Carolina Chansons

Hervey Allen
The Project Gutenberg eBook, Carolina Chansons, by DuBose
Heyward and Hervey Allen
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Title: Carolina Chansons
Legends of the Low Country
Author: DuBose Heyward and Hervey Allen
Release Date: June 14, 2005 [eBook #16064]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Suzanne Shell, Melissa Er-Raqabi, and the Project
Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
Transcriber's Notes:
Two variations, Sewee and Seewee, are used in this book, and have
been left as in the original.
Where poems cross a page boundary in the original, they have been left
as one stanza except where the structure clearly indicates otherwise. I
have been unable to confirm with another source if stanza breaks
should occur in those places or not. See the html version of this file
(16064-h.htm or to see where page breaks occur.

) or

Legends of the Low Country
The MacMillan Company
New York Boston Chicago Dallas

Atlanta San Francisco
MacMillan & Co., Limited
London Bombay Calcutta
The MacMillan Co. of Canada, Ltd.
The thanks of the authors are due to the editors of _The London
Mercury_, The North American Review_, _Poetry, A Magazine of
Verse, The Reviewer_, _The Book News Monthly_, and _Contemporary
Verse for permission to reprint many of the poems in this volume.
Grateful acknowledgment is also made to many friends for first-hand
information and for the loan of letters, diaries, pictures, and old
newspaper clippings.
In a continent but recently settled, many parts of which have as yet
little historical or cultural background, the material for this volume has
been gathered from a section that was one of the first to be colonized.
Here the Frenchman, Spaniard, and Englishman all passed, leaving

each his legend; and a brilliant and more or less feudal civilization with
its aristocracy and slaves has departed with the economic system upon
which it rested.
From this medley of early colonial discovery and romance, from the
memories of war and reconstruction, it has been as difficult to choose
coherently as to maintain restraint in selection among the many
grotesque negro legends and superstitions so rich in imagery and music.
Coupled with this there has been another task; that of keeping these
legends and stories in their natural matrix, the semi-tropical landscape
of the Low Country, which somehow lends them all a pensively
melancholy yet fitting background. Not to have so portrayed them,
would have been to sacrifice their essentially local tang. To the reader
unfamiliar with coastal Carolina, the unique aspects of its landscapes
may seem exaggerated in these pages; the observant visitor and the
native will, it is hoped, recognize that neither the colors nor the
shadows are too strong. These poems, however, are not local only, they
are stories and pictures of a chapter of American history little known,
but dramatic and colorful, and in the relation of an important part to the
whole they may carry a decided interest to the country at large.
Local color has a fatal tendency to remain local; but it is also true that
the universal often borders on the void. It has been said, perhaps wisely,
that the immediate future of American Poetry lies rather in the intimate
feeling of local poets who can interpret their own sections to the rest of
the country as Robinson and Frost have done so nobly for New
England, rather than in the effort to yawp universally. Hence there is no
attempt here to say, "O New York, O Pennsylvania," but simply, "O
The South, however, has been "interpreted" so often, either with
condescending pity or nauseous sentimentality, that it is the aim of this
book to speak simply and carefully amid a babel of unauthentic
utterance. Nevertheless, the contents of this volume do not pretend to
exact historical accuracy; this is poetry rather than history, although the
legends and facts upon which it rests have been gathered with much
painstaking research and careful verification. It should be kept in mind

that these poems are impressionistic attempts to present the fleeting
feeling of the moment, landscape moods, and the ephemeral attitudes of
the past. Legends are material to be moulded, and not facts to be
recorded. Above all here is no pretence of propaganda.
As some of the material touched on is not accessible in standard
reference, prose notes have been included giving the historical facts or
background of legend upon which a poem has been based. These notes
together with a bibliography will be
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