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The Ancient Ballad.
" WITH OTHER POEMS.
PRINTED FOR CADELL & DAVIES, STRAND; J. & A. ARCH,
CORNHILL; HAYWARD & ROSCOE, ORANGE STREET, RED
The ancient heroic ballad of Chevy Chase has long been an universal favourite. The union which it presents of the sports of the field with the more striking incidents of warfare, the personal nature of the quarrel which leads to the catastrophe, the celebrity of its principal characters, and the domestic scene of its transactions, all contribute to give it a degree of interest far superior to that excited by most productions of a similar kind,
But independent of these considerations, a poem which for so many centuries has been the delight of the British nation, which is repeated by infancy, and retained in age, and which has equal attractions for all ranks of society, inust have a considerable degree of poetical merit. It is this that obtained for it the high approbation of Sir Philip Sydney, who declared “ that he never heard the old song of Percie and Douglas that he found not his heart moved more than with a trumpet;" and that induced Addison to devote two of his Spectators to a critical examination of its beauties, in which he has raised it to the rank of an English Epic, and compared it with the celebrated productions of Greece and Rome.
It must not, however, be understood, that the approbation thus expressed by these eminent men, was applied to the same composition. Addison was nistaken in attributing the language of Sir Philip Sydney to the modern ballad of Chevy Chase, of which he has himself_given a critique. It might indeed have occurred to him that the poem which engaged his attention was not so obsolete in its language as to have been considered even in the reign of Elizabeth, as “evil apparelled in the dust and cobweb of an uncivill age.” It is to Dr. Percy, the