Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

A Biography Of America's Folk-Song Composer By Harold Vincent Milligan

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116             STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
the pursuit of happiness. The life of the American people is mirrored in their literature, in which the songs of Foster occupy an exalted and imperishable place.
Stephen Foster touched but one chord in the gamut of human emotions, but he sounded that strain supremely well. His song is of that nostalgia of the soul which is inborn and instinctive to all humanity, a homesickness unaffected by time or space. It is a theme which has always made up a large part of the world's poetry, and will always continue to do so as long as human hearts yearn for love and aspire toward happiness. Among all the poets who have harped the sorrows of Time and Change, no song rings truer than that of Stephen Foster. We have traced, as best we may, the story of his life from a bright happy childhood into the dismal shadows of failure and death. From the unpromising soil in which he grew, he was able to distill by some strange alchemy of the soul such sweet magic of melody as to win an immortality far beyond his dreaming. These wild-flowers of music which blossomed, unwatched and un-teruled, from unsuspected seeds, have found for them­selves a spot which is all their own, where they may bloom forever in Fields Elysian.







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