Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 4 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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These beautiful verses are thought to be only a part of Lord Jamie Douglas, (see the next piece,) in one copy or another of which, according to Moth­erwell, nearly all of them are to be found. They were first published in the Tea-Table Miscellany, (i. 231,) and are here given as they there appear, sep­arate from an explicit story. Although in this condition they must be looked upon as a fragment, still, they are too awkwardly introduced in the ballad above men­tioned, and too superior to the rest of the composition, to allow of our believing that they have as yet found their proper connection.
In Johnson's Museum, (i. 166,) besides several trifling variations from Kamsay's copy, the fourth is replaced by the following:
When cockle shells turn siller bells, And mussels grow on every tree,
When frost and snaw shall warm us a', Then shall my love prove true to me.
The third stanza stands thus in a Christmas medley,