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Ancient ballads and songs, chiefly from…
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Ancient ballads and songs, chiefly from tradition, manuscripts, and scarce… (1827)

by Thomas Lyle

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If you want a measure of the literary quality of this work, just read the first sentence. I put it in Common Knowledge. It took about five minutes to type. It's a page long! It's not just run on, it's subsonic-transcontinental-flight long. Oy. And most of the stuff Lyle labelled "ballads" is bad pastoral poetry. There are a few good items in here, but you'll find them in collections that won't make you want to chew your leg off as you try to find them. Lyle needed an editor the way the Sahara Desert needs water. Better yet, he could have used about six editors. Ugh. ( )
  waltzmn | May 6, 2016 |
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As opportunities presented, during the casual intervals of relaxation allowed the Editor from more immediate studies and pursuits, he has been wont to amuse himself, by gathering together, from various sources occasionally placed within his reach, the materials from which the three first sections of the present works have been arranged; and now, since these are about to be laid before the public, he hopes it will not be over-presumptive upon his part, at this time to hazard the remark, that, were their respective merits to be estimated by the care and pains which have already been bestowed by him, in rendering them acceptable to a few admirers and patrons of this department of lyrical composition, his well-meant attempts to while away the tedium of an idle hour, with those who may not consider varieties such as the following, beneath their notice, will not then by him be deemed to have been futile, nor his hitherto labours to please them, abortive.
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