#01430
The Elf-Knight (Steeleye Span) video
See also: The King's Daughter (Kenneth Peacock)
#1971: YouTube video from rockerbox1973
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

The elf-knight sits on yonder hill,
Fine flowers in the valley;
He blows his horn both loud and shrill,
As the rose is blown.

He blows it east, he blows it west,
Fine flowers in the valley;
He blows it where he liketh best,
As the rose is blown.

Lady Isabel sits a-sewing,
Fine flowers in the valley;
When she heard the elf-knight's horn a-blowing,
As the rose is blown.

Would I had that horn a-blowing,
Fine flowers in the valley;
And yon elf-knight for to sleep in my bosom,
As the rose is blown.

Scarcely had she these words spoken,
Fine flowers in the valley;
When in at the window the elf-knight's broken,
As the rose is blown.

It's a very strange matter, fair maid, said he,
Fine flowers in the valley;
I cannot blow my horn, but you call on me,
As the rose is blown.

But will you go to the greenwood side,
Fine flowers in the valley;
If you will not go, I'll cause you to ride,
As the rose is blown.

He leapt on his horse and she on another,
Fine flowers in the valley;
And they rode on to the greenwood together,
As the rose is blown.

Light down, light down, Isabel, said he,
Fine flowers in the valley;
For we're come to the place where you are to die,
As the rose is blown.

It's seven kings' daughters, here have I slain,
Fine flowers in the valley;
And you shall be the eighth of them,
As the rose is blown.

Sit down a-while, lay your head on my knee,
Fine flowers in the valley;
That we may rest before I die,
As the rose is blown.

She stroked him so fast the nearer he did creep,
Fine flowers in the valley;
And with a small charm, she's lulled him to sleep,
As the rose is blown.

With his own sword-belt so fast she's bound him,
Fine flowers in the valley;
With his own dagger so sore she's stabbed him,
As the rose is blown.

If seven kings' daughters here have you slain,
Fine flowers in the valley;
Then lie you here, a husband to them all,
As the rose is blown.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an 18th-century Scottish traditional, Lady Isabel And The Elf Knight [Child ballad #4] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898), edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, The Outlandish Knight, published by J Catnach (London) and sold by W Marshall (Bristol) sometime between 1813 and 1838, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Johnson Ballads 244 ....####
The video above features a live performance by Steeleye Span.

Steeleye Span performed this ballad as Lady Isobel And The Elf Knight (25 Live - The Classic Twenty Fifth Anniversary Tour Concert, trk#8, 1995 DVD, recorded at David's Hall, Cardiff, 6 December 1994, featuring Maddy Prior, Gay Woods, Peter Knight, Bob Johnson, Liam Genockey, Tim Harries); and as The Elf Knight (Time, trk#7, 1996 DVD, recorded live at the St Albans Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK).

A variant was collected in 1951 from James Heaney [1886-1962] of Stock Cove, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The King's Daughter in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, p.206, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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