Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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and the product of its national genius is not of the bulk and importance of that of Spain. Its na­tional characteristics were similar, so that indepen­dent study was not incited by original features, while the difference in language was sufficient to be a barrier to all except special scholars. The country was in a measure overwhelmed and over­shadowed by Spain, although possessing indepen­dent and interesting features of its own, and has been regarded as a province rather than as an origi­nal country. Very little attention has been paid in foreign countries to Portuguese popular litera­ture, although some French and German scholars have included it in their studies, and there is no volume in English, so far as I am aware, which deals with it. At the same time it is well worth attention in its richness and value in all the quali­ties which make a high order of popular poetry, and in those elements of chivalric feeling, dramatic incident, and intensity of passion which character­ize Spanish poetry of the same period. Fortu­nately Portugal itself has shared in that interest, which has spread through all the civilized coun­tries of Europe in ancient popular literature and folk-song, and its national scholars have devoted a painstaking care and interest to collecting and elucidating its ancient ballads. The pioneer in this work was Almeida Garrett, himself a distin-
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