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246 FRAGMENT OF CHILD ROWLAND
" Burd Ellen round about the isle
To seek the ba' is gane; 10
But they bade lang and ay langer, And she camena back again.
" They sought her east, they sought her west, They sought her up and down ; And wae were the hearts [in merry Carlisle,] is For she was nae gait found!"
At last her eldest brother went to the Warluck Merlin, (Myrddin Wyldt,) and asked if he knew where his sister, the fair Burd Ellen, was. " The fair Burd Ellen," said the Warluck Merlin,'' is carried away by the fairies, and is now in the castle of the king of Elfland; and it were too bold an undertaking for the stoutest knight in Christendom to bring her back." " Is it possible to bring her back ? " said her brother, " and I will do it, or perish in the attempt." " Possible indeed it is," said the Warluck Merlin; " but woe to the man or mother's son who attempts it, if he is not well instructed beforehand of what he is to do."
Influenced no less by the glory of such an enterprise, than by the desire of rescuing his sister, the brother of the fair Burd Ellen resolved to undertake the adventure; and after proper instructions from Merlin, (which he failed in observing,) he set out on his perilous expedition.
" But they bade lang and ay langer, Wi' dout and mickle maen; And wae were the hearts [in merry Carlisle,] For he camena back again." 20