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arrangement, the following plant wası adopted as most correspondent with the editor's ideas. GB, et alt
The first place is allotted to Pastoral Songs, and a few of those compositions termed Ballads, which, in their manner and subject, have the greatest affinity with the pieces' composing the body of the collection.?
of Song's more properly so called, the first division consists of the Moral and Miscellaneous. Of the former of these, such have been chosen as inculcate a kind of calm and reasonable philosophy, not So severe as to be inconsistent with the cheerfulness of vocal music in society, and corresponding with some of the sober strains of the Horatian lyre. " A very scanty assortment of Convivial Songs succeeds, dedicated to the festal board, and imitating the gaiety and free. dom of the Anacreontic lays. It was inn
possible altogether to omit a class so universally received into Song-collections; but as I feel no ambition to be regarded as a priest of Bacchus, I brave limited niy choice to a small specimen of those whichi have been inspired by wit and poetry, as well as by wine.
The great bulk of the volume is composed of Amatory Songs, which so much exceed all others in number, that Cupid may be regarded as the peculiar deity of song-writers. In these will be found every kind of expression of the passion of love, and the circumstances attending it; with the exception of such as would give just offence to delicacy. It has already been intimated that there have been two pre. vailing manners of treating on this affecs tion by the authors of these compositions -the passionate and descriptive, and the witty and ingenious. Yet as they are fred quently blended, so as to renderit doubtful
to which class a piece could with most propriety be referred, no absolute division into two classes has been attempted, but they have been arranged on the general idea of proceeding from the purely passionate to the purely ingenious, leaving a large intermediate space for those of dubious or complex character.
If I were to pronounce in what class of those compositions our English songwriters have displayed the greatest degree of excellence, I should say, in that which contains the tender and ardent expression of the amorous passion ; and particularly in those which describe the symptoms and indications of love--a topic originally derived from Sappho's celebrated ode, but dwelt upon
with much additional detail of circumstances in several of the pieces here inserted. I am mistaken if more truth and delicacy of representation can be met with in the amatory poets of any
other language, ancient and modern; and it is pleasing to observe that many of the best specimens are distinguished by an air of sincerity and faithful" attachment, equally remote from licentious heat and from frivolous gallantry.
Notes bave been occasionally annexed to particular compositions by way of critical remark or information. The assignment of pieces to their respective authors has been made as correctly as my inquiries would enable me to do it; but there are still some of disputable property, and too many, even of the best, entirely anony
I doubt not that every reader will be gratified by my concluding this Essay with the following piece from Mrs. Barbauld's Poems, addressed to me as the author of the work which was the predecessor of the present volume.
18 YO Dili
Illic indocto primum se exercuit arcu;
mihi quam doctas nunc habet ille manus!
When Cupid, wanton boy, was young,
He loiter'd in Arcadian bowers, fi! And hid his bow in wreaths of flowers ;
Or pierced some food unguarded heart