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ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH BALLADS. 85
fortunate, emphasizing and deepening the impression. Certain adjectives also became attached to words as a part of their property, such as red to gold and wan to water, and are essential parts of the ballad language, which add to its effect by constant repetition.
One of the charms of these ancient ballads is the appreciation of the effects of nature, given sometimes with a magical effect of suddenness and originality. What can be more effective, for instance, than the touch of beauty and charm in the tragedy of Babylon: —
He 's killed the maid and he 's laid her by To bear the red rose company.
And can we not feel the magic of the note of elfin horn, touching the heart with irresistible call through the summer air, in the opening to Hind Etin? —
Lady Margaret sits at her bower door,
Sewing her silken seam ; She heard a note in Elmond wood,
And wished she there had been.
The voice of the unseen sea gives a note of deep solemnity and terror to the supernatural landscape through which Thomas, the Rhymer, journeys with the elfin queen : —