Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS. 245
guished poet, who, being compelled to take refuge in England by the political disturbances of 1820, came under the influence of Sir Walter Scott as regards the work which he had done for the na­tional literature of Scotland. Like Scott he at first wrote imitations of the old ballads with their literary style and phrases. These, like all other imitations of ancient ballads, although full of strength and poetical power, had not the genuine naturalness of antiquity and the inimitable flavor of primitive art. Later, on his return to Portu­gal, Almeida Garrett set himself to work to col­lect the ancient Portuguese ballads, as Scott had done those of the Scottish border, and was almost equally successful. The backwardness of the Por­tuguese peasantry in education, and their compara­tive seclusion from the influences of modern civil­ization in their mountains and valleys, contributed very much to the preservation of their ancient bal­lads, and even to-day they are a part of the oral literature of the country. There were of course many ancient ballads, in written and printed forms, which were preserved in libraries and in the pa­pers of old families, but the great bulk of Almeida Garrett's collection was derived from oral tradi­tion. He followed the example of Scott in uniting the best forms of varying versions into a complete and harmonious whole, and it is hardly doubtful
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III