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BALLAD BOOK

EDITED BY KATHARINE LEE BATES,

WELLESLEY COLLEGE.



"The plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago."

--WILLIAM WORDSWORTH




PREFACE


Probably no teacher of English literature in our schools or colleges
would gainsay the statement that the chief aim of such instruction is
to awaken in the student a genuine love and enthusiasm for the higher
forms of prose, and more especially for poetry. For love is the surest
guarantee of extended and independent study, and we teachers are the
first to admit that the class-room is but the vestibule to
education. So in beginning the critical study of English poetry it
seems reasonable to use as a starting-point the early ballads,
belonging as they do to the youth of our literature, to the youth of
our English race, and hence appealing with especial power to the youth