Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH BALLADS. 77
itive emotion, and those very different in style, subject, and form of expression. These are Cow-per's Loss of the Royal George, and Rudyard Kip­ling's Danny Deever. Every one who has heard it or read it can repeat, —
Toll for the brave,
The brave that are no more,
Sunk beneath the wave Fast by their native shore ;
and the burden and the measure, the simplicity and strength of diction, of Danny Deever are equally calculated to take a possessing hold upon the ear. These ballads are not imitations derived from study of the ancient popular ballads, but ob­taining their inspiration from the same original source in strong and primitive emotion interpreted in the simplest language possible, and speaking through the ear by the chanted rather than through the eye by the printed line. It is this appeal to the ear which is the strongest characteristic of the form of the ancient ballads. They were made to be sung or chanted rather than read, and therefore they have a felicity of sound as an interpreter of meaning which is often perfect in its expression; and when imperfect, that is, when the meaning is not clear, but is only vaguely and dimly attached to the sound, as in the refrains and burdens, there
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III