Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 1 of 8 from 1860 edition

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A FRAGMENT. Reliquea of English Poetry, iii, 67.
" The subject of this ballad is evidently taken from the old romance Morte Arthur, but with some vari-i ations, especially in the concluding stanzas; in which the author seems rather to follow the traditions of the old Welsh Bards, who ' believed that King Arthur was not dead, but conveied awaie by the Fairies into some pleasant place, where he should remaine for a time, and then returne againe and reign in as great authority as ever.' (Holinshed, B. 5, c. 14.) Or, as it is expressed in an old chronicle printed at Antwerp, 1493, by Ger. de Leew: ' The Bretons supposen, that he [King Arthur] shall come yet and conquere all Bretaigne, for certes this is the prophicye of Merlyn, He sayd, that his deth shall be doubteous; and sayd soth, for men thereof yet have doubte, and shullen for ever more,—for men wyt not whether that he lyveth or is dede.' See more ancient testimonies in Selden's Notes on Polyolbion, Song 3.
" This fragment, being very incorrect and imperfect