Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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The earliest printed copy of this ballad is the curi­ous piece in Wit Sestor'd, (1658,) called The Miller and the King's Daughter, improperly said to be a par­ody, by Jamieson and others. (See Appendix.) Pink-erton inserted in his Tragic Ballads, (p. 72.) a ballad on the subject, which preserves many genuine lines, but is half his own composition. Complete versions were published by Scott and Jamieson, and more re­cently a third has been furnished in Sharpe's Ballad Book, p. 30, and a fourth in Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland (given at the end of this volume). The burden of Mr. Sharpe's copy is nearly the same' as that of the Cruel Mother, post, p. 372. Jamieson's copy had also this burden, but he exchanged it for the more popular, and certainly more tasteful, Binnorie. No ballad furnishes a closer link than this between the popular poetry of England and that of the other nations of Northern Europe. The same story is found in Icelandic, Norse, Faroish, and Estnish ballads, as well as in the Swedish and Danish, and a nearly re­lated one in many other ballads or tales, German, Pol­ish, Lithuanian, etc., etc. — See Svenska Folk-Visor, iii. 16, i. 81, 86, Arwidsson, ii. 139, and especially Den Talende Strengeleg, Grundtvig, No. 95, and the notes to Der Singende Knochen, K. u. H. Mctrchen, iii. 55, ed. 1856.