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figure of speech ever is drawn from the scene before him— the lake, the mountain, or the sky. His followers in America had scarce more inclination to poetry than he. Men who are reflecting on the "five points," discoursing of election, reprobation, and the kindred themes, or inwardly digesting the Assembly's Catechism, would not be likely to write war-songs, or to make ballads. They did well in allowing "the nursery rhymes" to be sung to children; in not suffering "unworthy Barbara Allen" to be wholly forgotten. Still further, their outward circumstances were most unfavorable to the production of popular poetry, songs, and ballads amongst the people. They were struggling against poverty, against the wilderness, the wild beasts, and savage men, not to mention the difficul

ties which came from the other side of the water. Thus stood the fathers of New England. On the one side was Starvation, and Destruction on the other; and the Indians laying in wait and ready to hasten the advance of both. Under such circumstances few men would incline to sing anything very secular, or æsthetic. Besides, to the Puritan "common things" had a certain savor of uncleanness about them, and were thought scarce worthy of being sung. Would a man be merry, he might indeed sing, for there was a scriptural argument for his singing; but it must be-psalms. New England psalmody is a proverb amongst nations. We speak not of the melodies, so long-drawn and so nasal, but of the substantial words which endure while the volatile melodies have long ago been hushed into expressive silence. We give a verse from an old American version of "the Psalms of David," assuring our readers that it is no invention of ours, but an undoubted original.

"The race is not to them that do the swiftest run,
Nor the battell,

To the peopel,

That carries the longest gun."

Of psalm-singing there was no lack in New England. But that was not quite enough even for the Puritans. The natural heart of man wanted something a little more epic-some narrative of heroic events in a form slightly poetical, with a tinge of moral feeling, and a minute specification of time, place, person, and all particulars thereto belonging. This want was supplied-so far as we can learn by the public prayers so abundantly made by the Puritans. They were as narrative as

the popular ballads, about as long-winded, equally garrulous, it is said; only the rhythmic element was wanting; and that was supplied, we suppose, by the intonation of the orator, or by the repetition of particular phrases as a sort of refrain, or "burden." Few men esteem the founders of New England more than we, but we honor them for what they were, not for what they were not-not so much for their poetry as for their masculine character and unshrinking faith in God.

We have seen many of the early American ballads, but few of any merit. New England ran to theology, politics, and practical life; not to lyric poetry. Even war, which forced such music from the Greeks and the Spaniards, extorted but little song from the stern men of America,- and that little poor. Of the ballads which belong to the Revolutionary period, there are few which are worth perusing. We insert a portion of one, which seems to us the best. Its date is obvious.

"While I relate my story, Americans give ear;
Of Britain's fading glory you presently shall hear,
I'll give you a true relation, attend to what I say,
Concerning the taxation of North America.

"The cruel lords of Britain, who glory in their shame,
The project they have lit on they joyfully proclaim;
"T is what they're striving after, our rights to take away,
And rob us of our charter in North America.

"There are two mighty speakers, who rule in Parliament,
Who always have been seeking some mischief to invent,
"T was North, and Bute, his father, this horrid plan did lay,
A mighty tax to gather in North America.

"He search'd the gloomy regions of the infernal pit,
To find among those legions one who excell'd in wit,
To ask of him assistance, or tell them how they may
Subdue without assistance this North America.

"Old Satan, the arch traitor, resolved a voyage to take,
Who rules sole navigator upon the burning lake;
For the Britannic ocean he launches far away,
To land he had no notion in North America.

"He takes his seat in Britain, it was his soul's intent,
Great George's throne to sit on, and rule the Parliament,

His comrades were pursuing a diabolic way,

For to complete the ruin of North America.

"He tried the art of magic to bring his schemes about,
At length the gloomy project he artfully found out;
The plan was long indulged in a clandestine way,
But lately was divulged in North America.

"These subtle arch-combiners address'd the British court,
All three were undersigners of this obscene report -
There is a pleasant landscape that lieth far away,
Beyond the wide Atlantic in North America.

"There is a wealthy people, who sojourn in that land;
Their churches all with steeples, most delicately stand;
Their houses, like the gilly, are painted red and gay;
They flourish like the lily in North America.

"Their land with milk and honey continually doth flow,
The want of food or money they seldom ever know:
They heap up golden treasure, they have no debts to pay,
They spend their time in pleasure in North America.

"On turkeys, fowls, and fishes most frequently they dine,
With gold and silver dishes their tables always shine,
They crown their feasts with butter, they eat and rise to play,
In silks their ladies flutter in North America.

"With gold and silver laces, they do themselves adorn,
The rubies deck their faces, refulgent as the morn!
Wine sparkles in their glasses, they spend each happy day
In merriment and dances, in North America.

"Let not our suit affront you, when we address your throne,
O king, this wealthy country and subjects are your own,
And their rightful sovereign, they truly must obey,
You have a right to govern this North America.

"O king, you've heard the sequel of what we now subscribe,
Is it not just and equal to tax this wealthy tribe?
The question being asked, his majesty did say,
My subjects shall be taxed in North America.

"Invested with a warrant, my publicans shall go,

The tenth of all their current they surely shall bestow,
If they indulge rebellion, or from my precepts stray,
I'll send my war battalion to North America.

"I'll rally all my forces by water and by land,

My light dragoons and horses shall go at my command, I'll burn both town and city, with smoke becloud the day, I'll show no human pity for North America.

"Go on, my hearty soldiers, you need not fear of ill—
There's Hutchinson and Rogers, their functions will fulfil-
They tell such ample stories, believe them sure we may,
That one half of them are tories in North America.

"My gallant ships are ready to hoist you o'er the flood,
And in my cause be steady, which is supremely good;
Go ravage, steal, and plunder, and you shall have the prey;
They quickly will knock under in North America.

"The laws I have enacted, I never will revoke,
Although they are neglected, my fury to provoke,
I will forbear to flatter, I'll rule with mighty sway;
I'll take away the charter from North America.

"O George! you are distracted, by sad experience find
The laws you have enacted are of the blackest kind.
I'll make a short digression, and tell you by the way,
We fear not your oppression in North America.

"Our fathers were distressed, while in their native land;
By tyrants were oppressed, as I do understand;
For freedom and religion they were resolved to stray,
And try the desert regions of North America.

"Heaven was their protector while on the roaring tide,
Kind fortune their director, and Providence their guide;
If I am not mistaken, about the first of May,
This voyage was undertaken for North America.

"To sail they were commanded, about the hour of noon,
At Plymouth shore they landed, the twenty-first of June;
The savages were nettled, with fear they fled away,
And peaceably they settled in North America.

"We are their bold descendants, for liberty we 'll fight,
The claim to independence we challenge as our right,
"T is what kind Heaven gave us, who can take away?
Kind Heaven, too, will save us in North America.

"We never will knock under, O George, we do not fear
The rattling of your thunder, nor lightning of your spear:
Though rebels you declare us, we 're strangers to dismay;
Therefore you can't scare us in North America.

"To what you have commanded, we never will consent;
Although your troops are landed upon the continent;
We'll take our swords and muskets, and march in bright array,
And drive the British rustics from North America.

"We have a bold commander who fears not sword nor gun,
The second Alexander, his name is Washington,
His men are all collected, and ready for the fray,
To fight they are directed for North America."

The "whig songs" of 1840 are still fresh in the recollection of their authors, no doubt, and are pretty fair samples of what America has produced in the form of poetry for the people, and were besides valuable as specific signs of that period.

The work of Mr. Moore named at the beginning of this article is intended to supply the want of a book containing all the good, or at least all of the best, ballads in the language. Certainly the want has long been felt, and remains still unsupplied. These volumes contain some pieces unworthy of a place in such a collection,- as it seems to us,- such as the

Story of John Gilpin," Kirk White's "Gondoline," and "The Rime of the Auncient Waggonere." Valuable ballads are omitted to make way for them. We miss, and who would have thought it," the grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence," the "Friar of Orders Grey," the ballads relating to "sweet William" and "fair Margaret," and even those about King Arthur. "Auld Robin Gray" is likewise omitted. The most valuable that he has inserted which are not in the hands of lovers of ballad lore, are "The Luck of Muncaster," "Robin Conscience," "The King and a poore Northerne Man." The last which seems to be the original of a popular song, "A Farmer there was in the west countrie," supposed to have been written by one Martin Parker, a celebrated author of ballads. We give some extracts from it.

"Come hearken to me all around,

And I will tell you a merry tale

Of a Northumberland man that held some ground,
Which was the King's land, in a dale.

"He was borne and bred thereupon,

And his father had dwelt there long before,
Who kept a good house in that country,

And staved the wolfe from off his doore.

"Now for this farm the good old man

Just twenty shillings a-year did pay.
At length came cruell death with his dart,
And this old farmer he soone did slay ;

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