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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/478

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470


NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. ix. JUNE w, 1902.


and " He roam'd the dusky wood." Further on in this poem are : " fenc'd by a wood," " made the woods enamour'd," "She'd often wander in the wood," " warbler in the verdant wood," "fair wanderer of the wood !" "wild- ings of the wood," " while the wood suffers,' 1 " lose me in the wood," *' the monarch of the wood," "The woods among they wandered," and "Strayed thro' the woods." Parallel passages containing " wood " or " woods " may be found in " Poems by the Eev. Mr. Logan, one of the ministers of Leith " (Lond., 1781), on pp. 18, 24, 25, 26, 48, 50, 57, 61, 71, 72, 86, 88, 90 (bis), and 97. His lines on p. 24 are noteworthy: "The cuckoo in the wood unseen"; line 61, "A stranger, wandering thro' the wood " ; and line 71, " One day, a wanderer in the wood."

The peculiar word " beauteous," applied to the cuckoo in the first line of the * Ode,' occurs in 'Lochleven': line 127, "all beau- teous with the robes of heaven " ; line 157, "She'd bring the beauteous spoils"; line 171, " In beauteous clusters flourished " ; line 274, "Cease, beauteous stranger!" and line 317, "Her beauteous robes of light." On p. 36 of Logan's 'Poems' is, "that beauteous bosom ever wound." Other words in the 'Ode to the Cuckoo,' such as "spring," "bowers," "vale," "grove," and "wander- ing," are also frequently met with in Logan's volume.

Turning now to the ' Ode to the Cuckoo,' round which so much controversy has long raged, I observe it appears in Bruce's ' Poems,' 1770, 1782 (a reprint of the preceding edition), 1796 (Baird's edition), 1807, 1837 (Mackelvie), 1865 (Grosart), and 1895 (Stephen). On the other hand, it was given in Logan's ' Poems,' 1781, 1782 (8vo and 12mo), 1789, 1795 (Ander- son's collection), 1805, 1810 (Chalmers's collec- tion), 1812, 1813, and 1823. The 'Ode' is attributed to Logan in Southey's ' Specimens of the Later English Poets,' 1807 ; ' The Cabinet of Poetry' (6 vols., Lond., 1808) D'Israeli's 'Calamities of Authors,' 1812-13 Campbell's ' Specimens of British Poetry, 1819 ; ' The Scottish Biographical Dictionary ' (12mo, Lond., 1822) ; Cunningham's ' Songs of Scotland,' 1825 ; the Rev. W. Lee, Rox- burgh, editor of "My Own Life and Times : 1741-1814, by Thomas Somerville, D.D." (Edin., 1861), and by more recent writers. The ' Book of the Poets : Chaucer to Beattie ' (Lond., Chidley, 1844), gives four pieces as examples of Logan's works, one of which is the ' Ode,' with a brief prefatory notice. Two specimens are given in 'The Book of Gems : Swift to Burns,' edited by S. C. Hall, F.S.A. (Lond., 1866) : ' The Braes of Yarrow '


and the * Ode.' In the biographical sketch it is stated :

" His 'Ode to the Cuckoo' is one of the sweetest poems in the language. Logan has been charged with having stolen this composition from the post- humous manuscripts of Bruce, the collecting and editing of which were committed to his care. His claim to it, however, is not only supported by internal evidence, but the charge was never advanced against him while he was alive to repel it.

Mr. Hall has indicated very clearly the weak part of David Pearson's claim on behalf of the Bruce authorship of the 'Ode.' He did not challenge the right of Logan to insert it in his volume of 1781, and it was not till seven years after Logan's death that he put forward his version of the events of nearly thirty years before. Dr. Mackelvie says that " he had almost no education, understanding by that term training at school." James Bruce, the poet's brother, who died in 1814, said, according to Dr. Mackelvie, that "he, with David Pearson and others, had strung together some uncouth rhymes which have ever since [from the time his brother's devotional senti- ments had been withdrawn] continued to be sung by the youths in the village [of Kinnesswood] when practising church music."

This statement, however, is contradicted by his previous assertion, wherein he declared, in the most solemn manner, that all the paraphrases published in Logan's name were written by his brother Michael, that he had often read them, heard them often repeated, and frequently sung portions of them in Buchan's class long before the addition to the Assembly's collection was heard of. Pearson testified to the Bruce authorship of the paraphrases, and says that " these hymns as they stand in Logan's works are consider- ably altered." The first of the two passages quoted has not been changed, and it appears in Logan's volume and in the paraphrases now in use :

Who from the cearments of the tomb Can raise the human mold ?

The other verse runs thus : Logan (1781). The beam that shines on Zion hill

Shall lighten every land ; The King who reigns in Zion towers Shall all the world command.

Mackelvie (1837). The beam that shines from Zion's hill

Shall lighten every land, The King that reigns in Salem's tow'rs

Shall all the world command.

The current paraphrase (xviii. 3) differs in line 1 from Mackelvie, " Sion hill " ; " ev'ry," line 2; and "who" for "that" in line 3. But no MS. evidence was ever supplied by