Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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FOLK-SONGS OF ROUMANIA.             311
of artificial thoughts and sentiments, or the dust, as it were, of ages, had fallen upon the native fresh­ness of feeling and language, and that civilized men were no longer able to feel so deeply or to speak so clearly as those who had never been burdened with knowledge, or the strength of whose emotions had not been diluted by the restraints and refinements of civilization, transcendental religion, or artificial society. There is, of course, a power and subtlety of thought in minds which have in­herited the world's wisdom and knowledge, and their thoughts have a scope and extent to which those of unlettered peasants are strangers, and their views of the problems of life and humanity are as those of a man to a child; but the strength of their feeling in simple passion is much diluted and their powers of expression are correspondingly less, so far as vividness and simplicity are con-cerned. As an illustration of the weakness of purely artistic literature, whatever its beauty and skill, to touch the depths of feeling like the purely unsophisticated language of the natural poets, who simply endeavored to express their emotions with­out thought of form or artistic melody, may be compared the closing aspiration of the famous and beautiful serenade in Maud, —
            She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread, My heart would hear her and beat,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III