Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 2 of 8 from 1860 edition

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" An ye parted us and our sweet life "— Doun by the greenwud sae bonnie.              *>
" But now we're in the heavens hie " —
All alone, and alonie ; "And ye have the pains o' hell to dree "—
Doun by the greenwud sae bonnie.
In the very ancient though corrupted ballads of Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight, and The Water o' Wearie's Well (vol. i. p. 195, 198), an Elf or a Mer­man occupies liie place here assigned to False Sir John. Perhaps May Colvin is the result of the same modernizing process by which Hynde Etin has been converted into Young Hastings the Groom (vol. i. p. 294, 189). The coincidence of the name with Clerk Colvill, in vol. i. p. 192, may have some significance. This, however, would not be the opinion of Grundtvig, who regards the Norse and German ballads resembling Lady Isabel, &c, as compounded of two independent stories. If this be so, then we should rather say that a ballad similar to May Colvin has been made to fur­nish the conclusion to the pieces referred to.