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ANCIENT ENGLISH POETRY
CONSISTING OF OLD HEROIC BALLADS, SONGS, AND OTHER
FR to SFOR 5-4-83
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
COUNTESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND:
IN HER OWN RIGHT
BARONESS PERCY, LUCY, POYNINGS, FITZ-PAYNE,
THOSE writers who solicit the protection of the noble and the great are often exposed to censure by the impropriety of their addresses: a remark that will perhaps be too readily applied to him who, having nothing better to offer than the rude Songs of ancient Minstrels, aspires to the patronage of the Countess of Northumberland, and hopes that the barbarous productions of unpolished ages can obtain the approbation or the notice of her, who adorns courts by her presence, and diffuses elegance by her example.
But this impropriety, it is presumed, will disappear, when it is declared that these poems are presented to your Ladyship, not as labours of art, but as effusions of nature, showing the first efforts of ancient genius, and exhibiting the customs and opinions of remote ages,-of ages that had been almost lost to memory, had not the gallant deeds of your illustrious Ancestors preserved them from oblivion.