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BOSTON:
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

1865.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by

LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY,

m the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massa

chusetts

UNIVERSITY Press:
Welch, Bigelow, AND COMPANY,

CAMBRIDGE.

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PREFACE

TO

THE

IRISH

MELODIES.

The recollections connected, in my mind, with that early period of my life, when I first thought of interpreting in verse the touching language of my country's music, tempt me again to advert to those long past days; and, even at the risk of being thought to indulge overmuch in what Colley Cibber calls “ the great pleasure of writing about one's self all day," to notice briefly some of those impressions and influences under which the attempt to adapt words to our ancient Melodies was for some time meditated by me, and, at last, undertaken.

There can be no doubt that to the zeal and industry of Mr. Bunting his country is indebted for the preservation of her old national airs. During the prevalence of the Penal Code, the music of Ireland was made to share in the fate of its people. Both were alike shut out from the pale of civilized life; and seldom anywhere but in the huts of the proscribed race could the sweet voice of the songs

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