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PROM THE LAST EDITION OF HIS COLLECTED WORKS.
OAKLET, MASON AND CO.,
21 Mukkay Street.
(Originally prefixed to the Melodies in the colleoted edition of Moortfs Works.)
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 any where but in the huts of the proscribed race could the sweet voice of the songs