SOURCE: "The Scottish Ballads," in The Scots Literary Tradition: An Essay in Criticism, second edition, Faber & Faber, 1962, pp. 131-141.
[A former lecturer at the University of Exeter, Speirs has written a number of studies of poetry, including books on Medieval poetry and Chaucer. In the following essay, originally published in the first edition of The Scots Literary Tradition (1940), Speirs discusses the folk tradition in relation to Scottish Ballad poetry.]
As we have them in the Collections, the Scottish Ballads are poems chiefly of the eighteenth century. That they are quite different from other poems of that...
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