Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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These volumes have been compiled from the numerous collections of Ballads printed since the beginning of the last century. They contain all but two or three of the ancient ballads of Eng­land and Scotland, and nearly all those ballads which, in either country, have been gathered from oral tradition, — whether ancient or not. Widely different from the true popular ballads, the spon­taneous products of nature, are the works of the professional ballad-maker, which make up the bulk of Garlands and Broadsides. These, though sometimes not without grace, more frequently not lacking in humor, belong to artificial literature, — of course to an humble department.1 As
1 This distinction is not absolute, for several of the ancient ballads have a sort of literary character, and many broad­sides were printed from oral tradition. The only popular ballads excluded from this selection that require mention, are The Bonny Hynd, The Jolly Beggar, The Baffled Knight, The Keach in the Creel, and The Earl of Errol. These bal­lads, in all their varieties, may be found by referring to the general Index at the end of the eighth volume. To extend