Young Collins Green (Kenneth Peacock)

Young Collins came home at the hour of twelve,
And knocked on the old kitchen door.
"Arise, arise, dear father," he cried,
"And let me enter once more,
Though I should die this very sad night
On thoughts of the one I adore,
Please bury me under the marble stone
That lies under Flo Ellen's door."

Flo Ellen was sitting in her father's house,
All dressed in her silk so fine,
She thought she saw a corpse pass by
As fair as the sun did shine,
She then drew nigh those six young men,
"What corpse is that?" cried she.
"The corpse of your true love young Collins Green,
And a loyal true lover was he."

"Go bring him in and lay him down,
And open his coffin so fine,
Let me have a last kiss from Collins' cold lips,
For a thousand times he has kissed mine;
Take him out of his linen so gay
And dress him in silk so fine,
Today you are looking on Collins' cold corpse
And tomorrow you will look upon mine."

The news soon spread over the town,
And pinned for all to be seen,
Six pretty maidens were buried next day,
On the thoughts of young Collins Green.
Flo Ellen was buried in the grave-yard east,
Young Collins was buried in the west,
On Collins' grave grows a lily-white rose
That was pinned on Flo Ellen's breast.

####.... Author unknown. An American variant of Lady Alice (Child ballad #85) The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965) .... ####
Collected in 1952 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Garland (Theresa Blanche) Coles [1922-1980] of Fogo Island, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.738-739, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that the first part of this rare ballad is missing from this Newfoundland variant. It tells how young Collins Green meets his secret lover by the side of the river and receives a kiss with the warning: 'Your life shall not last you long.' Students of European folklore will recognize at once the water-nymph who gives her human lover a poisoned kiss when she finds out he is to marry another; in this case, Flo Ellen. The story is known in Scandinavia as well .

See more Child Ballad variants from NL.


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