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. 99
ment, which in its turn was given force and vigor, directness of expression and coherence of construction by the stronger nature of the invading element, which, for the want of a more definite term, is called Saxon. The effect of these influ­ences is merely conjectural, as is also that of the country itself, its natural scenery, the disturbed life of the people, and the ferment of the popular mind. It can only be said that there was something in the national genius of the Lowland Scotch different from that of their more stolid neighbors at the south and their more mystical neighbors at the north, and which fitted them for the production of popular poetry in song and ballad at once elevated and impassioned, and which has resulted in a quan­tity and quality which no other province of the world has rivaled. It is known over the world, and has been translated into almost every literary language of Europe. To the English reader it is only necessary to give the titles to recall the verses that cling to the memory, and express the deepest glow of passion and pathos in words whose magic melody is beyond the reach of art, and which are winged with a force above the powers of uninspired speech. The Border Widow tells how she buried her slain husband: —
I took his body on my back,
And whiles I gaed and whiles I sat,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III