, and did his best to hide the origin of the air; but behind the complicated music is a tune of the country-side, and if the refrain is here a burden, to be sung throughout the piece by certain voices while others sing the words of the song, we have every right to think of an earlier refrain which almost absorbed the poem and was sung by a dancing multitude. This is a most important consideration. In all parts of Europe, songs for the dance still abound in the shape of a welcome to spring; and a lyrical outburst in praise of the jocund season often occurs by way of prelude to the narrative ballad: witness the beautiful opening of 'Robin Hood and the Monk.' The troubadour of Provence, like the minnesinger of Germany, imitated these invocations to spring. A charming balada of Provence probably takes us beyond the troubadour to the domain of actual folk-song. "At the entrance of the bright season," it runs, "in order to begin joy and to tease the jealous, the queen will show that she is fain to love.
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