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. 95
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass, That kindles my mother's fire.
One of the most interesting specimens of the ballads of this kind, as they exist to-day, borrowed in a modified form from the ancient, but embody­ing a still popular superstition, is The Unquiet Grave, recently taken down from the lips of a young girl in Sussex. It is founded on the belief, common to many primitive peoples, that excessive weeping disturbs the repose of the departed, and has a touch of that natural originality of descrip­tion and that abruptness which presupposes a quickness of appreciation, which does not require an elaborate story to make the connection intelli­gible, characteristic of popular poetry, and which shows that the elements of mind to which it is addressed are always the same: —
The wind doth blow to-day, my love,
And a few small drops of rain. I never had but one true love —
In the cold grave she was lain.
I '11 do as much for my true love
As any young man may, I '11 sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.
The twelvemonth and a day being up, The dead began to speak :
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III