Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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80                             LADY MAISBT.
consanguinity. Kristin is summoned to come instantly to her brother, and obeys the message, though she is weak with childbirth, and knows that the journey will cost her her life. She goes to the court on horseback (in the Danish ballads falling from the saddle once or twice on the way), and on her arrival is put to various tests to ascertain her condition, concluding with a long dance with the king, to which, having held out for a considerable time, she at last succumbs, and falls dead in her brother's arms.
The incidents of the journey on horseback, and the cruel probation by the dance, are found in the ballad which follows the present (Fair Janet), and these coin­cidences Grundtvig considers sufficient to establish its derivation from the Danish. The general similarity of Lady Maisry to King Waldemar and his Sister is, however, much more striking. For our part, we are inclined to believe that both the English ballads had this origin, but the difference in their actual form is so great, that, notwithstanding this conviction, we have not felt warranted in putting them together.
The young lords o' the north country
Have all a-wooing gane, To win the love of lady Maisry,
But o' thern she wou'd hae nane.
0 thae hae sought her, lady Maisry,            *
Wi' broaches, and wi' rings ; And they hae courted her, lady Maisry,
Wi' a' kin kind of things.







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