y The Aboriginal Mother single work   poetry   "Oh! hush thee - hush my baby,"
Issue Details: First known date: 1838 1838
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Notes

  • Epigraph: 'Only one female and her child got away from us.' - Evidence before the Supreme Court.
    (Note: This epigraph appears in the Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 27 October 1841.)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: The Aboriginal Mother (from Myall's Creek)
  • Appears in:
    y The Australian 13 December 1838 Z614866 1838 newspaper issue 1838 pg. 4
    Note:

    Author's note: (from Myall's Creek)

    Above title: Songs of an Exile (No. 4.)

    Written as: E. H. D.

  • Appears in:
    y Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser vol. 16 no. 1979 27 October 1841 Z1881748 1841 newspaper issue 1841 pg. 2
    Note:
    • With first line: Oh! hush thee, hush, my baby, I may not tend thee yet,
    • At foot of poem: 'The foregoing lines were written by Mrs. Dunlop, and having been set to music by Mr. Nathan will be sung by Miss Nathan at the grand Concert to be given this evening [27 October 1841].'
  • Appears in:
    y The Aboriginal Mother and Other Poems Eliza Hamilton Dunlop , Canberra : Mulini Press , 1981 Z116684 1981 selected work poetry Canberra : Mulini Press , 1981 pg. 3-4
  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads [1993] Elizabeth Webby (editor), Philip Butterss (editor), Ringwood : Penguin , 1993 Z136407 1993 anthology poetry humour satire Ringwood : Penguin , 1993 pg. 84-86
  • Appears in:
    y The Oxford Book of Australian Women's Verse Susan Lever (editor), South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1995 Z566500 1995 anthology poetry biography South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1995 pg. 2-4
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Verse : An Oxford Anthology John Leonard (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1998 Z461207 1998 anthology poetry (taught in 1 units) A thorough survey of poetry by Australians in English, beginning with a selection of contemporary work by younger poets, and going backward in time to the early colonial period. In addition to poems in the literary tradition, it indudes performance poetry, convict songs and old bush ballads. An extensive selection has been provided from the work of five major twentieth-century poets: Les Murray, Gwen Harwood, Judith Wright, A.D. Hope and Kenneth Slessor. Several features are provided to assist the reader: the date of first publication of each poem is provided; footnotes explain unfamiliar words and allusions; and brief biographical notes assist in locating each poet in his or her place in time. Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1998 pg. 390-391
  • Appears in:
    y An Anthology of Australian Poetry to 1920 John Kinsella (editor), Nedlands : University of Western Australia Library , 2007 Z1908582 2007 anthology poetry column prose Nedlands : University of Western Australia Library , 2007 pg. 90-92
  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry John Kinsella (editor), Camberwell : Penguin , 2009 Z1553543 2009 anthology poetry (taught in 16 units)

    'This is a comprehensive survey of Australian poetic achievement, ranging from early colonial and indigenous verse to contemporary work, from the major poets to those who deserve to be better recognised.' (Provided by the publisher).

    Camberwell : Penguin , 2009
    pg. 31-33
    Note: With note: (from Myall's Creek)
  • Appears in:
    y Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature Nicholas Jose (editor), Kerryn Goldsworthy (editor), Anita Heiss (editor), David McCooey (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Elizabeth Webby (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1590615 2009 anthology correspondence diary drama essay extract poetry prose short story (taught in 23 units)

    'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.

    'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.

    'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.

    'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.

    'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009
    pg. 81-83
    Note: With title: The Aboriginal Mother (from Myall's Creek)
  • Appears in:
    y The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry John Leonard (editor), Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2009 Z1674214 2009 anthology poetry (taught in 16 units) Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2009 pg. 433-435
  • Appears in:
    y Australasian Chronicle vol. 3 no. 303 16 October 1841 Z1783202 1841 newspaper issue 1841 pg. 2
    Note:

    Written as: By Mrs Dunlop : Music by Nathan

    Epigraph: "Only one female and her child got away from us" -- Evidence before the supreme court.

    Text only.

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Isaac Nathan , 1842 .
      Link: Full text document Digital copy.
      Extent: 1 score [4]p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Advertised in the Colonial Observer, 20 January, 1842: 'New Music. This Day is Published - Price 3s. - by the Composer, Ada Cottage, Princes-street, The Aboriginal Mother. Poet - Mrs Dunlop. Composer - J. [sic.] Nathan.'
      • Song version first performed at a concert at the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, New South Wales, 27 October 1841.
      Series: y Australian Melodies Isaac Nathan (publisher), Sydney : Isaac Nathan , 1842- Z1799043 1842 series - publisher lyric/song Number in series: 1

Works about this Work

'A Vehicle of Private Malice' : Eliza Hamilton Dunlop and the Sydney Herald Duncan Wu , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Review of English Studies , November vol. 65 no. 272 2014; (p. 888-903)
'Eliza Hamilton Dunlop’s poem, ‘The Aboriginal Mother’, has long been known to concern the Myall Creek Massacre. This article reveals the extent to which it is based on newspaper reports of the trials connected with the massacre, and documents the series of attacks made on the poem after it was set to music by Isaac Nathan and performed in Sydney in 1841. It also reveals that the animus against the author and her work was driven in part by the Sydney Herald’s ongoing campaign against the new governor of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps, and his humane policies towards Aborigines, and in particular by the Herald’s repeated criticism of Dunlop’s husband, one of Gipps’s Protectors of Aborigines.' (Publication abstract)
'Unlocking the Fountains of the Heart' : Settler Verse and the Politics of Sympathy John O'Leary , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Studies , March vol. 13 no. 1 2010; (p. 55-70)
Nineteenth-century settler verse about indigenous peoples has received relatively little critical analysis; what there is has sometimes been negative, judging it as complicit in the evils of colonization. This essay sets out to show that settler poets were capable of producing powerful poems designed to enlist reader sympathy for the sufferings of indigenous peoples, as a prelude to political action aimed at ameliorating their condition. The essay considers three 'crying mother' poems from the 1830s, locating them in their period's contentious, highly-charged debates about race, morality and national destiny. (Only one of the poems is by an Australian writer, Eliza Dunlop.)
Speaking the Suffering Indigene : 'Native' Songs and Laments, 1820-1850 John O'Leary , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 31 no. 1 2009; (p. 47-59)
'This article considers the many short poems published by settlers in British colonies and the United States in the early decades of the nineteenth century in which settlers voiced their concern about the suffering of indigenous peoples in the face of colonisation. Though the indigenous peoples in question were very different from one another, and the nature of colonisation in the various colonies and states by no means identical, this verse shows a remarkable homogeneity of style and tone, being an expression of a common evangelical tradition and a shared fascination with the indigenous Other. The article argues that while these poems were certainly conditioned by an ideology of European superiority, and raise issues of paternalism and agency, they were sincere expressions of outrage and sorrow, and should therefore be accorded more weight than they are usually granted by postcolonial critics.' Source: The author.
Giving the Indigenous a Voice : Further Thoughts on the Poetry of Eliza Hamilton Dunlop John O'Leary , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , no. 82 2004; (p. 85-93, notes 187-189)
'This article expands the existing critical discussion [of Dunlop's poetry], focusing on Dunlop's best known poem, "The Aboriginal Mother", and on the fragmentary but pioneering transliteration and translation work that Dunlop performed after she moved to the Hunter Valley in 1840. Dunlop's poetry will be explored, firstly, in relation to the contemporary newspaper debate about the humanity of Indigenous people and, secondly, in relation to the literary traditions of expressive women's poetry and romantic primitivism, both of which influenced her verse' (85).
Born to Blush Unseen : Some Nineteenth Century Women Poets Elizabeth Webby , 1988 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: A Bright and Fiery Troop : Australian Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century 1988; (p. 41-52)
The Aboriginal in Early Australian Literature Elizabeth Webby , 1980 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , March vol. 40 no. 1 1980; (p. 45-63)
Nathan's Subscription Concerts 1841 single work column
— Appears in: Australasian Chronicle , 25 September vol. 3 no. 294 1841; (p. 3)
Giving the Indigenous a Voice : Further Thoughts on the Poetry of Eliza Hamilton Dunlop John O'Leary , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , no. 82 2004; (p. 85-93, notes 187-189)
'This article expands the existing critical discussion [of Dunlop's poetry], focusing on Dunlop's best known poem, "The Aboriginal Mother", and on the fragmentary but pioneering transliteration and translation work that Dunlop performed after she moved to the Hunter Valley in 1840. Dunlop's poetry will be explored, firstly, in relation to the contemporary newspaper debate about the humanity of Indigenous people and, secondly, in relation to the literary traditions of expressive women's poetry and romantic primitivism, both of which influenced her verse' (85).
'Unlocking the Fountains of the Heart' : Settler Verse and the Politics of Sympathy John O'Leary , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Studies , March vol. 13 no. 1 2010; (p. 55-70)
Nineteenth-century settler verse about indigenous peoples has received relatively little critical analysis; what there is has sometimes been negative, judging it as complicit in the evils of colonization. This essay sets out to show that settler poets were capable of producing powerful poems designed to enlist reader sympathy for the sufferings of indigenous peoples, as a prelude to political action aimed at ameliorating their condition. The essay considers three 'crying mother' poems from the 1830s, locating them in their period's contentious, highly-charged debates about race, morality and national destiny. (Only one of the poems is by an Australian writer, Eliza Dunlop.)
Speaking the Suffering Indigene : 'Native' Songs and Laments, 1820-1850 John O'Leary , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 31 no. 1 2009; (p. 47-59)
'This article considers the many short poems published by settlers in British colonies and the United States in the early decades of the nineteenth century in which settlers voiced their concern about the suffering of indigenous peoples in the face of colonisation. Though the indigenous peoples in question were very different from one another, and the nature of colonisation in the various colonies and states by no means identical, this verse shows a remarkable homogeneity of style and tone, being an expression of a common evangelical tradition and a shared fascination with the indigenous Other. The article argues that while these poems were certainly conditioned by an ideology of European superiority, and raise issues of paternalism and agency, they were sincere expressions of outrage and sorrow, and should therefore be accorded more weight than they are usually granted by postcolonial critics.' Source: The author.
Nathan's Subscription Concerts 1841 single work column
— Appears in: Australasian Chronicle , 25 September vol. 3 no. 294 1841; (p. 3)
The Aboriginal in Early Australian Literature Elizabeth Webby , 1980 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , March vol. 40 no. 1 1980; (p. 45-63)
Born to Blush Unseen : Some Nineteenth Century Women Poets Elizabeth Webby , 1988 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: A Bright and Fiery Troop : Australian Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century 1988; (p. 41-52)
'A Vehicle of Private Malice' : Eliza Hamilton Dunlop and the Sydney Herald Duncan Wu , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Review of English Studies , November vol. 65 no. 272 2014; (p. 888-903)
'Eliza Hamilton Dunlop’s poem, ‘The Aboriginal Mother’, has long been known to concern the Myall Creek Massacre. This article reveals the extent to which it is based on newspaper reports of the trials connected with the massacre, and documents the series of attacks made on the poem after it was set to music by Isaac Nathan and performed in Sydney in 1841. It also reveals that the animus against the author and her work was driven in part by the Sydney Herald’s ongoing campaign against the new governor of New South Wales, Sir George Gipps, and his humane policies towards Aborigines, and in particular by the Herald’s repeated criticism of Dunlop’s husband, one of Gipps’s Protectors of Aborigines.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 26 Nov 2014 17:04:18
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