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204 FOLK-SONGS OF LOWER BRITTANY.
surrender of the affection to the demands of the priestly vow, sometimes in the tragedy of broken hearts and a double devotion to religious celibacy, and sometimes, under the influence of a stronger passion, in the renunciation of the priesthood and marriage with the object of affection. These young clerks are, naturally, objects of great attraction to the young maidens by the contrast of their superior manners and education to the duller and coarser young men of the peasant class, and this attraction results in many dramas of love, not to mention the deeper tragedies of blighted passions and ruined lives. From their superior intellectual activity and education the young clerks are the most fertile and eloquent of the folk-poets, and by far the greater number of the love songs in the Sonniou are their production, and relate to the condition in which their affections are bound and limited. Their songs are genuine folk-poetry in their simplicity and strength of expression, except in the few instances where sophomoric pedantry overloads them with mythologic terms and academic phrases, and they often express a deep feeling with simple and natural eloquence. In The Ditty of Love the young girl appeals to the clerk to abandon the priesthood, since there are enough priests in the country, and expect the blessing of God in marrying the one who loves him, and then resigns herself