Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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a party where partners were scarce. In the simple social pleasures of the local aristocracy, the county balls and meetings, and the gatherings of the tenantry, " the Flower of Strathearn " was a con­spicuous figure, while her keen eyes were taking in the queer figures that appeared later in all the glow of bright humor in The Laird of Cockpen, The County Meeting, and Jamie, the Laird. Her first verses, The Ploughman, were written for a harvest home dinner, and were read by her brother as a contribution by an unknown author. About this time the first poems of Burns made their appearance, and stirred the heart of Scotland not less by their original genius than by the revivi­fication of the old airs and scraps of songs, finished and cleansed of their coarseness, and made to speak to the hearts of the people in the drawing-room as well as in the peasant's cottage and the taproom of the country alehouse. It was the first acknow­ledgment, if not the beginning, of that apprecia­tion of the wealth of pathos and humor in the peasant poetry of Scotland, among the cultivated classes, and drew that attention and emulation to which all there is of value in modern Scotch poetry is due. It was the inspiration of the genius of Carolina Oliphant, and from this time she began to write the new verses to the old airs, and to replace the imperfect, unworthy, and sometimes coarse and
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