Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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And fare ye weel, the bonny lass, That kindles my mother's fire.
One of the most interesting specimens of the ballads of this kind, as they exist to-day, borrowed in a modified form from the ancient, but embody­ing a still popular superstition, is The Unquiet Grave, recently taken down from the lips of a young girl in Sussex. It is founded on the belief, common to many primitive peoples, that excessive weeping disturbs the repose of the departed, and has a touch of that natural originality of descrip­tion and that abruptness which presupposes a quickness of appreciation, which does not require an elaborate story to make the connection intelli­gible, characteristic of popular poetry, and which shows that the elements of mind to which it is addressed are always the same: —
The wind doth blow to-day, my love,
And a few small drops of rain. I never had but one true love —
In the cold grave she was lain.
I '11 do as much for my true love
As any young man may, I '11 sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.
The twelvemonth and a day being up, The dead began to speak :
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