Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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248 FRAGMENT OP CHILD ROWLAND
horse-herd, " where the king of Elfland's castle is ? "— " I cannot tell thee," said the horse-herd; " but go on a little farther, and thou wilt come to the cow-herd, and he, perhaps, may tell thee." So Child Rowland drew the good claymore, [Excalibar,] that never struck in vain, and hewed off the head of the horse-herd. Child Rowland then went on a little farther, till he came to the king of Elfland's cow-herd, who was feed­ing his cows. " Canst thou tell me," said Child Row­land to the cow-herd, " where the king of Elfland's castle is ?" — "I cannot tell thee," said the cow-herd; " but go on a little farther, and thou wilt come to the sheep-herd, and he perhaps may tell thee." So Child Rowland drew the good claymore, [Excalibar,] that never struck in vain, and hewed ofl" the head of the cow-herd. He then went on a little farther, till he came to the sheep-herd. * * * * [The sheep-herd, goat-herd, and swine-herd are all, each in his turn, served in the same manner ; and lastly he is referred to the hen-wife.']
" Go on yet a little farther," said the hen-wife, till thou come to a round green hill surrounded with rings (terraces) from the bottom to the top; go round it three times widershins, and every time say, " Open, door! open, door ! and let me come in ; and the third time the door will open, and you may go in." So Child Rowland drew the good claymore, [Excalibar,] that never struck in vain, and hewed ofi7 the head of the hen-wife. Then went he three times wider-shins round the green hill, crying, " Open, doorl open, door ! and let me come in;" and the third time the door opened, and he went in.
It immediately closed behind him; and he proceeded through a long passage, where the air ,was soft and







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