1868 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Susanna Blamire

Emily Taylor, in Memories of Contemporary Poets; with Selections from their Writings (1868) 245.



SUSANNA BLAMIRE was the youngest child of W. Blamire, Esq., of the Oak Thackwood, about six miles from Carlisle; she was born in 1747, and died in 1794. Though chiefly residing in Cumberland, she was much in Scotland, and well imitated the language of those who were certainly more "to the manner born." "The Waefu' Heart" is her best composition, if hers it be, which even her enthusiastic biographer, Patrick Maxwell, dares not positively affirm. It seems to me that it is highly probable; and no one who knows how carefully the authorship of popular songs was concealed at that time, especially by ladies, will think it the less likely to be Miss Blamire's because she never claimed it. She lived only to the age of forty-seven; and though her love and devotion to the Muse were well known to her friends, yet poetry was so much discouraged by the religions world of Scotland, that she might he the less ready to own her productions. The song, "And ye shall walk in silk attire," unquestionably hers; also the poem, "The Nabob's Return." "Auld Robin Forbes" is written in a much broader provincial dialect than is usual with Miss Blamire; but the authorship is claimed for her by her sister.

Susanna Blamire's Poems were collected in 1842, and published by Menzies, Edinburgh. Few of the longer pieces will excite any great interest. Her Songs and "The Nabob's Return" are incomparably her best efforts. The latter appears to me quite worthy of the author of "The Waefu' Heart." The "Cumberland Scolding Match" is characteristic, and a rich imitation of a provincial dialogue.