Text: Unknown, Literary Reviews, Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. III, no. 8, August 1837, 3:479


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[page 479, continued:]

MOTHERWELL’S POEMS.

A volume of “Poems, Narrative and Lyrical,” by a Scottish author bearing the unpoetical name of “William Motherwell,” has lately been published in Glasgow. A late number of that excellent contemporary of ours, the “American Monthly Magazine,” contains copious extracts from this volume; among which is one piece at least, eminently worthy of the very best of Scotland’s bards. There can hardly be any dissent from the opinion of the “American Monthly,” — that if the following effusion had but appeared under the name of BURNS, it would have been received by the public with ecstasies of admiration. Indeed, Burns never wrote anything more simply pathetic and tender, or conceived in a truer rein of poetry, than the eleventh stanza:

“I‘ve wandered east, I‘ve wandered west,

I‘ve borne a weary lot;

But in my wanderings, far or near,

Ye never were forgot.

The fount that first burst frae his heart

Still travels on its way;

And channels deeper as it rins,

The luve o’ life’s young day.”

None of the other extracts made by our contemporary, appear to us equal in merit to this one; with which, therefore, we for the present content ourselves:

JEANIE MORRISON.

I‘ve wandered east, I‘ve wandered west,

Through mony a weary way;

But never, never can forget

The luve o’ life’s young day;

The fire that’s blawn on Beltane e‘en,

May weel be black gin Yule;

But blacker fa’ awaits the heart

Where first fond luve grows culc.

 

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,

The thochts o’ by gane years

Still fling their shadows ower my path,

And blind my een wi’ tears

They blind my een wi’ saut, saut tears

And sair and sick I pine,

As memory idly summons up

The blithe blinks o’ langsyne.

 

’Twas then we luvit ilk iither weel,

‘Twas then we twa did part;

Sweet time — sad time! twa bairns at scule,

Twa bairns, and but ae heart!

’Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink,

To leir ilk ither lear;

And tones, and looks, and smiles were shed,

Remembered cvernisair, [column 2:]

 

I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet,

When sitting on that bink,

Cheek touchin’ cheek, loof locked in loof,

What our wee heads could think?

When baith bent doun ower ae braid page,

Wi’ ae buik or our knee,

Thy lips were o(n thy lesson, but

My lesson was in thee.

 

Oh, mind ye how we hung our heads,

How cheeks brent red wi’ sha me,

Whene‘er the scule-wearis laughin said,

We cleek‘d thegither hame?

And mind ye o’ the Saturdays,

(The scule then skail‘t at noon),

When we ran aff to speel the braes —

The broomy braes o’ June?

 

My head rins round and round about,

My heart flows like a sea,

As ane by ane the thochts rush back

O’ scule-time and o’ thee.

Oh, mornin’ life! oh, mornin’ luve!

Oh lichtsoine days and lang,

When hinnied hopes around our hearts

Like simmer blossoms sprang!

 

Oh mind ye, luve, how aft we left

The deavin’ dinsome toun,

To wander by the green burnside,

And hear its waters croon?

The simmer leaves huns ower our heads,

The flowers burst round our feet,

And in the gloamin o’ the wood,

The throssil whutsslit sweet;

 

The throssil whusslit in the wood,

The burn sane to the trees,

And we with Nature’s heart in tune

Concerted harmonies;

And on the knowe abune the burn,

For hours thegither sat

In the siletness o’ joy, till baith

Wi’ very gladness grat.

 

Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison,

Tears trinkled doun your cheek,

Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane

Had ory power to speak!

That was a time, a blessed time,

When hearts were fresh and young,

When freely gushed all feelings forth.

Unsyllabled — unsung!

 

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison,

Gin I hae been to thee

As closely twined wi’ earliest thochts,

As ye hae been to me?

Oh! tell me gin their music fills

Thine ear as it does mine;

Oh! say gin e‘er your heart grows grit

Wi’ dreamings o’ langsyne?

 

I‘ve wandered east, I‘ve wandered west,

I‘ve borne a weary lot;

But in my wanderings, far or near,

Ye never were forgot.

The fount that first burst frae this heart,

Still travels on its way;

And channels deeper as it rins,

The luve o’ life’s young day.

 

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison,

Since we were sindered young,

I‘ve never seen your face, nor heard

The music o’ your tongue;

But I could hug all wretchedness,

And happy could I die,

Did I but ken your heart still dreamed

O’ by gane days and me!

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - SLM, 1837] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Criticism - SLM Literary Reviews (August 1837)