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FOLK-SONGS OF ROUMANIA. 313
power and wider in its scope than folk-song. But it has lost some of the peculiar strength which comes from simplicity of feeling and overmastering power of passion; and its language, if it has many delicate shades of meaning, which that of a primitive people has not, has lost the clearness and vividness of expression of those whose words are few, but which are the creation of their hearts and not of their intellects.
These folk-songs of ROUMANIA are full of the pathos and strength of simple passions, and they show a native poetical spirit and power of the imagination which is rare in any nation. Doubtless many of them are old, the inheritance of long tradition and familiar forms of expression, but it is indicated that many of them are new, and that the stock is being constantly added to by the force of a poetic inspiration, which is still in full life and flower. We are told that many of the spinning songs are improvisations, the girls all standing in a circle, the best spinner or singer in the centre, and that she begins to improvise a song, which is passed on for continuance with the distaif to any one whom she may select. Doubtless these are on familiar themes and with familiar forms of expression, like all folk-songs, but they show the vital spirit of poetry still existing, and the bulk of more elaborate compositions is probably still being