The Nut Brown Maid is a popular and successful poem in the Middle English period. This is not strictly a ballad of the Border and differs much from Chevy Chase. The theme here is altogether different-not rivalry but love. It is all about the story of a nut-brown maid, a baron’s daughter, and her devoted love for a squire. She follows, with utmost constancy, her beloved man who tries to avoid her. Ultimately, the steady maid gets her reward and the squire, who is actually a noble lord in disguise, agrees to marry her. The end is happy.
This poem is also much more intricate in versification than the other poem at that time. It is rather enlivened with a courtly and cultivated approach and a spontaneity of expression. The work bears all through a dramatic interest. The very pattern of presentation is quite novel, too. The whole tale is related through the lyrical dialogue of a lady and a gentleman, who are shown engaged in the discussion of the charge of inconstancy against women, often brought by men.
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