A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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A CENTURY OF BALLADS
New York with George Morris, the poet. We turned into Bloomfield Road, then a woodland lane of great natural beauty, to view at Morris's request a stately old tree which had been planted by the poet's grandfather. I well remember the ring of genuine pathos in Morris's voice as he told me on our way towards the tree of the tender recollections associated with the old homestead to which it was contiguous. His happy boy­hood in his old home, surrounded by father, mother, and sisters—all came back to him at the mention of that old tree. Little did we dream of the drama that was to follow.
" As we neared the homely cottage which had once housed the Morris family, my friend noticed an old man with his coat off, sharpening an axe.
"'What are you going to do?' asked the poet, with a tremor of apprehension in his tone. 1 You surely do not intend to cut down that tree ? '
" ' Yes, sirree,' was the blunt reply of the old man, who was evidently the occupant of one of the cottages.
" Morris and I descended from our trap to hold a parley with the old fellow. In conversa­tion it transpired that the old man did not fancy having the tree so near his house. Besides, he wanted it for firewood. We asked him how much the wood would be worth, and he replied, 'About ten dollars.' So a bargain was speedily made,
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