Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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310            FOLK-SONGS OF ROUMANIA.
she hid in the tall maize to hear the reapers croon­ing; she caught them from the lips of peasant women, of lute players (' Cobzars,' so called from the name of their instrument, the cobza, or lute), of gypsies, of fortune tellers ; she listened for them by death-beds, by cradles, at the dance, and in the tavern with inexhaustible patience." The result is a volume which is not only equal in quality to that of the finest folk-song and poetry which any European nation possesses, and with a peculiar and original flavor of its own, revealing strong and original national characteristics, but, one is tempted to say, with more of the sublimated and naked essence of poetry than can be found in any work of modern civilized poets. There are times when the vivid strength of simple passions, expressed with the force of naked directness without any weaken­ing refinement of language, the feelings of a people to whom love is a genuine and undisguised passion, in whom hatred burns the blood and finds relief in the shot or the stab, to whom death is an object of vital horror as the end of life and happiness, and to whom religion is an embodiment of direct super­natural power, produce a poetry, which reaches a force of expression and touches the heart with a power to which all modern refinements of thought and language are unable to attain. It is, in com­parison, as if a cloud of unreality, the emanations
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III