Ed de Moel

Child Ballads - Narrative

John of Hazelgreen

  1. Elizabeth Cochrane's Manuscript, p. 126. Version A
  2. 'Jock o Hazelgreen,' Kinloch Manuscripts, VII, 135; Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 206. Version B
  3. 'John o Hazelgreen,' Kinloch Manuscripts, I, 319. Version C
    1. 'John o Hazelgreen,' Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, II, 253.
    2. 'Jock of Hazelgreen,' Chambers, Scottish Ballads, p. 319.
    Version D
    1. Fragmentary verses obtained by Mr. Pringle, Kinloch Manuscripts, I, 321.
    2. Kinloch Manuscripts, VH, 2, one stanza.
    Version E

A is found, with the doubtless accidental variation of three words, in a folio volume at Abbotsford labelled Miscellanies, article 43, having been transcribed by C.K. Sharpe for Sir W. Scott "from a 4to Manuscript, in a female hand, written probably about one hundred years ago, sold at one Inglis's roup at the West Port, Edinburgh, now in the possession of David Laing" (that is, Elizabeth Cochrane's Manuscript). D b was compounded from D a and B, "omitting," says Chambers, "many of the coarser stanzas of both, and improving a few by collation with a third version which I took down from recitation, and another which has been shown to me in manuscript by Mr. Kinloch" (C). D b is, after all, mainly D a with omissions; the improvements from the recited copy (or the variations from Buchan and Kinloch) are not remarkable in amount or quality. B is given on Kinloch's authority. Alexander Campbell, when on a tour on the borders of Scotland to collect Scottish airs, is said to have received the first stanza from Mr. Thomas Pringle, who derived it from his mother's singing. (Chappell, Popular Music, p. 575.) Upon this traditional stanza was built Scott's 'Jock of Hazeldean,' first printed in Campbell's Albyn's Anthology, I, 18, 1816. A. A gentleman overhears a damsel making a moan for Sir John of Hazelgreen. After some compliment on his part, and some slight information on hers, he tells her that Hazelgreen is married; then there is nothing for her to do, she says, but to hold her peace and die for him. The gentleman proposes that she shall let Hazelgreen go, marry his eldest son, and be made a gay lady; she is too mean a maid for that, and, anyway, had rather die for the object of her affection. Still she allows the gentleman to take her up behind him on his horse, and to buy clothes for her at Biggar, though all the time dropping tears for Hazelgreen. After the shopping they mount again, and at last they come to the gentleman's place, when the son runs out to welcome his father. The son is young Hazelgreen, who takes the maid in his arms and kisses off the still-falling tears. The father declares that the two shall be married the next day, and the young man have the family lands.

The other versions have the same story, but the clothes are bought at Edinburgh, and the Hazelgreen estate seems to be in the neighborhood.

In a preface to C, Kinloch, following either D 5 or some foolish popular gloss, remarks that the lady is presumed to have seen young Hazelgreen only in a dream, which left so deep an impression on her mind as to cause her to fall in love with his image. To improve upon this, D 15 makes the young man also to have seen the maid in a dream.

This page most recently updated on 19-May-2011, 19:16:56.
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