Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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284              HUNGARIAN FOLK-SONGS.
interjected into description with a perfect faith in the hearer's comprehension, the same naivete* and freshness of language, and the same simplicity and passion of thought. Those striking coincidences in subject and form of expression which are noted, to the wonder and bewilderment of the students of folk-poetry and folk-tales, in the most widely diverse nations, and which would almost lead to the belief in a common origin and derivation, or to some means of intercommunication yet unknown, are to be found in the Magyar ballads, connecting them with the common stock. In the specimens which follow, the ballad of Poisoned Janos is almost exactly similar in construction and refrain to the Scotch ballad of Lord Randal: —
" O, where hae ye been, Lord Randal, my son,
O, where hae ye been, my handsome young man ? "
" I hae been to the wild-wood ; mother, make my bed soon, For I 'm wearie wi hunting, and fain wald lie down !" —
with the substitution of the " crab with four feet" for the " eels boiled in broo " — the conventional poisoned dish. The same ballad in substance and form of expression, with the same devising of prop­erty to friends and the same bestowal of a curse upon the murderess, is to be found in Danish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, and other European folk-poetry, and may yet be dis-
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