Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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THE HAWTHORN TREE.
Ritson's Ancient Songs, ii. 44.
A Mery Ballet of the Hathorne Tre, from a MS. in the Cotton Library, Vespasian, A. xxv. The MS. has " G. Peele " appended to it, but in a hand more mod­ern than the ballad. Mr. Dyce, with very good reason, " doubts " whether Peele is the author of the ballad, but has printed it, Peele's Works, ii. 256. It is given also by Evans, i. 342, and partly in Chappell's Popu­lar Music, i. 64.
The true character of this piece would never be suspected by one reading it in English. The same is true of the German, where the ballad is very common, and much prettier than in English, e. g. Das Madchen und die Hasel, Das Madchen und der Sagebaum, Erk's Liederhort, No. 33, five copies; Hoffmann, Schlesische Volkslieder, No. 100, three copies, etc. In Danish and Swedish we find a circumstantial story: Jomfruen i Linden, Grundtvig, No. 66 ; Linden, Sven-ska Folkvisor, No. 87. The tree is an enchanted damsel, one of eleven children transformed by a step­mother into various less troublesome things, and the spell can be removed only by a kiss from the king's son. By the intervention of the maiden, this rite is performed, and the beautiful linden is changed to as beautiful a young woman, who of course becomes the







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