Never was there such a freebooter. He harries all men's cattle skills themselves off hand, and makes bonfires of their castles. Thus has he disturbed and illuminated all the land as with the blazes of a million beacons. Lakes lie with their islands distinct by midnight as by midday; wide woods glow gloriously in the gloom; and by the stormy splendour, you even see ships, with all sail set, far at sea. His themes
We are confining our affection at present, you perceive, to those great or good poets, to whom, from the nature of their genius and its subjects, we are induced to apply, with all propriety of speech, the delightful and endearing term, Scottish. Our enlightened neighbours, the Transtweeddalecarlians, cannot feel the works of those worthies as we do-the racy flavour of the Scottish spirit either produces no impression on their palate, (the organ of taste,) or an unpleasant one-like the breath of the heather bloom in the dark delicious Highland honey-like the twang of the peat-reek in the mountain dew, when it rejoices in those tempting trissyllables, Farintosh and Glenlivet. Still the Southrons suck the one and sip the other with wry faces; and they were wont to be curious exceedingly about the Great Unknown. We have, however, among us Poets and Poetesses, who-God bless them-though far from antinational, are Scottish chiefly by birth; not but that a fine, free, pure Caledonian air hovers around their genius-not but that its bright consummate flower blushes, to our eyes at least, as if coloured by the boreal
Of such high and clear class, look
at two glorious living specimens THOMAS CAMPBELL and JOANNA BAILLIE. In his boyhood, Campbell wandered "to distant isles that hear the wild Corbrechtan roar," and sometimes his Poetry is like that whirlpool; the sound is as of the wheels of many chariots. Yes-happy was it for the author of the Pleasures of Hope, that in his youth he "walked in glory and in joy," along the manymountain-based, hollow - rumbling western coast of that unaccountable county, Argyllshire. The sea-sound cultivated his naturally fine musical ear, and it sank, too, into his heart. Hence is his prime Poem a glad, sad, sweet, solemn, grave, and glorious production, bright with hope as is the sunny sea, when sailors' sweethearts on the shore are looking out for ships, and from a foreign station, lo! down before the wind comes the fleet, and the very shells on the sand beneath their footsteps seem to sing aloud for joy. As for Joanna, she is our Tragic Queen; but she belongs to all place as to all time; and Scott hath said-let them who dare gainsay it-that he saw her genius, in a similar fair shape, sailing by the side of the Swan of Avon. Yet Joanna loves to touch the pastoral reed; and then we think of the tender dawn, the clear noon, and the bright meridian of her life, past among the hanging cliffs of the silvan Calder, and in the lonesome heart of the dark Strathaven muirs.
Not a few other sweet singers or strong, native to this nook of our isle, might we now in these humble pages lovingly commemorate; and "two shall we mention, dearer than the rest," for sake of that virtue, among many virtues, which we have been lauding all along, their nationality.; these are MOIR and POL
Of our own" delightful Delta," as we once called him-and the epithet now by right appertains to his name we shall now say simply this, that he has produced many original pieces which will possess a permanent place in the poetry of Scotland. Delicacy and grace characterise his happiest compositions; some of them are beautiful in a cheerful spirit that has only to look on nature to be happy; and others breathe the sim
plest and purest pathos. His scenery, whether sea-coast or inland, is always truly Scottish; and at times his pen drops touches of light on minute objects, that till then had slumbered in the shade, but now "shine well where they stand" or lie, as component and characteristic parts of our lowland landscapes. Let others labour away at long poems, and for their pains get neglect or oblivion; Moir is immortalized in many short ones, which the Scottish Muses may "not willingly let die." And that must be a pleasant thought when it touches the heart of the mildest and most modest of men, as he sits by his family-fire, beside those most dear to him, after a day past in smoothing, by his skill, the bed and the brow of pain, in restoring sickness to health, in alleviating sufferings that cannot be cured, or in mitigating the pangs of death.
Pollok had great original genius, strong in a sacred sense of religion. Such of his short compositions as we have seen, written in early youth, were but mere copies of verses, and gave little or no promise of power. But his soul was working in the green moorland solitudes round about his father's house, in the wild and beautiful parishes of Eaglesham and Mearns, separated by thee, O Yearn! sweetest of pastoral streams that murmur through the west, as under those broomy and birchen banks and trees, where the grey-linties sing, is formed the clear junction of the rills, issuing, the one from the hill-spring far above the Black-waterfall, and the other from the Brother-loch. The poet in prime of youth (he died in his twenty-seventh year) embarked on a high and adventurous emprise, and voyaged the Illimitable Deep. His spirit expanded its wings, and in a holy pride felt them to be broad, as it hovered over the dark abyss. The " Course of Time," for so young a man, was a vast achievement. The book he loved best was the Bible, and his style is often scriptural. Of our poets he had studied, we believe, but Young, Milton, and Byron. He had much to learn in composition; and, had he lived, he would have looked almost with humiliation on much that is at present eulogized by his devoted admirers.
But the soul of poetry is there, though often dimly enveloped, and many passages there are, and long ones too, that heave, and hurry, and glow along in a divine enthusiasm.
"His ears he closed, to listen to the
That Sion bards did consecrate of old,
But there now arises before us such a Brotherhood of Bards as could have been born and bred-nay, frown not, fair or gallant Southron-only in Scotland. The Bards belonging by divine right to the People-the household Bards of hut and shieling, dear to the dwellers on the hill and river sides, and to those who, like the cushats, have their nests in the woods. Allan Ramsay, Michael Bruce, Robert Fergusson, ROBERT BURNS, James Hogg, and though last, not least, Allan Cunningham the Barber, the Schoolmaster, the Sheriff's Clerk Engrosser, the Plough
man, the Shepherd, the Stone-Mason! And has not Scotland reason to be proud of her wigs, her taws, her very charges of horning, her plough-coulters, and the teeth of her harrows, her gimmers and her" tarry woo," her side walls and her gable-ends-seeing that the same minds that were busied with such matters, for sake of a scanty and precarious subsistence, have been among the brightest on the long roll which Fame, standing on the mountains, unfolds to the sunshine and the winds, inscribed with the names of some of the wide world's most prevailing Poets?
Theocritus was a pleasant Pasto-
"A flowerie howm, between twa verdant braes,
“About them, and sicklike,” is the whole Poem. Yet "faithful loves shall memorize the song." Without any scenery but that of rafters, which overhead fancy may suppose a grove, 'tis even yet sometimes acted by rustics in the barn, though nothing on this earth will ever persuade a humble Scottish lass to take a part in a play; while delightful is felt, even by the lords and ladies of the land, the simple Drama of lowly life; and we ourselves have seen a high-born maiden look "beautiful exceedingly" as Patie's Betrothed, kilted to the knee in the kirtle of a Shepherdess.
ful fate seemed to come over him. At the moment of his entrance he uttered a wild cry of despair, which was re-echoed by a shout from all the inmates of the dreadful mansion, and left an impression of inexpressible horror on the friends who had the task of attending him. His mother, being in extreme poverty, had no other mode of disposing of him. A remittance, which she received a few days after from a more fortunate son, who was abroad, would have enabled her to support the expense of affording him attendance in her own house; but the aid did not arrive till the poor maniac had expired. On his first visit to Edinburgh, Burns traced out the grave of Fergusson, and placed a Monument over it at his own expense, inscribed with verses of appropriate feeling. And thus honoured, his name, though somewhat dim now, survives, nor ever will wane away utterly the melan
FERGUSSON'S glory lies in his Farmer's Ingle being the rude prototype of the Cottar's Saturday Night. It suggested the theme to Burns, and from his genius came forth that heartborn poem in its perfection. Poor Fergusson! he grew mad! When committed-says Campbell, following Irvine-to the receptacle of the insane, a consciousness of his dread-choly light.
Like a strong man, rejoicing to run a race, we behold BURNS, in his golden Prime; and glory gleams from the Peasant's head, far and wide over Scotland. See the shadow tottering to the tomb! frenzied with fears of a prison-for some five pound debt -existing, perhaps, but in his disea sed imagination-for, alas! sorely discased it was, and he too, at last, seemed something insane, he escapes that disgrace in the grave. Buried with his bones be all remembrances of his miseries! But the spirit of song, which was his true spirit, unpolluted and unfallen, lives, and breathes, and has its being, in the peasant-life of Scotland; his songs, which are as household and sheepfold words, consecrated by the charm that is in all the heart's purest affections, love and piety, and the joy of grief, shall never decay, till among the people have decayed the virtues which they celebrate, and by which they were inspired; and should some dismal change in the skies ever overshadow the sunshine of our national character, and savage storms end in sullen stillness, which is moral death, in the poetry of Burns the natives of happier lands will see how noble was once the degenerated race that may then be looking down disconsolately on the dim grass of Scotland with the unuplifted eyes of cowards and slaves.
Among hills that once were a forest, and still bear that name, and by the side of a river not unknown in song, lying in his plaid on a brae among the woolly people," see another true son of genius-THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
We are never so happy as in praising James; but pastoral poets are the most incomprehensible of God's creatures; and here is one of the best of them all, who confesses the Chaldee and denies the Noctes!
The Queen's Wake is a garland of fair forest flowers, bound with a band of rushes from the moor. It is not a poem-not it-nor was it intended to be so; you might as well call a bright bouquet of flowers a flower, which, by the by, we do in Scotland. Some of the ballads are very beautiful; one or two even splendid; most of them spirited; and the worst far better than the best that
ever was written by any bard in
And now, thank heaven!-you. will say with us we are brought within touch of the broad back and shoulders of ALLAN CUNNINGHAM, For a long time past we have seen them in the gloom of the vista. We shaknew not but that it might be dow but we have come in contact with firm flesh and blood. Honest Allan! So was the mighty minstrel pleased to call him, in spite of that wild youthful trick of his on poor Cromek. "Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song" indeed! Some snatches of old strains there were; and these were sufficient to inspire a kindred genius, which whispered many more so sweetly, completely," in the ear of Love.
All persons-in Scotland, and they are too few in our cities-of any poetical feeling, or knowledge of poetry, who, took the trouble of caring about the produce of native genius that might not have yet gained itself a name, saw in these "Remains," so many fine touches of nature, so many sweet glimpses of fancy, that they desired to learn something of the obscure, but manifestly no common man, who had in this strange way ventured, with doubts and fears, to try what the world might think of such verses as his, composed, perhaps, during the very hours of labour, or at gloaming, when his hand had let down the mallet, and as his heart was free. All the initiated soon saw through the harmless disguise; and the name of Allan Cunningham soon began to be known, though a good many years elapsed before it was familiar to the public. Mark Macrabin, or the Covenanter, a prose tale of great power, which appeared in this Periodical, was highly appreciated; so were a series of tales and traditions which he published in the London Magazine, and afterwards in a separate form, in two volumes. We believe that they have not had a very wide circulation; but nobody can read them without admiration of the author's genius.
All their scenes are laid in the south of Scotland, and almost all in his native district; an intimate knowledge, of course, is shewn in them of all that is most interesting and impressive in the life and character of their inhabitants now, or of old; and some of them, in respect of circumstance, incident, and event, as well as sentiment, passion, and character, are admirable Stories too, although they are, in general, more distinguished by excellence of the latter than of the former kind. Their chief fault is, we think, too much elaboration both of imagery and passion; and included in that, a style of language not sufficiently varied, so as to suit the different characters and conditions of the interlocutors in the dialogues, which are lavishly introduced, and which, though always very eloquent indeed often too much so-and frequently most poetical - perhaps sometimes too much so, likewise-do, oftener than
we could wish, get a little wearisome from the monotony of their manner, and a certain rich sameness which palls upon the sense of beauty, till it longs for a barer board and simpler fare. Mr Cunningham some years ago produced a dramatic poem, Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, imbued with a fine, bold, martial spirit, and full of fresh descriptions of natural objects; but his reputation as a poet has, perhaps, been raised higher, and more widely spread, by songs and ballads occasionally appearing in the Annuals, and other periodicals, than by any of his other and more ambitious efforts; and no wonder-for the most felicitous of them are exquisite, and a few that have been set to music, have become blended with the popular poetry of Britain.
But highly as the Public had by this time estimated Allan Cunningham's talents, it was not prepared, we suspect, to receive from his hands such a work as the "Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects." In these volumes (five, we think, in number?) he has shown the most searching sagacity, the finest and truest taste the taste of geniusand wide and accurate knowledge of the works and peculiar faculties of the most eminent artists. In treating of their personal characters, which it was his duty to do, he has spoken as man should speak of man, boldly and freely, in all cases where moral qualities lie in the open light, and where there can be no mistake." But, at the same time, Allan is reverential; and never unauthorizedly lifts up the veil from before those frailties incident to all human virtue, and surely not to be exposed to the eyes of the world then only when to virtue it has pleased God to add the gift of genius. Allan's style, in these volumes, is wonderfully improved since the time he wrote his Tales and Traditions. It is terse, precise, and compact; but animated, too, earnest, and eloquent. Nor is it without the charm of a certain quaintness, characteristic of a man who loves to take his own way in feeling, thinking, speaking, and writing; and who, knowing that there is no selfconceit in that, cares not though "small critics, wielding their delicate pens," accuse him of it, and even