Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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FAIR MARGARET AND SWEET WILLIAM. From Percy's fieliques, ill- 164.
" This seems to be the old song quoted in Fletch­er's Knight of the Burning Pestle, acts ii. and iii.; although the six lines there preserved are somewhat different from those in the ballad, as it stands at pres­ent. The reader will not wonder at this, when he is informed that this is only given from a modern printed copy picked up on a stall. Its full title is Fair Mar­garet's misfortunes; or Sweet William's frightful dreams on his wedding night, with the sudden death and burial of those noble lovers.
" The lines preserved in tfye play are this distich:
" You are no love for me, Margaret, I am no love for you."                Act iii. 6.
And the following stanza:
" When it was grown to dark midnight,
And all were fast asleep, In came Margarets grimly ghost,
And stood at Williams feet. Act ii. 8.
" These lines have acquired an importance by giv­ing birth to one of the most beautiful ballads in our own or any other language: [Mallet's Margaret's Ghost.}
" Since the first edition, some improvements have been inserted, which were communicated by a lady of







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