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Excerpt from Kossovo: Heroic Songs of the Serbs It is very seldom that modern poets succeed in achieving what Monsieur Anatole France calls "ces traits de nature qu'on dit le comble de l'art quand l'art a le bonheur de les trouver." In the Slav literature these happy moments occur more often. Pushkin, thanks to his genius and to his old nurse, succeeded in catching in his fairy tales and sometimes in his poems the authentic Volkston, and a line such as "I mor'ye gdye bezhali korabli" might have come out of these ballads. Translate the line (and this is always the trouble in translating epic speech from one language into another), and you get a bald statement of fact, "And the ships flying upon the sea." In the original, the words are simple to nakedness but they are not bald, and they call up the picture like magic: they are the last word of felicity. Compare this with the treatment of a similar impression by a great poet who has not the gift of epic simplicity, and you will at once see the difference. Tennyson - and Swinburne quotes the line as being a signal example of Tennyson's miraculous gift of evoking landscape - says: "And white sails flying on a yellow sea." But Pushkin reaches a higher, a more magical effect without the aid of epithet or colour. And so it is in these ballads. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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