1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Cunningham

Walter Scott to Allan Cunningham, 1820; David Hogg, Life of Cunningham (1875) 200.



I am glad you are about Scottish Song. No man — not Robert Burns himself — has contributed more beautiful effusions to enrich it. Here and there I would pluck a flower from your Poesy to give what remains an effect of greater simplicity; but luxuriance can only be the fault of genius, and many of your songs are, I think, unmatched. I would instance, It's Hame and it's Hame, which my daughter, Mrs. Lockhart, sings with such uncommon effect. You cannot do anything either in the way of original composition, or collection, or criticism, that will not be highly acceptable to all who are worth pleasing in the Scottish public — and I pray you to proceed with it.