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NEGRO FOLK RHYMES
personal knowledge of how the Master got that poison. It is a common easy-going ballad, but it is tinted with tragedy and comedy. This general principle will be found to run very largely through the highest types of Negro Folk Rhymes. It is the Nature method of construction, and thus we call them Nature Ballads in structure, or form.
Other good examples of rhymes, Nature Ballads in structure, are "Frog Went a-Courting," "Sheep Shell Corn," "Jack and Dinah Want Freedom."
I now direct attention further to the classification of Negro Rhymes as Ballads. My earnest desire was to classify Negro Rhymes under ordinary headings such as are used by literary men and women everywhere in their general classification of Ballads. I considered this very important because it would enable students of comparative Literature to compare easily the Negro Folk Rhymes with the Folk Rhymes of all peoples. I was much disappointed when I found that the Negro Folk Rhymes, when invited, refused to take their places whole-heartedly in the ordinary classification. As an example of many may be mentioned the little Rhyme "Jaybird." It is a Dance Song, and thus comes under the Dance Song Division, commonly used for Ballads. But, it also belongs under Nature Lore heading, because