Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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THE SUFFOLK MIRACLE :
Or, a relation of a young man, who, a month after his death, appeared to his sweetheart, and carried her on horseback behind him for forty miles in two hours, and was never seen after but in his grave.
From A Collection of Old Ballads, i. 266. In Moore's Pictorial Book of Ancient Ballad Poetry (p. 463) is a copy from a broadside in the Boxburghe collection.
The Suffolk Miracle has an external resemblance to several noble ballads, but the likeness does not extend below the surface. It is possible that we have here the residuum of an old poem, from which all the beauty and spirit have been exhaled in the course of tradition; but as the ballad now exists, it is a vulgar ghost-story, without any motive. Regarding the exter­nal form alone, we may place by its side the Breton ballad, Le Frere de Lait, in Villemarqn^'s Chants Pop­ulates de la Bretagne, vol. i. No. 22 (translated by Miss Costello, Quart. Review, vol. 68, p. 75), the Ro­maic ballad of Constantine and Arete, in Fauriel's Chants Populaires de la Grece Modern*, p. 406 (see Appendix), and the Servian ballad (related to the Romaic, and perhaps derived from it), Jelitza and her Brothers, Talvj, Volkslieder der Serben, i. 160, all of them among the most beautiful specimens in this kind of literature; and also Burger's Lenore. It has been







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