The SONGS and BALLADS of CUMBERLAND,
to which are added Dialect and other Poems; with Biographical Sketches, Notes, and Glossary. Edited by Sidney Gilpin. With Portrait of Miss Blamire. Small Crown 8vo. Price 7s.
One of the most interesting collections of poetry which have been lately published is the "Songs and Ballads of Cumberland." How many people know anything of Miss Blamire? Yet she was the author of that most beautiful and pathetic of ballads beginning, "And ye shall walk in silk attire." Every one will, therefore, thank the editor for the conscientous way in which he has issued her pieces, and given us some account of her life. It was she, too, who wrote that other beautiful ballad, M'orthy of Lady Anne Lindsay, "What ails this heart o' mine?" which, in our opinion, is poetry full of truth and tenderness. Indeed, we should be disposed to look upon it as a critical touchstone, and to say that those who did not like it could not possibly appreciate true poetry. . . . We can only advise the reader to buy the book, and we feel sure that he, like ourselves, will be thankful to the editor—Westminster Review.
We like the Cumberland Songs a good deal better than the Lancashire ones which we reviewed a fortnight back. There is more go and more variety in them; the hill-air makes them fresher, and we do not wonder that Mr. Gilpin feels—now he has got "tem put in prent"—
Aw England cannot bang them.
We certainly cannot recollect a better collection. . . While the author of "Joe and the Geologist" lives, we shall rest assured that the Cumberland dialect will be well represented in verse as well as prose, though we suppose he cannot love to describe the roaring scenes at weddings and the like that his predecessors witnessed. . . . The dialect is rich in reduplicated words—in good forms—in old English words; and the volume altogether is one that should find a place on the shelf of every reader of poetry and student of manners, customs, and language.—The Reader.
The truly Cumbrian minstrel towards the close of the last century seems to have approached the Scotch in his pictures of rural courtship, and to have been still greater in his descriptions of weddings, as of some other festivities of a more peculiar character. He had a healthy and robust standard of feminine beauty, and his most riotous mirth was more athletic and less purely alcoholic than that which flourished in Burns's native soil.—The Spectator.