Though an edition of the Poetry of the Irish Melodies, separate from the Music, has long been called for, yet, having, for many reasons, a strong objection to this sort of divorce, I should with difficulty have consented to a disunion of the words from the airs, had it depended solely upon me to keep them quietly and indissolubly together. But, besides the various shapes in which these, as well as my other lyrical writings, have been published throughout America, they are included, of course, in all the editions of my works printed on the Continent, and have also appeared, in a volume full of typographical errors, in Dublin. I have therefore readily acceded to the wish expressed by the Proprietor of the Irish Melodies, for a revised and complete edition of the poetry of the Work, though well aware that my verses must lose even more than the "animæ dimidium" in being detached from the beautiful airs to which it was their good fortune to be associated.
The Advertisements which were prefixed to the different numbers, the Prefatory Letter upon Music, etc., will be found in an Appendix.
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