Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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SWEET WILLIAM'S GHOST
As already remarked, is often made the sequel to other ballads. (See Clerk Saunders, p. 45.) It was first printed in the fourth volume of Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany, with some imperfections, and with two spurious stanzas for a conclusion. We subjoin to Eamsay's copy the admirable version obtained by Motherwell from recitation, and still another variation furnished by Kinloch.
Closely similar in many respects are the Danish Faestemanden i Graven (Aage og Else), Grundtvig, No. 90, and the Swedish Sorgens Magt, Svenska F. V., i. 29, ii. 204, or Arwidsson, ii. 103. Also Der Todte Freier, Erk's Liederhort, 24, 24 a. In the Danish and Swedish ballads it is the uncontrolled grief of his mis­tress that calls the lover from his grave: in the Eng­lish, the desire to be freed from his troth-plight. — See vol. i. p. 213, 217.
There came a ghost to Margaret's door,
With many a grievous groan, And ay he tirled at the pin,
But answer made she none.
" Is that my father Philip,
Or is't my brother John ? Or is't my true love Willy,
From Scotland new come home ? "
vol. n.                 10







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