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LADY NAIRNE AND HER SONGS.
The supreme felicity of lyric song is extremely rare even in the greatest masters of the art, and seems to come from something outside of themselves, some accident of the moment, some almost fortuitous intermingling of sound with meaning, which could have been attained by no ordinary inspiration and no deliberate skill, however accomplished and sure and strong the poetical organ which produced it. It is this supreme felicity, when it occurs, by which the lyric song of man, with only the elements of harsh and prosaic speech and common words to frame it, rivals the magic of the bird's note in joyous ecstasy or sorrow, and floods the heart, as it captivates the ear, with emotions sweeter and deeper, more ethereal and more mysterious, than life had seemed able to give. It is well known that singers, whose skill in the use of their vocal organs is the result of highly trained art, giving certainty and assurance to a great natural gift, and able at all times to command what seems the full extent of their power, sometimes have moments when they surpass themselves and