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addition to the stores of our ballad Jamieson, however, has some obliterature.
servations on the apparent want of There is one peculiarity in almost connection between the burden of all the Danish and Swedish ballads, several of the ballads and the story, the real import of which has lately and concludes this has arisen from been the subject of a good deal of the transference of the burden of one discussion, both in Denmark and song to another on a different subSweden, and in Germany. -We al- ject. lude to the burden.-In some of the The following elaborate observaoldest English and Scottish ballads, tions by Gustavus Geijer, one of the and in the parodies of them, to be editors of the Swedish collection, found in Shakspeare, the second line though, perhaps, too systematic, and and the fourth of every stanza form in some of the general positions not the burden ; and sometimes it has, strictly borne out by facts, appear to us but often it does not seem to have, to give, upon the whole, a very ingea particular connection with the sub- nious account of the origin and nature jects. The following instances, among of the peculiarity to which we have others, will explain what we mean : been alluding.“ Narrative poetry," When daffodils begin to 'peer,
he remarks, “is the first poetry of With, heigh! the doxy over the dale, every people, the first preserver of Why then comes in the sweet of the year; their recollections.-Its subject is For the red blood reigns in the winters deeds, not feelings.—But as there pale.
can be no poetry without a lyrical When that I was a little tiny boy, element, for it belongs to its essence, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, this is found in music, which is inA foolish thing was but a toy,
separable from the infancy of poetry. For the rain it raineth every day. Song is the expression of feeling,
the lyrical element in the narrative. Thus in the following lines from a
This is the epic age of poetry, and Danish ballad :
the first in its history. In the nexts, Early in the morning the lark she sung, feeling has found its own expression All under the hill side so green,
independent of the narrative - Poetry Sir Charles from his bed he quickly sprung, has itself taken possession of the For the king of Denmark will revergelyre, which hitherto merely accomit all.
panied it.—The soul of song has He first put on his shirt so sheen,
broken its prison, and, for the first All under the hill side so green,
time, understands how to express itThen his jacket broidered with silk so green, self, and the lyrical beauty bursts on For the king of Denmark will revenge it
us like odour from the opening rose, all.
In the same manner as poetry itor in the following, from a Swedish self becomes musical, a distinction ballad :
first takes place between it and muTo the lake wake must go the maiden good, sic in the proper sense, and the posThe Linden tree shakes in the wind,
sibility of the development of the So she took the way to the darksome wood, latter as a separate art, is now seen.
For in wild wood she was to die. --Fancy also, which before was And when she came to the wood so drear,
merely the handmaid of memory, The Linden tree shakes in the wind,
now obtains her freedom; and poetry, The grey wolf before her did appear,
in the proper sense of the word, For in wild wood she was to die.
comes into life. Instead of an ex,
ternal truth, or a poem, in which O dear, dear wolf, O bite not me, nothing farther is attempted than the The Linden tree shakes in the wind,
relation of what is true, an internal My silk-sewed sark will I give to thee,
truth is sought after, that is, the For in wild wood she was to die.
truth of the expression of feeling.-This peculiarity only appears in our The human mind has begun to look oldest English and Scotch, and the back on itself.--An inward world oldest Dutch ballads: there is no has arisen, for which the whole extrace of it in the German ballads, ternal world is merely a symbol ; and properly so called.-- Few of our col- in this treatment of every thing exlectors have considered the subject ternal merely as an image for what worth much of their attention.- Mr. is internal, fancy first knows herself, and becomes conscious of her crea- “ Let us now apply these consitive powers.-- Then comes dramatic derations to our subject.-We say poetry, which may he considered as then, that the old Scandinavian balconnecting the two former, by repre- lads stand precisely on the transition senting the transition from the one between the epic and lyric periods. to the other.
-To the former they still belong .“ If we consider these three pe- from their narrative nature, * and riods of the natural development of from the circumstance, that a compoetry, it is obvious, that it is in mon national form still passes for all. the second or lyrical period that art, - But on the other hand, they alproperly speaking, first begins to ap- ready begin to separate themselves pear; for fancy now first becomes through their subjects.--The epic acquainted with her own powers.- age knows only two subjects for The internal feelings, which form the poetry : sagas (says) or narratives of nutriment and the subject of lyrical gods, and narratives of heroes ; which poetry, are in their nature common again are both connected hy relato all.-How else could this poetry tionship, for the heroes descend from be an enjoyment accessible to all, gods. But the poets of this age, and the true enjoyment of a lyrical present themselves to the eyes of piece be, properly speaking, a re- posterity in the same relation to each composing of it in our own soul? other as their subjects.—They are But these feelings have, at the same not independent, but united together time, in each person, their individual like a family; the union is not an expression.--The great national forms agreement, but a natural tie.-One for poetry, in the epic perioil, fall works into the hands of another, asunder, therefore, as the lyrical in- each relating what is newest and gredient obtains a preponderancy.- most wonderful; and thus have oriWhen every poet follows his own ginated, as it were, of themselves, impulse, he takes or creates for him- those great circles of sagas,t which sell the form which best coincides comprehend the destiny, the conflict, with his own peculiarity; and now and the final destruction of a whole we have authorship, properly so heroic world.- But in the old balcalled.—We do not mean by this to lads the epical connection is already say, that in the epic period, nothing dissolved.-—They do not connect like this,-no art exists; but merely, themselves in larger cycles (smaller that it has still no individual cha- cycles sometimes occur), and with racter.-As poetry itself, in this pe- their subjects they have a lower riod, is merely the expression of the and common range. This living national recollections, there is, range is not the heroic life, elein like manner, for this common sub- vated beyond measure above comject, only a common and national mon life; but human life in geform.—Thus we have authors, but neral, with its destinies, sufferings, no separate authorship,-an art with- and enjoyments. The wonderful, out artists; because this art is al- which in the remains of the epic age ways identical. - Hence, from the displays itself boldly, and, as it epic age of a people, we have ac- were, bodily, withdraws itself now counts of many singers and sayers, more into a deep back-ground.—But but either of no authors, or of one still, however, the whole of this who passes for many, or if several, world of song in like manner rests, each so like one another, that they as does real life, in so many respects, might almost pass for one.—With -on a dark and wonderful ground. the dwelling on the internal of lyric — The nature on which the northern poetry first arises the possibility of ballad dwells, is still peopled with a true organic diversity and dissi- its peculiar wonderful beings; powers milarity, which are afterwards fully of nature, driven, indeed, from their developed through dramatic poetry. former throne of majesty, but still
That the narrative in the ballads is at the same time so often in præsenti, is a remarkable peculiarity, which shows that in connection with the lyrical element, the narration begins to assume a more dramatic character.
+ Originally poetical, not merely in their subject, but even in their form. The prosaic saga is later, or a remodelling of the older poetical sagas.
interfering by stealth, as it were, in only the melody or musical tone, various ways, with the concerns of which was originally inseparable men.—Through all this, the poetry from all poetry,- but also the lyrical in question has a general connection tone, a tone of feeling which runs with an older poetry, separate parts through the whole (whence in anoof which it even presents to us.- ther place I observed, that the music For single forms from the gigantic of these ballads merely unfolds the world of the old sagas still cast their song, which is in-born in them) :shadows into this new and more beyond this, I say, its lyrical nature cheerful circle ; separate recollections displays itself expressly in a distinct have found their way over-recollec- peculiarity of most of the older Scantions of former heroic races, and of dinavian ballads; and this peculiarity the mythology of the Edda.--All this, is the burden. however, appears in a new dress; it - From its contents it may be dividhas lost much of its original meaning, ed into three kinds.—It recalls, first, and moves, as it were, in a new and either the principal person, the prinforeign element.-What is then this cipal action, or some principal cirnew element which it has entered ? - cumstance in the relation.--This It is the lyrical element, which has kind of burden occurs too often to now begun to display itself in poetry; render it necessary to adduce any for all these ballads rest on a ly- examples of it.--Or, secondly, it rical ground. They almost all be- merely expresses, in general, a poetitray a separate poetical intention, cal disposition of mind, either by an which we in vain look for in the epic excitement to song and poetry, or age. They display, each separately still more often in a significant manfor itself, a peculiar vein of mind, ner by images. The flowering sumfor which the narrative merely serves mer has here in particular been an as a clothing or expression. It is image for the inward summer, which feeling, which has not yet found arises in the soul and puts the fancy its own language, which has not yet in flower.-It is named either exlearned the lyrical flight, but which pressly, as in the following burdens : amid all the recollections selects In summer, - - At mid-summer tide, those which most coincide with it- -In summer, when the small birds self, gives life to them, and expresses sing so well, -and the like ;-or by itself
in the separate narrative, satis- some of its attributes, as, For now fied therewith, without art, without the wood it stands in flower,-While pretension, and without name, and the wood comes into leaf,- In the roseso allows its story to wander on, till, wood,- In the grove ; and a thousand seized on by new lips, it is made by others of the same nature. We must them an interpreter for the same not wonder that these short, conpurpose. Thus the separate songs, stantly recurring propositions, do not no one's property, and every one's appear to have any visible connecproperty, float about from mouth tion with the subject of the ballads: to mouth, from heart to heart, the--they are, as has been said, merely expression of the hopes, sorrows, and the expression of a poetical disposirecollections of the people, foreign tion of mind in general, as I also and yet near to every man, centuries was in Arcadia, simply (and we may old, but still never obsolete ; for the almost say, with a striking unskilfulhuman heart, whose history they ness) indicated in a constant recitarepresent in such various shifting tion of the most general and most images, remains like to itself in all obvious images. But these indicaages.-Many are merely a sigh, a tions are not limited to images of single wailing,-an infinitely-moving spring and summer, lilies and roses. sound, but still they never quit the -We find also single objects, which narrative form, and seem to lay in the fancy of the people had once claim alone to be simply related.- a poetical signification, and are, Among many of this character, I therefore, applied in the same sense. need only refer to No. 71° (Little – The Linden, or lime-tree, has in Kerstin's wedding and burial). It particular such a poetical significadoes not show the lyrical nature of tion. It occurs in the burden of the narrative ballad, merely in this, many ballads, without our being able that it has the tone, -I mean not to assign any other cause for the
circumstance. For example, Under ed, so that the first half of the pro-
“ In a number of ballads there oc- lyrical nature always expresses itself curs, not only a burden towards its more and more, and in regular proend, but also another in the middle gression. It is, in general, a lyrical of each strophe.-We will call the peculiarity ; for in the first place, it latter the middle burden, to distin- does not belong to the narrative, to the guish it from the concluding one.- epic element in the ballads, but conFor the most part they have both a tains, on the contrary, a reflection reference to each other. This is on it; and this constant returning, either so that the one strengthens this repetition in the form and conthe other, or that it contains some- tents of the burden, can only have a thing in the same sense.-Occasion- lyrical object; namely, the retention ally the concluding burden merely of a certain impression.—But this reconcludes a sense which was begun tention, this fixing of a given imin the middle one: for example, in pression, or feeling, is at once both the ballad (No. 17), where the com- the condition and the object of all plete burden, Young is my life and lyric poetry. Further, this burden's hence is all my grief, is distribut- lyrical nature always discloses itself
more and more in the three kinds finite expression; and appears in a of burden specified by us, and in the sort of individual connection with order in which we specified them.- the subject of the narrative itself. A poet's reflection on himself lies at “ The burden of the popular balthe bottom of all lyric poetry. This lad seems to be peculiar to our north hetrays itself already in the first kind (if we include Scotland); but in the of burden named by us, but its north, so far as I know, the burden is unity seems to be more external than never sung in chorus. Neither I, internal, and shows itself merely in nor any of my friends have ever the comprising of the subject of the heard any thing of the kind. Innarrative in a few constantly return- deed, if it were to be sung in chorus, ing traits: the burden is still epic it would, in most cases, produce an in its contents, though lyrical in its injurious and disagreeable effect, for object.-In the second kind of bur- it often consists of short symbolical den there is already expressed in this indications, which are only intellireflection something internal, a dis- gible in the most intimate connexion position of mind, but with a univer- with the ballad and the singer.” sality and indefiniteness. In the third Thus far Mr. Geijer. We shall rekind, this disposition assumes a de- sume the subject in a future number.
ALPHABET STUDIES, AND CHINESE IMITATIONS. Who has not made himself merry learned,-rudiments to be mastered, at the expense of the poor Chinese? which rationally ought to be held Their babyish arrogance,
their subservient to higher advances in laughable solemnity, — their stately study. In China, however, it would submission to be pummelled and bas- be quite heretical and unlawful to tinadoed, — and their never-ending advance a step beyond the A, B, C; maneuvres of absurd and ludicrous and in this it is that our philosoceremony; but, above all, their grave, phers are their humble imitators; for ly employing their whole lives in the it is now become fashionable, in alstudy of their alphabet,-have stamp- most every branch of learning and of ed upon the nation the same cha- philosophy, to esteem the acquisition racter of frivolity and presumption, of the mere rudiments, or horn-book which seems to be natural to our alphabet, as the consummation of dancing, fighting, and philosophising perfection. neighbours -- the French.
Are proofs demanded ? They Was it this similarity of character, crowd upon us. The republic of letthat drew from Voltaire such high ters is peopled to an overflow with eulogiums on Chinese civilization, alphabet-mongers, who have ingeand Chinese philosophy, by which, nuity enough to persuade the world in spite of Mr. Barrow and his facts, of the profundity of their scholarEuropean opinion is still deeply in- ship. For example: a man is acfluenced ? Barrow is but a traveller, counted a profound Greek scholar, and the memory of Sir John Mande- not because he possesses skill in the ville is not yet forgotten ; but there usage and force of words, and in the is no end to the ramifications of a idioms and anomalies of the lan-, philosopher's sway: Aristotle has guage ; nor because he can enter now held the scholastic throne for deeply into the spirit and character more than two thousand years. Vol- of the Grecian classics; nor by hav. taire, then, we think, it must have ing an intimate and extensive knowbeen, who, by ignorantly praising the ledge of the manners and political Chinese, and leading some to admire constitution, and of the nature and them, paved the way for the numea spirit of the religion and the poetry, rous imitations of their alphabet stu- of Greece :—not by any, or all of dies, which have since prevailed, and these ; but by being able to measure arenow rapidly increasing, among our the long and short syllables of the philosophers.
language, and to assign long, hard Nothing can be more evident, than names to their arrangement in verse. that in all science, and in all acquire- But though this is certainly mere alments, there is an alphabet to be phabet learning, yet it is now, by