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72 The National Music of America.
ful 137th Psalm to weep over the fact that Boston was in British hands. He begins :
" By the Rivers of Watertown we sat down ; yea, we wept when we remembered Boston."
He continues in the same strain :
" If I forget thee, O Boston, —
Then let my numbers cease to flow,
Then be my Muse unkind; Then let my tongue forget to move,
And ever be confined. Let horrid jargon split the air,
And rive my nerves asunder; Let hateful Discord grate my ear,
As terrible as Thunder."
Poor Billings, however, yielded to the demon of "fugueing" in several of his compositions, such fugueing as might make Bach's bones rattle. Indeed, he says :
" There is more variety in one piece of fugueing music than twenty of plain song. For while the tones do most sweetly coincide and agree, the words are seemingly engaged in a musical warfare; and excuse the paradox, if I further add, that each part seems determined, by dint of harmony and strength