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Poems of Andrew Lang


PREFACE

This poor little flutter of rhymes would not have been let down
the wind: the project would have been abandoned but for the too
flattering encouragement of a responsible friend. I trust that he
may not "live to rue the day," like Keith of Craigentolly in the
ballad.

The "Loyal Lyrics" on Charles and James and the White Rose must
not be understood as implying a rebellious desire for the
subversion of the present illustrious dynasty.


"These are but symbols that I sing,
These names of Prince, and rose, and King;
Types of things dear that do not die,
But reign in loyal memory.
ACROSS THE WATER surely they
Abide their twenty-ninth of May;
And we shall hail their happy reign,
When Life comes to his own again," -


over the water that divides us from the voices and faces of our
desires and dreams.

Of the ballads, The Young Ruthven and The Queen of Spain were
written in competition with the street minstrels of the close of
the sixteenth century. The legend on which The Young Ruthven is
based is well known; The Queen of Spain is the story of the
Florencia, a ship of the Spanish Armada, wrecked in Tobermory Bay,
as it was told to me by a mariner in the Sound of Mull. In Keith
of Craigentolly the family and territorial names of the hero or
villain are purposely altered, so as to avoid injuring
susceptibilities and arousing unavailing regrets.