The ‘Dark’ Element in Hugh McCrae
In some of the well-known poems there is a strength and muscularity which belies the delicacy of 'Colombine', the homely bliss of 'the yellow pleasure of candle-light' and the faery lyricism of so many of the poems in the early Satyrs and Sunlight. 'Tantacalladon', 'Mandragore' and 'Ambuscade' have this forceful quality, as do some of the ballads in more restrained form—'Red John of Haslingden' for instance. It appears as a diffuse and vague evil force in his recognition of and concern with the inevitability of transience and decay; at times it is more vigorous and is unleashed in the form of terror, cruelty and ferocity.
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