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Tragic Poland and its Musical Glory

The centuries old morning hymns, the quaint Hajnalys, chanted from the towers of old Cracow, waken the people to a new day in the pathetic history of one of the most wonderful countries of the world. Within her borders the sons of Poland are now fighting, blood against blood, for those very powers which only a few score years ago robbed Poland of its national rights, to leave it to-day the Belgium of the East, the bitter spectacle of the centuries.
Thousands of Americans, warmed by the valorous assistance of able Poles who came to America to take part in our own struggle for freedom, pray for the restoration of Poland. If you would gain an idea of the potentialities of the Polish people buy that remarkable book entitled "Poland, a Study of the Land, the People and the Literature," by the brilliant Danish Jewish critic, George Brandes. You will leave its pages burning with good old-fashioned indignation. To think that such a people should be ruled over by any other government than one of their own, no matter how great, how good or how powerful that government might be!
Those who now feel that the tragedy of Poland is ending and that a new Poland may spring from the ashes of what that daring writer, Michael Monaghan, has called "The Last War of the Kings," must realize that Poland has gained its greatest renown during the latter part of the nineteenth century through its wonderfully able musicians. While there have been great men in large number in other branches of Polish accomplishment—among them giants like Hendrik Sienkiewicz—the world at large has not failed to note that music is the art in which the genius of Poland has received its greatest recognition. Who can estimate music's debt to the land of Chopin and Paderewski?

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