She looked out of the window as white as any milk
And he looked in at the window as black as any silk

Chorus

Hello, hello, hello, hello you coal black smith
You have done me no harm
You never shall have my maidenhead
That I have kept so long
I'd rather die a maid
Ah, but then she said and be buried all in my grave
Than to have such a nasty, husky, dusky, fusky, musky
Coal black smith
A maiden I will die
She became a duck, a duck all on the stream
And he became a water dog and fetched her back again

Chorus

She became a star, a star all in the night
And he became a thundercloud and muffled her out of sight

Chorus

She became a rose, a rose all in the wood
And he became a bumble bee and kissed her where she stood

Chorus

She became a nun, a nun all dressed in white
And he became a canting priest and prayed for her by night

Chorus

She became a trout, a trout all in the brook
And he became a feathered fly and catched her with his hook

Chorus

She became a corpse, a corpse all in the ground
And he became a the cold clay and smothered her all around

Chorus

- Trad. -
these lyrics as sung by Steeleye Span

Except for the dying part, i think this scots ballad is a good illustration of metamorphosis magic in action. This is Child's ballad #44, and occurs in many different variations. One of the versions has a nicely ludicrously long version of the smith's description: Nasty Dasky Lasky Masky Flasky Basky Wasky Blasky Kasky coal black smith. I can't find a good date for any of the versions, except that it may have originated from Arabian Nights-type tales of transformational magic, and the story exists in other old southern european ballads.

Some versions end with some variant of this:

And once she woke he took her so
And still he bad her bide
And the lusty smith became her love
For all of her mighty pride.
And then skip the dying part, but i prefer the other ending. I couldn't very well root for the smith - he's so, well, fusky.

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