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which lie scattered over so many hundred volumes. If the present work shall serve to wile away a lingering hour, the Editor will be pleased that a task, which though one of labour, has afforded him both instruction and amusement, will not altogether have been useless.
In venturing to select a few songs from the numerous strains of the authors of the nineteenth century, he feels that he has trod on very difficult ground, and though willing to please, still fears he may give offence. Dryden in one of his manly prologues complains of the many
Who write new songs and trust in tune and rhyme,
had that great author lived in the present day, he scarcely could have pictured more justly the herd of songsters that annoy the ear of all true lovers of poetry with sentiments as old as the unchanging hills ; dull thoughts foisted upon one without even a smooth air to recommend them.
It was the desire of Sir Joshua Reynolds that the last words he should pronounce in the Royal Academy should be the name of Michael Angelo. The Editor will conclude this imperfect introduction by naming the men whom he reckons to be the great song-writers of our nation, Jonson, BURNS and MOORE.
(Since the note was printed to the song at p. 75–
Keep on your mask and hide your eye, the Editor has found the same verses given as the composition of Lord Pembroke, the great Patron of Literary talent. See Brydges' reprint of Pembroke and Rudyard's Poems, p. 92, first published by the son of Dr. Donne.)
ENGLAND AND IRELAND.
[The distinction between Scotish and English Songs, it is conceived, arises--not from the language in which they are written, for that may be common to both, - bat--from the country to which thes respectively belong, or of which their authors are natives. The dis. crimination does not so necessarily or properly apply to Ireland, great part of which was colonised from this kingdom, (England) and the descendants of the settlers have ever been looked upon as English,