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A CENTURY OF BALLADS
the libretto of a great social star. Of course my work was done as 'ghost,' and I have sometimes wondered whether the great man recognised his poetry !
" I have written a good many festival cantatas. One recalls a characteristic story. A critic, after the performance of this particular one, said to the composer, ' Your music was excellent, but —the libretto, my dear boy! Weatherly's all very well for songs. Let me write your next.' Said the composer, ' Thanks awfully. Weatherly has written my next!' When the next was produced the critic was not so cordial !
"Talking of cantatas reminds me that I wrote one called Mary Stuart, based on Swinburne's Chtastelard, and sent it to the poet for his approval, receiving from him a very kind letter in reply. This, and a letter I received from Mr. Gladstone, acknowledging a copy of my first published volume, Muriel and Other Poems, which I had sent him, are amongst my most valued possessions in connection with my literary career.
" It may be strange, but it is true, that of all the many successful songs with which I have been associated scarcely one received recognition at the first performance. Some of them have never been mentioned in a newspaper, and I need scarcely add my name was rarely or never