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Merry Bleäke o'Blackmwore' is another great favourite. It tells how John Blake, having two hundred pounds left him by his uncle, determined to build a house of his own. His consultations with his wife and maïdens,' his reckonings with the workmen, and his grand housewarming when all was done, are told with much humour, and with the same faultless truth of observation that is so conspicuous in the history of Mrs. Poyser's ways and doings. When nothing else remains to be done towards the effective inauguration of the house, the swallows duly take possession of the eaves, and the poem finishes.
An' when the morrow's zun did sheen,
“Tweet, tweet,” the birds all cried ;
“Dad, dad,” the children cried so glad
To merry Bleäke o' Blackmwore.' The excellent poem called 'Faetherhool' gives an example of the spirit and swing which Mr. Barnes can throw into his verses. This that follows is supposed to come straight out of the warm heart of a father, who is met after a cold journey by the pleasant voices and · little-mouthed laefs' of his children at his own fireside :
• Let en zit, wi' his dog an' his cat,
Wi' ther noses a-turned to the vire;
An' have all that a man should desire :
Woudden meake mighty odds in the maïn :
An' wi' mwore we've less jäy wi' less païn :
Like do-nothèn, rue-nothèn,
Dead-alive dumps.' Yet, clever and admirably truthful as the humorous poems and the mere narratives are, Mr. Barnes seems to be greatest in the expression of a pathetic sentiment, always of the extremest gentleness and tenderness, but always wholesome, and never bordering on what is maudlin or dull. It has been urged, and it is probably often thought by fresh readers of the “Dorset Poems,' * Common sense.
+ Care or anxiety for the future. Plough. Y2
that the dialect has nothing to do with the pathetic element in them ; in other words, that if, in a given poem of the kind, the forms of ordinary English were to be substituted for the dialect forms, the pathos would remain undiminished and unaltered. A little reflection, and still more surely—a growing familiarity with the genius of Mr. Barnes, will show that this notion is erroneous. It is undoubtedly possible to light upon single stanzas of the more serious poems which scarcely suffer at all by a translation into English." It is equally possible to find single passages of Burns in which it is of no consequence whether we read frae or from, guid or good ; or single verses of the Bible where the effect would not be destroyed by the substitution of you for thou, and have for hast. But who, for that reason, would desire to see an Anglicized edition of Burns's serious poetry, or a version of the Bible according to Dr. Conquest ? And thus it is in the case of Mr. Barnes. In spite of the apparent evidence to the contrary which single instances may furnish—and such instances will be found very few and far between—there are a thousand touches natural and easy in his Doric, which would have been unattainable in Attic.' Who would write "raving' for «riavèn' in the following admirable song? or what should we get out of common English in return for all the sound and vigour of wiave da dreve wiave in the dark-water'd pon' ??
JENNY OUT VROM HWOME.
The elems da rock an' the poplars da ply,
Oh! wher da ye rise vrom, an wher da ye die?
To wher I da lang var an' vo’kes I da love.
The soft-zwelling sounds ye da leäve in your road,
Vrom friends that da love me, all scattered abrode.
By the house an' the elems vrom wher I'm a-come,
An' tell ya've a-youn' me a-thinkèn o' hwome.' Again, in · Väices that be gone,' it would be hopelessly grotesque to talk of the
banks, where James would sit
And how should we render into common English that pregnant thought of the girls and boys being now married off all woys'? Yet observe the effect of both passages as they stand in the poem.
"THE VÄICES THAT BE GONE.
In archet, where the pleäce oonce rung
By väices that be gone.
Beside the banks, wher Jim did zit
To väices that be gone.
How she da wish, wi' useless tears,
The väices that be gone!
I still da santer out wi' tears
Da miss the väices gone.' More than once we have seen this poem draw the tears from eyes of listening cottagers ; nor must it be supposed that the refinement of education is necessary to the reader before he can read Mr. Barnes's poems with such a result. A clownish reader will read clownishly, whether he read in English or in the Dorset dialect; and a chance hand from the plough-tail would probably make a very poor thing of “Väices that be gone.' But put the book into the hands of one of the thoughtful and deephearted men that may be met with, not so rarely either, even among
Dorset labourers -a man just able to read fairly, but uneducated by means of books beyond that point-and then, if effect is to be the test of success, it would not be wise in a highly instructed and refined competitor to enter the lists against him.
But we must draw to an end. To have examined and fixed a curious variety of English, assigning its reasonable limits, and enriching it with thoroughly good poetry, is a very rare achievement, accomplished in this case without the slightest shade of pretension or unreality. But this is not quite all. The Dorset Poems are filled with lifelike drawings of manners and customs, and merrymakings and amusements, and joys and sorrows, which are even now passing out of date. A hundred years hence they may be the only remaining record of daily life as it has been and is amongst the labouring and farming classes of this interesting, much abused, and not very well known county.
Art. II. — 1. Hymns and Hymn-books : a Letter, &c.
William John Blew. 1858. 2. The Voice of Christian Life in Song: or Hymns and Hymn
Writers of many Lands and Ages. London, 1858. 3. Select Metrical Hymns and Homilies of Ephraem Syrus :
translated from the Original Syriac. By the Rev. Henry
Burgess, Ph.D. London, 1858. 4. Thesaurus Hymnologicus, sive Hymnorum Canticorum, Sequen
tiarum circa annum MD usitatarum collectio amplissima. H.
A. Daniel, Ph.D. Lipsiæ, 1850-1856. 5. Hymni Latini Medii Ævi. Franc. Jos. Mone. Friburgi
Brisgoviæ, 1853. 6. Hymni Ecclesia e Breviariis quibusdam et Missalibus Gallicanis
, Germanis, Hispanis, Lusitanis desumpti. J. M. Neale. Oxford, 1851. 7. Hymnale secundum usum insignis ac præclaræ Ecclesiæ Saris
buriensis ; accedunt Hy. Eccl. Eboracensis et Hereford. Oxford,
1851. 8. Sacred Latin Poetry. By Richard Chenevix Trench, M.A.
* An account of Dorset would scarcely be complete without some notice of the great appearance of natural politeness in the Dorset peasantry. To strangers this is very sti ng. The
touch of the hat, or curtsy, which are never wanting-the passing salutation-seem almost strange to those accustomed to the manufacturing districts or the home counties. But it is not easy to say what amount of real mansuetude is indicated by these courteous outward observances.
9. Mediæval Hymns and Sequences. Translated from the Latin.
By Rev. J. M. Neale. London, 1851. 10. Hymns of the Eastern Church. Translated from the Greek.
By the Rev. J. M. Neale, D.D. London, 1862. 11. Lyra Germanica: Hymns, &c. Translated from the
German by Catherine Winkworth. London, 1859. 12. Wesleyan Hymnology. By W. P. Burgess, Wesleyan
Minister. London, 1846. 13. A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for the Public Service of
the Church. By the Rev. Charles Kemble. 1855. 14. The Church Psalter and Hymn-book. By the Rev. W.
Mercer, and John Goss, Esq. 1858. 15. Hymns Ancient and Modern, for use in the Services of the Church. London, 1860.
GENERAL impression seems to prevail that the
Psalmody of our Church requires amendment and regulation.' * With these words opened an article on our present • subject more than thirty years ago. The interval has been a time
of unusual progress; yet the observation might be repeated to-day with as much truth as ever. For while the last quarter of a century has witnessed one of the most remarkable religious movements in the history of our Church, and has left scarcely one stone unturned by controversy in its doctrine, discipline, and ritual; while every irregularity has been called in question, and every order more or less enforced, hymns have been left to run wild. Their really great importance has been lost sight of amidst a clash of contention over matters of more engrossing interest.
But Hymnology itself has not stood still the while; as indeed appears by the long array of works at the head of this paper, and a number of others bearing upon the various branches of the subject there represented, as well as by the now familiar use of this very word “Hymnology,' for which a writer of thirty years ago felt constrained to apologize. In fact, not only has the study of hymns become a recognized subject of literary research, but the hymns actually composed far exceed in number those of any equal period, except that which immediately followed the great Wesleyan movement just a century before.
In the days of William of Orange and his immediate successors the religious energies of the people had been laid to sleep under the so-called orthodoxy of those in high places; and when they were awakened by the cry of the Independent Calvinists and early Methodists, they found no channel for their devotions but
* “Quarterly Review, July, 1828.