The Higher Criticism Applied To A “Modern Instance” -- By: Henry Hayman

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 055:219 (Jul 1898)
Article: The Higher Criticism Applied To A “Modern Instance”
Author: Henry Hayman

The Higher Criticism Applied To A “Modern Instance”

Henry Hayman

Aldingham, Ulverston

In this note I endeavor to apply the critical principles with which we are familiar, when applied to “the Hexateuch,” to a well-known ode of the poet Burns. I shall endeavor to show that it must have proceeded from at least two “sources,” with a probable admixture by a third hand in the last stanza, which, after approved precedent, I venture to ascribe to a “compiler,” who “appears to have introduced slight additions of his own.” I shall distinguish the sources as B1 and B2, and the compiler as C. The ode consists of nine stanzas, and it will be seen at a glance that the principal line of demarcation falls after the fifth of these. The first five I assign to B1, the next three unhesitatingly to B2, while of the last I speak with more reserve, and leave to more curious and minute critics the question, in what proportions it is to be divided between-B2 and C. I fear I shall hardly make my remarks intelligible without a transcript of the greater part of the poem, which, happily, is not long.

To A Mountain Daisy.

On Turning One Down With The Plough, In April, 1786.

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonny gem.

Alas! it’s no thy neebor sweet,
The bonny lark, companion meet,
Bending thee ‘mang the dewy weet
Wi’ spreckled breast,
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet
The purpling east!

The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High shelf ring woods and wa’s maun shield:
But thou, beneath the random bield
O’ clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Unseen, alane.

Above, each row of asterisks marks a stanza missed, and it is here that the line of demarcation occurs. I proceed to Bs, in four stanzas, the last modified by C:—

Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow’ret of the rural shade!
By love’s simplicity betrayed,
And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
Low i’ the dust.

Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life’s rough ocean luckless starred!
Unskillful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o’er!

Such fate to suffering worth is given,
Who long with wants and woes has striven,
By human pride or cunning driven
To mis...

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