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346
CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
But the glory of the minne-singers was but short; the emperors of the house of Swabia, had fostered the art, by allowing an unheard-of liberty of speech and thought; with the downfall of that house (1256 A. D.) the church regained a continu­ally-increasing ascendancy, and this liberty was again fettered. Song and poetry, especially of an amatory or frivolous (?) character were con­demned, and the place of the pleasant school of minne-singer poetry was usurped by paraphrases of the Scriptures, hymns or legends, written either in very weak German or bad Latin; the school of German poetry took a very long retro­grade step. Before leaving the minne-singers, a word must be said of their fables and tales; in these we find many modern ideas in a quaint and ancient dress, proverbs abound, and many tales of Roman History. " Don't set the wolf to guard the Sheep," "Never borrow trouble,"
" The king must die, And so must I,"
and many other sage thoughts.
The tales are sometimes very prettily told. We have thought it worth while to translate one, which we believe, has not yet been seen in an English dress.
As far as possible we have adhered to the abruptness and quaintness of the original.
" At one time there was a king, who had but one son, who was very dear to him; the son demanded leave of absence from his father, and said that he wished to see the world, and wished






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III