Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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THE CLERK'S TWA SONS 0' OWSENFORD.
" This singularly wild and beautiful old ballad," says Chambers, (Scottish Ballads, p. 345,) " is chiefly taken from the recitation of the editor's grandmother, who learned it, when a girl, nearly seventy years ago, from a Miss Anne Gray, resident at Neidpath Castle, Peebles­shire; some additional stanzas, and a few various readings, being adopted from a less perfect, and far less poetical copy, published in Mr. Buchan's [Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland, i. 281,] and from a fragment in the Border Minstrelsy, entitled The Wife of Usher's Well, [vol. i. p. 214, of this col­lection,] but which is evidently the same narrative."*
" The editor has been induced to divide this ballad into two parts, on account of the great superiority of what follows over what goes before, and because the lat­ter portion is in a great measure independent of the other, so far as sense is concerned. The first part is composed of the Peeblesshire version, mingled with that of the northern editor: the second is formed of the Peeblesshire version, mingled with the fragment called The Wife of Usher's Well."
* There is to a certain extent a resemblance between this ballad and the German ballad Das Schloss in OesUrrekh, found in most of the German collections, and in Swedish and Danish.







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