Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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No shelter then from the blast had we,
The bitter blast or sleet, But your gown to wrap about our heads,
And my coat round our feet.
The main literary work of Sir Samuel Ferguson was devoted to this revivification of the spirit of ancient Celtic poetry, in spite of a highly success­ful debut as an English poet in The Forging of the Anchor, which at once took its place among those poems that are the familiar treasures of the peo­ple, and in this he was doubtless governed by something of patriotic spirit as well as by natural predilection. His work is not great in quantity, and he treasured his inspiration and perfected his workmanship with careful pains. Its result is to give a reproduction of the pervading elements of Irish Celtic poetry in English form with almost ab­solute perfection, and imbued with a spirit of origi­nal genius. In his poems, rather than in Macpher-son's Ossian or in the literal translations, will the modern reader find the voice of the ancient Celtic bards speaking to the intelligence of to-day in their own tones without false change and dilution, or the confusion and dimness of an ancient language. The value of this work has not yet been fully ap­preciated by literary critics, but there is no doubt in my mind but that it eventually will be,
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