Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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From the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, (iii. 175,) where it was first published. It was " taken from Mr. Herd's MSS., with several corrections from a shorter and more imperfect copy in the same volume, and one or two conjectural emendations in the arrangement of the stanzas."
That that part of the ballad which follows the death of the lovers is an independent story, is obvious both from internal evidence, and from the separate existence of those concluding stanzas in a variety of forms: as, Sweet William's Ghost, (Tea-Table Miscel­lany, ii. 142,) Sweet William, and May Margaret, (Kinloch, p. 241,) William and Marjorie, (Mother­well, p. 186.) Of this second part, Motherwell ob­serves, that it is often made the tail-piece to other bal­lads where a deceased lover appears to his mistress. The two were, however, combined by Sir Walter Scott, and the present Editor has contented himself with in­dicating distinctly the close of the proper story.
An inferior copy of Clerk Saunders, published by Jamieson, is inserted in the Appendix, for the sake of