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all the most eminent and accomplished of his contemporaries: in private life he has ever been irreproachable ;-an early and a happy marriage probably preserved him from the errors and eccen. tricities which too generally mark the career of a youth of genius upon entering the perilous maze of the metropolis ;—where hundreds of as rare promise have sunk under the effect of dissipation and 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 endur. ing 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 outpourings 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 the 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.
CUNNINGH A M.
THE TOWN AND COUNTRY CHILD.
Child of the country! free as air
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
The bush o'er which the throstle sung
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 caged, 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
Bright as the sun when from the cloud
Child of the town and bustling street, What woes and snares await thy feet ! Thy paths are paved for five long miles, Thy groves and hills are peaks and tiles ; Thy fragrant air is yon thick smoke, Which shrouds thee like a mourning cloak ; And thou art cabin'd and confined, At once from sun, and dew, and wind; Or set thy tottering feet but on Thy lengthen’d walks of slippery stone; The coachman there careering reels With goaded steeds and maddening wheels; And Commerce pours each poring son In pelf's pursuit and hollos' run: While flush'd with wine, and stung at play, Men rush from darkness into day. The stream's too strong for thy small bark; There nought can sail, save what is stark.
Fly from the town, sweet child! for health Is happiness, and strength, and wealth. There is a lesson in each flower, A story in each stream and bower;
On every herb on which
AWAKE, MY LOVE!
AWAKE, my love! ere morning's ray
She comb'd her curling ringlets down,
'Tis sweet, she said, while thus the day