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Mr. Kinloch printed a fragment of this ballad under the title of Hynde Etin. (See Appendix.) The story was afterwards given complete by Buchan, (Ballads of the North of Scotland, i. 6,) as here follows. Buchan had previously communicated to Motherwell a modernized version of the same tale, in which the Etin is changed to a Groom. (See post.)
This ancient ballad has suffered severely in the course of its transmission to our times. Still there can be no doubt that it was originally the same as The Maid and the Dwarf King, which is still sung in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands. Numerous copies of the Scandinavian ballad have been given to the world: seven Danish versions, more or less complete, four Norse, nine Swedish, one Faroish, and some other fragments (Grundtvig, ii. 37, and note, p. 655). One of the Swedish ballads (Bergkonungen, Afzelius, No. 35) is translated in Keightley's Fairy Mythology, 103, under the title of Proud Margaret. Closely related is Agnete og Havmanden, Grundtvig, ii. 48, 656, which is found in several forms in German (e. g. Die schone Hannele in Hoffmann von Fallersle-ben's Schlesische Volkslieder, No. 1), and two in Slavic.
Ladt Mabgaeet sits in her bower door,
Sewing at her silken seam; She heard a note in Elmond's-wood,
And wish'd she there had been.
She loot the seam fa' frae her side, i
And the needle to her tae; And she is on to Elmond-wood
As fast as she coud gae.