The buyers of verse have so many lyrists calling for their shillings that the task of spending what money they have to dispose of has become one of no inconsiderable difficulty.
It is plain that some bards must pine unbought. Bookshelves and pockets have their limits. Obviously those who produce capital verse, correct in form, moderately melodious, but owing too great a debt to earlier singers, must be prepared for the limbo of unregarded things.
Verse that is distinguished by some private excellence — that has a novel outlook, a peculiar atmosphere — is sure of acceptance. Of course a ballad cannot compete in popularity with bacon; but there happily survives that intellectual body of men and women who diligently search for, and secure when found, the mental sustenance derived from poetry. Not one of those can afford to pass by Cuckoo Songs. In those short poems, so fresh, so fragrant, so blossomy, there is that very peculiarity of atmosphere which we have just claimed to be necessary to success.
Mrs. Hinkson does not only offer us song: she gives us melody in league with a certain quality which is not easily defined. It eludes analysis, as it should do. We are content to think it that kind of Irish magic which, in an intensified degree, governs Mr. W. B. Yeats. Mrs. Hinkson is a lover of birds, and, on the whole, she sings of them delightfully. In one or two instances she has missed her chance. It is impossible not to think of the query about the leopard's spots when the poetess exclaims:
"O my blackbird might grow
Just to hear the nightingale.” – The Academy, Vol. 45