Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT.
From Buchan's Ballads ofOie North of Scotland, i. 22, where it is entitled The Gowans me gay, from the burden.
The hero of the first of the two following ballads would seem to be an Elf, that of the second a Nix, or Merman, though the punishment awarded to each of them in the catastrophe, as the ballads now exist, is not consistent with their supernatural character. It is pos­sible that in both instances two independent stories have been blended : but it is curious that the same intermixture should occur in Norse and German also. See Grundtvig"s preface to Noekkens Svig, ii. p. 57. The conclusion in all these cases is derived from a ballad resembling May Colvin, vol. ii. p. 272.
We have had the Elf-Knight introduced under the same circumstances at page 128; indeed, the first three or four stanzas are common to both pieces.
Faik lady Isabel sits in her bower sewing,
Aye as the gowans grow gay ; There she heard an elf-knight blawing his horn,
The first morning in May.







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