Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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HUNGARIAN FOLK-SONGS.              283
expanse, and the lights of whose magic sunshine are rather of sadness than exhilaration. Like all primitive poetry, born in times of strife and a dis­organized and turbulent condition of society, the Magyar ballads deal with violent passions and bloodshed, and the brigands, who were rather mili­tary outlaws than common robbers, are the popular heroes, and appeal to the peasant imagination as the embodiments of the revolt of the people against the tyranny of the rich and powerful. But, in spite of their exploits, the gallows always waits for them, and the ballads end with the dismal specta­cle of the body swinging in the wind on the deadly tree, while in the midst of their carousings the note of sadness and the foreboding of certain fate con­stantly intrudes. The Magyar brigand ballads have a much deeper element of poetry and passion than is to be found in the coarse humor and vul­gar trickery of the English Robin Hood ballads, and express a finer and more delicate fibre of na­tional feeling. The prevalent characteristics of Magyar folk-poetry are, however, the same as those of the higher standard of popular ballads, and were produced by similar influences, and in similar condition of mind. There is the same vigor of expression and strength of natural im­agery, the same abruptness and disconnection in the construction in which dramatic dialogue is
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III