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. 247
enterprise. The oldest specimens now extant are not considered to date beyond the fifteenth century, although, of course, they may have derived their origin from still more ancient ballads. The greater part is included within the two centuries follow- ing, when the national mind still preserved the spring and energy which had accomplished such great achievements in navigation and enterprise, and before its spirit had been crushed into the nar­row bounds of a restricted and decaying province. Contrary, however, to the condition of the national poetry in Spain, the allusions to the actual events of recorded history are somewhat rare, and, although the actions of kings and national heroes make some figure, for the most part they relate to popular traditions, which have but a vague connec­tion with national history. In style and manner, however, they bear a close resemblance to the Spanish popular poems, and in many instances they appear but as slightly differing variants, although it is doubtful which may have been the original, the Spanish or the Portuguese. The bal­lad of Dom Yanno, which is a specimen of the longer popular romances, is similar, except in its termination, to the Castilian romance known under the title of the Count Alarcos, and which has been translated by Lockhart under the title of Count Alarcos and the Infanta Solisa, In the Spanish
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III