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.              285
covered in Africa and the South Seas. The cir­cumstance of the infant speaking from the cradle, giving warning of the faithlessness of his mother in Barcsai is common in the folk-ballads of many nations, and the incident of a bird's singing ill-news, the request of a dead man for a peculiar kind of coffin and a favorite burial place, and the growing together of flowers from the graves of a loving couple, are almost universal features in popular poetry; and the rejection of the body of a murdered man by a stream is also familiar. The griefs and sorrows over mortality, the laments of disappointed love, the woes of lonely old age, the remorse for sin, and the fierce passions of jealousy and revenge are common to human nature, and are interpreted in the same language the world over, whether in civilization or barbarism.
In regard to the versions which follow, it is needless to state the difficulty of transferring the original vividness of expression, or preserving the effect of the repetitions and other peculiarities of primitive poetry in the conventional fetters of modern verse and rhyme. The first ballad, Barc­sai, is given in a literal translation in order that these forms and turns of expression may be appre­ciated. The others have been rendered as literally and with as much of the original flavor as possible, but with a consciousness that much of the latter
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III