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222                               ORTHOMETRY.
not jingling or trivial. Its language may be homely, but should not be slovenly or mean. Affectation or visible artifice is worse than excess of homeliness ; a hymn is easily spoiled by a single falsetto note. Nor will most exemplary sound­ness of doctrine atone for doggerel, or redeem from failure a prosaic didactic style." These words of Lord Selborne's express nearly all that can be said as to the requirements of sacred song, while his collection of the best specimens may with safety be regarded as embracing the choicest expression of the crystallized piety of the English race.*
These partake of the nature of fiery eloquence and impassioned declamation. Like the harangues of Henry V. at Harfleur and at Agincourt, they are framed to arouse the heroic in man, and nerve him to deeds of daring and endurance. Their ringing accents stir the heart like the sounds of a trumpet or the weird shrill shriek of the pibroch. Forti­tude, glory, death rather than dishonour, love of home and freedom—these and such-like sentiments, clothed in stirring words, enkindle the warrior to deeds of devotion in defence of " the ashes of his fathers, the temples of his gods." The narrative element is very frequently introduced into songs of
• " The Book of Praise," selected and arranged by Lor I Selborne (Macmillan ft Co.)

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III