Important acquisitions

Tyrant of the Cuchullin Hills

Author Isham, Charles Edmund, Sir
Title Tyrant of the Cuchullin Hills
Imprint
Date of Publication c. 1860?
Language English
Notes This poem about a ferocious golden eagle terrorising the Cuillin mountains of Skye appears here in what seems to be a brightly-coloured, even garish lithograph. The borders of the text are attractive, and the elaborate initial letters are executed with some success. The Library has a photocopy of what is probably an earlier version of the work, which has different ornamentation (XP.461). As an artist's book, this is a work of some quality. Its poetic merits are another matter. As a sample, here is the eagle's dream of lamb-killing: 'He dream't he first tore out their eyes, Enjoying much the feeble cries. And when he'd finished all the flock, He watched from some convenient rock, Exhibiting intense delight When heartrent mothers came in sight. He then returned and tortured more The lambs which still remained in store At dawn of day we will suppose The tyrant from his bed arose Quite vexed at finding but a dream All that reality would seem.' It is one thing to project human emotions onto a bird, but to describe it getting out of bed after a pleasant dream opens up new possibilities for (unintentionally) comic verse.
Shelfmark RB.m.515
Acquired on 04/03/02
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