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singularly poetical and sonorous, have created the love, and the practice, of romantic song, throughout the Peninsula, and stamped, indelibly, a distinguishing impress upon its universal mind.
When the very narrow range of these compositions is considered, their variety, as well as their simplicity, will excite admiration. The poet in Spain is no heir of creation, calling the world—the world !” his own. His enthusiasm is fettered by civil and religious despotism: all the sublimer aspirations of his genius are suppressed. It is strange he should have done so much when he could do nothing without fear and awe; and the inquirer asks,—what might he not have done if the highest and noblest themes of song had not been banned and barred to his imagination ?
This volume can aspire to nothing but that unobtrusive character which distinguished most of the names which head its pages, though a great part of the whole is unhonoured by a name. Lope de Vega said of the 'romances of his country, that they were “Iliads without a Homer.” He might have meant as much to celebrate the modesty of the author as the merit of the work.
In my mind these compositions are blended with very sweet thoughts of the past,—thoughts, alas ! which
may no longer associate themselves with the future. In Spain. I have passed many happy days,
-to Spaniards I owe many delightful recollections. My estimation of the Spanish character, my hopes of Spanish regeneration, have not been shaken by the disasters which have filled some minds with disappointment, and others with despair. I wish to record this confidence in the day of adversity.
It may be proper to observe that a few of the poems in this volume have been printed, with the original Spanish text, in the London Magazine.