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A hundred banners to the breeze
Their gorgeous folds have cast;

And, hark' was that the sound of seas
A king to war went past !

The chief is arming in his hall,
The peasant by his hearth;
The mourner hears the thrilling call,
And rises from the earth !
The mother on her firstborn son
Looks with a boding eye;—
They come not back, though all be won,
Whose young hearts leap so high.

The bard hath ceased his song, and bound
The falchion to his side;
E'en for the marriage altar crowned,
The lover quits his bride 1
And all this haste, and change, and fear,
By earthly clarion spread
How will it be when kingdoms hear
The blast that wakes the dead P


ONCE more the eternal melodies from far,
Woo me like songs of home: once more discerning
Through fitful clouds the pure majestic star,
Above the poet's world serenely burning,
Thither my soul, fresh-winged by love, is turning,
As o'er the waves the wood-bird seeks her nest,
For those green heights of dewy stillness yearning,
Whence glorious minds o'erlook the earth's unrest.
Now be the spirit of Heaven's truth my guide
Through the bright land that no brief gladness, found
In passing bloom, rich odour, or sweet sound,
May lure my footsteps from their aim aside :
Their true, high quest—to seek, if ne'er to gain,
The inmost, purest shrine of that august domain.


WHAT hid'st thou in thy treasure caves and cells 2
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main
Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow colour'd shells,
Bright things which gleam unrecked of and in vain.
Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
We ask not such from thee.

Yet more, the depths have more!—what wealth untold,
Far down, and shining through their stillness, lies'
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal argosies.
Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main
Earth claims not these again

Yet more, the depths have more!—thy waves have rolled
Above the cities of a world gone by
Sand hath filled up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry !
Dash o'er them, ocean' in thy scornful play,
Man yields them to decay!

Yet more, the billows and the depths have more
High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast !
They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle thunders will not break their rest.
Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy gravel
Give back the true and brave!

Give back the lost and lovely —those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long ;
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song !
Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown,
But all is not thine own

To thee the love of woman hath gone down;
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks and beauty's flowery crown!
Yet must thou hear a voice,—Restore the dead
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee!
Restore the dead, thou sea!

ALLAN CUNNINGHAM was born at Blackwood, a place of much natural beauty, on Nithside, a few miles above Dumfries, on the 7th of December, 1784. His father and grandfather were farmers; and one of his ancestors, an officer under the great Montrose, shared in his leader's good and evil fortune at Kilsythe and Philiphaugh. Some hopes held out by a relative of a situation in India, having, it appears, failed, Allan, at eleven years of age, was removed from school, to learn, under an elder brother, his business of a mason. This he did not dislike, and soon became a skilful workman; but he loved still better to pore over old books—listen to old songs and tales—and roam among his native glens and hills. A thirst for knowledge came early ; but a love of writing, as we have heard him say, came late. Some of his lyrics, however, found their way into a singular book, Cromek's “Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song,"— and, passing for ancient, were received with an applause which at once startled and amused the writer. Dr. Percy boldly declared they were too good to be old; and the author of “Marmion” has more than once said, that not even Burns himself had enriched Scottish song with more beautiful effusions. In 1810, Mr. Cunningham was allured from the Nith to the Thames. For some years he attached himself to the public press; and in 1814, entered the studio of Sir Francis Chantrey, the distinguished sculptor, as superintendant of his works,—a station which he continues to occupy. The first volume he ventured to publish was “Sir Marmaduke Maxwell,” a dramatic poem, named after one of the heroes of his native district. It was well received by critics; and Sir Walter Scott generously

* Handed the rustic stranger up to fame,”

by a kind notice of his first attempt in the Preface to the “Fortunes of Nigel.” Thenceforward Mr. Cunningham took his place among the Poets of Great Britain. He has since supplied us with but occasional proofs of his right to retain it; having devoted much of his leisure to the production of prose works of fiction ; and commenced an undertaking of vast magnitude and importance,—the “Lives of the Poets from Chaucer to Coleridge;”—a task for which he is eminently qualified.

Few modern writers are more universally respected and esteemed than Mr. Cunningham; he numbers among his personal friends all the most eminent and accom . plished of his contemporaries: in private life he has ever been irreproachable:—an early and a happy marriage probably preserved him from the errors and eccentricities which too generally mark the career of a youth of genius, upon entering the pe— rilous maze of the metropolis;–where hundreds of as rare promise have sunk under the effect of dissipation or despondency; and whose names are to be found only in the terrible records of “Calamities of Authors.” Cunningham, in person, seems better fitted to deal with huge blocks of marble than with creations of fancy. His frame is of vigorous proportions; his countenance highly expressive of mental as well as physical power; his eye keen and searching, but peculiarly gentle and winning. He combines industry with genius, and a rigid integrity with both. His biographies have been objected to on the ground that he has seen more to censure than to praise in the subjects of them : if, however, such contributions are valuable only as they are TRUE, and in proportion to their distance from the imaginative and the misleading, they are the best, and will be the most enduring of his works.

The Poems of Cunningham, as we have intimated, are not numerous; his last poetical production of any length, the Maid of Elvar, is, perhaps, his best: the scene of this little rustic epic, as he correctly styles it, is laid in his native vale; and many of the delicious pictures it contains, with a true vein of poetry throughout, are drawn from rural life. It is, however, written in a measure ill calculated to become extensively popular. The poetical reputation of Allan Cunningham has been made, and is sustained, by his ballads and lyrical pieces. They are exquisite in feeling— chaste and elegant in style—graceful in expression, and natural in conception: they seem, indeed, the mere and unstudied out-pourings of the heart; yet will bear the strictest and most critical inspection of those who consider elaborate finish to be at least the second requisite of writers of song. His own country has supplied him with his principal themes; and the peculiar dialect of Scotland—in which he frequently writes—his good taste prevents him from ever rendering harsh, or even inharmonious, to Southern ears.

Child of the country! free as air
Art thou, and as the sunshine fair;
Born, like the lily, where the dew
Lies odorous when the day is new ;
Fed 'mid the May-flowers like the bee,
Nurs'd to sweet music on the knee,
Lull'd in the breast to that glad tune
Which winds make 'mong the woods of June :
I sing of thee;—'tis sweet to sing
Of such a fair and gladsome thing.

Child of the town' for thee I sigh;
A gilded roof’s thy golden sky,
A carpet is thy daisied sod,
A narrow street thy boundless road,

Thy rushing deer's the clattering tramp
Of watchmen, thy best light's a lamp,-
Through smoke, and not through trellised vines
And blooming trees, thy sunbeam shines:
I sing of thee in sadness; where
Else is wreck wrought in aught so fair.

Child of the country ! thy small feet
Tread on strawberries red and sweet;
With thee I wander forth to see
The flowers which most delight the bee;
The bush o'er which the throstle sung
In April, while she nursed her young ;
The den beneath the sloe-thorn, where
She bred her twins the timorous hare;
The knoll, wrought o'er with wild bluebells,
Where brown bees build their balmy cells;
The greenwood stream, the shady pool,
Where trouts leap when the day is cool ;
The shilfa's nest that seems to be
A portion of the sheltering tree,_
And other marvels which my verse
Can find no language to rehearse.

Child of the town for thee, alas !
Glad Nature spreads nor flowers nor grass;
Birds build no nests, nor in the sun
Glad streams come singing as they run :
A Maypole is thy blossom'd tree,
A beetle is thy murmuring bee;
Thy bird is cag'd, thy dove is where
Thy poulterer dwells, beside thy hare;
Thy fruit is pluck'd, and by the pound
Hawk'd clamorous all the city round;
No roses, twinborn on the stalk,
Perfume thee in thy evening walk;
No voice of birds,--but to thee comes
The mingled din of cars and drums,
And startling cries, such as are rife
When wine and wassail waken strife.

Child of the country on the lawn I see thee like the bounding fawn,

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